Best Air Rifle Reviews of 2016 – (Definitive Guide to Pellet Guns)

Air rifles have been in existence for a while now since they were first invented around the 15th century. The first rifles weren’t high powered air rifles but were still of good use. Since then all have been used for hunting, target practice, and shooting in formal competitions. One general characteristic of an air rifle is its long barrel. Different types of air rifles exist each with its pros and cons. A rifle can be classified as either being a pneumatic rifle, spring piston powered or CO2 powered.  Below is a brief explanation of the best pellet guns or, in other words, best air rifles based on  Editors!

For more detailed explanations, follow the links under each air rifle review.

 Top Pellet Guns

  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • CROSMAN M4-177 PNEUMATIC PUMP AIR RIFLE (.177)
  • PRICE $
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE -
  • WEIGHT 7.9 or 10.5
  • CALIBER 0.177
  • Upto 1100 FPS
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • GAMO BIG CAT 1250 .177 CALIBER
  • PRICE $$
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE 43.3 inches
  • WEIGHT 6.1
  • CALIBER 0.177
  • 1250 FPS
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • RWS .22 PELLET MODEL 34 COMBO RIFLE (WOOD, LARGE)
  • PRICE $$$
  • SHIPPING $18.73
  • SIZE 49.5 x 7 x 3.2 inches
  • WEIGHT 9.6
  • CALIBER .22
  • FPS -
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • BENJAMIN MARAUDER PCP AIR RIFLE
  • PRICE $$$$
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE 3.8 x 48 x 9.5 inches
  • WEIGHT 8.9
  • CALIBER .22
  • FPS -
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • CROSMAN NITRO VENOM BREAK BARREL AIR RIFLE (22)
  • PRICE $$
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE 44.5 inches
  • WEIGHT 7.375 lbs
  • CALIBER .22
  • 950 FPS

Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle (.177)

Crosman-M4-177-Pneumatic-Pump-Air-Rifle-(It can be powered by CO2, spring piston or pre-charged pneumatic. This is so because you can interchange its power source to use the one that you desire. It can shoot a 5.2 grain BB round shot at a velocity of 625 FPS.  When it comes to pellets, it can shoot a 0.177 caliber, 0.220 calibers, and 0.250 calibers at speeds of 600 FPS. Its effective range, when CO2 powered is 20 yards, when spring piston powered is 35 yards, and when pre-charged pneumatic is 60 yards. It has accessory rails which you can use to mount accessory parts like scope, cameras, lasers and even flashlights.

Click here for more detailed Crosman M4-177 Air Rifle review.

Pros

  •  It can be incredibly accurate and powerful.
  • Safe and easy to use, child-friendly model.
  • Not heavy, easy to carry.

Cons

  • It can lack sturdiness.
  • The lack of noise dampening
  • The plastic design doesn’t look pro

All in all, it’s a good rifle for plinking, target shooting, and small game hunting.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

 

Gamo Big Cat 1250 .177 Caliber

Air Rifle with Scope

Gamo-6110065654-Big-Cat-1250It is a rifle that can perform under extreme climatic conditions because of its durable synthetic stock and high-tech steel barrel. It weighs 6.1 pounds and has a length of 43.3 inches. It is spring piston powered and can shoot a 0.177 PBA-caliber pellet at speeds of 1250 FPS. Its scope has 4 x magnification with an objective riflescope diameter of 32 millimeters.

Click for more detailed Gamo review.

Pros

  •  It can perform under extreme weather conditions.
  •  It is accurate and powerful enough for many uses.

Cons

  •  It can be very loud when using PBA pellets.
  •  Its barrel requires regular cleaning for optimum function.
  •  Its scope has serious focusing problems.

 

This rifle is very affordable when compared with others on the market and a great rifle to own.  It is ideal for those who like hunting small game and doing target practice.

  Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

 

RWS .22 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle (Wood, Large)

RWS-.22-Pellet-Model-34-Combo-Rifle-(Wood,-Large)This rifle is the best selling RWS rifle out there. It has been made by skilled craftsmen from Germany to be of service to you powerfully and accurately. Its Monte Carlo stock has been manufactured with fine hardwood to improve grip on it when you are shooting. Another feature that is very significant in this rifle is the cheekpiece which is ambidextrous; this simply means it allows both left handed and right handed people to use the rifle comfortably. The length of this rifle is 49.5 inches and it has a weight of about 9 pounds. It can shoot 0.177 and 0.220 types of calibers at a velocity of 800 FPS. It is spring piston powered with a scope which has an 11mm scope rail.

Click for more detailed RWS 22 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle review.

