Air Guns that fires projectiles using compressed air or other gases that are mechanically pressurized is known as an air gun or airgun.
In contrast, a firearm uses the energy produced by the burning of combustible propellants, such as gunpowder, to fire projectiles.
Both long guns (air rifles) and handguns (air pistols) are types of air guns.
While diabolo-shaped pellets or spherical shots known as BBs are the most common metallic projectiles propelled by both types, Minié ball-shaped cylindro-conoidal projectiles known as slugs have recently gained popularity.
Certain types of air weapons, typically air rifles, can also fire fin-stabilized projectiles like darts or hollow-shaft arrows (so-called “airbows”).
Since their invention in the 16th century, the first air guns have been used for hunting, shooting competitions, and even hostilities.
Modern air guns can be powered by spring-piston, pneumatic, or bottled compressed gas, depending on the design (most commonly carbon dioxide).