Are you in the market for an airgun? Air pistols can be a great alternative to live firearms, for people like hunters and learners (target practice), or gun enthusiasts looking for some fun at the range. However, choosing the best airgun is quite tricky, given that there are many things that you need to consider. The market is also flooded with a wide variety of air pistols, which can be quite confusing if you are a beginner. Fortunately, we have chosen the best air pistols currently on the market and reviewed them for you. Whether you are looking to hunt, hone your shooting skills, or just have some fun, the following 7 air pistols are some of the best options in the market.

7 Most Powerful Air Pistols in 2017 – Comparison Chart

Air PistolsCaliberWeightVelocityPricing
Smith & Wesson M&P 40 BB .177 N/A480 fps
Crosman American Classic Pump.177 ‎1.875 lbs600 fps
Crosman 2240 CO2-Powered.221.81 lbs460 fps
Daisy 985415-42 Hunting.177 7.5 lbs500 fps
Benjamin Trail NP Break Barrel.177 3.44 lbs625 fps
Benjamin Marauder PCP0.257.5 lbs1000 fps
Gamo PT-85 Blowback Pellet.177 1.5 lbs450 fps

Smith & Wesson M&P 40 BB Airgun

Smith & Wesson M&P 40 BB Airgun

Smith & Wesson M&P 40 BB is a great air pistol that is manufactured by Smith & Wesson, one of the leading firearm manufacturers in the world. The design of the airgun is based on the company’s live-fire S&W Military and Police sidearm. With a fire velocity of 480 fps, the Smith & Wesson M&P 40 is a powerful air pistol, and it would be an impressive piece of tool to own.

FEATURES:

  • A replica design of a live sidearm

The Smith & Wesson M&P is a powerful airgun. However, one of its best features is the realistic design. The airgun comes with a double action trigger and a manual safety, features that are very similar to the Smith & Wesson M&P live-fire sidearm. The overall design of the airgun is also very close to that of live-fire pistols, and you can even mistake it for a real sidearm with a simple glance.

  • Fiber optic sights for maximum accuracy

The Smith & Wesson BB airgun is also known for its accuracy. It comes with a fiber optic rear sight, which is used in combination with an adjustable front sight. These sights provide you with maximum accuracy, thus making it easy to acquire and fire at targets.

  • CO2 capsule greatly concealed inside the grip

The Smith & Wesson M&P airgun uses a CO2 capsule propellant, which is located inside the handgrip. The capsule is concealed by backstop slides, which you can easily slide back and forth during the installation and removal. The airgun also comes with a small puncture screw, which you can flip down easily to puncture and activate the CO2 capsule.

  • 19-round drop down magazine

The airgun comes with a 19-rounds stick-style magazine, which you insert inside the grip – just like a real sidearm. You can release the metal with just a quick push of the magazine release button, which will drop it free from the bottom of the grip. This magazine action makes it very easy to load and reload the pistol.

PROS:CONS:

  • The .177 Cal pellets combined with the 480 fps pellet velocity delivers a powerful performance
  • It is very accurate, which makes it easier to hit your targets
  • It has an authentic look and feel, which makes it fun to use
  • It has a great magazine capacity

  • Some customers have complained of the CO2 cylinders leaking, but this might be due to poor installation of the cylinder.

Crosman American Classic Pump Airgun

The Crosman P1377 is a budget-friendly air pistol, but it is still one of the best airguns when it comes to performance.  It shoots .177 caliber pellets at a speed of up to 600 fps, which gives it an impressive knockdown force. The pistol also comes with a single action bolt design, which makes it very easy to load. It also comes with adjustable power option, which allows you to choose the amount of knockdown force. On top of that, it is designed with a longer barrel, which helps to improve its accuracy. All of these features make it one of the best airguns for hunting or target practice.

FEATURES:

  • Single action bolt design

The American Classic Pump airgun comes with a single action bolt design, which makes it very easy to cock and load the airgun. It is one of the best airguns to buy if you are looking for something easy to use. The ease-of-use also makes it the best air pistol for users who are looking to improve their shooting skills.

  • A comfortable, easy-to-use design

The American Classic Pump airgun comes with a comfortable and easy to use design, which gives you more control over the airgun when firing. It also comes with an adjustable stock and the grip, which allows you to tune them to your preferences.

  • A light, easy-to-use trigger

The American Classic Pump airgun comes with a light trigger that only weighs 4.5 ounces, which is lighter than most air pistols currently on the market. The lightness allows for a faster trigger pull, which helps to deliver neat and consistent shots. It also makes it easy and fun to use the air pistol.

  • Easy-pump forearm

The air pistol is equipped with a hand-pumped piston that is located under the barrel. The pump allows you to adjust the power of your shot (from 480 fps to 600 fps) depending on your preference and situation.

PROS:CONS:

  • It is very affordable
  • It is a powerful airgun that can fire a pellet at impressive speeds of up to 600 fps
  • It is easy to handle and can be used by both right-handed and left-handed shooters
  • It can be used with different types of pumps

  • It is a single shot air pistol, which you must pump after every shot
  • The pump handle is quite narrow, which can cause you some pain and exertion as you are pumping.

Crosman 2240 CO2-Powered Air Pistol

Crosman 2240 CO2-Powered Air Pistol

The Crosman 2240 is another impressive airgun you should consider if you are looking for something powerful. The CO2-powered airgun fires powerful .22 caliber BB pellets at velocities of up to 460 fps. It is also very accurate, and you can even accessorize it with additional gear for improved performance. This is one of the best airguns to buy if you are looking to hunt or shoot at targets.

FEATURES:

  • Single bolt-action design

The Crosman .22 Caliber C02-powered air pistol also comes with a single bolt-action design. However, the bolt design for this model is more improved (than that of the .177 American Classic), which makes it even easier to cock and load. The design of the airgun also allows for easy and perfect loading for left-handed shooters.

  • Easy-to-load CO2 cylinder

The Crosman .22 Caliber air pistol uses C02 cartridges as a propellant. This eliminates the need for manually pumping the pistol after every shot. The C02 cartridges also help to boost the power of the pistol, and this, combined with the powerful pellets and the impressive speed, gives the pistol a great knockdown power.

  • Textured grip panels

The Crosman CO2-powered air pistol comes with textured grip panels, which provides you with maximum comfort as you are firing. Therefore, you can fire as many times as you want without getting tired. The increased comfort also comfort helps to improve your precision when firing.

  • Open style sights

The air pistol comes with adjustable open style sights, which you can easily adjust with a small tool. You can also accessorize the air pistol with scopes, which will improve the precision, and at the same time, make the airgun more attractive.

PROS:CONS:

  • It packs impressive power, which makes it one of the best options for target practice and hunting.
  • You can upgrade and accessorize the air pistol with aftermarket parts and gear
  • It is very easy to use and can be used comfortably by both right-handed and left-handed shooters

  • It is a quite decent air pistol, but you will need to upgrade and accessorize it if you want a better performance.
  • The rear sights are a bit low quality. However, you can overcome this downside by fitting it with a scope.

Daisy 985415-42 Hunting Air Pistol

Daisy 985415-442 Hunting

The Daisy 985415-42 model is a semi-automatic airgun that is designed with a realistic, live sidearm appearance. The model uses C02 cartridges as a propellant, which helps you to shoot .177Cal BB pellets at impressive speeds of up to 500 fps. It also comes with a number of amazing features, not to mention a great performance, and impressive knockdown power, all of which makes it one of the best airguns for hunting, target practice. The airgun has also received several positive reviews from satisfied customers, and thus you can be sure that you are investing in a trusted product when buying it.

