So what are your favorites now?

Monday, March 21, 2011

You don’t have to read this blog for very long to figure out that Your Humble Correspondent is a beady-eyed, slavering, unrepentant, not-in-the-twelve-step-program, airgun junkie. Put an airgun in my hand and chances are that I’ll find something to like about it. I just plain love airguns. I love that they cost just pennies a round to shoot, that by and large they don’t generally make much noise, that I can shoot them in my back yard, and that they are just plain fun.

In many ways, I think we are living in the Golden Age of airguns right now. So many manufacturers are making such great stuff that we airgunners have really a wide selection of excellent air rifles and air pistols to chose from.

What follows are some of my current favorites.

The RWS 34 Meisterschutze Pro Compact. This air rifle surprised me by turning out to be one of the most accurate break barrel air rifles I have shot in a long, long time. With one of these, a shooter could hunt, plink, shoot air rifle silhouette or field target without breaking the family budget. You can read more about it here

The RWS Model 56 TH. This is a big, heavy, wickedly-accurate sidelever springer air rifle with an excellent trigger and a recoilless action. If you can put up with the weight, it is a certified tackdriver. You can read more about it here and here

The HW35E is an absolute classic break barrel springer, available new today. What sets it apart from all other break barrels currently available – apart from its euro styling – is the breech latch that makes sure the barrel and breech have returned to the same position after loading for greater accuracy. The HW35E shoots great and looks terrific. For more info, look here:

When it comes to precharged pneumatic rifles, two spring readily to mind. The first is the Gladiator Tactical. It has enormous storage capacity, gets a huge number of shots between fills, has power levels that can be adjusted at the flick of a lever, is a fast repeater, has a very neighbor-friendly report, and is satisfyingly accurate. You can check out more here and here

For a PCP rifle that you could use to hunt just about anything you might reasonably want to hunt with an airgun, I’d pick the .25 caliber Marauder. It delivers over 40 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle and, with its Green Mountain barrel, will deliver dime-sized groups at well beyond 50 yards. You can get more info here:

When it comes to pistols, I am very fond of the RWS LP8. You can learn more about it here: But any of the HW45 pistols are enormous fun to shoot and extremely well made. You can check out one example here:

If you want a rifle that embodies everything I prize most in an air rifle: accuracy, quiet, fully self-contained, repeater, and powerful enough to dispatch any small game or pests you might want to take with a pneumatic rifle, the FX Independence has it all. Here’s a link to my review:

Finally, if you absolutely forced me to choose just one airgun as my overall favorite, the one that would be the absolute last one I would be willing to give up, I think it would be an HW30. It’s light, easy to cock, fully self-contained, a delight to shoot, nicely accurate and capable of taking small game out to about 30 yards or so with proper shot placement. Here’s a link to my review of the HW30 De Luxe

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott


  1. M.Albrecht,MD says:

    In addition to the HW 30 De Luxe, my vote goes to the HW75,Daystate Air Wolf MCT DaystateMK 4S and Brocock Grand Prix.pistol .

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for your comments. I haven’t had the chance to shoot the Daystate Air Wolf MCT or the Mk 4s, but I’ll agree that the HW75 and Brocock Grand Prix are very nice pistols!

  2. Robert from Arcade says:

    Jock: I have and like some of the springers you mentioned ,but the MSP are still my favorites. That FX Independence is interesting but to rich for me. I wish Croman would make a small run of their MSP’s with retro style stocks and heavier levers and guts . How about a .25 cal Benji 312 style rifle ,with reciever sights, thumb safety, and a MV of 650 fps on ten pumps? Wouild be great for indoor pesting , and small urban/suburban backlots. A fat slow pellet = no pass thru’s and .25 cal tradjectory would not be an issue at less than 20 yards. Or maybe a more powerful, revised 1400 in .22 ,with a full size styling ,user modable styling, and a good trigger. I like my airguns to be light ,handy , and self contained as to power plant. Just some of my thoughts on the topic. Take care,Robert.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Thanks Robert!

