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Break barrel air rifles are one of the most popular forms of air weapons out there and they are a classic. If your father or grandfather handed his air rifle down to you, chances are it was a break barrel. The design is iconic, the mechanism simple, its function is reliable, and to this day they are still fantastic to use.
The design of the break barrel rifle hasn’t changed much over the years and that old rifle that your relative passed down to you will function in much the same way as a modern break barrel. With the use of modern materials and construction methods, a few things have changed with this style of air rifle though. Power and accuracy have benefitted from manufacture and material advancement and although the design of the break barrel has not strayed far, the improvements on performance have greatly excelled.
So, where do you start looking for these advanced classics and how can you find one that will decimate anything that crosses its path with immense power? Luckily for you, there are plenty of break barrel air rifles out there and in this article, we will be looking at two of the most powerful!
What Are Your Options?
You have two options when buying a true break barrel, the gas-piston air rifle and the spring-powered air rifle. They both have their pros and cons, and can both provide a high-powered shot if the mechanism is well-crafted and highly strung.
The gas-piston air rifle uses a gas-filled piston that compresses when the break barrel is cocked. The compression of the gas holds energy which when released through pulling the trigger forces the piston forward. When the piston is released it forces the pellet through the barrel of the rifle and out the end at high velocity. The gas-piston break barrel has the potential to produce a lot of power and it doesn’t suffer from some of the down-flaws of its spring-powered cousin such as spring fatigue.
The spring-powered air rifle uses a spring that is compressed when the barrel is broken. Once the spring is cocked under tension, the trigger is pulled to release the spring in order to fire the pellet. The spring-powered mechanism is one of the older charge designs that you are likely to find in the break barrel air rifle that has been in the family for a few decades. Spring rifles have the potential of producing immense power however they do fall victim to spring fatigue and cannot be cocked for long periods.
Most Powerful Gas-Piston Break Barrel Air Rifle: Gamo Swarm Magnum Gas-Piston Air Rifle
The Gamo Swarm Magnum Air rifle is a break barrel gas-piston weapon that uses Gamo’s IGT (inert gas technology) to produce hard-hitting power and an extremely fast velocity. The .177 caliber offers the user up to 1650FPS at 26.6ft-lbs of muzzle energy and the .22 caliber variant offers the user up to 1200FPS at 26.6ft-lbs of muzzle energy. That is an outstanding amount of power from a break barrel gas-piston air rifle and you can expect to impact targets hard at up to 100 yards. It is safe to say that the Gamo Magnum has more than enough power for most hunting and serious target shooting applications.
This break barrel air rifle isn’t just a brute either, along with its impressive power output, it offers pin-point accuracy and precision when coupled with the right pellet. It is extremely comfortable and easy to hold and its lightweight stock doesn’t drop your arm off when holding it for long periods of time. A SWA (shock wave absorber) is used in the design of this air weapon and this helps to reduce recoil up to 75%! The CAT (custom action trigger) trigger that this rifle features is responsive and easy to use which aids an accurate shot.
It comes with a factory-installed scope that is just as impressive as the rifle itself which is uncommon for combos in this price range. Once the scope is sighted-in correctly it works together with the gun to make sure that the pellet lands exactly where you want it every single time. Once you have found the perfect pellet, all of this Gamo’s features work together to offer ultimate power, accuracy, and precision. If you are looking for more info on the Gamo Swarm Magnum air rifle, why not check out our in-depth review here.
Overall, the Gamo Swarm Magnum is a tactical powerhouse that offers the user great power and accuracy in a robust and durable shell. Everything about this rifle is high-tech but in a user-friendly classic way that mixes the old with the new.
Most Powerful Spring-Powered Break Barrel Air Rifle: Umarex Diana RWS 350 Magnum Spring-Powered Air Rifle
The Diana RWS 350 Magnum is a spring-powered break barrel air rifle that is beautifully crafted both mechanically and aesthetically. If you love the classic look and design of the traditional break barrel air rifle, then you will love the RWS 350. It is an extremely simple air rifle that is easily used and maintained by the beginner but also powerful and accurate enough to keep the more experienced marksman happy. This air weapon is stylish, streamlined, lightweight, and great fun to use for people of all ages and experience levels.
The power of the Diana RWS 350 is impressive even when compared to entry-level PCP air rifles. At .22 it produces 1100FPS at 21ft-lbs of muzzle energy which is more than enough for most target and hunting applications up to and over 80 yards. There are not many springer air rifles as powerful as this one and it outperforms most of its competitors when muzzle energy is concerned. The gun can cope with the power as well. It is robust and built to high standards, so you have no worries of anything rattling loose over time or breaking from the strain of constant high-power shooting.
The accuracy of the RWS 350 is just as impressive as its power. In .22 the Diana provides plenty of power to project the heavy lead over distance accurately, but being a springer, you will need a certain level of skill. Once you know the gun and how it behaves you will learn to master it and develop the skills needed to shoot it accurately over distance. After you zero in the gun effectively and learn how the pellet drops as the distance increases this is an extremely precise weapon to shoot with.
Overall, the Umarex Diana is a spring-powered break barrel air rifle with heaps of power. It has a classic design, is built to last, and is beautiful to look at. If you are looking for a classic style springer with a natural wood stock that performs as well as it looks, then this is the air rifle for you.
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