Owning an air rifle could one day be the only thing that can protect you, what do I mean by this you ask? Well, continue reading.
For those who don't know what an air rifle is, it's time you get lectured, so carefully read and digest this article as it contains all things you need to know about an air rifle particularly the .177 air rifle.
In this article we are going to be focusing on the basics of an air rifle, it's uses, how to identify a best .177 air rifle, some likely questions you might have about air rifles and also compare different rifles. Additionally, you will also learn about some safety measures you are required to take coupled with some structural instructions on how to clean and take care of the Air rifle. For those who are new to the whole air rifle experience, we will make sure to take the article as slow and gradual as possible so you won't get overwhelmed.
What is an air rifle?
Technically speaking, an air rifle is any pneumatically launching projectile gun that makes use of compressed air, other gases, and a spring system.
Before you decide to own or keep an air rifle, there surely needs to be a motive behind making such a decision. As a human being, we are all entitled to our opinions and reasons for doing things. As far as owning an air rifle goes, the reasons can be quite numerous. These reasons can be traced to the many uses of the gun. Here we are only going to be talking on the best uses an air rifle. These uses are usually the most commonly found ones although it doesn't always apply in all cases.
Top 10 Best .177 Air Rifle Comparision
Gamo Big Cat
Ruger Blackhawk Combo
Gamo Whisper Silent Cat
Umarex Surge Combo
Best use of a .117 air rifle
- For small games hunting purposes
Ever heard of ‘rabbit hunting’? Or you have watched a group of retired (Cliché, right?) pointing their rifles up to the sky and shooting at flocks of migrating birds or at wild ducks in lakes and ponds? This scenario perfectly describes one of the prominent use of a .177 air rifle. Since it is quite cheap and easy to buy, the .177 air rifle is the most commonly used rifle for this kind of small-time hunting operations.
- For sporting activities
Mixing the adrenaline rush that comes from competing with the emasculating perception of owning a firearm, is the perfect way to spend a boy's time out. The air rifle .177 is perfect for sporting activities that involve shooting at target objects, either stationary or in motion.
The rifle is quite easy to maneuver, so it's perfect for a beginner’s lessons in target shooting.
- For pest control purpose
The .177 caliber Air rifle has been considered to be a fun pest control tool. It is used to target small rodents such as mice, grasscutter, squirrel, lizards etc. The gun is well calibrated to fit the needs as almost anyone can load and make use of the rifle perfectly by just following the manufacturer's instructions and not having to take any comprehensive course in gun shooting. Although for first time .177 air rifle owners, the target is likely not going to be accurate at first, it is sure to get better with consistent practice.
- For personal security and protection purpose.
Well, the major difference between a real firearm and air rifle is the method through which the bullet is being propelled and the quality of the pellet. Although low quality and less fatal, the pellet projected from a best .177 air rifle can be dangerous. With well-known cases of fatality encountered from unsafe use of the rifle, one can say that this rifle can easily double up as a safety and protection tool in case you are under attack.
- For target shooting practice purpose
Before graduating to making use of real firearms, it is always advised and better to practice well using an air rifle. Although short distant, the air rifle is the perfect target gun to practice with for beginners as well as experts in cases where bigger guns can't be used.
What makes a best 177 air rifle?
Like we have discussed earlier on, there are several reasons, why people decide to get themselves an air rifle. These countless reasons might factor in what criteria will be used by each individual to select a good .177 air rifle.
Here we are going to be focusing more on the general features, function, and factors that make up a good .177 air rifle.
- Length and weight of the rifle
The average length of best .177 air rifle is recorded to be about 40 to 45 inches in length and the average weight in the range of 4.6 to 9.6 Ib. Anything above or below this range should be carefully considered and if possible avoided at all costs. The reason for this is that, since you are probably just starting out, you will be needing some sort of guidance on how to use the machinery perfectly, having a rifle different from what is commonly used might make it difficult to find answers to some of your most pressing questions.
