The Air Pistol match is a slow fire match demanding similar levels of precision to Free Pistol except that it is shot at 10 metres on a target with a 12mm Ten-ring. The match consists of 60 shots in the Men’s and Junior Men’s events and now also 60 shots for Ladies and Junior Ladies. Air pistol is a great teacher of handgun shooting fundamentals, as the highly accurate handguns, with their minimum allowable trigger weight of 500 grams are easy to control and have no recoil. They are also very economical to shoot and are noiseless compared to cartridge firearms.
There are three types of Air Pistol operating systems used on target air arms; spring and piston, pneumatic and gas powered. The spring and piston pistols are best represented by the Feinwerkbau line. All spring and piston pistols have to have some recoil compensating system built in to the mechanism to dampen recoil. The pneumatic air arms have a built in pump that highly compresses air into a pressure chamber, from where it is released with a trigger operated valve. These types of pistols require more cocking effort than the others. The gas operated systems use CO2 or compressed air, and are easy to operate but require a separate gas supply.
All good quality target Air Pistols have adjustable grips, sights and triggers, and are highly refined shooting machines that leave the shooter in no doubt who is at fault if scores are down. Most Air Pistol ranges are indoors, and this offers shooters the advantage of shooting of an evening and getting plenty of low cost practice.