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Best airguns for the money – Part 1Air rifles under $100

by B.B. Pelletier

I got an email a couple days ago from Hank, asking where was my posting on the best airguns for under $200. I couldn’t find it and neither could he, so I agreed to do one. Only $200 is such an arbitrary number that I decided to expand the subject to include everything. What follows is my opinion, only. You don’t have to agree with me, and the comments section is where you tell us what your list contains. I know this may not be a topic everyone enjoys, so it won’t be run on consecutive days.

Best under $100
I have several rifles in this category. Let’s start with the Crosman 1077. You can’t buy more fun for less money! Read about it in this blog.

Next, there’s the Crosman 2260. It’s a bit of the past upgraded with modern components. And, you can upgrade it more with parts from Crosman’s Custom Shop.

The Beeman Sportsman S500 belongs here. It used to be the Marksman 1790, and it’s loaded with plastic, but shoot one before you criticize. It’s fine for the money.

The Daisy Powerline 953 is a wonderful entry-level TARGET gun! Please don’t use it for hunting. For plinking, it’s great.

Daisy’s 22SG is close to the top of this price range. You can hunt with it, and it comes scoped for under $100! Yes, there’s plastic, but it works.

The Gamo Delta is a fine, inexpensive breakbarrel spring rifle. Some synthetics, but some good value, too.

Top value under $100
Baikal’s IZH 61 wins, hands down. It just squeaks under the price wire, but no other gun at this level offers so much accuracy.

What SHOULD have made this list
Mendoza rifles should probably be here, but I have zero experience with them. The RM-10 and the RM-200 both deserve at least a shot, but you readers will have to supply the ratings for me.

Those are my picks. If you are disappointed that I didn’t select YOUR favorite, tell me! I did exclude the Remington AirMaster 77, which was very close and the Crosman 2100B, also close, because they both shoot BBs and pellets. I find those compromise barrels less accurate than a dedicated pellet rifle.

I will come back with a list under $200 and after that I’ll probably expand the price spread a little. Hank, thanks for the good idea!

31 thoughts on “Best airguns for the money – Part 1Air rifles under $100”

  1. Love your column and read it everyday before work. I read today’s column and I can’t believe that you left out the QB78 some variations do cost more than $100 but you can get the basic QB78, the carbine QB or even a bulked QB for under your price ceiling.

  2. Also there is RWS, Quite a few places have the Mod .34 in .177 and or .22 usually on sale ALL THE TIME for 189.00 or so. There is a place in Ashland ,Oh. has them with a scope for 199.00

    I guess there are countless deals from the differnt dealers / web sites . You just have to do some searching to find them .Re working them if one chooses to do so is / can be quite knowledgable and fun and above all rewarding .
    Take care …. JerryL

  3. I am thankful for air rifles under $100. If it weren’t for them, I never would have entered this sport (I knew nothing about airguns). That first rifle made me aware of airguns and led me to buy a Crosman 1377C. After that I was hooked!

    .22 multi-shot

  4. B.B.

    I have a 392 and was wondering where and what with I should oil the guns seal? do you saturate it or just a drop? They never explain these things in the manuals. Thank you in advance

  5. Is PCP good for short hunts for varments where you don’t need to carry along a scuba tank.

    I’m deciding between the RWS 54 and 52 for hunting varments and wanted to clarify some information B.B. said on an old blog. I’ve only hunted with a shotgun so this is my first air rifle

    He said that the RWS 54 reduces recoil but increases jolt and vibration. I assume this is in comparison to the 48/52 and they have less jolt and vibration then the recoiless 54.

    Is above true? If so, is it better to have less recoil or less jolt and vibration? In otherwords, is the 54 better than the 52 for hunting? Again, I’m a shot gun hunter so I have no experience with the effects of with shooting an air rifle.
    BTW, the scope mounting issues do concern me.

  6. well anonomous
    if you willing to spend $500 on a diana it seems like you could benifit from a pcp. check out the Airforce rifles. huge number of shots, adjustable power, no recoil so scope mounting will be eisy. also you can swap barrels and callibers in minutes. also they use Lother Walther barrels so it accurate. check it out

    Field Targetier

  7. just curious, is the review for the BAM B50 coming soon? also, i have s suggestion for a very distant future topic:
    the guns pyramyd gets returned the most?
    i figure it would be a good indicator of what guns to avoid.
    how far will this list go up to? anything past $700? interested in your opinion of the best airgun ferraris.

  8. ferraris,

    The B50 is still months away.

    As for the retiurns, I’m not sure you’d get a good picture from that. For exaqmple, people tend to buy the most powerful airguns, then realize they take too much effort to cock. Same thing with PCPs – they can’t pump them up.

    So perfectly good guns get retiurned that never should be.

    I should do a blog!


  9. B.B.
    I realize my new Air rifle is a bit on the Northern side of $100. But, I have just taken my brand new RX-2 in .25, yes .25 out for a weekend of shooting. My Gawd! ‘sledgehammer’ was all that came to mind. The RX-2 is a bit harder to find in .25 but stating its performance in terms of “best airguns for the money” it’s singly the best value I have ever spent my hard earned money on. I have a number of airguns that are solid performers. And, I cherish each… but this big RX-2 (for the same price as the 3 conventional cal’s) is head and shoulders above. William

    P.S. I have enjoyed your blog for a long long time! so thank you for your dedication and willingness to share all the info that you do… see you in the field!

  10. BB,

    I don’t recall reading this on any blog postings so far, perhaps it’s been answered, but whatever happened to the Powerline 622? Were the volume sales just not there for Daisy? Not a bad little .22 plinker, as I remember.

    Phil from AZ

  11. Hi B.B.

    Thank you for completely re-educating me in the art/science of the air gun. Your blog is a great resource.

