A pellet gun for hunting has to have a few qualities to make it practical. You cannot just use any old pellet gun if you plan on getting your prey.
Most people use pellet guns to hunt small game like squirrels, rabbits, birds and even foxes. Accuracy is always important but it takes on a new level of importance when you are hunting small game.
|Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle
|Benjamin Varmint Power Pack Air Rifle
|Winchester Model M 14 Semi-Automatic CO2 Air Rifle
Most people think of hunters as somewhat brutal but the reality is fellow hunters know that the goal in any hunt is to take down the prey quickly and to make the death as fast as possible.
The only way to do that is with an accurately placed shot so accuracy is very, very important when you are considering which pellet gun is going to be your hunting companion.
Your skill level, knowing where to shoot the prey and the accuracy of the gun all will determine the success of the hunt.
No hunter wants a wounded animal roaming around nor does any hunter want an animal to have to live out their life with a pellet stuck in it. Hunters are far more committed to healthy conservation efforts than most people realize.
Another consideration when you are hunting small game is the caliber of the gun. If you go too small you will only wound the animal if you go to big you risk blowing it to smithereens. There is a balance between the two.
For example if you are hunting birds than you do not want to use the same ammo that you would use to hunt a fox. The power of the gun plays a big role in the success of the hunt.
The right gun with the ability to use the right caliber will help to improve your results.
Of course it is not all about the mechanics of the gun that colors how well the hunt will go. You want a well-balanced weapon that you feel comfortable using.
For some people they feel most comfortable with a heavy long beefy gun for others they want something that is lightweight and short. It all comes down to your personal preference and how you feel most comfortable.
When we decided that we were going to start on this quest to find the best pellet gun for hunting we tried to come up with some guidelines that would help the most people find the best one for their needs.
Here is what we considered:
- Ease of use
Everyone wants something affordable so we wanted to set a price threshold that we thought was reasonable and that would work for most people.
A reasonable price for a quality pellet gun is not a lot to ask but you do have to consider that the lowest cost may not always be the best option.
Sometimes when you go to low cost you have to sacrifice quality and that is never an option. You have to go with something that is reliable.
We decided that too low would have to be excused from our reviews and anything that was made out of plastic parts also would have to be excluded.
We wanted to help to save you money but we also did not want to sacrifice quality in any way. We felt that quality really trumped everything else because there is nothing worse than a poor quality rifle to hunt with!
We looked at styles that would suit most needs. It can be difficult to address all needs so we looked at rifles that would meet “most” needs.
To get the most value you want a rifle that offers the most valuable features and options like an upgraded scope or a heavier padded butt. It is the little things that will make one rifle a stand out when compared to the rest.
Of course we only considered options that were easy to use and that got good review from other users. We searched diligently for options that would meet the largest need and were able to narrow down our choices to three top picks.
If you choose any one of these three best pallet guns listed here you will do fine on your next expedition whether it is in the forest or your own back yard.
Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle (.22)
We thought this had to be included on the list because it is a well-made rifle that offers the features that every hunter wants.
It has a hardwood stock that is rugged and can stand up to constant use along with a few bumps and bruises. We liked the barrel which is brass and we also liked that it is pump action.
This is a great rifle for pest control and plinking. The velocity is a little low at 685 fps but it would make a great small bird gun or to deal with pests. It would also be a great “first rifle” for the young person in your life that wants to get started shooting.
It offers classic design and the Crosman name behind it which tells you that it was made to shoot. It has reliable front and rear sights and is ready to be scope mounted.
Overall the Benjamin 392 is a great reliable rifle that will provide you with the right amount of power to hunt small birds, rodents and maybe a few rabbits.
Benjamin Varmint Power Pack Air Rifle with 4x 32mm Scope, 0.22-Calibre
We can’t seem to keep Crosman off the list. This is another excellent choice from Crosman but a little bit higher up on the scale from the last one both in cost (not much) and in function.
This bad boy is fully outfitted with a nice scope and offers 1200fps with alloy pellets. This is the rifle you want to hunt small game.
It has a flashlight with laser on the scope so you can hunt day or night. It is powerful enough to take down a raccoon.
We liked the style of this rifle with the full metal barrel and the composite stock it is great in all-weather situations. It offers a right on target accuracy that is reliable every single time.
This is a break barrel that uses the Crosman piston technology to really pack some power. It is a great option for anyone that wants a reliable hunting rifle for small game.
Winchester Model M 14 Semi-Automatic CO2 Air Rifle
This is a great replica of a classic Winchester. It offers a wood stock and a metal barrel that keeps accuracy all the time. We loved that this is a versatile rifle that can use both BB’s and pellets which is a nice option.
This is an ideal companion for small bird hunting that offers an fps velocity of about 700. It offers just enough power to get the smallest of game. It has a clip that holds 16 rounds of ammo.
You can shoot up to 8 shots than flip the clip to get another 8 on board. It is not the most powerful of rifles but it does offer some pretty cool features that any aficionado would love.
When you are considering which rifle will be best for your needs just be clear on what you hope to use it for. If you want to go out for small game like rabbits, foxes and raccoons than you will need something that offers a higher velocity right out the barrel.
If you are looking to have a weapon that you can use for birds than you want to avoid the higher velocities that will just pull them apart.
The primary use matters when you are making your selection. A lot of people are tempted to purchase the highest power available but that is not always the best solution for your needs.
Higher power does give you more game options but it can be a real bother with the smaller game.
The noise factor usually increases with the higher velocity and really what you wind up doing is scaring away the game if you miss. Even if you do make the shot you likely will not get off another on the same day because the game will take off and not show back up.
All of the rifles that we listed here are all affordable. They are all very well made by very well known brands. They are all equally a good value so you can feel confident in making the purchase.
We also checked to see what others had to say and were pleasantly surprised to see that all of the rifles also got great reviews from other users which of course bolstered our confidence in recommending them.
Overall if you are looking for the best pellet rifle for hunting you would do well with any one of these models they all offer a great deal of reliability and accuracy.
You will be happy with any of these models!