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There are more and more air rifles available on the market all the time, each gun customized for every shooting need. Learning about your shooting needs and the various types of gun can help you choose the right air rifle.
Hunting with an air rifle
While a real gun uses powder burning to provide a ton of power source an air gun only uses pressurized air as a power source, which is much less powerful but safer, as well as legal in many more countries than real guns.
There are five mechanisms to produce pressurized air: Spring power, Variable Pump, Gas piston, Compressed CO2 gas, and Compressed air (PCP).
In general, these five types of rifles are equally accurate. However, you need to get used to each’s recoil and speed.
The PCP air rifle has just a little recoil and the projectiles are fired from the barrel immediately, while the springer recoils as much as a real gun and it takes time for the pellet to come out of the barrel. So, when you shoot the spring powered air rifle, you need to hold it steady or your projectile will fly way off course, but when you fire the PCP air rifle, you just need to pull the trigger and that’s it. The CO2 rifle sits in the middle of the PCP and the Springer, faster than the latter but slower than the former. The recoil is much more powerful than the PCP but still less than the Springer.
It’s this that makes the PCP air rifle very popular, particularly with newbies.
However, shooting with a spring air rifle is so much fun as it will give you an experience similar to shooting a full-bore rifle. If you can handle the recoil and still shoot accurately, you can consider yourself a great shot.
Spring power and compressed air are not affected by the temperature, while compressed CO2 gas works poorly when it’s too cold or too hot.
In terms of cost, the Springer is the lowest because it does not need to be recharged, unlike the CO2 and the PCP. However, compressed air is more expensive than CO2 gas.
To sum up, if you need a fun gun that’s close to a real rifle, choose the Springer. If you need a modern,easy-operating gun, choose the PCP. If you think the PCP air rifle costs a little too much, go for the CO2 rifle.
The bigger the caliber size, the bigger the animal you can take down.
.177 calibers are the most accurate, long-range, and the fastest in the air rifle world. They are suitable for small game like pigeon.
.22 and .25 calibers have more power but less range and speed. They are suitable for medium game like raccoon and rabbits
Finally, the .30, .357 and above calibers are super powerful, and capable of bringing down big game deer or boar.
Remember to choose a suitable and accurate air rifle to kill your prey ethically.
Below is my air rifle review – the top 5 best air rifles of 2019:
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat – The quietest air rifle in 2019
- 2 2. AirForce Texan Big Bore – The most powerful air rifle in 2019
- 3 3. Crosman PCP Challenger – The most accurate air rifle in 2019
- 4 4. Gamo Coyote SE – The best .22 air rifle in 2019
- 5 5. Benjamin Titan GP – The best value for money air rifle of 2019
1. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat – The quietest air rifle in 2019
Gamo Silent Cat air rifle
Gamo is a 60-year-old Spanish brand. They specialize in rifles, bullets, and BB guns. Airguns and pellets need to be precise in every detail, so they develop and manufacture them in the local facilities in Spain for the best quality control. Gamo Coyote has innovative products at an affordable price, which is the reason why they are available in over 90 countries.
The Gamo Whisper Silent Cat air rifle has a thin but solid plastic stock. The gun uses spring power and is ambidextrous with two cheek pads on both sides. There is a rubber pad in the butt plate to absorb the recoil.
The rifle is very lightweight and compact. It’s only 5.3 lb and 46″ long, with a barrel length of 18.0 inches. The short barrel helps the rounds come out of the barrel faster that makes it easier to shoot and fire long distance.
The Gamo Whisper Silent Cat air rifle fires .177 caliber accurately at 1200 fps with PBA, and 1000 fps with lead. It’s a single-shot gun, and in terms of scopes, the Gamo Silent Cat air rifle features 11mm dovetail tray.
As the name suggests, the rifle is designed for quietness. It is in fact the quietest spring powered air rifle, thanks to the noise dampener attached to the front. However, when shooting PBA ammo, it does make a little more noise. You should consider lead pellets to reduce sound.
The air rifle only costs about $150 – an affordable price, but it certainly doesn’t feel cheap.
2. AirForce Texan Big Bore – The most powerful air rifle in 2019
AirForce Texan Big Bore Air Rifle
AirForce Airguns is the first manufacturers of PCP air rifles in the U.S. It was founded in 1994 in Texas, and the Texan and Texan SS are their main products. AirForce has some serious airguns for the serious shooter. Their rifles offer advanced design, performance, and versatility for every shooter.
