Pre charged pneumatic air guns (PCPs) and wildlife damages

What is an air gun?

An airgun is basically a gun that does not have a mechanism similar to that of a normal gun bullet which explodes due to a chemical reaction and the energy generated by a chemical reaction that pushes the bullet forward.

In Air guns Inside, gas or ordinary air is trapped and then released under pressure, which produces energy that pushes the Pellet in the airgun forward and the Pellet escapes from the gun.

Air Gun was invented in about 1700 AD and then its forms kept changing and innovation. In the present century, Air guns are present in very advanced forms like Springer and PCP airguns. [1]Air gun – Wikipedia

The difference between Springer and PCPs airguns

There are two major types of airguns:

  • Springer Airgun
  • Pre-charged pneumatic air guns

Springer Airgun

In the Springer airgun, the air is released by trapping or compressing the air with the help of a metal spring, and the metal pallet is pushed forward.

Pre-charged pneumatic air guns

The PCP, on the other hand, is an advanced form of airgun with a metal container with an airgun in which normal air is compressed and filled and then the compressed air is expelled little by little from which the pallet is inserted. It falls so far that it produces so much force that the pallet falls more than two hundred meters away.

This process is very fast so that even the pallet travels very fast towards its targets.

When we study the literature of the past, we find that airguns were used in the military as well as nowadays as pest control for game hunting or to learn archery.

Because it does not use a chemical reaction pill, it does not cause much damage. The Pallet in it is also relatively small in size, which is less harmful to humans. It does not require a formal license to keep, as has been seen in most countries of the world. But in some countries, there are regular rules for keeping an airgun. [2]Gamo – Air Rifles, Air Pistols, Ammunition and Outdoor Accessories

How PCPs Airgun is harming wildlife

The main difference between Springer and PCPs is that Springer uses Spring and uses one pellet at a time and it also produces a lot of sounds.

On the other hand, 8-14 pallets can be inserted in PCPs and less sound, and PCPs can send pellets very far as compared to springer air guns.

Wildlife, especially birds, have been severely affected and are being harmed since the PCPs were allowed to use it. It turns out that it is being hunted by a hunter at the moment. It is a kind of sniper gun. The bird that is hit by it has less chance to run away or go away because it does not sound like a sprinter that the bird knows.

In springer air guns only one pallet option, if the bird was not hit the bird, has the option to fly. But the PCPs has the feature that if one Pallet does not catch the animal, even a second In a short time, the second load should be killed. The PCPs has emerged as poison killer. No other gun has done as much damage to the wildlife as the PCPs has done.

With the help of PCPs, poaching of birds and animals has become so rampant in countries like Pakistan that now you have less access to bird watching. And this gun has almost wiped out the birds.

By using springers airguns Hunters used to hunt two or four birds but after PCPs introduction the quantity of birds killing is much higher as compared to past that disturbing The balance of different ecosystems has not been maintained

The current situation regarding PCPs guns in Pakistan

The Punjab Wildlife Department, in view of the gravity of the situation, banned hunting from the PCPs airguns in 2021. The ban was imposed on illegal poaching.

But even today PCPs are selling like hot cakes in the market. People are buying it under the name that they will learn to shoot from it but they use it only for hunting birds.

There are many Facebook pages and groups that show the features of PCPs and their hunting qualities.

People when watching such kind of content also want to buy PCPs.

The Wild Department is trying to stop such advertising, but the problem is that there are PCPs in the market. And the end result of the presence of PCPs in the market is the damage of wildlife. [3]Punjab imposes complete ban on PCP Airgun (

How to avoid wildlife damage through PCPs

This is a very debatable issue and there should be a discussion on how to eliminate poaching from PCPs. Here are some suggestions.

Import of PCPs should be banned

Just as there is a ban on licensing firearms that cause the most damage so that people cannot use them, so there should be a ban on PCPs so that guns do not enter the country, which means the gun market.

If I don’t exist, people won’t buy it and in the end, it will benefit wildlife.

On the other hand, if there is an objection from the people that they want to buy for shooting, then there is a springer gun, they can buy it or they can learn to shoot by getting a firearms license, i.e., there are other ways.

Punish PCPs sellers

The wildlife department has imposed severe penalties on poachers here, while sellers of the PCPs gun that causes the most damage to wildlife should also be brought to justice if they sell banned guns. So let them be severely punished.

Advertising on social media and electronic media

The banning of the PCP should be publicized on social and electronic media as a gun band and if a person is caught hunting with it, he will be punished along with a brief description of the punishment.

Similarly, people should be told that if you know of a person who has a PCPs gun, you must provide information to the department and you will be rewarded.

It is not enough just to ban the PCPs, their import should be banned and in the same way, the existing PCPs should be destroyed so that we can see the birds in the future.

Written by: Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Ahsan

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Tahir Ph.D. (PU)
Post Doctorate

American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA