6 Best Pellet Pistols – (Reviews of Top Picks & Buyer’s Guide 2020)

Ever thought about shooting some rounds at a target, but you simply don’t have the time? Did you ever think about teaching your younger brother how to shoot a handgun, but you can’t reach the range every time you want? There is one solution that could fix your problems and entertain you and your family at the same time. With a pellet pistol, you don’t have to go to the range in order to shoot. Just step outside in your backyard, line up some bottles and start shooting. It’s an easy, quiet, cheap alternative. And it’s safer too. If you’re thinking about buying yourself a pellet gun, read the following pellet pistol reviews and the comprehensive buying guide prepared by the Tacticals.org team before choosing the best pellet pistol for you.

Remember, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the most powerful pellet pistol, as long as it’s fun.

Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2 Pellet Pistol (0.22)

Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2 Pellet Pistol

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 9 x 1.5″
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Caliber: 0.22
  • Velocity: Up to 460 fps
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Crosman P1377 American Classic Multi Pump .177-Caliber Pneumatic Pellet Air Pistol, Black

Crosman P1377 American Classic Multi Pump

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 14.2 x 6″
  • Weight: 2.30 lbs
  • Caliber: 0.177
  • Velocity: 600FPS
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Umarex Colt Peacemaker Air Gun

Umarex Colt Peacemaker Air Gun

  • Price: $$$$$
  • Dimensions: 11 x 2.2 x 4.7″
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Caliber: 0.177
  • Velocity: 410FPS
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Crosman Vigilante 357 Co2 Air Pistol Kit with Holster and 3-Pack of Magazines

Crosman Vigilante 357 Co2 Air Pistol Kit

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 6-inch barrel
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Caliber: 0.177
  • Velocity: 435 FPS
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Beeman Sportsman Series Deluxe Air Pistol - Model 2004

Beeman Sportsman Series Deluxe Air Pistol

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.8 x 1.5″
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Caliber: 0.177
  • Velocity: 410FPS
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Gamo Pt-85 Blowback Pellet Pistol Clampack 611138254

Gamo Pt-85 Blowback Pellet Pistol Clampack

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dimensions: 10 x 2 x 12 “
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Caliber: 0.177
  • Velocity: 450FPS
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Best Pellet Pistol Reviews

1. Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2 Pellet Pistol

Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2 Pellet Pistol (0.22)The Crosman 2240 is a single-shot .22 caliber bolt-action pistol. It measures 11.12 inches and weighs 1.8 pounds. It is powered by a CO2 mechanism and has a rifled barrel for increased accuracy. The .22 caliber pellet can reach up to 460 fps leaving the barrel. The grip has a special, ergonomic design that’s great for right and left-handed shooters, both. The grip fits your hand splendidly and it has a checkered surface and a thumb rest for better handling. 

Even though the rifled barrel is made out of steel, the casing is made out of zinc alloy. The casing is well balanced with the synthetic grip, so your accuracy will be spot on.

This pistol has a bolt-action mechanism. This means that after every shot you make, you slid the bolt backward, place the pellet inside and slid the bolt shot. The CO2 can-container lasts for about 30 -35 shots before you’ll notice a drop in pressure and a loss of velocity.

The gun is accurate when you’re shooting at targets from 25 yards, but at that distance, the impact is not very strong. It pretty accurate at that distance, but if you want to put pallet after pallet in a single spot, you’d probably better shoot from 15 – 20 yards. Over 25 yards, it’s hard to shoot accurately. You’ll have to take the pellets’ drop into account. They tend to drop a few inches at 25, so it will be pretty difficult. Other air pistol reviews complain about the handle of the gun, but we had no problems with it.

2. Crosman P1377 American Classic Multi Pump 

Crosman P1377 American Classic Multi Pump .177-Caliber Pneumatic Pellet Air Pistol, BlackThe Crosman P1377 is the American classic pellet gun. This model does not need any power sources, it has a pump design. The pistol uses .177 caliber pellets. It is a single-action model, so you will be able to shoot only one pellet at a time. After each pellet, you’ll have to pump again. 

The Crosman P1377 has an easy-pump forearm, so you’ll be able to change the pump power whenever you want. If you’re shooting at a greater distance, pump it at maximum to gain maximum power. The pellets have a velocity of up to 600 fps once they leave the barrel. The barrel is rifled, so you don’t have to worry about accuracy when you’re shooting with this model.

The rear sight is adjustable. You can change it with the help of the screws. You just loose the screws, move the sight in the direction you want and retighten them.

