How much should I spend on an air rifle?

28 June 2024  |  Air Arms

How much should I spend on an air rifle?

Whether you're new to buying air rifles or if you're an avid shooter who happens to be asking yourself how much you should be spending on an air rifle - we've got you covered. From spring air rifles, gas piston air rifles and PCP to the different types of prices to look out for with leading manufacturers, we'll find the best solution for you.

The short answer is that it depends on your needs and preferences - there is no correct answer. - but we will go into more detail in this article of why this is a complex answer. In this article, we will delve into the factors that influence air rifle pricing so that you can make a well-informed decision to strike the perfect balance between your budget and your air rifle aspirations.

What can influence the cost of an air rifle?

Several factors can influence the cost of an air rifle, ranging from basic entry-level models to high-end precision rifles. Understanding these factors can help you make an informed decision when considering the purchase of an air rifle. Here are some key elements that can affect the cost:

  1. Type of Air Rifle: The type of air rifle, such as spring-piston, gas-piston, PCP, CO2-powered, or multi-pump pneumatic, can significantly impact the price. PCP rifles, known for their high accuracy and shot consistency, tend to be more expensive due to their advanced technology.

  2. Quality of Construction: The materials used in constructing the air rifle are crucial in determining its cost. Rifles made with high-quality components, such as precision barrels, durable stocks, and advanced triggers, will likely be more expensive than those with basic materials.

  3. Brand and Reputation: Established brands with a reputation for quality and performance often command higher prices. These brands invest in research and development, innovative technologies, and rigorous testing, which can reflect the cost of their air rifles.

  4. Accuracy and Features: Air rifles with features like adjustable triggers, adjustable stocks and accessory rails tend to be pricier. Rifles designed for precision shooting or hunting with enhanced accuracy will generally come at a higher cost.

  5. Power Output: The power output of an air rifle, measured in velocity (feet per second) and energy (foot-pounds), can influence the price. High-powered rifles suitable for hunting small game or pest control may cost more due to their specific design and performance capabilities.

  6. Additional Accessories: Including accessories such as scopes, mounts, bipods, slings, and cases can add to the overall cost of an air rifle. Some manufacturers offer bundled packages with extra accessories, which may affect the price.

  7. Customisation Options: Air rifles that offer customisation options, such as interchangeable barrels, adjustable stocks, and tuning kits, may be more expensive. These options allow shooters to tailor the rifle to their specific preferences but can increase costs.

  8. Regulatory Compliance: In some regions, certain air rifles may need to comply with specific regulations or standards, which can impact their cost. Rifles designed to meet safety and legal requirements may be priced differently based on these factors.

  9. Buying New or Second Hand: 

    New Air Rifles:

    • Buying a new air rifle typically means paying the full retail price for the latest model.

    • New rifles come with warranties, ensuring you receive a product free from defects and backed by the manufacturer.

    • You have the advantage of accessing the latest features, technologies, and improvements in design.

    • While new rifles may be more expensive upfront, they provide peace of mind regarding quality and performance.

    Second-Hand Air Rifles:

    • Purchasing a second-hand air rifle often costs less upfront than buying a new one.

    • Second-hand rifles offer good value for money, especially if they are well-maintained and in good condition.

    • Buyers can sometimes find older models or discontinued rifles at a fraction of the original price.

    • However, second-hand purchases may lack warranties or guarantees, so there is a higher risk of potential issues or wear and tear.

Air Rifle Choices 

When considering air rifles, several types and models are available on the market to cater to various needs and preferences. Let's take a look at some of the most popular choices.

Spring-Piston Air Rifles:

Spring air rifles use a spring-loaded piston to compress air, creating the force needed to propel a pellet. They are known for their simplicity, reliability, and ease of maintenance. 

Pricing Structure

Spring-piston air rifles typically offer a cost-effective entry point into the world of air gunning. Prices range from budget-friendly options for beginners to higher-end models with enhanced precision and power. The performance attributes of spring-piston rifles include:

  • Moderate power levels.

  • Consistent accuracy when adequately maintained.

  • The potential for customisation with aftermarket parts.

Gas Ram Air Rifles:

Gas ram air rifles, or gas-spring or gas-ram rifles, replace the traditional coiled spring with a gas-filled cylinder to provide the necessary compression for firing pellets. 

Pricing Structure 

Gas ram air rifles often occupy a mid-range pricing segment due to the added cost of the gas ram system. The benefits of reduced vibration, consistent shot-to-shot performance, and improved longevity contribute to the slightly higher price tag. Advanced features like adjustable gas pressures and enhanced shot consistency further contribute to the overall cost of gas ram rifles.

Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) Air Rifles:

Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles rely on compressed air stored in a reservoir for power, offering shooters the advantage of multiple shots before needing a refill. 

Pricing Structure

PCP air rifles are often associated with premium pricing due to their advanced features and high-performance capabilities. The cost of PCP rifles reflects the quality of materials used, precision engineering, and intricate mechanisms required for optimal functionality. The superior accuracy, extended shooting sessions, and customisable settings justify the investment in a PCP air rifle for serious shooters.

Less popular types of Air Rifles:

Additional types of air rifles, such as CO2-powered rifles and multi-pump pneumatic rifles, offer unique features and performance capabilities that cater to different shooting preferences. CO2-powered rifles provide convenience and semi-automatic functionality, whereas multi-pump pneumatic rifles offer variable power adjustments through manual pumping. 

The pricing of these rifles varies depending on the complexity of their mechanisms, the materials used, and the included features.

So, how much should you pay for an air rifle?

The short answer is that it depends on your needs and preferences - there is no correct answer. 

When determining how much to spend on an air rifle, several factors should be considered to ensure you get a gun that meets your needs and provides a satisfying shooting experience. 

  • Budget Constraints: Establish a budget based on your financial situation and how much you are willing to invest in an air rifle. Consider the features and quality level you desire within your budget range.

  • Intended Use: Determine the primary purpose of the air rifle. Are you planning to use it for target shooting, plinking, hunting, or competitive shooting? The intended use can influence the type of rifle and features you may need, affecting the price.

  • Skill Level: Your experience and skill level in shooting should also guide your decision. Beginners may opt for more affordable models with basic features, while experienced shooters might prefer higher-end rifles with advanced capabilities.

  • Features and Quality: Consider the features you prioritise in an air rifle, such as accuracy, power, ergonomics, trigger quality, scope compatibility, and additional accessories. Higher-quality rifles with advanced features typically come at a higher price.

Ultimately, the amount you should spend on an air rifle depends on your preferences, shooting goals, and budget constraints. By carefully evaluating these factors and determining the features that matter most to you, you can arrive at a budget that aligns with your needs and helps you choose the best air rifle for your shooting activities.

The ranges of Air Rifles

Air rifles are commonly categorised based on their price range and the features they offer. These categories help buyers identify where a particular air rifle stands regarding cost and quality. Here are the typical ranges of air rifles:

  1. Entry-Level Air Rifles:

    • Price Range: Up to £400

    • These air rifles are budget-friendly options ideal for beginners or casual shooters.

    • Basic features, simple designs, and lower power levels compared to higher-end models.

    • Suitable for plinking, target shooting, and backyard pest control.

    • While they may lack the advanced features and precision engineering of higher-priced models, entry-level rifles deliver a solid entry point into the world of air gunning.

  2. Mid-Range Air Rifles:

    • Price Range: £400-800

    • Mid-range air rifles offer a balance between quality and affordability.

    • Improved accuracy, better construction materials, and more features than entry-level models.

    • Suitable for intermediate shooters looking for better performance and precision.

  3. High-End Air Rifles:

    • Price Range: £800+

    • High-end air rifles are premium models for serious shooters and hunters. For serious competitors, hunters, and shooters who demand the best performance and features, high-end air rifles provide exceptional value for those willing to invest in top-of-the-line equipment.

    • Advanced features, exceptional accuracy, superior construction, and innovative technologies.

    • Often equipped with customisable options, high-powered mechanisms, and high-quality optics.

These general guidelines can vary based on the brand, model, features, and market conditions. When selecting an air rifle, it's essential to consider your shooting needs, skill level, budget, and desired features.

Cost Considerations for Your Air Rifle

1. Shooting Needs:

  • Assess your shooting requirements, whether target shooting, hunting, or plinking, to determine the essential features needed for your air rifle.

  • Align your budget with the functionalities that directly contribute to enhancing your shooting experience and achieving your specific goals.

2. Experience Level:

  • When evaluating air rifles at different price points, factor in your experience level as a shooter. Beginners may find entry-level rifles sufficient, while seasoned shooters may benefit from the advanced features of mid-range or high-end models.

3. Intended Use:

  • Consider how you plan to use the air rifle for casual shooting, competitive matches, hunting expeditions, or skill development. Tailor your budget to match the demands of your intended shooting activities.

4. Long-Term Investment Goals:

  • Think about the longevity and future-proofing of your air rifle purchase. Investing in a higher-priced model with durable construction and upgrade options may offer long-term value and versatility, potentially saving costs in the long run.

By carefully evaluating the value proposition of air rifles across different price points and balancing budget constraints with desired features and performance, you can make informed decisions that optimise your shooting experience within your financial means. 

Additional Cost Considerations


Scope: Investing in a quality scope can enhance accuracy and precision, especially for target shooting or hunting applications. When selecting a scope, consider factors like magnification, reticle type, and durability.

Pellets: Different types of pellets can impact your shooting performance. Experimenting with various pellet weights and designs to find what works best for your air rifle can be beneficial.

Cleaning Kit: Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance. Acquiring a cleaning kit with brushes, solvents, and lubricants helps preserve the longevity of your air rifle.

Targets: Whether paper targets for practice or reactive targets for fun, having a variety of targets can make shooting sessions more engaging.


Cleaning and Lubrication: Regularly cleaning the barrel, action, and other components and applying appropriate lubricants can prevent wear and maintain consistent performance.

Seal Replacement: Over time, seals in the air rifle's mechanism may wear out and require replacement for proper function. Budgeting for seal replacements is essential for long-term maintenance.

Sight Adjustment: Fine-tuning the sights on your air rifle for accuracy may require adjustments or professional services, which incur additional costs.

Final Thoughts

Whether opting for an entry-level model for casual shooting or investing in a high-end precision rifle for competitive marksmanship, choosing the right air rifle within a suitable budget ensures satisfaction and performance in various shooting activities. 

For more information or if you would like to know more about the air guns we offer - please contact us today. We would love to help you find the perfect air rifle for you.