Best Break Barrel Air Rifles – 2020 Ultimate Round-up

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Are you looking for the best break barrel air rifle? If so, you’re in the right place. It’s important to find the best break barrel air rifle for your own personal use. These are the kind of rifles that will provide hours of fun for target shooting or if you’re looking to knock down some small critters that constantly invade your property.

No matter what your intent or purpose is, the goal is to find one that will perform to the best of its abilities. To help you find the best one for you, we’ve listed six of the best break barrel air rifles considered the most popular on the market as of this writing.

Before we get to the list itself, we’re going to talk about what a break rifle is and what it’s used for. We’ll also talk about the characteristics and features that make one stand out among the rest of the pack.

Comparison Chart of the Best Break Barrel Air Rifles

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle

  • The velocity of 1200 fps.
  • Chambered in .117 caliber.
  • Best overall break barrel air rifle.
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Hatsan Model 95 Combo .22 Rifle, Walnut Stock

  • Walnut finished stock.
  • Chambered in .22 rifles.
  • Runner up for best break barrel air rifle.
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Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

  • Can accept .177 or .22 rounds.
  • 10-round rotary-style magazine.
  • Best break barrel air rifle for the money.
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Hatsan Model 135 Vortex QE Air Rifle

  • Chambered in .30 caliber shots.
  • Best .30 caliber break barrel air rifle.
  • Rubber recoil pad included for shock absorption.
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Crosman Thrasher Break Barrel Hunting Rifle

  • All-weather synthetic stock.
  • Designed for hunting applications.
  • Best break barrel air rifle from the Crosman brand.
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Magnum Air Rifle

  • Velocity is 1650 fps.
  • Most powerful break barrel air rifle.
  • Adjustable trigger for single-stage or dual-stage use.
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What is a Break Barrel Air Rifle and What is it Used For?

A break barrel rifle has a unique feature where there is a device known as a muzzle brake. What this does is reduce the amount of recoil found in most air rifles. At the same time, it reroutes the gasses so it won’t be able to blow back in the face of the user. These types of rifles are great for those who want to get the best in accuracy and want to shoot rifles that will also deliver the best performance without any recoil present. 

What Makes These The Best of The Year?

There are characteristics and features that make these six rifles stand out among the many that flood the market. You’ll need to know what they are so you can easily distinguish a good one from one that is not so reliable or good in quality. Here’s what you need to look for:

Price

If you’re looking for a break barrel air rifle on a budget, you’re obviously going to look at the price tag first. But mind you, the price shouldn’t be the primary reason you buy the rifle. You should always place a high priority on other things like the overall quality and performance of each rifle. 

Which Intent And Purpose Will They Excel at?

Most air rifles can be used for general purposes. However, there might be one that will excel in a certain application. It could be a high-velocity rifle that will work to your advantage in a target shooting or varmint hunting situation. Likewise, something with a little less velocity will probably be more to your liking in a target shooting situation. Keep in mind certain features like the velocity, so you have a good idea of how useful it can be with certain applications.

Materials

Almost every break barrel air rifle will be made from high-quality rifles. More specifically, polymer and steel are two examples of the best materials for this type of product. The reason is they have proven to be the toughest materials that can handle impact and abuse. Find a rifle that can last you a long time and have the ability to take on some bumps and bangs at times.

Quick Take - Best Break Barrel Air Rifles 

These are our recommendations for the best break barrel air rifles:

  1. Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle
  2. Hatsan Model 95 Combo .22 Rifle, Walnut Stock
  3. Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

Review of the Best Break Barrel Air Rifles

The following is a list of the six best break barrel air rifles currently on the market. As you go through each one, you’ll want to take note of every characteristic or feature that makes it stand out. If you have a good idea of what your dream rifle looks like, you’ll know the characteristics to be on the lookout for.

