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thinking of getting a good air rifle any recommendations

3115 Views 66 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  DPete
Hi all, cant tell you how great this forum is for a beginner like me.

Im thinking about getting a good air rifle and maybe a pistol to supplement my rim fire shooting time. Im afraid I will drive my neighbor nuts if i shoot as often as i would like with my .22.

So any recommendations on quality air rifle & pistols in the $200 range.

Also anyone know of a good site similar to rimfirecentral but for air guns.
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Depends on your price range.

I would recommend a single stroke (side cocker or break barrel) spring piston or pneumatic. This power plant is the most consistent this side of the (very) expensive CO2 gas bottle rifles or pistols (we're talking Olympic quality here). Under $200, Gamo (Spanish) is a good start, fair triggers, and so-so sights. Next up is HW, RWS, Dianawerke and Feinwerkebau. These can run from $200 to $400 for the sport rifles. If you are serious about Running Boar or 10 meter, expect $600 and up (up to $2000). Feinwerkebau, Anshutz and Walther are the players in this game. Hobby and RWS are OK pellets, H & N match are better.

Hello Flip

I have been messing around with airguns for quite a while and enjoy them almost as much as my 22's. I recently picked up a Gamo "Shadow 1000" rifle and am very pleased with it. Easy to cock and very quiet!
For the pistol, I would give a serious look at the Webley Tempest/ Hurricane . These are great little guns that cost almost nothing to shoot and are also very quiet. I've had a Tempest for a couple of years now and it's my favorite.
If you are looking for a site that deals with airguns only try this one. www.airgunforum.net
By the way,, welcome to RFC ! Nice to see a fellow Buckeye! :D
I would have to recomend Beeman.

I haven't shot anything else in air rifles since I bought my R1 .22 over 12 years ago. I have fired 2000? or more rounds with no problems.

I have put as many or more rounds through my P1 pistol.

Once you shoot a spring piston "Magnum" you won't want anything else, unless you are into serious 10m target shooting.
TallPaul gave you some very good links. Spend some time reading the forums, checking out SS's info and ask some questions.

I personally would stay away for the Chinese stuff. I would also recomend you stay away from the Gamo. In both cases you will find some people who've had good luck with them but many have gotten junk. I just don't think it's worth the risk. A lot of people start off with a Gamo but usually end up selling them for something better

Beeman has two rifles that come to mind that aren't too far out of your price range. The R7 and R9. If you are just looking to plink\target shoot, get the R7. Very accurite, easy to cock and just a really fun gun. It's power is on the low side so if you would like to take out pests beyond say 20-25 yards, go for the R9.

The R9 is kind of the 10/22 of the airgun world. Very good gun, great accuricy, good power and upgrade\customizing options are almost unlimted. You can find either one (R7/R9) in the $250 range.

For a pistol, I would recomend the Beeman P3 over the P1. It has less power than the P1 but is just as accurite, better balance and lower cost (P3=~$125). If you want to spend some money, get an IZH-46. It's a Russian made 10M match gun but sells for only ~$250. That's a great price for such a great gun.
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Wow thanks again for helping out a beginner with quick and knowlegable info. I hope to one day be as helpful as you all to a new beginner.

Thanks again:D
I have an RWS model 34 w/ 3-7 BSA scope. .177 breakbarrel. The other day I set up my bench and bags it shot 3/4" groups @ 30 yds. It is of excellent quality, RWS has my reccomendation. There are other qualiy guns out there break barrel is the way to go...DP
Try these sites:
I know this is not the For sale place but I have a Beeman R1 Mag, in 177 cal that I am looking to sell, gun is in great mechanical shape, and looks pretty good to! It is a great gun, I wish my powder fired guns were of ther same quality.

Beeman is the only way to go for a long term gun. I moved way out in the sticks and can shoot anything I want whenever I want so the R1 is collecting dust. I lived in the burbs of charlotte NC for years and the R1 was great, took lots of squirrels and rabbits with it.

