Know your pneumatics: pre-charged and SSP

Jonathan Young talks you through the differences between pre-charged pneumatics and SSP pneumatics

Think about it – a full-power hunting air rifle that charges without any dive bottles, gauges or hoses!

SSP (Single Stroke Pneumatic) airguns are pneumatics that were very popular in the 1980s and 90s and are still used today, at least by some people. They rely on compressed air to power each shot, just as with PCPs, but they are single-shot only, as they have no internal reservoir to store air. Today’s multi-pellet-popping PCPs seem to rule, but there will always be room for accurate single-shot guns.

SSPs rely on compressed air to power each shot, just as with PCPs, but they are single-shot only

Looking back, these SSPs were developed from multi-pump airguns where you had to repeatedly pump up to fill the valve just enough to give a full-power shot. The SSP gets there with only one pump. Think about it for a moment – a full-power hunting air rifle that charges without any dive bottles, gauges or hoses! That was revolutionary for the time – and it still is.

Today SSPs seen as being on the fringe or for collectors only, but many are still very usable

Superbly made, some SSPs were admittedly heavy and some physically difficult to charge up. Compressing air in only one go needs muscles. As prices fell with pre-charged airguns, the SSP fell by the wayside. Today they’re seen as being on the fringe or for collectors only, but many are still very usable. They offer the same accuracy and lack of recoil as a PCP, but without the need for all the associated PCP paraphernalia.


This article originally appeared in the issue 99 of Airgun Shooter magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

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