The 10 Best Air Rifles – [2021 Reviews & Guide]

Enjoy target practice and small game hunting - we break down this year's top air rifles

Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

In this article we review the 10 top-rated air rifles (aka “pellet guns”) in the industry based on customer feedback and give you the highlights of each.  We have selected the best air rifle from the list and named it our “Editor’s Choice”.

Then we’ll offer some background and technical information that’s helpful in choosing the best air rifle to meet your needs and preferences in our How To Choose The Best Air Rifle buyer’s guide section. You may also be interested in these related review articles:  

Best Air Rifles

 Gamo Magnum Air RifleBenjamin Titan Air RifleGamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle
editors choice
Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle
Calibers Available.177 and .22 .177 and .22 .177
Feet per second (fps)1640 / 1300 1200 / 950 1200
Action TypeBreak Barrel Break BarrelBreak Barrel
Stock MaterialPolymerHardwoodPolymer
Scope Included?YESYESYES
User Ratings4.3 / 5.0 Stars4.1 / 5.0 Stars4.1 / 5.0 Stars

Also see: Air Rifle Comparison Table and YouTube Air Rifle Video Review.

Quick Answer: The 10 Best-Rated Air Rifles – [2021]

  1. Gamo Magnum Air Rifle
  2. Benjamin Titan Air Rifle
  3. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle
  4. Ruger Air Hawk Combo Rifle
  5. Crosman CF7SXS Fire .177 Break Barrel Air Rifle
  6. Umarex Ruger Air Rifle
  7. Raptor Whisper Air Rifle
  8. Benjamin 392 Air Rifle
  9. Daisy 880 Pump Air Rifle
  10. Sig Sauer MCX CO2 Air Rifle

Air Rifle Reviews

Features of the Gamo Magnum:

  • Available in .177 or .22 Cal pellet
  • 1650 fps / 1300 fps
  • Recoil Reducing Rail
  • Gamo 3-9x40 AO scope included
  • IGT MACH 1 gas piston
  • Patented Custom Action Trigger (CAT)

Gamo is a solid name in air rifles and they deliver with the Magnum. This rifle is available in either .177 or .22 caliber, so you can pick whichever meets your specific air rifle needs best.

It’s engineered to deliver high velocity with a quiet discharge and low vibration. In .177 cal you’ll be sending rounds down range at an impressive 1,640 fps which is nearly as good as many low caliber powder rimfire firearms.

I personally love that the two-stage trigger is easily adjustable – I love a featherlight trigger pull for hunting. It stands to reason that the superior velocity of the Gamo Magnum gives it the most stopping power, and therefore makes it the best hunting air rifle. More and more small game hunting is done with air rifles, and the Gamo Magnum is a perfect option for squirrel hunting as well as rabbit hunting.

Air Rifle with scope



Best for those who want a reliable air rifle with a quality scope included and control of their trigger pull. Without a doubt we believe the Gamo Magnum Magnum is the best air rifle under $300 in the marketplace and the best for small game.

With its impressive velocity of over 1,600 FPS it’s the most powerful air rifle on the consumer market.

Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle

Features of the Benjamin Titan:
  • Available in .177 or .22 Cal pellet
  • 1200 fps / 950 fps
  • Patented GP Nitro Piston
  • Includes CenterPoint Optics 4x32 scope & mount
  • Hardwood thumbhole stock
  • Smooth break barrel reloading

Overall this unassuming design comes out with high marks from users. Wooden thumbhole stock is a nice touch that reminds me of a trusty hunting rifle. At 1,200 fps for .177 cal and 950 fps for .22 cal it’s not even in the same speed class as the Gamo Magnum.

However, if you don’t need the high velocity the Benjamin Titan won’t let you down. The scope is ready to go and the trigger is two-stage adjustable just like the Magnum. Benjamin has always been known for high quality production. Overall, it’s an air rifle you’ll keep around and rely on.

