Best Pump Air Rifles of 2019 – Ultimate Round-up

Pump air rifles are great introductory firearms and can be used for recreational or light hunting purposes.

They're easy enough to use and can be used for getting rid of common outdoor pests with consistent results. They're also not very dangerous and can be fine toys for children once they've learned how to use them properly.

Let's determine the best pump air rifles on the market.

Comparison Chart of the Best Pump Air Rifles

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle

  • .22 caliber.
  • Best Overall.
  • Shoots up to 685 FPS.
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Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump .177 Air Rifle

  • Runner-Up.
  • .177 caliber.
  • Shoots up to 600 FPS.
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880 Powerline Air Rifle Kit

  • .177 caliber.
  • Best for the Money.
  • Shoots 750 FPS BBs, 715 FPS pellets.
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Crosman 760 Pump Master Variable Pump

  • .177 caliber.
  • 18-pellet magazine, 200-BB reservoir.
  • Up to 600 FPS with pellets and 625 FPS with BBs.
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Bear River Sportsman 900 Air Rifle

  • .177 caliber.
  • 4x15 scope included.
  • Up to 800 FPS with pellets or BBs.
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What is a Pump Air Rifle and What is it Used For?

Pump air rifles are types of air rifles that require manual pumping to provide the air pressure necessary for pellet propulsion. These air rifles don't require a CO2 gas cartridge or any other power source to shoot BBs across far distances.

Pump air rifles typically use compressed air to produce pressure that's stored in an airtight container until the trigger is pulled. The manual pumping action is what allows air into the compressed-gas reservoir. 

Most pump air rifles are used for target shooting or for getting rid of small animals depending on the power of the air rifle and the type of BB pellet used. They're good beginner firearms since their chance of inflicting lethal damage on another human is quite low.

Air rifles are also quite easy to purchase as you don't require much licensing or background investigation in order to own one for yourself.

How to Choose a Pump Air Rifle

Choosing a good pump air rifle depends upon looking for the following major components.

A Comfortable Stock

The stock of your air rifle helps provide balance and stability against the recoil of your weapon. While some air pump rifles won't have much recoil to begin with, a comfortable stock will allow you to use the weapon for long periods without compromising your accuracy.

In addition, the position of some stocks can make the pumping action of the rifle easier or harder. Consider your height and the reach of your arms in comparison to the stock of any given air rifle to determine if it'll be a good fit for your needs.

Barrel Length and Noise

Some barrels are specifically designed to be quieter than others. This can be advantageous if you plan to shoot the air rifle in a populated area or if you want to hunt small animals that are infesting your property. Quieter rifles aren't likely to scare critters away or bother the neighbors.

On the other hand, you should also try to find a barrel that's long enough to provide good accuracy. Barrel length is often related to better accuracy at distance. So if you want to shoot targets far away or at the edge of your pellet caliber's operational range, get an air rifle that has a good barrel.

Trigger

You should also try to find an air rifle that has a decent trigger. This includes a safety that you can engage easily whenever you're not about to take a shot. Safeties can help you avoid injuring other people by accident or wasting ammunition.

Good triggers are also very smooth when you pull them. This prevents the trigger pull from throwing off your aim, which can be a big deal if you're trying to hit precise targets from far away. 

Quick Take - The Best Pump Air Rifles

Review of the Best Pump Air Rifles

Here are some reviews of the top pump air rifles currently available on the market. Keep a close eye on how the rifles differ from each other so you can determine the best one for your needs. We’ll start with our choice for the best overall pump air rifle.

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

Pros

  • Comes with scope
  • Stock is comfortable
  • Sights are easy to adjust
  • Multi-pump for power control
  • Has American hardwood in the design

Cons

  • Included scope is easy to use but not super accurate

What Recent Buyers Report

While recent users have indicated that the weapon is fun to use and its pumping action is responsive and snappy, the included optics aren't as accurate as they would like. It's nice that this rifle comes with adjustable sights, but their lack of overall accuracy negates this advantage somewhat.

Why it Stands Out To Us

We think this rifle is worth its "Best Overall" spot due to its excellent construction and smooth operation. Pumping the rifle is easy and consistent, and the trigger is smooth when it's pulled to improve accuracy.

