One common denominator among all weapon users is power. Be it an air rifle or a real firearm, you certainly need a weapon that is powerful enough for the job at hand.
Coming to airguns, whether you use yours for hunting, target shooting, pest control, or backyard plinking, you don’t want to go for a forceless one. I personally like that little rush of adrenaline that accompanies a powerful shot.
If this is you too, let’s have a look at some of the most powerful air rifles in the market. But first:
What is power?
The power of an air rifle can be viewed in terms of its muzzle velocity or muzzle energy. Muzzle velocity refers to the speed with which the ammo flies from the air rifle to the target. It is normally given in m/s or feet per second (fps).
Muzzle energy refers to the punching power with which the ammo exits the barrel of the airgun. It is more popularly given in foot-pounds but can also be quoted in joules.
The power of air rifles can conveniently be classified into high, medium, and light.
- Muzzle velocity greater than 900 fps for .177 caliber air rifles
- Muzzle velocity below 700 fps for .177 caliber air rifles
- Muzzle velocity between 700 and 900 fps for .177 caliber air rifles
As the caliber of the air rifle increases, the muzzle velocity decreases while the muzzle energy increases. That tells you why the muzzle energy is a better indicator of power.
Light-powered air rifles generally have muzzle energy lower than 10 FPE. Medium powered air rifles have muzzle energy between 10 FPE and 45 FPE. High-powered air rifles have muzzle energy above 45 FPE.
What is the most powerful .177 air rifle?
The Gamo Magnum air rifle shoots up to 1650 fps in the .177 caliber. This is possible with the IGT Mach 1 powerplant technology. IGT stands for Inert Gas Technology. And that tells you the air rifle uses the gas piston technology.
The large air cylinder yields unequaled muzzle velocities. More so, you have the benefit of a smoother cocking mechanism than what you experience with springers. The average muzzle energy for this air rifle is 26.6 foot-pounds.
What is the most powerful .22 caliber air rifle?
I bet there is no match for the Hatsan 135 QE Vortex Air Rifle. You can imagine what damage a.22 ammo flying at 1000 fps can do.
The air rifle uses a Vortex gas-piston powerplant and is cocked using the break barrel mechanism. Coupled with the QuietEnergy rifled barrel and the Quattro 2-stage adjustable trigger, you have one of the most powerful, easy-to-use, and quiet airguns.
What is the most powerful CO2 air rifle?
Despite the reputation of CO2 air rifles being underpowered, the Hammerli 850 AirMagnum by RWS stands out. Muzzle velocities up to 760 fps in the .177 caliber and 650 fps in the .22 caliber have been reported.
This equates to a muzzle energy of 10 FPE and 13 FPE respectively. And that is commendable enough for a CO2-powered airgun.
What is the most powerful PCP air rifle?
I believe you’ve at one point come across the accolades bestowed on the Airforce Texan big bore air rifle.
The .50 caliber shoots pellets at 710 fps, delivering an incredible 700 FPE. This is enough to terminate the tough cape buffalo.
What is the most powerful break barrel air rifle?
My choice for this category is the Umarex Octane Elite Air Rifle.
Powered by the ReAxis gas piston technology, the .22 caliber yields a whopping 1200 fps and over 25 FPE.
What is the most powerful multi-pump air rifle?
Multi-pump air rifles require you to pump up the air chamber before pulling the trigger. The more the pumps, the more the power you get. Most of them achieve maximum power with less than 15 pumps.
What more, they’re incredibly cheap. With less than 200 bucks, you can purchase the Benjamin variable pump air rifle. And you need only 10 pumps to power up the .22 model to 800 fps and 15 FPE.
Make sure to check out detailed reviews of these and the best air rifles in 2020 at Airgun Maniac.