by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I’m setting the price bar at $150, so there will be more suggestions. I will organize them by rifles, pistols and other stuff. Remember, these are just MY suggestions. Don’t forget the Pyramyd Air Christmas Gift Guide.
We’ll start with the Daisy Avanti Champion 499. That mouthful of a name is for the world’s most accurate BB gun. Made for kids as young as eight, this is the only gun used at the International BB gun Championships held at Bowling Green, Kentucky, each year. Plenty of adults will like this one, too, as it is super-accurate at the specified distance of 5 meters (16.4 feet). If you buy this gun, also buy the right ammunition and plenty of the official targets.
Staying with youth rifles a moment longer, consider the Hammerli 490 Express. Suitable for kids 10 and older but also loved by adults. It’s light, easy to cock but has a hard trigger. Very accurate with most quality pellets.
Another great youth rifle pair are the Gamo Recon and the slightly different Lady Recon, which has a pink stock and open sights. These rifles are light, accurate, easy to cock and a real value. For youth 10 or older but not suited to adults because of the short stocks.
Stepping out of the youth category, we come to the Benjamin 392. It’s a .22 multi-pump. If you want it in .177 caliber, get the Benjamin 397. Both are American classic air rifles. Suitable for teens and adults. Use with Crosman Premier pellets in the appropriate caliber (.177 cal and .22 cal).
The Crosman 1077 is a classic CO2 rifle suited to kids from 12 to 100. It’s a super value, but don’t forget that CO2 is temperature-dependent so this is not a cold-weather gun. Also, buy Crosman pellets and plenty of CO2 cartridges.
The Crosman 2100 is a super value multi-pump pneumatic. Suited to youngsters 12 and older and adults, the 2100 shoots both BBs and pellets. I recommend it for pellets, alone, because of the accuracy potential. Use Crosman pellets.
Crosman’s 2260 is the rifle they turned into the famous Benjamin Discovery PCP, so you know it’s a winner. A CO2 gun, as well, and in .22 caliber. Shoot it with Crosman Premier pellets or JSB Exact domes. Suited to teens and adults.
Another great multi-pump is the Daisy 22SG. Comes with both a scope and open sights. For the money, you get more than with any other multi-pump. This one is in .22 caliber and is suited to close-range hunting (25 yards and less). Nothing wrong with Daisy’s pointed Precision Max pellets. For teens and adults.
For general plinking and all-around fun, the Daisy 953 is hard to beat. Suited to kids 12 and up and adult, the 953 is adult-sized in the stock, so be advised. It’s accurate, fun to shoot and not too loud, so it’s an indoors rifle, too.
I cannot say enough good things about the single-shot IZH 60 rifle or its repeating sibling, the IZH 61. Suited for children 8 and older, all the way up to adults. These are accurate rifles and well-suited to use indoors. They’re quiet and relatively low-powered. Real Russian technology. Gamo Match pellets
Another super buy in a breakbarrel springer is Mendoza’s RM-200. Available in either .177 or .22, it’s light, easy to cock, and has the accuracy you expect from a Mendoza. Suited for teens and adults. Crosman Premiers in either caliber.
Owners rate the Ruger Air Hawk combo very high for value. It’s an entry-level breakbarrel suited to teens and adults. Crosman Premiers.
The Daisy Avanti 717 Triumph Match is a great indoor target pistol. It’s quiet and easy to pump, plus it’s quite accurate. This is for adults who can handle a heavier handgun, because it’s quite heavy and intended for a one-hand hold. I recommend Gamo Match pellets.
The Benjamin HB 17 is a multi-pump pistol that’s all American. Not terribly accurate or powerful, this pistol is all brass and wood, harkening to a day when things were made to last. It’s just a great plinker. Teens and adults. Use Gamo Match pellets.
I can’t go past the Benjamin EB 22 CO2 pistol. Another great piece of Americana. I picked this one in .22 because that’s the only caliber it comes in and also because CO2 is more powerful in a pistol than air in a multi-pump pistol. Teens and adults. Use Gamo Match pellets.
For action shooters, the Drozd is hard to top. It’s semi- and full-auto, but restricted to bursts of 3 or 6 rounds, only. Shoots steel BBs and is powered by CO2 cartridges. Teens to adult; because of the steel BBs, make certain that everyone wears safety glasses.
Got someone who likes action handguns? Get them a Magnum Research Desert Eagle pellet pistol. It’s one of the most accurate repeating pellet pistols I have ever tested. Gamo Match pellets and lots of CO2 cartridges, because this one is a gas hog with its real blowback action. Great for shooters with large hands. The grip is enormous!
My absolute top action BB pistol is the Makarov BB pistol. Superior accuracy and lots of shots. Buy lots of CO2 cartridges and BBs. Ages 12 to adult. Use eye protection.
Second only to the Makarov is the Tanfoglio 1911 BB pistol. Another accurate gun. 12 and up. CO2. Steel BBs. Use eye protection.
I’ve already recommended a chronograph, so the number one “other stuff” item on this list has to be a Heavy Duty metal bullet trap. Your airgunner won’t buy it for himself, and he will regard it like sox on Christmas day, but every time he uses it for the rest of his life he will appreciate this thoughtful gift that will never wear out. All ages.
To preserve the domestic tranquility (i.e., peace and quiet) around the house, the Quiet Pellet Trap is superb! With a lot of guns, the sound of the pellet hitting the trap is the loudest sound. This will end that. It’s not cheap, but true peace always comes at a price. All ages and this one is suited for steel BBs.
Wanna save a bundle? Buy two Impact Putty packages and let your handy airgunner build his own quiet trap.
Whew! That’s quite a list. Hopefully it will be of some help. And don’t forget that the earlier parts linked at the start of this report are also good lists to consider.