Air rifle reviews – Let’s face it: People buying the best air rifles or pellet guns base their decisions on a variety of factors – from:
- shooting velocity measured by feet per second
- the ease of viewing through the scope
- the gun is made in an ambidextrous design for hunters of both dominant hands
- also a need for having a very quiet after sound when you are out in the field trying to get a good animal
… and that is exactly what you will find when I reviewed the 10 best air rifles I researched.
Below is a summary of some of my favorite air rifles that will hopefully help you decide on the right of air rifle for your next hunting trip.
All of these air rifles have something to offer based on your needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Our 10 Best Air Rifles (Pellet Gun Reviews) [UPDATED]
- 1.1 Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle
- 1.2 Benjamin Trail NP XL 1100 Break Barrel
- 1.3 Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2
- 1.4 Gamo Whisper Fusion Air Rifle, IGT
- 1.5 RWS .22 Pellet Model 54 Combo Rifle (Wood, Large)
- 1.6 RWS .22 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle
- 1.7 Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle
- 1.8 Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Vortex Gas Spring
- 1.9 Gamo Big Cat 1250
- 1.10 Gamo Hornet Air Rifle
- 2 Guide To Choose The Best Air Rifle Or Pellet Gun
- 3 Further Reading
- 4 Conclusion
Our 10 Best Air Rifles (Pellet Gun Reviews) [UPDATED]
Based on the features and the customer’s experiences we have sorted out 10 best air rifles for you to select your best choice. Each of the air rifle reviews would provide you a glimpse of that product in a brief yet comprehensive way.
|Best Air Rifles||Caliber||Velocity (fps)||Power Source||Benefit||Price|
|Gamo Silent Cat||.177||1200||Spring Piston||Value For Money||GET Best Price|
|Benjamin Trail NP XL 1100 Break Barrel||.22||1100||Nitro Piston||Overall Reliability||Check Best Price|
|Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2||.22||1100||Nitro Piston||Accuracy||Check Best Price|
|Gamo Whisper Fusion Air Rifle, IGT||.177 & .22||1300||Gas Piston||Value For Money||Check Best Price|
|RWS .22 Pellet Model 54 Combo Rifle||.22||900||Spring Piston||Overall Reliability||Check Best Price|
|RWS .22 Pellet Model 34 Combo||.22||800||Spring Piston||Accuracy||Check Best Price|
|Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel||.177 & .22||1200||Gas Piston||Accuracy||Check Best Price|
|Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Vortex Gas Spring||.177, .22 & .25||1000||Gas Piston||Value For Money||Check Best Price|
|Gamo Big Cat 1250||.177||1000||Spring Piston||Accuracy||Check Best Price|
|Gamo Hornet Air Rifle||.177||1200||Spring Piston||Value For Money||Check Best Price|
Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle
One of the big reasons I like this .177-caliber air rifle is the ability to shoot at speeds of 1,200 feet per second with a performance ballistic alloy bullet and about 1,000 feet per second with a common lead bullet. Because this model can work with various types of ammunition, this model is considered a good choice for you in multiple conditions.
This air rifle comes with a durable black synthetic stock for all kinds of weather, along with a ventilated rubber pad designed for absorbing the recoil. There is also a manual trigger and automatic cocking system for a higher level of safety.
The Gamo Whisper Silent Cat features a base to mount the included 4×32 rifle scope. The scope is a good enough quality where it is easy to mount with a stop pin.
Another thing that makes this model easy to use for all skill levels is not having to use as much effort to cock the weapon, with the ability to do so repeatedly during a long day of shooting without causing any arm fatigue.
Another feature that many hunters will appreciate is the noise dampener that reduces the noise from firing the rifle by more than 50 percent – although it cannot be removed to replace with a dampener the customer may want to use from before.
If you need an air rifle that works well in multiple conditions with various types of ammunition, this might be the one for you.
