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If you were in the market for an air rifle, which would you choose and why? I am looking to get one. Have done some online research but would like to hear from real world experience. Thanks in advance for any reply's.
 

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That would be my question too. Seems like every time I get ready to buy, I pick a brand, only to hear issues with accuracy/consistancy of accuracy. I am wondering if this inconsistant accuracy thing is the gun or lack of top quality ammo!
 

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Benjamin Trail NP XL Air Rifle, I have this one, with Predator pellets it shoots great, Needs a custom trigger thats ez to do and I touch holes at 25 yards off a bench.

Heavy but great,

Good luck, to many to choose from, Stant
 

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Benjamin Trail NP XL Air Rifle, I have this one, with Predator pellets it shoots great, Needs a custom trigger thats ez to do and I touch holes at 25 yards off a bench.

Heavy but great,

Good luck, to many to choose from, Stant
Who makes the predator pellets, and where to buy?
 

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I have the FX Verminator Extreme in 22 cal. Not a inexpensive airgun for sure but man is it accurate and top quality. The trigger is match grade and very light. It has two power modes and disassembles to fit neatly in a compact carry case. I look forward to popping a few squirrels with it this fall. It will bring a whole new experience to squirrel hunting. Something I rarely do these days.

 

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i have beeman silver kodiak x2...both 22 and 177 barrels are accurate.easy to chane out also..might change scope fsctory one a little grainy..not as clear as i would like..might put 3x9 on it
 

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AirArms - get a sample pellet kit to find the one it likes. Shoot 100+ to lead up the barrel then you should be able to put shot on shot from 30yds. I got .22 cal and the TX200HC. Had it tuned also so spring is smooth. It's a springer too. FPS plays a role, but not as much as foot/lbs when hitting prey. It's not light, but that helps steady the rifle once you dial it in. Scope it well too and get a good scope base as they produce a lot of recoil. Make sure the scope is airgun rated or you will destroy it. I use a Hawke 2-7x AO - good value scope.

Do not clean the barrel, leave the lead there. Check out Pyramyd Air
 

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what is a good pump up air gun to buy, I don't like the brake barrels, thx....
I'm no expert, but I really like my Benjamin 392. I put a Williams peep on it and can consistently hit bottle caps at 25 yards. At seven pumps it drives a 14 grain .22 cal pellet about 3/8" into pressure treated pine. At 50' you can't hear any report which is nice in the back yard.
 

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I have 2 Remingtons, what I have found is they are pretty much like a 22 rimfire. You have to try different ammo and find the one that your gun likes.
 

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I picked up a RWS Diana 350 Magnum that was on sale. It's a break barrel springer. I read reviews on a bunch of air rifles and pulled the trigger on this one. I liked the adjustable trigger, wood/monte carlo stock. It came with scope and mounts. I bought it primarily to use for pest (bushytails) control at home. Most shots are 30yds or less. Accuracy seems to be getting better (like reviews mentioned) as I'm getting around the 200 shot count. Only negative I would say would be it's weight. It's got to be around 9lbs. It's Ok for around the house but I'd be looking lighter if I was planning to hunt with it. Bottom line....it does the job I bought it for.
 

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I've had an Umarex Octane in a .22 for about 2 years now just to shoot for fun. I got it for a little over $200 and it's pretty impressive to say the least. https://www.pyramydair.com/ has anything and everything you would ever need for air rifles. Check them out.
 

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You can drop more coin on an air rifle than a center fire rifle with ease. And when it comes to air rifles you do get what you pay for in most cases. But that also depends on your wants and needs. I have several spring guns, all in .22. My favorite is my Air Arms TX 200. Its a very, very accurate air rifle. So accurate that at 25 yards I can shoot the staples from the target with ease. It is also built to a very fine fit and finish. Custom rifle or shotgun level, but that comes with a hefty price point.

I really like Beeman guns. Again, I have an R9 that is as accurate as the TX200 but a tad lower on the fit and finish level, not sloppy or shoddy, just not as refined but a stellar spring gun. And my RWS M48 is awesome but has some plastic parts I don't like though its no slouch at all in the accuracy department either.

Now, If I were to venture outside spring guns, I'd go right to a Daystate, Regal Hunter in .22. PCP guns have come a long way and the high end guns will out shoot anything out there.

Lastly, nothing brings back being a kid like a good old fashioned pump gun. I still have the Benjamin 347 my grandfather bought me when I was 10 years old. and I have a 392 also. Something about the nostalgia of them.
 

