Following up on my Why Every Prepper Needs a Pellet Rifle post, I’m reviewing five different pellet rifles.
These rifles aren’t mine. A firearms dealer I know asked if I wanted to try some for a blog post review. How do you say no to that? He gave me a bunch of pellets and targets. I told him I’d list the price he’s selling them for with his contact info. His email is rockwoodarmz [at] msn.com. You can also click his Rockwood Armz facebook page.
If I was buying a pellet rifle, I wouldn’t be buying it to shoot squirrels or birds. I only try to kill critters that are a nuisance, like garden eating groundhogs, or animals I intend to eat, like Maine big bucks. If I wanted to go out in the woods shooting squirrels, I’d probably want the bigger, slower .22 caliber pellet; in a rifle that’s lighter to carry, composite stock.
That’s not what I’d want a pellet rifle for. I’d want to gain (and maintain) basic marksmanship skills. A pellet rifle is a convenient, quiet, fun – and cheap way of doing that. I’d want a target rifle. I’d want a heavy rifle, to better mirror a “real” rifle, something accurate, with the smaller, faster .177 caliber (which could still kill squirrels).
I shot the rifles in my backyard around the kids’ bedtime, able to steal a little time by telling my wife I had “work“ to do, an excuse that’s been easier since getting a few advertisers here. The picture to the right is the target, at the bottom of the picture is the top of a white chair that I rested the rifles on. Because I only had limited time, and because the rifles were new or close to new, I didn’t have the time to go sighting them all in, except one, which I sighted in the following night.
The rifles were all new or like new condition. Different quality and, naturally, prices. There are different types of safeties, some by the trigger, and some with “automatic” safety switches. The safety switch automatically engages after you pump the rifle, and you switch it with your thumb. I preferred the automatic safety, but I wished the “button” you push in wasn’t made out of plastic.
The rifles’ action is all the same, you just cock the barrel and load the pellet in the back.
Pictured is the Gamo “Bone Collector.”
That one is a .22 caliber, and a relatively lightweight rifle. I used the sights (which had a nice fiber optic feature), but it also has a scope mount. The safety is in front of the trigger, not automatic. The velocity is listed as 950 FPS with PBA Platinum pellets, which are lighter, and thus faster, than lead pellets. The composite stock is very comfortable, but the rifle has a very noticeable “sprrrring” sound after you fire it. That’s my biggest complaint with it. I see on the rifle “Gamo USA” but it doesn’t say “Made in the U.S.A.” or “Made in” anywhere. The Rockwood Armz price is $289.00 + $20 S&H for a new one.
Above Daisy Powerline Model 1000 – this .177 caliber rifle is heavier and has an auto safety. It has a Powerline 3-9×32 scope. While the Daisy mailing address stamped on the barrel as Rogers, AR, it clearly states “Made in China.” Nowhere does it state the velocity speed. I think he only has the one pictured, slightly used one available in the $80 range, but you’d have to contact him. Naturally, you get what you pay for. While this Daisy rifle has the weight and .177 caliber I’d be looking for, the rifle is not top notch. You can tell the better rifles just by picking them up and looking them over.
The rifle above is a Benjamin piston gun in .22 caliber. The rifle rifle had a nice balance to it and a 3-9x40A0 scope. The pistol grip style stock was comfortable. The rifle is made in China. He sells this rifle new, with a stock trigger, for $223 + $20 S&H.
The rifle above is a RWS Panther Pro Compact – .177 caliber. They pitch it as an “adult air rifle.” It’s quiet, comes with an automatic safety. The rifle is heavy. Made in Germany. This rifle was easily my favorite. It felt more like a “real” rifle and it was a pleasure to shoot. I sighted this rifle in the next night and was making very tight groupings. He sells this rifle new for $247 + $20 S&H.
Gamo Nitro 17 – .177 is above. The rifle has a loud “sprrroing” sound to it. I used it with a Daisy electronic sight, but it comes with a 3-9×40 scope. The safety is by the trigger. Country of origin is not stated on the rifle. The craftsmanship is lacking, but at $125 + $20 S&H, it works for some people. It all depends on what you want it for.
Me? I want to hang a line of Pepsi “throwback” cans across some trees and punch them with a .177 pellet from the deck.
– Ranger Man
BTW: Thanks to those that made an Amazon.com purchases last month through the Amazon search bar at the right or through product links within posts. Spare Amazon commission change is always friendly.