An air rifle is often a good alternative for people who don’t want to deal with live firearms and the risks and dangers that come with them.
That’s not to say air rifles are toys because they aren’t.
In fact, they should be handled with extreme care because they can injure and kill.
An enthusiast and a good huntsman always know the importance of regular maintenance and target practice with his best friend – the best air rifle.
Many of the professionals say that once a person learns how to shoot with a pellet gun or an air rifle, he will never
forget it as the intuition to shoot always comes back, despite several years of non-practice.
The level of skill, including the familiarity can be achieved by using the best pellet gun, aiming and shooting it regularly relatively helps in mastering the skill.
The technique or art of using such gear does not only curb down the reflexes, eye blinking, flinching, and dropping the gun, butalso improving several hunting games, while enhancing some personal skills all at the same time.
What is an Air Rifle?
The main difference between live firearms and air rifles is they don’t use gun powder in their ammo. Instead, they used pellets or BBs.
Because of this, the mechanism used to propel the projectiles from the weapon makes use of compressed air or different types of gas.
Air rifles come in many forms and types and can be used for a variety of purposed ranging from plinking, which is just recreational shooting of cans, bottles, action figures and other small items in the backyard, to going out and hunting game.
In both hunting and target shooting there are professionals, such as those that live off what they hunt as well as Olympic level athletes who are very precise with their air rifles.
Air Rifle Buying Guide
What is the best pellet gun? While in search of the best rifle on the market, the reviews mentioned above surely come in handy and helpful. However, there are more things that you should understand as there are several factors to consider, surrounding the pellet guns for hunting and other purposes. Each factor can affect your decision in choosing the best and most efficient product on the market.
Before arriving at the best pellet gun, it is important to learn about the propulsion methods because air rifles can be categorized based on the power plant that these gears employ in launching a projectile downrange.
- Spring Piston – Air guns that make use of spring piston technology are considered as the most common in the ammo industry, although, within the ‘adult level.’ Spring-piston air guns utilize a spring and air piston in launching a pellet. Its operation is simple, making them very consistent during a shot-to-shot scenario. Spring-piston rifles are extremely accurate and very powerful. However, the propulsion method used through a spring piston also has differences such as the barrel-cocking, side-cocking, and under-lever mechanism.
- Pneumatic – Pneumatic air rifles are the types that make use of compressed air in propelling the pellet. The basic types of pneumatic rifles include the pump-up and pre-charged.
- Pump-up – The majority of American shooters is more familiar with the pump-up variety. Pump-up rifles tend to compress air through an integral lever, which is situated around the forearm section of the gun. These varieties are moderately powerful, allowing an adjustable power by the amount of pump in every shot. Pump-up air guns require more effort and time in charging the rifle for every shot.
- Pre-charged – The operation of the pre-charged rifles is nearly the same with the pump-up, although eliminating the need for pumping up the gear every after shot. This type could be the most powerful pellet gun for many as it features a large reservoir of pressured air (3,000 psi maximum) before it would require a recharging.
- CO2 Powered – The CO2 powered air rifles are available in different sizes and shapes, but boils down to a common Denominator – the CO2 canisters, which provides the power. These varieties are easy to use and with little limitations too. CO2 powered rifles do not require pumping at all.
Any potential buyer and user of the best 177 air rifle or the best 22 air rifle for hunting, understanding about the air rifle calibers is equally essential.
Today, manufacturers are producing a wide array of rifles in different calibers, while others manufacture custom calibers, just to meet the requirements of users.
However, the most common calibers today include the .20, .22, .25, and the .177 calibers.
The most commonly used worldwide is the .177 caliber such as the Gamo Hornet. This has the same diameter with the steel BB, which can fire both BBs and pellets, depending on the specification of the product.
This caliber provides an excellent target, making it ideal for shooters who are into plinking and pest control activities. Most .177 rifles offer high velocities, good penetration, and flat trajectory simultaneously.
Meanwhile, the .22 caliber follows the .177 caliber when it comes to their popularity. Just like the Nitro Venom, .22 rifles are typically used in small hunting games because of their energy downrange delivery. Keep in mind that .177 rifles are faster than the .22 rifles.
Types of Pellets
The pellet type is also a major consideration while learning about the best pellet rifles on the market. Based on several air gun reviews, some rifles make use of more accurate and safer pellet types. But, these are ideal for more specific purposes.
Nowadays, the advancements in technology have also affected the types of pellets that every air gun has to offer, allowing the consumers to choose between wide ranges of pellets to use with their rifles.
- Round-nose – Round-nose pellets are ideal for small hunting games, target shooting, and plinking.
