7 Best Air Rifle For Squirrels and Rabbits in 2021: Reviews of .177, .22 Pellet Guns

Despite all your efforts and time you gave to the garden or farm in the backyard, squirrels can ruin it all, and you will not even notice. As you have come here, most likely you are a victim too. Other than squirrels, other rodents, including rats and rabbits also cause unimaginable damage to gardens.

For such pest control purposes, you need the best air rifle for squirrels. Likewise most other rifles, you need to make sure you get the right firearm that can take down pests effectively.

No need to get confused with the overwhelming number of air rifles — these are among the top options that do exceptionally well when it comes to pest control.

Top Rifle for Squirrels On The Market

Best Choice
Gamo Magnum Air Rifle, .22 Caliber
Budget Friendly
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
Best Buy
Bear River TPR 1200 Pellet Gun - Air Rifle for Hunting, Scope Included - .177 Caliber Pellets, 1200 FPS, Break Barrel Spring Piston
Gamo Magnum Air Rifle, .22 Caliber
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
Bear River TPR 1200 Pellet Gun - Air Rifle for Hunting, Scope Included - .177 Caliber Pellets, 1200 FPS, Break Barrel Spring Piston
Best Choice
Gamo Magnum Air Rifle, .22 Caliber
Gamo Magnum Air Rifle, .22 Caliber
Check Price
Budget Friendly
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
Check Price
Best Buy
Bear River TPR 1200 Pellet Gun - Air Rifle for Hunting, Scope Included - .177 Caliber Pellets, 1200 FPS, Break Barrel Spring Piston
Bear River TPR 1200 Pellet Gun - Air Rifle for Hunting, Scope Included - .177 Caliber Pellets, 1200 FPS, Break Barrel Spring Piston
Check Price

Reviews Of The Top 7 Best Air Rifle For Squirrels and Rabbits Hunting

Apart from just using for pest control, these guns can also provide you with some great target shooting experience. Regardless of your budget, you will find the most suitable one for your needs among these 7 picks.

best air rifle for squirrels

1. Overall Best for Hunting Squirrel- Gamo Varmint Air Rifle 

Gamo Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal

With its high-speed 1250 FPS velocity, this top-performing air gun comes first on the list. The manufacturer showed their expertise and came up with such a pellet rifle that you can use for multiple purposes, includingtargeting shooting, plinking, pest controlling, and more.

What makes it an ideal choice for airgun hunting is accuracy in target practice and comfort in pests controlling.


The gun features a long-lasting spring piston that also adds to its high accuracy and performance. Its single-piston break barrel requires 30 lbs of cocking effort, which isn’t much compared to conventional air guns.

You can take down squirrels as well as other rodents with great accuracy whether the shooting range is within 35 yards or further. Featuring a two-stage adjustable trigger, the gun helps you to shoot long-distance targets without losing much accuracy.


This gamo rifle may not be the quietest like the Silent Cat model, but quiet enough to not warning the smaller species. What makes it stand out to the gamo whisper fusion mach, is because it is quieter and thus has fewer chances to wake up the squirrel and rabbit. 

The rifle stands out to be an all-weather firearm due to its synthetic material made stock. It got a nice non-slip texture with a comfortable pistol grip and forearm to enhance your shooting experience.

You will get a 4×32 scope, which manages to shoot short-distance targets. If you are looking for a firearm for hunting small games, then its 5.47 pounds of weight will not make your hunting sessions much uncomfortable carrying the gun with slang.

What I like most:

  • Very accurate in both short and long-distance shooting for rabbit
  • Extremely useful for pest control
  • Comes with durable rifled steel barrel
  • Durably made
  • Comfortable and non-slip stock
  • High FPS with .177 caliber pellets

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Cocking can be a bit difficult for teenagers
  • Scope isn’t accurate for medium to long-distance shooting

2. Best Pellet Gun for Squirrels – Bear River TPR 1200

Bear River Pellet Gun Air Rifle For Hunting

Like the attractive design and outlook of this air rifle, when it comes to its performance, the gun will not disappoint you at all. With high accuracy at 1300 FPS, this can be the perfect one for your small game hunting or target shooting sessions.

