Best Air Rifles & Long Range Pellet Guns Reviewed
The purpose of this update is to provide more information to interested consumers about the latest information on air and pellet guns. In this update, readers can find more information about how we evaluated each hunting stand. They can also find additional frequently asked questions that most consumers ask. This guide will help bring clarity to your research and purchases.
Within this guide, we are going to discuss the various components of what makes up the best. In addition to that, we’ll review up to ten different options, and go over what makes each one good. After that, we’ll help you determine which is best for you and your needs and then cover some Frequently Asked Questions.
- Hatsan 95 Combo
- Combination trigger
- Winchester Model M14
- 16 shot BB
- Winchester 77XS
When it comes to this product, each brand offers their own specialty in order to make sure you have the right option for your needs. Here is an overview of each major brand.
Winchester – Winchester has 11 different models for you to choose from, all with different styles of bodies. If you want the classic look of a brown handle and black barrel, you can get that. If you want a camouflaged option, you can also get a model with that design on it. They have a short barrel and long barrel products, along with scopes which are easy to attach to any. They are made in the United States but are not available outside of the United States.
Ruger – Ruger has a large variety available to you to choose from, all with different styles of finishes. They have standard looking options, as well as some which look more militaristic. Are you left-handed? Then they have multiple models which can meet your needs. They have single-shot, bolt shot and autoloading options available as well. They believe in making products for the responsible citizen and want to ensure their products are safe and secure for everyone.
Gamo – Gamo has 12 different options for you to choose from, all with a variety of looks and styles. If you want to get one for your child, they have one available. All of their models are roughly the same length, and most come in black and gray, with a few coming in camouflage style. The guns come in a variety of different FPS and FPE attributes.
Crosman – Crosman has a large selection to choose from, with a wide assortment of different styles of finishes. No matter what your needs are, they have the right product for you; all of their guns are customizable, and you can add your own style to each one as you see fit. If you want a short barrel, medium barrel or a long barrel, and if you want one with a place to put a scope or not, your options are limitless and are only bound by your own imagination.
Beeman – Beeman has a large variety of different model types, and then there is a wide assortment within each model types. No matter the type of air gun you are looking for, you can find it on their website. If you want a bolt action, or a wood-encased one, or even a standard option with a scope, all of these options are available to you.
Below are the best models of 2018.
10 Best Air Rifles
1. HATSON 95 Combo
This HATSON product comes with a combination trigger system. This combination trigger system allows you to pull the trigger in two stages; the first trigger pull-back is for power, and the second trigger pull-back will help determine the length of the shot. This comes with a fixed TruGlo fiber optic system, where a red laser front site, along with the fully adjustable green laser optic rear site.
This product comes with a checkered forearm and pistol grip. The forearm grip comes with a recoil pad, to ensure your foreman doesn’t get jarred too much by the recoil of each shot. The HATSON air rifle comes with a 9x32 magnification rifle scope, the mount for the scope, as well as the lens cover needed for the scope. This rifle has a 1000FPS.
This HATSON option is sturdy and offers a reliable shot. It would be safe to say that this may even be worth twice as much as it costs, but lucky for you, you can get your hands on impressive precision for an amazing price.
2. Winchester Model M14
This Winchester semi-automatic is designed after the M14 that has been used in the Military since the 1960’s. This comes with a barrel made out of steel, along with adjustable knobs to adjust for wind and elevation. It is made out of a durable composite material, and is a dual ammo option, with a semi-automatic capability.
The CO2 clip with this holds two separate cylinders to allow you to gain maximum velocity. These cylinders can hold two magazines, each of which can hold up to 8 different rounds, meaning you can carry up to 16 rounds at once. It is equipped with a .177 Caliber, and it has a 700 FPS.
With this Winchester M14 air rifle, you are paying for power, accuracy and reliability. Not to mention, if you want a bit of military feel, then this is the air gun for you. You can have a blast and carry extra rounds with you all without breaking the bank.
