All riflemen agree on this fact:
PCP air rifles are the most popular in comparison with the other types such as CO2, spring, variable pump, and gas piston air rifles.
This post contains more information about the 5 types and uses of air rifles that you should know before purchasing.
As you may know, the drawback of a “real gun” is that the recoil is hard to master, and of course, they’re loud as all hell!
Air guns are easier to use and quieter than other firearms, and PCP air rifles have the best record.
It’s suitable for all kinds of hunters, from newbie to master.
The PCP air rifle is lighter and has less recoil. Projectiles can be released as soon as the trigger is pulled.
Spring air rifles are as powerful as real guns, but they also have a slower rate of pellet release.
When you shoot the PCP, you just need to pull the trigger and that’s all. It’s clear why so many people favor this rifle.
The PCP is also the most powerful air rifle type – compressed air is held at a much higher pressure than in the CO2 and the Springer.
(For more information on the detailed comparison between spring piston and PCP, please see this post.
Temperature changes, such as those caused by CO2, do not affect pressurized oxygen.
These rifles are powerful, reliable, and precise.
The recoil effect of steel spring air rifles is reduced by gas piston air rifles.
The recoil effect of PCP air rifles is slightly higher than thes of PCP air rifles.
Variable pump air rifles require you to master the cocking motion, as the shot's power is determined by how strong the pump.
This is not the case with the PCPs – once filled with air to the maximum fill pressure, all you have to do is pull the trigger, and the pellet fires.
A PCP air rifle is more expensive than a spring-powered or CO2 rifle and can be harder to refill.
(For more information on the detailed comparison between CO2 and PCP, see this post.
Here are the top 15 PCP air rifles. They have been categorized according to specific criteria. Enjoy the reading!
1. Benjamin Marauder Wood stock – The Best overall PCP Air Rifle
Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle
Crosman Corporation, a manufacturer of shooting sports equipment from the U.S.
The company was founded in 1923 with the name “Crosman Rifle Company”.
Their airgun designs are well-known.
The St. Louis Air Rifle Company released the Benjamin for the first time in 1882.
It is not intended to be a toy but a high-powered compressed gas gun.
Crosman purchased the patent rights and made the rifle one of the top PCP air rifles available for hunting.
Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle (woodstock) fires.25-caliber rounds at speeds up to 900 FPS.
You can also adjust velocity.
It can shoot up to 100 yards.
It comes with a 10-shot Rotary magazine.
There is no recoil when shooting.
It is really powerful and accurate, which is ideal for medium to the big game – squirrels, rabbits, foxes, deers, and maybe even pigs! (not recommended…)
Read the review
The rifle's impressive capabilities are offset by its quiet internal shroud.
This might be the most silent PCP air rifle available.
The Benjamin Marauder's design is both classic and ambidextrous.
It features a sleek, wood stock, a total length of 42.8 inches and a weight of 8.2 pounds (scope not included).
(For more details on the in-depth comparision between synthetic and wooden stock, please see this post.
This PCP air rifle has a rating of 500 out of 5.
2. Hatsan Flash QE PCP – Best Entry level PCP air rifle for youth and beginners
Hatsan has yet another incredible rifle.
For beginners, you might not be interested in many accessories and the finest qualities of a PCP-air rifle.
The Hatsan Flash is best suited for those who are new to the hobby of hunting or plinking.
Its 5.9 lb weight is just right for PCP air rifles.
This rifle is easy to use even for teens.
Apart from being lightweight, the Hatsan Flash also features the Picatinny Rail which allows you to mount your rifle on a bipod.
This will give you the stability that you need when shooting.
Hatsan took no chances with the safety of his air rifle.
The 2-stage Quattro trigger on the Hatsan Flash is very reliable and virtually eliminates the possibility of misfiring.
A Dovetail mount, which allows you to attach a compatible scope, is another important tool for beginners.
You will soon be able to master sighting basics and become a professional within just a few days.
