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.

Our top choice is the Bear River TPR 1200.

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.

If you are looking for all air rifles for any use or budget, check out our comparison.


Bear River TPR 1200

OUR BEST CHOICE

Bear River TPR


How to Choose The Best Sub $300 Air Gun?

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 it?

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

Additional Considerations

Calibers

Open Sights vs. Scopes

Trigger Quality

Finish


Top Rated Picks On The Market


PROS

  • Durable, high quality synthetic stock with pistol grip.
  • Scope mounting and fixed magnification scope is top notch.
  • Budget priced, multi-purpose firearm.
  • 2-stage adjustable trigger
  • Decent range and velocity.

CONS

  • If you want to hunt larger small game, the 0.177 caliber is a little too light.

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.

Ruger Magnum Combo


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

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.

Benjamin Prowler Nitro Piston


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

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.

Whisper Fusion Mach 1


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
  • exclamation-circle
    0.22 caliber option is slow

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.

Umarex 3-9X32 Ruger Targis


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
  • exclamation-circle
    The variable magnification scope adds unnecessary price and problems to this rifle

Umarex 3-9X32 Scope Ruger Targis Hunter

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.


Our Top Choice

Bear River TPR 1200

Bear River TPR 1200

For an air rifle 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.