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Best Spring Piston Air Rifles

Spring Piston Air Rifles, often referred to as springers, are a classic and widely used type of airgun. Known for their simplicity and reliability, they are powered by a coiled spring and a piston system, making them a favorite among enthusiasts for both target shooting and hunting.

What is a Spring Piston Air Rifle?

A Spring Piston Air Rifle is a type of airgun that uses a spring-loaded piston pump in its firing mechanism. When the gun is cocked, the spring is compressed. Once the trigger is pulled, the spring releases and pushes the piston forward, causing a rapid compression of air which propels the pellet out of the barrel.

List of Top Spring Piston Air Rifles

  1. Gamo 6110017154 Varmint
  2. Gamo 611006875554 Swarm Whisper
  3. Break Barrel Spring Piston
  4. Umarex Blackhawk
  5. Gamo Wildcat Whisper 

Review of Spring Piston Air Rifles

Gamo 6110017154 Varmint

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Gamo 6110017154 Varmint

The Gamo 6110017154 Varmint air rifle is a budget-friendly option for plinking, target practice, and even taking down small games at moderate distances. It fires .177 caliber pellets using a classic spring-piston action, which requires a somewhat hefty 30 lbs of cocking effort. Despite this, the Gamo Varmint boasts a reported muzzle velocity of up to 1250 feet per second, though real-world results may vary depending on the pellet used. A 4x32mm scope is included to help you acquire targets at a distance. The all-weather synthetic stock is lightweight at around 5.5 pounds and features textured grips for better control. While accuracy is decent for its price point, some users find the trigger pull to be long and heavy. This can be addressed by upgrading the trigger for a smoother shooting experience. Overall, the Gamo 6110017154 Varmint is a good choice for those looking for an affordable, lightweight air rifle for recreational shooting or small game control, but remember to check local air rifle regulations before purchasing one.

  • Features:
    • 0.177 – Ideal for high accuracy and suitable for competitive shooting and pest control.
    • 1250 ft/sec – High velocity ensures a flat trajectory and increased accuracy over longer distances.
    • Spring-piston – Reliable and consistent power source, requiring manual cocking for each shot.
    • includes 4×32 scope & mount – Provides clear magnification for precise targeting and comes with a mount for easy installation.
    • Steel barrel with fluted polymer jacket – Durable construction with a fluted design to reduce weight and improve balance.
    • Synthetic Monte Carlo stock with dual raised cheekpieces – Offers a comfortable and stable shooting platform, suitable for both left and right-handed shooters.
    • Allows the shooter to manually engage and disengage the safety mechanism, ensuring safe handling.
    • Prevents the rifle from firing during loading, enhancing safety for the user.


  • With a speed of 1250 feet per second when using PBA Platinum pellets, it offers excellent performance for both target shooting and pest control.
  • t is easy to cock and shoot, making it user-friendly for both beginners and experienced shooters.
  • Users have reported very good accuracy with the ability to achieve tight groupings at reasonable distances.
  • At just 6 pounds, it is easy to handle, which contributes to its accuracy and comfort during extended use.
  • It provides good value for money, performing on par with more expensive models in its category.
  • Comes with a 4×32 scope and mount, which is a nice addition for precision shooting.


  • Some users have found it to be louder than expected, almost comparable to a .22LR, which might be a concern for noise-sensitive areas.
  • While it includes a scope, some users feel that the quality of the stock scope could be improved.
  • The recoil can affect the laser and scope, so it’s recommended to regularly tighten the screws to maintain accuracy.

Gamo 611006875554 Swarm Whisper

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Gamo 611006875554 Swarm Whisper

The Gamo Swarm Whisper (.22 caliber, black) air rifle is a break barrel design built for stealthy hunting and pest control. It offers a smooth and quiet shooting experience thanks to a couple of key features. Gamo’s IGT (Inert Gas Technology) replaces the usual spring with a gas piston, reducing cocking effort, and vibration, and potentially increasing the lifespan of the rifle. The Whisper technology dampens sound for more discreet shooting. Another key feature for hunters is the 10X Quick-Shot magazine. This rotary-style magazine holds 10 pellets, allowing for faster reloading during those critical follow-up shots. A fluted polymer jacketed steel barrel enhances accuracy, and a two-stage trigger allows you to fine-tune the shot. Safety features include an automatic cocking safety and a manual trigger safety. To help you acquire targets, the Gamo Swarm Whisper comes with a 4×32 shockproof scope with mounting rings. This air rifle boasts a muzzle velocity of up to 1000 fps (feet per second) with alloy pellets, though real-world performance may vary depending on the specific pellet used. With its combination of power, accuracy, and quiet operation, the Gamo Swarm Whisper (.22 cal) is a strong contender for those looking to control pests or hunt small game. Just remember, air rifle laws differ by location, so be sure to check local regulations before you buy.

