Discover The Best Air Rifle of 2019[Updated]

BY  James Brown​, 9 minutes

So you are looking for the best air rifle to enhance your hunting skills, Maybe you want to practice being a better shooter or it might be something else, there is no reason why you should not look out the best air rifle for the money.

Unfortunately, the current market is saturated with too many Rifle brands, making it harder for you to decide which one to go for.

But don’t worry. We totally understand where you are coming from, we have been there and honestly, it is quite frustrating. That is why we have done hours upon hours of research and combined it with our personal experience to give you our expert recommendation of the best Air Rifle for hunting in the market right now.

Moreover, it is not that you have a lot of time and resource to try out each one of them one by one and have a hand on experience anyway to decide which one works better.

Thereby, we have done all the heavy lifting for you. Why? Simply because it is our passion, we live and breathe hunting and we just love sharing what we have learned over the years to help other aspiring and experienced hunters put on the right path.

Precisely we focused on the material it is made of, type of rifle it is, caliber, shooting velocity, affordability, Range and safety.

That is why we decide to create a list of top five best air rifles to help you get confident in making your buying decision.


Whisper Fusion Mach 1 -best air rifle

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Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle- best air rifle

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Gamo Big Cat 1250 Air Rifle with Scope- best air rifle

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The nitro venom delivers serious performance with its focus on power, accuracy and design.

While the shot cycle producing less noise, the rifle is perfect for bird hunting making small pest control.

Crosman Nitro venom is a spring break (Break Barrel) Air rifle that uses a nitro piston, which is great because it makes the gun lighter, faster, smoother cocking, shoot smoother and has less recoil.

Nitro pistons are also more resilient to bad weather and Produce less overall noise. Just insert the pellet, close the barrel and it is ready to fire. Also, nitro piston is easier to cock and there is less recoil.

The rifle is not too heavy or too light , enough to get the job done, making it a good choice for those who are game hunting and walk throughout the day carrying the rifle and hunting essentials on their back.

With an adjustable trigger, they have added some nice patterns in the grip to give it a vintage look. The Air rifle is of 22 calibers and it does not come with any open sites, so the company bundles a centerpoint 3-9x32 scope with the quick-lock mounting system.

The scope does not have an adjustable parallax, which makes it tough to get a clear sight at around 10 yards with 3X magnification. However, it does get better as the target moves ahead. Since its an entry level air gun, don't expect much from its scope.

Nitro venom manages to shoot up to 800FPS with lead ammunition and 950 FPS with alloy ammunition capable of shooting up to 35 yards. We were seriously impressed by its accuracy.

It’s an extensive rifle powerful enough to use in multiple scenarios, such as plinking, target practice, vermin control, or even small game hunting if it’s allowed in your locality. The .22 caliber pellets have a high impact velocity, but not ideal for killing large animals, at best you can leave a wound on their body.

One thing we find strange about this rifle is that the trigger is a little stiff, there is a little room for improvement in the design.

Overall, the performance of the nitro venom is good; it is a good mid-range rifle considering its price and comparison to other guns in the same category.

The Good Stuff:

  • The break barrel system let the gun to use for a variety of purpose, from pest control to target shooting and everything in between.
  • The Nitro piston, is easier to cock in contrast with coiled springs.
  • Shooting has significantly less recoil than other in class air rifles.
  • Due to its superior noise damping design, the shot cycle produce about 70% less noise in contrast to coiled springs.

The Bad Stuff:

  • The break barrel system is not designed to have beginners in mind; it requires a professional level of accuracy to pull off well.
  • The rifle lack iron sights, so if the scope is removed, it is difficult to hit the target accurately.

The whisper silent cat is an all rounder air rifle in terms of eliminating small targets. Especially, controlling pests.

Under $200, this air rifle is one of the most preferred air rifle among hunters.

This air rifle is the cheapest rifle in the list. Gamo Whisper Cat is a .177 caliber gun which has a velocity of 1200 foot per second with PBA Platinum ammunition or 1000 FPS with regular lead pellets making it one of the best air rifle under 200 dollars.

The single shot system in this rifle is effective against its target that includes rodent and small game animals which makes it a resourceful air rifle for various game hunting purpose.

The Gamo Whisper cat is a silent air rifle with its noise dampening system will reduce the noise by 52 percent by mounting the noise dampener to the barrel, which makes it a great rifle as it will not disturb your neighbors and you can practice or even take out pests, in your backyard.

The gun produces less noise even at high powered shots. This will especially help in making the shots unnoticeable for your target. 

The skeleton stock and cheek rest have an impressive design making it comfortable for the bearer. Moreover it is quite durable, as it is made up of durable black synthetic heavy-duty plastic.

At the rear of the stock is a recoil pad that helps reduce the force of each power shot, disengaging the kickback for a comfortable session. The gun is ideally for small game, we have killed hogs from this rifle standing at about 40 yards. 

In-addition it comes with a ventilated rubber pad which decreases recoil thus increases safety by protecting the user from any side effect of the gun.

The rifle has a 4X32 scope which works great at about 30 yards the accuracy of the rifle was pretty good. Its break barrel system is effectively designed for both noobs and more advanced shooters. For first time shooters, shooting at target is effective and accurate.  

The scope it came with is surprisingly good; it mounts up pretty well, screws up pretty tight, can cause a little bit of hiccup with the sun light if you’re facing the sun as the position of the scope is a little low.

Another great feature is that this rifle has two-safety features i.e. Automatic cocking safety system and manual trigger safety to further enhance safety!

The Good Stuff:

  • Its a High powered air rifle
  • Quite accurate at long ranges
  • Produce much less noise
  • comfortable to hold and easy to maintain
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Decent enough rifle scope

The Bad Stuff:

  • The trigger has a hard pull
  • Lighter ammunition is tough to control for beginners due to its high power which means less accuracy. 

The gamo big cat 1250 is one of the best air guns that utilize spring piston technology.

As the name implies, the gun can shoot up to 1250 fps of pellets while the all-weather synthetic stock provide extra sturdiness. 

this rifle has it all for a perfect mid-rang pellet rifle. So lets jump on to its features.


Gamo Big Cat 1250 Air Rifle with Scope- best air rifle

Our third pick is gamo big cat 1250 air rifle that is about 43 inches long and weighing 6.1 lbs making it a lightweight rifle, it has an 18 inches long barrel with a recoil pad at the end.

Big Cat 1250 rifle can shoot at 1250 feet per second (FPS) with PWA Platinum pellets and 1,000 FPS with lead pellets. Big cat 1250 is a spring powered gun which is compressed by cocking action for each shot.
Such high velocity shots makes this gun a magnum class air rifle so one must handle this tool with their full attention.

This spring piston saves a bit money on CO2 cartridge or pumping equipments.  However, the spring needs maintenance from time to time.

In addition, the rifle is pretty accurate, if you use the nickel pellets, it gives the rifle an unfair advantage making the pellets even more accurate as it is fairly lighter than aluminum or lead based pellet.

The Big cat 1250 air rifle comes with a 4-x magnification, 32-millimeter objective rifle scope that is good for about 20+ yards shooting, not recommended for long range shooting. You will find it hard zeroing in the target if you don't mount the scope properly or tighten all the screw.

The twin cheek pad makes it convenient for both left handed and right handed shooters. In-addition, the ventilated rubber recoil pad absorbs recoil of upto 70 percent reducing the kickback from the shots fired. 

The gun is made up of synthetic, all weatherproof material and it has a very comfortable stock, making it very durable. It gives the rifle an advantage over an the wooden stock they are heavy and easily affected by moist. This makes the tool maintenance free and the non-slip texture design in the grip and forearm gives it a strong grip.
A pro tip: You must always keep your rifles screw tight because after a while they get loose suggesting, you do not want to compromise with the accuracy of the gun.

This rifle is equipped with a break barrel cocking system, you have to break the barrel in order to cock then pivot it towards the stock then insert the pellet and swivel the to its original position and the gun is good to go. It will feel complicated for a while until you will get used to it.

The rifle has an adjustable trigger and scope which makes it convenient. The rifle is suitable for pest control because of the high velocity pellets big cat can shoot.

Overall, the Gamo Big Cat 1250 is a decent rifle with decent accuracy. Other than, a bad rate of fire and If it’s important to you to find a less expensive air rifle Big Cat 1250 is a great choice.

The Good Stuff:

  • Adjustable trigger
  • Designed for both right and left handed people
  • Adjustable trigger safety
  • Setup is easy and Good detection range is remarkable
  • Excellent quality built-in factory fitted scope
  • Powerful enough to kill a hog

The Bad Stuff:

  • the level 4 medium high produce loud noise with PBA pellets

The whisper Fusion Mach 1 is one of the best Air pellet rifle we have had the privilege to experience it first had. It is simply one of the most powerful air rifle on the market. 

The built quality with this tool is top notch. The look and feel of this rifle makes it one of our top choice while maintaining its profile. 

Whisper Fusion Mach 1 -best air rifle
Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle-best air rifle

The whisper fusion is a suppressed single shot incredibly fast pellet gun with a velocity of 1020 FPS at .22 caliber and 1420 FPS at .177 caliber thanks to a large 33 mm cylinder.  

Fusion Mach 1 is packed with features and its high performance makes it one of the best high power air rifle. By far this is the most rugged air gun we have tested. Mach 1 is design with nothing but having accurate shot placement in mind.

It comes with a 3-9x40 air rifle scope, and the elevation windage is super secure which makes it very tactile and accurate. It does not have any adjustable eyepiece, which is not so bad if you look at all the other features it offers.

However, the rifle does feature the adjustable sights for both windage and elevation. 

In addition, it has integrated cheek riser, which is good as it makes it one of the few guns out there who offer it. With an Automatic Cocking Safety system, the cocking requires a pull weight of 41 lbs. the trigger is adjustable with a safety, which felt a little misplaced being right next to the trigger. 

The whisper fusion has a rubberized Non-Slip texture design on grip and forearm making it handy and there are thin cheek- pad molded on each side, this might be a good choice for both left and right-handed people making it hassle free.

The rifle features a sound moderator that let the pellets to pass through two different chambers to promote air expansion and prevents noise expansion which in turn make it the extremely silent despite having a high velocity. 

To wrap things up, if you want a hunting rifle for small game or just a plinking rifle to shoot for cheap, the Whisper fusion mach 1 is a great gun for that.

The Good Stuff:

  • Large 33 mm air cylinder.
  • Designed for both the left and right handed people
  • High powered shots and incredibly fast shots
  • Highly accuracy

The Bad Stuff:

  • Is a bit louder considering its name "whisper"

Honorable Mentions

RWS 22 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle is a powerful and high performance gun designed to take out small gun out to 70 yards.

The 34 model is a .22 caliber German made gun designed to last a lifetime as marketed by the company.

RWS 22 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle- best air rifle

The RWS 22 is made to keep three things in mind, accuracy, style, and power. This pellet gun is a beast in terms of power. In-addition, it features a classic wooden finish with a first class hardwood stock which is really impressive considering the price of this tool. 

This German made gun features a built in spring piston technology providing an outstanding speed of 1000 fps. The break barrel, spring piston technology provides the RWS 22 the needed power to reach 800 fps with .22 caliber rifle.

Another great feature of this rifle is its safety feature, which is equipped with a T06 trigger that can be adjusted in two steps.

