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Best Target rifle under $500?

3563 Views 31 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  T191032
So it looks like I will have a little extra cash on hand this month, right at $500. I was hoping to get a new air rifle. All I have used in the past is dirt cheap walmart specials. I think its time to step into something decent. This is strictly going to be a target rifle and most of that will probably be in the basement. Any other work I have plenty of rimfires or bigger to take care of. As such I'm just looking for something to keep me in practice over the winter. I'm not 100% sure if I will use iron/aperture style sights with this or if I would go with a scope. If I do go with a scope I'll take care of that on additional money and not take away from this $500.

I have been eying the Benjamin Discovery. I have always thought PCP rifles looked fun and it sounds like PCP rifles don't require air rated scopes which would remove the need to buy a new scope. The negative is that this rifle seems quite loud and I don't want to anger the neighbors or those living with me.

Other than that I am open to any ideas. PCP was just one but certainly not set there. I want to work on both position shooting and bench work so a stock that works well both on the bags and off would be great.

I guess in the end the real issue is that all the previous air gun experience I have came with cheap rifles/pistols that were very inaccurate. I want this to be a bit of training tool for the winter months when I can't get to the range to keep up with firearm shooting. What is the best I can get for $500?
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I was actually looking at the Walther LGR before Bladeswitcher posted the auction link, although at this point I've decided I'm not going down the "match rifle" route this year (famous last words). The LGR is tempting, however, as it's a single-stroke pneumatic.

Also remember, this is the rifle that kicked the FWB 300S and the rest of the springers out of match competition. :D


According to web searches, the LGR is relatively pleasant and easy to scope if you stick to a shortish one. I don't have a LGR, however, so caveat emptor.
I know this is going to sound weird but how hard it is to switch from aperture sights to a scope on that walther? . . . I was hoping to get a bit of both irons and scoped shooting in over the winter though the scoped shooting is what I seem to have a little more fun with so being able to take scope mounts is a big key.
Pretty easy I would think, as long as you have European rings -- 11mm dovetail -- the link posted above that compares the 300s to the Walther says it's the easiest of the match rifles to scope because the front sight is easily removable.

EDIT: I don't want you to think your comments are falling on deaf ears bladeswitcher . . .
No biggie. I understand that not everybody likes the same thing. And frankly, if you asked me your original question a couple of years ago I probably would have recommended something else. Frankly, it took me a while to really appreciate the FWB 300s. It took learning a few fundamentals before I could shoot the gun as well as some lighter springers I own. I'm still no crack shot, but I have fun trying.
I have a FWB 300s ( Also from Jim Edmonson ) & I love that gun more that any other pellet or powder gun i own. I started shooting the magnum springers & started to loose interest, this gun is easy to shoot compared to a magnum, im sure its a little hold sensitive but i sure dont notice.

Most of my guns are scoped but the FWB apeture sights are great. Center the circles & the pellet will hit it.

I hunt little chipmunks with it as well, too little gun for squirrels. If you would hunt with it down the road its something to think about. But of all the pellet guns ive come across I say a FWB 300s would be the best $500 basement gun.
Throwing out a few thoughts.

Living in Ohio, of course dealing with CO2, and it's mean operating temperatures, if your basement is insulated/heated you might consider getting a custom rifle from Crosman :

Crosman Custom Shop - http://www.crosman.com/custom_store/


Mountain Air Custom - http://www.mountainaircustomairguns.com/index.htm


Pacific Pellet Guns - Custom Discovery work - http://pacificpelletguns.com/
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indoor sound of airguns varies

Bladeswitcher wrote :

"Springers are quiet! Considerably quieter than a CO2 gun."

True. Seems when I shoot a pump up, like a Crosman 760, I hear more of a "ping" than anything else. Been a long while since I shot a CO2 gas gun in the basement.

DoogieB wrote :

"Personally, I think a RWS 34 or equivalent is way to much gun to shoot in the basement or a small back yard."

Been getting in a little practice with my springers in the basement. Tech Force TF-99M, Gamo Shadow 1000, Crosman RM-377 and CZ 631 Slavia. Right down the loudness and power scale LOL Only trouble is the scopes on the Crosman and CZ don't jive w/ shooting at 10 yards too well indoors.
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It's a buyers market and there's some beautiful rifles for sale cheap right now.

I position shoot myself, when I was looking at airgun I looked real hard at pcp's. Thought about it and decided I didn't want to play with air. I shoot in my basement and opted for the older classics. They got to be a classic for a reason.

I'm not going to say that the airguns I bought are the best by any means. I can say that they shoot way better than I can. I went with a rws 75, could use the sights in my kimber 82g also. So when I was looking for a sporter, again a rws so all the sights could be shared.