  • Features:
    • IGT (Inert Gas Technology) Piston: This technology allows the rifle to achieve higher velocity and less vibration compared to traditional spring-powered airguns. It also contributes to a longer lifespan of the rifle.
    • Whisper Technology: The integrated noise-dampening technology significantly reduces the noise output, making the rifle exceptionally quiet during shooting.
    • Shock Wave Absorber: The buttpad is equipped with this feature to reduce recoil, enhancing the shooter’s comfort and improving accuracy.
    • Durable and designed to withstand various environmental conditions, the stock also features black rubber inserts for improved grip and stability.
    • The rifle comes in a package measuring 47.7 inches in length, 7.1 inches in width, and 2.7 inches in height, indicating its size and portability.


  • Allows you to shoot up to ten pellets without reloading, which is great for quick follow-up shots.
  • Provides higher velocity, less vibration, and a longer lifespan than traditional spring-powered airguns.
  • The fluted polymer jacketed rifled steel barrel with WHISPER noise-dampening technology makes this rifle quieter than many others on the market.
  • The automotive-grade glass-filled nylon all-weather stock is durable and features a non-slip texture on the grip and forearm.
  • The ventilated rubber recoil pad helps absorb the shock, reducing the felt recoil.


  • While the rifle comes with a GAMO 4×32 scope, some users may find the quality of the stock scope to be lacking and may prefer to upgrade it.
  • Despite the Whisper technology, some users report that the rifle is louder than expected, which could be a concern in noise-sensitive areas.
  • The rifle requires a cocking effort of 30 lbs, which might be challenging for younger shooters or those with less upper body strength.

Break Barrel Spring Piston

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Break Barrel Spring Piston

The Barra Pellet Gun is a break barrel air rifle designed for adults who enjoy target shooting or hunting small game. It fires the common .177 caliber pellets, which are suitable for both activities. The gun uses a spring-piston mechanism for propulsion, which keeps the cost down but requires cocking the rifle before each shot. To load and cock the rifle, you simply break the barrel open. A 4x magnification scope is included to help you aim accurately at longer distances, and some models may also come with iron sights for backup aiming. The advertised muzzle velocity is up to 1200 fps, though this can vary depending on the weight and quality of the pellet you use. Keep in mind that spring-piston air rifles are known to be on the louder side and can also produce some recoil, especially in more powerful models, which might affect your accuracy.
Overall, the Barra Pellet Gun is a no-frills option for plinking, target practice, and potentially small game hunting at moderate distances. However, if you value quiet operation or minimizing recoil, you may want to consider air rifles that use gas pistons or pre-charged pneumatics (PCP) instead of a spring-piston system. Safety is always the most important factor. Remember to follow safe gun handling practices and check local regulations before buying an air rifle.

  • Features:
    • Designed for small game hunting and target shooting, ensuring precise shots at extended distances.
    • The break barrel piston allows for quick, high-powered shots, making it ideal for dynamic shooting scenarios.
    • Utilizes 0.177 caliber (4.5mm) pellets, providing a balance of power and precision for various shooting activities.
    • The rifle’s grip is crafted for comfort, aiding shooters in achieving a stable and relaxed shooting posture.
    • The rifled design promotes spin stabilization of pellets, contributing to improved accuracy.
    • Comes equipped with a 4×32 rifle scope for magnified targeting and adjustable fiber optic sights for quick aiming.
    • Capable of shooting premium pellets at speeds up to 1,300 feet per second, ensuring maximum accuracy even at long range.
    • The spring-loaded firing mechanism eliminates the need for CO2 cartridges, offering an uninterrupted shooting experience without the hassle of constant replacements.


  • Users report excellent accuracy with the ability to maintain a 1-inch pattern at 40 yards, making it suitable for small game hunting.
  • The rifle is capable of firing .177 caliber pellets with sufficient power for hunting and target shooting.
  • The design of the grip is praised for comfort, which can help in settling in for precise shots.
  • Comes with a scope, which is a bonus for users looking to get started with shooting right away.
  • The rifle is designed to be used in various weather conditions, thanks to its durable build.
  • It is considered a good budget-friendly option for those looking for a reliable air rifle.


  • Some users feel that the included scope could be of better quality and may require an upgrade for serious shooting.
  • There are reports of certain features being purely decorative and not functional, which could be misleading.
  • Despite being a break barrel spring piston, some users have noted that the rifle is louder than expected.

Umarex Blackhawk

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Umarex Blackhawk

The Umarex Blackhawk is a spring-piston break barrel air rifle offered in two versions to cater to different needs. Both versions are suitable for adults and fire the common .177 caliber pellets, making them ideal for plinking, target shooting, and even taking down small games. The spring-piston mechanism provides a cost-effective design, but you’ll need to cock the rifle before each shot. The standard Blackhawk offers a cocking effort of around 490 fps, which is a good option for beginners. If you prefer more power, the Blackhawk also comes in a version that reaches up to 1000 fps. No matter which version you choose, the break barrel design allows for easy loading and cocking. To help you aim precisely, a 4x32mm scope is included. Some models may also come with iron sights as a backup aiming system. The ambidextrous stock is made from a durable all-weather composite material, ensuring the rifle can handle various conditions. For improved target acquisition in low-light situations, some models might include fiber optic sights. An additional feature is the adjustable two-stage trigger, which allows you to customize the trigger pull for a smoother shooting experience.
While the Umarex Blackhawk is a versatile option, it’s important to remember that spring-piston air rifles tend to be on the louder side and can produce some recoil, especially in the higher-powered version. This recoil may affect your accuracy. If minimizing noise or recoil is a major concern, you might want to consider air rifles that use gas pistons or pre-charged pneumatics (PCP) instead of a spring-piston system. Safety is always the most important factor, so be sure to follow safe gun handling practices and check local regulations before purchasing a Umarex Blackhawk air rifle.

  • Features:
    •  0.177 – This caliber is widely used for target shooting and small game hunting due to its high accuracy and minimal recoil.
    • 1000 ft/sec – The rifle can shoot pellets at a high velocity, which is ideal for a flat trajectory and improved accuracy at range.
    • Offers peace of mind with manufacturer coverage for defects or malfunctions within the first year of ownership.
    • Includes 4×32 Scope – The scope enhances long-range accuracy and precision, making it easier to hit distant targets.


  • The rifle meets its claimed muzzle velocity, offering consistent performance with a variety of pellets.
  • It has a good trigger action, which is better than many air rifles in the same price range.
  • At its price point, the Ruger Blackhawk provides solid performance and is a good entry-level air rifle.
  • rifle performs well with most types of .177 pellets, giving shooters flexibility in ammunition choice.
  • The rifle barrel and receiver are made of blued steel, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear.


  • The included 4×32 scope is considered marginal, and serious shooters may want to upgrade it for better accuracy.
  • Some users report a rough shooting cycle, which might smooth out with use but can be off-putting initially.
  • Despite being a spring-piston gun, it can be louder than expected, which may not be ideal for noise-sensitive areas.

Gamo Wildcat Whisper 

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Gamo Wildcat Whisper 

The Gamo Wildcat Whisper air rifle is a break barrel design crafted for quiet power, making it ideal for taking down small game and controlling pests. One of its key features is Gamo’s IGT (Inert Gas Technology) piston. This replaces the traditional spring, resulting in smoother cocking, less vibration, and potentially a longer lifespan for the rifle compared to standard spring-piston air guns. Additionally, Gamo’s Whisper Technology integrates a noise reduction system, making the Wildcat Whisper quieter than most spring-piston air rifles. To load pellets and cock the IGT gas piston, the barrel hinges open for easy operation. A 4x32mm scope is included for magnified targeting, and the fluted polymer jacketed steel barrel enhances accuracy for those critical shots. Some Wildcat Whisper models may also come with an adjustable two-stage trigger, allowing you to customize the feel for a smoother shooting experience. This air rifle boasts a muzzle velocity of up to 1300 fps (feet per second) with specific PBA Platinum pellets, though real-world performance can vary depending on the pellet weight you use. Overall, the Gamo Wildcat Whisper is a strong contender for those seeking a balance of power, accuracy, and quiet operation in an air rifle.

