Pellet pistol: Your opinions solicited - which of these and why?


September 13, 2013, 02:50 PM
I'm considering buying a pellet pistol in a few weeks - I've narrowed my selection down to one of these four. Purpose - fun target shooting, but there was a break-in about a half mile down the road (1st in this area in over 27 years) - so also possible non-firearm self defense.

Which of these would you pick, and why? Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Pellet pistol: Your opinions solicited - which of these and why?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 13, 2013, 03:01 PM
The Hatsan gives you the option of .22 cal pellets which is nice.

I can't really imagine any non-firearm self defense with a single-shot air pistol, though. Mice? Sure. Squirrels? Absolutely. Dogs...maybe, maybe not. Human animals? No way. Point something that looks like a gun at someone in a threatening way and it had better be a) lawful self defense where using a firearm would be justifiable, and b) capable of stopping a real threat.

September 13, 2013, 03:26 PM

Agreed. One well placed shot, even a .177 cal. pellet at 410 fps, is all I will need. If I need a 2nd line of defense - I have my wife - she could talk them to death. ROFL!

September 13, 2013, 03:28 PM
but there was a break-in about a half mile down the road (1st in this area in over 27 years) - so also possible non-firearm self defense.

I agree with Sam, no pellet pistol serves as a suitable defensive tool due to the poor power. Modern hunting air rifles can serve in the role, but I'm not aware of a pistol airgun that would.

Look at the cocking strength required before making your decision. The Hatsan has a 58lb cocking strength and you may or may not want to have to put that much effort into charging the pistol.

September 13, 2013, 03:43 PM
To add to your list, and in that price range, I suggest the Crosman American Classic. It is, in fact, a classic air pistol design and is noted for it's accuracy.

Of your list, I like the Hatsun too, soley because of the ability to shoot .22, but it's been my observation that those are harder to find locally than .177, so it's up to you.

September 13, 2013, 03:48 PM

Also agreed. I really like the Hatsan ... EXCEPT for that 58# effort (... and it is at the upper limit of my price range). My Beeman RS1 pellet rifle has a 30# breakbarrel effort, so with an 11" barrel - it will be a struggle. The Benjamin has a better muzzle velocity, but the Hatsan has the best accuracy. (Oh - the CO2, Multi-pump, and PCP pistols were already taken out of the equation for various reasons ... including price.)

If I hit the lottery, I'll get one of each!

September 13, 2013, 04:00 PM

Thank you for the input. I order online from PyramydAir, so no problem getting something they carry - I saw the "modern"

Again, it is a multi-pump. Although, it has some good features (weight, muzzle velocity and long barrel length for accuracy). I'll keep that as a possible fifth if I can eliminate one of the other four from the mix.

My neighbor (avid hunter, my age), and two sons-in-law (also hunters) all lean toward the Hatsan (but that my be in part because, if I go - the kids will inherit it! ROFLMAO! )

September 13, 2013, 06:40 PM
I got this version of the Crosman. The main reason I got this model was that I could use my laser boresighter to align the optical sight I use with it. They are accurate pistols.

September 13, 2013, 07:26 PM
Did anybody notice that the Benjamin appeared to have an accessory that made cocking easier? I thought it was an airgun suppressor at first, but then realized that it had to be a cocking shroud. I would be concerned that risk of such gizmos is that you can end up prying the end of the barrel "down" while the thing prys "up" against another part of the barrel. That would make me a little nervous about bending the barrel over time.

OTOH, if there was a device that actually bore on the pivot you'd avoid that sort of concern.

September 14, 2013, 12:34 AM
Get a Grossman the can be build up .

September 15, 2013, 04:56 PM
Again, thanks for the feedback. You've caused me to take a closer look at my selections -

I'm dropping the IZH 53M, Hatsan and Benjamin from the mix. The Beeman is looking more and more like a "fun" choice, but ...

I'm now leaning toward the Browning 800 .22 cal. which I had not considered mainly due to the price.

It is more than I actually want to spend, but it has a lower cocking effort than the Hatsan, with a lighter trigger. It has a shorter barrel, but reviews for it are overall very positive, same for the accuracy, and the recoil (reading only - wish there were someplace nearby these things could be tried before purchase! LOL) seems to be as good or better.

It'll take me a bit longer to save up for it, but I think I will be happier with this one.

Again - thanks so much for taking the time to look these over and provide your expertise.


