Best CO2 Rifles of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Are you looking for the best CO2 rifle? If so, you’re in the right place. Finding a CO2 rifle for your own use will be your mission here if you want something that will be a lot of fun to use. Especially if you intend on using one for the purpose of recreational sports, target shooting, or any other applications where a CO2 rifle is deemed appropriate.

We’ll unveil a list of the six best CO2 rifles that we believe are considered the best on the market this year.

Before we do, we’re going to discuss how a CO2 rifle works, what uses are considered the best for these kinds of rifles, and how you can find one for your own use.

Comparison of the Best CO2 Rifles

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 30-round magazine.
  • Best overall CO2 Rifle.
  • Chambered in .177 caliber rounds.
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  • Runner-up for best CO2 rifle.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
  • 12-shot rotary pellet clip included.
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  • 30-shot magazine capacity.
  • Best CO2 rifle for the money.
  • Chambered in .177 caliber shots.
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  • Full auto firing.
  • Best CO2 BB Rifle.
  • 25-round drop magazine.
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  • Best CO2 Sniper Rifle.
  • Bipod included for added stability.
  • Chambered to fire .177 caliber shots.
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  • Best 800 FPS rifle.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
  • Fires up to 200 shots on a single tank.
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How Does a CO2 Rifle Work?

A CO2 rifle is powered by a compressed canister that contains CO2 gas. Usually, these are sealed in compressed containers. They are usually under pressure and will provide a lot of firepower and propel the shots a little farther than normal compared to other air rifles (like spring-loaded air rifles). 

What Are The Best Uses For a CO2 Powered Rifle?

There are some applications that will excel with these kinds of rifles. It’s important to know which one of these will best fit your intents and purposes. Here are what these CO2 rifles are best used for:

Target Practice

Yes, you can use this to sharpen up your marksmanship skills. Whether you’re using paper targets, bottles or cans, these rifles will be all kinds of fun to use. Especially when you have a rifle that’s powerful enough to shatter glass bottles and even leave some serious dents on a Coke can. 

Paintballing (And Other Related Activities)

Most paintballing rifles will be powered by CO2. So, it will definitely work to your advantage if you’re looking for a rifle that will allow shots to go the distance, even when dealing with moving targets in the heat of some serious competition. Typically, these recreational activities almost always require you to use some kind of gas-powered rifle that can fire paintball pellets.

Animal Control

If there are small invasive critters that tend to dig up your lawn or get into your trash at night, there’s a good chance that one of these rifles will be a good choice for you. Granted, a regular rifle with live ammo would be ideal. However, it would be overkill and not the safest solution if you live in a suburban neighborhood. 

How to Choose a CO2 Powered Rifle

Knowing which characteristics will make a CO2 powered rifle stand out is a must. This will allow you to distinguish a CO2 powered rifle that will be better in performance and quality compared to those that are not so reliable. Here are some characteristics and qualities to look for:

Velocity

This characteristic is important. Knowing how fast every round can shoot will give you a good idea of how you can use the rifle to your advantage. Most varmint hunters will often use rifles that have a higher velocity (specifically anywhere north of 1000 fps is ideal). However, they can be used for the purpose of target shooting, but the faster the velocity, the quicker you can hit your intended target.

Price

Obviously, this may pertain to budget shoppers who want something that is reliable and fun to use, but the issue here is that some of them may not be able to afford the higher-end rifles. So they should find one that is not only affordable, but the best possible quality and performance that fits their budget.

What is Your Intent and Purpose

A CO2 rifle can be used for general purposes, but depending on some of the characteristics, a CO2 rifle can excel in one application. As mentioned before, CO2 rifles that possess a high velocity will likely give you the better advantage when you’re using it against moving targets (i.e.--varmints). 

Review of the Best CO2 Powered Rifles

The following is a list of the six best CO2 rifles that are currently on the market. As you go through each one, it’s important to take notes on any of the features and characteristics that stand out.

