.22 vs .25 Air Rifle: The Ultimate Comparison Guide (Updated)

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When I first got introduced to the world of rifles, I often thought that a bigger caliber meant better performance.

So, I thought that when it comes to choosing an air rifle, I should probably go for the bigger caliber. 

However, as I learned more about air rifles, I realized that it’s simply not the case! There are various other factors that affect the performance of the rifle.

Keeping this in mind, I started comparing different calibers of air rifles, such as the .22 vs .25 air rifle. 

These air rifles are quite popular in the market right now which is why many gunners are confused about choosing either one.

To help you out of this patch confusion, I will be comparing them and their performance. So, read on to find out which one suits your requirements better!

.22 vs .25 Air Rifle: Comparison Table 

Field .22 Air Rifle.25 Air Rifle
Accuracy Quite accurate Somewhat less accurate than other big calibers for long-range
CostCheaper than a .25 air rifleMore on the expensive side
Hunting PerformanceExcellent for rabbits, squirrels, pests, like ratsExcellent for killing bigger animals – turkeys, raccoons, sometimes coyotes too. Also good for squirrels.
TrainingAn excellent option for training.Not cost-effective for training.
PowerLess powerful compared to a .25 air rifleTwo times more powerful
Availability of OptionsA lot of options are availableFewer options available
NoiseSlightly less than .25 air rifleSlightly more in comparison to other small calibers

The .22 Air Rifle: Packed With Performance

The .22 air rifle may sound like a ‘weak deal’ due to lower caliber when compared to guns with bigger calibers. But, did you know that this .22 air rifle is one of the most commonly bought rifles today? Well,  it could be because of various reasons. 

For instance, a .22 air rifle can pack quite a performance as it allows you to hold 10 shots in the case of a Gauntlet. Moreover, you can also expect quite consistent shots that are not typically seen in other caliber air rifles. Accuracy-wise too, the .22 air rifle is spot on.

If you’re on a budget, then a .22 is also air rifle is pretty good as it comes at an affordable rate compared to the heavier caliber air rifles.

Additionally, as this type of rifle usually doesn’t have any sound or recoil, you can also use it for training purposes. This is because you can focus on other important aspects such as targeting, gun handling, and trigger control. 

Talking about the accuracy, a .22 air rifle can be accurate up to 150 yards or meters. 

Lastly, when it comes to hunting, the .22 air rifle can be used for hunting big game. But, as it is illegal, make sure you steer clear of hunting bigger animals. On the other hand, the .22 air rifle works extremely well for hunting rabbits, squirrels, rats, etc. 

The one major drawback to the .22 air rifle is that you cannot use it for self-defense. 

So, overall, I can say that the .22 air rifle performs extremely well for hunting smaller animals as well as for training purposes and cost-effectiveness

Pros of .22 Air Rifle: 

If you’re planning to buy a .22 air rifle you get plenty of benefits like: 

  • Lighter and easy to handle
  • Very cost-effective
  • Excellent for training purposes
  • Minimal noise
  • Variety of choices available in rifles and pellets for .22 caliber 

Cons of .22 Air Rifle: 

You may face certain limitations if you go for a .22 air rifle like: 

  • Less impact or power compared to a higher caliber rifle
  • Not efficient for self-defense or protection
  • It may not be the best for long-distance hunting 

The .25 Air Rifle: Packed With Power

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a straight and more power-packed air rifle, then the .25 air rifle is the perfect match for you. 

These air rifles give you more power than standard-sized caliber rifles. They’re also lighter than the bigger caliber rifles which are also on the expensive end. Hence, with a .25 air rifle, you’ll get to have a powerful rifle without having to deal with the heaviness. 

The best benefit of this air rifle is its stopping power due to the power it packs within. It also offers a flat trajectory. Moreover, according to some experts, a .25 air rifle may be used for self-defense and protection purposes. 

As for hunting performance, a .25 air rifle may not be the best for rabbits or squirrels. However, it certainly performs excellently for bigger animals, like a raccoon or even a turkey. It may even work out for coyotes if you’re skilled enough. 

The drawback to these air rifles is mostly the lack of variety. For .25 rifles, you may not find many options. Additionally, even if you do, they are more on the expensive side compared to the standard caliber rifles, like .177 and .22.

They may also not be as accurate as other bigger caliber ones at longer distances.

Pros of .25 Air Rifle: 

  • Very powerful with excellent stopping power
  • Suitable for hunting bigger animals 
  • Somewhat suitable for protection purposes
  • Less expensive and lighter compared to bigger caliber guns 

Cons of .25 Air Rifle: 

  • Not suitable for hunting small animals like rabbits
  • It may get a bit more expensive compared to standard-caliber guns 
  • Not very accurate at long distances

.22 vs .25 Air Rifle: Which One Is Better? 

Now, moving onto the final part that is a .22 or .25 caliber gun, which one is better suited for you? Both of these air rifles have their specific pros and cons as discussed above. Additionally, they are also good for certain tasks. So, to gauge their performance, let’s consider certain factors that will help you make an effective decision. 

