What is the primary weapon for a hunter in a hunting session?
Many hunters write the .22 air rifle in the number # 1 position when listing down the hunting gear list.
Why is that?
In fact, the kill zone of the .22 air rifle is short, and FPS is also lower. As a result, it requires only one shot to kill all kinds of animals. In most cases, hunters take down small games with the best .22 air rifle for hunting due to these rifles' larger caliber.
When you plan to invest in a more than hundred-dollar air rifle, undoubtedly, you want to make a careful decision.
And this article is all about this .22 Air Rifle stuff so that it can help you pick the premium-quality product that promises to offer you a great shooting experience.
Sounds exciting? So, let’s dive in.
Quick view: what is the best air rifle for hunting small game?
- Best 22 air rifle for rabbit hunting: Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
- Best 22 pellet for raccoon: Benjamin BP2SXS
- Best 22 air rifle pellets for squirrels: Lastworld B1 Air Pellet Gun Rifle
What Can I Kill with a .22 Air Rifle?
Since .22 air rifles are best for shooting short to mid-range targets, you can use them in your backyard or front yard.
You can quickly kill a rabbit or squirrel using a .22 air rifle. These air rifles are less potent than spring-powered. Proper maintenance is also essential to get the best result from these air rifle types. Also, you will need to buy a hand pump separately to pump the air rifle.
One more thing, it is an ideal choice for pest controlling, plinking, etc.
Wondering Can a .22 pellet kill a human? Generally speaking-Nope. These may penetrate the skin but not good enough for the human skull.
The 7 Best .22 Air Rifle For Hunting Small Game
While selecting the best air rifles for you, we looked at the comfortability and performance.
Our next priority was the budget. From the all below-listed best .22 air rifle pellets for hunting, you will get top-notch performance for sure.
1. Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
Everyone wants a reliable, durable, and high velocity .22 air rifle.
So, are you, right?
The good news is that this Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle is promised to take your shooting skill to the next level. With this rifle, shooting at the target with 975 FPS speed is a breeze.
Although the pallet diameter is slightly larger, you will not find any obvious difference due to the high velocity while shooting a target.
The unique feature of the air rifle is the Whisper Maxxim sound suppression technology. This mechanism keeps the sound at its minimum level. Moreover, it is efficient enough in delivering consistent results because of its inert Gas Technology.
Still not convinced?
Less vibration is confirmed, and accuracy is guaranteed all the time. The included scope is fog-proof and shock-proof to give you maximum flexibility when hunting.
Additionally, the custom action trigger (CAT) features 2 screws, which allows you to adjust the 1st and 2ns trigger according to your preference.
We’re not through yet.....
Due to its 10-round rotary-style magazine, shooting at the target repeatedly is not challenging for this rifle. Moreover, frequent reloading is entirely unnecessary in this rifle, making it a different air rifle compared to its competitors.
2. Benjamin BP2SXS Prowler Nitro Piston Break Barrel Air Rifle
Above everything, Air rifles should come with a weather-resistant feature.
Because the weather can be harsh at any time when you are in a hunting session. The Benjamin BP2SXS Prowler Nitro Piston .22-Caliber Break Barrel Air Rifle comes with an all-weather design. Durable synthetic material is used to manufacture the stock, and the comfortable foregrip provides utmost comfortability when holding the rifle with wet hands.
Why it's so important?
During hunting, the air rifle will not disturb you with a loud sound because it performs quietly. Even a miss-the-target will not let the game away from your court due to sound. The performance of the air rifle is another satisfactory feature.
With .22 caliber pallets, it shoots 950 FPS (maximum) without compromising accuracy. You will never face a struggle to hit the target from long-range with this rifle, and the shot will be accurate for sure. And for more accurate shot you can use spotting scope.
See the difference?
Its 2-stage trigger is comfortably adjustable, so customizing it as per your requirement and style is pretty simple. The reloading process is also convenient, smoother, and more comfortable than other air rifles.
More importantly, the recoil issue is reduced with the help of the Nitro Piston Technology. Quiet performance, reduced recoil, lightweight, and accurate performance make it an ideal air rifle for hunting.
3. Lastworld B1 22 Caliber Air Pellet Gun Rifle
A Rifle that will allow you to go hunting in style.
You heard that right!
The most satisfying feature of this Last world B1 5.5 mm 22 Caliber Air Pellet Gun Rifle is its classy design.
This gun rifle is suitable for short-range shooting with its .22 caliber pellets of 5.5 size. Thus, it hits a target of 400 FPS. However, the most interesting fact about this rifle is, many consumers expressed that they got 800+ FPA in a few cases from this rifle.
And you know that best part?
If you are a beginner, this gun rifle will be the best suited because it is designed with a beginner-friendly concept in mind. At the same time, it is wallet-friendly. So, if you are looking for a gun rifle that can be used for recreational and practice purposes, this gun rifle will be the best answer.
