10 Best Air Pistols & BB Guns For Self Defense, Hunting & Target Shooting (Reviews)

As a beginner, choosing the best air pistol can be tricky. Do you want to use it for long range shooting or for competing or even for self-defense? Will you use it in colder weather? If you are looking at the best pellet gun, there are many options, such as Beeman, Gamo, Airforce, Crosman, Air Arms, etc. Most of the firearms in today’s market use propellant charge. But in the case of air pistols, it is actually compressed gas or air. Air Pistols are also called air gun or Pellet gun or BB gun. If you need help in choosing the most appropriate pistol, have a look at the top air pistol reviews and individuals for each gun.


Our Top Picks

  • PRICE: $
  • SIZE: 2.3 x 14.3 x 6 inches
  • WEIGHT: 1.1
  • CALIBER: 0.177
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  • PRICE: $
  • SIZE: 14.5 x 9.9 x 5.8 inches
  • WEIGHT: 1.6
  • CALIBER: 0.177
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  • PRICE: $$$$$
  • SIZE: N/A
  • WEIGHT: 5.2
  • CALIBER: 0.22
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  • PRICE: $$
  • SIZE: 9.1 x 1.9 x 6.8 inches
  • WEIGHT: 2.2
  • CALIBER: 0.177
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  • PRICE: $$$
  • SIZE: N/A
  • WEIGHT: 4.3
  • CALIBER: 0.177
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Best Air Pistol Reviews For Self Defense, Hunting & Target Shooting (Updated List)

1. Crossman American Classic Pump Air Pistol (.177)

Crosman American Classic Pump Air Pistol (.177) Crossman 1377 is also known as “American Classic” Pump air pistol, and it certainly lives up to its name. As a beginner, this is the best air pistol that you can have.

It is a single action bolt, which makes it easier to cock and load. It can shoot 600 FPS and its rear can be adjusted. It has a caliber of .177 and it is a single shot and pneumatic. It is also known as the “Pump master classic”. It has a lighter trigger than most of the pistols, which is 4.5 pounds. On the other hand, it’s too heavy for a rifle. You can use it for small game hunting or for pest control. As it’s a pneumatic single shot air pistol, it won’t work like those spring. But as a beginner, this is the best air pistol for you, and it is definitely worth your money. Factory manufactured an upgraded version of this pistol.

Click to see more in-depth Crosman American Classic Pump Air Pistol review!


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2. Winchester Model 11K CO2 Pistol Kit with Case

Winchester Model 11K CO2 Pistol Kit with Case Winchester Model 11K CO2 gun kit is a semi-automatic BB gun. It has a 12-gram carbon dioxide cartridge. It is a small pistol and is best to carry on and it has a beautiful nickel casing with a mid-range velocity. You can shoot at least 410 foot per second with this beauty. It has a lighter trigger, which is roughly 4 pounds max, and its BB clip contains 16 shots. You have to put metal BB’s inside, though. It won’t work with plastics BBs. It is oftentimes compared with the 1911 model. You can use 4.5 mm steel BB’s with this mode, as its magazine and grip are made of plastic. Other than that, it has a very amazing metallic finish. Shots fired from this pistol have a decent accuracy. It also has a lower price. You can manually check the safety clippings in it. The only downside is that it has a plastic magazine since a metal magazine would work much better.

Here is more detailed Winchester Model 11K Air Pistol review!


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3. Daisy 985415-442 Hunting Air Pistol

Daisy 985415-242 Hunting Air Pistol Daisy 985415-442 Hunting Air Pistol is a semi-automatic smooth barrel hunting pistol. It has CO2 powered BB repeater with shooting glasses. This pistol has three CO2 cylinders and it has a maximum velocity of 500 fps. It has a built-in BB magazine, which can contain up to 21 shots. The BB loading process is a little bit tough, though, as the CO2 chambers are well hidden. Which is why you can’t guess that it runs on CO2. This is the most powerful pellet gun that you can get your hands on, and it is an amazing gun for target practice and competitions, as it has amazing powers and is top-rated among gun enthusiasts.



