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  #1  
Old 05-25-2021, 8:47 AM
tsmithson tsmithson is offline
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Default Air Rifles for pest control?

What is the best air rifle for small pest control?
Ground squirrels and rattle snakes.

Great accuracy is a must.
Quiet and not breaking the sound barrier.
.177 or .22 ?

Looking for any great suggestions. Pro’s or Con’s.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2021, 5:40 PM
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Rattle snakes kill and eat ground squirrels. You are trying to eliminate both the predator and the prey. You'll end up with other predators and prey taking up the void.

The owls and hawks also go after the ground squirrels as do other predators and birds of prey.
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2021, 7:14 PM
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What's your budget?

There's a big difference between a Nitro Piston .22 or a PCP .22 with compressor.
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Old 05-25-2021, 8:47 PM
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Agree on not killing any snakes. Counterproductive and unnecessary.
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  #5  
Old 05-25-2021, 9:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
Agree on not killing any snakes. Counterproductive and unnecessary.
Snakes get in the house sometimes and have to go to Heaven.
Sorry.

Outside snakes are free to roam.
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Old 05-25-2021, 9:47 PM
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k1dude brings up a good point but I suspect you're probably interested in a lower powered spring gun.

If that's the case then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Beeman R7 or the HW30. (They are essentially the same with only minor differences.) Both of these air rifles are manufactured by Hermann Weihrauch in Germany. And while HW doesn't exactly give them away they are, for that level of quality, reasonably priced at about $350. The R7/HW30 is easy to cock, accurate; and, with a .177 pellet, will produce a muzzle velocity of approximately 600 fps.

My R7 shoots RWS Superdomes at 550 fps with good effect on gophers and ground squirrels and the report is pretty backyard friendly.

Last edited by GraveTPO; 05-26-2021 at 8:05 AM..
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2021, 9:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmithson View Post
What is the best air rifle for small pest control?
Ground squirrels and rattle snakes.

Great accuracy is a must.
Quiet and not breaking the sound barrier.
.177 or .22 ?

Looking for any great suggestions. Pro’s or Con’s.
Thanks
https://www.airgunsofarizona.com/

I bought an adult air rifle (RWS Diana, .177) a few years back, and it has been great for ground squirrels. Killed a few rattlesnakes as well; the snakes don’t seem to strike the end of the barrel when you put it up to their heads. The air pressure does more damage than the pellet; it grenades them apart when making a contact shot. You just have to go slowly and hold still.
It is however, a bit louder than a heavy barreled .22 when using CB caps.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
What's your budget?

There's a big difference between a Nitro Piston .22 or a PCP .22 with compressor.
I could have two. One low/medium budget and one up in the thousand +.
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2021, 7:25 AM
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Originally Posted by SharedShots View Post
Rattle snakes kill and eat ground squirrels. You are trying to eliminate both the predator and the prey. You'll end up with other predators and prey taking up the void.

The owls and hawks also go after the ground squirrels as do other predators and birds of prey.
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Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
Agree on not killing any snakes. Counterproductive and unnecessary.
Give it a month or two and the next thread will be "How do I get rid of all the rats?"
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2021, 7:46 AM
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Living where we do now it gives you a whole new perspective on the natural balance of predators and prey. As others have mentioned it will cause a flux in one direction or the other.

Of course if they'e getting in the house then I would definitely search out where they're entering and fix that as well.
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2021, 8:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraveTPO View Post
k1dude brings up a good point but I suspect you're probably interested in a lower powered spring gun.

If that's the case then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Beeman R7 or the HW30. (They are essentially the same with only minor differences.) Both of these air rifles are manufactured by Hermann Weihrauch in Germany. And while HW doesn't exactly give them away they are, for that level of quality, reasonably priced at about $350. The R7/HW30 is easy to cock, accurate; and, with a .177 pellet, will produce a muzzle velocity of approximately 600 fps.

