An air gun is any kind of gun that launches projectiles pneumatically with compressed air or other gases that are pressurized mechanically without involving any chemical reactions, in contrast to a firearm, which relies on an exothermic chemical oxidation (deflagration) of combustible propellants to generate propulsive energy. Both the long gun and handgun forms (air rifle and air pistol) typically propel metallic projectiles, that are either diabolo-shaped pellets, or spherical shots called BBs. Certain types of air guns (usually rifles) may also propel darts or arrows. The first air guns were developed as early as the 1500s. They have been used in hunting, sporting and warfare. Modern air guns use one of three types of power source depending on the design: spring-piston, pneumatic, and bottled compressed gas (most commonly carbon dioxide).
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