Some of the inserts that I've aquired are duplicates, alot of them copy front sights on other rifles that I own. It's extremely nice to be able to shrink a target down and put a front sight in that matches a sight picture that I want to practice with. The clear plastic pieces in the center of the paper are a set of adjustable round front sight for the rws 75. It's very simple yet a excellent sight picture. Being clear, it lets a ton of light in and it has a small black o-ring that expands and contracts as I dial it bigger or smaller.

The rws 75 that I picked up had just been rebuilt by mac-1. I paid $500 delivered to the door for it. The rws came with the rebuild receipt, complete sight sets including the metalic and adjustable front sights, origional book, tin of pellets and targets that origonally came with the rifle. From there I ran across a anschutz 250. It only had the front sight, no big deal, I wanted it to put a scope on it. So now I have 2 target airguns, one with ironsights, the other scoped. I got the anschutz for $250 delivered to the door.

Here a picture of my 2 target rifles that I have $750 dollors invested in both.

Awhile back, I stopped into a gunshop and ran across a rws 45 special edition, new in the box. I origonally wanted a rws 48 or 52 for the side lever. After I thought about it, I only shoot the sporter offhand so it's no big deal. It hasa sweet T01 trigger and I can use any of the rws metalic sight inserts that I have in it.

These are some great airguns, they have excellent ballance, sights and triggers to die for. It's a real treat to go down stairs, pick up a airgun, cock it or pull the lever and have something in my hands that tests my skills with such pin point accuracy. I don't find any of the too strong or powerful to shoot in the basement, don't have any trouble with pellets bouncing around or out of my pellet trap.

Goodluck on whatever you decide to buy. I can't say enough good about these extremely well made and highly accurate airguns.
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forrest r wrote :

"I'm not going to say that the airguns I bought are the best by any means."

Funny thing, I was gonna PM and ask what you got all those pellets for. All I had to do was wait! :eek: :bthumb:

They are a *lot* nicer than what I own, for sure!

I can't vouch for a target rifle, I've never owned one. Sounds like you just want something to shoot to keep in practice or are you going to compete with it ? If for practice ? I have a Discovery and it's very accurate. For a few dollars TKO can make it silent and his trigger work ( or DIY) will make it even more accurate. Only problem with a Discovery.....it will spoil you because it is very light (perfect Squirrel rifle). When you go to shoot your other rifles, my Marauder for example will feel like they weight 10 pounds. BTW, before you buy a Discovery, give Mac 1 a call. If you buy from him, you can be assured it will shoot straight, or at leat mine does.
Thanks, they are some great shooters.

Awhile back in another section of this site, I had recomended to someone to get a air rifle instead of a 22. Of course I got jumped on for it, alot of people just don't know what these airguns were designed for or the standards that they had to meet to win gold medals in the olympics and world class compititions.

I chose to get the older airguns myself. They have excellent metal with top of the line fit & finish. Great stocks, beautiful 3 oz triggers, excellents sights, a hand stop rail for position shooting ect.

As far as accuracy goes

That dot in the center of the target is what these target airguns were designed to hit ALL DAY LONG at 10m (33+ft). To me that's very impressive to say the least. The best 22's in the world have a .22" bull on their target to hit at 50ft., the size of their bullet. A airgun has a dot to hit at 2/3's the distance.

To me there's nothing second rate about these airguns. For the money their a steal. I paid less for 2 world class airguns than I would of for 1 world class 22 target rifle from the same era. The airguns were built by some of the best gun makers on the planet, with the same excellent quailty material and tooling used in their other target rifles. The only difference I can see is that the airguns were made to consistantly hit a smaller target.

To me, there's nothing better than walking down stairs, picking up one of these airguns and enjoying world class quality and accuracy.
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I used to be one

of those guys who would have laughed at you. I started using an air rifle about a year ago. Now I have a Squirrel hunting buddy that laughs at me. However we haven't had time to get together this year. When we do, he will be a convert. Accurate, "QUIET", and will dispatch a Squirrel just as well as a
.22 rifle at REAL WORLD shoot a Squirrel range . My air rifles ( Discovery (my wife's) & a Marauder) has retired the CZ .22 by the door and my CZ's aren't slouches. The Marauder is scary accurate, especially compared to a .22 rifle. My neighbor at our lake place is now a convert, my Discovery made him a believer for dispatching Turtles. Accuarte and "silent" ! I still don't know much about air rifles, but I do know that I like what they have done for me !

Ran into a fella last week lookin' at .22 ammo at Gander. He's got a custom-made .22 (ironically, I knew who built it for him) that he uses to benchrest, and squirrel hunt. Shoots premium ammo (read : Lapua. . .) with a minor in other (read : Eley). It is his squirrel gun; his brothers use Shotguns. He's very proud of the kill ratio. . . he gets his every season, the brothers are still strikin' out. So your assessment is dead on. LOL

That nickel in the picture forrest r put up looks mighty big next to that target. Mentally replace it with a dime, and it's still big compared to that little dot.
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