5 Best Air Rifle Under $300 – Which One Should You Get?

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Are you wanting the quiet accuracy of an air rifle to hunt small game or get rid of pests around the place, but can’t justify putting down a lot of cash on an air rifle? There is good news for you, because you can get a high quality model for under $300. The top of our list for the best air rifle under $300 is the Bear River TPR 1200 (Check Price on Amazon.com).

The Bear River gives you all of the features you need and want in a firearm, but is still reasonably priced and a lot easier to justify purchasing than equivalent models with a price tag well over $300. Selecting the best model for you is a matter of personal preference and there are certain features which one user prefers over others. Take a look at our buyers guide in order to make a well informed decision.

How to Choose The Best One

Before getting into some of the basic features to look for in a quality air rifle, there are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself. Let’s take a look at those two questions.

How are you going to use?

There are three reasons that people purchase firearms: varmint control, hunting or target shooting. Of course, you can use your firearm for any or all three, but knowing that it is limited to small game and also a safer alternative in areas where a more powerful firearm might be more dangerous gives a lot of users peace of mind. The size of what you are shooting at and the range you expect to be able to approach them are also factors in the use of a firearm.

At what range do you intend to be shooting at your target?

The effective range of one air rifle varies from the next. Here are the four basic classifications of firearmss:

Light. Plinking and pest control below a range of 35 yards.
• Medium. More aggressive than your average BB gun with a range from 35 to 50 yards.
• Magnum (high). Greater range and power from 50 to 70 yards can be had with this class.
• Super magnum. A specialized air powered weapon which ranges from 75 to 90 yards. As a general rule, you are probably not going to get this weapon for under $300.

Additional Considerations

Once you have decided the purpose and range requirements of the firearm you desire to purchase, you can look at a number of other considerations in order to make a choice that better suits your needs and preferences.

Calibers

A major factor in how you use your firearms is caliber. The calibers vary from 0.177 up to 0.25 calibers. The effective range and speed of the projectile is related to the force behind launching the projectile well as the weight of the projectile. A heavier caliber projectile will have more kill force, but their range and velocity will be limited. A lighter caliber projectile might increase speed and velocity, but lack some of the kill force necessary for larger game.

Open Sights vs. Scopes

Since it does not have a range over 75 to 90 yards, using open sights is fine and can keep the cost down significantly. However, some users have a better experience and prefer to have a mounted scope on their firearms. A single magnification scope of less than 5×32 is really a better option for a scope and will provide all the accuracy and magnification necessary. A variable scope tends to need a great deal more adjustment and magnifications higher than 4×32 in the effective range of a firearm tend to blur the target.

Trigger Quality

With a tight trigger, the added pressure necessary to fire the weapon pulls some users off of the target slightly. With other users, a light trigger or a hair trigger sometimes makes them shoot too early. Quality firearms allow for adjusting the sensitivity of the trigger so that you can get the most accuracy out of your weapon.

Finish

When it comes to finish, durability, weight and balance are often deciding factors. A large percentage of firearms are constructed out of durable synthetic material which wears well and tends to keep the weapons lighter. Balance is often a very subjective thing which varies from one person to the next, but what it really comes down to is how comfortable the weapon feels when you are using it. In addition to the above deciding factors, finish can often be an indicator of the quality invested into the design and construction of your firearm as well.

Combining all of the features discussed in our guide, the goal to keep in mind is to choose the model with the necessary range and features for the purpose you intend to use your weapon, but to get those features at a price which fits your budget. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at 5 of the best models for under $300.


top 5 air guns under $300


Rank Product Review Score
1
Bear River TPR
9.9 Buy on Amazon
2
Ruger Magnum
9.8 Buy on Amazon
3
Benjamin Prowler
9.6 Buy on Amazon
4
Whisper Fusion Mach
9.5 Buy on Amazon
5
Umarex Targis
9.3 Buy on Amazon

Top Rated Picks On The Market


1. Bear River TPR 1200

Bear River TPR 1200

Loaded with basic quality design and some pretty awesome features, The Bear River TPR is a quality, multi-purpose model. This rifle features a synthetic stock with an ergonomic pistol grip handle as well as a rifled steel barrel, an adjustable 2-stage trigger and a single magnification scope mounted on a 6” picatinny rail.

Specs:

• Caliber: 0.177
• Speed: 1300 fps
• Site: 4×32 scope

The high velocity and range on the Bear River is impressive. Its features an attractive design to go along with that power, range and accuracy, which is enhanced by the pistol grip handle. It avoids the issues involved with a variable magnification scope and is really set apart from the rest of the field when it comes to affordable quality.

pros

  • Well-designed, durable, synthetic stock with pistol grip handle.
  • Single magnification scope with quality mounting.
  • High range accuracy.
  • 2-stage adjustable trigger.
  • Can perform well in all three categories of use.

cons

  • The 0.177 caliber might be too light for larger small game hunting.

2. Ruger Magnum Combo

Ruger Magnum Combo

The Magnum Combo is backed by a quality name in firearm manufacturing. Besides carrying Ruger’s trusted name, it features breaking barrel, single shot cocking and delivers the projectile downrange using a high powered spring piston. It also includes a 2-stage adjustable trigger, a durable synthetic stock and a mounted scope.

