One reason airgun shooting is growing in popularity is because it’s a sport that remains accessible to all. With that in mind, we’ve gathered together some of our top choices of guns, optics and gear for a huge range of applications that will deliver a positive and enjoyable shooting experience.
AIR ARMS S510 TACTICAL
Air Arms’ new S510 Tactical combines the proven action of the S510 with an ergonomic and functional AR-15-style stock, which lets the user change the way the rifle is configured to suit the type of shooting they’re about to do.
ATAMAN BP17 MICRO BULLPUP
Russian firm Ataman has taken the bullpup concept to the extreme with the BP17, which has an overall length of just 605mm. This little PCP is regulated and moderated, and comes in a choice of soft-touch black or walnut stocks.
BROCOCK RANGER XR
Some airgun hunters need to travel light, while others shoot from confined areas. Brocock’s Ranger XR will find itself at home in any of these scenarios as it’s a super-compact and accurate airgun that also has a folding stock.
BSA ULTRA CLX
The Ultra CLX is a brand new variant of this classic PCP that’s available in a beech stock or a First Edition with a sumptuous walnut handle. One of the key updates is the monobloc action, improving reliability and efficiency.
DAYSTATE DELTA WOLF
This is an airgun like no other, pushing the boundaries of technology and accuracy, being equipped with a touchscreen and electronics to provide a huge degree of adaptability and control. It’s a significant investment, but it’s leading the pack.
GAMO WHISPER X SWARM
The magazine-fed Whisper X Swarm’s ability to offer a multi-shot capability from a break-barrel gas-ram makes this rifle a good contender for anyone looking for fun on the plinking range or a fast follow-up shot for shorter range pest control.
FX IMPACT M3
The Impact M3 builds on FX’s proven reputation for producing high-quality and adaptable air rifles. Setting out to replace the MkII as the tuning enthusiast’s airgun of choice is a tall order, but this ballsy bullpup is a worthy successor.
LEE ENFIELD SENTRY
The Sentry is a regulated sporter with tactical styling. It’s also an affordable and yet solidly constructed multi-shot, making it a good choice for people who want to get into recoilless airgun shooting but don’t want to break the bank.
COMETA LYNX SPR
The Lynx is a regulated multi-shot PCP that’s been equipped with a cold hammer-forged barrel. In order to extract the maximum amount of accuracy, the Spanish gunmaker has equipped the stock with a height-adjustable cheekpiece for perfect scope alignment.
NORICA BLACK EAGLE
The Black Eagle has to be one of the most elegant break-barrel springers in Norica’s line-up. It’s not all about looks, however, as it has an adjustable trigger and open sights, and can take a scope via the dovetail rail.
WALTHER LG400 FIELD TARGET
The LG400 Field Target is an example of German engineering at its finest, with the rifle’s inherent accuracy being easy to unlock thanks to the massive degree of adjustability to optimise gun fit. It’s also ideal for HFT and benchrest.
A level of accuracy that belies its price tag means the Reximex Myth won’t let you down at the range or in the field, where you’d be happy to haul it around the farmyard and clamber over gates and fences.
Form and function are two words that come to mind when you first see the Stoeger XM1, but you can add adjustability and accuracy once you start shooting this PCP, which comes with a 3-9×40 scope, mounts and a moderator.
WEBLEY RAIDER CLASSIC
Some thoughtful design features, such as a dual scope rail and adjustable butt pad, along with an excellent trigger make a compelling case for the Webley Raider Classic, a rifle that handles nicely and is accurate enough for the field.
WEIHRAUCH HW110 LAMINATE
The HW110 Laminate maintains a lot of the original model’s practicality and comes supplied with the latest version of Weihrauch’s excellent silencer, while the addition of that elegant laminate stock turns an already great air rifle into something extra special.
Handguns and BB guns
BABA YAGA JW3 STI COMBAT MASTER
John Wick was given the nickname Baba Yaga by a Russian crime boss, and you can wield the same gun as Keanu Reeves’ character in the shape of the JW3 STI Combat Master, a CO2 blowback with a tuned trigger.
BROTHERS IN ARMS M1911 A1
This blowback CO2 version of the Colt M1911 – one of the most recognisable handguns in history – has a full metal action and slide, and weighs in at 950g (3.1lb), the same weight and dimensions as the original.
