Air rifles come at a premium, with some costing upwards of $1000. But is spending $1000 on an air rifle a wise decision? Well, it really depends on your preference as well as your budget. If you are like me, $500 or more is quite steep for an air rifle.
Getting the best air rifle under 200 can be a difficult but not impossible task. There are quite a number of rifles in this price range. In fact, virtually every manufacturer has an air rifle that costs less than $200.
Of the many options available, only a few made it to my list of today’s top air rifles under 200 and 250 dollars. Eight to be exact. These are the rifles that I believe offer the best value for your money. Also, these rifles manage to offer accuracy and beautiful aesthetics at an affordable price.
Quick View Of Todays Top Air Rifle Under 200 & 250 Dollars
Now before we get to the top air rifle under $200 picks it is important to note that air guns/rifles come in different categories. The most popular being CO2 powered, spring-powered, and Pre-charged pneumatic or PCP rifles.
PCP rifles are quite expensive compared to CO2 and spring powered. So expect to find a lot of spring-powered and CO2 powered rifles on my list. If you want a PCP air rifle you may have to fork out some extra cash.
Purpose Of The Purchase
Now that you have gone through my list of the top rifle under 200 and 250 dollars, the next step will buy one. One question though, is how do you intend on using your rifle, for target shooting or hunting/pest control?
Need Air Rifle for Hunting Or Pest Control? Read It!
Not all rifles are built for hunting or pest control. Some just aren’t powerful enough to penetrate anything other than plastic and paper targets. If you want a rifle for hunting or pest control look for one with a high muzzle velocity.
- For .177 caliber, a muzzle velocity of 830 FPS and above will be sufficient to take down a small animal.
- For a .22 caliber rifle, a muzzle velocity of 620 FPS and over will be ideal.
- If you are more interested in target shooting or practice a muzzle velocity of less than 600 FPS will do.
For killing more little pests like rats, you can grab a gun with a bit of low power. Also, to increase the success rate, you can get an air rifle with a suppressor equipped so that the other target will not get scared.
Need Air Rifle For Target Shooting and Training? Read it!
If you are a target shooter or want to get an air rifle for training purposes then I will suggest you get a PCP pump gun/rifle or any manual action air rifle for getting higher accuracy. Actually, I am suggesting PCP or manual air rifle only because these types of gun forces you to slow down and help you to make the shots more accurately with focus.
It is always fun to create tiny groups shooting with an air rifle and with enough practice, essentially you are heading towards migrating from air rifles to Firearms. If you want to migrate from an air gun to a firearm try to choose one that is kind of similar aesthetically.
Get Air Rifles Based on Air Rifle Type and their Offerings
You may know there are various types of air rifles that are best suited for different purposes. They are :
Variable pump type:
This type of rifle stroke can be altered and it uses air under very high pressures. This type of rifle tends to be short in length, lightweight, and easy to carry.
Break action type:
This type of rifle uses a heavy spring to push the rifle’s piston. This type of rifle is mainly used for hunting purposes. They are usually long, noisy, and not easy to carry.
If you want to get rid of noisy and overweight break-action air rifles try nitro piston type. This type of air rifle uses a nitrogen gas cylinder while shifts its piston to the back. They are lightweight and less noisy than break-action type air rifles.
Nitro piston 2 types:
This type is an upgraded version of the nitro piston-type air rifle. They are well known for their accuracy and speed and noise management.
Precharged pneumatic type:
For fast reloading, this type of air rifle store air in a big reservoir and releases a small amount of air while firing.
This type of air rifle uses pressure generated from CO2 that is evaporating. This type of rifle can make fly the pellets at a velocity of 650 to 750 feet per second. This type of air rifle is also quick and took less movement to reload. They are more often called semi-automatic air rifles.
Fortunately, there is a great selection of air rifles that cost $300 to $200 and below. Of course in this price range, you have to be ready to make some compromises. But with some digging, you can get your hands on a jewel of an air rifle.
8 Best Air Rifles Under $200 and $250
Gamo 6110063254 Whisper Fusion Mach 1 (.177 Cal)
- Single cocking break barrel air rifle
- .177 caliber pellets
- Gamo 3-9×40 scope mounted
- Synthetic ambidextrous stock
The good folks at Gamo gave us one of the most beloved air rifles, the Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1. This inert gas-powered air rifle comes in two variations a .22 caliber and a .177 caliber. For the purposes of this guide, I will be focusing on the .177 caliber.
One of the first things I noticed about this rifle is that it is not your average air rifle. For starters, it has a real shock wave absorber recoil pad installed. Most air rifles come fitted with a molded rubber pad masquerading as a recoil pad.
But what really separates it from the rest is its use of a special inert gas cylinder. This 33-millimeter pneumatic cylinder is capable of propelling a .177 pellet at 1420 Feet Per Second. This is quite impressive given that as I said most rifles in this price range as spring powered.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most powerful air rifles priced at below $250. This means it makes quite a bang when it’s fired. Or does it? Ordinarily, this kind of rifle would produce the same kind of sound produced by a .22 rimfire rifle.
But this is not an ordinary rifle as it is fitted with Gamo’s tested and proven whisper fusion technology. This noise-dampening technology does a great job of minimizing the sound produced by the rifle when fired.
DPMS Full Auto SBR CO2-Powered BB Air Rifle with Dual Action Capability
- 25-round drop-out magazine
- 1400 rounds per minute
- CO2 powered
From afar the Crosman DSBR CO2 powered full-auto BB air rifle looks a lot like the legendary HK416 tactical rifle. So you can bet I was thrilled to get my hands on this beautiful BB rifle. And while it is not as sophisticated as other pricier models it is well worth it.
Its short barrel design is probably aimed at mimicking short-barreled tactical rifles. Whichever the case, the short barrel makes it easy to handle. Overall the rifle measures 26.9 and 30.4 inches long.
And in true tactical shooter fashion, it comes fitted with a 25-round drop-out magazine. This magazine houses the rifle’s BB pellets. Squeezing this rifle’s trigger will give you an output of 1400 rounds per minute, not bad for a budget air rifle.
Speaking of the trigger it is rather short and light. However, it is not so light as to cause a misfire, which is great. You can choose to fire it either in full auto or semi-auto mode. The full auto mode does rock the gun a bit but it is not something you cannot handle.
This rifle is as close as you are going to get to a real tactical rifle at a limited budget. It’s so realistic that you can actually take it apart as you would a tactical rifle. Also, the blowback action of this CO2-powered rifle does produce some recoil, which is to be expected.
Gamo Wildcat Whisper Air Rifles
- 975 Feet Per Second (FPS) velocity
- 4×32 scope included
- All Weather Ambidextrous Stock
As with most Gamo air rifles, the Gamo Wildcat Whisper Air Rifle packs quite a punch. More importantly, its bang is not as loud as you would expect from such a powerful and accurate rifle. There is a noise dampener installed in the barrel that is responsible for its silent operation.
With this rifle, you can use .22 cal pellets. When using the more conventional .177 PBA pellet you get a muzzle velocity of 1200 FPS. This speed drops to around 1000FPS when you switch to the .177 lead pellets.
A manual trigger and automatic cocking safety system help reduce the effects of the recoil. So does the ventilated rubber pad. Obviously, this is not as efficient as the recoil dampener pad found on its sibling the Whisper Fusion but it still gets the job done.
It is a spring-powered rifle and utilizes a break barrel. This means it has almost zero upkeep and is always in good condition. Also, it is easy to handle for both beginners and experienced shooters, which is another plus.
Overall it weighs 5.6 pounds and measures 44.5 inches long. It is one of the lightest and you will not have any trouble carrying it around.
Gamo Swarm Maxxim G2 .22 Cal Multi-Shot Pellet Rifle
- 1000 Feet Per Second (FPS) velocity
- 4×32 scope included
- Gas piston Powered
When looking for a .22 caliber air rifle under 200 dollars, you’ve got a lot of great options to choose from. However, the Gamo Swarm Maxxim G2 is definitely one of the best available on the market.
This air rifle features an alloy barrel with 10 shots and multi-shot technology. This means that you can quickly fire follow-up shots without having to break your gun down again. Additionally, this rifle comes with Whisper Maxxim technology that helps to reduce noise levels. Under the $200 price tag, this is a great deal for an air rifle of this caliber and quality.
The scope of this rifle is also quality, and it comes with a recoil-reducing rail system. This means that you can easily position the scope where you want it without having to worry about disturbing the accuracy of your shots. Overall, this is an excellent rifle for anyone looking for a .22 caliber option that offers excellent performance and quality features at an affordable price tag.
Hatsan Mod 95 Vortex Combo .22cal Airgun, Walnut (HC9522VORT)
Hatsan is well known for its high-quality air rifles. The Mod 95 break barrel single-shot air rifle is no exception to this rule! Typically selling for about $200, the Hatsan Mod 95 looks quite sleek in Turkish walnut stock and has all its competition features under an affordable price tag.
When I unpacked this mod, I was very impressed with the mod’s looks, feel, and overall weight. They certainly did their homework when designing this rifle. It is nice that they went all out on styling this by using a genuine Turkish walnut stock, the golden trigger blade, and a high-quality steel barrel which gave it a very high-end look. Overall I was extremely pleased with its looks and feel. This air rifle is one of the nicer break barrel single-shot designs, which you can pick up for under $200; it’s a steal!
