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10 Best Air Rifles For 2021 (For Squirrels, Birds, & Pests)

Air rifles are excellent for those who want a weapon for target practice or hunting small game such as squirrels or birds.

Unlike traditional weapons, air rifles are quiet and are perfect for backyard target practice.

Note: You need to be at least 18 years of age to purchase any of the below air rifles, as well as adhere to the local laws governing their usage.

What to Look for in an Air Rifle

There are a few things to consider when buying an air rifle, such as what you will use it for.

Based on your intended use, you will need to consider what velocity, caliber, and firing mechanism you will require.

Velocity

Velocity is simply the speed at which your round will travel.

For basic target practice, your round does not need to have a high feet per second (FPS).

However, if you are looking to hunt small game, you will want a higher FPS to provide sufficient power to take down your target at a distance.

Caliber

The caliber of a round is the size of the round.

With a larger caliber round, you get more stopping power, but at the price of velocity.

Since the round is heavier, it will not travel as far or fast.

.177 caliber is the best for all-around shooting, but a .22 or .25 caliber rifle is better for small game hunting.

Mechanism

A few different systems power air rifles such as gas, CO2, spring, or multi-pump.

Gas and CO2-based systems allow you to fire your rifle without putting too much work into it.

Spring-loaded air rifles require the shooter to pull back the spring to fire the gun, which may be hard for children depending on the cocking effort.

Multi-pump air rifles will require you to pump the gun several times, and with each pump, you will increase the velocity of the round.

Below are the 10 best air rifles.

#1. Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 (Uses: Small Game Hunting / Plinking)

Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177, .22, .25
  • Velocity: Up to 1,500 FPS
  • Powered By: Gas
  • Noise Level: 3-Medium
  • Use: Small Game Hunting, Target Practice
  • Price: $299.99

Compared to the other air rifles on this list, the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 has the most velocity.

The .177 caliber version of the Trail NP can fire alloy pellets up to 1,500 FPS, which is plenty of power to take down any small game or have a precision shot during target practice.

It has many features to provide you the most precise shot possible.

With gas piston technology, it provides a smoother shot than other steel spring-loaded air rifles by reducing the overall recoil.

The ambidextrous hardwood stock with a thumbhole grip provides a comfortable shooting position while giving you optimal control of your shot.

The Trail NP XL 1500 includes an adjustable CenterPoint 3-9x40mm scope with a Mil-Dot reticle that provides an out of the box small game hunting package.

A prominent feature is that you can easily attach accessories or a different scope with the integral rail mounting system.

If you are looking for a high-powered air rifle, the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 is an excellent choice.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#2. Ruger Air Magnum (Uses: Small Game Hunting / Plinking)

Ruger Air Magnum
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .22
  • Velocity: Up to 1,200 FPS
  • Powered By: Spring
  • Noise Level: 3-Medium
  • Use: Small Game Hunting, Target Practice
  • Price: $199.99

The Ruger Air Magnum is a beast of an air rifle with an impressive 1,200 FPS of power that can take down any small game.

With a 42 lbs. cocking effort, you can easily arm your rifle and engage your target.

It comes equipped with a two-stage adjustable trigger with a trigger-pull of 3.5 lbs, which provides a smooth and solid shot while maintaining trigger control.

The included 4×32 scope uses fiber optics to give you a clear sight picture for maximum precision while aiming down your sight.

If you are looking for a quality stock that can withstand the elements, it includes a synthetic Monte Carlo stock, which provides an ambidextrous pistol grip.

It also includes a rubber recoil pad for a more stable shot.

It includes a blued barrel/receiver and has a rifled all steel barrel.

Compared to the .22 version of the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500, the Ruger Air Magnum has 100 more FPS and is spring-loaded instead of gas-powered, and it is $100 less.

If you are looking for a .22 caliber air rifle, the Ruger Air Magnum is an excellent choice.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#3. H&K MP5 K-PDW BB Submachine Gun (Uses: Plinking / Fun)

H&K MP5 K-PDW BB Submachine Gun
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177
  • Velocity: Up to 400 FPS
  • Powered By: CO2
  • Noise Level: 4-Medium-High
  • Use: Target Practice, Entertainment
  • Price: $112.99

Note: This is not an ideal air rifle for hunting small game like squirrels, birds, etc. We included it on this list because it’s seriously fun to shoot.

If you’re looking for something to hunt small game, see the above or below selections.

If you are looking for some serious fun, the H&K MP5 K-PDW BB Submachine Gun will hit the spot.

While this air rifle may not have the power needed for effective small game hunting, it is great for living out your fantasy of being a Navy SEAL.