UMAREX GLOCK 17 GEN 5
Umarex is excellent at making replica airguns under licence, and the Glock 17 Gen 5 is probably the closest to a powder-burning original that we’ve ever seen, with the Gen 5 fifth generation revisions centring on improved ergonomics and reliability.
LEGENDS M1A1 LEGENDARY
The blowback M1A1 Legendary looks just like the World War II-era Tommy Gun and handles and shoots like a dream. It’s remarkably unfussy when it comes to your choice of ammo, shooting frangible and copper-coated BBs, as well as steel, reliably.
WEBLEY MKVI REVOLVER
Webley’s MkVI Service Revolver was an instant hit, and the company’s done it again with two new models. The Mark VI Police and Civilian revolvers have 4in and 2.5in barrels respectively, and are available in .177 and .22.
WINCHESTER 4.5 SPECIAL
Winchester’s 4.5 Special is a lovely looking, pellet-firing revolver that’s easy to shoot. It is reassuringly hefty due to its all-metal construction, offering old-school fun-gunning at an old-school price, with an overall finish that’s quite luxurious.
PRECISION RIFLE SYSTEMS
Cheshire-based Precision Rifle Systems, better known as PRS, works with airgun manufacturers such as Daystate and FX to develop high-quality, CNC-machined rifle parts, such as adjustable buttplates, rails and cheek riser kits so you can achieve that all-important gun fit.
If some shots appear worse than others then head size could be the issue. If ultra-consistent ammo is important to you, the PelletgageR system will let you sort a tin of pellets to a specific head size in minutes, not hours.
Rowan’s massive range of aftermarket parts includes everything from single-shot adapters to scope risers and barrel bands to butt plates, while this HW97 has been fitted with a trigger guard and set back trigger blade to reduce length of pull.
IMPACT KINETICS POCKET ZERO
The Pocket Zero is a portable paper target holder that lets you check zero virtually anywhere there’s a safe backstop, making it one of those essential accessories that every airgun shooter should own. It also folds flat for easy stowage.
Bisley’s paper targets are brilliant for initial zeroing, checking holdover at varying distances and pellet testing. And, of course, they’re perfect for competition use, with pellet holes in the Grade 1 targets showing up nice and crisp to aid scoring.
BURRIS FOUR XE
The three models in the Four Xe range offer light transmission, optical clarity and handling, as well as a choice of reticles for different applications. They parallax down to 20 metres, and we’d go for the 6-24×56 for precision shooting.
NIKKO STIRLING MOUNTMASTER AO 4-12×50 HMD
All models in Nikko’s MountMaster AO series feature an adjustable objective that parallaxes down to 10 yards. This particular model benefits from a decent 4-12x magnification range and a Half Mil Dot Reticle, which offers plenty of aim points.
ELEMENT OPTICS HELIX 6-24x50L
There’s plenty to like in the Helix, especially the positive turrets, clear glass, smart reticle and versatile range of magnification. While this scope was launched as a second focal plane model, there’s now a first focal plane option, too.
HAWKE SIDEWINDER 30 FFP 4-16×50
Fit one of these to your rifle and you’ll be repaid with a versatile and high-quality first focal plane optic that will take on pretty much any airgun shooting task you throw at it – and do it in style.
MTC KING COBRA 4-16×50 F2
Truly stunning glass with great edge-to-edge clarity and a raft of other features earn the second focal plane King Cobra 4-16×50 F2 a definite place on the shortlist of any airgun shooter wanting the versatility to take on longer-range targets.
IMMERSIVE OPTICS 10×40 COMPACT DAYSCOPE
This prismatic sight, which comes equipped with its own dedicated mounts, is not only light but nice and compact as well, with the standout feature being its ability to offer a wider field of view than a conventional optic.
PAO TOPAZ 3-12X44 IR COMPACT SWAT
If you have a compact rifle then it makes sense to fit a correspondingly compact scope like this 3-12×44 from Professional Airgun Optics, which offers side parallax adjustment and comes with its own set of mounts, lens covers and sidewheel.
ZEISS CONQUEST V4 4-16×44
Zeiss scopes have become available to airgun shooters at last, as the Conquest V4 range now parallaxes down to 10 yards. Shooters investing in this high-end scope will be getting one of the sharpest and brightest sight pictures available.
