Best High Powered Air Rifles of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

by

Finding the best high powered air rifle can be a challenge, but if you know how they work and have a basic understanding of what they are, the search process won’t be so difficult. Air rifles have long been a staple in recreational and hunting applications. The latter, of course, is more geared towards varmint and invasive critters like raccoons.

A high-powered air rifle will have a good amount of knockdown power when you’re going up against those who tend to dig through your garbage or destroy your lawn (and devaluing your property in the process). However, some air rifles that are high-powered can be used for paintballing and other recreational purposes.

No matter what your intent or purpose is, one of these six high-powered air rifles on our list will be yours. These are considered to be the best on the market as of this writing. Before we get to the list, let’s talk about the best uses you can get out of a high powered air rifle and which features and characteristics stand out to make one better than the rest.

Comparison of the Best High Powered Air Rifles

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Velocity of 1100 fps.
  • Pneumatic pump powered.
  • Best overall high-powered air rifle.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Velocity of 1400 fps.
  • Chambered to shoot .177 caliber rounds.
  • Runner up for the best high-powered air rifle.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Pneumatic pump powered.
  • Chambered in .22 caliber rounds.
  • Best high powered air rifle for the money.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Velocity of 1300 fps.
  • 3-9x40 scope included.
  • Most powerful .22 air rifle on the market.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Velocity is 1300 fps.
  • Adjustable two-stage trigger.
  • Most powerful .177 air rifle on the market.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Max velocity of 800 fps.
  • Adjustable two-stage trigger.
  • Most powerful .25 break barrel air rifle.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

What Are The Best Uses For a High Powered Air Rifle?

You can have quite a bit of fun using an air rifle that’s packed with a lot of firepower. One of these uses might be the reason why you’re considering purchasing a rifle of your choice. Here are some of the most popular applications where a high-powered air rifle is useful: 

Recreational Activity

More specifically, we’re talking about any activity that involves rifles that fire off paintball pellets. This can be a regular competition or a mock combat situation. No matter what it is, these high-powered rifles are quite fun to use when you’re in a friendly competition with fellow paintballers and friends. 

Varmint Control

Some high-powered rifles aren’t necessarily paintball exclusive. You can use steel pellets for the purpose of warding off small and invasive critters. Your common targets will usually be squirrels, raccoons, groundhogs, and gophers among others. Any critter that intends to destroy your lawn or dig through your garbage (and making a mess in the process) should be dealt with accordingly without the use of live ammo.

Target Shooting

You can use these rifles for the purpose of casual target shooting. It doesn’t matter if you’re using steel pellets or paintballs. If you got paper targets, cans, bottles, or what have you--you’ve got some targets to go off on. This is another activity where you can have a whole lot of fun with these types of rifles.

How to Choose a High Powered Air Rifle

While looking for your own high-powered air rifle, you’ll need to keep your eye out on a few characteristics and features that make one stand out among the rest. Keep in mind, there are a lot of air rifles that flood the market. And not every single one is created equal. You’ll need to know how to distinguish a great high-powered rifle from one that is considered crappy and unreliable. Here’s what you need to look for:

Price

Yes, if you’re a budget shopper you’re going to find a rifle that will be affordable for your preferred budget. That doesn’t mean sacrificing quality by any stretch. It means finding a rifle that is affordable, but the best in quality. Of course, this might also mean spending a little extra money, but compare that to wasting money on a crappy high-powered air rifle, that doesn’t seem like a bad thing.

Quality

The best quality comes from the best materials. So if you’re looking for a high-powered air rifle, you’ll need to find one that is made from excellent materials like polymer and steel (to name a few). These two that we’ve pointed out are proven to be the toughest of the bunch. This means they can take on multiple amounts of impact and abuse. 

What Purpose Will it be Best For

Given that most high-powered air rifles are used for general purposes, they can be effective with one application or another. Most high-powered rifles will be best used for animal control. A couple of reasons for this: One, you’ll be able to shoot at your targets and be able to hit them fast enough. Two, they contain just enough firepower to knock down an animal from almost any given distance.

Quick Take - The Best High Powered Air Rifles

Review of the Best High Powered Air Rifles

The following is a list of the six high-powered air rifles that are currently on the market. Your mission is to find one that best suits you. This means having to think of a list of things that consist of your idea air rifle.

