Air rifles are extremely widely used throughout the United States. For those that aren’t familiar, air rifles fire a BB-style projectile using compressed air. A traditional rifle uses a combustible propellant to fire their projectiles, so they rely on chemical reactions. Air rifles use only pressurized air to shoot projectiles.
Air rifles are commonly used for varmint hunting, small game hunting, shooting skills practice, and casual target shooting. They are popular because they are accurate, powerful, the ammunition is cheap, the weapons are quiet, and they have almost no recoil.
A high quality air rifle will perform extremely well for varmint hunting. One factor that adds into this is the noise they produce. All air rifles are quieter than a rifle that shoots .22LR. This is an excellent factor when varmint hunting because squirrels and the like may not even realize they’re being shot at.
If there are a group of squirrels tearing up your house, you have a better shot (pun intended) at killing all of them with an air rifle than with a .22LR. The reason for this is how quiet the air rifle is. With the .22LR, you more than likely only have one shot before they get spooked off. With an air rifle, you will probably be able to take all of them out.
While all air rifles are relatively quiet, you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t looking for some of the absolute quietest. If you are searching for the absolute quietest air rifles, it is likely because you are in a more urban area or doing some varmint hunting. The main factor that will affect the loudness of an air rifle is the power source. The most common power sources in air rifles are: spring-piston, precharged pneumatic (PCP), and compressed gas.
- Spring-piston air rifles have a spring that is compressed by the user, generally by either a break at the breech or some type of lever. When the trigger is pulled, the spring is decompressed and a pocket of air is released from a piston and pushed forward. Due to the internal moving parts and the spring slamming forward each time you shoot, spring-piston air rifles are louder.
- PCP air rifles have a cylinder of compressed air. When you pull the trigger, some air is released from the bottle at high pressure. These air rifles are generally the quietest, but some do require maintenance, as you will have to recharge the bottle. Pump air rifles are considered PCP air rifles, but recharging the bottle is done each time that you pump the rifle. However, for the PCP rifles that don’t have a pump, you will have to recharge the bottle similar to how you have to recharge a SCUBA bottle.
- Compressed gas air rifles use a CO2 (or other gas) cartridge to propel the round. These are also quieter, but the weapons that use these are generally not that powerful. It will also require replacing the cartridges regularly.
As you can see, in terms of noise, PCP air rifles are going to be the best bet. Unfortunately, these are the most expensive as well. We will include multiple types of air rifles on our list of quietest air rifles.
5 Quietest Air Rifles in the Market
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The first air rifle on our list of quietest air rifles is the Benjamin Marauder. This one is the first on our list for a reason: it is the quietest air rifle we have seen.
It is a PCP powered air rifle that has a 20 inch barrel. Overall, it is 42.8 inches long and weighs 7.3 pounds. Due to the synthetic stock and reasonable size, this would be a great quiet air rifle for hunting and plinking alike.
The pros of this air rifle are how quiet it is, the accuracy, the magazine capacity, and the trigger.
This air rifle is so quiet due to the fact that it is PCP powered. Pairing this power source with an internally shrouded barrel makes for one of the quietest air rifles available.
This air rifle also shoots extremely accurately. This is primarily a result of the trigger and the ergonomic grip. The shape of the stock allows for a firm and consistent grip, and it is extremely easy to reacquire the same sight picture each time.
The trigger is match grade, which helps the accuracy as well.
One final feature worth mentioning is the increased magazine capacity. Dependent on the caliber, this air rifle can hold either 10 or 8 rounds, which is a significant improvement to the normal single shot.
The cons of this air rifle are the price and the maintenance required. Due to the fact that it is a PCP powered air rifle, you will have to recharge the bottle pretty regularly, and it is quite expensive.
- Quiet. PCP and internally shrouded barrel
- Match grade trigger.
- Synthetic stock. Durable, great for any weather
- Built in pressure gauge
The Whisper CFR is a part of the Whisper series of air rifles from Gamo. As the name implies, all of these were designed to be quiet.
The CFR is a fixed barrel spring-piston air rifle that has a cocking lever built into the handle. This air rifle has a 20 inch barrel, measures 46.85 inches overall, and weighs 8 pounds. While it is slightly larger than the Marauder, this would still be a great quiet air rifle for hunting as it has a comfortable synthetic stock and comes with an excellent scope.
The pros of this weapon are the accuracy, noise dampener, and the muzzle velocity.
The accuracy comes mainly from the fact that this is fixed barrel. Since the barrel doesn’t move, like in a break barrel design, the air rifle is more accurate. The adjustable trigger also increases the accuracy.
The barrel has a built in noise dampener that helps to reduce the noise it makes.
