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2021 Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews To Date

Yes, it’s frightening, but we’re half way through the year already! So let’s take a look at the 2021 most popular air rifle reviews to date in Hard Air Magazine.

As always, this listing reflects the preferences of HAM readers. This is YOUR list and shows the models you are most interested to read about. Thank you!

In the first six months of 2020, HAM readers read a total of over 420,000 product reviews. In total, you spent nearly 30,000 hours reading HAM product reviews in the first six months of 2021. WOW!

So what have you been reading? Here’s the list of your 2021 most popular air rifle reviews to date. There’s some oldies but goodies, combined with some new entries in the list. Here’s the summary…

2021 Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews To Date


Number One – Benjamin Marauder

Congratulations to Velocity Outdoor! The company’s Benjamin Marauder was a HAM Gold Award winner when we reviewed it back in 2014. And it’s clearly right up there as a popular choice for HAM readers today.

2021 Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews

The Benjamin Marauder combines most of the features most airgunners want in a PCP air rifle, together with the level of performance and accuracy they need. Crosman has managed to combine all this together at a price that’s not unreasonable.

A huge attraction of the Marauder to many shooters is the degree of built in tuning capability. There’s multiple ways to tune the muzzle velocity, shot count, ideal fill pressure and trigger settings to your own personal preferences. In 2020 the Marauder’s performance potential was revolutionized by Archer Airguns with their simple Power Tune Kit that allows the user to make significant increases in power and shot count.

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Benjamin Marauder, Synthetic

Second Place – Ruger Air Hawk

2021 Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews

Another long-running favorite, for the money, this is a remarkably good airgun and still deserves its place in HAM’s Top Ten Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews for 2021.

The Ruger Air Hawk air rifle tested by HAM meets its specs and has acceptable accuracy with most pellets. A high point is the trigger, it’s much better than the ones fitted to many air rifles selling at twice the price.

Learn the “Artillery Hold”, use it consistently and you’ll probably be happy with the Ruger Air Hawk’s performance.

For its combination of quality, usability, value and performance, the Ruger Air Hawk air rifle received a HAM Gold Award.

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Ruger Air Hawk Combo Air Rifle

Third Position – Gamo Whisper

The Gamo Whisper air rifle is a long-running model that has spawned a huge range of derivatives. As such, it’s an extremely successful airgun.

Sure, the Whisper often sells as a result of Gamo’s relentless and successful marketing. (People always find it easier to buy products they’ve heard of). But HAM’s test gun shot very accurately with a wide range of pellets. It produced those all important muzzle velocities that were within a whisper (groan!) of Gamo’s claims and it’s light and easy to point.

However the HAM Team found that experience and skill is required to shoot it well.

Also budget for a decent replacement scope that gives the gun a chance to demonstrate the accuracy of which it’s capable. This would be an extra cost, but very beneficial, immediate upgrade to an otherwise capable air rifle.

The exact Whisper model tested by HAM is long discontinued, however very similar models continue to be widely available.

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Gamo Whisper IGT

In Fourth Place – Umarex Origin

Newly introduced in 2020, the Umarex Origin PCP air rifle is a clear HAM Gold Award winner! This is because it offers outstanding value for money.

For the MSRP of $349.99, you you receive a 10-shot, shrouded, sidelever PCP air rifle, together with a dedicated HPA hand pump. In price/performance/features terms, it’s the clear market leader at the present time.

All you need to add is a scope and some pellets. This makes it the ideal first PCP air rifle for a newcomer to airgunning, or a previous breakbarrel user.

2021 Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews

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Umarex Origin PCP Air Rifle with Hand Pump 0.22

Number Five – Diana 34 EMS

Eric Brewer – the main shooter for HAM’s Diana 34 EMS test review – bought the gun. Yes, it’s that good!

For its overall balance of features, performance, flexibility and price, the 34 EMS earned a HAM Gold Award. Clearly you are interested in it too, as the 34 EMS scores highly in this list of 2021 most popular air rifle reviews to date.

