When choosing a rifle, there are a lot of specifications you must consider. It wouldn’t be right to buy a Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle so you can go boar hunting. Rifles do not work that way. Every gun is built for a specific need, even the Red Ryder. Some are built for target practices and some a built specifically to shoot a certain animal.
Choosing The Best Air Rifle For You
With that in mind, the outline below entails the necessary details you should consider when choosing a rifle. The outline has been referenced from the above chart, which a good amount of research went into. I think these are what a hunter would mostly consider when choosing a gun. Features like, scope, trigger type, butt-plate, etc are optional, so they won’t be mentioned here. But first, know what you want to shoot.
1. Price. Believe it or not, but most of our audience out there have a tight budget and do care a lot about pricing. So I’ve also taken that into consideration and believe that you can get a decent hunting rifle even with a budget.
2. Caliber. Is the definition for the approximate diameter of the barrel, which is directly correlated with the size of the pellet/BB. Four of the most popular calibers are .177, .20, .22, and .25. Some rifles also come in multiple sizes of caliber also. For example, the Benjamin Marauder comes in the .177, .22 and .25 calibers. You can read more about caliber sizes at Air Rifle Reviews Lab.
3. Velocity. Or more properly called, muzzle velocity is the speed (measured in feet-per-second) at which the ammo travels. Rifle velocity can vary from 240 fps to over 1200 fps. Rifles aren’t determined by their fps.
4. Power Plant. There are five types of power sources are used in the air rifle industry –
- Spring piston – Guns that are powered by springs are the most common and produces the most constant velocity because unlike gas powered rifles that loses velocity after the first shot, springs last a lot longer. However, the powerful kick-back from the released spring makes it difficult to handle for novice shooters.
- Nitro piston – Are not affected by temperature, therefore making it a growing popular source of power as it makes cocking the gun a lot simpler. It is also 70% quieter than Spring pistons.
- Pneumatic – Is one of the most accurate air rifle power source because there is hardly any kick back from the gun. These guns are pump-action guns, so the more pumps there are, the more power, but usually one pump is enough.
- CO2 gas – Cheap and excellent propellant, CO2 is first in liquid form and then gas when shot. However it lags in extreme temperature, whether if it is too hot or too cold. The gun can lose power in cold weather or valve-lock in hot temperatures.
- Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP) – As the name suggests, these guns are either charged up through a hand pump or scuba tank. And if you want to stretch it, that is probably the only down fall of these, but once the reservoir is filled, you’ll have more than plenty of time to shoot. This is why so many hunters prefer this kind of source, especially when hunting bigger animals.
All in all, there are definitely more specifications in an air rifle, but I hope the above information will at least get you started. Not only that, the interactive chart above includes a little bit more features that will narrow down your search and find you that perfect air rifle.