  • Features:
    • Utilizes .177 caliber pellets and is capable of shooting at a velocity of 1300 fps with PBA Platinum.
    • Equipped with Inert Gas Technology (IGT), which uses a gas piston instead of a spring, resulting in higher terminal velocity, reduced vibration, and more consistent power output.
    • Features WHISPER noise reduction technology, which is patented by Gamo, to minimize noise during shooting.
    • Comes with a 4 x 32 Shockproof Scope and a Gamo trigger that has an adjustable second stage for improved accuracy.
    • Has a synthetic ambidextrous all-weather stock with a rubber recoil pad, designed for comfort and durability in various weather conditions. The rifle has a lightweight design for ease of handling.


  • The rifle is known for its accuracy and powerful shooting capability, making it suitable for both target practice and small-game hunting.
  •  It incorporates noise reduction technology, which helps in maintaining stealth while shooting.
  • The air rifle has a sleek and comfortable design, ensuring ease of use during extended shooting sessions.
  • It offers a solid grip and enhanced maneuverability, allowing for steady control over shots.
  •  Suitable for various shooting scenarios, including recreational shooting, pest control, and hunting.


  • Some users have reported that the scope may not stay zeroed consistently and might need frequent adjustments.
  • There are reports of occasional jamming and misfiring, which could interrupt a shooting session.
  • Despite the noise reduction technology, some users find it louder than expected, which may not be ideal for all stealthy situations.

Understanding UK Hunting Laws: A Guide for Hunters

Hunting in the UK offers a rich tradition that requires adherence to specific legal guidelines. This guide provides an overview of the essential laws and regulations every hunter should know before setting out on their hunting expedition.

Obtaining Permission

Before you begin hunting, it’s imperative to have the landowner’s permission. This is the first step in ensuring your hunting activities are legal and respectful of property rights.

Firearm Certificates and Regulations

All firearms used for hunting must be accompanied by the appropriate certificates. However, air rifles up to 12 ft-lb and air pistols up to 6ft lb are exempt from this requirement.

Prohibited Equipment

Certain hunting equipment, such as bows, crossbows, or explosives other than legal ammunition for firearms, is strictly prohibited. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these restrictions to avoid legal complications.

Wildlife Management and Pest Control

When managing wildlife or controlling pests on your property, you must follow specific regulations designed to protect natural habitats and species.

Prohibited Hunting Practices

The UK has clear laws against hunting mammals with more than two dogs, shooting near public ways, and using vehicles for deer hunting. These practices are illegal and carry significant penalties.

Respecting Seasons

Understanding and respecting open and closed seasons for hunting is vital for conservation efforts. These seasons are often aligned with the breeding periods of various wildlife species.

Final Reflections

This guide serves as a starting point for understanding UK hunting laws. However, hunters are encouraged to seek the most current and comprehensive legal advice or consult official resources before engaging in hunting activities. By following these regulations, hunters can enjoy their sport while contributing to wildlife conservation and public safety.


It is important for hunters who hunt in states other than the UK to be aware of and abide by those states’ hunting laws and regulations.


What is the typical lifespan of a spring in a Spring Piston Air Rifle? 

The lifespan of a spring can vary, but with proper maintenance, it can last for thousands of shots. Eventually, all springs may experience fatigue and require replacement.

Is it safe to dry-fire a Spring Piston Air Rifle?

It is generally not recommended to dry-fire spring piston air rifles as it can cause damage to the gun. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe handling practices.

How does the recoil of a Spring Piston Air Rifle compare to other types of airguns?

Spring Piston Air Rifles typically have more noticeable recoil due to the spring’s movement, which can affect shooting accuracy until the shooter becomes accustomed to the gun’s behavior.

Can Spring Piston Air Rifles be used for both target shooting and hunting?

Yes, they are versatile and can be used for both activities. However, it’s important to choose the right pellet type and caliber for the intended use to ensure effectiveness and humane hunting practices.

What are some common maintenance tips for Spring Piston Air Rifles?

Regular cleaning of the barrel, checking for loose screws, and proper lubrication of the spring mechanism are essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of the rifle.

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