My R7 shoots RWS Superdomes at 550 fps with good effect on gophers and ground squirrels and the report is pretty backyard friendly.
I prefer my nitro piston with cdt trigger to my beems. It’s leaning between the framing in my garage. My Beemans don’t. My nitro shoots cross man .22 super accurate for subsonic on a sub $200 platform. I did upgrade my optic and trigger. Check out my posts on it or pyramid air guns. They may have a funky spelling of pyramid?

I don’t need a marauder for follow ups.

Last edited by NaClAddict; 05-26-2021 at 8:26 AM..
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2021, 9:02 AM
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I'd consider a Nitro Piston .22 (Benjamin, Crosman, Remington) with a barrel shroud if you want quiet and good. Something like the Benjamin Trail NP XL or the Crosman Valiant SBD Elite.

If you're willing to spend more, you can't go wrong with a Benjamin Marauder PCP in .22. Very quiet, but now you need an expensive tank or compressor.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2021, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
I'd consider a Nitro Piston .22 (Benjamin, Crosman, Remington) with a barrel shroud if you want quiet and good. Something like the Benjamin Trail NP XL or the Crosman Valiant SBD Elite.

If you're willing to spend more, you can't go wrong with a Benjamin Marauder PCP in .22. Very quiet, but now you need an expensive tank or compressor.
I stay away from Benjamin Trail NP XL, it's junk with pencil thin barrel. Ask me how I know.
I was happy at the beginning but for some reasons the barrel bent upwards and it is now sitting on a pile of junk in my shed.
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2021, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by LoadedM333 View Post
I stay away from Benjamin Trail NP XL, it's junk with pencil thin barrel. Ask me how I know.
I was happy at the beginning but for some reasons the barrel bent upwards and it is now sitting on a pile of junk in my shed.
Yikes! I wonder if you just got a bad one. I bought the Remington version of it probably 5 years ago and it's been great.

The reviews at Pyramid and Airgun Depot for the Benjamin Trail NP XL are also damn good.
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Last edited by k1dude; 05-27-2021 at 10:28 AM..
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2021, 5:39 AM
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Default Break barrel springer or Nitro Piston

Many modern .177’s will break the sound barrier.

A .22 pellet at 800 FPS will be more than enough for your needs.

Decent examples for plinking and casual use are pretty inexpensive for what you get.

Gamo and Crosman come to mind.


A lot of scopes that come as a package deal are garbage.

Iron sights will likely be better for your needs.
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2021, 3:31 PM
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I have an older Crosman 160 co2 in .22 caliber. It has been gone through by Tim at Mac1 Airguns. It takes out gophers, etc no problem. It is inexpensive, easy to shoot for my wife. Also I have Introduced several friends ro shooting with it. I am on 10 acres, so shooting off of the front porch is easy and fun.
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Old 06-02-2021, 2:59 PM
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For snakes, it's hard to top the handiness, quietness and effectiveness of a good shovel.

For ground squirrels, it just depends how far out you want to reach. Spring guns are fine within 25-30 yards. They can be touchy about how you hold them. My P-rod does fine out to 30-35 yards. .22 pellets moving only about 650 fps. I can walk them in out further but that's about as far as they'll shoot without having to think too much. My AT-44 .22 shoots heavy pellets at a MBPR of about 40-45 yards. That's overkill for ground squirrels but darned effective. Standard pellets (15-16 grain) are good out to about 55-60 yards MPBR. I've walked them in on dumb squirrels out to 98 yards & it still whacks them pretty good, sailing clean through. Much further than 60 yards and you probably want to start looking at powder burners, though. If you're consistently getting out to those longer airgun ranges, then a .25-.30 might be your ticket, along with good optics, a rangefinder and a solid benchrest. There's no upper end to what you can spend here. But there's a lot of cool stuff.
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  #18  
Old 06-02-2021, 3:02 PM
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DPMS and I believe Crossman make complete PCP 20” uppers but they cost more than a real one.
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Old 06-02-2021, 3:08 PM
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Make sue=re you have a hunting license for the squirrels.
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Old 06-03-2021, 1:54 PM
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For a springer, I would recommend any weihrauch rifle. Usually people lean towards a hw97/77 under lever or hw 95. AOA sells them and they come test fired and packaged perfect. I would skip the Walmart/big 5 route.

