The biggest advantage to PCP air rifles is that they take the least amount of effort to get them to fire. You don’t need to be a big, strong guy to get enough power behind it, you just need to be able to attach the right equipment and read a meter.
That being said, the design, weight, and engineering of a rifle can have a huge effect on how much power goes into the shot. That’s why it’s so important to find one that will give you enough power to get the job done, no matter what that job is.
These are, in no particular order, some of the most powerful air rifles. These will ensure that every shot is clean and accurate.
Air Arms s510 Xtra Sidelever PCP
Kicking off this list, the Air Arms s510 Sidelever PCP rifle clocks in at a decent 780 fps, which doesn’t sound like much, but believe me can pack a punch. At 42 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, this rifle can easily take out small to medium sized critters at close ranges and will have no problem hitting a target at 25 to 30 yards.
What makes this work so well is the 2900 psi fill pressure which gives a clean burst of compressed air for a consistent shot. Combined with a high-quality Lothar Walhter shrouded barrel, you have a weapon that can shoot through anything you’re likely to be hunting with an air rifle and not leave a suffering animal crawling back to its burrow.
About the only major problem is that the magazine has trouble with extra heavy pellets, so if you’re trying to improve your accuracy with a heavier ammunition, you’re going to run into more trouble than it’s worth. As long as you aren’t trying to sharp shoot your prey from 100 yards, you shouldn’t need too much accuracy correction with this rifle.
With a max velocity of 1176 fps, the Evanix Rainstorm is no joke. It can take up to 3000 psi worth of charge in its reservoir and produces a nearly 47 foot-pound muzzle energy, so you should have no problem firing through what you’re shooting at from almost any reasonable range.
What is always shocking about Evanix PCP rifles is how light and sleek they are. They often look bulky and awkward, but as soon as you pick one up you can understand the subtly of design that keeps them light and well balanced. This is especially true of the Rainstorm.
A full charge can get you a good twenty two shots, which is perfect since it comes with an eleven shot magazine.
The strangest thing about this PCP is that there’s no real power curve on it. Normally, you’d expect the shots to even out at one point and shoot a number of pellets with the same power than have a drastic drop toward the end of the reservoir. Instead, the Rainstorm has a steady drop, which makes it difficult to adjust for until you get the hang of what to expect. In other words, spend some time on the range with this one before you take it out hunting.
Sam Yang Industries Sumatra 2500
This little beauty from Korea shoots at a whopping 1100 fps max with a 500cc reservoir that gives this rifle enough power to get a number of great shots off with each fill.
What stands out about the Sumatra, more than anything, is its design. I almost feel like they got PCP rifle fans to work on the weapon in its creation, since so many of the changes speak to an understanding of common nitpicks related to these types of weapon.
First off, the dual reservoirs are placed on top of one another rather than side-by-side. This gives it more of a modern “rifle” feel and gets rid of some of the awkwardness involved in trying to aim the side-by-side ones. I have big hands, so I can imagine how much harder it is for somebody with smaller ones. I also quite like the ambidextrous-loading clear magazine. It’s only six shots, but I like being able to actually see how much ammo I have left.
Most importantly, it has an adjustable power gauge on it. You can set your rifle to high, medium, or low power and get variable results based on whether you want more shots per charge (up to 33 on medium power) or more force behind each shot. It’s a nice touch.
What else can I say about the Marauder that I haven’t said several times already on this blog? Seriously, just search for it and you’ll find plenty of high praise for this wonderful rifle that shoots at 1100 fps with a 2000 to 3000 psi adjustable reservoir.
I recognize that it isn’t perfect. The magazine, in particular, could use a better design and I’ve had to refinish the barrel, but overall I’m always assured the accuracy I need and the power I want with this PCP rifle. For the power, it’s also one of the quietest rifles out there (see my list of top quiet rifles for more examples), and I’ve never had a problem that resulted in accidentally killing something slowly and painfully while hunting with this PCP.
The Gamo Coyote has possibly the most raw power of any of the rifles features so far, serving up an enormous 1200 fps from a nearly 3400 psi tank in what is an otherwise short and unassuming gun. It doesn’t come with open sites, but it’s easy to mount a scope on and will take advantage of that sighting in the best ways. It also comes with a “Shock Wave Absorber” recoil pad which reduces felt recoil up to 74%, something you’re going to want firing that fast.
At first I wasn’t entirely comfortable with this rifle, but it’s grown on me over time. The accuracy is perfect for small game and good enough for an afternoon of plinking. I had almost no problems firing really tight groupings at 50 yards.
The Hatsan AT44-10 certainly has its fans, and that’s because it’s not a bad rifle overall. Boasting a 1070 fps maximum power, the AT44-10 certainly has enough energy behind every shot to ensure a high level of accuracy and enough force to push through anything you happen to be hunting cleanly. The side lever is easy to work with and the trigger is surprisingly crisp considering the rest of the engineering.
Maybe the biggest problem with this rifle is that it’s really heavy even though the synthetic stock feels like it’s empty. I don’t know how they could have cut so much out of the construction and have it still weigh you down.
While I wouldn’t take it with me hunting all day, I can say it’s a fine rifle for target shooting and you’ll probably have fun firing it.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to power, there are several PCP rifle options out there that offer plenty to make hunting easier and improve your aim on the target field. You don’t need a lot of strength to be able to wield a lot of power.