This gun is beautiful to look at and authentic to hold. In our analysis the Benjamin Titan with the hardwood stock represents the best air rifle under $200 in the marketplace. If you are interested in a repeater air rifle the Benjamin Marauder is the industry’s most popular. The Benjamin Marauder comes in synthetic stock and hardwood stock versions which are both available on Amazon.

And although our review can’t confirm it, the Titan may be the most accurate air rifle due to its excellent scope and mounts. The Titan may be the best break barrel air rifle available and certainly among the best air rifles in the industry.

Benjamin is now owned and operated by Crosman.

Features of the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat:
  • Caliber: .177 caliber
  • Velocity: 1200 fps
  • Skeleton-type stock
  • Scope: shock-proof 4x32 air rifle scope
  • Warranty: One Year Limited

Like the Gamo Magnum, this one features a black polymer thumb hole stock and a mounted scope. There are included iron sight lifters on the scope and mounted iron sights. I can tell you from years of squirrel hunting, these are helpful when targets pop up unexpectedly close.

With a slightly lower fps of just 1,200 on the .177 rounds (no .22 rounds) the rifle is meant to be a bit more silent. The large muzzle break on the air rifle adds to the whispery nature of this break action .177 cal air rifle.

In the reviews some users had complained about the included scope. This is upgradeable later component so don’t discount the Gamo quality for its add-on scope.

The Gamo Whisper Silent Cat is a great air rifle like the Gamo Magnum.  It’s best for those who’d like an air gun with a quiet shot.

Features of the Ruger Air Hawk Combo Rifle:
  • Hi temper steel break-barrel spring piston
  • Smooth single-shot cocking gear mechanism
  • Fiber optic adjustable rear sight and fiber optic fixed front sight
  • 4x32 power scope includes mount

At a price that can’t be argued with, the Ruger Air Hawk earns a spot on our list. I like that they included fiber optic glow iron sights for those late evening hunts when it’s just about to get dark.

While the included scope may leave something to be desired, it should suffice most users. Make sure you zero in the scope on your rifle before you take to the field.

It’s a small factor but amateur hunters may overlook this step. Once you’ve cycled a few hundred rounds through the rifle, enjoy the reliability of a Ruger rifle. The Ruger Air Hawk makes a great combo air rifle for use as a small game hunting gun or a target shooting air rifle.

Best for those who love the Ruger name and enjoy a classic looking hunting rifle.

Features of the Crosman CF7SXS Fire .177 Break Barrel Air Rifle:
  • Powered by Crosman’s patented Nitro Piston rifle technology
  • Synthetic polymer, all-weather stock 
  • CenterPoint brand 4x32mm scope (installed) 
  • Steel rifled barrel
  • Two-stage, adjustable trigger

Among break action rifles there remains a wide variety of features and quality. Crossman brings us this rifle at a great price that can’t be argued with. Most would agree that Crosman has always made a great, high quality air rifle. Plus, unlike other budget minded air rifles, it’s reliable and accurate.

The black polymer stock is a thumbhole style with a .45 grip. Standard affair on this rifle is the adjustable two stage trigger, a feature I don’t see on budget air rifles very often.

The included scope gets high marks from users and should get the job done with ease. This is a great rifle if you want quality at a moderate price.

Best for those who want optimum quality-to-value ratio when purchasing their next air rifle. If you’re a longtime Crosman fan like me then also check out the Crosman Nitro Venom break barrel air rifle.  

Also worth a look in the nitro piston style of air gun is the Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2Benjamin is now owned and operated by Crosman. 

Features of the Umarex Ruger Air Rifle:
  • Hi-temper steel spring piston break-barrel
  • Single-shot mechanism for cocking
  • Fiber optic rear sight (adjustable) and fiber optic front sight (fixed)
  • Umarex 4x32 scope with mounts
  • Automatic safety mechanism

Somewhere between a fully modern and classic aesthetic, the Targis Hunter rifle features a single shot break action mechanism. I like that they included a generous fiber optic iron sight. The synthetic stock is stylish and functional.

