Being able to pull the trigger and take that killer shot, is what separates the real deal from the shafts. Do you consider yourself a real deal when it comes to shooting pellets, making use of an impressive air rifle? Then this article is surely for you. In this article, we are going to be touching down on the subject of the best air rifles for hunting. This piece will cover several sections which include; listing the qualities to look for in a good hunting rifle, a comprehensive review of several hunting specific air rifles, various best practices when it comes to using an air rifle, which air rifle is best for taking down big animals and so on.
The piece will be as straightforward as possible and we will try to pack all the important information without leaving any stone unturned.
Best Hunting Air Rifles Comparison
What makes a best air rifle for hunting?
For those considering buying their first hunting purpose air rifle, the perfect approach to this is to do a proper and thoughtful research on the most important features that a hunting air rifle is required to possess. These features are mostly always classified into different sections such as the; the Caliber, weight, length, shooting process and other such small things. Making sure all these boxes are checked, based on the standard set by you is quite important to the overall success of your hunting activities.
Here is a list of factors to consider, when it comes to selecting the perfect hunting air rifle.
The caliber size of any given rifle is what will most likely determine the use of a rifle and also the size of the animals the rifle can take down. Generally speaking, the best air rifle for hunting is usually found in the upwards of 22 calibers, although some .177 caliber air rifle with increase shot velocity are also being used.
The reason behind this verdict is not far-fetched, as the larger the Caliber directly means larger bullet, which means the harm done from every shot fired is greatly increased. For hunters interested in killing large animals, the best caliber to settle for is the .50 caliber.
Apart from the pellet size, another thing to take into cognizant is the force of impact made by the pellet. The higher the force used in propelling the pellets, the higher the force expected on contact with the target and thus higher the damage. As a result, it is important that you select the rifle which delivers the highest force when it comes to making sure the target is properly taken down. In this case, the mechanics behind the rifle is taken into consideration, as it is what determines how heavy the force that will be used in propelling the pellet will be.
The length of an air rifle plays a major role in balancing and also making sure that shots are on target. The ideal length for an hunting air rifle is said to not exceed the mark of 45 inches, anything above that will surely require some extra feature that notifies the disadvantages of such long length.
The availability of ammunition shouldn't be overlooked. If it will require you to go an extra mile to get your ammunition or to even spend more than is require on getting ammunition, then you should reconsider getting such a rifle, since there is really no point of buying a rifle you can't use when you need it the most.
It is always better to stick with rifles that offers the options of using different variations of ammunition, such as a pellet and BBs compatible rifle.
The heavier a rifle is the more difficult it is to maneuver and the lighter it is, the higher the chances that the balance will be affected. As a result of this, it better to always choose rifles that are not too heavy or too lightweight. The suggested weight for a good air rifle lays between 4.5 -9.5lbs. Anything above or below this weight should be considered with keen eyes and if possible avoided.
Sights and Scopes
The ability to make target and accurate shots are partly dependent on being able to target well using an enhanced scope or sight. The importance of this features cannot be understated as without them it will take years of practice before a shooter can target accurately. This is why you must always go for the rifle with the best scope features or better still, be ready to get a more powerful one that is compatible with every rifle you purchase.
Can I use air rifle for hunting big game?
An air rifle can be as deadly as a real firearm, depending on many factors like; the caliber, shot velocity, power, range as well as the shooter. Even the smallest caliber of air rifles has been known to slow down or totally kill large animals if shot in the right places.
When it comes to taking down big games, the best caliber to consider is usually the 50 caliber with a velocity of nothing less than 600 FPS. An air rifle with such specification is more than capable of bringing down a big game, especially if the shot is to the head or the heart region.
Here are some amazing hunting air rifles with detailed reviews that you can buy!
Top 10 Best Air Rifles for hunting on the market reviews
1. Umarex - Ruger Magnum Combo
This 0.22 caliber air rifle features a sleek and well-defined design coupled with the fact that it is made by a company which has gained a trusted name status when it comes to riffle production. The rifles are made up of a very powerful and reinforced, pneumatic gas spring piston breaking-barrel single-shot cocking mounted a scope and a 2-stage adjustable trigger. Combining all these features makes the rifle deliver shoot that are powerful as well as very precise in its targeting. The rifle mechanics also allows it to deliver a shoot at a Foot per seconds speed of above 1200.
