It’s a great childhood memory: target shooting at tin cans with our father or grandfather. Most often, we shot with a break-barrel air rifle – a classic, and still enormously popular. But in recent decades many new products have entered the market for unrestricted guns. CO2-powered rifles and pistols are now enjoying great popularity. They are ideal for plinking. At the same time a new trend has emerged in compressed air rifles. High-powered models for shooting at long range are now available. Their great precision makes them suitable for Field Target shooting.

Airgun ammunition is optimized for each kind of use, and there is a wide selection of accessories depending on one’s needs. By bringing its customers world-famous brands in combination with advanced technology, Umarex is today setting the trends on the over-the-counter airgun market. The top-level-guns are “Made in Germany” in Arnsberg – look out for that unique logo in black, yellow and red!

How does a spring-piston airgun work?

Airguns of this type are popular owing to their mature technology and ease of use. There are various kinds of spring-piston airguns. They can have side levers or under-barrel levers. The most common type has a break-barrel system. The mode of operation is the same in all systems: a piston housed in a cylinder has a spring attached at the front. When you cock the gun, the spring is compressed and the piston is locked in place. When you pull the trigger, the piston is released and it jumps forward. This compresses the air in the space ahead of the piston. The air is driven through a nozzle, accelerating the pellet in front of it.

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How does a CO2 gun work?

Thanks to steady progress in the development of CO2 models, these guns now bear little resemblance to those of the first generation. Whereas the early models were often simple and indefinite in character, one can now get authentic replicas that closely match the originals in appearance, handling and weight. Multi-shot replicas of this kind cannot be built if other power sources are used. Compact 12 g and 88 g CO2 capsules now make it possible to build replicas of almost any kind of weapon. The liquefied CO2 in the capsule enters an evaporation chamber where it turns into a gas and can pass a valve. Each time you pull the trigger, a certain amount of CO2 is released, forcing a pellet out of the barrel. Users of Umarex and Walther CO2 capsules can be sure that the seal between the valve and the CO2 capsule will stay intact.

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How does a compressed airgun work?

Compressed airguns permit accurate, vibration-free shooting without a large amount of mechanical effort. A refillable compressed air reservoir made of aluminum or steel serves as an energy source. A pressure regulator ensures that the air is not released all at once and that the pressure stays constant. When you pull the trigger, the cocked striker is released and strikes a plunger which allows a certain amount of compressed air to escape. This drives the pellet out of the barrel. The reservoir can be filled using a pump or a compressor. It can also be filled from a refillable compressed air cylinder.

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...and then I need...

The most important step is of course the first one: purchasing the right kind of air rifle. But you will also need certain accessories that are specific to the rifle, such as spare magazines or, if you have a compressed air system, a filling tube and adapter. In addition, it is essential to have suitable pellets in several different calibers and with different shapes and weights. Finally, you will need targets and pellet traps that are safe and offer some variety. In this section of our webiste you will find these WALTHER products as well as care products for cleaning your rifle and preserving its value.

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Regulatory Information

Please note: This information applies only to Germany. The rules for other countries cannot be shown here for reasons of space and because up-to-date information cannot be guaranteed.

Glossar Airguns


For your research we have some terms frequently found in the field (compressed air) weapon on this website use, compiled and explained.

Open glossar Airguns

What do these terms mean?

The science of projectiles in free flight. It is concerned with a projectile’s motion when fired, when exiting the muzzle, when outside the barrel, when moving towards a target and at the end of its trajectory.

A measure of gas pressure used for air rifles. One bar is equal to 1.02 kiloponds per square centimeter (kp/cm²). Gas pressure is also measured in pounds per square inch (psi). One bar equals 14.5036 psi.

A treatment process for metal parts. In the past, processes were used that resulted in a brown color; today blue and black are more common.

Bore diameter
The distance between opposite lands in a rifled barrel.

Breech face
The inner surface of the receiver in a pistol which supports the head of the cartridge.

Breech block
Closes the breech and serves as a counter plate for the cartridge.

From Latin “qua libra” (what is the weight?). Early cannoneers used this term to refer to cannonball weight. In rifles, revolvers and pistols a distinction is made between the land diameter, groove diameter projectile diameter. Projectile diameters are measured in mm (7.63 mm, 9 mm) or in hundredths of an inch (for example, .22). Because almost all projectiles are below one inch, the leading Zero is left out, so it’s .22 instead of 0,22 Inch.

A pattern cut into the frame of a gun to provide a better gripping surface.

A wasp-shaped lead pellet for airguns, used since the 1930s. The name comes from the resemblance to a juggling toy for children.

Aperture sight, usually found in match rifles.

Double-action (DA)
A mechanism in which the trigger first cocks the hammer or striker (and in a revolver also rotates the cylinder) and then releases the shot.

Firing spring
Generates the force for the hammer or striker.

Front sight
The front part of a sight, sometimes protected by a foresight tunnel. There are various possible forms: bead sight, post sight, triangular sight, globe sight, blade sight, aperture sight.

The distance between the base of the cartridge and the face of the closed bolt.