What I don’t like is that you’ll have to take the scope off to be able to use them. Adding scope lifters would have improved the value of this rifle tremendously but you may be able to put them on yourself after market.

You’ll be launching .22 cal pellets with this rifle at a respectable 1,000 fps down range. The adjustable two stage trigger and large muzzle break make this rifle a good companion for demanding marksmen.

With well-rounded features on a rifle that’s meant to go out hunting the Ruger Targis may be the best .22 air rifle you can buy.

Features of the Gamo Raptor Whisper Air Rifle:
  • Choice of 0.177 or 0.22 caliber 
  • Inert Gas Technology (IGT) – a gas piston that delivers more velocity (1300 fps 0.177 and 975 fps 0.22), less shock, consistent power and a smooth cocking action.
  • Also features Gamo’s WHISPER noise reduction technology and a Smooth Action Trigger (SAT) which gives a has a smooth action pull and maximizes accuracy. 
  • 4 x 32 power shockproof scope.
  • All-weather polymer stock 
  • Made In Spain

You’ll get what you pay for with this top end air rifle from Gamo. The ability to choose from .177 (1,300 fps) or .22 (975 fps) caliber variants with this break action rifle is nice.

Inside is an inert gas piston which several other high-end air rifles share on our list. It allows the rifle to achieve higher velocities, lower vibration, lower noise, and longer life span.

I wish that Gamo would have put more into the scope on this air rifle, but it’s a minor setback. In the oversized barrel, you’ll find the Whisper technology that helps some Gamo rifles reduce noise emissions.

While it doesn’t have the raw power of the Magnum, it’s a good contender. Best for users looking for the latest technology in air rifle development in a quiet package.

Features of the Benjamin 392 Air Rifle:
  • American hardwood stock (Monte Carlo style)
  • Adjustable sights
  • Brass rifled barrel
  • 685 FPS / 14.9 FPE
  • Bolt action single shot – variable pump action
  • Good air gun for pest control and target shooting

Unlike the other break action air rifles we reviewed, this one is a pump action variable rifle. That means the more you pump it, the faster it fires. At most you’ll pump the air rifle 8 times for a maximum 0.22 caliber shot of 685 fps.

It’s a classic bolt action feel so you can just imagine yourself defending Stalingrad in the snow.

One drawback is the lack of scope mounts but at a 685 fps shot velocity, you don’t really need a scope anyways.

One of my buddies had this exact air rifle when I was growing up and I can tell you first hand, it’s a sturdy and reliable rifle.

Best for short range encounters with those pesky bird feeder thieves.

Features of the Daisy 880 Air Rifle:
  • Variable multi-pump action 
  • Monte carlo-style stock
  • Can shoot both 0.177 pellets and 0.177 BBs
  • 50 shot capacity (BB) / single shot capacity (pellet)
  • Up to 800 fps velocity
  • Poly-butyl acrylate (PBA) simulated wood stock and forearm

There is no more classic a name in air rifles than Daisy. This inexpensive air rifle puts out an impressive shot velocity for its value. You’ll be slinging 0.177 cal pellets or BBs at up to 800 fps with multiple pumps of the under-barrel lever.

I love the classic look and feel of the rifle. While the included scope could use a major overhaul, the iron sights are easily accessible for backup.

Unlike many of the break action rifles we reviewed above, this one features a more traditional Monte Carlo stock instead of the newer thumbhole stock. The Daisy 880 is the best pump air rifle, especially considering its budget price, and among the best air rifles on the market.

It does have the ability to hold up to 50 rounds of ammo which is nice! This air rifle is perfect for kids to plink around the yard (once they’re old enough).

