Common Airgun Designs
The Gamo Swarm Maxxims used in the 2017 Gamo Squirrel Master Classic competition are of the break-barrel, spring-piston design, which requires the shooter to hand cock the rifle between each shot. The Swarm is unique because it’s the only currently produced break-barrel rifle to come with a magazine. The break-barrel design is possibly the most popular and reliable of all airgun designs today.
The pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) is growing in popularity, however, due to its repeating-shot capabilities, frequently faster velocities and sometimes larger available calibers. As the name implies, PCP airguns must be precharged with air.
To a certain degree, CO2 pellet guns have lost popularity in recent years, but are still being produced. This design requires the use of a small, pre-charged CO2 canister to propel pellets.
Last on the ladder are the variable-pump models, which must be pumped up to propel their pellets. Their only advantage is that pellet velocity can be varied based upon how many times the gun is pumped.