Also, if you struggle to take squirrels down from distance, it will make sure you don’t miss any target. As with most high-end and common rifles, you can use .177 caliber pellets in this gun. Regardless of your shooting purposes and skills, you are going to have some quality shooting time.

What makes it the best pellet gun for killing squirrels is the power and decent accuracy. Due to its spring piston technology, the gun is extremely powerful and accurate. Compared to other mechanisms, it’s much more easy and convenient to use. Cocking its break barrel doesn’t require much effort.

The barrel, as well as the overall construction of the rifle, feels sturdy and pretty solid. Even if you decide to go in the wild with the gun, it can withstand almost everything you or the wilderness would throw at it.

Unlike conventional air rifles, it doesn’t struggle to shoot accurately from a distance. Hitting long-range targets is pretty much the same as short-distance shots.

To help you with sight and precision, it comes with a fiber-optic sight. The scope is adjustable; thus, it will fit most requirements. You can further replace the scope with a third-party one on its Picatinny. The rail also leaves spaces for mounting other accessories. Shooting becomes easier with its easy and smooth trigger pull.

What I like most:

  • Extremely accurate
  • High velocity
  • Picatinny rail for endless mounting
  • Includes a scope
  • Ideal for long-distance shooting

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Requires quite an effort to cock it
  • Average scope

3. Most Accurate Pellet Gun – Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

One of the reasons why a number of people don’t prefer having a break barrel gun is because they need to reload the gun to be able to shoot a new pellet. But, this one eliminates the disturbance for good. Once you cock its break barrel, you can shoot 10 pellets until it requires cocking again.

Why it is called the most accurate pellet gun for squirrels?

It is because of being very accurate with the perfect piston and barrels, also because of the scope it comes with.


You have many other reasons to get this amazing air rifle. Take FPS for an example. With .177 caliber pellets, the gun can shoot at 1300 FPS, which is considered as a high speed for air rifles. Such speed also contributes to the overall accuracy of the gun.

For close-range shooting purposes, the gun also comes in a .22 caliber option. In that case, you will get about 975 FPS while maintaining accuracy within a short-range.

The gun is designed for hunting; thus, you are totally fine carrying it with you, and going to the wild for hunting small game. It features a two-stage adjustable trigger that enhances the accuracy of long-range shootings.

To make it durable, the manufacturer used a sturdy polymer jacketed steel barrel. Its whisper Maxxim technology suppresses sound and minimizes the shooting noise. So, even if your shot misses the target, the sound will not make the game to run away.

The given 3-9×40 scope of this break barrel air rifle is shockproof and fog proof. So, regardless of the weather condition and humidity, the scope will make sure you get a clear visual of your target.

Weighing only 5.64 lbs. The rifle is convenient and easy to carry in the field. It will not make anything uncomfortable while on the go.

What I like most:

  • High FPS
  • Great accuracy
  • Ideal for plinking and target shooting
  • Easier to cock the break barrel
  • All-weather durable stock
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Not much accurate with .22 caliber pellets
  • Not as quiet as advertised

4. Best PCP Air Rifle for Squirrels – Benjamin BPM77B-N Maximus 

Benjamin .177 Caliber PCP-Powered Bolt-Action Hunting Air Rifle

For those who are on a budget, and want a powerful air gun to make sure it meets the shooting requirements, this PCP air rifle can provide great value for their money.

Unlike conventional air guns, this one shoots relatively quieter. So, even if you practice shooting in the backyard, it will not disturb the neighbor.

One of the most selling points of this pneumatic gun is that you can shoot 30 pellets at once. So, no frequent reloading once you have this.

As far as pest control goes, 30 chances will be more than enough. Ideal for plinking and target shooting as well. Thanks to its 2000 PSI pressure gauge, that makes 30 shots per fill happen.