Sig Sauer MCX .177 CAL Co2 Powered Red Dot Air Rifle
Sig Sauer MCX .177 CAL Co2 Powered
Features of the Sig Sauer MCX Air Rifle:
  • 0.177 caliber feed magazine (holds 30 rounds)
  • 18″ rifled-steel barrel
  • Sturdy, authentic metal housing
  • Safety control (manual)
  • Durable Poly-Butyl Acrylate (PBA) construction
  • Standard picatinny rail for holding scope or other accessories

In the style of modern tactical military weapons, the Sig Sauer SIG20R air rifle looks like it belongs in a Call of Duty game. It comes equipped with a red dot sight and full picatinny rails for mounting whatever accessories you might imagine.

There are equipped foldable iron sights if you should choose to remove the stock red dot.
The rifle operates from CO2 cartridges but uses uncommon 90-gram cartridges which are hard to find and expensive compared to traditional 12g CO2 cartridges.

It has an included 30 round magazine and a rifled barrel. It’s semi-automatic and users rate it as highly accurate with 0.177 cal pellets. Among PCP air rifles, the Sig Sauer MCX stands out in power, capacity and durability.

Best for mil-sim and those looking to put a lot of pellets down range as fast as possible. If you’re looking for the best CO2 air rifle, this is it!

Air Rifle Comparison Table

Best Air Rifle CaliberFeet per second (fps)Action / Propulsion TypeStock MaterialScope Included?
Gamo Magnum Air Rifle.177 and .22 available1640 / 1300 fpsBreak BarrelBlack PolymerYes
Benjamin Titan Air Rifle.177 and .22 available1200 / 950 fpsBreak BarrelHardwoodYes
Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle.1771200 fpsBreak BarrelBlack PolymerYes
Ruger Air Hawk Combo Rifle.1771200 fpsBreak barrelSleek dark wood stockYes
Crosman CF7SXS Fire .177 Break Barrel Air Rifle.1771200 fpsRifled steel barrelAll-weather polymer stockYes
Umarex Ruger Air Rifle.221000 fpsBreak barrelAll-weather stockYes
Raptor Whisper Air Rifle.177 and .22 available1300 fps / 975 fpsBreak action rifleAll-weather polymer stockYes
Benjamin 392 Air Rifle.22685 fpsBreak BarrelHardwood stockNo
Daisy 880 Pump Air Rifle.177800 fpsUnder-barrelWood stock and forearmYes
Sig Sauer MCX CO2 Air Rifle.177700 fpsSteel barrelMetal housingNo

How to Choose the Best Air Rifle – Buyers Guide

crouched position air rifle aiming

I grew up in a hunting family and as early as I can remember I was into air rife guns, or pellet guns as we called them.  Also, bow and arrow, cap guns, bb guns, and eventually firearms. But I loved air rifle shooting and I loved my air rifle as a kid.

I modified it, lived with it, and spent every waking hour patrolling the yard with it. If you’re like me, you’ve probably put thousands of rounds of BBs and pellets through your air rifles.

Today I’m going to help you make the best possible decision when purchasing your next air gun. Whether it’s target shooting or small game hunting that you’re looking to do, the air gun that you choose will make all the difference.

When it comes down to it, air guns are simple mechanical creations. But, they’re becoming increasingly complex and more advanced pieces of technology today. This buyer’s guide will help you with the due diligence needed to choose the air rifle for you.

Best Air Rifle Brands

Whether you’re looking for the best air rifle for hunting or a great gift for a friend, there’s something here for you. Let me help guide you through the decision process and recommend criteria for selecting from the best air guns found in this article.

top-rated air rifle brands

What are the best air rifle brands?

  1. Gamo – Magnum, Whisper Silent Cat, Black Cat, Shadow, Coyote Black, Gamo Big Cat
  2. Crosman – Fire Nitro Piston, Crosman Nitro Venom, Maximus Hunter, Wildfire
  3. Ruger – Blackhawk Elite, Targis Hunter, Air Hawk, Yukon Magnum, Blackhawk, Air Magnum
  4. Daisy – Powerline, Avanti, Match Grade, Red Ryder, Model 880, Model 25 
  5. Benjamin – Titan, Pioneer Airbow, Maximus Euro, Benjamin Trail, Summit, Bulldog, 392 

RWS is another respected make of air guns that was acquired by Umarex in 2006. The original RWS air gun products and technology are owned and marketed, as its own brand, by UX Umarex USA.

