7 Best Pellet Rifle For Hunting in 2021: 22, PCP, Nitro Rifles for Hunting

best pellet rifle

Whether it’s for target practicing, teaching young people how to shoot, or occasional hunting, nothing beats a pellet gun for such purposes. The best pellet rifle will offer you good caliber and velocity without wasting much money for initial target practicing.

Among countless options, it’s really difficult and confusing to determine which particular model to purchase. If you haven’t done your digging yet, no need to proceed any further.

After days of researching, reading customer reviews as well as experts’ opinions, I have found these 7 rifles to be the best that you can currently buy.

Top Pellet Rifle On The Market

Best Choice
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal , Black
Budget Friendly
Benjamin Marauder BP1764S .177-Caliber Pellet PCP Hunting Air Rifle
Best Buy
RWS 2166159 Pellet Air Rifle 800fps 0.22cal w/Break Action
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal , Black
Benjamin Marauder BP1764S .177-Caliber Pellet PCP Hunting Air Rifle
RWS 2166159 Pellet Air Rifle 800fps 0.22cal w/Break Action
Best Choice
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal , Black
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal , Black
Budget Friendly
Benjamin Marauder BP1764S .177-Caliber Pellet PCP Hunting Air Rifle
Benjamin Marauder BP1764S .177-Caliber Pellet PCP Hunting Air Rifle
Best Buy
RWS 2166159 Pellet Air Rifle 800fps 0.22cal w/Break Action
RWS 2166159 Pellet Air Rifle 800fps 0.22cal w/Break Action

Benefits of Pellet Rifle

Despite having some limitations, pellet rifles offer some great advantages that can easily provoke or convince enthusiasts to get one. If you are confused about which type of pellet gun to get or a beginner who is willing to invest in a air gun to get the most out of the shooting experience without spending much, check out the following points.

  • Compared to other pellet guns, these rifles are extremely quiet. When you miss a shot, it will not make your game run away from the spot due to shooting sound.
  • Air rifles are easier to aim and shoot. Any inexperienced or beginner can easily get used to one of these without much effort.
  • For those who are tight on the budget, air guns offer inexpensive ways to control pests, target practice, plinking, etc. shooting activities. Calibers are cheap as well. Compared to others, these pellet guns require low maintenance.
  • The included iron sight is accurate enough for low range shots. Mounting a scope can further increase the accuracy.
  • Unlike firearms, pellet rifles aren’t restricted to own and shoot in most areas.
  • Pellets are extremely durable; thus, don’t get damaged or lose quality easily. Made from a single metal piece, these don’t need any cases, powder, primer, and fancy reloading accessories.

Best Pellet Rifle for Small Game, Squirrel, Iguanas and Groundhogs in 2021: Reviews

The pellet guns differ from each other in terms of various aspects, specs, features, and price. Regardless of your requirements, you will surely find the right one among these models.

1. Gamo Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal

gamo varmint air rifle

Tired of seeing damaged plants pretty much every day? A pest control pellet gun like this one is all you need. With the ability to shoot .177 platinum alloy pellet at 1250 fps, the rifle offers more power than you would probably need for most shooting purposes.

The velocity of the gamo varmint also makes it a perfect rifle for game hunting, target practice, and more stuff. Equipped with a 4x32mm scope, you can see small and hard to see targets without much struggle through its lens. The precision is excellent compared to some third party scopes within its class.

For your shooting convenience, the air rifle gun features a single cock system break barrel, which is easy to use for pretty much people of all ages, including teenagers. Cocking the rifled steel barrel only requires 30 lbs of force – one of the easy to cock rifles on the list within this price range.

Its two-stage adjustable trigger with a single shot magazine will allow you to shoot more precisely even if the target is far away. The trigger got a safety lock to make sure you don’t accidentally fire pellets at the wrong targets.

Featuring a synthetic stock or a thumbhole stock with non-slip textures, you will feel much comfort and get protection against weather and mold issues as well with these gamo varmint pellet guns. This high-grade nylon stock will allow you to align your eyes perfectly with the scope to make sure you shoot with great accuracy.

Weighing only 5.47 pounds, the air rifle doesn’t feel heavy despite having 43.3 inches of total length.

