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Best Air Guns For Hunting Squirrels

Hunting squirrels can be a fun and challenging activity for sport, as well as a necessary task for those who have problems with them around their homes. Air guns have become a popular weapon of choice for squirrel hunting due to their affordability, accuracy, and quietness.

However, with so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best air gun for squirrels. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you select the best air gun for squirrel hunting, based on factors such as power, accuracy, and safety. Whether you are a seasoned hunter or a beginner, this curated list will equip you with the knowledge to choose the best air rifle for your needs.

Make Sure To Check Our Best Air Gun Rifle Under $100 List

How Did We Pick The Air Rifles On This List: I got my first air gun when I was in 4th grade. It was a Daisy Powerline 880, which is still made today. I have been shooting and collecting air guns for over 40 years and have owned over 50 different air rifles, pistols and PCP guns. The following guns were chosen from personal experiance, lots of YouTube watching and reading a whole bunch of Amazon reviews!

Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1

Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle, CAT air Rifle
  • caliber: 0.22
  • velocity: 1020.00 ft/sec
  • Warranty: One year limited warranty
  • CAT

Sturdy and Lightweight

I put this at the top of the list because it offers great value! The Gamo 611006325554 Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle, chambered in .22 caliber, is a powerhouse in the realm of air gun hunting.

Its IGT Mach 1 gas piston delivers a quieter and smoother shooting experience compared to traditional spring-powered air rifles. The Whisper Fusion technology is a standout feature, which significantly dampens the noise, making it an excellent choice for discreet hunting. It comes equipped with a 3-9×40 scope, aiding in pinpoint accuracy for distant targets.

The rifle also boasts the CAT (Custom Action Trigger), allowing for easy adjustment to suit individual shooting preferences. With velocities reaching up to 1020 fps with lead pellets, it promises substantial power for small game hunting while maintaining a sleek and modern aesthetic.

Its blend of affordability, power, and reliability makes it a good choice, and I often recommend it to friends and family. You are getting a larger caliber with some higher-end features and still under $200

Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo

Hatsan Mod 95 Spring Combo Spring Piston Air Rifle, .22 Caliber
  • Mod 95 Spring Combo
  • Mod 95 Spring Combo
  • Mod 95 Spring Combo
  • Mod 95 Spring Combo
  • Mod 95 Spring Combo

Perfect for Beginners

The Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo is a single-shot, break barrel rifle that is a great option for those looking for a budget-friendly air rifle. It has a spring-powered piston and a rifled steel barrel that provides accuracy and precision. The Quattro two-stage match trigger is adjustable for trigger-pull weight, first stage, second stage, and length of travel. The elegant stock is made from high-quality walnut, and the rifle is equipped with a precision rifled German steel barrel. The Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo is a sophisticated air rifle that is easy to shoot and maintain. It is a favorite of small game hunters and backyard shooters alike, providing a well-built, accurate rifle at an affordable price.

Umarex Origin PCP Air Rifle

Umarex Origin PCP .22 Caliber Pellet Gun Air Rifle
  • A truly unique PCP that cuts pumping down by half so you can do more shooting
  • Ever Pressure Tank System makes it possible to fill the air cylinder with fewer pumps; To completely fill the tank it only requires about 100 pumps from a hand pump, half of the pumps required of comparable PCP rifles with a similar air cylinder volume
  • A side-mounted cocking lever makes for smooth operation and included two 10-shot auto-indexing rotary magazines that share its design with the Umarex Gauntlet magazine
  • Combination optic rail accepts 11mm or Picatinny rings, making it easy to mount up your favorite optic
  • Shoots .22 caliber pellets at up to 1000 fps; Compatible with spare magazine part number: 2252611

Lightweight and Powerful

The Umarex Origin PCP air rifle is a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle that is easy to shoot and maintain. It is a .22 caliber-only air rifle that delivers 60 shots at an average of 28.31 Ft/Lbs with an average of 944 FPS. The Umarex Origin air rifle is now available in .25 caliber, which is seriously fun to shoot. It has many advantages over other airgun power plants, such as higher kinetic energy, number of consecutive shots available, and the range of calibers. The Origin comes standard with a 4500 psi hand pump, pump rebuild kit, fill probe, multi-tool, and two 10-shot rotary magazines. It is a great option for those looking for an all-inclusive first step into the world of pre-charged pneumatic shooting.