The rifle is made from very strong and durable material which makes it last longer and also usable in almost all kinds of weather conditions. It is padded at the base to reduce the recoil force to the nearest minimum.
This rifle is well built and structured for hunting small games or for general pest control purposes.
The rifle holds a promise of well-targeted shoots with the 4x32 scope on it, coupled with a very powerful shot to deliver the final blow. The rifle is also well balanced and to cap it all it is quite cheap compared to other top air rifles with such features.
- The rifle has a very high shoot velocity and a very strong kill force
- It is made from very strong and durable materials.
- The rifle seems heavier than an average rifle with the same caliber.
- This is however expected from a rifle of such specification
2. Gamo Magnum Air Rifle
This is another awesome air rifle from the stables of the award-winning rifle maker: Gamo.
The Gamo Magnum is an exemplary air rifle, modeled after the known quality we are used to when it comes to Gamo products. The air rifle comes with two different caliber options, so you need to be careful and make sure you check very well before buying a caliber you were not prepared for. The Gamo Magnum is characterized and powered by an IGT Mach 1 Gas piston. This allows the rifle to fire powerful shoot at an incredible FPS. The rifle is known to fire shots at an unbelievable velocity of 1650 feet per second (fps) for the .177 Caliber and the .22 fires shot at a velocity of 1300 fps. The rifle is also equipped with an all-weather stock and a well-balanced mount.
This rifle model is one of the few that allows you to adjust the trigger sensitivity based as much as you want, without affecting the overall balance of the rifle. It also features a rifled steel barrel and several scopes that can be varied. The rifle is accompanied by a five-year warranty directly for the manufacturer.
Buying the 22 calibers provides you more power to hunt larges animals then the. 177 caliber.
- The scope found on this rifle is top notch.
- The shoot velocity is very high
- It is usable for several purposes
- The rifle is a little bit expensive.
- The rifle is features packed so naturally more specs equal more money
3. Gamo Hunter Extreme SE
This is a 177 caliber like no other. It is capable of firing shots at an outstanding velocity of 1650 feet per seconds with an accurate target. The rifle is considered to be one of the most powerful spring process air rifle ever made. It has a break barrel that allows the shooter to take a single shot at any given time, thus compromising the speed. However, it makes up for this with an accuracy and a very high-end optics. The barrel of the rifle is a characterized with a stylishly imposed Jacketed steel bull with allows for a relatively easy unilateral-cocking process. The optics found on this rifle is said to be one of its most prized features. The optics constitutes and illuminated center glass-etched reticle scope. This combination of features makes it possible to take shots with maximum precision. It also allows the shooter to adjust the trigger as deem fit.
The rifle is, however, best used for general pest control and hunting of small games.
This rifle is made from a very durable material, that doesn't wear out easily thus maintaining the integrity of the rifle for a longer period of time. The rubberized recoil pad is another feature that makes this rifle a prized possession for many.
- Superior shooting velocity of at least 1650 foot per seconds.
- The gun is made up of an ambidextrous stock
- The optics found on the rifle are top notch
- The rifle is not designed for targeting larger animals. If you are the type who needs to hunt small games this rifle is well suited for you.
4. Crosman Optimus Air Rifle Combo with Scope
When you are listing affordable .22 Caliber rifles, this surely needs to be added to that list always.
This rifle features a scope which further gives its a very high shoot accuracy level and also makes it easy to do a target shooting.
The rifle's break barrel is structured elegantly, which actually makes the rifle very appealing to the eyes. The break barrel is then being topped off using a very well canned ambidextrous stock made from a very hard wood
Although not adjustable, the rifle features a very easy trigger force that makes it possible for almost anyone to fire a shot from this rifle. Although looking a little bit old-fashioned, the rifle is known to fire shots at a velocity of 950 foot per seconds. This speed is measured to be able to take down small preys such as birds, rats, squirrels etc.
The rear micro adjustable sight and the front fiber optic sight in addition to a 4x32mm center point scope make the rifle an awesome targeting device.