For pcp, try a Benjamin Maurader and a small compressor or tank. Pcp’s can be made very quiet, quieter than a springer. Accuracy is excellent because low recoil (no spring twanging around). But it needs a constant air source.

Try a quality springer first.

Also, shooting tree rats can be really fun, but I would leave the rattlers alone, if it was in the house I would just shovel em.

Last edited by phantom77; 06-03-2021 at 1:57 PM..
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  #21  
Old 06-09-2021, 6:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmithson View Post
Snakes get in the house sometimes and have to go to Heaven.
Sorry.

Outside snakes are free to roam.
I’ve pulled 3 rattlesnakes out of my house and shop in the last 16 years. People that live in the city just don’t get it. I don’t kill non venomous snakes, just buzz worms. My dogs have been bit multiple times, and my daughter first barrel horse didn’t survive a snake bite.
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Old 06-09-2021, 6:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoadedM333 View Post
I stay away from Benjamin Trail NP XL, it's junk with pencil thin barrel. Ask me how I know.
I was happy at the beginning but for some reasons the barrel bent upwards and it is now sitting on a pile of junk in my shed.
Not to fond of mine its loud and the accuracy is borderline power is great.
Wish I had my old blue streak back.
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Old 06-10-2021, 3:53 PM
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.22
But cheap air rifles suck.
Do some homework,buy once
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Old 06-17-2021, 2:56 PM
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I have had good luck with a scoped Air Venturi Avenger (PCP) in .22. Already dispatched a dozen ground squirrels and couple of rattlers from 50ft away. My son installed a screw-on 3D printed suppressor and made it the quietest air gun in the neighborhood. The only dislike - the high pressure pneumatic air pump, which take some effort to fill the rifle to 3,500 psi, but my wife says the exercise is good for me.
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Old 06-17-2021, 6:25 PM
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I use an Air Arms Pro Sport, it’s an under lever spring powered air rifle. Mine is a .22 and it’s very effective on ground squirrels. I have 3 1/4 acres and an avocado grove so my place is pretty infested. On a good day I’ll get 5 or 6. Recently I got 20 in one week.

Lung shots are best. You shoot high up on the body right behind the front legs. They usually crawl a few inches then drop dead. Head shots are messy. They flop around for 15 seconds and get blood all over the place. Several times I’ve had to hose off my back patio because it looks like a crime scene.

Happy hunting.

Ps: most of my shots are around 100 ft….I wouldn’t go much beyond that with an air gun if you want to be sure of killing them

Last edited by Daniel Hunter; 06-17-2021 at 6:27 PM..
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  #26  
Old 06-18-2021, 6:47 AM
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Ground squirrels are pests, there’s no license required or season to shoot them.
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Old 06-18-2021, 1:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Hunter View Post
Ground squirrels are pests, there’s no license required or season to shoot them.
You're right that they're pests but you're partly wrong about no Hunting License being required, at least here in Kalifornistan...

"A valid California hunting license is required for the recreational taking of certain authorized nongame birds and mammals, which include species such as feral pigeons, coyotes and rodents like ground squirrels, as per California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 472.

