How can you choose the best air rifle without ending up with a headache? If you are a newbie in the field and you want to start using an air gun for fun or just practice target shooting, you will soon realize how difficult it is to find the best air gun that suits your needs.
Reading forums and reviews might give you an idea of what is the best air rifle on the market, but they primarily address the specific needs of specific people. Don’t be fooled by a generic list of top ten air guns that tells you this is the best for target shooting or that is the best air rifle for short people – because, again, they are talking about rifles for specific people.
With that being said, how will you know whether you are buying the right air rifle for yourself? For starters, you can begin by answering these questions:
- What will you use the rifle for? Are you going to use it for target shooting? Are you planning to use it in competition? Do you intend to go hunting?
- What are your abilities and what can you handle? For example, did you know that spring-powered air guns are heavier than other types of air guns?
- Air rifles can be owned by anyone for the purpose of protecting their property from pests. Are you planning to buy an air rifle because you have pests on your property? Or do you simply want to hunt?
- Would it be easier for you to have a semiautomatic or an automatic? Do you need something with a sight or a mount or do you just want an air rifle with a simple design?
- How much are you willing to pay for an air rifle?
Best Air Rifles Comparison Table
Top 12 Best Air Rifles
Here are the 12 best air rifles on the market today:
The first air rifle in our review is the Gamo Silent Cat air rifle with a price tag of $109.99. This air rifle has a .177 caliber with a velocity of 1200 feet per second. The model is so thin that it actually looks like a skeletal piece. It comes with a 4×32 scope with 1-piece mount. A Gamo warranty is included. The best thing about this $110 air rifle is its silent operation. This air rifle is as silent as a cat. It has an ND52 noise dampener which reduces noise by more than 50%. The scope comes with a fiberoptic sight so you can be sure to take out your target no matter how far it is. This air rifle is especially recommended for adults with strong arms. Make note that new pieces tend to be somewhat tighter than usual. A few shots can break the rifle in, but still, this air rifle is not recommended for people with weaker arm strength.
Many air rifle reviews mention the Ruger brand as one of the producers of the best air rifles and pistols. This is no doubt true for the Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle. The Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle can be yours for a very affordable price of $107.35. This air rifle has a caliber of 0.177 and a velocity of 1000 feet per second. Included is a one-year warranty from Ruger. This air rifle also includes a 4×32 scope. This model is great for one-shot target shooting. The sight is made of fine fiberoptics. The optics also come with a 1/4 MOA Duplex Reticle Parallax setting that produces a 29-foot field of view at 3 eye relief. The mount is 12.9 mm long while the dovetail ring is 11 mm. The scope is fog-proof, shock-proof, and waterproof, features that we have come to expect from any Ruger product. If you are into plinking or joining small games, this air rifle from Ruger is the one for you. Indeed, the Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle is one of the best air rifles on the market today near the $100 price mark.
In many best air rifle reviews, Gamo products are among the most popular, and this is once again proven with the Gamo Hornet Air Rifle, .177 caliber. The Gamo Hornet Air Rifle, .177 Caliber costs $109.99, and for this price you get an air rifle that is suitable for target shooting or even hunting. This air rifle has a velocity of up to 1,200 fps. It uses PBA raptor ammunition and has a single break barrel cocking system. This means the rifle can fire one bullet at a time. This air rifle also employs a manual trigger safety system. Its barrel is made of fluted polymer jacketed steel. It also features a riflescope with 4×32 magnification power. The barrel length of the Gamo Hornet Air Rifle, .177 Caliber is 18 inches, but the entire air rifle has a measurement of 43.3 inches. It weighs a mere 6.1 pounds. For this price, this excellent air rifle from Gamo has a lot to offer, including:
- Non-slip design for a firm grip
- Grooved receiver
- Ventilated rubber pad
- Use of any type of ammo that fits a 0.177 caliber
- Twin cheek pads
The Gamo Hornet Air Rifle, .177 Caliber is a spring-operated break barrel air rifle with an adjustable trigger, making it one of the best air rifles on the market today.
