By Sportsman’s News Pro-Staff
The holidays are upon us and Christmas lists are being compiled all over the world as we speak. One gift that just never gets old and is high on many a youngsters and oldsters list is the good ol’ air rifle (a.k.a. BB gun, pellet gun). The Sportsman’s News team has put together a review on a few of the great airguns available at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse and we are sure you will be able to find the perfect one for the youngsters or the young-at-heart in your life.
Crosman was founded in 1923 in Rochester, New York, as Crosman Arms Company. Its credo then, as now, was quality and innovation. From its inception, Crosman’s principal products have been products for the shooting sports, primarily airguns and airgun ammunition.
Then, in 1966, Crosman introduced its own Crosman branded airgun, the Pumpmaster 760, selling for $27.95. Today the ever-popular Crosman Pumpmaster Model 760 still sells in the same price range, with more than 14 million rifles sold.
Crosman acquired the Visible Impact Target Company in July 1991, as well as the Benjamin Sheridan Corporation in February, 1992. Benjamin has continued as a dominant U.S. manufacturer of high-end pneumatic and CO2 powered airguns. Sheridan was one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of high quality paintball markers. During 1995-96, Crosman introduced several new, innovative products into the spring air powered airgun market to complement its traditional strength in the pneumatic and CO2 powered airgun markets.
With the new millennium came the Crosman Challenger 2000®, an affordable, three-position, CO2 powered, competition target air rifle. Crosman now had a strong entry in every major segment of the airgun market. Also in 2000, Crosman entered into a partnership with USA Shooting, the organizing body for competitive shooting sports in the United States. And, in 2002, It also introduced its first line of airsoft pistols, designed for low-impact, recreational target shooting.
In 2003, Crosman continued its strategy of becoming a one-stop-shopping opportunity for retailers and became the US distributor for Umarex airguns. Also in late 2003, Crosman introduced the first US designed and manufactured break barrel air rifle, the Benjamin Legacy 1000 and Legacy 1000 X, two state-of-the-art models featuring 26-pound cocking pressure and muzzle velocities of up to 1000 feet per second. In addition, the company introduced AirSource™, the new 88-gram disposable CO2 tank for paintball and airgun use.
In 2004, Crosman broadened its offering in both the break barrel air rifles and rapidly growing airsoft market by introducing several innovative new models in both categories. And, in 2005, adding to its list of firsts, Crosman introduced the Nightstalker, the first semi-automatic air rifle featuring realistic blowback action, making it more authentic and exciting to shoot.
In 2007, the company broadened its line of air pistols and expanded its offering outside the traditional airgun category with the debut its new optics division, CenterPoint Precision Optics, and established stronger distributor relationships in a number of major international markets. Also in 2008, Crosman introduced the industry’s first affordable, pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle at 2000 psi, the Benjamin Discovery.
In 2009, the company continued to build on the success of the Benjamin Discovery with the launch of the Benjamin Marauder, a revolutionary new, multi-shot, bolt action rifle with a two-stage, adjustable, match grade trigger and an ultra-quiet internal shrouded barrel. Crosman also bolstered its line of premium airsoft products with distribution agreements with Classic Army and Spartan Imports, adding high-end, skirmish grade, 1:1 scale replica airsoft guns to its line.
Late in 2009, Crosman announced the formation of two new divisions. The CenterPoint Hunting and Outdoors Division, focused on providing the hunting industry with high quality crossbows and crossbow accessories, as well as precision riflescopes and other feature-rich optical products for shooting. The new Game Face Airsoft Division introduced the revolutionary new Verdict Marker BBs for airsoft play and three new, skirmish-grade airsoft rifles.
Today, Crosman Corporation is an international designer, manufacturer and marketer of Crosman pellet and BB rifles and pistols, Copperhead ammunition, high quality Benjamin pellet rifles and ammunition, airsoft rifles and pistols, crossbows and precision optics.
Crosman Corporation has been dedicated to innovation and quality since 1923. Its mission is to design, produce, and market the best quality product at the most cost-effective price that fills both the wants and needs of the shooting public, while proactively advocating proper gun safety and proper gun etiquette.
760 Pumpmaster Starter Kit
The 760 Pumpmaster is what all the other multi-pump pneumatics want to be! In production for decades, over 14 million have been sold. It shoots BBs or .177 pellets and does so with power and accuracy.