- The Feet Per Seconds score
The FPS rating is another important factor used in selecting a good .177 air rifle. A good FPS rating is usually always in the range of 600 to 1200. Just as you might have suspected, the higher the FPS the better the rifle. A .177 air rifle with a low velocity coupled with the fact that the .177 pellets are customized to weight lesser than other calibers of air rifle will have a lesser effect on the shot pest than one with a higher FPS rating. So if you are left with two options of the best air rifle .177 brand to select, picking the one with the highest FPS will definitely pay you more than going for one with lesser FPS power.
- Product design
Although a lethal tool in the hands of an experienced shooter, an air rifle .177 is known for its sleekness and posh looks. This is because the rifle is designed mainly with beginners in mind. Having a close representation of the already perceived notion of what a real rifle will look like, will surely do well to entice first time buyers to the product. Buying a shabby looking air gun will surely not cut it for a large portion of air rifle buyers.
The 177-air rifle is known to be one of the cheapest air rifles on the market. The rifle is known to start from an average price of $80 to an upward of $1000 so depending on your pocket, the costlier the machinery, the better the features it is expected to hold. Although being cheap doesn't make most of the low budget air rifle a bad one, a majority of the time, the expensive rifles are known to have luxury features, that can be done without. So, if it's a low budget rifle that fits perfectly into your defining features list, you can lay your hands on, go for it instead.
1. Gamo 6110065954 Big Cat 1400 .177 Caliber Air Rifle with scope
The Gamo rifle family is well known for their high standards and for making some of the best .177 air rifles present on the market at any moment.
The Gamo 6110065954 air rifle is another name making machinery from the stables of Gamo. The rifle is the latest addition to the list of the Gamo's air rifle series. The rifle is considered to be the most powerful of all the rifle in the series and one of the most powerful .177 air rifles on the market. It features a 33mm cylinder power plants, which is what makes it possible for the rifle to fire shots at a Feet Per the Second velocity of a mind-blowing 1400 FPS. The rifle achieved this huge velocity rate through the use of PBA platinum pellets.
The rifle is also characterized with an automatic cocking break barrel single system. The trigger safety, however, is manual.
The compositing material of the barrel is a polymer jacketed rifle steel, a polymer which is fluted. The synthetic stock of this rifle has a well-rubberized forearm with a grip which is non-slippery in nature.
The recoil of the rifle is reduced to about 74 percents due to the shockwave absorber feature of the rifle.
To make it easy for the eye to scope various alignment, the rifle is customized with a molded butt plates on both sides of the rifle.
The rifle is advised not to be used by beginners.
- This rifle is a very powerful one. Using standard pellets is sure to break the sound barrier upon traveling from the barrel.
- Just like with any Game rifle, the balance is known to be top notch.
- For a riffle claiming to be powerful, safety should be a thing of top priority. Although since you bought the rifle knowing fully well it's not a toy, the safety precaution lays greatly with you
2. Ruger Yukon .177 Air Rifle
The authentic feel of the rifle grip is one classic feature that is greatly missed in the modern design of rifle. The feeling that you get from holding this rifle between your finger cannot be compared to what you will get from another poorly designed one.
This rifle features a smooth stock a silencer and a lengthy barrel. All these materials are made from a collection of high tensile strength and quality materials. This is to further ensure that the rifle has a long life of use and also produce a high amount of firepower upon pulling the trigger.
The rifles are considered to be a little bit above beginners usage as it involves some certain level of technicality, which understanding comes from some level of experience. So if you are looking to up your target shooting skills from a beginner to a more advanced stage this is the perfect rifle for you.
Attached to the rifle is the 3-9×32 magnificent scoping device, this scope is known to provide a clear line of sight especially when the target in question is small-sized either still or in motion. The rifle also has the option of changing the scope in cases whereby, you are not pleased with the scope the rifle comes with. This can be done through the scope rail.
- Effective Noise Dampener:
- The rifle is made from strong and long lasting materials
- High FPS, up to 1250, one of the highest FPS seen in a .177 air rifle, on the market.
