No matter whether you’re eliminating pests, hunting small game or plinking, the best air rifle will offer incredible accuracy and power. It’s important to invest in a high quality, durable rifle that not only shoots well, but is safe to use. But how do you know which rifle is the best choice for you? Reading through air rifle reviews is a great place to start, but it’s also important to understand what constitutes agood airgun before you start shopping. Knowing how air rifles work is also important.
Unlike a traditional firearm, air rifles (also called pellet guns) use compressed air, gas or a spring to propel projectiles. They’re generally considered safer than a firearm, but they’re not quite as powerful. Throughout history, however, the air rifle has evolved and more powerful models are being introduced each year.
Today, there are more models of air rifles than ever before, but with so many options, it’s not always easy to determine which model is the right one for your needs. We’ve done all of the hard work for you and rounded up the top 5 air rifles based on price and performance.
The Best Air Rifle Reviews – Our Top 3 Picks
The Gamo Silent Cat is a .177 caliber air rifle that’s capable of firing at 1200 fps. Many shooters agree that this is the best air rifle you can buy for under $150. It’s powerful. It’s accurate, and it’s a pleasure to shoot.
With PBA ammunition, this rifle can fire at 1200fps. With standard lead ammunition, it can fire at 1000fps. It comes with a built-in noise dampener, which reduces noise up to 52%.
Featuring a weatherproof synthetic stock, this rifle can be used in any weather. The Silent Cat also features a 4×32 rifle scope, automatic cocking safety system and a manual trigger safety.
We highly recommend the Silent Cat for target shooting, pest control and small game hunting.
Crosman’s Nitro Venom is a .22 caliber break barrel air rifle that’s powered by Nitro Piston. With a fluted muzzlebrake and generous-sized forearm, the Nitro Venom is deadly accurate. It can shoot up to 800 FPS with lead ammunition and 950 FPS with alloy ammunition. With 20 FPE, this is an airgun that can take down small game and pests with ease.
There are two reasons why we couldn’t rate the Nitro Venom number one:
- The cost is higher than the Silent Cat.
- This rifle is long and heavy.
Priced at over $150, this rifle is more expensive than the Silent Cat. It’s also heavier (7.4lbs) and longer (44.5” overall).
Despite these two minor flaws, this is one of the best air rifles around. It’s easier to cock than a coiled spring gun and it’s quieter too. It comes with a 3-9x32mm scope and the stock is made from hardwood.
We like the Nitro Venom for plinking, target practice, best hunting air rifle and pest elimination.
The Benjamin Trail NP XL 1100 is another top rated rifle offered by Crosman. With alloy ammunition, this rifle can fire at up to 1100 fps. With lead ammunition, it can fire at 950 fps. Boasting 28.6 fpe, this is a powerful rifle that won’t disappoint.
It does take about 500 rounds for this rifle to quiet down. After about 200 rounds, the accuracy improves to about an inch at 50 yards.
The rifle comes with a 3-9x40mm CenterPoint scope, which is great for the average shooter. Most people won’t have to upgrade the scope. The rifle is longer than others on our list (49” overall) and on the heavier side (8.5lbs). The heavier weight is due, in part, to the hardwood stock. The rifle also features sling mounts, which is something you won’t find on most air rifles.
The Benjamin Trail is a powerful rifle. We’ve taken down crows and rabbits with just a single shot at over 25 yards. These air rifles are the best air rifles under $300 and it’s easy to use as well.
Any air rifle reviews that mention the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1100 praise its performance and accuracy, but you need to be willing to pay for this rifle’s high performance. Priced at almost $250, this rifle comes in at #5 on our list simply because it’s the most expensive option. But like with most things, quality and performance demand a higher price.