Best Air Rifle Review: Training and Pest Control
A few years ago, when I first went out to buy an air rifle, I spent nearly $300 on what I thought was the best air rifle money could buy. There were cheaper options, but I figured if I spent a bit more, I would be sure to get the best. But boy was I wrong. In the end, the gun was okay. But for $300, I wanted more than okay. You can imagine my frustration. Finding the best air rifle seems easy, but it’s actually a huge challenge.
So to try and make it a little easier, we put our rigorous testing methodology into action. We went through the hundreds of different pellet guns available, read thousands of reviews and tested out the best-sellers. From this process, we have determined the Gamo Whisper Silent Air Rifle to be the best air rifle available on today’s market. It’s powerful, built-to-last, surprisingly quiet and under $200, making it a superior product that won’t break the bank.
If you want to get the best air rifle being made today so that you can keep your home pest-free and practice your shooting skills, get the Gamo Whisper Silent Air Rifle now.
- Why you should trust us
- Why Find the Best Air Rifle
- How We Conducted our Review: What is the Best Air Rifle?
- Testing Results
- The Best Air Rifle
Why you should trust us
It is important to us you find what you are looking for. We don’t want anyone to feel the way I felt when I found out I paid more than double what I should have.
Only through detailed research can you be entirely certain you are getting the best.
This is where we come in. It’s our job to make sure you get the best, so we spend hundreds of hours looking over the different options available. We also test many ourselves so that we can give more insight into the product.
You don’t need to be wondering if someone leaving a review is working for the company or is just trying to be funny. We’ve weeded out all of this and have gotten to the bottom of things.
Also, we simply love this stuff. We’ve been hiking, camping and hunting nearly our entire lives and know how important it is to have quality gear with you. The products we recommend are those we would use ourselves and would trust in any situation.
Why Find the Best Air Rifle
Considering the fact most of us can buy actual guns, you might be wondering why you should opt for an air rifle. There are quite a few reasons, actually.
First, air rifles are a bit more practical. They are smaller and lighter, and as a result, they are usually cheaper. Now you can certainly shell out several hundred dollars for one, but the best air rifle will offer you amazing functionality for no more than $200.
They are also a bit safer. Because they use pellets instead of bullets, they can’t do as much damage as a traditional rifle. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. You can easily kill small animals such as squirrels or rabbits.
This is one of the most common uses of air rifles. However, you won’t be able to take this thing out to hunt for game, such as deer or elk. The pellets simply aren’t heavy enough to do any sort of real damage.
Because these guns are a bit safer, the requirements for owning them are much less strict. In many states, to own a gun you must pass background checks, go through waiting periods and jump through various other hoops. This is not the case with air rifles. You do need to be older than 18, but aside from that, virtually anyone can buy them.
Lastly, pellet guns are a great option because they are far less disruptive than regular guns. They make a lot less noise, meaning you can use them with people nearby without worrying about causing a disturbance. The best air rifle can be used for target practice in your backyard or to take aim at pests without bothering your neighbors.
How We Conducted our Review: What is the Best Air Rifle?
To sort through all the different options on the market, we created a system for reviewing each one.
First, we looked through reviews and tossed out those that were not well-received by fellow customers. Then, we went through the remaining options and reviewed them based on the criteria we will discuss below. Lastly, we chose the top ten and tested them ourselves to see which one is the best air rifle.
Here are the criteria we looked at to help conduct our review:
In general, the longer the barrel of the rifle, the more accurate it will be. Of course, accuracy depends on many factors, the most important being your ability, but getting something that is a bit longer will help you hit your target more often. But you don’t want to get something that is too long, as this will end up making the gun heavy and hard to handle. A total length of between 40 and 50 inches is a good size for an air rifle.
One of the main advantages of an air rifle is that it is lighter than a traditional rifle. Yet this doesn’t mean all air rifles are light. In fact, if you’re not careful, you could end up with something that is extremely bulky and a real pain to carry around. You should look for something under 10 pounds, as anything more than this is really excessive.
The two most common pellets out there are .177 and .22. For air rifles, .177 caliber rounds are often preferred. Since it is a bit lighter, it will come out of the gun faster and can, therefore, do more damage upon impact. Also, .177 caliber rounds are much more common, making them easier to find and cheaper as compared to .22. This isn’t to say .22 caliber rounds are no good, but to us, the best air rifle will use .177 rounds.
One of the most important things to look for in your air rifle is how fast the pellet comes out of the gun. Because they are lighter, .177 caliber bullets will come out of the gun faster, usually over 1,000 feet per second (fps). Anything under this is a sign of an under-performing weapon unless it is using .22 caliber rounds, which usually come out of the barrel around 900 fps.
