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View Full Version : Recomend a Squirrel rifle



Chill Wills
05-23-2015, 06:55 PM
Advice needed please.
Tho I have been around the gunpowder world my whole life, I know zip about pellet-springer-air rifles.

I currently live in a area that has houses on 3-7 acre lots and the odd horse here and there. The fox squirrels are eating our house.
Two years ago a shooting friend loaned me his Air Arms TX2000 177cal and it has done a fine job of keeping the little beavers at bay.

Typical shots are 20-25 yards into the trees from the porches. I put the rifle on the chronograph when I first got it and with the Beeman FTS pellet I get about 820 FPS. This set-up mostly kills with one shot. The rifle is choosy about what it will group with and the after trying a few different pellets the FTS was a winner! The really great part is the accuracy. At 15 yards all holes touch, at 25y the rifle will keep the shots on your fingernail. Good enough for my squirrels.

So here is the question; I needed to return the rifle 3 weeks ago so I am without a pellet rifle.

The SQUIRRELS are back! I am sure I saw a squirrel give me the finger yesterday! Brazen they are!

An Air Arms TX-2000 is $650 & $750 with walnut. - no sights. And as such, I would still need rings and scope! Ouch! Wife is rolling her eyes! She thinks a $150 BB rifle should do the job. ....I know.
Maybe there is something in between with enough accuracy and power. What would you recommend?

Beagle333
05-23-2015, 07:41 PM
A Sheridan Blue Streak in .20 cal will drop squirrels all day long. I've had one for at least 30 years. And I mounted a cheapo 4x scope on mine using the aftermarket scope mounts.

Went2kck
05-23-2015, 08:18 PM
Go to Pyramid air look in their for one you like, then go to bass pro or Cabelas. They have a pretty good selection on them. I have a Ruger elite in 177, a springer and a Crossman in 22 with a gas piston. either one will kill the tree rats and are about 150 bucks. I use the Crossman hollow points as they seam to be the most accurate in them. In most cities it is the same offence to shoot an air rifle as it is a 45 or 30-06. discharge of a firearm. Good luck with the tree rats.

drinks
05-23-2015, 08:21 PM
Yes, a Sheridan 5mm/.20 caliber air rifle will do the job nicely.
I cannot shoot squirrel with anything that is not a firearm, as the game laws require a firearm for all game animals.
No, rabbits/ hares , coons, possums and even feral swine are legal as all of them are not game animals, under Texas law.

Ithaca Gunner
05-23-2015, 09:46 PM
I would probably go with a gas piston .22 as it's said they can be left cocked and ready for shots of opportunity. I've heard guys here say good things about the Crosman Nitro Venom. I have one and can't get it to shoot better than palm size groups at 25yds. with any scope combination or pellets. I just got a Hatsan .22 M-95 Vortex Nitro piston from Midway on sale for $150.00. Not quite as accurate as my RWS-34, but more powerful and plenty accurate enough for squirrels with Crosman .22 hp's from wally-world. It comes with a scope, but barely useable for my eyes. I've been shooting it open sights at 25yds. and it keeps regular sub 2" groups. No doubt with a decent scope it'll do much better.

Like drinks, I also live in a state where air guns are not legal for game, but it's silent and my back yard...

ebner glocken
05-24-2015, 04:17 AM
I don't own any of their springers but if they're anything like the PCPs they should do the trick. In staying in your budget here's where I would look:

http://www.airgunproshop.com/product-category/hatsan-refurbished/

Enjoy your pest control.

Ebner

gloob
05-24-2015, 04:21 AM
I like my Venom, and springers can definitely do the trick. But with a springer, you are in for a journey. The gun often has to be broken in with 500-1000 pellets, right off the bat. The scope might or might not break on you, and that's just the breaks with a springer. You have to learn how to shoot it to get good groups, and it's not real easy. The rifle might have lockup issues that affect accuracy. And like other airguns, you still have to find the right pellet.

With all that going on, it will be a minor miracle if you can routinely take squirrels at 25 yards, right out of the box. If that's not a journey that sounds like fun, then I would consider a Silver Streak. I had one, and it hits hard. I could probably kill a squirrel at longer distances with a Silver Streak over my Venom, even, and I've had a few years to sort my rifle and my shooting. What it gives up in power, it makes up for in practical field accuracy.

