The Best Air Rifle On The Market?

Here at Pellpax we are constantly on the lookout for the best of the best when it comes to air rifles. To help you make the choice on what air rifle you want we have put together this list to answer the age old question : what is the best air rifle on the market?

First of all, the question we are asking is almost impossible to answer in its current form, so lets split it up into categories; jump to

Spring Powered Air Rifles
CO2 Air Rifles
PCP Air Rifles

Spring Powered Rifles

Technology has moved on greatly since these rifles were considered basic; there are now spring-powered rifles capable of shooting with all but the best PCPs.

3rd PlaceAir Arms Pro-Sport Walnut Stock

springbronze Great Springer Action: Air Arms Pro Sport

Pros :

The stock of the Pro-Sport is absolutely beautiful and one of its key selling points, and the walnut wood has been selected not only for its strength, but also its great finish and colouring. Trust me when I say, the pictures online do it no justice; you need to see it in person to really appreciate.

Another great feature of the Pro-Sport is the underlever. Now I’m not usually a fan of underlevers, because of the extra weight they add to the front of the rifle, which can make the rifle quite unbalanced. Air Arms have got around this by cleverly locating the underlever inside the stock to make this perfectly balanced between the hands.

The Pro-Sport also features a great trigger, which is crisp and precise and makes this rifle a joy to shoot. The barrel is also of exceptional quality, and the accuracy and precision of the rifle are truly excellent.

Cons :

Weighing in at nearly 4.5kg, the Air Arms is a very heavy air rifle, and when shooting in the hands and not on a rest, this weight is very noticeable. There are spring rifles available that are half the weight of the Pro-Sport, and when combined with the underlever that must continually be cranked, shooting the Pro-Sport can be quite a workout. Now, it’s not exactly running a marathon, but tired arms equate to inaccuracy – definitely something to consider when going on long shoots.

The Pro-Sport also comes without iron sights, so a scope is an essential extra purchase. Including a rest, and considering that the Pro-Sport is one of the most expensive spring rifles on the market, investing in one of these rifles is not something to be taken lightly. Also, the silencer on the Pro-Sport is fixed, and although it’s a nice one, it would be good to have the option to upgrade.

Read more about Air Arms rifles here

View the Air Arms Pro-Sport Walnut Stock


2nd Place : Walther LGV Master Pro

springsilver 2nd Place Springer: Walther LVG Master Pro

Pros :

The LGV features an ingenious super-silent vibration-reduction spring and piston system that dramatically reduces recoil whilst improving shot-to-shot consistency. This, along with the full 12ft/lb power that the rifle possesses, makes the LGV an absolute joy to shoot, fantastically accurate, and perfect for both pest control and target shooting. This system also makes the rifle far quieter than traditional spring rifles, an important feature when it’s used for pest control.

Walther rifles also feature German engineering, which is famously reliable. Of the many that we’ve sent out the door here at Pellpax, very few have come back to us, and I can’t think of one that wasn’t the fault of human error. The stock of the LGV Master Pro is cleverly shaped to be comfortable to shoulder for both left- and right-handed shooters.

The XM trigger of the Walther is also fully adjustable for both stage force and travel, and makes the LGV customisable to suit your preference. The trigger, when set up correctly, is crisp and precise with a predictable let off.

Cons :

The LGV Master Pro comes with a barrel weight in place of silencer, and while the spring system is quieter than most rifles, it would be nice to have a silencer included. The Walther also doesn’t have any iron sights, so you can’t get shooting straight out of the box.

Although the stock of the LGV is ambidextrously shaped, the finish of the Walther is not nearly as nice as the Pro-Sport. It’s not as glossy, and the chequering is not as precise as some others that we sell.

See more of our Walther range here

View the Walther LVG Master Pro


1st Place : Weihrauch HW98

springgold Weihrauch HW98

Pros :

The HW98 has been designed with target shooting in mind and is consequently one of the most accurate spring rifles on the market today. Seriously, I put a few different kinds of pellet through this rifle – a few JSB Exact, as well as some Daystate Sovereign, as well as some cheaper H&Ns – and the HW98 was grouping incredibly well. Impressive stuff. I put this down to the Weihrauch’s bull barrel, which is superbly well made and is fully shrouded, eliminating the need for a silencer.

The way the stock of the HW98 is perfectly balanced between the hands and the adjustable cheekpiece and butt pad is a nice touch; it ensures shooters of all sizes can shoulder this rifle effectively. The textured panels of the HW98 provide a superb level of grip, even in wet conditions.

The Rekord trigger of the 98 is fantastically crisp and is perfect for all kinds of shooters. The trigger can be finely tuned to your personal requirement whilst providing a crisp let off for each shot. The HW98 is not only one of the finest spring rifles available, but has got to be one of the best shooting air rifles on the market today. Whether it’s target shooting or pest control, the HW98 has got to be the way to go.

Cons :

The look of the rifle, particularly the stock, is not going to be for everybody. Personally, I quite like it, but Weihrauch’s decision not to go for either a traditional or a tactical look, but to go somewhere in between, has left them with something that is certainly unique.

The rifle also comes without iron sights, although the top mounted rail makes adding scopes easy. The fully shrouded barrel also eliminates the need for an additional silencer, but it would be nice to have the option.

Read more about Weihrauch air guns range

View the Weihrauch HW98


Honourable mentions :

The Pellpax Rabbit Sniper Kit is perfect for those on a budget, as it comes with a break-barrel spring rifle, a Hawke scope and screw mounts, a barrel silencer, a padded gun bag, and two tins of ProShot Precision Pellets, all for under £200. The rifle is German made and great quality for the price.

Another rifle that is perfect for those looking to acquire a quality rifle at an affordable price is the Gamo Whisper Sting. The rifle comes complete with a Gamo Scope, and the rifle is fitted with a barrel silencer and fibreoptic iron sights.

CO2 Powered Rifles

CO2 rifles are refilled with 12g or 88g CO2 capsules, making them easy to use, and giving some CO2 rifles the ability to be semiautomatic. They will fire as fast as you can pull the trigger until the magazine is empty. CO2 rifles are often inexpensive and require little maintenance, but there are some seriously good quality guns out there if you know where to look.

3rd Place : Walther Winchester Lever Action

co2bronze The Walther Winchester Lever Action

Pros :

The look of this rifle is perfect for fans of Spaghetti western movies or those who admire the Old West. The look of the Winchester is perfect, and the use of metal and wood perfectly encapsulates the feel of this historic time period. The finish on the stock is of the absolute highest quality and is hard wearing and durable, just like the originals would be.

I gave this over to a few friends of mine; they couldn’t believe it was an air gun, and were sure that I’d just handed them a fully loaded Winchester 30/30, due to its realistic look and weight. Impressive stuff.

The lever action of the Walther is reliable and effective and just great fun to use. It combines excellently with the rifle’s 8-shot magazine to make this rifle great for taking out cans or balloons in the back garden. The accuracy of the rifle is also impressive, but due to the reloading action, I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than informal or practice target shooting. The Winchester also gets around 8 magazines’ worth of full power shots per refill, which equates to around 72 individual shots – pretty good for a rifle of this kind.

Cons :

Although in keeping with the time period, the Winchester is a little lax when it comes to options. There is no fitting for a silencer, or rail for a red dot sight or scope, which really limits the ability to use this gun effectively and prevents the Winchester from becoming a serious rifle instead of just a piece of fun.

There’s also quite a bit of plastic that has been used in the construction of this rifle; the sights, the barrel bands, and the butt plate are all plastic. This doesn’t detract from the overall look, as they are cleverly finished in matte black, but I would have preferred metal. Metal is just a more hard-wearing material, and the use of plastic is purely to save cost. Which would be fine, but the rifle already costs almost £350 – quite a lot for a CO2 rifle.

See more of our Walther range here

View the Walther Winchester Lever Action

2nd Place : Sig Sauer MCX


Pros :

The Sig Sauer is one of the finest-looking air rifles on the market, and if you’re looking for something in a military/police style, then there really is no better option than the MCX. The use of flip-up iron sights, as well as the tactical rails, make you feel like you’re holding a real firearm. The rails also mean this rifle can be customised with various accessories and tailored to suit your needs. The rifle comes complete with a silencer and front grip, making the rifle both relatively quiet and accurate. The accuracy is also enhanced by its rifled barrel.

The rifle also features a 30-round magazine, which is one of the largest of any CO2 rifle. One of the main selling points of the Sig is its semiautomatic action, which means this rifle will empty its magazine as fast as you can pull the trigger, making this rifle great fun. The MCX also uses an 88g CO2 capsule instead of 12g, greatly increasing the shot count.

Cons :

The MCX does feature a lack of precision in some of its details, such as the selector, mag release, and charging handle. All have quite a lot of play in them and lack the crispness expected of a rifle of this quality. The two-stage trigger is also a little wobbly, with a long uptake before the second stage, and again lacks that extra bit of finesse I expected.

The magazine itself is made from plastic and requires some work to be reloaded effectively. The pellets must be loaded into a belt, and then the belt is added to the magazine. This gives a lot of opportunity for error: if the pellets are not inserted perfectly correctly, the accuracy of the rifle is affected. Another small thing about the magazine is that the belt must only be moved in a clockwise direction, and if moved counter clockwise, will cause “serious damage to the magazine”. Now this is a simple instruction to follow, but get it wrong and your magazine is broken – something to bear in mind.

