A little-known fact about air-gun shooting is that this humble weapon holds a distinguished place among early sniper rifles. It was used with great effect to accurately take down the enemy over medium distances, while producing no muzzle flash that to reveal the sniper’s position. The same advantages made them popular as hunting guns, due to the cost-effective nature of the ‘pellets’ and capability for shooting in wet weather conditions, which would usually render alternative black-powder models useless. They could also fire up to .50 calibre pellets at about 20 rounds a minute, giving hunters and the like the chance to put a second, or even third, shot on target quickly if it did not go down first time, especially in the case of an enraged wild boar or similar-sized quarry.
Those early air guns may be distant memories, but the sport of air-gun shooting is alive and well and thriving in South Africa. Thanks to the efforts of top-quality suppliers like Airgun Warehouse, our local clubs and sports shooters have easy access to international-quality, competition-ready guns. These high-quality guns are mostly of the pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) type, which fire with consist accuracy, making them ideal to win competitions. Unlike side-of-the-road- or flea-market varieties, Airgun Warehouse stocks the top international brands, with a starting price of R11 000 to over R80 000 for some of the best Olympic-standard guns. Despite these price tags, business remains brisk, with owner Louis Geyser running a highly efficient operation, shipping air guns into and around South Africa.
“THESE ARE THE TYPES OF GUNS THAT CAN SHOOT THOUSANDS OF ROUNDS ACCURATELY WITHOUT FAIL”
Louis lives for air guns. He knows all there is to know about the sport and its related equipment and accessories. Chances are he is already an agent, or is in the process of negotiating an agency if it is good enough for his discerning market. In this way, Louis has accumulated many of the world’s top brands for his company.
“THE SPORT OF AIR-GUN SHOOTING IS ALIVE AND WELL AND THRIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA”
Feinwerkbau air guns are world-renowned as some of the finest match rifles available, as are Rapid Air Weapons, Theoben, FX Air rifles, and the high-end entry level Brocock guns, which are only available from Airgun Warehouse. The shop also has agencies for other top-level guns from Anschutz and Aeron, as well as a host of optics and accessories, including the Optisan Telescopes, binoculars, tactical torches, pellets, clothing (suits), sights, tins, and shooting stands, etc. “I have always been involved in the firearm industry, and have always had a passion for airguns, which started when I owned my first ‘windbuks’ as a child. Having served my whole career in the gun industry working for companies like Roy Swaydin and Goldreef City Arms, among others, I finally got an opportunity to have my very own gunshop, buying into Airgun Warehouse in 2002. I acquired the majority shareholding four years later, and moved the business to my own premises. Since then I have never looked back,” Louis explains.
“We receive regular shipments of equipment from abroad, and have a good stock level of the latest available guns and kit. Special orders can be fast-tracked though our network. Depending on what is required, we are usually able to turn orders around, from receipt to delivery, in anything from two to no more than six weeks, depending on the availability from the manufacturers,” Louis highlights.
There are different disciplines of air-gun shooting, plus many associations and forms of competition. These range from school shooting competitions to field target and metallic silhouette to bench-rest shooting and plinking. South Africa has a fine record in most of these disciplines, with a host of podium finishes, including a first place in World Championship field-shooting competitions. “The sport is impressively big and well-contended nowadays, with our own shooters doing extremely well in international competitions,” Louis notes.
Many adherents come from the plinking fraternity, where they initially buy a gun from a shop or flea market, and find that they really enjoy the sport. When they decide to shoot competitively, they quickly find that the equipment plays a big role in the accuracy and reliability of the gun, which is usually when they are introduced to Airgun Warehouse. “They buy a gun, scope, and pellets, and may eventually progress to buying different specialised guns for different events, as well as suits and accessories to be able to compete better. Others insist on quality from the outset, and order guns based on their preferences, or to fulfill a specialised role such as pest control. These are the types of guns that can shoot thousands of rounds accurately without fail, on the range or in the field. For this reason, apart from the R2 million worth of guns and equipment that we stock, we also stock over R500 000 in spares to support our guns in the field,” Louis reveals.
Top-quality PCP, and even high-end spring loaders, are a welcome addition to any shooters’ arsenal, allowing them to hone their skills, with ammunition costing a fraction of the price of rifle rounds. Depending on whether shooters enjoy field, bench or other types of shooting, there is bound to be a sector that appeals to you.