Best Air Rifle for Squirrel Hunting, Small Game & Varmints (2018 Reviews)

By: likeaduck

Anytime you think of small game hunting, precision and power of an air rifle must come in your mind. Airguns are less powerful compared to firearms and therefore, you need to have best air rifle for small game hunting that will connect accurately in the very first shot.

This raises the longing to have the very best pellet 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 different models of quality air guns with different specs, features but equally the same performance. To make your choice even more befuddling, they all come at different prices.  We’ve looked through the top-rated air rifles for hunting and created this top three 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 Choice For Best Air Rifle For Squirrel And Small Game Hunting

Gamo Big Cat 1250 .177 Caliber Air Rifle with Scope


The Gamo Big Cat is awesome. Just check out these features:

  • It operates a single cocking system that allows you to have better control on your 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.It comes with an ambidextrous and durable stock. Whether you are right handed or left handed, it is just convenient for you.
  • 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.
  • On the right and left sides of the stock comes raised cheek piece pads that are comfortable for ambidextrous shooting.
  • For accuracy and precise target acquisition, this rifle comes with a basic 4*32 scope. It also features a protruding pin that prevents the 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 a Gamo gun at a double price.  When it comes to price, in fact, we should say less about that, it is fair anyone can afford one.

It is good enough for the price and with high precision, Gamo Big Cat Air Rifle with Scope does a nice job.

Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo, 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 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 hunting squirrels and small game hunting.

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Diana RWS 48


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 barrels.

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.


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.

A Few Cons:

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 gun!  More so, this rifle has smooth firing and quietly. You may even think you are using a gas ram!

Tips for Small Game Hunting With an 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 connect accurately. Remember, the slogan “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 wide open. Also, be ready because the shots will be quick.

Also, remember to wipe down your air gun to prevent rust.

Having led you through the top three best air rifles for small game air rifle hunting and the tips for successful hunting experience, we believe you have learned all you needed to help you find the best air rifle for squirrel and small game hunting.

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