- The rifle has very high shoot velocity and balance.
- The rifle is well equipped with standard scopes
- The rifle is also easy to maneuver.
- The rifle cannot be used to take done larges animals.
- Air rifle is generally not aimed for use with large animals, so this is not a big deal.
5. Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle
This is a very quiet air rifle used mainly for hunting small games and general pest control. The mechanics' process of this rifle makes it very quiet than most other rifle found on the market. The rifle is also characterized with a very durable and long lasting smooth firing and cocking action. The rifle was designed and equipped with two-stage triggers which are very adjustable. The rifle also features an ambidextrous stock with other things like a pistol-grip handle and a super enhanced mounted scope.
The rifle is also made in two different variations when it comes to the caliber types. The rifle has a .177 caliber type and the other caliber is the popular .22 caliber. As expected, the two set of rifles are not going to have the same shot velocity. The 177 caliber rifle type is set to have a shot velocity of 1200 feet per seconds at a minimum while the. 22 counterparts are set at a velocity of just 950 feet per minutes. The gives the rifle a very strong shot impact. The rifle is also customized with a very sleek looking hardwood contouring which makes the design look vintage and also very exclusive. The rifle fires shot using a nitro powered process which gives the rifle its characteristic quietness.
The rifle also features an incredible sight using a scope of 4x32mm. This makes the rifle perfect for target shooting and accurate shot on target delivery.
- The rifle is very quiet, which makes it perfect for residential use
- The design is very impressive
- The rifle is a little bit pricey. The pricy nature can be blamed on the fact that the rifle features a hardwood detailing.
6. Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle
This is a rifle that offers second to none performance with an accuracy that is far above the industry standard. The rifle is designed to be very sleek with multiple pumps. This is also a lightweight class of rifle. The rifle offers the best class of scopes that allows for zeroing on your target with the most desired accuracy. The scope found on this rifle are also fully adjustable at both the rear and front side. The rifle features a very strong construction that makes it very durable and also long-lasting. The pump action air rifle is well detailed using an American hardwood and a Monte Carlo design type. The rifle mechanisms and shot firing process are being powered using a variable pump with increased speed with every shot taken. The shot fired from this rifle is usually adjusted to work with Elevation and winds without being hindered. This way the shooter will be able to make shoots well-targeted shots at any elevation.
The rifle is moderately long, at about 37 inches and it is said to weight just 5lbs which makes it one of the lightest rifles on the market. The 22 caliber rifle is said to have a shot velocity of about 675FPS, in addition to a 14.9FPE. This rifle is best for hunting small animals and general pest control, but it could also be of great harm to large animals in case of a close-range shooting.
- The rifle has a sleek and very vintage looking design.
- The 22-pump action makes it deliver high power shots
- It has multiple pumps
- The pump process is not easily understood for first time shooter.
- The rifle is 22 caliber, which means it is generally not advised for use by beginners.
7. Gamo Raptor Whisper Air Rifle
This rifle is well known for its many features. As Gamo products which the rifle is, it didn't fail to deliver what it promised. The rifle comes in two caliber variations which are the 177 and 22 caliber types. The rifle shooting process is being powered by a gas piston which helps to enhance the rifle to shoot and cock quickly and smoothly. The rifle is characterized by an impressive shock proof sight and a stock that is usable in all types of weather.
The piston process of the rifle works with an Inert Gas Technology integrated with an air cartridge. This gives the rifle greater shooting power than most rifle of its kind. The shooting power of this rifle is documented to send pellets fired from the barrel at a very high velocity of 1300 feet per seconds for the 177 calibers and for the 22 calibers, the FPS is recorded to be at least 975. This is more than enough power to take down small animals on target while large animals can also suffer a great wound or possibly death if shot in the right place by a pellet from this rifle.
The rifle is also characterized with a noise reduction features which makes the rifle usable in a residential area. The rifle is also known to have a very smooth action pull and is made from very strong materials that make it last longer. The rifle didn't come short of the expected performance from a Gamo product.
The 22 caliber is, however, color-coded for use by intermediate to advanced users.