Pros

  •  It is very accurate.
  • Comes with ambidextrous cheek pieces.
  • It has a split barrel that bolts up tight with zero barrel squirm

Cons

  • It has a poor quality scope.
  • Not suitable for people who are young, as this is fairly elongated even for a grown up person.
  • The stock needs checkering at the grasp.
  • Front sight is plastic

This rifle is a quality product ideal for shooting spinning air targets, hunting small game and plinking.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Rifle

Benjamin-Marauder-PCP-Air-Rifle,-Synthetic-Stock-air-rifleThis rifle has a pre-charged pneumatic mechanism and an overall length of 42.8 inches. Weighing only 7.12 pounds, it is very easy to handle. When you are buying this rifle, it comes with an air fill of 2,500 psi. You can increase the air fill if you want to the level of 3,000 psi. Some of the things that users of this rifle like about it are the fact that it is very quiet because of its internal shroud and its good accuracy because of the choked barrel. It’s the quietest air rifle you can buy. It uses 0.177 calibers and can fire them at a velocity of 1100 FPS.

Click for more detailed Benjamin Marauder PCP review.

Pros

  • It is a very quiet and accurate.
  • Gagged barrel conveys unrivaled precision
  • Able to use both hands
  • Reversible jolt – switch from right to left side

Cons

  •  It is very costly.
  • Heavy for most users.
  • Dovetail doesn’t come up with sights.

This rifle is a quality gun that is suitable for those people who like hunting small game and target shooting.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

 

Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle (22)

powered by Nitro Piston

Crosman-Nitro-Venom-Break-Barrel-Air-Rifle-(22)-powered-by-Nitro-PistonIt is gas piston mechanized and uses 0.22 calibers. It fires these alloy caliber pellets at a velocity of 950 FPS and lead caliber pellets at a speed of 800 FPS. This rifle weighs only 7.4 pounds and has an overall length of 44.25 inches. To ensure that you shoot accurately when you are in the artillery hold shooting position, the manufacturers of this rifle have put in it a wide forearm and a fluted muzzle brake. The ambidextrous stock of this rifle is made of hardwood while its barrel is made of rifled steel. This rifle comes with a center point precision scope which has a magnification of 3-9×32 mm.

Click for more detailed Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel review.

Pros

  • It is known to function very well in extremely cold weather.
  • The break barrel system allows variable uses, from pest eradication to target shooting

Cons

  • It can’t shoot accurately over long distances.
  • The rifle does not contain iron sights, so if the scope is removed, accuracy might be compromised.

It is a decent cheap rifle ideal for shooting small game and rodents.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • HATSAN 95 AIR RIFLE COMBO, WALNUT STOCK AIR RIFLE
  • PRICE $$
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE -
  • WEIGHT 11.7
  • CALIBER 0.177
  • 1000 FPS
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • RUGER BLACKHAWK COMBO AIR RIFLE
  • PRICE $$
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE 47 x 3 x 6.5 inches
  • WEIGHT 9.6
  • CALIBER 0.177
  • 1000 FPS
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • BENJAMIN TITAN GP NITRO PISTON AIR RIFLE
  • PRICE $$
  • SHIPPING $9.49
  • SIZE 30 inches
  • WEIGHT 9.0
  • CALIBER 0.177
  • FPS 1200
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • GAMO WHISPER SILENT CAT AIR RIFLE
  • PRICE $$
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE 48.8 x 6 x 2.5 inches
  • WEIGHT 7.3
  • CALIBER 0.177
  • FPS 1200
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • 880 POWERLINE KIT, DARK BROWN/BLACK, 37.6 INCH
  • PRICE $
  • SHIPPING FREE
  • SIZE -
  • WEIGHT 5.2
  • CALIBER -
  • 750 FPS

 

Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock Air Rifle

Hatsan-95-Air-Rifle-Combo,-Walnut-Stock-air-rifleThis rifle is spring piston mechanized and uses a 0.22 caliber pellet. It fires these pellets at a velocity of 800 FPS and has an overall length of 44.3 inches. This rifle only weighs 7.8 pounds and has unique features which are not found in many rifles. These unique features are like the drop safety interlock device to reduce accidental fire, the integrated sound moderator that is useful in reducing down range noise, the shock absorber system to reduce vibration, and the advanced two stage match trigger. The stock of this rifle is ambidextrous Turkish walnut, and the rifle has a capacity of holding only one round single shot. Its dovetail scope has a magnification of 3-9x32mm.

Click for more detailed Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo review.

Pros

  • It is highly accurate and the lead pellets travel at 1000 fps.
  • It has a very attractive, finishing with minimum plastic being used overall.

