Are a few pesky squirrels giving you trouble? Or are you looking for something to take on a squirrel hunt? The idea of taking a 22LR rifle to a squirrel hunt may be tempting, but there is a better option, an air rifle.
Air rifles are less costly than their conventional counterparts but still lethal. Squirrels are, however, tricky animals to hunt. These little animals are quick on their feet and quite small.
That being said, you will need the best air rifle for squirrels and rabbits if you stand a chance. So which is the best air rifle for squirrels? In this article, we have analyzed six of the best squirrel hunting air rifles out there.
We selected these air rifles based on several factors. These are, finish quality, trigger and firing mechanism and muzzle velocity. From our list, the Gamo Swarm Magnum air rifle was our top pick.
This is one of the newest additions and offers several things that other similar airguns do not. The multi-shot magazine was a great addition. Also, this air gun is powerful enough for hunting squirrels.
The Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle came a close second, thanks to its impressive muzzle velocity. Nonetheless, all the other models on the list are worth checking out.
6 Best Air Rifles For Squirrels
Gamo Swarm Magnum, Multi-Shot Air Rifle
The Gamo Swarm Magnum is one of the recent additions to Gamo’s catalog of air rifles. This air rifle offers the latest in air rifle technology. At its core is the multi-shot capability.
Gamo’s multi-shot break barrel technology made its debut in the Gamo Maxxim air rifle. Its success seemed to have prompted the company to include its newest additions. With this technology, you get a 10 round detachable magazine.
This rifle is a .22 caliber air rifle with plenty of power to kill a squirrel. It uses the company’s IGT Mach 1 gas ram system to propel pellets at speeds of up to 1300 FPS. This ram system replaces the spring powerplant that we got in the Swarm Maxxim.
While it is impressive on its own, this rifle also features some of the best things about Gamo air rifles. For starters, you get the Whisper Fusion noise-dampening technology, which makes it incredibly quiet.
- The air rifle comes with a decent 3-9×40 scope included
- Has a two-stage adjustable trigger
- Is a powerful break barrel rifle Has an impressive 975 FPS velocity with .22 caliber pellets
- Produces less vibrations when fired than most break barrel rifles
- Despite its high muzzle velocity, it is pretty quiet
- Reloading mechanism needs improving
- Has a cocking effort of 41 pounds meaning its not for everyone
This is the best .22 caliber pellet rifle out there. It packs quite a punch and is very accurate. And i9ts 10 round magazine means it is more fun to shoot than traditional break barrel rifles.
Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle
- 1000 FPS muzzle velocity
- 30 pounds cocking weight
- 2-stage adjustable trigger
- Built-in forward fiber optic sight
- 4x32 mounted scope
The second air rifle might not fire real bullets, but it’s no toy. This air rifle packs a punch and some people have used it on slightly larger animals such as opossums. That being said, let’s take a close look at this air rifle.
The first thing you need to know is that this is a .177 caliber pellet rifle. It spits out these pellets at speeds of up to 1000 FPS. It is this velocity that makes it an effective weapon for hunting squirrels, rabbits, starlings, and even opossums.
It is a spring-piston air rifle. Spring-piston air rifles are the easiest to use, and you will have no trouble picking this up as your first air rifle. For accuracy, it comes with two sighting options.
The first is a fiber-optic sight at the front. The second is a 4×32 scope mounted onto it. The rifle has a stock that is checkered on both sides. This makes it comfortable to use for both right and left-handed users.
- It is powerful enough to kill squirrels, rabbits, and even opossums
- Comes with dual sight options a forward fiber optic sight and a scope
- The rifle has a two-stage adjustable trigger
- It uses .177 pellets which are easy to get
- Weighing about 6.95 pounds, it is easy to handle and carry
- The rifle is quite hard to cock especially for seniors, women, and people with an injury
- The included scope is not of good quality
With its muzzle velocity and cocking weight, this is a serious weapon for hunting small animals. It is the best pellet gun for squirrels in terms of power. It is worth noting that this is suited for adult men due to its cocking weight.
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle
- .177 caliber pellets
- Spring powered
- 14.2-inch trigger length
- 3.35 pounds trigger pull
- 5.47 pounds weight
- 17.8-inch long break barrel
The Gamo 6110017154 Varmint air rifle is another excellent option for taking down those pesky squirrels that invade your home. It is a spring-piston break barrel rifle with enough power to do what it is designed to.
According to Gamo, it can propel .177 PBA platinum pellets at an impressive 1250 FPS muzzle velocity. In our tests, we used H&N wadcutter lead pellets, and it was able to maintain a consistent muzzle velocity of 910 FPS.
The 910 FPS was still good enough for hunting small animals. It comes with a 4×32 scope mounted onto it. While it is a decent enough scope, there is no harm in replacing it with a better one.
The stock has a rubber recoil pad that keeps it firmly placed on the shoulder. The stock also has a non-stick texture on the pistol grip and forearm. This gives it a good grip.
- For its price, it is a pretty accurate rifle
- With a muzzle velocity of up to 1250 FPS, it is a powerful rifle
- Compared to other break barrel rifles it has a rather moderate cocking effort
- Weighing under 6 pounds, it is a lightweight air rifle
- It comes at an affordable price tag
- The 4x32 scope is not the best
- While it requires moderate effort to cock, it is still cumbersome for some
For the price you are getting it at, this one is a no brainer. It is powerful and accurate and comes with a scope included. Overall, it is a great air rifle for hunting squirrels and other small rodents.
Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, Walnut Stock air Rifle
Combine the beauty of a walnut stock and a golden colored trigger, and you get one of the best-looking air rifles on the market. But is the Hatsan 95 air rifle combo just a good looking rifle, or does it have more to offer?
This rifle comes in three caliber variants a .177, .22 and .25 calibers. We tested the .177 variant. While it is said to have a 1000 FPS muzzle velocity, it drops when using lead pellets. With lead pellets, it falls to about 800 FPS.
However, this velocity is still effective against small animals considering lead pellets are heavier. And as with most other similar pellet guns, it has a two-stage adjustable trigger.
The beautiful walnut stock has a rubber pad for shock absorption. Its pistol grip is checkered on both sides. As such, it can be used by both left and right-handed users
This rifle is more than just a beautiful piece of engineering. It is a fantastic air rifle for hunting small animals such as squirrels. And while it is a bit heavy, it has excellent shock absorption qualities.
Ruger 2244001 Pellet Air Rifle
The Ruger 2244001 pellet rifle is an affordable air rifle that you can use for varmint extermination. It is powerful and has a nice feel and look to it.
According to the manufacturer, it has a muzzle velocity of 1000 FPS. In our tests, we were able to get to a muzzle velocity of 996 FPS with RWS Hobby lead pellets. This was still impressive and is enough for varmint killing.
One surprising thing about this air rifle is the cocking effort. While it is a spring piston break barrel rifle, the cocking effort is at a manageable 21 pounds and 14 ounces.
You get an adjustable 2 stage trigger. The trigger pull on this one is about 2 pounds. This is a bit low for a break barrel rifle but is not such a big deal.
This is one of the most readily available air guns out there. Thus you will have no problems finding one. On top of this, it is one of the best air rifles for squirrel hunting.
DPMS Full Auto SBR CO2-Powered BB Air Rifle
When you pick up the DPMS Full auto SBR BB air rifle, you will love its realistic design. The design of this air gun closely resembles that of an HK 416. But its design isn’t the only good thing about it.
This is a C02 powered air gun fueled by two 12 gram C02 cartridges. These two can propel BB pellets at a velocity of 430 FPS. These are housed inside a 25 round magazine. One thing we loved was the dual selector.
This allows you to choose between full and semi-automatic. Capable of firing 1400 pellets in full auto mode, we had a lot of fun firing this air rifle. So how accurate is it? Surprisingly very accurate.
With the movable foregrip and quad rails, you can mount all kinds of accessories on this from flashlights to a scope.
This is a fun air rifle to fire, especially when in full auto mode. It was perhaps the best pellet gun for killing squirrels we tested. It is accurate and packs quite a punch to take down a squirrel or even a rabbit.
How To Buy The Best Air Rifle For Squirrel And Rabbit Hunting
When you decide to buy an air rifle for hunting squirrels, there are some factors you should consider. Not all air rifles are designed for hunting squirrels. Some are best suited for plinking and recreational shooting. To identify the best air rifle for squirrels, consider the following factors.
The mechanism with which an air rifle propels pellets out of the barrel varies. There are four main types: spring piston, C02 powered, and pneumatic pumps. C02 powered air rifles and spring piston guns are cheaper and easier to maintain than pneumatic pump guns.
C02 powered are not ideal for hunting small animals such as squirrels, though. Spring piston, on the other hand, packs enough power to take down squirrels and other such animals. Thus the best type of air rifle for squirrel hunting a spring-piston gun.
However, some C02 powered rifles such as the DPMS Full Auto SBR CO2-Powered BB Air Rifle are effective at squirrel hunting.
The muzzle velocity of an air rifle determines the amount of damage you can do with it. Light muzzle velocities of between 600 and 700 FPS. These are best suited for target practice.
Medium muzzle velocities of between 700 and 850 FPS can be effective against small animals. However, if you want the best result go for a muzzle velocity of over 900 FPS. Air rifles with muzzle velocities of over 900 FPS are ideally suited for small game hunting.
Air rifle guns come in a variety of calibers ranging from .177 to .25 for standard air guns. The .177 caliber is the most common and is standard with most air rifles. But for small game hunting, the .22 and .25 calibers are more effective.
The .22 and .25 rounds are heavier compared to .177 cartridges. That being said, .177 cartridges tend to have a higher muzzle velocity. But even with slightly lower muzzle velocities, the .22 and .25 rounds can do more damage.
The best air rifle for squirrels and rabbits should have an adjustable 2-stage trigger. This allows for customization. In this regard, you can set a trigger pull that you are most comfortable with. Also, 2-stage triggers are suitable for hunting, as they are more accurate.
Most air rifles have a synthetic stock. The latter is more balanced and lighter. Most also feature a rubber pad for recoil. A synthetic stock that is checkered on both sides is the best option. Both left and right-handed users can use this one.
Squirrels can be a menace, and they also present a good starting point towards becoming a hunter. Due to them being cheaper, air rifles are the best for hunting squirrels and other small animals such as rodents. However, not all air guns can be categorized as the best air rifle for squirrels and rabbits.