- Solid power and accuracy
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Durable construction
- 2 cartridge storage
- Usable for young and old shooters
- Can’t shoot Swiss Arms .177 pointed all-purpose pellet
3. Winchester Model 77XS
This Multi-pump Winchester 77XS air rifle has a dual ammo chamber, along with a 4x32 magnified rifle scope. You have the option of single loading pellets into this air rifle, or up to 50 BB’s at a single time. Each time you pull the bolt back, it will load your BB quickly for your next shot.
This variable pump allows you to choose the power and vspeed you want on each shot. If you want a light shot that doesn’t need to go very far, then you can pump it 2-3 times. However, if you need a shot which reaches the maximum amount of velocity and distance, you can pump it up to 10 times. This air rifle can shoot up to 800 FPS.
This air rifle and BB gun is at a great price. You won’t have to overdo your budget to get a quality air gun if you go with this option. Plus, you will love the support and power that it offers, too.
- Accurate shot
- Easy to use
- Clear scope
- Low velocity with variable selection power
- Mostly plastic construction
4. Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable .22
This Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Pump has a Monte Carlo design, and is made out of American hardwood. This is a Single Shot bolt action, which is powered by a Variable Pump to give you the proper amount of power and speed for each shot.
This comes with adjustments for both Wind and Elevation, allowing you to figure out the right shot for any elevation. It is 37” long, and the air rifle weighs just over 5 lbs. It shoots a .22 caliber ammunition and can shoot up to 675 FPS, along with a 14.9 FPE.
You will be pleased with the look and feel of the Benjamin 392. It is an outstanding .22 caliber option that excels in both appearance and performance. It is an investment that is worth both the design and reliability.
- Timeless performance and accuracy
- Multi-pump power
- Lightweight build
- Great quality design
- Fully adjustable sights
- Not as easy to pump as others on this list
- Be sure to clean before firing
5. Ruger Blackhawk Combo
This Spring-Piston Ruger option is made out of an all-weather composite, which allows you to be comfortable with this in any weather environment. The sights are made from an Optic material, including a fully adjustable rear optic.
This gun includes a 4x32 magnification scope as well as Duplex reticle Parallax option, which gives you the 29 feet of view up to 100 yards with an 8-millimeter exit pupil. In addition to this, the Scope comes with the waterproof and fog-proof capabilities, along with adjustments for both wind and elevation to give you the perfect shot. This is also coated with a black matte, so it is not shiny while you are in the woods.
For a good price, you will love this. It offers a clear view scope for your best shot. Also, it is comfortable to hold and use. It is offers the accuracy you want whether you are right handed or left handed.
- Heavy-duty body
- Accurate shot for experienced shooters
- Sharp and aggressive look that feels real
- 1200 FPS
- Loud shot
- Best accuracy for experience shooters
6. Daisy 880 Powerline Kit 37.6”
This 880 Powerline Kit is a Multi-Pump option, to ensure you are safe while out shooting, and you can build up the correct amount of pressure for each shot. This is made out of a Wood Grained Monte Carlo, for both the stock and forearm.
In addition to this, it comes with Safety Glasses, 750 BB’s, 500 Daisy pellets and a 4x15 millimeter scope with rings. This 37.6” long air rifle can shoot BB’s up to 750 FPS, and daisy pellets can come out at 715 FPS.
You can’t beat the price of this. With the Daisy 880 Powerline you’ll not only get a great shooting kit, you will get the maximum outdoor shooting experience. See clearly, achieve maximum velocity and more for a small price.
- Easy to use
- Solid scope
- Accurate shot
- Great for small game
- Takes time to load even with magnetic chamber
7. Gamo Raptor Whisper Air Rifle
An air cartridge is what gives this rifle its power. But that doesn't mean it skimps on power. The cartridge that will send your pellet racing at 1300 fps in .177 caliber and .975 fps in .22 caliber. That's plenty of power and also keeps everything smooth.
Whisper Noise Reduction
The Smooth Action Trigger and the air cartridge makes this one silent and quiet gun, with an incredibly smooth action pull.
This is a mid range product but it's worth every penny. We were really happy with the smooth action and the look and feel of this air rifle. Gamo makes a great product and we're happy to toss it on our list.
- Easy to use
- Accurate shot
- Great for small game
- Poor Grouping
- Could have a better scope, but fine for the price
8. Beeman Sportsman
This is a .177 caliber rifle that is ready for your standard steel pellets or another pellet of your choice. Either way, you will get tons of power shooting small game or targets in your backyard.