Also known as the master shooter, this gun provides an outright accuracy with its rear and front sights during windage and elevation. The RWS 22 feels comfortable on the shoulders, pretty solid to hold and overall a decent built. However, you cannot compare it with an air rifle with  much higher price.

The company is so confident about the durability of this air rifle that it comes with a lifetime warranty. on top of that, the gun requires low maintenance so it can be a good options for those who don't like spending money on guns every second year.

The wind-age elevation is perfectly designed. In-addition, the rifle houses a high quality fiber optic sight with decent accuracy for your next shot. The T06 Trigger is nearly perfect with much less recoil.

Enough of the positives, we have some beef with this air rifle, like how great the design is, the gun is not newbie friendly. The front sight of this gun feels like it is made up of cheap plastic.

Overall this firearm is a great product for small game, it’s a little high priced that’s the only drawback but great quality.

The Good Stuff:

  • Well designed and sturdy
  • Can be used by left and right handed people
  • Features click modification for both windage and elevation on rear sight
  • Well crafted wood stock
  • Very quite with lead pellets

The Bad Stuff:

  • The light weight plastic in the front sight feels cheap
  • Not made for underage people

The Magnum is a gas piston air rifle that uses Inert Gas Technology to fire its shot.

This air rifle can reach up-to a staggering 1650 fps with .177 caliber bullet and 1300 fps with .22 caliber.

Magnum Air Rifle- best air rifle

The magnum air rifle is available in .177 and .22 caliber pellets reaching 1540 FPS with PBA platinum pellets and 1140 FPS with .22 Caliber PBA platinum Pellets.

Gamo red fire pellets at 15.4 grain are a good fit at higher elevation though, at sea levels, 16+ would work well. The rifle has all weather texturized composite thumb-hole stock with a recoil-reducing rail which Absorbs the recoil of the rifle increasing the lifespan of the scope.

The recoil pad reduces recoil up-to 74% from the gun. You will not feel any discomfort or pressure on your shoulders after each fired shot. 

The rifle also includes a 3-9x40 AO (adjustable objective) scope with RRR (Recoil Reducing Rail), two globe fiber optic front sight and rear where the rear sight is micro click and fully adjustable, making it one of the few Air rifle, you can hunt even without a scope maintaining that open sight opportunity.

Another good feature is that the rifle has a custom action trigger making it fully adjustable full stage trigger, which is great because you can adjust your trigger to your personal preference.

If it is important to you to find an air rifle with a good warranty, Magnum Air Rifle comes with a 5-year warrant, gives you confidence in your purchase really. One of the good features it has is its lightweight.

The Good Stuff:

  • Even if you leave it cocked for hours the gun will not experience spring fatigue. 
  • Long lasting than a metal spring
  • independently adjustable 1st and 2nd stage custom-able action trigger, allows you to tailor you trigger
  • Works fine during cold weather

The Bad Stuff:

  • overpriced
  • Cocking takes extra effort

This air rifle is the sibling of Benjamin marauder synthetic stock pellet. 

This air rifle assures that you will be able to hunt turkey, coyote, varmints confidently and effectively without a hiccup.

Even though the Benjamin Marauder Wood Stock Air Rifle is a little expensive but the accuracy it gives is quite impressive even at 100 yards.

Benjamin Marauder Wood Stock is an American made pre-charged pneumatic comes in .177, .22 and .25 caliber pellets.

While 177 & 22 is available with or without a regulator, the non-regulated version being tuned for more power and regulated version being tuned for more shot count.
The rifle is 43 inches long, weigh in 10.3 lbs, and is not a single shot rifle; it comes with 1-10 rotary mag, which is great so you do not have to cock it after every single shot. 22 calibers give up to 1000 FPS speed.

Moreover, a reversible bolt making it usable for both right and left-hand people.

The dual stage match grade has a very adjustable trigger and manual safety with an ambidextrous stock the only problem we face with the trigger is the first stage pull is hard to pull.

