We decided we wanted to try out a few air guns, and couldn’t decide which ones we liked the most. Seeing as we all like killing varmints in our backyards, especially in the spring, we wanted to find out which air rifle was truly the best. We tested over 20 guns head-to-head to determine the best airgun for adults. At first we narrowed it down to the top six guns – Gamo Varmint Velocity, Gamo Swarm Maxxim, Benjamin Titan, Beeman RS2, Air Arms TX200 MkIII, and Umarea Gauntlet.
We found that there is a huge variability in speed, range, and other factors, so after conducting hundreds of hours of testing with these things to identify the ultimate best airgun, we concluded that the best airguns for adults are Umarea Gauntlet and the Gamo Swarm Maxxim, though there are pros and cons to all the guns we tested.
Style of Air Rifles Tested for Backyard Shooting
It is important to note that the models that run off of CO2, such as the Winchester Model M14 and the Crosman 1077, are in our opinion just not powerful enough for vermint hunting, so we excluded them from the top of our list.
With almost all of the guns, we also found that they were the break barrel style. Something we really liked about the break barrel concept, in general, was just how easy they are to load. But the fact that the whole barrel moves can be a problem, seeming as if it doesn’t lock back up perfectly every time, it can have an effect on your accuracy.
With the break barrel-style rifles, they are more for adults than kids. This is because they are WAY more powerful, and it is more difficult for them to actually break the barrel. It’s also more of a hassle to get your scope aligned perfectly when returning your barrel to it’s shooting position.
Our test also included kids guns like the Daisy Buck and Red Riders, which are all great beginner rifles for those just learning.
A step up from those smaller rifles was the Crossman Pumpmaster 760. With the Crossman you can shoot bb’s and pellets, so it’s a great next step for kids when they are ready to advance beyond the Red Riders. Where you have to pump it multiple times, we wouldn’t recommend it for an adult varmint hunting rifle, though.
Gamo Brand Air Rifles Test Results for Best Adult Airgun
When it comes to the Gamo brand air rifles we found that while they had an entire line of guns, there were very few that we considered buying. That wasn’t because they weren’t all great, but because they practically are all the same thing at very different price points.
You can’t really go wrong with a Gamo air rifle, there just wasn’t as much difference between the different rifles as we were expecting, despite some of them haveing extravagant price tags. With the Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1 priced at $224.99, we found that it was substantially more money than the Gamo Vermint Velocity, which was around $90, but that the only difference was a little bit of noise reduction.
Benjamin Trail & Diana Test Results for Best Adult Airgun
With the Benjamin Trail NP XL, our problem with that gun was simply that it was just too heavy. For a gun with the word trail in it, we wouldn’t recommend carrying it too far into the woods.
Instead, we opted for the Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston, which is much shorter and much lighter, despite the fact that word Titan is in it’s name. Also, after shooting these guns quite a bit and testing them out in the field, we found that the Titan shoots just as good, if not better, as the Trail NP XL, at a much lower cost.
And despite being popular for it’s accuracy, the Diana RWS 34 wasn’t that accurate of an air rifle. Maybe we bought a bad copy, but either way, the Diana didn’t shoot as well as the other rifles on this list.
The Top Six Air Guns for Adults
After narrowing down our list, taking out any rifles that just weren’t powerful enough, or any that didn’t live up to our expectations, we finally landed on the top six air guns.
This list is a bit different than our other Backfire gun lists, where there is usually a winner declared. The top six air rifles here are all great in different ways, and one of them is probably the gun for you, but may not be the best gun for your friend or neighbor.
They all are just so different, it’s more about which gun is specifically the perfect for YOUR needs. We will, though, be sharing which ones are our personal favorites for the best backyard varmint hunting pointer gun.
Gamo Varmint Velocity Test Results for Best Adult Airgun
With the Varmint Velocity, it’s advertised to shoot at 1250ft per second, which is super sonic and would be very loud. After testing the velocities ourselves, we found that almost none of the guns shoot at that velocity.
We didn’t have any problems with the Varmint Velocity being too loud, but that is something to keep in mind. If you’re going to be shooting varmints in the back yard, your neighbors are going to hear a gun that is super sonic and they are going to assume you are shooting a gun that is a .22, which isn’t a great thing.
When we shot the Vermint Velocity we also tested just how loud it was and found that it about 114 decibels, while the other guns were about 104 decibels. While it may not seem like a lot on paper, that 10 decibel difference is substantial.
Our advice, is to never pick an air gun based on velocity though, seeing as the box isn’t that accurate, and all of the guns we tested shot fast enough for serious, adult varmint hunting anyways. If you go too fast, it breaks the sound barrier. With competition air rifles, they will shoot around 850ft per second, so any faster than that is just overkill.
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Test Results for Best Adult Airgun
The difference between the Varmint Velocity and the Swarm Maxxim in terms of price was about $100, with the Swarm Maxxim being more expensive. That’s simply because of the addition of the UFO (IS THIS THE RIGHT TERM?) , which we deemed really useful.