We’ve made a comprehensive analysis of the top performing air rifles on the market in this review. And we made every attempt to meet the budget requirements of all buyers and give them the information to decide for themselves what is the best air rifle for the money.

I’m going to break apart a handful of the most important criteria you need to consider when buying your next air rifle. When you know what you’re looking for specifically check out our top 10 top-rated picks. All of the brands and models that are reviewed in this article are available via Amazon.

Air Rifle Types

Break-Barrel Air Rifle

Also known as “spring piston” type, this gun hinges in half near the front of the rifle’s forestock. When the gun is cocked it compresses and then secures a powerful spring into place. When the trigger is pulled the spring recoils, pushes a plunger through an air cylinder and creates the air pressure needed to propel the projectile. This is an efficient use of energy combining steel spring and compressed air. The gun only needs to be cocked once to be ready for firing.


Break Barrel Air Rifle


Pump Air Rifle

In this design the compressed air is created before the trigger is pulled. Notice the pump rod and valve assembly in the diagram below. The user pumps the hinged forearm multiple times (usually 10-15 times or as recommended by the gun’s maker) and creates all of the compressed air power. The compressed air is held in the piston cylinder until it’s discharged by the trigger pull.


Pump Air Rifle

Co2 Air Rifle

Co2 air rifles (also known as PCP air rifles) use pre-charged pneumatic cartridges of carbon dioxide as their source of air compression. These cartridges have a limited usage and depending on the gun you can get somewhere between 20 and 75 shots  depending on the guns caliber and feet-per-second (fps).

The advantage of Co2 is that there is practically no time required to reload other than to reload ammo. But, the purchase, transport and eventual cartridge changes may outweigh the initial advantages. Also, Co2 pre-charged pneumatic air rifles are not generally the most powerful because of the limitations posed by the cartridge size and pressure limitations.


Co2 Air Rifle

Air Rifle Aesthetics

This may not directly impact the function of the gun but it’s important to be aware of. Any hunter knows that a plain wooden rifle for deer hunting is just as dangerous as a tactical looking military weapon. However, air rifle guns can have varying degrees of intimidation.

If you live in the city and whip out what appears to be a tactical weapon, you might get a visit from the local law enforcement. So when shopping for your own air gun consider its looks when taken out in public.

While this is a hot-button topic, just be aware that the “cool” looking tactical air rifles may draw unwanted attention. If you plan to use the air rifle for plinking around the house, consider something less intimidating. If you live somewhere isolated, or plan to use the air rifle for hunting aesthetic choice may be less impactful.

In this article you will see that several of the reviewed air guns are combo air rifle models that can handle small game hunting tasks, as well as target shooting. These will generally look like a tradition bolt action rifle with either synthetic stock or wood stock.

Air Rifle Scopes

That is the question. If you’re picking up a high caliber, high velocity, or high accuracy air rifle consider a scope. If your air rifle is shoddy like mine when I was a kid, a scope won’t help improve the accuracy of a cheap bb-gun.

So, that said, the most beneficial air rifle scope is one that helps with accuracy, but isn’t a fancy do-nothing ornament that gets in the way. Target shooting takes on a whole new dimension when a properly-sighted air rifle scope is used.

Target aiming using air rifle
Photo courtesy of Richard Harris via Flickr

You might save some cash by purchasing a quality air rifle with rifle scope dovetail mounts and putting your own scope on it. Often you can find great quality scopes on sale for a good buy if you look around. If you’re buying an air gun for shooting small game or rats, then using a scope can definitely improve your kill ratio.

If your air rifle comes pre-loaded with a mounted scope be sure it’s of good quality. Most pre-mounted scopes are less than top-quality but may be adequate for the gun with which they’re they’re paired.

