10 Best Air Rifle (The Ultimate Guide – Updated 2018)
With the increasing number of air rifles in the market today, how does one choose the perfect rifle? Trial and error may take a lot of time and money. The best thing you can do is to read our review that includes all important features as well as the pros and cons of each rifle. With this guide, our intention is to help you with your buying decision.
These top 10 best air rifle may not be as powerful as real guns, but they function the same way without any added cost. For an average price, you can still take down your targets, practice target shooting and can even use them in actual competitions.
All the rifles recommended here have prices ranging from lesser than $100 up to $650, so make sure you understand your expectations. For those of you who wants to jump straight to the bottom line, here are our top picks.
- 1 Comparison Chart of Our Top 10 Air Rifles
- 2 10 Best Air Rifles Reviewed
- 2.1 1. Benjamin Marauder - Best High Power Air Rifle
- 2.2 2. Hatsan Model 95 - Best Air Rifle Under $200
- 2.3 3. Crosman Benjamin Discovery - Best Air Rifle for Hunting
- 2.4 4. Ruger Blackhawk Combo - Best CO2 Air Rifle
- 2.5 5. Remington Express Air Rifle
- 2.6 6. Crosman Fire - Best Nitro Piston Air Rifle (Below $100)
- 2.7 7. Gamo Big Cat - Best Gamo Air Rifle
- 2.8 8. AGM L96 AWP Sniper Gun
- 2.9 9. Benjamin Armada - Best PCP Air Rifle
- 2.10 10. Beeman RS1 - Best On The Market (Below $150)
- 3 Different Types of Air Rifles
- 4 Factors to Consider in Buying an Air Rifle
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 FINAL VERDICT
Comparison Chart of Our Top 10 Air Rifles
10 Best Air Rifles Reviewed
1. Benjamin Marauder - Best High Power Air Rifle
We considered the Benjamin Marauder as the best high-power air rifle in the market today due to its power and accuracy. This rifle is a pre-charged pneumatic rifle that utilizes an air compression of 3000 psi. It has a built-in pressure gauge, so power can be monitored even after using it for a long time. The trigger can be adjusted in two stages. It uses .177 caliber pellet with firing speed of 1100 FPS. If used with .25 caliber pellets, it becomes a 8 shot repeater.
This air rifle is equipped with a dovetail mount. You can attach a laser scope or a red dot sight for added accuracy. If you are looking for dead-lock accuracy, we recommend you to use the two-piece scope mount.
The Marauder can be set up for a wide variety of execution features that includes fluctuating fill weights and gag speeds. This level of tuning ability is impressive for a standard air rifle. High air use or poor gag speed can result in a bad position.
This model is more accurate if you use the JSB Jumbo Express pellets. It will provide sound gag vitality of over 28 ft. /lbs.
If you prefer small to medium game hunting, the Benjamin Marauder will not disappoint you. It is accurate, well-priced, powerful, and easy to shoot as compared to others. Last but not least, the manufacturer also offers a limited warranty of one year.
Pros and Cons
2. Hatsan Model 95 - Best Air Rifle Under $200
The Hatsan Model 95 has a Turkish walnut stock with the golden colored metal trigger. It has an attractive appearance and weighs only 8.4 pounds. The barrel length is 17.7 inches and the whole length is 44.3 inches. This model creates devastating damage as its shots can reach up to an astonishing speed of 1000 feet per second.
One of the main highlight is its report accuracy. Compared to other gun manufacturers that uses lighter alloy pellets during their velocity tests, this air rifle tests their guns using standard pellets, making their reports more accurate compared to its competitors.
The next highlight is its sleek design. The hold of the cylinder has beautiful checkered prints on either side. A trigger guard surrounds the trigger with glossy gold hue with a darker shade. The fore end also has checkered prints. Below the forestock is an opening that serves as leeway for the break barrel positioning linkage. This attractive walnut stock also has a rubber butt pad which functions as a shock absorber.
If you are looking for an air rifle that looks great and powerful at less than $200, the Hatsan 95 Air Rifle is the best option. The gun is long-lasting and easy to use. It is one of the best value rifle for hunting.
Pros and Cons
3. Crosman Benjamin Discovery - Best Air Rifle for Hunting
This rifle has dual fuel features; you can use either 2000 psi air or CO2. It's velocity is superb, 900 feet per second. The manufacturer also includes a one-year warranty. The Crosman Benjamin Discovery uses a huge tank of highly-pressurized air for shooting, which makes this unit a perfect choice when it comes to power. Expert shooters would be happy to include this in their collection.
The load sound of this air rifle can be resolved by using a silencer. The Crosman Benjamin offers accurate shots and is one of the best indoor and outdoor rifles.
Pros and Cons
4. Ruger Blackhawk Combo - Best CO2 Air Rifle
The Ruger Blackhawk is one of the more exciting guns from the Ruger brand. This model has lots of powerful features that shooters will appreciate. It is well-structured and very accurate. If you want an air rifle with accuracy and great power, you should check out all the great features of Blackhawk.
