Whether you're looking for an air rifle for plinking in the back garden or whether you need one for pest control or competition shooting, here's a useful and comprehensive selection that will cover it.
On the hunt for something new. Looking at air rifles? We’ve rounded up some of the best airguns around .
Weihrauch HW100 K, HW100 TK
Weight: 3.3kg with moderator
What it offers: A beautifully finished pre-charged air rifle that is rugged in build but with a refined performance. The HW100 K features a straightforward, smooth and trustworthy 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.
Why you should buy it: The HW100’s stock is crafted from high-grade walnut and decorated with sharp chequering. There is also a laminate model if that’s your thing. 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 £899; KT Laminate on application.
Air Arms Pro Sport
What it offers: The Air Arms Pro Sport is one of the most technologically advanced spring-and-piston airguns on the market. Quite simply it is ingenious. This air rifle offers you fixed-barrel accuracy without being encumbered by a typical underlever. Instead you have a recessed aluminium cocking lever, which is hidden away within the fore-end of the stock.
Why you should buy it: The exceptionally smooth cocking stroke and firing cycle; the compression chamber and piston are fully supported on synthetic bearings. As a result felt recoil is minimal.
The cocking mechanism and two-stage CD trigger unit incorporate automatic safety catches. The muzzle report is softened by baffling on the barrel shroud. A sculpted stock with elegant laser-cut chequering, rollover cheek-piece and ventilated recoil pad give excellent balance and handling. Quite simply this springer is a real thoroughbred.
RRP: £599 with beech stock, £669 with walnut stock
More of the best airguns
Air Arms TX 200 MK111 (spring powered hunter)
Weight: 3.9kg (walnut)
What it offers: Smooth, powerful and consistent shooting is achieved by different features working together. These are a balanced mainspring, guide and piston system, on synthetic bearings to reduce friction. This means higher efficiency, easier cocking and reduced recoil as less energy is lost to friction.
Why you should buy it: This is a quality air rifle that is self-powered, free of compressed air tanks and charging connectors
Walther Rotex MR8 Varmint
What it offers: Think it looks English? It’s actually made in Germany. The thumbhole stock is created from a tough plastic.Made in 4.5 or 5.5 mm versions and with a muzzle energy of up to 30 joules, offering up to 180 shots at 16 joules. It comes with an 8-shot metal rotary magazine. The Lothar Walther barrel is equipped with a 1/2″ UNF muzzle thread for mounting a silencer. Deserves to be on our list of best airguns.
Weihrauch HW77 K
What it offers: The Weihrauch HW77 dominated the field target competition scene in the 1980s. It’s kept up with earlier success thanks to a development programme that has maintained its position as one of the finest spring-powered airguns available. Some might say it’s a bit on the hefty side but this means that 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: You get a field tough build quality and target-level accuracy in this robust PCP. 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: The stock is ergonomically designed and suitable for both left and right handers, with a choice of beech, walnut and camouflage finishes. 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.
BSA Comet EVO
What it offers: It’s very affordable this entry level airgun. But you’re not making any compromises. A good first gun for a newbie or a teenager.
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 £127.99
Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter
What it offers: Voted airgun of the year at the 2019 Great British Shooting Awards. The 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: From £1249
Anschutz 9015 One
Length: 75.5 – 86cm (adjustable)
What it offers: This is one of the best airguns for the match shooter, a gun that combines absolute precision with almost limitless adjustment. The stock can be tweaked to fit junior and senior shooters, is ambidextrous and will 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: From £3000
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: This airgun comes 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 £1849
Some more top air rifles to consider …
What it offers: One of the best airguns for pest control made by 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, whether they are strongly built or slight.
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.
Price on applicaiton
Cometa Orion (hunting)
Watch what our airgun reviewer, Matt Manning, has to say about it.
Gamo Black 1000 Maxim
What it offers: An ambidextrous stock, Whisper Maxxim silencing technology, anti-recoil system with RRR reduction and up to 29 joules of power.