At less than 3 lbs., it’s a great starter air rifle. The stock and forearm are made of a durable synthetic that takes lots of use and still looks good. An economical rifle, the Pumpmaster takes up to 10 pumps to send BBs 625 fps and pellets 600 fps. The checkering on the grip and the indentations on the pump handle make it that much easier to get a grip and stay on target. Ideal for plinking and target shooting. It’s so light that you can shoot all day! Suitable for younger shooters (with adult supervision).
Pellets are loaded into a 5-shot clip, while BBs have an 18-shot magazine, which is fed from the 200-shot reservoir. It comes with a fiber optic front sight, but you can get even more accuracy by mounting a scope or red dot on the 11 mm dovetail. This special kit includes the 760 Pumpmaster, 100 Premium BBs, 100 .177 pellets, a red dot sight (unmounted), shooting glasses and five official NRA targets.
Caliber: .177 BB
Pellet Velocity: 600 fps
BB Velocity: 625 fps
Weight: 2.75 lbs.
Length: 33.5 inches
Barrel : Smooth
Benjamin Trail NP All Weather
Designed and engineered for the small game hunter, the Benjamin Nitro Piston Trail Series will knock them off their feet before they know what hit them! This powerful break-barrel air rifle doesn’t lose its velocity if left cocked in preparation for a quick shot and its reduced recoil improves accuracy. Your package includes a 3-9X40mm CenterPoint precision scope, featuring an adjustable objective and Mil-Dot reticle, bull barrel, quick lock optic mounting system, sling, mount system, and ventilated rubber butt plates. The All Weather features a durable synthetic stock and a daunting 23 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. And you won’t believe how quiet this gun is, reducing noise up to 70%. Jim Shockey endorses this line and adds, “Finally, a hunting airgun with real knock down power”.
The Benjamin Trail NP All Weather is truly a great airgun. It has the look and feel of a high-power rifle and the optics are very good. We were shooting five-inch groups out of the box and down to one-inch groups after only nine shots. And when Crosman says it is quiet, you will think you are using a silencer!
Model Number : BT9M22SNP
Power Source: Nitro Piston
Caliber: .22 Pellet
Velocity: 950 fps
Weight: 8 lbs.
Length: 43.25 inches
Barrel : Bull
Scope : 3-9X40mm
Daisy Outdoor Products is the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of airguns, ammo and accessories. In fact, 2011 marks their 125th anniversary. Each year they produce in excess of five million items, the bulk of which are airguns, the firm’s specialty. In addition, Daisy works with a number of national youth organizations to provide young owners of Daisy products the opportunity to learn the responsibility of gun ownership, through shooting education programs and also the excitement of national shooting competitions.
Daisy actually had its beginnings back in 1882, as Plymouth Iron Windmill Company, a manufacturer of windmills in Michigan. However, by the late 1880’s the windmill business was changing and the struggling company began looking for new ways to attract customers.
In 1886, Plymouth inventor Clarence Hamilton introduced a new idea to the windmill company. It was a combination of metal and wire, vaguely resembling a gun that could fire a lead ball using compressed air. Lewis Cass Hough, then president of the firm, gave it a try and, after his first shot, enthusiastically exclaimed, “Boy, that’s a daisy”!
The name stuck and the BB gun went into production as a premium item given to farmers when they purchased a windmill. The gun was such a huge success that Plymouth Iron Windmill soon began manufacturing the Daisy BB gun in place of windmills. On January 26, 1895 the company’s board of directors officially voted to change the name to Daisy Manufacturing Company, Inc.
The sturdy little Daisy BB gun quickly became a staple with American youth and youngsters all across the land cut their shooting teeth on a Daisy. Competition was keen at the time, with guns such as Bulls Eye, Dewey, Hero, Dandy, Atlas and others appearing almost overnight and disappearing just as quickly. Over the years, Daisy has continued to improve and expand their line of airguns, putting model after model within the reach of every young shooter’s pocketbook and skill level.
One gun, more than any other played a major role in making Daisy the household name it is today. Introduced in 1939, the Daisy Red Ryder has sold over nine million units, easily making it the most famous BB gun ever built! Today, Daisy has literally become a household word, selling guns in almost every country and on over five continents.
You have probably heard the saying, “It All Starts Here…With A Daisy”. How true it is for most of us. Well, start your youngsters out shooting right with the Model 105 Buck BB rifle. Suitable for shooters 10 and older (with adult supervision) this lever-action spring rifle is lightweight, easy to cock and durable. The engraved solid wood stock is just the right length for young shooters. BBs can fly out the steel barrel at up to 275 fps and there’s plenty more where that came from: It holds 400 BBs! To help new shooters sight-in on their targets, the 105 Buck has a TruGlo fiber optic front sight and a fixed rear sight. The fiber optic sight is an excellent teaching tool because it’s easy to describe and identify and easy for the shooter to place right under the bullseye!
We were amazed at how accurate the Buck was at our testing distance of 25 feet right out of the box. This rifle is perfect for plinking, shooting paper targets and for training new shooters. Of course, more experienced shooters will want to shoot this rifle to visit times past when they owned their first Daisy lever-action. This Christmas, give yourself and a young shooter a great gift: Get them involved in shooting sports and build a relationship with them that will last a lifetime!
Action: Lever Cocking, Spring Air
Velocity: 275 fps
Length: 29.8 inches
Caliber: .177 BB
Barrel : Smooth
When shooting skills demand a higher level of performance, step up to PowerLine®. From traditional-style pump rifles to quality break-barrel designs, to high-powered pistols, PowerLine® delivers greater velocities and improved accuracy to help advanced shooters achieve their marksmanship potential. Step up to the line. PowerLine.
The PowerLine Model 901 features a black advanced-composite stock and forearm. The 901 is a full-power rifle that shoots BB’s or .177 pellets, sending BB’s screaming downrange at 750 fps (715 fps for pellets). Target shooters will be in the black with the adjustable rear sight, the TruGlo® fiber optic front sight and the rifled steel barrel. The 901 is a multi-pump pneumatic. Combine that with the variety of ammo you can use and this rifle becomes one of the most versatile airguns on the market! The 901 is a BB repeater and holds 50 BBs. As a pellet shooter, it’s a single-shot.
The 901 was one of our favorite airguns in our testing. It is lightweight, very easy to pump and exhibited plenty of power with only five pumps (as tested). We were grouping shots out of the box in the red and we had a tough time putting this gun down because it was such a pleasure to shoot!
Action: Mutli-Pump Pneumatic
Velocity: 750 fps Maximum
Length: 37.5 inches
Weight: 3.70 lbs.
Caliber: .177 (BB or Pellet)
Barrel : Rifled Steel
For over 120 years Gamo has been in the air gun industry, designing and producing high quality and high powered air rifles, air pistols and airgun ammunition for small game hunting and pest control.
Today Gamo is the largest manufacturer of airgun pellets in the world and one of the most recognized air gun manufacturers in Europe. Competing successfully worldwide, Gamo air guns can be found in more than fifty countries and used daily by hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
Back in the late 1880’s, when they were known as Antonio Casas, S.A., they started out making a variety of lead products in Barcelona, Spain. Sixty years ago, they started to specialize in high quality airgun pellets for the European market.
As they expanded, they formed a new company, Industrias El Gamo and began making high quality performance airguns. In a short time, they became popular not only in Spain, but today, Gamo is the largest airgun manufacturer in Europe. Shooters in over 50 countries all over the world use their air rifles and air pistols. One of the reasons for their success is that they produce and inspect each of their components and make all of their own metal parts. Strict quality control procedures are followed to ensure the best possible product reaches you. Every 1-2 hours, each air gun undergoes a thorough check. Random air guns are put through torture tests. Random air guns from each model line are put through torture tests, including shooting them 10,000 times. Then they are carefully inspected for deterioration and wear. Before final packaging, every air gun is closely inspected again for overall quality, power, accuracy and finish.
Gamo is a world leader in the production of top quality, accurate airgun ammunition. An airgun is only as good as the airgun pellets it shoots. And that is the reason why for decades, Gamo has used the most updated methods to produce the best bulk-packed air gun pellets in the world.
Their mission is to become long-term partners with their customers, delivering the finest products, using the latest technology, supported by unparalleled customer service.
The Gamo Recon offers a great look, combining an all-weather molded thumbhole synthetic stock and a rifled-steel fluted polymer jacket bull barrel. Gamo’s Recon is an ideal entry-level break-barrel spring rifle, suitable for younger or smaller shooters . The lightweight ergonomic design allows for fast deployment and reloading while having the safety features of an adult gun. Our test model featured a new 4×20 scope, exclusive ergonomically designed tactical synthetic stock, two stage trigger with automatic anti-bear trap safety and manual trigger safety and 21 lbs. cocking effort.
Overall, the Recon is an excellent airgun for those being introduced to the sport. The Recon is very compact, lightweight and the cocking effort is very minimal. The 4X20 scope is fine for close range shooting and a good addition for young hunters that want their gun to look like Dad’s! Like all GAMO airguns, the Recon is not a toy and young shooters should always be supervised by an adult.
Model: Recon Whisper
Action: Break Barrel, Single Cocking System
Velocity: 525 fps
Weight: 4.63 lbs.
Length: 37.2 inches
Caliber: .177 Pellet
Barrel : Fluted, Polymer Jacketed Rifled Steel Barrel
Silent Stalker Whisper
The Silent Stalker Whisper offers all-weather durability combined with maximum performance. Light weight synthetic stock, match grade fluted barrel and 1300 fps with PBA make the Silent Stalker perfect for small game hunting, targets and all around pest control.
Gamo’s original Whisper air rifle was an incredible rifle that just about took over the spring gun market. It’s hard to believe they could improve it, but they did! The Silent Stalker Whisper is an engineering wonder because of Gamo’s IGT gas spring. The Inert Gas Technology makes the Silent Stalker Whisper a superior hunting machine that performs reliably in any weather, under any condition and for years without any maintenance. Spring guns are notorious for not performing well in very cold weather. Guns with metal mainsprings have tar and lube on the springs. The greases thicken when the temperature goes real low. A gas spring, on the other hand, needs no lube. Therefore, it won’t have any of the problems experienced by springers. Besides the gas spring, Gamo’s Silent Stalker Whisper has the same ND52 technology found in the rest of the Whisper series. ND52 is a noise dampening system that permanently fits on the muzzle and decreases the report by 52% over springers without the system.
The Silent Stalker Whisper preformed very well. The optics are very clear and we were shooting two-inch groups after only eight shots. We found the overall weight a little light and the report out of the box a little louder than expected, but by the end of our testing session, it had quieted down nicely.
Model: Silent Stalker Whisper
Action: Break Barrel, Single Cocking System
Velocity: 1300 fps
Weight: 7.15 lbs.
Length: 43 inches
Caliber: .177 Pellet
Barrel : Fluted Polymer Jacketed Steel With ND52 Technology
Scope : 3-9X40mm
Stoeger X Series are modern, high-tech air rifles with the look and feel of quality European sporting arms. Developed by Italian engineers and designers, Stoeger air rifles combine rugged, efficient design with quality manufacturing. Stoeger air rifles are suitable for shooting interests from plinking and target shooting to pest control and small-game hunting.
X Series airguns are chambered for .177-caliber and .22-caliber, high-velocity alloy or hard-hitting lead pellets. They are powered by a fast and convenient break-barrel, spring-and-piston system. Every Stoeger airgun is ready to shoot with a single cocking stroke—requiring no CO2 cartridges or propellant cans.
The latest innovation from Stoeger Airguns is the X20 Suppressor, which employs Air Flow Control (AFC) technology. The Dual-Stage Noise Reduction System™, designed by world-renowned silencer designers Humbert CTTS, makes it the quietest airgun in its class.
Unlike other airgun manufacturers that utilize only sound dampening baffles, Stoeger’s X20 Suppressor utilizes the Dual-Stage Noise Reduction System™. By combining the functions of an internal air-regulator ring and baffles that work in tandem, noise is reduced better than any other airgun on the market. The air-regulator ring has four decompression holes that bleed off most of the compressed air before the pellet even enters the baffles. The remaining compressed air dissipates throughout the baffles further reducing noise.
When tested in a certified anechoic chamber by F-Squared Laboratories, an independent testing facility, Stoeger’s X20 Suppressor proved to be as much as 7.05 decibels quieter than the competition’s “quiet” airguns.
In velocity comparison tests the X20 Suppressor not only achieved the highest average velocity among the tested airguns, but also, produced the most consistent velocities, important for attaining optimum accuracy.
The X20 Suppressor comes with a quality Stoeger 4×32 compact airgun scope with an illuminated reticle. The scope is factory mounted with rings that attach directly to an integral dove-tail located on the top of the receiver.
The X20 was very impressive. The scope was already mounted and bore-sighted (but a little under powered at 4×32,) it was definitely the quietest high powered airgun out of the box and its sleek design made it very easy to aim and fire. We also really liked the safety mounted on top at the rear of the barrel and also the fact that it automatically reset to safety after each shot.
Model: X20 Suppressor
Action: Break-Action Breech-Loader
Power Source: Spring Piston
Velocity: 1200 fps with alloy pellets (1000 fps with lead pellets)
Weight: 7.0 lbs/8.6 lbs. with scope
Length: 43 inches
Caliber: .22 (.177 cal also available)
Barrel: Rifled, Blued Steel
Scope: 4 X 32 Illuminated Red/Green