So overall, in terms of performance, durability, and reliable accuracy, you cannot go wrong with the pellet gun spending this amount of money.

What I like most:

  • This air rifle has durable housing
  • High velocity, great FPS
  • Easy to use single cocking break barrel
  • This air gun shoots precisely
  • Weather and mold protected stock

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Can load only one pellet a time
  • Included scope isn’t the most precise one
  • No barrel sight with this air rifle

2. Best Pellet Rifle for the Money –  Crosman M4-177 Pellet and BB Air Rifle

crosman m4-177 pellet rifle

The ability to shoot with .177 caliber pellets and traditional steel BBs allow the gunman to use the air rifle for various purposes. Whether you are looking for a gun for pest control, hunting and target shooting this can be the one to rule them all.

Using .177 caliber pellets, you can shoot at 600 FPS, whereas with BBs the gun can reach up to 625 FPS with great precision. To add more convenience, you can adjust the FPS from 350 to 700, depending on the type of shooting and other requirements. This adjustability highly increases shooting precision in different segments.

As far as the construction is concerned, the pellet gun feels pretty solid in hands. It got durable housing, which is water-resistant. So, even if you are outdoors while it’s raining, you can continue shooting with this M4 model without any issue. Its tactical style in black makes it more appealing to occasional gunmen.

The air rifle pellet gun also features a cross-bolt safety feature to prevent accidental firings. Thus, even if you become careless unwillingly, the pellet gun will not fire pellets at the wrong targets.

Equipped with a removable magazine. You can also store pellet clip and adjustment tool for the sight in it. To help you to stay on a target, the pellet gun features a dual-aperture rear sight as well as an adjustable post front sight.

Its stock offers you some convenient adjustability to enhance your overall target shooting and plinking experience. You can attach a sling and make other adjustments necessary to target accurately with this air rifle. The rail has enough space for accessories such as a scope, flashlight, and action cameras to add more thrill to your shooting sessions.

What I like most:

  • Variable FPS control
  • Handles both .177 pellets and steel BBs well
  • Safety lock
  • Decent FPS for mid-range shooting
  • Great accuracy
  • Adjustable stock and rail
  • Removable magazine
  • Durable construction

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Pellets often get jammed in the rifled steel barrel
  • Iron sight isn’t precise

3. Best PCP Pellet Rifle – Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock

benjamin marauder pellet air rifle

Even though this air rifle comes with an expensive price tag, the overall shooting experience with the pellet gun and its performance will tell you the difference between a cheap and high-end air rifle. Available in .177, .22, and .25 caliber options, wisely choose one that meets your requirements well.

What makes it the best PCP pellet rifle for medium game hunting?

This is one of few PCP air guns that offer an ambidextrous advantage with an adjustable raised comb. You cannot go wrong with this gun regardless of your shooting orientation.

These pcp rifles got a rugged construction, which feels exceptional in hands. Its all-weather synthetic stock is quite durable and provides much comfort when you have to stay on a target for a long time. Due to its lightweight construction, you will not struggle when it comes to balancing the air rifle for precise shots.

Equipped with a built-in pressure gauge as well as quick-disconnect foster fitting, you can take multiple-shots using its convenient bolt-action mechanism. To shoot more precisely at targets from long distances, it features a two-stage adjustable trigger with a lever safety system.

There is an 8-round magazine that can store more pellets than traditional style pellet rifles. You can shoot multiple pellets at once.

With velocity up to 900 FPS, you will find the gun ideal for hunting game, pest control, plinking, and other shooting purposes.

Its dovetail mounting rail allows you to attach the most commonly used shooting accessories to shoot more precisely.

The .177 caliber model of Benjamin Marauder weighs only 4.14 pounds; regardless of its long size, your hands will not experience much fatigue holding the gun.

What I like most:

  • Rugged all-weather construction
  • Ambidextrous air rifle
  • Well-balance to carry in the field
  • High FPS
  • Very precise
  • Quiet shooting
  • Two-stage trigger for long-distance shooting
  • Ideal for using for versatile purposes

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Synthetic stock feels cheap
  • Action bolt is a bit hard to pull back

4. Best Pellet Gun for Small Game Hunting – Umarex Diana RWS Model 54

umarex diana pellet rifle

When you need more precise and speedy velocity for game hunting session, pest controlling, or target shooting, you can rely on this air rifle as it allows you to shoot .177 pellets at 1100 FPS. With such speed, you rest assured that the precision and accuracy will be top-notch in this gun.

