Recommend me an Air Rifle

Back in the days of my misspent youth I used to own an IZH-61 which was a spring powered side cocked air rifle that was loads of fun. I am looking for something similar within the $300-600 range, but I want more power, accuracy, and better craftsmanship. I doubt I’ll ever hunt anything with it, so mostly for range and back yard shooting. Looking on amazon and other on-line stores, the number of choices is rather bewildering. Anyone have any recommendations or personal experiences?

I have a Beeman .20 cal RX1, It was about $400 15 years ago. When I ordered it you could have them hand pick one with nicer wood for a little extra. It is very nice. RWS make some good ones too. With the gun laws in Europe the way they are some nice adult rifles can be had from Germany and England.

Go to Pyramyd Air and shop a little bit. They have a very wide selection and you should be able to find exactly what you want. For pure fun, it’s hard to beat the Drozd.

You’ll shoot your eye out.

I have a RWS 48 in .22 that I picked up because it was a good price on the used rack at the store. Mostly because I wanted a piston gun (no co2 to buy) for home practice, and didn’t like the idea of moving the barrell around all the time.
Been very happy with it, much more powerful than I expected (easily penetrate both sides of an empty steel can). More accurate than I am (tho that’s not hard). I would recommend it if it is the kind of gun you’re interested in.

I just got a used Gamo Hunter 440 .22. Surprisingly solid for the price and, despite the easy and smooth break-barrel action, scary powerful. Puts a pellet through a inch-thick pine board. Also lightweight, which is a plus to me. Haven’t tried it out for accuracy yet - waiting for the snow to leave.

If I may tag along… I have a WRS 34. It’s terribly inaccurate. To the point of not being useable. I think it may be underpowered either because it’s malfunctioning or the altitude. I live at 11,200 feet. I am suspicious that the thinner air may affect a spring piston gun. I had at one point needed to break out some glass during a remodel, and it took the rifle multiple shots at the window to break it. Otherwise, it seems to be functioning fine. I bought it new.

Anywho, what I really wanted to know is if anyone has any experience with pre-charged air rifles. I know the preferred method to charge them would be a scuba tank, but I don’t plan on shooting that much. How hard/long does it take to charge one with the hand pumps that they sell for them?

I thinking about getting either this Air Force Condor or this Gama Dynamax.

Any opinions?

Well, the OP has not been back, but I thought I would share some more info. It seems that if you exceed the speed of sound these rifles loose accuracy. I suspect that is because the pellets are hollow and pretty light. So, sub 1000 fps is better. Being able to dial in the speed is best, and choosing the correct pellet is very important as well.
As far as I have been reading, it’s just not like picking LR .22 and expecting good results. These air rifles can be a bit sensitive.
It will be a few months before I purchase it, but my plan is this system. It’s an Airforce Condor grouped with a 4x12 -40mm scope a pump and bipod. $1000 US. I havn’t purchased a toy for myself in way, way to long.

This is the kit.

Lots to do in the next few weeks, my Wife and I are going to Costa Rica. If I do end up getting this setup, I will report back if anyone is interested.

Thanks for the recommendations, I am looking very closely at the RWS 48 .22, its exactly what I want - side lever, no need for CO2 cartridges or pumps and within my price range. The Condor looks awesome, but wouldn’t it be a pain in the ass to pump it up before each shot?

Jesus Christ, that thing looks like a sniper rifle – are you planning to assassinate the mayor of Smurf Town?

I had no idea such things existed. What is the rationale for them? Can you buy them or use them in places where you can’t buy or use conventional firearms?

I don’t mean to be threadshitting here. Seriously, for that kind of money, why not buy a “real” gun?

I am hesitant to purchase from any vendor who cannot distinguish between insure and ensure. :smiley:

I’ve plenty of real guns. And frankly, this is a real gun.

I’m pretty sure dialed down to a lower power Iwill be able to shoot it at my house. Being able to set up a short range and shoot from my deck interests me. I’m pretty far out in the sticks. Just want to try something different.

Otherwise, I have about a 45 minute drive to our other property if I want to shoot.

From what I have been reading, after your initial charge (which does sound like a pain) You get between 15-30 shots. To bring it back up to operational level is about 1 pump per shot. I have no hard data on this though, and need to do more research. Like you, I don’t want to mess with CO2.

I have had an RWS 34 spring piston in .177, but had poor luck with it. They are obviously very popular, so it may be me or the specific gun. I never did much experimentation with different pellets. Also, it seems that the sights are kinda close together mounted towards the front of the gun. Part of it being a spring action I suspect. I never did try a scope.

One thing I have been reading is that you don’t want to shoot over the speed of sound. If the RWS doesn’t have adjustable power, you may need to experiment with different weight pellets. (which you should probably do in any case). Good luck, the 48 looks like a very good gun.

For sturdy reliability and long life, I like a Benjamin. I have one in .22 caliber that I have had for 25 years. Some things just work well and this in a good design.

I’ve been considering a decent air rifle as well, mainly because you can get a decent amount of ammo for it for dirt cheap, and they’re just as much fun as a .22lr powder-burner for plinking, I’ve been considering a .22 cal Benjamin pump, for a good compromise between power/accuracy/price, I just can’t see spending over $250 for an air rifle, when I could get a really nice .22 rimfire gun that can handle everything from primer-only CB rounds all the way up to hypervelocities…

CCI makes a low-powder-charge CB Long that has 1/2 Grain of gunpowder in it in addition to the primer, and pushes the 29 grain Conical Ball bullet to around 715 FPS, it’s about as quiet as an air rifle, and any gun that can safely fire a CB Long can also handle standard .22 rounds, giving you a wider range of options

then again, the upside of an air rifle is that all you need are the pellets, and you can get 500-1000 of them for under $10, some of the PCP rifles have almost the same effective range as a .22LR (50 to 100 yards) and at least in the U.S., air rifles are not considered FIREarms, and you don’t need to fill out the Federal 4473 “I’m not a psycho” form to purchase one (same thing with black powder guns, no 4473 required)

Not sure what the gun laws in your area are, but you may want to look at a nice, inexpensive single-shot .22 rimfire rifle as well, something like a .22 H&R Handi-Rifle, I’ve shot CB Longs in an H&R Handi, and the hammer striking the firing pin makes more noise than the cartridge itself, you can actually shoot CB Longs out of it without hearing protection, all you hear is “Click-Whump”, the hammer falling, and the bullet hitting the target

Bear in mind, that at short range, a CB Long is still capable of killing, it is emphatically NOT a toy, neither is an air rifle, an adult air rifle is just as capable of killing as any firearm, whether it be an airgun or a powder-burner, Jeff Cooper’s “Four Rules” still apply

T’aint always so. In some cities, Pittsburgh for one, according to my nephew the cop, they are indeed classed as firearms.

Took my beautiful bran new RWS48 .22 to the range this Friday, it was great. The rifle is clearly very accurate, unfortunately the amount of caffeine I ingested at work before coming to the range and me participating in the 100 push up challenge interfered with my aim. The rifle has a very solid feel, easy to load and shoots great out of the box. I am very happy with it. Thanks for the recommendations everyone!