Can You Shoot Air Guns In Your Garden?


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Airguns are a blast for adults and kids alike, especially when it comes to teaching kids the proper respect and understanding that comes with a rifle.

No matter what the projectile is or the method of propulsion, but can you shoot air guns in your garden?

Your garden is a perfectly fine spot to shoot an airgun in and there are no laws against it. So long as there is plenty of room in all directions, it can be a good target range and it may even benefit you in terms of pests that frequently drop by for a bite to eat. 

Airgun target in backyard
Airgun garden target

Your biggest concern will be the same regardless of where you choose to shoot, whether that’s in your backyard, in the garden, or on your front porch.

Every state is different and will have its own laws regulating the possession and use of non-powder weapons. 

State Laws on Non-Powder Guns

You’ll find that the largest restrictions come in the form of how much space you have between you and your neighbors, adjacent parks, or roads.

That’s not going to end up being state law—at least not in most cases. 

The first thing that you should do is contact your local county Sheriff’s Department and find out if there are any local ordinances concerning non-powder guns, specifically air guns.

Air guns laws in the united states
Airguns laws

Whatever they tell you is what you should abide by. 

For the most current and up-to-date laws concerning the buying, selling, distribution, and handling of non-powder guns, you can visit this link. 

New Jersey and Rhode Island define an airgun as a firearm, while Connecticut, Delaware, and North Dakota consider non-powder airguns to be categorized as “dangerous weapons.”

However, just because your state may have nothing to say on the matter, doesn’t mean that your county is just as silent. 

What Can You Shoot?

You can shoot all kinds of things with your air gun in the garden.

The best way to get started is to set up some sort of backstop. 

If you can create a mound of heavy dirt, that would be ideal, that way you can shoot aluminum and paper targets and the BB or pellet will simply lose its kinetic energy in the dirt mound. 

Airguns for garden tips
Using airguns in garden

There are a few targets that you should stay away from:

  • Rocks, concrete, or masonry
  • Hard, thick lumber
  • Laminate boards
  • Metallic objects stronger than thin aluminum
  • Chipboard and plywood

You should stay away from all of the above because of the tendency for ricochets.

If you’re in an area where there are no neighbors nearby, then the ricochet protection is primarily for you.

If you’ve never seen “A Christmas Story” or heard the term, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid,” then you’ll get the hint. 

Wood targets will often absorb BBs and pellets just fine, however, laminate or dense wood can just as well send it right back to the sender.

You might fire fifty rounds and only ricochet two, but that’s two too many. 

Using air guns in garden
Air guns for backyard

Chipboard and plywood may seem like good enough material and, the odds are, they’d probably be fine, especially at a distance.

But they do have a tendency to ricochet as well. ‘

Keep In Mind: The best setup is the dirt mound mentioned above, or simple, aluminum or paper targets with plenty of space behind them, so the kinetic energy of the BB or pellet dies out long before it reaches anything important. 

What Kind of Airguns are Best for Garden Shooting?

When it comes to airguns, there are two primary types:

  • the pistol
  • and the rifle

The pistol is going to be a lot faster with drastically reduced range and accuracy.

The rifle will have increased accuracy, better range, and will generally fire a lot slower unless you’re using CO² cartridges and semi-auto.

The latter is probably the most fun of all if you don’t mind tearing through your ammo supplies at an exponential rate.

But all in all, the garden or the backyard is a great place for beginners and experts alike to practice their shooting. 

If you have kids, it’s also an excellent opportunity to teach them about safety, how to handle a weapon, and the importance of having hefty respect for that weapon’s capabilities. 

When it comes to beginners, whether it’s you or one of your children, you should start off with the pistol first.

It’s the simplest and most effective way to learn about the ins and outs of airguns. 

When you’re ready to graduate from the pistol, there are six types of air rifles worth considering for backyard or garden shooting:

  • Nitro Piston Air Rifle
  • Nitro Piston 2
  • Precharged Pneumatic
  • CO² cartridge air rifles 
  • Break action air rifle
  • Variable pump air rifle

Without a doubt, your choices are going to feel as if they are limitless.

No matter what you choose to go with, all of the technology behind air rifles is pretty good and so long as you practice good maintenance, you and your family will have a blast for years to come, right in your own garden or backyard.

Final Thoughts

Shooting an air gun in your backyard or garden is an excellent place to target practice and learn how to shoot.

Unless you’re planning on terrorizing your tomato plants with hundreds of pellets and BBs, it’s not going to hurt anything either. 

Just remember to contact your local country Sheriff’s Department and determine whether or not it’s legal for you to shoot airguns in your yard.

So long as you get the thumbs up from them, it’s all on you.

Safety first!

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