Published on February 27th, 20130
Best Varmint Rifle
Varmint rifles are smaller caliber guns used for small animals or varmints. If you need to take out some rats, birds, squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, groundhogs, pigs or anything else that is causing an issue on your property then a varmint rifle is perfect because they can be less expensive to purchase and some of the ammo is cheaper then the larger caliber guns.
Which varmint rifle you get really depends on what you want to shoot, where you want to shoot and of course your budget. I’ll show you some popular varmint guns down below on this page.
Are you shooting smaller varmints in your yard, in urban areas or where other houses are within 1/2 mile?
You’ll probably want to stick with a nice air gun at .177, .22 or .25 caliber. They can take down birds, squirrels, rabbits and similar size animals.
Are you wanting to mainly shoot coyote size animals?
You’ll want to get at least a .22lr , probably a 22 mag, 17HMR or greater.
What is the best varmint rifle calibers?
Once again it depends on what you’re shooting…22 mag and 17HMR are popular. Typical varmint rifle calibers are .22 lr, .22 Mag, 17 HMR, .223, .308 and even high powered air rifles.
Varmint ammo costs – Something to keep in mind
.223 can cost around $.50-$1+ per shot
.308 is $.75+ per shot
.22 mag and 17 HMR are $.25+ per shot
.22lr is around $.05+ per shot
Pellets are $.01+ per shot
Varmint Rifles – Air Rifles
Depending on your budget and what kind of varmints you’re wanting to shoot will steer you more toward a certain type of varmint rifle. You can even use some of the high powered air guns now to do the job too. There are air rifles that shoot .177 , .22 and .25 caliber pellets. Then there are specialty big bore air rifles that shoot all the way up to .50 caliber.
If you’re shooting small varmints such as squirrels and birds under 50-75 yards in a back yard type of setting then the air rifle will probably be perfect for you. Considering you can get a great shooting high powered air rifle for $100-$550 that shoots .22 or .25 caliber pellets and comes with a scope is hard to beat.
The air rifle pellets won’t travel as far as a .22lr or larger bullet and are the best choice if you’re in an urban area or worried about how far the pellet/bullet would be traveling. There are tons of great air guns out today that are very high quality and accurate.
The lower priced varmint air rifles are break barrel single shot rifles that means you have to manually charge the air rifle by cocking the barrel and then also advancing the pellet magazine or placing in a new pellet. They are the most bang for your buck.
If you have the money and are looking for a bit higher end air rifle that can reach out past 100 yards and one that you don’t have to cock then you’ll want to look at the PCP air rifles. They are charged from a pump or a air tank and can shoot 20-40 shots on one fill. They are much more expensive then a standard air rifle and they start at around $300 and go on up to$2,500. The benefits of PCP rifles are that they’re typically quieter, more accurate and have much less recoil.
One of the most popular pcp air rifles is the Benjamin Marauder because it not only shoots great but has one of the lower prices of the PCP rifles at under $500.
Great value break barrel varmint air rifles
Here is one of the best values for a great shooting varmint air rifle – Crosman Nitro Venom Dusk – .22 Caliber,950 FPS & 3-9x32mm Scope. (see video below)
Check the price and Browse >>
(Below) For well under $200 is the 4.5 star Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston – .22 cal with 950 FPS + 4×32 CenterPoint Scope
Check the price and read customer reviews >>
The only downside to a standard pellet gun is the knockdown power and distance…it’s great for smaller varmints at under 50-75 yards. The perfect range is 20-50 yards for the .177, .22 and .25 cal air rifles.
Shooting squirrels with a .22 caliber Crosman Nitro Venom
Big Bore Air Rifles – From varmints to buffalo
I know what you’re thinking…big bore air rifles? Yes, don’t laugh, they’re serious guns and have ridiculous knockdown power. The can take down bears and buffalo…Don’t believe me?
The animals above were taken down with only the Quackenbush .458 cal. air rifle. http://www.quackenbushairguns.com (The website site looks old and horrible, but it’s updated frequently…the owner makes great air guns, not great websites.)
The big bore air rifles start at around $600 and go up from there. Why would you get one? It makes hunting a tiny bit more of a challenge…kind of like bow hunting.
Varmint Rifles – .22LR Rifles
If you want to move up from the air guns to a “real gun” your next step is a .22LR rifle. These rifles can handle just about any varmint you’ll want to dispatch of at up to 100+ yards. They’re more expensive then the basic air guns (not the big bore guns) but typically less expensive then the .223 & .308 rifles. They’re also around $.05 per shot versus $.50+ per shot of the .223 ammo!
The classic .22LR rifle that is very accurate is the Ruger 10/22. There are unlimited accessories for this rifle that include magazines, stocks, barrels, suppressors, flash suppressors, triggers and more. There are also several versions from the factory too. The Ruger 10/22 starts at around $200 and goes up to around $450 from the factory. You can spend a whole lot more on it if you want.
The great thing about .22LR is that recently gun manufactures have not only been making some great shooting rifles but some really cool .22LR rifles as well. Sure it’s fun to shoot a classic 10/22 ruger rifle…but how about a AR15 .22LR or a bullpup or a MP5 that shoots .22LR?
They’re all accurate rifles and you can get any of them for under $500. Why not kill some varmints and have a little fun with a cool .22LR.
(Above ) GSG 522 – Buy it at weapon hero - Around $350
(above) WALTHER G22
.22 Mag + 17 HMR Varmint hunting rifles
The 17 HMR rifle is a great coyote rifle with a longer and flatter shooting distance then a 22lr. The velocity on a 17 HMR is close to 2,500fps vs 1,200fps on a .22lr. The .22 mag has a a velocity of around 2,200.
The 17 HMR cartrage is designed for bolt action rifles only. They are very accurate and can take down small game and coyotes without any issues.
You can expect to pay between $250-$600 for standard 17 HMR rifle.
Checkout a list of 17 HMR rifles here > http://www.impactguns.com/rifles.aspx?Caliber=17+HMR+Hornady+Magnum+Rimfire
(above) SAVAGE 93R17GV 17HMR
Hunting varmints with .22 WMR .22 MAG Rifles
Probably one of the most popular coyote hunting rifle caliber is the .22 MAG. Most of the .22 mag rifles are bolt action however there are very few semi-auto .22 mag rifles such as the popular Remington 597 below.
Prices range from $280 – $700.
Checkout a list of .22 mag rifles > http://www.impactguns.com/rifles.aspx?Caliber=22+Magnum
(above) REMINGTON 597 22MAG – $450
.223 Varmint Rilfes
The .223 round has a much higher velocity and can not only punch through more objects then the .22LR but can be very accurate at several hundreds yards. Sure it can easily take out any varmints but it can also be used to hunt deer or other large animals.
For $350 on up you can get your hands on a .223 rifle that has a range of well over 400 yards and can take down big game. .223 is such a versatile ammo round that lots of different style guns use it. You have your choice of standard bolt action basic great shooting rifles all the way up to tactical AR-15 style varmint rifles.
(above) SAVAGE 11FXP3 PACKAGE 223
(above) MOSSBERG MVP VARMINT .223
(above) AR-15 Style rifles – TONS of options starting at around $450 and go well above $2,000.
.308 Varmint Rilfes
Savage Axis .308 & .223
A great all around .308 rifle is the Savage Axis. This gun will do anything you need from smaller varmints all the way up to deer and beyond.
For a starting price of only $300 this is a hard to beat rifle that would do anything you need.
Ruger American .308
The Ruger American comes in just about every caliber you can think of and the .308 version is a great rifle. It’s bolt action and only weighs 6.5 pounds.
The price is under $400 even at Cabelas