Gamo Swarm Magnum G2 .22

Sale
Gamo Swarm Maxxim G2 .22 Cal Multi-Shot Pellet Rifle
  • Up to 1,000 FPS with alloy .22 Cal. pellets. Rapid Reload 10 Shot Technology Break Barrel Air Rifle
  • 10X GEN 2 rapid reload technology includes our revolutionary horizontal magazine integration, making itlighter, more compact and low profile.
  • 10 shot Magazine: Simply break the barrel and fire for lightning-quick follow-up shots.
  • Whisper Maxxim noise dampening technology. IGT gas piston. CAT (Custom Action Trigger) two-stage adjustable. Gamo 3-9×40 Scope included with Recoil Reducing Rail (RRR)
  • 3 YEAR WARRANTY. Made in Barcelona, Spain

Upgraded Rotating Horizontal Mag System

The Gamo Swarm Magnum G2 .22 is a powerful and accurate air rifle that is ideal for squirrel hunting. It has a 10-round rotary-style magazine and a 33m gas cylinder, providing next-level power with 1,300 fps in .22 caliber. The Whisper Fusion technology makes it a revolutionary break barrel air rifle that is quiet and easy to use. The Gamo Swarm Magnum G2 .22 is equipped with a 3-9×40 airgun scope and an adjustable second stage trigger. It is a sturdy and lightweight air rifle that is easy to handle and provides a smooth shooting experience. The Gamo Swarm Magnum G2 .22 is a great option for those looking for a reliable and powerful air rifle that is ideal for squirrel hunting.

Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 .177 Caliber Nitro Piston Air Rifle

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Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 .177 Caliber Nitro Piston Air Rifle with Hardwood Stock Includes 3-9 X 40mm Scope
  • . 177-CALIBER BREAK BARREL AIR RIFLE
  • CHECKERED HARDWOOD STOCK AND RIFLED STEEL BARREL – Produces 70% less noise
  • UP TO 1500 FPS – Ideal for small game hunting
  • SMOOTH COCKING, LESS RECOIL – For easy handling in the field
  • CENTERPOINT OPTICS 3-9x40mm PRECISION SCOPE – Adjustable objective and range estimating reticle

High Velocity and Smooth Handling

The Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 .177 Caliber Nitro Piston Air Rifle is a powerful and reliable air rifle that is ideal for squirrel hunting. It has a nitro piston power plant that shoots .177 caliber pellets up to 1500fps, making it one of the best air rifles for squirrel hunting. The Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 is easy to handle and produces less recoil for smooth handling in the field. It is ultra-light, weighing just 1kg, and comfortable to carry in the field. The air rifle is perfect for all users regardless of their skills and expertise. It is smooth to cock and provides a smooth shooting experience for all hunters. The Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500 .177 Caliber Nitro Piston Air Rifle is a great option for those looking for a reliable and powerful air rifle for squirrel hunting.

Gamo Varmint Air Rifle

Best Bang For The Buck!!!
Sale
Gamo Varmint Breakbarrel .177 Caliber Pellet Air Rifle
  • caliber: 0.177
  • velocity: 1250.00 ft/sec
  • Spring-piston
  • Includes 4×32 scope & mount
  • Steel barrel with fluted polymer jacket

Lightweight and Easy to Shoot

The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle is a lightweight .177 caliber break barrel air rifle that shoots up to 1,250 feet per second. It is powered by a spring piston and includes the Gamo 4×32 scope. The air rifle features a Monte Carlo cheek pad that aligns your eye with the scope sight and a rubber recoil pad that keeps the butt stock firmly planted on the shoulder. The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle functions with a break barrel, spring-powered cocking system, and has an automatic manual safety. It is easy to use and provides a smooth shooting experience. The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle is a great option for those looking for a reliable and powerful air rifle for pest control or small game hunting.

