Small game hunting is an essential part of life for mountaineers and long-term campers. If you’re out in the wilds of Alaska or Montana, you can’t just pack a deer along on your back as you make your way through the wilderness. The problem is, you also can’t pack an AR-15 for a squirrel or rabbit. And rabbit meat is a great holdover on cold nights. You need a small, small bullet gun, and an air rifle is ideal. So you could use the best air rifle for rabbits.
Listen, if it’s good for the military, then it’s good for the disaster prepper. Quite often, military weapons training is conducted using airsoft rifles. Air rifles will deliver the impact you need with less muss and less fuss. You’ve got pellets, so you won’t have to worry about destroying all of your meat with a bullet. You’ve also got compressed air doing the work for you, so the sound will be much quieter, which means you won’t disturb the rest of the wildlife in your near vicinity. You also won’t attract any unwanted attention.
The rabbit is small, compact, and fast. You want as much meat as you can get off this rangy, tough animal. An air rifle will help you maximize your dinner serving. Rabbits can also be great target practice for emergency preparedness. Squirrels have become increasingly familiar with humans, so they won’t scurry and scuttle as much as rabbits. Rabbits are still pretty cagey around us, so they’re great prep for possible worldwide catastrophe.
So what you’ll be looking for is something lightweight. You don’t want to lug around a piece of heavy machinery. That would completely defeat the purpose of carrying an air rifle for rabbits. You’re also going to want a scope. Rabbits are small and fast, so you need to be able to spot, even at long range, and get a shot off fast. Lots of pressure is a must. You are highly unlikely to get up close and personal to the rabbit, so you need enough air pressure to get your pellets flying fast and far, right at tonight’s dinner.
You’ll find that each of the guns listed here meets all of the most important specs.
5 Best Air Rifles for Rabbits:
1. Gamo Silent Cat
Gamo is great for exactly what it sells in its title: it is silent. This gun is whisper quiet, a long range, and a 1200 feet per second shot. You’ll definitely get your rabbit on the first shot. The Game comes with a scope that has a 4 x 32 magnification with rings as part of the package.
It is a .177 caliber airsoft rifle that includes a 1-year warranty, so even if you discover only after 6 months that you hate it, you can always send it back.
2. Ruger Targis
The Ruger Targis is a .22 caliber air rifle that is great for the money. The shot is quite accurate, so you may not even find yourself using the scope that comes with it. If you do use it though, the scope is top quality as well. You’ll get fiber optic rear sight and 4 x 32 magnification.
The Ruger also has a spring piston break barrel, which makes it really easy to cock break the barrel. As a bonus, you get an automatic safety, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally shooting a pellet into your foot at the 1000 feet per second you get with this gun.
3. Daisy 880
The Daisy is not as fast or as quiet as the previous two competitors, but it is a great set to start out with if you are just exploring rabbit hunting and getting a feel for your game. This gun comes as a full kit. You’ll get the rifle, safety goggles, 500 Daisy pellets, and 750 BBs.
It’s also a beautiful gun, with a wood grain stock and a gunmetal barrel. It shoots at between 715 and 750 feet per second depending on the ammo, and you get a one year warranty, so you know it should be great for at least a year of practice.
4. Crosman Fire Nitro
This Crosman is easily the most “gun-like” air rifles among your options here. It’s got a brilliant scope with 4 x 32 precision magnification, a break barrel, .177 caliber, and alloy ammo. It will shoot up to 12oo feet per second, so you’ll get far fast.
As a bonus, the gun is made with synthetic, all-weather material, so you know you can hunt, rain or shine, for days on end. This is a prepper’s dream airsoft rifle.
5. Beeman Silver Kodiak
Talk about old school. This air rifle has a completely wooden stock and two interchangeable barrels, so you can switch out to switch up your speed and pellets. You can choose between a barrel that shoots .177 caliber at 1200 feet per second and .22 caliber at 950 feet per second. So you can experiment yourself with the same gun, heavier but slower ammo versus lighter but faster ammo.
You also get a 4 x 32 magnification scope, an adjustable trigger, and a hooded front sight. This might be the best of the bunch in terms of all of your rabbit hunting options and specs.
In the end, your own aesthetic will weigh heavily on where you point and click. Either way, you know you’re getting a top quality, trusted brand that will usually back up its promises with a warranty.