target rifle

9 Best Target Air Rifles of 2023

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Mathew R Reed
November 13, 2022
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Target shooting mainly involves shooting at a moving or stationary object or animal. This activity requires a lot of accuracy and swiftness especially when the target is moving like rabbits and squirrels. Air rifles are high-powered and precise hunting rifles hence ideal for target shooting.

There are different forms of target shooting – Field Target Shooting and Hunter Field Target (HFT).

Field target shooting tops the target shooting world. This is a perfect sport for individuals who love the complexity of setting up a rifle and scope to get the maximum level of accuracy. Field target shooting involves shooting targets from 8 to 55 yards with a large amount of standing and kneeling shots. It creates a great test of a shooter and their rifle.

Hunter field target (HFT) is an outdoor sport carried out with air rifles equipped with optical sights. It is designed to sharpen and improve your range finding and shooting technique. A peg is used to mark the point of fire at a range set from 8 to 45 yards. The shooter should take on targets from the prone, standing, and kneeling positions.

 Best Air Rifles for Target Shooting

1) Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal 

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The Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle as one of the best target air rifles has a durable spring piston that delivers a high velocity of up to 1250fps with PBA platinum pellets, hence an ideal pellet gun for hunting small game, pest control, and target practice. The rifle comes with a 4x32mm scope that allows you to pick-off small, hard-to-see targets. To add to the performance features, the Varmint has an all-weather molded synthetic stock with non-slip texturing on the pistol grip and forearm.

This rifle has a Monte Carlo cheek pad that aligns your eye with the scope sight and a rubber recoil pad to keep the buttstock firmly planted on the shoulder. The rifle functions with a break barrel, spring-powered cocking system, and has an automatic manual safety.

Features

  • Single cocking break barrel
  • Magazine capacity: single shot
  • Grooved cylinder rail
  • Compatible with 177 Caliber pellets
  • Lightweight design
  • 4 x 32 Shockproof Scope included
  • Fluted polymer jacketed rifled steel barrel
  • Gamo trigger with an adjustable second stage
  • Manual trigger safety
  • Noise dampening: None
  • 1-year warranty
  • Made In Spain

Specifications

  • Trigger Len: 14.2 in.
  • Trigger Pull: 3.53 lbs.
  • Weight: 5.47 pounds
  • Total Length: 43.3 in.
  • Barrel Length: 17.8 in.
  • Cocking Effort: 30 lbs.

2) DPMS Full Auto SBR CO2-Powered BB Air Rifle with Dual Action Capability 

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DPMS Full Auto air rifle is a high-quality BB gun powered by two 12-gram CO₂ cartridges in the rifle’s 25-round magazine. The rifle features a dual-action selector that allows you to choose between semi and full auto capability and shoots BBs at a velocity of 430 fps. It features a genuine real-feel and comes with a moveable angled foregrip, 6-point adjustable rear stock, and quad rail for easy mounting of flashlights, lasers, and other accessories.

DPMS rifle comes with a thumb-selector style safety that ensures proper and safe handling. It has a Red Dot sight, removable pop-up sights, and an adjustable rear sight to help you stay on target.

Features

  • Durable synthetic design and up to 1400 rounds per minute
  • Delivers speeds up to 430 fps
  • 6 position adjustable stock
  • 25-round drop out magazine
  • Compatible with traditional 4.5 mm steel BBs
  • Thumb selector safety
  • Ideal for target shooting, skill development, and training

Specifications

  • Caliber: BB
  • Power plant: CO2
  • Weight: 6.21Lbs
  • Length: 25.6 in
  • Barrel type: smooth bore
  • Mounting rail: Picatinny

3) Daisy Outdoor Products Model 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun 

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Being a favorite for many target shooters, this Daisy air rifle has a solid wood stock and a classic styling with a lariat logo. It can shoot BBs with a velocity of up to 350fps at a range of 195 yards. It features lever cocking spring air action to propel. Its barrel is burnished smooth bore steel and a 650 shot capacity.

Features

  • Burnished forearm band
  • Adjustable rear sight
  • Lever cocking; spring air action
  • Blade and ramp front
  • Stained solid wood stock
  • Steel smoothbore barrel
  • Solid wood stock and forearm

Specifications

  • Capacity: 650 shot
  • Velocity: 280 Fps
  • Weight: 2.2 Lbs.
  • Overall length: 35.4 inches
  • Length of pull: 13.75 inches

4) Crosman M4-177 Tactical Style Bolt Action Variable Pump .177-Caliber Pellet And BB Air Rifle

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The Crosman M4-177 as one of the best target air rifles is a great variable pump air rifle that is easy-to-use. The variable pump features allow you to easily control your power from 350 fps to 700 fps during plinking or pest control.  The tactical repeater is compatible with both BBs and .177-caliber pellets and features a dual-aperture rear sight and adjustable post front sight to help you stay on target. It has a rifled steel barrel with cross-bolt safety and adjustable stock that makes every shooter comfortable using it.

