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HAM’s Top Ten Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020

Today we have HAM’s Top Ten most popular air rifle reviews 2020.

Again, the HAM Team would like to thank all Hard Air Magazine readers – every one of you! In 2020, you read over 800,000 HAM test reviews – that’s an increase of 200,000 compared to the previous year.

In total, you spent 0ver 54,000 – yes FIFTY-FOUR THOUSAND HOURS – reading HAM reviews this year. Thank you for your support! We hope that you continue to find HAM test reviews informative, useful and interesting 🙂

So this really is your choice of most popular air rifle reviews for 2020.

Out of these top ten most popular air rifle reviews 2020, six were for PCPs. Four were for spring/piston-powered rifles.

Most popular manufacturer was Weihrauch, with three out of the top ten places. Gamo placed second with two. Benjamin, Brocock, Diana, FX and Ruger all had one each.

Congratulations to all the manufacturers! Here’s the overview…

Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020


In Pole Position – The Benjamin Marauder

It’s an oldie but a goodie! After many years on the market, the Marauder was number one choice in your popular air rifle reviews for 2020. The HAM review dates back to 2014 and is one of the earliest we ever produced. But the product’s still the same and still selling well!

Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020

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.

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

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Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle 0.22

Second Place – Diana Stormrider Gen 2

Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020

This is an unusual HAM test review. We’re looking 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

Third Place – Weihrauch HW100

Another long-running HAM reader favorite, the Weihrauch HW100 PCP air rifle easily earns a coveted HAM Gold Award. It achieves a high HAM rating score and is relatively inexpensive compared to other models that gained similar test ratings. In fact the current version includes a moderator which would make the score even higher, were it to be reviewed again today!

Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020

This is a classic wood and metal air rifle which avoids the current trend for multi-adjustable stocks, yet feels just right to shoot. It gives excellent accuracy with a wide variety of pellets and uses a high capacity clip for plenty of rapid-fire shots, if required.

The regulated action gives consistent muzzle velocity over a long shot string, while power is at the 17 – 18 Ft/Lbs level in .177, making it an ideal tool for the serious Field Target shooter.

If you can afford the Weihrauch HW100 PCP air rifle, go for it. You won’t be disappointed!

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Weihrauch HW100T FSB .177 Cal

Fourth Place – 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.

Gamo is sooo close to this being a really great product…

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Gamo Swarm Maxxim IGT Air Rifle

Fifth 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

Sixth Place – 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.

Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020

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 Seven – Ruger Air Hawk

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 2020.

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.

Yes, there are much better scopes available out there but this can be replaced. Yes the firing cycle is somewhat rough, but this will probably smooth out with use.

Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020

But note that skill and experience in shooting spring/piston airguns is required to achieve the accuracy this Ruger can produce.

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 receives a HAM Gold Award.

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Ruger Air Hawk Combo Air rifle

Eighth Position – Brocock Sniper XR Magnum

The Brocock Sniper XR Magnum offers all-round excellent performance and value for money at this price. As a powerful, flat-shooting .22 caliber PCP, it demonstrated great accuracy with heavy lead pellets.

The Brocock Sniper XR is the latest version of the Brocock line incorporating – as it does – a sidelever cocking action.

Performance is excellent, consistency is outstanding and its fit and finish is top quality. Yet there’s something more to this air rifle. The experience of handling and firing it is of a very high order.

This would be an outstanding gun for hunting. It could also double as a long range Benchrest rifle. The Sniper XR looks good, but it really has to be handled and shot to appreciate the full benefits it offers.

It’s an easy HAM Gold Award winner with an outstanding score on test!

Most Popular Air Rifle Reviews 2020

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Brocock Sniper XR

Ninth Position – Weihrauch HW 100BP Carbine

The Weihrauch HW100 BP Carbine is an individualist’s air rifle. It’s not trying to offer the most power, highest shot count or maximum versatility.

What it does offer, however, is superlative quality of manufacture, outstanding handling and huge practicality. It combines this with excellent accuracy and enough power for most users. And it does it with great style!

What we have is a very compact, light, beautifully-designed gun that’s a joy to handle and shoot. It has an outstanding trigger and is extremely accurate with mid-weight and above lead pellets.

If you’re looking for a light, quiet, compact PCP air rifle that’s “out of the box ready” with the minimum of fuss, the Weihrauch HW100 Bullpup Carbine definitely fits the bill. It’s another easy HAM Gold Award winner for the German manufacturer!

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HW100 Bullpup Carbine

Tenth Place – FX Crown Continuum

The FX Crown Continuum earns a score of 99% in this HAM test review. That’s the best score we’ve ever awarded!

The FX Crown Continuum is the latest iteration of the Crown platform. It’s notable for including two barrels – of the same caliber but different lengths. The longer – 700 mm (27.6 Inch) barrel is specifically intended for benchrest and other types of long range shooting.

The Crown Continuum also includes the new “Side-shot style” magazine which HAM covered recently.

So there’s a number of worthwhile improvements compared to the previous Crown. Also the two-barrel flexibility of the FX Crown Continuum is provided at a price just $100 higher than that for a “non-Continuum” Crown model.

If you have $2,000 to buy an air rifle, this is an almost perfect product. It’s an obvious HAM Gold Award winner.

It’s difficult to see how air rifles can get much better than this!

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FX Crown Continuum Yellowjacket