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4. Benjamin Marauder PCP (Best Pellet Pistol For Hunting)

Crosman Benjamin Marauder .22 Call Air Pistol BP2220 Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol is a blot action pre-pneumatic pistol. It is a very quiet gun, thanks to its integral shroud, making it a great pellet pistol for hunting. It has a 12″ choked barrel, which makes its shots precise. It is an air pistol and mostly uses 2900 psi compressed air. It also has a built-in pressure gauge and a reversible bolt. You can hunt up to 33 yards away with this beauty.

You need to have a scope or dot sight, as it doesn’t come with an open sight. Marauder pistol clips and air rifle clips are not interchangeable, and so, it has a manual safety system and it comes with a repeater.
The best thing about this pistol is its 1.5-pound trigger, which comes with two stages. You can’t ask for a more precise shot than this. It is mostly used for small game hunting/plinking. Its magazine has a capacity of 8 round multi-shots. It is also lightweight and compact and comes at a mid-range price, making it one of the top air pistols which is worth every penny. Check more detailed Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol review!


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5. C41 Air Pistol (BB)

C41 Air Pistol (BB) Crossman C41 is a BB air pistol. It is made with metal. It is a semi-automatic pistol, which weighs 2 pounds. It comes with a 5.19 inch rifled barrel. You can use 4.5 mm steel BB’s with this.
Although it’s a double action only gun, its trigger pull is amazingly fast. It’s quite cheap, considering that it is an all metal gun. Its drop-out magazine is also made of metal, which is a plus. A replica of the German Walther P38, it is ambidextrous, so any leftie can use this easily. It uses 12-gram pellets and has hidden CO2 compartments. On the negative side, the grip feels loose and the gun is a tad big for a smaller hand.


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6. Umarex Legends M712 Blowback CO2 Pistol

Umarex Legends M712 Blowback Automatic .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol, Legends M712 Air Pistol Umarex Legends M712 is a blowback air gun. It is made of plastic and metals and weighs about 2 pounds. It has a 5.5-inch metal, non-rifled barrel. It is a semi-automatic, single shot only, BB gun. Its trigger pull is quite sharp. The BB magazine chambering is done by the blowback action, which gives it a nice pull. It has a 390 fps accuracy rate in hot weather. It also has an 18 rd. removable magazine. You have to manually check its safety and it mostly uses a 12-gram CO2 cartridge. The loading process is quite tough, so you have to be really steady, otherwise, the magazine will just pop out. Also, its rear sight cannot be adjusted. If you ignore the bulky size, it’s a good one for competitions. Continue to detailed Umarex Legends M712 Air Gun review!


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Overview: Best Air Pistols

  • PRICE: $$
  • SIZE: 6-inch rifled barrel
  • WEIGHT: 2 pounds
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  • PRICE: $$
  • SIZE: 9.5 Inch
  • WEIGHT: 1.13 Kg
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  • PRICE: $$
  • SIZE: 11.125 inches
  • WEIGHT: 1.81 pounds
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  • PRICE: $
  • SIZE: Overall Length: 9.5" Barrel Length: 4.5"
  • WEIGHT: 1.7 lbs
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7. Smith & Wesson M&P Airgun

Smith & Wesson M&P 40 .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol, Black, Standard Action The Smith & Wesson M&P airgun truly is one of the best models on the market and is perfectly suited for shooting enthusiasts. This pistol shoots .177-cal BBs at velocities of up to 480 FPS, and it comes with a fiber optic rear sight. This is a semi-automatic model that uses CO2 capsules for power.

One of the things we liked about this model is that it has a well-thought design. The CO2 capsule is concealed inside the grip, but the backstop slides easily to reveal it when you want to change it. The fiber optic rear sight has a U-shaped design, and the fiber optic is green and easy to spot. The front sight looks like a white dot, and it’s easy to spot even in low-light conditions. To acquire your target you have to line up the white dot between the two green sights.

Another good thing about this model is that it comes with an under the barrel rail that allows you to customize the pistol. You can either mount a laser sight or a flashlight under the barrel to improve your accuracy.

The pistol comes with a 19-BBs magazine. You can fire the whole magazine in quick succession without any problems, and you can reload it with ease.


