At the risk of stating the obvious, accuracy is crucial any time you discharge a firearm. Whether you’re going after wild game or protecting yourself in a defense situation, being able to land a round right where you want it is an invaluable skill.
Target practice can get expensive though. All that ammo adds up. Even after just a short session of target shooting, it’s easy to start feeling like you’re just burning up money.
So what’s the solution? Enter the high powered air pistol.
This isn’t your grandpa’s BB gun we’re talking about. These bad boys pack some serious punch – some models shoot at over 1200fps!
And the best part is that pellets are cheap and bountiful. You can plunk away for hours without spending more than $10, and that means you can spend as much time as you need honing your accuracy.
Here are a few of the absolute best air pistols for target practice.
Hatsan AT-P1 QE PCP Pistol
From Personal Defense World:
Hatsan’s new AT-P1 provides shooters with a hard-hitting and affordable alternative for honing their shooting skills, as pellets are both inexpensive and readily available.
The AT-P1 is designed to shoot heavier pellets than airguns manufacturers that test their products using alloy aluminum pellets, it will provide shooters will greater accuracy and more energy upon impact when using high-density pellets. The AT-P1’s pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) power system uses a 50cc air cylinder with 200 bar fill (3000PSI) to propel high-density lead pellets to velocities as high as 870fps.
The AT-P1 features components that are nearly all made in-house by the Turkish manufacturer like all airguns from Hatsan. This includes the airgun’s precision rifled barrel made from high-quality German steel and its fully adjustable 2-stage Quattro Trigger.
Beretta PX4 Storm BB & Pellet Pistol
From Replica Air Guns:
The Umarex Beretta PX4 Storm is a very unique pellet blowback air pistol and there are very few airguns that sport all the same features. Not only is it a very close replica of the original Beretta PX4 Storm but it’s also a blowback pellet shooter with decent FPS velocity. The Umarex PX4 Storm has decent accuracy and you can expect about 60 good shots out of a CO2 cartridge. At well under $100, this replica airgun is a great value and a nice addition to any airgun enthusiasts collection.
Benjamin Marauder Pellet Pistol
From Shooting and Safety:
The Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol is an amazing Pre-charged pneumatic survival pistol. It actually feels like a professional weapon disguised as an air pistol. And with its adjustable triggers, it provides much flexibility while shooting. It provides the comfort of various shots within one powerful firearm. While the main focus of this specific Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol review was initially intended to zone-in on the power if offers, it has emerged as one of the best rifles around, particularly one that can utilize the full power and accuracy of .22 PBA platinum caliber pellets.
Do you have any suggestions for air pistols that are good for target practice? Give us your tips in the comments!
I bought a Crosman C11 CO2 BB air pistol and after the first CO2 cartridge the compressed air cartridges will NOT load w/o expressing the entire charge. At first the Crosman rep was very friendly, but since the pistol sat in a drawer unusable past the warranty date they would not repair it; But he did send me two free “face seals”. Since the pistol must be complete dismantled with more parts than my .40 cal Walther I didn’t want to do a take down myself. So it’s back in the drawer unusable. Don’t buy one of these.
got the same problem Sky the seal keeps it from loading cylinder once engaged loses all co2
Enjoyed your write up on airguns for use as a training tool. I have advocated them for years for just that purpose. My personal choices differ slightly however. My daily carry sidearm of choice is a 1911 Government in .45 caliber so I prefer one of the many newer CO2 pistols with blowback slide action for staying proficient in drawing from my carry rig. For trigger control, breathing, and accuracy maintenance I like a Crosman 1322 because it achieved sufficient velocity to be consistently accurate at longer distance- up to 25 yds or so. It is a multi-pump single shot pistol with fairly good sights, cheap to shoot as there is nothing else to purchase beyond pellets. They are also sufficient power rating to be an effective pest control tool and there is a rifle stock attachment available for them to aid in accuracy at ranges up to 50 yds or thereabouts. I have dispatched squirrels at that distance on many occasions, with a couple of small red foxes at slightly closer range. They are inexpensive, well made tools. The multi-pump, single shot feature forces me to be more precise about range finding and shot control. Just my $.02 worth. Thanks for the article
These pistols all need CO2 cylinders to work. CO2 cylinder cost adds up as well as the fancy pellets used in the guns. Why not use the very cheap and very simple spring action guns shooting the 6 mm plastic pellets? These pistols come in a variety of configurations, can be used indoors and with a proper target and trap the balls can be reused over and over. Up to 20 feet they are accurate enough to be a very good practice tool. After the initial purchase cost the use cost is practically ZERO.
I purchased a Daisy CO2-200 in the late 60s or early 70s. It will use either the small or large CO2 cartridge. When I got it I paid $18.95 (the price sticker is still on the box). The specs say it has the power of a 22 short. It holds about 100 BBs. It is a semiauto. You load 5 into the firing chamber from the magazine. One is shot for each trigger pull. After the 5, you load another 5 and do it again. The rear site is adjustable for height and windage. Its style kind of reminds me of an old German Luger. If someone could find one in good working order, I would recommend it.
I agree with Don about needing CO2, besides cost the guns have a problem with long term pressure retention, my dad’s rifle would loose pressure, so every time he needed the rifle the cartridge was flat. We got a spring rifle that shot both BB’s and pellets, the pellets were very accurate at 30 ft and would penetrate. The pellet had the same muzzle velocity as a 22 short.
Prefer pump/spring action. CO’s run out of power, or leak.
Which models shoot over 1200fps?
RWS LP8 Magnum. Tack driver all day long with a great trigger.
I have been using a Crossman pump pistol for years. Quite accurate and easy on the pocketbook.
I purchased a Daisy CO2-200 back in the late 60s or early 70s. Its style reminds me of a German Luger. It takes either the small or large C)2 cartridges. The main magazine holds about 100 BBs. It is a 5 shot semiauto. You load the firing magazine with 5 BBs and then pull the trigger. The paperwork said that it has the power of a 22 short. When I bought it I paid $18.95 (the price tag is still on the box). If one could be found I would recommend it.
Question; I always thought that you had to target practice with the same gun you plan on using later since accuracy and aim can vary from one type of gun to the other?
True, that would be ideal, but trigger time is trigger time. Take a guy that has shot 1911’s for 20 years and is really good and give him a glock and he’ll still out shoot the glock guy who has only practiced a year. KnowwhatImean?
There is another very low cost, old-line pellet air pistol with 600 FPS power worth mentioning. It is the Crosman P1377. You can find new or refurbs at AirgunDepot.com for $59.99 and $37.99 respectively. I find the pistol to be a tad front heavy, so I recommend adding the 1399 Crosman Custom Shoulder stock for $22.99 (also at AirgunDepot.com). This is a great set-up. The only compromise is that it is single shot. But it is a pump (up to 10 pumps possible) and so there are no CO2 cartridges to buy, just ammo (Walmart). It’s a powerful pistol, easy to pump and operate and fun to shoot. The rear sight is adjustable so you can sight it in to your specs. Also some inexpensive pellet target traps are available at the same site for $16.99. This gun has been around the horn, and I bought a refurb, (all black as is the custom stock) and am extremely pleased with it. This site has a ton of offerings at good prices, and right now (3/2/16) offers a 10% discount with the code HUNT10. Shipping is free for orders over $179 I think.
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