The good news is that there are many of them, so we have plenty of options. We can pick and choose whichever air gun that suits our needs. The bad news is that there are many of them, so finding the one that fits our needs can be overwhelming.
But worry not, this is what I am here for. I handpicked seven guns that are amazing for all purposes, be it hunting, target practice, competition, or plinking. That means, the guns I’m about to show you here are compact, accurate, and powerful enough to humanely take down games. For those who are on a tight budget, I have included those that are on the cheaper side but perform great anyway.
The V10 is perfect for .22 rimfire competitions, which are starting to gain traction recently. You can say that this popularity comes from the low barrier entry in terms of cost for the gun itself, and the abundance of pellets. Of course, you need to spend a lot more money to even hope to be competitive in Olympic-level contests, but if you just want to dabble at the local level, the V10 is an amazing option.
It has all the features you need to win at that level, as long as you aim properly. Unfortunately, nothing other than practice is going to help you achieve pinpoint accuracy. Other than that, the gun is accurate, which it should be because there’s no point in practicing with an inaccurate gun.
The features include a match-grade barrel, an adjustable sight, and an adjustable two-stage trigger that breaks cleanly with as little as .88 pounds of pressure. The V10 uses a single-stroke pneumatic mechanism to propel the pellets, so that means no handpumps or CO2 cartridges.
On top of that, the V10 comes with a beautiful stippled walnut grip with a generous palm shelf on the right that adjusts for your grip, and the thumb rest on the left for a firm grip. With a V10, some good pellets, and a bit of practice, you can start to dominate local competitions.
At a glance, you would think that the P365 Air Pistol looks very similar, and you would be perfectly correct. It is modeled after its 9mm counterpart and Sig Sauer did an amazing job in replicating the feel and handling in their air pistol version. So, this one is my pick for training.
For one, you get the polymer frame with front and back serrations that operates with full blowback, just like the 9mm version. The CO2 cartridge and 12 BBs inside the magazine give you the feeling that you are working with a real gun. You even get the signature accessory rail from Sig so you can swap optics between the two versions easily. On top of all that, you get green, high-visibility 3-dot fixed sights and manual ambidextrous safety, completing the entire features.
In terms of performance, the gun can push BBs at 295 feet per second, which is not a lot. However, this gun is intended for practice only. The gun is nice and cheap and you should use it to build up muscle memory for drawing and firing until you are ready to fire live rounds.
Another amazing option for training is the Umarex Baretta M9A3 is amazing fun for training. As the name suggests, you can go full-auto with this thing for a stream of BBs. This model is Umarex’s attempt in replicating the real deal, other than the full-auto feature which is fun to use now and again.
Of course, they cannot replicate everything. You get the metal frame which gives you a similar heft to the real gun, the safety, and the single- or double-action trigger. The slide has blowback action, although you won’t feel the same kick. The full-size mag gives you 18 BBs and 12-gram CO2 cylinder. All of this gives you the perfect trainer for drilling firing and reload.
Now, we are coming into hunting territory. It is hard to find air guns that deliver the same performance as the Sortie Tact. It is because it is semi-auto with enough punch to handle small games. Hatsam constructed this gun after the success of their Barrage and Bullmaster semi-auto air rifles. They used the same technology, and the Sortie Tact delivers similar performance in a smaller package.
This pre-charged pneumatic pistol can spit out .22-caliber pellets with the energy of over 15 foot-pounds at 700 feet per second. The reservoir, though small at only 62cc, can be topped up quickly using the hand pump. Unfortunately, if you are left-handed, the grip angle won’t work for southpaws.
Other features of the Sortie Tact include the side-folding detachable stock, a full-length shroud that keeps the decibels down, the milled receiver comes with Picatinny rail, and 11mm and 22mm grooves for mounting optics of your choice. On top of that, you also get a complimentary hard carry case with three mags.
The AP16 is a compact unit that delivers a powerful punch with its .22-caliber pellets at over 18 foot-pounds of energy. This gives you the power to humanely take down animals up to 5 pounds. Think of cottontails or pigeons.
The AP16 draws its power from the reservoir right under the barrel which can hold up to 300 BAR, or 4,350 pounds per square inch. With this amount of power, it takes a really solid regular to deliver consistent power for every shot, and the AP16 got just that.
On top of that, you got a two-way adjustable trigger that can break as low as 0.44 pounds, a free-floating Lothar Walther barrel, and the stock sights are serviceable. But if you want to slap on a red dot or optics of your choice, you also have an 11mm dovetail on the top for that.
At a glance, the AirForce TalonP looks like an air rifle but scaled down to pistol size. For those who are familiar with AIrForce, you know that their products always pack a mighty punch. The TalonP is no exception to this. The pre-charged pneumatic bolt-action single-shot air pistol has a lot of power in a small package.
The TalonP is capable of delivering .25-caliber pellets at an astounding 50 foot-pounds of energy. This gives you the power to easily take down games as large as a raccoon in a single shot. On top of that, you can tweak the power from 400-900 feet per second. With this power, you can accurately hit from 100 yards and beyond thanks to the 12-inch Lothar Walther barrel.
The downside here is the weight. The default configuration places the reservoir below the barrel similar to the buffer tube on an AR-pistol. Luckily, you can get an adaptor that allows you to turn the reservoir into a buttstock.
It is also pretty loud since the barrel does not come with any semblance of shroud or suppressor. If it is too loud for your taste, you can grab a TalonP Carbine, which gives a similar performance with a larger form factor.
Those who are familiar with the Benjamin Marauder air rifle will know this one at a glance. This is the pistol version of that air rifle. It is well-loved for its beautiful design and great features. The air pistol version gives you all of it in a more compact package.
This pre-charged pneumatic pistol is capable of pushing .22-caliber pellets at 15.5 foot-pounds of energy at 700 feet per second. For you, that means it can smack small games at 30 yards easily. The pellet is fed the same way as its air rifle counterpart – via the auto-indexing circular mag. This, coupled with the rear-mounted bolt, allow for fast follow-ups as needed.
The adjustable two-stage trigger breaks very cleanly. The built-in pressure gauge gives you info on how much oomph you got left in the reservoir. Finally, it comes with a shoulder stock to give you more stability and support, which you can equip by swapping out the grips.
And there you have it, folks. These are my recommendations for air pistols. I’m sure that one of these would suit your needs perfectly.