Cons

  • It has a poor quality scope
  • At 8.4 lbs, it is quite heavy and may affect your mobility

This rifle is a good quality gun that is ideal for those who love small game hunting and target shooting.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

 

Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle

Ruger-Blackhawk-Combo-air-rifleThis rifle is spring piston mechanized and uses 0.177 caliber pellets. It fires these pellets at a velocity of 1000 FPS and weighs only 6.95 pounds. Its overall length is 44.8 inches and it has a scope which has a magnification of 4x32mm. Some of the interesting features found in this rifle are its black ambidextrous composite stock that can withstand all types of weather, its front and adjustable rear fiber optic sights, and grip areas that have been checkered in both the forearm and pistol grip. This rifle is a single shot and can only accommodate one round at a time. It has a 3 medium loudness level and a blued metal finish which gives it a nice rugged look.

Pros

  • It is very accurate

Cons

  • It has minor problems to do with scope.

 

This rifle is of good quality and ideal for hunting small game, target shooting and plinking.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle

Benjamin-Titan-GP-Nitro-Piston-Air-Rifle-air-rifleThis rifle is gas piston mechanized and uses a 0.22 caliber pellet. It fires this pellet at a velocity of 950 FPS and has a weight of 6.75 pounds. Its overall length is 47 inches and it needs a trigger pull of approximately 4.5 pounds. Some of its finer features are like the raised cheek piece stock, the ventilated rubber butt pad, and the 11mm dovetail rings and 4×32 scope. This rifle has no spring torque or spring fatigue even after many hours of it being cocked. It does not vibrate like other guns because of the gas piston and works superbly even in extremely cold weather.

Click for more detailed Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston review!

Pros

  • It has great power for its price
  • Gas piston mechanism: lesser vibrations, more durability, and more smooth functioning

Cons

  • It needs a better scope.
  • The Benjamin Titan has a two stage trigger and for beginners it will take a while to smooth out the process and get used to using the air rifle.

This rifle is of good quality for its price and is recommended for people who like hunting small game, plinking and target shooting.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

Gamo-Whisper-Silent-Cat-Air-RifleThis rifle is spring piston mechanized and uses 0.177 caliber pellets. It fires PBA pellets at a velocity of 1200 FPS and lead pellets at a velocity of 1000 FPS. Its overall length is 46 inches and weighs only 5.28 pounds. Some of the interesting features of this rifle are its synthetic stock which is made for all types of weather, ambidextrous twin cheek pads, noise dampener which is non removable, fluted polymer barrel, and an automatic cocking safety system. It has a manual safety system and requires a trigger pull of approximately 3.79 pounds. Its scope which comes with 1 pc mount has a magnification of 4×32.

Click for more detailed Gamo Silent Cat  review!

Pros

  • It is very sturdy and accurate
  • This rifle is comfortable to use in all aspects, which provides faster muzzle against fast targets.

Cons

  • Its scope has minor adjusting problems.
  • The scope may prove to be troublesome to fit during the initial steps of appliance

This rifle is very sturdy and of good quality. It is ideal for controlling small pests, target shooting and plinking.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

880 Powerline Kit, Dark Brown/Black, 37.6 Inch

880 Powerline Kit, Dark BrownBlack, 376 InchThis rifle is multi pump pneumatic mechanized and can shoot BBs as well as pellets. The BBs it uses measure 4.5mm while the pellets it uses are 0.177 caliber pellets. It shoots BB round shots at a velocity of 750 FPS and pellets at a velocity of 715 FPS. The features which stand out in this rifle are its Monte Carlo wood grained stock and forearm, 4x15mm scope with rings, crossbolt trigger block safety, and its riffled steel barrel. It weighs 3.1 pounds and has a 50 BB round shot capacity.  Its overall length is 37.6 inches.

Click for more detailed Daisy 880 Powerline Kit review!

Pros

  • It is very powerful and accurate due to fiber optic front.
  • It has a good trigger weight which does not need much force while shooting

Cons

  • The scope is not powerful enough.
  • The safety mechanism is not that good. You have to be extremely safe while shooting with this gun, despite not needing to wear safety goggles while shooting.

This is a high quality rifle that can be of great use in your average sub urban home if you want to get rid of rodents.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

 

BEST PELLET GUN BUYING GUIDE

Overall information that a rifle enthusiast should know

( Calibers / Velocity / FPS )

A rifle enthusiast should know the type of caliber a rifle uses, its shooting velocity, if it can perform under extreme weather conditions like extreme cold weather or wet weather, the type of material the rifle is made of, the power source or mechanism of the rifle, if the rifle can be added some accessories, what it can be used for, its safety systems, if its BB round shots or pellets are affordable or fit the budget, whether ownership of the rifle is legal in the jurisdiction or state they live in, and finally the hazards or cons that come with ownership of that particular rifle.  When it comes to the type of material a rifle is made of, you should check if it’s wooden, synthetic, steel or what not. Power source or mechanism of the rifle pertains to it being either pneumatic, spring piston powered or CO2 powered.