Air Rifle Calibers

Rifle caliber is measured in 100ths of an inch in diameter. A .177 caliber pellet is about 11/64ths of an inch across. A .22 caliber projectile is nearly a quarter inch in diameter. In air rifle pellets these are the two most common air rifle caliber sizes.

.177 Caliber

Smaller projectiles tend to have a lower mass which means they can be more affected by wind or more easily deflected by grass or twigs in flight. With an air rifle, any interruption of the projectile in flight is likely to result in a total loss of the shot so this may be a moot point.

.177 caliber air rifles tend to have higher velocities because it takes less effort for the rifle to propel the bullet. This has the advantage of landing on target quicker than a sluggish .22 caliber traveling slower. So if target shooting is your main reason for buying an air gun consider the .177 caliber first.

If that seems like a silly point of contention? Consider this – a .177 cal traveling 1,400 fps is more than 25% faster than a .22 cal traveling 1,000 fps.

.22 Caliber

As stated above, the larger .22 caliber nearly always has more stopping, and therefore killing, power. For this reason .22 caliber is generally the better choice for hunting small game.

This holds similarly true in the age old discussion of 9mm vs. .40 and .45 caliber handguns. For all there efficiency, accuracy and lighter ammo weigth, the 9mm can’t measure up to the bigger calibers for outright immobilization of their targets.

The way Gamo desribes it regarding their flagship Magnum air rifle on their website is that .177 is best for target accuracy and small pest control, but the .22 caliber is the best for field hunting.

For more in-depth information about air rifle calibers and their technical specifications see: Air Gun – Calibers.

Air Rifle Hunting

Air rifle hunting is where the reloading mechanism becomes so very important. The time needed to reload, as well as the reloading sound level, are important in the selection of an air rifle for small game hunting.

The best air rifle for hunting will often depend on the level of sound, difficulty and time spent reloading. And it may also vary by the type of game and wilderness environment.

best hunting using an air rifle

As an example, you may find that the best air gun for bird hunting is a different model than the best air rifle for squirrels. So in this category a certain amount of preference and subjectivity about the best hunting air rifle will come into play.

But in general, the old school break barrel air rifles are fairly fast, relatively quiet and still just as reliable as ever.  In fact, most hunters choose break barrel as their choice as air rifle for small game and bird hunting.

It’s definitely an advantage to not have to worry about reloading when air rifle hunting. So if you’re using a CO2 air rifle it’s a non-issue. But hauling, and then changing, cartridges is a tradeoff to be considered.

Although it doesn’t look like a traditional small game hunting-style rifle, we’ve included the Sig Sauer MCX in this review which we believe to be the best co2 model among the best air rifles.

For those with arthritis or weaker arms a break barrel air gun can be nearly impossible to load whether hunting or target shooting. It takes a ton of strength to reload and cock an air rifle of this style, especially the high-power ones.

So for ease of use and reloading consider a multipump or co2, although we are partial to the new technology of the break barrel style air guns.

daisy air rifle
Photo courtesy of TomD77 via Flickr

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Should I choose a .177 caliber or .22 caliber pellet air gun?

Answer: This question comes up often. It’s basically a “fit to purpose” proposition that goes something like this: If you are a targets-only shooter then .177 will generally serve your purposes best and if you’re a hunting shooter then .22 will generally serve you best.

Here’s why: A .177 caliber air gun of sufficient power will be more accurate for skill-based target shooting than a .22 caliber.  There is less projectile wobble and friction to move the trajectory of the .177 caliber pellet. Therefore, the target practice and skill-building effectiveness is better. Also, any given paper and metal targets will last longer when impacted with .177 caliber air gun pellets.

Just as is the case with powder-based handguns and rifles, a larger diameter projectile will have more “stopping power” or killing power at a given velocity. So the .22 caliber air gun will always “outkill” the .177 caliber pellet gun at any given distance and velocity.

Question: Should I invest in a scope for air gun target shooting and/or hunting?

