Best air rifles for killing rats and pest control


If you are overrun by rats on your property, then you may want to consider keeping numbers down. One of the best ways to do this is to control them through shooting. Now, I appreciate that this is not a solution for everyone – especially those who are faint hearted – but when executed successfully with an air rifle, it is a highly efficient form of pest control.

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Reasons why you should use an air rifle for shooting rats

Air rifles are, without doubt, the best device for shooting rats. Not only are they safer to use then shotguns (as they use pellets and not bullets) but they are quieter which means that you can creep up on your counterpart relatively discreetly.

Air rifles are also great for those who are not used to handling guns, as they tend to be smaller and lighter to hold and therefore have limited power and range – although I would always recommend practicing your skills in your backyard beforehand.

Another reason that air rifles are so popular is because the requirements for owning one are way more relaxed than if you were to purchase a shotgun. In most regions of America; according to the federal government; you simply have to be 18 years or older to use an air rifle, however it is always worth checking the legalities in your area as some states may regulate differently.

best air rifles for pest control

5 things to consider when purchasing an air rifle for pest control

Depending on your skill level, budget, expectation and usage, you should always consider the following when purchasing an air rifle: –

1. Size of the barrel

A general rule of thumb tends to be that the longer the barrel, the more accurate your shot (although this does not take into consideration your level of experience!). Therefore, if you are a beginner, I would suggest looking at an air rifle with a total length of between 40-50 inches as this will allow you more accuracy without having to lug around a cumbersome gun.

2. Weight for the rifle

Air rifles have become lighter over the years as they have evolved, however, that does not mean they are all lightweight. If you add on extras such as a gun lamp or night vision equipment you could end up with a heavy and bulky rifle to carry around. I would therefore suggest looking for an air rifle that does not exceed 10lbs.

3. Pellet caliber

You are able to buy 4 different pellet sizes for air rifles but the most popular tend to be the .177 and .22. The .177 caliber was thought to have been created shortly after the start of the 20th century. It is the smallest of all the pellets so is lighter in weight making its exit from the rifle quicker and some might say more accurate. The .22 hits harder, transmitting more of its energy to the target. I prefer these pellets as they are bigger, so increase your chances of hitting the target.

4. Firing mechanism

They are numerous air rifles which use different mechanisms in order to fire. Some use spring pistons using compressed air, whilst others such as nitrogen pistons use gas in order to fire.

5. Loading mechanism

Depending on whether you want to be continuously loading your air rifle one pellet at a time or use it for continuous shooting, will be a major factor in selecting your gun. Break action rifles tend to be easier to use but involve constant restocking whilst bolt actions allow multiple fire but are slow to load and difficult to maintain.

Best air rifles for pest control

When it comes to finding an air rifle that is right for you, the more you spend does not always guarantee you a superior product. Below I list a selection of my favorite air rifles and state why they could suit your pest control needs.

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Wrapping up the best air rifles for pest control

In the right circumstances, environment and when using the right equipment (as stated above) I truly believe that shooting rats is one of the most humane ways of dealing with an infestation, although I do not condone it as a sport. That said, using an air rifle should never be considered as a standalone solution for pest control, but when you are overrun with rats on your property this is a great way of decreasing numbers.

When it comes to equipment it really is worth doing your research to find the best air rifle for your pest control requirements. And remember in this scenario, when you buy cheap it is likely to end up costing you dear!

You may be interested in the following air rifles:

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