What is Your Intended Use?

So what are you planning to do with the rifle you are buying? Well, the following are the commonest uses of rifles. The first use is to mainly hunt small game, rodents and pests. These small animals are like squirrels, rabbits, mice, birds, weasels, etc.  The second use of air rifles is target shooting. An individual can do this alone or it can be done by many competitors in a professional field competition full of spectators and rewards. The third use of rifles is plinking. This is basically shooting at targets like cans as target practice and also for fun.

How Far Will You Be Shooting?

Do you want to shoot at targets which are 35 yards, 50 yards or 80 yards away? Well this is a question you have to ask yourself before you buy a rifle. Rifles are divided into four categories which are light, medium, high, and super high powered rifles. Light powered rifles perform best at distances of 35 yards, medium at 50 yards, high powered at 60 yards, and super high powered at distances of 80 yards. Super high powered rifles are the most recommended because they can do what other rifles can do and more.

How Much You Want To Spend?

Are you a spendthrift or a frugal type of person? Well, fortunately, it doesn’t matter how you label yourself for there are all kinds of rifles out there that fit the bill. If you want an expensive rifle that is expensive to use and maintain then you should buy yourself a CO2 powered rifle. If you are a common type of person that budgets every cent then you are lucky too for you can buy yourself a spring piston powered rifle at a low price. Spring-piston rifles are known for their low maintenance needs and long product life.

Most Useful Air Rifle Accessories?

The most useful air rifle accessories are the scope, targets and traps, chronographs, cleaning and maintenance tools, glasses and goggles, clips and loaders, grips, green gas, and CO2 cartridges. The scope is important for precision aiming and helps you hit the target easier.  Targets and traps are important for target shooting and improving your accuracy.  Chronographs measure how fast in feet per second a pellet is shot by a rifle. Glasses and goggles prevent eye damage in case of minor accidents when firing. CO2 cartridges are important for maintaining the power of a CO2 powered rifle. Clips and loaders are the parts of the rifle that hold pellets or BB rounds in place in the rifle.  Grips help in giving you a strong grip of the rifle when firing. The green gas helps in lubricating and conditioning your gun to prevent unwanted friction. Also, you might consider having a trail camera to monitor deers and other animals.

Check out this personal air rifle buyer’s guide from an enthusiast:

What Are The Types Of Air Rifles?

There are three (3) types of Air Rifles and these are the Pneumatic (Pump) Air Rifles, Spring Powered Air Rifles and the CO2 Powered Rifles. In here we will be discussing the difference between the three types, their advantages and disadvantages.

 

Pneumatic (Pump) Air Rifles

These are the type of air rifle that is powered by a pumping level which pumps air to its chamber. After each shot, you need to manually pump the rifle about 5 to 10 times. This type of rifle will enable you to shoot pellets and bb’s.

Advantage:

  • Cheap
  • Great for target shooting or plinking
  • Can help you shoot down pests because you can shoot them with pellets
  • Its capability to alter the FPS
  • Good for training young people to shoot safely.
  • Much safer than a semi-automatic rifle.
  • Can be used as a beginners gun for young kids.

Spring Powered Air Rifles

This is a kind of rifles that utilizes a spring that will compress the air in its chamber as a power source. And there are 3 different kinds of spring designs and these are the side lever, under lever and the break barrel.pellet-guns

  • Side lever- the cocking lever is located at the right side of the air rifle that you can pull back to cock the gun
  • Underlever- the cocking lever is located beneath the barrel. For you to cock the rifle, you need to pull down the side lever that opens the breach in which the pellet is inserted.
  • Break Barrel- the barrel is actually hinged and you need to pull the barrel down to cock in the spring.

 

Advantage:

  • Powerful
  • Easy to use

 

Disadvantage:

  • Hard to cock with younger weaker person or female.

 

Recommendation:

Spring powered air rifles is the overall best choice for pest control and hunting because of its ease of usage, accuracy and power.

 

CO2 Powered Air Rifles

The CO2 powered air rifles use compressed gas or cartridges as their power source when firing the gun.

Advantage:

  • There is no need for you to stop and pump your rifle at the start of a shot.
  • Normally, you will only use a 12 gm CO2 cartridge and this will give you an average of 50 shots before you need to use one again or refill it.