- Pointed-nose – The pointed-nose pellets are generally used for air rifle hunting games due to the necessary penetration.
- Hollow-nose – These pellet types are also reliable for hunting.
- Flat-top – Flat-top pellets are known for their accurate nature. These pellet types serve well for small game hunting and close range hunting games.
- Game PBA Pellets – These types are said to be lighter and swifter options, offering top-notch accuracy. These pellets are 50% harder, compared to lead.
- Polymer-tip – Polymer-tip pellets are hollow-head pellets and also referred to as the best choice for hunting. These pellet types have hard and polymer ballistic tips for ultimate accuracy.
- Crosman Powershot – The Crosman Powershot pellet types are the newest in the ammo industry. Its newest design is lead-free and environmentally-friendly, maintaining its shape after impact while offering a better penetration.
Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle
Magnum Air Rifle
Crosman Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle .177 Caliber
Crosman Nitro Venom Air Rifle air rifle
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle
Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
Crosman CLGY1000KT, Synthetic Stock Legacy
Daisy Outdoor 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun
BEST AIR RIFLE REVIEWS
CROSMAN M4-177 PNEUMATIC PUMP AIR RIFLE REVIEW
Crosman M4-177 is the most powerful air rifle from Crosman, a pneumatic pump rifle that resembles the tactical carbine while looking a lot like a power-burning varmint rifle. It has average rating of 4-Stars on Amazon.
Among the quietest air rifles you can buy, the Crosman M4-177 is ideal for hunting that features a multi-stroke system and capable of launching .177 BBs or .177 pellets.
The most prominent parts of this rifle are produced from an engineered polymer.
Weighing at nine ounces or three pounds, and measuring at 30.3 inches in length, this is the most accurate pellet gun on the market with a fully extended stock that has a length of 33.75 inches.
This rifle has so many features to boast, including its BB reservoir, which can hold up to 350 BBs.
It also features a Crossman Firepower 5-shot pellet clip, an aperture rear sight, and loop slots designed for a gun sling.
Its adjustable stock makes it perfect for all shooters, meeting the personal preference of each one.
Moreover, the Crosman M4-177 is considered as the most accurate pellet rifle due to its windage and elevation adjustments, offering superior functionality.
Its additional selling points also include the sight adjustment tool, and the removable magazine, which many owners love as it can store the pellet clip.
The accessory rails allow you to mount the scope, flashlight, laser, or a camera. Overall, the Crosman M4-177 is among the top rated pellet guns that can shoot up to 625 feet per second (fps) of BBs or 600 feet per second of pellets.
Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle Review
The new model comes at the standard 0.177 calibers with match-grade lead bullets.
This is the best air gun, which offers 1,200 fps with PBA, assuring the user to be always ready for all elements at any time.
Among the top pellet guns today, the Silent garners an average rating of 4.5-Stars.
It also boasts a non-removable noise damper, which is capable of reducing the noise of up to 52% compared to others within its class.
This rifle includes PBA ammunition, mounts, and a 4X32 scope.
The Gamo Silent is considered as a high-powered air rifle, making it perfect for either small or large hunting games, including pest control purposes, and sport shooting as well.
Based on several air rifle reviews, the Silent is constructed from all-weather synthetic stock, plus durable materials, which are sturdy enough in overcoming extreme weather conditions.
Its ventilated rubber pad is added for recoil absorption while providing an auto cocking safety system and a manual trigger safety as well.
Weighing at 5.28 pounds, and measuring at 46 inches in length, the Gamo Silent is highly capable of providing a cocking effort of 30 pounds and a trigger pull capacity of 3.79 pounds.
This is the best hunting air rifle, which is equivalent to high accuracy, based on actual users. It is also ideal for sports shooting and many other purposes, allowing clean and quick kills, despite repetitive shots.
Furthermore, the Silent equates to ultimate comfort because of its synthetic stock design, not to mention its spring piston system and its break barrel that makes it very interesting for different users.
Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle (22) Powered By Nitro Piston Review
Among the top rated air rifles also include the Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle (22) powered by Nitro Piston.
It garners 4.5-Stars as an average rating from customer reviews due to its overall precision.
This rifle features a rubber recoil pad, which has been carefully-sculpted, and a fluted muzzle break, while equipped with a 3-9x32mm CenterPoint scope.
Considered by many as the best pellet gun on the market, the Venom features a quick-lock mount for an easy and quick optic mounting capacity.
This rifle also boasts an ambidextrous stock with a raised cheekpiece, and an improved beaver-tail forearm design, thereby, enhancing the Artillery Hold shooting position that is necessary for every shooter.