If you find one that checks those boxes, that’s when you know you might have found a winner. Now, let’s take a look at the first rifle on our list -- our “best overall” choice:

Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

Pros

  • Super fast shooting
  • Very accurate shooting from various distances
  • Excellent for animal control and target shooting
  • Scope holds up pretty good and is also clear to see through
  • Super lightweight and doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a boulder

Cons

  • Some misfirings may occur
  • The trigger might be a little stiff to use at first
  • The scope’s reliability is questionable for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle has impressed many new users. They were able to accurately hit shots fairly quickly and from distances ranging from 25 to 40 yards out. One user said he found this more reliable against small critters over a previous air rifle he’s used in the past which lacked the qualities and performance of a great rifle.

Why it Stands Out To Us

The velocity is an astounding 1200 fps, which is half the speed of most rifles. But it’s powerful enough to knock down small critters that keep invading your property and causing all kinds of damage. Sure enough, you can shoot at them quickly and with more accuracy compared to other air rifles.

Who Will Use This Most

Since it’s got the velocity, it will be used mostly by those who want to shoot quickly and with accuracy. Plus, with this much firepower at your disposal, you’ll probably use this against small animals that are more of a nuisance than anything else. This also has a bit of range, so you can do some damage from a distance rather only than at close ranges.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Though the scope’s image quality is decent, it’s not as reliable as most expect. So it’s best to ditch the scope altogether so you can find a scope of your own and install it with no issues whatsoever. This way, you can adjust it to your liking with even better image quality and accuracy.

Bottom Line

If you want a break barrel air rifle that will work to your advantage against small critters, then the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle will probably be right up your alley. It’s fast, accurate, and can do some damage when used properly.

Hatsan Model 95 Combo .22 Rifle, Walnut Stock

Pros

  • Super fast shooting
  • The trigger is easy to use
  • The trigger is easily adjustable
  • Open sights are easy to use and make shooting more precise
  • Accurate, can hit targets effectively from about 35 yards out

Cons

  • The scope’s reliability is questionable
  • Trigger pull weight is slightly heavy but not difficult
  • It may be a little loud for some users, especially if you’re living in a suburban area

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were quick to give this rifle high marks. The accuracy was excellent with the help of the open sights. One user even said he removed the scope just to test out how much better it was without it. To his surprise, it worked much better than with the stock scope included.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle has a classic look to it. It looks like an air rifle that your father might have owned in the past as a kid. Aside from aesthetics, this air rifle is another one that is a fast-firing rifle and can get the job done across many applications. You can shoot it from a pretty good distance using the open sight. With the right kind of scope, it can co-witness perfectly.

Who Will Use This Most

Expect this to be a general-purpose break barrel rifle. Most will use it for the purpose of target shooting while others will use it for varmint control. Either way, you’ll have a rifle that is dependable and fast-shooting. If those are the two characteristics you are looking for, then you might find this one to be a good choice.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Get rid of the scope. Simple, right? Either that, or find a better scope that will co-witness nicely with the open sight. You can get a lot better with accuracy with a better quality scope. If you want to reach farther than normal with an air rifle like this, get a scope that is way better than the one included with this rifle.

Bottom Line

The Hatsan Model 95 Combo .22 Rifle will be your best friend for whatever application you are using it for. No matter how you use it, you’ll enjoy a pretty fast and accurate rifle that has a good amount of knockdown power. Bottles, cans, and even small critters don’t stand a chance.

Best for the Money: 
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

Gamo 611003715554 Gamo Swarm Maxxim .22 Cal

Pros

  • Affordable for most budgets
  • The scope is easy to zero-in and use
  • Versatile and can accept both calibers
  • Shooting groups are much tighter at various ranges
  • Super fast shooting, can knock down targets fairly quickly