With the expected accuracy, it will allow you to hunt within 50 yds. Moreover, it creates a powerful impact on the target with accurate shooting. The truth is, this gun rifle delivers outstanding performance at an affordable price range.
But here’s the interesting thing.......
It is made of a combination of wood and metal, which makes it a durable item. A solid and sturdy handle ensures that no uncomfortable feeling while holding it.
It is compatible with scope. You will find a slot in the rifle for easy mounting of scope and other accessories. This simple-designed and classic look of the gun rifle will surely please you. We discuss about rifle scope for shooting at varying ranges in further detail in our another post.
4. Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Pellet Hunting Air Rifle
Benjamin Marauder is most probably the quietest rifles in its range and provides ultra-hushed and precise operation.
That's not all....
This air rifle is lightweight, made of synthetic and all-weather stock. The ambidextrous raised comb makes it easier to carry it in the field. It is a well-design .22 air rifle that is an ideal option for small to medium game, plinking, and target shooting.
The Marauder Synthetic Pellet Hunting Rifle comes with a 1000 FPS speed rating. And here’s a good post If you’re interested in conventional 177 pellets for hunting.
What really impresses me most:
Every shoot will be steady and smooth with the help of its match-grade, adjustable, and 2-stage trigger system. Simultaneously, it contains a 10-round rotary magazine.
Without any hassle, this gun rifle will allow you to refill easily and quickly since it features a built-in pressure gauge and quick-disconnect Foster fittings. This way, you don’t need to take a long pause to return to shooting sooner.
It really is that simple.
Also, this gun rifle doesn’t feature a “mouse hole” to ensure its cleaner look and debris-free action. Its built-in de-pinger changes the sharp "ping" to a dull thud resulting in a less-perceived noise level. Besides, with each refill, it lets you do a 30 consistent shoot.
Overall, the performance of this rifle will never disappoint you until you treat it carefully.
What I like most:
5. Gamo Urban PCP Air Rifle, 22 Caliber, Black
With an 800 FPS rating, this gun rifle is listed as a mid-range rifle, but all other features make it a high-end .22 air rifle. The high-quality material-made rifle can withstand harsh weather and provides expected results all the time.
Just think about it! As cool as it sounds!
CAT adjustable 2-stage trigger makes your shooting experience much result-oriented, smooth, and faster than a regular .22 air rifle. The 232 pressure bar helps you refill the rifle with no time and quickly return to your shooting position.
Thus, you can shoot the target without losing much time. Additionally, less refilling provides an added benefit due to its large pressure capacity. It consists of a silencer for ensuring quiet operation.
Thanks to the extreme durability features, this Gamo Urban PCP Air Rifle is one of the best .22 air rifles for hunting.
What about performance?
Since it comes from a renowned manufacturer GAMO, it will not give you any chance to raise any questions about its performance. It is relatively easy to use; this way, a beginner doesn’t face any trouble using it. Even advanced-level shooters can use it for multiple shooting purposes.
If you encounter a problem shooting precisely, this gun rifle will be good enough for convenient shooting. You will get top-notch accuracy within 25-yds, undoubtedly.
6. Benjamin Marauder Wood Stock .22-Caliber PCP Air Rifle
Generally, the prime requirement of hunting is a powerful impact and accurate result.
And this The Benjamin Marauder Wood Stock Air Rifle got this cover.
You will love to hear that this rifle is well-efficient in delivering the expected result of a hunter. This air rifle is promised to take its user’s shooting experience to the next level.
This PCP rifle comes at a budget-friendly price, and incredibly, the price is approximately half compared to other PCP rifles. However, don’t think that it has a lack of features due to its lower price range and offers poor performance.
The truth is, its performance is comparable with high-grade air rifles. Shooting at both long and small range targets is a breeze with this air rifle. If you are tight on your budget, this air rifle is the answer for you.
In other words:
Quality wood manufactured stock confirms the longevity of the rifle. Moreover, the overall construction, barrel, handle, trigger, etc., will give you a smooth and comfortable feeling.
This means the manufacturer focuses on the durability and comfortability features most. The good news is that with a single refill, you can shoot up to 30 – 40 shots uninterruptedly.
7. Umarex Diana RWS Model Pellet Gun Air Rifle, .22 Caliber, Gun Only
The gun rifle handle should come with a comfortability feature because if you can’t hold the gun rifle quickly and conveniently, shooting the target becomes challenging.
Keeping this point in mind, the manufacturer constructs the Umarex Diana RWS Model 2166165 Pellet Gun Rifle’s stock using hardwood. It's incredible design gives extra comfort when shooting.
And you know what else?
It is constructed following German craftsmanship. 2-stage adjustment trigger, a rifled barrel, an adjustable rear sight, fiber optic hooded front sight are the unique features of this gun rifle. Its FPS rating is 800, although it is not high compared to other air rifles in this list; due to its accuracy, it has been listed in these 5 best .22 air rifle for hunting list.
In addition, the ambidextrous design of the gun rifle makes it an ideal rifle for both left and right-handed hunters.
Do you see how huge this is?
The gun is equipped with a rubber recoil pad, not to feel any shock in your shoulder after every shot. More interestingly, due to the modifiable rear sight, shooting with the needed accuracy becomes effortless.
It weighs 7.27 lbs. only, which means carrying it to the field will be unproblematic. Furthermore, it is durably-designed and well-balanced for comfortable shooting in different conditions.
What is the Effective Range of a .22 Air Rifle?
Using a .22 air rifle, you can efficiently shoot a target with a 50 yds range. These rifles are unsuitable for more than 50 yds range because they are formulated for traveling short distance comfortably. But if you use them for long-distance shooting, be sure the accuracy will not hit the expected level.
What Distance Should I Zero my .22 Air Rifle?
Most of the hunters' friendly conversations start with the question of where to zero a .22 air rifle.
So, the silver lining is.....
The best zero ranges for a .22 air rifle are 6.9 – 31.1 yds or 6.3 – 28.5 meters.
Things To Consider While Buying Hunting .22 Air Rifle
If you are buying the best .22 air rifle for hunting for the first time, undoubtedly, you will be overwhelmed with the available products in the market. Purchasing an ordinary .22 air rifle is not a daunting task, but buying the best one is challenging.
So, how to pick the best-suited item? Do I need to consider many factors before buying? Read below to learn the answer.
Air Rifles Type
Air rifles come in 3 different types. Each type is unique in its characteristics.
This air rifle type requires pumping after every shot or a specific number of shots. It consists of a pumping chamber that works to pump air inside the chamber.
Now, you might be thinking that this air rifle type is challenging to use. But most people prefer this because of its budget-friendly feature. Moreover, it is a value-adding air rifle for target shooting and plinking. Furthermore, for short-distance hunting, it offers effective results.
From the name itself, you can get an idea that this air rifle type consists of a spring to provide compressed air to the chamber. The spring works as a power source of the rifle.
These guns will allow you to shoot long-distance targets with great accuracy. However, for women or beginner or weak individuals, cocking might be a bit challenging.
The power source of Co2 powered air rifles is – cartridges or compressed gas. Also, the most important thing is, frequent pumping is entirely unnecessary for these guns. With a single loading, you can do 40 – 50 shots consistently.
Velocity Rating or FPS
Depending on the velocity rating or FPS, the accuracy of an air rifle is determined. Air rifles are available with 3 different FPS ratings.
- Low FPS rating: 650-rated or less than this FPS rating machines are considered low FPS air rifles.
- Mid FPS Rating: Between 650 – 850 FPS rated machines are considered as mid-FPS air rifles.
- High FPS Rating: 850-rated or more than this FPS rating machine is considered high FPS air rifles.
If you need an air rifle for hunting purposes, choose a model that comes with a 700 – 900 FPS rating. At the same time, mid-FPS-rated air rifles are good enough for target practicing.
Since buying an air rifle requires investment in time and money, it has to be durably built to give you many years of service.
First, look at the STOCK and learn what material is used to build it. This is the main part of an air rifle that tells you about the durability of the item.
A synthetic material made stocks are weather-resistant. Some models' stock is made of wood, and these models are highly durable. But these are not weather-proof.
So, before determining the build quality, learn about your hunting season.
Air rifle triggers are available with adjustable and stock triggers.
The adjustable trigger feature will allow you to customize the trigger option as per your style. Moreover, some models come with a replaceable trigger feature so that whenever needed, you can replace them.
With the adjustable and replaceable features, you can improve your accuracy and speed.
If your primary requirement for buying an air rifle is pest control, buy a quiet air rifle. This is because your neighbor will be disturbed whenever you shoot a target.
With a silent and quiet air rifle, you can avoid community-related concerns.
Hunting is an interesting hobby. The hunting gear market is continuously changing. With the right air rifle, your hunting session will be memorable and enjoyable. But the wrong product will lead you to a different disastrous situation.
Hopefully, by reading this guide, you can find the best .22 air rifle for hunting small games. The great thing about the best item is, they are designed with multi-purpose functionality in mind. They provide efficient results in plinking and pest control purposes also.
Here is simple tips for you......
Don’t sweat your heads thinking about the FPS rating of a gun rifle. Try to choose a gun rifle that comes with a mid-FPS rating because they are efficient enough in providing expected results compared to low and high FPS ratings.
Overall, give preference to your style and comfort.