The pistol has a reasonable weight, so you’ll feel like holding a real one. It is accurate up to 45 – 50 feet when you pump it at maximum. The gun can take up to 10 pumps, but you have to be able to pump the last four or five. After a certain amount of pressure accumulates, pumping it will prove to be quite difficult, especially for people lacking upper body strength. A nice feature of the P1377 is that it doesn’t lose pressure over time. You can pump it and leave it charged for days at a time and it will still shoot.

3. Umarex Colt Peacemaker Air Gun

Umarex Colt Peacemaker Air GunThe Umarex Colt Peacemaker is specially designed for the history geek in your family. This is a near-perfect replica of the legendary, best CO2 air pistol that won the west. This model is powered by a CO2 mechanism. The CO2 battery goes in the handle of the gun, and it’s not included in the box. The revolver uses .177 caliber pellets and it packs quite a punch. You can put a pellet through a tin can from 20 yards without any problem. You can also buy a version of this gun that shoots steel BBs. The Umarex Colt has decent accuracy, but the steel-BBs-shoots version is more accurate than the one that uses pellets.

The gun measures 10.75” in length, with a barrel of 5”, and weighs 2 lbs. The entire gun is made out of steel, so it has an authentic feel to it. The pellets are loaded in actual shells or cylinders. The pistol is fired by a standard Colt Action hammer. The manufacturer actually consulted with the Marshals Museum of Ford Smith, Arkansas in order to develop a pellet gun similar to the Peacemaker.

This gun has a great general aspect and a great feel to it. But it’s not perfect. There are some things that could be improved, and they probably will be, given time. One of the things that need improvements is the hammer that rests away from the cylinder. This might be a security choice, but the general look of the gun suffers a little because of it.

4. Crosman Vigilante 357 Co2 Air Pistol Kit

Crosman Vigilante 357 Co2 Air Pistol Kit with Holster and 3-Pack of MagazinesThe Crosman Vigilante is 10-shot semi-automatic revolver style air gun. It utilizes .177 caliber pellets or BBs. When they leave the barrel, the pellets can reach up to 435 fps. It is powered by a CO2 mechanism. It measures 11.5 inches in length.

This model can shoot pellets as well as BBs so it comes with a 6-BBs clip and three 10-pellets clips. It also has a nylon holster you can use. The holster can be attached to your belt.

A great feature of this gun is the loading mechanism. You don’t have to put your pellets in the wheel every time you want to reload. This can be proved to be difficult for people with thick fingers. Instead, you open the pistol between the barrel and the front of the cylinder and just change the empty circular clip with a preloaded one. Close the gun and start shooting.

Another nice feature is the fact that this gun looks like the Colt Python. And because it’s powered by a CO2 can, you can use it like a Colt, as well. You can shoot 10 pellets or 6 BBs in no time whatsoever. The revolver mechanism works. Every time you make a shot, it turns, so your gun is once again loaded and ready to fire. The Crosman Vigilante has a rifled barrel for more accuracy, and unlike the Colt, you won’t feel any recoil when you shoot. The dual Picatinny/Weaver rails allow you to mount different accessories on your pistols, like a night sight or flashlight.

5. Beeman Sportsman Series Deluxe Air Pistol

Beeman Sportsman Series Deluxe Air Pistol - Model 2004The Beeman Sportsman is a single-stroke pneumatic pistol. It measures 9.25 inches, the barrel has a length of 4.5 inches, and it weighs 1.7 lbs. It uses .177 caliber pellets. This model requires about 25 lbs. of force to pump up, and you can achieve that with only one stroke. The front sight is fixed but the rear one is adjustable. You can adjust them for windage and elevation. 

This is a pump model, so you don’t need other power supplies. The velocity of the pellet going out of the barrel can reach up to 410 fps. The rifled barrel provides a superior accuracy to the pistol. The grip is comfortable and even if you use the gun for a long time, your arms will not tire. let’s say that it’s one of the most accurate air pistols.

The frame is made out of polymer and the slide is made out of aluminum. That should ensure the pistol good durability. This model is very accurate up to 30 feet. You can hit targets that are placed further, but you have to take the pellets’ drop and the loss of velocity into account if you want to make an accurate shot.

The gun has a good, near perfect balance. This helps you be more accurate when making successive shots. You’ll be able to hit the same spot over and over again. A slight disadvantage is that you need to be careful when you pump. If you do it many times in a row, the cocking pressure might leave you with blisters. Other than that, it’s great.