Cons

  • It might be loud for some users
  • Scope adjustments might be a little stiff
  • Accuracy might be suspect for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle was a hit with most budget shoppers. They were satisfied with the overall accuracy and performance. Most were quick to conclude that it does great as a general-purpose rifle. Almost every new user had not used an air rifle in the past, making it a great starter rifle.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle is affordable. But the way it performs, you’ll swear that the price should have been double. Either way, this is probably one of the most durable air rifles on the market. One major reason is, it accepts different caliber rounds. Keep in mind that one caliber will be faster than others when it comes to velocity. However, that won’t matter, either way, you'll have a great rifle.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by a lot of newbies, which makes sense because it’s built to be a general-purpose rifle. The velocity is perfect for target shooting and animal control. Any way you use it, it will hit accurate shots and be quick about it.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The noise should be a little less, especially for those in suburban neighborhoods. You don’t want to alarm the neighbors while constantly firing off an air rifle. Even if you’re in the safe confines of your backyard and can safely fire at targets, all that loud noise might just be a little bit overkill.

Bottom Line

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle is the one air rifle that will perform as if it cost double the price. Yes, it’s affordable for many and is a great rifle that will be used by newbie users. And to top it off, it’s a rifle that will definitely work for general purposes, no matter how long you’ve had it.

Best .30 Caliber Break Barrel Air Rifle:
Hatsan Model 135 Vortex QE Air Rifle

Hatsan 135 Vortex QE Big Bore, Turkish Walnut

Pros

  • Great for animal control
  • Excellent to use for all ages
  • Super easy to load and fire off
  • It can accept many rifle scopes
  • Effectively accurate from about 40 to 45 yards out

Cons

  • Might be a little weighty for some users
  • May not hit much larger varmints in one shot
  • The FPS may be considerably reduced over time

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers ranged from teens to older adults. They were satisfied with the overall use of the air rifle. The majority of them were using it for the purposes of animal control. So far, they were able to knock down a lot of small critters from a good distance (i.e.--about 30 to 40 yards max). A lot of them were even more satisfied when attaching a scope of their own to the rifle.

Why it Stands Out To Us

The .30 caliber is one of the more popular rounds used for animal control. Yes, the velocity probably will be a little slower, but the round is a good enough size to knock down a target with just enough speed behind it. This rifle delivers propulsion to make shooting a lot more effective from most distances.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle will be used for those looking for a bigger caliber. Furthermore, they’re looking for something large enough to knock down animal targets. It will shoot quickly and hit the targets right where you want. Consider this to be a rifle that is useful for anyone who just wants to protect their property from invasive critters.

What Could Be Improved and Why

A good improvement idea is to make it a little less weighty. This way, it will be a little more comfortable for users to carry. Also, a good sling might be a nice addition to the rifle itself. This way, you can use it for hands-free carrying so you can get around easily without having to bump or bang the rifle around.

Bottom Line

If you prefer a .30 caliber air rifle, the Hatsan Model 135 Vortex QE Air Rifle might just be right up your alley. This rifle is quite powerful, despite having an FPS that just won’t cut the mustard with smaller calibers but the velocity is good enough for this larger round to get the job done against invasive critters.

Best Crosman Break Barrel Air Rifle:
Crosman Thrasher Break Barrel Hunting Rifle

Crosman 3051 Fury Nitro Piston Pellet Rifle (.177)

Pros

  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Won’t get damaged due to bad weather
  • Performs flawlessly after 100+ rounds
  • Excellent for both target shooting and hunting applications
  • Super durable construction, can take on bumps and bangs

Cons

  • Might be a little weighty for some users
  • It might be a little too loud 
  • Sighting-in the scope might take a little longer than normal

What Recent Buyers Report

Many recent buyers were familiar with the Crosman brand. However, they were quick to remark that the rifle was much different than any other rifle that Crosman has put out. They were satisfied with the rifle’s flawless performance. Jamming issues were very few and far between. Other than that, the accuracy was excellent. It was effective from distances ranging from 25 to 40 yards.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle confirms what a lot of users have stated. It performs much differently than most Crosman rifles. Aside from that, it’s constructed from a synthetic stock that can stand up to a lot of bad weather. If you ever want to find out a stock type that can handle bad weather, synthetic will hold up nine times out of ten. Lastly, this air rifle can get the job done with little to no jamming or misfiring.