The rifle is also a .22 caliber and can deliver up to 685 FPS. This is plenty of power and speed to take down small animals infesting your property.

Who Will Use This Most

Those who need to handle animal infestations or who are serious about deterring intruders will love this air rifle. It's also a great intermediate firearm for kids who aren't old enough for a real gun but who can safely use something with a bit more kick.

Bottom Line

This is a dependable and powerful pump air rifle that evokes a classic American aesthetic while benefiting from smart design innovations.

Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump .177 Air Rifle

Pros

  • Sights are easily adjustable
  • Comes with a versatile accessory rail
  • The adjustable stock allows for increased comfort
  • Loop slots allow you to swing this around your chest
  • Purchase comes with a sight adjustment tool for accuracy

Cons

  • Not very sturdy
  • Trigger is weak

What Recent Buyers Report

The pump air rifle is easy to use and incredibly fun, particularly for kids. The pump lever is integrated into the forearm for easy maneuvering. However, the trigger and many other parts of your rifle are noticeably weak. It's low-budget indicates that it's made with cheap materials in many cases.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle is a great option due to its excellent lever location and Picatinny rails. The lever location makes it easy to use for virtually anyone regardless of upper body strength and all the attachment rails give this affordable pump air rifle a lot of versatility.

Who Will Use This Most

Pump air rifle enthusiasts and people who like to tinker with their air rifles will enjoy all that they can accomplish with this weapon. The adjustable stock and loop slots allow it to be used by people of all shapes and sizes and the removable magazine makes carrying spare ammunition a breeze.

Bottom Line

This is a great pump air rifle for kids or for air rifle enthusiasts who want to have some fun. It's not powerful enough to be super consistent when it comes to hunting vermin, but it's great for fun target practice and experimenting with different accessory and scope configurations.

Best for the Money:
880 Powerline Air Rifle Kit

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

Pros

  • Comfortable stock
  • Stock is wood-grain
  • Fiber optics included
  • Decent reservoir capacity
  • Comes with plenty of BBs and pellets in purchase

Cons

  • Bolt handle made of cheap plastic
  • Scopes included aren't super accurate

What Recent Buyers Report

Folks who recently used this pump air rifle have really enjoyed its ability to switch between BBs and pellets and still deliver consistent speed and impact ratings. However, while the included optics are a nice boost to value for money, they aren't super accurate and anyone serious about hitting precise targets will need to purchase custom optics later.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This pump air rifle got our attention thanks to its extraordinary value for money. It has one of the best looking and most comfortable stocks in any pump air rifle and it delivers consistent power and performance regardless of projectile type. The fact that you can adjust the sites is nice, even if the included scope could use some work.

Who Will Use This Most

People more interested in targeting very small game or hitting targets close-up will have a lot of fun with this rifle. Since the optics aren't amazing by themselves, your effective range is a little limited. However, getting close to rats and similarly-sized animals will allow you to take them down with fair consistency.

Bottom Line

This is an affordable and versatile pump air rifle that can serve a variety of purposes.

Crosman Pumpmaster 760 Variable Pump .177 Air Rifle

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Fits well to the shoulder
  • Trigger pull is consistent
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Can use BBs and pellets equally well

Cons

  • Pumping action is difficult due to handle length

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent users of this pump air rifle report that it's fun to shoot and easy enough to use, except for the pumping action itself. The pump works fine but it's a little short for certain users, which limits how many people can enjoy all that it has to offer.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This rifle is one of the most affordable pump air rifles you can find and still receive consistent results. The high compression pump action gives this rifle greater value for money, and its ability to use BBs and pellets equally well is an excellent feature.

Who Will Use This Most

Folks who are more interested in target practice during recreational hours will enjoy this rifle. Don't expect it to hit bull's-eyes at farther ranges, but you can reasonably expect decent accuracy provided you tinker with the sights for a while.

Bottom Line

This pump air rifle is a good choice if you're on a budget but can't afford to sacrifice too much quality.

