Inexpensive, spring-powered BB rifles can only achieve about 5 foot-pounds of energy.
Air rifles are available in a number of calibers and quality can vary widely between models. High-quality air rifles intended for small-to-medium game hunting can be both highly powerful and accurate. Muzzle energy is one measure of a gun’s power. It is a combination of velocity and projectile mass, and only high-quality air rifles can achieve the high velocities with heavy pellet projectiles necessary to reach 30 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
Career III 300
The Career III 300 is an example of a powerful, pre-charged air rifle that can be used for hunting and precision target shooting. This rifle is available in the three major pellet calibers: .177, .20 and .22. Heavy pellets carry the most energy, and the Career can maintain high velocities, allowing for excellent range of fire. All three calibers can carry more than 30 foot-pounds of energy, with a 13.5-grain, .20 caliber pellet delivering about 54 foot-pounds at the muzzle.
Evanix Hunting Master AR6
The AR6 is a .22 caliber, high-power repeating air rifle designed for hunting. Muzzle energy depends a great deal on pellet mass. The AR6 reaches 48 foot-pounds, even with a 14-grain pellet. With 28- and 32-grain pellets, the muzzle energy exceeds 60 foot-pounds.
Quackenbush air guns
Big game air rifles, such as the Quackenbush line, are rare. Typically a powerful firearm is used for hunting large animals. Quackenbush manufactures .308 and .495 caliber air rifles. These weapons can deliver more than 200 foot-pounds of muzzle velocity.
Walther 1250 Dominator
This air rifle is another pre-charged repeater. It is available in .177, .22 and .25 calibers, fires at a velocity of 1250 feet per second and consistently delivers 30 foot-pounds of energy with every shot.