10 Best Air Rifles by Safe Gun Owners team

top-10-air-rifles

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. Most air rifles since then 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 some.

Crosman M4 177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle

Crosman M4 177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle
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 caliber, and 0.250 caliber 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 that you can use to mount accessory parts like scope, cameras, lasers, and even flashlights.

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 that much pro.

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

Gamo Big Cat 1250 .177 Caliber

Gamo Big Cat 1250 .177 Caliber
Gamo Big Cat 1250 .177 Caliber

It 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 rifle scope diameter of 32 millimeters.

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.

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

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 that has an 11mm scope rail.

Pros:
 It is very accurate. It comes with ambidextrous cheekpieces.

 It has a split barrel that bolts uptight 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.  The front sight is plastic.

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

Benjamin Marauder PCP Air

Benjamin Marauder PCP Air
Benjamin Marauder PCP Air

This 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.

Pros:
 It is 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.

Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle (22) powered by Nitro Piston

Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle (22) powered by Nitro Piston
Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle (22) powered by Nitro Piston

It is a 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.

Pros:
 It is known to function very well in extreme 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.

Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock Air

Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock Air
Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock Air

This 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 downrange 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.

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.

Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle

Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle
Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle

This 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 that 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.

Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle air rifle

Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle air rifle
Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle air rifle

This rifle is a 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 cheekpiece stock, the ventilated rubber buttpad, 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 extreme cold weather.

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.

Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle
Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

This 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 a 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.

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.

Powerline Kit, Dark Brown/Black, 37.6 Inch 880

Powerline Kit, Dark Brown/Black, 37.6 Inch 880
Powerline Kit, Dark Brown/Black, 37.6 Inch 880

This rifle is a 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, cross-bolt trigger block safety, and its rifled steel barrel. It weighs 3.1 pounds and has a 50 BB round shot capacity.  Its overall length is 37.6 inches

Pros:
It is very powerful and accurate due to the 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 suburban home if you want to get rid of rodents.

Buyers 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 whatnot. Power source or mechanism of the rifle pertains to it being either pneumatic, spring piston powered or CO2 powered.

What is Your Intended Use For The Air Rifle?

 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 cheap 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 on the rifle when firing. The green gas helps in lubricating and conditioning your gun to prevent unwanted friction.

What Is The Best Air Rifle For You?

The most powerful air rifle is the Gamo Big Cat with a shooting velocity of 1250 FPS. The best air rifle 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.

About the Author:
The above article was submitted by Safegunowners.org.
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