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Benjamin Trail NP XL Air Rifle, I have this one, with Predator pellets it shoots great, Needs a custom trigger thats ez to do and I touch holes at 25 yards off a bench.

Heavy but great,

Good luck, to many to choose from, Stant
I have 2 of these, an XL1100 .22 & an XL1500 .177. The 1100 has a GTX II aftermarket trigger blade & the 1500 has some personal custom trigger work. These are great & powerful rifles BUT they aren't for everyone. They're heavy, the 1100 weighs in at 10 pounds 4oz with a 4-16x42AO scope. A full day of shooting the rifle between cocking it and firing it is going to leave you sore. My 1100 took 50 shots to start grouping consistently on a paper plate at 10 yards. Another 50 to start holding sub 6" groups. These guns have a break in period of 100-500 shots depending on the powerplant and barrel prep.
 

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Many of the air rifles mentioned are higher line or high line guns. The statement is true, you can drop a lot of coin on air power but let me try to simplify things for the hunter who wants to get into hunting with air power.

1st, currently we can use .177 & .22 on small game and .22 on up for woodchucks (not sure on fur bearing critters.) To make it easier for the new hunter lets just say buy a .22 caliber. You can kill small game with .177 BUT with most .177 pellets available on store shelves chances are you'll shoot clean through a squirrel especially with pointed pellets in .177 and just wound it. I did this 17 years ago when I bought my 1st 2 break barrel rifles, Gamo, for my son & I. Mine was a Hunter 220 model, no frills, 1000FPS with a 4x32 scope. Later I put a 3-12x42AO scope on it. I could consistently shoot into the opening of a pop can at 75ft. Anyway I shot a red squirrel in my yard, pulled the shot and hit it in the upper right shoulder area, not lungs. It lived for 2 years or more. Using .177 you'll realistically want to stay within 25 yards and headshots. .22 caliber may be slower but it carries more energy.

2nd, FPS and FT pounds of energy on the box doesn't mean you'll really get what they're advertising. Also, even if you can get 1400FPS, which you won't, doesn't mean it'll be accurate. Most of the time if your gun is actually shooting in the 700-900FPS range its going to be more accurate. You can take a 1400, 1300, 1200FPS gun and make them more accurate by using heavier pellets.

The basic modern pellet is somewhat hourglass shaped and that term is diabolo, not diablo or the devil. The hollow tail of the pellet is what stabilizes the projectile in flight. Be sure that the pellet you use has an undamaged skirt. This design also has a lot of drag so it is rapidly loosing speed the moment it passes the muzzle. The lighter the pellet, the faster it flies and also the faster it slows in flights. Most .177 pellets on the store shelves are 7.4-7.9 grain & most .22 are 14.3 grain. This applies to LEAD. Most alloy pellets are much lighter, I believe the lightest alloy pellet in .177 is 5 grains and in most guns they are not accurate. Why? Well at 5 grains your 1200FPS rifle will most likely shoot it at 1150+FPS. It WILL sound like a 22LR high speed round even if the rifle has some sort of suppressor. Because its traveling super sonic as it leaves the barrel and because the design of the projectile lends to high drags it goes sub sonic quickly but as it transfers from super to sub sonic it also experiences turbulence which starts to destabilize the pellet. It continues to slow in sleep and continues to wobble. Most air rifles that are capable of super sonic flight are only capable of that with light alloy. My XL1500 will fly super sonic with 7.9gr lead. Literally 8.0-8.1 grain flies just under supersonic.

What the big box store readily available pellets are GENERALLY good for is getting your gun broke in. That's not to say that Crosman Premier Hollow points won't be accurate in your gun. Currently some of the best pellets but not the best that I have are the Crosman Piranha in both .177 &.22.

3rd, if you are reading this now which at the time of me writing this is less than 2 weeks before PA small game opens in 2017 you don't have much time to pick out what you want to hunt with. Plus if you get a break barrel, spring action (spring powered), gas ram (nitro piston, IGT gas piston) or a fixed barrel version of the mentioned you are going to need to get familiar with the gun. So what are your options?

Well you have the spring or gas rams that I mentioned, pump or multipump, CO2 or PCP.