September 15, 2013, 05:14 PM
I'd get the Crosman in .177, though the .22 looks like a good bet as well. My old Crosman now belongs to my dad, and must have thousands of pellets through it. He can still get ten pumps in it, even with his arthitis. It will shoot a Beeman Superdome pellet all the way through a quail at 15 yards. Rabbits drop pretty quick, too.

My brother has one that came with an accessory stock that turns it into a pretty handy carbine. I've never scoped one of these, though I think it might be worth doing.

September 15, 2013, 05:33 PM
In the early 90's, I went through an airgun phase because there were no ranges near where I lived nor places to shoot, so in order to get some indoor or backyard trigger time I bought a Webley Tempest (still made in England and imported by Beeman), and a Beeman P1 Magnum, both in .177. They both still look, and work like new, and are a lot of fun to shoot. The P1 is more accurate, but the Tempest is no slouch, and I actually enjoy shooting that a bit more.

Pyramid now sells the Webley Tempest, but it is made in Turkey which does make some good firearms so that wouldn't stop me from getting one. They are a bit more pricey than the others though. They have both .177, and .22 versions.

September 15, 2013, 05:37 PM
Check this out:

Basically a 3577, with a stock, pellets, and a cheap backpack...if you wanted it to be a pistol, just buy or make some grips. Note that until 9/20, you can get another 10% off.

September 27, 2013, 05:00 PM
Thanks to all for the feedback.

I bit the bullet (pardon the pun) - proud owner of a new Benjamin Marauder
.22 cal PCP rifle (max. 1,00 fps) and a Browning 800 Express .22 cal break/barrel pistol (max. 600 fps) Both use the same pellets

Yes, w a y more than I wanted to spend, but these (properly taken care of) will last me the rest of my life and I can pass them down to my sons-in-law (or grandkids if there are any ... newly-weds). Online reviews from over a dozen different sites list both as 4.5 out of 5, easy to use, very quiet, very accurate (wish I was! LOL).

Oh, and I did take advantage of the Moving Sale, made the purchase at 10 PM 09/20 -10% off, went with a bundle on the rifle - got the combo trigger locks, cases, pellets (buy 4 pay for 3) - AND FREE SHIPPING! Cost avoided about $150.

September 27, 2013, 10:49 PM
Good deal!

Just don't mistake them for having a defensive role.

Pete D.
September 28, 2013, 07:58 AM
Benjamin Marauder pistol.....hands down choice for the pistol. Eight shot magazine, .22 caliber pellets available in weights from 14 to 28 grain. The fourteens go 700 fps. The 28s will make six plus.
Very accurate.
The rifle is even hotter. Did the pump come with your package or as an extra?

PS - air pistol for SD = NOT.

September 28, 2013, 06:58 PM
Given that we now have an air-gun specific forum, I am moving this thread there!

September 29, 2013, 07:28 PM
Discussions of air guns as self defense is not going to fly. I understand that there are air guns that would hurt, and even kill, a human. However, even remotely suggesting that an air gun is good for SD is bad advice.

September 29, 2013, 10:08 PM
NEVER point an airgun at a bad guy! They usually carry LETHAL weapons and you are likely to place you and your family in GRAVE danger!
I woukd go with a fun Air Pistol first, A multi-shot BB or Pellet CO2 , possibly a clone of a real hand gun you like.
Later I'd consider a more sophisticated single shot (or several as they are addictive!).
I started with 2 and now have 26 different air Pistols! They;re relativelly cheap, ammo too and the fun factor is high. You can shoot them almost anywhere indoors or out.

October 22, 2013, 01:40 AM
>>>NOTE: Sorry, I originally wrote P3 but meant P17. The P3 is the German version and 5-6 times the price<<<

My vote of those would be the Beeman P17 hands down. You might think how good could a $40 gun be right? Surprise, it's outstanding! I'd pay three or more times that for this gun, but $40 is a steal. I got mine for $36 with a 10% off code, and free ship with my larger order. My only wish is I should've bought two. I plan on buying one, maybe two more with my next order.
Some claim it has a flaw than needs to be addressed before you shoot, a seam in the cylinder that damages the O-ring causing it to leak, but mine was perfect. It has the full power claimed, not an exaggerated velocity number like most guns. It shoots heavy pellets very well too. I tuned mine but it didn't need much. The hardest mod was cosmetic, I didn't like the chrome trigger, hammer, and safety so I sanded the chrome off them and blued them, now it looks as good as it shoots. I also did a trigger job to shorten and lighten the pull, which most all guns need imo.
The gun is good looking, compact, well balanced, light weight, easy to cock, well made with surprising quality considering the price. It's very accurate too, more accurate than the other guns in your list, more accurate than most any pistol. It's also very quiet, those other guns are rather loud and annoying sounding. Recoil is almost non-existent, the other guns recoil hard.
The other guns are also very long, it says the Hatsan is twice as long! More of a small rifle than a pistol. That's something to consider, especially if you want to carry it in your front pocket like I do.
My favorite pistol for the past 25 years has been the Webley Tempest which is close to $300, but now I prefer the P17.

