Best Air Rifles Under $200 – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Are you looking for the best air rifle under $200? If so, you’re in the right place. You can find a really good air rifle at affordable prices. If you’re someone who is always on a budget, chances are that you’re always going to look for something within a certain price range.

Using an air rifle that is excellent in quality and performance is a lot of fun. And depending on the application, you’ll need one that will go above and beyond the call of duty. To help you find one that will fit you best, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of six air rifles that are considered the best.

Before we get to that, we’ll talk about which components consist of an air rifle that is priced at just south of $200. We’ll also talk about the additional characteristics and features that make one stand above the rest. 

Comparison of the Best Air Rifles Under $200

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Velocity of 1200 fps.
  • Chambered in .177 shots.
  • Best overall air rifle for under $200.
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  • Chambered in .22 shots.
  • The velocity of up to 700 fps.
  • Runner-up for best air rifle under $200.
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  • 750 fps velocity.
  • Overall measurement of 37.6 inches.
  • Best air rifle for under $200 for the money.
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  • Walnut finished stock.
  • Max velocity of 1000 fps.
  • Best .22 air rifle under $200.
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  • Chambered to fire .177 rounds.
  • Designed for varmint hunting use.
  • Best hunting air rifle for under $200.
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  • Ambidextrous thumb hole.
  • Chambered to fire .177 pellets.
  • Editor’s pick for best air rifle under $200.
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What Are The Components of an Air Rifle Under $200?

Knowing what consists of an air rifle is key, especially one that is available for the price tag of below $200. If you don’t have a clue of how these guns function, you’re not alone. Here are some of the key components that make an air rifle work (regardless if its below $200 or not):

Pump/Cocking Mechanism

Depending on the design or what type of rifle you use, they will always come with some kind of mechanism or lever to ensure that you can load each shot properly before firing. A pump, bolt action, or anything that allows you to cock the gun are must-have components. Without them, you know for sure that you're working with a useless model.

Scope

Some air rifles will have scopes that will allow for better accuracy and the ability for your to hit targets from a really good distance. There is no question that you can reach out and touch something at a distance where even some unscoped alternatives won’t go. This will also depend on certain characteristics that particular options have.

Cartridge/Spring

Some rifles will have a Co2 cartridge or the like for you to power every shot you make. Some will be powered by a gas container, while some will be powered by durable inner springs that will allow force itself to push a shot through. If you want something with a good amount of velocity, you should get a good idea of what powers each shot. 

What Makes a Great Budget Air Rifle

There are a few features and characteristics that will make an air rifle stand out from the rest, especially one that has a low price tag. If you have a good eye for distinguishing a great quality rifle from something that doesn’t live up to the high standards you require, then the search won’t be so difficult. Here are some of the few things that you’ll need to know that make a great rifle stick out:

Price

Yes, we’re talking about rifles that are priced under $200. But keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re throwing quality out the window. What we’re doing is choosing the best quality options that fall under this price range. Cheap quality is the last thing you’ll ever find on this list.

Velocity

Velocity is one of the best features of any air rifle. The faster a weapon can shoot, the better the chance it will hit its mark and perform well enough to meet your standards. A higher velocity rifle will be best for some applications like varmint control. If you can get a shot off quickly and hit the target, chances are time will be in your favor when dealing with a moving target.

Accuracy

Accuracy is another thing that’s important when it comes to finding a rifle. You’ll need to find one that will allow you to shoot straight and consistently hit your shots where you want to. Accuracy always counts when you’re in a competitive situation or when you’re trying to land a knockdown shot against some small invasive critters.

Quick Take - Best Air Rifles Under $200

Review of the Best Air Rifles Under $200

The following is a list of the six best air rifles that are priced under $200. As you go through each one, you should consider taking note of any of the features and characteristics that stand above the other choices. At the same time, you might have a good idea of how your perfect air rifle should look and function.

If you find one that’s close enough, you know that you’ve found a winner. Let’s take a look at our “best overall” choice:

Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

Pros

  • Very fast shooting.
  • Accurate from various ranges.
  • Scope’s image quality is decent.
  • Skelton stock makes this very light in weight.
  • Solid construction; it can take a great deal of impact and abuse.

Cons

  • Scope may not be as reliable for some users.
  • Trigger might be a little difficult to use at times.
  • Some have questioned the actual accuracy.

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were satisfied with the overall performance of the rifle. A lot of people used this for target practicing, while a great number of users have used it for varmint control. Either way, they were able to enjoy accurate, reliable shooting through 100 rounds or more.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle has a skeleton buttstock that makes it surprisingly lightweight. Even better, it has got some power behind each shot. This is exactly how a high-powered rifle should work. Light in weight, but packs an excellent punch. Other than the construction and firepower, it’s accurate from as far out as 30 to 40 yards. Thus, it stands out as a pretty good rifle, whether you’re shooting at stationary targets or moving targets.