Available in .177 caliber option, the accuracy of this pcp gun is decent. You can achieve up to 1000 FPS using lead pellets without losing accuracy. For short or mid-range shooting, the manufacturer implemented a single-stage trigger so that you can take shots quickly.

As far as the durability goes, the airgun spots an all-weather synthetic stock that you can rely on regardless of the weather conditions and elements. In addition, the steel breech seems solid as well.

Comes with a fiber optic rear sight with fiber optic front sight, you can get a clear visual on targets and shoot without compromising much with the accuracy. Furthermore, you can mount a third-party, more advanced scope and other accessories on its dovetail rail without any issues.

What I like most:

  • This PCP rifle has 30 shots per fill
  • High impact on targets
  • 1000 FPS with great accuracy
  • Ergonomic stock
  • Best air rifle for rabbits
  • Comes with a scope
  • Mountable dovetail rail
  • Fast and quick single stage trigger

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Bolt handle isn’t durably made
  • Not much accurate for long-range shots

5. Best .22 Air Rifle for Squirrels – Gamo Magnum Air Rifle

Magnum Air Rifle

If your shooting requirements only have to deal with .22 caliber pellets, this one can be a good deal to consider. With a velocity of 1300 FPS, the gun manages to hit targets with great accuracy.

As for featuring an IGT Mach 1 system, the gun delivers better accuracy, constant power, and minimum stock vibration while firing pellets.

Like most high-end air guns, the stock of this one is also made of all-weather synthetic material. Due to its rubberized grip, you will not feel uncomfortable while shooting even when your hands sweat.

To add more convenience to your shooting sessions, the gun comes with a two-stage adjustable trigger that you can customize as per your preference and shooting style.


The manufacturer was kind enough to provide an adjustable scope of 3-9×40 with the package that manages to get a precise visual on targets. With the iron sights, it comes with, making a perfect shooting for small targets like rabbits and squirrels easier than you may have thought.

Compared to other break barrel rifles on the list, this one requires some extra effort while cocking. 41 lbs. of cocking effort is fine with adults. However, teenagers might struggle to reload the gun.

Another exciting feature of the 22 caliber air rifle is that it comes with Recoil reducing rail that maximizes the lifespan of the scope and maintains excellent accuracy.

Weighing 6.88 lbs. this one isn’t the lightest firearm on the list. If you have a large arm and you are powerful enough to carry this rifle in the field, you will have some quality firing time with great accuracy.

What I like most:

  • High FPS
  • Accurate on targets
  • Cat two-stage adjustable trigger
  • Less vibration and consistent velocity
  • Decent adjustable scope
  • Durably made

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Difficult to cock
  • Feels heavy to carry

6. Best for Squirrels and Rabbits – Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle

Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle

Another great performing air rifle from Gamo! With this one, you can shoot .177 caliber at a speed of 1200 FPS. Whether you use it for pest control, target practicing, plinking, hunting small games, etc. it will get you excellent results all the way.

Conventional air guns seem to do a perfect job when it comes to pest control within a short-range. When the distance is more, these don’t come that effective to hit targets. This air rifle can handle long-distance pest control while ensuring accuracy making it one of the best rifle for rabbit and squirrel hunting.

Featuring a skeleton stock, the material can withstand abuses and harsh weather without any issues. If you frequently go into nature for hunting, you will find the rifle to be enough durable and sturdy for pretty much everything the wilderness throws at it.

The quiet air rifle comes with a noise dampener that effectively reduces noise by 52%. Practicing target shooting in the backyard will not make your neighbor disturbed. Also, squirrels, rats, and other pests are less likely to run away hearing the sound.

Like most rifles on the list, this one also comes with a 4×32 air rifle scope so that you can take shots precisely and accurately out of the box. Scopes that come with rifles aren’t of good quality. Whereas, customers overwhelmingly praised the scope and its accuracy within a short range.

Due to its composite material build, the rifle doesn’t feel heavy to carry. Also, the break barrel is quite easy to cock, which is a great advantage for young individuals.

