Tell Me About/Recommend Air Rifles

I have a fairly large (3 acres), partially wooded property. I’ve recently gotten interested in the idea of target shooting. I’m in a residential/rural suburb, bordering the athletic fields of a high school complex (separated by woods), so I’m thinking pellets are better than bullets… I have a pellet pistol that I’ve had for years, but I’m looking for a rifle for plunking cans off a log, etc.

So, tell me all… Pump? Single/multi? Break Barrel? Caliber? I’m a sponge…

I like pumps myself. I had a Sheridan .20 cal that was fantastic but now broken after many years of reliable service. I now have a Benjamin .22 cal that is OK but not equal to the older Sheridan (when it worked.) I have a break barrel RWS Model 36 in .177 but I never really bonded with it. It was never anywhere near as accurate as the Sheridan was.

I think we just did an air gun thread a couple months ago.

Thanks, River Hippie. If you can send a link to that thread I’d appreciate it.

I like my Benjamin .22 cal. Heavy wood stock, brass barrel and parts, no plastic. I’ve been using mine for 25 years, still works like the day I bought it.

Here’s one
Here’s another

Personally, I would just go with a .22LR rifle, and shoot into a good backstop. I made a backstop using RR ties. Works great.

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

Great, thanks.

All the suggestions (including just getting a .22lr) are good ones, but really if you just want to nail pop cans you will be hard pressed to beat the amount of fun and economy of shooting a $35 Red Ryder BB gun. No, it’s not a laser, but it’s surprisingly accurate for what it is and it’s just plain fun.

On the other end of the spectrum though anything made by Benjamin, RWS, or Gamo that you can find on Cabela’s or Bass Pro’s web sites should provide you with the oomph and accuracy to reliably nail things up to 50 yards away all day long.

For the ultimate setup, get a .22LR and stick this on the muzzle.

Research Beeman Air Rifles. I have used a Beeman R11 MKII .177 caliber for several years. A little pricey but a serious piece of craftmanship.

<double checks> Yup, I hate living in Illinois.

A sheriff buddy of mine has a 10/22 with Gemtech suppressor. It’s so quiet that ear protection is not needed. The sound of the rifle’s action is louder than the report. Uber-sweet. :cool:

Thanks for the info so far. I see a lot of different options out there. Is there a disadvantage to a gun that shoots pellets and BBs? Some of those can hold 200 BBs in the reservoir. While that seems convenient, does it tend to mess up the balance of the gun? What about the ones that can use a 5-pellet clip?

As someone linked upthread, I’m looking for opinions as well. There was one that was posted in the other thread that I liked, but it didn’t have ‘iron sights’ – which would have been obscured by the pellet clip. I want an air rifle that can shoot BBs because BBs are cheaper than pellets. But I’d like to be able to shoot pellets. Sounds like a single-shot for me. Or I could get a nice pellet gun, and just get a cheap BB repeater.

It all depends on (a) how much you’ve got to spend, and (b) rifle or pistol?
I recommend – they’ve basically got everything, and the staff/users will tell you whats good and what’s not (its almost an Amazon of airguns).

Personally, I really, really want this:

Not simply one of the world’s most accurate air-pistols (you can win an Olympic medal with this puppy)…but an absolute work of art, and an insane bargain. Comparable match-quality pistols could run you 5-10 times as much.

Ahem, sorry for the drooling. As far as rifles go, while I’ve had a ton of fun with my old ten-pumper, you’re really going to want to look at either PCP (pre-chargned pneumatic) or single-cock spring-piston rifles; for one thing, there just aint much choice in multi-pump pneumatics, and for another, they tend to be fairly cheaply-made (no offense, Daisy!).

Beeman has a large following, and I respect their dedication, but I can’t bring myself to believe that they’re not overpricing their stuff a bit. Also, the fact that they don’t update their tech much isn’t really an asset. That said, if you want something that will last a lifetime, these are (they say) tough to beat.

Oh, check out…I believe its the (Sheridan?) Marauder PCP. Supposed to be a good balance of price to performance, if I recall.

I’m mainly looking for a decently accurate plinking gun. I probably won’t spend more than $150, unless I go for the Benjamin 392 which is just a bit more.

Had many air rifles over the years. I’d not recommend a “multi pump” unit for one reason. Somewhat inconsistent velocity. Pump fast and shot right away, plenty of zip. Pump leisurely and wait a few minutes to shoot, somewhat less zip. That is te path to poor groups.

A single stroke pneumatic or a spring air unit doesn’t have these issues. Shooting at 20 feet or so it probably doesn’t matter though.

I have a RWS Model 45 that is a spring air and it shoots great. I also have a 10/22 with an AAC Aviator suppressor and it’s great too! Boo Illinois!:dubious:

Been on the verge of buying one of these for years. A huge amount of money for an air rifle but seems to be what I really want.

No one ever talks about the co2 airguns. As a child, I wanted one but avoided them because I’d need to pay for the co2 cart as well as the pellets. As an adult the co2 carts are no longer a hindrance, price-wise, and they’re a lot more fun to shoot then the ten-pumper I used to have.

I recommend a nice QB-78 for fun and insane accuracy out of the box. They’re a copy of the U.S.-made Crosman 160/167 that hasn’t been made in decades.