Best Semi Auto Rifle – Your Essential Buyer’s Guide
Finding the best semi auto rifle can be trickier than it seems, but since ammunition for pellet rifles are becoming that much more affordable than the real deal ammo, quite a few hunters and marksmen have become forced to transition from using regular rifles to air rifles.
A good semi-automatic pellet rifle has the power to replicate the experience and may even help you improve your overall hunting skills.
But here’s the problem: The market is oversaturated with an abundance of different air rifles all competing with one another to be crowned the best in their league.
The solution? Well, that’s quite simple really. Since every hunter or marksman has his or her own preferences and needs for an air rifle, what works for one individual might be nightmarish for another. That’s why we’ve created this post, to review some of the best semi auto rifles out there, and provide you with the information you’ll need to make an informed choice based on each rifle’s features and characteristics.
Things to Keep In Mind When Shopping for an Air Rifle
Take a look at the following buying considerations you’ll have to keep in mind before taking the plunge and just purchasing an air pellet gun…
You’re going to be aiming and shooting at moving objects, which requires your semi-automatic air rifle to be very accurate. You may also want to consider investing in a good air rifle scope which can help boost your air pellet’s accuracy.
High-powered or magnum-powered air rifles might not be ideal for every hunter out there, even more so when the case of long-range shooting is concerned. Something along the lines of a good CO2 air rifle might be ideal for you if you plan on shooting targets within a 20-yard range.
3. Intended Use
Before you even consider looking at what others are saying about a certain semi auto rifle, go ahead and assess the applications you have in mind for your rifle. When you understand what it is you want to accomplish with your rifle, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the parameters your perfect air rifle should boast.
Long-range shooters won’t be using the same rifle than close-range shooters would. Equally, a man trying to rid his home of pests will need something powerful, something along the lines of a .22 caliber or higher.
Pellets and BB bullets are much more affordable than traditional firearm ammunition, but you’ll still need to figure out which pellets will work best for you and your shooting goals. Some rifles may be able to use BBs and pellet, while others will only handle shooting pellets.
Wad cutter pellets are great for target practice, but something like the Crosman Powershot pellet is lead free and more environmentally friendly. Then there are also the pointed pellets and polymer tip hollow-head pellets, which work great for hunters. The choice is, as always, ultimately in your hands so make sure you know what your intended use for your rifle is.
5. Your Budget
A semi-automatic air rifle won’t come cheap, and they are much more expensive than their non-CO2-powered counterparts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get one at a great price. Cheaper air rifles are advised for newbies in the game, which will allow you the room and budget to grow more comfortable with the sport and also help you save towards purchasing a semi auto rifle you really want.
With that being said, it’s time we showed you what some of the best CO2 powered rifles on the market look like today. Check out our reviews to learn more about what these weapons are capable of…
Review of the Best Semi Auto Rifles on the Market
1. Benjamin Discovery .22
The Benjamin Discovery .22 is a dual fuel PCP air rifle which works with CO2 cartridges, but it can also be charged by using a scuba tank or hand pump. The Discovery .22 is capable of firing 14.3grain, .22 caliber pellets some 900 feet per second, which just means one thing…power, and lots of it. The Benjamin Discovery .22 comes in as our number one pick because it has oodles of power, insane accuracy, and it’s also very easy to use.
- Very accurate and powerful
- Easy to charge and use
- Has a 25-shot capacity on a single fill
- Makes a relatively loud noise when shooting
- The trigger pull can be bothersome to some folks
2. Crosman M4-177
With the ability to use both pellets and BBs, the Crosman M4-177 is a legend in its class. One of the great things about this semi auto rifle is the fact that you don’t need to use a CO2 cartridge with it since it comes with a high pressurized tank that holds air.
As far as shooting power goes, the M4-177 will deliver roughly 600-fps with pellets and 625 feet per second with BBs, which is good, but it’s not the best out there. The main reason why we love recommending the Crosman M4-177 is due to its very affordable price tag, which comes in at a much more acceptable price than competitor brands.
- Doesn’t require a CO2 canister for operation
- Easy to use
- Great for beginners
- Very affordable
- Not as powerful, this might not be ideal for hunting small game
- Not the most durable air rifle on the market
3. Hammerli 850
The Hammerli 850 is quite unique for its class since the barrel doesn’t have to be pumped before the shooting action can take place. What could feel more authentic than that? But that’s not all we love about this weapon, it looks, feels, and operates just like authentic rifles. Yes it’s more expensive, and yes you might have a hard time getting your hands on it (plus the price is a little steep), but it might just be the best investment of your life.
- Looks, feels, and operates like an authentic rifle
- Doesn’t require a pumping action between shots
- Can fire 5-8 shots in rapid succession, capable of reaching 760 feet per second
- Very powerful, accurate, and convenient
- Not cheap at all
- The cost of replacing CO2 cartridges frequently may also be expensive to keep up
4. Crosman 1077 Air Rifle
The Crosman 1077 Air rifle is a CO2 powered pellet gun, and with its ridiculously low price tag, you probably won’t be able to believe what this rifle is capable of doing. This rifle comes with a removable magazine, fitting 12 shots, offering its users the most authentic experience it possibly can. Keep in mind that the Crosman 1077 Air Rifle will only deliver a shooting power of 625 feet per second over a max distance of 20 yards.
- Very affordable when compared to competitor rifles
- Convenient to use and very lightweight
- Accurate enough to be used for hunting small game
- The CO2 system may limit the shooting experience with a max shooting range of 20 yards
- CO2 cartridge will need to be replaced after 40 to 60 shots, which can work out very expensive in the end
At the end of the day, there are hundreds of perfectly valid reasons why hunters and marksmen would prefer to switch over from traditional firearms and instead start using semi auto rifles. Not only are they much more affordable and easy to maintain, some of them are also very easy to use and super convenient.
One of the key things that you’ll have to keep in mind when you’re out shopping for an air rifle though is the fact that there are many varieties out there, each one better suited for specific needs and applications.
By using the information we’ve provided you with in this post, you should be able to figure out which type of air rifle you need to invest in so that it meets your individual preferences. Budget and price are always important considerations to keep in the back of your mind when shopping for a weapon but never ignore quality and craftsmanship.
By taking all this information into account, you’ll be narrowing down the playing field and clearly start to recognize the brands and models which will add the most value to your shooting experience.