best air rifle under $500


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DammitBoy
June 28, 2011, 08:43 PM
for hunting small game - squirrels, rabbit, etc.

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TexasPatriot.308
June 28, 2011, 09:03 PM
Crossman pump up, about $50 bucks anywhere, I shoot anything up to rabbits with it 177/BB, pump it 10 times and it gets the job done, save the other $450 for a centerfire rifle.

jad0110
June 28, 2011, 09:42 PM
I picked up a refurbished Gammo Whisper .177 break barrel single shot from Airgundepot.com a year ago for $179, IIRC. Extremely accurate (I was hitting eggs 50% at 40 yards) and quite powerful. I had more than one shot punch through both sides of a tin can. My only complaints are the sights can be a little finicky and the trigger is very gritty, but otherwise I've been very happy with it.

DammitBoy
June 28, 2011, 09:43 PM
I'm wanting something with a little more umpf and I'd rather shoot a .22 pellet.

WNTFW
June 28, 2011, 09:51 PM
.177 can't be beat for pellet selection. I have a 5mm (.200 Sheridan) that I love but pellet selection is not the best. 5mm is a good hunting caliber. .22 is another logical choice. Of course some pellets are for targets and some for hunting. Pellets can get just as costly a .22lr. I like the multipumps. Sheridan is now Benjamin. The nitrogen spring guns are the latest rage.

badbadtz560
June 28, 2011, 10:07 PM
gamo cfx had some really good reviews - it's a fixed barrel design so it's supposed to be more accurate than a break barrel.

You gotta get a charliedatuna trigger on it tho - gamo triggers are all crap. Very easy to install tho

works well w/ crow magnum pellets and diabolos

I'm out of date tho... there's oem UK site w/ lots of reviews .. and pyramydair isn't a bad resource either

Geckgo
June 28, 2011, 10:15 PM
I picked up one of them Beeman rifles from walmart a while back. Something to shoot in the house if I don't feel like making a trip to the range. Accuracy was pretty horrible at first but it's slowly getting better. I don't shoot it that much and I think the instruction book says you need to put about 1000 rounds through it before it really wears in and starts getting more accurate. Right now it's making about .5 - 1" groups at 12 yards. That's about what?? 8MOA, more or less, hehehe. I have noticed that it's zeroing in though. I only shoot the .22 cal barrel and it seems to like crossman pelets the best.

Maple_City_Woodsman
June 28, 2011, 10:27 PM
Get something with a gas ram / Nitro Piston. It is a huge upgrade - less noise, less vibration, wont take a set, and its not effected by temperature. I was skeptical at first, but now that I have one, I won't ever buy a break-action without one.

In .177 cal, look into the Gamo Whisper 'Royal' with a Nitro Piston. It should run you about $300 with nice wood, checkering, and a good finish. Of course it also has the integral noise reduction device and adjustable iron sights.

But for sheer power on game animals at any range, consider a 25 cal gun. I have been using a Walther Falcon 'Hunter' in 25 cal, with a Nitro Piston, and its power blew me away - I was still stuck in the mindset that airguns, especial single stroke guns, were weak... This gun will through-penetrate a #10 steel coffee can full of water at 10 yards and keep trucking with a 40gr pellet. It penetrated 18+ inches of water in my Fackler box, which is equivalent to 12+ inches of ballistic gelatin. The Walther runs about $300 as well.

The Walther Falcon is also available in .22 cal with a Nitro piston, and it boasts quite good velocity. It can do everything the 25 cal version can, and probably do so just as well. If you are stuck on a .22cal, then I wouldn't look any further unless you want a PCP or something.

You have several other nice options with old conventional springs as well, but those two would be my choices in your shoes with your budget.

Moose1995
June 28, 2011, 11:56 PM
I have an RWS 34 Panther. It is .177. I use Beeman Kodiak Match grade pellets. I NEVER miss under 50 yards. I got a chipmunk once that was in a tree at 50 yards and all I could see was his head. One shot. Unbelievable consistency with this gun and pellet combo. I paid 250 dollars for it and it came with a fixed power 4x32 RWS scope. I have taken 5 rabbits now, all with one shot. The THUD these pellets make when they hit is unreal. IMO, this is the best rifle for the money you can get. And its available in .22, but the Kodiak pellets are heavy to begin with, and for almost all small game, would be more then sufficient. And with the extra 250 bucks you just saved, go buy yourself a Ruger 10/22!

Moose1995
June 29, 2011, 12:03 AM
Oh yeah, another one of my best shots was on a squirrel at 75 yards. One shot, squirrel ran about 20 feet and tried to climb a tree.... got about 5 feet up the tree and went down for good. Not bad for a 177 cal w/ a 10.2 grain wt pellet!

yhtomit
June 29, 2011, 12:37 AM
"I have taken 5 rabbits now, all with one shot."

Now *that* is a record!

