Best Air Rifle For Hunting Rabbits

Best Break Barrel Air Rifle For Hunting Rabbits

There's absolutely no doubt that when it comes to stealthy procuring food procurement, you cant go far wrong with a good break barrel, springer air rifle.  

* This article is generally based on the need for a good reliable air rifle for food procurement in a survival, situation.

Air rifles come in two standards (calibre), these being 0.177 and 0.22. These are also restricted in their power output level by law.
With a maximum of 12 ft/lb they can still pack a hefty punch and they are an ideal choice for small game such as rabbit, squirrel and pigeon.

* If you want a more powerful rifle, above the 12ft/lb, then you require a F.A.C (Fire Arms Certificate) which will entail a process involving personal searches and checks by the police to ensure your suitability to own one. 

However, an 'off the shelf' legal 0.177 air rifle will fire a pellet at anything up to 800 feet per second, as opposed to the 0.22 rifle which will fire at around 500 feet per second.
The main reason is, of course, the pellet size and weight, with the 0.177 weighing in at around the 8.5 gram mark, against the larger 0.22, almost double at 16 grams.

Both calibres will take down an averaged size rabbit at a range of up to 50 metres or so depending on conditions and your own ability.
To successfully hunt for rabbits you would generally expect to be able to consistently hit a target group of a maximum 2 inch diameter.

There are many factors to successfully hunting for small game: 

  • Choice of rifle
  • Calibre of rifle
  • Type of pellet
  • Conditions
  • Your own ability

* But in order to makes things easy when choosing the best break barrel rifle for hunting rabbits, you only need to select the calibre of pellet you prefer, as all the rest is down to your level shooting experience and preferences. 

Choice Of Pellets

Essentially this comes down to only choices:

The 0.177 pellet is unable to produce as much kinetic energy as the larger 0.22 pellet.
But, the 0.177 pellet will have a higher speed with a flatter trajectory, therefore this should give a higher degree of accuracy throughout its range.

The kinetic energy of The larger 0.22 pellet will be higher giving increased killing power, but with the velocity being lower, will require more sight adjustments over longer distances compared to the 0.177 pellet.

As a general 'must do' rule: You always aim for a clean head shot and any small game hit in the head will be a kill shot regardless of the calibre of the rifle if it's within the rifles kill range (distance)

Best Air Rifle For Hunting Rabbits

As always, I highly recommend using a specialist gunsmith and that you buy your air rifle from them.
Without a doubt you'll get their help, knowledge and experience when choosing the correct rifle for your requirements.
You'll probably get a guarantee, service options and extras to keep your rifle in top condition and firing 100% every time. 


What's Best:  Break Barrel Or PCP Rifle?

For preppers or anyone involved in survival, or for the ultimate situation, SHTF, where you actually need to hunt for your food in order to survive, I would choose a break barrel, spring powered air rifle over the very much more complex PCP air rifle.

A spring powered beak barrel air rifle unfortunately produces more recoil than the PCP, this mean you'll need to be sure of your ability to hit the target area first, every time, but for preppers it is a long term favourite over the PCP rifle which has far to many parts that can break, leak or go wrong. A PCP rifle costs considerably more than the springer rifle as well, simple as that.

All that being said, don't underestimate the PCP rifle. There an excellent choice. I have both, but I know that if there were ever problems with either I would have a back up.

So What Is The Best Break Barrel Air Rifle For Hunting Rabbits?

Below are three excellent quality, affordable break barrel rifles from my local gunsmith, I would recommend taking a look:

  • Entry Level 

Gamo Varmint Stalker Deluxe - £189


  • Calibre - .177 Approx power - 11.5 ft/lbs
  • Stock - Synthetic
  • Overall Length - 109cm
  • Barrel Length - 46cm
  • Weight - 3.24kg
  • Sights - 9-11mm Dovetail
  • Safety - Manual
  • Under £300 

BSA Lightning XL SE Tactical - £299

Spring Power
Action Type
11+ft lbs
Barrel Length
Over All Length
  • Under £500 

Weihrauch HW 80K - £429

SystemSpring Power
Action TypeBreakbarrel
Power11+ft lbs
Barrel Length410mm
Over All Length1060mm

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