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Choosing a high quality air rifle can be quite tricky since there are a lot of technical differences and specifications. Some small game hunters even opine that air rifles actually are more sensitive and complex in terms of maintenance as against big ammunition firearms. If you are planning to get an air rifle for hunting, you are going to need some essential information to make a well-educated choice.

Top Quality Air Rifles

The following air rifles listed below are some of the best there is which are offered presently in the market. All of them are probably suitable for your outdoor hunting and other air rifle purposes.  

  • Air Arms TX200 MKIII

Air Arms TX200 MKIII Air RifleAn air rifle with a good reputation, the Air Arms TX200 MKIII has a barrel with a length of about 16 inches and a total overall length of 41 inches. You can get a calibre 0.177 which it will shoot at 930 fps or a calibre .22 and shoot at 755 fps. The Air Arms TX200 MKIII air rifle grosses at a weight of a little less than 9 pounds.

The Air Arms TX200 MKIII features a steel barrel combined with a Lothar Walther design finish plus a premium-themed Monte Carlo stock made of Beech wood or walnut, depending on your choice. The buttplate is made of ventilated rubber.

The Air Arms TX200 MKIII can be fitted with various brands of air rifle scopes that are compatible with an 11 mm dovetail rail.

Click here to find the price of the Air Arms TX200 MKIII .22 Caliber Air Rifle. The .177 Caliber version can be found here.
  • Walther LGU

Walther LGU Air RifleAnother excellent air rifle, the Walther LGU has a barrel measuring almost 12 inches long with a total length of almost 42 inches. The Umarex Walther LGU air rifle is available in a calibre 0.177, shoots it at a maximum velocity of 1000 fps. Its total gross weight is at 9½ pounds.

The stock is made of Beech wood made no less in plush Minelli of Italy. The buttplate is curved and has a ventilated rubber butt pad. The checkered pistol grip lets you hold it firmly with your shooting hand, slipping your trigger finger into ready anytime.

The Walther LGU is equipped with vibration-reduction technology to really minimize the effects of recoil while Super Silent Technology reduces most of the noise produced so as to disturb as few folks as possible, including other creatures outdoors.

Click here to find the price of the Walther LGU .17 Caliber Air Rifle.
  • Beeman HW97K

Beeman HW97K Air RifleGerman workmanship is highly regarded, something that is possessed by the Beeman HW97K air file. It has a barrel length that reaches almost 12 inches, with an overall rifle length of a little over 40 inches. It is to be used with a 0.177 caliber ammunition by standard, shooting it at a velocity of 930 fps. The Beeman HW97K is also available in calibre .20 or .22 ammunition if you require a larger calibre. The HW97K weighs a little over 9 pounds.

The grip of the Beeman HW97K is ambidextrous and checkered , with a polished and bluing steel barrel. The stock incorporates a Monte Carlo design while the stock padding uses a soft rubber recoil pad. The trigger is gold Rekord whose adjustment is very easy. With 11 mm grooves in the receiver, you should be able to easily mount the HW97K with a scope.

Click here to find the price of the Beeman KW97K .22 Caliber Air Rifle. The .20 Caliber version can be found here and the .177 Caliber version can be found here.
  • RWS Diana 54 Air King

RWS Diana 54 Air King Air RifleAnother German-made rifle, the RWS Diana 54 Air King air rifle comes with beautiful and elegant design which seemingly is a testament of how efficient and dead-accurate it is. The barrel is quite long at 17 inches, making the Diana Air King’s overall length even more as it reaches almost 44 inches in total. It weighs at almost 10 pounds.

You can use ammunition in two sizes: 0.177 caliber and 0.22 caliber. Velocity ranges from 1100 fps for small ammo and lowers down to 900 fps for larger ammunition.

The stock of the Diana 54 Air King is made of beech wood and has a checkered grip. Many praised the metal finish of the body, remarking how it combines beauty with practicality as the rifle is still quite light even with the obvious solid metal components. The butt plate is rubberized, letting you be comfortable with it when mounted on your shoulder. The RWS Diana 54 Air King is a recoilless rifle, letting you feel very little recoil with every shot.

Click here to find the price of the RWS Diana 54 Air King .22 Caliber Air Rifle. The .177 Caliber version can be found here.
  • Hatsan AT44-10 QE

Hatsan AT44-10 QE Air RifleIf you want an air rifle that not only intimidates but is also deadly and almost merciless against nuisance creatures, then the Hatsan AT44-10 QE air rifle is the one for you. This is one of the few air rifles with a repeating ability, meaning you can fire continuously.

And when you add in the fact that the preferred ammunition are lead pellets, this air rifle is definitely strong against small pest animals.

The Hatsan AT44-10 has a barrel with a length of 19 ½ inches and an overall length of 45 inches. It weighs just 8 pounds and has a loading magazine which can hold 10 rounds for .177 caliber, 9 rounds if you use .22 and .25 caliber.

With its repeater, this air rifle requires an additional air reservoir with a volume of 180 cc and pressures up to 2,900 psi. The butt plate is rubberized while the stock is made of synthetic material.

