The .22 pellet doesn’t travel as fast as the .177, but it hits hard. So when you want an air rifle for small game or pest control, go for the best 22 caliber air rifles. But with so many air rifle models available, selecting the best is easier said than done.
While it’s hard-hitting, a .22 pellet is virtually harmless when compared to a real .22 bullet. Thus you are unlikely to cause any serious harm should it miss the target. Now that we have established the benefits of an air rifle let’s look at what makes the best.
There are several things that you should consider when shopping for a .22 air rifle. These include but are not limited to accuracy, comfort, features, and price.
Picking the best air rifle in this category is no easy task, especially considering the many excellent 22 caliber air rifles available in the market. Nevertheless, after experimenting with different 0.22 caliber air rifles, I have narrowed down the top picks list to four.
My Top 6 Best .22 Air Rifles For Hunting
Last update on 2023-01-25
N.B.: If you are using heavy powered rifles it is advisable to keep them in a good gun safe
Review Of Best 22 Caliber Air Rifle For Hunting
Gamo Swarm Magnum, Multi-Shot
Three years ago, Gamo turned the air rifle market on its head when they launched the 10X quick shot technology. Introduced with the Swarm Maxxim .177 caliber rifle, the technology was an instant hit.
About a year ago, the company followed this up with the launch of the Gamo Swarm Magnum Multi-Shot Air Rifle. And it’s fair to say the new rifle has picked up where the .177 maxim left off.
Boasting the same 10 shot rotary magazine that made the maxxim famous, this one is a beast of a .22 caliber air rifle. This technology allows for rapid reloading of pellets when the gun is cocked.
But that’s not the only thing that got us excited about this rifle, though. This .22 caliber rifle spits out pellets at a ferocious speed of up to 1300 FPS. At such speed, the pellets from this rifle pack quite a punch.
As such, it is perfect for hunting small games such as rabbits and squirrels. This rifle does not disappoint in the trigger department. It incorporates a two-stage adjustable trigger which is quite heavy for an air rifle but is easy to adjust.
- Two-Stage Adjustable Trigger is just awesome for securing the target perfectly.
- The magazine loading mechanism works flawlessly.
- With velocities of up to 1300 FPS, it is impressively effective against small games.
- At short to medium ranges of about 50 yards, this one is very accurate
- The large thumb hole on the gun’s stock makes it easy to handle
- While it isn’t as loud as a conventional .22 rimfire rifle, it is pretty loud than other air rifles.
- The included default scope is not of high quality
- .22 caliber
- 33 mm cylinder and IGT MACH 1
- single cocking break barrel
- Whisper Fusion noise-suppressing technology
- using gas piston technology
Why You Need This
If we had to pick the best, we would have to pick this Gamo product. Its quick reloading technology is excellent, and its velocity is something else. This is the kind of rifle that you need for hunting small animals.
UmareDiana RWS Model 34 Break Barrel Hardwood Stock Pellet Gun Air Rifle Review
The RWS Model 34 Break Barrel Air Rifle is hailed by some as the best .22 air rifle, and for good reasons. For starters, one of the things I loved about this rifle, which I got to test some time back, is its fantastic hitting power.
With a velocity of 800 feet per second, this rifle has what it takes to go toe to toe with some of the pricier PCP air rifles. And while I still prefer a nitro piston to a single spring piston, I was quite impressed with the rifle’s accuracy.
Additionally, this is not the lightest rifle on the market, but this is expected from a spring-piston rifle. This rifle is capable of long-range shooting and has extraordinary hitting power.
- It is a high-quality rifle that epitomizes German engineering and precision
- The rifle is amazingly accurate and boasts of phenomenal hitting power
- The stock on this rifle looks beautiful and sleek
- Require little cocking effort
- 800 fps
- The scope mounting screws require tightening.
- .22 caliber pellet
- Spring-piston mechanism
- hardwood stock
Why You Need This
This rifle is large and bulky and is a great shooter. Therefore, this is not the kind of rifle that as a beginner you would want to get.
Essentially, this rifle is one fit for a male hunter. And not just any hunter, but someone is looking for a long-range hunting weapon capable of taking down larger game than small rodents. This is one of the best pellet guns for squirrels.
Crosman BPM22BNSX Maximus 6x40x40mm PCP Powered Bolt-Action Hunting Air Rifle.
