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What is the Difference Between Pellet and Air Guns

Updated March 21, 2017

There are many practical uses for pellet and air guns. Whether it is target practice or shooting small pests, both pellet and air guns have their own advantages and disadvantages. A consumer decides which gun may be the safest or most efficient gun to handle.

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The main difference is ammunition. A pellet gun usually uses a lead bullet of various sizes. Larger pellet gun bullets are used for short range targets while lighter bullets can fire over a longer distance. A air gun usually fires a small plastic bullet through air pressure and the plastic bullet is one size.


Air guns are lighter and easier to use than a conventional pellet gun. An air gun employs air pressure in the gun shaft to fire the bullet. Both of these guns are designed to appear similar to military and popular gun designs.


If parents or consumers are concerned about safety, the air guns offer a relatively safer firing experience for young adults. Pellet guns are good weapons for killing small pests and are usually pressured more than air guns. Young adults and parents need to be cognizant of the force behind pellet guns.

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About the Author

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick began writing professionally in 2006. He has written in literary journals such as Read Herrings and provides written online guides for towns ranging from Seymour, Connecticut to Haines, Alaska. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Massachusetts.

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