Who Will Use This Most

Since it stands out as one of the best general-purpose options on this list, it will be a split down the middle on who will use this the most. One half will use it for casual target shooting or competition purposes. The other half will use it for varmint control. Thankfully, this is also at the right noise level for suburban use. So if you’re looking for a varmint control option that is neighborhood safe, this is the rifle to go with.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The scope included should be done away with. In its place should be a scope that you choose. There are a dozen scopes that you can choose from that will give you better clarity, better accuracy, and easier on the fly adjustments when your shots seem to be a little off to the right or left (or too high or low).

Bottom Line

The Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle is by far one of the best air rifles under $200, and without a shadow of a doubt, it performs like no other affordable alternatives on the market. Get this and you’ll have a rifle that is powerful, lightweight, and can be a dominant force with any application.

Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle (.22)

Pros

  • Incredibly solid construction.
  • Not as noisy as some expect.
  • Excellent for varmint hunting.
  • Tight shooting groups when using iron sights.
  • Pump is smooth; doesn’t jam or cause any issues.

Cons

  • May be a little difficult to pump at first.
  • Iron sights may not be as reliable for some users.

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, this received a great deal of approval from new users. They were able to easily pump the rifle and load each shot quickly. One powerful shot after another, they’ve consistently hit targets from 20 to 30 yards out. One user said that he’s found his new favorite varmint hunting rifle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is chambered in .22 caliber rounds. Indeed, it is considered to be one of the better calibers when pitted against small critters. That’s not to say that a .177 is ineffective. But a .22 can do quite a bit of damage at various distances. Other than that, the rifle is not as noisy as most comparably powerful options. That gives you the green light to do some serious work protecting your property without alerting the entire neighborhood.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by a legion of varmint hunters, especially those who want to protect their property and preserve the value of it. It will work in your favor if you’re looking to ward off any squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and so on. If you haven’t found the best varmint control rifle that fits you best, then you may want to give the Benjamin Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle a closer look.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The pump should be a little more fluid and easy to use. It can get a little gritty at times to the point that it would be a pain to pump it to full power. It should be smooth and easy with consistency. This will pave the way for faster loading and shooting almost every time.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a rifle that will work out as one of the best animal control air rifles on the market, then you’ll enjoy using the Benjamin Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle. It’s got some power behind every shot, but it’s worth every penny each time you use it.

880 Powerline Air Rifle Kit, Dark Brown/Black, 37.6 Inch

Pros

  • Seriously fast shooting.
  • Pump action works great.
  • Great for varmint control.
  • Affordable for most budgets.
  • Accurate shooting from various distances.

Cons

  • May be difficult to cock at times.
  • Some chambering issues have been reported.
  • Scope may not be as reliable for some users.

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of the new buyers were quite satisfied with this rifle in general. Most were able to cock the gun back with ease. The shooting was quite powerful according to one user. He said that it was so quick and powerful that he decided that he was going to rely on this product for varmint control rather than previous alternatives that he’s used.

Why it Stands Out to Us

At this point, it is one of the lowest-priced rifles on the list. Surprisingly enough, the quality and performance prove to be worth a lot more than the price tag itself. The quality is durable enough to take on some impact and abuse. Which isn’t bad considering it’s got a very low price tag.

Who Will Use This Most

Expect this to be a starter air rifle for those who are beginner-level shooters. Especially when they’re looking for a solution to their varmint problem. It’s got quite a bit of power and will work to your advantage when used properly. If you want something low in price but effective for some applications, you’d be crazy to pass up on the opportunity to give this a closer look.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Once again, this is where we suggest that the scope should be done away with. In its place should be a scope that you can be proud of. If you know of a rifle scope that will accept this kind of rifle, then by all means, grab it while you have the opportunity.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a great performing rifle at a good low price, the Powerline Air Rifle will be worth the investment. If you’re new to using these air rifles, this is the perfect rifle to start with. It will work for you no matter which application you use it for.

Best 22 Air Rifle Under $200:
Hatsan Model 95 Combo .22 Rifle, Walnut Stock

Hatsan Model 95 Combo .22 Rifle, Walnut Stock

Pros

  • Scope clarity is decent.
  • Open sights are easy to use.
  • Trigger is decent to use for most users.
  • Incredibly accurate from various distances.
  • Powerful shooting; can easily knock down most varmint targets.

Cons

  • Scope is not the best in quality.
  • Loading might be a bit of a challenge.
  • Some misfirings may have been reported.

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle was quite the hit with new users, especially among those who are looking to make the most out of their animal control application. One user said that he was able to take care of business rather quickly when he had a bit of a squirrel problem in his yard. He said that it fires with some power and doesn’t make a lot of noise.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is by far one of the best air rifles under $200 that is chambered to fire .22 caliber shots. As mentioned earlier, this caliber is hands-down one of the best when it comes to varmint hunting. You can easily knock down a squirrel and even some larger invasive critters like raccoons.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by a lot of beginner users. Most of them will be split down the middle between the target shooters and those who want a decent rifle for varmint hunting. No matter how you use it, it will have a good amount of velocity to quickly reach your target no matter what the distance.

