Co2 le­gal­ity

Air Gunner - - Your Letters -

Dear Edi­tor Can I use Co2 air ri­fles with­out a sec­tion 1 firearms li­cence is­suled by the po­lice? Some­body told me that they’re il­le­gal, but I’ve seen them in your mag­a­zine and for sale in the shops, so that doesn’t make sense. Are they more pow­er­ful than nor­mal air­guns? The ones I’ve read about were quite low pow­ered. Also, what are the ad­van­tages of Co2 com­pared to a nor­mal spring gun? I re­ally like them and would like to buy one but I don’t want to get into trou­ble. Steve

Hello Steve Yes, you can. The old re­stric­tions were re­moved a while ago and you can quite legally use a sub 12 ft.lbs. ri­fle with­out a li­cence, just as you would a spring-pis­ton one or a pre-charged pneu­matic. I un­der­stand the rea­son they were on li­cence was that it was be­lieved they were in­deed very pow­er­ful, but that’s not the case. The most pow­er­ful one I’ve ever tested de­liv­ered less that 10 ft.lbs. of muz­zle en­ergy, so was noth­ing spe­cial in the hore­spower stakes.

When the au­thor­i­ties un­der­stood this they were re­cat­e­gorised as be­ing the same as other sub 12 ft.lbs. air­guns. This has been very good news, mostly for those who en­joy shoot­ing pis­tols and re­volvers ide­ally suited to the ul­tra-pop­u­lar, 12-gramme Co2 cap­sules that fit neatly inside their grips. This has led to a boom in the choice and va­ri­ety of hand­guns on sale to­day. There are a few Co2-pow­ered ri­fles, but not all that many. There’s the Hamer­lli, pic­tured, which is among the most pow­er­ful, and the hugely pop­u­lar Cros­man Rat­catcher se­ries which has many vari­ants. These small, light and in­ex­pen­sive guns have ac­counted for tens of thou­sands of rats over the years and have a cult fol­low­ing in the up­grad­ing and cus­tomis­ing world. SMK also of­fers a choice of mod­els that are in­ex­pen­sive and again ripe for cus­tomi­sa­tion. The ad­van­tages that Co2 guns have over oth­ers in­clude the fact that they’re usu­ally quite cheap and sim­ple to main­tain. Guns used in and around farm­yards of­ten get knocked, scratched and dirty, so hav­ing a cheap gun can make good sense. Go along to your lo­cal gun shop and han­dle a few mod­els to see if they’re what you want, and per­haps need.

You can use Co2- pow­ered ri­fles like this with­out a li­cence quite le­gally

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