If you happen to live on a farm or even if you simply live in a country home with a large plot of land you’re bound to face some challenges that urbanites aren’t equipped to deal with. For the rugged framer it’s just another day at the office.
Rural living in any form is very different from the lives of the average city dweller and that has a lot to do with the natural surroundings you get to wake up to everyday.
There are a lot of positive reasons to choose a rural existence, but it isn’t all roses. One of the key issues that anyone living in the back country has to put up with is the constant problem of having to deal with various varmints.
his might be in the form of small critters such as racoons or possums, but it can also mean dealing with bigger creatures such as coyotes or bobcats.
If you also happen to be an avid hunter you may look at the need to deal with such creatures as an opportunity to keep your hunting skills sharp during the off season.
In most rural jurisdictions land owners are permitted to hunt vermin that are considered a danger to crops and livestock.
There are a range of different animals that fit this description and if you’re not sure of the rules in your area it’s best to contact your local officials for clarification.
Even when you know you’re perfectly within your rights to hunt vermin that are threatening your land you don’t want to use a typical hunting rifle.
It’s best to use a varmint rifle, which is basically an air rifle. We’re going to look at some of the best air rifles on the market in this article and explain what you should be looking for if you’re thinking about purchasing one.
- 1 Varmint Rifle Reviews
- 2 Air Gun Overview and Key Features
- 3 What’s the Verdict?
Varmint Rifle Reviews
Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle
The Ruger Blackhawk is a nice entry level air rifle. It’s a small calibre gun at 0.17 calibre, but it’s an extremely accurate gun.
With a velocity of 1000 feet per second it’s perfect for hunting small vermin that are causing you problems in the backyard or eating from your vegetable patch.
As a nice bonus it also comes equipped with a 4x32 scope for long range targeting with 4 x magnifications.
It has a 3 inch eye relief so you can hold it a comfortable distance from your eye and still get off an accurate shot.
This is a surprisingly heavy weapon for a small calibre gun at 9.4 pounds, but it’s not too heavy to handle.
The total length of the rifle including the barrel is 47 inches and it’s a single shot weapon so you will want to make sure you’re confident in your shot before you take it.
This is a good option for dealing with rodent problems and a great way to keep your skills fresh while you wait for the real hunting season to begin.
This Blackhawk rifle also comes with a one year limited warranty. It’s an affordable gun with a good reputation.
Ruger Blackhawk Combo Summary:
- Extremely accurate gun
- Equipped with 4x32 scope
- 3 inch eye relief
- 1 year limited warranty
Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle
If you want an air rifle with a little extra pop the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle fits the bill nicely. This rifle is a .177 calibre gun, but it has a powerful velocity at up to 1200 feet per second.
The typical varmints in your backyard are quick and hard to target, but this rifle is designed to catch up to them quickly.
It’s a well-designed rifle with a comfortable ergonomic design that will make using it to hunt vermin a relaxed and measured experience.
The Whisper Silent Cat also comes with a standard 4x32 scope for accurate targeting at range that’s waterproof, fog proof, and coated for better visibility.
It’s made from a durable synthetic stock that’s designed to work in any type of weather. Those pests in your yard don’t disappear when the weather doesn’t cooperate, neither should your rifle.
As an added comfort factor this rifle is also equipped with a ventilated rubber pad that absorbs the shock of recoil and makes for a more enjoyable shooting experience.
It’s a popular gun and our only real criticism of this model is that it comes with a limited 1 year warranty.
Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Summary:
- Comfortable ergonomic design
- Comes with 4x32 scope
- Built-in noise dampening
- 1 year limited warranty
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle
It’s not always possible to find a small calibre rifle that provides you with the look and feel that you’re used to during hunting season, but the Gamo 6110017154 deos a pretty credible job.
This is basic weapon that will remind you of that old rifle your grandfather used to have. It’s a traditional looking gun and it’s ideal for dealing with small varmints such as mice, rats, birds, and snakes.
This is a high velocity gun capable of firing projectiles at up to 1200 feet per second so that you can catch that pest before it gets away.
The surprising thing about this rifle is how light it is – it weighs in at just 4.6 pounds. For some that may seem to light, but it does make it a great weapon to use for honing your target skills.
The 6110017154 features a standard spring powered trigger and a nice ergonomically designed grip.
If you’re in a situation where you’ll need to be patient waiting for a pest to show itself this comfortable and light rifle is the one you’ll want in your hands. It comes with a limited 1 year warranty.
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Summary:
- High velocity gun
- Standard 4x32 scope
- Ergonomically designed grip
- Limited 1 year warranty
Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle
When you’re dealing with a larger varmint problem you’ll need a higher calibre rifle and the .22 calibre Benjamin 392 Bolt Action rifle is a great choice.