The rifle also has an adjustable cheek piece; a rubber butt plate for absorbing the kickback, the cocking is quite smooth throughout the cycle.

Benjamin Marauder contains up to 3000 psi of air pressure. Pressure falls to about 100 shots (about 1000 psi). Overall, the Benjamin Marauder is a perfect air gun for target shooting, pest control, small game, and varmint hunting.

The Good Stuff:

  • 10-shot repeater with auto-indexing feature
  • Pressure meter(Manometer)
  • American Made
  • Nicely crafted with wood and steel
  • Adjustable cheek-piece 

The Bad Stuff:

  • Bottom of the forearms is uncomfortable for some people
  • A bit noisy

#1. Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle

So there you have it, our top pick for the best Air Rifle this year, a lot of thought and attention went into the design of Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Rifle, made in .177, .22, .25 caliber, the rifle comes with a factory installed De-pinger which helps in reducing mechanical noise makes it a very quiet gun.

The rifle is 42.8-inch-long from tip to end and Weight 7.30 lbs making it lighter than its predecessor does, it also has a 250cc reservoir that could fill up to 3000psi.

This Air rifle has a pressure gage under the forearm, which is great because it will help you keep track of your usable pressure available. The 10 shot repeater is another great feature of this rifle which comes with auto indexing.

This Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) rifle has a fully adjustable dual stage match-grade trigger and manual safety, which is great for target shooting. But you will need an external PCP charging extension like a pump or a high pressure air cylinder to for refilling the air.

Firing the Benjamin Marauder is quite smooth because you do not have to deal with recoil and the trigger is quite predictable. It makes it a lot of fun to shoot at targets.

The rifle also comes with a reversible ball and adjustable cheek piece with a rubber butt plate. A dovetail mount is attached to the rifle but the sights are missing which change the look of the tool but doesn't affect the accuracy.

Benjamin marauder feels heavy and takes about 50 -90 pumps to fill the reservoir which is not very nice for the gun with such high expectations.

Another good feature of the rifle is that it has a 10-shot repeater with auto-indexing this might be a good choice for those who do not want to cock every single time after they fire.

The rifle has an adjustable synthetic stock and the overall feel of the gun is extremely comfortable.

Our final verdict is that Benjamin Marauder Synthetic a great gun, that comes at a reasonable price but is a bit high priced for some people. Highly recommended for medium game hunting .

The Good Stuff:

  • Shift from left to right side with reversible jolt which is very convenient.
  • Designed for both the left and right handed people
  • Slightly backed-up trigger position for better grip and stability
  • Able to kill medium sized game like coyote and foxes

The Bad Stuff:

  • Seems a bit heavy to use.

Things to keep in mind when buying an Air rifle

Being smart and having knowledge beforehand when buying something does not hurt. It is always preferred to have a little bit of experience or at least education in that area so that you can make your buying decision with more confidence.

Before you pay for your next leisure always ask yourself these questions so you don’t regret buying a rifle which doesn’t really a fit for you. Shooting velocity, Material is it made of, how rugged is it, what caliber rifle is it, is it the right fit for me, what type of safety does it have?

Which Rifle Range should I buy?

Always know the range of the rifle, for how far can it shoot with accuracy. You do not want to own a gun where you are not comfortable when you shoot it from a long distance. The caliber and propulsion method both plays a major role in achieving a decent range for rifle.

Light rifles are good at about 35 yards while super high-powered rifles can shoot up to 80 yards with accuracy. For far away targets, Pre charged pneumatic(PCP) system is recommended for its accuracy  and long range shooting.

The variable pump offers the least range so make sure to know what is your preferred range before sticking to a particular type of gun. 

We would encourage you to get a super high-powered gun if you are into hunting.

Will it affect my overall hunting budget?

With the rise in the prices of actual guns, more and more people are turning to air rifles for hunting. With that being said, Air rifles too can be a little expensive as well, especially the high powered ones.