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8. Crossman CCP8B2 Vigilante CO2 .177-CALIBER PELLET

Crosman CCP8B2 Vigilante CO2-Powered .177-Caliber Pellet and BB Revolver, FFP Crossman CCP8B2 Vigilante CO2 .177-Caliber Pellet and BB Revolver is designed like a classic pistol. It has a 10 shot pellet clip and a 6-inch rifled barrel. It has a maximum velocity of 435 fps. It also has a tactical rail system and an adjustable rear sight. You can shoot both single and double action with this pistol. It is the best air pistol that has everything balanced and gives precise shots. It also has rails, so you can put scopes on it. It has an adjustable rear sight and its finger groves are textured. You can use steel BB’s in this gun. It has a double action trigger pulling, and its pulling weight was approx. 3 pounds. It is the bestselling, balanced BB revolver out there, and it is among the most powerful pellet gun in the market.

Read more detailed Crosman CCP8B2 Vigilante Revolver review

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9. Daisy Outdoor Products 5171 CO2 Pistol

Daisy 5172 Power Line CO2 Pistol Kit It comes with a steel-smooth bore barrel and 177 cal. BB ammo can be used with Daisy 5171.

It has a 21 shot capacity clip. You can shoot up to 520 fps max with it. It uses CO2 and is semi-automatic. It also has a blade with which you can open the rear sights. If you want a cool and powerful looking BB pistol, then you have come to the right spot. Get the scope calibrated and you will get the most precise shots. It has an awesome scope and laser sight and is perfectly balanced. It has a long trigger pull, which can be quite bothersome for people with smaller hands. It is a bit costly for a BB gun, but it is worth every buck.

Here is a full Daisy Outdoor Products 5171 review


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10. Crossman Bolt Action CO2-Powered Pistol

Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2-Powered .22 Pistol Crossman Bolt Action CO2-Powered Pistol only has .22 calibers, but don’t let that mislead you. It’s the perfect pistol for plinking, as you can easily load it. Its shooting capacity is precise and enjoyable and it’s perfect for people who are ambidextrous. It has thumb rests on both grip panels, so it will work for right handed people too. You can get any base to mount the scope, but Crossman’s 459MT is a good choice, as it is a beginner range pistol and it won’t do your wallet much damage. It can shoot up to 460 FPS and it runs on CO2. But unlike GAMO, it doesn’t spend CO2 that fast. It is perfect for hunting and small pest controls. You can easily adjust its rear sight and it can be opened easily. It is a little pistol, but you should load it with Crossman Premier 14.3 grain pellets, to see the accuracy of its shots. One negative point is that the trigger is a little wiggly in this model. Also, to mount a scope, you need to put clamps in the barrel. Made from synthetic materials and with a length of 11.1″, it is the best air pistol for pest control.

Click to see more detailed Crosman Bolt Action CO2-Powered Pistol review


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11. Beeman Sportsman Deluxe

Beeman Sportsman Series Deluxe Air Pistol - Model 2004 The Beeman Sportsman can shoot .177 pellets at velocities of up to 410 FPS. This single pump pistol has a rifled barrel and it comes with a fixed front sight and adjustable rear sights.

You might think that at velocities of up to 410 FPS, the Beeman is not a very powerful gun, and you would be right. But what this pistol lacks in power and velocity, it gains in accuracy. This model is great for those who want to practice and improve their shooting skills because it’s accurate enough to allow you to group your shots.

This is a single stroke pneumatic handgun, so you will have to reload after every shot. To reload the pistol, you will have to pull back the cocking lever to compress the air that launches the pellet. The cocking lever is not very difficult to pull, but the process can become tiring after taking several shots.

The pistol comes with adjustable sights, so you can slightly optimize them according to your shooting style and preferences. Another good thing about this model is that it’s relatively quiet. The noise it produces is not extremely noticeable, so this model might be a good choice for those who enjoy plinking in their own backyards.


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Pellet Pistol Buying Guide

Here are some things that will help you choose the best pellet gun that suits you most.

