Best CO2 Powered Air Rifles
CO2 powered air rifles use carbon dioxide to fire the pellet out of the barrel.
The carbon dioxide comes from a canister that is inserted into the gun and can typically be in the form of a 12-gram or 88-gram canister. Pistols will use the smaller, 12-gram variety and the bigger rifles will accommodate the 88-gram one.
What people like about the CO2 power plant is that once it’s in, you don’t need to keep pumping or breaking the barrel between each shot, you can literally keep popping away until the canister runs out of fuel.
Last update on 2022-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
So, how can possibly recommend the best CO2 air rifle out of all that are available? Well, for starters, you can’t go wrong with any of the guns listed on this page.
I’ve short-listed them because they are of exceptional quality, for one reason or another. I do pick a favorite though and I list the reasons why however that is just my personal opinion.
I do have quite a lot of experience in this field however, having owned several airguns utilizing every power plant and caliber stretching over a very long (and happy) 40 years.
So, what am I looking for particularly in a CO2 airgun which would make it good enough for me to recommend to you?
- Features – are there any special qualities to the rifle that make it stand-out?
- Aesthetics, design and all-round look. If you’re going to spend a bit of money on something that you’re going to have for a long time, you want it to look good, right? I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder so this is, of course, a personal opinion.
- Public perception – has the rifle been out for some time and what kind of public feedback has it had? There might be a gun just released that, on paper, looks great. But I’m not interested in that right now, I want to recommend to you a weapon that’s been proven in the field!
- Cost – For this post, I am not restricting myself to any budget and you will find guns in here that are in different price brackets. Although, if there is a gun that has a large price-tag here then one of the things I looked for was whether it offered value for money and if I felt it didn’t, it was excluded.
So, let’s get on with it!
The Crosman 1077 CO2 Powered Air Rifle fires .177 caliber pellets at a velocity of around 600 fps and comes with a great 4×32 scope.
There’s a couple of things of interest here.
Firstly, I love the fact that it has a repeater. You can load 12 pellets into this so you don’t have to continually re-load after each shot. It incorporates the smaller 12-gram CO2 canister neatly tucked away under the barrel.
What pushed it for me though was for it to come with a great scope. It’s pretty much your perfect starter rifle.
Don’t think though that this doesn’t have any power! For a .177 caliber CO2 air rifle at this price point, it’s mighty impressive.
Another from Crosman but this time a pistol.
The Vigilante is a .177 caliber CO2 powered Air Pistol that has a 10-shot magazine. Apart from the rugged looks that you know your kids will love, this pistol has some extras that made it stand-out for me.
Firstly, you don’t just have to shoot pellets with this, you also have the option of shooting ball bearings (BBs).
Next, it comes with a holster and an extra 10-clip pellet magazine and also a 6-shot BB magazine.
Finally, it’s semi-automatic, so no having to keep cocking, just fire away until you’re empty, great fun!
The reviews on this thing are fantastic and you can easily see why.
Sig Sauer MPX
A couple of months ago I took my son to an airgun store an hour or so from where I live. He’d done quite well in some exams so I wanted to treat him to a CO2 Air Rifle.
Of course, being that age (11) he’s going to be into the looks of thing more than how it’s going to perform in the field but I knew that and was fine with it. As soon as he saw the Sig MPX he’d made his decision.
To be honest, I wasn’t convinced it was going to be much good. It takes the 88g CO2 canisters and holds 30 .177 caliber pellets. We got it home, filled up the mag and inserted the CO2 and started plinking.
Wow, how wrong was I? What a fun gun this is. It’s semi-automatic and with an optional red-dot sight on the rail, the grouping was fantastic over 20 yards. Needless to say, my son loved it.
It’s a really solid piece of equipment and you won’t be disappointed. The main problem I have with this gun is he never lets me use it!
So, out of four guns I’ve chosen here, three of them are from Crosman, wow – these guys know how to make quality guns.
The Crosman 2240 might not be as aesthetically pleasing as a lot of guns out there but I simply couldn’t leave it out of this list.
This is a single shot, .22 caliber pistol that is now very well known for being an exceptionally reliable gun. The cocking is easy, as is the loading and the rifle is constructed of steel.
You’ll find this pistol to be very accurate and accommodates the 12-gram CO2 canister. It’s ideal for having fun plinking but is also used for small pests.
The grip is ambidextrous so no problem if you’re a leftie and the adjustable rear sight works very well and how you’d expect.
Just take a look at the reviews on this CO2 airgun. If you’re in the market for a CO2 pistol, you’d find it difficult to beat this.
Conclusion: Best CO2 Air Rifles 2023
Why I chose the Sig Sauer MPX as the best CO2 air rifle?
All of these rifles are very good, make no mistake about that. Because of the sheer fun, the Sig Sauer MPX gave me (err and my son) I simply have to go for this. It’s cheap, ridiculously well constructed, is easy to use and is very accurate. It ticks every box you’d want when looking for a CO2 Air Rifle at this price point so it proved impossible for me to choose anything else in the end!