One of the most distinguishing features of an air rifle is how they actually fire. There are a variety of different mechanisms out there that each serve a different purpose. For example, there is the variable pump, which is a manual pump used to build up the pressure needed to fire the pellet. These are reliable but can be a real pain to operate, especially if you want to fire multiple rounds quickly. They are best for beginners who are just learning how to shoot.
The other most common mechanisms are spring pistons, nitrogen pistons, and CO2. They all work in roughly the same way: compressing air. However, they do it in very different ways. Spring pistons build up pressure using springs, obviously, while nitrogen pistons use compressed nitrogen gas to fire the pellet. CO2 rifles are used for repetitive firing and are less common and more expensive.
Another important aspect of your air rifle is its action or loading mechanism. Most air rifles have either a break or bolt action. Break action rifles tend to be easier to use, clean and maintain, but they only allow for one shot at a time. Bolt actions allow for multiple shots to be fired simultaneously, but they are slow to load and harder to maintain.
The other actions available are pump actions and lever actions. These are more complicated mechanisms and are not usually found in rifles.
The review process began with a meticulous review of what is available on the market. We eliminated right away anything with a three-star rating or lower on Amazon.
From this, we got a list of about 15 different rifles. We then went through them and eliminated several based on some of the criteria we just mentioned. Here are the results:
Elimination Round 1
The first round of elimination was done based on the size or weight of the gun. It doesn’t make sense to be carrying around an air rifle that weighs over ten pounds.
It might be okay for target practice in your backyard, but the moment you want to walk around, you’ll be kicking yourself for having to carry around such a heavy object.
Two of the top options we eliminated based on weight are the Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo (11.7 pounds) and the Ruger Air Magnum Combo air rifle (11.5 pounds).
Elimination Round 2
Next, we dug a bit deeper and threw out a few options due to their weak firing velocity. If you’re going to spend a couple hundred dollars on an air rifle, you want something that has some pop.
For us, to earn the title of best air rifle, we wanted to see a firing velocity of at least 1,000 fps for a .177 caliber gun. Anything less than this that doesn’t use .22 rounds is just not delivering the type of punch you’d like to see from one of these guns.
So, top-rated options, such as the 809013 Daisy 177, the Deeman QB78D-177 Sportsman and the Crossman Nitro Venom Break Barrel (this one is actually a .22, but it’s firing velocity is still not sufficient), were eliminated from the running
Elimination Round 3
And lastly, we eliminated a few based simply on price. It is easy to think that if you spend $400 on an air rifle you are getting the highest quality. Well, that’s not entirely true. The best air rifle can be found for under $200, and offers everything you would expect.
You’ll probably see some of these guns being highly reviewed elsewhere, but you can easily get the same quality for less. So unless you are set on a certain brand or style, it really doesn’t make sense to shell out for these rifles. Some examples are the Benjamin Marauder Wood Stock Air Rifle, the Hatsan AT44-10 Long QU Air Rifle or the Gamo Hornet Air Rifle.
The Best Air Rifle
After these few rounds of elimination, we narrowed the list down to ten. From there, we set out to test each of them to determine which one deserves the title of best air rifle. Here are the results:
96/100—Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Rifle—(Best Air Rifle)
The Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Rifle has it all. It is incredibly powerful, well-built, quiet and affordable. It offers the best combination of features compared to what else is out there and is well deserving of its best air rifle crown. Here’s a little more information as to why we love this air rifle so much:
This air rifle stands out for many reasons, one being that it is super powerful. It uses a spring piston to shoot out .177 caliber rounds at a whopping 1,200 fps. This is enough force to stop any small critter in its tracks.
We also love this gun because of the way it feels. Compared to the other options, this one just felt the best in our arms. At just 7 pounds, it is easy to carry around. Also, it comes with a ventilated rubber pad to help you absorb the recoil, making it that much more comfortable to use.
Also, this gun is quiet. While it wasn’t as quiet as we might have been expecting, it is made with a built-in noise dampener that reduces the sound of the gun. This is great if you want to use it in your yard or close by other people. Obviously be safe, but you don’t have to worry about causing a big disturbance
The break barrel action makes it easy to load and maintain, and because it is made from all-weather synthetic material, this gun is built to last. And you can use it in virtually any weather condition.
The last thing that makes this gun stand out as the best air rifle is its price tag. At $149.99, buying this gun will not shatter your wallet. But just because it is affordable does not mean you are sacrificing quality. You’re still getting the best air rifle out there, you just don’t need to spend a fortune to do it.
