Air rifles are not all alike, and it matters what features they have when you go out hunting with them. The power levels of air rifles are the most stark differences which also decide what you pay.

Your needs for an air rifle are likely different from someone else. How do you know what to buy with so many on the market? Take a look at our guide to the five best air rifles available today. Each one has its own specialized design and degrees of power.

The Best Air Rifles in 2021

Best Overall
Our Score 9.6 Out of 10
Check price amazon.com
Best Mid Range
Our Score 9.4 Out of 10
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Cheaper Choice
Our Score 9.2 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.8 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.6 Out of 10
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A Look at the Major Features of Air Rifles

When shopping for an air rifle, what things should you look for in how they’re designed? Each rifle has some required pieces to it that make them essential for bringing the highest quality.

Stock in the Rear Section of the Rifle

In the back of every air rifle is the stock. This is the section that rests against your cheek as you shoot. A stock is what shapes each rifle, and they’re usually made of materials ranging from wood to polymer.

The Butt Pad at the End of the Stock

Attached to the stock on the far end is the butt pad, even if it’s not literally named. This is a rubberized section softening the brunt of recoil after making a shot. It basically protects your arm and shoulder.

Other End of the Rifle: The Barrel

You’ll want to look at the length of the barrel on your air rifle. Typically made of metal, how long the barrel is determines how accurate your shots are, not including shooting range.

The Magazine to Hold Your Pellets

A magazine is located in the chamber of the air rifle and made to hold each pellet. Your pellets go from there into the barrel for your shots.

A Quality Grip

Whatever air rifle you buy, the grip is one of the most essential parts. It determines how well you control the rifle while shooting.

The Safety Trigger Near the Grip

Another essential part is the safety trigger that prevents the rifle from accidentally firing when being handled.

What Qualities Should You Look for in an Air Rifle?

 A number of things should be looked at before you buy your air rifle, many of which relate to the parts you see above.

What is the Quality of the Scope?

Scopes are another essential part of air rifles not previously mentioned. These determine the accuracy of your shot, and they should never be too heavy or elaborately designed. A simple scope is always best to improve your shooting sight.

What is the Caliber Level?

How much power your air rifle has is all determined on the caliber level, which decides what types of pellets you shoot. At the high end, .177 is the most powerful in terms of velocity. However, for simpler shooting, .22 is better, not including giving you improved stopping power.

How Long is the Barrel?

As mentioned above, barrel length determines a lot in quality and how much you’ll pay for the rifle. If you need to use your air rifle for longer-range shooting, a longer barrel is a must.

How Sturdy is the Grip?

You already know that a grip is important in bringing better air rifle control. Be sure to look at how sturdy the grip is since it determines how well you can shoot when taking multiple shots as you hunt.

How Comfortable is the Stock?

Since the stock rests on your cheek while you shoot, you want to make sure it’s as comfortable as possible. Is it made of a rubberized material to help prevent a sore shoulder/arm after shooting?

Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1

Our Score 9.6 out of 10
Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle
Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle amazon.com Check price

Available in .177 or .22 Cal pellet
Powerful, quiet, accurate. Thanks to the IGT MACH 1 gas piston that delivers higher muzzle velocity, less vibration, and smoother cocking. It also features the W...

What Makes Gamo Stand Out?

Gamo is one of the most respected air rifle brands around today. Its .22 caliber Whisper Fusion Mach 1 is known for being powerful, quiet, and accurate with every shot. The company’s Whisper Technology is currently renowned for quieter shooting, something not seen in prior models or its competitors.

Thanks to the rifle’s IGT MACH 1 tech, you can use an inert gas cylinder for more shooting power. A 33 millimeter cylinder brings more velocity and terminal penetration.

What Buyers Say in Comments

On Amazon, buyers reiterate how well-made the gun is and its quietness. Some say it takes a little more effort to cock the barrel while loading. Otherwise, most say the rifle’s iron sights are dead-on, right up to 25 yards.

Should You Buy it?

Gamo truly is the cream of the crop in air rifles and available on Amazon. You can get this rifle at .177 caliber level as well as .22.

Pros
  • One of the most respected brands in the air rifle market
  • Quiet and efficient
  • Better shooting power
Cons
  • Takes a little effort to cock the barrel
  • Slightly expensive

Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle

Our Score 9.4 out of 10
Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock PCP-Powered Multi-Shot Bolt-Action Pellet Hunting Air Rifle
Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock PCP-Powered Multi-Shot Bolt-Action Pellet Hunting Air Rifle amazon.com Check price

ALL-WEATHER SYNTHETIC STOCK WITH RAISED COMB - Durable, lightweight, well-balanced
MULTI-SHOT, BOLT ACTION, PCP-POWERED - Has built-in pressure gauge and quick-disconnect Foster fitting
TWO-STAGE A...

What Makes Benjamin Marauder Rifles Stand Out?

No one will argue that Benjamin Marauder rifles are some of the most versatile available, including their ability to be easily modified. Its synthetic stock pellet air rifle is made for ambidextrous shooters with the ability to adjust the raised comb. It’s also well-balanced for carrying long distances.

An all-weather synthetic stock makes it very lightweight without losing any power. Shooting speeds go up to 1000 fps, not including delivering a very quiet shot.

What Buyers Say in Comments

Buyers say the Benjamin Marauder is excellent for shooting small game. They say you can get up to 30 accurate shots per fill. Then again, others say the stock is slightly weak.

Others say it’s not always accurate and gauge readings are sometimes wrong.

Should You Buy it?

