How Long Do Air Guns Last?


Have you ever gone to pick up your air gun, only to find that it no longer functions after a few hundred shots? Air guns are delicate machines, and even with the best care, they will eventually break down. But how long do air guns last on average? Keep reading to find out!

When an airgun’s life is over, it means that there are no longer any spare parts available to repair the gun. This could be because they have run out or been destroyed entirely so you will need a new one for your collection. Here is a breakdown of the common types:

BB guns

The durability of a BB gun is unparalleled. The U.S Army has documented that these guns shoot over 20 million shots before needing parts replacement. The barrel of a centerfire firearm wears rapidly and may get 1,000 to 5,000 proper shots in its lifetime. It is difficult to replace when needed. A BB gun shot tube, by contrast, is an inexpensive part that any owner can replace.

CO2 guns

This class of air guns contains all the single shots like the Crosman 180s and Sheridan 2260. These longer-lasting action-type CO2-powered guns can be entirely built from parts if needed with no effect on their life span! As long as those proprietary pieces exist, they’ll continue working indefinitely


Pneumatic airguns

It’s true that pneumatic air rifles (variable pumps and PCPs) have an indefinitely long life, but there are some known issues. For example, the guns with barrels soldered to their pump tubes can separate at this point and no one has yet devised a commercial method for resoldering them either.
The other major failure happens when too much stress builds up on your pivot pins–they break off inside where you cannot reach them without professional help; repairing these failures is a thankless task requiring lots more money than buying a brand new gun.

Spring piston airguns

You can expect your spring piston air gun to last for 10,000 – 75 thousand shots before it needs repairs. This all depends on which model you have and how well they were made!

With proper care and maintenance, a spring piston air gun can last hundreds of thousands of rounds without any signs of failure or wear. An overhaul (new spring, piston seal, and breech seals) can make your springers last for decades.

(For more on the best break barrel air rifle that hits like a champ, see this post)

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Sean Campbell’s love for hunting and outdoor life is credited to his dad who constantly thrilled him with exciting cowboy stories. His current chief commitment involves guiding aspiring gun handlers on firearm safety and shooting tactics at the NRA education and training department. When not with students, expect to find him either at his gunsmithing workshop, in the woods hunting, on the lake fishing, on nature photoshoots, or with his wife and kid in Maverick, Texas. Read more >>


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