FEATURES:

  • A realistic looking design

One of the best features of the Daisy 985415-42 airgun is its design. It comes with a realistic design, and you can easily mistake it for a real live sidearm. It is equipped with a smooth bore steel barrel, just like the ones used in live-fire pistols. The grip, trigger, and color of the airgun are also very similar to most live firearms. This makes it one the best air guns for target practice if you are looking to use a live-fire sidearm anytime soon.

  • Manual trigger block safety

The Daisy 985415-42 air gun is designed to offer you maximum safety as you are firing. It comes with an easy-to-use trigger block feature, which is activated manually. It also comes with a conspicuous red indicator, which lights up when the safety is off. This helps to reduce the chances of an accidental discharge.

  • Comfortable grips

The Daisy 985415-42 Hunting air pistol comes with specially designed grips that offer you maximum comfort as you are firing. They help to improve your control over the airgun when you are firing, thus increasing your accuracy. They also help to improve your comfort when you are firing multiple times, say for example, during target practice.

  • Ability to accessorize

The Daisy Hunting airgun also comes with the option of installing additional gear such as scopes and a tactical flashlight for shooting at night or in low light conditions. You can also mount a laser sight for improved precision when firing.

PROS:CONS:

  • It is a very affordable airgun
  • The 500 fps pellet velocity delivers powerful shooting
  • It is very easy to handle and use
  • It has amazing accuracy

  • It is a repeater pellet gun, which means you might need to invest in a large amount of CO2 cylinders

Benjamin Trail NP Break Barrel Air Pistol

Benjamin Trail NP Break Barrel Air Pistol

The Benjamin Trail NP is not a new airgun, having been on the market for quite a while now. However, since its entry into the market, it has caused quite a stir, with several airgun fans and enthusiasts praising its performance. The airgun delivers impressive knockdown power, courtesy of the .177 Cal pellets, which it can shoot at a velocity of up to 625 fps. This makes it one of the most powerful airguns that are currently in the market.

FEATURES:

  • Powered by Nitro Piston Technology

The Benjamin Trail NP Break Barrel airgun is powered by Crosman’s Nitro Piston Technology, a powerful technology that is mostly used in air rifles. The technology offers smoother cocking and neat shooting with very little recoil. The nitro piston also makes the airgun lighter than spring air pistols. On top of that, it is durable and can function perfectly even in cold weather.

  • Fiber optic sights

The Benjamin Trail NP Break Barrel airgun comes with adjustable fiber optics in the rear and fixed fiber optics at the front, which helps you to acquire targets with ease. It also comes with a dovetail fitting, where you can attach scopes for improved precision and increased target range. If you are looking to do some fancy shooting, you can even attach night optics for accurate firing at night and in low light conditions.

  • A cocking aid for easy loading

The Benjamin Trail NP air pistol comes with a cocking aid, which makes it easier to load pellets into the airgun. The cocking aid is made of a light plastic material and weighs almost nothing. Therefore, you can leave it in place as you are firing (for easier loading) without having to worry about the smoothness and precision of the shots.

  • A tactical synthetic frame

The Benjamin Trail NP comes with a synthetic polymer frame, which is light and easy on the hands. This makes it very easy to handle the gun, thus allowing you to fire multiple times in a single session without getting tired.

PROS:CONS:

  • The cocking aid makes it easy to load the gun
  • It has an impressive pellet velocity of up to 625 fps
  • You can use both lead and alloy pellets
  • It is light, which makes it easy to handle and shoot

  • The optics are poor, and you might need to accessorize with scopes, laser, or red dot optics if you are looking for more precision.

Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol

Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol

Benjamin Marauder PCP air pistol is one of the best air pistols in terms of power and performance. It uses a pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) power system, which delivers excellent and destructive shots for up to 33 yards away. The bolt-action rifle shoots .22 Cal pellets at lightning-fast speeds of up to 700 fps, which makes it one of the best air pistols on the market.