The Blackhawk uses .177 caliber pellets which shoots the muzzle at 1000 FPS. The pellet shot with higher velocity has a tighter trajectory which makes your shots more precise. If you love target shooting or want to shoot tin cans, the accuracy of a high-velocity air rifle like this rifle can make a great difference.
Besides that, this air rifle has two sighting options. It has a built-in fiber optic sights. The other sighting option is the 4x32 scope which is also included in the package. If you want added accuracy, this scope will definitely be of great help.
If you are looking for the best CO2 air rifle available in the market today, the Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle is the perfect option.
Pros and Cons
Remington is a popular brand when it comes to air rifles. You can expect it to be a striking, powerful, and accurate product. That is exactly what you can expect from the spring powered Remington Express Air Rifle.
The term “Express” indicates that the rifle is manufactured in a state, capable of developing 1000 FPS with specific ammunition. The scope and mount included is quite basic 4x32 spec, but it provides the user a taster of using a telescopic sight. This means it has better optics.
The Remington Express is only .177, but with full power output and lots of great features, it can surely attract lots of users. Check out the woodwork. It has straight lines styling and attractive grain and color which makes it more appealing. The sleek fore end has a subtle palm filling tip, making it very comfortable to aim.
This ambidextrous air rifle has generous panels with deep-cut checkering on the forend and pistol grip. It also has a well-defined design and an impressive grip. This air rifle has the best laser cut checkering design.
When it comes to performance, it has no spring resonance and a snappy action as you make the shot with superb accuracy.
Pros and Cons
6. Crosman Fire - Best Nitro Piston Air Rifle (Below $100)
Crosman Fire is a gas-powered rifle with Nitro Piston technology and of high-quality airguns. Since it uses nitrogen gas instead of the spring coil, it is a bit lighter than other rifles, and it minimizes noise and vibration. It makes the rifle 70% quieter as compared to other air rifles.
In a nutshell, it offers the power and velocity recommended for pest control, small game hunting, or target shooting. It provides the best quality at a reasonable price.
With its Nitro Piston technology, it can remain cocked for several hours, without spring fatigue. This is the most powerful air rifle with its single shot break barrel. It is also very accurate, and the recoil is light because it has a muzzle break on it.
It offers 1200 FPS using alloy pellets. The Crosman Fire Piston steel barrel is very accurate even if you use it continuously. It has a synthetic stock suitable for any weather, two-stage modifiable trigger, and ambidextrous safety.
The Crosman CFRNP17SX has less recoil. If you shoot a spring airgun, the spring extends, which results in a strong vibration to the barrel. For this case, the piston extends smoothly and with less effect on the barrel.
The rifle is not affected by weather. If you use a spring gun, you will need to lubricate it with grease. Cold weather can cause the spring to be tough and harder. This affects the performance of the rifle and you will have a hard time cocking. However, with a nitro piston, the cylinder uses high-quality lubrication, so it functions the same regardless of the weather.
Pros and Cons
7. Gamo Big Cat - Best Gamo Air Rifle
This rifle is one of the most popular air rifles designed by this brand. It has a lightweight frame, powerful muzzle velocity, and sturdy construction which makes it a real winner for those who enjoy target practice, hunting small game or getting rid of pests.
Pros and Cons
The AGM L96 air rifle has unique and one of a kind design, customized to meet all your shooting needs. This rifle has unmatched capabilities and can shoot even in long range. It is popular among hunters. Its shooting precision is exceptional and can accurately pinpoint targets. The price is affordable for its quality.
It has a powerful velocity with around 200 feet + per second and providing you the best shooting experience. However, this rifle is a bit heavy, which may restrict your movement, particularly when hunting.
Loading the rifle is easy and fast which boost precision and accuracy of your shot without scaring your target. Its metal bolt action provides you a feel of being in an actual battle.
The AGM L96 AWP sniper has an elegant and sleek design with its metal parts painted with green to make it look like a combat rifle. The housing has shoulder sling, speed loader made of durable plastic, and starter bbs.
Pros and Cons
9. Benjamin Armada - Best PCP Air Rifle
The Benjamin Armada air rifle has introduced some essential innovations to the PCP industry for many years. The company has developed its very first PCP, the Discovery. Then it introduces the Marauder which brought the air rifle to a higher level and is one of the top selling rifles. And now the Benjamin Armada where they customized the platform, added a modular and is now available in .25 caliber.
The Benjamin Armada Air Rifle is the best PCP air rifle for the money. It is recommended for shooting practice and hunting. You can hit almost all of your targets using this rifle. If you are in search of high-end airgun, this rifle will not go wrong.
The Benjamin Armada is recommended for range shooting or hunting. It is considered as one of the most accurate repeating air rifles in the market today due to its barrel-sound suppression technology.