What makes this 

Due to its spring-powered mechanism and side lever action, the performance will be quite consistent regardless of the conditions. Unlike cheaper air guns, this one will not make you feel recoil whatsoever. Recoilless shooting experience will significantly increase your target practicing and game hunting accuracy.

The gun got a durable beechwood stock that provides a comfortable grip. Even if your hands sweat, it will not slip off your hand. Its cheekpiece got a raised design to make your targeting sessions comfortable and convenient.

Why is these best precision pellet guns for hunting iguanas and small game ?

First of all, these spring piston rifles can shoot small target for their precise accuracy. 

To help you with targeting objects or controlling pests with great accuracy, the gun features a blade and ramp front sight with a rear sight, which you can adjust as per shooting needs. You can mount a scope on its 11mm dovetail rail without any issue.

Precision without a quality scope will be as you can expect, not good. When you mount a scope, you can shoot way more precisely than average guns. The gun is pretty much capable of detailed targeting.

The major downside is that the rifle is a bit heavier. However, if you don’t move and shoot, that little extra weight will not make a huge difference; it’s not a deal-breaking issue at all. So, for hunting purposes only, you should look for something else.

What I like most:

  • Great precision at shooting
  • Durably made pellet guns for small game hunting 
  • Recoilless shooting assures maximum accuracy
  • Extremely fast FPS
  • Easy to pull side lever action

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Feels a bit heavy
  • Expensive

5. Best 22 Caliber Pellet Rifle – RWS Pellet Gun Air Rifle 800fps

RWS pellet rifle

One of my observations regarding rifles until this day was, good quality air rifles would always cost way much than the typical ones. Then I came across this legendary break barrel air rifle that provides superb shooting experience with great accuracy without costing too much for what it offers.

It is not only one of the best  22 caliber pellet options for hunting, it also can support .177 for target shooting.

Available in both .177 and .22 caliber, you can shoot at 1000 FPS and 800 FPS, respectively. Such high velocity makes it one of the most accurate air guns on the list. Regardless of your shooting purpose, you can choose one that suits your needs the most.

The break barrel only requires 33 lbs. of cocking effort, which isn’t difficult for most adults. This particular mechanism is convenient and easy to use compared to modern ones.

For more precision targets from long distances, the rifle features a two-stage trigger. In addition, it’s ambidextrous, so, regardless of your orientation, the rifle will provide a great shooting experience for you.

The housing got a classic hardwood stock, which is easy and comfortable to hold and shoot. Unlike typical ones, the stock doesn’t feel cheap.

Even though the pellet gun comes with a 4x32mm rifle scope, the accuracy is near average. You will need to purchase a separate scope to get the most of this gun. There are mounting rings for that. Like most break barrel rifles, there’s not much to mount on its dovetail grooved rail.

The pellet gun doesn’t feel heavy at all, though it’s 45 inches long. So, for hunting games, you can easily move in the field without getting tired or facing fatigue issues.

What I like most:

  • Excellent accuracy
  • Build with quality materials
  • These pellet guns has great velocity
  • Includes a fiber-optic sight
  • 2-stage trigger for long-distance shooting
  • Break barrel doesn’t require much effort

What I Didn’t Like:

  • A bit difficult to group
  • Average scope

6. Umarex Diana RWS Model 34 Pellet Gun Air Rifle

umarex diana pellet air rifle

For those who always want to leave an aesthetic gesture, this all-black RWS 34 air rifle will make much appeal to them. The gun comes with a black all-weather durable synthetic stock that can withstand pretty much everything you would throw at it.

As far as the performance is concerned, this air rifle is well-equipped with components that make it shoot with great accuracy. You can go with either the .177 or .22 caliber option. With .177 caliber pellets, the pellet gun can shoot at 1000 fps, whereas, with .22 ones, you will get a fast velocity of 800 fps.