A Beech wood stock, a raised cheek piece and a rubber stock are a few of the bits of attention to detail that drew our eye when considering this list. The two stage trigger and manual safety also stood out and made this an easy choice.
Definitely in the mid range this is a great gun for the cost. We just like the way it looks and shoots and we like that you can choose a .177 or .22 and the easy Co2 cartridge shot action. There's a lot to recommend this air rifle, accuracy, the technology, the speed and the good looks so there's no need to skimp. This is the whole package.
- Co2 Cartridge Propulsion System
- Beech Wood Stock
- Rubber Butt Plate
- Manual Safety
- Reliable Speeds Up To 650 fps
- Poor Customer Support
9. Crosman Pneumatic Pump .177
The Crosman Pneumatic Pump comes with a 5-shot clip, along with a BB container that can store 350 pellets at once. Along with the storage, this comes with both the ability to adjust for wind and height, allowing you to zero in on the best shot possible.
This Crosman also comes with an adjustable stock and dual rear sights, to ensure you have an accurate shot each and every time. In addition to all of this, it comes with the accessory rails so you can mount a scope, flashlights, cameras, and lasers. It also comes with a 600FPS and can shoot BB’s up to 625 FPS.
As the lowest priced option on this list, you can bet that this one is a total steal. That goes without sacrificing all of the quality and power that you hope to have in your air rifle, too. If you want something that you can adapt to quickly, the Crosman Pneumatic Pump is the perfect air gun to start off with.
- Easy to use
- Accurate shot
- Great for small game
- Perfect for young shooters
- Entirely made of plastic
- Could have a better scope, but fine for the price
10. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat
This product comes with a .177 caliber chamber, along with a 4x32 magnification scope. It also comes with a noise dampener which is non-removable and will reduce the sound of your shot by more than 50%. It is ideal for any type of pest control or small game hunting you want to hunt anytime you are out in the wild, or near your own house.
This is made out of an all-weather black synthetic stock, which means you can take it out in any weather environment and feel secure it will function properly. In addition to all of these features, it also comes with a ventilated rubber pad, in order to absorb any recoil. It has a 1200 FPS, along with a 1000 FPE.
This Gamo product is a great guy and awesome addition to your small game hunting and pest control collection. You won’t be dissatisfied with this purchase.
- Entirely made of plastic
- Could have a better scope, but fine for the price
- Scope is alright for the price, but could be better
How do you determine the best one for yourneeds?
When it comes to picking the best product, there are many considerations to take into account. How much you want yours to weigh, and what kind of both speed and power you need in order to take the shot you want. In addition to that, does it come with the necessary rails to add the extra accessories you might want, like a scope or a flashlight? In order to figure out the best one for your needs, you should create a checklist based on the factors listed below.
What Makes a Good Air Gun?
When it comes to finding what makes the best product, there are certain characteristics which are obvious. For example, if you had one that was not very accurate, then it clearly would not be very good. We’ll still cover accuracy, but we’ll also cover other aspects, including power, speed and the ease of use for each you might be looking at.
Power vs. Speed – Because you are shooting with an air gun, the type of ammunition you use can actually vary greatly. The lighter your ammunition, then the faster it will be shot out. However, you have to be very wary of the products which promise you that our ammunition will come out quicker compared to other models. How fast it can shoot, also known as the FPS (feet per second), can be very deceptive. Due to your ammunition type, the heavier it is, then the slower your shot will actually come out, no matter what the FPS says. The attribute you should be more concerned by is the FPE (Foot Pounds of energy).
The FPE truly determines how fast and powerful your ammunition will come out. This is very important to consider, as depending on the game you are hunting, you may not need a powerful gun if you are shooting at game at a close distance. However, if you plan on putting up a tree stand, and sitting for a while, and waiting for game to come to you, then you will need a gun which has a more powerful FPE. Even if it has a high FPS, if it is low on the FPE scale, you might shoot an animal, but you might only maim it, and not kill it. Maiming an animal is very inhumane, and you break an unwritten rule among hunting; you shoot to kill. If you notice an animal that is struggling, and is maimed, or just not in good shape, you do the animal a favor by actually killing it. So, it is very important that you have a gun that will kill the animal you are shooting at.