As a pure vermin sniper, a Silver Streak is a good bargain and a good tool. You can find a pellet that groups and have it sighted in at 25 yards in an hour or two, ready for your first squirrel. It just isn't much fun for me to shoot in volume, personally, because it's kinda hard to pump and it's much louder than a 700 fps gas piston.

mulespurs
05-24-2015, 11:00 AM
Just my experience.

My son sent me a.177 Ruger Air Hawk at about $100.00 from Walmart.
Cottontails at 40 yds are not an issue at all.
Longest one was 60 big steps.
Crossman premeir hp pellets work good.
Look up "the artillery hold" it helps a lot it seems.
I shoot beer cans at 40 yds for practice.
Squirrels seem harder and tougher than cottontails.
25-30 yds no wind should be no problem.

Chill Wills
05-24-2015, 04:59 PM
Thank all and your answers are great. I lack the backround with these rifles. I had the Air Arms springer for two years and shot two bushel baskets of squirrels, again the rifle as a loan. Too bad he needed it back! For what ever reason the issues as described by Gloob "But with a springer, you are in for a journey. The gun often has to be broken in with 500-1000 pellets, right off the bat. The scope might or might not break on you, and that's just the breaks with a springer. You have to learn how to shoot it to get good groups, and it's not real easy." were not an issue for me and this rifle.
The Air Arms TX-2000 was a joy to shoot, great all holes touching accuracy at 15 yards and I did not know how good I had it until he needed it back and I started looking around for a replacement.
I have had Pyramid on the phone a few times, once when I first got the loaner rifle to learn how to clean and oil it. I did a PM with a Air Arms kit before I even tried using it for hunting. I did this because the rifle had sat unused for years and years and the first shots were crazy and I knew this was not right. A quick call to Pyramid got me lined out on how accurate it should be and how to correct the problem.

If you did not notice, I really would like to get an other Air arms rifle. Hummmmm, maybe we should let the squirrels eat the house for a while longer and hold out for the expensive rifle8-)

gloob
05-25-2015, 12:23 AM
Just remember when u borrow a rifle, and presumably pellets too, the gun is probably already broken in, sighted in, and shooting a good pellet. When one thing if off and you have a lot of potential sources of the problem, it might takes some time and effort to sort out.

jcwit
05-25-2015, 02:17 AM
There is a season & bag limit on squirrels in your state. Do you plan on pouching them?

Lead Fred
05-25-2015, 07:23 AM
My Silver Streak takes down cats, tree rats should be easy.
I use the red ballistic tips 20 cal

140350

luvtn
05-25-2015, 07:25 AM
There is a bag limit in Tn for both rabbit and squirrel. The state won't pay for damages to your property-sooo shoot them critters! I don't consider it poaching. It is protection of property.
Luvtn

jcwit
05-25-2015, 07:50 AM
That's like robbing a bank and claiming it's an income!

So you get to chose the laws you wish to abide by and those you don't.


A major problem we now face here in the U.S.

Chill Wills
05-25-2015, 05:41 PM
There is a season & bag limit on squirrels in your state. Do you plan on pouching them?

I am not sure if you are addressing me or not but killing fox squirrels is not illegal in Colorado.

gloob
05-25-2015, 05:49 PM
That's like robbing a bank and claiming it's an income!
Haha, that's good.

I agree, the law is the law. I would call animal control and try live traps and relocation first, just to know I tried. (If you have local laws as such).

Well, over here in Phoenix, I had a friend recently give up his chicken coop. Apparently, it's harder to build a coyote-proof chicken coop than it is to build a nuclear bomb. And with the local laws, raising chickens = feeding coyotes. I agree with his sentiment. I don't know if there's a legal difference between a squirrel and a coyote, but it sure seems different to me, first and foremost because the yotes aren't living on/in your property. And I wouldn't commit a crime to have stupid pets and fresh eggs.

dilly
05-25-2015, 05:55 PM
There is a season & bag limit on squirrels in your state. Do you plan on pouching them?