Due to its power, Hassan Flash shoots pellets at speeds up to 1250 fps in the.177 caliber, 1120 FPS for the.22 and 900 FPS for the.25.
The muzzle energy of the air rifle is between 29 and 38 for the.177,.22 and.25 calibers, respectively.
It is enough energy to take down the smaller games (fox, squirrel, bird, etc.) and the larger games like the raccoon, bird, and possum.
What’s more, this air rifle is relatively quiet, thanks to Hatsan’s QE
Suppression technology, and so you won’t scare away every other animal before taking them out.
You can fill the 165 cc air bladder to a maximum pressure of 2900 psi, and you're ready to go with the best starter PCP Air rifle.
3. Air Venturi Avenger – The best PCP air rifle for the money
High-end features at an entry-level price, the Avenger sets a new standard for similarly priced PCP’s to live up to.
Avenger features an externally adjustable regulator, and an externally adjustable hammer spring. This gives the user an almost infinite level of performance adjustability that is unmatched at this price.
Smooth side lever action lets you take quick follow up shots. The fully shrouded barrel makes shooting quiet. Available in.177 and.22 calibers.
4. Airforce Condor – Best .25 PCP air rifle
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, caliber points to the internal diameter of the barrel of the air rifle, which is equivalent to the size of the pellet used.
PCP air rifles have the most popular calibers of.177 to.22 to.25 to.357.
The caliber of the shot is the most important. It determines the velocity and the accuracy.
Perfect for target shooting, the.177 caliber pellets work well.
If hunting is your primary use of the rifle, the.25 caliber rifles are better.
(For more information on choosing the right air gun cartridge for your game, please see this post.
This creates more impact energy, which is necessary to get the job done on the field.
Although the speed of the.25 caliber pellets is reduced, it does not significantly affect the accuracy and performance of the air rifle.
Being a good hunter, or striving to be, is a sign of success.
It is best that you finally shoot down prey when it is within 50 yards of you.
This caliber is reserved for serious hunters who want to hunt large game.
(See this post for more information on the best air rifle to hunt medium-sized game.
The Airforce Condor is my favourite.25-caliber air rifle.
JSB33.95 grain pellets are a great way to experience the energy of 70 FPE.
You can also get it in other calibers. For each, the muzzle energy is different and the velocity differs.
For instance, the .177 caliber produces a muzzle velocity of up to 1450 fps – quite high.
It would be helpful to know that each caliber has been designed to work best with a specific tank.
The speed of your projectile could drop to up to 100 fps if you use the.25-caliber tank with smaller bore calibers.
You should ensure that you buy the correct tank for your preferred caliber.
5. Benjamin Discovery – Best PCP air rifle under $300
Crossman has produced amazing PCP air rifles over the years
The Benjamin Discovery PCP air rifle was a huge success.
The best thing about this air rifle to me is its value.
A relatively powerful air rifle is available for less than $300
It has a muzzle velocity up to 951 fps when used with the JSB Exact Diabolo 8.44 pellet for the.177 caliber.
This results in a high level of energy, approximately 17 FPE.
The velocities of lighter pellets are higher but require less energy.
I am however not that pleased with its 126 cc air reservoir capacity – the muzzle velocity goes down rapidly as you deliver more shots.
To fully experience the power of your rifle, you should only take 20 shots per refill.
A cylinder pressure at 2000 psi can be quite expensive.
The Benjamin Discovery air rifle comes without a silencer and can be quite noisy due to its high muzzle velocity.
However, this can be corrected by using heavy lead pellets which do not fire at the same supersonic speed that lighter pellets.
Crossman thought about the shooter when he designed the air rifle that included a rail for scope attachments
However, you will need to purchase an individual scope.
They are readily available in air rifle shops so it shouldn't be a problem.
The Benjamin Discovery Rifle is equipped with a plastic trigger, which reduces the pull weight by about 4 lbs.
It may feel different for people who are used to metal triggers but it won't take too long to get used to the new sensation.
