If you are looking to learn more about firearms, air pistols are a great place to start. These are firearms that shoot projectiles with compressed air or other gases without the use of gunpowder. They are mostly used for pest control, target shooting, backyard plinking, and self-defense. What is the most powerful air pistol in South Africa? Learn more below.
The ownership of air handguns in South Africa has been on the increase in the past few decades. The law allows citizens to have air guns with .22 caliber (5.6 mm) or lower, but you will require a firearm license to own one above .22 caliber. Familiarize yourself with the country's laws to stay out of trouble.
How to choose an ideal air pistol
It is crucial that you consider certain aspects before settling on a particular type of air pistol. Here are some of the factors to look out for.
Types and uses
There are five main types of air guns, including CO2, Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP), break barrel, spring, and pump-action. If you are new to firearms, the CO2 type is highly recommended as a starter. Break-barrel is suitable for target shooting and pest control, while the pump-action pistol is ideal if you are looking for power and accuracy.
If you are looking for higher shooting power, the pump, break-barrel, and PCP's are ideal. Their power can reach up to 700 FPS, although they are a little bulky and single loading. Standard CO2 guns can only reach as far as 480 FPS.
Air pistols shoot steel BB rounds, pellets, or a combination of the two. Handgun rounds come in four main calibers, .177, .20, .22, and .25.
Pellets are more accurate and powerful ammo compared with steel BBs. For improved accuracy, you will need to have a rifled barrel for firing pellets.
If you are looking for a more practical shooting experience, CO2 BB guns are your best choice. Their blowback action is similar to the recoil of a real firearm. You also have to remember that the action consumes more CO2 to operate the air gun slide, and it lowers the pistol's FPS.
Most air pistols have a minimum of an 8-round magazine. If you are looking for more accurate and powerful air pistols, the single-loading ones are ideal.
Common quality brands of air pistols for sale in South Africa include Benjamin, Umarex, Crosman, Hatsan, Feinwerkbau, RWS, Weihrauch, Gamo pellet guns, among others. Some of the best replicas are made by Umarex.
Which is the most powerful air pistol in South Africa?
South Africans own air pistols for various reasons, including target shooting and backyard plinking. The ones with power can be used in pest control and small game hunting. Here are the top ten best and most powerful air handguns you should consider owning in 2021.
1. Umarex SA10
The SA10 model is one of the most powerful CO2 pistols, and it can achieve a 450 FPS rating if platinum pellets are used. It is the best all-rounder gun but is less accurate if you are looking for professional target shooting or pest control.
The Umarex SA10 has the following characteristics.
- Powered by CO2
- Shoots standard .177 caliber pellets
- Has a double-sided 16-round magazine
- Realistic blowback action that resembles the recoil of a real gun, thus offering excellent shooting performance
- Resembles a real gun, making it the best choice for self-defense
Umarex SA10 South African air pistols are some of the most expensive, and they cost more than R3,000.00.
2. Glock 19 Gen3
The Glock 19 Gen3 is undeniably the best CO2 BB gun. It has the following specs.
- Powered by CO2 with decent CO2 efficiency, which means you can have more shots before the CO2 canister runs dry
- Fires .177 caliber steel BBs
- Shoots about 3 magazines of BBs per CO2 canister
- Muzzle velocity ranges between 390 and 400 FPS
- 16-round universal metal stick magazine
- The magazine release, trigger, and slide are made of metal while the lower part is plastic
- Great for less noisy places because it sounds like a clap
Glock 19 Gen3 is more pocket friendly compared with other more advanced BB guns, and it goes for about R2,899.00 in South Africa.
3. Benjamin Marauder
The Benjamin Marauder is no doubt one of the most powerful and accurate pellet air guns. Its high-powered PCP pellets make it ideal for pest control and target shooting. Here are some of the gun's unique features.
- Fires .22 caliber pellets
- PCP-powered bolt action
- Has a gas chamber that can give around 30 shots. The chamber can be refilled using hand pumps, dive tanks, or air compressors.
- Depending on the pellets used, the Marauder has a muzzle velocity of between 500 and 700 FPS. This force is enough to kill pests like rodents and smaller animals.
- Has long barrel and adjustable sights
- Revolver style 8-pellet magazine and single-loading
- Has an internal noise-reduction shroud but not backyard friendly as it is still too noisy. There are aftermarket parts to help silence it.
- Includes detachable shoulder stock
- Bigger in size compared with standard pistols but smaller than a rifle. It will not fit in your holster, but you can place it in your backpack
The Benjamin Marauder costs around R12,650.00 in South Africa.
4. Benjamin Trail NP
The Benjamin Trail NP is one of the best and most powerful break barrel air pistols. It is less powerful and less costly than the Marauder but better than the CO2 models. It has the following specs.
- Shoots .177 caliber pellets
- Break barrel powered
- Has muzzle velocity of between 500 and 600 FPs, making it ideal for pest control
- Benjamin Trail has adjustable front and rear sights
- Is single-loading, meaning you can only shoot a single pellet at a time and cock the gun after every shot
- Its trigger is a little heavy, and the rear sight can lose its zero at short distances due to design fault, but this can be fixed with a red dot sight
The Trail Nitro Piston is one of the cheapest pest control handguns with high power and accuracy. You can get one at around R2,500.00 in South Africa.
5. Crosman Vigilante
The Crosman Vigilante is probably the most powerful revolver pellet gun in the market. Here are some of its unique features.