The best air rifle Winchester have produced so far is the $69.24 Winchester Model 77XS Air Rifle. This air rifle has a steel barrel and uses pellet ammo or BBs when fired. This Winchester rifle can shoot 50 BBs or it can shoot one single pellet at a time. It has a maximum velocity of 800 fps and it features multi-pump pneumatic action. The overall look of the Winchester Model 77XS Air Rifle is rugged, yet stylish. The durable thumbhole stock allows the user to relax the wrist and hand while aiming. This air rifle comes with a 4 x 32 Winchester scope. This air rifle has dimensions of 2 x 1 x 1 inches and weighs 3 pounds. This product is imported from China and can be shipped anywhere in the world. For most users, the Winchester Model 77XS Air Rifle is best used with pellets because this is more accurate than using BBs. If you are looking for the best air rifle that offers value for money, perhaps to take turns practicing target shooting with your son or nephew, the Winchester Model 77XS Air Rifle is definitely worth considering.
Crosman is one of the best-known manufacturers of air rifles in the world today, and one of their masterpieces is the Crosman Recruit Air Rifle with Scope. This air rifle has a caliber of 0.177 and a velocity of 680 feet per second. It has adjustable stock as well as a scope of 4×15 magnification power. The adjustable stock of the Crosman Recruit Air Rifle with Scope aims to make it more comfortable for use by people who are between 4 and 6 feet tall. With its adjustable stock, the individual user can set their desired length of pull to their comfort and advantage. If you have a son who wants to start early in a shooting career, buy him this air rifle to grow with. Some of the features of this air rifle from Crosman that make it one of the best on the market include:
- Use of pellets with a velocity of up to 645 fps
- Use of BBs with a velocity of up to 680 fps
- Lightweight at 2.93 pounds
- Length of 39 inches
- Variable pump and bolt-action mechanism
- Front sight with fiberoptics
- Windage and elevation adjustable
- 3/8 dovetail ring
- Cross bolt safety lock
The Crosman Recruit Air Rifle with Scope is indeed one of the best air rifles on the market today, especially when it comes to target shooting, plinking, pest control, small game hunting, and predator hunting.
One of the relatively more expensive air rifles in our review is the Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle. This air rifle costs $143.19 and features a 0.177 caliber with 1200 fps velocity. The model uses alloy pellets. This air rifle from Benjamin is made of hardwood stock and features a comfortable thumbhole. The recoil pad is fabricated from rubber and is ventilated. Some the top features of this Benjamin air rifle that make it one of the best on the market are:
- An 11 mm scope dovetail ring
- Thumbhole with ergonomic design for comfortable use
- Dual raised cheek pieces
- Muzzle brake
- 2 adjustable trigger
- Gas piston to reduce vibration when fired
- Silent operation
- 4×32 scope & mount
- Spring that stands for a period of time so you can cock it and leave it there for some time
- Benjamin-assured superior performance even in cold weather
- Dimensions of 6.9 x 45.2 x 2.6 inches
- Weight of 9 pounds
Another favorite on our air rifle review is the Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle with a price tag of $52.99. This model from Crosman is the cheapest in their line of air rifles. The kit includes a Crossman Firepower 5-shot pellet clip. A BB reservoir that holds up to 350 BBs is also included. The Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle has an adjustable stock. It also has loop slots for sling and a dual aperture rear sight with adjustable windage and elevation. The Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle looks like an authentic rifle with a removable magazine where you can store pellets or clips. The $50 kit includes accessories such as a scope, a flashlight, rails for mounting the scope, and laser. With pellets, you can expect a velocity of 600 fps. With BBs, you can expect a velocity of 625 fps. Many people buy this model and then pass it on to younger siblings, sons, or nephews who are keen to practice target shooting or participate in informal shooting games. The badass looks and exceptional performance of the Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle in target shooting games has made it one of the most sought after air rifles on the market today.