What I like most:

  • Very accurate at targets
  • Good quality scope
  • Durable synthetic stock
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • High velocity

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Safety lock isn’t much convenient to use
  • Not as quiet as advertised

7. Best Pellet Rifle for Squirrels for Beginners – Daisy Powerline 880

Daisy Powerline 880 Air Rifle

Last but not least, a traditionally designed air rifle from Daisy. The manufacturer used high-grade material to craft this piece of gun. Its Monte Carlo style stock has some great to see woodgrain, which also feels comfortable on hands to hold.

What makes it one of the best pellet rifles for squirrels?

With .177 caliber pellets or BBs gun, you can get up to 800 FPS. The muzzle velocity is less with pellets to its bb gun counterfeit, it’s 665 feet per second. Although the maximum FPS is less than what other rifles on the list offers, for pest control, practice shooting, you will find it accurate enough.

Its pneumatic pumping mechanism makes it an ideal choice for plinking as well. For training young people, you will not find a better alternative at this price range. If you want to push the rifle further, you can shoot about 291 yards.

For safety, the gun features a cross-bolt trigger, which prevents accidental firings. Cheaper guns also come with a safety feature, but only a few come effective and really safe to use.

You don’t need to purchase a separate scope in the first place. A fiber optic adjustable scope comes inside the package. So you can target with great precision right out of the box. To add more to this, its dovetail rail is engineered to mount separate third-party scope if you need a more accurate one.

Carrying this air gun will not be much hassle, whether you are young or an adult. Weighing only 3.10 lbs. You can carry and walk holding the gun for a long time without any issues.

What I like most:

  • Durable wooden stock
  • Decent FPS maintains accuracy
  • Handles both pellets and BBs well
  • Comes with a fiber optic scope
  • Lightweight construction

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Not accurate for long-distance shots
  • Leak pump lever

What to Look for Before You Buy the Best Air Rifles for Squirrels and Rabbits

Air rifle is something that you wouldn’t probably buy more often. So, it’s pretty much an investment that is going to serve you for years. To make sure you get the right gun for your needs, here are some key aspects that you must look for in pellet air guns.

Air Rifle Types for Squirrels and Rabbits

It’s important for you to know that there are multiple types of air guns. Each comes with advantages and disadvantages. You need to determine your shooting purposes and requirements, and then go for one particular type.

  • Pneumatic Air Rifle

Powered by a pumping level to pump air into the chamber, these rifles require the users to manually pump 5 to 10 times. You can shoot both pellets and BBs with one of these guns.

This is considerably a cheaper option ideal for plinking and target shooting. Compared to the other types, these guns are easier to reload for young people.

  • Spring Powered Air Rifles

The mechanism behind these rifles is a spring that compresses the air in the chamber to use as a power source. Compared to other air guns, these are more powerful, convenient to use, and expensive. However, it’s quite difficult to reload the gun, especially for young and women.

  • CO2 Powered Air Rifles

These guns use compressed gas or cartridges and use as a power source. You don’t need to refill frequently one of these guns. On average, such rifles can fire 30 shots or more before refilling is required.

When it comes to power, it’s the least powerful option. These guns struggle to find accuracy for long-distance shooting.

Caliber for Squirrel Hunting 

Depending on your shooting requirements, you need to choose an air gun to handle the needed caliber for your shooting purposes.

Most models are compatible with .177 caliber pellets as well as BBs. These are the fastest ones among all calibers. For pest control, make sure the gun you are about to get, can handle .177 caliber pellets well.

.22 calibers are for hunting. Even though the accuracy in long-distance isn’t as great as .177 pellets, these are good enough for most shooting purposes. Once fired from the gun, the pellet makes a powerful impact on the target. For short distance shooting, these are the ideal ones.

Another most commonly used caliber is .25. Similar to the previous one, enthusiasts use these for hunting small games and short-range shootings. Compared to the other two, accuracy is low. However, the impact on the target is much greater with .25 caliber pellets.