The Texan was released in 2015. Since then, it has been a monster in the airgun world. The gun is famous for its massively powerful shots. It can be considered the most powerful PCP air rifle in the world. The gun is designed to close the gap between a real firearm and an air rifle. You should never underestimate the power of this gun.
The AirForce Texan Big Bore Air Rifle is designed for big game and can discharge 257, .308, .357 or .457 calibers at speeds up to 1,000 fps with over 500 ft/lbs of energy. You can hunt anything with this air rifle. Deer and boar are no issue.
With a long barrel of 43 inches, the AirForce Texan Big Bore Air Rifle can shoot a far away target even at 125 yards.
Although the power is deadly, you don’t need to worry about recoil – it’s not much since the power source is compressed air. It is not equipped with AirFore’s Sound-Loc Technology though, so it’s not so quiet.
The stock is made from synthetic, comes in all back, and is really nicely finished. The overall length is 48.5 inches and the weight 8 pounds. The 490cc air tank can be filled up to 3000 psi (200 bar — uses only compressed air or dry nitrogen).
The drawbacks are that the gun doesn’t come with open sights or scope and has only a 1 shot capacity.
The AirForce Texan Big Bore Air Rifle Price will set you back just under $1000 – but it is the best PCP air rifle available for that amount.
3. Crosman PCP Challenger – The most accurate air rifle in 2019
Crosman PCP Challenger
Crosman Corporation is a shooting sports manufacturer from the U.S. The company was founded in 1924 with the name “Crosman Rifle Company”. They are famous for their airgun design and the accuracy of their products.
The Crosman PCP Challenger has an ambidextrous design with a polymer stock. The scope mounting rail is 11mm dovetail. The butt pad is adjustable to enhance the rifle’s length from 38.75 inches to 41.75 inches. Its weight is 7.3 pounds.
It was recently approved as legal for use in Sporter Class air rifle competition by the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council. This is a rifle made for competition, not for hunting.
The Crosman PCP Challenger fires .177 caliber pellet at 530 fps and 4-5 ft/lbs. It features Lothar Walther barrel for unsurpassed accuracy. You can use either CO2 or compressed air for the rifle, you can fire about 70 rounds when filled to 2,000 psi.
If you want an air rifle for competition, the Crosman PCP Challenger is a good choice at about $650
4. Gamo Coyote SE – The best .22 air rifle in 2019
Gamo Coyote SE PCP air rifle
Gamo Coyote SE PCP Air Rifle has an ambidextrous design. The beech stock material makes it look classic and like a real gun. The gun has a compact size and is quite lightweight. Only 7 pounds without the scope, and a total length at 42.9″.
The gun is also available in multiple calibers: .177,.22, & .25, so you can choose the best type of caliber for your shooting needs. The cylinder is capable of being filled to 232 bar (3,365 psi) – you can expect 30 good shots (optimal velocity) when it’s full. If you only fill about 2900 psi, you’ll have about 20 good shots with higher deviation.
The Gamo Coyote SE PCP Air Rifle is equipped with a multi-shot mechanism that allows you to have 10 shots on load on .22 caliber. The maximum velocity is 1000 fps.
The performance of the gun is really good: easy to shoot, and really accurate – it can shoot perfectly up to 50 yards.
The only drawback is the loud sound when shooting. However, I guess it’s not an issue when you’re hunting.
The gun’s price is $500 – the best air rifle of 2019 at that price.
5. Benjamin Titan GP – The best value for money air rifle of 2019
In terms of bang for your buck, the Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle, a product of Crosman, takes the crown.
Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle
The Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle has a genuine, great looking wooden stock that gives it a special feeling in your hands. It is a gas piston gun. There’s a ventilated rubber pad in the butt plate for recoil absorption. It is a break barrel air rifle that can shoot 1 round per load.
The gun is not so lightweight. It weighs 6.75 pounds without the scope and mounts, and it is 43.5 inch long, with a 15 inch barrel.
The rifle features a gas piston power source, and is available in .177 and .22 caliber. With the shooting range of up to 50 yards, the Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston can be deadly accurate and hit hard enough to get the job done in the quickest manner.
This gun can shoot tin cans and small animals like birds, rabbits, and squirrels. The price is affordable, too, at around only $130, which is a great price for a break barrel gun that has dead-on accuracy and hits as hard as a PCP air rifle.