Before purchasing an air rifle, it is imperative to take the time to get to know a little about the different types of air rifles. Once you’ve decided which specific type is right for your needs, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and make your final decision. Below, you’ll be able to find a short overview of each type of air rifle, before we deliver the best air rifles in each specific category.
CO2 Powered Air Rifles
Although there is many different styles of CO2 powered air rifles, they all share one commonality. They all require a CO2 canister, in order to receive their power. There are several different sizes of canisters, but most air guns require the smaller 12-gram canisters. These guns can prove to be very advantageous, since you don’t have to pump them, before taking your shot. Instead, you can aim and fire, while the CO2 does all of the work. They also have a few disadvantages. They’re somewhat limited in terms of power and the cylinders can become expensive, with repetitive use. At the same time, temperature and other environmental factors can play a role and impact the overall performance of the CO2 powered air rifle. Below, you will find some of the best CO2 air rifle.
Crosman 1077 Repeat Air Semi-Automatic CO2 Pellet Gun Air Rifle
There are plenty of likeable features of the Crosman 1077 Repeat Air Rifle. During our time with this specific model, we were completely thrilled with the design and weight. At 37 inches in length and less than 4 pounds in weight, the weapon is surprisingly fun and easy to use. We felt comfortable using the gun and toting it around never wore out our arms. When used with the recommended pellets, we were able to receive a velocity of 625 feet per second, when firing the rifle. Of course, the gun cannot be used with any other type of ammunition. It is strictly a pellet gun, but this didn’t cause us any concerns.
At first, we had a difficult time locating the CO2 cartridge. When we finally discovered its location, we were impressed. The CO2 cylinder is easily accessible and can be replaced with ease. At the same time, this air gun is compatible with a 12-shot rotary clip. This ensures that you’re able to shoot 12 pellets, as quickly as possible. With the weapon, there is no need to pump anything. Instead, we were able to aim, pull the trigger and fire the shot rapidly. During our experience, we were able to fire more than 40 pellets, before the CO2 cartridge needed to be replaced. Although the air gun is somewhat affordable, it is a nice package, which delivers plenty of enjoyment and fun! Read our full review here.
Hammerli 850 AirMagnum Air Rifle
When it comes to price, the Hammerli is the complete opposite of the Crosman 1077. However, the added price is justified, since the weapon is equipped with some astounding features. First and foremost, this is a .22 caliber air gun, which is capable of helping to humanely hunt small prey. According to the manufacturer, this is dubbed, as the fastest CO2 rifle. Much of this has to do with the weapon’s use of the 88g CO2 cylinder. With this type of CO2 cartridge, it is possible to increase the weapon’s power, as well as the number of shots fired, before the cylinder needs to be replaced. Sadly, you’ll need to purchase the CO2 cartridge separately. We were surprised to find that the package was lacking this vital element.
When the CO2 cartridge is brand new, this weapon is capable of delivering top-notch precision. However, we started to experience decreased accuracy, when the cartridge started to deplete. The manufacturer recommends that the cylinder be replaced, after approximately 200 shots. During our experience with the Hammerli 850, we were able to achieve 160 precise rounds, before the accuracy become extremely erratic.
Whether you’re trying to practice your target shooting, or want to be able to hunt humanely, you’ll be able to do so with the Hammerli 850 AirMagnum. Since the price is a little expensive, we mainly recommend it for individuals that are serious about their air gunning. The gun delivers astounding performance and loads of fun for all! Read our full review here.
Introduction to the Spring Piston Air Rifle
Many gunners prefer the spring piston air rifle for many reasons, but mostly because of the shooting range capabilities. The effective range is very important, when trying to hit a nonmoving or moving target up to 30-35 feet away. The 1000-1400 fps efficiency and competency will increase your chances of hitting a fast-moving target, since this is the highest fps options among all the air rifle products. These air guns are also more affordable than the pre-charged pneumatic, by anywhere from $150-300. Of course, the spring piston power source requires a lot of practice aiming and shooting, before you achieve the highest accuracy rating.
Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle
The Ruger Blackhawk is capable of shooting 0.177 caliber pellets, which is perfect for target shooting and ridding your property of pesky critters. The 1000 fps will allow the gunner to hit a fairly quick varmint at a distance of 30 feet away, which is extraordinary, when you consider the extremely low price. The 4×32 scope will improve your changes of hitting the target, since it will allow you to zero in perfectly, since it comes equipped with an adjustable setting.
If you are looking for extreme convenience in an air rifle, this may not be suitable for your needs, since the barrel will have to be cocked, before every use. Looking on the good side of things, it does not require a lot of energy or muscle strength to cock the lever, but 30 pounds of force is required. The recoil action is pretty significant, but the thick rubber butt will protect your shoulder from injuries wonderfully.
