Back in my competition days I used to shoot an air rifle at the house every evening to keep in trim for my competition. Back then, I lived 18 miles from the nearest shooting facility and the use of the air gun was a real boon to my scores and kept feral cats away from nesting road-runners on my property.
Last week I burned up a Cabelas gift card on a piston air gun with a scope. It was an inexpensive item but had a nitrogen gas piston instead of a spring which is supposed to be better on noise and recoil, and the gun was rated high among reviewers. After 200 rounds the gun is broken in and I am -despite the abysmal eight pound trigger- getting very small groups off hand shooting in the back yard from 12-15M. I have a custom trigger arriving this morning and found an old (but brilliant) Japanese air rifle scope in my junk box to replace the Chinese offering that came with the gun. By this afternoon it will be a better rifle and hopefully make me a better shot.
With 22LR ammo hard to get and expensive when you find it, this is some very good and cheap practice. The pellets my rifle liked best are about 1.2 pennies each, but the ones that are a very close second place are about half that. I'm glad I took the plunge....~Muir