Firearms seem more popular when it comes to hunting because of their power. However, those using the most powerful air guns will know the real gem.

Hunting air guns are supposed to be more accurate at a distance of 50 yards and less, and more importantly, those weapons are comparatively quiet. If you, unfortunately, miss the first shot, you will be less likely to scare the game off. For all reasons above, we recommend airguns for small huntings such as birds, squirrels, rabbits, or waterfowl, etc.

This post will mainly discuss the top 5 most powerful air guns, along with a complete buying guide and FAQs for your reference.

If you are new to airgun hunting, you should start with easy-to-use rifles. And obviously, you do not have to pay so much for those primary guns. An affordable choice like the Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal is good enough.


  • .117 calibers
  • 43.3 inches long and 5.47 lbs
  • Spring pistol powered
  • Single cocking break barrel
  • Muzzle velocity of 1250 fps
  • 4 x 32 shockproof scope included
  • 1-year warranty

Overall, the gun is neither long nor cumbersome for entry-level players to get used to – only 44 inches long and under 6 lbs. Excitingly, this affordable weapon shoots different types of pellets from the common Daisy to the high-quality H&N pellets. Moreover, the nice trigger and additional scope make it easy for new hunters to shoot accurately. Would love it better if the gun comes with some open sights rather than the scope like the time being.

In sum, this is the best plinking break-barrel gun hands down for the money when it comes to shooting small games like pests, squirrels, and rabbits.

Best-seller: Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle

Looking quite similar to the Gamo airgun, this Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle is, in fact, another .177 caliber we want to bring under your fingertips. For your information, this is among the top-in-line hunting air guns on the market.

For good reasons:

  • .117 calibers
  • 44.8 inches long and 2.2 lbs
  • Spring pistol powered
  • Single cocking break barrel
  • Muzzle velocity of 1000 fps
  • 4 x 32 shockproof scope included
  • 1-year warranty

As you can see, the features of Ruger Blackhawk Combo are also almost the same. Nonetheless, what makes its fan club is the well-build and highly-accurate shots.

Accordingly, the stock is made of all composite materials with the checkered grip pattern on the forearm and pistol grip sections. The composite is not only more heavy-duty than the wood, but it is also water- and weather-proof. For that reason, you can expect the gun to last from years to years. Ruger Blackhawk features two sights about the accuracy: the built-in fiber-optic sight and the other 4×32 scope. Then, you can use one as your preference. Just a small note is that the scope included is truly not very high-quality.

To conclude, Ruger Blackhawk Combo is also good at targeting small games like pests, squirrels, and rabbits.

Best-silent: Gamo Silent Cat air rifle

If you like the Gamo 611001715, you might fall for the Gamo Silent Cat air rifle.


  • .117 calibers
  • 46 inches long
  • Spring pistol powered
  • Break Bull barrel
  • Muzzle velocity of 1200 fps
  • 4 x 32 shockproof scope included
  • 1-year warranty

It seems that the Gamo Silent Cat air rifle is not very different from its brother. However, you will want to get it when knowing that the gun features the Whisper® suppression technology. Thanks to it, the shooting sound is supposed to reduce by 52%. Even better, the noise muffler is added to the barrel without affecting the overall efficiency and performance.

This quietest powerful air gun is recommended for those who hunt the sensitive squirrels, vermin, and rodents without causing any inconvenience to their neighbors.

Best Big-bore: Hatsan BT Big Bore Carnivore QE

That the air gun is commonly used for small games does not mean there is no high power air gun available for big-bore hunting. Take this Hatsan BT Big Bore Carnivore QE, for example.


  • 0.357 calibers
  • 46 inches long and 9.3 lbs
  • Adjusted for trigger pull
  • Repeated bolt action
  • Muzzle velocity of 730 fps
  • 1-year warranty

While regular powerful air guns are often up to .25 calibers, the Hatsan BT Big Bore Carnivore QE features 0.357 calibers. This is an enormous improvement for big bore games because it provides good shot count and exceptional accuracy. Meanwhile, the noise level is minimized in half. The only thing that makes you hesitant is its pricey tag!

Best Overall: Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock PCP

Without having to spend too much on Hatsan BT Big Bore Carnivore QE, you can just go for Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock PCP.


  • 0.25 calibers
  • 42.8 inches long and 7.3 lbs
  • Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) powered
  • Multi-shot bolt action
  • Muzzle velocity of 900 fps

As a .25 cal PCP air gun, the Benjamin Marauder is powerful enough to create pressure between 2000 to 3000 psi so that hunters can adjust the velocities as wished. Moreover, it is possible to shot constantly without changing the magazine.

So far, so good!

How to Choose The Most Powerful Air Gun for Hunting?

Defining your targeted games

In fact, you might not need the most powerful air gun if you hunt small and slow games. Thus, you should start choosing hunting airguns by understanding your true requirements.

  • Small game guns for small pests and vermin.
  • Medium guns often have all features like those of the small versions but are higher in speed and power.
  • Large air guns will take down deers and wild boars from an impressive distance.

Picking up an appropriate power

Once you define the targets, you can decide on the sizes and power needed. Then, an important note for you is never to use the velocity without power.

Although today, many hunters argue about killing the games humanely, we do not think so. Rather than shoot million to one with very little power, it would be better to take down the animals in one accurate shot.

When it comes to hunting airguns, we would recommend one of 12ft/lb of energy at the muzzle, equivalent to .177 caliber pellets at 827 f.p.s or .22 caliber pellets at 615 f.p.s. Lower than this point and the airgun ends up being limitedly useful, and the more powerful weapons will reach out further.

Selecting Best Air pistols or calibers

An air pistol is supposed to be accurate. However, most air pistols produce 6ft/lb – lower than the limit of 12ft/lb that we mention above. There are truly powerful pneumatic air pistols, but you should be prepared to pay quite a lot for it. Instead, you should go for airgun pellets (or calibers) of .177; .20; .22; or .25.

  • The .177 pellets are the smallest and also the fastest of the four. Thus, you should use this to hit a nickel and for very small games like grey squirrels.
  • The .20 and .22 pellets are the most commonly used in the hunting airguns because of its punch and impact, as well as the affordable price.
  • The .25 pellets and more– of course, are the more effective. However, such a pellet is often costly and not widely produced.

Understanding the firing action

There come four common options available.

  • Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air guns

As their name suggests, this type of airguns use the high-power compressor or pump to precharge the pressure inside. They are often lightweight as well.

In drawbacks, the PCP guns are expensive and hard to load the pellets with their tiny holes.

  • Break-action air guns

Those guns come with a heavy spring that is strong enough to expel the pellets out of the barrel at a high velocity. Nonetheless, you might only use the guns for target practice rather than on hunting because of the “thwang” sound created.

  • Variable-pump air guns

The variable-pump weapons are used to broach the subject thanks to its light and compact nature. Beginners will love those air guns, thinking of the low price and easy to use. However, reloading takes time and is not ideal in true hunting.

Surprisingly, a CO2-operated air gun is able to shoot 700ft per second – effective enough for rabbits or gophers. In addition, it is much easier and fast to reload the pellets.

Always prioritizing safety first

Safety is above everything. Small kill zones are the most ideal for hunting airguns, yet take care of your surroundings. The pellets can go beyond the targets and end up an innocent folk or animal.

Thus, always be careful to protect the sake of people and property. It is better that air guns come with safety features.


How do airguns work?

If you have not used an air gun before, you must always ensure that you will carefully learn about this kind of weapon before bringing it in your very next hunting.

In general, airgun will fire projectiles pneumatically using pressurized compressed air or other gases rather than creating any chemical reactions like firearms.

To do so, the air gun features a powerful air pump system of five pumps or more to create sufficient pressure within its reservoir. Also, there is a high-pressured filled air tank. This part allows semi-automatic firing to activate the triggeThehe barrel will then be cocked or broken, compressing spring to push the pallet out of the barrel.

What are the benefits of airguns hunting?

As we mentioned earlier, airguns are powerful enough for small huntings such as birds, grey squirrels, cottontail rabbits, or waterfowl, etc. within 50 yards.

Take the common .22 pellet and .177 pellet, for example. They are often big and good at transfering significant energy to kill the games cleanly. Furthermore, those guns have accurate iron sights and additional scope to shoot very close targets – extremely quietly, we might add. Then, you can knock down the games with a head or heart shot.

Apart from that, you will be happier to know that most air guns are legal in the U.S, given the fact that they are not a firearm that might require concealed-carry permission. You can easily own an air gun also because the price of the gun itself and the pellets are affordable. Excitingly enough, those reasonable weapons do not lose the quality easily since there is no powder, cases, or primers to worry about.

Are all high power airguns legal?

Let us confirm:

Most air guns are legal to use for hunting in the U.S, but not all of them. Moreover, these guns might be illegal in some other countries.

For example, in Wales and England, you are not required to have a license to have air guns having the power of 12ft/lb and below. Meanwhile, under the Northern Ireland laws, whatever air gun with the power more than 0.7ft/lb is considered a firearm held on a certificate as an air gun license.

The airgun laws in regard to age are more complicated.

Thus, you had better have a look at your local and national hunting laws to figure out whether you are allowed to have powerful airguns.

Are airguns hunting videos reliable?

Yes, they are.

If you cannot make a choice, you might want to refer to those airgun hunting videos to see how the gun works for the game.

Here an example:

What is the most powerful air gun?

The most powerful air gun on the list is Hatsan BT Big Bore Carnivore QE, we believe. This gun is ideal for those who are serious about big games hunting.

Last Verdict

All in all, air guns are super versatile, and one of its benefits is to hunt small games. Some are even helpful for big-born – like some options we introduce you above. We hope that you already pick up the most powerful air gun for your demand!

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