Based on 22 air rifle reviews, the Venom is among the best in its class as it promotes an improved accuracy through its wider forearm surface area.
This is the best 22 air rifle that delivers supreme power at a maximum of 21 fpe muzzle energy. Its Nitro Piston technology equates to stability and power.
Moreover, the Venom has a maximum pellet velocity of 800 fps and a maximum alloy pellet velocity of 950 fps.
As one of the best pellet guns today, the Venom has a hardwood stock and a safety-lever feature. This rifle measures at 44.5 inches in length, while weighing at 7.375 pounds.
Unlike other rifles around, the Venom is easy to maintain, while allowing an easy storage at the same time.
This is the best pellet rifle for many enthusiasts because of its capacity to retain accuracy, in spite hundreds of shots.
Gamo Varmint Air Rifle, .177 Caliber Review
The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle, .177 Caliber has also generated a lot of pellet gun reviews. And based on these references, the Varmint receives an average rating of 4.5-Stars, similar to the Gamo Silent. Gamo Varmint Air Rifle is new version of Gamo Hornet Air Rifle.
The Varmint is among the competing rifles in its class as it is a spring-operated break barrel air rifle. Its ambidexterity is just one of its selling points, including its two-stage adjustable trigger.
The Varmint’s overall design is an all-weather synthetic stock that also boasts a ventilated recoil pad. This is the best air rifle on the market, according to actual users, due to its fluted polymer barrel that keeps the user on target.
The Varmint can go the distance, even for thousand rounds, making it perfect for hunting games and target shooting.
Among the most favorite features also include the manual trigger safety and the single break-barrel cocking system.
The best air rifle for the money could be the Gamo Varmint as it has a maximum shooting velocity of 1,200 fps with PBA Raptor. It is also capable of providing a maximum shooting velocity of 1,000 fps with lead.
The overall design of the Varmint is made of a non-slip texture on the grip and the forearm. It weighs 5.47 pounds with a 43.3-inch as total length, while its barrel length is measuring at 17.8 inches. It has a trigger pull capacity of 3.53 pounds and cocking effort capacity of 30 pounds.
All in all, the Gamo Hornet could be the best air rifle for hunting with all the impressive features a huntsman is looking for, including the scope’s eye-relief, barrel, trigger, and safety mechanisms.
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal
The Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal has also generated a lot of pellet gun reviews. And based on these references, the Hornet receives an average rating of 4.5-Stars, similar to the Gamo Silent.
The Hornet is among the competing rifles in its class as it is a spring-operated break barrel air rifle. Its ambidexterity is just one of its selling points, including its two-stage adjustable trigger.
The Varmint’s overall design is an all-weather synthetic stock that also boasts a ventilated recoil pad. This is the best air rifle on the market, according to actual users, due to its fluted polymer barrel that keeps the user on target.
The Hornet can go the distance, even for thousand rounds, making it perfect for hunting games and target shooting. Among the most favorite features also include the manual trigger safety and the single break-barrel cocking system.
The best air rifle for the money could be the Gamo Varmint as it has a maximum shooting velocity of 1,200 fps with PBA Raptor.
It is also capable of providing a maximum shooting velocity of 1,000 fps with lead. The overall design of the Varmint is made of a non-slip texture on the grip and the forearm.
It weighs 6.1 pounds with a 43.3-inch as total length, while its barrel length is measuring at 18 inches. It has a trigger pull capacity of 3.74 pounds and cocking effort capacity of 30 pounds.
All in all, the Gamo Varmint could be the best air rifle for hunting with all the impressive features a huntsman is looking for, including the scope’s eye-relief, barrel, trigger, and safety mechanisms.
Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle Review
Also, the Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle has an impressive rating of 4.5-Stars on Amazon.
Similar to other rifles on the market, the Blackhawk is likewise creating noise among the huntsmen and the enthusiasts.
Ruger alone is a top-notch brand within the ammo industry, hence, the quality of the Blackhawk is guaranteed.
With a reasonable price tag, the Blackhawk features ambidexterity and cool scope specs. It comes in all-weather composite black stock with a spring piston stroke break barrel. Included in its selling points are the checkered grip areas and the grip on the forearm.
The Blackhawk is the best break barrel air rifle due to its fiber optic sights that offers optimum accuracy. This rifle also boasts a rubber recoil pad, along with a metal finish that adds up to the rifle’s impressive aspects. This rifle is ideal for hunting and plinking, shooting up to 1,000 fps with pellets.