It fires .177 caliber pellets at 400 FPS, which are perfect for some target practice.

With a 40 steel BB capacity banana magazine, you can have plenty of fun between reloads.

It is semi-automatic and uses a 12-gram CO2 cartridge for power.

That means you do not need to pump it or cock a heavy spring to engage or target.

With a forward grip, a folding stock, and realistic recoil, you will get a fully immersive experience with the H&K MP5 K-PDW BB Submachine Gun.

At only 3.7 lbs, the air rifle is lightweight and easy to use.

A negative aspect of the H&K MP5 is that it is completely made of plastic.

If you are looking for a replica of an MP5, the H&K MP5 K-PDW BB Submachine Gun is guaranteed to give you a good time.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#4. Benjamin Marauder, Synthetic

Benjamin Marauder, Synthetic air rifle
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177, .22, .25
  • Velocity: Up to 1,100 FPS
  • Powered By: High-Pressure Air
  • Noise Level: 2-Low-Medium
  • Use: Small Game Hunting, Target Practice
  • Price: $499.99 – $629.99

The Benjamin Marauder will provide you an excellent small game hunting experience with various models to choose from.

It comes with the option to choose a Crosman or a Lothar Walther barrel.

The Crosman barrel version comes in a .177, .22, or a .25 caliber variant, while they only offered the Lothar Walther with a .177 or .22 caliber.

They packed this air rifle full of features that will make it your primary air rifle for hunting small game.

The .177 caliber version fires up to 1,100 FPS, which can take down any small game.

A unique feature of the Benjamin Marauder is that it is one of the quietest air rifles on the market.

This means that you can take down your target without disturbing your neighbors or other wildlife.

The rifle includes an 11mm dovetail accessory rail where you can attach a scope.

A downside to the Marauder is its price.

Compared to other air rifles on this list, it is significantly more expensive, and it does not include a scope.

If you want a premium shooting experience, look no further than the Benjamin Marauder.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#5. Daisy Powerline 901

Daisy Powerline 901 - best air rifles
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177
  • Velocity: Up to 750 FPS
  • Powered By: Multi-Pump
  • Noise Level: 3-Medium
  • Use: Small Game Hunting, Target Practice
  • Price: $69.99

The Daisy Powerline 901 provides power at a value.

Daisy is known for providing solid products at a price that you can not ignore.

The 901 is perfect for those who want an entry-level air rifle that has enough power for small game such as squirrels and birds.

With BBs, the rifle can fire up to 750 FPS, and it can also take pellets but at less power.

It comes with an iron sight for out of the box shooting.

However, it includes an 11mm dovetail rail to attach a scope for precise shooting.

The Powerline 901 multi-pump platform is perfect for those who do not want to rely on an external power source such as CO2.

It may not be the most exciting air rifle on this list, but the Daisy Powerline 901 provides decent power at an impressive price point.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#6. Hatsan BullBoss

Hatsan BullBoss
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177, .22, .25
  • Velocity: Up to 1,170 FPS
  • Powered By: High-Pressure Air
  • Noise Level: 4-Medium-High
  • Use: Small Game Hunting, Target Practice
  • Price: $529.99

The BullBoss by Hatsan is a premium air rifle that delivers up to 1,170 FPS using lead pellets with the .177 caliber model.

This air rifle is beautiful with a high-tech design.

You can take your same game hunting to the next level with this air rifle with a combination of performance enhancing features.

It includes an adjustable comb for customized cheek placement and dual Picatinny accessory rails for attachments such as a scope and bipod.

The ambidextrous thumbhole stock and 2-stage adjustable Quattro trigger provide consistent comfort and control.

It also includes rubberized padding on the stock for a firm grip.

For superior accuracy, the BullBoss includes a 23” precision rifled and choked barrel that includes a QuietEnergy fully shrouded barrel, which reduces noise.

You will have a consistent shot with the anti-double pellet feed mechanism that prevents multiple pellets from being loaded at once.

It also includes 2 rotary magazines that can handle 10 pellets for the .177 and .22 caliber models (9 pellets for .25 caliber model).

A downside to this air rifle is that it does not include a scope, and it comes at a higher price point than most other air rifles on this list.

However, the many features it comes with make up for the cost.

If you are looking for a premium air rifle, the BullBoss by Hatsan is an excellent choice.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#7. Crosman 760B Pumpmaster

Crosman 760B Pumpmaster
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177
  • Velocity: Up to 625 FPS
  • Powered By: Multi-Pump
  • Noise Level: 3-Medium
  • Use: Target Practice, Entertainment
  • Price: $37.99

If you are looking for a basic air rifle at an affordable price, the Crosman 760B Pumpmaster is an excellent choice.