What first comes to your mind when you hear of Crossman? For me, the first thing that comes to mind is the Crossman Maximus PCP Powered Bolt-Action air rifle.
A creation of one of the most reputed air rifle manufacturers, this rifle packs quite a punch and is more than capable of taking down small birds and rodents.
However, weighing 8 pounds and measuring 41.70 inches long, I found the rifle to be bulkier than what some online airgun reviews suggested.
Nevertheless, I was impressed by the rifle’s firing mechanism. Compared to some of the spring-assisted rifles I have used before, the maximus smooth bolt action firing mechanism proved to be a breath of fresh air, especially regarding recoil and noise.
Additionally, this firing mechanism is unlikely to be affected by adverse weather conditions. Regarding distance, it is a .22 caliber rifle; The lead pellet velocity is up to 850 fps.
- It comes fitted with a 6x 40 Centerpoint rifle scope
- It has a pellet velocity of 850 FPS
- The firing mechanism is not affected by weather changes
- Accurate target shooting with this rifle will require extensive training.
- Rifled steel barrel
- Hardwood stock body
- Bolt Action barrel mechanism
Why You Need This
This is a rifle that I recommend to novice and beginner shooters who do not want to spend a hefty amount of money on a .22 caliber air rifle.
Best 22 Cal Air Rifle: Umarex Diana RWS Model 54
The RWS Model 54 .22 Air Gun Combo is one of the high-quality 22 air rifles for the money. There are numerous reasons why this is one of the best air rifles out there, the main being its recoilless action.
When you fire this caliber 22 air gun, the action moves backward where the stock absorbs it. This means you get zero recoils when firing this weapon.
But here’s the kicker, this rifle is famed for its accuracy, and for a spring-loaded gun, this RWS model is exceptionally accurate. With this gun, you can fire up to ten rounds from a distance of between 10 and 70 yards. The 4X32 scope that comes with this scope gets the job done.
- It is lightweight and a good fit.
- Comes with an adjustable trigger and a rear sight.
- The Monte Carlo hardwood stock looks beautiful.
- Has no recoil
- Amazing Accuracy
- The 4X32 scope needs an upgrade.
- The mounting rings also need purchasing.
- .22 caliber
- Automatic safety
- Spring-piston mechanism
- Rifled barrel
- 4X32 scope mounted
Why You Need This
The RWS model is a versatile rifle that you can use for plinking as well as for practice. Therefore, it is suitable for both professionals and beginners.
Nevertheless, given its price tag, it is appropriate for persons who are ready to spend a substantial amount of money on a quality rifle. If you are still in the beginner stages of your air rifle journey, this gun might seem a bit too expensive.
Best 22 Caliber Air Pistol: Benjamin Marauder BP2220 .22-Caliber PCP Air Pistol, Black
The Benjamin Marauder BP2220 .22-Caliber PCP Air Pistol is small enough to fit inside a backpack.
But do not let its small size fool you, as this air pistol is capable of unleashing incredible firepower. This gun incredibly quiet and so much accurate that you can easily use this gun for small games. It is capable of a small hunt game from 33 yards away.
Something I love about this pistol is its noise level. With a choked barrel, you can fire this rifle in indoors without the need for any hearing protection devices or pads. The match-grade trigger on this pistol is easier to pull than the trigger on this pistol’s older sibling, the Marauder rifle, which I reviewed above.
- This rifle comes with a high-quality red dot sight
- It produces very minimal noise
- All the parts are easy to assemble
- Two-Stage drop sear trigger
- Some users have complained of the rifle requiring overly regular refills
- Pre-Charged Pneumatic mechanism
- .22 caliber
- 700 FPS lead pellet velocity
- Bolt action
- Steel chocked barrel
- Carbine stock
- Synthetic construction
Why You Need This
The Benjamin Marauder pellet pistol is truly one of the best pellet guns for the money. The fact that it is ultra-light and is compatible with a wide array of pellets makes it a great option for differing shooters.
Nonetheless, this is the ideal pistol for the shooter who wants something light yet powerful.
Hammerli 850 Air Magnum CO2 Air Rifle Review
In all honesty, I have always preferred break barrel rifles to CO2 rifles. Nonetheless, there is always an exception, and that exception for me is the Hammerli 850 Air Magnum CO2.
The latter is a generally good .22 rifle and has been hailed as one of the best CO2 air rifles. While this repeater air rifle is not the most powerful out there, it is pretty powerful for a CO2 rifle and achieves an impressive velocity of 650.