Accuracy – If you do not have an ability to hit anything you are shooting at, then your hunting experience will be very frustrating. In order to avoid this scenario, then you need to have a gun which shoots accurately on a consistent basis. Not only this, but if you end up with a gun that is not accurate, not only do you miss what the smaller target you are already shooting at, but you will more than likely scare away any other small animal game you were going after. This can cause you to have an empty trip – and even the most avid hunters never like returning home empty-handed.
So, what are some ways you can ensure you have an accurate air gun? First and foremost, as with any tool that has multiple moving parts, you should clean it at least once a year. If you are not comfortable with doing this yourself, then you can take it into a pro shop, and have them clean it out for you. Once it is clean, you can then take your gun to a range, and re-calibrate it. If you attempt to re-calibrate it when you are out in the wild, you will continue to shoot wildly. It’s important for your accuracy to go to a range, and take a few shots, so you can ensure you know understand how it shoots, and at what range, and how you need to adjust your shots accordingly.
The Convenience of Use – Because of where you are typically shooting, you want to ensure that your gun is the right way. If you plan on doing a lot of walking, then you will want a lighter option, as you don’t want to be tired from carrying it before you even have the chance to shoot. If you are going to keep one in your barn or garage, then having one that is a little bit heavier is suffice, to ensure it stays durable over the course of time.
When it comes to your gun, you may also want to consider what kind of case you use with it. If you are in an area where you need a quick release, then having a large case with a big buckle may not be the way to go. However, if you want to protect your weapon from the elements of the weather, then having a case which does cover most of it will help you in this endeavor.
In addition to this, if you have a scope for it, it’s important to make sure your air scope is taken care of anytime it is stored, and can easily be put on each time you use your weapon. No matter what kind of case your purchase, you want to ensure it has room for a scope, even if you don’t purchase a scope when you purchase it.
Power and Speed
There are many varieties of power and speed available to you. If you know the FPS and FPE of every shot you are going to take, then you can purchase a weapon which will give you the results you need every time. This can only be determined after some time, though – after hours of practice, and taking shots in the wild, so you know what kind of power and speed your gun will need in order to fully kill the game you are hunting. If you are hunting a mouse, you might not need a 1200 FPE – however, if you are shooting for rabbits or squirrels, then having an option that is closer to the 1000 / 1200 FPE will be the better choice. Remember, it is not about the amount of speed that your weapon says it can generate, or the FPS – that number can be manipulated based upon the weight of the pellet or the BB you are using. FPE is much more important in determining the best product for your needs.
If you are a beginner, the recommended choice for you is the variable option. By having a product which you can change the amount of speed and power you put into any shot, you can easily figure out what kind of shot it will take to kill any kind of animal you are looking to hunt. By being able to pump each option up to the right amount of power and speed, you can take test shots based upon what each one produces, so as you are out in the field, you will know what kind of shot it will take to kill the game you are hunting. Because of how quickly some of the animals you are hunting are (especially rabbits), then you may not always have time to take a second shot. It is vital you will need to know how fast each pump will take, along with how many pumps it will require killing each kind of animal.
On each gun, especially on newer models, you should have the capability of adding a scope. Just so you are prepared, you may spend more on your scope compared to your weapon, because of the type of material that the scopes are made up from. Having the right kind of scope for your air gun is vital, to ensure you can make the proper adjustments necessary on each shot to make sure you hit the animal you are hitting in the right spot.
If you are just going to be using the weapon for close up shots, then you will not need a scope. For example, if you have a barn, and are shooting mice within the barn, then having a scope might give you too much of a close shot. If you don’t ever plan on going out into the woods or plan on just having a weapon around your house, then having a scope would be overkill.
However, if you are going to be out in the woods, and are looking to shoot some very quick and fast animals, then having a scope will help you immensely in getting the right shot at the right time. By having a scope, you can set up your hunting stand, and sit and wait for your animals to come to you. Most animals out in the woods have a very good sense of hearing, and if they hear anything or anyone coming towards them, they will scoot away. They are aware that they are not the king of the jungle, which makes them very twitchy. Not only will they run if they hear someone walking, but anytime you take a shot, more than likely, any animal that is out in that same area will also scatter, which makes it even more vital that you hit the right shot the first time.