Sportsmatch has a massive range of mounts to cover virtually any scope-mounting scenario you can think of. Set HT0113MM, for example, is suitable for scopes with a body diameter of 30mm and a rifle with a wider-than-usual 13mm dovetail rail.
Memberships & Ranges
The British Association for Shooting & Conservation promotes and protects sporting shooting and its conservation role across the UK. It represents members’ interests by providing an effective and unified voice for sustainable shooting, and has special membership categories for airgun shooters.
Whatever your level of shooting experience, the team at Crackshot are there to help you. Crackshot has three indoor ranges, including a 20-metre air rifle range with a choice of card, spinning and knockdown targets, and a rapid-fire pistol range.
Rifleman Firearms offers a variety of shooting experiences and has both fullbore and air rifle ranges to let you zero your scope, test your pellets or just plink. There’s also a CO2 pistol training area for BB and pellet-firing handguns.
AIRGUN SHOOTER SUBSCRIPTION
Airgun Shooter is here with news, reviews and features to help you get the very best out of your sport – while enjoying every minute of it. Whether your passion is hunting, target shooting or plinking, there’s something for everyone.
ATN X-SIGHT LTV 3-9X
ATN has done a great job of trimming down the X-Sight 4K Pro and focusing on the most-needed features for the lighter LTV. Whereas other models were intended primarily for centrefire use, the LTV is absolutely ideal for airgun shooters.
FENIX HM65R SHADOWMASTER
The ShadowMaster is a hunting headlamp featuring a powerful main beam and red floodlight. The lowest red light setting of five lumens is particularly useful for protecting your night vision and is less likely to spook quarry than white light.
BRINYTE T28-IR ARTEMIS
The T28-IR is a neat torch that features a simple switch to shuffle through different light sources. It’s also fairly compact, so it fits easily into your jacket pocket when you don’t have it attached to a gun or scope.
NITEVIZOR VP200 XTR
Using an VP200 XTR is a quick and easy way to convert a normal telescopic sight to night vision. The main advantage of an add-on such as this is that you don’t need a dedicated NV rifle, as you just attach this to the rear of your day scope.
PAO LUMENMAX 900 IR
PAO’s two-in-one LumenMAX 900 IR features an LED made by US firm Cree, which produces standard white light for lamping, and there’s a separate module included that converts the light into an IR illuminator for those shooters using night vision.
INFIRAY TUBE TL35
While the Tube is designed to look just like a traditional telescopic sight, even using standard mounts, this feature-packed premium thermal scope will deliver high-end stealth, performance and image quality to airgun shooters who are prepared to make the investment.
PARD NV008P LRF
With just about all the features of more expensive units, especially the ones you need, the NV008P LRF day/night digital scope with integrated laser rangefinder is an attractive proposition, all wrapped up in a compact and lightweight form.
SIGHTMARK WRAITH 4K MAX
The original Wraith remains a thoroughly competent IR scope, however, the Wraith 4K Max is a step up, providing plenty of features and functions, such as 1-8x digital amplification, MP4 recording and a crisp image, while remaining easy to use.
PULSAR THERMION XM30
This is Pulsar’s most revolutionary thermal imaging riflescope to date, combining the latest thermal technology into a standard day scope design. It’s straightforward to use and the enhanced thermal sensor offers improved detail and thermal accuracy.
ZEISS DTI 3/25 THERMAL IMAGING CAMERA
Night-time and dusk play an important role for airgun hunters, and the new DTI 3/25 provides a huge helping hand in the shape of an enlarged field of view and high-quality, detailed images, even in foggy or humid conditions.
AIR ARMS DIABOLO FIELD
With a name like Diabolo Field, this pellet may sound as if it’s geared towards the airgun hunter, but it’s a truly great all-rounder that’s more than accurate enough to be taken to the range or used in competition.
BSA GOLD STAR
Cleanly made, consistent and highly accurate in the right barrel, BSA’s all-new Gold Star pellets certainly live up to their name. They would make a great addition to any airgun shooter’s ammo locker, whatever their chosen discipline or field application.
If you’re a target shooter or hunter who’s looking for a heavyweight, long-range pellet that remains accurate at distance, then it’s time to uncork the Magnum. This cleanly made and consistent airgun icon has withstood the test of time well.
H&N BARACUDA 18
The Baracuda 18 is a projectile that bridges the gap between two of H&N’s most popular pellets in .22 calibre, delivering excellent accuracy out to 40 yards and proving H&N’s assertion that it’s a versatile and consistent pellet.