- CO2 powered
- Fires both .177 BBs and pellets
- Magazine can hold up to 6 BBs or 10 pellets
- A single CO2 canister can last about 80 rounds
- Muzzle velocity ranges between 390 and 410 FPS
- Trigger action is both double and single action
- Comes with adjustable sights, so you might need a red dot sight for increased accuracy
- The revolver shoots louder than a standard CO2 pistol due to the full action hammer
Crosman Vigilante costs approximately R1,990.00 in South Africa.
6. Crosman SNR357
The Crosman SNR357 is the smallest pellet and BB revolver in the market. It possesses the following specs.
- CO2 powered
- Resembles a snub nose revolver
- Fires both .177 BBs and pellets
- Magazine holds either 6 pellets or 6 BBs
- Rated for about 350 FPS
- 70 shots per CO2 canister
- Has heavyweight and full metal construction, which makes it look like a real gun, hence ideal for self-defense
- Louder than a standard air pistol
- Do not expect perfect accuracy because it is not rifled and is short
Crosman Snub Nose Revolver 357 costs about R2,759.00 in South Africa.
7. Crosman P1322
The Crosman P1322 is one of the best pump and multi-stroke air pistol in the market. It is an excellent starter gun. Here is a look at the model's specifications.
- Fires .22 caliber pellets
- Pump and multi-stroke powered hence you need to pump it for every shot
- Single-loading hence has to be reloaded after every shot
- Fires consistently above 400 FPS and can reach up to 460 FPS hence great for pest control
- Has mostly-plastic construction, which makes it light although it is large
- Possesses adjustable sights, a feature that makes it more accurate than most CO2 pistols
- It is fairly silent
The Crosman P1322 model costs around R1,950.00 in South Africa.
8. Crosman PSM45
If you are looking for an ideal spring-action air pistol, the Crosman PSM45 is the best choice. The following are the model's unique features.
- Powered by spring-action and it is always powered, but you have to cock it after each shot
- Has 20 BBs magazine
- Rated at 190 FPS, making it the most powerful spring action gun but less powerful compared with other air pistols. You cannot use it for pest control.
- Sights cannot be adjusted and are accurate until about 40 feet
- Silent compared with other air guns
- Needs to be lubed with gun or motor oil after some time to prevent jamming
Crosman PSM45 costs around R1,441.00 in South Africa.
9. Umarex Beretta PX4 Storm
Beretta PX4 is ideal if you are looking for a semi-auto CO2 pistol that can fire both pellets and BBs and does not require a revolver. This model has the following specifications.
- Fires .177 BBs and pellets
- CO2 powered
- Made from majorly metal material with a few plastic parts
- Has an 8 round double-sided magazine
- Uses a single CO2 canister for every two magazines
- Rating can reach up to about 350 FPS
- Has blowback action to offer the recoil of a real firearm
- It is possible to attach a laser sight or flashlight to the accessory rail located below the barrel
The Beretta PX4 Storm costs around R2,650.00 in South Africa.
10. Umarex Colt Army 45
The Umarex Colt Army 45 is ideal if you are looking for a realistic revolver as it resembles the real Colt Peacemaker revolver. Here are its unique specs.
- Has full metal construction, with the handle being the only plastic feature
- Rifled barrel
- Fires .177 pellets and can also use BB cartridges
- 6-round cylinder
- CO2 powered
- Muzzle velocity can reach up to 410 FPS
- Produces 70 shots per CO2 cartridge, and its velocity starts to drop after about 30 rounds
- Has fixed front sights and is accurate up to about 30 yards
Umarex Colt Army 45 costs about R4,080.00 or more in South Africa.
What is the most powerful BB gun?
According to multiple sources, the CO2 powered Glock 19 Gen3 is considered the most powerful BB handgun. It fires .177 caliber steel BBs at a muzzle velocity of between 390 and 400 FPS.
For air rifles, the Umarex HK MP5 PDW BB gun takes top position. It is powered by 12-gram CO2 cartridges, has a 40-round magazine, semi-auto, and shoots .177 caliber BBs at a muzzle velocity of up to 400 FPS.
Can a CO2 pistol kill a human?
CO2 powered pellets or BB handguns cannot kill a person in ordinary circumstances. They often cause injuries like loss of vision or ear damage. However, powerful CO2 air guns shot at close range can kill, especially kids, if they hit sensitive body parts like the heart or lungs.
What is the largest caliber air pistol?
Most air pistols' pellet caliber ranges between .25 and .177. You can also find big-bore handguns like the Quackenbush DAQ Outlaw, which fires .58 caliber pellets.
What air pistol will kill a rat?
High-powered pellet handguns can be used to kill rats and mice. The PCP powered Benjamin Marauder is one of the best air pistols for pest control. It fires .22 caliber pellets at a muzzle velocity of between 500 and 700 FPS.
What is the best air pistol for self-defense?
The best air pistol should resemble a real firearm, fire pellets, and have a high FPS rating. The Umarex SA10 described above can do the trick. However, you should remember that it is only safe to use gas pistols for self-defense if the attacker is unarmed.
What is the most powerful air rifle?
The Airforce Texan is considered the most powerful air rifle. Its features include .45 caliber pellets, a muzzle velocity of about 1000FPS, and over 500 ft-lbs of energy. The rifle costs around R21,000 and more in South Africa.
Your choice of the most powerful air pistol South Africa is now simplified. You can find different brands of high-quality air pistols for sale in South Africa from leading dealers. The pistol price list might vary from dealer to dealer.
Briefly.co.za published an article that details the requirements for firearm license application and renewal in South Africa. Ownership of guns by civilians is regulated by the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000.
Not everyone is fit to own a firearm in the country. There are certain conditions that one must meet before being granted a license for legal ownership.