6. Gamo Pt-85 Blowback Pellet Pistol Clampack

Gamo Pt-85 Blowback Pellet Pistol Clampack 611138254The Gamo Pt-85 is a CO2-powered pellet air pistol with an authentic look. It’s one of the CO2-powered air pistols. It measures 7.8 inches in length and weighs 1.5 pounds. The pistol has a 0.177 caliber and a 16-pellet double magazine. The pellets reach a velocity of up to 450 fps. This model has a blowback slide mechanism that provides a genuine experience. The fixed sights on the Pt-85 have reflective white dots that help you take aim and shoot accurately in most light conditions. The pistol has a rifled steel barrel for better accuracy and a textured grip that gives it more authenticity.

This air gun’s aesthetics is similar to a real Springfield45. The rifled barrel makes it more accurate than some models on the market, but if you want your pellets to hit the same spot every single shot, you should use it within 20-25 feet. Beyond this range, your pellets will hit the target, but chances are they’ll rarely hit the same spot twice. Once you get beyond 30 feet your hits will get lower because of the pellets’ drop.

The 16 pellet double magazine allows you to make 8 shots, take the magazine out, put it in with the other side forward and shoot another 8. The Gamo Pt-85 is powered by a 12g CO2 can. You can rely on the can to last for about 3 magazines or 48 pellets. It uses Gamo PBA platinum pellets. A great feature of this pistol is the backward moving slide. It delivers a nice, realistic action.

Pellet Pistol Buying Guide

Whenever you want to buy a pellet gun, you should know what to look for. In order to do this, you need to think about the main reason you’re buying the pistol, in the first place? Do you want to use it for plinking? Do you want to use it to shoot at pests, such as mice? Do you want to use it for target practice, or to teach someone how to shoot? After you decide the main reason you’re buying the gun, you should read the following buying guide and the previous pellet pistol reviews and decide which is the best pellet pistol for you.

1. CO2 or Pump?

This is a debate that started when the first CO2 powered pellet pistols were introduced to the market. Why should you use another mechanism when the existing one is efficient? Well, both of them work, and both have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Best Pellet Pistol CO2 – This power mechanism is used by many manufacturers out there. Of course, the first thing you think of when you want to buy a pellet pistol is the price. Not only the acquisition price but the maintenance one, as well. It’s easy to understand that once you go for a CO2 powered model, the maintenance price will go up, and the acquisition one might be higher as well. But what are the advantages? Well, the first and most important advantage this power mechanism offers is the possibility of repetitive shots. If you buy a CO2 model that doesn’t have this feature, you just wasted your hard-earned money. You should buy yourself a model that enables you to shoot pellet after pellet. The more pellets you can shoot before recharging and changing the CO2 can, the better. But what happens when you go out of CO2? Well, you can’t shoot anything anymore. A CO2 can-container lasts for about 20 – 30 shots, depending on your pistol, but after that, you need to change it. They are not expensive, but they are not cheap either, so it will add to your total cost. Plus, you need to remember to carry them around.
  • pellet pistol reviewsPump – This classical power mechanism is still used by many manufacturers. The main advantage is that you don’t need to buy anything else to make the pistol work. The main disadvantage is that you have to pump your gun after every pellet you shoot. This means that if you miss your first shot, you need to pump it to fire again. Generally speaking, you can pump a pistol pretty quick, but you still lose some time.

2. Single or Multiple Shot?

Some guns have the capacity to fire a single pellet before you need to reload, some come with magazines you can change or fill. You can shoot multiple pellets before you need to reload.

  • Single Shot – Single-shot pistols usually have a pump power mechanism, but that’s not always the case. Some CO2 powered models are also single shots. The main disadvantage for a single-shot pistol is the fact that you have to reload it with a pellet after each shot. This generally means that you have to open the pistol, put the pellet in, close the pistol, pump (if that’s the case) and shoot. This might take some time, and you might get bored of it after some time. But then again, it might be fun. It is all a matter of preference. Some shooters say that recharging the pistol with pellets after each shot is tedious because they have thick fingers. Some say it’s fun because it gives the gun a touch of authenticity.
  • Multiple Shot – An air pistol that has the capacity to shoot multiple shots is usually CO2 powered, but that’s not always the case. Some pump models also come with magazines. The great thing about multiple-shot pistols is that you can put several pellets in your target in a short period of time, even if you have to pump after each shot. Some models carry 10-pellets magazines, while others have even larger, double magazines. A double magazine has pellets stored on the back and on the front of it. When you finish the first series of pellets, you just flip it and shoot again. A downside of this might be the fact that once you shoot through all the pellets in your magazines, you have to spend some time to reload them. This might take even longer than reloading after each shot.

3. .177 or .22 caliber?

 Most air pistols use one of these caliber pellets. Most of the people that aren’t used to shooting would pick the larger caliber weapon over the smaller one 10 times out of 10. But that shouldn’t always the case. Sometimes you don’t need the biggest caliber you can find.

  • .177 Caliber Pellets – These pellets are used by most of the models out there. They are preferred by most manufacturers because they are small, reliable, and cheap. The .177 pellets can be shot accurately at targets placed at different distances. They can be shot without a problem at any target within 20 yards with most air pistols. After this distance, they usually tend to lose some of their velocity, thus beginning to drop. If you want to make an accurate long-distance shot with these types of pellets, shot by a medium powered pistol, you should take the drop into account. You should point the gun slightly up facing the target, as you would a bow, in order to compensate that drop. In most cases, this will be difficult the first time you try it, but you’ll get the hang of it after some practice.
  • .22.22 Caliber Pellets – These pellets are used by a small number of gun manufacturers. You can usually find them shot by air rifles. The .22 pellets are bigger and heavier than the .177, so if you take two guns with similar power, one shooting the .177 and the other one the .22, this kind of pellet will start dropping earlier and will travel a shorter distance. The main advantage of using this kind of pellet is that it has a stronger impact when it’s shot within a short-range. If you go out plinking, you can take down most targets within a 20 yards radius.

4. Power

One of the most important features in an air gun, power is translated in the velocity the pellet has when leaving the barrel. There are more factors you should take into account when you talk about the velocity of the pellet, such as the length of the barrel, the spiraling inside it and the weight of the pellet itself. But power is a decisive factor.

  • Low Powered Pistols – Low powered pistols can shoot a pellet at up to 20 yards. After this distance, your shots will most likely be inaccurate. The top velocity a pellet shot by this kind of air gun might come up to 370-390 fps. This is not a velocity you should neglect. At a distance of 20 yards, it should be able to penetrate an empty tin can, but it probably won’t dent the other side.
  • Medium Powered Pistols – Most of the air pistols in our BB gun reviews are medium powered, and so are most of the ones on the market. A pellet shot by a medium powered air pistol will probably reach a top velocity of up to 500 fps. At this velocity, it will easily penetrate an empty tin can and probably do serious damage on the other side, if it doesn’t even break through.
  • high powerHigh Powered Pistols – Not many manufacturers develop high-powered pistols, but you can find some great models if you really want one. A pellet shot by a high powered air pistol will reach up to 600 fps. With this kind of velocity, the tin can we mention will be holed right through and probably tossed in the air, as well.

Keep in mind that if your air gun is a pump model, the power depends on the pump. Even if it’s capable of high power, not enough pump will make it low powered instead.

5. Purpose

When you buy an air pistol, you should always think about the main reason you’re doing it? Do you want to take it out plinking? Do you want to train someone to use a handgun? Do you want to use it for target practice? And so on.

  • Target Practice or Plinking – You should probably go for a medium or high powered model if you want to be accurate. You should pick an air pistol able to shoot accurately at longer distances, so you’ll have more fun whenever you go out shooting. A low powered one is acceptable if you are not an experienced shooter, but you’ll want to increase your shooting distance in time, so it’s better to buy a gun you can use for longer than to spend money twice.
  • Pest Control – Some people buy air pistols to use them on pests, such as mice or rats. This kind of gun can usually do the job, but it’s better to choose a high powered weapon. Even if they’re pests, you should be able to put them off humanely, without making them suffer. That’s why you should choose a model capable of delivering high velocities to your pellets, and a model that shoots larger pellets should fit you better. A high powered air gun with .22 caliber pellets will be able to put off a rat from 25 yards without any kind of trouble.
  • Training Pistol – The most important features you should look after in a training gun are balance and comfortable grip. A well-balanced gun that fits comfortably in your hand will most likely be more accurate. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the most powerful pellet pistol as long as it can serve as a good training gun.

Must-Have Features for the Most Powerful Pellet Pistol?