When you set up to take your shot, you need to ensure your sights are completely accurate. This is why it is important for you to take your weapon to a shooting range ahead of time, so you can test it out, and calibrate it according to your own sight. If you are attempting to figure out a new piece of equipment out in the field, then you will most likely miss your first few shots, which could cost you an entire day of hunting. Every product and scope will not be the same, and so you need to calibrate it based on how you shoot. Having a weapon and scope where you can adjust for wind and elevation will ensure your shot is pure each and every time, so you can hit your hunting prey exactly where you want to.
Type of Finish
When it comes to finding the best, you want to find one that has a design which fits your style. There are very basic finishes out there, which are meant to replicate more advanced types of weapons. You have the standard brown wood finish, which is meant to show an option from the olden days. You can also go with an all-black matte finish, which ensures that yours does not give off a shine and scare animals away, while also looking sleek and cool.
If you don’t want a standard finish, then you have the choice of other kinds of finishes. There are some which have a body that is in all camouflage, which is great for hunting when you don’t have a lot of covers to start with. You can also pick finishes that are in a variety of different colors and combinations; with such a variety of different styles, you are sure to find an option with the type of body you want on it which matches your personality. However, not all guns are fully customizable, so you want to ensure you are still getting the power, speed and accuracy you are wanting within the body style of your choice. Modifications can always be made, but sometimes those modifications cost more than the initial price – so, once you have deiced that you are wanting a gun, take the time to figure out all the key components within the type of finish you desire.
Other Key Features
Finally, after you have determined the major factors, you want to make sure you take the time and figure out if there are other things which will be important for you as you take your gun out. For example, when you hunt, if there is a lot of rain out during your hunting season, then you will want an option that is fully waterproof. By having this feature, you can ensure it doesn’t lock up on you when it rains, and will still produce a clean shot when you take aim at your animal of choice.
In addition to this, another thing you want to consider is if the next product you purchase is going to be your long-term option or just the next one. Your budget may help determine this question some, but if you have a gun for the long term, then you don’t have to purchase everything at the same time. However, you want to ensure that your weapon has all the necessary rails in order to add to it what you desire. If you buy one which does not have the proper amount of rails, then it will be very difficult for you to add the accessories you will want down the road. It may be tough to know what the future will hold, and what you will want in the future; the more accessories it can hold, though, then the happier you will be with your product long-term.
One last thing to consider is this – how much ammunition do you want your weapon to carry at once? As you saw in the reviews, there are some that can hold up to 50 BB’s and others that can carry 250 BB’s. Depending on how much you will shoot on a given day, the amount you want to carry will be important to know. If you will only be shooting a few times each time you use it, then you will not need a large capacity; however, if you plan on shooting a lot each time you are out, then you want to have a higher capacity. There is nothing worse than having the right shot and pulling the trigger, and see that you are out of ammunition. Then, if you are out of ammunition, attempting to replenish your gun while you are out in the field; it’s a recipe for disaster, and you could scare off the animals while you are noisily filling the compartment. Ensure you have the right amount of an ammunition cartridge that you need for each hunting trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Mine broke – can I buy replacement parts?
A: After you have used yours for some time, it is possible that it will break. Within each, there are many moving parts, and even if you take the greatest care you can, because of the vast amount of moving parts that are necessary to make your weapon function able, there are times where it will break down. However, to find out if you can buy replacement parts, you would need to call the manufacturer. In most cases, manufacturers will refer you to an authorized repair center, as they don’t want to sell parts to the public, due to the security risks which are involved. When you go to an authorized dealer, more times than not, to pay for the part and the labor to install the part, it will cost the same amount, if not more, than your rifle. This general thought process also holds true for the accessories you have as well.
Q: I bought what I thought was the right one for me, but after using it, it’s not – now what?