 

Disadvantage:

  • It is not as powerful as the spring or pump powered air rifles.
  • Over time, the use of CO2 once you add it all up becomes expensive.

 

Other things you need to consider when choosing which type to buy:

  • There are accessories that need to be checked when buying the air rifle.
  • Materials that are used can vary
  • You need to know how to maintain your air rifles by cleaning it properly so that it can perform at its best.
  • And lastly, who will use it. Will it be for hunting, for pest control, or just for training kids or young adults?

best air rifle

What Can You Shoot With An Air Rifle?

Shooting with an air rifle is fun, challenging and demanding. Aside from its ease of usage, you can easily be a good marksman when you use an airgun.

 

So what can you Shoot with an Airgun?

You can either do target shooting or live quarry shooting. Target shooting is when you use papers or tin cans as the target. They are placed a few meters away from you strategically. It is usually done for beginners or for people who aren’t interested in hunting or just want to simply have fun.

 

There are many places or clubs that offer target shooting however it can be done in your own backyard. Target shooting in your own place is easy and its cheaper than going to the club and pay fees. But if you want to do practice shooting in your own place, you need an effective backstop. A backstop could either be made of a brick wall or soft soil bank that has no stones. This will prevent the pellets from going to another man’s property. Keep in mind that you can kill or hurt another man with this rifle so extra care should be taken when you want to do it in your property.

 

Live quarry shooting is when you are shooting live animals on a certain n property some are considered pests that destroy crops like squirrels, rabbits, minks, brown rats, squirrels, stoats and crows given that the land owner gave you permission. Other animals are also considered in hunting but only when it is the open season like foxes and deers. You can also shoot games or wild ducks when it is in the season which is covered with general licenses. Always remember that even though they may be seen as pests those creatures are still living and it still deserve humane kind of death.

The reasons that a landowner may give you permission to hunt in his lands are these:

  1. He thinks that by hunting it down he will be able to preserve safety and public health
  2. Conserve and protect the fauna and flora
  3. Prevent spread of disease
  4. Prevent damage to his livestock and crops

 

Hunting Advice

  1. Only practice on targets and not on a live quarry.
  2. You need to know your capability to shoot and know the distance in which you can reach your target
  3. Practice, practice, and practice. This will help you aim better and execute clean shots.
  4. Tips on how to clean kill a prey.
  5. When hunting a mammal, the best way to kill it is by its temporal area which is at the side of his head.
  6. When hunting for birds, the preferred placement for a shot is the head; however it is hard to do that, so consider hitting in the breast area or body and under the wings of the bird.
  7. Before you start shooting, make sure that your scope is clear and the rifle and sights are in its proper alignment.
  8. When dispatching rodents such as rats, never ever carry them, instead use a shovel because they might be a carrier of a disease.

 

Best Pellet Gun Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEWEIGHTCALIBERFPS
CROSMAN M4-177 PNEUMATIC PUMP AIR RIFLE (.177)$7.9 or 10.50.177Upto 1100
GAMO BIG CAT 1250 .177 CALIBER$$6.10.1771250
RWS .22 PELLET MODEL 34 COMBO RIFLE (WOOD, LARGE)$$$9.6.22N/A
BENJAMIN MARAUDER PCP AIR RIFLE$$$$8.9.22N/A
CROSMAN NITRO VENOM BREAK BARREL AIR RIFLE (22)

$$7.375 lbs.22950
HATSAN 95 AIR RIFLE COMBO, WALNUT STOCK AIR RIFLE$$11.70.1771000
RUGER BLACKHAWK COMBO AIR RIFLE$$9.60.1771000
BENJAMIN TITAN GP NITRO PISTON AIR RIFLE$$9.00.1771200
GAMO WHISPER SILENT CAT AIR RIFLE$$7.30.1771200
880 POWERLINE KIT, DARK BROWN/BLACK, 37.6 INCH$5.2N/A750 FPS

 

Wrapping Up!

Based on our analysis of air rifle reviews;

For the most powerful air rifle is the Gamo Big Cat with a shooting velocity of 1250 FPS. The best pellet gun for the money is the Gamo whisper silent which is been sold cheaply but shoots at a velocity of 1200 FPS. The Ruger Blackhawk combo definitely belongs in the class of high-powered air rifles because of its shooting velocity of 1000 FPS. The most accurate air rifle of them all is the Benjamin marauder PCP which also may qualify to be the best air rifle of them all. Crossman nitro venom is the best air rifle for hunting amongst all of them.

One Response

  1. pramila singh thakur August 3, 2016

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