Crosman Benjamin Trail NP2 Air Rifle Combo

Benjamin 392S .22-Caliber Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle, Black
  • New, All-weather synthetic Stock and fore grip
  • Monte Carlo styling
  • Variable pump delivers 500-800 FPS
  • Rifled barrel and cross bolt safety
  • Fully adjustable rear sight

Perfect for All Users

The Crosman Benjamin Trail NP2 Air Rifle Combo is a technologically advanced air rifle that is perfect for hunting, target shooting, pest control, or just plain fun. It is assembled at Crosman’s manufacturing headquarters in Bloomfield, New York, and is one of the most powerful air rifles available. The Trail NP2 uses Crosman’s revamped gas-piston power plant, which makes the NP2 shoot 15% faster and double the effective shooting range of the original Trail series. The air rifle is backed by American workers and includes a 3-9×32 scope and sling mounts (rear post/front loop). The Crosman Benjamin Trail NP2 Air Rifle Combo is perfect for all users regardless of their skills and expertise. It is smooth to cock and produces less recoil for smooth handling in the field. The air rifle is ultra-light, easy to shoot, and comfortable to carry in the field.

Diana RWS Model 34 Break Barrel Air Rifle

RWS Model 350 .177 Caliber Air Rifle
  • Spring powered break barrel .177 caliber pellet air rifle
  • Streamlined Monte Carlo beechwood stock with checkered grip and ventilated buttpad
  • Shoots .177 caliber pellets at up to 1250 fps
  • Built as a powerful backyard plinker and small varmint eliminator
  • Features an 11mm dovetail rail for mounting optics and an adjustable rear sight

Accurate and Powerful

The Diana RWS Model 350 Break Barrel Air Rifle is a powerful and effective rifle that is perfect for small game hunting and target shooting. It is a well-balanced air rifle that is easy to hold and shoot, thanks to its hardwood stock. The RWS Model 350 is a spring-piston air rifle that is capable of shooting a .177 caliber pellet at 1250fps. It is a workhorse airgun that is designed to be affordable and devoid of extra trimmings. The rifle is still graced with accuracy, power, and style combined into one affordable package. The Diana RWS Model 350 Break Barrel Air Rifle is a solid air rifle that is perfect for beginners and experienced shooters alike.

Stoeger S4000-E Combo Air Rifle

Stoeger S4000-E Combo – .22 Caliber – OD Green with Fiber-Optic Sights & 4 x 32 Scope
  • FUNCTIONALITY AT ITS BEST: The new, patented Stoeger S3 integrated sound moderator combines the functionality of internal air-regulating baffles with a newly developed decompression chamber, significantly reducing noise. This combo also comes with a 4×32 scope.
  • FIRST IN THE WORLD: The S3 is the first system of its kind to feature interchangeable front fiber-optic sights, enabling the perfect combination of functionality and technology.
  • FIT YOUR STYLE: Our Multi-Grip System lets you adapt your air rifle to fit your personalized style and shooting comfort. Choose between an embossed grip and Stoeger’s innovative ProAdaptive Checkering to make your S4000-E your own.
  • SECURE YOUR GRIP: Our exclusive ProAdaptive Checkering allows for a comfortable and secure fit in any weather condition or shooting position. Located on the butt pad, stock, pistol grip, safety, forearm, and barrel grip.
  • 5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY: Your new airgun is warranted for 5 years from date of purchase against any defect in materials or workmanship in the metal parts of your product.

Quiet and Accurate

The Stoeger S4000-E Combo Air Rifle is a high-powered air rifle that generates up to 1000 FPS and uses alloy pellets, making it perfect for pest control and small-game hunting. The airgun features an integrated suppressor that makes it quiet and easy to use. The combo comes with a scope and rings that provide affordable flexibility that you normally would find on more expensive air rifles. Stoeger Airguns incorporate the very best in style and performance, combining excellent quality, accuracy, and power at a fair price. The Stoeger S4000-E Combo Air Rifle is a solid air rifle that is perfect for beginners and experienced shooters alike. It is well-balanced and easy to hold and shoot, making it a great option for those looking for a reliable and powerful air rifle.

Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle

Umarex unisex adult Ruger Blackhawk .177 Caliber Pellet Gun with 4x32mm Scope Air Rifle, Black, Large US
  • caliber: 0.177
  • velocity: 1000.00 ft/sec
  • Warranty: One year limited warranty
  • Includes 4×32 Scope

Powerful and Reliable

The Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle is a spring piston single stroke break barrel air rifle with an all-weather composite black stock. The stock is ambidextrous and has checkered grip areas in both the pistol grip and forearm. The Blackhawk rifle shoots pellets out of its rifled barrel at 1000 fps. The air rifle is powerful and features an easy-to-use safety mechanism that is automatically set when you cock the gun to avoid accidental discharge. The Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle is a solid air rifle that is perfect for beginners and experienced shooters alike. It is well-balanced and easy to hold and shoot, making it a great option for those looking for a reliable and powerful air rifle. The combo comes with a 4×32 mm scope that provides affordable flexibility that you normally would find on more expensive air rifles.

What Size Pellets Should I use For Squirrel Hunting?

Both .177 and .22 caliber pellets can be used to hunt squirrels, but the .22 caliber is generally considered to be a better choice because the .22 caliber pellets are larger and heavier, and therefore have more kinetic energy when they hit the target. 

However, the best pellet for squirrel hunting depends on factors such as precision, weight, and materials used. Some .177 pellets are designed to have enough weight to make the pellet’s flight stable and enhance its capabilities, making them a good choice for squirrel hunting. Ultimately, the choice between .177 and .22 caliber pellets for squirrel hunting depends on personal preference and the specific hunting situation.

However, each caliber has its own advantages:

.177 caliber pellets: These pellets are lighter, faster, and have a flatter trajectory, making them suitable for target shooting and hunting at shorter distances. They can be effective for taking down squirrels with precise shots, especially when using hollow-point or pointed pellets that provide good expansion and penetration.

On A Budget? Check Out The Best Air Gun Rifles Under $100 Here

.22 caliber pellets: These pellets are heavier and have more stopping power, making them ideal for hunting small game like squirrels. The increased energy and impact can result in a more humane and quicker kill. While their trajectory is not as flat as .177 caliber pellets, their higher energy transfer and better knockdown power can be advantageous for hunting purposes.

Squirrel hunting with an airgun is a popular activity among hunters. It offers an affordable and challenging hunting experience that can improve your hunting skills. Moreover, airguns are quieter and more accurate than other hunting weapons, making them ideal for hunting squirrels in residential areas.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Crosman Premier LHP77 .177-Caliber Hollow Point Pellets, metallic(500-Count)(Packaging May Vary)
  • .177-CALIBER PELLETS
  • HOLLOW POINT – 7.9 grain
  • FOR RECREATIONAL USE
  • GREAT FOR SMALL GAME HUNTING
  • 500 PELLETS PER TIN
SaleBestseller No. 2
Crosman 7-P577 Pointed .177-Caliber Pellets, lead(500-Count)
  • .177-CALIBER PELLETS
  • POINTED HEAD
  • FOR RECREATIONAL USE
  • GREAT FOR SMALL GAME HUNTING – Also a favorite for backyard plinking
  • 500 PELLETS PER TIN
SaleBestseller No. 4
Gamo Combo Pack Assorted Air Rifle Pellets, .22 Caliber (TS-22, Hunter, Magnum, Master Point)
  • Combo pack contains 4 types of . 22 Caliber performance pellets
  • 200 TS-22 22 grain Long Distance
  • 250 Hunter 15; 43 grain Impact
  • 250 Magnum 15; 43 grain Energy
  • 250 Master Point 15; 43 grain Energy
SaleBestseller No. 5
Crosman DS177 .177-Caliber Destroyer Pellets (250-Count)
  • DESTROYER .177-CALIBER – Hollow point with dished rim
  • 7.4-GRAINS
  • UNIQUE DESIGN – Combines the best attributes of pointed and hollow-pointed pellets
  • Complete expansion and energy transfer
  • Great for small game hunting
SaleBestseller No. 6
Gamo RED FIRE .22CAL QTY125 BLISTER 632270454 Pellets .22
  • Lethal penetration
  • Exceptional accuracy
  • Uniformed expansion

Squirrel hunting with an airgun is a popular activity among hunters. It offers an affordable and challenging hunting experience that can improve your hunting skills. Moreover, airguns are quieter and more accurate than other hunting weapons, making them ideal for hunting squirrels in residential areas.

Advantages of Hunting Squirrels with an Airgun

Hunting squirrels with an airgun has several advantages over other hunting methods. Firstly, airguns are less noisy than firearms, which means you can hunt in residential areas without disturbing the neighbors. Secondly, airguns are more accurate than shotguns, which makes them ideal for small game hunting. Finally, airguns are cheaper to operate than firearms, which means you can hunt more frequently without breaking the bank.

Regulations and Safety Precautions

Before you start hunting squirrels with an airgun, make sure you check the hunting regulations in your area. Some states or regions have restrictions on the use of airguns for hunting, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules. Additionally, it’s crucial to follow safety precautions when hunting with an airgun. Always wear eye and ear protection, and never point your airgun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.

Gear and Equipment

You will need some gear and equipment to hunt squirrels with an airgun. Here are the essential items:

Choosing an Airgun

When choosing an airgun for squirrel hunting, you should consider the caliber, power, and accuracy. .177 and .22 caliber airguns are the most common choices for squirrel hunting. Moreover, airguns with a power output of at least 12 ft/lbs are ideal for hunting squirrels. As for accuracy, choose an airgun with a good trigger and a reliable scope.

Pellets

Selecting the right pellets is crucial for successful squirrel hunting. Use hollow-point pellets as they expand on impact, causing more damage to the squirrel’s vital organs. Moreover, heavier pellets are better for long-range shooting, while lighter pellets are suitable for close-range shooting.

Scopes

A good quality scope is a must-have for squirrel hunting with an airgun. It helps you aim accurately and shoot at longer distances. Choose a scope with a magnification of 3-9x and an objective lens of at least 40mm.

Clothing and Accessories

Dressing appropriately for squirrel hunting is essential. Wear camouflage clothing to blend in with your surroundings and stay hidden from squirrels. Also, bring a backpack to carry your gear, water, and snacks.

Finding and Tracking Squirrels

Squirrels are fast and agile creatures, so spotting them can be challenging. However, they are active during the early morning and late afternoon, so hunting during these times can increase your chances of success. Additionally, squirrels prefer hardwood trees, so look for areas with oak, hickory, or beech trees.

When tracking squirrels, pay attention to their vocalizations and movements. They often make chattering or barking sounds, which can help you locate them. Moreover, squirrels move quickly and erratically, so it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open.

Shooting Techniques

Once you have located a squirrel, it’s time to take the shot. Here are some shooting techniques to consider:

Positioning

Find a stable and comfortable shooting position before taking the shot. Use a tree, stump, or bipod to support your airgun and reduce movement.

Aiming

Aim for the squirrel’s vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. Ensure that your crosshairs are on the target before pulling the trigger.

Shooting Distances

The maximum effective range for squirrel hunting with an airgun is around 30-40 yards. However, it’s best to take shots at closer distances for increased accuracy.

Follow-Up Shots

Always be prepared for follow-up shots. Even if you hit the squirrel with the first shot, it might run away before collapsing. Therefore, be ready to take another shot if necessary.

Field Dressing and Cooking Squirrels

After you have successfully hunted a squirrel, it’s time to prepare it for consumption. Here’s how to field dress and cook squirrels:

Field Dressing

Start by removing the squirrel’s skin and fur. Cut a small incision on the squirrel’s belly and carefully remove its organs. Rinse the squirrel with water and pat it dry with a cloth.

Cooking

There are several ways to cook squirrels, including roasting, frying, and stewing. One popular recipe is to marinate the squirrel in buttermilk, then coat it with seasoned flour and fry it until golden brown.

Hunting squirrels with an airgun can be a fun and rewarding experience. It requires skill, patience, and knowledge of squirrel behavior. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of success and enjoy a delicious meal.