It’s a successful new “take” on the classic, spring/piston air rifle. The easy cocking and soft recoil are benefits that will be appreciated by many shooters. The up-gradable design gives the owner a range of options unavailable with any other current breakbarrel model.

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Diana 34 EMS .177 Cal Wood

Sixth Position – LCS SK-19 Air Rifle

The LCS Air Arms SK-19 is the first model produced by this new, North Carolina-based company. Priced at $2,089. it definitely falls within the high end of the PCP market, but provides unique features found on few other airguns.

Its claim to fame is the ability to switch from semi-automatic to automatic shooting with the flip of a lever.

Although there are several other semi-automatic models on the market today, we couldn’t help but notice the accuracy that the factory installed Lothar-Walther barrel provided. Then we have the fully automatic feature that takes the SK-19 to a new level of fun in the precision airgun market.

It’s an easy HAM Gold Award winner.

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LCS SK-19 Air Rifle

Number Seven – Gamo Swarm Maxxim

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim is a ground-breaking airgun at an outstanding price. It’s light, well-finished and practical.

The 10-shot magazine-fed loading system is unique and worked perfectly in HAM testing.

But accuracy is plinker-grade only – at least in the sample tested by HAM. It’s OK for shooting soda cans at close range. But this level of accuracy is not suitable for humane hunting.

The bundled scope requires immediate replacement with something better. And the gun tested by HAM also suffered from barrel droop, making it necessary to shim the scope to hit the point of aim.

If the Gamo Swarm Maxxim just shot more accurately and was bundled with a better scope, it would earn an easy HAM Gold Award instead of the Bronze Award it actually receives.

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Gamo Swarm Maxxim IGT Air Rifle

Eighth Position – Air Venturi Avenger

This Air Venturi Avenger review results in a well-earned HAM Gold Award!

2021 Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews

There’s no doubt that the Avenger is THE $300 PCP to buy if you’re an experienced, interested airgunner who loves to tinker. It offers a huge raft of benefits including – most importantly – the ability to easily change the regulator setting and thus the shooting characteristics of the gun.

Sure, the Avenger can be shot “as is”, straight from the box. But you’ll be missing so much unless you have a Chronograph, together with the time and discipline to set-up this gun to your liking. If you do, you’ll definitely be rewarded with a huge amount of enjoyment, interest and the potential for outstanding performance!

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Air Venturi Avenger, Regulated PCP Air Rifle 0.177

Ninth Position – Weihrauch HW97K

The Weihrauch HW97K is an outstanding spring/piston air rifle.

If you’re interested in Field Target competition, the HW97K is ready straight out of the box. It’s also a capable hunting air rifle for use on small game.

The HW97K tested by HAM demonstrated great accuracy and consistency. The trigger is excellent and the gun exudes a feeling of quality. There’s no flashy “bells and whistles” with the HW97K, what you get is solid – if understated – value. This air rifle excels in all the areas demanded by knowledgeable airgun shooters.

The fixed barrel and underlever cocking system appeal to many springer shooters, with their promise of accuracy. Here again, the HW97K certainly delivers!

For its combination of quality, usability, value and performance, the Weihrauch HW97K air rifle receives a HAM Gold Award.

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Weihrauch HW97k Synthetic

Number Ten – Diana Stormrider Gen 2

This is an unusual HAM test review. We looked at the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 with an additional barrel band, regulator and pressure gauge. These upgrades are made using official Diana products and are easily undertaken by the owner.

In HAM’s opinion, these additions made a significant improvement to the air rifle. Of course they add cost. However it’s cost that can be spread out over time if required – a big advantage for many folk!

The Diana Stormrider Gen 2 is an accurate PCP air rifle with good power and shot count for its air capacity when regulated. It’s one of the smallest, lightest PCPs available which – in itself – is a big advantage for many purchasers.

It’s a Hard Air Magazine Gold Award winner!

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Diana Stormrider Multi-shot PCP Air Rifle 0.22

Diana Regulator for Stormrider & Bandit