Since the air guns are range in quality and its ability, you can spend anywhere from $40 for a basic air rifle to a hefty $1000 for a top of the line high powered air line for a high end competition use.

High powered guns that have the capabilities for long range shooting is a bit expensive and if you have a limited budget for hunting you might want to compromise with medium high or light range air rifle which is not a bad thing, it’s just that the proximity to your target will be less which may scare your game.

Type of rifle is best for me?

 The three main type of air rifle that can be seen in the market today: CO2 powered, Pneumatic & Pre-charged pneumatic and spring piston each one has its advantages over other.

Co2 Powered

Co2 powered guns come in a variety of different sizes uses compressed Co2 gas for firing pellets. Because they are easy to use, they are quite popular with hunters. They contain a Co2 cartridge and can give up to 100 shots at 3000psi before you fill it up again and it is ready to go.

One of the great things about Co2 powered guns is that they are easy to use, requires less cocking effort and very quiet compare to the other two.

Rapidly firing results in less number of total shots you can fire per full cartilage.

Pre-Charged Pneumatic

A pre-charged pneumatic air rifle requires large rifles, also known as PCP are the oldest form of air rifles dated back to 1500s.

Pre-charged means compressed air is put into the gun before it is shot and it is easier to fill it up with a hand pump if you want to keep things simple. Typically, about 125 pumps give you about 25 shots.

Keeping a PCP gun charged at all the time keeps the dusty air out of the reservoir increasing the life of the gun by preserving all the seals. You will amaze by the accuracy of the gun and a PCP gun does not give recoil.

Spring Piston

This type of guns are the most accurate and have high velocity. In addition, they are the most common gun overall. It consists of a heavy spring and a piston, when you fire, it accelerates the piston forward compressing the air.

However, it is quite simpler to fix but you have to put lubrication on the spring otherwise you have to compromise with the quality life of the spring. If you left cock a spring piston for a long time, it can break.

Rifle Caliber

Some of the most popular caliber mainly .177, .20, .22, .25.

.177 Cal is the smallest caliber pellets, which is suitable for small game hunting and birds. They are usually more accurate and the quietest than other caliber pellets resulting they do not scare your game away. In addition, they do not transfer much energy on impact.

.20 Cal is ideal for small game hunting, it transfers a good amount of energy onto the target and the energy will not drop as fast as the .177 Cal.

Similarly, the .22 Cal is even bigger and transfers more energy though the accuracy is reduced with more damage on impact but it does not lose it energy and it goes further the two.

.25 is in a sweet spot for medium game hunting, it has the most impact energy amongst the four. It also is quite expensive and uses a lot of air to move, resulting in a low shot count. 

Common Uses

Generally, there is three main use of an Air Rifle, Target shooting, pests control and hunting small game.

Target Shooting

Target shooting induces activities like practicing at a shooting range, plinking, and target shooting event. Although shooting is an aggressive sport, but the chiller and easygoing version of target shooting are Plinking.

It is a form of casual target shooting where the shooter usually uses targets like beer cans, soda bottles or perhaps even paper target (which are not as fun to shoot at).

One of the great thing about plinking is how economical this activity is, you do not have to spend money on anything beside the cost of pellets.

Besides, you can perform it in your backyard or in an open field without much hindrance.

Small Game Hunting

Small game can easily be eliminated by an air rifle; they are generally squirrels and rabbits, sometimes-wild hogs.

Generally, steel or lead BB are being used when hunting any type of small game. Steel and Lead BB's have the weight and the energy required to knock off the intended small animals. However, if you choose to go with the airsoft pellets, which may be greater in size but does not produce enough impact energy need to eliminate the intended target.

Pest Control

Like small game hunting, air gun is used for pest control as well. Eliminating pests like rats, mice, squirrel ect. SInce the pellets used doesn't cost much makes them a great choice for removing pests in your backyard. In-addition, they are a much much safer option than other alternatives. 

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