This rifle is a tactical black gun that loads on the pellet. Armada has lots of Picatinny rails, which is not present on a wood-stocked gun. It has rail space so that you can load up with tactical gear. It has a superb design and is known for its AR-compatible components. Lastly, it is powered by a Pre-Charged Pneumatic system which offers you greater firepower.
Pros and Cons
10. Beeman RS1 - Best On The Market (Below $150)
Beeman is one of the best on the market. It is a dual rifle that can be switched between a .22 caliber and a .177 caliber barrel.
The Beeman RS1 dual caliber can adapt to different shooting situations easily. The best thing about this rifle is that you can have two rifles at the price of one. To keep the barrels, gun, rings, and scope secured, it has Velcro tie-down straps. You will never get a better deal in the air rifle world!
This dual caliber air rifle has a solid built. It weighs around 6.9 pounds. It comes with an encased both barrels, the stock, and scope. It adds convenience and helps keep the gun in optimum shape.
Pros and Cons
Different Types of Air Rifles
There are three major types of air rifles, and these are Spring Powered, CO2 Powered Rifles and the Pneumatic Air Rifles. Below are the important features, advantages, and disadvantages of each type.
1) Spring Powered Air Rifles
This is the type of rifles which uses a spring to compress the air in its chamber as a source of power. There are three different types of spring designs – side lever, underlever, and the break barrel.
The cocking lever can be found at the right side of the rifle that you can pull back easily to cock the gun.
The underlever, on the other hand, is situated beneath the barrel. To cock the rifle, you need to pull down the side lever which opens the breach where you can insert the pellet.
The break barrel is hinged, and you need to pull down the barrel to cock the spring.
2) CO2 Powered Air Rifles
This type of air rifle makes use of compressed gas or cartridges for their power source when shooting.
3) Pneumatic (Pump) Air Rifles
This the type of air gun that is powered by a pumping level that pumps air into the chamber. You need to pump the rifle every 5 to 10 times. This will let you shoot bbs and pellets.
Factors to Consider in Buying an Air Rifle
You don’t just buy the first air rifle you find online. There are factors you need to consider when buying.
Accuracy is very essential when aiming and shooting a fixed or moving object. For longer distance like 35-50 yards away, it is best to use a scope to make the target more visible. If the air rifle lacks accuracy, the user will get frustrated and may lose interest in the sport.
For taking out the small or medium game, a powerful rifle is what you need. You will need a pneumatic or break barrel rifle. You don’t have to use a magnum-powered or high-powered air rifle if you have plans on firing from long range. The CO2 air rifle is enough if your target is from 20-yard range. Most shooters sneak on their target and get near, before aiming and taking a shot.
Air rifle with BBs and pellets are less expensive as compared to traditional firearms. There are different types of pellets you can use for your air rifle. The use of pellets will depend on the specifications and parameters of your air rifle. However, some users were successful in using BBs and pellets. If you are into shooting targets, you can consider buying wad cutters. If you want something that will protect the environment, choose the lead-free rifle. Hunters may also
opt for polymer tips or pointed pellets. Most hunters prefer the polymer tips for hunting.
CO2 or CO2 Free
If you want to save money, you can consider not buying a rifle that requires a CO2 cartridge. If you have the budget you purchase CO2 powered rifles which offer some added benefits like semi-automatic features. Keep in mind that replacing the cartridges can become costly and it is annoying if you purchase again and again. Consider the other types of powered-rifles if you cannot afford the one with CO2.
Some air rifles are expensive depending on its different features. But, there are lots of air rifles which cost less. For beginners or purchasing a gun for a beginner, you can go for a cheaper rifle. It will help the user to get comfortable with air rifles before they can buy a more expensive one that offers many features as compared to a basic air rifle.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the legal age in carrying .22 air rifle?
The minimum age in carrying .22 air rifle is 18. However, if your age is 14 and you want to carry an air gun in shooting ground, you can do so as long as someone older to you at least 21 is supervising you.
2. What is the cheapest way of choosing the right pellet for my air rifle?
The majority of spring-powered airguns work properly with lightweight pellets than CO2 rifles. On the other hand, PCP rifles are more accurate with a heavy pellet. If you are using a spring-powered rifle the pellet head should have the same measurement as the land or bore size, and the air rifle skirt size is the same as the groove size of the barrel.
3. How does the ammunition sizes affect my shot?
The .22 and .177 are the two typical sizes of the pellet. The smaller size of pellet is lighter thus it can travel faster and longer range. If you are taking shots further, the .177 pellet is recommended. If you prefer a shot that provides a higher power shot, then choose the .22 caliber. The .22 caliber will not travel that far as compared to .177, but it can hit your target hard.
Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Rifle
So these are our top 10 air rifles for you. Which one is the best for us? Our pick for the best air rifle will definitely be the Benjamin Marauder PCP. It is considered as one of the most accurate pellet rifles on the market, quite powerful and most importantly, value for money.
Last but not least, the other rifles mentioned in this review possess vital features that are not visible to other brands in the market. You will not go wrong with any of the rifles recommended in this review.
What We Liked:
What We Disliked: