A pre-charged pneumatic air rifle, or a PCP airgun as it's commonly referred to, is unique in that it uses a pump to pre-charge the air in the gun. One great advantage to this type of air rifle is that you no longer need to keep buying CO2 cartridges!
We put together our list of what we consider the best PCP air rifles out there right now in 2018.
Our Top PCP Air Rifle Recommendations
Crosman Benjamin Discovery Pre-Charged Pneumatic PCP Dual Fuel .22 Cal
The Crosman Benjamin Discovery is a pre-charged (no pumping) air rifle with a 200 psi fill level. It's also a dual fuel rifle meaning it has a CO2 adapter that converts the rifle to a CO2 powered version. The CO2 adapter is not included and will need to be purchased separately. The rifle is about 36 inches long and weighs around 14 pounds.
The Crosman is a .22 caliber pellet gun that shoots projectiles at about 900 fps (feet per second). It's a pre-charged pneumatic rifle featuring front and rear fiber optic sights, an integrated dove tail rail on the breach for mounting other accessories, a bolt action cocking mechanism, and a built in air pressure gauge. By removing the cap at the end of the rifle you can fill it up to 2000psi (pounds per square inch) using a paint ball tank or a standard air compressor. It also has a wooden stock.
Out of the box with no modifications, after the rifle is sighted in, you can achieve 1-2 inch groupings. The rifle can shoot from 2000psi all the way down to around 1000psi without needing a recharge. Overall the gun is pretty accurate without having to do a ton of modifications.
The first thing I noticed was the pressure gauge. It isn't quite as accurate as I'd like it to be. The pump that I filled it with has a gauge and that reads about 100-125 psi higher than the rifle does which is concerning since I don't want to over fill it. The finish on the gun could be a little more durable too. I get that things will scratch here and there but it seems like the barrel and stock scratch easy.
Overall the Crosman Benjamin Discovery is great value for the money.
Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle
The Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle is a 10-shot repeater best pcp air rifle that shoots .177 caliber pellets (there's also an 8-shot one that takes .25 caliber pellets). It's an uber-quiet air rifle that uses compressed air to fire pellets.
The Marauder has several desirable features for an air-powered rifle. It has an auto-indexing feature and an adjustable metal trigger. The raised aluminum breach makes the rifle super easy to load. It has a light weight ambidextrous stock that's much lighter than a lot of the wood stocks on the market. The Marauder also has a built in air pressure gauge with is very handy for seeing how much shooting time you have left. There is also a reversible bolt for left handed shooters.
Right out of the box this gun is very easy to sight in. Without a lot of effort I was able to get 1-2 inch groupings. The rifle is also super lightweight. It almost feels like a toy it is so light until you fire it and it's extremely powerful. It's also incredibly quiet for how powerful it is. Lastly, I love how easy it is to pull the trigger. On a lot of rifles you really have to pull hard and this one is like a hair trigger.
Despite all the good stuff about this gun, there are some concerns. The bolt is difficult to pull back and it also takes a long time to pump up with the hand pump. The gun also seems to jam a lot and it is difficult to clear. When it is working it is an awesome rifle but it is higher maintenance.
Overall, the Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle is top notch when it's working but bring your patience.
Diana Stormrider Multi-shot PCP Air Rifle
The Diana Stormrider Multi-shot PCP Air Rifle is a bolt action repeater pellet gun with a rotary magazine that holds 9 shots. It's an inexpensive entry level rifle great for the young shooter or those that just want to do some light target practice or small game hunting.
The Diana Stormrider comes loaded with features right out of the box. Other than the bolt-action repeater, other features include 900fps (feet per second) speed for pellets, up to 2900psi capacity, manual safety, 9 shot magazine, fill probe with male disconnect fitting, integrated pressure gauge, single stage trigger and fully adjustable rear sight among other features.
This is one of those rifles that gets better with time. When I took it out of the box it was a bit loud but after you fire it a dozen times or so it gets way quieter. I also noticed that some of the factory screws were a little loose but not sure if that was only on mine. After tightening them everything was all good. It's a pretty solid rifle for the price especially if you are just getting into air rifles. I can see this one being an 'old faithful' type of gun.
One irritating drawback is that if you aren't careful, the magazine will double load a pellet in the barrel and you'll wind up getting it stuck. I think if you just try not to move too fast that won't happen. When it does though it's a major pain. Another negative is that you have to purchase extra hardware if you want to mount any kind of good aftermarket scope on the rifle. These two things aren't that big of a deal but just something to consider.
Benjamin Armada PCP Powered Multi-Shot Bolt Action 25 Cal Hunting Air Rifle
The Benjamin Armada PCP powered Multi-Shot bolt action 25 cal hunting air rifle is well suited for small game and predator hunting. It is a tactical rifle that does not have a wood stock. It is backwards compatible with the grips and stocks of the Mil-Spec AR-15 and comes with a bipod.