Hades pellets have a segmented pattern to aid head expansion on impact with the quarry. They pass the standard five pence piece group-sized accuracy test with ease, proving that domeheads don’t necessarily need to be smooth to display ballistic brilliance.
Rangemaster Sovereign pellets are consistently well made and deliver reliable results. They may be made for Daystate, but with a high level of accuracy on offer it really doesn’t matter which brand of rifle you own – just shoot them.
RWS SUPER FIELD
With the right barrel it’s easy to see why Super Fields are so well regarded on the competition shooting circuit. With the results we’ve seen in our tests, you can add hunting and precision plinking into the mix, too.
FX HYBRID SLUGS
Hybrid Slugs are a blend of pellet and slug, benefiting from a high ballistic coefficient by sharing the external dimensions of a slug of a heavier weight, while having a hollow core and deep recessed base to keep it lighter.
PRO HUNTER SWAGING
Pro Hunter’s hand-swaged slugs are beautifully made and accurate, and there’s a choice of weights, from heavy to light, so they can be shot in sub-12ft-lb rifles, not just FAC, making this ammo accessible to regular shooters as well.
The Juggernaut is designed for long-range shooting at 100 metres and beyond, including benchrest. This “air bullet’’ works best in barrels with only a slight choke or no choke at all, such as those that are fitted to Daystate and Brocock rifles.
Wildman’s aim is to produce consistent, accurate, high-quality rounds, and the business’s rolling development programme has resulted in an ever-growing range of hand-swaged slugs. The line-up includes calibres from .177 to .30 in a wide selection of weights and designs.
Clothing and Accessories
HAWKE LRF 400 LASER RANGEFINDER
There’s no room for guesswork when it comes to ranging live quarry, and that’s where the LRF 400 comes in. This laser rangefinder lets you measure the distance accurately from six to 400 metres at the press of a button.
ADRAS V8 TILT & SWIVEL QR STUD BIPOD
The Adras is a versatile bipod that can only be fitted to rifles with a Picatinny fixture. But that’s all changed with the introduction of the Adras V8, because this variant fits directly to a standard quick-release sling swivel stud.
CASSTRÖM NO. 10 SWEDISH FOREST KNIFE
This full-tang knife is tough enough for general bushcraft tasks while remaining dextrous enough for more delicate jobs, such as jointing a rabbit or squirrel, or breasting a woodpigeon. It comes with a vegetable-tanned leather sheath and a choice of handles.
AIGLE PARCOURS 2 BOOTS
The handmade boots in the Parcours 2 range have natural rubber uppers and a tri-density anti-fatigue sole to absorb impact and keep your feet comfortable, helping you to walk further without getting tired. They also have a comfortable, anti-bacterial lining.
HILL AIR PUMP MK4
This is a sturdy, well-made and well-priced device that can either be used to supplement a heavy charging cylinder or used as the sole means of filling your PCPs – just requiring a bit of physical effort on your behalf.
NAPIER RAZORBACK BULL PUP DX
Napier has extended its Razorback gun bag range, with the Bull Pup DX having been designed specifically for this type of rifle. There’s even a pocket inside this durable, soft-sided bag that’s used to hold one of Napier’s corrosion-inhibiting VP90 sachets.
The Omega TrailCharger is a portable air compressor that runs on mains electricity at home, but can also run off a 12-volt car battery, making it easy to fill your PCPs and small air cylinders when you are out shooting.
This light cushion is easy to carry, either to the outdoor range or into the field. It’s made from a tough nylon shell and filled with squashy polystyrene balls, creating a waterproof barrier between you and damp or cold ground.
The Spypoint LINK-MICRO-LTE cellular trail camera is super-compact and simple to set up. It takes 10 MP photographs and transmits them to an app on your smartphone or tablet, so you can check out real-time activity in the woods remotely.
Custom Targets is well known for its huge range of fun and challenging targets, but another really popular item is the Pellet Keeper. These are available in .177, .22 and .25 calibres, either individually or as a four-pack deal.
RIDGELINE GRIZZLY III JACKET
There’s a saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather as long as you’ve got the right kit, and the Grizzly III will let you venture outside with your airgun even when the mercury’s plummeting and the wind’s howling.