- The triggers are adjustable
- With the heavy power, which is featured by this rifle, a heavy kickback is a consequence.
3. Crosman Optimus Break Barrel .177 Air Rifle
This rifle is about 45 inches in length and it is also considered to be a very powerful rifle option. The overall design of the rifle is simple. The rifle has a very high FPS rating of 1200 which is pretty high considering the average FPS found in most air rifle.
This rifle has defined its ultimate strength with its 25 Ibs cocking force. This alone tells you that the machine is not meant for a small hand or anyone without experience shooting a rifle. With this much power in one single machine, the manufacturer knows fully well that safety is important. This is why a safety lock is being automatically placed on the trigger to avoid unwanted firing cases.
This rifle is best fit for intermediate to advance shooter and not in anyways recommended for use by a newbie shooter. The fiber optic front and back sigh of this rifle further help to increase the aiming effect of this rifle. This further eradicated the need of scopes on the rifle. The power behind the pellet propelled from this rifle is more than enough to put an instant end to any small sized pest.
- The rifle has a heightened level of safety measures put in place by the manufacturer.
- The rifle has a very simple design, making it easy to maneuver
- High-quality fiber optic sight, which makes the need for a scope not necessarily.
- The rifle trigger pull requires too much force. However this can easily be adjusted manually, by reducing the pull force, it will be much easy to fire a shot from this rifle.
4. Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle
The name of the rifle speaks volume about what you should expect from the rifle. The rifle is not only sleek in its design, it is also very quite effective in its functions.
The rifle is considered to be a bit heavy being that it weighs about 9.6 Ibs but is argued that the weight is just another indication of how durable the rifle is expected to be.
Unlike other rifles, it is only the back sight of the rifle which is adjustable, the front sight is fixed. This is with the added feature of a nitrogen-filled 4X scope. This scope is also characterized with special protective proofing which includes; fog, water, shock etc This makes it perfect for use under almost all kinds of weather conditions.
The rifle is designed to project shots at a minimum velocity set at just 1000 FPS, although it was stated that when an alloy pellet is being used, the velocity tends to increase.
Shoots from the rifle chamber are being powered using a spring piston. This piston is known to require some taking care off in the long run, which might require time and some extra spending, but it is still considered a good option.
The rifle is said to have a trigger pull force of about 3 lbs, which makes it perfect for quick and easy shots.
- The rifle has a 3lbs light trigger pull, making it perfect for quick shots
- The rifle allows for excellent grouping
- The scope is zeroed upon changing the pellet, which means adjustments is needed frequently.
- The rifle is characterized by a heavy recoil, which easily throws of s shot. This, however, is what gives the rifle its powerful nature, thus making it perfect for its intended purpose.
5. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle
Gamo rifle is mostly always held in high standing, and this rifle is no different, has it is a strong contender for the position of the best 177 air rifle.
The rifle is well known for it appeal, which is one thing Game always try to make common in all their rifle products.
Apart from just being the perfect eye candy, the rifle posses a magnificent velocity rating of 1200 FPS. This minimum FPS threshold also applies to the use of PBA pellets.
In terms of weight, the rifle is moderate with it weighing 7.3Ibs. Although the length is longer than average, standing at about 48 inches in length.
The very durable material component used in manufacturing the stock of the rifle is responsible for the rifles unique identity and it notorious nature for being highly effective in the harshest of weather conditions and elements.
The stock has a rubber recoil pad put in place at its end. The function of this is to absorb the force produced by each shot. This will further lower the effect of the kickback produce by the rifle.
In addition to being equipped with a permanent noise dampener which is known to be quite selective with the kind of pellet it works with, the rifle also has a 4x 32 scope with a complete ring.
- The permanent noise dampener helps to greatly reduce noise from the shot fired.
- Sleek design
- The high shot velocity of 1200 FPS
- The rifle length is far above the average size seen on the market. Since this is known not to affect the velocity of this rifle, the length of the rifle has no mechanical disadvantages.
