Will a BB Gun Kill a Squirrel? (What You Need to Know)

Will a BB gun kill a squirrel? The answer isn’t so cut and dry as yes or no. There are a lot of factors to consider such as pellet size, velocity, location of impact, and many more. However, yes, if done correctly, a bb gun will kill a squirrel.

Before you pull out your Red Rider and start shooting at pesky squirrels in your backyard you should consider a few things. First, some bylaws might be in place to prevent you from doing this. You’ll need to dispose of the remains yourself. And you need to factor in the humane removal of squirrels. Sometimes it’s easier to deter them than to kill them.

In this article we will cover how a BB gun can kill squirrels, the types of BB guns and pellets to use, alternative methods, and some factors that can prevent you from using a BB gun for killing vermin.

Will a BB Gun Kill a Squirrel?

Now, let’s address the burning question: Will a BB gun kill a squirrel? The answer is, well, it depends. BB guns are not as powerful as firearms, but they can still cause harm to squirrels. With proper shot placement, it is possible to injure or even kill a squirrel with a well-aimed BB.

However, here’s where things get a bit tricky. Squirrels are nimble little critters, darting around with lightning speed. Landing an accurate shot that ensures a quick and humane kill can be quite challenging, even for the most skilled marksmen.

I once tried using a BB gun to deal with a pesky squirrel in my attic, but only managed to give it a slight scare. I was stuck living with the squirrel as my roommate for longer than I’d like to admit.

How Much Damage Will an Airsoft Gun Do to a Squirrel?

Now, let’s address the burning question on many homeowners’ minds: How much damage can an airsoft gun really do to a squirrel? Picture this: you’re frustrated with squirrels raiding your bird feeders or causing havoc in your garden, and you’re contemplating using an airsoft gun as a possible solution. As a pest control expert, I’m here to shed some light on this topic and help you make an informed decision.

Understanding the Potential Impact:

Airsoft guns, as you may know, are primarily used for recreational purposes like target shooting or simulating combat scenarios. They typically shoot small plastic BBs at varying velocities, depending on the specific gun and modifications made. However, when it comes to using airsoft guns for squirrel control, it’s important to understand their limitations.

First, let’s talk about power. Airsoft guns are generally low-powered compared to traditional firearms. While they can propel BBs at a decent speed, they are not specifically designed or intended for hunting or pest control.

I once encountered a homeowner who had tried using an airsoft gun to handle squirrels in their yard. Despite their best efforts, the BBs only managed to give the squirrels a gentle tap or a momentary scare. The squirrels seemed to bounce back quickly, continuing their antics as if nothing had happened. If you’re really trying to kill a squirrel you should use a high velocity BB gun that shoots metal pellets instead of an airsoft gun that shoots plastic BBs.

Is it Legal to Shoot Squirrels with BB Guns?

Laws regarding hunting squirrels with BB guns can vary depending on the jurisdiction. It is important to consult the specific regulations in your local area to understand the legal requirements and restrictions.

In many regions, hunting regulations differentiate between firearms and air guns, including BB guns. While firearms may be regulated under specific hunting seasons and licenses, air guns, including BB guns, may have different rules. Some jurisdictions may allow hunting small game, such as squirrels, with air guns, while others may prohibit it altogether.

To ensure compliance with the law, it is crucial to consult local hunting regulations, which are typically enforced by wildlife agencies, fish and game departments, or other relevant authorities. These organizations can provide accurate and up-to-date information on hunting laws specific to your area.

Additionally, even if hunting squirrels with BB guns is permitted, it is important to consider the ethical and humane aspects of hunting. Responsible hunters prioritize clean and humane kills, adhere to bag limits, and promote sustainable hunting practices.

Remember, the information provided here is general, and it is essential to research and consult local authorities to obtain accurate and specific information regarding the legality of hunting squirrels with BB guns in your area.

Will a BB Gun Kill a Squirrel?

Where to Shoot a Squirrel to Kill It Humanely

Before we proceed, it’s important to note that using a BB gun for squirrel control may not be the most effective or humane method. BB guns are typically low-powered and primarily designed for recreational use rather than pest control.

When using a BB gun, it’s important to aim for precise shot placement to ensure a quick and humane kill. For squirrels, the most effective and ethical target areas are the head and vital organs.

Headshots: When targeting the head, aim for the area just behind the eye, ideally with a high-velocity projectile. This shot placement targets the squirrel’s brain, ensuring a quick and humane kill. It requires precision and accuracy, so it’s essential to have proper firearms training and follow local regulations and safety guidelines.

