man in red shirt holding up a Hunting Air Rifles

7 Best Hunting Air Rifles of 2022

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Mathew R Reed
October 31, 2022
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What are the Best Hunting Air Rifles? Read on as we cover the best on the market, and look at their features, pros, cons, and considerations when settling for one.

The hunting field for those who prefer to spend their leisure time hunting isn’t what it used to be nor are the air rifles. Air rifles for hunting will advance your hunting skills to a whole new level and make your hunting experience successful and memorable.

Today, air rifles have vastly improved their operating systems from futuristic profiles and red dots, to muzzle velocities and scopes, all of which help improve your shooting accuracy.

Today, hunting air rifles fill many niches. With small game such as squirrels still reigning supreme in terms of air rifle pursuit interests, you can now use the same air rifles to hunt bigger game.

All you need is a good-quality air rifle. With a wide range of hunting air rifles to choose from, the market has something for everyone.

Best Hunting Air Rifles

1) GAMO 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal. 

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If you are looking for the perfect air rifle for varmint hunting, pest control, and target shooting, this Varmint Air Rifle from GAMO is your ideal rifle.

This air rifle is simple, yet traditionally effective. .177 caliber designed is for a wide range of shooting activities. With a maximum velocity of 1250FPS, this air rifle is also available at rifle plus pellet bundle style.

It has a moderate cocking effect and a decent trigger. It is easy to use, making it ideal for hunting beginners and professionals alike.

Additionally, the lightweight construction makes it easy to carry around when hunting and plinking. The recoil is moderate, so you don’t have to worry about your eyes getting hit after every shot made.

The spring tongue is also minimal, which aids in its accuracy. To enhance your shooting accuracy, the rifle comes with a 4×32 scope and mount.

Key Features

  • Spring piston break barrel air rifle.
  • Shoots .177 caliber pellets.
  • 1250FPS maximum velocity.
  • Suitable for a wide range of shooting activities.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • Easy to use.
  • Comes with a 4×32 scope and mount.
  • Air rifle with moderate recoil.
  • Style: rifle plus pellet bundle
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY

2) GAMO Wildcat Whisper Air Rifle 

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Available in .177 or .22 caliber pellet, Wildcat Whisper Air Rifle is another extremely nice rifle from GAMO. This is a simple yet highly effective air rifle designed for a wide range of hunting and tactical shooting activities.

With a maximum velocity of 1300FPS in .177 Caliber and 975FPS in .22 Caliber, this pellet rifle features the Inert Gas Technology piston that allows higher velocity, minimal vibration, and a longer lifespan compared with traditional spring powered air rifles.

Weighing only 5.64lbs, this air rifle is lightweight and easy to carry on the field. The lightweight design is made possible thanks to the use of the latest technologies.

Additionally, the synthetic stock of this air rifle is made with tough and all-weather materials to ensure rugged reliability in all weather conditions. The rifle also comes with a 4×32 scope that’s not only shockproof but also makes smaller targets easy to spot.

Key Features

  • Lightweight and portable design.
  • 4×32 shockproof scope.
  • Tough, ambidextrous all-weather stock with a rubber recoil pad.
  • Whisper noise reduction technology patented by GAMO.
  • Available in .177 or .22 caliber pellet.
  • Gas piston technology reduces vibration and offers more consistent power.
  • Single cocking break barrel.
  • 1300FPS for .177 caliber and 975FPS for.22 caliber

3) Ruger BlackHawk Combo Air Rifle 

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For all your small game hunting, target shooting, and pest control needs, Ruger BlackHawk Combo Air Rifle got you covered. This is a spring-piston single-stroke break barrel air rifle with a tough, ambidextrous all-weather stock with checkered grip areas in both the pistol grip and forearm.

Most shooters enjoy this pellet gun because it is dense and strong. It has a shooting velocity of 1000fps with lead pellets and 1200 fps with alloy pellets.

With this air rifle, accuracy is a breeze thanks to the adjustable fiber optics sights. Additionally, the included 4×32 air gun scope is easy to mount and helps in quick target acquisition and shooting accuracy as well.