6. Umarex 2251300 Surge Combo .177 Air Rifle
This is a German brand rifle, the rifle is a 9lbs sleek one. The rifle is being dubbed as one of the most attractive air rifles ever manufactured. The rifle features a 4X32 scope which makes the rifle perfectly fitted for beginners as well as advanced users. The rifle is known for producing a deafening loud bang once fired. The this will surely scare away your intended target if that was the original aim of the shot.
Although featuring a muzzle brake, the underlying engineering of the rifle is sure to make the noise quite well pronounced. Thus rendering the dampener useless, this way every single shot from the rifle will surely be heard. With a cocking power of about a 30lbs, this is surely a powerful air rifle.
Looking at the rifle carefully, it can be concluded that the rifle was designed with all levels of shooter in mind. From the total beginner to the seasoned shooter.
The unusual cocking power, loud firing, rear dovetail mount, caliber and the thumbhole stock of this rifle will surely attract those who know the importance of this features to the rifle.
The rifle promises enjoyment of an optic sight and the alluring comfortability that comes with a recoil pad attached to the rear of the stock for a more experienced user.
- Design for a user of all stages in mind
- The rifle has a shooting range of more than 40 yards at a high velocity.
- The rifle is definitely cheap compared to rifles with similar features.
- The rifle shots are quite loud
- The rifle is known to feature a low-quality mount bracket. This is said to be the major downfall of the rifle. Although this can be managed with the use of a sight.
7. Remington Tyrant Air Rifle
The name Remington speaks volume when it comes to air rifle, the name is quite familiar that even newbie to the air rifle industry knows the name.
This popularity comes from so many years of service in the industry, creating quality products people have come to cherish a lot and become quite familiar with. These products have gone through the test of both time and quality, and they are still going strong.
The Remington Tyrant is sure to embody the known standard the brand is well known for.
This is a mid range rifle, which means it is not best fitted for beginners and it is meant for people with experience handling and air rifle before. However, the rifle is described to be best fitted for hobbyists simply because it operates using a compressed air system spring system. This perfectly replaces the CO2 pressure driven earlier models. This spring system also allows for an increased velocity of shot, to about 1200 FPS accompanied by a very powerful shot.
The featured 4X32 scopes make the process of aiming quite easy and simple for almost anyone. Although some adjustments might be needed as it is the case with most rifles. However, the mount and scope found on the rifle, rivals any other top air rifle on the market.
- The scope found on the device is second to none presently on the marker.
- The rifle is made from the strongest of synthetic materials, thus making is very durable.
- The farther the distance the more inaccurate the shots from the rifle becomes. This, however, is common for all kind of low range rifle, so it should be a big deal
8. Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle .177
Mere looking at the rifle you are sure to know that fun is written all over it. So if fun is what you look for in a rifle, then this rifle was crafted perfectly for you. The rifle features a 5 shot clip, this means the rifle is capable of firing 5 rounds of pellets repeatedly in a quick manner. Since the rifle is a pneumatic pump air rifle, the user will need to take time to pump in the air into the chamber to refill it and get it ready for shots. The gun is said to be very efficient and also quite versatile in nature. The gun is capable of shooting both BBs and pellet. The velocity at which each one of these two types of ammunition differs mildly.
In the case of a BBs, the gun is expected to fire at a velocity of 625 FPS, while that of a pellet is recorded to be at 600 FPS. You are also allowed to customize your ammunition with this rifle.
The mount allows the addition of a scope and for those who are interested in adding something like a camera or a flashlight the mount also allows for the use of this.
The gun is perfect for almost all kind of popular use an air rifle is known for, from target shooting, hunting, sports to protection, the gun is very capable.
- Design to look like a real pump action firearm
- It is cheap and low budget
- The rifle is perfect for users of all level of experience.
- The rifle is versatile when it comes to ammunition selection
- The rifle has a low velocity. Since the rifle is mainly targeted at fun lovers, the need for high power and increase velocity is usually not of top priority.
9. Gamo Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal
With a high rating velocity, of 1250, this rifle is surely a force to reckon with by other rifle manufacturers.
