In the modern Pellet Gun world, there are so many products to choose from that the prospect of picking the best pellet gun for your money can seem like a daunting task. After countless hours of research and work, this site was created for the sole intention of helping you with that decision making process. Here at BestPelletGunGuide.com you will find information on the most efficient models out there, taking into account price, efficiency, and reliability. Whether you’re a beginner to the Pellet Gun world or an experienced enthusiast, I hope you find this site useful and informative.
As a way to organize information, I’ve created an interactive chart to rank and compare the best models available, which is definitely worth checking out. After much personal research and comparison, I’ve also included descriptions of what I believe to be the 6 best Pellet Guns available to purchase below. Wittling down the last 6 was tough, and the list may change over time. For now however, these 6 pellet guns have been 3rd party tested, are full of value, and will likely last a lifetime. Enjoy!
Top 6 Best Pellet Gun Recommendations for 2016
In my opinion, the Benjamin Trail is one of the prettiest rifles I’ve had the pleasure of writing about, but of course I wouldn’t recommend it for that reason alone. Powered by Nitro Piston technology, The Benjamin trail np results in less noise, recoil, and caulking difficulty than similarly priced springers. It also has a firing velocity of about 950 FPS, which I believe to be right around the sweet spot when it comes to speed. 950 provides plenty of power for hunting and doesn’t break the sound barrier, which is where most of the noise from firing a pellet gun comes from. If I were buying a new pellet gun today, whether it was for hunting or just target shooting, there’s a high probability that this would be it.
- power source: gas piston
- speed: 950 fps
- caliber: .22
- price: $$
RWS is a German company, and is known for their attention to detail and precision craftsmanship. The model 34 is no exception, and serves as a frequent (and my personal) favorite in the pellet gun world. With a hardwood and perfectly balanced Monte Carlo stock, adjustable sight and trigger, this piece is easy to use and fits extremely comfortably. The 33 pound weight also means cocking the gun won’t be too difficult like other spring piston models. Whether you’re hunting squirrels or blasting targets the model 34 is one of my top recommendations, and the best selling pellet gun the company makes. RWS provides a lifetime warranty, though I doubt you’ll need it.
- power source: spring
- speed : 800 FPS
- caliber: .22
- price: $$$
If you’re on more of a budget but still want a quality pellet gun to get the job done, the Crosman nitro piston air rifle is a great choice. The best part of this gun is the Nitro Piston technology, which results in minimal vibration and far less noise (Approx 70%) than other spring powered rifles. The gun should be quiet enough to take out the game in your backyard or shoot some targets with less complaints from neighbors if that’s an issue for you. Be warned however that the first couple times firing it will be the loudest. Crosman has been in the business for many years now and have done a great job providing value for surprisingly low monetary commitments. For casual and users and newbies I frequently recommend this particular pellet air rifle.
- power source: gas piston
- speed : 950 FPS
- caliber: .22
- Price: $$
As a .177 caliber pellet gun the Hornet doesn’t pack the same punch as it’s .22 brethren, but will still fire an impressive 1,200 fps with the recommended ammo. The stock is molded synthetic, making this choice less expensive but still quite durable. The plastic stock also means the gun runs extremely light and is easy to carry around. As a .177 caliber rifle the Hornet will generally be more accurate than the .22s, especially at longer ranges. Finding a better sniper rifle pellet gun for this price would be difficult, and lower cost alternatives will undoubtedly start to result in accuracy and durability sacrifices. The Gamo Hornet is a solid choice for beginners or those on a budget.
- power source: spring
- speed: up to 1200 FPS
- caliber: .177
- Price: $
The Marauder is a PCP, and uses compressed air as the power source rather than spring. There are no difficult cocking mechanisms for this type of gun, and the PCP source also results in the Marauder to be the fastest pellet gun to fire on the list. The operating costs are quite low (compared to Co2 guns), since air is free. The recoil is also much lower than that of spring versions. If you think the PCP version is the right type of pellet gun for you, you can’t pick much better than the Benjamin Marauder. This pellet pistol runs on the quiet side, but still has the accuracy to take out small targets up to 30 yards away. With an 8 shot clip and no difficult cocking mechanisms, the Marauder is quiet, dependable, and convenient.
- power source: PCP
- speed: 700 FPS
- Caliber: .22
- Price: $$$
The Crosman Challenger is the priciest pellet rifle of the bunch, but of course along with high prices come high function. The Challenger was designed to be competitive in formal competitions, and boasts an FPS of up to 530 and extreme accuracy. The Challenger also has the unique property of using either PCP or CO2 as a power source. With a .177 caliber, the Challenger was designed for unsurpassed accuracy rather than power, and should be used with that purpose in mind. Other benefits include an adjustable stock, Lothar Walther barrel, and easy loading mechanism.