With the precision it provides, you will be able to easily fire headshots when you use it for pest control. The accuracy within 30 yards is quite good. Shooting targets of long distances would require your firing skills and experience.

The break-barrel system requires 33 lbs. of cocking, which isn’t that difficult compared to conventional air guns.

Coming with a fiber-optic sight, this one allows you to target more precisely out of the box. However, for more precision, you must get a quality scope. Otherwise, the given scope handles close distance shots well.

The handle got a hunting style design, ideal for taking in the field for hunting small games. With its two-stage adjustable trigger, you will be able to shoot from long distances accurately. The trigger feels extremely good compared to the other ones within this price range.

You will not experience much recoil from the gun. Regardless of your shooting orientation, you will be able to use it for pest controlling, plinking, target shooting, and other purposes without any struggle.

What I like most:

  • These pellet guns have accurate shooting
  • Aesthetic looking air rifle
  • All-weather durable synthetic stock
  • Comes with a fiber-optic sight
  • Easy to break the barrel
  • High shooting velocity

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Cheaply made front sight
  • Loud spring

7. Best Break Barrel – Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle

ruger blackhawk air rifle

Don’t underestimate the capability of this gun just because I have listed it at number 7. It’s no less powerful than any other high-end pellet rifles on the list. With the ability to handle .177 caliber alloy and lead pellet, the rifle can shoot at 1200 fps and 1000 fps, respectively, with great accuracy regardless of the shooting purposes.

This all-black air rifle features an ergonomic stock that feels comfortable yet sturdy enough to withstand all weather conditions. Made of composite polymer material, you can count on its durability. For both left and right-handed individuals, the stock is easy to deal with.

In addition to that, the gun features a checkered grip on both pistol and forearm. So, even if your hands sweat, it will not create many hazards to target and shoot while maintaining precision.

Its break barrel mechanism requires 30 lbs of effort, which is less than air guns that I have reviewed so far. So, teenagers will not struggle to break its barrel every now and then while target practicing.

The pellet gun comes with a fiber-optic sight that helps a lot in target acquisition and shooting accuracy. Out of the box, you don’t need to buy any separate scope. If you feel that you need a more advanced and accurate one, you can easily mount it on its 11mm dovetail rail.

Although the gun recoils a little, there is a rubber recoil pad to tackle this issue.

What I like most:

  • Very accurate at targeting and shooting
  • Ideal for pests and target practicing
  • Adjustable scope anti-fog
  • Accurate iron sight
  • Easy to break the barrel
  • Great FPS

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Feels heavy, not suitable for hunting
  • Difficult to adjust scope
  • Too loud

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Pallet Gun 

If you are a beginner, it might be difficult for you to determine which one would be the best for your shooting purposes as air guns differ from each other in terms of features, specs, materials used, etc. factors. To make it easier for you, here are some factors to determine the right pellet gun for your needs.

Air Rifles Type

In the market, two types of air guns are widely available, and these are more effective to use pellets. For the best air rifle, these types can come really handy. 

  1. Pneumatic Air Rifles

A pumping level does the main mechanism in these air rifles. It pumps air into the chamber, and you need to manually pump it after each shot. You can shoot both pellets and BBs using these cheap and inexpensive bb gun and pellet gun. People who mostly look for target shooting and plinking, these are the ideal equipment for them.

  2. Spring Powered Air Rifles

In spring powered air guns, spring compresses the air inside the chamber to use it as a power source. There are three different spring designs –

Side lever that you need to pull back to cock the air rifle.

Under-leveris where the cocking lever is beneath the barrel. Cocking the rifle requires to pull the side lever downwards. It opens the breach and allows the pellet to insert.

Break barrel mechanism requires you to pull the barrel down to cock the air gun.

Compared to Pump or pneumatic rifles, spring-powered ones are more powerful and easier to use. However, cocking is difficult for teenagers and women.


In air guns, there are.177, .22, and .25 caliber options to choose from. .177 handles most shooting requirements, including pest control and target practicing; .25 is ideal for small hunting games.

You can fire both pellets and BBs out of a .177 caliber air gun. For pest control and plinking, these air guns are more than enough. You can hunt down mice, small birds, squirrels, iguanas, rabbits, groundhogs, rodents and similar pests. Enthusiasts prefer this caliber due to its high velocity, decent penetration, as well as flat trajectories.

