What are the best Spring Piston Air Rifles over $200?

With so many to choose from you wouldn't be alone in wondering where to start when choosing an Air Rifle. I've been in this position myself a few times and am presenting to you today the best Air Rifles available. Of course, this is my opinion but I've been doing this stuff for long enough now and I wouldn't recommend anything I wouldn't (and haven't) used myself. If you're still not convinced then check out these Rifles on some review sites (or YouTube) and see for yourself.
In making my choices I've taken a lot of things into account:

  • 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.
  • Features - are there any special qualities to the rifle that make it stand-out?
  • 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 - Although not a primary concern for this, if there are two similar guns and one is vastly more expensive than the other, I have discounted the more expensive model.

  • What you also don't realise when you're first looking for a rifle is that, although there are a lot of rifles out there, many are just re-labelled copies and most haven't been tried and tested. I'm not interested in those which is why I've just listed the two below. I don't have any confidence in the rest!

    Choice 1: RWS Model 54 .22 Caliber Air Rifle

    Just look at the craftmenship on this thing. It is a thing of beauty. It may not be cheap but, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. And you surely get a lot when you pull the trigger with this one. The RWS model 54 is a .22 caliber precision Air Rifle. You tend to know when you're buying something made by RWS that you're buying into a quality brand. This rifle doesn't have the typical break-barrel you'd expect on a rifle like this but a side-lever, so the barrel is fixed. No more need to put pressure on the barrel at any time. It also incorporates a floating action system that was developed to absorb some of the shock from the piston and it can therefore release the pellet before it has been impacted by any vibration. Awesome, right?
    It does dome with a scope of course, a very capable 4x32 unit, or of course you can take it off and shoot using the adjustable built-in sights.

    RWS Model 54 Air Rifle (click to check current price on Amazon)

    Choice 2: Hatsan 125 Sniper Air Rifle

    The Hatsan 125 Sniper Rifle may not be everyone's cup of tea but it had enough positives to be included in this list. Firstly, there are a few different colour schemes available for this Rifle but I particularly liked the camouflage so that's the photo I've included here. Firstly, it looks awesome, the silencer on the end of the barrel just completing the look. I know if I was to ask my 11 year old which rifle he'd choose, it would be this one, purely on looks. Although it's been a long time since I've been 11, arguably my mental age is not much higher than this so that might be why I agree with him 🙂
    The Hatsan claims to have velocities of 1,200 fps for alloy and 1,000 fps for lead pellets with a maximum energy produced of 31 ft. lbs. It's got a great Weaver optics TruGlo fiber optic front sight and a fully adjustable TruGlo rear sight. You also get a shock absorber system that's been shown to significantly reduce vibration and is also available in other calibers (.177, .22 and .25).
    Lastly, the price - the Hatsan is definitely on the cheaper side and with its looks, features and public reviews, this rifle is quality.

    Hatsan 125 Sniper Rifle (click to check current price on Amazon)

    Why I chose the RWS Model 54!

    Personal preference. As I said above, the sniper would be for a certain type of person looking for a certain type of gun. For me, there's no question the RWS Model 54 stood out, by a mile, compared to the competition. When you hold it, the thing just oozes quality. It will out-live you, your house and possibly the planet. It has a great illuminated scope and a bear trap to save any accidents when cocking. At the end of the day, if you're looking for an Air Rifle I'm not sure you can get any better than this.