At a Glance: Best air pistol
- OUR TOP PICK: Crosman 1911 .177 BB Air Pistol
- Smith & Wesson M&P 40 .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol
Comparison of The Best air pistol
Our Top Pick
|Crosman 1911 .177 BB Air Pistol||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Smith & Wesson M&P 40 .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol||View Latest Price|
Whether you’re in the market to add to your air gun arsenal or looking to get your very first air pistol, I’d suggest you do thorough research before diving in to pick what you think may be the fanciest of the lot. While it is important to understand the fundamentals of an air pistol you also need to study the best models in the market to understand which one would suit you best.
Our Guide to The 8 Best Air Pistols Available Today
I have put my list of top choices here and listed the basis design, function and features to help you make an informed decision.
Crosman 1911 .177 BB Air Pistol
This CO2 tactical air rifle is powerfully packed with a lead pellet velocity of 550 FPS and has fully passed the performance and quality testing required by the industry.
It comes with a Class 2 laser that you can conveniently mount to your Picatinny rail, giving you the advantage of faster target acquisition. With a magazine capacity of 20 steel BBs with a drop-down design, you won’t have to pause to reload because every process happens seamlessly.
A semi-automatic model, this air pistol is powered by 12g CO2, and is perfect for small game hunting because it makes no noise even while being reloaded. Another point in its favor is that the front and rear sight blades are set on top to improve accuracy.
The overall design and choice of materials make this one a durable and user-friendly choice. It boasts some checkered grips, a precision steel barrel, and a polymer frame that can keep up with hours and days of recreational shooting. When it is time to replace your CO2 cartridges, you can easily do so because the grip panels are completely removable. I personally love that it looks pretty close to the real deal.
The only drawback here is you need to purchase the CO2 cartridges separately because it is not included in the initial package.
- Semi-automatic action
- Removable grip panel for easy CO2 cartridge replacement
- Made of premium and durable materials
- Comes with a Class 2 laser for your Picatinny rail
- Silent operation even while reloading
- The CO2 cartridge needs to be purchased separately
Smith & Wesson M&P 40 .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol
An air pistol that is becoming one of the top choices, the Smith & Wesson M&P 40. 177 Caliber BB air pistol is an excellent replica of the S&W firearm.
This is designed to be a BB repeater driven by a single 12g CO2 cylinder concealed in the piston’s grip. It also has an incorporated accessory rail under the muzzle where you can place a flashlight or a laser to give you better visibility or for use in emergencies.
I found it accurate for plenty of practice drills. Designed to have a manual safety and a double-action trigger, it is almost as realistic as the handgun. There is also a permanently fixed front and back fiber optic to help you nail that accurate shot.
This is the air pistol of choice when you want to have some fun plinking, target shooting, or even for training. Thanks to its CO2 cartridge and drop-out magazine that can hold 19 BBs, you can have uninterrupted shooting fun from up to 25 yards.
You will like this semi-automatic removable 19-shot BB mag in its synthetic black frame design. It looks rugged and always ready for action. I did find the magazine a little difficult to load. I needed to pull it all the way back with effort; else, it did not disengage smoothly.
- Excellent replica of the Smith & Wessons firearms
- Integrated removable 19-shot mag
- Comes with a fully adjustable front sight and permanent rear sight
- Rugged and made of durable materials
- Comes with an integrated accessory rail for a laser or flashlight
- Requires some arm strength to pull back so it can disengage properly
Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol
The Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber BB gun air pistol is your classic pistol packed with power and superb performance. It almost looks like the real G-19.
Considered to be more versatile than its competitors, this semi-automatic has smaller dimensions than the traditional pistols. Despite its compact and handy design, it is more than capable of shooting .177 caliber steel BBs with a velocity of 410 FPS.
Aside from its smaller built, handling this air pistol is also very convenient thanks to its textured grips. This is a practical and thoughtful feature because it makes gripping and magazine reloading easier. Thanks to its drop-free 15-shot magazine, you can load steel BBs conveniently and have endless shooting adventures.
It comes with a permanent and traditional Glock U-shaped sight at the back, a white dot front sight, and an incorporated weaver rail.
