Cheap Backyard Shooting: The Silence of the Air Rifles

Many gun owners want to maintain proficiency with their weapon of choice. It is important to keep one’s skills honed in case you need them in an emergency self-defense situation. However, the cost of maintaining proficiency has risen over the past five years along with the cost of ammunition. Ammunition and going to a gun range on a regular basis can soak one’s wallet dry. In these tough financial times shooters are looking at alternatives. I did and here is my story.


Hatsan Model 125 Sniper air rifle.

I have recently become aware of the resurgence of high quality and large caliber air rifles.

I happened to be in The Bullet Hole, my local family owned and operated gun shop, and saw a Hatsan Model 125 S PCP air rifle on display. The Hatsan was in the gun shop on consignment. I decided to purchase it for my grandson for his birthday. When I brought it home and showed it to my wife she decided she wanted it. By the way, my wife’s favorite movie is A Christmas Story where Alfie gets a BB gun, and yes she did shoot the eyes out, of the bullseye that is. I think it was the camo stock that got her attention as she loves to watch Duck Dynasty.

After shooting the Hatsan I discovered that this is by no means a child’s BB gun. This is a serious rifle that can be used for both target shooting and hunting small game. The pellets are cheap at $10 for 200 target grade lead in .25 caliber.

Rick Eutsler on writes, “Im a huge fan of Hatsan PCPs for a lot of reasons. They are rugged, accurate, and are priced aggressively. The ONE thing that I dont like about the Hatsan PCPs is that they’ve always been really, really loud. They’ve never been what you could shoot in your neighborhood back yard. This is all about to change. There is quite the discussion about what is legal and what is illegal about airgun suppressors. Its very cut and dry when it comes to firearms. You need a license and you better keep your paperwork on you. But, with airguns, the BATF says we dont regulate airguns. So the dilemma is whether or not someone would press an airgunner for violating the suppressor law by owning and using a detachable suppressor. Frankly, if there is a gray area, I want to stay far away from it as I’m allergic to vertical bars.”

“The way around this is to create a permanently attached suppressor that’s integrated into a shrouded barrel. This way it can’t be attached to a firearm and thus, there are no legal issues. The wildly successful Benjamin Marauder is an example of this method, which works amazingly well,” notes Eutsler. My, or should I say my wife’s, Hatsan has a suppressor, a real suppressor. The only sound from the air rifle is the spring going forward. Quiet indeed.

So that led me to set up a range in my limited backyard so that she and I could use the air rifle as we wished rather than going to a local gun range and pay to practice. I purchased a Champion .22 caliber bullet trap and modified it after viewing this video:

If you are interested in purchasing an air rifle I suggest you visit This is the go-to site to learn about the different types, models and calibers of air rifles on the market. The list is comprehensive.

Hope this helps those seeking to keep on shooting at a lower cost.

WARNING: Please ensure you comply with all city, county or state ordinances regarding the discharge of any firearm on your property. Shoot safely and always comply will the law.