You just load a little magazine with about ten rounds and then you don’t have to load in a pellet every time. While you do have to cock it and break the barrel every time, it does save you a substantial amount of time and energy.
While we thought we would see a difference in accuracy before we tested the Gamo air guns, we did find that just about every Gamo rifle was pretty much the same in terms of shootability. They are all just quarter guns and will shoot that quarter group, which is perfectly acceptable for backyard varmint hunting, but a waste of money if you buy the more expensive gun.
So with the exception of the Swarm Maxxim, the Gamo guns are pretty much exactly the same. So if you are specifically looking for a Gamo air rifle, we would recommend the Swarm Maxxim because of the fact that the magazine.
Benjamin Titan & Beeman RS2 Test Results for Best Adult Airgun
When it comes to air rifles like the Benjamin Titan and the Beeman RS2, we would recommend avoiding choosing wood stocks because its a gun that’s going to be beat around a bit. If you like the aesthetic though, and are looking to actually take good care of the exterior, one of these is a fantastic choice.
When it comes to shootability, our choice between the two would be the Benjamin Titan, hands down. That’s because the Beeman sounds terrible, almost like someone’s vomiting a spring, when it goes off. It shoots well and it’s reasonably priced, but the sound is just horrible.
We really enjoyed shooting the Benjamin Titan because of the thumb hole in the stock. While it’s a different feeling, and not something we were used to with an air rifle, we really liked how it felt.
Air Arms TX200 MkIII Test Results for Best Adult Airgun
While the Air Arms TX200 MkIII is crazy heavy, this air gun is solid and angels sing whenever we pull it out. It’s gorgeous and hands down the most beautiful gun on this list, (along with the most expensive.) It’s also the only one we bought with the underlever, which is nice because it helps with accuracy.
Loading it is a little bit more a pain because instead of that open barrel where you can just drop a pellet in, you have to get your fingers up in the gun. We dropped numerous pellets trying to load that thing, so keep that in mind if you don’t have smaller fingers that can fit easily, it will be a lot more difficult.
The safety also turns on every time you cock it, and there is no way to put the safety back on without just shooting it, which is really annoying. And the position of the safety is not easy to get to. So we all ended up really hating that aspect of this gun.
Nonetheless, the Air Arms is extremely fun to use, comfortable to shoot, and very accurate. You will shoot the same hole every time without fail. At 30 yards, Ricky ended up shooting only one hole in the paper after three shots. So if you want supreme accuracy and a beautifully made gun, the Air Arms is your best bet.
Umarex Gauntlet Test Results for Best Adult Airgun
The Umarex Gauntlet is a PCP gun, which stands for Pre-Charged Pneumatic. At the top of the gun you will see that there is a what looks like a little scuba tank, which you pre-fill with what also looks like a bigger separate scuba tank.
You have the fill up the tank with air, either using a compressor (the compressor you have from Harbor Freight won’t work, you need to take it to a actual scuba shop) or you need to spend a $1000 on a compressor made specifically for air guns. While buying the tank is expensive, filling up the tank is only about $10, it’s just a hassle to take it to the store every time.
The great thing about this gun, though, is that it is substantially quieter, there is zero recoil, and it is a true semi-auto. You’re quick just running the bolt and you can get to shooting really quickly. It’s also extremely accurate, as we all shot eraser size groups with this gun. You also don’t have to come off that stock much to break that barrel, you can just pull that bolt back.
It’s also the cheapest PCP air gun you can buy at only $300. That was unheard of when it first came out, so it’s cool to be able to experience this type of gun at this price point. It’s maybe not the best implementation of a PCP gun, as it does have it’s problems. Namely, the bolt is really stiff, the magazine is difficult to figure out, and it’s a little annoying to have to refill the tank attached to the gun after about 65 rounds.
Top Two Best Airguns for Adults
When it came down to it, our choices were the Gamo Swarm Maxim and the Umarex Gauntlet. Both of these guns have a magazine and have a similar concept, so the convenience of the whole thing was just so nice.
Despite our love of the Air Arms TX200, it just didn’t stand up against the other guns because of the price point, which is extremely high, and the lack of conveniences. If we were competition shooters, that would be another thing, as it would be the perfect gun. But for varmint hunting, it’s just not the right gun.
|Air Rifle Model||Price|
|Ruger Black Hawk||$136.95|
|Gamo Big Cat 1250||$149.99|
|Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1||$224.99|
|Benjamin Trail NP XL||$259.99|
|Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston||$99.99|
|Diana RWS 34||$299.99|
|Gamo Varmint Velocity||$87.71|
|Gamo Swarm Maxxim||$179.99|
|Air Arms TX200 MkIII||$629.99|
Check Us Out On YouTube
For more visuals of these guns and just how to use them, check out our YouTube video below.