The larger .22 caliber is for hunting small games. With its increased power, the pellets can effectively punch on targets. However, it’s not as accurate as of its .177 counterpart. So, if you need a more powerful impact on hunting with less accuracy, this is the option to look for.

With .25 caliber, the accuracy is further reduced. When it comes to shooting with the most impactful punch without caring much about accuracy, nothing beats this caliber option.

Velocity or FPS of a Best Air Rifle 

Not all air guns have the ability to fire pellets and BBs at the same speed. More speed or velocity also has to do with accuracy. An air gun with 800 FPS is considered to have a high velocity. Models that fire at more FPS are more accurate at targets.

If you are tight on a budget, don’t go below 650 FPS to get a decent velocity to hit the target without compromising much accuracy.

These FPS numbers vary depending on the caliber of pellets. .177 caliber ones are the fastest. Others are relatively slower at speed. This is another reason why .177 caliber pellets hit targets more accurately.

Stock Material of Air Rifles 

Comfortability, as well as the durability of air guns, primarily depends on the stock. The profound air rifle brands use various materials to construct this particular part of the gun. Wooden stocks are the most durable ones. The grip is above average on these. However, wood contributes to the overall weight of the pellet gun a bit.

Synthetic stocks are made of different materials. These are durable enough as well. Providing excellent grip that allows the user to carry in the hunting field, these stocks are convenient to hold even when the hand sweats.

Shooting Distance for Pellet Guns 

Even though most air rifles perform great when it comes to close distance shooting, as the distance increases, the accuracy falls according to that.

Spring-powered low priced rifles are much accurate at shooting 35 yards distance. Mid-range air rifles can shoot targets accurately within 50 yards. The high-end ones do exceptionally well at shooting targets that are around 60 yards away from the gunman.

There are some higher-end models that shoot within 80 yards with great accuracy.

If you are looking for a gun to control pests, go for one that maintains accuracy within 35 yards. For target shooting, 50 to 60 yards of accuracy will be more than enough.

When hunting small game is one of your requirements, make sure the gun you are about to get can shoot within 50 to 70 yards while maintaining a decent accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Pellet Rifle

Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the pellet rifle:

1. What are pellet rifles used for?

For general purposes such as pest control, hunting, plinking, target practicing, etc. pellet rifles provide great value and the best shooting experience. Government law enforcement agencies, as well as military personnel, use these guns as well.

2. Do pellet guns kill squirrels?

If your garden is being damaged on a regular basis by squirrels, you can use a pellet gun with .177 caliber pellets to kill squirrels. To make sure you target squirrels accurately, shoot within 35 yards.

3. Can a .177 pellet kill a deer?

With a high-speed velocity of around 1000 FPS, you should be able to hunt down deers with .177 caliber pellets. However, going for larger pellets would hit the target harder; the chances are low that larger ones will kill animals.

4. What is a good FPS for an air rifle?

For most hunters, FPS from 750 to 900 should be more than enough with a pellet gun. However, for general-purpose shooting such as target practicing and plinking, 600 to 900 FPS will work fine.

5. Which is better, .22 or .177 air rifle?

With more energy, high velocity, more effective on small game, .177 caliber air rifles outperform .22 ones with pellet guns. The counterpart, .22, produces less energy as well as relatively lower velocity, thus, not as accurate as .177 caliber.

6. Can you kill an iguana with a pellet gun?

Yes, for the accuracy and precise power hunting iguanas and rabbit with a pellet gun is possible. Especially if you have pellet gun with better FPS, hunting small target is quite easy. 

7. Where to shoot an iguana to kill it?

To kill an iguana first you should take a small game pellet gun and target for the base of the neck, or for confirm killing target in between the ear and eyes. 

8. What FPS pellet gun can kill a squirrel?

It depends on the caliber of a pellet gun. If you are using a .22 caliber, you should at least take a pallet rifle 800FPS

Final Words

The reviews and information should be sufficient enough for you to understand which one is the best pellet rifle according to your budget and requirements. Make sure the area where you live doesn’t have any restrictions on shooting with pellet rifles.

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