If you are talking to the Texan, he is using the Castle Doctrine to protect his home and property from the squirrels and their deadly chewing and entering. Perfectly legal, right?

hoosierlogger
05-25-2015, 06:01 PM
I have a gamo bull whisper.177. If you buy it junk the scope and buy a good one. I went through 4 junk gamo scopes before I finally had enough and bought one. Like said before, 500 + pellets to break in. Mine likes the crossman premier 10.5 grain pellets. This will be the third year I have owned it. Perhaps this will be the year I get to use it to hunt the bushy tails!!!

gloob
05-25-2015, 06:13 PM
If you are talking to the Texan, he is using the Castle Doctrine to protect his home and property. Perfectly legal, right?
I don't know any laws regarding squirrels. I was just responding to jcwit, in general. I have never seen a squirrel as long as I have lived in AZ.

AnnieOakley
05-25-2015, 07:41 PM
If you look on the Colorado Division of Wildlife's website you will find that it is okay to control some species of wildlife if it is causing damage on your property without a license.

1.) WHAT CAN I DO IF WILDLIFE IS CAUSING DAMAGE ON MY PROPERTY?
Statute 33
If wildlife is causing damage to crops, real or personal property, or livestock
-
a person (or any employee or agent of the
landowner) may hunt, trap, or take the following wildlife on lands owned or leased by the person without securing a
license to do so:
Black-billed magpies, common crows, starlings,
English or house sparrows, common
pigeons, coyotes, bobcats, red
foxes, raccoons, jackrabbits, badgers, marmots, prairie dogs, pocket gophers, Richardson's ground squirrels, rock
squirrels, thirteen-lined ground squirrel, porcupines, crayfish, tiger salamanders, muskrats, beavers, exotic wildlife,
and common snapping turtles.
Additional species include: tree squirrels, cottontail rabbits, marmots, porcupines, bats, mice (except Preble's meadow jumping mouse), opossums, skunks, voles, rats, and ground squirrels.
Any person may kill rattlesnakes when necessary to protect life or property.
The pelts or hides of any mammal taken under these provisions may be transferred, possessed, traded, bartered, or sold by any person who holds an appropriate small
game or furbearer license. (For information on the possession and/or
disposal of pelts and hides of animals NOT listed above, including bear and lion, please contact CPW for permission.)

mac1911
05-25-2015, 07:53 PM
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t196/jrm7800/103_3257_zpsd27a782a.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/jrm7800/media/103_3257_zpsd27a782a.jpg.html)
this is my more serious critter eliminator.... http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Benjamin_Discovery_Air_Rifle/1543 before the custom stock the unit did fine and I have no problems out to 40 yards. Scope is a hawke airmax. Pellet of choice is JSB 15gn dome Match. its about the best PCP you can get for the money. I picked mine up on sale with pump for 329$ shipped
Trigger is something to get used to but if your a bit mechanical theres DIY mods. It runs on PCP or CO2. Its only a 2000psi system. I get a good solid 20 accurate shots before needing to top off. like most guns pellet and air preasure curve need to be learned. My sweet spot is about 2 needle widths shy of 2k on the gauge on the pump and down to 1400ish

this is my 25 yard and in critter getter.... crosman 1400 multi pump 22cal 18 gn JSB match and crosman premier shoot minute of kill zone with ease on 5 to 8 pumps.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t196/jrm7800/103_2935.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/jrm7800/media/103_2935.jpg.html)

and of course theres the sheridan thats always by the back door.... has the williams peep sight and its zeroed for 15 yards. thats about where the critter dont belong near the house...easy pickings.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t196/jrm7800/100_2817-1.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/jrm7800/media/100_2817-1.jpg.html) its really hard to recomend a rifle so many fit the bill. The one you borrowed is a fine system also. I was and still am not a fan of springers but if I where to gey one the under lever or side cocker is much better than a break barrel IMHO.

dilly
05-26-2015, 10:03 AM
I don't know any laws regarding squirrels. I was just responding to jcwit, in general. I have never seen a squirrel as long as I have lived in AZ.


I should have made it more clear that I was just joking, and my response was meant to be to jcwit's "pouching" remark. Now that I'm rereading it I'm not sure who the Texan is myself.

I'll edit it and see what clarity I can add.

gloob
05-28-2015, 07:18 AM
I must have been tired. I believe I chuckled the first time I read it, then somehow answered it like it was serious.



I was and still am not a fan of springers but if I where to gey one the under lever or side cocker is much better than a break barrel IMHO. I have to admit that the break-barrel was a nagging doubt for a long time with my first springer. Was the lockup causing the poor groups? Or the slow-learned fact that my scope needs a couple of shots to settle after making an adjustment? Or getting used to the kick/hold? Or could it have been the break-in? I did a lot of tweaking on the lock-up and the tension, and I think it really did make a difference in vertical flyers. But once you have a break-barrel firing on all cylinders, it's a thing of beauty.

