From backyard plinking to serious hunting and high-level match shooting, Shooting Times has rounded up a selection of air rifles to cover all the bases
In the market for buying a new airgun? Look no further, we have rounded up the nine best airguns on the market.
Weihrauch HW100 K, HW100 TK
Weight: 3.3kg with moderator
What it offers: This impeccably finished pre-charged air rifle combines refined performance with rugged build quality. The HW100 K features a simple, yet remarkably smooth and reliable, 14-shot magazine-fed firing system that’s operated by a silky side- lever mechanism. Specifications also include a fully-adjustable two-stage match trigger and manual safety catch.
We like: The HW100’s stock is crafted from high-grade walnut and embellished with some crisp chequering – an eye-catching laminate model is also available. A 200BAR fill will return more than 50 consistent full-power shots, and the air level is displayed on a clearly marked gauge at the front of the cylinder.
RRP: HW100 KS and HW100 KT both £839; KT Laminate £916
Air Arms Pro Sport
What it offers: The Pro Sport is one of the most technologically advanced spring-and-piston airguns on the market. This ingenious air rifle offers fixed-barrel accuracy without the usual encumbrance of a typical underlever. Instead it features a recessed aluminium cocking lever, housed discreetly within the fore-end of the stock.
We like: The cocking stroke is exceptionally smooth, as is the firing cycle; the compression chamber and piston are fully supported on synthetic bearings, which results in minimal felt recoil.
Automatic safety catches are incorporated within the cocking mechanism and the crisp two-stage CD trigger unit, and the barrel shroud features baffling to soften the muzzle report. A sculpted stock with elegant laser-cut chequering, rollover cheek-piece and ventilated recoil pad give excellent balance and handling from this thoroughbred springer.
RRP: £512 with beech stock, £578 with walnut stock
Weihrauch HW77 K
What it offers: The Weihrauch HW77 dominated the field target competition scene in the 1980s, but a rolling development programme has kept it among the finest spring-powered airguns available. It does have a reputation for being hefty, but its weight helps to absorb the modest recoil produced by its firing cycle, which churns out power close to the UK legal limit.
We like: The legendary Rekord two-stage trigger unit is fitted as standard and, combined with the fixed barrel, makes for precise shooting. Cocking is by means of an underlever, which also engages the anti-beartrap mechanism and resets the automatic safety catch. The HW77’s ambidextrous stock features sharp chequering on the fore-end and pistol grip, and has a rubber recoil pad.
BSA Scorpion SE
What it offers: This robustly constructed PCP combines field- tough build quality with target-level accuracy. Its bolt-lever cocking and loading action is fed by the latest version of the Birmingham gunmaker’s proven 10-shot magazine, which is made from a high- impact polymer that’s been impregnated with self-lubricating PTFE for ultra-smooth performance.
We like: Its ergonomically designed ambidextrous stock comes in a variety of options, including beech, walnut and a camouflage version. This gun is equipped with a very predictable, and fully adjustable, two-stage trigger, a positive manual safety catch and BSA’s famously accurate cold-hammer forged barrel. A 232BAR fill gives 65 full-power shots in .177 calibre and up to 100 in .22, and the pressure gauge set in the underside of the stock will tell you when it’s ready for a top-up.
RRP: £689 (walnut), £649 (beech), £629 (Realtree), £589 (Black Tactical)
BSA Comet EVO
What it offers: This affordable offering from BSA proves that entry level airguns do not have to be a compromise. Though an adult-sized gun, it’s well suited to newcomers and teenagers
We like: It has a relatively easy cocking stroke, especially as it produces power close to the 12ft/lb legal limit. Its ambidextrous synthetic stock is robust enough to stand up to bumps in the field. The Comet EVO comes with a tidy set of fibre-optic open sights, and is equipped with scope-mounting rails. An automatic anti-beartrap mechanism ensures that fingers are safe when loading, and there’s a resettable safety catch in front of the two-stage adjustable trigger.
RRP: Comet Evo and Comet Evo Silentium £152
Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter
What it offers: The Ultimate Sporter builds on British manufacturer Air Arms’ target-shooting pedigree. A fully adjustable cheekpiece and butt-pad ensure that there’s no compromise with the fit of this ambidextrous handle.
We like: The Ultimate Sporter’s 10-shot magazine is cycled by an extremely smooth side-lever action. A fully adjustable, match- quality two-stage trigger ensures crisp, predictable shot let-off, while the calibre-specific moderator keeps this airgun whisper- quiet. It has a discreet pressure gauge under the stock, and a 190BAR fill gives 70 consistent shots in .177 calibre and 80 in .22.
RRP: £919, includes 2 x magazines and fixed moderator
Anschutz 9015 One
Length: 75.5 – 86cm (adjustable)
What it offers: Made for the modern-match shooter, this gun combines absolute precision with almost limitless adjustment. The stock can be tweaked to fit junior and senior shooters, whether left- or right-handed, so it can grow with the shooter.
We like: This new Anschutz features optimised air-pressure control, stainless-steel barrel unit and muzzle tube, and an advanced firing pin- and-valve system for ultra-calm shot release. It also features the new 5065 4K trigger – one of the world’s best mechanical trigger units.
RRP: £2,499; Benchrest model RRP is £2,650
Daystate Pulsar Forest Laminate
What it offers: This hi-tech air rifle features Daystate’s Mapped Compensation Technology (MCT) motherboard, which acts as an electronic regulator to deliver excellent shot-to-shot consistency and a very fast lock time.
We like: The neat gizmos don’t end there; this airgun is also kitted out with a fully adjustable two-stage electronic trigger, integral laser sight, digital display screen to show air pressure, magazine count and battery level, and the computerised set-up also enables you to shift between power levels. Other features include a side-lever operated 10-shot magazine, crossbar safety catch and sound- moderating barrel shroud. At full legal limit power level, the Pulsar returns 250 shots in .22 calibre and 220 in .177 from a 230BAR fill. This stubby bullpup measures just 76cm and weighs around 3.5kg depending on which version of its adjustable stock you go for. Options include walnut, laminate and synthetic.
RRP: Pulsar Laminate £1,995; Pulsar Synthetic £1,595
What it offers: The eagerly awaited new release from British airgun manufacturer Brocock, the Compatto is a compact semi- bullpup pre-charged air rifle. Tipping the scales at around 3kg and measuring just 86cm, it’s a gun that will be manageable for most shooters, whatever their build.
We like: The Compatto is cradled in an eye-catching ambidextrous synthetic stock with adjustable butt-pad, and includes an adjustable two-stage trigger, resettable safety catch and a 10-shot magazine-fed firing system that’s operated by a slick side-bolt. Producing power close to the UK legal limit, the Compatto will deliver around 75 shots in .177 calibre and 90 in .22 from a 200BAR fill — air pressure is displayed on a gauge at the front of the cylinder. This neat little airgun even has a power adjuster so you can wind it down when shooting in confined places, and baffles within its barrel shroud keep the muzzle report discreet.