The Best Break Barrel Air Rifle that Hits Like a Champ


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Break barrel is another name for a spring piston air rifle. They call it a break barrel because of the way that it cocks. The spring-powered mechanism has a powerful spring inside the rifle that works as the powerplant. Before shooting, you need to break the barrel down to insert the pellet and then, break the barrel up into position.

break barrel

Is a break barrel air rifle less accurate and less powerful than a PCP air rifle?

Definitely not. The best break barrel air rifles are in fact much more accurate and powerful than a medium quality PCP air rifle.

A PCP air rifle, a CO2 air rifle, and a break barrel air rifle can each have the same accuracy and power. The crucial points are that the PCP and a CO2 have little recoil when shooting and the projectiles come immediately out of the barrel, which makes them much easier to shoot than a break barrel air rifle. A break barrel recoils hard and makes quite some noise when shooting.

In fact, a break barrel air rifle has a great value with a small of money

However, if you can handle the recoil and shoot accurately with a break barrel, your shooting skills must be great and you’re ready for a real rifle. When you shoot the spring powered air rifle, you have to stand firm and hold the gun consistently or you’ll get a  flyer, as it takes a bit of time for the pellet to come out of the barrel.

In fact, a break barrel air rifle provides pretty great value for money. You don’t have to recharge the compressed air or compressed CO2 gas like a PCP and a CO2. You also have to spend a lot less money on a break barrel air rifle than the other two.

Sometimes they make a break barrel that does not use a spring as the powerplant, such as the Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston XL725 Break Barrel Air Rifle and Crosman Nitro Venom Air Rifle.

If you’re looking for the best break barrel air rifle 2018 – here is my top 5 best break barrel air rifles.

1. Crosman Optimus break barrel air rifle

Crosman Optimus

Crosman Corporation is a shooting sports manufacturer from the U.S. The company was founded in 1924 with the name “Crosman Rifle Company”. They produce a wide range of pellet and BB guns, optics, and archery weaons. The company is a leader in airgun innovation. Crosman Corporation is a recognized brand in 63 countries and accounts for 83% of all airguns in America.

The Crosman Optimus break barrel air rifle is both powerful and elegant. It has a good-looking, ambidextrous hardwood stock. The trigger is adjustable in two stages. The butt plate has a rubber pad to absorb the recoils. The mounting rail is Dovetail. The weight is 6.5 pounds. The overall length is 45 inches and the cocking effort is 30 pounds.

Crosman Optimus discharges .177 caliber pellets. The small caliber and low weight make .177 caliber pellets the most long-range, accurate, and fastest pellets, which are suitable for plinking and small game hunting like birds.

The maximum velocity can be a much as 1200 fps. The spring piston might be a little loud, but not overly so. You’ll have some recoil too. The gun shoots a single shot per load like almost every other break barrel air rifle.

This is the best break barrel air rifle for under $150 – it costs about $115.

Crosman Optimus .22

2. Hatsan 125 .22 air rifle with Black Stock and Vortex Piston

Hatsan 125 .22

The Hatsan 125 .22 is the best .22 break barrel air rifle. It discharges .22 caliber pellets, which are bigger and heavier than .177 caliber pellets, so they are more powerful but slower. .22 caliber pellets are suitable for medium game, such as rabbits and small hogs.

Hatsan is the most famous manufacturer of air guns in Turkey. They were founded in 1967 and now are available over 90 countries worldwide. They are ISO 9001 certified. They have a high-standard production process, from initial processing of materials to final product testing. The raw materials are very selective, using Turkish walnut and very high-quality steel. The end product is a high-quality and durable air rifle.

The Hatsan 125 .22 air rifle comes with a large silencer in front, shock adsorber system, adjustable cheek pieces with nice rubber pads, a scope, and a big bipod which is not really for shooting, more for display. It has some rubber inserts on the forearm and on the piston that gives you a nice grip. It also has a dual Weaver and Dovetail scope mount. The weight is 11.6 pounds and the length is 50 inches – very long due to the large silencer.