It has a Monte Carlo stock design made from real American Hardwood and with its sleek contoured body it’s a nice looking gun.
It has a rifled brass barrel that gives it a classic look that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the great plains at the height of the cowboy era.
If you’re a traditionalist that likes the idea of testing your skill with your own eye this is the gun for you. You can attach a scope to it if you prefer. It doesn’t hurt that it has a bolt action pump so you can get of a few rounds quickly.
This gun is meant to be used at close range as it doesn’t have the velocity of some other air rifles at just 685 feet per second. If you like a challenge this gun will provide it for you.
This is a relatively light gun at 5.5 pounds, but it has enough substance to feel comfortable in the hands. The total length is 36.75 inches and it uses alloy pellets. It’s a great gun for pest control or just a little target practise.
Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Summary:
- Sleek contoured body
- Brass barrel rifle
- Full adjustable sights
- Light gun at 5.5 pounds
Hatsan 95 Air Rifle Combo
A good gun can also be an impressive physical specimen and that describes the Hatsan 95 Air Rifle quite well.
This is a nice piece with a spring-piston break barrel single-shot barrel that provides a nice accurate shot every time.
It has an adjustable 2-stage trigger that lets you find a comfortable pull weight and length of travel. The stock is made from Turkish walnut that gives it a nice classic look.
It also includes a 3-9×32 Optima scope for long range accuracy that comes with a lense cover for when it’s not in use.
When you take a shot with this rifle you won’t have to worry about problems due to recoil as it’s also fitted with a rubber recoil pad for shock absorption.
This rifle is a little on the heavy side though at 11.7 pounds. It comes with a 1 year warrant and it’s a nice accurate rifle for taking care of your pest problems around the home.
Hatsan 95 Summary:
- Spring-piston break barrel
- Adjustable 2-stage trigger
- Made from Turkish walnut
- Equiiped with 11 mm optics
Air Gun Overview and Key Features
For the uninitiated an air gun may sound like a relatively benign thing, but it’s still a weapon designed to shoot metal projectiles at an object. They can kill or at least do a lot of damage.
The main difference between an air gun and a standard gun is that they use air to propel the bullets or bb’s.
They don’t use powder and there’s no powerful chemical reaction. They’re typically small calibre guns that are ideal for dealing with a pest problem or target shooting.
As we’ve mentioned already air guns, or varmint guns, are smaller caliber weapons – typically under .22 calibres.
You don’t generally need anything bigger for pest control, although dealing with coyotes or bobcats may require something larger. You should always make sure you have a large enough calibre gun to deal with the type of varmint problem you have.
Trajectory and Speed
When you’re hunting smaller animals such as vermin they are usually very quick. That means you have to have your wits about you if you’re going to be successful, but it also means you need to have the right rifle for the job.
When you’re looking for a varmint rifle you want one with a flat trajectory and one that shoots at a high velocity. This will allow for quicker reaction times and give you a greater chance of success when hunting such quick prey.
Any rifle you use for varmint hunting should be a comfortable weight that you can handle without compromising your form. The average varmint rifle will weigh somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds.
The ideal weight really depends on your own comfort factor, but for most hunters somewhere between 7 and 8 pounds is a nice manageable weight.
There will always be hunters that fashion themselves traditionalists that prefer to use the naked eye when targeting an animal, but for the rest of us a scope is a must have item.
In most cases the creature you’re targeting will be some distance away and the scope allows you to find them and take the shot with a greater degree of accuracy.
A good scope should be durable, waterproof, and fog resistant so that you always have a clear view of your target.
The best one’s also have a nice wide field of view and offer enough eye relief so that you don’t have to worry about injury from recoil. This is not as big of a problem with small calibre air guns, but it’s still something to consider.
What’s the Verdict?
You’d be forgiven for thinking it really doesn’t matter which air rifle you choose when you’re hunting vermin, but that’s not the case at all. There’s a big difference between shooting at mice and taking out a coyote.
If you’re going after something as large as a coyote you should probably arm yourself with a .22 that’s accurate and one that has good velocity. In some cases you may even need to consider something with a higher calibre.
In most cases these varmint rifles, or air rifles, will be a lot more affordable than full sized guns, but there are some that will set you back several hundred dollars.
As long as it fits in your budget consider one with a scope and one that’s a comfortable weight as hunting vermin can take just as long as traditional hunting.
Hunting with a varmint rifle is a great way to keep your skills sharp while you patiently wait for the next hunting season to open and you get the added bonus of taking care of a pest problem. That’s what you call a win-win proposition.