Best Pellet Pistol for the Money!

best-value pellet pistolsAs much as we love air rifles, we totally get why someone would prefer a pellet pistol: they are obviously more compact, easy to carry and – let’s face it – some of them are extremely cool-looking. In fact, some of these guns look exactly like the real thing!

Now, the sky is the limit in terms of price, and we’ve already reviewed some very elite-level air pistols that are suitable for hunting.

But what about some best-value options? We are talking about pellet pistols that are fun to shoot, look good, deliver good accuracy and are unusually affordable.

Sound good?

Here are the (3) best-bang-for-your-buck pellet pistols you can buy.

1) Crosman CCP8B2 Vigilante CO2 .177 Cal. Pellet / BB Revolver


Crosman Vigilante Air Pistol Specifications

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The CCP8B2 “Vigilante” is currently topping the best seller list, and it’s easy to see why. First of all, this new and improved twist on the old Crosman .357 brings show-stopping good looks. Simply put, this is one bad-ass looking pellet pistol!

But even more than its sex appeal, users simply rave about how remarkably well-balanced and sturdy the Vigilante feels for a CO2 pistol. Crosman really nailed it here. Thus, not only does it look like a real gun, the roughly 2-pound heft and very robust construction also makes it feel like a real revolver in your hand.

What about performance? The Vigilante is exceptionally solid on this score as well. It accepts both BBs and pellets; however, pellets deliver much more accuracy. With a maximum velocity of roughly 435 FPS, and thanks to its 6-inch rifled steel barrel, you can expect very good sharp-shooting out to about 15 yards or so, which is great for a CO2 pistol.

Finally, this model comes with other handy features, such as a 10-shot pellet clip / 6-shot BB clip that permits both single and repeat shooting. It’s also fitted with a tactical rail sight system that allows rear elevation adjustment so you can zero-in your pistol fairly easily.

User Reviews

Users praise the Vigilante for combining great looks, a life-like revolver feel and solid accuracy – especially for a CO2 air pistol that is selling for around $50! Moreover, the long track record of glowing reviews confirm that the CCP8B2 Vigilante is not just some novelty item, but is durable and holds up to routine use.

Recommended Use

This air pistol is suitable for plinking, target shooting and general goofing around (responsibly, of course ;).

Like most CO2-powered airguns, it does not have the power or the accuracy needed for small game hunting; stick with shooting inanimate targets.


For the money, there is hardly a better, more life-like CO2 pistol that comes close to touching the value and fun-factor provided by the Vigilante. A good choice for kids (with adult supervision) and adults of all skill levels

2) Crosman American Classic 1377C Pump Pellet Pistol


Crosman American Classic 1377C Specifications

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The Crosman American 1377C Classic is just that – a classic. This pellet gun has been around for ages, and is the model that got me solidly hooked on airguns back when I was a kid. And I love it now as I did then, for the same reasons.

First, you simply cannot beat the power for your dollar with this multi-pump pistol. Specifically, if you pump it up to the maximum 10 pumps, the Classic can launch a .177 pellet up to 600 FPS. This is really a tremendous amount of power for an air pistol, especially in its price range. As such, this is one of the only value-oriented .177 cal. pellet pistols that is capable of small  pest elimination.

However, the American Classic still does not come close to the power of most good air rifles, so I would engage only very small game (small birds, small rodent pest, etc.) at close range (generally within 10 yards or so).

Second, this is a very accurate pistol as well. The longer, rifled barrel really gives you an edge over the typical pistol, and you can expect laser-like shots up to about 25 yards or more depending on your skill.

PLEASE note that this model accepts only pellets – do not use BBS as it will destroy the rifling and reduce the gun’s accuracy!

Third, with its multi-pump pneumatic power plant, this is a very inexpensive air pistol to purchase and especially to use: no need to buy CO2 cartridges! Of course, it is highly upgradable as well, if you’d like to drop some additional cash on extras.

And finally, the 1377C comes with an easy-to-use, crisp bolt-action loading breech, just insert your pellets one at a time and lock them in place. Yes, it would be nice to have a magazine or some type of clip, but let’s not be too picky!

User Reviews

The 1377C Classic has a devout following that is reflected in an extremely long track record of predominantly 5-star reviews. As you’d expect, users glow about this pistol’s fantastic power, accuracy, upgradability and extreme value.

Anything not to like? Strangely, some users actually dinged it for not accepting BBs – but that is typical for better airguns that have rifled barrels, since BBs can destroy the rifling and reduce accuracy.

Recommended Uses

The 1377C American Classic is ideal for everything from plinking and target shooting, to clearing out an infestation of small birds or rodent pests. Again, while it is a powerful pistol, it’s still a pistol that generates limited muzzle energy. I would keep your hunting limited to very small quarry and under 10 yards.

>>Get the Best Price on the Crosman American Classic!<<


While it does not look like an actual pistol and is somewhat intermediate in form between a handgun and rifle, in terms of pure power, accuracy, versatility and value, the Crosman American Classic 1377C still rules today, just as it did way back when. This pellet gun is tons of fun to shoot and brings big power, yet is easy enough to cock for younger users and will never need CO2 cartridges.

3) Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2 .22 Cal. Pistol


Crosman 2240 CO2 Pistol SpecificationsLike the 1377C, the Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2 .22 Cal. Pistol has earned a cult-like following as it offers some of the best performance anywhere near its price range. So what’s so exceptional about it?

This is a very hard-hitting pellet pistol, especially for a CO2-powered model. While it produces slower velocities (up to around 460 feet per second) than the 1377C, this is expected since it projects a relatively heavy .22 caliber lead pellet. The result is that it produces about the same muzzle energy (just over 6 ft-lbs) as the 1377C, but obviously makes a much bigger hole in the target upon impact. In case you don’t know why a .22 bore pellet gun is superior for maximizing impact power, read our article on airgun hunting to get caught up.

With this much punch, the 2240 is likewise sufficient for dealing with small pests at close ranges. Moreover, with a bit of practice you should be able to make consistently accurate shots at targets out to about 25 yards, although I would only engage live game within 10 yards in most cases for humane kills. Indeed, it is likely that the accuracy of the 2240 will surprise you, and this is with the stock sights!

Obviously, you cannot deny the convenience of the CO2 power plant. With a 12-gram cartridge you should be able to get off about 75 shots without a substantial drop in power or velocity. That is fantastic for a full day of shooting, and will spare your arm the chore of pumping, as you’d have to do plenty of with the 1377C. So, while there is a bit of running cost to operate with the CO2 Bolt Action Pistol, the relative efficiency of this model on CO2 makes it very minimal.

Like the 1377C, there is a ton of potential upgrades that are possible with the 2240, and you can make it your hobby to tailor virtually every aspect to your liking due to its largely modular design. In addition, there is a wealth of information on the web for numerous DIY improvements too, if you are looking to save some more money for quality pellets.

Nevertheless, right out of the box, this is an extremely well-made and robust pistol that you will likely never need to modify at all. Just keep in mind that due to the precision rifled barrel, you only want to use quality .22 caliber pellets!! Don’t use BBs!

User Reviews

Again, like the 1377C, the 2240 CO2 Pellet Pistol has an overwhelming 5-star track record.

Outstanding power, fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, nearly infinite upgrade potential, and an overall high-quality build are just some of the things that user routinely praise the 2240. But more than anything else, it’s the phenomenal value of this pistol that puts it at the top of many veteran air-gunners’ list.

Recommended Uses

This is a great CO2 pistol for target shooting, plinking, destroying GI Joe figures and, of course, close-range small pest elimination. Again, I wouldn’t call this a small game hunting pistol (at least in stock form), since we generally like to see at least double (i.e., 12 ft-lbs) the muzzle energy for quick kills at typical hunting distances. However, just about any very small bird or rodent pest unlucky enough to come into within 10 yards is “fair” game for this little dynamo.


In our view, the Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2 .22 Cal. Pistol is by far the best-value .22 caliber pellet pistol on the market, and one of the few air pistols in general that can generate enough power for pest-elimination.

Add to that the near infinite upgrade possibilities and its first-rate construction, and you have an easy choice for the shooter that desires the convenience of a CO2 power plant.

Honorable Mentions

Here is where I put other models that I’d recommend (updated often)!

Smith and Wesson pellet BB pistol revolver


A Word About Pistol Ammo

As with pellet rifles, your pistol will perform at its best with quality pellets.

And even if your pistol can accept BBs, as in the case of the Crosman Vigilante, we’d steer clear of them. As a rule, BBs deliver very poor accuracy compared to a pellet, and because they are so hard (unlike the soft lead used for pellets), they can destroy the spiraled machining in rifled barrels, thus making them less effective. No, pellets are not as cheap as BBs, but they still cost virtually nothing compared to conventional ammo!

For an detailed introduction to the various types of pellets and their uses, click here. And to compare top-rated brands and their specifications, click here.

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  1. Dr. Ralph says:

    You know you can go to the Crosman Custom Shop online and order one of those 2240’s with about any option you can think of? I mean steel breech, super long Walther barrels and curly maple grips… making the barrel longer also gives you more velocity in a CO2 gun so it can turn into a real power monster. It’s not so cheap after all the add ons though.

  2. Dr. Ralph says:

    Oh and my favorite is the Webley Tempest .22.. $219 but they are built like a tank and last 40 years or more.

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