Take note of each rifle’s characteristics and features. If you find one that matches your ideal air rifle, then that’s when you know it’s a winner. Now, let’s begin by taking a look at the first rifle on our list--our “best overall” choice:

AirForce Condor SS PCP Air Rifle, Spin-Loc Tank - Caliber: 0.22

Pros

  • Really fast shooting
  • Super powerful shooting.
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Great for animal control and target shooting
  • It can reach as far as 75 yards or more consistently

Cons

  • Some misfirings have occurred
  • Loading might be challenging for some users
  • Lack of a sight makes accurate shooting a little hard at first

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle received some excellent reviews from new users. Most of them were able to shoot with consistent accuracy against targets that were situated some 50 to 75 yards out. They were satisfied with how much power and velocity each shot was. One user said that he was able to knock down a squirrel or two pretty quickly upon initial use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The design is straightforward. It looks like a rifle that’s easy to use for almost any possible application. This rifle is made from high-quality materials that can allow for bumps and bangs. Especially if you’re using this while you’re moving around trying to track down varmint and invasive critters.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a popular rifle that will be used by varmint hunters. Don’t count it out as useless in a target shooting application. Either way, it will have its uses. If you want something that’s fast, accurate, and can get the job done from an impressive range, this rifle might just be something worth trying out.

What Could Be Improved and Why

One possible improvement would be to include a front sight or some kind of scope mount that will allow for accurate and precise shooting. This way, you’ll have something to rely on if you want to make every single shot count. Especially when you’re firing at targets or trying to knock down a small critter that’s long been a thorn in your side.

Bottom Line

If you want a great high-powered rifle that will work for a few applications, the AirForce Condor SS PCP Rifle might just be the one for you. It’s a straightforward design with some pretty powerful shooting. Use it to your advantage, no matter what the application is.

Winchester Model 1400CS .177 Caliber Break-Barrel Air Rifle with Scope/Bi-Pod/Sling, Mossy Oak

Pros

  • Excellent for varmint hunting
  • Shoots really fast consistently
  • Easy to handle for most users
  • The scope is reliable for most users
  • Accurate at a wide range of distances

Cons

  • A little bit on the weighty side
  • Not a suitable air rifle for children
  • The absence of a front sight makes accurate shooting difficult at first

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were quite satisfied with the rifle. Most of them were using it for the purpose of warding off varmint and invasive creatures that were destroying their property. The general consensus concluded that it had a good amount of firepower and accuracy to knock down all kinds of small critters from various distances. One user said he was able to hit a raccoon from about 30 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle has some nice features that make itself stand out. One of them is the silencer. This will considerably reduce the noise. Ever so often, most high-powered air rifles are usually noisy and therefore not as useful in suburban settings, but the silencer will make your varmint control application a lot easier without unintentionally scaring the crap out of your neighbors. 

Who Will Use This Most

As expected, this will be used by most users who are trying to get rid of invasive critters and taking back control of their property. Furthermore, this will be used by those who live in suburban neighborhoods and have long suffered from trying to find an airsoft rifle that won’t make too much noise. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

The weight of the rifle could be a little lighter. If not, then a bipod should be included to provide you with some stable support while using the rifle itself. A good bipod will mean better stability, which in turn leads to more accurate and precise shooting.

Bottom Line

The Winchester Model 1400CS rifle might be exactly the kind of airsoft rifle you need in the war against the small critters who cause trouble on your property. With this much power at your disposal, you’ll have the edge over them every time you’re behind the rifle.

Benjamin Armada BTAP22SX PCP-Powered Multi-Shot Bolt Action .22-Caliber Pellet Hunting And Target Air Rifle With 4-16x50 mm Riflescope

Pros

  • Super durable construction
  • Compatible with AR-15 stocks and pistol grips
  • Excellent for target shooting and varmint hunting
  • Five-inch Picatinny rail accepts most scopes and optics
  • It doesn’t make a lot of noise like some high-powered air rifles

Cons

  • The stock might get a little loose at times
  • Scope adjustments might be a little stiff at times
  • The floating barrel might not be as tight as expected

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of the new buyers found this to be one of the more affordable air rifles on the market. Some were even surprised by how powerful it actually was. One user said he probably should have paid more for it. The shooting was powerful, accurate, and consistent. The construction was solid and was able to handle the impact and abuse. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The rifle is rugged in design. The bigger surprise with this air rifle, in particular, is that it can actually fit AR-15 stocks and pistol grips. These provide all kinds of stability and support for a rifle like this. Especially when you need something that will give you better grip and better protection from abuse, impact, and bad weather. If there is one thing that makes this rifle known, it’s tough, accurate, and really stands out as a general-purpose air rifle.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle will likely be used by varmint hunters and casual target shooters. No matter what the application is, they’ll have a rifle that will be like the AR-15 version of a high-powered rifle. The firing will be smooth, powerful, and reliable. No doubt, you’ll get a good amount of accuracy out of this.