The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle makes use of the spring piston process to deliver its shots. The material from which the pellet used in the rifle is made from will determine the velocity that will be experienced from each shot of the rifle. For a PBA platinum pellet the rifle the expected FPS is 1250, while a lead bullet is expected to give an FPS of about 1000.
The gun is the product of Gamo who is a leading producer of air rifle in the area.
By Gamo's standards, the gun is best suited for target practice, sporting, and hunting exercises. This information is gotten from the color coding added to the product pack by Gamo.
The grip of the rifle is made from a texture that prevents it from slipping, the rifle also features a forearm.
The rubberized recoil pad of the rifle makes helps to firmly keep the rifle rested on the shoulders of the shooter.
The rifle is lightweight, so it is well balanced and comfortable to operate. For the price you are going to see this rifle, it is worth every penny.
- The rifle is easy to carry since it has a lightweight
- It is made from high-quality material
- The rifle has a high shot velocity
- The scope is of low quality. This shouldn't be a problem though, as the scope can be easily replaced for a better one.
10. Stoeger X20 .177 Cal Air Rifle
This rifle is known to be the quietest .177 air rifle in the range of air rifles with similar features. These make the rifle perfect for those who prefer to do their shooting practices in a residential area. This minimal volume experience from the use of this rifle can be credited to its Noise Reduction System with Air Flow Technology. This innovation is a signature design of the world-renowned silencer designers; Humbert CTTS.
The technology behind it involves allowing most of the air from the suppressor to pass out through the four decompression holes present in the ring, before inserting the pellet into the baffle.
This way, the sounds are being shut out whilst giving room for the pellet to be ejected at a very high.
The rifle features a 4X32mm scope. Although the scope is short and can be uncomfortable for use by some users and needs to be replaced.
The quality of the rifle material is top notch and also very comfortable to hold with an easy grip.
The shot range accuracy of the rifle is also considered to be top notch and in the same ranks with high-end rifles. The rifle has a rubberized recoil pad. This recoil pad has a texture that prevents it from also shifting or slipping. This way the rifle's balance is greatly increased.
The rifle is characterized with automatic safety, and two-step triggers.
The features this rifle contain is truly in accordance with its cost.
- The rifle has a short range accuracy that is worth more than it's cost
- The rifle is perfect for indoor target shooting
- The is lightweight and easy to carry
- The rifle easily gets too complicated for a beginner. For those who can take the time to master how to use the rifle, the experience from its use is worth the effort put in.
Comparing the .177 and .22 caliber air rifles
The 22-caliber air rifle is another very popular air rifle that is used mostly by the experts of 177 caliber air rifle. The rifle is mainly used for long range target shooting. However, with bigger pellet diameter and heavier firepower, the rifle is not always recommended for use by beginners.
There have been several debates about the use and superiority of these two calibers of air rifle in past, in this article we are not going to be making an argument about which one of them is the best to use, we are only going to make some distinctive comparison between the two rifles and it is left to you to decide which of these rifles suits your current need.
- Sales number and Popularity
There are other two calibers of air rifle, but in terms of marketing and sales, these two transcends. The population scale of each of them is based on the continent of use.
In America the sales of the .22 beat that of the .177 caliber and in Europe .177 is considered to be the top choice for most air gun owner. With the USA well known for its lenient gun policies than any other country in the world, the sales of the .22 naturally beat that of the .177 in terms of numbers purchased. Although this shouldn't factor in much, as both calibers have several brands available to select from and countless easy tutorial online to select from.
When it comes to firepower, the .22 air rifle beats the .177 air rifle. The latter is designed to have about 20 lesser power pumps than the former one. This is to say more pressure is required to project a .22, and thus the resulting effect will surely be more lethal than that of the .177. Although the 177 is still capable of causing deadly harm to small animals (as it was intended) especially in a very close range.
Since the .22 is expected to project a pellet weight almost twice the weight of the one found in the .177 air gun, the speed recorded for the .22 is naturally expected to be slower than that of the 177.