The rifle can be shot without any special handling, and is easy to use.
The stock is varnished in hardwood and has a feel like a rifle. It also stands out with the addition of black metal parts.
6. Diana Stormrider – Best budget PCP air rifle
The Diana Stormrider PCP Air rifle is among the most affordable.
This is a PCP air rifle of Diana Mayer & Grammelspacher.
Read the review
Diana Mayer & Grammelspacher is a German airgun manufacturer, headquartered in Rastatt, Germany.
The company was founded 1890 and named Diana after Diana, the goddess associated with hunting.
They make air rifles and air pistols as well as accessories such scopes, pellets and silencers.
Their air rifles are the most well-known.
Their philosophy is to create the extraordinary right down to the finest detail.
Diana Stormrider PPC air gun features a sturdy, simple stock.
Although it is a budget PCP rifle, the stock of this air rifle is made out of beech.
The gun is right-handed but can still be used by left-handed shooters.
The rifle is compact, with a weight of just 5.0 lbs, a overall length of 40.5 inches, and a barrel length of 19.0 inches.
The Diana Stormrider PCP air rifle features a 9 shot magazine,.177, and a 7 shot Magazine,.222.
The gun can fire up to 9 shots per charge. There is an 11mm dovetail plate for the scope.
This rifle has bolt action and is not very powerful (20 ft/lbs).
Its velocity is 900 fps for.22 caliber and 1050 fps for.177 caliber (lead particle).
There’s some sound while shooting.
The 100cc cylinder can be filled to 200 bar (2900psi) with water.
It can produce up to 40 shots when fully filled.
The gun’s price is slightly over $200.
7. AirForce Condor SS PCP Rifle – The most accurate PCP air rifle
The maximum velocity of the.177 caliber is astounding.
Even more pleasing is the 1” accuracy at 50 yards.
Air rifle accuracy is subjective.
One person might shoot a large tin from 20 yards away, and another would praise the accuracy of an air rifle.
One person might want to shoot a penny 50 yards away.
Experienced shooters may be able to aim the same coin from 100 yards. This makes it even more difficult.
That aside, the accuracy and performance of an air rifle are largely affected by the pellet used, as well as the barrel and the powering mechanisms.
(For more information on air rifle barrels, please see this post.
Other determinants of accuracy include the operability of the trigger and the fit of the stock on the shooter’s hands.
All factors kept optimum, the AirForce Condor SS can be accurate by up to 1” at 50 yards.
This is a very impressive feature of the air rifle, especially when compared to other models in the same price range.
This is a great tool for precision shooters and avid riflemen.
The AirForce Condor's accuracy is not only impressive, but it is also extremely powerful.
For the.177 caliber, a muzzle velocity maximum of 1300 fps is possible.
This is possible thanks to the 3000psi gas tanks of compressed air and dry nitrogen.
You can fire quite a few shots with an air tank volume that is 490 cm.
The same goes for shooting enthusiasts. I encourage them to carry extra tanks and not just a scuba tank.
It’s lightweight (only 6.1 lbs) and recoilless in action, further endearing it to sharpshooters.
8. Umarex Gauntlet – Best regulated PCP air rifle
It is worth noting that PCP air rifles are not designed to operate at maximum pressure.
The rifle will work best with a gas tank capacity of 3000 psi.
This means the rifle will fire the first shot at various velocities up to the maximum pressure.
The reservoir pressure is reduced before reaching the valve by using a regulated air rifle.
The air rifle will operate at the optimal pressure after each refill.
It is possible to fire shots at an almost constant velocity.
The regulator increases the gas tank's capacity to a certain level.
This allows you to fire more shots before filling up your gas tank.
You can add regulators to PCP air rifles but not all of them.
The Umarex Gauntlet Air Rifle is specifically controlled by the manufacturer.
One manufacturer claimed that their Gauntlet model was comparable to other rifles above $1000.
