What I will not do in this review is sit on this word processor and tell you that I am some kind of expert on the pellet pistol. In terms of my history covering these air guns, and as a police officer ( retired ) I have only been subjected to them when some foolish kid pulls it out of his jacket thinking he is funny. For the most part the modern pellet pistol as offered in many different styles is a dead look alike to many firearms, this makes for some serious discussion on yet another day.
In general I have used only one in the series of modern air gun handguns. That weapon was in the Crosmen line of hand held air guns. From the time I was a kid to the present Crosmen has been the mainstay in air power weapons around here. Just started with them and never looked back I guess.
Because of the limited size, accuracy issue found with all handguns, and power levels the handgun has always been more of a plinking back yard fun gun when and if I had the time to shoot it.
Best Pellet Pistols
1. Crosman American Classic Multi Pump
Here we have a pellet handgun that has been around for as long as I have and that will set you back a few years to be sure. This is a single shot .22 caliber air pistol and functions with the pneumatic operational system. Single pumps build pressure and the gun will generate velocity increases depending on the number of pumps applied. The pump handle is actually the for end of the pistol. The muzzle velocity of the gun will generate a maximum of 450 f.p.s. using the maximum number of pumps.
The bolt action single shot design is safe in that chambered pellets are easy to observe, or quick check. The pistol retains a cross bolt safety for added safe function, and the sights are open fix blade forward style. This is a good training gun, general plinking back yard tool, and a step toward firearms when used for training purposes.
The air pistol is a classic for a reason. It just works all the time and has always maintained a following among air gun shooters and general use cowboys for around the inside of the barn work.
2. Umarex Trevox Break Barrel .177 Caliber Pellet Gun Air Pistol
In this pistol we have a break open system that generates 600 fps muzzle velocity, uses a suppressed barrel system, and is best used as a plinker or close range varmint application.
The guns comes with adjustable fiber optic target style sights, and is a bit oversized, but handles well on targets.
Designed like a target hand gun it would not be mistaken easily for one of the look alike weapons built as an air gun versus a real firearm.
This gun uses the companies TNT ( Turbo Nitrogen Technology )
3. Crosman 2240 Bolt Action Pistol
In this gun we have a difference in the power source in that the gun makes use of the CO2 gas power compressed air cylinders. This power source being a 12 gram cartridge will drive the 22 caliber pellet at a muzzle velocity of 460 fps.
This is a good training handgun which is also well suited for general purpose paper target back yard shooting.
The handgun is built like a big target weapon, but still retains all the looks of a pellet gun versus the look alike real firearms in use today.This gun is built fro ally steel with a plastic frame. The weight if the handgun is 1.81 pounds.
4. Umarex Strike Point Nulkti-Pump Pneumatic
In this Umarex air pistol we have a gun that is chambered in 22 caliber pellet, carries a weight of 3 pounds, and is built of plastic.
The pistol is a single shot break open design, carries the companies special five chamber silence air sound dampener that is built into the barrel itself, and will return varied power amounts depending on the number of pumps the shooter applies to the air generating system.
The gun is also available in the .177 caliber pellet as well. Shooters choice to be sure. The gun mounts open adjustable target style sights, retains a full grip style for target work, and has the general look and feel of an olympic style competition handgun.
Buyers please note: In the next series of handgun built as air pistols all of them will look like real handguns. I mean right down to the safety, slide, and grip types. Be advised as a retired police officer of 26 yards on foot patrol and night “ Dog Water” squad these guns scared the living hell out of me. Aver now and again a kid, or even adult gets killed by police because they pull one of these out of their jacket. In some cases they think they are being funny, Well not funny when the lead starts flying. Cops can’t tell the difference. Therefor, treat the look alike just like real guns and both carry and store them in the same way.
5. Crosman SNR357 .177 caliber Pellet 4.5mm BB CO-2-Powered Snub Nose Revolver
This air pistol is built to be used as a training aid in place of a firearm. The deign of the weapon style is that of the Ruger SP 101 to the core. At a distance of only a few yards it could be easy mistaken for the Ruger versus the Crosman .177.
This gun uses actual cartridge that reloaded into the revolvers cylinder. Call that real or not it is a true wheel gun, and training with same would be a low cost advantage for the shooter that also has the real deal in 156 grain HP 357 Magnum rounds.
With the realistic cartridges tipped with BB’s the gun chambers cartridges one at a time in the revolvers cylinder just like the real deal, this is a gun that looks and feels like it could hurt you.
The gun has full grips, open hammer, target sights and a nice looking line in terms of basic design. I stated previously the Ruger brand. Ruger has nothing to do with the gun, but it is a darn close Crosman copy.
The muzzle velocity on this pellet pistol is a lower 400 fps, and it is designed for training therefor massive pellet speed is not a necessary factor here.
The revolver has a slide safety for both use by the shooter and training purposes, a fixed blade front sight with an adjustable rear sight, and it includes five reusable revolver cylinder cartridges.
6. Sig Sauer We The People 1911 CO2 BB Pistol
Staying realistic, but moving to an autoloader the Sig 1911 BB handgun is again a look alike, and as such all the previous statements by me apply.
This is a basic air soft frame and the gun is BB only. Designed as a stressed surface the gun is more show then go. Not an issue for the shooter that knows what he or she is looking for in an air pistol.
This realistic looking pistol retains a full metal blow back slide and frame, and shoots 4.5mm steel BB’s. The pistol holds 16 rounds, with a carry weight of 0.5 pounds.
7. Umarex Legends M712 Blow Back Automatic .177 caliber
Here is an interesting air pistol and one that will get anyons attention at first sight. The Mauser pistol being a WWI vintage design is a German master piece in the real thing. The “ Broom Handle” as it was called in the day is reproduced in a realistic looking autoloader as applied to the .177 caliber.
The pistol uses CO2 as a power source, and shoots BB’s to 350 f.p.s. The gun is full or semi auto by selection, and includes an 18 round removable magazine. Manual safety, fixed front sight and adjustable rear sight make for a good plinker on tin cans in the back yard.
The gun comes as a kit with 1500 steel BB’s, and 12 CO@ cartridges.
8. GLOCK 17 Blowback .177 Caliber BB Gun Air Pistol
Want to get into real trouble on the street just pull this out of your waist band in a crowed. This look alike Glock 17 is realistic to the last detail. The gun is a Gen 4 Black Blow Back air gun and carries 18 shots with the power source being CO2 canisters.
The .177 BB’s leave the gun at 320 fps. which is again a back yard fun gun or even an indoor bullet trap gallery gun.
The gun has a full metal slide, drop out metal mag, and realistic controls. The gun could be considered a training weapon for users of Glock 17’s. The gun right down to the Glock logo has been licensed by Glock for this handgun.
This gun will fit aftermarket police duty holsters. Talk about exact reproduction.
9. Crosman Vigilante 357 Co2 Air Pisto
In this gun Crosman Vigilantee 357 goes big gun with all the trimmings to match. This gun looks real enough to keep it way from any situation where as a gun need not be observed at all.
The gun is large framed, carries two 10 shot clips that fit the cylinder housing, built in .177 caliber with a muzzle velocity of 435 fps. and is powered by CO2 canisters.
The gun fires both single and double action just like a real wheel gun. Possible training gun, but more in line with a back yard or indoor range fun gun.
The barrel is alloy steel, and the exterior frame is plastic. There is a holster included with the package.
10. Colt Single Action Peacemaker
While I do not own one of these air guns I do own two of the real thing and shoot Winchester blanks in them all summer long when robbing the Hill City South Dakota train for the folks that come from all over the world to watch the show. The colt Army as we call it was history making in the hands of the real Wyatt Earp. ( Buntline Special ) This gun carries a price tag that is higher than most listed here, and I figure it is because it is a bit better quality overall as offered by Umarex.
In a Hill City stage gun fight it cold act as a stand in at times, and for the most part it seems to be a handsome reproduction of a Colt single action in air gun form.
The gun has an all metal frame and realistic action. It shoots .177 BB’s at 410 fps, and it is powered by CO2 canisters. This gas system is housed in the grip frame of the six shooter.
Revolver weight is 2.4 pounds making for a bit more metal in the build them most guns previously listed.
11. Crosman 2300 .177 Target Air pistol
While this handgun is not currently available at this time it needs to be addressed because it moves the air pistol into the realm of a true target handgun. Great for clubs and youth training this is a target paper shooting competition gun built at the basic price level.
With a weight o 1.81 pounds the gun had some grip to it much like a real firearm. The gun also carries better velocity them most in a BB class air pistol as it runs out of the muzzle at 520 f.p.s.
The gun carries a full one year warranty, and is classified by Crosman as a target pistol first and foremost.
12. Dan Wesson CO2 Powered Airsoft Revolver
Here we have an example of an upper end handgun in the .177 CO2 air driven system. This is a snub nose DanWesson copy and it is well done right down to the last detail.
The gun retains a muzzle velocity of 318 f.p.s. which is enough for training purposes, and has a workable ejection rod, curved textured grips, with a double action individual cartridge systems set to the cylinder.
The barrel length is 2.50 inches, overall length is 8.27 inches, with adjustable rear sight/blade front.
Built as a realistic training air gun..
13. Umarex Colt Python
Here we have the remake of the word famous Colt 357 Magnum Python. This another air pistol that you had been handle with extream care in public as it is a dead ringer at least at first for the real thing.
This pistol has a 6” barrel, shooting .177 bb’s in a 10 shot system, and is p[powered by CO2 canisters.
The gun is black in color, weighs 1.6 pounds and retains a plastic frame. This us a workable training system and generates a muzzle velocity of 410 f.p.s.
The revolver retains a manual safety and includes two 10 sho rotary clips.
14. Gamo 611138254
Here we have a compact Gamo air pistol using the blow back action, .177 bb projectials, and move out with a muzzle velocity of 450 f.p.s. This air pistol retains a 16 pellet magazine, blowback slide function, a rifled barrel and makes use of the CO2 air charging system.
This is a plinking training gun and a look alike for the real thing. Carry weight is 1.5 pounds, handgun finish is black in color with textured grips. Carries a double magazine system in the butt stock grip, and retains the Weaver rail for added lights lasers etc.
15. Benjamin Marauder BP2220
This final pistol in my list of air driven weapon is the Benjamin Marauder .
Here we have an air pistol with a butt stock attachment and that makes this a fast handling carbine and a handgun as well. Two for one you could say.
This pistol is PCP powered and is capable of holding 3000 PSI of air pressure for a driven 22 caliber pellet that moves at 700 f.p.s. This is the pistol with the most power of anything currently listed in this review.
The gun is a bolt action system with an eight shot rotary magazine employed. The pistol retains a two stage style trigger, a 12 inch rifled barrel, and a choked shroud for noise reduction.
This is a hunting air pistol and shoots 22 caliber pellets just under the speed of sound. For field, ranch, or general use this would make a great advanced choice in air powered weapons.
For more reading see our article on the most badass 1911 pistols.
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material of over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world including Russia and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American west and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Big Horn mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design, and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems.TM. You can find more info on Barrett Rifles here.
Or contact me at:
- Email me at LP@barrettrifles.com
- Follow me on Facebook
- See my website
- Buy my book: Gun Digest Guide to Modern Shotgunning
- Buy my book: The Gun Digest Book of Long-Range Shooting