The Best 1500 FPS Air Rifle
In full disclosure this wasn’t an easy decision. If you make it to the bottom of this article you’ll see our #2 choice. Realistically, we could have easily justified either of them as the winner of Best 1500fps Air Rifle crown.
Many people question why you would need a pellet rifle that can fire up to 1500 fps. If you’re reading this article or looking to purchase one, you know the answer varies for each person. These are not definitely not toys, and I wasn’t looking for a toy. I’m a devoted camper and wanted something to bring along for small game that I might be able to make a meal out of. For my purposes, an air rifle this powerful is not designed to only be used for target shooting, although it’s great for that too. So with built in bias I made extra effort to not focus on this pellet rifle’s hunting ability, but for people who were looking for a fun plinking and target shooting air rifle as well.
General Overview of the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500
When I first started writing an article about what we found to be the best 1500 fps air rifle, I didn’t intend for it to be as much of a review of a specific rifle as in turned out, but here goes.
- Weight – Just under 10 pounds with the scope.
- Build/Material – Hardwood stock with nice blueing on the barrel
- Caliber – .177 tested (the most popular version)
- Break Barrel charging action
- Price – $250 – $300
- Ammunition – pellets
- Loudness – Medium (Heavier pellets helped to reduce the sound. I ended up sticking with H&N Baracuda for the best effect.)
- Accuracy – great (more on that later)
- Trigger Pull – More than I wanted out of the box (It was easy to adjust)
- Scope – 3-9x40mm
The Benjamin Trail Nitro Pro XL 1500 is a powerful rifle firing .177 cal pellets. They also make .22 cal variants, but the 177 caliber is by far the most popular so that’s what I chose. This is a solid feeling rifle in both weight and construction. Out of the box I thought the wood was nice, but wasn’t overly impressive. The “feel” of the rifle was nice – enough weight to know it wasn’t a toy gun, but not too heavy. The construction was solid with no wobbling parts or pieces when I gave it a shake. The rifled barrel had a nice look to it and seems to be high quality. The scope is unmounted and looks fine, but we’ll see when we start shooting our 1500 fps beauty.
My first action was to perform a thorough cleaning and get the scope mounted. The scope rails are nice, which is perfect if I decide to swap it out with another in my collection. For the purpose of testing for the best 1500 fps air rifle, I used the scope that came with the pellet rifle.
Testing on the Range
As I mentioned earlier, the trigger pull was a lot longer than I expected. It was long enough pull that I had to take a second breath on my first shot and restart my pull once I realized I was in for a long pull. I was able to adjust this pretty easily with some help from the manual. Still, it was a bad first impression on the range.
My first shots were as loud as any other pellet rifle on the market. I had read that it would quiet down as I put more pellets through the gun, but I was not optimistic at first. 100 pellets later and a swap to a heavier H&N Baracuda pellet, I was in business. Not just competitive with other air rifles of comparable power, but quieter than many less powerful guns. At 1500 fps, this rifle was producing significantly less noise than many of the competitors. At 25 yards, the sound of hitting the target was significantly louder than the rifle exhaust.
For my first 100 shots, I was just working on starting to get the barrel broken in. I was using the scope that came with the rifle, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I could expect for accuracy. I was surprised! The scope has gotten some bad reviews, so I wasn’t very hopeful. At 25 yards my groupings were accurate and precise. I was able to place fairly quick 5 shot rounds in a grouping the size of a quarter on a decently regular basis. Moving out to 50 yards, I still did well on pellet placement.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this was my true purpose for looking into this class of rifle. Luckily for me, I have a bird feeder at the corner of my property that the squirrels love to pillage. On day 1 of my hunting adventure I had a squirrel sitting at about 60 feet from me. I was able to take him down with a single shot. It would be two more weeks before I would be able to test out the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 on a camping trip. On my second morning out, I spotted a rabbit at about 40 yards. Again, it was a one shot victory.
Best Pellet Rifle at 1500 FPS
Crosman is one of the leading manufacturers of air guns and pellet rifles, and their high velocity air rifle has everything you need to hunt small game and decimate multiple targets. With their brand reputation, it should come as no surprise they were in the running for our Best 1500 FPS Air Rifle competition. My test shooting started out a little slow, but after 100 pellets through the barrel, I was already in love.
This is an affordable but not cheap break barrel high-velocity pellet rifle using a nitrogen piston to give each shot the power it needs for velocity up to 1500 feet per second. Since it uses a nitrogen piston, there are no expensive canisters to continuously replace, and the .177 caliber pellets can punch through tin cans and corrugated cardboard targets with ease.
This pellet rifle can hold up to 300 pellets in the magazine and is also quieter than several of the less powerful air rifles. For maximum accuracy and velocity, we recommended that you use 10.5 grain or heavier pellets (these worked beset for me – H&N Baracuda). The pellet rifle weighs only 9.5 pounds which makes it easy to carry, and the included 3-9x45mm scope makes it easy to group your shots and targets.
Care and Cleaning
Don’t forget to take care of your air rifle if you want to keep it firing at maximum efficiency. This even includes when you first receive your new Crosman pellet rifle. Each bore should be wiped free of excess oil, and the barrel should also be quickly cleaned. Not only does this help to get rid of any excess dirt and debris that can clogged the air rifle, but it also helps you to familiarize yourself with your new air rifle.
For any small game hunter or anyone looking for a powerful high velocity air rifle, the Crosman Benjamin NP XL 1500 may be what you are looking for. It features a hardwood stock that is reminiscent of cowboys and the wild west, plus all of the modern technology that makes it one of the best high-velocity pellet rifles. Take it with you hunting or impress your friends with your ability and accuracy on targets or plinking. This pellet gun can bring a smile to your face with its powerful features and high-velocity capabilities.
We had a very close second place in our test for the Best 1500 FPS Air Rifle. It weighs in at 1400 fps, but we thought it was close enough to include in our test, an we’re glad we did. Check it out on Amazon – Ruger Air Magnum .177