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- 1 What is an Underlever Air Rifle?
- 2 Our Favorite Underlever Air Rifles Compared Head-To-Head
- 3 Reviews of Our Favorite Underlever Air Rifles
- 3.1 Best All-Rounder: Hatsan Torpedo 155 Vortex, With Walnut Stock
- 3.2 Best on a Budget: Hatsan 105XC Air Rifle, Camo Air Rifle
- 3.3 Best for the Hunter: Umarex Diana RWS Model 460 Magnum
- 3.4 Best for Backyard Plinking: Stoeger F40 Hardwood Monte Carlo- Style Stock With Fiber-Optic Sights
- 3.5 Best for Serious Target Practice: Air ARMS TX200 MkIII Air Rifle
- 4 Are Underlever Air Rifles Worth It?
- 5 Conclusion
What is an Underlever Air Rifle?
Underlevers are either spring-powered or use a gas-ram to fire projectiles. Having an underlever system has many benefits, the main benefit being the fixed barrel. Underlevers aren’t aﬀected by barrel wear as much as break-barrels because the barrel is fixed rather than having a break for reloading and cocking.
The rigidity between the barrel and receiver provides better accuracy than most break-barrels. The underlever rifle doesn’t develop consistency issues with accuracy like a break-barrel does through the constant breaking and locking of the barrel, issues with your scope un-calibrating itself during cocking are much less common as well.
The underlever (used for charging your rifle) sits underneath the barrel of the gun and this makes for a more balanced weight when shooting, thus improving stability and accuracy.
Underlevers are renowned for being easy to handle and shoot, they provide a firm hold, minimal recoil and reduced torque pull due to the counterweight under the barrel (the underlever). This makes them a pleasure to use for experienced marksmen and an excellent place to start for a beginner looking for their first air rifle.
Overall, the underlever rifle provides a robust, easy to use, well-balanced article suited for the seasoned shooter and beginner alike. The simple mechanics and designs that most underlevers offer, make them the perfect low-maintenance guns to have around for pest control, casual target shooting and hunting in the field as well.
Our Favorite Underlever Air Rifles Compared Head-To-Head
Reviews of Our Favorite Underlever Air Rifles
Best All-Rounder: Hatsan Torpedo 155 Vortex, With Walnut Stock
The Hatsan Torpedo 155 Vortex fires .22 pellets with good accuracy and impressive power. This rifle oﬀers its user a classic design with a vintage style walnut stock, overall, the 155 is very pleasing to the eye and feels nice in the hand, boasting brilliant build quality and superior materials. We chose this rifle as our best all-rounder because the Torpedo 155 packs enough punch to drive a pellet through most pests and small game and also has enough range to have a good chance at hitting mid- to long-range targets. It is also quiet enough to use in your backyard or close-range hunting situatoons. This gun boasts excellent compatibility and durability in a range of situations.
Some may find this rifle a little front heavy, especially if this is their first time shooting an underlever, so it may take the new user a little more time to master shooting with this rifle, other than that this gun provides superb stability and control once you’ve got used to its dynamic. This rifle is powered by a gas piston that differs from most in a unique and clever way. Rather than using nitrogen as the compression gas it uses normal air and supports refills and pressure alteration through a small fill valve under the stock. This makes adjusting your rifles power relatively easy with the use of Hatsan’s fill probe, this is a great feature if you want to lower the pressure for a beginner or younger user and excellent for someone that wants to get a little extra power out of the rifle. Out of the box the piston is filled to 125 bar and its specs state that the piston can be filled up to 150 bar, so an already hard-hitting air rifle can be made even more powerful by a simple stock removal and a 25 bar pressure increase to the gas-ram – a great little tip for anyone purchasing this rifle.
The Hatsan Torpedo 155 Vortex is a stable and accurate air rifle that oﬀers the marksman great usability and power straight out of the box and boasts a unique way to alter the pressure of the gas-ram, providing even more power, or less, depending on your requirements.
Best on a Budget: Hatsan 105XC Air Rifle, Camo Air Rifle
The Hatsan Torpedo 105XC Underlever Air Rifle is an entry-level underlever air gun that fires .177 pellets with excellent accuracy and power, especially for its price tag. If you’re looking for a little .177 to use for pest control or some casual target practice, then this is the best budget underlever you can buy for under $150. The camo stock is either a feature that you will love or hate, personally we love it and it’s pretty flawless considering the price. Some cheap camo eﬀects can make your rifle look like a toy; however, the Torpedo 105XC boasts a quality finish that will turn heads wherever you go. Make sure you remember where you put your gun if you stop for lunch in the field though, you might not find it again!
The craftsmanship and appearance of this air gun is outstanding for the price tag and the performance doesn’t disappoint either. With impressive out of the box accuracy and precision, this gun will leave you shocked holding a target with a dime-sized group of entry holes on it. The trigger is crisp, and the underlever and bolt action are smooth and well crafted, you don’t usually get quality like this for such little money these days. The Hatsan Torpedo 105XC is heaps better than a cheap Chinese air rifle, so if you’re looking at those $90 Chinese imports that are scattered about the web then take our advice, put a little more money aside and buy one of these rifles, for the money there really isn’t anything better, you will not be disappointed.
The Hatsan Torpedo 105XC is a powerful, accurate rifle straight out the box and boasts stunning styling with a high-quality camo finish. This is by far the best underlever on the market for under $150.
Best for the Hunter: Umarex Diana RWS Model 460 Magnum
The Diana RWS 460 Magnum is the perfect underlever for the hunter. The gun’s styling is slick and simple, its beechwood Monte Carlo stock with grip checkering is enough to make your mouth water and coupled with a scope, this gun looks the part when out in the field shooting your favorite game. As well as the 460’s desirable styling this underlever feels great in your hand, the build quality is outstanding and its slender smooth shape makes holding this rifle a pleasure, it’s easy to sit out in the field with this gun for long periods without feeling too uncomfortable while you wait for your quarry to come into view.
Being a high-powered underlever, this gun can be a little hard to cock for the younger or elderly user and after a day of shooting, your arm will definitely feel the strain. A tougher cocking action is expected with a rifle that’s holding such high pressure in its gas-piston, and if a little arm workout doesn’t put you off then you’ll see that this rifle’s pros certainly outweigh in cons. This German-built gun is very durable and high quality, it has the feel as though it will last for many joy-filled years to come. We recommend this underlever to the hunter looking for a slick and stylish underlever suited for mid-range shooting in the field, this rifle packs a serious punch and devastates anything that lay in its path up to around 80 yards (humane kills).
Overall, the Diana RWS 460 oﬀers the user great accuracy, excellent build quality and durability for most hunting situations. As soon as you take this air rifle out of the box your eyes will light up at the superb German precision and quality this gun has to oﬀer.
If you’re looking for a rifle that shoots extremely well with brilliant accuracy, then the Stoeger F40 may be the rifle for you. It has excellent build quality, is easy to work on due to the simple mechanics it holds and is light and comfortable to use. The gun is in a reasonable price bracket and is aﬀordable for most people looking for a suitable underlever for use in the backyard for some casual plinking. The fiber-optic sights provide a good basis for accuracy and the fixed barrel, like all underlevers, boasts excellent precision. Like most of the air rifles on our list, this Stoeger oﬀers a wood stock with a beautiful finish, crafted in a Monte Carlo style, this stock feels great under the arm and in your hands.
The only thing that may let this rifle down is its flip-up top-loaded magazine. It can be problematic but once you’ve got the knack for loading this gun you can reap the great power and accuracy that it provides. It is a bit louder than other underlevers in its class however it is still quiet enough not to annoy your neighbors. This gun is a great all-rounder and a fair priced gun if you’re looking for a fun and reliable article for a bit of backyard plinking.
Overall, the Stoeger F40 boasts quality, attractive looks and good performance for a reasonable price tag. The top-loaded flip-up mag my put some people oﬀ, however for others, it’s a great design that oﬀers multi-shots with only a cock of the lever, once you’ve got the loading technique down.
Best for Serious Target Practice: Air ARMS TX200 MkIII Air Rifle
The Air Arms TX200 MK3 Underlever Air Rifle is a high end, high powered and accurate rifle that comes in a choice of .177 and .22 calibers. This gun has very little recoil however it is a little on the heavier side to counteract this, not a problem for serious target practice though, as no doubt most will be in a rested position while shooting. This gun has outstanding power and precision straight out the box and works great when used for mid – long-range target practice (at .22 cal.).
The TX200 is beautiful and its walnut stock variation is absolutely flawless! The only down-side to this is that you won’t want to take it outside, it’s almost too pretty to use. After all though, guns like this aren’t made to be hung on the wall and drooled over and when you do take it out for some target practice you’ll be pleasantly met with a responsive trigger, fantastic accuracy and a powerful shot with almost zero recoil. As with most underlevers of such power, the cocking action can be a little diﬃcult for some and takes a bit of arm eﬀort.
Overall, the Air Arms TX200 MK3 is a fantastic high-end rifle with plenty of power and accuracy for even the most experienced of marksmen. It boasts looks beyond compare and performance that is out of this world.
Are Underlever Air Rifles Worth It?
Underlevers are worth it for the marksman that’s looking for a springer or gas-ram gun that doesn’t suﬀer from drawbacks of a break-barrel weapon. They provide the user with great accuracy with the simplicity and ease of use that your typical break-barrel brings.
Underlevers are very satisfying to use due to the action of the cocking and bolt action loading of the gun, they’re also very stable and comfortable in the hand. Whether you’re looking for a rifle for some casual backyard plinking or something that’s robust and powerful enough to pick oﬀ small – medium game in the field, an underlever will serve you well.
Power and charging style
The power of an underlever varies from model to model, however, you can expect a similar power range as most break-barrel rifles because both types of air rifle function on similar firing methods (spring or gas-ram).
Power is reasonable and some higher-end underlevers outperform pre-charged pneumatic rifles that sit in the same price range. Good power is paired with beautiful simplicity and most underlevers require minimal maintenance and shoot just as well on the first day as they do several years down the line.
Underlevers charge by a single action of the lever that sits underneath the barrel, this action compresses either a spring (spring powered air rifles) or a gas-piston (gas-ram air rifles). This provides the user with fast reloading, simple mechanics and reasonable power when firing the gun.
In conclusion, underlever guns are simple, easy to maintain and as powerful as your classic break-barrel guns, but they oﬀer far more accuracy and consistent shooting. Underlevers are perfect for beginners and experienced users alike and bring attractive styling, perfect balancing and low recoil to the table.
This article should have provided you with all the information you need to educate yourself about underlever air rifles and perhaps some ideas on an underlever that will suit your specific purpose. Happy Shooting!
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