See more of our Sig Sauer range here

View the Sig Sauer MCX


1st Place : Crosman Ratcatcher 2250 XL

co2gold Going For Gold: The Crosman Ratcatcher XL

Pros :

One of Crosman’s longest-serving CO2 rifles, the 2250 XL is really the only sensible choice when it comes to picking a CO2-powered pest control rifle. The accuracy of the 2250 XL is greatly improved with its extended 18” barrel, which is fully rifled and will have you taking out rats at around 40 metres.

Despite taking just a single CO2 capsule, the Crosman will provide around 30 full-power shots per refill, and the lightweight skeleton stock makes this rifle superbly manoeuvrable in the hands, with the whole rifle weighing just 1.6kg. The updated version of this rifle also features an improved bolt design and makes this rifle extremely smooth to reload.

The Ratcatcher also comes complete with a 4×32 Centre Point scope, although the top rail makes changing your choice of optics a doddle. The barrel is also fitted with a silencer that greatly reduces muzzle noise, an important and often overlooked attribute in a rifle designed for pest control.

Cons :

The look of this rifle is not going to be for everybody. The skeleton stock, while perfect for saving weight, doesn’t exactly make this rifle a display piece. It’s definitely a case of function over looks with this rifle.

The 2250 XL also is only available in single shot, meaning it must be reloaded after every trigger pull. This means that if you miss your shot, it’s going to take slightly longer before you can get your next shot off. Thanks to the accuracy of this rifle, however, one shot is likely all you need.

Read about Crosman here.

Honourable mentions :

The Super Stealth Rat Controller Pro Kit is only available in .22, but comes with a scope, mounts, silencer, bipod, capsules, and pellets – all for just over £200. This makes this kit ideal for those looking to deal with a pest problem quickly and effectively on a budget.

Another great CO2 rifle is the letcher M1891 Sawn Off, a relatively cheap and reliable rifle with an impressive finish. The only downside of the rifle is that it’s only available in 4.5mm BB instead of pellet, limiting its accuracy and effectiveness.

View the Sig Sauer MCX


PCP Air Rifles

PCP rifles utilise a refillable air cylinder to propel their pellets with precision accuracy. PCP rifles are often the most effective and most sought-after air rifles on the market, and consequently there are several options available with prices ranging from £300 to £3000, so there’s a rifle out there to meet everybody’s needs.

3rd Place : Daystate Pulsar Synthetic

pcpbronze A Great PCP: The Daystate Pulsar Synthetic

Pros :

Daystate are known for their attention to detail, and even by their high standards, the Pulsar truly is of the very highest quality. The fit and finish of the Pulsar is fantastic and a step above almost any other rifles; it seems almost a shame to shoot it.

The air cylinder provides around 250 shots in .177, and 300 in .22, which is truly a staggering amount per refill. That’s over half a tin of pellets before needing a recharge, and with the Pulsars internal electrics, the power stays the same no matter the amount of air left. The pulsar features an onboard computer, which feeds data to an LCD screen and tells the Pulsar how hard the solenoid needs to hit the valve to let out the exact amount of air each time, leading to unrivalled shot-to-shot consistency. This could be argued to be a case of over engineering, but there is some seriously clever stuff going on inside the Pulsar, and the results are outstanding.

Cons :

Being a bullpup, the Pulsar is not going to win any beauty contests, but also because your head is resting right above the action, the scope has to be mounted angled slightly downwards to be zeroed effectively at range; this makes knowing your distance and trajectories important if you want to shoot the Pulsar effectively. This is not just a pick-up-and-shoot rifle.

The Pulsar is also pretty heavy, weighing in at almost 4kg, and being a bullpup, the weight is concentrated towards the back of the rifle. Initially, this can make the rifle quite awkward when shooting standing up, but it’s something that can easily be compensated for. Chances are, you’re going to be shooting this from a rest or sandbag anyway.

Another thing that is large about the Pulsar is the asking price. I’m just going to come out and say it: the pulsar costs close to the £1600 mark, without any accessories, which, let’s be honest, is no small investment. You do get a lot of gun for the money, but £1600 is still enough for a decent car or a week away in southern France. I’d still rather the gun than both of these, but there are other rifles out there that cost a fraction of the price.

You can read up on Daystate here

View the Daystate Pulsar Synthetic

2nd Place : BSA R-10 SE

pcpsilver The BSA R-10 SE

Pros :

The stock of the R-10 is made by Minelli, an Italian company that make stocks for prestigious brands, including Daystate, and the walnut wood used in the R-10 is a thing of beauty. Its ergonomic shape includes a raised cheekpiece for comfortable shouldering, and the butt pad is excellently shaped and textured for superb grip.

The BSA features a Customer Configurable Shroud (CCS) system which allows the R-10 to be changed from either bull barrel or a standard barrel with a full-length silencer attached. The difference between these two options is negligible, but it’s always nice to have the option. The regulator has also been greatly improved since the last version of the R-10, and now provides 11% more shots per refill for a greatly increased shot count of around 165 in .177 and 225 in .22.

The barrel and trigger system of the R-10 is expertly manufactured and provides precision and accuracy, making this rifle ideally suited to competition and serious target shooting, as well as pest control.

Cons :

The stock of the R-10, although well shaped, is extremely high gloss, which reflects the light a little too well, and if you’re out hunting, the resulting glare can not only be distracting while shooting, but can also alert animals to your position; so a matte, or at least semi-matte, finish might be a better option.

The cocking mechanism must also be carefully operated, as the magazine can be cycled without cocking the trigger. This means that the rifle can quite easily be double loaded, with one pellet behind the other in the barrel. Firing the gun in this scenario can cause serious damage to the inside of the barrel, although a careful cocking regime can eliminate this issue.

The rifle can also be fired without fully closing the catch, which will result in poor accuracy when firing. In fact, when testing, I fell into this trap. I put it down to youthful exuberance, and was confused by the rifle’s poor accuracy. Rest assured that when the catch is fully closed, the rifle is extremely precise, but this mistake is easily made.

Check out our BSA range here

View the BSA R-10 SE

1st Place : Weihrauch HW100 T

pcpgold PCP Gold Goes To: the Weihrauch HW100 T

Pros :

For the money, there is simply no better rifle. The rifle comes complete with two 14-shot magazines, a removable quick-fill air cylinder with a pressure gauge, and Weihrauch’s own half-inch UNF silencer – everything you need to start shooting.

The HW100 is available for under £800 and can compete with rifles that are more than twice the price. This thing needs to be shot to be believed.

As well as its incredible accuracy, the HW100 T features a fantastically manufactured stock, which is ergonomically shaped with a generous thumbhole shape that fits the hands beautifully and provides a secure and sure grip, even in wet conditions – perfect for outdoor hunting.

The gun is superbly easy to use and to load, and also cycles and cocks with reliable precision. In fact, the magazine of the HW100 is one of the key selling points and can be easily unclipped. Thanks to the magazine being open, you can also easily see how many pellets you have left, so you can be confident you are shooting more than just air when sighting up your next rat.

Cons :

The air cylinder of the HW100 is quite heavy, particularly when filled with air, and can make the rifle unbalanced when shooting. The thumbhole stock does a good job of counteracting this, but this uneven balance, along with the rifle’s high weight, can make for a tiring shoot when you’re out all day.

Honourable mentions:

The Kalibrgun Cricket, another bull-pup rifle from a less well-known brand, is incredibly accurate and comes with four 14-shot magazines. This rifle is not the best-looking rifle ever made, but is an impressive shooter for the price.

The Hatsan AT44X  is great for those looking to buy a PCP rifle of high quality whilst on a budget, and is available for under £400. The inbuilt cylinder features a pressure gauge, and the rifle also has an auto safety – features not often included with rifles of this price.

Read more about Weihrauch air guns range

View the Weihrauch HW100 T

To Conclude

So there you have it: the definitive list of the best airguns on the market.

Everyone has their own preferences, but keep this list as a guide and you won’t go far wrong. When it comes to the best pistol, that’s another conversation entirely, and one that won’t be answered here. Frankly, I’m sure you feel like you’ve read enough.

Stay tuned to the Pellpax Blog for more articles coming soon and keep checking back for our latest offers.

Weihrauch vs Hatsan

When it comes to Weihrauch and Hatsan, there are many similarities that can be drawn between the two companies in their products ranges. These include the fact thats they both produce spring-powered air rifles, as well as pre-charged pneumatic air rifles, as well as spring and PCP pistols in all the common calibres. All their items are usually imported below the legal limits, which are 12 ft/lbs for a rifle, and 6 ft/lbs for a pistol, although the rifles are usually available in FAC levels if you have the right licence.

Both companies produce their products mainly for sporting purposes, such as target shooting, hunting, and pest control, so deciding which one is best for you can often be a tricky task. Weihrauch’s and Hatsan’s products are both in similar price ranges, which doesn’t help make the decision any simpler, but hopefully this blog will help you make the right choice.

Let’s start off by talking about Weihrauch

Weihrauch are one of the oldest players in the airgun game. Founded in 1899 as firearms manufacturers, they even produced the first German .22 rimfire rifle. However, the company ran into trouble after World War 2 when the Allies put Germany on the naughty step and banned the production of firearms, forcing Weihrauch to put their years of research into creating the finest sporting airguns.

However, instead of sinking, Weihrauch thrived, and many of the designs they produced formed the basis of the modern spring-powered air rifle. The company has gone from strength to strength ever since.