 If you intend to buy the most powerful pellet pistol you need to look for the following features:

  • long-barrelLong Barrel – A long barrel facilitates the gaining of momentum the pellet has once it’s pushed from behind. It doesn’t matter if it’s pressure or gas that pushes the pellet out of the barrel, but the barrel length does. A longer barrel will allow the gas or pressure to exercise more force on the pellet, thus pushing it faster. With more speed comes more power.
  • High Power – Every air pistol has a limited power capacity. It doesn’t matter if the power comes from accumulated pressure or the release of CO2, there are limits. Always go for the models that are advertised as being powerful.
  • Pellet Caliber – If you want a pellet pistol able to do extensive damage, you should go for the models that shoot with larger pellets, such as the .22 ones. When you fire a .22 caliber pellet at a target from close range, you will do a lot of damage.

Remember these three features and look for a gun that comes with all of them combined. A high powered pistol able to shoot a large pellet through a long barrel will be the best pellet pistol for you.

How Does a Pellet Pistol Work?

 There are two types of pellet pistols – the ones that use a pump mechanism and the ones that use a CO2 mechanism.

  • Pump Mechanism – A pump mechanism is brilliant in its simplicity. You place the pellet inside the gun and start pumping. Every time you pump, pressure accumulates inside the gun. There is a leak-proof barrier between the pressure chamber and the pellet. Most guns offer you the possibility to use the pump multiple times. Some have the ability to withstand 10 pumps. But after you pump them for 5 or 6 times, the pressure builds up and starts to resist your attempts to fill the chamber more. Once you are satisfied with the pump, you aim your gun and pull the trigger. When the trigger is pulled, the leak-proof barrier is raised and all the pressure is released exactly behind the pellet. That accumulated pressure pushes the pellet forward through the muzzle.
  • CO2 Mechanism – The CO2 mechanism works similar to the pump one, with small differences. This mechanism uses CO2 batteries. These batteries contain highly pressed CO2 in them. When you pull the trigger, a leak-proof barrier is lifted and some of the pressured gas is released. Once the gas is released, it pushes the pellet through the muzzle.

How To Use a Pellet Pistol Properly?

 As a general rule, you should use a pellet pistol as if it were a real pistol. You should never look through the muzzle of a loaded gun, and you should never point the loaded gun at objects or people. You should never leave the gun unsupervised with children around. You should never shoot the gun at animals unless they are considered pests or games and your local laws allow you to do that.

  • trainingHandgun Training – Using a pellet pistol is a great way to train people that want to be able to use a handgun. The weight and balance of a pellet pistol are almost exactly the same as those of a normal pistol. The accuracy of the air pistol is almost the same as the regular one at short ranges. The good thing about training with a pellet pistol is that there is little to no recoil, so you won’t have any accidents.
  • Pest Control – Many people rely on air pistols to put off pests, such as mice or rats. You don’t need the most powerful pellet pistol for that, most models will do the job as long as you shoot them from a decent range. If you want to shoot from a larger distance, or if you want to make sure it is humanely done, you should buy yourself a powerful model that shoots larger pellets.
  • Plinking – Many people nowadays are too busy to go to the range and fire a few shots with their friends. But it has been scientifically demonstrated that shooting at targets can have relaxing, therapeutic proprieties. When you own a pellet gun, the only thing you need to do in order to take some shots is to place a bunch of tins or bottles in your backyard, make sure there’s nothing behind them, and start shooting. Because pellet pistols are silent, your neighbors will not even notice your activity.

Best Pellet Pistol Comparison Chart

GAMO PT-85 BLOWBACK PELLET PISTOL CLAMPACK$$$10 x 2 x 12 inches1.5 pounds0.177450
CROSMAN P1377 AMERICAN CLASSIC MULTI PUMP .177-CALIBER$$2.2 x 14.2 x 6 inchesLightweight0.177600
BEEMAN SPORTSMAN SERIES DELUXE AIR PISTOL$2 x 1 x 1 inches2 Pounds0.177410
CROSMAN 2240 BOLT ACTION CO2 PELLET PISTOL$$$13.2 x 9 x 1.5 inches2 Pounds0.22460

Final Thoughts

Owning a pellet pistol is a great thing. You can use it for target practice, you can use it to teach people how to shoot, and you can even use it to keep you pest problems under control. But the one thing pellet pistols do best is entertain. It doesn’t matter if you have a single-shot, a multiple-shot or a revolver. Any time you fire one at a target, you’ll have fun. If you don’t know what you’re missing out, read our pellet pistol reviews and the buying guide and make sure you choose the best pellet pistol for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most powerful pellet pistol or not, if you can shoot multiple pellets before reloading or not, or even if it doesn’t hit anything beyond 25 yards, as long as you have fun with it.