A: Most places where you purchase your weapon from will allow you to return it to where you purchase it. However, there is typically a restocking fee, which will vary between 10% and 20%. Although that is a small amount, it can affect what kind you will purchase next. When we talk about doing the research ahead of time, part of that research should include holding it in the store, and seeing if it will be comfortable with you and how you are physically structured. If you have shorter arms, then having one that is up to 40” might not be the right fit; In contrast, if you have longer arms, purchasing one that is shorter may not be the right fit. It very well could be, but you won’t know until you actually hold it and put it in the spot where you will be shooting from. And sometimes, even when you do your homework and the weapon feels good in the store, once you take it to the range, the shot may feel off. It’s perfectly acceptable to return your product, just be prepared that you will be paying a restocking fee.
Q: Should I go with a Spring Piston option?
A: The Spring Piston is the most popular type out in the market, and if you buy a few different options during your lifetime, then more than likely, at least one of them will be a Spring Piston. There are some advantages to the Spring Piston, which include the following:
- They provide excellent quality for the money – when you are doing your research, you will notice most of the Spring Piston types typically offer you the most value for the money. However, there are certain features you will not have, and they are not as customizable as some other models.
- Most of the Spring Piston products are easier to load compared to other types weapons. Because it is easier to load, you can spend more time worrying about making sure it is sighted in correctly.
The disadvantages of the Spring Piston includes:
- Even though you can load a larger amount of BB’s very quickly, and you can load pellets quickly, they are typically a single shot for pellets. And because they are single shots for pellets, you have to continue to replenish the pellets on a very consistent basis. This can be very tiring over a longer period of hunting, as not only do you have to put in a new pellet for each shot, but you have to carry your ammunition throughout the entire day as well.
- With a Spring Piston air gun, you will notice that it is fully balanced. Not only this, but these tend to weigh more as well, which makes them a little more unwieldy when you are both carrying them, and when you set up to fire. Although the springs don’t tend to fatigue much, your arms will fatigue faster because of the weight of it.
- Although there are some which come with sound dampeners, those are not a standard feature on Spring Pistons. And because this is the case, the Spring Piston weapons are much louder compared to others. Although you can get used to the sound, there is no doubt about it will drive away the animals you are looking to shoot, as they use their keen hearing senses and run away from any loud shots.
- The Spring Piston options also tend to have bigger recoil compared to others. Due to this, the recoil can cause you to get off your shot, and cause your shot to be inaccurate. Not only this, but it can cause you to not be set up correctly for your next shot. The recoil that comes with a Spring Piston needs to get some adjusting to; once you adjust to the recoil, then you will be in good shape, but it will take some time to fully adjust.
Q: What can you tell me about ammunition sizes, and how does that affect my shot?
A: There are two typical sizes of pellet ammunition – you have a .22, and a .177. The smaller the size of the pellet, typically, the lighter it is, which means that it can travel faster and further. If you are taking shots that are further away, then having a .177 size of the pellet is the best option for you. If you need a shot which gives you a higher power shot, then going with the .22 caliber is the correct choice. The .22 will not travel as far as a .177, but it will deliver a more powerful punch to your target.
In addition to this, when you are looking at the different types of pellets out in the market, you will tend to want to go with ones that are more round; the more round the pellet, then the more aerodynamic it is. Due to being more aerodynamic, it will travel further, while not losing much speed, still giving you the necessary impact to take down any small animal target you are shooting at.
Finding the right option for you might seem like it can be an overwhelming proposition; however, it doesn’t need to be. If you are wanting to make sure you purchase the right one for the long term, then taking a couple of hours of doing research ahead of time will easily pay dividends down the road. And by reading thru this guide, you should be able to put together a checklist which will help you narrow down your choices in no time.
Once you have a list of different features which are most important to you, you can go on various sites and put in those parameters, and see what populates. Clearly, you are going to be working within a budget, and so if you put in the parameters, and the cost comes back to high, then you’ll need to figure out which features are truly the most important to you, and rank them in such a way. Once you have a budget, you should plan on adding 10% to that budget, so you can consider other products, and see if the extra cost is worth it. Not only that, but you might be able to get a deal on a weapon that normally costs a little bit more, where you can then get the one you really want that meets all of your needs within your budget.
Good luck on finding the best weapon for you and your hunting needs, and happy hunting!