What is the best PCP powered Air Rifle under $200?

PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatics) use compressed air to fire the pellet out of the barrel. The air is compressed to around 3000 psi by using a hand-pump, scuba tank or some other method. Once the gun is filled to the correct pressure it is ready for use! Simply put, when you pull on the trigger a tiny amount of air is released through a valve which pushes the pellet out of the rifle. This continues until the air pressure is too low for use, at which point it needs to be filled up again.

Over many, many years I've used a number of Air Rifles and I know how difficult it can be when you're looking. If you're looking for a PCP Air Rifle and you're either on a tight budget or perhaps it's your (or someone elses) first gun then take a look at the Rifles below. All of these are very good and you won't be disappointed with whatever you buy. I had to chose a favourite though and to do this I looked at the following things:

  • 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 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 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 only interested in PCP Rifles that are under $200. PCP Rifles can be more expensive than your average Springer, so there wasn't as many to choose from as in the higher price category.

  • So, let's get on with it!

    Choice 1: Beeman QB Chief PCP Air Rifle

    The Beeman QB Chief is a sturdy looking beast that won't leave you disappointed. A hefty 50-shot capacity for .177 caliber or 35 for .22's mean you won't have to be constantly reloading. The Beeman is a bolt-action single-shot Air Rifle which features a 2-stage adjustable trigger and a hardwood stock. It has fiber-optic front and rear sights and a rifled barrel. Although this is an entry-level PCP Air Rifle, it is not sure of quality.

    Beeman QB Chief (click to check current price on Amazon)

    Choice 2: Diana Stormrider

    Just a note, the price does seem to fluctuate a little so apologies if at the time you view it's just a little over $200. I've seen it less and I've seen it more, as there's not much in it I've decided to include it in the under $200 range as when it is over, it's not by much!
    The Diana Stormrider is available in both .11 and .22 caliber versions. It's a bolt-action repeater and is capable of up to 900 fps with .22 lead pellets and 1050 fps with .177 lead pellets.
    This thing shouts quality and it certainly doesn't give the impression of an entry-level PCP Air Rifle. The main feature here is its repeating shots capability. Just load up the rotary magazine, slide it into the breech and you can fire 9 shots with .177's and 7 with .22's, in rapid fire. An absolute stonker of a PCP Rifle at this price point!

    Diana Stormrider (click to check current price on Amazon)

    Choice 3: Raptor Whisper

    There's a lot of things I like about the Raptor. Available to use with either .177 cal or .22 cal pellets it's probably best known for its Whisper noise reduction technology that really helps to keep the noise down. Ideal if you're new to Air Rifles and don't want to scare your neighbours! The Raptor looks fantastic and comes with a 4x32 shockproof scope. It also has a great smooth action trigger that's been developed by Gamo which helps you achieve a more precise shot. Just a final note, I have seen the Raptor occasionally above $200 but most of the time it seems to be under, hence why I'm including it here.

    Raptor Whisper (click to check current price on Amazon)

    Why I chose the Diana Stormrider!

    There isn't a great deal of PCP Air Rifles to choose from at this price level but that doesn't mean you can't pick up something decent. All of these rifles are very good, make no mistake about that. Initially, I was tempted by the Whisper as I do love the simplistic looks of it, the silencer and the cute scope.

    However, for me the Diana Stormrider takes pole position. It has a great name behind it and has been tried and tested as probably the best rifle in this category at this prince point. I loved its rapid-fire ability and it's very well constructed.

    Whatever you choose though, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed!