Here at the 2009 National Junior Air Gun Championship (NJAGC), two types of air rifles are used during competition: Sporter or Precision air rifles. While a few similarities between the two types of rifles do exist, there are many differences as well.
Both rifles use compressed air or carbon dioxide and are .177 caliber (4.5mm), but the similarities stop there. The weight of the gun and trigger vary greatly. In the Sporter class, rifles may not weigh more than 7.5 lbs and must have a minimum trigger weight of 1.5 lbs. Precision air rifles may not weigh more than 12.12 lbs and has no minimum trigger weight.
Adjustability is another area where these two rifles differ. Sporter air rifles have a very limited amount of adjustability such as triggers and butt stocks, while Precision air rifles can be adjusted in many ways including sights, stocks, butt plates, triggers, and cheek pieces. This adjustability, along with the use of high quality materials makes Precision air rifles more accurate than Sporters.
With these major differences in equipment comes a major difference in price as well. The cost of a Sporter air rifle can run between $275 and $525, while Precision air rifles begin at around $1,200 and cap out near $3,000. The shooting gear used in the Precision class such as shooting jackets, pants, shoes, and sweaters can also cost several thousand dollars, making the Sporter class a more economical choice for young shooters and their families.
Separate awards are given for both the Sporter (pictured at top) and Precision classes (pictured above) to make the playing field even, so check back with NRAblog to see results for both classes at the 2009 National Junior Air Gun Championship!