Pellet rifles are a great way to get started in the world of shooting. They can be used for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, vermin control and more. There are a lot of great, affordable pellet rifles out there that are ideal for first time gun owners, and there are more advanced rifles that will work well for enthusiastic sports shooters as well.
If you’re shopping for a pellet rifle, there are a number of things that you will need to take into account to make sure you get a good one. You should try to find a rifle that has a comfortable stock, a strong but not too stiff trigger, a good sight (ideally an adjustable one that is easy to work with), and a decent muzzle velocity so that you can get good power and accuracy. It’s also a good idea to investigate how easy the rifle is to clean and take care of, and the type of pellets that it takes. The best rifles take more than one type of pellet, so you can shoot at different ranges and in different environments quite easily. Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular air rifles on the market today.
Top 5 Pellet Rifle Reviews on the Market
1. Crosman 1077 Repeat Air Semi-Automatic
The Crossman 1077 RepeatAir is a pellet air rifle that uses a 12-shot rotary pellet clip. It is a sophisticated rifle and perhaps the best pellet gun for beginners, and it features a fiber optic CenterPoint sight, and is windage adjustable. This is a reliable rifle that is easy to use, and that has a nice gentle trigger. It is easy enough for even older children and young teens to work with, and it is perfect for target practice. It is supposed to have a velocity of 625fps, but this is a conservative estimate and with fresh CO2 it offers even better speeds.
The Crossman 1077 is a great rifle for hunting vermin, and it is fast, reliable and easy to use. The rifle is made of rugged plastic, with some die cast zinc and tin parts, and some steel components. This means that the manufacturers have found a good balance between keeping the rifle nice and light, while also ensuring that it is rugged and durable.
2. Bear River TPR 1200 Power Pellet Rifle
This light but durable air rifle features a 4×34 scope, and has a velocity of 1200 ft/second. It is a break barrel piston air rifle, and it feels robust and strong compared to hand pump rifles. It is strong and powerful, but it is still quiet enough that you can use it in residential areas, as long as you use relatively heavy pellets. Note, however, that if you do shoot with 7.4 grain pellets it will be quite loud, and can sound like a standard rifle.
If there’s one downside to this pellet rifle, it’s that it tends to kick quite heavily. It can feel uncomfortable if you are used to pump rifles, but once you get used to it you should have no issues with accuracy. It can take a number of different sizes of pellet, and it is quite accurate at distances of 15-25 yards. At longer distances it may feel a little anaemic, but it is a pellet rifle, not a fully fledged firearm, so that is to be expected. Overall, it’s a good rifle that can be bought without extensive worry over regulations. It’s fun to use, generally accurate, and powerful enough for most uses.
3. Crosman 3051 Fury Nitro Piston Pellet Rifle
This is a part of the popular and respected Crosman line of air rifles, making it a good addition to the list of best pellet rifles on the market. It is designed to be used for target shooting, and it is not really powerful enough for heavier duty applications. It feels nice and heavy, it is natural to grip, and it has a good finish. Once you break it in you should find that it has a nice smooth action, and that it is nice and quiet too. It is definitely a gun for plinking rather than for hunting use but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
This is a well-made air rifle with a nice scope, and it’s pretty good in terms of accuracy at a range of about 30ft, although setting the scope for that range can be tricky. The rifle is easy enough for an adult to cock, but could feel a little heavy for a younger child. It does get better once it’s been broken in, so if you’re going to give it as a gift it could well be worth running it a few times first so that it’s easier to handle. Overall, this is a good budget rifle and well worth the money, even brand new.
4. RWS .177 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle (Wood, Large)
This is a great looking combo rifle with an impact-resistant stock, and a nice ergonomic design; perhaps the best pellet rifle in terms of looks. It has a robust but easy to use break barrel system and an adjustable sight, as well as a fiber optic, hooded front sight. It also features a two-stage adjustable trigger for ease of use. This is a great rifle for use by younger shooters it’s comfortable, easy to use, and generally accurate too, while having a decently powerful feel to it. IT takes a little while to zero it in, but once you’re done it shoots very well.
This rifle can be used for both target shooting and for pest control. It will last for a long time if you take good care of it, and the stock scope is very good once you zero it. The rifle is easy to take care of, and it works well with 7.9 grain flathead pellets. The rifle doesn’t look like much, so the power may take you by surprise the first time you use it. Expect it to be a little inaccurate for the first 50-100 shots, but then to get into the groove and enjoy decent accuracy even for plinking cans at a distance of around 75 feet!
5. Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle
This is a more expensive, higher end air rifle with a lot of power to it. You can use it with a hand pump or a high pressure tank, and it has a two-stage trigger for smooth, steady shooting. This is a brilliant air rifle for adult shooters. It has a nice, sturdy stock, and it feels good to use on a par with some of the European air rifles that cost twice as much. It’s quite accurate at stock settings. If you crank up the power then it will produce fewer shots, and it will be a little loud, but it’s quite quiet at the basic level, and you can enjoy very good accuracy even at 40 yards.
It is incredibly light, and it’s well balanced too. It’s not a good rifle for kids, but for adults it is nice to handle, perhaps the best pellet rifle in its price range, and it’s got a smooth trigger as well. It can take a while to adjust the rifle to get good shots out of it, because there are so many settings to play with, but once you figure out the best configuration of velocity, pellets, pressure and sighting, you can have a lot of fun with it.
What Makes a Good Pellet Rifle
There are a lot of things to think about when you buy a pellet rifle. You need to find something that replicates the experience of shooting a regular firearm that is powerful enough that it’s fun to shoot, but still classed as an air rifle, so easier to buy without too much paperwork. There are a lot of different types of air rifle on the market, and you’ll need to choose carefully. If you pick the wrong air rifle, then you’ll end up disappointed and frustrated.
The best air rifle for your needs will depend on what you’re shooting (targets, cans, vermin, etc), and who will be shooting with you. A lot of the more powerful, higher end air rifles just aren’t a good choice for children because they are too heavy and difficult to operate. Contrast that with some of the lighter, more basic models; while they’re easy enough for kids to operate, they’re shorter range and they don’t work so well for shooting vermin. Some of the bigger air rifles have a lot of kick to them, and they also have a heavy trigger pull too. You can adjust that, but it will take some knowledge of how to break down and maintain the rifle.
You’ll need to look at the sight, too some rifles come with scopes but some have more basic sights. There’s nothing wrong with either of these options it just depends on what you’re shooting and how far you’re shooting from, but it’s worth looking into. If you’re a new shooter, make sure you understand how to work the sight.
Caring for Your Pellet Rifle
Air rifles are one of the most common things for people to learn to shoot with, but they can break down easily if you don’t take good care of them. That’s why it’s so important that you learn how to maintain them. Learning how to clean an air rifle is essential before you start using it with any regularity.
The first thing that you need to do is keep it properly cleaned and lubricated. The compression chamber the part where air compression takes place, so that the piston will move foward for shooting, is one part that you should not need to lubricate it is designed to be self-lubricating, and if you start having problems with it you should take it to a shop to get it serviced. Recoilless, spring-piston air rifles will not need much lubrication you can use lube to keep it moving nicely, but don’t do it as a routine thing just do it during regular services.
You will need to clean the bore to maintain accuracy. If you’re used to traditional rifles that rely on a primer or powder, you’ll be used to cleaning the bore. You don’t have to do it as often with air rifles, but you should do it. Use air gun oil to remove dirt and grease. Note that most accuracy complaints that people have with their guns are because of dirt even if the bore looks clean. Make sure that you clean the bore, then use dry patches to remove the oil, before you put the gun into storage. You can use cleaning pellets to get the barrel back to zero’ once you’ve cleaned the bore. Only use airgun cleaning products, not regular cleaning products, because regular bore cleaners could actually damage the seals on an airgun.
Wipe down the exterior of the gun with a silicone cloth to keep the finish looking nice. This is not really going to impact performance, but it’s good practice and will keep the gun looking as good as possible. To clean the cocking lever linkages, use an appropriate lubricant. Something like Moly is good for small sliding links, cocking links, and other parts of the rifle.
A good air rifle will give you decades of pleasure. It’s something that you’ll enjoy shooting with your friends and family, and if you take good care of it you should find that it’s an amazing investment. If you’ve never worked with an air rifle before, then try to pick one that is easy to handle. Don’t worry about power to start with something easy to zero, with a user-friendly scope and a nice smooth trigger pull will be the best air rifle for you at this stage, and will help you to learn how to operate an air rifle so that you have the best possible experience. Once you gain confidence, you can look at using something with a little more power and velocity behind it. Children should learn with lighter air rifles and work their way up as they get older, and stronger.