Some air guns can handle two or three types of caliber. But, most guns are only compatible with one. First, determine your shooting purpose, then go for the option according to it.

FPS or Velocity

This particular term determines how fast pellets will reach the target. Depending on the shooting purpose, you must go for a gun that delivers the right amount of FPS to be able to shoot accurately.

For occasional, short distance target shooting, recreational, and such purposes, an air rifle with 600 to 700 FPS will suffice the needs. These guns are lighter and smaller compared to high-end models.

FPS rating within 700 to 850 comes with medium or standard power air guns. Some models can reach up to 900 FPS without compromising much accuracy. If you are looking for a gun for pest control, find a suitable model within this range of FPS. Most of these guns can also be used for other versatile purposes.

When you need more power to shoot targets of long-distance, an air rifle with more than 900 FPS is all you need. These are considered as the higher-end models. Ideal for both professional and recreational hunters, these guns can hit targets with heavy impacts. If you are too picky about precision and accuracy, don’t look anywhere else.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Rabbit Hunting Air Rifle

Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the right air rifle for squirrels and rabbit shooting:

1. What is the ideal FPS for shooting squirrels?

FPS rating within 700 to 800 handles the requirement of pest control much better than guns with lower FPS than this. Guns with more FPS are extremely accurate. However, in most cases, it’s not worth spending the money on this shooting purpose.

2. Which is better .177 or .22 pellet rifle?

When it comes to target practicing, plinking, and similar short distance shooting purposes, a .22 pellet rifle performs well enough. However, for hunting or hitting the target with more precision, you must go with a .177 pellet gun.

3. Can a .177 pellet gun kill a deer?

You can kill a deer with .177 pellets as these are small and speedy ones. Also, make sure the gun can shoot pellets at an FPS 800 or above that.

4. Can you kill a rabbit with a pellet gun?

If you can take a headshot, then most likely, the rabbit cannot survive the impact. However, it also highly depends on your gun. You must use a .177 caliber pellet, and the gun should be accurate enough within the yards that the rabbit is located.

5. How many foot pounds does it take to kill a deer?

As far as killing an elk goes, it would need 1500 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. For whitetail deer, make sure the gun can hit the game at 1000 ft-lbs. energy.

6. What is the best .177 pellet gun for squirrels?

Accuracy is a key for hunting smaller targets like rabbits and squirrels. For the accuracy and the power to drive .177 caliber pellets, the Gamo Varmint Air Rifle is the perfect choice. The overall performance is excellent for beginner to pro level squirrel hunter.

What You Need to Know about Squirrels to Hunt Better

Using the right ammunition is not enough for better performance in hunting. So, here are few things you should know and consider for hunting.

Best Time of Day to Hunt Squirrels

Squirrels are diurnal animals. That means they sleep at night and are active during the day, making it ideal for the hunters to hunt them in daylight. Though flying squirrels are active at night, you can comfortably hunt them in days for the rest types of squirrels.

The hunters need to know how squirrels behave and eat to catch them in the perfect moment. Each fall, millions of squirrels are culled across the continent. Yet game agencies almost universally tell us that the squirrel remains one of our most underharvested game species.

The small bushytail ranks with the whitetail deer as one of the most resilient and adaptable wildlife in the USA. So, hunting squirrels with rifles, you needed to prepare yourself like you usually do for a whitetail deer.

What You Need to Know about Squirrels to Hunt Better

What Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels begin hunting for food in the morning. Most species are herbivores, which means they mainly eat plants. They gather nuts, seeds, grasses, fruit, and certain kinds of plant buds and blossoms. Some squirrels will also eat insects and bird eggs.

A squirrel will fill its cheek pouches with food before it returns to a hiding place. Ground squirrels often take food back to their burrows. Tree squirrels bury food in different spots. They return to these spots when they are ready to eat. So, hunters can quickly get them off-guard in these places.

To hide its food, a squirrel digs a small hole for each nut or acorn. Then it buries the food in the hole and stamps on the dirt to cover it. Squirrels use their excellent sense of smell, not their memory, to help them find their buried supplies.