At $37.99, you get an air rifle with a velocity up to 625 FPS when a BB is chambered.

It is a multi-pump style air rifle, so you will never run out of air, but you will have to pump it 10 times to get the full 625 FPS.

The air rifle has enough power to hunt small game at a close distance.

It comes with an integrated sight, but you upgrade it to a scope with the included 11mm dovetail rail.

The 760B is super lightweight, weighing in at only 2.75 lbs. children and smaller adults easily handled it.

A downside to this rifle is that the lightweight comes at the cost that the air rifle is made entirely out of plastic.

It is durable for basic shooting, but it is not as durable as the other air rifles on this list.

If you are not looking to spend a lot of money or looking for the first air rifle for your child, the Crosman 760B Pumpmaster may be right for you.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#8. Crosman M4-177 Tactical Multi-Pump

Crosman M4-177 Tactical Multi-Pump
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177
  • Velocity: Up to 660 FPS
  • Powered By: Multi-Pump
  • Noise Level: 3-Medium
  • Use: Target Practice, Entertainment
  • Price: $62.99

The Crosman M4-177 Tactical Multi-Pump has a beautiful M4 replica design to give you a realistic assault rifle feel.

The M4 design is perfect for target practice or simulated combat patrols.

The M4-177 is a multi-pump that can shoot at a velocity up to 660 FPS with 10 pumps.

A great thing about the multi-pump design is that you never have to worry about running out of CO2 or gas.

With an adjustable buttstock, you can get a customized grip for better accuracy and control.

The air rifle comes with a detachable iron sight and a Weaver/Picatinny optics rails on the receiver and the handguards.

The rails allow you to customize your load with optics and forward grips.

With a 350 round BB reservoir, you can take down your targets all day without reloading.

The Crosman M4-177 Tactical Multi-Pump will give you everything you would want for target practice.

At $62.99, you can not go wrong with this air rifle.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#9. Hatsan Mod 95

Hatsan Mod 95
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177, .22, .25
  • Velocity: Up to 1,000 FPS
  • Powered By: Spring
  • Noise Level: 3-Medium
  • Use: Small Game Hunting, Target Practice
  • Price: $159.99

The Hatsan Mod 95 is a spring-loaded air rifle with a velocity of up to 1,000 FPS which is perfect for small game hunting.

It comes in 3 different caliber models: .177, .22, .25.

A nice feature is the included 3-9×32 Optima scope which offers precise aiming at a distance, and it gives you an out of the box small game hunting package.

Other features to enhance your control and accuracy include a rubber recoil pad, a checkered grip/foregrip, and a Quattro 2-stage adjustable match trigger.

It also includes a SAS (shock absorber system) to reduce the felt recoil.

If you are interested in upgrading your scope, you can easily swap it out with the installed 11mm dovetail rail system.

This air rifle includes a beautiful ambidextrous Turkish walnut stock and metal hardware.

If you are looking for a spring-loaded air rifle with solid power and features, the Hatsan Mod 95 is an excellent choice.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

#10. Umarex Legends MP40 BB Submachine Gun

Umarex Legends MP40 BB Submachine Gun
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Caliber: .177
  • Velocity: Up to 450 FPS
  • Powered By: CO2
  • Noise Level: 3-Medium
  • Use: Target Practice, Entertainment
  • Price: $199.99

The Umarex Legends MP40 BB Submachine Gun is something special compared to the other air rifles on this list.

It has a velocity up to 450 FPS, which is nothing unique, but it comes with the option to go fully automatic.

Using (2) 12-gram CO2 cartridges and a 52 round BB magazine it allows the air rifle to go fully automatic.

It also has a full metal design which adds to the durability of the air rifle.

To give it a realistic feel, the submachine gun has a blowback and a folding stock.

This air rifle is a must for any World War II arms collector.

A downside to this rifle is that at $200, it is not suitable for anything but target practice or simulated scenarios.

However, it is an excellent replica of an MP40 and is quite fun for target practice.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

See Also

Best Concealed Carry Purses

Best Red Dot Sights For Pistols, AR’s, and Shotguns

Best Brass Catchers For Pistols, AR’s, and Shotguns

References / Resources

Air Gun Laws in the US

Air Rifle Buyer’s Guide

 
Rob V.
Best Air Rifles

Best Air Rifles

4.8 out of 5 (77 Ratings)

See our top 10 choices for the best air rifles for 2021, including long guns that can help dispatch raccoons, birds, squirrels, and other pests.
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