Whilst a much more niche following than the general firearms community, air rifles have served a long history in Australia within the target shooting and hunting scene. With many firearm owners now looking towards the increasingly popular sport of air rifle shooting, there is an increasing number of air rifle brands and models on the market. In this review we will outline some of the best air rifles you can buy with a maximum budget of $500 in Australia for 2020.
The Crosman TR77 comes from a large stable of air rifles under the Crosman brand. Well known for affordable air rifle models, the TR77 focuses not only on price, but power with its offer. Crosman’s TR77 uses nitro piston technology which allows higher air compression, lower weight, less recoil and a more user friendly cocking system compared to spring gun alternatives.
The TR77 captures the attention of both hunters and target shooters due to its formidable accuracy and takedown power. This rifle is capable of supersonic firing so noise can be an issue so keep this in mind when determining whether the TR77 is right for you.
The synthetic stock and supplied scope are good quality for such an affordable price range.
Reasons to consider the Crosman TR77: high velocity supersonic shooting, reasonable stock for price, acceptable scope
Maximum Pellet Velocity: 1120fps
Diana Panther Model 31
The Diana 31 “Panther” is both a powerful and reliable break barrel air rifle which offers a hunting style synthetic stock, match quality trigger and adjustable Truglo fibre optic sights. This single shot rifle I well known for its quality, from the trigger, balance and overall feel of the materials used.
General consensus is that accuracy is strong with the Diana Panther 31, however you will need to ‘break it in’ for consistent tight groupings. (something common with air rifles)
This rifle includes an automatic safety and mount rail for those wanting to attach optics.
Maximum Pellet Velocity: .177 – 1000fps .22 -740fps
Reasons to consider the Diana Panther Model 31: quality stock, adjustable fibre optic sight, two-stage match quality trigger
Gamo has been well known as one of the largest airgun manufacturers in the world, so it comes to no surprise when they brought the CFX to the market. The Gamo CFX combines both fixed barrel high accuracy with high velocity, making it a strong contender for both target shooting and hunting applications. The precision rifled barrel is mounted to the receiver helping for consistent tight groupings.
The rifle features a synthetic stock, rifled barrel and two stage trigger. One of the biggest benefits is the efficient cocking mechanism, with the rifle being able to deliver 1000fps from a single cock. Powerful and accurate, the Gamo CFX represents a cost effective yet powerful option for those looking at either hunting or target shooting.
Reasons to consider the Gamo CFX: efficient cocking mechanism, high velocity shooting at a budget price
Maximum Pellet Velocity: 1000 fps
Just scraping into this review, the Weihrauch HW30s represents high quality German airgun manufacturing. With all metal parts and a wood stock, this is a great first gun which you cant go wrong with. Relatively light weight and scale it’s an easy rifle for younger shooters to learn target shooting.
The HW30S includes the well known adjustable match-type trigger, interchangeable tunnel sight patterns and adjustable rear sights. The rifle features a scope rail and automatic safety, leaving no requirement unmet.
Reasons to consider the Weihrauch HW30S: high quality wood and metal construction, adjustable sights with interchangeable sight patterns, well balanced all round rifle perfect for target shooting
Maximum Pellet Velocity: 620fps
The Crosman 1077 isn’t what you’d generally expect to see in a list amongst rifles so focused on precision accuracy and power. The Crosman 1077 focuses on something different – being fun. With a 12 shot rotary magazine which fires pellets from c02 cylinders, the 1077 is a light weight semi-automatic which can feel unusual for the average Australian firearms owner to shoot. The 1077 doesn’t take itself seriously, instead providing an overall simple, cheap but effective package for the novice to try out airgunning.
The Crosman 1077 isn’t exactly made for target shooting or hunting, but it excels in casual plinking. With a synthetic sight and open sights, it is possible to mount a scope but with a highly variable muzzle velocity it’s better to save your money for a dedicated target shooter than try improve on the 1077.
Reasons to consider the Crosman 1077: Very affordable entry level semi-automatic air rifle, c02 cannisters so no cocking required
Maximum Pellet Velocity: 1000fps (reliably closer to 580fps)
So there you have it – all great rifles with specific benefits depending on your needs. Whether you’re looking for maximum power, cost effectiveness, quality of construction or just plain fun, there’s an air rifle which can fit your needs.
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