They can find food they have buried up to 12 inches (30 cm) under dirt or snow! A squirrel sits up on its hind legs and grasps its food with its front paws to eat. Squirrels are expert nutcrackers-they use their incisors to get to the meat inside the shell. They tend to remain calm while eating, making it an ideal time to get them on the iron sight.

Which Types of Squirrels are You Hunting?

When used by hunters, the name squirrel generally refers to the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), which inhabits the entire eastern half of the continent. Like the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), some other types, which have expanded their range from Texas through the gray squirrel, are generally smaller than the fox squirrel and rarely display the reddish tints of the latter.

Typically a Dakotas east to the Atlantic Ocean. Close relatives are the Arizona gray squirrel, western gray squirrel, and Abort’s squirrel.

The red squirrel – which occurs throughout the East as far south as the Appalachian Mountains extend and in Alaska, western Canada, and some locales in the Rockies – is often found with and near the gray and fox squirrel.

However, this smaller squirrel is rarely seen as a game animal and only occasionally harvested.

Gray Squirrel

The adult gray squirrel is about a foot long, with a tail of about the same length, and weighs about a pound. Its coat is a basic gray, with a fine peppering of black and white across its entire body, except for the white belly.

Occasionally the white area and some of the face are pale gray or even buff, causing hunters to confuse grays with fox squirrels.

Fox Squirrel

The fox squirrel is a much larger animal, generally one-and-a-half to more than two feet in body length, plus tail, and from one-and-a-half to three pounds in weight.

Its coat is primarily gray to reddish-brown-gray, peppered with black, white, and shades of brown, and often outlined at the sides in rust. The underside is colored yellow to orange.

Melanism – Black Phase

Melanism – black phase – is typical in both species, primarily among the fox squirrels in the south and the north’s grays. Albinism is more common in the gray squirrel, and some areas support entire populations of white squirrels.

Why is Squirrel Hunting So Popular?

Regardless of the species being pursued, squirrels probably provide the starting point for more hunting careers than any other animals. There are many reasons for this. Once the feeding and nesting area has been located, the bushytails will be available in relatively large numbers.

Only under intense hunting pressure will they abandon their routine of feeding on first light through late morning and again from midafternoon through last light.

Being one of the most nearby animals of humans, they can be spotted with ease. Also, catching them in their weakest moments is relatively easy. Being in a considerable number makes the regulation much easier for squirrel hunting.

The whole process, finding, and rules make it a popular sport for beginners to advanced hunters.

Where to Shoot a Squirrel?

An area that supports a good squirrel population is easy to identify. The animals’ large leafcluster nests will be seen in many crooks of both large and small trees.

Where Can You Hunt the Squirrel?

Big, hollow trees will show the signs of the squirrels’ comings and goings as worn surfaces at any openings. Cracked nutshells and emptied corn cobs in woodlands that are close to cornfields will be abundant.

Both gray and fox squirrels prefer nut-rich woods and are attracted to those wooded areas near agricultural food sources, mainly corn.

It is not uncommon to find both in the same general woodland, but not in the same areas of that woodland. The gray squirrel is more inclined to the thicker forest areas, while the fox squirrel tends to be found at the edges.

The most productive means of squirrel hunting is to sit on a stump or lean against a tree in an area that shows signs of squirrel activity and wait, scanning both the trees and the ground for the bushytails.

On a still, quiet day, the squirrel’s skittering movements through the leaves on the ground often reveal it to the hunter. Its habit of barking at perceived threats can also reveal its location.

Bushytails are also hunted with squirrel dogs, which can be of almost any breed, although mixed-blood seems to take most readily to the task. The dogs trail the squirrel to the tree it has climbed, then “free it” or hold it there for the hunter who, more often than not, gets the shot on the opposite side.

Final Words

Now that you have made this far, hopefully, you found the best air rifle for squirrels and other pest control purposes. If you invest in a good one, you can also use the same air gun for other outdoor shooting activities, including plinking and target shooting.

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