Who Will Use This Most

This will probably be considered a general-purpose rifle. So, many users will use this to shoot paper targets or glass bottles. The other half will probably use it for hunting small varmints. Either way, it packs a good enough punch to make this perfect for any situation. It’s beginner-friendly as well, so if you’re looking for a starter rifle, you should consider this a possible choice.

What Could Be Improved and Why

While this is considered a starter rifle, it should be a little less noisy. Especially when you’re starting out, you don’t want your air rifle experience to start off on the wrong foot by unintentionally alerting the neighbors. The manufacturer should reduce the noise without making any sacrifices to the rifle’s performance.

Bottom Line

The Crosman Fury Air Rifle might be different from the other rifles the brand makes, but it has an unmistakable performance and reliability like nothing else. No matter which application you use it for, this rifle will not disappoint you. If it jams on you, consider it a rare occasion but a common issue to most air rifles.

Most Powerful Break Barrel Air Rifle:
Magnum Air Rifle

Gamo Magnum Air Rifle, .22 Caliber

Pros

  • Excellent for varmint control
  • Accepts both .177 and .22 calibers
  • Lightweight, doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a boulder
  • Super durable stock can take on all kinds of bumps and bangs
  • Super accurate and effective when dealing with targets as far as 50 yards out

Cons

  • May lose power over time
  • Cocking might be a little difficult at first
  • It may not be appropriate to hit targets at short distances

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle, according to many users, packs a powerful punch. They call this one of the most powerful air rifles they have fired to date. One user said he’s able to knock down larger targets like raccoons and groundhogs from a pretty good distance. The accuracy is pretty good, regardless of which round is chosen.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle can take both .177 and .22 rounds. Either way, they still can travel at a fast rate and with that much power, it can go the distance. So, if you’re looking for a powerful air rifle that will be ideal for many animal control applications, this one stands out among the rest of the pack. If we had to describe this in two words, they would be powerful and accurate.

Who Will Use This Most

This will obviously be a go-to rifle for varmint hunters, especially those who want to deal with the bigger pests like your groundhogs and raccoons. This has enough power to knock down any varmint creating havoc on your lawn, garden, or any other part of your property. This rifle is just enough to give you the advantage in the war against invasive creatures.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The rifle could use a little smoothness in the cocking action department, meaning it should be smooth as butter every time you’re about to shoot. Think of it like spraying WD-40 on a creaky hinge and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Other than that, the rifle could be a little less noisy for use in a suburban neighborhood.

Bottom Line

The Magnum Air Rifle is second to none, the most powerful air rifle on the market, especially in the category of break barrel rifles. You’ll be surprised how far this rifle can go with the exceptionally powerful propulsion used each time you fire this rifle.

Perks of Getting a New Break Barrel Air Rifle

When you invest in a new break barrel air rifle, you’ll get to experience a lot of great perks. You don’t know what you’ll be missing if you forgo getting one of these rifles. Here’s a list of the perks you’ll get to experience with a break barrel air rifle:

Little to No Recoil

The main feature of these rifles is the muzzle brake that is included. These intend to make recoil a thing of the past, especially on more powerful rifles and these have a lot of velocity in each shot. 

Fun to Use

No matter which application you use it for, a break barrel rifle will be a lot of fun to use. As long as you practice gun safety, there is no limit to how much fun you can have with these rifles. Keep enough targets and rounds on hand, and the fun may never end.

Better Than Regular Rifles With Some Applications

Yes, there are some regular rifles that are best for target shooting and varmint hunting. But air rifles have their uses without the use of live ammo. All you need are the right kind of rounds and a good amount of firepower to ensure that it can get the job done as advertised.

Conclusion

Finding the best break barrel air rifle can be a challenge. But knowing how they work and what they can be used for, will make the process much easier. Find one that will best fit your needs and preferences and you’ll have a rifle that will stick with you for a long time.

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