Anytime you think of small game hunting with an air rifle, precision and power comes first to mind. Air guns are less powerful compared to firearms and therefore, you need to have the best air rifle for squirrel hunting that will connect accurately with sufficient power on the very first shot.
This raises the longing to have the very best air gun for killing squirrels, rats and other small game hunting experience. Pellet guns and BB guns are a great tool for this.
The market offers many different models of quality air guns, all with different specs and features, but are usually quite equal when it comes to overall performance. To make your choice even more befuddling, they can come at with very different prices.
We’ve looked through the top-rated air rifles for hunting and created this top five selection just for you. You will learn the unique features that voted them as our best pick. You will also learn about the tips for small game hunting that will help spike up your skills.
We are starting off with choosing the best air gun for hunting squirrels and small game in our list. Among these are some of the top brands.
Our Top Air Rifle Choices For Squirrel And Small Game Hunting
Gamo Big Cat 1250 .177 Caliber Air Rifle with Scope
The Gamo Big Cat is just plain awesome. It has a range of great features, such as:
- It operates a single cocking system that allows you to have better control on your air rifle pellets.
- If you’re looking for power, it has impressive power that will take you greater heights in hunting.
- It is one of the Gamo 1000 FPS lines of air guns. Shooting at 1000FPS with lead pellets and nearly 1250 with PBA pellets which equate to 15lbs of impact power at short ranges. This makes it one of the best rifles for squirrel hunting.
- With an ambidextrous and durable stock, it doesn't matter whether you are right handed or left handed. The stock also has raised cheek piece pads on both sides, making it comfortable for ambidextrous shooting.
- It's all-weather and suitable for any climate.
- Recoil is near to zero because there is a Shock Wave Absorber that minimizes it.
- There are fine checkering at the grip and in the front, this ensures that it doesn’t slip from your grip and provides steady aiming.
- For accuracy and precise target acquisition, this rifle comes with a basic 4x32 scope. It also features a protruding pin that prevents the air rifle scope from sliding back when mounted. More so, it is prepared for your standard .22 scope mount. To attach another scope is effortless!
- The barrel of this air gun is encased in a synthetic material making it more durable and almost maintenance free.
- It comes with an adjustable second stage trigger so that you can comfortably adjust to fit your precision.
- Other than the manual trigger safety, the Gamo Big Cat comes with an automatic cocking safety system that ensures your gun is not firing when it is dropped.
Since most Gamo guns use the same mechanics, speaking of precision and power, this Big Cat 1250 is as good as any other Gamo gun that is usually double the price. This is a quality air gun that anyone can afford.
Pros of the Gamo Big Cat:
Hard hitting and accurate, this powerful air rifle that can achieve up to 1250 fps with PBA pellets. The price for the quality of this air rifle can't be beat.
With its ambidextrous design, it doesn't matter if your left or right handed or it's going to be used by multiple people.
Cons of the Gamo Big Cat:
Most people have had issues with the scope and complained that it's poor quality. For the price, it's expected that the scope wouldn't be great. To get the most out of the air rifle, expect to spend some extra dollars and purchase a more suitable scope to replace the one that it comes with. You can check out our article best rifle scope for the money.
It is great value for the price and with high precision, the Gamo Big Cat Air Rifle with Scope does a really good job and would be considered one of the best for squirrel hunting.
Hatsan 95 Combo .22 Air Rifle Walnut Stock
Occasionally, there are a few good air rifles for small game hunting that gives a remarkable performance at a fair price. This is another great option. The features include:
- Comes with multiple caliber options, with the .177 and the .22 caliber hunting air rifles being the most popular.
- It comes in a Turkish Walnut stock with nice grains that gives it a great look and feel when operating it.
- The forearm and grip on the stock are checkered; this enhances grip when using this gun so that you can have a steady aiming.
- Whether, you are right or left handed, its ambidextrous design guarantees you that you can use it without any hassle.
- If accuracy is your drive, it comes in Optima 3-9×32mm scope that gives it the shot accuracy you need. This Optima scope comes with all accessories you need to get started including 2-piece mount, click adjustment dial, hex wrench, double lens caps and fully coated optics.
- It has both front and rear fiber optic sights on the top of the muzzle break. These sights are a great cocking assist, especially when loading pellets into the barrel.
- The rear fiber optic sight is adjustable to permit elevation and windage; this helps you to shoot on target.
- The feel, design, and operation of this air rifle is quite easy. At the back of the barrel, is an automatic safety lock that locks itself while loading making sure that that your gun is not firing when it is dropped.
- Amazingly it comes with a 2 stage Quattro Adjustable trigger. You can, therefore, control the pull weight and the travel distance after shooting.
Yes, this is a high power gun, and when shooting there is more recoil, however, you‘ll hardly feel this. Thanks to the Shock Absorber System (SAS) that allows you to control this gun when shooting.
The Hatsan 95 air rifle is a hefty brand but with many exceptional features already included at a fair price, you can’t go wrong with this deal! Simply, it’s one of the best for squirrel hunting and small game hunting. Another great choice for air rifle for squirrel hunting.
Diana RWS 48 Air Rifles
This choice is popular among air gunners because of its high power and accuracy. The Diana RWS does a decent job if you take it to field target, plinking, hunting, target shooting and even spinning. This sidelever spring-piston air rifle is amazing both in performance and appearance. The sidelever eliminates possible barrel/scope misalignment common with break barrel air rifles.
Some notable features:
- Its power comes from a stout power plant that’s cocked by a side lever action. Simply it is a sharp-shooting hammer!
- It oozes a first class quality throughout its stock. This hardwood stock with a metal is blued to perfection, and it feels tight and solid.