Vital Organs: If a headshot is not feasible, targeting the vital organs is another humane option. The chest area, including the heart and lungs, is a good target. However, it’s important to note that squirrels are small and agile creatures, making vital organ shots more challenging to achieve.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Gun for Pest Control

When it comes to selecting a BB gun for squirrel control, finding the right one is essential. In this section, I’ll provide you with helpful tips on what to look for when purchasing a gun for pest control. As a pest control expert, I want to assist you in a friendly and casual manner, making sure you make an informed decision.

  1. Pellet caliber
  2. Weight of the rifle
  3. Size of the barrel
  4. Firing mechanism
  5. Loading mechanism

Pellet Caliber

When it comes to pellet calibers, the most popular choices for pest control are .177 and .22. The .177 caliber is smaller and lighter, resulting in faster pellet exit and potential accuracy. On the other hand, the .22 caliber packs more punch, delivering increased energy to the target. Personal anecdote time: I remember using a .22 caliber pellet in my BB gun and noticing its effectiveness in hitting the target with a solid impact.

Weight of the Rifle

Consider the weight of the rifle as it plays a crucial role in stability and shooting comfort. A heavier rifle offers better stability when taking your shot, resulting in improved accuracy. Additionally, a heavier rifle reduces recoil, allowing for longer shooting periods without getting tired. Personal anecdote time again: I once tried using a lightweight BB gun and noticed that it was more challenging to keep steady while aiming, affecting my accuracy.

Size of the Barrel

The size of the barrel affects accuracy as well. A longer barrel tends to provide better accuracy compared to a shorter one. It allows the pellet more time to spin, resulting in improved precision. Personal anecdote time: I once upgraded to a BB gun with a longer barrel and noticed a significant improvement in my shooting accuracy, especially over longer distances.

Firing Mechanism

There are two common firing mechanisms: gas and spring. Gas-powered rifles use pre-filled compressed air in the chamber, releasing it when the trigger is pulled to propel the pellet. Spring-powered rifles, on the other hand, have a tensioned piston that’s released when the trigger is pulled, using compressed air to propel the pellet. In my experience, spring-powered rifles tend to be more accurate due to reduced vibration upon releasing the piston.

Loading Mechanism

Consider the loading mechanism of the BB gun, which can be a break barrel, side lever, or bolt action. Break barrel rifles are the most common, allowing you to hinge the barrel open for loading the pellet. Side lever rifles feature a lever on the side of the receiver that opens the breech for loading. Bolt action rifles have a bolt handle on the right side of the receiver, operating to open the breech for loading. In terms of accuracy, I find bolt action rifles to be the most precise due to minimal vibration when operating the bolt.

Best Guns for Hunting Squirrels

When it comes to hunting squirrels, having the right gun can make all the difference. In this section, I’ll provide you with helpful tips on selecting the best guns for hunting squirrels. As a pest control expert, I’m here to assist you in a friendly and casual manner, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Caliber and Velocity

For an optimal hunting experience, you’ll want a gun with a high velocity, accuracy, and a suitable pellet caliber. If you’re new to hunting and shooting, I recommend starting with a .22 caliber. It offers good stopping power and is forgiving for beginners. On the other hand, if you already have decent shooting skills, a .177 caliber can be a great choice.

FPS (Feet Per Second)

When it comes to FPS, the higher, the better. Look for a gun that shoots at least 800 FPS (Feet Per Second). This ensures the pellet travels with enough speed and energy to deliver a humane and effective kill.

I once tried using a lower FPS gun and found that it didn’t provide the necessary power and resulted in less effective shots.

Top Guns on the Market

Now, let’s explore some of the best guns on the market that meet these criteria:

Umarex Ruger Blackhawk .177 Caliber Pellet Gun

The Ruger Blackhawk pellet rifle is a spring piston single stroke break barrel air rifle designed for effective pest control. With its all-weather composite polymer black stock, ambidextrous design, and checkered grip areas, it offers durability and comfort for both left- and right-handed shooters.

This rifle shoots a single pellet out of its rifled barrel at velocities up to 1000 feet per second, reaching an impressive 1200 feet per second with alloy pellets. Its fiber optic sights aid in quick target acquisition and precise shooting.

With a 3.3 lb trigger pull, 14.5-inch length of pull, and manageable 30 lb cocking effort, the Ruger Blackhawk strikes a balance between power and maneuverability. It measures 44.8 inches in overall length and is chambered for .177 caliber pellets, offering versatility in ammunition choices.

Get a closer look on Amazon.