While we do love this gun, there are a few things to look out for. First off, it does have a very metallic feel. We love this, as it makes it feel sturdier and look sleeker. But some people prefer a wooden look, so this could be a drawback for some.
Also, the scope that comes included with this gun is garbage. We ended up not using it and instead attaching one of our own. The iron sights seem to work pretty well in comparison, but if you like to use a scope, you’ll probably have to go out and find a better one. However, we found this to be standard amongst all air rifles. You’re buying the gun and not the scope, so we don’t think this detracts too much from its overall quality.
If you are looking for an air rifle that is powerful, easy-to-use, durable and quiet, then get the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat rifle.
80/100 – Crosman 3051 Fury Nitro Piston Pellet Gun (Best Air Rifle: Budget)
Our pick for the best air rifle only costs $150, but if you are looking for something even more affordable without sacrificing too much performance, get the Crosman 3051 Notro Piston Pellet Gun. It offers similar functionality, although not the same, and costs a bit less, making it an attractive option for those looking to save a little cash. Here’s our review:
This gun is plenty powerful. It will send .177 caliber rounds out of the barrel at 1,200 fps, making it just as powerful as all the other top-options out there.
It also uses a nitro piston instead of a spring, making it a bit quieter than most spring piston rifles and also a bit easier to use. The break barrel action is relatively standard, although there is some room for improvement, which we will discuss later.
Since this is the best budget option, it makes sense one of the things we like is the price tag. At just over $100, it is one of the cheaper options available, but this lower price does not mean a loss in performance.
Lastly, the all-weather synthetic stock makes this gun feel similar to other top options, and it also makes it equally as durable. You don’t need to worry about taking this gun out in the rain or even snow. It will hold up just fine.
One of the things we don’t like about this gun is that it can sometimes be hard to use. The break barrel action requires quite a bit of force, and you need to pull the trigger quite a ways to fire the gun. You can get used to this, but it is significantly different from other rifles, making its use a bit trickier than we would like.
This gun is also a bit too heavy. At almost 9 pounds it isn’t heavy enough to be thrown out right away, but it can certainly weigh on you after some time. Also, it is quite loud. If you are going to use it in a more remote area, this might not be an issue. But for those of us looking to use it on our property, we might find ourselves dealing with some complaining neighbors.
Lastly, the scope on this gun is also not great, and the sights could use some improvement as well. If you practice and get used to it, you should do fine, but this rifle doesn’t quite stand up to the competition in this area.
If you are looking for a quality air rifle that works great and costs a bit less, and you aren’t concerned about sacrificing a few features, get the Crosman 3051 Fury Nitro pellet gun. You won’t be disappointed.
75/80 – RWS .177 Pellet Model 34 Combo Rifle (Best Air Rifle: Overall Build Quality)
We’ve included this gun on the list even though it exceeded our $200 threshold because if you are someone who is okay with shelling out some cash, this is the gun you should get. It looks, feels and fires like a real gun, and that’s why we loved it so much. If you are looking for a superbly built and functioning gun and don’t care about price, get the RWS.177 Pellet Model 34 Combo. Here’s a little more about this rifle:
Again, this gun is built extremely well. RWS is a German gun maker that decided to use its expertise to make air rifles. We all know the reputation of Germany manufacturing, and with this gun, it holds true.
This superior build makes the gun feel great in your arms as if you were carrying a traditional rifle. It is a tad heavy, but this is the price you pay. Also, the wooden stock gives this rifle a real classic feel that might be a big plus for some people.
One other thing to note is that while this gun exceeds our price threshold, at $300 it is still less expensive than similar models on the market. A gun of this quality and with a wooden stock usually goes for over $400, so this offers a nice midway point between price and well-above-average quality.
Really the only downside to this gun is its price tag. It offers the same firing velocity and durability as other options, but for almost twice the price. However, this is one of the few options out there where this increase in price comes with some definite advantages.
As with the other options we reviewed, the included scope for this rifle is also terrible, but that seems to be par for the course.
If you are looking for superior quality and aren’t concerned about how much money you spend, get the RWS.177 Pellet Model 34 Combo
There are so many different air rifles available that it can be nearly impossible to figure out which one is the best. But out countless hours of research and testing has made this process much easier, as it has allowed us to look past the junk and find the best air rifle available.
After comparing what’s on the market and testing them based on our stringent criteria, we can safely award the title of best air rifle to the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Rifle. It is powerful, lightweight, durable, quiet and affordable. By combining performance and value, this air rifle has really set itself apart from the competition.
To get an air rifle that will outperform all others, allowing you to clear your home of pests or scare away intruders, and that also won’t break the bank, buy the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Rifle now.