FEATURES:

  • Extremely powerful shots

The Benjamin Marauder PCP airgun shoots .22 Cal pellets, which are incredibly powerful. It also comes with a PCP system, which allows you to charge the gun to a pressure of up to 2900 PSI. At this pressure, the gun can discharge the .22 pellets at speeds of 700 fps, giving it an impressive amount of force that can be quite destructive to small animals.

  • Rifled barrel for improved precision

The Benjamin Marauder airgun comes with a steel rifled barrel, which helps to deliver precise firing within 30 yards. This makes it one of the best air pistols for target practice. In addition to the rifled barrel, it also comes with a dovetail fitting, where you can mount scopes for more precision.

  • Efficient multiple-shot firing mode

One of the best features of the Benjamin Marauder airgun is the multiple-shot firing capacity. The pistol comes with an 8-shot capacity auto-indexing magazine that uses a jolt activity component, thus allowing you to discharge several pellets at a go. This helps to improve the performance, especially when firing at small game.

  • Internal noise dampening shroud

The Benjamin Marauder is equipped with an internal noise-dampening shroud, which helps to reduce the loudness of each shot by a significant proportion. This comes in handy when you are hunting small animals such as rats and squirrels.

PROS:CONS:

  • With speeds of up to 700 fps, it delivers a great knockdown force, making it one of the best air guns for hunting.
  • It comes with an improved trigger and grip designs, which makes it easy to handle and use
  • It can be equipped with scopes for more accurate firing
  • It can fire multiple times at a go

  • It does not come with any sight, and you must accessorize it with scopes, laser pointer or red sight if you want more precision.

Gamo PT-85 Blowback Pellet Pistol

Gamo PT-85 is a semi-automatic gun that is designed with a blowback action, thus mirroring the operation of a live-fire sidearm. It also comes with a lightweight design that is very easy to use and handle. Its performance is also great, with the gun firing 0.177 Cal pellets at speeds of up to 450 fps. Due to its lightweight design, amazing feature, and good performance, the Gamo PT-85 is best used for small game hunting and target practice.

FEATURES:

  • An authentic look and feel

One of the best features of the Gamo PT-85 semi-automatic sidearm is its design. The pistol is designed with a blowback feature, which uses a portion of the air to slide back as you are firing – just like firing a live gun. The gun’s color, barrel, grip, trigger, safety, and optics are also very realistic, which provides an authentic look and feel.

  • Amazing optics for accurate shots

The PT-85 Blowback pistol comes with some of the best sights in the market – a fixed sight and reflective white dots. The design of the gun also allows you to attach additional optics such as scopes, a red dot sight, a laser sight, and a tactical light. With the additional optics, you can be able to fire with maximum precision even at night or in places with low light.

  • Textured plastic grips

The Gamo PT-85 comes with textured plastic grips that provide you with maximum comfort as you are firing. The grips allow the airgun to fit easily in your hand, thus stabilizing it as you are firing. The plastic material with the textured design is also soft on your hands, and thus you can fire for as many times as you want without getting tired.

  • 16-shot double magazine with drop-down mechanism

The Gamo PT-85 blowback pistol comes with a 16-pellet double magazine. This is a quite decent magazine capacity, which means that you do not have to keep reloading when firing multiple times. On top of that, the magazine features a simple drop-down mechanism, which offers you a very easy time when reloading.

PROS:CONS:

  • It comes with amazing optics, which offers you more accurate shots
  • It comes with a realistic design
  • You can attach several accessories for improved performance
  • It is very easy and comfortable to use

  • It is quite loud when firing, but you can reduce the noise of the shots by attaching a silencer.

How To Choose The Best Air Pistol

With so many air pistols in the market, choosing the best air pistol to buy is a challenging task. It is even more difficult when you are new airguns, as the several options can be quite confusing. Fortunately for you, we have come up with tips on how to choose the best airgun, which will help you narrow down your options. With these tips, you will have an easier time sorting through all of the available options. You will also have a much better chance of choosing the best airgun.