Overall, the Blackhawk is a multi-purpose rifle and considered as a good investment by many huntsmen. The entire function and design are user-friendly, offering an amazing power with an adjustable trigger, fixed power optics, and 3 inches of eye relief.
It is one of the good pellet guns with water-resistant and shock-resistant features, including a fog-proof design that makes it very durable for unlimited hunting expeditions.
Undoubtedly, the Ruger Blackhawk serves several purposes that fit the needs and requirements of any huntsman.
It is perfect for men and women who are into plinking, hunting games, target shooting, and even for pest control purposes. It is the best airgun rifle, considering its revolutionized features, excellent functions, durability, and its overall design.
Daisy Outdoor Products Model 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun Review
So, what is the best air rifle today?
Well, it could be the Daisy Outdoor Products Model 1938 with an average rating of 4.5-Stars. It has never been behind its class as the brand name has been a legend over the years, staying committed to its revolutionized designs, safety features, and the ease of use.
Nowadays, the rifle is used by people of different walks of life, men and women, young and old. It is among the best air guns, which also means excitement, fun, and pride.
Thus, it is an ultimate choice for huntsmen and shooters, both the beginners, and professionals.
The 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun comes with a solid wood stock with a lever-cocking feature, a smooth steel barrel, and a spring air action option.
It has an overall length of 35.4 inches while weighing at 2.2 pounds with a maximum velocity of 350 fps and a 650-shot capacity.
The Daisy is the high-quality air rifles that can excel in BB long gun competitions, and pretty quiet as well.
Indeed, the Daisy Red Ryder is an epitome of craftsmanship as it is a recognizable product from the company’s line-up of high-quality, durable, powerful, accurate, and affordable air rifles for hunting that is perfect for the starters and the advanced shooters.
Benjamin Variable Pump Air Rifle Review
The Benjamin 392 is a .22 caliber air rifle that allows users to control how hard or light it shoots.
Its multi-pump mechanism lets you pump as few as 3 pumps for short range shots or as many 8 pumps for maximum impact power.
This is a bolt action riﬂe which means you load the pellet by pulling back the bolt and inserting the ammo into the chamber that opens above the stock.
The elegant wooden stock makes this a great looking riﬂe that blends a good balance of design, quality, and power into its overall build.
The gun is excellent for use when out hunting and to use on pests that may cause problems in and around the home.
The gun includes front and rear iron sights and is measured to 35″ long, which makes it a lot more compact than many of the longer spring piston air rifles today.
One of its best points is the feel of the trigger, which is ﬁrm, crisp and consistent. This allows you to repeat the same shot over and over.
Like most of the air rifles in our reviews, the Benjamin 392 uses a single shot design which means you’ll need to load ammo between shots.
Diana RWS 34 Review
If precision is a priority, the Diana RWS Model 34 is difficult to beat.
This German crafted break barrel riﬂe offers a good mix of power and accuracy, making it a good choice for hunters and marksmen. It has been used in some winning target competition campaigns.
What you get in the RWS 34 is a durable build that is meant to be reliable. This gives you peace of mind that after hours of waiting for your prey to get into position, your efforts won’t be wasted when you pull the trigger.
Speaking of the trigger, this springer comes with a very consistent T06 trigger which is one of its best points. Diana is known for its very consistent trigger pull, and the T06 lives up to this.
The Model 34 packs a lot of power, with the .177 caliber version reaching up to 1000 fps, and the .22 cal getting up to 800 fps.
It’s strongest points, however, is it comes with a design that is high quality and robust. In fact, the brand is willing to stake its name on it giving owners a lifetime warranty. So you essentially have this gun for life.
As with most RWS makes, it is a bit heavier compared to many of the modern air rifles. Though you could expect this because of its hardwood stock.
Benjamin Trail NP XL Review
The second gas ram in our reviews, the Benjamin Trail NP XL gets on our best air rifle list thanks to its exception power.
Made for those looking for a high powered hunting air rifle, the NP XL comes in three variations namely the XL 1500, XL 1100 and XL 725.
Note that each of the numbers refers to the speed rating that Benjamin provides from their tests. And as you’d guess the highest one, XL 1500 uses .177 caliber while the slowest one XL 725, uses the .25 caliber pellets.
All the caliber sizes offer exception force on impact, considering many modern springers today average around 13 to 15 ft-lbs of energy.
What the higher energy means for the hunter is they can take out larger prey than they would be with the fewer power rifles, or shoot from a further distance and yet still get similar power that with shooting a lower powered model at a closer range.
Like the Silent Stalker Whisper earlier in the reviews, this air rifle employs a gas piston as its power plant.
However, it does so use the more standard nitrogen gas to give you similar benefits over your more traditional spring-based air rifle.