- power source: PCP or CO2
- Speed: 530 FPS
- Caliber: .177
- Price: $$$$
Still not sure? Here are some further considerations…
Different types of pellet guns:
There are 4 main types of pellet guns available today. Which one to use can largely be a form of personal preference, but I’ve laid out brief descriptions including some pros and cons of each below. Remember to check out the interactive chart, which displays the best models of each type in a straightforward manner.
This is the most common type, and the one I usually recommend. Spring Piston pellet guns are known for their accuracy, power, ease of use, and long service lives. Usually single shot, the force for the pellet comes from a man made cocking mechanism that readies a spring within the gun. Spring piston guns can achieve speeds up to 1250 ft/sec, generally the highest of the the 4 types. The major con of spring powered pistons is the higher recoil as a result of the piston motion, which also has the potential to effect accuracy. In general however Spring Pistons are the most convenient and straight forward of all 4 types.
Pneumatic pellet guns use compressed air as their power source, and are generally fueled by way of air pumps. They have less recoil than their spring alternatives, but are also slightly less powerful (generally speaking). As a result, they are more commonly used for target rifles and pistols rather than hunting. Multi stroke Pneumatics are a common choice for beginners and intermediates as they are the cheapest/ most cost effective type of pellet gun available.
Pre charged Pneumatic (PCP)
PCP pellet guns use cylinders or charging systems to hold compressed air as their energy source, and are a frequent choice for users in countries with restrictive firearm laws. They are available in both semi and fully automatic versions, and have the potential to shoot as many as 500 rounds per charge. Of all the different types of pellet guns, PCPs generally have the lowest recoil and are very quiet.
the Benjamin Marauder is PCP powered
CO2 pellet guns use a disposable cylinder that is usually bought prefilled. This is a great way to store energy compactly, but CO2 guns also come with their unique set of advantages and disadvantages. While CO2 pellet guns will generally run cheaper than their PCP counterparts, they are in turn more expensive to operate over time. While air is free, the costs for buying CO2 will add up with more use. Overall, CO2 guns fire with less power and are generally less efficient than PCP. Unlike airguns however, CO2 models don’t suffer from a pressure regulator and will have power more evenly distributed between charges.
– The Gamo PT85 Blowback is CO2 powered
Pellet gun Calibers can include .177, .20, .22, and .25. In this guide, I only focus on the .177 and .22 caliber since these are the 2 most common. Ammo for the .20 and .25 caliber can be more difficult to come across.
The .177 is the smallest and most widely used caliber, and the accepted standard for target shooting. Naturally, it is also the most accurate of the bunch (generally speaking). The small size allows for straight travel ranges, as well as faster speeds. The .177 pellets are also the cheapest ammunition to purchase. If there are any disadvantages to the .177 it would be in the realm of hunting. High powered .177 pellet rifles would be suitable for the smallest of game, however as the game gets larger the kills become less efficient. Higher caliber pellet guns would be a more humane choice for larger targets.
– The Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper IGT is a slick .177 pellet rifle
The .22 caliber is the second most popular ammunition behind the .177. What the .22 sacrifices in speed and straight trajectory it makes up for in power and impact force. This benefit is most important when it comes to hunting, and for anything the size of a rodent and up the .22 is much recommended. Another difference of the .22 ammunition is the way it travels through the air. The heavier weight of the pellet causes the pellet to fall faster in the air compared to the .177, and thus consistent accuracy can be more difficult to obtain than the .177. This difference will be more apparent the more distant the target. With enough practice however, it is possible to adjust for this difference and still achieve great accuracy. The .22 caliber is my personal favorite kind of ammunition.
What will you use it for?
The intended use for the pellet gun you purchase should naturally be factored into the decision making. Generally speaking, pellet rifles and pistols are usually used for hunting, pest control, or recreational target shooting. For hunting or serious pest control a more powerful pellet gun with .22 caliber, like the RWS model 34 or Crosman Nitro Piston would be a safe bet. For recreational use overall power is not as important, and PCP or co2 guns could be a more favorable choice for the benefits they provide in speed,recoil, and noise. In the end however, the best pellet gun for the money can largely be a personal preference.
Good luck in your decision making! I hope you’ve found the information on this website useful, and feel free to leave comments below.