Specs:

• Caliber: 0.22
• Speed: 1200 fps
• Site: 4×32 scope

When it comes to small game hunting or pest control, the Magnum Combo has plenty of kill force in its higher caliber projectile without a significant decrease in its range or velocity. Backed by the Ruger brand name, you can be assured of its quality. Its single magnification scope is adequate for its range and you will not sacrifice accuracy and balance with this air gun. This is a nearly equal alternative to the Bear River.

pros

  • Durable, synthetic stock.
  • 0.22 caliber with decent speed.
  • Scope is adequate for the range.
  • 2-stage adjustable trigger.
  • Well-known manufacturer with a quality design.

cons

  • If you are into competitive target shooting, this might not be your choice.

3. Benjamin Prowler Nitro Piston

Benjamin Prowler Nitro Piston

Being 70% quieter than your typical spring powered model is one of the features of the Benjamin Prowler Nitro Piston which will capture and hold your attention. This product features a high quality, synthetic stock, a 2-stage, adjustable trigger, a mounted scope, and a rifled steel barrel. This rifle also carries the backing of the Crosman name which has been synonymous with air rifles for decades.

Specs:

• Caliber: 0.177
• Speed: 1200 fps
• Site: 4×32 scope

Bringing together some of the best features and variety of uses, the Benjamin Prowler is also a well-designed and built firearm backed by a well-known brand. This rifle has enough power for hunting small game, pest control or competitive target shooting, but lacks just a touch of the speed of the Bear River. It has a sensible single magnification scope to keep the cost and maintenance down and is not a bad choice when compared to the two models we already reviewed.

pros

  • Durable, synthetic stock.
  • Multi-purpose power and velocity.
  • Sensible 4x32 scope.
  • 2-stage adjustable trigger.
  • Well-known brand name manufacturer.

cons

  • 0.177 caliber might be a little light for larger small game.

4. Whisper Fusion Mach 1 

Whisper Fusion Mach 1

The IGT Mach 1 gas piston provides plenty of power behind either a 0.22 caliber or 0.177 caliber projectile. The Whisper Fusion Mach 1 also makes use of the most advanced noise reduction technology which is patented by the manufacturer. This rifle features a durable synthetic stock, a custom action trigger (CAT) and a variable magnification scope.

Specs:

• Caliber: 0.177 or 0.22
• Speed: 1420 fps (.177) or 1020 fps (.22)
• Site: 3-9×32 variable scope

The Whisper Fusion lands in the middle of the rifles reviewed above. The 0.177 caliber option has a higher velocity than the others, but the 0.22 caliber option is a great deal slower than the Ruger Magnum we already reviewed. That leaves you in something of a pickle when it comes to making your choice. What tips the scales, is the variable scope, which requires more adjustment than a single magnification scope, is heavier and simply isn’t necessary on a firearm for hunting. Though you can’t help being impressed by the 5 year warranty, it is overpriced because of its scope. Put on a single magnification scope and the 0.177 caliber option jumps to the top of the review.

pros

  • Durable, synthetic stock.
  • 0.177 caliber option has excellent velocity.
  • Noise reduction technology
  • CAT trigger.
  • 5 year warranty.

cons

  • Variable magnification scope causes unnecessary problems and makes gun overpriced.
  • 0.22 caliber option is slow.

5. Umarex 3-9X32 Scope Ruger Targis Hunter

Umarex 3-9X32 Ruger Targis

Also backed by the Ruger brand name, the Umarex Targis Hunter features quality design features that are meant to impress. It features an all-weather, synthetic stock, a two-stage trigger, noise suppression system and a mounted variable power scope.

Specs:

• Caliber: 0.22
• Speed: 1000 fps
• Site: 3-9×32 variable scope

It is also back by Ruger quality and probably would be an okay purchase. This is a decent model, but it is underpowered. If it fired a 0.177 caliber projectile instead of a 0.22 caliber projectile, its velocity and accuracy would probably see quite a bit of improvement. Besides being underpowered the variable magnification scope also takes away from its attractiveness as a top option.

pros

  • Quality, synthetic stock.
  • 0.22 caliber is good for larger small game.
  • 2-stage trigger adjustment.
  • Backed by a quality brand name in firearms.

cons

  • 0.22 caliber projectile is too much for the power supply of this rifle.
  • The variable magnification scope adds unnecessary price and problems to this rifle.

Our Top CHoice

Bear River TPR 1200

Purchasing one allows you a number of close range options for use around your home which a higher powered firearm might be dangerous. Selecting a model can provide you with a safer alternative and it is easier to justify a purchase that costs you less than $300. For model under $300, you can hardly go wrong with the Bear River TPR 1200 Hunting.

The high velocity and range on the Bear River is impressive. Its features an attractive design to go along with that power, range and accuracy, which is enhanced by the pistol grip handle. It avoids the issues involved with a variable magnification scope and is really set apart from the rest of the field when it comes to affordable quality.

Finding the best model under $300 which fits your needs and preferences can be achieved and you can easily become a satisfied owner of an accurate and safe weapon to use around your place. Whether you choose the model we recommend or simply make use of our guide for how to choose the best air rifle, you can make a well informed decision and start enjoying the quiet accuracy of an air rifle.