Certainly, air rifles are used for different purposes today, ranging from personal purposes to hunting and shooting games, pest control, and even in the Olympic Games. It is not a simple gear, which it was used to be, as the hunting air rifle has revolutionized into something more meaningful with interesting designs that fit the young and the adult, men and women alike.
It takes reading about air rifles reviews, before arriving at the best product possible. Considering every factor, feature, an option, surrounding these gears is equally crucial throughout the search. Keep in mind that identifying the main purpose of an air rifle is also essential, including the type of pellets, the propulsion method, the caliber, and other factors.
Overall, doing a thorough research and comparison between the best air rifles on the market can help in narrowing down the choices. Relying on trusted brands and reliable dealers are similarly crucial as well as understanding completely every rifle’s specification, pros, cons, and benefits over the other model.
Uses of Air Rifles
A good air rifle is traditionally used for hunting. Since the production of air-powered rifles in the 16th century, hunting has been the main focus and purpose of such gears. Throughout the decades, however, rifles have served a lot of purposes, and not limited to the traditional hunting alone.
There are now millions of owners of rifles worldwide that maximize the use of their gears for personal reasons, including the intuition to survive. Thus, the best air rifles for hunting are also considered by many as their weapons for survival.
In the modern times, many air guns are widely used for recreation purposes, whether in small or large hunting games, including pest control purposes. In fact, in the United States alone, the best-rated pellet guns are in high demands from consumers who want to eliminate unwanted creatures in their farms, gardens, and yards like crows, rats, squirrels, and other animals that might ruin their crops.
The shooting enthusiasts also demand the best-rated air rifle from the market as they join in informal and formal shooting games, including long gun competitions and various tournaments.
In fact, the Olympic Games include an air gun competition, which is joined by men and women in different categories, making use of their own best 177 air rifle.
Understanding the Types of Air Guns
When people mention the word air gun, the one thing they most often mean is a pellet gun. A pellet gun uses pellets as its ammo. But in reality air guns shoot both pellets and BBs. And the differences between them often confuse some beginners looking for the best air rifle for them.
To make a distinction, here are the common types of air guns today and how you can tell one from the other. The difference between the air guns comes down to the type of ammo they use, which in turn also affects what propulsion mechanism that’s put in it.
As mentioned earlier, in today’s terminology, air guns often refer to pellet guns. This means they shoot pellets, which are often made from lead, though some lightweight pellets use the non-alloy material.
Pellets come in what is called a Diabolo shape where it has a head, small waist, and a wide skirt. These types of air guns come in both pistol and rifle form and offer the most power of the three.
High-end spring piston air rifles today shoot more than 1000 ft/sec making them easily capable of being used for hunting small game. Today, these are the most common types of air guns and rifles used.
For more information on this type of air gun, see our best pellet gun reviews.
Steel BBIn contrast to the pellet, BBs come in a spherical shape. They are metal or copper round balls that fire from the weapon’s muzzle. Most BB guns fit in a .177 caliber bore.
These BBs measure slightly less than 4.5mm barrel diameter and are just enough to fit in pistols and rifles that also shoot pellets. When selecting BB guns, you’ll want to check whether or not the item you’re looking at shoots both pellets and BBs or just BBs.
The first type is common among lower end air rifles allowing owners to choose between pellets and BBs. In general, BB guns shoot with less power and muzzle velocity compared to pellet guns.
Airsoft BBThe difference between pellet guns and BB guns are often more simple to distinguish because they substantially differ from one another. However, when airsoft guns come into play things get a bit more confusing.
One reason for this is the terminology used with airsoft. Many people refer to this shooter’s ammo as airsoft pellets; others call them airsoft BBs, even worse, some just call them pellets or BBs, easily confusing them with either of the two types of ammo above.
To simplify things, airsoft guns shoot plastic BBs, as opposed to the metal ones for BB guns. That’s because they’re meant for the game where competitors shoot one another. The softer material makes them less dangerous and less harmful.
In contrast, the other type types of ammo previously mentioned shouldn’t be used to shoot other people. Another difference between airsoft BBs and metal BBs is their size and weight. Airsoft ammo is larger measuring 6mm, and weight anywhere from 0.12 grams to 0.48 grams. Most airsoft gunners use the 0.12 gram or 0.20 gram BBs.
However, having the best air rifles is equally essential in mastering any craft.
A huntsman should have the most efficient, most reliable, and accurate air rifle to achieve specific goals.
With that said, the following are the top air rifles that you can choose from, designed and delivered by trusted brands in the air rifle industry.