You may be skeptical about their claims at a retail price below $300. But let the features speak for them.
The 3000 PSI gas tank can shoot up to 70 pellets with.177 caliber and 60 pellets with.22 caliber.
Gauntlet air rifle can reach muzzle speeds of up to 807 fps using JSB Exact 14.35 grain pellets. The energy outcome is approximately 21 FPE.
This gives you plenty of power for simple target shooting.
With reduced energy, lighter pellets can achieve speeds as high as 1000 fps.
Tests of the Umarex Gauntlet revealed great accuracy at 40 yards. It is a very good value for money.
9. Hatsan BullBoss QE Rifle – Best PCP air rifle under 500 dollars
I’m really impressed with the power of the Hatsan BullBoss.
Consider powers of 27 FPE (.177 caliber), 38 FPE (.22 caliber) and 42 FPE (.25 caliber).
The muzzle velocity values are 1070, 1070, and 970 FPS, respectively.
This rifle costs less than $500 and is very powerful.
This power is partially due to the 2900 PSI pressure tank.
The gas tank has a 255 cc rating
Hatsan's antiknock technology is another highlight of the rifle.
If the gas rifle is accidentally pushed into or knocked onto a hard surface, it does not go to waste.
The rifle also features an anti-double feed system that ensures only one pellet is loaded at a given time.
Safety reasons are the reason Hatsan Bullboss uses the Quattro 2 stage trigger system.
The chances of accidentally firing an air rifle are greatly reduced.
Smooth side-lever action can also make shots more successful.
Hatsan's QuietEnergy Technology, which reduces noise by upto 50%, is my favorite.
=> Read Hatsan Bullboss Review here
It also has six slots for mounting accessories.
Hatsan BullBoss is a striking bullpup design, which is both elegant and practical for young and older shooters.
Adjustable cheek combs can be used by the air rifle's owner to customize it to your height.
Hunting enthusiasts will appreciate its detachable cylindrical.
For the same reason, the rifle includes spare cylinders.
These amazing features are more than just a great deal for less than $500.
10. Seneca Sumatra 2500 – A powerful yet affordable air rifle
The Seneca Sumatra 2500 Air Rifle has been a great Air Venturi product.
The company was founded in 2010 and has been active in the airgun market as an importer, manufacturer, distributor, and retailer.
Hellraiser and Western Justice are just a few of the most sought-after brands for retail airguns.
You can choose from two styles: the.22 or.25 calibers.
It measures 36 inches overall and is easy to handle by anyone of any size or ability.
The finish is as fashionable as the name.
The Seneca Sumatra rifle is far more than your typical single-shot air rifle.
You can master its lever action and empty the 6 ring rotary magazine like a pro.
A power wheel is also included in the gun, which allows you to adjust the power while you shoot.
Depending on your power settings, you can either increase or decrease the number of shots before refills.
The air rifle shoots between 30-40 lightweight pellets, according to tests.
The Seneca Sumatra comes with open sights, but they are not up to the accuracy potential of the air rifle.
You will be able to fully utilize its capabilities if you purchase a high-quality scope.
This rifle has incredible power, especially considering its price.
Tests with the H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain pellets on the .22 caliber yield muzzle velocities of up to 1110.41 fps, with a resultant muzzle energy of about 58 FPE.
It is certain that this power can bring down large games.
The.25 caliber is even more powerful.
This rifle is perfect for hunting.
The manufacturer also rightfully claims an accuracy of ⅜ inches at 30 yards.
This air rifle is available for purchase starting at $700.
11. Air Arms S510 XS Xtra FAC – The best PCP air rifle for accuracy and looks
This PCP air rifle, the Air Arms S510, is the only one with a high fill pressure of 362 psi.
You can use this combination with a 288cc cylinder to get an accurate idea of the power you are looking at.
First, the air rifle can fire up to 60 shots per cartridge for the.177 caliber, 55 shots with the.22 caliber and 35 shots with the.25 caliber.