    As for sub $100 air guns, there is a reason that the Crosman 760 Pumpmaster is the largest selling air gun in history.

    Thanks once again.


  12. Re: Ruterned guns.
    I have a story there. I just bought a crossman Quest, that most people would have returned. It wouldn’t latch the piston when the barrel was “cocked”. I decided to play with it, since it’s a cheap gun, and got it working after a fes hours of tinkering.
    Turned out that the trigger group was just a little tight, (probably a tight pin), and once I worked the sear, or whatever it’s called on airguns, it started working fine. Many would have returned it, just not a fool like me.

  13. Hi B.B.,
    I am looking for an air rifle that is powerful enough for pest elimination but quiet enough not to disturb the neighbors. The the largest pests would be squirrels or crows, and I would say 25 yards would be the max range I would need. My experience with break-barrels is limited to a Beeman SS1000, but it is much too loud for my surroundings. I would like to keep it under $150. Are there a few make/models you could suggest that wouls fit my needs. Thanks in advance for your advice.


  14. Hi BB. Thanks for taking the time to write these blogg its quite helpfull, and really very interesting.
    Id like to buy an new airgun (currently I own an old rifle springer, a CZ TEX3 pistol springer and my lastest toy a Baikal IZH-46).
    I can’t really decide what to buy since I have 2 very difernt types of gun in mind. First the HW97k, since my parents are traveling to spain the cost of it would be aprox U$S 450 with no other cost.
    The other gun I have in mind is an AirForce Talon SS, which cost would be 470 pluss shipment. As you can see there is no diference in cost between both guns, so I can’t really decide if I would like a PCP or a good springer.
    I know both rifles are quite acurate, I also know that the talon is only 2Kg and the HW is 3.5Kg which tells me the talon would be the right gun to walk in the farm.
    But Ive heard the HW is a very acurate gun (some said eaven more than the talon), and since you have had both rifles I would like to know what would you do If you were in my situation; I mean,Which one of them would you buy If you had to chose?.
    Thanks for your Help

  15. I have been doing a lot of reading on airguns the last few weeks and this blog’s posts have come up time and time again in my search engines.I have read through quite a few of the archives and find them very helpfull and entertaining. Now to make a long story longer… and maybe some good news for some Beeman SS1000 owners. In my yute (Sorry for the My Cousin Vinny reference) I was handed down an older Beeman rifle that I enjoyed quite a bit. I dont remember the model but I do remember it being a nice gun, It was lost in a move from Wa. to Tx. I was at Walmart a few weeks ago and saw that they had a beeman air rifle there and decided to get it remembering how well my old Beeman did. Well I can hear the gasps now hehe… and the utterings of what a piece of put favorite expletive here____. The reason I am posting here is because of the pricing of adult air guns. For about 130 bucks tax included I got this gun home and found that it is… noisy, gives a pretty good jolt, and good lord I couldnt hit the proverbial broadside of a barn with it. However all that being said I love shooting it. Welcome to Beeman SS1000 ownership lol. Ok so now that I have shot the thing I start doing research on the net about it I know a few readers of this blog have them and have had problems with them whether the problem was a moron friend or they cant get parts. Here is the good news, I called Beeman yesterday and the gal there told me they will start having parts available come may-april. I was thinking to myself while I was on the phone with her that this meant august september…. me being the pessimist I am. Anyways it is good news to SS1000 owners in my opinion. As far as the gun itself goes I only have the memory of my old Beeman as a reference and the SS1000 is definately not as good. But through trial and error and a lot of net reading on airguns I have made my SS1000 a fairly tight group shooting gun with c-t-c’s at 3/8″ at 60 feet. Sorry for the long post and B.B. I am looking forward to the 100 to 200 dollar range gun list. TY very much for sharing the info available to you and I will continue to read and post in the future.


  16. John,

    The Beeman of your yoot was either a Weihrauch or a Webley, in all likelihood. Webleys are now made in Turkey, but they seem to be just as well made as ever. Weihrauch (the R-series Beemans) are still made in Germany.

    Your 1000 is made in China. That’s the difference. You can’t buy $500 worth of airgun for $130.


  17. Hi B.B.,
    I’ve read your blogs for quite some time now and have learned a great deal from all the different aspects you discuss.

    I really like the Logun S-16s and was about to purchase one. Now digging deeper into your blogs I see the downside to owning a “shroud” especially in Beemans article.

    Now my question seeing as you either own one or spend alot of time with one is what is the make-up of the fore end of the S-16s. Is there anyways it could be used on a fire arm or would it require a roll of tape to afix it to a barrel.

    I can’t seem to find any pictures of the front end or much if any results on the web for that gun except in England.

    Thanks for your great work and hopefully you can help me with this complex issue (p.s. I live in Ca)

  18. You don’t want to know about the S-16s forearm, which is just plastic. You want to know about the shroud.

    It’s a 4-piece aluminum tube with baffles and pressure relief holes. It is a type of silencer and could be installed on a firearm with some work.


  19. Hi Pete, if you wanna take out sqirrels & crows out to 25yds.without disturbing your neighbors I suggest a Sheridan BlueStreak. You can pump it up to 8 times for just the amount of power you need and its extremely accurate. IMO its not loud enough to bug your neighbors unless they’re real pr–ks! And its a bolt action single shot so its not like you’ll be out there yanking off rounds. ………..Steve

  20. As for the Crosman, I sold my 766 American classic .177 with just a simple 4×15 scope. For a bb/pellet rifle it was the best I ever shot. Years later I finally bought a 2100b .177 w/ 4×32 crosman scope. Now it’s the best shooting bb/pellet air rifle I own now…but not quite as good as my 766.

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