Buyer’s Guide to Airgun Safety and Handling

By Published On: 12 December 2023Categories: Air Gun

Owning an air rifle or pistol brings great enjoyment, whether plinking cans in the garden or competing in marksmanship events. However, airguns are not toys and must be treated with care and respect. Following essential safety practices is key to preventing accidents and injuries when operating your airgun.

We cover the key areas new shooters must consider regarding airgun safety, storage and responsible handling. Integrating these protocols ensures secure, trouble-free ownership of your new air rifle.

Choosing the Right Airgun

The first step in safety is selecting the proper airgun for your needs and experience level:

Experience level 

Consider velocity, calibre and type of firing system. High power PCP models may prove difficult for novice shooters.

Build and strength

Also, ensure you choose a model suited to your build and strength to maintain control. An accurate match allows for comfortably supporting the rifle for proper sight alignment and smooth trigger control. Shop quality brands like Air Arms and Weihrauch, which are known for precision manufacturing.

Proper Pellet Handling

Pay close attention to pellet quality and condition, which greatly impact accuracy and safety. Only use air gun pellets specifically designed for airguns in the appropriate calibre. Inspect each pellet before loading, never use damaged ammunition, and always point rifles downrange when cocking and loading to prevent accidental discharge.

Eye & Ear Protection

Quality eye and ear protection prevents injury from recoil or discharged projectiles. Always wear wrap-around impact resistant shooting glasses with side shields when operating airguns. Choose ANSI Z87.1 certified eyewear for assured protection.

For hearing safety, opt for earmuffs or in-ear plugs uniquely fitted for your ear canal. Look for high Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) of 30 dB or more for sufficient sound dampening while firing. Teach children proper eye and ear wear habits from their earliest handling of airguns.

Proper Storage & Transportation

Responsibly storing airguns deters unsupervised access and accidents. Use gun cabinets or locking hard cases specifically built for securing rifles and pistols. Store ammunition separately from airguns, and keep keys hidden from minors. Apply trigger locks whenever rifles are unattended, and remove pellets and magazines entirely before locking away rifles to prevent tampering.

In addition, follow  all local regulations when transporting airguns to and from shooting locations. Store unloaded and locked in boot during transport.

Range Safety Protocols

If visiting shooting ranges, closely adhere to all posted range safety rules and range officer instructions. Key guidelines include:

  • Always keep rifles pointed downrange in a safe direction
  • Refraining from handling rifles when others are downrange
  • Obeying cease fire commands and making rifles safe when not shooting
  • Following one shooter per lane rule at all times

By integrating essential range protocols, all participants remain protected.

At-Home Safety Briefings

When target practising at home, conduct a comprehensive safety briefing, especially when visitors are present. Cover key points, like:

  • Reiterating eye/ear protection requirements
  • Defining shooting backstop/engagement zone
  • Ensuring those not shooting stand behind the firing line
  • Confirming proper unloading/cease fire procedures
  • Mandating adult supervision of minors

Conduct refresher briefings regularly so safe habits become second nature.

The Wolfman: Leaders in Airgun Technology & Safety

Airguns must be handled with caution and care to prevent tragic accidents. By selecting appropriate rifles for your skill level, wearing protective equipment, utilising proper backstops, safely storing firearms, obeying range protocols and briefing others, airgun ownership remains pleasurable for all.


At The Wolfman,  we specialise in premium quality air rifles and pistols built to the highest manufacturing standards. Our team leverages decades of shooting sports expertise to provide the ideal airgun to suit your needs. 

Browse our extensive catalogue showcasing the industry’s top names. We’re confident you’ll discover the perfect airgun to bring you years of accurate, reliable and, most importantly, safe performance. Receive free UK delivery and same-day dispatch on all orders. 

If you require any assistance or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact The Wolfman today.

About the Author: The Wolfman Store

After over 30 years experience in the Airgun trade, The Wolfman Store are delighted to announce our new website, enabling us to supply direct to the shooting community for the first time. Combining a vast stock of established favourites with exciting products new to the UK, The Wolfman Store will be striving to provide unparalleled service at the most competitive prices.

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