What is The Best Break Barrel Air Rifle for The Money?

Fact: value = getting the most quality for an investment. Fact: not all break barrel air rifles are the best value. What are break barrel air rifles? That one is easy.

They have a spring propulsion mechanism in the barrel that moves the pellets. You “break” the barrel by pulling it downward and inserting your ammo. They are a great design that has been around for a long time and that is not going anywhere any time soon.

The Beauty of the Break Barrel

The reason that these types of rifles are some of the most popular is because they are easy to use, relatively accurate and have a varying range of power offered. A lot of enthusiast prefer the break barrels over other types of air rifles because it is so easy to maintain.

This is the ideal starter gun for anyone that wants to get into shooting.

Break barrels are not for BB’s they are strictly for pellets that you have to load one at a time. Loading the pellets one at a time can be a hassle but the pellets have the advantage of being much more powerful than BB’s.

From an equipment stand point this is the easiest design to contend with. You do not have to deal with Co2 cartridges or other equipment. You just break the barrel, load and shoot.

target shoot

Accuracy is also enhanced with a break barrel because when you are using an air source instead of the spring source as the air source begins to deplete the pellets become less and less accurate.

With the spring source of power like in the break barrel you never lose the power. The power is always consistent which means your shots are always consistent (if you have the skill).

Now finding the ones that offer the best value for your dollar is an entirely different story. We took a look at a few and were actually highly impressed by a few.

The great thing about break barrels is that there is an ample supply of them out there and they offer easy to use features so it is sort of hard for a manufacturer to mess them up.

Here Are Our Picks

We based our picks on:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Brand
  • Reputation

We wanted to make choices that everyone could likely afford but we avoided the super cheap low cost models because typically super cheap low cost is not the best value. Quality is always important when you are purchasing a air rifle.

We wanted a name we could count on for providing a durable weapon that could easily withstand years and years of use so we looked for a brand that is well-known for quality guns.

We also took a look at what other users had to say simply because we wanted to get other feedback and make sure that we were not being biased by our own personal likes. Here is what we came up with:

Crosman Optimus Break Barrel Air Rifle (.177)

Crosman Optimus Break Barrel Air Rifle

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Here are the specifications for this model:

  • Up to 1000 fps pellet vilocity
  • Alloy pellets offer Up to 1200 fps in velocity
  • It is 45 inches in length
  • Adjustable rear sight and a fiber optic sight for the front
  • The stock is hardwood
  • It weighs a little over 7 pounds

This model gave us a lot to like. It has a nice sturdy build with a hardwood stock. We liked the sight and we also liked that it offered a nice “bang” for the buck.

It is relatively lightweight and offers a nice length. We could easily see how this model would be great for small game and target shooting.

The only thing we did not like about this model is that the safety does not automatically engage and the trigger is a little tight at first, other than those two minor issues we can highly recommend this model.

Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle Review

Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Here are the specifications for this model:

  • 177 caliber
  • 1000 fps velocity
  • Weighs 9 pounds
  • 4×32 Scope included
  • All weather composite stock

Ruger is a leading name in air rifles and accessories so we took a look at this rifle and were pleased at what we found. The scope by far is one of the tops that we have seen with an air rifle. We liked the durable all weather stock and the weight was evenly distributed.

The power was fine and so was the accuracy. There was nothing not to like about this model.  Do yourself a favor if you order this gun, follow the manuals recommendations and make sure you clean out the bore before you get started.

Oil residue will mess up your experience if you do not.

Crosman Stealth .177 Caliber Synthetic Break Barrel Air Rifle

177 Caliber Synthetic Break Barrel Air Rifle

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Here are the specifications for this model:

  • All weather composite stock
  • Ergonomic hand grip
  • 1000 fps velocity with lead
  • 1200 fps velocity with alloy

It is easy to see why this Crossman makes the list. It looks high speed and it really delivers in the accuracy department. We liked this model because of the pistol grip which is super comfortable and can help to build confidence.

Overall this is an excellent option but this is not a toy and may not be the best option for someone that is a novice because it is a powerful option.

We liked that it has an ambidexterous safety so you can use it comfortably whether you are a lefty or a righty.

Gamo Hornet Air Rifle, .177 Caliber

Gamo Hornet Air Rifle

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Here are the specifications for this model:

  • 177-caliber with velocity up to 1200 fps with alloy ammo
  • Manual safety
  • Polymer over steel barrel
  • Scope
  • 43 inch overall length
  • 6 pounds

This is a sharp looking air rifle that has a nice powerful punch. Gamo is not as well known as the other brands but it is a reliable brand. We liked the barrel on this because it has the power of steel but the comfort of a composite.

We also liked that it is super powerful but you should also know that this is on the loud side compared to other guns that have the same amount of power which of course can be an issue if you are out plinking for small game. One shot and you are likely to run off any small game in the area.

It would be a great target shooting rifle or a one shot off type deal.

Swiss Arms TAC1 .22 Cal Break Barrel Pellet Rifle

22 Cal Break Barrel Pellet Rifle

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Here are the specifications for this model:

  • 1000 fps velocity
  • 4×32 Swiss Arms optical
  • Rifled accuracy for the barrel
  • Ambidextrous
  • Recoil pad made of thick rubber

We loved this model because it really fit the bill. It is powerful yet quiet making it ideal for hunting small game. It has a great looking style. It is rugged and well-made. It is affordable.

We were able to check all the boxes with this model and really were impressed with its smooth as silk action as well. This would be a great rifle for both hunting and target practice because it is super quiet and wildly accurate.

It really packs some punch for the price. It can handle all type of ammo relatively well. It is a great value for the price.


Choosing a break barrel pellet rifle is really a personal choice. There are several things that we look at when we are choosing our own personal weapons like “does it fit?” “will it function for the purpose?” and “can I afford it?”.

Everyone has their own style when it comes to shooting and for some people shorter barrels are favorable and for others they like longer barrels. If you are strictly looking to target shoot than the noise is not an issue but if you plan on hunting small game than the quieter the better.

Of course we are all bound by budget in one way or another so that is always something you have to consider as well.

shooting target

All of the rifles that are listed in this review all hover around the same price point and they are all relatively affordable. They all make excellent choices because they are well-built, powerful and offer the accuracy that you want.

Of course the rest is up to you. We gave you a selection of rifles that offer different qualities like hardwood stock VS composite and different weights to try to best bring you a selection that offers something for everyone.

The right rifle is easy to find when you have a little help from people that really enjoy a good rifle!

Take a look at the rifles that are listed here they are all a great value that will help you get the most bang for your buck.

All you have to decide is which one you find preferential and that will meet your particular needs. You can feel confident in buying anyone of these rifles because they are all equally great!