This Crosman M4-177 features a removable magazine that stores pellet clip and sight adjustment tool, as well as accessory rails for mounting scope, lasers, flashlights, cameras.

Features

  • Durable water-resistant synthetic design
  • Windage and elevation adjustments
  • Variable design
  • Pump action, no battery or CO2 required
  • Crossbolt safety ensures safe and proper handling
  • Adjustable stock
  • 5-shot pellet clip and the BB reservoir holds up to 350BBs
  • Removable rear and front sights
  • Sling loops
  • Ideal for plinking, target shooting, pest control, and skill development

Specifications

  • Velocity: 660fps
  • Weight: 3.75
  • Barrel length: 17.25
  • Overall length: 33.75
  • Action: bolt action

5)Raptor Whisper Air Rifle(.177 Caliber,.22 Cal,.22 Caliber + Pellet Pen)

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The Gamo Raptor Whisper pellet rifle uses the IGT (Inert Gas Technology) piston that provides higher velocity, less vibration, and a longer lifespan compared to other traditional spring powered air guns. It features Whisper noise dampening technology, patented by Gamo, to ensure noise reduction during shooting.  It also has the SAT (Smooth Action Trigger) for increased accuracy.

Raptor Whisper has an improved recoil pad and the SWA (Shock Wave Absorber) that absorbs the recoil of the air rifle when shooting. The rifle can achieve a high velocity of up to 1300fps with PBA platinum making it ideal for target shooting.

Features

  • Single cocking break barrel
  • Automatic cocking safety system
  • Manual trigger safety
  • Standard trigger with the adjustable second stage
  • Includes a 4×32 shockproof scope with mounts
  • It has a synthetic ambidextrous all-weather stock
  • Lightweight design
  • 1 year warranty
  • Made in Spain

Specifications

  • Caliber: .177
  • Velocity: 1300 fps for the.177cal and (975 fps for the.22cal
  • Weight: 5.64 Lbs.
  • Length: 44.5 in
  • Length of pull: 14.4 in
  • Trigger pull: 3.53Lbs
  • Barrel length: 19.1 in
  • Cocking effort: 30 Lbs.

6) Black Ops Sniper Rifle S – Power Piston .177 Caliber Break Barrel

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The Black Ops Sniper Rifle S is a high-powered break barrel pellet rifle. It features the Power Piston Technology and fires .177 caliber (4.5mm) pellets up to 1,250 fps with consistency. The rifle features an adjustable comb for a comfortable hold. It includes a 4×32 scope which you can either use or the removable fiber optic sites.

Features

  • 6-inch tactical rail
  • Extremely quiet with attached suppressor
  • Increased consistency and longer lifespan with Power Piston Technology
  • Adjustable bipod
  • Adjustable Cheek Rest and smooth trigger pull.
  • Includes 4×32 Scope with covers, adjustable bipod, adjustable cheek rest

Specifications

  • Caliber: .177
  • Velocity: 1300 fps
  • Trigger pull: smooth

7) Gamo 611006325554 Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle .22 Cal

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The Gamo Whisper Fusion is a quiet and accurate air rifle, fixed with IGT Mach 1, the most powerful gas piston technology from Gamo. The riffle has a 33mm cylinder allowing it to shoot a pellet at up to 1020 fps. It also has the Whisper Fusion noise reduction technology. This works when the pellet goes through two different chambers compressing and preventing noise expansion.

This rifle lacks the vibration of the traditional spring piston. It is equipped with a Gamo 3-9×40 scope and a synthetic stock with a comfortable, ambidextrous cheekpiece. The Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1 also features the CAT (Custom Action Trigger) that allows you to adjust the 1st and 2nd stage to your preference. In addition, the Recoil Reducing Rail (RRR) absorbs the recoil and reduces the stress on the scope by almost 100%.