The Glock 19 has also got you covered when it comes to safety because it comes with an integrated push-button and trigger blade that ensures that you are completely safe while it is in use and when it is time to store it away.
Some of the drawbacks I found with this CO2 powered air pistol are: the cartridge itself is not included and needs to be bought separately, and since it uses a stick mag there is no extended magazine for this pistol.
- Comes with an integrated push-button and trigger blade
- Lightweight and compact in design
- Designed with textured grips for easier handling
- Has a velocity of 410 FPS
- Magazine’s capacity is 16 rounds
- CO2 cartridge is not included
- Uses a stick mag, so no option for an extension
Benjamin Marauder .22-Caliber PCP Air Pistol
The Benjamin Marauder .22-caliber PCP air pistol is pegged as one of the most powerful air pistols on the market today, and it deserves to be called as such.
This air pistol follows a pre-charged pneumatic system that allows you to shoot your targets from up to 33 yards. It is considered as a bolt action air rifle with an auto-indexing function.
With its lightning-fast shooting capability, this is powerful and one of the best pistols for the year. This .22 caliber gun can be charged to a maximum of 2900 psi, which should provide you with almost 700 FPS speeds. This alone is an indication of the powerful force in this air gun.
The manufacturers have patterned its design to their 2240 series and further enhanced its trigger and refined the grip making this a better and more user-friendly version.
When it comes to accuracy, expect the same precision as you would in a rifle because there would be no insufficiencies in the force that it can offer. Behaving like its sibling, the Marauder air rifle, this also comes with a shoulder stock, which is an important expansion because it can provide adequate comfort and support on your shoulders when you are hitting on dime-sized targets from 30 yards away.
I find this an excellent choice for hunting. This PCP .22 caliber air pistol can also discharge several shots in one go that is highly beneficial for shooters who don’t work well with delayed shots or mediocre performance.
This also works quietly, allowing you to take down small game easily. Some disadvantages of this air pistol are that it is quite massive and heavy to carry around for extended periods and lacks open sights.
- Works silently thanks to its internal shroud
- Comes with an integrated adjustable trigger
- Ideal for practice shooting because of its accuracy and performance
- Shoulder mount is included making it easier to carry around
- Multi-shot mag with 8 rounds of pellets
- It is heavier compared to other brands
- Lack of open sights for this particular model
Crosman American Classic .177 Pellet/BB Air Pistol
The perfect word to describe the Crosman American Classic .177 BB air pistol is versatile. This pistol can shoot pellets with a weight range of 5.4 grains to a maximum of 10.6 grains with speeds from 375 FPS to up to 600 FPS in impressive accuracy. No wonder it is the all-time choice among gun enthusiasts
It is durable, lightweight, and portable, in other words completely effective and functional. Perfect for backyard plinkers, target shooters, and rodent hunters, you will be happy with how this gun can meet your needs. Even survivalists consider carrying the Crosman American Classic in locations where dangerous animals may be found.
As expected from a Crosman, the built and design of this model are impressive. Combining a steel barrel with a polymer stock and finished with synthetic sights you can be sure that this Classic can keep up with you and your shooting escapades. It is rugged and almost close to indestructible.
It has a light to reasonable cocking effort. This one is heavily reliant on the number of pumps that you select for your shot. If you are the kind with a strong grip, you can most likely generate 10 pumps of power, but overall, 3 to 5 pumps of pressure for repetitive shots can be done without breaking a sweat.
What I like about this model is that it is equipped with a standard post front sight that is adjustable, so you get a better view of your targets and more accurate shots. A minor setback with this brand and model is that installing sights won’t be possible without expensive adjustments.
- Durable, lightweight, and portable design
- Rugged and almost indestructible built
- Practical cocking effort
- Comes with a front sight
- Noise level is at minimal to zero level
- Sight installation is costly
Daisy Powerline 340 BB Spring Repeater Pistol
If you are limited on the budget but still want high quality and competitive air pistol, then the Daisy Powerline 340 is your perfect match. This is surprisingly the cheapest air gun that you can get, and what’s even amazing is it almost looks like the real thing from a distance. I find it has a nice weight to it allowing for a comfortable grip and I think this is the best gun to use when training kids about gun safety and trigger control
This single-shooting and spring-loaded weapon has a .177 caliber that boasts three CO2 tubes that can give you a maximum velocity of more or less 500 FPS, making it an amazingly powerful gun for competitions and target practices. It also comes with an edge and ramp with a fixed front open rear iron sight.