What Could Be Improved and Why

There are a few changes that can be done. First of all, the scope is not the best. So ditching it for a replacement scope of your choosing is a must. Secondly, the cocking mechanism should be a little less difficult to use. The easier you can cock this back boy back, the quicker you can get a shot off.

Bottom Line

The Hatsan Model 95 is probably the best option out of all air rifles under $200 that can fire off .22 rounds with ease. So in essence, it can stand out as one of the best varmint hunting rifles in the business. If you want power, accuracy, and reliability each time you’re warding off small invasive creatures, a rifle like this can get the job done without fail.

Best Hunting Air Rifle Under $200:
Crosman Valiant Break Barrel Hunting Rifle

Crosman CVH17RDNS-WX .177-Caliber Valiant Wood Nitro Piston Elite Powered Break Barrel Air Rifle With 4 x 32mm Scope

Pros

  • Scope clarity is decent.
  • Reliable, powerful shooting.
  • Easy to use two-stage trigger.
  • Does a good job as a varmint rifle.
  • Accurate from across many distances.

Cons

  • Some misfiring has been reported.
  • Scope may not be as reliable for some users.

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers used this to hit targets at various distances with ease and accuracy. One user said that it’s so powerful that he was able to nail his targets a little farther than he expected. Others were able to knock down their varmint targets from a good 25 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is the hunting alternative to a .22 caliber. As mentioned, .177 caliber rifles should not be written off as useless for hunting. The velocity of both rounds is about the same when it's being fired off by a high-powered rifle like this. And sure enough, it gets the job done quickly and efficiently for animal control purposes.

Who Will Use This Most

This weapon will be used by those who like hunting, but hate the idea of using a .22 caliber. This is the kind of rifle you’ll want if you’re looking for something that will be fast, reliable, and can deliver a devastating blow to most small critters. If that’s what you’re looking for in a rifle, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything else like this.

What Could Be Improved and Why

One possible improvement would be to investigate what’s causing the misfirings to happen. Once the manufacturer can figure out what it might be, they can make the adjustments to prevent these misfirings from happening again in the not so distant future.

Bottom Line

If you want a hunting rifle that will work great for .177 rounds, the Crosman Valiant Break Barrel Hunting Rifle will probably be right up your alley. It’s got the speed, the power, and the ability to get the job done at any distance. Squirrels and other varmints won’t stand a chance.

Umarex Ruger 2244020 Explorer Youth .177 Caliber pellet Airgun, Black, Large

Pros

  • Very lightweight.
  • Super powerful shooting.
  • Accurate at many distances.
  • Durable construction and design.
  • Automatic safety is easy to use.

Cons

  • Not suitable for really young children.
  • May not be as accurate as some expect.
  • Sights may not be the best for some users.

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of buyers purchased this rifle for their kids and grandkids. One buyer says his teenage son uses it for varmint control. He reported that he was able to quickly knock down a few squirrels from a pretty reasonable distance. Plus, he also mentioned that the rifle was light and didn’t have a heavy feel at all.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This youth air rifle has a pretty unusual-looking stock. But it makes the stock a little tougher and even a little less weighty than most powerful rifles. Aside from the construction, the firing power is top-notch. It has the power to knock down squirrels and even raccoon (among others).

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by newbies who are between the ages of 12 to 14. Granted, it does have a little bit of power compared to most air rifles. But they are old enough to know when and where to use it responsibly. It will serve its purpose as a target shooting rifle but does excel as a hunting rifle as well.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The sights should be adjusted to align perfectly. This way, you’ll be able to shoot straighter than normal. The rear sights can also be a real pain to flip up or down when you want to use them. If needed, you’ll probably need some lubricant so they can come up and down properly.

Bottom Line

The Ruger Explorer Youth .117 Pellet Airgun is a great starter rifle for those who are older kids. But no matter what age you are, it will be your best possible option when you’re looking to knock down cans, bottles, or even those pesky little critters that keep digging up your lawn.

Types of Air Rifles

There are a few types of air rifles that are quite popular on the market. You need to find one that will work for your intents and purposes the best. Here are some of the varieties that are available on the market right now:

CO2 Air Rifles

Co2 air rifles are powered by Co2 cartridges. They will usually fire off BBs or paintballs. As far as applications go, they’re mostly used for purposes like target shooting, varmint hunting, and even recreational activities like paintballing. 

Spring-Loaded Air Rifles

This is when a spring is used to drive a shot through. Typically, they will be powered by a cocking hammer that will hit the spring while you’re pulling the trigger. Depending on how hard it hits, the shot will travel at quite a distance away.

Break Barrel Rifles

A break barrel air rifle is used when you "break down" the barrel to load the pellets in the rifle itself. Once you have it loaded, you can snap the barrel back and be ready to go.

Conclusion

Finding the best air rifle under $200 will be a challenge. But if you know which rifle will be best for your intents and purposes, the search process is easy enough. Find one that will last you a long time and will prove itself to be reliable with every use. 

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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