Recommend an air rifle

When I was a kid I had a Crossman pump air rifle. 200-rd. reservoir, 18 shots on top, brass bolt with what looked like an acorn nut on the end. I still have it somewhere. The plastic pump stock shattered, and I replaced it with a piece of broomstick. The shoulder stock had plastic flaking off of it. It’s like they made the plastic parts out of hard cheese. But the last time I found it, it still pumped up – after more than 35 years.

Every so often I think of getting a ‘grown up’ air rifle. I wouldn’t mind another Crossman, as they’re still making a version of mine, but… yeah, it would be nice to have a ‘grown up’ air rifle. Just for plinking in the back yard. (Which reminds me, I need to get a new magazine for my airsoft MP-5.)

Any suggestions?

The Benjamin Marauder by Crosman. This is a world class PCP (precharged pneumatic) rifle with a 10 round removeable rotary magazine, a fully sound suppressed integral barrel shroud, fully adjustable two-stage trigger, fully tunable valve and hammer. It is regarded as probably the quietest stock PCP rifle on the market. The aftermarket is strong, with the following as an example of what is available: stocks, trigger housings, trigger blades, air tube extensions, and de-pingers, shroud modifications and extensions, bolt upgrades, replacement aftermarket barrels, etc. It is an accurate, very quiet recoilless multishot bolt action rifle, available in .177, .22, and .25 caliber for less than $400. Additional magazines are about $15, versus $80 for some of the European brands.

You need to surf The Yellow Forum. It is the place to learn and connect with anything relating to airguns.

The .22 Benjamin Marauder at Crosman’s website.

Here is an aftermarket CNC machined aluminum stock that uses standard AR-15 shoulder stocks and grips, of which there are many. Very versatile.

And for the future, Crosman’s newest rifle that will be available later this year. The Rogue .357 multishot repeater, a fully shrouded barrel, ELECTRONIC VALVE big bore air rifle. It uses AR-15 pattern stock and grips. Read the LCD display and modify the velocity with the push buttons, no regulator needed. This will be expensive. Expect the ePCP technology to be applied to a .177, .22, or .25 in a few years, or possibly a true semiautomatic action. With the Roque .357 and the Marauder family of rifles and now a Marauder pistol, Crosman has moved upmarket in design and engineering in a big way.

If you are after a single shot break barrel springer, there are many to choose from. Consult the Yellow Forum for suggestions. Be advised, a springer is much louder than the Marauder if neighbors are a concern when you shoot in your back yard.

Modern airguns are made in England, USA, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Korea, and other countries. Powerplants include CO2, PCP, multi-pump pneumatic, single stroke pneumatic, and spring piston/ gas ram. Single shots, multishot repeaters, semiautomatic, fully automatic actions. There are many choices available now compared to what was available when you were a kid.

A used, older 10M competition air rifle might be a good way to go. They are supremely accurate, as in shooting individual house flys off of leaves at 30 to 50 feet without hitting the leaf. 10M rifles are a sublime shooting experience. These were very expensive when new but are affordable now. Supreme engineering and build quality goes into these target rifles. The FWB 300s, Diana 75, and Walther LGR are some fine examples that are available on the used market. All of them have support available by way of airgun smiths who can rebuild and repair them. The Yellow Forum has classifieds where you can purchase used rifles.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

The ultimate adult air gun: the Air Ordnance Products SMG22. This is a .22 pellet firing, 100 round belt fed (!) fully automatic CO2 or compressed air submachine gun. The adverstised rate of fire is 12 per second at a velocity of 600 fps. You read that correctly. It is the application of paintball marker technology to a pellet gun, and damn if I don’t want one.:smiley:

A companion to **toofs **yellow forum link:The Crosman forum

For ease-of-use, accuracy, and plain old fun, it’s hard to beat a QB-78, a Chinese knock-off of the classic (and decades discontinued) Crosman 160 CO2 rifle, in either .177 or .22. The 160 really was a nice airgun. Several years back, the Civilian Marksmanship Program cleared out of a bunch of 'em, most in very good condition and at a good price. I don’t know what they cost now, but wouldn’t be surprised to find a very good example going for $200+. QB-78’s should be half that price.

I had a period where I was into airguns quite a bit. I bought, cleaned up & tweaked a QB-78 and carved a new stock, then bought a reconditioned 2240 pistol for modding and converting to a carbine. The 22xx series are fun guns, but really require modding to bring out their potential. They come with a plastic breech, for example, and part of my modding was replacing it with a blued steel breech. A lot of American-made airguns seem to suffer from cost-cutting, planned obsolescence, and the perception that they’re toys. When I was a kid, the Crosman 760 had a rifled barrel, a wood stock, and were a blast to use. Now they’re smoothbore and plastic. You need to spend quite a bit to get something that won’t fall apart quickly, or doesn’t have outright dumb design like plastic breeches and triggers. Or you can buy foreign.

Slavia CZ-631’s always looked like a fun, low-powered springer, and were supposed to be very accurate. High-powered springers are hell on scopes. The BSA Supersport I bought for example, I ended up selling soon after because it bounced too much. I never adjusted to using it and I found it unpleasant to shoot. If I ever get another springer, it’s gonna be something liek the CZ-631 for paper punching and for shooting cans. I had a nice, low-power RWS springer as a teen that I remember fondly. Low power, but accurate as hell, and fun to shoot all day long.

