Best PCP Air Rifles of 2020 – Complete Review

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Finding the best PCP air rifle can be a challenge. But you’ll find the search process a lot easier if you know exactly what to look for in a rifle of your own. A good air rifle can be used across many applications. So you’ll need to find one that you can use for either general purposes or something where an air rifle can excel.

In order to help you find the best one for your own use, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of the six best PCP air rifles.

Before we unveil our list, we’ll be talking about what a PCP air rifle is and how they work. We’ll also go into how you can choose one for your own personal use.

Comparison Chart of the Best PCP Air Rifles

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle

  • Single-shot power.
  • Bolt safety included.
  • Best overall PCP air rifle.
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Crosman BP9M22GP Benjamin Discovery

  • Velocity is 900 fps.
  • Uses 2,000 PSI of air.
  • Runner-up for best PCP air rifle.
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Umarex Gauntlet PCP Powered Pellet Gun Air Rifle .22 Caliber

  • It provides quiet shooting.
  • Designed for general purposes.
  • Best PCP air rifle for the money.
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Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle (.22)

  • The velocity of 685 fps.
  • Best pump PCP air rifle.
  • Chambered in .22 rounds.
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Benjamin BTAP22SX Armada .22 PCP Rifle

  • 5-inch Picatinny rail included.
  • Made from high-quality parts.
  • Best PCP air rifle under $1000.
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Hatsan BullBoss Quiet Energy PCP Air Rifle, Side-Lever

  • Quietest PCP air rifle.
  • Includes side-lever action.
  • Includes a rail system for mounting scopes.
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What is a PCP Air Rifle?

PCP stands for “pre-charged pneumatic”. In other words, this is how the rifles themselves are powered. They tend to work when you pump up just enough air into the rifle itself so you can make sure that there is enough air for the round to be propelled and ejected from the rifle itself. The more air it has, the more powerful the shot will be.

How Does a PCP Air Rifle Work?

Most of these rifles work by using a hand pump. These are usually found on the rifles themselves. They can cock back the pump handle until they are unable to pump it any further. It will take a few pumps before a rifle is full and ready to go. The air will allow the pellet to travel at faster velocities depending on how much power is behind the shot itself. Some rifles will be more powerful than others.

What Makes These The Best of The Year?

There are a handful of characteristics and features that make these rifles stand out among the many that are flooding the market. It is important for you to know what they are so you can distinguish them from those that tend to be crappy and ineffective. Here are some of the characteristics you’ll need to look out for:

Price

If you’re a budget shopper, odds are you’re looking for a rifle that will be affordable for your budget. You should never sacrifice any quality just so you can save a few dollars. You should be able to afford the best possible quality that is within your budget. Even if it means spending a little more than expected.

What Intent or Purpose do They Excel at?

Granted, these air rifles can do a great job for general purposes. However, there might be a rifle or two that will excel greatly at a certain application. For example, something with more velocity and power might do very well in a pest control application. While a pistol with a little less power can be ideal for target shooters.

Quality Materials

The best PCP air rifles are made from the best materials like polymer and steel among others. Why? Because they are proven to be the strongest of the bunch for taking on multiple amounts of impact and abuse. The better quality the materials, the better off the rifle will be used for the long-term. 

Review of the Best PCP Air Rifles

Below is a list of the six best PCP air rifles that are currently on the market. As you go through every single one, you should take notes on which characteristics and features stand out. That way, you’ll be able to get a good idea of which one will match your criteria that makes up your “ideal PCP Air Rifle”.

Remember, “close enough” is a lot better than nothing at all. Now, let’s get to work by kicking off the first item on our list--our “best overall” choice:

Benjamin Marauder BP2564S Synthetic Stock PCP-Powered .25-Caliber Pellet Multi-Shot Bolt-Action Hunting Air Rifle

Pros

  • Firepower is pretty good
  • Excellent for general purposes
  • Synthetic stock is super durable
  • Excellent accuracy from various distances
  • Trigger pull is easy to adjust, really smooth operation

Cons

  • May leak right out of the box
  • Bolt might be hard to pull back at times
  • Air gauge might be defective in some models

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers were happy with the rifle overall. They were able to pump it up enough to make each shot go the distance. Most users on average were able to hit targets from about 30 yards away. One user said that his shooting groups were much tighter than his previous airsoft rifle.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle is built to last and built for fun. You can pump it up as many times as you like and go through so many rounds, you’ll never want to stop using it. Especially if you’re simply just firing off-targets. At the same time, it’s a great all-around PCP air rifle that you can use for just about anything.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used for target shooting or varmint control. Either way, it’s powerful enough to do the job. Just a few good pumps and a lot of rounds and you’ll be in business for a little while. Plus, this is for users who want a rifle that is durable enough to last them a long period of time (i.e.--a few years).

What Could Be Improved and Why

The bolt should be a little smoother to operate. This way, it will make it a lot easier to pump for many users. Sure, it may take a little longer than usual. But it will definitely be worth the wait every time you fire off rounds.

Bottom Line

The Benjamin Maurader proves itself to be one of the best PCP air rifles on the market and for good reason. If you want something that will be used for any intent and purpose, then this rifle might just be right up your alley.

Benjamin BP9M22GP Discovery .22-Caliber PCP-Powered And Pump Air Rifle

Pros

  • Super accurate shooting
  • Shoots straight right out of the box
  • Excellent velocity, pretty fast for a PCP air rifle
  • Excellent for varmint control and target shooting
  • Plenty of firing power to knock down a groundhog or some larger varmint

Cons

  • Some leakage may occur
  • It might be a little loud for some users
  • The pump may not be the best in quality

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, many of the new users were pretty satisfied with the rifle. It’s easy to pump and can deliver a potent shot each and every time. One user said that not only was he able to knockdown squirrels with ease, he was able to knock down some of the larger pests like raccoons.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This air rifle can reach up to 2,000 PSI. In other words, it’s pretty dang powerful for a PCP rifle. Other than that, it’s pretty accurate from the get-go. Slap on a scope that you like and you can probably take it a little farther than possible compared to a scope with one. Either way, you’ll get a bit of power and distance with this rifle.

Who Will Use This Most

This will ultimately be the best PCP air rifle that you’ll want to use for the purpose of varmint hunting. Especially when squirrels, raccoons, and even groundhogs tend to visit your backyard and cause some kind of trouble. If you don’t want any varmint to mess with your property, this is the rifle to use to send them a message.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Investigate why it might be leaking at times. Once the manufacturer is able to find out what the chief cause is, then it would be wise to make the adjustments to ensure that no leakage or misfirings will occur in the future.

Bottom Line

If you want a powerful firing ability and accurate shooting for varmint control, the Crosman PCP Dual Fuel .22 rifle might be exactly what you’re looking for. No small animal will dare set foot on your property ever again should you use this to take control of your lawn once again.

Umarex Gauntlet PCP Pellet Gun Air Rifle.22 Caliber

Pros

  • Easy to load and pump
  • Super accurate shooting
  • It doesn’t make a lot of noise
  • Excellent for target shooting and animal control
  • The magazine capacity gives you a lot of rounds to work with

Cons

  • Some models may leak at times
  • Might be a little weighty for some users
  • Bolt action might be a little tough to use at times

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle is affordable for many budgets, and a lot of people were happy with that. Even better, they were happy with this being used as a nice general purpose rifle that can maintain a great level of power and accuracy regardless of how they use it. One user said that he uses it for target practice just to tune it up for the real deal: varmint control.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle has a good deal of power, but it’s really quiet. So ideally, it’s the way a rifle should operate. It’s solid in construction, durable, and will definitely have its uses one way or another. Call it a multi-purpose rifle that will actually be useful for many users. Especially when you have a little bit of money to work with.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used for multiple purposes, but it may excel in such applications like regular target shooting. Not to mention, it can be powerful enough to knock down some varmint as well. No matter how you use it, the rifle has great firepower and will be reliable in the times when you need it the most.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The one improvement that we might suggest is to make the rifle weigh a little less. For something that is powerful for an air rifle, the weight may be a little unnecessary. It can be lightweight and still do some damage. Lighten up a bit without sacrificing any of the quality.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a great PCP Air Rifle that won’t suck the life out of your bank account, then you’ll love Umarex Gaunlet PCP Powered Pellet Gun. It will be used for just about any intent and purpose you can think of. So long as you can use it properly, you should be in good shape.

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

Pros

  • Sights are easy to adjust
  • Durable construction all around
  • Super accurate from various distances.
  • Excellent for target shooting or varmint control
  • The single-bolt action movement is smooth, no difficulty for most users

Cons

  • Trigger pull might be a little gritty at times
  • It can be hard to pump over the course of time
  • Sights may not be effective enough for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle impressed a lot of the new buyers. Especially the ones who wanted a pump rifle that would work effectively across a few popular applications. One of them said he uses it for both target shooting and varmint control. He was able to get consistently tight shooting groups on his paper targets. He was confident that this was the rifle that will do the same with small moving targets like squirrels.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle has probably one of the best pumping systems on the market. So, if you can easily pump it a few times, you’ll be able to get a good amount of power out of every shot. It will definitely get the job done no matter which application you use it for. Aside from that, the sights are full size and can be adjusted easily for windage and elevation.

