Types of Compressed Air Weapons, Preloaded Pneumatic Guns or PCP

Types of Compressed Air Weapons, Preloaded Pneumatic Guns or PCP


These types of compressed air weapons are very particular, they work using an internal tank preloaded from an external air source, which can be from a compressed air cylinder or by manual loading with a high pressure foot pump.
The operation of the weapon is based on having shots available until the pressure exerted by the pneumatically compressed gas is exhausted.

Shooting Action

When the trigger is pressed, the hammer of the compressed air weapon presses a valve that releases an amount of gas from the reservoir that is attached to the body of the weapon, this volume of gas is already pre-established and calculated for a shot, it will drive the pellets through the barrel of the airgun, causing it to be fired at high speeds.

Types of PCP compressed air weapons according to the valve.

Depending on the design of the discharge valve, PCP compressed air guns can be classified into two types:

  • Unregulated: Without a mechanical or electronic regulator.
  • Regulated: They have a mechanical or electronic valve regulator actuator, which allows an adjustment in the force applied to the pellet.

Gases used for pneumatic compression in PCP.

The most recent models, in addition to using compressed air, have begun to use inert gases such as helium and nitrogen, the latter widely used in the models that achieve the highest speeds.

Initial Cost Versus Maintenance Cost

Because of the need to incorporate an additional tank, the initial cost of the equipment is a little higher than a spring or pump compressed air weapon as we have seen in other articles, but the maintenance cost is lower. So in the long run, saving can be quite substantial.

This happens because they have practically no movement and friction of mechanical parts, which implies less wear on the body of the weapon and fewer parts that can be damaged.

Regarding the quality of the shot, this type of airgun has a much smoother recoil, so the shot is more accurate.
With a single charge of air or inert gas, you can take up to 100 shots, of course, depending on the tank that is built into your airgun.


Well-designed PCP will show good shot-to-shot consistency over a long period, as the air reservoir is depleted. Other PCP rifles and pistols are regulated, that is, the trigger valve operates within a secondary chamber separated from the main air reservoir by the regulator body.

The regulator maintains the pressure within this secondary chamber at a set pressure until the pressure in the main reservoir drops to the point where it can no longer do so.

As a result, shot-to-shot consistency is maintained for longer than in an unregulated rifle, and the weapon can also produce more shots due to reduced pressure waste from the reservoir.


Umarex USA, Gauntlet PCP Bolt Action Air Rifle .25 CaliberBlack Synthetic Stock Matte Barrel

$325.99  in stock
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  • Offers the performance of highly expensive PCP air rifles for a fraction of the price; Provides up to 35 regulated shots from one tank fill
  • Built-in regulator delivers consistent, regulated velocity from shot to shot for long, flat shot strings; Provides outstanding accuracy for hunting, Field Target competition, and plinking
  • Incredibly quiet shooting; Includes 2 rotary mags (8-round capacity)
  • Features an integrated 11mm dovetail rail for scope mounting; Easily adjustable comb height with just the turn of a knob
  • Shoots .25 caliber pellets at up to 890 fps

Wearable4U Umarex Origin Air PCP Rifle .22 Cal with High Pressure Air Hand Pump Combo 100x Paper Targets and 250x .22 Lead Pellets Bundle (Black)

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  • IN THE BOX: Umarex Origin Air PCP Rifle (Black), 1 x High Pressure Air Hand Pump Combo, 1 x fill probe, 2 x Rotary Mags, 100 x Paper Targets, 250 x .22 Lead Pellets
  • 100 pumps to fill tank, gives up to 40 shots (13 pumps for one full-power shot); 1,000 FPS with .22 Caliber Alloy Pellets
  • Patented Pre-Pressurized Air Chamber Design; Automatic Overpressure Air Release
  • Features smooth sidelever, adjustable 2-stage trigger, integrated fill pressure gauge; combination Picatinny and 11mm Dovetail Optics Mounting Rail
  • 3-stage, 4,500 PSI HPA Hand Pump and Fill Probe and (2) Auto-Indexing 10-Shot Rotary Magazines Included

Benjamin Armada BTAP22SX PCP-Powered Multi-Shot Bolt Action .22-Caliber Pellet Hunting And Target Air Rifle With 4-16x50 mm Riflescope

$650.95  in stock
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  • Modular, versatile design
  • Backwards compatible with Mil-Spec AR-15 grips and stocks
  • Machined receiver featuring 5 inches of Picatinny rail space

Benjamin BPBD3S Bulldog .357 PCP Hunting Rifle With Reversible Sidelever Bolt Action, Black

$714.99  in stock
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  • DURABLE SYNTHETIC DESIGN - With a short 36-inch overall length bullpup configuration
  • REVERSIBLE SIDELEVER BOLT ACTION - For left or right-handed shooters with lever safety
  • BAFFLE-LESS SOUND TRAP - For big bore sound suppression
  • RIFLED-STEEL BARREL - Delivers up to 910 fps
  • 26-INCH PICATINNY RAIL - For your choice of accessories

Benjamin Marauder BP1764S Synthetic Stock PCP-Powered .177-Caliber Pellet Multi-Shot Bolt-Action Hunting Air Rifle

$501.05  in stock
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  • Ambidextrous with adjustable raised comb
  • Balanced for field carry
  • Rugged all-weather synthetic stock
  • Crosman PCP powered pellet rifle

Benjamin Armada BTAP22 PCP-Powered .22-Caliber Pellet Hunting And Target Air Rifle

$549.00  in stock
25 new from $522.96
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  • PCP-POWERED . 22-CALIBER AIR GUN – Great for target shooting and medium-sized game hunting
  • REVERSIBLE BOLT-ACTION – For right and left-handed sportsmen
  • MODULAR DESIGN WITH RIFLED BARREL – Quiet and versatile with on-board air pressure gauge
  • 10-ROUND ROTARY CLIP MAGAZINE – Multi-shot capable, delivers speeds up to 1000 fps
  • MACHINED RECEIVER AND 5-INCH PICATINNY RAIL – Add your favorite accessories
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