Enough buyers say they had good accuracy levels to recommend a buy. It’s more expensive than Gamo, and available on Amazon. The power of the rifle is worth it for many shooters, albeit far from your only option.

Pros
  • Lightweight rifle
  • Easily modifiable
  • Fast shooting speeds
Cons
  • Accuracy levels are sometimes not always the greatest

Stoeger XM1 Air Rifle

Our Score 9.2 out of 10
Stoeger XM1 Airgun Combo.22 Cal, FO Sights, 4x32mm Scope, Realtree Edge
Stoeger XM1 Airgun Combo.22 Cal, FO Sights, 4x32mm Scope, Realtree Edge amazon.com Check price

Caliber: .22 Cal Finish: Realtree Edge Trigger
Precharged pneumatic Safety
Cross-bolt Front Sight: Interchangeable red and orange fiber-optic inserts
Includes 4 x 32 mm scope (not factory mounted)
...

What Makes Stoeger Stand Out?

The use of pre-charged pneumatic technology is what makes Stoeger such a favorite in the air rifle community. PCP tech helps bring better velocity and more shots in-between filling up.

You can shoot pellets up to 1,200 fps before refilling through the XM1. Even better is that it’s quiet, allowing for further technological innovation as the wave of the future.

What Buyers Say in Comments

This model comes and goes in availability on Amazon, yet Stoeger’s website gives a solid rundown of the amazing features its XM1 has. Its attention to ergonomics is its biggest selling point, including noting its superior weight, balance, and sleek profile.

Should You Buy it?

Stoeger is the best priced model by far. While customer comments on the site would be helpful, the technological advancements ensure a good air rifle that won’t cause hunting mishaps.

Pros
  • Most affordable air rifle
  • Innovative features
  • Fast shooting ability
Cons
  • Few online comments available to gauge whether it has any real shooting flaws

Hatsan Air Rifle

Our Score 8.8 out of 10
Hatsan air Rifle
Hatsan air Rifle amazon.com Check price

Warranty: 1-year Limited Warranty
Incl. 3-9x32 Scope & Mount

What Makes Hatsan Stand Out?

The power of Hatsan air rifles is well-noted, especially thanks to a two-stage adjustable trigger. With a fully-adjustable rear sight and a shock absorber, you have some excellent features for a rifle priced lower than most mentioned above.

This rifle also has quality stopping power, making it possible to do kill shots at vermin on the first try. Made to take out small animals invading one’s property, it’s definitely made for serious business and shouldn’t be used by kids for target practice.

What Buyers Say in Comments

On Amazon, customers say the Hatsan is superior for the price, including the iron sights being exceptional at 25-40 yards. They also say trigger pull is consistent, including having ability to adjust.

One customer review said they received a defective version of this rifle that couldn’t shoot any pellets. When they contacted customer service, they were met with a rude response. No doubt this is an anomaly considering the other glowing reviews.

Should You Buy it?

For those who don’t want to empty their pockets (or wallets), Amazon provides an affordable range of prices.

Pros
  • Great stopping power
  • Consistent trigger pull
  • Exceptional iron sights
Cons
  • Might have defective versions out there
  • Supposed rude customer service

Umarex AirSaber and AirJavelin

Our Score 8.6 out of 10
Umarex AirSaber PCP Powered Arrow Gun Air Rifle with 3 Carbon Fiber Arrows

What Makes Umarex Stand Out?

This particular air rifle from Umarex is an airbow, which shoots arrows rather than pellets. Benjamin Marauder put out one of the first models like this a while back, and now Umarex joins the fray.

Arrow launches on this are more powerful on the AirSaber, offering a velocity of 480 fps. The AirJavelin shoots arrows at only 300 fps, though is a good counterpart when not hunting large game.

What Buyers Say in Comments

Most comments on this on Amazon are positive, including one noting it as a fun toy and being well-built for the price. On the negative side, one reviewer noted their barrel tilted a bit to the left. Others say it’s safer than a crossbow.

Should You Buy it?

Believe it or not, this product can be more expensive compared to the above-listed air rifles. But Amazon offers an irresistible price whenever it’s available. And this air rifle is a good option if you don’t like to deal with pellets.

Pros
  • Well-built and one of the few airbows available
  • The AirSaber has considerable power shooting arrows
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Some say the barrel isn’t always straight

Types of Air Rifles

Three types of air rifles you’ll need to consider before making a final buying choice:

Pneumatic

These rifles require air pumps, often requiring more time to make multiple shots. Nevertheless, these are usually the cheapest of the three.

CO-2

Use of compressed gas in these air rifles brings considerable power in-between each shot you take. Then again, you have to replace gas in your canister after a while which is not too problematic when only shooting occasionally.

More Power with a Spring

Spring-powered air rifles are the most powerful of all thanks to the use of levers to cock the rifle. Expect to pay more due to this simple convenience.

Cleaning Your Air Rifle

You’ll want to consider four easy steps to keep your air rifle clean and well-maintained:

  • Use cleaning chemicals in the barrel of your gun to keep it clean before doing more extensive maintenance.
  • Use a cleaning cable to clean out the barrel. Be sure to thread the cable through to the rifle’s port.
  • Take your cleaning patches and attach them to your cleaning cable.
  • Find a clean cloth and wipe the outside area of your rifle to keep it looking pristine.

Conclusion

The air rifle that you buy all depends on what you want to use it for in your hunting pursuits. For many hunters, a .22 is always the most affordably powerful choice, especially a gun with good scopes for long-range shooting.

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