The Best BB or Pellet Guns for Squirrel Hunting

Squirrel hunting can be an exciting outdoor pursuit and a means of managing squirrel populations, especially when they become pests in gardens or homes. To effectively and ethically hunt squirrels, you’ll need the right equipment, and one popular choice is a BB or pellet gun. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best BB or pellet guns for squirrel hunting, covering various factors to consider, from gun types to ammunition, safety, and hunting tips.

Understanding BB and Pellet Guns

Before diving into the details of squirrel hunting, let’s start by understanding the two primary types of air guns commonly used: BB guns and pellet guns.

1. BB Guns

BB guns are air guns that shoot round steel BBs. They are known for their simplicity and are often used for plinking or target practice. While BB guns can be used for small game hunting like squirrels, they are generally less powerful and accurate compared to pellet guns.

2. Pellet Guns

Pellet guns, on the other hand, are designed to shoot pellets, which are typically made of lead or alloy. Pellet guns are available in various calibers, including .177, .22, and .25. They are favored for small game hunting due to their accuracy and versatility.

Factors to Consider for Squirrel Hunting

When choosing the best BB or pellet gun for squirrel hunting, several factors come into play:

1. Power and Velocity

Squirrel hunting requires a gun with sufficient power and velocity to ensure humane and effective shots. A gun with a muzzle velocity of at least 800 feet per second (fps) is recommended for squirrels.

2. Accuracy

Accuracy is crucial when hunting squirrels, as these small targets require precision. Look for a gun with a rifled barrel, which improves accuracy by spinning the pellet for stability.

3. Noise Level

Squirrel hunting often involves stealth, as squirrels are alert and have excellent hearing. Consider a gun with reduced noise levels, such as a gas-piston gun, to avoid startling your quarry.

4. Pellet Type

Select the appropriate pellet type for squirrel hunting. Hollow-point or expanding pellets are designed to deliver maximum impact and energy transfer upon hitting the target, ensuring a quick and humane kill.

5. Ergonomics and Weight

Comfort and balance are essential for accurate shooting. Choose a gun that feels comfortable in your hands and is well-balanced to enhance your shooting experience.

6. Safety Features

Prioritize safety when using air guns. Look for guns with automatic safeties and always follow proper firearm safety guidelines, including treating every gun as if it’s loaded and never pointing it at anything you don’t intend to shoot.

Top BB and Pellet Guns for Squirrel Hunting

While the best BB or pellet gun for squirrel hunting can vary depending on individual preferences and needs, here are some popular options known for their reliability and effectiveness:

1. Gamo Silent Cat .22 Caliber

  • Type: Break-barrel spring-piston
  • Velocity: Up to 1,200 fps
  • Features: Whisper noise-dampening technology, 4x32mm scope, non-slip texture on grip and forearm

2. Benjamin Trail NP2 .22 Caliber

  • Type: Nitro Piston 2 gas-piston
  • Velocity: Up to 1,200 fps
  • Features: Enhanced 2-stage trigger, reduced recoil, Picatinny rail for optics

3. Hatsan Model 95 .22 Caliber

  • Type: Break-barrel spring-piston
  • Velocity: Up to 1,000 fps
  • Features: Quattro trigger, SAS shock absorber system, Turkish walnut stock

4. Crosman Optimus .22 Caliber

  • Type: Break-barrel spring-piston
  • Velocity: Up to 950 fps
  • Features: Two-stage adjustable trigger, ambidextrous hardwood stock

5. Umarex Gauntlet .22 Caliber

  • Type: PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic)
  • Velocity: Up to 1,000 fps
  • Features: 10-shot magazine, regulated pressure, adjustable comb and buttstock

Squirrel Hunting Tips

Successful squirrel hunting requires more than just the right gun. Here are some tips to enhance your hunting experience:

  • Scouting: Familiarize yourself with squirrel habitats and their active times. Early morning and late afternoon are often ideal for squirrel hunting.
  • Camouflage: Blend into your surroundings with appropriate camouflage clothing to avoid being detected by squirrels.
  • Quiet Movement: Move slowly and quietly to avoid alerting squirrels. Use tree stands or natural cover to remain concealed.
  • Patience: Squirrel hunting can be a waiting game. Stay patient and observant, as squirrels may emerge after a period of stillness.
  • Aim for Vital Areas: When taking a shot, aim for vital areas, such as the head or chest, to ensure a humane kill.
  • Follow Regulations: Be aware of local hunting regulations and obtain the necessary permits or licenses for squirrel hunting.


Squirrel hunting with a BB or pellet gun can be a rewarding outdoor activity that contributes to wildlife management and pest control. Choosing the right firearm is essential for ethical and effective hunting. Consider factors such as power, accuracy, noise level, and safety features when selecting your hunting tool.

Remember to practice responsible hunting by following safety guidelines, adhering to hunting regulations, and aiming for humane kills. With the right equipment and knowledge, squirrel hunting can become a thrilling and satisfying outdoor pursuit for nature enthusiasts and hunters alike.

(FAQs) related to squirrel hunting with BB or pellet guns:

1. Do I need a special license to hunt squirrels with a BB or pellet gun?

  • Hunting regulations vary by location. It’s essential to check with your local wildlife agency or department to determine if a specific hunting license or permit is required for squirrel hunting with air guns.

2. What is the recommended shooting distance for squirrel hunting?

3. Can I use a BB gun for squirrel hunting, or is a pellet gun better?

  • While BB guns can be used for squirrel hunting, pellet guns are generally preferred due to their higher accuracy and greater stopping power. Pellets deliver more energy to the target, resulting in quicker and more humane kills.

4. What is the best time of day to hunt squirrels?

  • Squirrels are most active during the early morning and late afternoon hours. These times are often ideal for hunting when squirrels are out foraging and more accessible.

5. How can I stay concealed while squirrel hunting?

  • Effective camouflage clothing and remaining still are crucial for staying concealed. You can also use natural cover, such as tree stands or blinds, to hide from squirrels’ sharp eyesight.

6. What is the ethical way to hunt squirrels with a BB or pellet gun?

  • Ethical squirrel hunting involves using appropriate firearms with enough power to ensure humane kills. Aim for vital areas to minimize suffering and follow all hunting regulations and safety guidelines.

7. What do I do with harvested squirrels?

  • Once you’ve harvested a squirrel, it’s essential to handle it responsibly. Field dress the squirrel by removing the entrails, and then store it properly. You can cook squirrel meat in various delicious recipes.

8. Are there any safety precautions I should take when squirrel hunting with air guns?

  • Yes, safety is paramount. Always treat your air gun as if it’s loaded, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and never point it at anything you don’t intend to shoot. Also, wear appropriate eye protection to guard against ricochets.

9. Can I use air guns for squirrel hunting in urban areas?

  • Hunting regulations often restrict the use of firearms, including air guns, in urban areas. Always check with your local authorities to understand the specific rules and regulations regarding hunting within city limits.

10. Can I hunt squirrels year-round, or are there specific hunting seasons? – Squirrel hunting seasons and regulations vary by location. Some regions may have specific hunting seasons for squirrels, while others may allow hunting year-round. Be sure to consult local wildlife authorities for accurate information.

Remember that hunting laws and regulations may change over time and can vary greatly by location, so it’s crucial to stay informed and adhere to local guidelines when engaging in squirrel hunting with BB or pellet guns.

Similar Posts