Who Will Use This Most

It will be used mostly for varmint control, but don’t consider it useless in a target shooting application. Either way you slice it, it’s a rifle that will give you some pretty good firing power each time you take a shot. It won’t even take you long to achieve full power.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The sight adjustments should be a little less difficult. Especially if you want to make some adjustments on the fly if your shots somehow appear a little off. You can make the adjustments in a matter of seconds and shoot even straighter.

Bottom Line

The Benjamin Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle can handle the applications that are most popular with air rifles. It’s also worth every penny for those who are looking for an affordable rifle that has reliable pumping and accurate shooting.

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

Pros

  • Super accurate shooting
  • Can reach out as far as 150+ yards
  • The scope is quite reliable and accurate
  • Excellent for varmint hunting and target shooting
  • It can be backward compatible with some AR-15 grips and stocks

Cons

  • The stock might get loose at times
  • Some parts will easily break over time
  • Parallax adjustment on the scope might be a little stiff

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were impressed with the rifle for a few good reasons. For one, the accuracy was top notch, and the rounds were probably the farthest traveling for any air rifle on the market. One user said he was able to hit glass bottles from as far away as 125 yards. Even he was surprised that an air rifle could do that much damage from an impressive distance like that.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle can accept stocks and pistol grips from AR-15s? An airsoft rifle can do that? Apparently, this one in particular can. Also, it’s one of the most powerful PCP air rifles on the market that can go pretty far with each shot. Think of one that can go as far as 150 yards?

Who Will Use This Most

Expect this to be great for long-range target shooting. Especially those who want to spend hours on end firing at paper targets or glass bottles. Alternatively, you can probably use it for firing at varmint and small critters from a little ways away. Either way, most users will enjoy this for a long time.

What Could Be Improved and Why

A good adjustment worth considering would be making the parallax adjustment a little smoother than usual. Parallax itself can be a real pain and can throw your shots off course if you do nothing about it. So if you need to make adjustments on the fly, they have to move around without any difficulty.

Bottom Line

If you want a rugged-looking PCP air rifle that will be worth every penny with a price tag south of $1000, this is it. The Armada .22 Black PCP Air Rifle will definitely show up to play if you want to put the money down for it.

Hatsan Bullboss .25 Caliber Airgun, Black

Pros

  • Super durable construction
  • Easy to mount most scopes
  • Accurate from various distances
  • Super quiet, won’t disturb or alarm any neighbors
  • It can be used for target shooting and varmint hunting

Cons

  • May not accept all scopes
  • Fill probe is not the best for some users
  • Heavy in weight, might be a little uncomfortable to carry

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle is rugged in construction and impressive in performance according to one user. He also said that he uses it more for target shooting. Sometimes he’ll use it for hunting varmint, but he wasn’t disappointed with the accuracy or the firepower ability.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle is once again one of the more ruggedly designed rifles that can probably reach out and touch something. Specifically, it can go anywhere from 75 to 100 yards. Rugged and accurate are probably two of the best attributes that this rifle might be best known for, and they are two good reasons why we added this to the list.

Who Will Use This Most

Expect this to be a favorite among the target shooting and varmint control crowds. The latter half will probably outnumber the target hunters. No matter the application, this rifle is built to last and can do a pretty good job with hitting the targets quickly and accurately. If that’s what you’re looking for, this rifle will definitely make your mouth water.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Some adjustments to the fill probe should be considered. It will make loading a whole lot easier for most users rather than a frustrating task. You’ll be dealing with dozens of rounds, so you shouldn’t have to struggle with each and every one you’re trying to load into the magazine.

Bottom Line

The Hatsan BullBoss will definitely be a boss in the field or at a makeshift target range. It’s silent enough to not disturb anyone and it’s rugged in design. It will even be your best friend in varmint hunting if you happen to live in a more suburban area.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality PCP Air Rifle

There are some advantages that you’ll enjoy if you choose to invest in a quality PCP air rifle. If you decide to not get one, you’re definitely going to miss out on a lot. Here’s a small sample of the benefits that you might enjoy with a PCP Air Rifle:

Not Powered by Any Batteries

Most air rifles are powered by batteries that need to be recharged regularly. At times, they will also need to be switched out for a replacement. PCP air rifles are not battery operated. They are powered by the pump.

Hours of Fun

Whether you’re shooting at paper targets, bottles, and cans or hunting for small critters nothing is more enjoyable than using an air rifle for any intent or purpose. As long as you properly use one, you’ll be able to enjoy each and every use. 

Can Last You a Few Years

Yes, even these rifles are quite durable. So durable that when taken care of properly, they have the potential to last you a few years. They may last longer if you tend to replace some of the inner parts.

Conclusion

The best PCP air rifle is out there, and you’ll find one that will fit your needs and personal preferences eventually. Be sure to choose one of the six that you like the most so you can enjoy the awesome firing power and accuracy of these air rifles. 

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