The Daisy 340 has its speed load clipper consisting of a 13-shot mag and a 200-shot BB tank. Reloading it is designed to be straightforward because all you need to do is to pull the mag, shake your pistol, push it all back in, and you are all set. Unfortunately, this is a little complicated and harder to do because the CO2 chambers are actually hidden. Another negative is that the overall built is synthetic or plastic so it won’t last very long.
- Looks like a real gun from afar
- Ideal for newbies who just want to try and experience an air gun
- Built-in three CO2 cylinders
- Powerful and perfect for shooting competitions
- Comes with a fixed open rear iron sight
- Reloading is a little challenging because of the location of the chamber
- Frame is made of plastic
Beeman Sportsman Series Deluxe Air Pistol
The Beeman Sportsman Series boasts a 9.5″ frame made of polymer with a .177 caliber which means it is durable and can withstand rugged use. I like this model pretty much because it is amazingly accurate even though it is not powerful.
It is a single pumped and stroke pneumatic air gun with a powerful velocity of 410 FPS, perfect for an avid shooter. With this air rifle, you have an advantage of about 15 to 25 feet to make the shot with an excellent and balanced trigger.
It comes with a barrel that has fully adjustable rear sights for windage and elevation. The sights are bright but not too large. Adding to its accuracy is its personalized shape finger groove grip, which also contributes to the steadiness of the gun and your shot. The only complaint I personally have is that given my large fingers I find it a bit challenging to load.
It also does not have any recoil or spring jump, making it a highly recommended choice for club level shooting. This model also has an integrated muzzle brake that helps in any possible muzzle flip.
This model is reasonably priced and easy to use. The only factor that could have made this air piston better is it is rather hard to pump, and it takes a while for you to load. Cocking will require some hand strength. Its design only allows you to put in one pellet at a time. It will also require some amount of maintenance every once in a while.
- User-friendly and easy to use
- Premium and durable materials
- Adjustable rear sights
- Comes with a unique shaped finger groove grip
- Zero recoil
- Slow reloading process
- Hard to pump design
Umarex TDP 45 .177 Caliber Steel BB Gun Air Pistol
The Umarex TDP 45 .177 Caliber Steel BB gun Air Pistol is a classic example of looking far beyond the established and well-recognized brands in the gun industry.
If you are into brands, you would surely overlook this BB pistol because it is just a small player today. Still, their air pistol is promising and with its impressive quality I’d put it at par with the competitive brands in the market today.
Perfect for target practice, the TDP 45 has a maximum velocity of 410 FPS. This makes it a perfect pistol for newbies. Focused on the beginner’s market, this comes with a loader that you can use until you are comfortable going without.
This air pistol also comes with a weaver rail, which gives you the freedom to add any accessories that you think is needed to improve your experience. A CO2 type air pistol has a 19 drop-free magazine that you can pair with some budget-friendly steel BBs. Semi-automatic also comes with fixed front and rear sights, making your shooting experience more seamless and productive.
For a small player brand, the Umarex TDP 45 feels good in the hands. If you want to experience using an air pistol without having to spend too much this well priced semi-auto BB gun is for you and is overall a great purchase.
A few negatives of this brand and model would be its choice of the overall material. This air pistol is mostly made of plastic, and there are only minimal working parts like the magazine, magazine release, and trigger. The rest are already molded in plastic. Its double-action triggers are also rather heavy and long, and the sights are not adjustable, so you have to heavily rely on your skill to ensure that you are shooting right.
- Comes with a Weaver rail for any add-ons
- Maximum velocity of 410 FPS
- Utilizes a 12-gram CO2 cartridge
- Semi-automatic, non-blow-back action
- Ideal for beginners with its easy trigger pull
- Lightweight and compact
- Predominantly made of plastic
- The double-action trigger is a little heavy and long
- Lack of adjustable sights
What is an Air Gun?