In terms of muzzle velocity, this air rifle does excellent for a quiet air rifle, resulting in 1100 feet per second.
The cons of this air rifle are limited to mostly the spring-piston power. Despite all of the recoil control measures, this power source is naturally louder than PCP.
- Bang for your buck. This is an excellent quality air rifle for the money.
- Quiet for a spring-piston.
- Scope and optics on the air rifle are excellent.
- No maintenance to worry about.
- Excellent stock. Very comfortable and easy to shoot with.
Next up on our list of quietest air rifles is the Umarex Throttle. This air rifle is a break barrel style spring-piston air rifle.
However, the noise is reduced by the StopShox system and the noise dampener on the barrel. The barrel of this air rifle is 15.9 inches long, with an overall rifle length of 45.3 inches, and a weight of 9.5 pounds.
Although this has a synthetic stock, due to the weight and reduced muzzle velocity, this rifle would be better suited for target practice and general shooting.
The pros of this air rifle are the StopShox, noise dampener, and overall quality at a decent price.
The StopShox system works to reduce the inherent recoil in both directions in a spring-piston air rifle. However, as a result of reducing this recoil, the noise is also dampened by the system.
To add to this, the barrel also has a noise dampener. Compared to a normal break barrel spring-piston air rifle, the Umarex Throttle is significantly quieter.
The cons of this air rifle are the reduced muzzle velocity and weight. This air rifle produces somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 feet per second, which is slower than the CFR. It is also very heavy.
- StopShox. Does a great job reducing recoil and dampening the sound.
- SilencAir barrel noise dampener.
- Scope included.
- Automatic safety in the trigger well.
The Crosman Fire NP is another break barrel spring-piston air rifle. It makes our list due to the fact that it is extremely affordable, but also has a noise dampener on the barrel.
The overall length of the air rifle is 43.5 inches, and the weight is 6 pounds. Due to the light weight and the synthetic stock, this would be another great air rifle for hunting.
The pros of this weapon are the scope, noise dampener, force, and price.
This air rifle comes with a scope, which will save you some money. It is a perfectly good scope for varmint hunting.
As previously mentioned, the barrel has a noise dampener at the end, which makes this a much quieter spring-piston air rifle.
In terms of force and velocity, this air rifle performs decently well, especially considering the extremely low price.
The cons of this weapon are that it is spring-piston powered, but this is to be expected at this price. In terms of price, this is really hard to beat for such a quality air rifle.
- Adjustable trigger. Excellent feature at this price point.
- Synthetic stock. Pistol grip. Extremely comfortable to use.
- Comes with a scope.
- Affordability. Excellent for a varmint hunting air rifle, if that is your only use for it.
The last air rifle on our list of quietest air rifles is the Trail NP2 from Benjamin.
Just like many others on this list, it has a synthetic barrel and would be great for hunting, although this air rifle does weigh in at 8 pounds. It is a break barrel spring-piston air rifle.
The pros of this air rifle are the price, force/velocity, and trigger.
Although the MSRP is a little on the high side, this air rifle is commonly found for a similar price to the Crosman NP2.
This air rifle can shoot up to 1400 feet per second and deliver 23 foot pounds of energy. This makes it extremely deadly.
The fully adjustable trigger is an excellent feature as well.
The cons of this weapon are the noise. Although it does have an integrated sound suppression system, this is still the loudest on our list.
- Smooth shooting. Easy to cock.
- Clean Break Trigger. Extremely smooth. Increases the accuracy of the air rifle.
- Force. Excellent muzzle velocity and fpe. Great for varmint hunting.
- Synthetic stock. Comfortable, ergonomic shape.
- Scope included. Mounted on picatinny rail.
As you can see, there are plenty of options available for quiet air rifles. There are many air rifles available with a noise dampener attached. As previously talked about, PCP air rifles are the quietest of the group, but are also the most expensive and require the most maintenance. Spring-piston air rifles can be quiet with the correct features. If you don’t mind spending more money and getting the bottles recharged, PCP air rifles would be an excellent option for you.
If you are looking for a quiet air rifle to kill varmints in an urban area, you can’t go wrong with any on our list. However, we would recommend the Gamo Whisper CFR, as you won’t have to worry about recharging any bottles. Another excellent choice would be the Crosman Fire NP, which is available for around half the price of the CFR.
If you are just looking for a quiet target shooting air rifle, the Benjamin Marauder is an absolutely excellent option. However, this air rifle is expensive and doesn’t come with a scope, so another option would be the Umarex Throttle.
Our list of quietest air rifles is not all encompassing, but we hope it gave you a starting point on your search for a quiet air rifle. There are plenty of options out there, but we have identified some high-quality options on our list.