Do you want an air rifle to use for hunting? This next product in our best air rifle review might be the answer to your needs! The Winchester 990004-402 Hunting Air Rifle is a high-tech air rifle that you can use to hunt not only pests but also predators. For a price tag of $143.00, you get a gun that looks like the real thing and is only slightly weaker in terms of performance because it is, after all, an air rifle. The Winchester 990004-402 Hunting Air Rifle is a 177 caliber rifle that comes with a smooth bore steel barrel. Using BBs, it can give you a velocity up to 700 fps. The magazine can hold up to 16 BB shots of BBs or a pellet clip. This air rifle is a CO2 semi-automatic. Some of the features that make the Winchester 990004-402 Hunting Air Rifle our favorite among the different models on the market are:
- Steel barrel
- Durable composite stock
- Pistol grip
- Collapsible stock
- Sling swivel
- Extended top rail
- Dual ammo air rifle (it can use BBs or pellets)
- Up to 700 fps velocity
- Ammo magazine that holds up to 8 shots of pellets or BBs
- Recommended for young shooters (age 16 and above)
The best air rifle from Hatsan is their 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock that comes with a price tag of $159.99. At this price, it is undoubtedly one of the most expensive .177 caliber air rifles on the market today. However, the price is more than justified by the model’s superior shock absorbing system and its micro adjustable rear sight. With its rear and open front sights, this air rifle offers exceptionally high accuracy. The Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock air rifle features an adjustable match trigger and can do a single shot break barrel. The cheek piece is Monte Carlo and can produce a velocity of up to 1000 fps using lead ammo. The Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock has several additional features that make it one of the best air rifles on the market today:
- Steel barrel
- 11 mm optics dovetail
- Anti-bear trap mechanism
- Automatic safety
- Shock absorber system
- Kit includes 3-9×32 Optima scope
- Mount and scope lens included in the kit
- Dimension of 2 x 1 x 1 inches
- Weight of 11 pounds
If you are looking for the top-selling and the best air rifle for personal use such as plinking and small game hunting, the Ruger brand may be your best bet. From this well-known manufacturer, consider the Ruger Blackhawk Elite Air Rifle. This air rifle can be yours for less than $100 ($99.95) and you can begin to enjoy small hunting games in your neighborhood. The Ruger Blackhawk Elite Air Rifle can do 1200 fps with its air gun mechanism and spring piston system. This air rifle weighs a mere 4.31 pounds and has only one fire mode, i.e., single shot only. A one-year warranty from Ruger is included. This air rifle also has an 11 mm optics dovetail. Its synthetic skeleton stock finger promises comfort. This model features an automatic safety. When used with the mount and scope on, the entire air rifle weighs only 1.50 pounds.
One of the most expensive air rifles in our review is the Black Ops Tactical Sniper Air Rifle Combo. This air rifle from Black Ops costs $169.99. Although primarily used for target shooting, this air rifle is also suitable for small game hunting and plinking. It is a .177 caliber model with a maximum velocity of 1250 fps. This air rifle has an air gun mechanism and uses a gas piston for added accuracy. The ammo consists of pellets. The mag can hold one ammo and fire one pellet at a time. The entire air rifle weighs 10 pounds. A one-year warranty from Black Ops is included. The top features of this excellent air rifle from Black Ops are:
- Steel barrel
- Picatanny optics rail
- Adjustable bipod legs
- 4×32 scopes included in the kit
- No spring fatigue
- No spring torque
- Works perfectly even in cold weather
Many air rifle reviews mention how great Benjamin air rifles are in terms of both performance and design. One of the downsides of this, however, is price, which is why one of the best air rifles from this brand, the Benjamin Varmint Power Pack Air Rifle, costs $174.35.
The Benjamin Varmint Power Pack Air Rifle was specifically created for target shooting practice. The deceptively simple design packs a punch when it comes to performance. This air rifle is designed to work beautifully without too much thinking on the part of the user. Simplicity is the main selling point of this Benjamin air rifle. With its .22 pellet ammo, you can expect velocities up to 1200 fps. The Benjamin Varmint Power Pack Air Rifle is recoil proof and has 90 lumen LED flashlights. It also comes with acquisition laser and a 3-9×32 Riflescope. Despite the relatively high price, there is no doubt that this Benjamin air rifle has enough features to make it one of the best air rifles in the Benjamin stable.
This review of the best air rifles aims to provide the reader with useful information about the various models on the market today. A good review will provide all the essential information a newbie or a more experienced user may need, such as the type of air rifle, the price, the materials it is made of, and the quality and performance of the rifle. If you feel the information about a particular air rifle is insufficient and the review you are reading is not enough, continue searching the forum pages for user reviews about that specific model. This is the best way to choose the best air rifle for your needs.