Best .22 Air Rifle For Hunting – Our Top 5 Picks

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 hunting go for the Best 22 caliber Air Rifle for Hunting. But with so many air rifle models available, selecting the best 22 air rifle for hunting 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 cal air rifles available in the market. Nevertheless, after experimenting with different .22 cal air rifles, I have narrowed down the list of the best .22 cal air rifles to three.

N.B. : If you are using heavy powered Air rifle it is advisible to keep them in a good gun safe

Review OF Best 22 caliber Air Rifle For Hunting

RWS .22 Pellet Model 350 Magnum Combo Rifle Review

Overview

The RWS .22 Pellet model 350 magnum combo 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 850 feet per seconds, this rifle has what it takes to go toe to toe with some of the pricier PCP rifles. And while I still prefer a nitro piston to a spring piston, I was quite impressed with the rifle’s accuracy.

Additionally, this is not the lightest rifles on the market, but this is to be expected from a spring piston rifle. This rifle is capable of long range shooting and has extraordinary hitting power.

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  • 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

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  • The rifle is quite bulky
  • The scope mounting screws require tightening

Specs

  • .22 caliber pellet
  • Spring-piston mechanism
  • Monte Carlo hardwood stock
  • 47.8 inches long

Who Is It For?

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 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 and as well as hunting deer.

The Crossman Nitro Venom Air Rifle Review

Introduction

What first comes to your mind when you hear of Crossman? For me, the first thing that comes to mind is the Crossman Nitro Venom air rifle.

A creation of one of the most reputed air rifle manufacturers, this air rifle packs quite a punch and is more than capable of taking down small birds and rodents.

However, weighing 7.375 pounds and measuring 44.5 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 Venom’s nitro piston firing mechanism proved to be a breath of fresh air especially in regards to recoil and noise.

Additionally, this firing mechanism is unlikely to be affected by adverse weather conditions. Regarding distance, it being a .22 caliber rifle, I was able to hit targets as far 35 yards.

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  • Produces less recoil compared to spring assisted rifles
  • Comes fitted with a 3-9X 22 Centerpoint rifle scope
  • Has a pellet velocity of 950 FPS for alloy pellets and 800 for lead pellets
  • The firing mechanism is not affected by weather changes

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  • The rifle needs to be cocked after every shot.
  • Accurate shooting with this rifle will require extensive training.

Specs

  • 44.5 inches length
  • 7.375 pounds in weight
  • Rifled steel barrel
  • Hardwood stock body
  • Break barrel mechanism
  • Nitro piston firing mechanism

Who Is It For?

As I have already stated, this is not the lightest rifle out there. Additionally, it requires cocking after every shot.

Therefore, this is not the kind of air rifle I would recommend to a beginner. Rather, this is a rifle that I recommend to experienced shooters who do not want to spend a hefty amount of money on a .22 cal air rifle.

Hammerli 850 Air Magnum CO2 Air Rifle Review

Overview

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 air rifle.

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 in regards to 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.

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  • It looks and feels like a fantastic weapon
  • Comes with impressive front and rear sights
  • Provides a great shot count at a consistent FPS
  • The rifle’s action is metallic

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  • The stock is not hardwood

Specs

  • 8-shot repeating rifle
  • Integrated rail of 11 mm
  • Bolt action system
  • 91.7 ounces weight

Who Is It For?

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 as well as 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.

RWS Model 54 .22 Air Gun Combo Rifle Review

Overview

The RWS Model 54 .22 Air Gun Combo is one of the best 22 rifle 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 the 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.

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  • 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
  • Is an accurate air rifle

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  • The 4X32 scope needs an upgrade
  • The mounting rings also need purchasing

Specs

  • .22 caliber
  • Automatic safety
  • Spring-piston mechanism
  • Rifled barrel
  • 4X32 scope mounted

Who is it for?

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.

Benjamin Marauder Woods Walker PCP .22-Caliber Pellet Pistol Review

Overview

The Benjamin Marauder Woods Walker PCP .22 caliber pellet pistol is small enough to fit inside a backpack.

But do not let its small size fool you as this air magnum pistol is capable of unleashing incredible firepower. Being a magnum pistol, this PCP pellet pistol is delightfully light.

My Walker PCP came inside a package containing the pistol, a detachable wood stock, and a rotary magazine. The magazine holds eight rounds.

Something I love about this rifle is its noise level. With a choked barrel, this rifle can be fired 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.

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  • This rifle comes with a high-quality red dot sight
  • It produces very minimal noise
  • All the parts are easy to assemble
  • Has a camouflage color

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  • Some users have complained of the rifle requiring overly regular refills

Specs

  • Pre-Charged Pneumatic mechanism
  • .22 caliber
  • 700 FPS lead pellet velocity
  • Bolt action
  • 2.70-pound weight
  • Steel chocked barrel
  • Carbine stock
  • Synthetic construction

Who is it for?

The Benjamin Marauder pellet pistol is truly one of the best air rifles 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.

Best .22 Air Rifle Buying Guide

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.

The Range

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 short rage shooting of about 35 yards. As such, hunting go with a PCP air rifle. 

Muzzle Velocity and Power

When it comes to stopping power, the .22 pellet has 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.

Noise

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 quite 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.

Price

Different air 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 for as much as $1000.

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