A common misconception about air guns or air pistols is that they are low-level weapons, used in competitions or just for fun. These versatile weapons however pack quite a punch and have since the early 1500s been used in warfare and sporting events as well.
If you are wondering what the difference is, let me put it this way. While both use pressurized air, regular firearms fire projectiles using pressurized air produced due to a chemical reaction. Air pistols on the other hand fire using air that’s been pressurized mechanically.
The air rifle (long gun) and the air pistol (handguns) creates thrust metallic projectiles that can be diabolo shaped or spherical pellets referred to as BBs. In recent years, slugs or Minie ball-shaped cylinder-conoidal projectiles are also gaining popularity.
Air guns are also being used in pest control, recreational shooting, small game shooting, and even in competitive sports like the Olympic 10m Air Rifle and 10m Air Pistol games.
How to Choose the Best Air Pistol
Making sure that you get the best air pistol is crucial. You are investing your hard earned money, so you need to be sure you are getting your money’s worth. A buying guide will come in handy when shopping, so you know that you are getting the maximum perks of your future air pistol.
Here are some factors you need to consider so you can be sure you are getting a good deal and an air pistol that will contribute to your shooting adventures:
Type of Air Pistol
There are several to choose from, each with its own set of pros and cons. Knowing the different types will help you decide better which one is best for you and meet and exceed your expectations.
These airguns function using carbon dioxide gas that is sourced through throwaway capsules or by bulk. This means via sizable bottles. Most of the CO2 air gun types are all multi-shot pieces. It also uses a rotary magazine, allowing you to achieve quick and successive shooting.Since a CO2 powered air gun is a multi-shot weapon, it is ideal for recreational shooting, otherwise known as plinking. A drawback, though, would be the price of the bulb. It is rather expensive, especially if you intend to use your gun regularly. Additionally, the temperature, which is completely an uncontrollable factor, can impact the CO2 pressure of your air pistol. This means that you have to use another weapon and not an air gun during the colder and snowy seasons.
Referred to as PCPs, these air guns operate through an extremely high-pressure compressed air. These types of guns are capable of working at about 2320 to 2900 PSI. The air that these guns utilize is stored in a tube found under your gun’s barrel. The tubing reserves a sufficient amount of air adequate for 30 to 170 shots, although this can vary depending on your gun’s overall design.
Once you pull the trigger, a small hammer makes contact with the air releasing valve, and then it pushes air out of the main cylinder. This action will then propel the pellet through the barrel.
These types of air guns are best because of their zero recoil. You can hard-reset your gun without compromising accuracy. It is also designed to be lighter compared to other types that make use of magazines. Although considered the best choice of all, you may not be too happy about the price as this is also the most expensive among the bunch, even the beginner ones and also requires an additional gear for air charging.
Single-Stroke or Multi-Stroke Pneumatic
This type of air pistol operates through an internally-compressed air pump. As the shooter, you have to squeeze the air through the pump by engaging your pump handle and breaking your barrel. After you pull the trigger, the air is released, and this air will then be used to push the pellet out through the gun barrel.
Hands down, this is more affordable than the PCP and is also considered a self-reliant model. There is also no recoil with the same precision as the PCP. A slight snag in this kind of air pistol is it is not for everybody. Folks with smaller builds may find it rather difficult to handle the gun’s pump.
As the name suggests, this one is powered by a generously sized coil spring. You simply have to squeeze on the gun’s spring by either breaking the barrel or raising your handle. Once you pull the trigger, the coil is released and crushes into your piston. The air will be used to push the pellet down through the barrel.
This one is usually self-sufficient and a more budget friendly air gun. However, this gun is recommended for those who have upped their accuracy when shooting since these models can be a little hefty and hard to manage by smaller shooters.
You can use an air pistol for varying purposes. Most use it for hunting small game. Air pistols are the top choice for game hunting. You can also use them for pest control and plinking. There is also a steady rise of gun enthusiasts wanting an air pistol to shoot in clubs. You have to identify where you are going to use your air pistol to be sure that it can serve its purpose efficiently.