Many of the RWS air rifle models I have used performed exceptionally well regarding accuracy, and the Hammerli was no exception. Equipped with a front and rear open sight, it is unlikely you will need to upgrade to a new rifle scope.
If you are used to hardwood stocks, then the polymer stock on this rifle might disappoint you. However, it is not a deal-breaker.
- It looks and feels like a fantastic weapon
- It comes with impressive front and rear sights
- Provides a great shot count at a consistent FPS
- The rifle’s action is metallic
- The stock is not hardwood.
- 8-shot repeating rifle
- Integrated rail of 11 mm
- Bolt action system
- 91.7 ounces weight
Why You Need This
Being one of the top-rated .22 rifles, the Hammerli 850 Air Magnum CO2 is ideal for close-range hunting and eliminating small pests.
Furthermore, since this rifle does not require cocking, it is an excellent weapon for beginners and professionals. Nonetheless, given that it is a CO2 rifle, a professional hunter might be served better by a barrel break gun. Thus it is fundamentally a good rifle for beginners.
What To Check Before Buying A .22 Air Rifle
As mentioned above, there are several things you should consider when buying an air rifle. This is especially if you are buying one for small game hunting.
For hunting purposes, you will want a rife that can hit targets from 80 yards out. The best type of rifle for this is a Pre-charged pneumatic system. This type of rifle offers accuracy and long-range shooting.
Variable pump rifles are only ideal for the short-range shooting of about 35 yards. As such, hunting goes with a PCP air rifle.
Muzzle Velocity And Power
When it comes to stopping power, the .22 caliber pellets have it in plenty. However, it is heavier than the .177 and thus has a lower muzzle velocity. Nonetheless, you can get high-powered air rifles capable of propelling a .22 pellet at 1150 fps.
For hunting, a higher muzzle velocity will be ideal — however, the more the muzzle velocity, the higher the price tag. Therefore, if you are on a tight budget, a cheaper alternative will do. A nuzzle velocity of around 850 fps will be ideal.
To some, the noise produced by air rifles when fired isn’t an issue. However, to others, it is a big annoyance. Therefore, the noise level may come down to preference. Having a quiet rifle is a plus depending on where you are hunting.
Type Of Rifle
Air rifles can be categorized into three, CO2 powered, PCP, and spring piston. CO2-powered use compressed CO2 gas to fire pellets. These are easy to use and require less cocking effort. PCP rifles, on the other hand, use compressed air put into the gun.
PCP rifles offer exceptional accuracy and are virtually recoilless.
Spring rifles consist of a heavy piston and spring when fired. It accelerates the piston forward, compressing the air. They offer high accuracy and higher muzzle velocity.
Different rifles are priced at different price points. More powerful air rifles are more expensive, while light to medium rifles is more pocket-friendly. In essence, you can find a decent air rifle for as little as $300 and as much as $1000.
Who Should Choose .22 Air Rifles? Are They Beginners Friendly?
The .22 air rifle is great for beginners. It’s easy to use and allows people to experience hunting small game without having to invest in an expensive gun or weapon. Additionally, most .22 air rifles are very accurate, so even experienced shooters can get good results from them.
How Far Can a .22 Air Rifle Shoot?
A .22 air rifle can shoot anywhere from 300 yards to 400 yards. The energy at these distances will be very low, but still, provide good enjoyment for shooters. However, the usable distance is up to 100 yards.
Is a .22 or .177 better?
This is a tough question to answer. They are both great air rifles for different reasons. A .177 is much lighter and cheaper, making it good for beginner shooters who may not be able to handle heavier weapons. However, a .22 has more power and is better suited for shooting smaller games such as squirrels or rabbits at distances up to 100 yards easily.
How Do I Need to Clean My Air Rifle Regularly?
Cleaning your air rifle regularly is essential to keep it in top condition. Wipe down the barrel and action with a cleaning patch or cloth. Be sure to remove all dirt, grease, and other debris. If you see any rust building upon the weapon, clean it off as well. Finally, dry the gun thoroughly before storing it away.
How Powerful Is a .22 Air Rifle?
The power of a .22 air rifle depends on the model and manufacturer. Generally, though, they range in power from 12 ft-lb to 30 ft-lb. This means that even the most powerful models are relatively easy.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in OUTDOOR EVER.