Garyshome
05-28-2015, 07:48 AM
"I am sure I saw a squirrel give me the finger yesterday! Brazen they are!"

Check out Sportsmans guide they usually have some pretty good deals on Gamo brand

jh45gun
05-28-2015, 10:07 PM
I love my Nitro Venom and it is very accurate. See target in my post on it.

gloob
05-28-2015, 10:23 PM
Seen it, and all I can say is you have a better bench than I do. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

Lonegun1894
06-06-2015, 04:22 AM
Yes, a Sheridan 5mm/.20 caliber air rifle will do the job nicely.
I cannot shoot squirrel with anything that is not a firearm, as the game laws require a firearm for all game animals.
No, rabbits/ hares , coons, possums and even feral swine are legal as all of them are not game animals, under Texas law.

Texas law got changed this year to allow us to use a pellet rifle as long as it gets a velocity of at least 600 fps.

greenwart
08-17-2015, 07:00 PM
Sheridan Blue Streak 14.3g pellets. My neighbor and I had a yearly competition to see how many squirrels we could get per calendar year. 53 was my record. Compared to my 177 benjamin the 5mm is much more effective.

Silverboolit
08-17-2015, 07:46 PM
Back to the question at hand. Try finding a Weirauch or a RWS/Diana 34 refurbished with either a Hawk or Leapers/UTG spring-rated scope. You will be happy with that setup and so will your grandkids when they inherit it. They are that good.

jcwit
08-17-2015, 08:13 PM
This

~https://www.bakerairguns.com/product/rws-diana-52/


is going to be hard to beat for the quality or price.

725
08-17-2015, 09:46 PM
Love my RWS Diana. .177

MBTcustom
08-17-2015, 10:16 PM
I had a Diana in .22 that I sold in S&S a couple years ago. Definitely a good quality air rifle. Another of those that I regretted selling but could not afford to keep it (sigh).
Fine rifles no doubt.

jmorris
08-17-2015, 11:19 PM
I have a Benjamin 342 that has been killing destructive animals for more than 30 years.

ebner glocken
08-18-2015, 06:59 AM
Guys, he came here looking for advise on a pellet rifle, I think a few here can help him. If he wanted legal advise he would have posted on a different site. Any of the above rifles of above I have seen will kill you a tree rat.

Ebner

GhostHawk
08-18-2015, 07:58 AM
Where I grew up in Minnesota there was a bag limit. However, a property owner shooting pests on his property is another matter.

Like many of the others my first vote would be for a Sheridan. Never lost a squirrel off a roof at the farm.
Shot more blackbirds than I can count, some rabbits, etc. Like any firearm, target placement is key, stick to ranges you know you can hit at.

As far as the cost side. Crossman makes a pump up pistol called a 1322. (.22 caliber). This little shooter is available at pyramid air in a "shooters kit" for around 75$. And the kit has a shoulder stock that turns the pistol into a carbine. At 20 feet I have put 5 shots into a single ragged hole.

With a 30-40$ red dot it is capable of doing the same at longer range.

Black Beard
08-18-2015, 10:58 AM
Good buys at the budget end are:

Hatsan- same as a Webley but a lot cheaper. Models 55/60 are very good for the money but so are some of their other models.. Make sure you get one with a quatro trigger (so not a striker/1000). Avoid the over powered 125 sniper unless you chop the spring down as it will destroy scopes and rattle your teeth.

Remington express.


If you like the TX then the Walther LGU is pretty much a copy.

If you can get a second hand Weirauch HW77 or 97 they are worth a look. They are in the same style and quality bracket as TXs.


The nikko scopes are pretty good on spring guns. Loads of people use the inexpensive mountmaster range.

jcwit
08-18-2015, 11:10 AM
Not to harp on it, but that Diana by RWS is one of the best out their, and for that price just about can't be beat. I own a Benjamin 312 Pump, a Beeman R1, Beeman R7, Hatsan 95 Vortex, Hatsan 95 springer, an Anschutz 250 match target, a couple of Chinese no names, and of course a RWS Diana 48. All are good but for the price I'd op for the RWS Diana 48.