I want $350.00 though, for the gun, 4 cans of pellets, cleaning kit, can of cleaning pellets, spring and main cylinder oils and application needles, it has been very well cared for.

I'll dig a link up for it.


Cabelas sells a Beeman for about the same price new, but it is not the same quality at all. I'll pull up the Beeman link for ya and post it here with an edit, good luck in finding what ya want, send me a PM if ya want any advice in general, I've shot several.
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Crosman RM577

I own Crosman model RM577 (pictured) single shot break barrel .177 cal air rifle capable of 1000ft/sec .
Rifle has beautiful stock with cheek rest and recoil pad, and it is pretty heavy, I'd say about 9-10 lb
The accuracy is outstanding with this rifle.
I have a small 30ft range set up in my basement and with wadcutters , rifle will shoot dime size groups all day long as long as I do my part.
Rifle came with peep sight ( cheapo) but it's ok.
I swapped scope from my newly acquired CZ ultralux that came with 4x32 Simmons.
Now, it is a lot easier to snipe those pesky chipmunks all around my house ( gee…I most have a hundred of them all over the place. They a doing a number on my lawn, garden etc, and that was a major reason for buying the rifle).Well, needless to say, ever since I got the rifle, their number is declining..heeehhh
Btw I paid $190 in local gun shop

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My Beeman R9 has been in service since they came out in 93 or 94. Mine was one of the very first ones, as it was a close replacement for the venerable R10 (the baby R1).

I have over 10,000 rounds through it. Pellet of choice for my gun is aCrossman Premier 7.9gr. Velocity at the muzzle is about 930 fps with this pellet, and accuracy is fantastic. Raccoons in the head inside 30 yds die instantly. Squirrels to 50 yds and rabbits and gophers to about 60 yds will be taken humanely. I have dispatched skunks, woodchucks and possums also, not to mention house sparrows, grackles and crows.

The R9 would be my wholehearted reccommendation, and I have owned a few RWS and a Gamo.
If you are like me, not up on air gunning, take a look at the Slavia 631 (made by same folks that manufacture CZ rimfires). I bought one for killing rabbits in garden at 15-20 yards. I used a cheap Tech Force scope and found it effective (head shots) for that purpose. While waiting for the only scope mount I could locate for the 13.25 mm groves on the reciever (B-Square) I played with it at 10 meters and I am hooked. I bought another just for iron site 10 meter plinking. Price at $89 is unbeatable value for a good solid 550 fps plinker with full size stock. Scope mount availability is only drawback but I will bet once word gets out on the Slavia 631 mounts selection will increase. With a 4x scope off of bench rest at 25 yards I have consistently grouped .5-.6 inches. Off hand at 10 meters (11 yds) with the unscoped version I would rather not share dismal results but it is me not the Slavia.
BTW flip_ohio,

If you decide to use optics, get an air rifle specific scope. They are internally reinforced to deal with air rifle recoil. Std firearm scopes will develope a rattle after a few tins of pellets. I set up a telephone book pellet trap on the back garage wall. My buddy has a trap made from duct seal (gorilla snot?) in an aluminum open face box (1" deep). Sticky enough to hold a target.
Feinwerkebau 300 Rifle

Just picked up a Feinwerkebau 300 Series rifle, this is one great gun, the trigger is to die for, and the stock fits me so good. This gun has the action that when fired, disengages and slides back on rails about an inch, no recoil whatsoever, like nothing happened. It will definatley tell the tale on those flinches and tics that small bore hides. I dont think they make this gun anymore, got it from a fella that had a collection, and it was NIB, think he had it since about 93. It wasnt cheap but I really like it, and spend about as much time with the airgun as the smallbore rifle. the real plus is cheap to feed, and can shoot here at the house.