      1. Henry Kramer says:

        Jock, I take it you worked with Ted Osborn or at least knew him. I know nothing about air guns but do know that Ted was working on a book about them with a co-author. It is my sad task to tell you that Ted passed away suddenly early in March in Ithaca, NY. We are planning a “celebration of life” for Ted here soon. If you are that co-author or would like to share anything about Ted with us, you can reach me at

        Henry Kramer
        Ithaca, NY

  3. Bob Todrick says:

    Jock, I have your tastes but am on a single fathers (with two young sons) budget.
    My favorites are:
    853c Avanti…cause with minimal outlay (under $500 with upgraded sights and trigger) I have a gun that is quite competitive in local 10m competition)
    Gamo Compact…same reason as above.
    Slavia 631 with Leapers scope…just a nice gentle shooting gun. Can hit penny at 40 yds everytime which is about the limit of the space I have.
    Umarex Colt .45…been through a couple of Umarex products. This and the PPK (now owned by one of my sons) are great handling, realistic feeling…and pretty darn accurate at 30′ (the Colt, not the PPK)
    And last, but by no mean least, the BAM B3-1 (the AK lookalike). My two sons feel in love with this gun as soon as they saw it (they watch too many war movies). So last year I bought one for each of them. They’re great (for the price). Darned accurate at 30yds with open sights, cool looking and just enough recoil to let you know you’ve pulled the trigger, but easy enough for both of them to cock (they are 8 and 10).
    In fact so darned ‘cool’ that Santa brought one for dad this past Christmas.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Thanks Bob!

  4. Jim Lowe says:

    I am fairly new to adult airguning so I do not have a lot of experience from many models, At this time I have to select the HW35E. I love the classic styling and is perfect for shooting in my backyard. My particular gun is in .177 cal. so might not be powerful enough to hunt at longer distances, but that’s what my future guns will be for.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Thanks Jim!

  5. Larry Pirrone says:

    The 35e is a great gun. I love the balance. I shoot FT with a tx 200. I took the 35 out with me one day for sight in. After shooting the TX I picked up the 35. At my two zero points, 35 and 20 yards the 35e was shooting the same size groups and Ii did not find it at all hold sensitive. I could shoot an FT match and do well with this gun if I could get it scoped for FT. My 35 is somewhat modifiied and shooting 845 fps with jsb express 7.9 but still has very light recoil. It is a definate winner.

    There are some beautiful and collectible old examples out there as well.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Thanks Larry for your comments!

  6. nyhunter says:

    jock, as my name states, i am predominantly a hunter. i have many favorites. rws 34. 350 48. career II in 22 and 25. careerfire 201 in 9mm. crosman 2240 modded with 14in barrel gamo 1250 hunter in 22 tuned and 27.5fpe.daystate 80fpe airranger.and abt 70 plus others i wont get into. i love all airguns my benji 312 sits at the ready by my door to whack the starlings that molest my orioles that nest in my yard

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Thanks NYhunter!

  7. Marvin says:

    So many cool pistols to think of, but for my taste I prefer a modified Crosman 1377 and 2240, both modified to .25 caliber with lots of guts added.

    Great site you have and please keep up the great work!

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for your comments and the kind words!

  8. Dale Johnson says:

    Jock, have to agree on the HW 30. Would have to pry my R-7 out of my cold, dead hands. regards, Dale

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Roger that, Dale, you made me laugh!

  9. Gunnery Sergeant says:

    Webley Patriot thoughts???????? My Turkish .22 is a surpreme being.People dog Turkish versions,Um no…….mine is 32 footpounds,accurate as anything.Must have gotten a goodie!

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Gunnery Sergeant,

      I haven’t tested a Turkish Webley Patriot.

  10. Gunnery Sergeant says:

    Fair enough, there are many an air rifle out there. Not everyone can fire every model ever made… but many would like too… Cheers anyway

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