  1. Accuracy

First of all, let’s talk about the accuracy when it comes to .22 and .25 air rifles. Both of these guns have somewhat similar accuracy when shot at a target. 

The only difference between these two is that the .25 air pellets look slightly bigger (due to their increased diameter) on the target. Contrarily, the .22 air pellets leave a smaller mark compared to .25.

For more on everything you need to know about air rifle accuracy, see this post 

  1. Hunting 

Talking about hunting, both .22 and .25 air rifles are well-suited for specific targets. For instance, the .22 air rifle is great at targeting and hunting rabbits and squirrels. You can also use it for killing pests like rats easily. Hence, it is useful for small hunting games in comparison to a .25 air rifle. 

On the other hand, as .25 air rifles are more on the heavier and powerful side, these rifles are better for targeting bigger animals, such as raccoons and turkeys. You may use them for hunting squirrels too. 

If you have no option, you can also use these rifles for protection and self-defense purposes. 

  1. Power 

You may already know by now that a .25 air rifle packs a more powerful shot. In fact, it is almost two times more powerful and impactful compared to a .22 air rifle. 

According to a test conducted, the maximum muzzle velocity delivered from a .22 Gauntlet was around 22.2 Ft/lbs whereas that of a .25 was around 45.81 Ft/lbs. 

So, if you’re solely focused on getting a more powerful air rifle for hunting, then the .25 is an ideal choice. 

  1. Noise

The shooting noise from the .22 and .25 air rifles is quite similar and not very loud for backyards. However, keep in mind that a .25 air rifle may make a louder noise compared to a .22 air rifle. This could be because of high-pressure air observed in .25 air rifles. 

Along with the caliber, the type of PCP is also a factor to consider when it comes to noise. If you have a powerful PCP with a .22 caliber, it may produce a louder sound. 

  1. Variety of Options

The .22 air rifle has been popular from time immemorial. Due to this reason, you will find an array of options for this caliber. 

Contrarily, .25 is not as popular as the .25 air rifle. Hence, there are limited options available in the market for this type of rifle. 

  1. Price 

If I compare the prices of both .22 air rifles and .25 air rifles, then you’ll find that .25 air rifles are definitely more expensive. According to the prices compared, the pellets of .22 air rifles cost near about 4 cents whereas, for .25 air rifles, it is 5.3 cents. 

Additionally, most of the .25 air rifles cost more than $300, so if you want anything below it, it is better to go for a .22 air rifle. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which Is Better For Squirrel Hunting: .22 Air Rifle Vs .25 Air Rifle?

Both work well for squirrel hunting. However, due to its higher power, a .25 air rifle can knock out a squirrel immediately whereas a .22 one may take time. You can check out a video here for a better understanding. 

(For more on the best air rifle for squirrels, see this post)

Which is the Best .22 Pellet or the .25 Pellet?

.22 pellets are a suitable option if you want more shots per fill in the rifle. It is also affordable as the cost starts at 4 cents. 

On the other hand, .25 pellets definitely strike harder and are suitable for hunting. They are a bit more expensive and start at 5.3 cents. 

Which Has More Knockdown Power Between .22 and .25?

If you hunt with the help of a .25 air rifle in place of a .22 rifle, you’ll notice that the target gets knocked out without any struggle. 

So, you can suppose that a .25 air rifle may have more knockdown power. 

For more on how to choose the right air gun caliber for your game, see this post.

Which Is More Efficient At 100 Yards Test: .22 Vs .25?

At the 100-yard test, you may think that .25 might have a higher BC or ballistic coefficient. However, it is noted that .22 drops less and has a higher BC. 

A higher BC helps in deflecting the air resistance and reducing the drag. So, the bullet speeds through the air faster and further. Hence, you may say that a .22 is more efficient in a 100 yards test against a .25 rifle gun. 

Final Verdict: Which One To Choose .22 Air Rifle vs .25 Air Rifle?

To conclude, let’s see which caliber rifle is more suitable for you. 

You can go for a .22 air rifle if:

  • You want an inexpensive option. 
  • You want it for training purposes. 
  • You have a small hunt game, like hunting squirrels, rabbits, etc. 

Contrarily, you can go for a .25 air rifle if: 

  • You can spend over $300 (approx.)
  • You want to hunt bigger animals like raccoons. 
  • You want a more power-packed gun rather than overall performance. 

Hence, depending on these criteria, choose between .22 vs .25 pellet guns. I’m sure once you understand your requirements and compare them with this guide, you’ll get a better understanding of what to buy. 

Sean Campbell’s love for hunting and outdoor life is credited to his dad who constantly thrilled him with exciting cowboy stories. His current chief commitment involves guiding aspiring gun handlers on firearm safety and shooting tactics at the NRA education and training department. When not with students, expect to find him either at his gunsmithing workshop, in the woods hunting, on the lake fishing, on nature photoshoots, or with his wife and kid in Maverick, Texas.

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