The Hatsan Mod 95 Vortex Combo is an amazingly high-quality .22 caliber rifle. The gas piston design of this rifle lets you be sure that you are getting the most power possible from an air rifle with this unit. In addition, the gas piston actually helps to have a smoother shot cycle and reduces the chances of spring failure.
The Precision rifled steel barrel of the Mod 95 allows for a more accurate shot at longer distances. In addition, the muzzle brake on this rifle helps to absorb recoil and makes shooting feel much more comfortable over time. For further recoil absorption and added comfort on the cheek, the Hatsan Mod 95 uses a rubber butt pad which helps to dampen recoil forces downwards.
Hatsan uses two stages fully adjustable trigger system, which will help you target accurately and shoot more precisely. In addition, the Hatsan Mod 95 uses a SAS Shock Absorber System, which helps to absorb shock and reduce recoil after each shot. The Hatsan Mod 95 Vortex Combo is equipped with TruGlo fiber optic for both windage and elevation adjustments. This is really a plus to sight your target more clearly.
This air rifle can propel pellets up to 800 fps. However, the weight of this air rifle is around 8 lbs. which is slightly heavy compared to other similar guns.
Overall, this air rifle is a durable and accurate unit that comes with all the features that you could ever need or want in an air gun, including an adjustable stock for easy sighting and trigger adjustment. If you are looking for high quality at a reasonable price, then this airgun should be up your alley!
As a veteran shooter, I can tell you that Hatsan did its homework when designing this air rifle, and it definitely has one of the nicest stocks on any break barrel single-shot rifle!
Ruger Targis Hunter Max .22
- Spring-piston break barrel
- A Single-shot cocking mechanism
- Adjustable rear fiber optic sight
There is no point in buying a loud air rifle irrespective of its price tag. This is something that Ruger understood perfectly when making the Targis Hunter max .22. This is one of the most silent air rifles I have ever used.
Installed inside this .22 caliber air rifle is a SilencAIR 5-chamber noise dampener, which I have to say performed as advertised. Especially considering the power of this spring piston rifle. It is capable of propelling alloy pellets at speeds of up to 1000FPs.
Lead pellets, on the other hand, get ejected out of the barrel at speeds of 800FPs. It is the perfect air rifle for taking down squirrels, mice, rats, rabbits, and other pesky varmints. And you are unlikely to miss your target.
In addition to a fiber optics sight at the rear, this rifle also comes with a 3-9X 32 rifle scope attached. If you want to swap this stock scope for another, you can, thanks to the Picatinny rail installed on the rifle.
The ambidextrous stock is all-weather and can survive harsh weather conditions. Thus, it can be used for target shooting as well as for outdoor hunting of small game-like rodents. Similar to most air rifles in the under $200 price point it has a rubber recoil pad.
With its set of features, it is arguably one of the best air rifles for hunting under 200 on this list. It is both super quiet and powerful, which are the two things needed for a hunt.
SIG Sauer MPX .177 Cal CO2 Powered Air Rifle
- CO2 powered
- 8-inch rifled steel barrel
SIG is a well-known name in the firearms industry. This is the company behind some of our most beloved hunting as well as tactical rifles. So we already know SIG can make exceptional rifles but how good is the company at making air rifles?
Well, a look at the MPX CO2 reveals that the company’s line of air rifles is as exceptional as its line of tactical rifles. Modeled after the SIG Sauer rifle, this CO2-powered rifle looks really good.
With this air gun, you get a 30-round magazine that holds the gun’s .177 caliber lead pellets. It has a muzzle velocity of 575 FPS. Now, this velocity might not be as impressive as that of others on the list, but you will still be able to hit your paper targets.
At the back is a synthetic stock that I found to be very well made. And on top of the barrel is a Picatinny rail, for use when you want to install an optic. Similar to its real sibling this rifle has a short barrel as it measures 23.75 inches long.
In regards to the optics, you get to choose between a red dot and a folding sight. Both of which fit onto the gun’s optics rail.
- .177 cal or .22 cal pellets
- 1300 FPS muzzle velocity for the .177 caliber
- Whisper Maxxim noise dampener
One of the best nitro piston air rifles under 200 for squirrel season is the Hornet Maxxim air rifle. Available in either a .22 caliber or .177 cal configuration it is the perfect weapon for small game hunting.
At its price point, it has a lot to offer. First, it is a Gamo production it features the effective whisper maxim noise dampening technology. The inert gas technology allows you to fire .177 pellets at a muzzle velocity of 1300 FPS.