- Cost of pellet
One thing that needs to be factored in when buying an air gun is the cost of maintaining the air gun. The pellet used in the 177 is smaller and weights lesser than the of the 22. As a result of this, the 177 is expected to be cheaper than its counterpart. Apart from the 177 pellets cheapness you are still presented with several variations of the pellet to make use of. Which is a feature that a 22 user can't enjoy.
- Best for hunting purposes
The .22 is well known to be game hunter's favorite. The rifle unlike the .177 is well known to deliver accurate kills upon contact with small game’s animal and birds. This can be credited to the size of the pellet and the power pump of the rifle itself.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Best range to zero .177 air rifle?
Zeroing plays a major role in targeting. For a 177 air rifle, the most common range for zeroing is at 35 yards.
However, if you already have a fixed spot, where most your shooting takes places, then it is better to zero your rifle right at the middle of that distance.
- Best distance to sight in a .177 air rifle?
This is totally dependent on the FPS of the rifle. If you own a rifle that shoots at 1000 FPS, experts have recommended that you sight at 20 yards for a short distance, or and for a far distance, sighting is recommended to take place at about 40 yards. The pellet, however, will be set about one inch south of the aim point at 10 yards and rise to the crosshairs, at about 20 yards.
The muzzle point will have the pellet as far below the crosshairs just like the bore which is set to be below the set and recognized the optical path of the scope. This could be as much as about three inches.
- What can a .177 air rifle kill?
The .177 serves many other purposes, one of which is for hunting. The rifle is used mainly for pest control and for shooting at stationary animals or ones in motions. The most popular animal killed through the use of a .177 rifle are mostly migratory birds. Rodents are also another very common group of animals the rifle is being used to kill. From rabbits stealing from the garden to vermin in the farmyard, .177 can take care of all of them.
- How to clean .177 air rifle?
Air guns are known not to have residue stored in them unlike firearm using gunpowder. The only residue you are likely to find in an air gun is the oil or grease put in it, in case of a spring system, or the ones deposited from the pellet used.
Normally most air rifle owners don't clean their rifles ever, but if you ever notice that a ‘once very accurate’ rifle is now taking shoots which are far from accurate, then such rifle might just need to get cleaned.
To clean an air rifle you need to follow some most important rules, which are:
1. Only clean your gun with a gun oil and no soap or solvent. The oil, however, should be kept at a minimum.
2. Make sure you dry the gun bore right after cleaning the gun unless you are going to store the gun for a long term in which case you are recommended to use a small quantity of oil.
3. If you have to clean the rifle bore, make sure you do repeatedly and not just once.
4. Make sure the cleaning rod you are using is not made from steel, only use rods that has some sort of coating on it and has the same caliber as your gun.
It is also advised that you run some clean dry patch through your rifle barrel regularly, although not compulsory.
- How far can a 177-air rifle shoot?
This is solely dependent on the type of animal you are shooting at. For rats, the yard required for an effective shot can be as long as 40 yards with a .177 caliber. For other slightly larger animals like a rabbit or ferret, you might need to move a bit closer with a well define shoot, either to the head or the heart since the 177 riffle pellets are known to move through tissues without causing much damage to the surrounding area. This is perfect as even vermin deserve to die as humane as possible.
The wind also plays a major role in determining the range of a rifle shot, at beyond a yard of 50, the chances that your shot will be affected by the motion of wind become really high.
With some air rifle owner recording shoot on target at a yard of 100, with some really advanced air rifle, the range is also quite determined by the experience of the shooter.
Overall, upon being able to shoot at about 40 yards and more, you are considered to be a good shooter. That being said the range expected for a .177 air rifle shoot is from 40 yards and above.
The reasons for getting your air rifle is the best indicator of the class and type of rifle you will be getting. If you are just starting out, it is quite important that you buy an best .177 air rifle you are comfortable with and don't follow the hype. Sometimes all you need is a low budget rifle to get the job done.
Another thing you should keep in mind is the safety while using the rifle. Although slow, the .177 rifle can cause deadly body harm, so you need to make sure all practice is done safely.