Where in a conventional firearm combustible propellants are generated through chemical reactions, in an Airgun, a compressed gas is mechanically pressurized in the chamber without the use of any chemical reaction! This then causes the projectile inside the air gun to get launched. There are mainly two types including a longer “Air Rifle” and a smaller “Air Pistol”. Air Guns normally project BB’s which are either spherical shots or diabolo-shaped pellets but Air Rifles can also shoot fin-stabilized projectiles such as tranquilizer darts or arrows.

Air guns are perfect for almost every niche really. Kids learn firearm safety through BB’s before stepping up to an actual firearm; using air rifles to hunt without breaking any laws; and even as a tool for pest control. The versatility of the Air Gun ensures that there is something for everyone, with prices ranging from very affordable to very expensive, depending on how advanced an air gun you need. Now that you know how an Air Gun works and how it is resourceful, let’s dive straight into the 12 Best Airguns of 2022.

1. Stoeger XM1 Air Rifle

A quiet, hard-hitting air rifle, mainly used for small game hunting, the XM 1 Air Rifle by Stoeger Industries comes chambered in .17 and .22 caliber. Introduced at the SHOT Show 2020, this was the first Air Gun by Stoeger in which they had implemented a pre-Charged pneumatic (PCP) phenomenon. The tanks of PCP provide ample velocity and a lot of shots between fill-ups, making them one of the fastest-growing segments of the air-gun market.

The XM1 comes with an integrated tank with a 2,900 psi capacity, meaning it can fire almost 50 .17 caliber pellets at speeds up to 1,200 fps before needing a refill. The .22 caliber on the other hand has harder hitting pellets but sacrifices a bit on the velocity, which drops down to 1,000 fps. With an adjustable length of pull and interchangeable cheekpieces and pistol grips, the XM1 is also super quiet and includes a suppressor to slowly bleed off excess air, dampening the report.

The basic model clocks in at $199 whereas the higher end flagship model with a RealTree EDGE Finish and a 4×32 scope goes for $249. These prices make it one of the best value for money guns on the market.

Stoeger XM1 Air Rifle

2. Hatsan PileDriver

A .50 caliber pellet fired at 850 fps, providing a force in excess of 800 foot-pounds makes the Hatsan PileDriver the world’s most powerful production air rifle, a title held previously by the AirForce Texan. That’s more than enough power to put down a hog or a deer with a carefully placed single shot. The attached reservoir when filled up to its capacity of 4,300 psi allows up to five pellets to be delivered at full power.

Even though it comes with a 33-inch barrel, the bullpup stock and an adjustable cheek rest and butt pad keeps the overall length down. One of the best parts about the PileDriver is how cleanly the two-stage adjustable trigger breaks, making the operation of the gun very smooth. It also comes in a .45 caliber which fires smaller pellets at 900 fps and allows for 6 shots instead of 5.

However, all of these amazing features come with a hefty price tag of $1200, making this one of the rather expensive Air Guns on the market. But then again, it does drop a hog in one shot, so it is quite something.

Hatsan PileDriver

3. Benjamin Marauder Semi-Automatic PCP

Since there is no ignition inside an airgun, autoloading is very difficult which is why there are only a few semi-automatic air guns on the market. But Benjamin has devised a way to use excess air from each shot to cycle the action and load a new pellet to the chamber after the previous one has been shot. This makes the Marauder a semiauto air rifle with faster follow up shots than most of the competition, which is ideal for hunters.

To use the Marauder, attach a 10-shot magazine and pull on the AR-style charging handle. The on-board 3000 psi tank gives you about 60 shots of .22 caliber pellets fired at 950 fps, delivering 29 foot-pounds of energy, which is quite enough for small game like rabbits and squirrels. The Marauder also features a wood stock with an adjustable comb for an amazing cheek weld, and the buyer even gets a Picatinny rail, allowing you to mount any optic of your choice. Being one of the only semi-automatic air rifles on the market makes the marauder a tad bit expensive. It retails for $729 on the market.

Benjamin Marauder Semi-Automatic PCP

4. Winchester Air Rifles Model 12 Pump-Action BB Gun

This model 12 BB gun is the perfect model gun to teach your children the fundamentals of operating a pump shotgun. Each shot requires a pump to load a BB into the chamber and this will definitely help your children develop the practice of pumping when they move onto a real shotgun. This gun uses a 12-round spring-loaded magazine to feed the BB’s into the chamber and the on-board storage holds approximately 250 BB’s in reserve.