Features to Look For in an Air Pistol

You need to consider a number of factors if you are looking to buy the best airgun. However, since the quality of an airgun is largely dependent on the features, the best way of narrowing down your options is to start by looking at the features of each air pistol. Below are some of the features that you should look out for when buying an air pistol

Caliber of the gun

Each air pistol uses different pellets caliber. The most common ones are .177, .22, and .25. The caliber of the airgun affects the force of the shot, with the .177 having the lowest power compared to the other two types. Therefore, if you are looking to buy a powerful airgun, the best options are airguns using .22 and .25 caliber pellets. On the other hand, if you do not require something with too much power, the .177 Cal pistols will do just fine.

The trigger pull

Airguns come with different types of trigger, which vary in terms of sensitivity, or what is commonly referred to as the trigger pull. For people who are new to airguns, the trigger pull might seem like a just a small aspect of the airgun. However, it is very important in that it affects the overall control you have over the airgun while firing.

For example, if the trigger of an air pistol is too light, it will discharge the pellets with very little effort, which can increase the risk of accidental shooting. On the other hand, if the trigger is too heavy, you will have a harder time firing the pellets. The best option is thus to  choose a trigger that is not too light or too heavy. This will give you better control over the airgun, and at the same time, make it easy to fire the shots.

The propellant used

The propellant or the power source is another important feature of an air pistol, as it has a huge effect on the velocity of the shots, and hence the power of the airgun. The most common types of power systems used in an airgun include nitro pistons, spring pistons, pre-charged pneumatic system, and CO2.

When looking at the propellant, you should also consider the fact that each type of propellant has its own pros and cons. For example, an airgun that uses a PCP system can shoot for as long as you need, but you will need to pump it constantly. On the other hand, an airgun that uses CO2 cartridges as a propellant does not require pumping, but you will have to invest in CO2 cylinders.

The Optics

Optics are an important feature of an airgun, as they have a huge bearing on the accuracy. When choosing the best airgun to buy, you will come across different types of optics – open style sights, fiber optic sight, reflectors, red dots, and scopes. The type of scope you choose will affect the precision of your airgun – high-quality optics such as scopes, reflectors, and red dots will improve your precision when firing.

Important questions to ask before buying an airgun

Each airgun user has specific preferences, and thus choosing the best airgun is not as simple as going for the one with the most sophisticated features. Therefore, if you are looking to buy something that is right for you, you need to look consider more than just the features. But how do you decide which airgun is right for you? Below are a few questions that can help you

What do you intend to use the airgun for?

When buying an airgun, you should consider your intended use – target practice, hunting, or just for fun. By identifying the intended use, you will be able to come up with parameters that will help you choose the best airgun. For example, if you are planning to use the airgun for hunting, then you will need to buy a pistol that is powerful, fast, quiet, has a great accuracy, among other things. On the other hand, if you just want to practice firing, you need to invest in something that is easy to use, accurate, and has a good magazine capacity.

Do you want to upgrade and accessorize your airgun?

Airguns come with different designs, with some designs supporting additional gear (scopes, laser pointers, tactical flashlights, etc.), while others do not. When you are buying an airgun, you should thus consider whether you want to install additional gear or not, as this will steer your options. For example, if you are looking to mount a scope, you will need to choose an airgun whose design supports mounting a scope.

What is your budget?

Budget is another important consideration, as it will determine how much you can spend on an airgun. Therefore, when buying an airgun, you should first determine the budget limit and then start looking at the best available options that are not above that limit.

Conclusion

There are several reasons why you might consider buying an airgun – they are affordable, easy-to-use, and great for target practice and hunting. Unfortunately, choosing the best airgun to buy is not an easy task. This is because the market is flooded with different types of airguns, each coming with different characteristics. On top of that, you have to consider your personal preferences to ensure that you are not only choosing the best airgun, but also the best one that is a right fit for you. However, with the above information, you can be able to identify what you need and choose an airgun that will serve you best. You will also have an easier time narrowing down your options, which will guarantee you a smooth airgun buying experience.