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Air pistols may not be as bombastic as regular firearms, but many of them are extremely well made and can be used for a variety of purposes. Although some air pistols have a bad reputation as being inaccurate toys, there are plenty of accurate air pistols on the market.
If you’re having trouble finding the most accurate air pistols, you’re in luck. Below, you’ll find a collection of top accurate air pistols plus some resources to help you determine the best one for your needs.
NOTE : Also check out our in-depth reviews of the best pistols for target practice.
- 1 Most Accurate Air Pistols Compared Head-to-Head
- 2 What Are Air Pistols?
- 3 How is Accuracy Different Between Air Pistols?
- 3.1 Best Overall – Benjamin BP2220-AP Marauder Woods Walker PCP Pistol
- 3.2 Runner-Up – Umarex Colt Peacemaker Revolver
- 3.3 Best for Backyard Plinking – Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan Air Pistol
- 3.4 Best for Hunting – Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2-Powered .22 Pistol
- 3.5 Best Budget – Daisy Powerline 415 Air Pistol Gun Kit
- 4 What to Look for in an Accurate Air Pistol
- 5 Conclusion
Most Accurate Air Pistols Compared Head-to-Head
What Are Air Pistols?
Air pistols are firearms that use compressed air and/or a spring system to project either pellets or BBs across distances and with considerable force. They don’t use gunpowder or traditional bullets, meaning they are rarely lethal to humans and are instead more typically used for target practice, backyard plinking (fun shooting) or for chasing off animal pests from your property. That being said, some air pistols are powerful and accurate enough to work as self-defense weapons against attackers without traditional firearms.
These weapons are popular among many because they are easy to use and lightweight compared to regular firearms. In addition, their lack of lethality makes them much safer to use for young adults or those who just aren’t comfortable handling bullet pistols.
Air pistols come in many different types and specializations. Some air pistols are designed for specific uses while others are cheaper and better for casual use. All in all, there’s an air pistol for just about everyone if you know where to look.
How is Accuracy Different Between Air Pistols?
Air pistols can differ greatly in their make and model and in the type of ammunition they use. All of these factors can affect the ending accuracy or effective range of a given air pistol.
As an example, air pistols that can project more force for their pellets or BBs will likely be more accurate at longer ranges than air pistols that can’t provide as much firing power. However, you also need to take user experience and hand steadiness into account. Those with experience firing air pistols will be more accurate even with cheaper models.
Ultimately, you’ll want an air pistol that is accurate enough for your needs. Since each need requires a different effective accuracy, take some time to consider what you want to air pistol for before finalizing any purchase.
Below, you’ll find a quick chart detailing our top choices’ effective ranges, as well as their types and the caliber of ammunition they use.
Best Overall – Benjamin BP2220-AP Marauder Woods Walker PCP Pistol
- Very accurate
- Super powerful!
- Comes with sight and high-quality stock
- Can take lead or alloy pellets
- Can be pricey
This high-quality, pricey pistol is our number one choice for the most accurate air pistols on the market. Why? For starters, it’s a PCP type pistol that can provide up to 700 ft./s of force. This’ll project any pellet you load into its magazine far across your yard or property. Just because of this aspect alone, the pistol will be extremely accurate beyond 40 yards.
But it also comes with an integrated quick-aim sight mounted on the top of the weapon. This will help you acquire your target quickly. To make things even better, this pistol comes with a shoulder stock you can mount on the back of the weapon to brace yourself and increase your accuracy further.
The rest of its aspects are similarly excellent. It features an eight-shot rotary magazine and a two-stage adjustable trigger. All in all, it’s a phenomenal weapon that can project power and force as far as you can expect from an air gun.
This high-powered air pistol is accurate and has enough stopping power for self-defense or varmint hunting alike.
Runner-Up – Umarex Colt Peacemaker Revolver
- Old style aesthetic
- Sturdy and durable frame
- Good accuracy below 30 yards
- Low max range
This pistol is an excellent second choice that is much more affordable and which harkens back to an earlier time in America’s history. It’s fashioned like an old-style Colt revolver. It features an all-metal frame which increases its durability and stability.
This is important because it allows the weapon to project .177 caliber pellets with extreme accuracy at 380 ft./s. It’s a CO2 air gun, so it’s not the most powerful on the market, but it does a great job of making sure your shots are on target below 30 yards or so.
Beyond that, it’s just a great weapon all around. It’s very easy to use, has a classic six-round capacity, and a convenient housing for the CO2 cartridges in the grip.
All in all, this weapon is fun to use and accurate within its intended range. As an affordable but high-quality air pistol, you can’t get much better. If you’re looking for a CO2 Pistol in particular, we’ve reviewed the five best ones here!
- Very easy to use
- Smooth trigger pull and comfortable grip
- Has iron sights to boost accuracy
- 16-shot magazine
- Not a lot of stopping power
- Accuracy drops sharply
This air pistol is our choice for backyard plinking. Not only is it affordable compared to many other pistols on the market, but it’s extremely comfortable with an oil-rubbed slide and a sturdy frame to facilitate rapid shooting with the CO2 cartridge in the grip.
It’s certainly one of the more comfortable air pistols you can find. But it’s also decently accurate up to about 30 yards; this is impressive since it’s fitted to take BB rounds rather than pellets. The fixed iron sights located on the back of the weapon will boost your accuracy even more.
This comfortable and easy-to-use weapon is accurate and ideal for hitting targets casually in your backyard.
Best for Hunting – Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2-Powered .22 Pistol
- Very Affordable
- Great accuracy
- Delivers good power and range
- Short trigger pull
- Only fires a single shot
If you’re looking for the best air rifles for hunting small game(Squirrels in particular), or for pest control, check out our reviews here.
The Crosman 2240 is our choice for hunting because it fires .22 caliber pellets and can shoot up to 460 ft./s. This is impressive since it’s a CO2 powered air pistol, yet it can still deliver the stopping power and accuracy necessary to hit small animals and stop them from rampaging through your property.
It also has a classic design that looks fearsome and which doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s incredibly easy to handle and has a short trigger pull to prevent you from dipping the barrel and ruining your shot. The sights at the end are a nice bonus, too.
This single shot, bolt action air pistol is accurate up to 30+ yards and uses CO2 gas. You’ll only need a single shot to bring most smaller animals down.
Best Budget – Daisy Powerline 415 Air Pistol Gun Kit
- Fairly accurate despite price
- Very affordable
- Has comfortable grip
- Large magazine
- Trigger pull is janky
- Sights aren’t the best
This last choice is an extremely affordable air pistol that maintains decent accuracy thanks to its 500 ft./s max velocity. We’ve covered the Daisy in a few other of our review articles, and for a great reason – it’s simply a fantastic, low-cost and low-stake starter choice. It can use either .177 caliber pellets or regular BBs depending on your preference; we would recommend the former for maximum accuracy up to about 30 yards.
The accuracy largely comes from its impressive power despite being a CO2 powered air pistol. Even better, it has a 21-shot magazine, so it’s ideal for a variety of uses and for shooting on the go. This lightweight and easy-to-hold pistol will be a favorite for those looking for a good budget weapon.
This air pistol is cheap but reliably built and can project solid accuracy across short distances.
What to Look for in an Accurate Air Pistol
Finding the ideal air pistol for your needs is easy if you keep these major factors in mind as you browse.
Air Pistol Type
There are three major types of air pistols you can find on the market. Each one has different advantages or disadvantages.
The first type is the spring action air pistol, also called a break barrel air gun. These weapons operate by having you cock the gun as you pull the barrel down. It looks like you split the air gun in half. In doing this, you position a heavy spring at the back of the weapon that, as soon as you pull the trigger, rapidly compresses the air inside the barrel and propels a pellet or BB out of the front.
Spring action air pistols deliver moderate velocities and are excellent for target practice. However, they’re a bit tricky to use and having to cock after each shot can be annoying for those who want more agility. On the plus side, you never run out of CO2 gas; as long as you have pellets, you can fire.
CO2 powered air pistols rely on individual CO2 compressed cartridges. These cartridges allow you to fire pellets or BBs for a set number of shots, with each projectile powered by a burst of compressed CO2 gas. These allow you to fire multiple shots in rapid succession.
However, CO2 air pistols are usually the slowest and weakest in terms of power. They can be quite accurate at close range, but they require you to spend money over and over as you purchase new CO2 cartridges.
Finally, pre-charged pneumatic, or PCP, air pistols utilize a high-pressure tank integrated into the air pistol; they’re not separable like CO2 cartridges. These tanks can be charged to about 3000 psi, with the exact limit varying based on the air pistol you purchase. You charge the tanks with a hand pumping or cranking motion, requiring significant physical strength.
Once you pull the trigger, the hammer of the pistol connects to a valve that releases all that built-up pressurized air. This fires the pellet out of the barrel at very high velocities and with excellent accuracy. These types of air pistols are best for serious hunting and target practice.
Caliber/Type of Projectile
Of course, the type of projectile you choose to shoot can have a drastic effect on your ending accuracy. Like types, there are three main types of projectiles fired from air pistols, though a fourth or fifth can crop up from time to time.
BBs are one of the most common calibers of air gun projectile. They’re extremely affordable and can even be reused if you collect them in a trap. They don’t have a lot of stopping power or accuracy, however, so they’re best used for casual air gun plinking.
.177 caliber pellets are the smaller of the two common pellet options. They tend to be accurate and relatively affordable and have enough stopping power to help you take down pests.
.22 caliber pellets are much more serious when it comes to stopping power and accuracy. These are, hands down, the best for seriously hunting small animals or pushing the effective range of your chosen air gun. Because of their power, they’re also the best for self-defense.
Don’t forget to think about the power offered by a given air pistol. Low powered pistols can usually fire pellets up to about 20 yards at between 350 and 390 ft./s. This is fine for backyard plinking but you might want something more powerful for actual hunting.
Medium powered pistols are much more common on the market. These usually reach top velocities no greater than 500 ft./s and can be used to hunt smaller game below 30 yards or so.
High power pistols are rarer than the other two types but can sometimes reach up to 700 ft./s and are ideal for serious pest control. Many of these pistols can be effective up to 40 yards or so.
Activity and Effective Range
Of course, you should take into account the effective range of your most common activities.
If you plan to hunt with your air pistol, you’ll want something that has enough power and, as a result, enough effective range. Medium to high-powered pistols are your best bet. Try to find pistols with effective ranges at or greater than 30 yards so you can sneak up on skittery critters.
On the other hand, those who only want to casually target shoot or hit tin cans in their backyard will likely be more than happy with medium-powered or low powered pistols, which are also more affordable. Air pistol that can shoot up to 20 yards or so are fine for this need.
All in all, the most accurate air pistol overall may not be the best choice for your particular needs or situation. Balance all of the factors in your budget before making a final decision and you’ll be happiest. Good luck!