- Precharged pneumatic rifle that takes 2,000 to 3,000 psi with adjustable rate of velocity.
- The telescopic buttstock has an AR-15 pistol grip
- The stock is ambidextrous with reversible bolt
- It has reversible bolt action
- Picatinny rail space of five inches.
- Eight shot multi-shot magazine
- Two stage adjustable trigger
- It weighs 7.30 pounds without the scope or bipod.
- Can deliver 16 to 30 shots on each fill.
- The pellet velocity is 900 FPS and it has 50 foot pounds of energy.
- This rifle is extra quiet thanks to the sound suppression of the internal shroud.
- The velocity can be adjusted and there is a manometer to check the air pressure at all times.
- Can be adapted to make it a single-shot rifle to maximize accuracy.
- It is backwards compatible with the AR-15 rifle.
- It is officially licensed to be compatible with M-LOK interface modular accessory system
- Extremely quiet rifle can be made even more quiet as it is compatible with a suppressor.
- Very accurate and powerful rifle.
- If you are left handed you will have to request for the bolt to be moved at the time of ordering.
- The rifle no longer comes with the degasser. You have to buy this tool separately.
- The scope is average and it is the first upgrade typically needed.
- The price point of the rifle is on the expensive side for an air rifle.
BSA 140154 Buccaneer SE Pre-Charged Air Rifle
The Birmingham Small Arms Company, often abbreviated as BSA, has been a UK manufacturer of high quality firearms since the mid-1800s. Their BSA 140154 Buccaneer SE Pre-Charged Air Rifle is a .177 caliber shooter with impressive noise reduction in a fairly lightweight package. The gun can be used for target practice, plinking, and pest control. You can also use it to hunt for game if you want to be stealthy. BSA is known for their uncompromising attitude when it comes to design and manufacturing. The Buccaneer SE continues a tradition of excellence with a beautiful beech stock and reliable performance.
The main feature of this air rifle is the SILENTIUM system. It is BSA's best attempt yet at noise reduction to help people practice their passion without disturbing others in the vicinity. This is crucial is many cases as it lets them shoot more without any worries. They can also hunt more effectively since the animals around won't be alerted by loud bangs. It could mean the difference between a successful day out and a fruitless mission.
The overall length is 42.5 inches while the barrel length is 24 inches. It weighs a comfortable 7.7 pounds which is not the lightest in this category but certainly far from the heaviest models. The stock is made from beech wood with a lovely brown finish. It has an ergonomic ambidextrous grip and a ventilated rubber buttplate. The powerplant is a pre-charged pneumatic that feeds off a 153 cc cylinder. Max velocity is rated at 1000 fps.
- Ultra quiet operation is great for hunting
- Up to 50 shots per fill for .177 pellets
- Beautiful wooden stock
- Built-in air pressure gauge
- Other compelling rifles in the price range
- Manual safety
Choose the BSA 140154 Buccaneer SE Pre-Charged Air Rifle is you value quiet operation and prefer PCP power.
Gamo 600054 Urban PCP.22
The Gamo 600054 Urban PCP.22 is ideal for those searching for an entry level pre-charged pneumatic air rifle for game hunters as well as those looking to get rid of rodents from their yard. In addition to being quiet, the Gamo 600054 is perfect for hunters who are concerned about weight or scaring away game after each shot. The Urban also features Gamo's Shock Absorbing technology which reduces recoil by up to 70 percent. This will provide an easier time maintaining aim in case your first shot is a miss. This PCP air rifle offers stealth and comfort which is what any game hunter needs.
- 11mm dovetail grooves
- 10rd removable rotary magazine
- Built-in manometer
- 2-stage CAT (Custom Action Trigger)
- 700 fps with a lead hunting pellet
- 800 fps using a PBA pellet
- Ambidextrous synthetic stock and adjustable trigger
- Whisper Maxxim Technology for a quiet shot
- Hammer-forged rifled steel barrel
- Manual safety
- Weighs only 6.60 lbs
The pros with the Gamo 600054 Urban PCP.22 far out weigh the cons. It's light weight feature makes it easy for both the young and old to carry around. The ambidextrous synthetic stock allows both left- and right-handed shooters to use the Urban with ease. The pros include;
- Lightweight for easier carrying
- Accurate (Up to 40 yards)
- Quiet for stealthy hunting
- Pump friendly
- Heavy pellets
- Easy cocking
The Urban is good for many things but it too does come with some downsides. For instance, the Urban only comes in .22 call. Other cons include;
- Extra magazines are expensive
- Plastic trigger
- Long take up on trigger
- No factory option for bipod and sling
Crosman PCP Challenger .177 Caliber Pre-Charged Pneumatic PCP Air Rifle with Sight
Competitions demand the highest degree of accuracy from equipment. Not every rifle can make the cut. Crosman has specifically created the PCP Challenger to pass and exceed the high standards for this type of activity. Enthusiasts and serious marksmen can use it for target shooting, as well as for most types of competition. This is a Sporter Class air gun that has been approved by the National 3-Position Air Rifle Council for its sanctioned events.
