Reply To: What is a Magnum Air Gun?

Forums Springers, Pumpers, C02, & Vintage What is a Magnum Air Gun? Reply To: What is a Magnum Air Gun?



“gamyrick”I’ve read a lot of articles that define a “Magnum” air rifle as one that shoots pellets at 800 – 1,000 feet per second. Although (FPS) is a by-product of an air guns power it really isn’t a measure of energy. I owned an HW90 and I tested more than a dozen .22 caliber pellets when looking for the best performer. They varied from 18 to 21.4 grains and none of them left the barrel at 800 – 1,000 fps. Yes, I could have used a very light weight PBA pellet but most air guns will shoot those between 800 and 1,000 fps. My HW90 shot the .22 caliber, 18.21gr, H&N Baracuda Hunter at 785 fps which is 25 ft/lbs (24.9233), isn’t that a “Magnum”? Do you agree that ft/lbs would be a more accurate method of defining a “Magnum” air gun?

Yes, I agree. To me:

  • anything more than 16 FPE is magnum.
  • 12-16 is high powered
  • 8-11 is medium powered
  • 7 and under is low power

But you have to realize, it was a marketing game. They KNOW that if they just publish a high FPS on the box, that will sell them. That “Half Truth Marketing” is not unique to airguns. For example:

  • Handheld electric power tools can be rated in hp. Take routers, for example. Many are advertised as 3-1/4 hp. The other half of that truth is that that is under extreme overload condition, right before the motor burns up.
  • Some cars are advertised with what seems like impossibly high hp. The other half of that truth is that at low RPM, they barely make enough torque to get out of their own way.

It’s pretty rare that an industry will normalize to something reasonable without outside intervention. Sad but true. There are just too many suckers out there for it to be otherwise.