If you find one that’s close to your ideal CO2 rifle, you’ll know that you’ve found a winner. Now, we’ll kick off the list with the unveiling of our “best overall” choice:

Sig Sauer MCX .177 Cal Co2 Powered (30 Rounds) Air Rifle, Black, 18 inches

Pros

  • Super durable construction
  • Reliable, it doesn’t jam easily
  • The velocity is pretty good for a CO2 rifle
  • Great for target shooting and varmint hunting
  • Very accurate shooting, can reach as far as 40 yards out

Cons

  • Accuracy might be suspect for some users
  • Feeding and loading might be a little iffy at times
  • Some have had issues with the trigger on occasion

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle has gottwn nothing but positive remarks from most users. They were able to fire off these .177 rounds quickly and effectively. One user said that this has quickly become his go-to CO2 rifle for target shooting. He was able to consistently reach 30 to 35 yards near the bullseye with this kind of rifle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This holds up to 30 rounds in a single magazine. That’s a good deal of firepower that you’re going to work with, and it will last you a good while or until you need to reload the magazine again. It all depends on how often you use it. This also has a little more power compared to .177 air rifles that are spring-loaded.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle will be a hit among those who religiously use these types of rifles for target shooting. Since it does have some power to propel the shots a little farther, we won’t be surprised if this works out as a varmint hunting rifle as well (albeit a starter rifle). Either way, you have some pretty good knockdown power to work with using this rifle.

What Could Be Improved and Why 

This rifle can do better overall if you were to make the trigger a little sturdier than it is now. Also, the pull weight should be a little lighter. This way, you can pull off some easy shots without having to struggle with the heavy pull weight of a rifle trigger. The quicker you can get a shot off, the better.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a CO2 rifle that is considered one of the best in the business, the Sig Sauer MCX .177 Cal CO2 rifle will be the one you’ll want for your arsenal. Whether you use it for target shooting or varmint hunting, this rifle can do some damage no matter what. Just load it with your favorite .177 ammo and you’re good to go.

Crosman 1077 RepeatAir Semi-Automatic CO2-Powered .177-Caliber Pellet Air Rifle

Pros

  • Excellent for users of all ages
  • Easy to load, no jamming to report
  • Great for target shooting and animal control
  • Powerful velocity, it can go as fast as 800 fps
  • Accurate shooting, it can hit targets as far as 30 yards out

Cons

  • May lose power over time
  • Some misfirings may occur
  • CO2 cartridges may be hard to change out or seat

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new buyers were looking for a rifle that could deliver almost smooth shooting for almost any application. They’ve found it with the Crosman 1077. Most of them were able to fire their shots quickly (along with follow-up shots). They experienced no jamming or any other reliability issues. Most of them used this for target shooting, while some others used it for knocking down small critters for the purpose of animal control.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is made by the Crosman brand, but it operates much different than most Crosman rifles on the market. In fact, it performs slightly better than the rest of the rifles they make. Other than that, it packs quite a punch thus making it a really good all-purpose CO2 rifle. On top of that, it’s easy to feed, and it’s one of the handfuls of air rifles that will jam rarely if not ever at all.

Who Will Use This Most

This has the characteristics of a general-purpose rifle. So it will be a 50/50 split between those who will use it for target shooting and those who will use it to ward off any squirrels, skunks, gophers, and so on. It’s hard to tell which application will allow this rifle to excel, but regardless, you can still get the work done with this rifle.

What Could Be Improved and Why

This rifle should keep its power for as long as possible. No matter how many rounds you fire off or how long you’ve owned it, it should still hold the same amount of power and not lose a step or two after a long time of service. It does have the potential to last you quite a while both in quality and usage.

Bottom Line

If you want a pretty good CO2 rifle for just about any purpose, the Crosman 1077 will probably be something that’s right up your alley. No matter which application you use it for, you’re going to get some pretty good firepower out of the whole thing, and consistent accuracy will be a recurring theme for those who use it the most.