As stated earlier, identifying your intended purpose for buying an air pistol is crucial because it will also impact the type of caliber you need. Most air guns use these calibers:
- .117 – or 4.5mm, the most common of them all. ISSF mandates that this caliber be used for 10m shooting competitions in pistol and rifle events in the Olympics. This caliber offers the flattest trajectory among all the calibers, increasing your accuracy level. This is effectively recommended for hunting.
- .22 – this can either be the 5.5 or the 5.6 mm for all-around general use and hunting purposes.
Less traditional calibers include:
- 20 – or 5mm, this is now widely used and was initially exclusive to the Sheridan multi-pump pneumatic air rifle.
- .25 – or 6.35mm, this is considered the largest commonly available caliber in the 20th century.
- .30 – or 7.62mm, this is the largest caliber available for air guns that fall under the non-PCP type.
There are also larger calibers often marketed by big brand players intended for large game hunting. These calibers are .45 (or 11.43 mm), .50 (or 12.7 mm), and .58 (or 14.5 mm) usually designed specifically for PCP guns.
You will also find custom made calibers for some air guns, which are even bigger at .79 (or 20 mm) and .87 (or 22.1 mm).
Air Pistol Shooting Range
Guns are limited with their shooting range, and your choice of an air gun may prove to be completely useless if it is not capable of shooting within your expected range. Since most air guns are engineered for hunting, buy one that fulfills your shooting range requirement. If you want to target something within a distance of 15 yards, it would be best to use a variable pump model while shooting an object in a 20-yard distance would require you a CO2 model. If you’re hunting for more than what a CO2 model can handle, then your best option is a PCP gun model because they have a maximum shooting range of 35 yards.
Overall Trigger Quality
Air guns are priced differently, and usually, the cost dictates the trigger’s responsiveness. Most varying air gun triggers are designed to up to about 3-lbs of pull, and it can be usually fine-tuned in 1 to 1.5-lbs of pull. If you require one with a lighter pull, match pieces with matching triggers are ideal for you because it is designed to involve lesser pull.
The quality of pellets can impact your overall performance, so always choose from reliable brands. For starters, you can try various brands to find out which works for you. There are several kinds of pellets that you can choose from, and again, the best way to find out which will be the best pair for your air gun is to give it a try and decide based on experience.
- Flat-head pellets – these are highly recommended for paper target shooting because it can zoom in on your target effectively.
- Hollow-point pellets are used for close to medium range hunting because they pass on plenty of power and force upon impact.
- Pointed pellets – these penetrate upon impact but are not ideal for the surface to air shooting.
These are some of the aspects you need to consider before investing in an air pistol. Doing your homework where research is concerned will prove beneficial for you when it comes to buying. Reading through unbiased reviews and customer feedback, as well as talking with fellow gun enthusiasts, will also give you a clearer perspective.
What are the Advantages / Benefits of Using an Air Pistol?
An air gun would always be part of a gun enthusiast’s collection. Every hunter and gun user will agree that stealth plays an important factor in hunting and shooting, and an air pistol can give you this advantage.
Listed below are just some of the benefits of investing in the best pellet pistol.
Stealth and Silence
How would you shoot a squirrel if you end up making so much racket with your gun, especially while cocking your lever? At the very first shot, you will have every small game within the perimeter scurrying away and going into hiding.
This is one of the major benefits of an air gun. You can enjoy its silence, and you can surprise your target effectively. Air pistols, especially the lower-powered ones, are impressively quieter than your typical firearms. This is because its velocities are usually subsonic, meaning your pellets are not breaking and breaching the sound barrier. The decibels of an air pistol are also low so as to not cause any hearing impairment. This negates the need for using premium quality ear protection.
With its minimal noise level, you can rest assured that your air rifle won’t spook away your target, thus allowing you to put in multiple shots. When you use the traditional firearm rifle, every shot seems to echo through the woods, putting all wildlife in the area on guard. This makes it imperative that your first shot be the perfect shot- the one that makes the kill. With an air pistol, the activity goes on as usual, without creating full alarm and putting them in flight mode.