  • Trigger Quality: Trigger Quality is a must for choosing your air pistol. You have to carefully consider the trigger pull of your desired gun.
  • Caliber: Caliber is another important factor. It can be .177, .22 or .25
  • Material: There are different kinds of materials, such as Lead or Lead-free (plastic and/or zinc) or copper coated steel.
  • Power Source: There are different kinds of power sources; PCP (pre-charged pneumatic), CO2, and break Barrel.
  • Velocity: 700 fps, 780 fps, 1100 fps, and 1400 fps.


What is your intended use of the air pistol?

Love to hunt? Do you like small games or bigger preys? Air Pistols can be used for various means. You can use it for Plinking (BB guns are only used for plinking, Hunting PCP, charged barrel, targets, pest control, etc.) Small and medium game hunting is a mode of recreation in most gun-owning families. Crossman Bolt Action CO2-Powered Pistol is good for pest control. C41 BB is good for hunting. For small games, you can use Crossman 1377, as it can easily shoot smaller games if the distance ranges from 30-35 yards and its power source is Spring Piston. This gun is single shot and has a capacity of .177 caliber.

How far will you be shooting?

There are many pellet guns for hunting in the market, and so, you need to choose your gun according to your preferred shooting range. If you want to shoot something within 15 yards, then go for variable pumps. CO2 guns will give you at least 20 yards. Break Barrel guns will go as long as 35 yards, but the most long range shootings come from the PCP guns. It’ll give you a whopping 60-yard range.

How much do you want to spend?best air pistol

Daisy 5171 is a bit costly. It’s a mid-range product, but worth every penny. If you want to search within the middle ranged guns, then you can also look for Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol. Crossman CCP8B2 Vigilante CO2 .177-Caliber Pellet and BB Revolver are somewhere between a beginner and a mid-level price, but it’s the highest selling gun out there. Crossman 1377 or GAMO P-25 are a good choice for beginner level guns.

Air pistol accessories

There are so many options for air pistol accessories. You can get airgun scopes, lasers, targets, pistol holsters, rifle slings, sights and lights, cleaning kits, flashlights etc. Pellets are also important. Most of the guns have specific pellets designed for them. You can use other pellets too, but it will provide messy results. You will also need extra cartridges and cylinders for refilling purposes. It is very tough to actually pinpoint the best caliber for shooting. Each caliber has their own merits. .177 calibers are the smallest and they can shoot up to 1000fps. It is mostly used for pest control. For overall use, you can get .20 calibers and .22 calibers are much larger in weight, but if you want to shoot a larger prey in a long distance, then go for the latter.

Model Specification Comparison Chart

CROSSMAN AMERICAN CLASSIC PUMP AIR PISTOL$2.3 x 14.3 x 6 inches1.10.177600
WINCHESTER MODEL 11K CO2 PISTOL KIT WITH CASE$$11.50 x 9.12 x 2.62 Inches2.50.177410
DAISY 985415-442 HUNTING AIR PISTOL$14.5 x 9.9 x 5.8 inches1.60.177500
C41 AIR PISTOL (BB$9.1 x 1.9 x 6.8 inches2.20.177495
CROSSMAN CCP8B2 VIGILANTE CO2 .177-CALIBER PELLET$13.5 x 3.5 x 8.8 inches2.40.177435
GAMO P-25 BLOWBACK PELLET PISTOL$$11.5 x 9.5 x 1.5 inches1.40.177450
CROSSMAN BOLT ACTION CO2-POWERED PISTOL$13.2 x 9 x 1.5 inches2.00.22460

Bottom line

BB guns are the best medium to learn shooting. If you want to buy the best pellet pistol in the market, you have to first consider your specific uses and then proceed accordingly. You have to decide what’s best for you, be it the caliber or the pellets. From hunting to backyard plinking, there are a variety of guns and pellets out there. You also have to think about your budget, so that you don’t go overboard on things that you don’t even need. After reading our air pistols reviews, you should not have any trouble figuring out what you need. Most importantly, practice firearms safety while using them. Don’t let any child play with them unless they are under an adult supervision. Also, before buying, please do a background check on legal proceedings in your area.

Remember that you need to keep your guns clean and in good conditions. Thus, Shooting & Safety includes some articles about the best gun oils.

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