Umarex Steel-Storm .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol

Pros

  • Smooth, jam-free firing
  • Easy to deploy flip-up sights
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • It can handle all kinds of BB pellets
  • The rail can accept scopes and optics

Cons

  • It does not come with a CO2 tank
  • The rail may not accept some scopes and optics
  • Some have questioned the overall quality of the rifle

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle was a hit with most users. They were able to use this for the purpose of target shooting. The smooth fire cycling definitely stood out as one of the best characteristics for most users. One user said he was able to shoot off multiple rounds in a second and hit his targets accurately. The shooting groups were a little tighter than he expected.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is the closest you can get to a near full-auto rifle. Because of its firing ability, it serves a better purpose as a target shooting rifle. It’s also small and compact in size. So portability and storage won’t be much of an issue either. You can carry it with you to a shooting range or a remote place where you can fire it off with some good old fashioned paper targets.

Who Will Use This Most

This will likely be used by those who want something that’s smooth, reliable, and accurate. If you’re on a budget, odds are this rifle will be more to your liking. This rifle will be more than what you’ll pay for.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Obviously, a CO2 tank will be needed. You can probably find one, but it may set you back a few bucks. But if you’re on a budget, why get a CO2 rifle that won’t include the most important part of the rifle itself? A CO2 should definitely be included for this and other budget rifles.

Bottom Line

The Umarex Steel Storm .177 Caliber Steel BB Airgun will likely be your rifle of choice if you’re looking for something that will be great for target shooting. Furthermore, it’s a rifle that won’t suck the life out of your bank account. So overall, it’s a win-win for you and all the budget shoppers out there.

DPMS Full Auto SBR CO2-Powered BB Air Rifle with Dual Action Capability, Black DSBR

Pros

  • Smooth, jam-free firing
  • Great for target shooting
  • Makes for a great starter rifle
  • Really fun to shoot for most users
  • Easy to deploy front sights make it more accurate from various distances

Cons

  • The accuracy range is limited
  • Some have reported missing parts upon arrival
  • Speedloader may not be reliable for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of new users had nothing but good things to say about this rifle. They were able to fire off multiple rounds in a short amount of time. At best, they were able to consistently hit targets that were situated some 10 to 15 yards away. Overall, the shooting groups were a little tighter than expected for some.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is a fully automatic air rifle that can fire off multiple rounds at a time. Since it’s CO2 powered, that bit of power makes it a force to be reckoned with. Especially when you’re using it for target shooting. This is the kind of rifle where no Coke can or paper bottle can stand a chance. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a rifle that will be reserved mostly for target shooters. It’s got the firing ability and the smooth, jam-free operation that makes target shooting with this rifle a whole lot of fun. Plus, it will also be a rifle that most novice users (even young children) can start out with.

What Could Be Improved and Why

One possible improvement for this rifle would be to expand the accuracy range quite a bit. Instead of it going as far as 15 yards, 25 to 30 yards could be a possible maximum reach. So ideally, this would also include increasing the pressure power of the CO2 cans that it would have to accept.

Bottom Line

If you want a BB gun that is CO2 powered, look no further than the DPMS CO2 Air Rifle. This fully automatic rifle will be a lot of fun to use if you have a lot of rounds and targets to work with. When used properly, the fun may never stop.

Best CO2 Sniper Rifle:
Beeman QB78S-177 Air Guns Rifles

Beeman QB78S-177 Air Guns Rifles

Pros

  • Super solid construction
  • Bipod allows for excellent stability
  • Great for target shooting and varmint hunting
  • Can reach out and touch something as far out as 60 yards
  • Excellent firepower, it can knock down small critters with ease

Cons

  • Some jamming may occur
  • Some misfirings have been reported
  • Sights may be misaligned in the beginning

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new users of this rifle were target shooters. However, there were others who stood out as varmint hunters as well. This rifle proved itself beyond a doubt that it could go places. One user said he was able to knock down a squirrel from a good 50 yards out one day. The following day, he decided to tune it up with some paper targets. He was able to get a shot to reach 60 yards with little wind pushing it through.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is the only CO2 rifle at this point that has the ability to go the distance farther than the others on this list. It’s got quite a bit of firepower that you can work with and can still reach targets no matter which application you’re using this rifle for. Also, it’s quite solid in construction so you have a good chance of making this last quite awhile.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a general purpose CO2 sniper rifle. So, it’ll be split down the middle between target shooters and varmint hunters. If you’re looking for a rifle that has a good deal of power and can reach a little farther than most rifles can, you’re probably going to end up using this rifle yourself.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The sights should be lined up properly before these rifles end up on the shelf. They should also be a little higher in height so they can perfectly co-witness with a rifle scope that you can add. This way, it will better your hit probability regardless of your application.