What Could Be Improved and Why

This rifle might need to have some work done with some of the accessories. They should be a little more durable so they stay in place rather than fall apart (as some people claim). Another possible improvement would be to get rid of the scope. This way, you’ll be able to find a rifle scope of your own and install it in no time. That way, you get better image clarity and accuracy among other perks.

Bottom Line

If you want an excellent high-powered rifle that will work to your advantage while keeping your bank account intact, then the Benjamin Armada .22 PCP Rifle will most likely be the kind of rifle you’ll want to go with. It’s rugged, accurate, and definitely holds its own regardless of whatever application it's used for.

Most Powerful .22 Air Rifle:
Gamo Swarm Magnum, Multi-Shot Air Rifle

Gamo Swarm Magnum Swarm Magnum Air Rifle

Pros

  • Super fast shooting
  • Excellent for animal control
  • Accurate at various distances
  • The cocking is nice and smooth
  • Quiet operation, less noisy than most air rifles

Cons

  • It might be difficult to cock at times
  • The scope may not be as reliable as some expect
  • One of the inner springs may pop out from time to time

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were able to use this rifle mostly for animal control purposes. They were able to knock down squirrels, skunks, and raccoons to name a few. One of the users said that he was surprised how much firepower it had upon initial use. Furthermore, he added that he was able to consistently hit his targets from about 20 to 30 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is perhaps one of the most powerful air rifles to be chambered in .22 caliber shots. The .22 is one of the more preferred rounds for air rifles. Especially if you’re using it to ward off any unwanted critters that want to cause you a lot of frustration and headaches. Sure, your property is important, and you must do what’s necessary to protect it from any damage.

Who Will Use This Most

As expected, this will be a rifle that will have its uses in varmint hunting. It’s easy to cock and will provide a lot of accurate and precise shooting each and every time. If you’re looking for a rifle that will get the job done with as little noise as possible, this is the rifle you might need.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The scope can be done away with. Once again, this is a rifle where the scope might excel in one feature (image quality), but won’t do squat. So you’re better off removing the scope and replacing it with something with a little more durability and reliability. 

Bottom Line

The Gamo Swarm Magnum is hands down one of the best in the business when it comes to .22 caliber airsoft rifles. So if you want one that will be superior to any other varmint control rifle on the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find a rifle quite like this.

Most Powerful .177 Air Rifle:
Magnum Air Rifle

Magnum Air Rifle

Pros

  • Super fast shooting
  • Very powerful firing power
  • The trigger is easily adjustable
  • The scope is reliable for most users
  • Accurate at some impressive distances

Cons

  • Hard to cock upon initial use
  • Might be a little too loud for suburban use
  • The scope may not be working for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle was impressive with many of the new buyers. Not only were they able to get excellent firepower out of this, but they were able to knock down almost every single target from some pretty good distances. Some users were able to hit targets from as far as 70 yards (and sometimes beyond). One user said it was quite powerful and a little loud. Thankfully for him, he lives out in the country.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is by far one of the most powerful air rifles on the market. There might be others that will give it a run for the money, but make no mistake, it’s got the velocity and the power to send each shot a little farther than most. Other than that, the rifle is quite durable in construction. Built like a tank, but can definitely deliver a devastating blow to most varmint and large invasive critters like groundhogs.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be an excellent rifle for...you guessed it, varmint hunting. However, the .177 is an excellent caliber for target shooting. So you can expect a handful of users to be blasting off shots using paper targets or glass bottles with this puppy. No matter what the application is, this is the rifle that will most certainly fit the more hardcore users of air rifles.

What Could Be Improved and Why

This rifle should be a little easier to cock from the get-go. It can make the rifle a lot easier to use. Furthermore, you can shoot your shots quickly and cock it once again to get another one off much faster. Sometimes, you’ll miss a target, but a quick follow-up shot will definitely make up for it.

Bottom Line

If you’re a fan of the .177 caliber, the Magnum Air Rifle is hands down one of the best high-powered rifles out there. Whether it's for varmint hunting or target practice, you’ll have a lot of power in your hands if you ever get the chance to have this rifle as your own. 