Click here to find the price of the Hatsan AT44-10 QE .25 Caliber Air Rifle. The .22 Caliber version can be found here and the .177 Caliber version can be found here.
  • Air Arms S510 Xtra FAC PCP

Air Arms S510 Air RifleA very attractive rifle with a pretty solid performance, this is what you will get with the Air Arms S510 Xtra. The barrel of this air rifle measures at nearly 19 ½ inches with an overall length of almost 44 inches. It weighs at 7 ½ pounds, including the air tank propellant.

As a repeater rifle, the Air Arms S510 Xtra carries a 10 round magazine, the .25 caliber maximum velocity is 780 fps and the .177 caliber maximum velocity is 1050 fps. The buttplate makes use of ventilated rubber.

The finish is a nice combination of metal and wood while the barrel is a Lothar Walther design. The stock is made of poplar wood with a Monte Carlo design and is ambidextrous.

Click here to find the price of the Air Arms S510 Xtra FAC PCP .25 Caliber Air Rifle. The .177 Caliber version can be found here.

Quality Air Rifles Comparison: Which Is The Best?

  • Price

Price is usually the first factor that anyone shopping would look at and in the case of an air rifle, this is once again the case. Of course, you need to balance out budget needs with the abilities brought by the rifle. Even if you need to fork in additional dollars, if the performance boost is significant, then you should be more than satisfied with your investment.

Even with its strong ability especially against living critters, the Hatsan AT44-10 is the most affordable air rifle of this group. This is probably due to the fact that it is the only one that uses synthetic materials in its stock and main rifle body as well as the finish, as compared to the others which use a combination of wood and metal.

The most expensive of the 6 air rifle models is the Air Arms S510 Xtra as not only is it a repeater rifle, but it has a nice wood and metal finish which incorporates signature design elements. Choose this rifle if you want a repeater that also has a premium look when carried around. At the middle of the pack is the Air Arms TX200 MKIII.

  • Dimensions

The size and dimensions are an important factor to consider as this can actually give you somewhat of an idea of the accuracy and ability of the air rifle. Hunters who like to hold on to their traditional hunting methods would probably choose single-shot air rifles with long barrels and medium weight.

Lighter rifles might give you less encumbrance and recoil which however might be inaccurate. Rifles with long barrels and significant weight might have more recoil but are then more accurate, taking out targets in one shot.

In this group, the longest barrels belong to the repeaters which are the Hatsan AT44-10 and the Air Arms S510 Xtra. The rifle with the shortest barrel is the Air Arms TX200 MKIII. When it comes to weight, the rifle that will not burden you much is amazingly enough the most expensive which is the Air Arms S510 Xtra. The heaviest air rifle in the group is the Diana King 54.

  • Ease of Use and Convenience

For newbie and novice hunters, the learning curve on how to use an air rifle is an important factor. It is a chore enough learning how to be accurate whenever you aim and take a shot, the process gets even more difficult as you learn how to adjust and compensate with the recoil that comes after every squeeze of the trigger.

The Diana King 54 is the air rifle which any hunter should be able to learn how to shoot accurately with little to average effort. Its recoilless ability means you will not feel much hardship with every squeeze of the trigger. The Air Arms TX200 MKIII is also another air rifle that merits much consideration when it comes to ease. Being very affordable, its mechanics are quite easy such as a well-balanced spring load system, light and easy cocking and less recoil.

  • Effectivity and Power

With enough practice, a good air rifle can take down small birds even while in full flight or small critters who are still perched high up in the trees. Thus, air rifles are not only used in hunting but also for pest control, keeping away small herbivores and rodents away from civilized settlements like farms and plantations.

With their long barrels, two of the strongest air rifles in this group are the repeaters which are the Hatsan AT44-10 and the Air Arms S510 Xtra. Not only can they use 3 kinds of ammunition (.177, .22, .25 caliber), their repeater ability allows you to fire multiple rounds quickly as against single-shot air rifles.

The Hatsan AT44-10 in particular, with its lead pellets, is probably the deadlier of the two and is listed as useful in eliminating small animals such squirrels, chipmunks, rats, even bats.

The Umarex Walther LGU can use .177 and .22 ammunition, is one of the heaviest air rifles tested but feels very comfortable and steady.

  • Design and Finish

Air rifles are not just mere weapons, they also have an ornamental purpose. It is therefore a must that you consider an air rifle that is not only aesthetic, but also exhibits some form of attitude and appeal. As a hunter, this could be a nice reputation bonus.

Because of its synthetic materials that were used for its finish, the Hatsan AT44-10 air rifle does not pose much appeal. Its color alone may be somewhat dull, although it does look more fearsome and can be said to be almost a true firearm.

In contrast, the Diana King 54 is probably the most elegant of the group. With is combination of an excellent beech wood and metal finish, bluing and the checkered grip, you would most likely tune your eyes to it whether it is merely mounted on the wall or being used in action.

Last Words of Advice

In choosing the air rifle that you will use for your hunting excursions, be honest with yourself especially when it comes to your current shooting ability. Are you ready to go immediately on the hunting trail and try and hit some of the woodland creatures using a repeating air rifle? It can be frustrating carrying an air rifle all day together with your other equipment, then come home later empty-handed.

You might want then want to practice first with a basic single-shot air rifle and try to hit immobile objects like tin cans and soda bottles. There is no shame in starting at level 1, especially with a serious outdoor activity that is hunting with an air rifle.