The rugged construction ensures reliable performance in any weather conditions. The comfortable stock and grip ensure that your cheek will set will against the ergonomic stock while your grip is comfortable all through.

Key Features

  • .177 caliber
  • Tough, ambidextrous all-weather stock.
  • Suitable for a wide range of hunting and tactical shooting.
  • Comfortable stock and grip.
  • Light collecting fiber optics sights.
  • 4×32 air rifles scope included.
  • Spring piston-powered.
  • 1200 fps with alloy pellet
  • 1000 fps with lead pellet
  • 3.3 lb trigger pull
  • Rubber recoil pad.
  • Blued metal finish.
  • Cocking effort 30 lbs
  • Durable and rugged construction
  • 14.5-inch length of pull
  • Length 44.8 inches
  • 35 yd Parallax Setting for the scope
  • Dual Shock Reinforcement for the scope

4) Daisy 880 Powerline Air Rifle Kit.177 Caliber 

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Daisy 880 Powerline Air Rifle ranks among the best multi-pump pneumatic rifle. Featuring a wood-grained, molded Monte Carlo stock and foreman, this rifle is ideal for all hunting activities.

You can easily pour up to 50BBs into the magazine then every time you pull back the bolt and push it forward, you’ll load another BB. Additionally, you can also load your choice of any .177 caliber pellets and enjoy a maximum velocity of 715FPS.

With this air rifle, accuracy is a breeze thanks to the adjustable fiber optics sights. Furthermore, the included 4×15 air gun scope is easy to mount and helps in quick target acquisition and shooting accuracy as well.

The whole air rifle weighs only 3.1lbs, so it is lightweight and easy to move around with when hunting. It is suitable for adults and those over 16 years of age must use the rifle under adult supervision.

Key Features

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Adjustable rare sight enhances shooting accuracy.
  • 4×15 scope included brings faraway targets closer.
  • Blade and ramp front sight.
  • Multi-purpose pneumatic rifle.
  • Wood grained molded Monte Carlo stock and foreman.
  • Uses .177 caliber BB or pellets.
  • Maximum velocity: 750FPS for BBs and 715FPS for pellets.

5) Crosman M4-177 Tactical Style Bolt Action Air Rifle

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If you are a hunting enthusiast looking for an air rifle suitable for different hunting activities, Crosman M4-177 is your best option. Featuring variable control, you can easily adjust your shooting velocity from 350fps to 700 fps.

This rifle is compatible with .177 caliber pellets as well as traditional steel BBS. Additionally, the rifle features a durable, water-resistant synthetic design to withstand harsh hunting environments.

By being lightweight, you get to easily carry it around when hunting without feeling like it’s weighing you down. To ensure proper and safe handling, the rifle features a safety cross bolt. It is also ideal for target shooting, pest control, plinking, and skill development as well.

Key Features

  • Safety cross both ensures proper and safe handling.
  • Compatible with .177 caliber pellets and traditional steel BBs.
  • Variable velocity from 350-700fps.
  • Durable and water-resistant synthetic design.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • Suitable for plinking, pest control, and skill development

6) Crosman Classic Rifle 

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Suitable for hunting beginners and professionals alike, Crosman Classic 2100 Rifle is all you need for your hunting needs. This is a multi-pump rifle compatible to shoot both BBs and .177 caliber pellets.

The maximum shooting velocity is 755FPS, which is adequate to take down a target with ease. With a weight of just 4.8 pounds, this rifle is lightweight and easy to carry around when hunting. The rugged and sturdy construction ensures that it withstands the harshest outdoor impacts.

Key Features

  • Multi-pump rifle
  • Shoots both BBs and pellets.
  • Lightweight and highly portable design.
  • Maximum velocity; 755fps.
  • Compatible with .177 caliber pellets.
  • Rugged and durable build

7) Umarex Ruger Targis Hunter Max Pellet Gun 

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Enhance your small game hunting and tactical shooting skills using this Umarex Ruger Targis Hunter Max Pellet Gun. This hard-hitting air rifle is designed to withstand all outdoor impacts while delivering reliable performance all through.