The air rifle comes with a power wheel and many shots per fill.
This allows the shooter to adjust the power and then the number of shots.
The Lothar Walther barrel makes the air rifle extremely accurate.
Smooth side lever cocking has made the shooting process much more stable.
The 2 stage adjustable trigger can be pulled to fire the next shots. It is very easy to do so.
Because it is a PCP air rifle that is registered, it performs well in terms consistency.
The pellets can be fired with the same velocity as non-regulated airguns, which make it difficult to maintain a constant velocity.
The.25 caliber can produce muzzle energies up to 44 FPE.
The.22 caliber produces up to 32 FPE.
The.177 caliber produces up to 20 FPE.
With such power and consistency of shots, you can claim most of the game you’re probably after.
Enjoy the great looks and power of the Air Arms S510 XS Xtra for just $ 1,300
12. Hatsan AT44-10 QE – The best PCP air rifle under $ 600
Comparing prices on the internet gives the Hatsan AT44 the title of best PCP air rifle below $600
The “Long” in the name of this air rifle tells you that there is a shorter version.
This rifle is shorter than the shorter version, but the difference lies in the velocity and number of shots.
It is longer than the average shotgun, so it holds more shots per refill.
The air rifle is relatively quiet.
Its barrel has been completely shrouded.
Combining this with the integrated silencer reduces noise up to half-way.
With just a few shots, you can get rid of rodents and critters from your garden.
It holds 230 cc and can support up to 45 shots per tank for the.177 caliber. The.22 caliber produces up to 35 shots.
About 25 shots are possible with the.25 caliber.
In terms of muzzle energies the.177 caliber has 27 FPE, 38 FPE and 42 FPE respectively, while the.22 caliber can yield 38 FPE. The.25 can yield up to 42 FPE.
I bet you’ll delight in its ambidextrous synthetic stock with a textured grip that reassures you of absolute control of the air rifle.
The anti-knock system ensures that no gas leaks are created if the rifle is accidentally struck against something.
This is an excellent value air rifle for the money at less than $600
Other features that you will enjoy include:
- Side lever bolt action for smooth continuous shooting
- Anti-double feed mechanism ensures that only one pellet is loaded into the barrel at a given time for shooting.
- Mount accessories on an integrated rail
- A picatinny rail is available for mounting scopes or bipods.
13. AirForce Texan Big Bore – The most powerful PCP air rifle
The AirForce Texan Big Bore Air Rifle is my favorite when it comes to power.
AirForce Airguns was first to manufacture PCP air rifles in America.
It was established in Texas in 1994. Their main products are the Texan and Texan SS.
AirForce makes serious airguns for serious shooters.
They offer advanced design, performance, versatility, and convenience for shooters of all skill levels.
The Texan was released by the Texas Department of Natural Resources in 2015.
It has been a beast in the airgun world ever since.
Read the review
It is known for its extremely powerful shots.
It can be called the best PCP air rifle anywhere in the world.
The gun was designed to bridge the gap between an actual firearm and an Air Rifle.
This gun is powerful and should not be underestimated!
The AirForce Texan BIG Bore Air rifle is made for big game.
It can fire.257,.308,.357, or.457 cartridges at speeds of up 1,000 fps and more than 500 ft/lbs.
This air rifle can be used to hunt any animal.
It is not a problem to have deer or boar.
AirForce Texan Bigbore Air rifle has a barrel length of 34 inches and can target targets from 125 yards away.
Although the power is deadly, you don’t need to worry about recoil – it’s not much to handle since the power source is compressed air.
It is not equipped with AirFore’s Sound-Loc Technology though, so it’s not so quiet.
The stock is synthetic and all black. It's very well finished.
It measures 48.5 inches overall and weighs 7.65 lbs (without the scope or mount).
The 490cc tank can be filled to 3000psi (200 bar).
The drawbacks are that the gun doesn’t come with open sights or a scope, and it only has a 1 shot capacity.