Answer: This will depend on several factors and it may even be possible that a particular air gun is used with its scope at time and at other times without.  For close range target shooting a scope can actually be less effective than physical sites.

At what shooting range the scope becomes helpful is up to the individual shooter and can be determined with some close range target shooting. Once a scope begins to help with target sighting accuracy the same factors that rifle and bow hunters face with regard to range and projectile drop come into play.

Air rifle scopes can be very effective when hunting so long as hunters are not shooting beyond the gun’s range and the scope has been zeroed on a target range prior to the hunt.  Air rifle hunting is generally close-range and small game so a moderate-powered scope like 10x40 power can be really helpful.

See some examples of air rifle scopes that we reviewed at The 5 Best Air Rifle Scopes Reviewed.

Question: What state regulations exist for air rifle hunting?

Answer: Most states allow for air rifle hunting in general. There are exceptions noted on the map below and you should always consult with your state’s game and fish regulatory commission if any special questions or cases exist.

The states marked in  may have special rules for airguns which are listed but are subject to change and updates by state.

At this time, New Hampshire does not allow airgun hunting of any kind.

States in  allow big game hunting with big bore air rifles. Consult state rules and regulations for caliber and other restrictions.

Air rifle hunting map

Hawaii: Can only hunt with airguns on private property with permission from the owner.
Illinois: Can only hunt with airguns on private property with permission from the owner.
Kansas: Cannot use airguns to hunt bullfrogs or turtles.
New Jersey: Must use an airgun that is at least .177 but no larger than .22. Velocity must be at least 600 FPS.
New York: Must use an airgun that is .177 or larger. Velocity must be at least 600 FPS.
North Carolina: According to the North Carolina Wildlife website, air rifles fall in the rifle category. All restrictions that apply to rifles apply to air rifles.
Pennsylvania: Small game and furbearers .177 but no larger than .22, for woodchucks at least .22 caliber
Rhode Island: Must use an airgun that is at least .177 but no larger than .22. Velocity of at least 750 FPS and pellets 7.5 grains or larger.
South Dakota: Must use an airgun with a velocity of at least 1,000 FPS. Only hunting pellets are permitted. Read page 41 of the SD Hunting Handbook for legal game.
Texas: Must use an airgun that is at least .177 with a velocity of at least 600 FPS when hunting squirrels. New legislation is being considered that would allow for whitetail deer beginning 2018.


There’s a lot to know when it comes to air rifles and choosing the best one for your needs. Hopefully our guide gave you a few things to consider when picking out your next rifle. Whether you want to put the ground hogs to bed or give little Johnny a gift there’s something here for you. As mentioned above, all of these air guns can be purchased on Amazon which allows you peace of mind that if it’s not right it can be easily returned with no questions asked.

Remember to consider all of your needs, as well as where you’ll use the best air rifle for your needs, and what you plan to use it for.  Taken together, these factors, along with the air rifle reviews above, will help you determine which air rifle is your new best friend.

Thanks for reading The 10 Best Air Rifles. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best air gun (or pellet gun) for your needs and your preferences. Also see: The Family Guide To Air Gun Shooting And Safety.

You might also be interested in these related review articles:



Best Air Rifles Video Review

How We Researched

To come up with the top air rifles, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as REI, Backcountry, Moosejaw, EVO along with our own personal experience.

We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.

With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options were for the price. The author, Richard Moore is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. 

To help narrow down the selection he used his personal experience along with recommendations from fellow hunters and hunting outfitters.

After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.


Notice: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

Casey Fiedler

Casey is a qualified ski instructor, naturalist educator, hunter, and avid outdoorsman based in Mason, Michigan. He spends much of his time in the wilderness where he tests outdoor gear supplied to him by companies such as Patagonia, Smith Optics, and Wolverine. Casey has guided backpackers, kayakers, and skiers on backcountry trips all around the US. He taught Alpine skiing at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah for several seasons before transitioning into freelance writing. When he is not working, Casey enjoys fishing and participating in adventure and orienteering races.
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