Probably most of us have had a multi-pump before such as the Daisy 880, Crosman 760, 766, 2100 or others. Most of the .177 ones shoot BB or pellet, some only just pellet & some are multishot. I killed a lot of pests when I was a "yout" with my 760, 2100 and 2200 Magnum. Most multi-pumps are light and scopeable plus are easy to shoot with no recoil. The downside is most don't come in .22 caliber. Benjamin (a Crosman owned brand) does make a nice wood & steel model 392 but it isn't scopeable without adapters.
An earlier poster mentioned putting on a peep sight which I have heard is nice on these. Its not a powerhouse but it'll get the job done.


CO2 guns are nice because they are "generally" multishot but not always. Their powerplant mostly is a 12 gram cartridge sometimes 2 of them. Some use 88/90 gram cartridges or a bulk fill bottle or cylinder. The plus side to CO2 is multiple shots per cartridge or fill, easy to shoot, no recoil. The downside is generally, but not always they suffer in power. Umarex (Model Fusion) makes a sweet single shot, dual cartridge & suppressed .177 bolt action that is very accurate and fairly powerful. They also sell the Hammerli 850 Magnum in .177 & .22 which is a multi shot with a 88 gram cartridge. This rifle has some moderate power. Another downside to CO2 is when it gets cold (below 60º) your shot count drops. Also when you run out of CO2 you need to have refills on hand.


Spring ram & gas ram guns are really the most popular and there are so many to choose from. Besides the cheap Chinese no name ones you'll see from time to time most of them start on the shelves of the Big Box retailers around $80. For example the Crosman F4 .177 which is a WalMart exclusive known as the F4 Classic which is currently $79.99 or less. It is a nitro piston break barrel with a 4x32 scope rated at 1200FPS with allow pellets. I have an original F4 and I have to tell you for the money it was a surprise. In current trim my F4 has an old, out of production 3-9x40AO CenterPoint MilDOT mounted to a dovetail to weaver conversion mount that compensates for barrel droop. The scope is held in place with Weaver Grand Slam steel rings. The trigger was replaced with a GRT III aftermarket blade. It legitimately shoots 7.0gr pellets over 1000FPS and shoots 10.5gr accurately over 800FPS. It is an easy gun to shoot, cock, load and carry. With a few pellets I have tried it is capable of dime sized 5 shot groups at 10 yards.


The nice thing about spring and gas rams is they power plant is self contained and the guns themselves are fairly simple. Some have automatic safeties and these guns are available in .177, .22, .25 and .30 caliber. YES, .30 caliber currently in one manufacturer & model.


The downside to the guns are as follows: they're hold sensitive, meaning you best be holding it the same every time or accuracy will change. They can have significant recoil. They will eventually destroy the factory supplied scope and most likely the replacement. Its not a question of IF they will kill the scope its a question of WHEN. Think of it as installing your scope on a jack hammer. Another downside is they usually have awful triggers depending on the brand. Crosman/Benjamin make great rifles "good at best" because their triggers suck. There is no better way to put it. The plus side is most of the sucky Crosman triggers can be made wonderful by spending less than $35 by buying either a GTX II trigger or a GRT III. Both are fine replacement trigger blades however both will void your 1 year warranty. Thankfully they are easy to swap out should you need to send your gun in for repair. Crosman's new trigger, the CBT (clean break trigger) is much nicer and a step in the right direction plus Crosman has done great things with keeping their rifles sound down. As much as I like Crosman / Benjamin I would be remiss if I pointed to them 1st and keeping in mind you might need to get your gun still I am going to recommend a few spring or gas guns.


All under $400 with scopes I would 1st and foremost suggest the RWS model 34 which can be had with a 3-9x40 MilDOT, drooper scope mount and their TO6 adjustable trigger. RWS is German made and is truly a rifle you'll hand down to the next generation. Plus they have lifetime waranty. Also from Umarex the Browning Leverage which comes as an "underlever" which means the barrel is fixed and there is an underbarrel cocking lever. it is a fine rifle and can be had at under $300 scoped.


Hatsan. They believe in making quality affordable air rifles and they have great customer service. They're known for accuracy and their QE series are very quiet and have great tuneable triggers. Their 135 models are the flagships in the break barrel lines with power, beauty and the full range of calibers. Their Optima scopes have received decent ratings so its nice to have a scope on there that'll keep you happy long enough to keep you shooting for a while.


Beeman is a quality name but not all Beeman are the same quality. Don't expect the same thing out of the $99 gun VS the $600.


