Where to buy an air rifle in the UK?

26 April 2024  |  Air Arms

Where to buy an air rifle in the UK?

In recent years, the purchase of air rifles has increased in the United Kingdom. These versatile compressed air guns have captured the interest of many individuals due to their various applications and benefits, but are they easy to get a hold of? Whether it's for target shooting, pest control, or small game hunting, it’s vital to choose a reputable and reliable source. 

This ensures not only the legality and compliance of your purchase but also guarantees the quality and safety of the air rifle. So, where can you buy an air rifle in the uk? If you want to know where to look, keep reading this article, where we'll tell you the best places and options you have to choose from when wanting to buy an air rifle and what the process looks like.

So, where can you purchase Air Rifles?

In the UK, there are several types of air rifles for sale - from spring air rifles, PCP Air Rifles or any type of Break Barrel pellet guns. Let's take a look at the main ways.

Online Purchase:

Many reputable online shops in the UK offer a wide range of air rifles. You can browse their websites, select the desired model, and purchase online. These shops often provide detailed product descriptions, customer reviews, and secure payment options. After placing your order, the air rifle will be delivered to your doorstep following the shop's delivery policies.

One of the most popular sites for online purchasing in the UK is the Gun Trader website. It offers a wide range of new and used firearms for sale, including rifles, air rifles, shotguns, pistols, and air pistols. 

In-store Purchase (these can come with different levels of speciality):

Registered Firearms Dealers (RFDs) sell air rifles in physical stores across the UK. These stores are authorised to sell firearms and related products. By visiting an RFD, you can evaluate the available options, seek advice from knowledgeable staff, and even test the air rifles before purchasing. In-store purchases allow for a more hands-on experience and immediate possession of the air rifle.

Auctions and Private Sales:

Air rifles can also be purchased through auctions or private sales. Auctions, both online and offline, provide opportunities to bid on pre-owned air rifles or those being sold by collectors or individuals. Private sales involve direct transactions between sellers and buyers. It's essential to exercise caution and ensure compliance with legal requirements when purchasing through auctions or private sales.

How does the process of purchasing work?

The process of purchasing your air rifle will involve many important steps. Let's look at a general overview of how the purchasing process typically works and what checks and balances you'll need to tick off to get there.

1) Research and Selection:

Start by researching different models and types of air rifles to find the one that suits your needs. Consider factors such as intended use, power source (spring air, gas piston, CO2, PCP Air Rifles, etc.), calibre, and features.

2) Legal Requirements:

Ensure you know the legal requirements for purchasing an air rifle in your country or region. Individuals must be at least 18 years old to purchase an air rifle in the UK. We will list the basics below, but for a more in-depth look at the laws, you can check out our blog post: What is the Law for Air Rifles in the UK?


For air rifles producing more than 12ft/lb of power, a Firearms Certificate (FAC) is required. An air pistol that produces more than 6ft/lb is prohibited. It is important to note that licensing requirements may vary in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where licences are required for air pistols and air rifles generating more than 1J of power.

Age Restrictions:

In general, if you are 18 years or older, there are no restrictions on buying an air rifle and ammunition, and you can use it with permission where you have the right to shoot. However, supervision is not required for individuals aged 14 and above if they are on private premises with the consent of the occupier.

Safety and Responsibility:

Airgun owners are responsible for preventing unauthorised access by individuals under 18 years old. Failure to do so may result in fines.

It is essential to comply with all laws and regulations regarding air rifles' possession, transportation, and use. Familiarise yourself with local laws and guidelines to ensure responsible ownership.

3) Find a Reputable Seller:

Look for reputable sellers or registered firearms dealers specialising in air rifles. These can include online shops, physical stores, or authorised resellers.

4) Verification of Eligibility:

When purchasing from a registered firearms dealer, you may be required to verify your eligibility to own an air rifle. This could involve providing identification documents such as a passport or driver's license. For certain powers, you may also need to hold a firearms licence.

5) Purchase and Payment:

Once you have selected the air rifle you wish to purchase, proceed with the payment process. You can do this online through secure payment methods or in person at a physical store.

6) Delivery or Collection:

If you purchased the air rifle online, it will be delivered to the address provided during the checkout process. For online purchases, some dealerships offer RFD delivery, a special home delivery service that allows the dealership to deliver airguns to your personal home address.