Bear River Sportsman 900 Air Rifle - Multi-Pump .177 Airgun - BB/Pellet Gun with Scope Included

Pros

  • Tough, rugged design
  • Holds up to 50 BBs at one time
  • Pumping action feels smooth and steady
  • Scope integrated is small and lightweight
  • Excellent power for both ammunition types

Cons

  • The included scope, while nice, isn't very accurate

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent users of this pump air rifle report that the pumping action is exceptionally smooth and you can expect consisted of small animal kills if you can manage to use the included scope with any real accuracy. For an included optic, there's a lot to be desired.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This pump air rifle looks and feels exceptional, especially when you consider its low asking price. The fact that you can deliver pellets or BBs with such high power is great for those serious about eliminating vermin infestations.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone interested in hunting small critters or using an easy-to-pump air rifle would do well to check this out. There's also something to be said for folks who enjoy a more military aesthetic with their air rifle weaponry.

Bottom Line

This pump air rifle is a great choice for beginners and recreational air rifle enthusiasts alike, even if the scope is low-quality.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Consider these key aspects before you make any final purchase.

Type

Every type of pump air rifle will require manual pumping to prepare the weapon to fire. However, there are two broad categories of pump air rifles to choose from.

Pneumatic air rifles require you to manually pump air to build up a reservoir of compressed gas. These usually have a movable lever at the bottom of your firearm. Every pump of the gun will increase the amount of air in a reservoir, so each pump divides more power when you pull the trigger.

Pneumatic air rifles are typically inexpensive and can shoot BBs or pellets alike, although they are a little slower to fire since you have to pump the rifle multiple times for maximum power and accuracy.

There are also spring air rifles. The pump that you manually maneuver pushes a small piston, which causes a spring to be compressed. The spring remains compressed until you pull the trigger. As the spring releases, it pushes a piston forward to quickly compress the air in the chamber behind your BB pellet. This provides the pressure needed to shoot BBs far away.

Spring air rifles are typically powerful and are simple to operate. They also have high and consistent muzzle velocity.

Caliber

The caliber of your air rifle can dictate overall accuracy and what you can hunt with it. .177 and .22 caliber pellets are the most popular, and larger calibers are better for hitting small animals within a short range. Keep in mind that the higher your caliber, the slower the pellet velocity and the lower your effective range.

Scope or Scope Mount

You should also see if your chosen air rifle either comes with a scope or has an attachment rail for you to place your own. Scopes can drastically improve your accuracy at a distance and help you hit shots that you would otherwise struggle with.

Many scopes are inexpensive and won't throw off your balance. If you're at all interested in target shooting, you should certainly consider investing in a scope, or else purchase a rifle that comes with scope optics already.

Pros and Cons of Pump Air Rifles

Pump air rifles have a number of advantages and disadvantages relative to other air rifles.

Pros

Inexpensive

For starters, pump rifles are usually inexpensive compared to other types of air rifle weaponry. You can purchase many models of pump air rifles for less than $100 and still have an excellent firearm for target practice or general recreation.

Easy to Use

Pump air rifles are also easy to use. They don't require a big understanding of gun construction or reloading since they require only manual gas compression for each shot. They do require a little bit of physical strength to pump the weapon consistently.

Safe

Pump air rifles are also quite safe since the caliber of pellets accepted by common models isn't typically very large. That means that there isn't much of a danger for kids to accidentally hurt each other drastically when they are playing with pump air rifles.

Since they're so safe, pump air rifles are excellent for beginners and are great tools to teach youngsters or beginners about firearm safety and accuracy.

Cons

Not Powerful

Pump air rifles usually aren't very powerful, again relating to the sizes of their pellets. The manual method of obtaining compressed air also limits their power severely. This means that you won't be able to use pump air rifles to hunt larger animals or act as a serious deterrent to intruders on your property. These are recreational rifles and can only be used to effectively kill small critters.

Slow to Fire

Pump air rifles are also relatively slow to fire, even if you choose a spring type. While some models allow you to pump multiple times and fire off a few shots in quick succession, you'll always have to go back and pumping more air eventually.

Conclusion

Overall, the best pump air rifle will depend on your budget, your goals, and your comfort level. Consider the options carefully and remember to consider the main features of each choice before finalizing a purchase. Good hunting!

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