Furthermore, Hatsan 125 is a powerful break barrel spring-powered air rifle. Its max velocity is 1,000 fps, max energy 31 ft.lbs. The big silencer does a great job, the rifle is quiet while shooting. The recoil makes the gun more of a hunting rifle, not a target shooting rile.

It costs about $250 – for me, this is the best .22 break barrel air rifle at that kind of money.

Hatsan 125 Air Rifle, Black Stock, Vortex Piston

3. Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston XL Break Barrel Air Rifle

Benjamin Trail NP XL .22

The Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston XL Break Barrel Air Rifle is another product of the Crosman Corporation. Benjamin was first introduced in 1882 by the St. Louis Air Rifle Company. It is intended not as a toy, but as a high-power compressed air gun. Later, Crosman bought the patent rights of the rifle and has made it one of the best nitro piston air rifle for hunting.

Despite being a gas piston air rifle, Benjamin Trail NP XL Break Barrel Air Rifle has the break barrel mechanism. It’s logically not necessary since a gas piston air rifle doesn’t need to wind up the spring by barrel-breaking. However, I think they do it for an interesting feeling shot.

The Benjamin Trail NP XL comes with 3 versions of caliber for you to choose from: .177, .22 and .25 caliber. Yes, this monster can discharge .25 caliber pellets. .25 caliber pellets are even bigger and heavier than .22 caliber pellets, which can be suitable for hunting, from small animals like pigeons to bigger animals like small deer or hog. This is the best break barrel air rifle for hunting. You can hunt just about anything with this rifle.

Besides this, the Benjamin Trail NP XL Break Barrel Air Rifle has a hardwood ambidextrous stock with an integral rail mounting system for dovetail, a raised cheek piece at both sides, a rubber butt plate for recoil absorption. It’s a single-shot gun.

The gun uses compressed air as the power source, so it’s 70% less noisy than other break barrel air rifles on the market, and there’s much less recoil while shooting. The maximum velocity is 900 fps on .25 caliber.

Benjamin Trail NP XL comes with 3 versions of caliber for you to choose from: .177 (which you can read a review of here), .22 and .25 caliber. All 3 versions of the gun costs about $270. For me this is the best .25 cal break barrel air rifle in and around the $300 price range.

4. Swiss ARMS TAC1 .22 cal break barrel air rifle

Swiss ARMS TAC1 .22 cal

If you want a low-price break barrel air rifle, you should have a look at Swiss ARMS’ TAC1 .22 cal – it’s the best break barrel air rifle in its price range.

Swiss Arms AG is a Swiss weapons manufacturer, if that wasn’t already obvious! The company was founded in 1853, and up until now, they have had more than 150 years of development, with over 1.5 million products. Their philosophy is to focus on the precision of the weapons.

As you can see, the Swiss ARMS TAC1 .22 cal break barrel air rifle is a spring powered air rifle. It has an ambidextrous synthetic black thumbhole stock with a rifled steel barrel. Like other break barrels, it has a raised cheek piece at both side and rubber on the butt plate to absorb the recoil. The length of the rifle is 43.75″, with an 18.38″ barrel. It weighs 7.8 lbs.

It shoots 0.22 caliber pellet at 900 fps. It’s a single-shot break barrel which is suitable for small game hunting and plinking.

The gun only costs about $100, but trust us, it doesn’t feel at all like a cheap shot.

couples of Swiss arm tac1

5. Crosman Nitro Venom Air Rifle

Crosman Nitro Venom

Break barrel air rifles tend to be loud, however, the Crosman Nitro Venom Air Rifle is quite silent. 

The Crosman Nitro Venom Air Rifle is an attractive looking gun with an ambidextrous hardwood stock and two raised cheekpieces. It’s thin and light, only 7.4 lbs and 44.25″. The scope is Weaver/Picatinny rail.

It’s a break barrel that’s 70% quieter than most other break barrels. Not so much muzzle energy – only 18 ft/lbs, but high velocity – up to 1200 fps. Crosman Nitro Venom Air Rifle discharges one .177 caliber pellets per load.

The gun cocks smoothly, shoots smoothly, and can function perfectly in cold weather. It’s great for plinking, spinners, and of course pest elimination.

This is the best break barrel air rifle for pest control at about $150 only.

crosman nitro venom .22


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