Benjamin Trail NP XL 1100 Break Barrel
This is a .22-caliber hunting air rifle that can shoot a variety of alloy pellets up to 1,100 feet per second – a very good rate of speed for something that is a little bit smaller than some of the best air pellet gun models. The Benjamin Trail NP XL is also compatible with lead pellets up to 950 feet per second.
This sleeker model, which is only 49 inches long and weighs less than nine pounds, has no shortage of features that will attract hunters – a Centerpoint score that comes with windage and elevation adjustments that can be made, a Weaver-style rail, a safety level, and padded buttstock.
As this rifle is used more and more, the noise from each shot gets quieter while maintaining accuracy from a distance, which also gets better after using it more. I have seen shot groups that were about six inches wide during the first 150 rounds and then down to three inches later that day from 50 yards – eventually getting down to two inches the next day.
There is no sling that comes with this air rifle and it is not available to be shipped to states like California, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, District of Columbia and Massachusetts.
You will enjoy having the Benjamin Trail NP 11000 that provides consistent accuracy while maintaining a high rate of speed to provide a better chance of hitting your target out in the woods.
Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2
This gas piston model offers a single-shot weapon that includes a steel barrel with nearly 16 inches of thickness. This Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 also includes an enhanced two-staged trigger that can be adjusted, a clean break trigger, a Picatinny optics rail and a manual safety stock that includes a black synthetic thumbhole that works for those who are left and right handed hunters.
The recoil pad also includes an integral sound suppression system, along with a Nitro Piston system that makes this rifle an upgrade from others with a metal mainspring – a smoother cocking and shooting with no spring torque or fatigue – even if it is kept in the cocking position for several hours. Because this model is designed to handle colder winters, this model has more longevity than some of its competitors on the market.
It is a heavier gun with about eight pounds, but it does maintain consistent accuracy from about 25 to 30 yards out. The .22-caliber version is also very quiet so you won’t disturb the neighbors if you practice in your backyard, while the .177-calber is a little louder but shoots pellets at a higher speed.
You will also enjoy the fact that the quiet shot with the .22-caliber version will make it easier to shoot more than one target without scaring off the potential game. You will also love the fact that this air rifle can be used in various weather conditions throughout the year.
Gamo Whisper Fusion Air Rifle, IGT
Thanks to the Inert Gas Technology, the Gamo Whisper Fusion rifle is the company’s latest model that offers a reloading, pneumatic system that replaces the more common spring loading system to reduce the vibration of the gun’s stock, less internal friction and a consistently powerful and precise shot.
This single-shot that offers a fiber option rear sight with an 11-millimeter scope rail and works in conjunction with the Whisper Fusion’s double integrated noise dampener to have up to 90 percent less noise. Additionally, the polymer barrel jacket with a shockwave absorber recoil pad also decreases the vibration by about 74 percent.
Like other Gamo pellet guns, this offers a stock that can be vertically adjusted – for either left- or right-handed hunters – that offers a smooth action trigger with two stages.
One of the only things wrong with this model is the stock that requires readjustments every few shots. As a result, I know some that have replaced it with a newer stock that holds position better.
This will be the perfect air rifle for you if you enjoy being able to shoot without causing too much friction for a smooth shot that maintains a high level of power.
RWS .22 Pellet Model 54 Combo Rifle (Wood, Large)
This is a little bit more of a heavy duty air rifle that has equal quality when it comes to this model’s performance and appearance with a lot of power thanks to a spring piston plant cocked with a side lever – shooting .177 caliber pellets up to a distance of 1,100 feet per second (fps). This gun also shoots .22 caliber pellets up to 900 fps and .25 caliber pellets of 800 fps.
There’s also a one-piece stock that provides precision that will also provide plenty of comfort for your offhand while shooting. The Model 54 also includes a fixed barrel system that provides a breech opening that can be slid, as well as a two-stage trigger that can be adjusted to the shooter’s preference.
Other features include an automatic safety option and an open rear sight and a blade front sight – both adjustable as well. On top of all of those features, the accuracy is very impressive from a far distance of about 40 meters.
RWS .22 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle
Similar to other models from RWS, this Model 34 is known as a very reliable rifle with the ability to consistently shoot with a combination of rifle and accuracy. It may not have some of the nicer and fancy features that other – more expensive – guns on this list include, but it is one of the company’s top selling rifles.
With a Monte Carlo style stock composed of hardwood based on German craftsmanship, this RWS gun is balanced very well throughout the frame that provides easier handling to shooting. Part of the top quality handling is having a cheek that can be used ambidextrously and is comfortable while aiming towards your target.
What makes this rifle very attractive to potential customers is having the compatibility for .177 and .22 calibers, with the latter better suited for hunting for small forms of game. The T06 trigger is also considered a perfect feel as it is light and breaks smoothly. After a few rounds, the cocking will loosen up after being stiff at first – call it breaking in the gun at the range before going on your next hunting trip.
Other features include a rifled barrel, adjustable rear sight, and a fiber optic hooded front sight that is mounted on the frame – which many customers have stated they light up perfectly without being too bright or flashy.
Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle
I like the power of this Crosman model: a muzzle energy rate of up to 21 foot-pounds of energy – also known as joules across the globe. This will allow you to have a perfect combination of power, stealth and stability found within the technology of nitro piston, which uses a spring that includes a nitrogen-filled cylinder.
The muzzle also has a fluted break and, along with a rubber recoil pad sculpted onto the frame, is part of a rifled barrel that provides additional precision for better marksmanship on the hunting grounds. Supplied with a CenterPoint 3-9x32mm scope that offers an efficient precision and a system that provides quick locking and simple optic mounting for this Nitro Venom air gun.
The stock is ambidextrous that provides hunters with either primary hand you have for shooting that allows for an adjustable cheek rest piece, a forearm that is made to allow a better artillery hold shooting position. There’s also a wider surface to allow the hunter’s forearm to rest on the opposite hand’s palm while also improving the hunter’s accuracy.
Despite weighing more than some of the other air rifles on this list, you will fall in love with the chance to be a quiet hunter out in the woods while being able to have a better stability through the cheek rest piece and forearm to have an improved handle before aiming.
Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Vortex Gas Spring
While it is one of the more cost-effective models on this list of the best air rifles, this single-shot gun includes a steel barrel that provides a two-stage trigger that can be modified while also including adjustments for the trigger’s pull weight between first and second stages and the length of the pellet’s travel.
In addition to being able to adjust the trigger, you will like that with this Hastan model you can also adjust the TruGlo fiber optic rear sight and the anti-bear trap mechanism. There’s also a walnut stock – that would make Turkish craftsmen proud – that can be used by right- and left-handed shooters and a rubber coil pad that comes with a shock absorber system to reduce the recoil’s feel.
It is a heavier gun at about 7.8 pounds for just the rifle and is not meant for younger hunters by any means. But with strong weight, there’s some force to be able to take down different types of prey during your next hunting trip. At the same time, it is a good pellet gun that will be durable for years for a good price.
Gamo Big Cat 1250
Like many Gamo pellet rifles, the Big Cat 1250 provides a lot of velocity behind the barrel with the ability to shoot 1,250 feet per second (fps) with the use of PBA Platinum pellets – lead pellets can still reach up to 1,000 fps using lead pellets. With that kind of speed, it’s also helpful for you to have a rifle scope that comes with four times magnification with up to 32 millimeters.
It is meant mostly for either practicing with targets or taking care of pests, but still, features a very durable stock that is lightweight and synthetic for and overall durability that is combined with Gamo’s trademark polymer coating over a steel composed barrel designed for all kinds of weather conditions from snow to sun.
Other features include a safety trigger that can be adjusted manually by the hunter, as well as proving an adjustable second stage. There’s also a ventilated rubber pad designed for optimal recoil absorption and two cheek pads to provide a resting place for hunters who are either left or right-handed.
There is also a grip and forearm rest on the rifle that is resistant to slippage thanks to the texture. It can also be a lighter weight model of only six pounds.
But if you enjoy having a high speed, no matter what type of ammunition you select, this is one of the best quality air rifles for the money.
Gamo Hornet Air Rifle
There aren’t many air pellet guns that will be able to handle several thousand rounds of shooting prey and targets at the range for less than $200, let alone one that is sometimes found for closer to $100. But the Gamo Hornet can provide top-notch velocity with pellets flying at 1,200 feet per second (fps) with platinum rounds – lead pellets will still go up to 1,000 fps for one of the highest overall ratings.
It is considered an ideal hunting weapon for any kind of .177-caliber pellet, especially considering that this is a lighter model with a weight of about six pounds total. In addition to all of the above characteristics, customers also enjoy using the cocking system found within the single barrel break within a barrel that is composed of fluted polymer coated steel.
The other features include a ventilated rubber pad found within the gun’s butt plate, a grip and forearm that features a textured material that will not slip, twin cheek pads for hunters of both hands to rest their head while aiming through a 4×32 millimeter scope with rings and a grooved receiver for better targeting.
The Gamo Hornet is a great choice; the price is very competitive, and it also provides one of the highest fps ratings despite being one of the lightest models.
Guide To Choose The Best Air Rifle Or Pellet Gun
Finding top quality aspects of a good air rifle can normally be tough to achieve for less money, but two of the guns listed above can be found at nearly unbeatable prices without losing quality and sometimes outperforming the more expensive rifles – the Gamo Hornet .177-caliber rifle and the Hastan 95 combo air rifle. Each of these is also good choices for their light weight and higher velocities.
The Crosman Nitro Venom also comes in very low on the price scale but is composed of wooden stock for extra durability – a big factor into lasting for several years. On the other end of the price spectrum, the RSW .22-Caliber Model 54 rifle that won’t wear down anytime soon after purchase and taking it to the target range for the first time.
One of the favorites among the hunters writing their reviews online is the Gamo Whisper Fusion that comes with an inert gas technology (IGT) where hunters find several benefits, including smoother shooting and cocking transitions, as well as not having any torque or fatigue from the spring over hours of use – especially in the months of colder weather that shows an overall durability.
Another rifle that has similar benefits come from the Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 air rifle, which is credited to the use of a nitrogen-infused spring that will last for a longer period of time beyond what a normal metal spring would last.
But when it comes to having a better accuracy, many hunters will prefer going with the Benjamin Trail XL 1100 (with Nitro Piston) that allows top speeds and marksmanship from about 50 yards out – which one customer said they found he was able to hit an egg about 80 percent of the time in 500 shots.
- Do’s And Don’ts Of Using Air Rifles
- How To Get The Best Air Rifle For Your Money?
- Selecting The Best Air Rifle For Hunting
- What Air Rifle Is Right For You?
- Types Of Air Rifles
- How To Shoot An Air Rifle
- Black Friday Deals
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Air rifles come in various forms and have different features that cater to different needs and hunting requirements. You should be aware of all the important aspects of choosing the best air rifle for your use. In case you are a starter and have never bought an air rifle, then you should be very careful in making your decision to purchase an air rifle. For this purpose, you should be going through all the important information available about the rifles. Similar to this air rifle reviews guide, by comparing the features, capabilities and the styles of different rifles to your requirements and hunting needs, you will be in a better place to buy the best pellet rifle for you. A rifle that is less complicated, is lightweight, has lesser noise and comes along with the desired caliber and power would be the best one for you to consider.
You should also be checking the overall design and material used in it. It is important because when a rifle is easy to grip on and has a design that is simple to handle is the best for everyone and would be of great help to get an accurate shot at your target.