- The stock is very versatile, well balanced and it offers more comfort for offhand shooting. You’ll never feel fatigue while out in the field!
- It is easy to load the gun as the precision rifled and fixed barrel system is loaded through the sliding breech mechanism.
- It also comes with unparalleled match grade accuracy that is well established and beyond reproach. You will quickly shoot crackers of a 1-inch group up to 50 yards.
- The 2-stage adjustable trigger helps you to make the most from every shot taken.
- Open front and rear adjustable sights that are all locked down with a dove screw so, no worry about the sight moving while going through the woods. Furthermore, both the front and rear sights are adjustable to allow precise positioning.
Pros of the Diana RWS 48:
This powerful Diana RWS air rifle is heavy but takes a very smooth cocking action even though nearly 40 pounds of effort are technically involved.
For a springer, this is the easiest cocking configuration you can get. Recoil is minimal, and thus you can shoot more accurately.
Cons of the Diana RWS 48:
However, the side-cocking system may not be comfortable for first time user, but its hard-hitting power and extreme accuracy qualifies it to be one of the best air rifle for squirrel hunting that you can buy. It is a reliable top air gun! More so, this rifle has smooth firing and quietly. You may even think you are using a gas ram!
Gamo Varmint .177 Cal Air Rifle
The Gamo Varmint Air rifle is the perfect handgun for you if you are looking for shooting accuracy and efficiency. This gun comes with a one-year warranty and its features include a 1.77 cocking barrel, and all=weather stock. This rifle can deliver 1250 fps of muzzle velocity so you can small and relatively large animals with it. Below are some of the strong points of this wonderful rifle and its few shortcomings.
The weight is just 7.15lbs while the length is 43". The cocking effort is 30lbs and the trigger pull is 3.74lbs. This gun falls under the 1.77 caliber and its barrel length is 18 in.
This gun comes with an automatic cocking safety system and it comes with a non slip design feature to ensure that you grip it properly without dropping it accidentally.
This gun is light and quite easy to use. Just buy the gun, read the manual and you can handle the rifle like professional. You can even teach your children how to use this gun because it is a great weapon for beginners.
This gun gives you great accuracy if you are shooting at targets between 30-40 yards. It is ideal for hunting small animals like squirrels and other pests around the home or in the farm. The gun packs a bit of power so you can hunt relatively animals with great success.
Pros of the Gamo Varmint
The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle is light and easy to use. It is very accurate and the ammunition is easy to get. It is ideal for both right-handed and left-handed shooters.
Cons of the Gamo Varmint
It is not meant for big game and it is not accurate if your target is more than 40 yards away. However, you can replace the scope and get a better one if you want to shoot at targets beyond 40 yards.
The Hornet Maxxim air rifle is an all-weather air gun suitable for small game hunting and target practice. With this air rifle, you get to enjoy quieter shooting in a lightweight gun that is both easy to use and maintain. Its quiet features make this rifle perfect for backyard shooting.
The sound suppression technology used on this gun is an upgrade feature that lacks in previous versions of the rifle. This feature ensures quieter shooting and less recoil.
The ambidextrous synthetic stock makes it easy for right- and left-handed people to use this rifle with ease. Here's what you need to know about this air rifle.
There are many features that make the Hornet Maxxim a good choice. In addition to being waterproof, this air rifle offers a longer life span compared to spring powered rifle. Other features include:
- Inert Gas Technology
- Break Barrel
- No open sights
- Whisper Maxxim sound suppression technology
- All-weather ambidextrous synthetic stock
- Automatic cocking safety technology
- Manual trigger safety
- 74% recoil absorption
- Break Barrel
- Adjustable 2-stage trigger
Pros of the Hornet Maxxim
Accuracy and ease of use are two of the most notable benefits of the Gamo Hornet Maxxim air rifle. Its design also makes it easy to use, service and maintain. Other pros include;
- Uniform weight distribution
- High fire power
- Sturdy body construction
- Excellent factory scope
Cons of the Hornet Maxxim
The Hornet Maxxim air gun comes with a few downsides that are worth checking out.
- A bit stiff compared to other air rifles of its kind
- Cocking system needs a little getting used to
The Hornet Maxxim is designed for those looking for power and accuracy in a compact rifle. With the Recoil Reducing Rail (RRR) technology, the Hornet Maxxim provides comfort and protects the components of your rifle for extended life.
Tips for Small Game & Squirrel Hunting With A Top Air Gun.
If you are set for small game hunting this weekend, having a great air gun is a game changer. But for you to be successful in the field you need to follow the following tips for better payoffs with your air gun.
- Be ethical: air guns are less powerful compared to firearms. So try to hit with headshots only. Hunting ethics are “A miss should be a clean miss while a hit should be a solid hit.”
- Practice: have a full target practice with your air gun. Since most air guns are both single shot and single reload, you must ensure your first shot connects accurately. Remember “Practice! Practice! Make it perfect!”
- Caliber type: calibers are of different kinds - small but fast and big but slower. A .22 caliber is ideal for small game with a good knock down power ratio to its velocity.
- Camouflage: because you want to stalk in close to make one good and lethal shot, you should have complete concealment of all exposed skin.
- Move slowly: squirrels and rabbits move slowly through thickets. Therefore, you should find a good place to sit while keeping your eyes and ears open. Also, be ready because the shots will be quick.
The Best Air Rifles For Killing Squirrels
Having gone through the top five best air rifles for squirrel hunting and tips for a successful hunting experience, we hope you have learnt all you needed to help you find the best air rifle for squirrel and small game hunting.
No matter which air rifle you may choose from our top recommendations, each will serve you well and provide an enjoyable hunting experience.