Good shooting, even if it took five shots. ;) That RWS looks nice.

timothy

DammitBoy
June 29, 2011, 01:45 AM
They claim the Walther Falcon Hunter has a fps of 800 - would you consider that accurate? I've heard a lot of the air guns claim a higher fps than they actually deliver...

bubbeee
June 29, 2011, 11:15 AM
The best 2 I can think of under $500 that's not a cheap thing that woun't last is 2 AMERICAN made air rifles. First it the AirForce Talon SS with a co2 bottle. It is fully adjustable power and very quiet in stock form and you can get it in .177, .20, .22 and .25 cal. Great air rifle under $500 and is made in Fort Worth, TX. I have a .22 with a 18 inch barrel and have easy hit with accurecy targets at 75 yards. The second one is the Benjamin Maurader. It's my next air rifle and I have not heard anything bad about this one and it too is under $500 and can use either co2 or high pressure air. Both of these are cooncidered PCP air rifles that can use co2.

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/AirForce_Talon_SS_CO2_Adapter_12-oz_CO2_Tank/1227

http://www.pyramydair.com/p/Benjamin-Marauder-air-rifle.shtml

oneounceload
June 29, 2011, 11:35 AM
RWS makes some of the most accurate springers out there - most are under $500

DammitBoy
June 29, 2011, 09:48 PM
I'm more interested in a self-contained unit that doesn't need Co2. A pump model...

BrocLuno
July 1, 2011, 09:08 PM
You can get a hand pump for the PCPs. The Talon is very nice. Benjy Marauder is nice too :)

LoonWulf
July 2, 2011, 05:33 AM
Personaly im stuck on the qb-78 rifles, b series springers out of china ive seen have been pretty nice. Other then that i like the PCPs from Crossman, and Airforce.

DammitBoy
July 2, 2011, 12:24 PM
So, I'm leaning towards the The Walther Falcon in .22 cal with a Nitro piston. Anybody want to talk me out of it?

What's the best comparable RWS in .22 cal?

benzy2
July 2, 2011, 12:41 PM
I'll put another vote in for the Benjamin Discovery Rifle & Pump or their Marauder Rifle and Pump. I like the PCP a bit better than springers, and this one you can fill with man power. It does take effort to fill but you get the advantages of adjustable shot speed, a fixed barrel rather than one that breaks open, not having to deal with hold issues found on a springer, no reverse recoil that damages non-air rifle scopes, and very good consistency. There are a few mods out there to make these rifles even better. For a hunting rifle, the discovery is a great size and weight. It's a little light for a target rifle, but that isn't the intended use.

It's up to you. The big drawback on the PCP style rifles are that you either need a fill tank or you need to manually pump them full. That can be a deal breaker. But, if you can get past that, there are MANY benefits to the system that to me outweigh the filling issue.

jcwit
July 2, 2011, 01:18 PM
Why anyone would like a pump-up, no matter what brand, is beyond me. Why spend one's time and energy pumping on of these outdated things when a single stroke barrel cocker or better yet side lever is available giving more power and much faster reloading. Even the Chinese models are now giving a quality piece, sorry to say.

BrocLuno
July 2, 2011, 02:38 PM
Because the PCPs will hunt all day on a single tank charge. They are very powerful and don't take any effort between shots except for reload. And, there are repeaters if you want to go with a magazine style? Why break a barrel or pull a lever if you don't have to - motion and noise ruin a hunt.

jcwit
July 2, 2011, 03:17 PM
Because the PCPs will hunt all day on a single tank charge. They are very powerful and don't take any effort between shots except for reload. And, there are repeaters if you want to go with a magazine style? Why break a barrel or pull a lever if you don't have to - motion and noise ruin a hunt.

Wasn't posting about PCP's, was referring to the pump-up like the Sheridan, Benjamin, ect. where one has to pump up 10/15 times for every shot.

LoonWulf
July 3, 2011, 12:55 AM
because some of us cant shoot springers (me).....dont like the added weight, feal of recoil or sound.

jcwit
July 3, 2011, 01:08 AM
because some of us cant shoot springers (me).....dont like the added weight, feal of recoil or sound.

RWS makes a side lever single stroke cocking rifle with no felt recoil, weight is no more than any other rifle and of course much less than any center fire. Sound? You have a problem with sound? Now I've heard it all.

WNTFW
July 3, 2011, 11:23 AM
I'm sure the sound of the springer is what he is referring to.

I think multi pumps have some good points. But the PCP will go for more round than I would ever expect to use in a hunt. Temperature sensitivity would have to be taken into account.

We would hunt a lot with pump air rifles. The pumping from concealment was part of your tactic as well as patient stalking.

My pump gun takes 3-8 pumps. I have shot 5K with it this year mostly from sitting/prone. So that is 15k pumps from those positions. The big advatange to me from a marksmanship stand point was reestablishing position at least partially on each shot.

I don't see 10-15 pumps per shot as being a realistic number. A pump or single pump is not a problem for hunting.

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