Initial velocity (v0)
Also called muzzle velocity. This is the velocity of a projectile when it leaves the muzzle, or just afterwards. The number after the v stands for the distance in meters between the measuring instrument and the muzzle. Thus v0 is a position right at the end of the barrel. In practice, v1 is usually measured.

A unit used to express the energy of a projectile. 1 J = 1 N · m (newton meter)

The raised areas in a rifled barrel.

Let-off point
The point at which trigger resistance is overcome in a two-stage trigger.

Lever action
An American breech-loading system with a bottom lever shaped to serve also as a trigger guard (found in Winchesters and similar models).

The part of the breech mechanism where the cartridge is ignited.

A device for holding multiple cartridges or projectiles, sometimes removable (interchangeable magazine), fixed or attached (box magazine, tubular magazine, revolver cylinder).

Magazine holder, magazine release
Holds an interchangeable magazine in the magazine well. When it is pressed, the magazine can be removed.

Magazine safety
Prevents inadvertent firing of a semiautomatic pistol when the magazine is partly or fully removed.

Marking of weapons and ammunition
In Germany weapons must be marked with the manufacturer’s name, serial number, caliber and proof markings. Airguns that can be purchased over the counter (including those propelled by CO₂ and compressed air) and have a muzzle energy less than 7.5 joules are marked with an F inside a pentagon as evidence of approval by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (national metrology institute) in Braunschweig. This is required for sales to persons who are 18 or above.

A holder for attaching a telescopic sight, red-dot sight or (if permitted) a light or laser.

Open sight
An aiming device consisting of a front and rear sight, as opposed to an optical sight.

Optical sight
A telescopic sight or red-dot sight.

A single-shot or multi-shot handgun with an integral chamber and barrel, as opposed to a revolver.

The part of an air rifle that compresses air.

Point of aim at the instant of firing
The actual alignment of the gun and sight at the instant a shot is released. Ideally, it should coincide with the shooter’s point of aim.

Pyrotechnic ammunition
Ammunition with a pyrotechnic charge, such as signal ammunition

Rear sight
The rear part of an open sight in handguns and rifles.

The backward movement of a weapon when it is fired. When this effect is generated artificially, it is called blowback.

Recoil spring
A spring that pushes the slide forward and drives a fresh round into the chamber.

A firearm with a mechanism that ejects a spent case from the chamber, loads a new cartridge and recocks the firing action. The term is also used for airguns that load new projectiles from a magazine or cylinder.

A scale with fine lines used in optical sights, also called crosshair.

A multi-shot handgun with a rotating cylinder for holding ammunition.

Rifled barrel
A barrel with helical grooves cut out of it, leaving residual lands.

A device which prevents the inadvertent release of a shot.

Safety notch
In semiautomatic revolvers a step in the cocking of a hammer which allows manual rotation of the cylinder and prevents operation of the trigger.

Semiautomatic weapon
A multi-shot weapon that automatically ejects spent cases and loads fresh cartridges (in the case of airguns only a projectile is reloaded). The weapon is also recocked. Continued firing is impossible if the trigger is not released. The trigger must first return to its original position.

The overall system for aiming; varies according to the type of weapon and application.

A device that reduces the sound of a muzzle blast. Depending on the design, it diverts expanding gas or routes the noise into several chambers.

Single action (SA)
A single-action pistol has to be cocked before each shot. A semiautomatic single-action pistol only has to be cocked before the first shot. After that, the slide is pushed backward and forward by the gas pressure of the cartridge. In CO₂ weapons, carbon dioxide performs this task.

Single-stage trigger
A trigger that has no movement before release, used in match air rifles and small-bore firearms.

Serves as the bolt in semiautomatic weapons.

Slide stop
A mechanism which holds open the slide when the magazine is empty and then allows it to close.

Sliding safety
A safety device that is operated by pushing a lever or button.

The frame connecting all of the parts of a rifle so that it can be held.

The part of the firearm action that strikes the priming charge of the cartridge.

Telescopic sight
An optical system for giving a magnified view of the target. A reticle, usually mounted in a tube, is displayed in the same plane as the target, making it easier to aim over large distances and providing an aid to shooters with less-than-perfect eyesight.

The motion, vertical and horizontal, of a projectile. Trajectories resemble parabolas and depend on six factors: projectile velocity, air resistance, barrel angle, gravity, drag coefficient and twist.

The trigger includes the trigger blade and is mounted on the trigger plate so that it can pivot.

Trigger guard
A semicircular ring made of metal, wood or horn that surrounds the trigger for protection.

Trigger resistance
The resistance that must be overcome when firing a shot. Some competitions stipulate a minimum trigger resistance, which is checked by means of a special device such as a hanging weight.

Rotational movement of a projectile around the bore axis. Stabilizes the trajectory. Caused by spiral grooves in the bore and the ridges between them (lands), which make the projectile spin.

v (velocity)
v0: initial velocity of the projectile
v100: velocity after 100 m of travel
vT: velocity at the target (note that the v is lowercase, in contrast to the uppercase V for volume).

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