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Air Rifle Hunting Basics

The main aspect why we are interested in air rifles is to hunt small game. For all these purposes the high quality air rifles are perfect. Air rifles are quiet and have no recoil. They have a limited range and are less likely to generate harmful stray bullets that can affect the nearby areas of residence.

The powerful air rifles can lose their punch after 150 to 200 yards, whereas a .22 long round shot can travel more than a mile and have ample power to kill.

Air Rifle Suitability

This articles deals in air rifle hunting for the kind of small game. Air rifles are best suited for birds,  hares etc. There are very big calibre air rifles such as .45 and .50 caliber big bores that can take down things like wild pigs, deer etc.


There are no hard and fast rules as there are several different kinds of small animals that can be hunted. There are minimum power needs that most hunters see and agree with.

The most basic of these is the power measured in foot pounds energy. A gun can wound or can kill because the projectile does not hit with ample force or cannot be controlled precisely. This is an important consideration when you engage the target.

It is a notion that an air rifle can produce sufficient power to kill in an effective manner and for close range hunting. The least power need is 12 FPE. Extra power is certainly warranted if you want to hunt at longer ranges beyond 35 yards. More FPE is required to maintain a proper flight trajectory to make sure there is essential knock down remains by the time you get to the target.

Some more aspects of the Air Rifle

A 30 FPE rifle can easily handle game beyond 50 yards. You need to remember not to push it. The shooters are always motivated to hunt game at close ranges irrespective of how much power they possess. You need to know the limits of your rifle and your own.

Many people hunt small game and with limited budgets and they choose the small to mid size pellet rifles from .177 to .25 calibre. You can choose between a .177 and .22 for small game air rifle hunters. Many air rifles accessible in either calibre. Both of the air rifles are capable for hunting small game that is birds, squirrels, jackrabbits, rodents etc at close ranges and provide least 12 FPE. .22 caliber is the rifle of choice for hunting furred animals.

There is an old saying that says – .177 for feather and .22 for fur. If you are after rabbits and squirrels, the .22 is the best of the two. The .20 calibre is nice for mixed hunting.


If the pellet of .22 is large or heavy it makes nice use of the potential energy that is in the rifle’s compressed air and this enables it to eject with more FPE in comparison to a .177 pellet. .22 pellet also retains more energy and travels through the air due to great momentum. The outcome is that more energy is delivered to the target with a .22.  A .22 rifle has a harder hitting pellet in comparison to the .20 cal and the .25 calibre.

.22 pellets suffer less from target. Due to their high velocities, .177 rifles can shoot through the game and transfers more of their energy to the tissues of the animals where it is required to take them down.

This  can be done to some extent by making your pellet choice optimized for example a hollow point for close range hunting.

You need to consider more than just hitting power and that is accuracy. In case you cannot hit the target then the strongest rifle is not going to assist you. In case you are off the small kit zones needed for this kind of game then you can kill an animal or enable it to escape where it can die a slow death.

.177 pellets have most flat trajectories and thus make precise shooting the best. You cannot be precise with a .22 rifle and it takes time to get a feel for the flight path of the pellets if you are shooting at some distance.

If you have  plan on hunting birds and furred game and want to shoot like laser type accuracy fast and without much bother for range finding, the .177 is the best. In case you want to pursue a middle ground then you should go with .20 calibre if you do not bother to spend more of the ammunition.


If you want to hunt a great deal of squirrels and rabbits then the .22 and .25 calibres are the finest choices. They can be just as precise as the .177. The only aspect here is that with the larger calibres a slightly more FPE is advised as you are firing a larger pellet.

By more power it implies higher velocities and high velocities means much improved accuracy. The biggest hunting calibres utilize PCP systems.

There are several occasions when you would like to have the great feeling of holding a rifle in your hand. For those who watch movies and western ones might have thought the precise marksmanship shown by actors and would like to have the same skill themselves.

The real guns are not easy to get and one requires to be of legal age to get them. One requires a valid license to make the shooters with them and also utilize them.

You can hone your aiming skills and keep yourself on the correct side of the law by choosing the air rifles instead.