Bottom Line

The Beeman Air Gun Rifle will stand out as the kind of rifle that can get the job done from much farther away than any other CO2 rifle on this list. If you want something that will benefit you while shooting at stationary or moving targets, you’re going to make yourself stand out as an excellent marksman with a rifle like this.

Best 800 FPS Rifle:
 Bear River Pellet Gun Air Rifle

Bear River Pellet Gun Air Rifle CO2 Semi Auto Air Rifle for Hunting

Pros

  • Super fast shooting
  • Ideal for a starter CO2 rifle
  • Excels in a hunting application
  • Accurate from various distances
  • Super durable and sturdy construction

Cons

  • May lose power over time
  • The tank may leak for some users
  • May need to be lubricated before use

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of users were satisfied with the rifle. They were happy with the overall velocity and were able to quickly get shots off while using it for either target shooting and varmint hunting. Some of them were able to easily knock down small invasive critters like squirrels and skunks.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pellet rifle is durable, accurate, and all-around reliable. It’s made from high-quality materials like polymer. So it can take on the bumps and bangs of impact and abuse. That’s a good sign if you’re looking for a rifle that will last you quite a while. Also, it’s velocity is clocked at 800 fps. That’s pretty reasonable for a CO2 rifle that can be a standout for not just varmint control, but also target shooting as well.

Who Will Use This Most

As expected, it will be used mostly for hunting purposes. But it won’t be written off as a rifle that’s not appropriate for target shooting. Either way, this has a good amount of firepower and velocity that will be good enough for any user that’s either starting out with an air rifle or just want something that’s more of a happy medium. Nothing too fast or too slow.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The CO2 tanks should be tighter. The manufacturer should make sure that this is a must before these rifles hit the shelves. This way, there will be fewer incidents of leakage and misfiring. These tanks may even lose air before the rifle can ever be used. So it’s important to make sure that they secure the tanks so they’re usable right out of the box.

Bottom Line

The Bear River Pellet Rifle will be your rifle of choice if 800 fps of velocity is all you need. It will definitely stand out as one of the many general purpose pistols on the market, but the varmint control application is where it will make its money.

Pros and Cons of CO2 Rifles

You need to know what you can expect when you own and use a CO2 rifle. These pros and cons are most common, but it’s good to know now before you even consider making a purchase. Here’s what you need to know:

Pros

Hours of Fun

Yes, these CO2 rifles will provide you and many of your friends plenty of fun. As long as you use these rifles properly, the fun may never end. All you’ll need other than proper usage is enough rounds and targets to work with.

Just ​as Effective ​as Regular Rifles

As mentioned earlier, these rifles have the ability to provide you with a good amount of knockdown power against varmints. In fact, it will be much better and safer for you to use these rifles against them rather than a regular rifle with live ammo. Especially if you’re living in a suburban residential area where there are more people.

More Reliable Than Other Air Rifles

When compared to some air rifles, CO2 rifles win the battle when it comes to reliability. Especially when they’re pitted against other types like spring-powered rifles. The latter will most likely jam and have some reliability issues compared to CO2 rifles, which are few and far between.

Cons

Some May Not be Suitable for Children

Some CO2 powered rifles can be dangerous and can cause serious injury. So, it’s important to have a rifle that is CO2 powered to be in the hands of older teens or adults. These types of rifles are powered by compressed gas. If a projectile hits someone in the face at close range, it can cause serious injury.

Some CO2 Tanks May Leak

The CO2 tanks will probably leak if you are not careful with these rifles. However, it’s also important to check to see if they are secure enough to prevent any leaks. Leakage can lead to incidents of dry firing, which may damage the rifle itself.

Conclusion

Finding the best CO2 rifle will be an easy task if you know what you’re looking for. If you intend to use a CO2 rifle for any purpose at all, be sure to find one that will fit your personal needs and preferences. Be sure to find one that has a performance that is good enough for you and affordable for your budget. 

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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