California Fish and Game Code, section 4152 does allow an exemption for depredation purposes on private property. No hunting license is needed by property owners, tenants of the premises, employees and agents in immediate possession of written permission from the property owner to take certain nongame mammals such as ground squirrels and other rodents injuring crops and causing other property damage."
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Old 06-18-2021, 2:57 PM
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Ok but considering the op stated he wanted to use an air rifle for pest control I’m assuming he meant at his residence. If that is truly the case then he doesn’t need a hunting license to shoot ground squirrels.
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Old 06-18-2021, 5:48 PM
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I have a Hatsan .25 break-barrel for pest control. Quiet and hits hard! The walnut stocks are very nice.
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Old 06-18-2021, 6:10 PM
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The Air Arms Pro Sport has an integral suppressor….it’s very quiet.
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Old 06-18-2021, 6:14 PM
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We have Air Force rifles in the shop I work in. The farmers seem to like them a lot.
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Old 06-19-2021, 8:14 AM
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Exactly, I occasionally have coyotes wandering around my property so a few years ago I called the sheriffs department and asked what I could do. They said based on my location I could legally shoot any nuisance animal on my property. He also stated if I was going to shoot a coyote to use a shotgun. A few weeks after I made that call I shot a large coyote that was wandering around my pool with a Ruger Red Label loaded with #4 buck. It took two shots through the lungs to put him down for good.
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Old 06-22-2021, 6:53 PM
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This is a journey you're gonna have to take on your own. Everyone is going to tell you something different.

A couple of months ago, my coworker gave me an old Wally World .177 Gamo to help me with a ground squirrel problem. I upgraded the spring to a gas ram and use heavy 13.43gr heavy pellets. It's super quiet and very backyard friendly.

Naturally, I wanted more. That being said, I did what most people do and looked for the most powerful break barrel rifle. I ended up getting a Hatsan 130 in .30 cal. This thing was also awesome. Shots that would normally make a squirrel run off became kill shots.

Now, I have a Hatsan Blitz in 30 cal and an AEA 10" 30 cal on the way. Even with the crappiest of pellets (Hatsan Vortex and JSB clones off eBay), it shoots Minute Of Squirrel at 50 yards. It's a bit heavy to lug around which is why I ordered the AEA.

I didn't think I'd find myself selling my real guns to fund air guns, but here I am.
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Old 06-22-2021, 7:39 PM
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Air guns can get spendy. I have a Weihrauch HW100 pcp that is insanely accurate. Mine is an early version that didn’t come with a moderator. Fortunately I discovered DonnyFL and bought an adapter and screw on suppressor (they aren’t regulated for air guns). The HW100 is a .22, I also have a Weihrauch HW77k (underlever) in .25.
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Old 06-29-2021, 9:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharedShots View Post
Rattle snakes kill and eat ground squirrels. You are trying to eliminate both the predator and the prey. You'll end up with other predators and prey taking up the void.

The owls and hawks also go after the ground squirrels as do other predators and birds of prey.
But killing the squirrels will lower the number of snakes then.
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Old 06-29-2021, 9:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SharedShots View Post
Rattle snakes kill and eat ground squirrels. You are trying to eliminate both the predator and the prey. You'll end up with other predators and prey taking up the void.

The owls and hawks also go after the ground squirrels as do other predators and birds of prey.
But killing the squirrels will lower the number of snakes then.

On the other hand, ground squirrels don't kill things either.
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Old 06-30-2021, 6:52 AM
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Around our home I was live and let live with the various critters ~ until the ground squirrels began burrowing under the concrete floor of the shop and moved closer and began working on the embankment below our house. If the goal is to get rid of the squirrels the Squirrelinator trap and sunflower seeds has worked well for me.
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Old 06-30-2021, 6:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lead Waster View Post
But killing the squirrels will lower the number of snakes then.

On the other hand, ground squirrels don't kill things either.
Squirrels kill each other and kill snakes all the time. they also raid bird nest and eat the eggs. You nor I could kill enough ground squirrels in ten lifetimes to make any difference in the snake population.
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Old 06-30-2021, 8:11 AM
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Without getting into the ethic/laws of killing things with an air rifle, and answer the OP question.

.22
More pellet weight , and bigger holes.
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