Clicky

Which is Best? Pellet Pistol Reviews

Air pistols can be a lot of fun for target shooting and plinking. They aren’t generally high powered but do provide shooters with pretty solid accuracy and are great for first time and recreational shooters alike. The other really fun thing about pellet pistols is that there are a number of really neat designs which are modelled after pretty much every popular firearm there is. Make sure to decide what you’re preference is as there are a variety of different options as far as single shot, multi-shot and even semi-automatic air pistols.

Name

Rating

Caliber

Price

Crosman Vigilante

.177

$$$$$

Gamo PT-185 Blowback Pistol

.177

$

Crosman Bolt Action Pistol

.22

$$$$$

Just like the best pellet guns, air pistols come in three different calibers including .177, .22, and .25 caliber air pistols and revolvers. Although air pistols can be used for hunting, I don’t recommend it highly. They don’t generally produce necessary FPE and although they can sometimes produce a high FPS, it’s not enough to take down an animal humanely. For taking down pests and small game, check out our article on the best air rifles for hunting.

Types of Air Pistols

Similar to air rifles, air pistols achieve their power in one of four methods. These include CO2, compressed air, mechanical spring and single-cock pneumatic and will all provide different benefits and results.

air pistol reviews

CO2 powered pistols can be fun because they will often allow multiple shots and provide some fluidity to the shooting process which spring pistols can’t provide. One drawback to CO2 is that the shot will vary depending on a number of factors including air temperature and air pressure. For someone who is concerned with the perfect shot every time might want to pass on a CO2 powered pellet pistol.

The classic metal spring powered air pistols are simple and easy to use and range in power. The best part is that they are fairly consistent and don’t require a power supply so it’s ready to go whenever you need to use it. The drawback is that you need to reload it after every shot.

The single-cock pneumatic pistols are very similar to the classic metal spring powered air pistols although they are powered by the compressed air that is created when the pellet pistol is cocked. Very simple to use and they don’t require an external power supply which is really convenient when you’re considering a pellet pistol you want to take out in the field with you.

best pellet pistol

Finally, a PCP air pistol will provide the most power and contain compressed air which is stored inside the gun under high pressure. It provides a very consistent shot that has very little recoil but you do need to have an external power supply to refill the compressed air. Some high powered air pistols are appearing on market designed for pest control and I hope to highlight my favorite options below in our hand-on pellet pistol review section!

Air Pistol Reviews: Our Top 3 Choices

Crosman Vigilante CO2 .177 Caliber

A great buy, this CO2 powered air pistol is quite a bit of fun. Heavy in the hand, the balance on this pistol is awesome and really feels awesome when aiming at your target. A modern take on the classic revolver style hand-gun, it has a 10-shot pellet clip which means you’ll be firing pellets for days with this baby. It can be used as a BB gun but since I am not terribly familiar with BB guns, I didn’t use this option.

I was really impressed with accuracy as it stayed true up to a distance of about 10-yards. I found the air cartridge to also last a good while as it fires around 100 shots before I needed to reload. Remember this is not a toy as it can still do some damage so make sure to treat it as a weapon.

Gamo PT-85 Blowback Tactical Pellet Pistol

One of the more expensive pellet pistols, it sure is a thing of beauty. CO2-powered, and firing up to 560 feet per second, it’s equipped with the innovative Blowback feature which is a technology that used a small portion of air to move the slide backward when firing. This kick back is very similar to a real pistol so you’ll feel like an every day James Bond holding the Gamo Blowback Tactical Pistol.

Offering a double magazine and a capacity of 16 pellets, you’ll be firing pellets at your targets for quite a while. Firing around 100 pellets per CO2 canister, the accuracy is fantastic and fired really well from 10 meters. I was shooting within a quarter size diameter and although the scope isn’t the best thing in the world, it’s a nice addition especially for the recreational shooter.

Crosman Bolt Action CO2 Pistol

The first .22 caliber air pistol on our list, this is a classic style air pistol which fires up to 460 Feet Per Second. The first pistol on our list to be moderately appropriate for hunting small pests it’s also a great option for those looking to do some target shooting.

It is powered by CO2 so you’ll need to make sure to have a power source with you at all times, but a standard CO2 cartridge should last you at least 70 -80 shots which is less than a .177 caliber. The reason for this is because the more powerful the air pistol, the more CO2 required to fire the pellet. It’s a fantastic air pistol right out of the box and unlike larger air rifles, the break in period is quite a bit less.

Accuracy wise, it’s a pretty solid shooter. If you’re having problems with accuracy out of the box, take a good look at the barrel and sights to make sure everything is straight. My order was a little bit off an I actually had to adjust the screws slightly to make it work better.

All in all this is a pretty cool air pistol which is also upgradeable in the case you are looking to customize your pellet pistol.

Final Thoughts - Pellet Pistols are a Blast!

No matter where you buy your pellet pistol from, you're going to have a tremendous time using it. There is always something about pellet pistols that make me feel like Jason Bourne or some other action hero. Do keep in mind though that these pellet pistols can be in some cases mistaken for real fire arms so it's important to take the proper precautions.

If you're planning on buying a pellet pistol for a youth, please consider our guide on youth air rifles as ​many of the pellet pistols reviewed above lack the safety features I prefer when buying a pellet pistol for someone who is knew to the sport. 

Dave

Hi! I'm Dave - an air rifle enthusiast and a bit of a geek to be honest. When I'm not out at the range or on a hunting trip, I enjoy writing about different air rifle products and accessories.