Not sure if I want a springer. They always remind me of the Daisy(?) .45 auto replica. The thing was so weak I shot myself in the foot (with a canvas shoe on) to see if it would hurt. It didn’t. Or the Red Ryder, which is little more than a toy. (Or perhaps an actual ‘toy’ in the pre-coddled era.) OTOH, while I’ve never shot a Benjamin, I’ve heard they’re nice. Weren’t/aren’t some of them springers?

The Marauder looks like the ticket except for one thing: no sights. I like multiple shots. Dad had a Crosman (spelling noted) .22 pellet pistol – I think it was called the ‘Medallion’ – that was fun but had to be hand-loaded into the breech each time. I liked the bolt on my rifle. (I still have dad’s pistol somewhere. It won’t take a charge, and storage hasn’t been kind to it. I’ll have to find it and see if it might be fixed. I’d buy a new one, but they don’t make them in .22 anymore.) Anyway, I’d like ‘iron sights’.

I had a Daisy CO[sub]2[/sub] pistol when I was 12. That was kind of fun, but if I ran out of cartridges it was useless. ISTR that it eventually wouldn’t hold a charge too. So I don’t want another CO[sub]2[/sub] gun.

Is there really such a thing as a “grown-up” air rifle? Or even a “grown-up” air soft gun?

Just buy a real gun.

I probably have more than 40 ‘real guns’.

Oh, indeed.

I’ve had a Sheridan Blue Streak for about 15 years now. It’s great for plinking and with a 4x scope can easily take squirrels and rabbits. Classic lines and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Highly recommended.


Power Source - Pump
Caliber - .20 (5.0 mm)
Velocity - up to 675 fps (205.9 m/s)
Weight (oz) - 5.5 lbs
Length (in) - 36.5 in
Barrel - Rifled
Front Sight - Fixed
Rear Sight - Adjustable for windage and Elevation
Safety - Cross Bolt

On Preview I notice you prefer multiple shot capability. Still…


See my comments in post 23 of this thread:

I think it may be my only contribution to the dope that ever got a gushing complement.

Springers do come in all shapes and sizes, though. I have an affordable hunting airgun, Gamo Hunter 440 .22 that puts a pellet straight through an inch-thick pine board at 10 feet. Springers such as this are still widely used for taking rabbit, pigeon, crow etc, not just for backyard plinking. They are ‘adult airguns’ in that they are easily capable of killing a person and can be used for small game hunting much like a .22 rifle. Springers are affordable, dependable and easy to maintain at home. I’d never get a PCP gun myself, for these reasons.

Single-shot is not a deal-breaker. I like the looks of that one. But (isn’t there always a but?) I’d rather have .177 caliber. (I’d opt for .22 if I wanted to shoot competitively or if I wanted to kill things.) .20 caliber just sounds ‘off’ to me, since it’s not what I grew up with.

While looking to see if it was available in .177, I found this Benjamin 397. Any thoughts on that?

As I mentioned in my own air rifle recommendation thread I am very happy with my RWS48 .22. I’ve put about ~1000 rounds through it now and attached a scope, its a pleasure to shoot.

I thought there was a recent thread on this! But I used the quick search instead of the advanced search and didn’t see it.

I had a Benjamin single shot pump rifle way back in the early 1950s; I can’t remember the caliber or the model but it was a dandy; it killed many a tin can for me back when tin cans were mostly steel. Beer cans, anyway, and they could be picked up anywhere. I’d like to have another air rifle but I don’t know what I’d do with it; I guess I could plink my fellow senior citizens with it. Not that I would ever do such a thing.

I hear you on that. The 5mm took some getting used to me as I didn’t grow up with it either. That said, having used it for a while I consider it to be a superior projectile. The shape seems to be more stable in flight than the standard .177 and the back lip seems less prone to crimping or deformation.

The gun is a workhorse. I don’t shoot it as much anymore but there was a time I put 50 to 100 or so rounds a day through it. That’s a lot of wear on the pump mechanisms. After about 10 years I wore a brad flange off to the point it needed to be replaced. Parts were easy to get and the rifle was quickly back in use.

It looks like a nice weapon but without any first hand knowledge I’d just be speculating.

Missed the edit window: I found this, for what it’s worth:

Multi-pump pneumatics are a pain. They require a lot of work for a single shot, and most are fairly loud. A break barrel springer or break barrel gas ram uses a single motion to both cock the piston back and open the barrel for pellet loading. It is faster, easier, and less work.

Most if not all PCPs do not have iron sights on board, with optics being the aiming method of preference. Think surgical precision mini-sniping in your back yard.

About sound. The Marauder is very quiet: there are a few youtube videos showing comparisons between different air rifles will give you an idea of how quiet it really is, particularly when power level is factored in.

I learned to shoot in NZ with a BSA break-open-to-cock single-shot .177 calibre air-rifle and it was excellent- accurate, reliable, well-made, and well-balanced.

The funny thing is that, in Australia (unlike NZ), Air Rifles are treated as “real guns” and require the same licences, permits, and processes to purchase as a .22 rifle or a shotgun. Subsequently, the only air-rifles I’ve seen here have either been extremely expensive competition target rifles (for serious, Olympic/Commonwealth Games level competition) or cheap Chinese stuff for shooting at mice and things like that on acreage-type properties in semi-rural areas where a .22 or shotgun wouldn’t otherwise be suitable.

I believe Benjamin and Sheridan are both owned by Crosman and the Benjamin pump .177 and .22 and the Sheridan Blue/Silver Streak .20 are all the same gun with a different barrel.

I have a Benjamin .22 pump and it’s a good shooter but pales in comparison to the 70s Sheridan .20 I have.

The Sheridan quit working years ago but before that it was amazingly accurate and powerful.