In the $200 range, I would opt for a Beeman R-7 or R-9. I have an R-7 in .177 and the R-9 is a .20. Both are well made and in your price range. I did a lot of research and visited the web sites and chat rooms mentioned above before I bought them. Shooting spring air rifles takes a little learning before you get to the point where you are good at it. It's not difficult, just a little learning and practice will get you in the groove. The R-7 is very user friendly,easy to cock and great for plinking in the back yard.
You might want to look for an air rifle, like the R-7 or R-9, that is a better made rifle than the mass sold ones at the discount stores and the large mail order houses, even though they are in the same price range you are targeting. I've read too many problems associated with them. Later on, you may want to tune the rifle using one of the great tuning kits sold by James Maccari. They don't necessarily add velocity, but make them very smooth to operate and they dampen out the small, nagging noises and vibrations associated with spring air rifles. Both of mine are tuned and it makes a huge difference.
If you have more questions, just ask!
Good luck,
Don Buckbee
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One other thing I forgot to mention. That is what 38super said above in his post about scopes. To get maximum use out of an air rifle, like a .22 rimfire, you will probably want to buy a scope for it. Air rifles have a wierd recoil pattern; sliightly rearward initially, then a sharp forward recoil which is the trouble maker. As 38super said, you need to get a "good" scope designed for this forward recoil of the spring air rifle.
Another associated issue that you must consider is barrel droop. Many spring air rifles, and definitely those in your $200 price range have barrel droop. They require a special mount that is adjustable for it. They are expensive. If you buy the rifle from Straight Shooters, they adjust the barrel droop out so you can buy a regular set of mounts and you don't have that problem to contend with. They also inspect, and test every rifle they sell, not selling the defective ones they, and all dealers, get from the importer. Many dealers just take a rifle off the shelf and send it to you without looking at it, let alone inspecting and test firing it to make sure it is functioning properly. They also make sure the barrel is pointing right which sets them apart from other dealers. I am not on Straight Shooters payroll. I have bought a lot of air rifles from them and they are a very good dealership, and I can recommend them. Their price may be a few dollars more than the competition, but, by purchasing the rifle from them, you are assured of getting a rifle that has all of the things done to it that you would want before you get it. Plus, either of the owners will spend all of the time educating you, even though you are a newby, that is required to advise you on the right thing to buy in your price range. They also have the best web site for you to use to compare all of the characteristice you will ever need to compare before you buy. In any event visit their web site and see for yourself.
Take care,
Don Buckbee
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Good point Don. When I bought my R9 10 yrs ago, I had a choice of wood, barrel, and accuracy. Beeman added $3 for hand picking a stock with nicer wood. They charged $3 more for setting up the barrel for scope use, and an additional $3 to pick an action with "slightly" better accuracy. What I got was a nice looking and accurate gun. How much more accurate it really is I can't say, but it can shoot nail heads consistantly at 10 yds and we have competitions at our house shooting bumble bees at 20 yds. (no kidding...they live in a knothole in the shed. We take turns throwing a stone at the wall to get them to crawl out then the other guy shoots!!)

My gun definitely has better wood than others I have seen. I topped it off with a Bushnell Trophy 6-18X40 AO and have been very happy with it. I am currently about 1/2 way through my 10th box (1250 pellets/ box) of 7.9gr Crossman Premiers. When the gun was about a year old I sent it back to Beeman and had them "Supertune" it. There was no additional accuracy or velocity, but it was much smoother and quieter.

By the way...try this link. A very good company who has treated me well.

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Hi willscary!
Thanks for the reply.
It looks like you did all of the right things in setting up your rifle.
My thing with my replys to the fellow from Ohio who asked for advice, was to try to point him in the right direction so he didn't jump in and be sorry later only to find out about barrel droop, as well as the things 38super mentioned; especially when I felt I could help him. Your post is also right on target!!! The Bushnell Trophy 6-18x you chose is a perfect scope that won't cause trouble from air rifle recoil.
Tuning also helps accuracy, big time as you said.
I've also dealt with Air Gun Express and they are very nice people. I bought my Chrony from them, but no air rifles.
Keep shooting bees and flys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
have fun,
Don Buckbee
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