MT Chambers
08-18-2015, 06:37 PM
If you are used to the TX200, most other springers won't come close, maybe the RWS 34, or one of the less expensive Weihrauchs, but you'll only save a hundred bucks or so on the Weihrauchs. The more that i shoot my TX200 the better I like it, if you end up with one of your own, try the JSB 8.4 grs. or Air Arms 8.4.

Blanket
08-19-2015, 04:47 AM
my old Sheridans is all I use to hunt squirrels and rabbits, have a Blue and Silver Streak rocker safety

Black Beard
08-19-2015, 08:08 AM
This

~https://www.bakerairguns.com/product/rws-diana-52/


is going to be hard to beat for the quality or price.

I agree. Buy it. New Dianas go sell the equivalent of $800 over here.

Hamish
08-19-2015, 12:01 PM
There is a season & bag limit on squirrels in your state. Do you plan on pouching them?

Edited to reflect the old adage about arguing,,,,

gloob's post regarding springers certainly mirrors my experience with a Gamo Big Cat 1200. Accuracy is sporadically stellar, and if I had to do it over, I would have spent the extra for a piston model.

jcwit
08-19-2015, 12:40 PM
I believe I did.

~http://www.huntingseasonhq.com/colorado-hunting-seasons/

KCSO
08-19-2015, 06:04 PM
I picked up a Stoeger air rifle in 177 for pests and it works just fine to the 20 yards or so I have used it so far. It was just 129.00 and although the trigger is not real good the rifle groups Crossman pellets into an inch at 20 yards and drops them dead. My buddy uses a Gamo for the same purpose and upgraded his with a new trigger that is really sweet and he's got just 169 in his so far. Both are in the 1000 fps range.

jcwit
08-19-2015, 06:10 PM
By "fact check" I meant that you inferred that the OP was a poacher without any information to support it. Besides that it's none of your business to start with. Quit with the nanna boo-boo.

Wrong again guy. I asked if planning to poach, not knowing if he was.

Get your own "fact check" right!

BTW, whats wrong with asking about poaching, here's a question, it needs no "fact check". Do YOU or do YOU not support poaching? I hope it's the later.

JesterGrin_1
08-19-2015, 09:11 PM
Do YOU or do YOU not support poaching? I hope it's the later.


I will answer that one lol. I do not support poaching unless someone is in great need that needs food and has no other way to get it other than stealing. So I would much rather have someone work and hunt for there food then to rob someone.

jcwit
08-19-2015, 09:58 PM
I will answer that one lol. I do not support poaching unless someone is in great need that needs food and has no other way to get it other than stealing. So I would much rather have someone work and hunt for there food then to rob someone.

I somewhat agree with you other than the fact poaching steals from all the rest of the sportsman. Hungry or not. In todays world with all the food pantries, and church programs, I see little need for folks to go hungry. But I may be wrong, but I'm not here where I live.

MT Chambers
08-19-2015, 10:52 PM
So what does all this have to do with the OP who wants a good air rifle recommendation??

jcwit
08-19-2015, 11:33 PM
I'm not the one who started the argument.

I did give my recommendation back in posts 30 and 37.

Doggonekid
08-20-2015, 12:30 AM
Air Arms makes really sweet guns. You could get spoiled real quick. Varmint control is important to you now but get a gun that is fun to shoot for all purposes. Visit http://www.straightshooters.com/ they have everything you could want.

LtFrankDrebbin
08-20-2015, 06:16 AM
I will answer that one lol. I do not support poaching unless someone is in great need that needs food and has no other way to get it other than stealing. So I would much rather have someone work and hunt for there food then to rob someone.


Ha! That's exactly what made Australia... We're a bunch of crooks [smilie=s:

Air rifle recommendation? Simple rule of thumb is go for something either made in Germany or made in England and chances are you can't go wrong. Those guys know a thing or two about Air rifles.

Black Beard
08-21-2015, 03:58 AM
However, BSA and Webley spring guns have both dropped down the quality scale. BSAs are now mostly made in Spain by Gamo. The BSA lightning is particularly bad. Webleys are now made in Turkey by Hatsan, but with a better finish and a different badge. You might as well buy a Hatsan for 2/3 of the price. BSA pneumatics are very good though.

Air Arms are very good though. Theobens were nice but over priced (company now gone bust).