Air rifles are one of the best tools you can use to remove furry pests from your property and for hunting large or small game. They are quieter than most standard firearms so they won’t disturb your neighbors, and they are also legal in most urban areas. Air rifles are usually safer, and can easily be used to teach novice hunters the basics of taking down wild game.
There are several different types of air rifles to choose from, and it is important to choose a pneumatic rifle that is the right caliber for the size of game you’ll be hunting. The best pellet rifles for hunting are usually either a .22 or a .177 caliber firearm, which can handle small 5-pound pests and 130 lbs of larger game. The gun should be well constructed to help prevent accidents when firing, and it should also be labeled as a hunting rifle. With this in mind, we have put together a review of our favorite air rifles all designed to help you bring down both large and small game.
The Best Air Rifles For Hunting
Crosman Optimus Break Barrel Air Rifle (.177)
This air rifle is perfect for hunting small game and pests. The dark hardwood stock is durable and elegant and the rifled barrel gives the pellets a powerful spin. It has a light cocking force that makes this air rifle ideal for beginning hunters, and the two stage trigger gives you even more control over your shot.
While this is a single-shot rifle, it is capable of firing up to 1,200 fps, and the break barrel makes it easy to reload. Hunting with an air rifle can get tiring, but the lightweight design will never weigh you down. A front and rear fiber optic site keeps you consistently on target, and the safety lever helps to prevent accidents from happening. Use this air rifle to practice target shooting, rid your property of unwanted pests, and enjoy the rabbit and other small game seasons when they come around.
Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle (.22)
This classic looking pneumatic rifle has a Monte Carlo-designed stock constructed from American hardwoods. Like most other .22 caliber air rifles, this one is perfect for novice shooters and for getting rid of rodents and other pests. Teach a young shooter how to aim and fire at a tin can, and enjoy yourselves on a hunting trip for small game.
The air rifle has a brass barrel with rifling to add more power and distance to your shots, and the gun’s sites are completely adjustable. It will only fire one shot at a time, but it is capable of rapidly shooting up to 685 fps. This smooth-looking gun is modeled after the old shotguns of the Wild West with single bolt action and a cross bolt is also installed for additional safety.
Crosman MTR77 Tactical Style Air Rifle with 4×32 Scope
This pellet rifle features a weatherproof stock and an adjustable two-step firing trigger. The air rifle is designed to resemble a sniper rifle and even includes a removable front scope. A false magazine is located underneath the gun, and can easily be switched for another full pellet clip. While this air rifle might look like an automatic weapon, it can still only fire one pellet at a time.
The steel barrel is durable and rifled for extra distance and accuracy with every shot. A sling mount is also included for long waits in between shots. While this is one of the best air rifles for hunting larger game, it was not designed for the beginning shooter. Powered by a replaceable nitrogen canister, this powerful firearm makes hunting with an air rifle fun.
Gamo Big Cat 1250 Air Rifle with 4 x 32 Rifle Scope .177 Caliber
The first thing we should mention about this great .177 caliber air rifle is that it is not allowed inside some city limits. Before firing this air gun in your backyard, you need to check with your local gun ordinances. While it is still a single shot pellet gun, it can still fire up to 1250 fps. The sleek black design makes you feel like a professional marksman, giving you plenty of confidence on your next hunting trip.
A front optic sight makes it easy to line up your next shot and it can be quickly removed for an unobstructed view. The single cocking system is quick and easy to use, though this air rifle is still not intended for children under 18 years of age or novice hunters. A fluted steel barrel makes it possible for you to make even the most impossible shot, and a one-year warranty ensures that your air rifle will always be working at its best.
Optimus Air Rifle (.22) with Scope
With the ability to shoot up to 950 fps, small game and pests don’t stand a chance. This air rifle was designed for hunting with a precision scope mounted on top and an adjustable two-step firing trigger. The gun is lightweight, with a small back kick, making it perfect for younger and beginning hunters.
This air rifle also features a single break barrel and a classic hardwood stock. The pneumatic rifle also features a rear optic site that can be adjusted for optimum lines of sight.
Hunting with an Air Rifle
Most sporting hunters use a .22 caliber air rifle for pest control and hunting small game. These lighter pellet rifles are perfect to use as teaching tools and even for backyard target practice. More experienced marksmen and hunters will often chose a .177 caliber air rifle which not only has a harder kick, but can also take down larger game like deer and smaller wild hogs. One important thing to remember before looking at pellet rifles for hunting is to check and make sure that the air rifle you pick is legal in your area.