Most Powerful .25 Break Barrel Air Rifle:
Hatsan Model 125SN Combo.25, Black

Hatsan Model 125SN Spring Combo .25cal Airgun, Black (HC125SN25)

Pros

  • Little to no recoil to report
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Powerful and accurate shooting
  • Stands out as a really good target shooting rifle
  • Cocking the gun is actually easier than most air rifles

Cons

  • Scope adjustments might be a bit stiff for some
  • The scope may not be as reliable as some expect
  • Some might have concerns with the overall quality

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle was quite the hit with new users. A lot of them were using it for target practice. They were able to hit consistent bullseyes and around it at various distances (from 10 yards to 50 yards out). One user said that it's so powerful, he was able to get his shots a little farther than the previous air rifle he’s used in the past. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is known as a break barrel rifle. These have a muzzle brake that can be used to reduce the amount of recoil found in high-powered rifles. This will definitely give you a powerful shooting ability while making sure there is no muzzle jump to speak of. That alone leads to better accuracy and stability. Some of them are powerful but don’t make a lot of noise compared to other break barrel rifles.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a favorite among target shooters. It’s got enough power to go the distance, regardless if you’re firing off rounds with paper targets or cans and bottles. This rifle is suitable for most ages (and probably the only high-powered rifle that young kids can use properly). If you want something that will make a great starter rifle, then you’re probably looking at this one as a possible option.

What Could Be Improved and Why

A possible improvement would be to include a better scope. Something that is known for its clarity, easy adjustments, and durability. There are many rifle scopes out there that fit the bill. Alternatively, you can find one that fits such criteria so you can replace the scope that comes with this to what you’ve chosen.

Bottom Line

If break barrel air rifles are your thing, then the Hatsan Model 125SN .25 Air Rifle will be something that’s right up your alley. In fact, it can work out just fine as a possible starter rifle for anyone that has never used an air rifle before. 

Pros and Cons of Investing in One of These

There are some advantages and disadvantages of investing in a high-powered air rifle. Yes, these are to be expected when you purchase one. So rather than withhold what we know, let’s give you a list of what pros and cons that come with these rifles:

Pros

More Effective Than Regular Rifles

In an animal control setting, they can be as effective compared to regular rifles that use live ammo. In fact, some will dare say that hunting these small critters with live ammo would be considered overkill. So the best possible option would be to use an air rifle that can pack enough of a punch to knock them down at some considerable distances.

Fast Shooting

Depending on the velocity, most of these rifles will have shots that travel fast. The more power it’s got, the farther the shot will go. So if you want speed, these are the rifles that you want to go with.

Hours of Fun

No matter the application, these airsoft rifles are quite fun to fire off with. No matter how many rounds or targets are at your disposal, these rifles will definitely be awesome to use no matter what your age is. However, you must practice proper gun safety when using these. We’ll discuss a couple of reasons why in our list of cons.

Cons

May Cause Serious Injury or Even Death

Depending on how powerful these rifles are, improper use can have potentially dangerous consequences. The muzzle of the rifle cannot be pointed at you, especially in your face. These rifles are powerful enough to have shots hit you at fast speeds. They will be fast enough to cause any kind of serious injury or death.

May Not be Suitable for All Ages

Granted, there are some rifles that children can use safely, but there are a handful of high-powered rifles that may only be used by older teens and adults. The reason being is due to the power that it contains. A powerful rifle with a velocity of 800 fps is fine for a young kid. However, 1600 fps may not be an appropriate velocity for them.

Conclusion

The best high-powered air rifle is out there. You’ll need to find one that will fit your personal needs and preferences as well as your desired application. Eventually, you’ll find one that will be accurate, reliable, and definitely packing quite the punch. One of these six could be yours if they match your ideal dream air rifle. 

What People Ask

The following are a couple of frequently asked questions that will give you a better understanding of how these high-powered air rifles work. Be sure to use this section as a reference while searching for an air rifle of your own. Here are the following questions:

Are High-powered Rifles Legal? 

The short answer: it depends. In the United States, there mostly legal although shipment may be restricted to certain states. But to be on the safe side, check your local and state laws regarding how air rifles should be used. This will save you some legal headaches that might stem from unintentionally breaking the law.

What is the Most Powerful Air Gun in the World?

There is no definite answer to this question on which rifle is the most powerful in the world. But we can give you an estimate on the velocity. There are some airsoft rifles that are considered the most powerful with velocities of 1650 fps. Only a few airsoft rifles on the market are able to shoot rounds with the speed clocked at this velocity. 

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!

Leave a Comment