To add on to this, it uses Gamo’s patented Custom Action Trigger. This is a two-stage adjustable trigger that gives you a lot of flexibility when firing. Also included is the company’s shock wave absorber that helps reduce the impact of recoil.
Especially given that it comes with a 3-9×40 rifle scope installed. This scope is protected against recoil with the recoil-reducing rail. This recoil rail is designed to minimize recoil impact on high-powered rifles.
Black Ops Sniper Rifle S – Hunting: Best Pellet Gun Under 200 With Suppressor
- Break barrel air rifles
- Suppressor included
- .177 pellet rifle
One of the most realistic-looking air rifles on the planet has to be the Black Ops Sniper Rifle air gun. Complete with a bipod, a rifle scope, and a suppressor, shooting this high-powered rifle is as exciting as it can be.
With the 4×32 rifle scope attached, it is incredibly accurate for an air rifle. This coupled with its bipod means you are getting a complete package. It fires .177 caliber pellets at speeds of up to 1250 FPS, thus it is efficient at eliminating small animals.
While it does come with a scope installed you can swap out this scope with your preferred one. This is thanks to the 6-inch tactical rail installed on the rifle. This rail makes it easy to install almost any type of scope.
The manufacturer of this rifle went with a more modern power piston technology instead of the more traditional spring-powered technology. The power pistons work much better than spring-powered rifles.
Features Worth Noting Before Buying Air Rifles Under 200
Air rifles are a great way to spend time with friends and family out in the woods. They can also be used for hunting small game like squirrels, rabbits, pheasants, or even coyotes. Whatever your reason may be for getting an air rifle, there is one thing that you should understand before; not all air rifles are created equal. That’s why it’s important to do some research before you go shopping so that you know what to look for when buying an air rifle.
Learn About the Firing Mechanism Of Air Rifles:
A good place to start is by understanding how each firing mechanism affects the power of the shot and how much noise will be produced (if any).
There are four different firing mechanisms which I briefly described below.
PNEUMATIC (PUMP)Type air rifle:
- They rely on compressed air that is pumped into the chamber.
- The power of these shots is less than that of other firing mechanisms.
- A downside is that they need to be pumped up often, which can get annoying at times.
There are two types of PNEUMATIC (PUMP) air rifles;
- Pump pneumatic and
- pre-charged pneumatic or PCP.
There are two types; firstly, single stroke, where it is pulling back once will release enough pressure for only one shot (i.e., hunters may want to do this, so their prey doesn’t hear them), but double stroke will allow up to ten shots using each pull of the trigger.
In a variable pump or multi strokes pump pneumatic air rifle, you need to stroke the lever 2-8 times. The reloading speed of this type of gun is slow.
In a constant pump or a single strokes pump pneumatic air rifle, you need to only put the full pump in the reservoir to reload.
Pre-charged pneumatic or PCP:
It is a gun that pre-charges the air in the reservoir before firing.
SPRING POWERED (SPRINGERS’):
This type of air rifle has a spring and compressed air like the pneumatic pump type air rifle. The only difference is they have a spring mechanism to compress and then released to fire the pellet.
Spring-powered air guns can be cocked in different ways.
the side lever cocking mechanism, where you pull back on a metal lever that is located to one side of the rifle’s body to compress the spring and load it with energy
underlever cocking, which has an arm or leaf passing through underneath part of the buttstock (the area that the rifle is held against your shoulder) and then back to the chamber.
This cocking mechanism is usually found on rifles with a shorter barrel length, such as air guns designed for target shooting.
Break-Barrel Action Air Rifle:
A break-barrel rifle is cocked by pulling back a lever that “breaks” the barrel open or swings it downwards into position to load. Break barrel air rifles are popular and provide an accurate and powerful shooting experience.
CO2 POWERED Air Rifle:
CO² powered rifles use compressed CO² gas to power the air gun. The liquid is stored in the cartridge, and when it is released into the chamber, it expands to create a gas that will fire an air rifle pellet.
FPS or Feet per second is a measurement of how quickly a bullet or pallet leaves from the barrel. In hunting, the rule of thumb is the quicker the better.
Factors affecting FPS are:
If you use a heavier weight of bullets or pellets the FPS number will decrease. It’s a common phenomenon
Also If you use CO2 Type air guns and once the gas gets low the fps number will also decrease.
Caliber Of Air Rifle:
The caliber of the air rifle is also another important factor to consider because it will determine what kind of game you’ll be able to hunt. The minimum calibers for hunting big game are .177 and .22. Still, these limits can vary depending on where you live, so make sure that if you’re looking at a gun with a lower caliber than this, keep in mind your local laws about hunting.
Airguns under the 200-dollar price range tend to be budget-oriented and use fewer features. But you have to decide for which purpose you are getting your gun. There are varieties of caliber for hunting or shooting practice from BB’s To .25.
You will get easily .177, .22, and bb anywhere but .25 is kind of not common.
.177 Caliber Air Rifles:
The .177 caliber air rifles are the most popular. They are best suited for small game hunting and plinking. Since .177 rifle pallets are lighter and smaller, they have higher Muzzle Velocities. Getting flat trajectories for their high speed, they are accurate at medium to longer ranges.
.20 Caliber Air Rifle:
Typically, these rifles are considered the best option for those in doubt between .177 and .22 caliber air rifles. The .20 air rifle uses a larger projectile with better penetrating power than the .177 but also produces good flat trajectories than the .22 caliber rifle.
.22 Caliber Air Rifles:
The .22 caliber rifles are commonly used for plinking, pest control, and hunting. They are generally treated as the best air rifle for small games. They are accurate at close ranges, and they have outstanding knockdown power. The .22 caliber air rifles are more powerful than the .177 and .20 caliber. Still, one drawback they are the best for short to medium-range shooting.
.25 Caliber Air Rifles:
The .25 caliber rifles are a good option for medium-sized game hunting, but the muzzle velocity is not quite as high as in other calibers, so it may take more rounds to kill an animal depending on the size of the critter. The .25 caliber air rifles are more powerful than the .177 and .22 caliber, but they are not as accurate at long ranges.
Length of Pull
Sometimes abbreviated as LOP, the length of pull is the measurement from the trigger to the end of the stock. For adult shooters, a length of pull of 14 inches will be suitable. However, for younger shooters and newbies an LOP of between 10 and 12 inches is recommended.
As with any other weapon, the weight of an air rifle will have some effect on its performance. If a rifle is too heavy it will be difficult to handle. Therefore, it is wise to look for lightweight rifles that are easy to carry.
The muzzle velocity is another important factor that you should take into consideration. Because it will determine how far your projectiles can travel and what kind of game you’ll be able to hunt. If hunting small games like squirrels or rabbits is your goal, then Muzzle Velocity isn’t too big a deal for you.
But if hunting coyotes or other larger animals, this becomes much more significant, so look for an air rifle with high Muzzle Velocities.
If you are looking to buy a new air rifle for under 200 dollars, you should also consider muzzle energy. It is one of the major factors, along with accuracy, price, and availability. Muzzle energy is the amount of energy released from the gun’s muzzle when the gun is fired. The greater the muzzle energy, the greater the ballistic velocity of the pellets.
Muzzle energy is calculated by dividing muzzle velocity by feet per second, which can be found on most air rifle websites and packages. It’s important to know your muzzle velocity so you can calculate how much energy it has released from firing one shot.
Some people who want lower-powered guns may not worry about this number.
Two Stage Trigger
There are many different types of air rifles available under $200, but it’s essential to make sure that the two-stage trigger is present in your rifle. A two-stage trigger is a safety mechanism that requires you to press the second stage before firing the gun. It prevents accidental discharge and ensures more accurate shots. The importance of this feature cannot be overstated when aiming at small targets on a hunt or for pest control around your home or farm!
Air Rifle Brand:
There’s no end to the number of brands available when shopping for an air rifle – Gamo, Crosman, Ruger, Daisy Outdoor Products Company Inc., Benjamin Sheridan Co…there are just too many brands out there!
Consider Air Rifle Scope when buying the air rifle:
An air rifle scope is a must-have if you plan to shoot your target long distances because of the lack of accuracy in windy conditions. If you’re shooting targets up close, then an air rifle scope really isn’t necessary and will just be extra weight and expense. But most of the air rifle now comes with a scope, so an air rifle-wise buyer will opt to buy one with a better magnification power.
When searching for the best air rifle under 200, there are a number of things to consider. Here are some of the factors to consider when shopping for an air rifle priced under $200.
Even though you should not expect much in regards to additional features from budget air rifles, there are those that come with some useful add-ons. Some feature a rifle scope installed while others feature a real recoil absorber.
Whatever the add-ons are it is beneficial to have a rifle that has something extra to offer. And if you are able to get one for less than $200 the better.
For $200 or less you can get yourself a pretty decent air rifle. However, for the same amount, you can end up with a stinker of an air rifle. It all depends on how well you know rifles. Most air rifles under 200 will obviously have features superior to others. And with the above guide and list finding a suitable budget air rifle will not be a problem.
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.
Last update on 2023-12-05 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API