What can you expect from a Weihrauch?

Well, their rifles are among some of the most reliable in the business, and we have many customers who still possess rifles they bought in the ’70s and still swear by them, despite the myriad of newer options available. The rifles themselves still carry an air of tradition, and feature solid wood stocks with minimal bells and whistles – just a well-made gun with a good barrel and all-round performance. This may be a turnoff for some, and another complaint that’s logged against Weihrauch guns is that they’re often heavy, with high cocking effort and clunky triggers; the whole thing feels mechanical and is operated as such.

I think this is maybe a little harsh though. Yes, the weight is higher than some other brands (an un-scoped HW97 weighs upwards of 4kg), but the cocking effort is nothing 99% of shooters can’t handle. I quite like the overall weight and feel of Weihrauch rifles; everything feels solid and built to last, and most importantly, powerful and accurate.

See more of the Weihrauch range of airguns here

The new(er) kids on the block

Hatsan were founded in 1976 and first started off manufacturing shotguns directed at sport shooters, with great success. They’ve now translated that knowledge of sporting competition to provide a range of airguns that are just as effective in shooting competitions. The rifles themselves are made in Turkey, which mirrors the company as an up-and-coming economic powerhouse that has risen rapidly upwards in terms of reputation and quality, and now stands firmly amongst the world’s elite.

The rifles themselves are modern and ergonomically designed with rubber inserts, thumbhole designs, and a wide variety of synthetic stock options. Another good thing about the brand is that they often come with silencers attached, and with front sights on the silencer; this means that you no longer have to choose between the two. Hatsan rifles also represent incredible value for money, with many coming with bipod, carrying straps, and other accessories for no added cost, and they also add extras like adjustable cheek pieces and inbuilt swivel studs to a lot of their models.

Two of the best

Let me preface this by saying that spring rifles are my bread and butter. There are also various PCP options out there for both brands, which may be subjectively better than these rifles. But not to be tied down with external gas canisters suits me best. So here are my two picks:

Weihrauch HW77K

The HW77 was Weihrauch’s first rifle that loaded directly into the breech of the barrel, as opposed to a loading tap, which reduced the power, but greatly increased accuracy. This has made the 77 extremely popular in countries with strict power limits, like the UK and Germany.

This K or carbine version of the 77 also decreases the weight to make the rifle more manageable and easier to aim, whilst a raised cheekpiece and sculpted butt-pad make the rifle a nice fit into the shoulder. The gun itself is also equipped with a front sight, but I would make use of the long rail mounted across the top of the rifle, and get a good quality scope.

The gun is exceptionally accurate and shoots well in the field, but where the gun really shines is when shot down the range. The underlever makes bench shooting a little awkward, but the high accuracy and predictable shot placement are winners in my book.


Hatsan Dominator

The Dominator is round about the same price as the HW77 and also uses an underlever cocking mechanism. However, that is about where the similarities end. Instead of a wooden stock, the Dominator uses a synthetic polymer that is over-moulded with rubber for resistance to shocks and knocks. This also has the added effect of eliminating that horrible texture that some synthetic stocks have, where they feel like cheap car dashboards. Despite my usual preference for a wood stock, actually the Dominator started to win me over.

Another nice touch is the stock’s raised cheekpiece, and actually this rifle comes with a wide range of accessories – swivels studs, fibre-optic sights, bipod, strap, and muzzle break … to name a few. This rifle also features a top-mounted rail for optics, and the quattro trigger system is great.

I’d recommend this rifle for field work, especially as the rubber on the stock stays grippy in the wet or through gloves, whilst the rifle’s lighter weight means it can be carried long distances. You even get a strap included!

See more of the Hatsan airgun range here


I hope this has given some insight into the two brands and given some ideas as to what rifle you may want to pick.

If I had to choose one, the Weihrauch wins for me every time; but actually, after initially dismissing them, the Hatsan rifles were well made, well priced for what you get, and I could see their appeal.

BB Guns in the UK

What is a BB Gun?

‘BB gun’ is a very broad term that can cover a lot of different items that we sell here at Pellpax, but as a rule of thumb, BB guns are mainly pistols that can fire a round, solid ball bearing. The two main sizes that BBs come in are 4.5mm and 6mm. The 4.5mm BBs are made from steel, whereas the 6mm are made from plastic and ceramic. The guns that fire these BBs are also referred to with different terms, with the 4.5mm steel BB guns classed as airguns, and the 6mm ones as airsoft guns.

4.5mm BB Firing Airgun Pistols



Here at Pellpax, the majority of our CO2-powered air pistols fire the 4.5mm steel BBs, and use the small 12g CO2 capsule as their power source. These pistols come in different shapes and sizes, with most of them being replicas of famous and iconic pistols that you will recognise. Some examples are the Umarex Beretta M9 A3 and the Remington P-1911 RAC, to name but a couple. The 4.5mm BB airguns don’t require any licence to purchase and own, although you must be over the age of 18 and have ID to prove age, name, and address when we deliver. ID such as a driving licence is perfect.

A lot of the pistols that fire the 4.5mm steel BBs also feature a blowback action, which means the slide moves back on each shot to reload the next BB into the barrel, just as a real gun would do. This feature is huge fun and adds a sense of realism to the pistol, but does use more CO2 gas in the process (so you get fewer shots) and causes a lot more movement, which affects the accuracy. If you’re just looking for a BB gun for a bit of plinking and target shooting, and love the blowback and sense of realism, then I would suggest looking at the Remington P-1911 RAC Tactical, which offers superb reliability and quality at a great price.

The other alternative to blowback is non-blowback pistols, which are available in the standard classic pistol shape, or as revolvers. The non-blowback pistols allow you to get better accuracy and groupings when shooting, as you don’t have the movement from the slide when shooting. And because the CO2 isn’t being used for a blowback system, you also get a higher shot count. If you’re after one of these types of pistols, then good considerations are the Gamo GP-20 4.5mm BB or the Heckler & Koch USP.

Revolvers are great as well, if you prefer that style, with a lot of revolvers available in iconic styles such as the Colt Python, Colt Peacemaker, ASG Schofield, and Webley MKVI. An advantage of the revolver is that the hammer system is exposed so that it’s very easy to cock the pistol prior to each shot and shoot with a lighter trigger for increased accuracy and precision on each shot. A slight downside to revolvers is that a lot of them are limited to 6 shots in the revolving cylinder, but this is being really picky.

A few good choices for a BB gun revolver are the Dan Wesson 2.5″ Silver and the Umarex Colt Peacemaker Nickel, which are both full metal pistols and offer extremely good value for the price point.

6mm BB Airsoft Pistols

6 mm BB firing guns are referred to as Airsoft guns, as they are designed to be used in the recreational sport of airsofting, which is similar to paintball, except 6mm BBs are used. Airsoft guns are much less powerful than the 4.5mm BB guns, so as not to inflict harm when partaking in the sport; they also require a UKARA licence to purchase and own.

The power levels that these guns are restricted to is 1.3 joules for a gun capable of firing multiple shots with one trigger pull, and 2.5 joules for those that fire one shot per trigger pull.

Airsoft pistols are mainly separated by their power types, which here at Pellpax are CO2 powered and green gas powered. Gas powered air pistols are becoming the more popular of the two types, mainly because the 12g CO2 cylinders can be fiddly to change when out on the airsoft field in the midst of a match, whereas gas is quicker and easier to refill. Green gas also provides a more stable pressure, so your power and accuracy between shots is more consistent.

If you prefer the CO2 BB guns, then a lot of them are available in the classic pistol shapes, such as the KWC M-92 CO2 6mm Airsoft, based on the M92 frame, and the KWC Desert Eagle CO2 6mm Airsoft, which is quite self-explanatory as to what it is based on! These are both great pistols and perfect if you don’t mind the CO2 canisters.

As for gas-powered BB guns, again they are all mainly based on classic pistol frames and are all of good quality, but a couple to take a look at are the WE Big Bird 6mm Airsoft and the Nighthawk 1911 6mm Airsoft, both of which offer superb build quality and stable reliability. The green gas and BBs are loaded into the dropout magazines, making it easy to have a few on hand to drop in when one runs out, which is very useful when out on the field. Most also have adjustable hop-up, which is the spin on the BB that many shooters find useful when outside in the elements, shooting.

We also have two-tone pistols, which are below the 1 joule limit, and which have at least 51% of their frame painted in a bright colour – normally blue, orange, or clear. These items don’t require any licence to purchase and own, although you must be over the age of 18. A lot of these are spring powered, so you pull the slide back to cock, then fire the shot. This makes them very simple and reliable to use and great for a bit of plinking in the back garden. You can view the whole range here…

I hope this article has helped explain a bit more about what BB guns are and how you would go about obtaining one in the UK!

A Buyers Guide to Crossbows

There are many different crossbows on the market, so today we’re going to be looking at a few of the very best, and comparing them to see what is the right choice for you.

Recurve Crossbows

First off is recurve crossbows. These crossbows operate much like traditional bows that have been turned sideways and mounted on a stock. The power of the bow comes from the tension housed within the recurve limbs that are drawn back with the string, and which are then released when the trigger is pulled.

Recurve crossbows have been used for centuries, and the advantage of them is that because the design is so simple, they are very easy to maintain and are unlikely to go wrong. Let’s have a look at some examples.

EK Archery Jaguar I

The Jaguar from EK is the ideal starter crossbow. With a draw weight of 150lbs, the crossbow is easy to draw, but will still produce velocities well in excess of 200fps. This means the bolt will fly nice and straight and be accurate enough for target shooting at around 60 yards. The maximum range is obviously much greater – 100 yards plus – but at 60 you should be able to hit a bullseye pretty consistently.

The crossbow is made from a mixture of aluminium and polymer, which keeps the crossbow light, but doesn’t sacrifice any strength. This makes the bow not only easy to transport and carry, but also eliminates fatigue whilst aiming, allowing you to stay more accurate for longer. The only complaint I have about the stock is that the butt is entirely polymer, with no rubber butt pad. This may increase strength, but it makes the crossbow a little uncomfortable to get into the right position.

The bow is equipped with basic iron sights and also sports a rail for red dots, scopes or other optics. It would have been nice for another rail somewhere that could hold a torch, but for the price I really can’t complain. This crossbow is available at £58.99 which is frankly a bargain; it will shoot twice as far as any sub 12ft/lb airgun, and is accurate to a tee.

Honestly, this crossbow is fantastic for the price; it’s just hampered by a lack of options and a slightly uncomfortable design. If, however, you can look past these niggles, you’ll end up with a very effective, if a little basic, target crossbow.


Barnett Recruit 150lbs

At almost four times the price of the EK, the Barnet had better be good to justify itself. Luckily, the crossbow is extremely well made and the build quality is apparent as soon as you pick it up. The crossbow feels both light and strong and is exceptionally balanced, making you want to draw it up to your shoulder almost instinctively.

The crossbow has a draw weight of 150lbs and also 65ft/lbs of muzzle energy. This makes the bow both easy to draw and also powerful enough to provide good range. The crossbow has a fantastically responsive, moulded metal trigger that houses a predictable let off that helps prevent you from “pulling” your shot.

In addition to the crossbow, the Recruit comes with a lightweight bolt quiver, three bolts, lube wax and even a red dot sight. There are much better quality sights available, such as the models by Hawke or Meopta, but to have one included with the bow is a nice touch. The bolts included with the bow are also not of particularly high quality, and, to be honest, the accessories included would be something I’d replace if I was using this crossbow day in day out.

The bow is also equipped with an anti-dry-fire system to prevent the most common way of bow breakages, and this makes the bow feel very reliable. The crossbow is able to achieve around 2” groups at 50 yards, pretty impressive, and I’m sure with a little training you could maybe get this up to 70 plus.

The Recruit is a good bow and definitely a step up in quality from the Jaguar, I don’t think it’s four times better though, especially when it comes to accuracy and power, which are almost identical.

Compound Crossbows

Compound bows use twin cams at the end of each limb to a) increase the bow’s power and b) to prevent tension being stored in the string when the bow is drawn, which minimises the risk of dry fire and breakages. Compound bows tend to be more expensive than recurves and take more maintenance.

EK Archery Blade

The Blade, from EK Archery, is their entry level model in the compound bow market, and is ideal for those looking for maximum power from a minimum price. The Bow comes with all the accessories you need to get started: 4×32 crossbow scope, cocking rope, 3-bolt quiver, 3 x 20″ aluminium bolts, and string wax, consequently making this crossbow a perfect choice for beginners.

I would advise against younger shooters using this bow, however, as even with the cocking rope provided, the Blade takes a fair effort to cock. Not too hard to be impossible, but one of those ones where everyone says they find it really easy, but you can see their face going a bit red and a few beads of sweat forming after each shot. No one likes to admit defeat, I guess. Now in and of itself, this is not much of a problem, but in younger hands I could see this leading to a dry fire if the rope isn’t cocked fully.

The blade has an extendable, M4-style stock that makes it suitable for people of all shapes and sizes, and the level of comfort has been greatly improved over the Jaguar with a moulded shape that fits neatly into the shoulder. The crossbow also shoots incredibly well. I’m impressed with EK’s ability to produce great performance from such inexpensive bows. The Blade is responsive and manoeuvrable in the hands, and will deliver tight and effective groupings at ranges of up to 60 yards.

A great starter crossbow that includes everything needed for a beginner to get into their shooting hobby.

Barnett Edge

The Edge is a serious piece of kit. One of the first things I noticed was how easy it was to cock. With a draw weight of only 135lbs and the bow’s cam’s greatly reducing tension on the string, the Edge is quick and easy to load up. Even after 20 or so shots, the Edge was nowhere near as hard on my arms as the Blade, and this will keep your aim straighter for longer.

This doesn’t mean that the crossbow is lacking power, however, and the Edge will produce a whopping 110+ ft/lbs of muzzle energy. Yeah, quite a bit more than I expected, to be honest. This makes the Edge absolutely in a league of its own when it comes to range, and the added power also helps keep the bolt straight in flight, adding to the crossbow’s accuracy. I have heard reports of the riser being slightly off centre with some crossbows, which makes them difficult to sight in, but my model was absolutely fine. I seem to have pretty good luck when it comes to these things.

The crossbow comes equipped with a variety of safety features, such as an automatic safety and an anti-dry-fire mechanism, and the crossbow also has all the usual accessories. The scope, in particular, is fantastic; it’s 4×32 with excellent clarity and coated lenses to help maximise light transfer in low light. It is certainly a step up from the plain tubes included with less expensive models.

Speaking of expense, the Edge is the most expensive crossbow I’ve tested here – by some margin as well – and I’m not really sure what it does to justify its price tag. It’s nice to shoot, sure; it’s easy to cock; and it’s very accurate. But actually, so is the EK, which is a fraction of the price. The build quality is good, but not exceptional, and although I was impressed shooting the bow, I would think long and hard before buying one for that amount of money.

Pistol Bows

These are like regular bows that instead of needing to be shouldered can be fired from a pistol grip. These bows are typically less powerful, though still more powerful than an airgun, and also smaller than a regular crossbow. The majority of these will feature recurved limbs, although there are a few compound pistol crossbows sneaking onto the market.

EK Cobra

The EK Cobra is perhaps the most popular pistol bow we sell, and the reason for this is clear: the whole bow costs just £17.99, including bolts.

The pistol bow is incredibly easy to cock, and features an ingenious system that pulls back the string by pressing a button and moving the stock back, which pulls two metal hooks backwards, cocking the crossbow. This system is great, as it’s easy to use and eliminates the need for fiddling around with the bow’s small strings; and it also prevents dry fire. In fact, it’s such a good system, I can see it spreading to other pistol bows if EK haven’t patented it.

The Cobra has a draw weight of 80lb and shoots exceptionally well for its size. The bow is equipped with iron sights that are adjustable, but there’s no rail for external optics. The bow is also equipped with safety, which must be pushed forward to fire, and the trigger of the bow is machined metal for added durability.

All in all, this pistol bow is very well equipped, and I can’t get over how cheap it is. At under £18, this crossbow is cheaper than half a tank of petrol or a meal out with the missus, and will be infinitely more fun than either of these. Honestly, this pistol bow is great, and, for the price, is one of the most fun items we sell.

Hopefully this has given you a few options to consider. Personally, I like the Cobra as it is still pretty powerful for a pistol and it is just so cheap!


What is an Air Gun?

Many of you will think of an air gun as anything that fires a projectile from a smooth-bore or rifled barrel using the power of air.

This is the standard definition that can be found across the internet. But air guns are so much more than that today, as some use compressed air, others CO2 gas, and some a spring and piston, which still all come under the umbrella of air guns. As a rule of thumb, the term air gun is generally used to refer to any type of gun that uses compressed gas as the propellant, as opposed to burning powder, as in rifles and shotguns. And you should always consider the right air gun pellet for your needs as well.

Spring Power

Probably one of the oldest air gun mechanisms to still be around today is the spring-and-piston type, with the first examples of their existence going back to the late 1800s.

The principle of a spring-powered air rifle is that a spring is cocked by means of a lever; it’s often the barrel that doubles for this job, but some guns are a side- or underlever type, which allows the barrel to be fixed in place. This lever then compresses the spring, which has a piston in front of it, with a washer on the front. This washer used to be made from leather, but today they tend to be made from plastic. This washer creates a near air-tight seal, so that when the spring’s tension is released, the piston compresses the air in front of it, which is then forced through a port into the barrel, propelling the projectile forward.

The Stinger Starter UL Tactical Kit is a great spring rifle for target shooting and plinking.

As this mechanism has very few moving parts, it’s probably the most reliable type of air gun, especially as so many models from nearly 100 years ago are still working flawlessly today!

One slight downside of this system is that the spring wears over time, causing power loss, but a gunsmith can easily replace the spring to get the power back up to where it should be. Spring air rifles come in a wide range of prices from choices such as the Stinger UL Tactical Starter Kit .22, right up to the top-of-the-range, state-of-the-art Air Arms Pro-Sport Walnut Stock .177, which offers some of the best accuracy and consistency straight out of the box.

Choose from the best Spring Powered airgun brands

Gas Ram

An upgrade on the standard spring airgun is the gas ram system, which is very similar in its principles to a spring air rifle, except the spring is replaced with a gas strut. For those of you who can’t picture a gas strut, it’s basically a larger version of what holds a car boot open. The gas strut doesn’t suffer the same downfalls as a spring does, such as spring fatigue, meaning that the power stays the same for longer. The gas strut also offers better shot-to-shot consistency, as the compression of the gas is more consistent and accurate than that of a spring would be. Again, prices vary in the gas ram range, from the e Webley VMX D-Ram .22 – Black Synthetic, right up to the Weihrauch HW90K .177.

Choose from the best Gas Ram powered airguns

CO2 Powered

The next step up from spring and gas ram air rifles are CO2-powered rifles, which use either the small 12g capsules, or the larger 88g cylinders. Both are filled with compressed CO2, and once loaded into the rifle, the gas flows through a valve, eventually being released into the barrel to propel the pellet when the trigger is pulled and the hammer strikes the valve. This system is completely recoil-less, so it’s a lot easier to get better accuracy with one of these rifles straight out of the box.

CO2 does have its disadvantages though, as it’s very dependent on temperature, so it’ll be a bit more powerful on a warm day, but less powerful on a cold day. Spring and gas ram don’t experience this fluctuation by comparison. CO2 are a lot quieter though, as they don’t have much internal movement going on, so with a suppressor fitted, they are close to silent.

Choices start from the Rat Sniper .22 CO2 Air Rifle, which is a great rifle for those looking for a bit of target shooting and light pest control, up to the all-bells-and-whistles Umarex 850 Air Magnum XT .22 Deluxe Kit, which offers multi-shot, full-power shooting.

Choose from the best CO2 powered airguns

PCP Powered

The Zbroia Hortisia Bolt Action PCP Rifle is an excellent starting point

PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) rifles are the next step up from CO2 and offer the best in accuracy and consistency out of all the airgun types currently on the market.

PCP rifles use high pressure air – some running at pressures of up to 300 BAR – to propel the pellets along the barrel. The advantage of high-pressure air is that it doesn’t change power as the temperature varies, and is also a lot more stable than CO2, giving much better results when firing pellets. The principle is similar to the workings of a CO2 gun, with the air held in a reservoir, which is recharged via a diving cylinder or a stirrup pump. This air is then released into the barrel via a valve, which is struck by a hammer when the trigger is pulled.

PCP rifles are available in all shapes and sizes, with both single-shot and multi-shot actions available.

Some good starting points would be the Zbroia Hortitsia .22 – Black or the Daystate Griffin .177, with prices varying anywhere in between, depending on your budget!

Choose from the best PCP Powered airguns

An airgun is not just a gun that uses air to fire pellets. It’s much more than that today, with some top-end rifles even utilizing electronic actions to fire the pellets! There are still many new advances to come, but I hope this blog post has helped explain some of the different types.

High Powered Air Rifles for under £200

In these times of Brexit and Trump, it seems everyone’s looking for a good deal. So I’m here to shed light on some of the best that cheap air rifles have to offer. Now, just 60 years ago, £200 would buy you a brand-new car, but cars are not necessarily the most efficient tool for pest control. So let’s see what high-powered airguns we can get for the same price. And you should always factor in the importance of choosing the correct air gun pellet too.


Hunting For Value: Remington Express XP

If you’re looking for value, you can’t do better than the Remington Express XP. It’s not just one of the cheapest spring rifles, but it’s one of the cheapest airguns, period. The express is only available in .177, but it will shoot 11.5ft/lbs plus, making it just as effective as many other more expensive guns on the market.

The finish on the rifle is also surprisingly refined, considering the price, and the hardwood stock (read ‘not beech’) is suitably shaped and well stained. The rifle also weighs under 3kg, making it lighter than some other similarly priced spring rifles. The trigger of the Remington, in particular, is nice and wide, and whilst there’s a little creep, the pull weight seems perfectly set to achieve a predictable let-off. The Remington is also accurate, with 1/2” groups at 30 yards, using Air Arms Diabolo pellets, and the muzzle report is greatly reduced by the addition of a silencer.

This rifle, however, is not as quiet as a CO2 or PCP rifle, as the main noise of a spring rifle comes from inside the rifle itself. Also, the silencer is moulded to the front of the rifle, eliminating the possibility of front sights. Now, the rifle does come with a 3-9×32 scope, but it’s always nice to have the option.
All in all, a great rifle that’s limited by its lack of options, such as calibre choice and sight options.

Great finish on the XPs stock.

+ Great finish
+ Accurate
+ Brilliant Trigger
+ Comes with Scope

– Silencer is Fixed
– .177 Only
– Still Quite Loud

Lightweight and Reliable: Webley VMX

Next up is rifle that has had a couple of re-brands over the years, the Webley ValueMax, now known as the VMX has been a popular choice amongst airgunners looking to get more bang for their buck.

Slightly less powerful than the Express XP, the VMX none the less shoots at around 11.3ft/lbs which is more than enough to deal with either feathers or fur. The VMX features a Powr Lok mainspring that delivers consistent power and smooth delivery although the two stage trigger could be of higher quality.

The VMX also features fibre optic sights and can be fitted with a scope because of the rifles top mounted rail. The VMX also features an automatic safety, but is not possible to de-cock the rifle without firing so always ensure you have a target first, something that is good practice anyway.

The synthetic stock is OK I guess, but I’ve never liked the feel of most of them, they remind me of the texture of a cheap car dashboard, but they are light and I guess for £120 I cant exactly expect walnut can I? The shape is good however and the rifle is comfortable to shoulder for both left and right handed shooters.

The rifle is maybe not the nicest to look at or shoulder, but it shoots like a dream and for under £120 you can’t really have many complaints can you?


+ Smooth Action
+ Fibre Optic Sights
+ Under £120!!!
+ Auto Safety

– Ugly Synthetic Stock
– Moderate Trigger Creep
– No Way to Decock

A Man’s Gun: SMK XS38

Webley Valuemax VMX Air Rifle .177

The Chinese have, in recent years, shaken off their reputation for the cheap and the nasty, and instead are now famous for making some of the most reliable air rifles that money can buy.

Continuing in that tradition, the XS38 is a full-sized, full-power airgun, which, instead of a break-barrel system, utilises an underlever to cock. This reduces wear and increases accuracy by ensuring the barrel never moves throughout the firing process. The rifle is fitted with a scope rail as well as fibre-optic sights, which aid hunting in low light.

The rifle itself is somewhat heavy, weighing in at nearly 4kg, and under-leavers are notorious for having all their weight at the front – something that will take a bit of getting used to. The rifle does have a fair bit of kick, though this is counteracted with a generously sized recoil pad.

The trigger of the XS is somewhat unrefined and is a single stage, leading to a little unpredictability, and the break-barrel action is a little stiff, so you’re in for a workout if you’re going to be doing a lot of shooting with it. It was the most powerful of all the rifles I tested, clocking in at 11.8ft/lbs, ideal for pests.

The XS38 is definitely excellent value, but it’s very front heavy and a bit cumbersome to aim. The gun does, however, pack a real punch, and it’s accurate enough for targets or pests.


This silencer is not removable

+ Under lever
+ Fibre Optic Sights
+ Great Finish
+ High Power

– Unpredictable Trigger
– Heavy
– Tough to Cock

[This silencer is not removable]

Built to Last: BSA Meteor EVO Silentium

The BSA Meteor Silentium was originally introduced in 1955, over half a century ago, and we are now on our 7th iteration of this famous gun. BSA, and now Gamo, who took over in 1986, have always adopted an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the Meteor, and consequently have ended up with a rifle that’s very old fashioned, not to mention underpowered. It’s really only suited for purists of the brand, looking to reclaim a bit of the past.

Now, however, they introduce the Meteor EVO, a version of their classic rifle that has been given a firm boot into the 21st century. First thing to note is the power: upped from the original’s 8ft/lb, the EVO features a brand-new spring-and-valves system that will produce around 11ft/lbs of muzzle energy, just under the legal limit.

The EVO, much like its predecessor, is a rifle that’s built to last, something that continues to impress me about the brand. The finish of the EVO is also really good, with chequering on the stock and a thick rubber recoil pad. Testing the gun out, 4.52 Air Arms field pellets gave tight groupings at 30 yards, and I’m sure that, with a bit of experimentation with pellets, this could be improved further.

Also, unlike some previous BSA models, like the Lightning and the Supersport, the Meteor features a barrel fulcrum that consists of a threaded screw instead of a pin, which eliminates the lateral barrel movement that has given this brand a bit of a bad rep in recent years.

The only real complaint I have is that the gun is still pretty loud – and yes, I know all spring rifles have a similar problem, but don’t call your gun a Silentium if it gives away my position to everyone within a mile radius. Also, this silencer can’t be removed and replaced with a more effective one, or one that doesn’t look like a giant piece of plastic. Oh well…

The BSA carries a lot of heritage. It also shoots well … even if it’s a little loud and cumbersome to aim.

SummaryBSA Meteor Evo Silentium Air Rifle .177
+ Great Build Quality
+ Well Designed Stock
+ High Power
+ Accurate

– Quite Loud
– Can’t Remove Silencer
– Front Heavy

Best Gamo Ever: Gamo Whisper X

The Gamo Whisper X has been billed as “the best Gamo ever”, and while that doesn’t mean much to some people, the Whisper X does shake off some of
the baggage that’s been attached to the Gamo name. Normally known for having a heavy trigger, the Whisper is surprisingly light and responsive, and I found myself growing to like it more with each shot. The accuracy was again pretty good, inside a penny at 30 yards. Nothing to complain about here.

Another thing Gamo rifles were famous for was the “twang” noise the spring made when fired. Now, I don’t know if they use a different manufacturer for their springs now, but that noise was absent, instead being replaced with a more pleasant thud sound. The recoil level of this rifle was also way below what I expected in the shoulder, with the skeleton stock absorbing a large part of it. However, the kick is still larger than most air rifles, and I wonder if this may cause damage to the gun in the long run.

About that stock: it’s not exactly my cup of tea. I have to say I prefer a classic sporter-shaped wood stock, as opposed to the Whisper X’s unusual styling. At least it doesn’t look like a Kral Breaker … Having said that, looks are subjective; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, blah blah blah … Really, if you’re hitting groups as tight as the X does, how it looks pales into insignificance.

The X was perhaps the gun I was most sceptical about before shooting, and yet it was the one that grew on me the most.

Gamo Whisper X

The Gamo has an unusual thumbhole design

+ High Accuracy
+ Light
+ Comfortable
+ Improved noise…

– … but not exactly Whisper Quiet
– Fixed Silencer
– Polarising looks

The Gamo has an unusual thumbhole design

And the Winner is …

In conclusion, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this range of rifles. The build quality is about what you would expect, but the performance far exceeded my expectations. With the exception of one, all were over 11.5ft/lbs, and all were accurate enough to be used for either pest control or target shooting at ranges up to, and including, 30 metres. If I had to pick a winner, I’d probably go for the Remington. Yes, it is a bit rough around the edges, but that trigger is great and makes the gun a joy to shoot. I would have liked the option of front sights, such as on the non-XP model, but this gun is a great choice for target shooters and hunters alike.

The overall standard of the guns was actually very good. Manufacturers have been competing with each other for decades now to try and get their rifles to be the most affordable, and there’s now more choice than ever. Whereas 30 years ago buying a cheap airgun was really scraping the bottom of the barrel, nowadays the bar has been raised so high that you can find a great airgun, regardless of your budget, so long as you’re prepared to compromise.

Pistol Pest Control

Pistol Pest Control

There is no doubt that summer is prime season for pests but it is by no means the only time that pests are around so you need to be vigilant. Rats, unlike many other mammals, do not typically hibernate during winter and as the temperatures drop, they are more likely to be looking to move inside looking for warmth and shelter. This means that they will appear inside barns and garages where range is not so much a factor as manoeuvrability and ease of use.

When choosing a hunting pistol it is important to ensure that you have a pistol that shoots as close to the 6 ft/lb legal limit as possible. Careful consideration must be paid to ensure quick dispatching and the more powerful the gun, the more stopping power the pellet has. A 2-3 ft/lb 1911 is just not going to do the job humanely or otherwise.

There are two main airguns gun calibres .177 and .22. There are others but they are either too heavy for 6ft/lb guns and often more difficult to get hold of. So what is better .177 or .22? Sigh… this is an argument as old as time but here goes :

Relative size of the 2 most common calibres.

Well, .22 is often cited as the “hunting calibre” but, with the right shaped pellets, .177 can be just as effective. Due to power being worked out as a relationship between weight and speed the lighter pellets of the .177 calibre actually fly much faster than their heavier counterparts. This becomes an advantage as their trajectory is much flatter and therefore it is easier to be accurate. Hitting the head or vitals of a rat or small bird means shooting an area the size of a pound coin and so I actually prefer .177 for pistol pest control. As .177 pellets are travelling faster domed or pointed pellets have a habit of passing though the target which not only reduces lethality but can be problematic if shooting without a clear backstop. For this reason I would recommend flat head or hollow points for .177 and domed pellets for .22. That is my case for using .177 calibre anyway, but I have plenty of friends that swear by .22 especially for furry animals such as rats and rabbits which tend to be quite tough.

At the end of the day every hunter will tell you that accuracy is the most important factor when it comes to humane dispatching, you are often aiming for an area no larger than a pound coin so as long as you can reliably hit that, you will be fine. Just pick whichever calibre you prefer, it IS that simple. With that in mind, perhaps the most important aspect of pest control is practice, reliably hitting the same spot with a rifle is hard enough, but with a pistol it will require hours and hours of hard work until it is in your muscle memory. There are some people that will tell you that you hunting with an air pistol is inherently impossible to do humanely but I disagree, reliable expansion occurs at around 4ft/lbs, even less in hollow points, and a pellet that is fired from 6ft/lb air pistol will have this level of energy at ranges of around 15m.

Which Type of Air Pistol?

So you have your calibre, now what to choose, spring? CO2? Gas Ram? PCP? Single stroke? At least there was only 2 calibres to choose from…

Well, using my uncanny ability to treat my own opinions as fact, I’m going to trim the list down a bit. PCP pistols are undoubtedly effective but you are talking minimum 700 English pounds for a good one and that’s without factoring in the dive bottle and hose that you need to have one and that is probably too much money for a couple of rats so, unfortunately, they’re out.

Gas Ram pistols are essentially the same as spring pistols but use a non fatiguing piston system instead of a spring, sounds great right? Well, to my knowledge there are none close to the 6ft/lb limit that we are after so they are also out. Multi Stroke pistols suffer a similar fate with the majority of the models available being under powered with one exception. The Zoraki HP-01 has a variable power system which means that after 3 pumps the pistol will be powerful enough to be used for pest control. This means that having the pistol ready to shoot as by the time you have pumped the pistol up to full power, the rat or bird will likely be gone.

So that leaves us two viable options CO2 and spring power. As they are the most popular, let’s talk CO2 first.

CO2 pistols

The ProShot Pro-Target

There are a wide variety of CO2 powered pistols available that come in all shapes and sizes but for the majority, there are only a couple that are capable of killing. And the majority are based on one tried and tested design. The originator of the full powered air pistol is a model called the Crosman 2240 Buster which utilised an ingenious bolt action design that was powered by a single 12g CO2 capsule that produced around 5.5ft/lbs of muzzle energy. The 2240 stood as the undisputed king of the pest control world for a long time until a new design came along and took its crown.

The SMK CP1 has refined and ungraded the 2240s original blueprint and has become not just one of the best selling pest control pistols, but also one of the best selling airguns currently on the market. What makes it so effective is not just the power, but also the refinements made to the gun, the bolt has been moved to the left side to allow easier cocking, there is a chequered wood stock instead of the 2240s polymer and both the trigger unit and iron sights have received a significant upgrade. The CP1 also features a dovetail rail for the fitting of external optics and comes in a wide variety of calibres for maximum versatility, there is even a multi-shot version available. When looking for a pest dispatching pistol it is very hard to look past this model.

See more CO2 air pistols

Spring Powered Pistols

Spring powered pistols generally utilise a break barrel or lever system to fill a chamber with air and then release a spring which rapidly compresses the chamber forcing the pellet out of the barrel. The advantage of this design is that everything you need to fire is right there in your hands, no external gas canisters are required so if you can cock the gun, you can shoot it. This does also mean that unfortunately all spring pistols are single shot but with Gamo bringing out an ingenious multi shot spring rifle, the Maxxim Elite, I would imagine that a multi-shot spring pistol is not too far away.

Perhaps the most famous spring pistol is the XS26, one of the stalwarts of recent years that has continued to sell high numbers since its inception and has formed the basis of a lot of spring powered pistols that followed after it. Most notably was SMK’s own XS32 which not only upped the power slightly but improved the trigger system to make the gun more accurate and more reliable. The XS32 is equipped with fibre optic sights which is a plus as pests tend to be more active in low light, and is also surprisingly lightweight which not only reduces fatigue but also makes aiming easier, important when aiming for a small vital area.

The HW45 is a beautiful piece of construction

Whilst the XS32 is a superb choice, the undisputed king of the spring powered pistol world is the Weihrauch HW45. Despite being several orders of magnitude more expensive than an XS32, particularly if you want the fantastic looking Silver Star model, this is the spring pistol I’d personally have. Of all of the names in the airgun industry, Weihrauch is probably the name you can most trust when it comes to delivering high quality construction and overall great performance. The HW45 is accurate to a tee and shoots a shade over 5 ft/lbs making it one of the most powerful spring pistols on the market and more than enough for a rat or pigeon at 10-15m. The pistol itself does require 13mm mounds to fit additional optics which is unusual but other than that I can’t fault it, one of the best pistols money can buy.

See more spring powered air pistols

So there you have it, a list of a selection of the pistols I would consider to be the best for pest control. If you are looking to purchase one be sure it’s here at Pellpax and stay tuned to the blog for all your airgun information.

Airgun Pellets, what’s the best for me?

So you have your rifle. What’s the first accessory you’re going to need? Well, something to shoot out of it might be an idea; so let’s look at your choice of pellets.

A Sample Pack is a good place to start

Now, the barrel of any air rifle will contain minute imperfections in both the material and rifling, which can have a large effect over shot placement. What this means is, every airgun will respond differently to pellets and different shooters. For example, I have a TX200 that prefers JSB Exact pellets to anything Air Arms have to offer; so much for brand loyalty.

So a good thing to buy would be a Pellet Sample Pack. This way you can try out a couple of different types of pellet before committing to one, to see not only what your rifle prefers, but what kind is best for what you need.

Everyone has a type

Flathead or Wadcutter :

These pellets are ideal for shooting paper targets, where their flat, circular nose will cut a clean hole through paper, allowing you to see exactly where you’ve hit. This makes them ideal for zeroing in scopes and lasers, as well as for competitions, where competitive scoring must be as accurate as possible.

These pellets do also have some hunting utility, particularly in smaller calibres, as they have a high rate of deformation and expansion upon impact, which leads to larger wound channels and less chance to wound.

Notable Examples : Gamekeeper Rat Dispatcher, Pro-Target Trophy, Apolo Champion.

Hollow Points :

These pellets have an indentation in their nose, which, upon impact, drives air into the centre of the pellet, causing rapid expansion. These pellets are designed for hunting and pest control, and are best used at short to medium range to be most effective. This is because the hollow point in the centre can affect accuracy and cause the pellet to tumble at longer distances.

I would recommend them for anyone thinking of using a pistol for pest control, as the higher level of energy transfer from the pellet can help counteract the pistol’s lower power.

One thing that’s good about hollow points is that, thanks to their high rate of expansion, they’re extremely unlikely to over-penetrate, and, although I would always pay concern to what is behind your target, this will minimise the risk.

Notable Examples :Crosman Piranha Hollowpoint, Bisley Pest Control, H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme.

Pointed : Designed to prioritise accuracy above all other aspects, pointed pellets are created to maximise aerodynamics around the fired pellet to ensure a laser-straight flight path. That’s the theory anyway. However, from my experience, pointed pellets tend to be amongst the most inconsistent.

After some testing, I’ve concluded that it’s down to the way the pellets are manufactured and stored. The pointed pellet works fantastically well only if the point is aligned correctly, and, due to pellets being stored in a tin without much protection, this is the exception and not the rule.

Having said that, my dismissal of pointed pellets has led me to experiment with them less, but I have a couple of friends who swear by Gamekeeper Infiltrators for rabbits, which I am yet to try. So let’s just say I’m waiting to be won over.

Notable Examples : Gamekeeper Infiltrator, Webley Powapell, Apolo Jumbo.

Domed : The classic pellet shape. Domed pellets are by far the most popular shape of pellet and are really a jack of all trades. Their shape leads them to be accurate, with deep penetration and reliable expansion, without excelling in any of those areas.

Honestly, these pellets can do anything pretty well, and if I didn’t have a specific task in mind, these would be the pellets I’d go for. Since they’re the most common type of pellet, there’s a very long list of pellet brands, all with variations in shape, so something is almost guaranteed to suit your shooting style.

One thing to bear in mind with domed pellets is that, more than any other, they offer differing skirt sizes. Now, the skirt is the size of the end of the pellet and effectively equates to how tight the seal is of the pellet inside the barrel. The tighter the seal, the more pressure has to build up behind the pellet for it to be fired, therefore increasing FPS. This skirt size will be represented by an additional .01 when listing the pellets size. For example, .177 pellets which are usually 4.5mm will be listed as 4.50, 4.51, 4.52 etc.

A wider skirt will leave more lead behind inside the barrel. This lead fouling will need to be regularly cleaned to keep your rifle in perfect working order, as large build up can affect both power and accuracy. Also, some magazines, most notably semi-automatic rifles like the Sig Sauer MCX and Beretta CX4, tend to prefer smaller skirted pellets, so I would stick with .50 or .51 if using these rifles.

Notable Examples : ProShot Precision Magnum, Weihrauch Field Target Special, Air Arms Field, JSB Exact Pellets.

What are you made of?

The next important consideration is the material that the pellet is made from. The various qualities of these materials, such as weight and hardness, will play an important role in how the pellet flies through the air and also how the pellet behaves when it impacts the target.

: The first and by far the most popular choice is lead. Lead has been used for ammunition for literally centuries, thanks to its properties of being not only very heavy for its size, but also a relatively common material.

Its weight makes it a great projectile, as a small lead pellet will transfer more energy into the target than a larger pellet made from a lighter material. This means that the pellet is more effective in smaller calibres, and that it’s also less affected by environmental conditions in flight, such as wind.

Lead was also traditionally chosen because of its relative softness. This leads to deformation upon impact, dramatically widening the wound channel and leading to more effective hunting. Nobody likes wounding animals, so the fact that lead dramatically decreases this risk makes it a great choice for hunters.

Lead is not without its downsides, however, and because of its soft nature, the pellet often leaves a small amount of residue inside the barrel. This is an advantage, as it helps lubricate the barrel, but the build-up will start to affect accuracy and will need to be periodically removed – not a particularly hard job, but something to bear in mind.

Lead is also hazardous to the environment and is particularly toxic when it enters river systems. As a result, many places are becoming stricter on its use in ammunition, particularly the use of lead shot, and this is a trend I can see continuing with people’s growing concern over the environment.

Lead pellets are great for almost any task and are perfect for sub 12ft/lb air rifles, where their rapid expansion ensures humane hunting.

Notable Examples : ProShot Precision Heavy, RWS Super Field, H&N Field Target Trophy.

Copper : The military has been using copper jacketed ammunition for over a century, so copper coated pellets are nothing new in the airgun world. But how do they compare to their lead alternatives?

H&N Rabbit Magnum Power copper pellets

Well, first of all, they provide a handy barrier between the lead and your hands, which is always good, as lead’s not a particularly nice material to ingest. They are also significantly harder than 100% lead pellets, which has two distinct advantages. Firstly, they offer greater penetration, and pointed copper pellets offer some of the deepest penetration of any airgun ammunition.

The harder coating also provides protection against damage, and means that the pellets in the tin are far more uniform. This increases shot-to-shot consistency, and ensures the pellets are all in excellent condition when fired. It’s certain a strong reason to recommend the use of pointed copper pellets, as the problems that lead pellets have with making a reliable point is not present here.

Copper may be far less toxic to animals than lead, but it’s actually far more dangerous to plants. I always remember being taught the best way to kill a tree stump: hammer it full of copper nails. Now, thanks to their great penetration, copper pellets can perform a similar, if largely unwanted, role; so always ensure a safe backstop.

Copper Pellets, I think, are best used in conjunction with high-powered FAC air rifles, where their harder coating and more uniform shape will yield incredibly high accuracy.

Notable Examples : H&N Baracuda Power, Apolo Air Boss Barracuda Copper, Apolo Hollow Point Copper, ProShot Precision Pacifier

Alloy : PBA or Alloy pellets are a fairly new development when it comes to airgun ammunition and are available in quite a limited number of designs.

Alloy pellets have the advantage of being non-toxic and can be safely handled and fired, although I would always ensure a secure backstop. The pellets themselves are often lighter than lead or copper, and consequently can produce higher feet per second. FPS is not necessarily the most important metric when viewed on its own, but it can aid accuracy and give a boost to range.

Alloy pellets do tend to be expensive, however, and I would only recommend them for close range target shooting in 6ft/lb pistols and 12ft/lb rifles, where they will perform very well. Anything more powerful than that, and you’re going to be getting close to the sound barrier (~1125 FPS depending on temperature), something that most airgun pellets are not designed for, and something that will negatively affect your accuracy. The noise they make, however, will be awesome.

Notable Examples : H&N Baracuda Green, Gamo PBA Platinum, H&N Match Green

In Conclusion

Hopefully that clears up some of the jargon surrounding airgun pellets; it can be quite a confusing topic for the uninitiated. I would recommend buying a decent tin of domed lead pellets as they can do pretty much anything well, and then starting out with a sample pack to determine what is best for individual tasks.

Crossbow Face Off : Barnett Raptor FX3 vs EK Archery Torpedo 185lbs


This month’s Face Off is a crossbow special. We take a look at these beasts from Barnett and EK Archery, to see which is best…

Barnett and EK Archery have been vying for position in the compound crossbow market for many years so today we are going to take two of their crossbows and compare and contrast to find out who is the ultimate winner.

First Impressions : 

The first thing you notice when picking up the Barnett is it is incredibly light. The specs say it weight around 6.4 lbs but in all honestly it feels a lot lighter than this because of its excellent balance and angled foregrip that enables a precise grip with the front hand leading to easier movement and aiming. Good balance like this is an aspect that is often overlooked with lower priced crossbows that often tend to favour raw power over actually accuracy. Largely in part due to the uninitiated thinking that the higher numbers on the box, the better their crossbow will be.

One thing that detracts from the Barnett however is the colouring. The shape of the crossbow looks great but I’m not to keen on the camouflage look even when its done well and here it seems so unnecessary. Paper targets don’t often notice predators so I don’t known who you are meant to be hiding from. And OK, I can concede that maybe the camo is to help our more trigger happy friends across the Atlantic ocean, but then why then is there giant orange lettering down the limbs? Ah well.

The EK Torpedo looks much more to my taste, black, straight lines and a more tactical appearance. I can even forgive the limbs which feature a carbon fibre effect despite being fibreglass (why?) because the overall appearance of the crossbow is good. However, the Torpedo feels heavier than the Barnett particularly at the front end and the grip at the front is not as nice leading to an unbalanced front end. This could potentially negatively affect accuracy as well as tiring your leading arm faster than average.

I’m inclined to give the win to the Barnett here as how your gun, or in this case bow, looks in comparison to how it shoots so it is the light weight of the Barnett that tips the balance in its favour. Just make it black next time please.

Winner : Barnett Raptor FX3


The EK Archery Torpedo

The Barnett is well equipped with cocking rope, quiver, bolts and a 4×32 scope with mounts. While this is all nice to have and allows you to get shooting straight out of the box,  if serious target shooting is what is required an upgrade to the scope, to a Hawke or Meopta maybe, and definitely an upgrade to the bolts, which are not very good quality at all, would be required.

The Barnett also features an adjustable buttpad which is a nice touch allowing to to fit snugly into the shoulder and is also equipped with an easy to use safety and an anti dry fire mechanism which prevents the crossbow from firing unless a bolt is loaded. A key mechanism as dry firing is the leading cause of crossbow malfunction. There are some reports on the internet of the original Raptor snapping strings due to the recoil from the limbs being too large. This particular problem seems to be have been fixed with the FX3 as the string used is much tougher and I have had no problems with strings during testing.

The EK comes equipped with the same items as the Barnett although the scope is somewhat nicer being a 4×32 IR or illuminated reticle that can be lit up to allow for easier targeting and better performances in bright sunlight or night. The stock of the EK is also extendable in a similar fashion to a M4 or AR15 which grants snug shouldering for shooters of all sizes. Also the quiver of the Torpedo will hold 6 bolts as opposed to just 3 held by the Raptor. The Torpedo is also fitted with an anti dryfire system which is always appreciated. Also my Torpedo came with a little tube of string wax which was a nice touch as preventing your string from drying is one of the key components of maintaining an effective tool.

Both crossbows are pretty well equipped in their own way so I’m going to call this a draw.

Winner : Draw


The Barnett has a draw weight of 150lbs meaning it is able to be drawn by hand. I would almost always recommend drawing the crossbow with a cocking aid however as it provides a more reliable and even draw. The Barnett will shoot 20 inch carbon bolts at around 330 FPS which makes the Barnett accurate to around 50 yards and will require some pretty thick padding to stop the bolts. Trust me, a foam target will not be enough. I have heard horror stories of bolts going though garden fences and also the car behind it so always ensure you know what is behind your target.

The Torpedo however is even more powerful with a draw weight of 185lbs and, using the same 20inc carbon bolts produced and average fps of 356. This gives the Torpedo an effective range 60+ yards with better accuracy than the Barnett. Seriously, this thing shoots exceptionally well. I was bowled over with the performance, 1 inch groups at 50 yards is something a thousand pounds worth of airgun can’t achieve so to see it in a crossbow that is under £400 is frankly amazing. And yes I know that FAC airguns will shoot this far but you have to go out and acquire a license for one of those. A crossbow is available over the counter, providing you are over the age of 18, just like a sub 12ft/lb gun so must be compared against those.

The trigger on the Torpedo is also fantastic. It is crisp and clean with a predictable let off and enhances the precision of the crossbow. Also the Torpedo is £50 cheaper than the Raptor so this is an easy win for the EK to be honest.

Winner : EK Archery Torpedo


Having not been much of a crossbow shooter before having to test them for Pellpax I am consistently impressed by their power and accuracy, and also amazed they remain unlicensed. The UK government is notorious for clamping down on anything they consider “dangerous” so I would imagine it is only a matter of time before these were clamped down on but, as things stand, proof that you are 18+ is all that is required.

The shot for shot performance you get from one of these is simply not available elsewhere without an FAC and the ease of which these crossbows are operated makes them a real viable choice for people looking to get into target shooting. In all honestly the only advantages a 12ft/lb airgun has over one these is the price of ammunition and the ability to be able to shoot vermin.

You can get the Barnett Raptor FX3 here for £649.99.  You can get the EK Archery Torpedo here for £398.99

A Guide to Airsoft Guns

Photograph courtesy Tohico

This month, Steph Brooks takes a closer look at the world of airsoft equipment – specifically the airsoft rifles and pistols that form the core of this exciting sport.

The sport of airsoft is extremely competitive, with many enthusiasts spending thousands of pounds on the right equipment and gear. Some go further than others. I’ve seen videos on YouTube of attack helicopters fitted with miniguns that fire airsoft BBs, and if you think you’re going to be able to combat that with a £30 spring rifle, I have some news for you: you won’t. No, to go from so-so to soldier, you’re going to need the best rifle you can get your hands on.on.

AEG Guns (Automatic Electric Gun)

The first and most common form of gun that you will find on the battlefield is basically powered by an electric motor or AEG. This stands for Automatic Electric Gun, and pretty well describes what these airsoft guns are all about. Inside the gun, there’s a battery that has to be charged, which powers a motor that can continually engage the firing mechanism. Often either single shot, burst fire, or fully automatic, AEG guns give you great flexibility on the battlefield, allowing you to pick out individual targets at long range, or flip the switch to full auto and soak an area with continuous fire.

AEG guns also have the ability to be easily upgraded with bigger batteries, better gearboxes, and more durable internals, all readily available. Just be aware that airsoft sites will have a specific power limit, usually around 1.3J and under for full auto guns, and 2.5J for single shot only guns, and going over these limits will prevent you from playing. AEG airsoft rifles also tend to be cheaper than other types, so if you’re new to the world or airsoft, or you’re planning to go to war, or are looking for something that’s able to be customised completely, inside and out, then an AEG rifle might be for you.

One thing of note when buying an AEG airsoft gun: get one with a metal gearbox. Plastic gearboxes are OK for a while, and if you are just going to be shooting tin cans in your back garden, they will probably hold up, but they are just not resilient enough to stand up to the test of the battlefield on a regular basis. Metal is the way to go.

GBB (Gas Blowback) Guns

The second type of airsoft gun is what’s called a gas blowback or GBB. These guns are powered by gas canisters, which fill a reservoir and propel the pellet out at great speed. Of course, this ties you to buying canisters of gas every time you need a refill, but all but the very cheapest of guns are quite efficient with their gas, so refills shouldn’t need to be too frequent.

The main reason people plump for gas rifles is the added realism that comes with the blowback mechanism. This is where a portion of gas moves part of the gun, such as the slide or the cocking handle, to give the gun a better sense of recoil and more closely imitate what it would be like to fire a real gun. This will obviously affect the gun’s accuracy, as there’s a large kick, so that’s something to bear in mind if you’re intent on shooting competitively.

Another advantage the gas-powered guns have over AEG rifles is that they are able to be refilled almost instantly. If you’re at a skirmish site and your battery runs flat, you either need to change the battery or wait a couple of hours for yours to charge, but with a GBB gun, just top it up with some gas and you’re good to go again, often in less than a minute.

Gas guns are for shooters that prefer their guns easy to use and refill, ready at a moment’s notice, and able to be shot at any time. From my experience, people tend to use gas guns for their sidearms, i.e. pistols or small SMGs, and AEG guns for their main weapon of choice; but there’s some debate in the airsoft community about what is best.

Below, I’m going to take you through some of my personal favourites, in detail, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Airsoft Guns : Four Of The Best

E&L MK18 Mod1 AEG : An AEG that is customisable to suit any situation

Made by E&L, this airsoft rifle is equipped with four extended weaver rails that allow you to fit a large variety of attachments to the gun. The gun is also capable of semi-automatic fire as well as full auto, meaning that whatever battlefield role you wish to perform, the MK18 is right there with you.

For example, the gun can be equipped with a foregrip, laser sight, and red dot reflex … and switch to fully automatic with the stock retracted, and you have the ultimate assault rifle that can clear trenches and buildings with ease, and is light and responsive with a great trigger.

Alternatively, switch to semi-automatic fire, extend the butt stock, trade in the laser sight for a rangefinder, and swap the reflex sight for a rifle scope or night vision, and you have a great sniper rifle that can easily pick off individual targets in the distance. There are two versions: Elite and Platinum.

WE Big Bird Full Auto GBB : A sidearm that can compete with the best of them

The WE Big Bird Airsoft 6mm is an impressive Gas Blowback gun

From WE Europe comes the Big Bird. It’s both gas blowback and fully automatic, making it great fun to shoot. Its shape means it fits into most hip, leg, or shoulder holsters, and the gun, when fully loaded, weighs less than half a kilogram, which makes it ideal for carrying as a sidearm.

The pistol is fully automatic and therefore capable of emptying its magazine very quickly, so it’s good news to hear that there’s a variety of spares available, including a 50-round version that can take the gun from sidearm to primary weapon, especially if you have a couple of them stocked with you.

The Big Bird is also capable of carrying a torch or laser, thanks to its weaver rail, which is located under the barrel, to add a little customisation. The gun is well made, durable, and will serve any skirmisher well.

LCT TX-5 AEG : A modern take on a classic

The LCT brand is perhaps one of the most well known in all of airsoft, thanks to their uncanny ability to provide high grade airsoft guns at competitive prices, and the TX-5 is no different.

Based on the ever-popular AK74 design, the gun has instant recognisability, although instead of using a folding stock or a static wood design, the TX-5 is fitted with a retractable M4-style stock that adds flexibility and sheds weight.

The LCT is also capable of both semi and fully automatic fire, as well as being fitted with multiple rails that allow for a variety of attachments. The adjustable hop-up unit allows for perfect accuracy, while the gun’s metal body makes it almost as indestructible as the real thing.

ICS CXP HOG Tubular SDSR AEG : The ultimate professional

Looking similar to the famous Honey Badger, the CXP HOG is an AEG rifle for those who prefer stealthy play. The inbuilt silencer provides excellent muzzle noise reduction, and, capable of both semi and fully automatic fire, this rifle is great at any range.

The gun itself has a multitude of great features, including a modular stock design that features an adjustable cheekpiece and butt pad to ensure a comfortable shooting position for skirmishers of any size. The gun itself is able to perform at any range, and its barrel is exceptionally well made, ensuring great accuracy.

Although fitted with flip-up iron sights, the CXP HOG has a top-mounted rail that can carry either scopes, lasers, or red dot sights to ensure you always have a clear shot on your target.

To check out our full range of airsoft guns, head to the Airsoft section of our store