- The rifle is lightweight
- The rifle is to fire very accurate shots
- The rifle is perfect for small game hunting.
- The scope is a little bit poor for use.
- The scope can be changed for a better one always. So it shouldn't be a deal breaker.
8. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat
This rifle is packed with an incredible power and target accuracy, it is also lightweight as well as having a very comfortable sight. This is an air rifle that combined power as well as top-notch accuracy into one body. The rifle is designed to shoot 177 caliber pellets. This rifle embodies everything you will ever need with a good rifle. The structure of the rifle is sleek and made from plastic materials which is why it is also very light weighted. The rifle comes with s scope of high magnification rate to be about 4x33.
The rifle got its name from the noise dampener added to the barrel mouth, which is not removable. The function of this dampener is to totally reduce noise from the shot fired using this rifle. The noise reduction features of this rifle make it very useful for indoor target shooting.
Shots from this rifle are said to be a traveling at a velocity of about 1200 FPS and an FPE of 1000. The rifle is made using an all-weather stock material that makes the rifle usable in all kinds of weather conditions and also long-lasting. The rifle is ideal for hunting small games as well as bringing down or slowing down large animals. The rifle is best advised to be used for general pest control. The rifle is also customized with a ventilated rubber pads. The function of this is to absorb the force generated as a result of a recoil effect.
- The rifle is lightweight
- It shoots silently
- The structural material is made of plastic. This is to aid a lighter weight and increase its usability.
9. Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle
The rifle features a steel barrel designed, therefore the pumping force from the rifles is then being lowered in return for an increased velocity and impressive shots. The rifle is quite easy to manipulate for all type of shooter's hand; whether you are right handed or left handed, you can fire shots from this air rifle with a high level of accuracy and technicality. The rifle is characterized with 5 shot clips. This makes it easy to fire five shots in a roll from this rifle without having to reload it. The rifle also has a BB container that can store up to 350 pellets at once.
The rifle also comes along with a feature that makes it easy to take a shot without the interference of wind and heights which help towards zeroing for the best possible shots.
The rifle features an adjustable stock with a dual rear sight. Both allow for a clean and accurate shot to be taken. The rifle also features a mounted scope, cameras, lasers, and flashlight. The rifle is said to fire pellets at a speed of about 600FPS and for the BBs, the velocity is about 625 FPS.
- The rifle is lightweight
- It is very cheap
- The shot power is above average
- The shot velocity is low. The low shot velocity is complemented with increase shot power.
10. Seneca Dragon Claw Air Rifle
This is a gun that embodies power, from the design right down to the mechanics of the machine, the rifle is made for high-end operators
The Seneca Dragon Claw is an all-purpose 50 caliber air rifle that makes use of a pretty charged pneumatic design. This high end and very powerful air gun fire 50 caliber shots at a velocity of 679 feet per seconds. In terms of power, the rifle is said to hit targets with a force measured to be 230 ft-lbs.
The air rifle is meant for hunting medium to large games like hogs, foxes, coyotes, rabbits etc. This rifle is well structured for firing target shots with its adjustable sights in addition to a dovetail rail used in mounting optics.
This air rifle features a dual tank which is responsible for giving it an air capacity measured to be about 500cc without the need for an extra large tank in play. The dual chamber found in the rifle, under its barrel helps to balance the gun when taking shots.
The rifle is also detailed with a wooden stock with a fore end and a dovetail rail for mounting optics. Finally, it comes equipped with fine wooden stock and fore end.
This air rifle is by far considered to be the ultimate air rifle and it is in no way advised for use by a beginner. The gun should only be handled by someone with air rifle shooting experience.
- The rifle has a high shooting force
- The pellet size is large at 50 caliber
- The rifle is well balanced
- The rifle is not well adjusted for beginners.
- With so much shooting power, the rifle is not aimed for use by beginners.
Buying your first hunting air rifle might be challenging, but once you get the hang of it and understand the features of a good air rifle, getting the air rifle you truly need becomes relatively easy. Most of the air rifles you will find on the market are mostly just repetition of the same features with different brand names. You need to make sure you are not carried away by the sales tactics and only get a best hunting air rifle that actually matches your set needs at the cheapest price possible.