If you want more power I'd buy the Crosman 1377 or 1322, it's as powerful or more so than the other guns on your list, and more accurate. It also has a big following with plenty of mods to boost power even further if you want.
That's my 2cents

October 22, 2013, 10:26 AM
Another endorsement for the Beeman P3.

I bought one years ago when they were sold as the Marksman 2004 for $40, (I think Beeman bought that company out).

It has been a very accurate and reliable air pistol. I use it for practice because it has the size and the feel of a full size polymer framed pistol.

It is also a fun camp gun for causal target practice and plinking at crackers.

Great value for $40.

November 26, 2013, 05:52 PM
I went to buy the Beeman P-17 (with a hard case, trigger lock, Red dot scope and 1,250 ct .177 pointed pellets) this morning at PyramydAir -

cashed in my Bulls-eye bucks (they're offering 3x the value this week ! Wooo-Hooo!!!) -

... you have to WAIT until you get the physical plastic gift card in the mail! Seriously? Not even sending you an e-mail with the information? This IS the 21st century.

I am soooooo bummed out!

ROFLMAO. Hope there'll be a better sale coming up soon.

November 26, 2013, 07:13 PM
Craftsman, I like the P17. You may want to rethink which one you get though, I don't think that that red dot is all that good, and unless they changed it, the one that doesn't have the red dot has a better set of open sights, a decent set of fiber optic sights instead of the crappy ones on the set with the red dot.

Also, to beat a dead horse here, do not think that something in this power level will be an acceptable means of self defense. Given my experience, I doubt it will do anything other than put an eye out. I highly doubt it would penetrate into the skull either through an eye or through the temple. So even a perfectly placed shot would not stop an attacker, even if you could manage it under stress.

November 27, 2013, 05:40 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I did get the "Gift Card" ("Bulls-eye bucks" electronically - BUT, the deal was "This order's equivalent Bulls-eye bucks will be tripled", not (as it Looks on the website) "you'll get 3x the value of your cashed in" ones. 8-( Caveat emptor!!!

The Beeman P-17 kit is not available until Dec 20, so I went with the standard P-17, and got the UTG Electronic Dot site (which I'm not using on the pistol, but will mount on the dual caliber Beeman RX-2 (the scope that came with that rifle is on the Benji Marauder .22). Looking forward to getting the Beeman pistol.

I've already decided (thanks all for your input) that the airgun is NOT a good choice for defense against a home invader - so I'll just stick to a bedside knife thrown down the hall, against any break-ins. Its about the same distance that I'm sticking into an 8" diameter target in practice anyway! ROFL! However, it DID give me an excuse with the better half, to start this collection - AND I have had the chance to share it with at least five other people already! (converted a few firearm enthusiasts over to the "dark side" ... they were duly impressed by the Texas boys using their .50 cal airguns to take out feral hogs! ... and my hunting sons-in-law love shooting the airguns in my back yard )

Anyway - Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, everyone.

November 27, 2013, 06:55 PM
Perhaps none of my business, but why can't you get a real gun? For the price of the P17, the UTG, and the shipping, you'd have a used gun. Maybe not the best one out there, but something. Or at least you'd be close.

:edit: I love pellet guns, of course, I trying to figure out how to justify spending nearly a thousand dollars on an Airforce PCP set up. It'll be a while.

But if I didn't have a home defense firearm, at the very least, I wouldn't have spent even the 40 bucks for the P17, or the 40 bucks for the daisy 880, or any other toys, until I had put that money toward something for home defense.

November 27, 2013, 08:40 PM
so also possible non-firearm self defense.No, no, no!

You probably heard the one about Don't bring a knife to a gunfight??

Well, Don't bring a air-pistol to a knife or burglar tool fight either!!


November 28, 2013, 06:23 PM
A long, long time ago (we're talking nearly 37 years), it was mutually agreed upon - no firearms.

Been very fortunate not to have had a need, or even the hint of a need during all that time, until recently - but that was about a half-mile straight line from here (although, when I was a kid - we had a break-in ... long story). Since air guns are not technically firearms - that was the loophole.