Gamo Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal

The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle is a powerful pellet gun designed for hunting small game, pest control, and target practice. It shoots a .177 PBA Platinum alloy pellet at an impressive velocity of 1250 fps, ensuring accurate and effective shots.

Equipped with a 4x32mm scope, this rifle allows you to spot and target small, hard-to-see game with ease. The Varmint features an all-weather molded synthetic stock with non-slip texturing on the pistol grip and forearm for a secure hold. Its Monte Carlo cheek pad aligns your eye perfectly with the scope, while the rubber recoil pad ensures comfortable and steady shooting.

Operating the Varmint is simple with its break barrel, spring-powered cocking system. The rifle also has an automatic manual safety for added precaution. With a single-shot capacity, a two-stage adjustable trigger, and a synthetic stock, it offers convenience and durability.

Included with the rifle is a 4×32 air rifle scope for enhanced accuracy and target acquisition.

Choose the Gamo Varmint Air Rifle for a reliable and powerful companion in your small game hunting endeavors.

Staying Safe While Hunting Squirrels: Essential Tips

When engaging in squirrel hunting, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and take necessary precautions. As a pest control expert, I want to ensure you have an enjoyable and risk-free experience. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Protect Yourself: To protect yourself from any potential bacteria or contaminants present on squirrels, it’s advisable to wear protective gear. Consider wearing gloves, a mask, and goggles to shield yourself from direct contact. This will help minimize any risks associated with handling the animals.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Wear clothing that provides a good amount of coverage when hunting squirrels. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are recommended to protect your skin from scratches, insect bites, or any unforeseen hazards you might encounter in the field.
  3. Immediate Cleanup: After successfully shooting a squirrel, it’s important to quickly clean up the area. This prevents attracting other animals to the location. Dispose of any blood or remains responsibly by placing them in a plastic bag and placing it in the trash. Keeping the area clean and tidy helps maintain a safe environment for both humans and wildlife.
  4. Eye Protection: Wearing safety glasses or goggles is highly recommended during squirrel hunting. These protective eyewear options safeguard your eyes from potential debris or unforeseen accidents, ensuring your vision remains unobstructed and preventing any potential eye injuries.
  5. Maintain Hygiene: After handling squirrels or being in the vicinity of a hunting site, it’s essential to prioritize personal hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to eliminate any potential bacteria or contaminants. Additionally, ensure your hunting clothes are properly cleaned to prevent the transfer of any harmful substances.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a safe and responsible squirrel hunting experience. Remember, it’s always better to be prepared and prioritize your well-being while engaging in any outdoor activity.

Humane Alternatives to BB Guns:

To address squirrel-related issues in a humane and effective manner, it is crucial to explore alternative solutions. Non-lethal methods should be prioritized to ensure the well-being of both the squirrels and the surrounding ecosystem. Consider the following alternatives to BB guns:

  1. Squirrel Deterrents: Implementing squirrel deterrents can help discourage squirrels from areas where they are unwanted. Motion-activated sprinkler systems provide an effective deterrent by releasing bursts of water when squirrels approach. Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to squirrels but inaudible to humans. Additionally, using squirrel repellents can make specific areas or objects less appealing to squirrels.
  2. Exclusion Techniques: Preventing squirrels from accessing certain areas can be achieved through exclusion techniques. Seal off entry points to buildings and attics by using wire mesh or caulking to ensure squirrels cannot enter. Employing squirrel-proof feeders that limit access to food can help redirect their attention elsewhere.
  3. Habitat Modification: By modifying the habitat, you can discourage squirrels from frequenting certain areas. Trimming tree branches that provide easy access to buildings or placing baffles on bird feeders can deter squirrels. Ensuring that garbage containers are secure and not easily accessible to squirrels can also minimize their presence.


The question of whether a BB gun can kill a squirrel is not a straightforward yes or no. Factors such as pellet size, velocity, and shot placement play a significant role. While a well-aimed shot from a BB gun can injure or kill a squirrel, it can be challenging to achieve a quick and humane kill due to the nimbleness of squirrels.

Using an airsoft gun for squirrel control is generally ineffective as they are low-powered and not designed for pest control. Laws regarding hunting squirrels with BB guns vary, so it’s important to consult local regulations. Ethical considerations should also be taken into account when hunting squirrels.

For those considering using a BB gun, precise shot placement in the head or vital organs is necessary for a humane kill. Factors to consider when purchasing a BB gun include pellet caliber, weight, barrel size, firing mechanism, and loading mechanism.

Ultimately, it is essential to prioritize safety, legality, and ethical considerations when dealing with squirrel control.

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