Features

  • .22 Cal pellet single cocking break barrel
  • Velocity: 1020 fps with PBA Platinum
  • Includes Gamo 3-9×40 scope with RRR (Recoil Reducing Rail)
  • Manual Safety.
  • 5-year warranty
  • Made in Spain

Specifications

  • .177 caliber: 1420 feet per second (fps)
  • .22 caliber: 1020 feet per second (fps)
  • Weight: 8.00 lbs.
  • Length: 46.5 in
  • Trigger Pull: 3.74 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 18 in

8) Gamo Swarm Magnum, Multi-Shot Air Rifle

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Gamo Swarm Magnum, Multi-Shot Air Rifle is one of the best hunting rifles. The 22 Cal high power, single cocking break barrel air rifle shoots at 1300 fps with PBA Platinum. It uses 10X Quick-Shot patent-pending technology that utilizes a 10-round rotary-style magazine, allowing faster loading for repetitive shooting. It has whisper fusion technology for noise reduction.

Swarm magnum comes with a 3-9×40 scope with RRR (Recoil Reducing Rail) that absorbs the recoil of the rifle increasing the lifespan of the scope. CAT (Custom Action Trigger) allows you to adjust 1st and 2nd stages to your personal preference. The rifle also has a comfortable all-weather synthetic ambidextrous thumbhole stock

Features

  • Magnum-powered air rifle
  • 33 mm cylinder
  • Rapid reload technology
  • Single cocking break barrel
  • Whisper Fusion Technology
  • 3-9×40 Shockproof and Fogproof scope included
  • Made in Barcelona, Spain

Specifications

  • 1300 fps in .22 Cal
  • Weight: 6.88lb
  • Length: 49.2in
  • Length of pull: 15inches
  • Cocking effort: 41 lbs.

9) Umarex NXG APX Multi-Pump Pneumatic Youth .177 Caliber Pellet or BB Gun Air Rifle – Includes 4x15mm Scope

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This Umarex NXG APX Multi-Pump air rifle is designed with multiple modern-day features for younger and small-framed shooters.  It features an automatic safety and is compatible with either .177 caliber pellets or steel BBs. The rifle’s progressive stock design is ergonomic, modern, and impact resistant. The rifle features a narrow curve design on the grip making it comfortable for shooters with smaller hands. It creates better control and a safer shooting environment.

The Umarex multi-pump action and easy-load pellet ramp are easy to use for right or left-handed shooters. The rifle has an adjustable rear sight, a fiber optic front sight, and an integrated tactical-style scope mounting system that allows easy mounting of the scope.

Features

  • Rifled barrel
  • Includes 500 pellets and 500 steel BBs
  • Picatinny Style Rail for Scope Mounting
  • 11mm dovetail rail mount
  • Includes 4X15 scope and rings
  • Rubber texture dual raised cheekpiece
  • Picatinny style rails for mounting
  • Ergonomic stock design
  • Multi-pump pneumatic caliber

Specifications

  • Velocity: 800 fps with alloy pellets
  • Shot capacity: 75
  • Barrel length: 20.0”
  • Overall length: 39.0”

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Target Air Rifles/Best Air Rifles for Target Shooting

Ammunition – various types of ammunition vary in use and cost. The means of propulsion should also be considered when calculating the price of ammunition.

Accessories – although the accessories required for shooting a standard air gun are few, some pieces of equipment prove useful to more serious target shooters. Shooting glasses for example protect your eyes in the case of a ricochet.

Durability and safety – this is dependent on the intended use of the gun. Factors like weatherproofing and overall safety are ideal for target shooting rifles.

Charging systems and air tanks – It depends on the rate of use. CO2 and pre-charged pneumatic air guns offer a variety of choices when it comes to propulsion.

Scopes and sights – these help to increase accuracy, especially in long-range shooting. Your scope should be compatible with your air rifle and its use.

Precision and power – precision play a major role in deciding which product best suits you. It refers to the consistent velocity of your BB or pellet.

Propulsion methods – this could be by CO2, pump-action (pneumatic), pre-pneumatic, or spring piston.

FAQs about the Best Target Air Rifles.Best Air Rifles for Target Shooting

What should I look for when buying an air rifle?

Some of the things to check before purchasing are;

  1. Test for firing cycle and accuracy
  2. Splits on wooden stocks
  3. Signs of damaged screw heads
  4. Rust under the stock and especially on the cylinder of PCPs
  5. Check whether the barrel lock-up is secure on break-barrels

What is an air rifle used for?

Air rifles are ideal for small game hunting, pest control, plinking, target shooting, and competitive sports.

What does plinking mean?

Plinking is an informal target shooting done by a plinkster for pleasure mostly at non-standard targets such as tin cans, logs, or soda bottles.

Conclusion

Power, caliber, durability, and range are some of the things you should consider when choosing an air rifle for target shooting. This will ensure that you purchase the best air rifle that fits the occasion.

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.