The extreme weight of the Ruger Blackhawk will not be suitable for those gunners with a small stature, since it weighs in at a total of 9.4 pounds. Of course, if you are looking for an extremely realistic feel, when you are gunning, you will be very satisfied with this air rifle. Expect a semi-loud sound, when the pellet is being fired from the barrel, which may or may not be suitable, if you have close neighbors. Read our full review here.
Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle
The Gamo Silent is more preferred for the gunner that is looking for a quieter firing option, which is perfect for residential areas. While it is not necessary to own a gun that is appealing to the eye, it may be desired by some gunners. The skeleton stock definitely draws attention like no other brand, which also gives the rifle a lighter weight of 7 pounds total.
The break barrel feature requires a bit of force to cock, since this is a spring cocked power source air rifle. You will have to cock it each time, before each shot, which may or may not be suitable for your hunting or target shooting needs.
The 3-12x 40 scope is fairly average and if you are looking to hit a moving target up to 35 yards, you will need to purchase an additional higher grade. This air gun is designed to shoot 0.177 calibers, 9-10 gram pellets, which may decrease the range efficiency slightly, so you may want to go with the PBA ammo, which is slightly lighter in weight.
Your accuracy rating will improve over time, since the break barrel does require a bit of practice, before you can get the hang of the overall function and operation of the air rifle. Please note that the safety feature is located conveniently directly in front of the trigger, which will offer convenience to the gunner, but may pose a bit of a problem, as well. This location may be a bit too close for comfort for most gunners. Read our full review here.
Precharged Pneumatic Air Rifles
If you took the Pneumatic air rifle and improved it slightly, you would get the pre-charged pneumatic air rifle. Suffice to say, these weapons offer a few additional benefits, when compared to the pneumatic. The biggest is that these weapons do not need to be pumped in between shots. These guns are normally equipped with an air reservoir, which is typically capable of maintaining 3,000 PSI. With each shot, the air will deplete, until you need to pump the weapon again. Depending on your specifications and budget, you’ll either need to purchase a pump, or a SCUBA tank, in order to recharge the weapon. This additional purchase can be a little expensive and is likely the biggest negative of the precharged pneumatic air rifles.
Still, these guns have a massive number of advantages. In fact, they tend to be the most powerful air guns on the market. They’re also known to be very accurate and the majority is crafted from the highest quality parts and materials. Below, you will find a few of the best air rifles in this category.
Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle (.177)
With a quick glance, you can guarantee that you’ll be able to receive tons of enjoyment from the Crosman M4-177. The style and design of the weapon is sufficient and perfectly replicates that of a traditional M4. Unless you’ve been around guns for an extensive period of time, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The gun is solidly constructed and capable of providing longevity, with protection from a little wear and tear.
With the PCP setup, it is possible to achieve a velocity of 600 feet per second, when firing pellets from this weapon. Of course, the gun offers a little flexibility, since it can also shoot BBs. When BBs are fired, it will fire at a velocity of 625 feet per second. With a number of available accessory rails, it is possible to customize the weapon for your specific usage. A scope, laser or camera can be equipped and used with the gun. When the gun’s air reservoir is completely filled, it is possible to shoot the gun 15-35 times, before you’ll need to pump the lever and fill the tank.
Overall, the gun is extremely fun to use and offers impressive accuracy. Although the price might be on the cheaper side, you shouldn’t be fooled! The gun delivers in quality, but we do not recommend using it with BBs. Stick with the .177 pellets and you’ll enjoy the gun tremendously! Read our full review here.
Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Rifle, Synthetic Stock Air Rifle
Although the Benjamin Marauder is also a PCP air rifle, it is significantly different from the one above. Suffice to say, the gun’s design offers a different appearance. The gun perfectly resembles many traditional shotguns. If you’re looking for impressive aesthetics, you’ve found it with this specific rifle. Although the gun is the perfect size and can be used by virtually anyone, we recommend it mostly for adults.
With the PCP tank, it is possible to achieve 30 shots, before you’ll need to refill the tank. When we were forced to use a hand pump to fill the tank, it took approximately 80 pumps, before the tank was complete full. Although this might be a little time consuming, we didn’t find this to be overly annoying or difficult. We never experienced any leaking air and it would appear that the tank was superbly built. Although it doesn’t need to be said, we experienced tremendous fun and impressive accuracy, with each of the 30 shots. If you’re content with superior quality and performance, you’ll want to splurge and spend extra on this masterful piece of work! We loved the time we spent with this specific weapon and it is almost certain that you will be able to do the same. Read our full review here.
At the end of the day, each individual air rifle will fit a specific category or type. Each type offers a number of advantages and disadvantages. First, use the information above to find the best type of air rifle for your needs, before looking at the best guns within that specific category.