However, this is very common. For most online purchases, you must pick up your air rifle from the dealership or gun shop chosen. For in-store purchases, you can typically collect the air rifle immediately after completing the transaction.

Advantages of going to a Local Store/ Dealership

When searching for an air rifle in the UK, one option is to visit local gun shops and sporting goods stores. This approach offers several advantages for potential buyers. Firstly, visiting a physical store allows individuals to see and handle different models of air rifles before making a final decision. This hands-on experience can provide valuable insights into the firearm's weight, balance, and overall feel.

To find reputable local stores, it's advisable to seek recommendations from experienced shooters or enthusiasts. Online forums and social media groups dedicated to shooting sports can be excellent resources for gathering information on trusted establishments. Additionally, a quick search for customer reviews and ratings can offer further insight into a store's reputation and customer satisfaction.

Remember to Consider

When visiting a local gun shop or sporting goods store, it's vital to ensure the establishment holds the necessary licenses to sell firearms legally. In the UK, all firearms dealers must be registered with the local police force and possess a valid Firearms Dealer's Certificate (FDC).

Potential buyers should ask to see the store's FDC or verify the dealer's registration number with the appropriate authorities if there are any doubts. This ensures the purchase complies with legal requirements and promotes responsible firearm ownership.

Advantages of Specialist Stores

Popular specialist shooting equipment stores in the UK include Sportsman Gun Centre and Pellpax. These stores have established reputations within the shooting community and offer a wide selection of air rifles, accessories, and other shooting-related products. They often carry various brands and models, catering to shooters of all levels of experience and with various preferences.

One key advantage of shopping at specialist stores is the expertise and knowledge of the staff. Staff members are often experienced shooters themselves and can provide valuable guidance and recommendations based on their expertise.

Whether you have specific questions about different models, accessories, or shooting techniques, the staff at these stores can offer personalised assistance to help you find the right air rifle for your needs.

Advantages of Online Retailers and Marketplaces

Online shopping provides convenience, allowing individuals to browse and compare different models from the comfort of their homes. These platforms often have a wide range of air rifles, catering to various budgets, preferences, and shooting needs. Whether you are looking for a beginner-friendly option or a high-end precision rifle, online retailers offer many choices.

One notable benefit of online shopping is the competitive pricing. With numerous sellers competing for customers, prices are often more competitive than those of brick-and-mortar stores. This allows buyers to find good deals and save money on purchases. Another advantage of shopping online is the availability of customer reviews. Most online platforms provide feedback and ratings from previous buyers, giving potential customers insights into the product's quality, reliability, and performance.

When purchasing from online retailers or marketplaces, it's essential to consider factors such as shipping policies, return options, and warranty coverage. It's also advisable to research the seller's reputation and check their track record of reliable and satisfactory transactions. This ensures a smooth and secure buying experience when purchasing an air rifle online.

Advantages of second-hand Markets and Auctions

When searching for a second-hand air rifle, exploring trusted sources such as online classifieds, forums, and auction sites can offer various options. Purchasing second-hand can provide potential cost savings and the opportunity to find unique or vintage models that may no longer be available as new.

Sites like eBay often offer air rifles at a competitive bidding rate, allowing buyers to secure a good deal. From powerful air rifles to airsoft guns, these sites list many different air rifles from all the leading manufacturers so that you can save money compared to buying them new. It's essential to thoroughly read the item descriptions and check the seller's reputation before bidding.

Final Considerations

Regardless of the option you choose, it is crucial to prioritise reliability and reputation. Selecting a reputable source ensures you receive genuine products and reliable customer service. Consider reading reviews and seeking recommendations from fellow shooters to make an informed decision.

Consider your specific needs, budget, and legal obligations when purchasing an air rifle. Familiarise yourself with the laws and regulations surrounding air rifles in the UK and ensure that you comply with licensing requirements and age restrictions when purchasing and owning an air rifle.

Here at Air Arms, we want to help you find the best air rifle. Please get in touch with us today if you have any enquiries or questions. Considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can find the perfect air rifle that meets your requirements and provides a safe and enjoyable shooting experience. Happy shooting!