November 28, 2013, 09:29 PM
It's your marriage, of course, not mine, but I think thins like that should always be negotiable. Not like you are suddenly asking to bring in another woman or something.

You have to remember, no one ever needs a gun, until the day they do, and then it's too late.

Ohen Cepel
November 28, 2013, 09:36 PM
I have the Beeman as does my brother in law and father in law. All have been very happy with them and I would suggest that one.

I also have the IZH and don't like it much at all. Rough with a real springer sound/feel to it when you shoot it. Been a while since I shot it but all around I was not happy with it so it went back into the box.

That said, Pyramid is where I would buy the one you chose in the end. Get 4 tins of pellets while you're there (4th one free).

December 1, 2013, 07:09 PM
Curious if you rec'd it yet and how you like it? If you have any trouble with it, like leakage, heavy trigger pull, the safety etc, I may be able to help since I know the gun well and have modded and tuned mine. I'm sure others here have too so let us know.
Also, the part I mentioned earlier about the seam damaging the O-ring, you need to look at it before you use the gun because it's not easy to find a new O-ring that size after you've damaged it. Maybe Beeman will ship a free one on request, who knows. Fyi...

February 18, 2014, 03:39 PM
I've had the Beeman P-17 for a while now, but its been frigid this winter (outdoor shooting setup, not enough room indoors at home) and way too snowy! LOL. (We're approaching the 3rd snowiest winter since they've kept records in this area). I know, excuses! I have shot a .177 cleaning pellet but no ammo as yet.

February 20, 2014, 03:21 AM
Lots of people shoot indoors, and I think the P17 is excellent for that. I print targets I made that don't suck expensive ink like most do, then I use a rolled up old bath towel to catch the pellets.
If you have questions about tuning and a trigger job for it, I have info and pix. i can also send you my targets.
So what did you think of it? I know I was surprised at how good it was for the $

February 23, 2014, 11:30 PM
Discussions of air guns as self defense is not going to fly. I understand that there are air guns that would hurt, and even kill, a human. However, even remotely suggesting that an air gun is good for SD is bad advice.

There are air guns suitable for self defense. Case in point:

It shoots a .50 cal pellet at 679 fps for a muzzle energy of 230 ft/lbs. Also available in .357 and .45 caliber.

February 24, 2014, 09:41 PM
I would scarcely call a single shot weapon suitable for home defense unless there truly is no other option available. A crossbow might be a better weapon for self defense.

March 3, 2014, 03:03 PM
LOL! I have an 80 lb. pull pistol crossbow with home made 12 in. 5/16" diameter broadhead bolts. In any straight line shot in my home, it would penetrate through a human body. From 40 ft distance outside, the standard 6" bolt it comes with went through a high-density archery backstop, several layers (3 ") of cardboard and an inch through an aluminum privacy slat in a chain link fence.

March 3, 2014, 03:06 PM
I have a 0.22 cal. Benjamin Maurauder with a 10-shot magazine (actually, I have 3 magazines). That's rated at 1,000 FPS muzzle velocity. May not kill, but indoors, at that close of a range, at least it's gonna leave a mark. At night, with no flash and no loud sounds, I can get off all 10 shots in a few seconds.

March 3, 2014, 11:37 PM
I would scarcely call a single shot weapon suitable for home defense unless there truly is no other option available.

To each his own. My primary home defense weapon is a single shot .410 I have a 12ga pump available but it is the little .410 that has a round in the chamber waiting.

March 4, 2014, 12:33 AM
To each his own is right, but I don't think you will find many here that think that decision is the best one to make under the circumstances.

March 4, 2014, 07:28 AM
I use the .410 because it is simple and reliable. My wife has problems with the 12 ga. Not only with the recoil but also operation. She always forgets about the slide release and often has difficulty racking the slide. The recoil means she has no interest in practicing with it.

The .410 is ready to go. Just thumb the hammer and pull the trigger. She has no problem with the recoil and shoots it well.

March 5, 2014, 09:16 AM
Well, I don't know your situation, so it's not for me to say what you should or shouldn't do. I would just hate to hear that you or her needed to use it, and missed with the one shot you have.

Pump action .410s or 20 gauge shotguns can be had rather inexpensively. In my house, there is one in the chamber. No need to remember anything about a slide release, just pull the trigger and pump it.

A bit off topic, though, so I'll leave it be. I just hope you've fully considered the ramifications of using that gun as your home defense tool.

March 5, 2014, 05:31 PM
This has started to get silly. By the power of greyskull, this thread is closed.

If you enjoyed reading about "Pellet pistol: Your opinions solicited - which of these and why?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!