The length of pull is slightly longer at 14 inches and a cross-bolt safety is also located in front of the trigger guard to help with familiarization. Since it’s essentially made for children, the Model 12 Pump BB gun only produces 350 fps of velocity and so it is expected to fall in a price range of $40-$60, based on the market price for its competitors.

Winchester Air Rifles Model 12 Pump-Action BB Gun

5. Air Venturi Avenger

There’s something special about the Avenger that sets it apart from its competitors in the same price range and that is an adjustable regulator. This adjustable regulator basically allows you to change the velocity of each shot you fire. Now isn’t that cool? The velocity basically gets adjusted by changing the pressure that you allow to go through the valve. This means that you can turn the velocity up higher for longer shots and turn it down when you’re firing in your backyard or killing pests. A feature like this makes it one of the most useful and versatile air guns on the market.

It comes with dual gauges which let you track pressure; the right gauge indicates shot pressure whereas the left gauge indicates fill pressure. There is even a side lever to actuate the magazine properly and load the chamber in case any follow up shots are required. The barrel on the Avenger is fully shrouded as well which helps keep the noise down so you don’t annoy the neighbors or anything like that. It comes chambered in .177, .22 and .25 caliber, all of which retail for $299. This is quite a decent price, considering the addition of an adjustment regulator on the Air Venturi Avenger.

Air Venturi Avenger

6. Umarex AirSaber and AirJavelin

The AirSaber and AirJavelin from Umarex are one of the first few pneumatic arrow flicker entrants into the market, after the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow. Let’s talk about the AirSaber first.

The AirSaber is more powerful out of the two and is capable of launching arrows at velocities of up to 480 fps, delivering 178 foot-pounds of energy. This is easily enough to take on any big game animal. Even though the AirSaber uses specifically designed arrows to counter the air pressure, you can still use any of your favorite mechanical or fixed-blade broadheads.

The AirJavelin on the other hand is designed mainly for plinking and so, it tosses around arrows at only 300 fps with 34 foot-pounds of energy. This might be enough for small game like squirrels or rabbits but is definitely not the correct choice if you want to go after hogs or deer’s. It comes equipped with an 88 grams CO2 cylinder, which provides enough power to shoot dozens of arrows. But there is an adapter available through which you can use 2 standard 12-gram CO2 cylinders instead.

The AirSaber is obviously more expensive and retails at $369 whereas the cheaper AirJavelin goes for only a mere $169.

Umarex AirSaber and AirJavelin

7. Air Venturi M1A Air Rifle

As you all may know, the world of Air Guns has a lot of replicas available. The Air Venturi M1A is also an example of such a replica, in which AirVenturi has successfully managed to replicate the look and the heft of the iconic M1A Underlever Rifle by Springfield Armory. In the replica by AirVenturi, propulsion is provided by a unique underlever system. What this basically means is that if you need added leverage to complete the stroke, the cocking arm telescopes to give you a greater mechanical advantage.

It comes in two different variants; one in which the powerful spring drives a .177 pellet at 1000 fps and the other in which it drives a .22 pellet at 800 fps. The sliding breech system on this rifle makes loading a very simple task. The sighting on the Air Venturi M1A is accomplished by the blade front and adjustable rear. But like the gun appears to be drilled and tapped to accept an M1A scope mount as well. This replica is a relatively cheaper one and it goes for only $199 on the market.

Air Venturi M1A Air Rifle

8. Hatsan FlashPup SYN Quiet Energy

The new FlashPup SYN QE is a small-game hunting machine and comes in .177, .22 and .25 caliber. This gun is an upgraded version of the Hatsan FlashPup launched previously and it now features a bullpup stock made out of polymer instead of hardwood, which makes it resist weather effects with ease. However, it still retains all the existing features that made the original Hatsan FlashPup so popular.

A self-indexing magazine combines with a side-cocking lever to make cycling the rifle easier as compared to a traditional-bolt action air gun. This PCP rifle delivers velocities of up to 1250 fps with 40 foot-pounds of force when fully charged, making it more than enough for small game. Hatsan’s patented QuietEnergy shrouded barrel reduced the report by up to 50 percent, keeping the noise low and the neighbors happy. The Flashpup SYN QE also has a match-grade two-stage adjustable trigger, which helps you shoot with extreme accuracy and put shots where you want them. However, all these brilliant features do come at a slightly escalated cost of $419.