The air pistol industry has exploded, and gun users love it. Back in the days air guns were used for smaller game like squirrels, feral pigeons, vermin, and rabbits that were perfect targets for a weapon with limited range and power.
However with all the advancements that have gone into some of the latest models you can now use air pistols to ethically take down medium-sized animals like coyotes, deer, foxes, and hogs.
Air guns like the 45 Colt and the . 44-40 Winchester cartridges can take down a deer and a wide variety of large game under the right conditions with 175-ft pounds of energy. Some brands can put down a coyote with 60-ft pounds of energy. At first glance, these energy levels appear low, but your skill as a hunter and the shot placement can make all the difference that you need. Remember that a tactically placed air pistol pellet can kill your target as efficiently as a firearm and with less damage to the animals’ tissues.
Investing in a gun, whatever type it is, would involve ongoing costs for bullets and perhaps even for training to level up your skill. When it comes to an air gun the cost of pellets alone gives you a major benefit when compared to the money you need for buying bullets.
In the long run, it is friendlier and more economical. Consider this as a point of comparison when it comes to bullets and pellets. For about $40, you can get more or less 390 shots with regular ammunition, while that same amount, when used to purchase pellets, can give you 2,000 shots.
The trigger time will definitely be longer, and since you use it frequently, you can improve your shooting skills faster. You don’t need to drive to the shooting range or enroll in a program to level up your skills. With ammo-pellets being cheaper and in abundance, you can have more time to hunt instead of being in a staged surrounding.
When shooting with your usual firearm, you can easily give up your spot when you cock or reload your gun. Most of the guns today are cumbersome when reloading because instead of focusing on narrowing down your final shot, you end up preoccupied with reloading your weapon.
You will never have this problem with an air gun because most are designed to break barrels, which allow you to seamlessly cock your gun. You simply have to break the barrel down on its hinge, load your match grade ammo and yield the barrel to its upright position. This simple process also prevents any possible jamming because it is almost impossible to load your pellets incorrectly.
Air Pistol Accessories Guide
Air pistols use BBs, pellets, or both. Steel BBs are the cheapest and most common, while pellets are best for accuracy and power.
When buying cartridges, go for portable and lightweight designs made of stainless steel that can easily fit in your backpack or pocket. It is also practical to opt for refillable bottles since they are a more eco-friendly option.
This can make your plinking activities and target practice more enjoyable. Purchase resettable targets that are 100% portable and one that is made of industrial-grade steel so you can enjoy it for more years to come.
The holster should make carrying your air rifle comfortable while ensuring your gun is secure to avoid any possible accidents. There are many different ways to carry holsters, and your purpose for carrying your air pistol can impact if you want to wear it concealed or outside your waistband, over your shoulder, or on your ankles.
Best Air Pistol on the Market for – Beginners, Training and Hunting
Best for Beginners
For the complete newbie, getting a complicated air rifle with all the features packed in a single weapon can be overwhelming and scary. It is best to start with an air pistol with the bare essentials and some premiums until you get comfortable handling more complicated ones. For beginners, the Sig Sauer MPX CO2 Air Rifle and the Gamo Whisper Fusion Air Rifle are great choices.
Best for Training
Constantly improving your skill when aiming and shooting is a must for any gun enthusiast. If you want to level up using your air rifle, you are better off investing in either a SIG Sauer P365 BB or a Umarex Glock 19 Gen 3.
Best for Hunting
If you are a pro at hunting and looking for accuracy and power then based on reviews and multiple feedbacks, the best air pistol for hunting is the Benjamin Trail NP XL Magnum.
So What is the Best Air Pistol?
Purchasing the best air pistol is indeed a little overwhelming but an entirely doable task. Depending on whether you’re buying an air pistol for protection, for hunting or even for fun, you need to research first, scout around for different options, understand their pros and cons more and be very meticulous with your brand choices. Easier said than done, I agree.
It also pays-off to do a little self-assessment so you can really identify what you need and want in an air gun. Your preferences and expectations play a big factor in deciding which one you will purchase finally.
Don’t rush into buying an air pistol unless and until you are 100% confident and satisfied with your decision because, after all, it will be you and only you who would be enjoying the premiums or adjusting with the compromises.