PCP - Pre Charged Pneumatic or "the Darkside".
Honestly if I had started with PCP guns I would only have PCP guns. The upside, ACCURATE, little to no recoil, doesn't eat scopes and power. In the last $10 years PCPs have become more affordable thanks to the Benjamin Discovery and others that followed. Guns like the Discovery, Benjamin Maximus, QB Chief and now the Diana Stormrider ( Mrodair Airmax Varmint PCP) are very affordable, offer multiple shots per fill and are accurate. Also there are little easy tricks to tune the triggers and affordable LDC/suppressors to make them quiet. Save for the Discovery which is the most expensive of the ones I listed you can buy the others for around $200 and the Stormrider/Airmax has a rotary magazine. Actually last I looked from Mrod Air for $200 shipped you can get the rifle, a single shot try and 3 magazines.
PCP downside is you need to fill them which can be done in 3 ways. A handpump, a bottle/tank or a special compressor. If you're just getting in to air guns and going with a PCP you can search eBay there are some inexpensive pumps for about $60 that are 3 stage pumps. I haven't tried one yet. The most common pump is the Benjamin branded pump which is adequate but better ones are out there. The Hill pump seems to be the best.


The PCP that was going to set the air gun world on its ear is the Umarex Gauntlet which is on my Lust List as is the Gamo Urban. The Gauntlet for $299 is a 3000PSI capacity regulated to 1100PSI. The benefit is around 80 consistent shots. This rifle should have been out already but it has been delayed.


The Benjamin Marauder aka Mrod or synrod (for synthetic) is a sub $500 gun that is fully tuneable with a match grade trigger. Its a very nice repeater and can often be found used for less money. It seems the Gen II version is found used more often than the Gen I and I am not sure why. I have a Gen II its really nice and ultra quiet.


In closing I would like to add a few things. Again, if you haven't already bought your air rifle if you're buying a break barrel then buy it this week and shoot it, shoot it, shoot it. I do happen to have some good deals on new and used guns as well. Do take the time to get familiar with your air rifle. Sometimes it'll be frustrating but I can promise you it'll be fun and most likely addicting. I currently have more air guns than power burners and I only shop for air guns any more. I mean I still have a few powder burners I want to own but I really like air power.


Additionally, most of what I said is fact and some is opinion. Keep that in mind. The guns I have suggested are ones that are known to be more trouble free, user friendly models. Right now PA is in its infancy in air gun hunting and as far as I am concerned the success of the hunter is important so why suggest something harder to use. As the one poster said the NP XL Trail is a great gun and it is, I love mine but its NOT a beginner's air gun. Also the Crosman F4 is great for the money and the little custom stuff I've done has made it better. I would suggest that gun too but sometimes a cheap gun is a crapshoot. I will say this if someone local to Crawford, Venago or Mercer counties wants to try a few guns get a hold of me, I'll get your feet wet.
 

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I have Benjamin 22 cal bolt action pump with a peepsight which shoots well out to 15 yards I bought back in 1997 and it still works fine
 

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Picked up a Benjamin Phoenix at Bass Pro a few weeks ago. $149, on sale for $99.

,177 caliber springer w/scope. Shoots fairly well with the 7.9gr Copperhead pellets I had around for my son's old M760 pumper. Got some heavier pellets for it.

Still had some gift cards burning a hole in my shirt pocket, wasn't a darn thing I really needed, that I didn't already have. So now I have a new air rifle.

No flies on that old 760 w/rifled barrel and pellets. Got that for my son when he was about 6, so he could shoot in the basement in the wintertime. He's 43 now.
 

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The PCP that was going to set the air gun world on its ear is the Umarex Gauntlet which is on my Lust List as is the Gamo Urban. The Gauntlet for $299 is a 3000PSI capacity regulated to 1100PSI. The benefit is around 80 consistent shots. This rifle should have been out already but it has been delayed.
+1
Not sure what you're referring to about not being out... Umarex has already delivered Gauntlets in .177 and .22. They've apparently had some challenges with fulfillment/backorder delays, but there are definitely Gauntlets "in the wild." :) They have a .25 edition in the works. Maybe that's what you're referring to...?

The Benjamin Marauder aka Mrod or synrod (for synthetic) is a sub $500 gun that is fully tuneable with a match grade trigger. Its a very nice repeater and can often be found used for less money. It seems the Gen II version is found used more often than the Gen I and I am not sure why. I have a Gen II its really nice and ultra quiet.
Mrods are definitely nice, and there's the made in the good ol' USA allure.
 
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