AirForce Texan Big Bore Air Rifle is priced at just $1000
14. Hatsan BullMaster Semi-Auto PCP Rifle – The Best PCP air rifle under $1000
Hatsan is Turkey's most well-known manufacturer of airguns.
They were established in 1967 and are now available in more than 90 countries around the world.
They are ISO 9001 certified.
They use a high-standard manufacturing process from initial material processing to final product testing.
The raw materials used are extremely selective, including Turkish walnut and high-quality steel.
The end result is a long-lasting, high-quality rifle.
Cool is the Hatsan BullMaster Semi-Auto.
It is a Bullpup design, with synthetic ergonomic stock.
The gun features a dual 11mm Dovetail and Weaver rails.
The cheek comb can be adjusted and the buttplate has a rubber pad to absorb recoil.
For better grip feel and control, the grip and forearm have textures.
It’s quite a short rifle, 30.9″ overall, with a 19.7″ barrel.
The advantage of this is that the short barrel forces the round faster, so you don’t have to hold the gun overly consistently after firing.
The compromise is the distance, however. A shorter barrel reduces the distance you can shoot it.
The gun's weight is 10.3 lbs.
Three magazines are included with the air rifle: a 14-shot.177 magazine, a 12-shot.22 magazine, and a 10-shot.25 magnum.
You can then choose the caliber that is best for you shooting needs, whether it be deer or pigeon.
The velocity for.177 pellets are 1,100 fps. For.22 pellets it is 1,000 fps. For.25 pellets it is 900 FPS.
However, it is not consistent – the velocity is quite fluid.
The cylinder measures 500cc in volume and can be filled to 250 bar (3.625 psi).
This PCP air rifle is more powerful than others.
Hatsan BullMaster Semi Auto PCP Air Rifle has 2 magazine-carrying slots and is semi-automatic
You can thus shoot up to 28 shots per charge. It's quite impressive.
It costs approximately $900. This gun promises to be your best friend on the field.
15. Seneca Dragon Claw 500cc Air Rifle – Best PCP air rifles for hunting
Hunting is often engaging because prey won't wait to die without fighting for their lives.
This is why you need to select the best air rifle for your job.
I hope you realize that fun plinking and target-shooting are best for others.
The ideal air rifle should have a great stopping power. It will not only be able to bruise but also penetrate deeply enough to kill the animal.
You may need a quality scope to see clearly the animals hidden in the dark bushes.
Instead of the standard open sight, many air rifles come with an optional accessory:
(For more information on the many air gun sights and which one is best for you, please see this post.
You can also control the speed and power of the pellets by the caliber of the rifle.
Higher calibers correspond to greater power, higher velocity, and lower range.
Lower calibers correspond to lower power, greater velocity, and higher range.
Consider the above and costs. The Seneca Dragon Claw500cc air rifle is best suited for this description.
For the.50 caliber, the rifle has a maximum power of 679 fps.
This is the amazing power of 230 FPE. Enough to kill nutria and foxes as well as woodchucks, raccoons and javelinas.
It has a dual air chamber, which can hold 500cc.
The maximum fill pressure of the tanks is 3000 PSI.
The average tire pressure for car tires is around 35 psi. This gives you an idea of how much power it produces.
For proper handling, the air rifle comes with a Monte Carlo wood stock with a checkered forearm.
It has two levels of power – the low and the high power, determined by whether you cock to the first or second bolt stop.
A rifled barrel will give you the best shot possible.
As you probably noticed from the above-detailed review of the air rifles, it is possible to make an informed decision about which one you should buy.
Are you a skilled sports shooter
Are you a hunter?
Are you a fun enthusiast?
Are you a vigilant mom who is wary about rodents and other critters in the household?
After answering this question, you will be able to go ahead and select the air rifle that best suits your needs.
You should keep in mind that there are many brands with different features and prices.
You can read other reviews about similar air rifles and gain insight from them.