Most Accurate Air Rifle
Air rifles range in a variety of different characteristics. As a buyer, you will want to consider the variety of options available to you so you can buy a pellet gun which not only meets your needs, but exceeds them. Whenever I am working with a customer who is buying a pellet gun for the first time, I like to ask them a few key questions which will eventually narrow what is a very large industry into a handful of particular pellet guns.
The first question I like to ask is whether or not the pellet gun will be used for hunting. When hunting with pellet guns, it’s important that the rifle meets some very simple requirements in regards to power because not all pellet guns are powerful enough for hunting purposes which puts a lot of animals in danger of dying a very slow and painful death due to a wound from hunting with an inappropriate air rifle. If the pellet gun IS going to be used for hunting, it’s very easy to focus on the best air rifle for hunting.
Much of the time, customers who are new to the world of air rifles are looking for something much more recreationally. One of my favorite past times is plinking and it’s an increasingly popular sport among air rifle enthusiasts. For these customers, accuracy is the most important characteristic which is why I have highlighted my picks for the most accurate air rifles.
When considering the most accurate air rifle, we are generally only looking at .177 caliber air rifles as they in most cases are the most accurate options. Furthermore, for those reading this article who are interested in competition shooting, the majority of competition shooting is done with a .177 caliber air rifle although sometimes there are also competitions at the .22 caliber level too.
Other Factors to Consider
Another factor to consider when buying the most accurate air rifle is price. As I said above, plinking is an extremely popular pastime but you don’t need to spend $700 on an air rifle for recreational plinking in the backyard. Instead, there are plenty of options at a price point under $300 which will more than be suitable for your plinking needs.
However, if you do need a competition air rifle, ensure the air rifle that you are purchasing meets the requirements of whichever competition you are competing in. For example, there will be nothing more embarrassing than showing up at a break-barrel .177 calibre competition with a CO2 pellet gun. Not only will you not be able to compete, but you’ll look like a complete hack as well.
Understanding How to Zero - In
Just because you have one of the most accurate air rifles available, doesn't necessarily mean you'll be hitting every target you want. It's why Olympic athletes train basically their entire lives to compete at events like the biathlon because it takes a lot of practice to hit your target - especially when the elements are involved. Below, I've shared a basic video which goes over the basic of how to test your air rifle for accuracy. Plus, it's a great exercise to practice accuracy.
One of the most popular competition air rifles, you cannot go wrong with the Crosman PCP Challenger air rifle. As more and more competitions have moved to PCP air rifles, if you are new to the circuit, expect to see and compete against (or with) this particular model. A .177 caliber, it will fire up to 530 feet per second and will feel as smooth as pie in the process.
With a completely re-designed feature set, the Challenger PCP has made some fantastic improvements over the extremely successful Challenger 2000. The two-stage, match grade, adjustable trigger is perhaps my favorite improvement but perhaps the new Lothar Walther barrel is what makes this baby shoot so straight.
An easy choice for our list of most accurate air rifles, our field testing was from 10 m and straight out of the box we were able to punch a small jagged hole about the size of a dime out of the target. Impressed already, I took it to our plinking field which had a distance of about 25 meters only to find that the accuracy was still top notch!
This air rifle is also great for more inexperienced shooters who are getting into competition shooting as well. It’s on the more expensive side, but as far as competition air rifles, it’s a pretty affordable option.
A favorite among recreational shooters, the Gamo Silent Cat Air rifle makes our list for the most accurate pellet guns. A .177 caliber, this baby does have some pretty impressive feet per second speeds as it has the ability to reach up to 1200 FPS! Keep in mind this is a value pellet gun as it is listed at just over $200 you cannot expect the same results as a competition level pellet gun.
A break barrel, spring-loaded pellet gun, the accuracy on the Gamo Silent cat is impressive. In our field testing, we found that from 10 m it took a little bit of adjustment to get in the scope right, but once we did, it was firing extremely well. Expect a little bit of a break-in period before getting true results but I suspect anywhere beyond 250 pellets should do the trick.
A favorite among fellow plinkers, its accuracy is what makes it so popular. The scope it ships with is a little bit weak but can be replaced if you really feel the need.
The first ever nitrogen powered air rifle I ever fired, the Benjamin Trail Nitro-Powered air rifle is not only extremely quiet, but also extremely accurate. However, one thing I found is that this model becomes MORE ACCURATE once you remove the scope. As with most value pellet guns, when they package a scope with the gun, it’s typically something extremely cheap and wonky. Instead, I recommend actually removing the scope and replace it with your own.
Because of how quiet this model is, I think it’s a great option for those who are wanting to use it for target practice in the backyard. I know in some neighborhoods, neighbours aren’t always happy about hearing bang after bang which is why I really like the Benjamin Trail NP as a fantastic choice for backyard plinking.
The design of the Benjamin Trail is fantastic as well and although the trigger can feel a little bit loose at times, the rest of it is the real deal for sure. Expect to have this gun ready to fire for years to come!
Walther LGV Competition Ultra Air Rifle (Currently Unavailable)
The Walther air rifle comes in two different calibers offering both the .177 and .22 caliber options. In my field experience, I used the .177 but I have read that the .22 calibre is the same standard of quality engineering and performance as the .177 calibre.
Probably the best engineered air rifle I have ever had the pleasure of firing, its shooting ability is second to none. With only a 3/8 inch kickback, repeating your shot won’t be a problem. The other great thing is that it’s surprisingly quiet for a spring airgun which is convenient for those living in busier neighborhoods where shooting may be frowned upon.
I really enjoyed the adjustable 2-stage trigger as well which was another reason I see how this could really help competition shooters perform. Everything about the Walther is smooth, sleek and made with quality so you know you’ll have the pleasure of firing it for years to come. Keep in mind though that this is a competition level air rifle and although it makes our list for the most accurate air rifle, it’s price tag will more than likely be too much for recreational shooters.
Final Thought on the Most Accurate Pellet Guns/Air Rifles
No matter which of the above air rifle you buy, you'll have a piece of equipment that with a lot of practice has the potential to be extremely accurate. Remember to ensure you're following all state laws when using your air rifle and refer to our guide on the quietest air rifles if you're looking for something to use in the backyard for plinking or target shooting.