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Air pistols are a great way to have some shooting fun without the need for a full range, hearing protection, and all the other things that go along with shooting firearms.
Obviously, you still need to be safe about it. But you have a lot more options when it comes to shooting air pistols, and they’re a much safer alternative to true firearms for recreational activities like bachelor parties (again, keep the emphasis on safety).
So an air pistol is a handy little tool to have in your collection.
Our Best Choice
Umarex Glock 17 Gen3 CO2 Air Pistol
SPOILER—if you want an air pistol that’s outstanding for anything you’d do with an air pistol, get the Umarex Glock 17 Gen3 CO2 Air Pistol. It works great. And it’s got the exact same ergonomics as a true Glock 17 pistol.
If you’d like something else, read around this article. We’ll cover the best air pistols in every category.
Top Air Pistol on the Market Today
The Best Air Pistol Reviews: Good, Clean Fun
Our winning air pistol is up first. The remaining challengers are organized in order of price.
The most affordable air pistols are near the top. And the most luxurious air pistols are near the bottom.
Time to pop off a few pellets.
1. Umarex Glock 17 Gen3 CO2 Air Pistol - Overall Best Air Pistol
The Umarex Glock 17 Gen3 CO2 Air Pistol mimics the form factor of one the most popular pistols in the world: the Glock 17. And, it’s not just a gimmick. This air pistol works really well.
First, you should know that this pellet pistol only shoots .177 caliber BBs, no pellets. That’s fine for recreation and training. But you won’t be able to do much hunting with this pistol, if you can hunt with it at all.
However, this air gun is well constructed. The slide is metal and the frame is polymer, just like an actual Glock. So it will last for a long time.
And all the controls work the same as a true Glock pistol. The trigger has the same blade safety, and the magazine can be removed.
Even the trigger press and action are very similar to an actual Glock. So this air pistol is also a great training tool, if you’re a Glock shooter.
When you’re shooting, this pistol shoots BBs at up to 365 feet per second. It’s enough for shooting paper and light targets at typical air gun distances. However, since the magazine holds 18 BBs, you can burn through CO2 cartridges pretty quickly.
But burning through CO2 cartridges is all part of the fun. If you want an air pistol that very closely matches a true pistol in both form and function, this is the air gun to get.
2. Browning Buckmark URX .177 Caliber Air Pistol - Budget Air Pistol
The Browning Buckmark URX .177 Caliber Air Pistol is the perfect air pistol for anyone who doesn’t need their air pistol to do anything especially tactical. But just because it’s not tactical doesn’t mean it’s not good.
This air gun shoots .177 caliber pellets. And it fires them at 320 feet per second from a rifled barrel. So it’s powerful and precise enough for target practice and recreation.
However, most users have found that it’s not quite strong enough to kill small animals, which makes it less than ideal for hunting and pest control.
But the ergonomics are great. The grip is super comfortable. And the cocking action is easy. Although, cocking and loading is a tad complex, since you have to cock the spring and break the barrel to add another pellet.
However, the trigger is very nice. The sights are adjustable. And it has a rail for mounting an optic, if you want one. So it’s a comfortable and precise air pistol.
Overall, this Browning air pistol is an excellent option if you want a pellet pistol for casual recreation or shooting practice.
3. Sig Sauer P320-M17 CO2 Powered Air Pistol - Value Air Pistol
The Sig Sauer P320-M17 CO2 Powered Air Pistol is another one that mimics the form and function of an actual firearm, the Sig M17. The M17 is the U.S. military service pistol.
This air gun fires .177 caliber pellets at up to 430 feet per second. The pellet velocity is solid. More than enough for typical plinking and training. However, it’s not powerful enough for hunting or pest control.
But the construction and ergonomics are outstanding.
The slide is metal and reciprocates just like an actual M17 pistol. And all the controls are exactly what you would find on the actual firearm. So this is an excellent training platform.
Also, the magazine ejects just like a true firearm.
Something to note about this air pistol is that you need to lubricate all the friction surfaces, including the magazine. Most firearms don’t require lubrication on the magazine. But this air pistol tends to malfunction if the magazine is dry.
But, other than that, it shoots great and is remarkably comfortable (just as comfortable as a real M17). It’s an excellent air gun for fun or training.
4. Umarex Legends M712 - Replica Air Pistol
The Umarex Legends M712 is an excellent replica of the German M712. Most people will never see an actual M712 in person. But this replica is a decent stand-in for the real thing. However, it’s not just a replica.
This air pistol shoots .177 caliber BBs at up to 360 feet per second. And it offers both fully automatic and semi-automatic firing modes. So this air gun is super fun.
It also has a realistic, all-metal blowback action that’s durable. And it gives a more realistic shooting experience.
The rear sight is adjustable. So you can zero the sights for more precise shooting.
And the magazine holds 18 BBs and drops free when you need to reload. Overall, this BB gun delivers an excellent shooting experience.
However, the barrel is a smooth bore and 360 feet per second isn’t quite enough to penetrate animal hide. So this air pistol isn’t ideal for hunting or pest control.
But it’s an impressive reproduction of a legendary World War II pistol that’s remarkably fun to shoot.
5. Benjamin Marauder Air Pistol - Air Pistol for Long Range Shooting
This one is kind of cheating, since it’s only technically a pistol. But the Benjamin Marauder Air Pistol is hands-down the best option for those who want an air pistol for long range shooting.
First, this air pistol fires .22 caliber pellets at up to 700 feet per second. That’s enough to give you excellent range. This air pistol is precise enough for shooting out to 20 or 25 yards.
And it’s powerful enough for hunting and pest control. However, it’s not quite strong enough for anything larger than squirrels or small rabbits.
The bolt-action and 8-shot rotary magazine is great for taking quick shots.
And the 2-stage adjustable trigger makes it easy to get the precision you need, whether you’re hunting or target shooting.
There’s very little take up and the break is exceptionally clean, which makes it easy to break every shot without shifting your point of aim.
When you need maximum precision, you can use the detachable stock to fire this pistol from your shoulder, like an air rifle.
The only real drawback to this Benjamin pistol is that it’s about as big as a rifle. So if you need a compact air pistol, this won’t work for you.
But if precision and power are what you want, this is the air pistol to get. It’s a pistol that delivers rifle-like performance.
Time to Have Some Fun
Air pistols are great fun. And they can be a useful training tool, if you get one that matches your actual firearms. You’ll get tons of value from your air pistol, if you buy smart.
Umarex Glock 17 Gen3 CO2 Air Pistol
Need a good air pistol that will just work for everything? Get the Umarex Glock 17 Gen3 CO2 Air Pistol. It’s an excellent air pistol that can be used as a training tool if you also shoot Glock handguns.
So there it is. If you’re only shooting real guns, you’re limiting yourself. Get an air pistol and shoot more, for less, in more places.