It features an ergonomic all-weather stock whose wrist has checkered rubber grip inserts to provide a comfortable and sure grip regardless of the weather condition.

Additionally, the stock is fitted with a snug butt pad and sling studs matched with an included nylon sling. This rifle is compatible with the .22 caliber pellets and has a maximum velocity of 800fps.

Utilizing the break barrel action, the gas piston inside allows for smooth and accurate shooting. Also included with the Umarex is a 3-9×32 scope with an adjustable objective to enhance your shooting accuracy.

Key Features

  • Ergonomic, weatherproof stock and body.
  • Checkered rubber inserts on the stock deliver a sure grip.
  • 3-9×32 adjustable objective air rifle scope.
  • 5-chamber SilencAir sound dampener minimizes noise and maximizes stealth.
  • Fires .22 caliber pellets.
  • Maximum velocity: 800fps.
  • Adjustable nylon sling included.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around

Choosing the Best Hunting Air Rifles

The market offers a wide range of air rifles to meet the needs of different shooters. Depending on the shooting activity you are engaged in, here are some of the important factors to put into consideration before buying an air rifle.

Foot Pounds of Energy (FPE)

In air rifles, Foot Pounds of Energy refers to how powerful the rifle is. It measures how much energy the pellet carries as it leaves the barrel. FPE is an important specification when it comes to hunting than velocity is.

This is because the speed of the pellet doesn’t necessarily mean that it carries a lot of energy with it. Depending on the animal you intend to hunt, this is the general guide on how many FPE you’ll need. Birds; 15FPE, varmints; 25 FPE, fox and coyotes; 50FPE, small deer and wild pigs; 100 FPE, medium deer; 150 FPE, large deer and wild hogs; 200 FPE.

Caliber

Caliber measures the diameter of the pellet. While the type of caliber has an effect on the FPE of the rifle, it isn’t the only factor. A larger caliber pellet will deliver more FPE and vice versa.

However, it is possible for a rifle that fires a smaller pellet to produce more FPE than another rifle that fires a slightly larger pellet. If you intend to hunt big game, look for a higher caliber air rifle.

Maximum range

The maximum range you can shoot with the air rifle is largely determined by the type of air rifle that you get.  Where you hunt as well as your style of hunting will also determine how far you’ll need to shoot.

In most cases, you’ll need to shoot further if you’ll be hunting larger game. The more powerful the rifle is, the longer the shooting range it offers. On the other hand, if you need to shoot small game at a longer distance, you’ll need to carefully consider the type of rifle and caliber that you get.

Hunting Air Rifles FAQs

Which is the best air rifle caliber?

.177 caliber is the most popular air gun caliber. Not only is this caliber common but also extremely cheap to shoot as it is readily available just about anywhere. This caliber will also work well with most hunting air rifles.

Which is better, .22 or .177 air rifle?

A .22 air rifle delivers more energy into the target, it’s heavier and retains more energy. However, in hunting, placing a pellet exactly in the right spot is everything and that becomes much easier to do with the .177 caliber.

Are air rifles good for hunting?

Yes. Air rifles are best suited for hunting small game that includes squirrels, rabbits, and birds. With an air rifle, the most effective shot is a brain shot. If you hit it right, the animal dies on the spot.

Conclusion

One of the best things about air rifles is that they are always a great option for a wide variety of game hunting. They also tend to be relatively affordable compared with the standard hunting rifles.

Hunting air rifles also make hunting much easier for most people because the regulations around them are less intense. If you want to get into air rifle hunting, any rifle reviewed above will work best for you and all your hunting needs.

Mathew R Reed

Mathew R Reed is a professional gun seller who runs a dedicated gun store in the suburbs of Oakland, CA. A hardcore hunting enthusiast since childhood, Reed has ample experience with guns and accessories. He is the founder of ArmorHoldings.com and creates some of the most helpful gun-buying guides and explainers. If not in the gun shop, you can find him on the nearest hiking trail or nearby hunting spot.