Hatsan FlashPup SYN Quiet Energy

9. Umarex Legends M1A1

You guys know about the Thompson submachine gun, right? Well, the M1A1 is its replica and has a close look and fell to the original. This full-auto replica fires BB’s at an unbelievable rate of fire. The Legends M1A1 features a blowback action, complete with a reciprocating bolt handle, which is very similar to the one found on the original tommy gun. At almost 8 pounds, it even weighs the same.

The magazine can hold 30 BB’s and houses two 12-gram CO2 cylinders, allowing for ample shooting. Reloading is super-fast and thus, it’s recommended to have a few extra magazines on hand since they end up emptying very, very fast. This replica retails at about $229 on the market, making it a relatively affordable option.

Umarex Legends M1A1

10. Diana 34 EMS Series

Since they’ve been in production for about 36 years now, we assume that you have an idea about the Diana 34 Break-barrel spring/piston air rifle. So this classic spring-powered air gun got an upgrade this year with a range of customizable options. First of these updates is the addition of an Easy Modular System (EMS), which was added to bring the Diana 34 more in line with the airgun technology in the market.

This single-shot spring gun is available in both wood and synthetic stocks, and comes with the added option of swapping the barrel. This means that one receiver can be used to propel both .177 and .22 caliber pellets. Pretty crazy, right? Even the business end has a lot of interchangeable options too. These include a fiber optic bead, a tunnel sight and a muzzle break, which apparently improves accuracy by playing around with the barrel harmonics.

But really, the biggest improvement we believe is the two-piece cocking lever that reduces the effort needed to charge the gun. A shim kit is also included with the rifle to correct the droop which can occur with time as the spring starts to get worse. You can clearly see that Diana has put a lot of thought and effort into making these rifles what it is. Pricing is currently unannounced by the company but we believe it shouldn’t be overly expensive, considering the prices of the previous Diana models.

Diana 34 EMS Series

11. Beeman PCP Under Lever

This rifle features a Bullpup design that is fairly easier to load as compared to other similar models. Bullpup stocks are normally great since they put a full-length barrel in a shorter overall package that is easier to maneuver; but this does make manipulating the controls a tad bit harder since they’re shifted so far rearward. However, Beeman took this into consideration and created an action that allows a shooter to load a pellet and cock the rifle with a lever located under the forend which results in faster follow up shots since you don’t need to lift your head off the stock to work the action.

The 10-shot rotary magazine allows for many, fast follow up shots too! Because the pressure fill is relatively low at 2000 psi, it delivers a velocity of up to 1000 fps in .177 caliber and 830 fps in .22 caliber. Despite all these amazing features that we know about, the PCP Under lever is still in its prototype stage and there is no evident news of when it will be hitting the market.

Beeman PCP Under Lever

12. Rapid Air Weapons HM 1000x LRT Chassis Rifle

Chassis rifles have recently worked their way into air gunning and the HM 1000x is an example of that. Rapid Air Weapons claims that it is the most accurate pre-charged pneumatic air rifle built in the US, because it delivers sub-MOA groups at 100 yards. That’s truly quite something, don’t you guys think? I mean such accuracy at such a distance. Its amazing.

The receiver on the HM 1000x is tuned to ensure consistent shot strings with 50 foot-pounds of muzzle energy in the .22 caliber and 60 foot-pounds in .25 caliber. It comes fitted with a polygonal-rifled Lothar Walther barrel, finished with a carbon fiber barrel sleeve and an integral carbon fiber moderator. Every single thing just blows your mind away on this rifle, its so well-equipped. There is a 12 shot rotary magazine and a smooth side-lever cocking mechanism as well, which allows you to concentrate on shooting rather than loading.

The chassis is super ambidextrous, thanks to the pistol grip, adjustable cheek rest and even an adjustable spring-loaded butt pad for a custom fit for you. However, all these features and the mesmerizing design of the rifle doesn’t come cheap at all. The HM 1000x goes for $2199, a price tag indicative of its superiority and effectiveness. 

Rapid Air Weapons HM 1000x LRT Chassis Rifle

Leave a comment