The Crosman PCP Challenger .177 Caliber Pre-Charged Pneumatic PCP Air Rifle with Sight is the successor to the Challenger 2000 which was itself an incredibly popular piece of gear. They have the same ambidextrous bolt handle and adjustable stock. The biggest difference is that the new one features an integral locking mechanism that has been patented by the company. There is also a Lothar Walther barrel and a 2-stage match grade trigger that combine for supreme accuracy.
The rifle's PCP system accepts compressed air but power can also come from CO2. The built-in pressure gauge is always visible to alert the user of any drop. The loading port is easy to manage so you probably wouldn't mind using it again and again. It may be a sophisticated air rifle but anyone can operate it with ease. Lead pellet velocity can reach a maximum of 630 fps which is low for game hunting but adequate for competitions. The front sight has a hooded interchangeable aperture while the rear sight uses micro click. Synthetic materials keep the who package light.
- Lightweight stock
- High degree of accuracy
- Reliable PCP
- Adjustable stock and trigger
- Low max velocity
- Some owners report pressure issues
The Crosman PCP Challenger .177 Caliber Pre-Charged Pneumatic PCP Air Rifle with Sight is for those who are serious in taking up shooting as a sport.
Benjamin BPBD3S Bulldog .357 PCP Hunting Rifle
Airguns are quickly rising in use and power. There are more and more fine air arms hitting the market like the Benjamin BPBD3S Bulldog .357 PCP Hunting Rifle. This magnificent and futuristic looking rifle has all the stopping power using only pneumatic power.
A pre-charged pneumatic supply provides enough power for ten penetrating shots before needing a recharge. Aside from the awe inspiring power and rugged look of this weapon it is highly practical and portable. This weapon is a must have for any avid hunter looking to expand their arsenal.
This weapon has some awesome features packed into a small frame. It is 30% smaller in size than other rifles of comparable stopping power. The Weaver and Picatinny sights and rails make this an accurate shot straight out of the gate and easy to customize as well. A five round auto rotary clip with a ten shot capacity make this perfect for hunting small groups of coyotes or wild hogs. The unique thing about this weapon is that it comes stock with a SoundTrap baffle-less trapezoid sound suppressor making it supremely ideal for shooting one straggler without alerting the rest of the group to scatter. A sidelever action with a two stage fixed trigger make this weapon a quick firing single shot weapon. It is an average weighted weapon at under eight pounds, and when coupled with the short length this weapon is ultimately versatile when in use.
The Benjamin BPBD3S Bulldog .357 PCP Hunting Rifle has so many good points about it from its stylish looks to the lightweight frame and portability factors. Besides that the customizable features there is plenty to love about this weapon.
The one small complaint most people have had is that the ten round capacity can be a small amount when trying to stay mobile. This is nothing to discourage anyone from owning and using this gun though.
Gamo Coyote Whisper Fusion PCP Air Rifle
Gun manufacturer Gamo has an impressive range of air rifles in its product line. Among them is the Coyote Whisper Fusion. This is a .22 caliber model that is billed as an entry level PCP air rifle. Those who are new to the game and are looking for gear to ease them into the game may want to consider this product. Gamo says that quality was top of mind while they were designing this piece knowing that it is a crowded space with high expectations. Let's see if they were able to fulfill their goal.
The Gamo Coyote Whisper Fusion PCP Air Rifle has an overall length of 42.9 inches and a barrel length of 24.5 inches. It weighs a good 7.85 pounds which puts it in the middle of the pack in terms of the scales. It is apparent that they had beginners in mind when you look at the trigger pull which requires only 2.2 pounds of force. Max velocity at 1000 fps using PBA Platinum pellets. The stock is made from beechwood as most of the hardwood models are.
Shoppers will be drawn to this air rifle because of the pre-charged pneumatic cylinder mechanism that gives it good power, reliability, as well as accuracy. Action is through a classic bolt system. There is a removable magazine that can accommodate up to 10 pellets, a hammer forged rifled barrel, and a self-regulated valve. It also features proprietary technologies such as a Custom Action Trigger (CAT) and Shock Wave Absorber (SWA) butt plate.
- Non-slip design
- PCP mechanism
- Light trigger pull
- Whisper Fusion Technology
- Could be cheaper
- Charge probe not included
The Gamo Coyote Whisper Fusion PCP Air Rifle is for beginners who want a PCP mechanism for accurate target shooting and vermin hunting.