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Old June 14, 2006, 07:08 PM   #1
Boardwalk
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City varmits - need an air rifle

OK folks, I need your help. I have plenty of all the kinds of long and hand guns to take care of the problem but can't use any of them. I'm in a large suburban city in Illinois. The entire area has varmit problems due to the tremendous growth forcing the critters into older residential neighborhoods like mine. At 1st I would use my live trap and caught possums - no problem. But now, for almost 2 years I've be trying to keep skunks out of my yard. It is completely fenced but they can be under it in a matter of minutes. And then it's about 10 feet to the back of my shed and under they go. This year I had a family under my shed for a total of 7 and have trapped 5 so far. Of the two remaining, one of the babies got my lab the other night (again! ) Unless I patrol a long fence line everyday, most of which has perrenials growing in front of it, I'm fighting a losing battle. I have wasted countless hours getting and baiting and cleaning traps from the animal control people and sometimes you can't even get a trap due to the demand. If I use my own trap they won't come and pick it up. Would someone/anyone who has encountered this kind of problem please recommend an air rifle with appropriate scope (or pistol) that is quiet and will get the job done? I know they are varmits but I want the first shot to take it out humanely if possible. And then there is the occasionaly opposum or raccoon that finds its way in as well ...Help...and Thanks
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Old June 14, 2006, 08:38 PM   #2
JJB2
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i use an rws model 34 in 17 caliber with a powerline scope i bought at wal-mart to take some of the varmints in my town ................ that and a s&w model 27 with shot shells..........
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Old June 14, 2006, 08:48 PM   #3
coonan357
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boardwalk, try the old trick of using mothballs under the shed , its funny but they can't stand the smell . and its humane too . about half a box should do ya , and keep the pooch away from it . and when you look for a air rifle beware Isp has made a rule that anything over 750fps is considered a firearm and carries the same penalties ( look up in the foid file )
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Old June 14, 2006, 10:14 PM   #4
razorburn
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Coons, possums, and skunks are pretty demanding for air gun levels of power. It's going to be expensive, $350 and up. I expect something with about 20-25 FPE is going to be needed with a headshot. Along the lines of a Air Arms Pro-Elite in .22, or RWS 54. A spring piston gun or PCP with a noise moderator.
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Old June 15, 2006, 12:05 AM   #5
chemist308
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Save your money. Get a Crosman (powermaster or 2100 series) or a Daisy equivalent. When I was a kid my Crosman 760 with steel bbs took down any critter I aimed at--but the two I recommended are much better. I've no doubt you'll kill a skunk if you do your part. Recommend an air rifle scope and headshots. If you absolutely feel you must spend over $100 get a benjamin pump. You don't want to propel at 1000 fps for your purposes.
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Old June 15, 2006, 01:00 AM   #6
Twycross
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A couple years ago, there was a varmint problem at my parents place, and I was enlisted. Well, I more volunteered.

Anyhow, I was using a RWS 34, shooting a .22 cal pellet at ~800 FPS. Skunks and rabbits went down pretty easy. I don't remember any that needed a second shot. The one coon I dispatched, well, that was another story. It took around a half a dozen shots to put him down. Looking back, the airgun was not up to the task.

You probably don't need a really expensive gun. Gamo has some models in the right power range for about half the cost of an RWS ($170-250). But they don't have much in the way of .22, if that's what you want. .177 should be up to the job, but I would probably stay at 900 fps minimum, 1000 being preferable.

Crossman also has a few models that could work, for even less than the Gamo ones.
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Old June 15, 2006, 01:41 AM   #7
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As said already - RWS model 34. Highly rated, best selling workhorse air rifle from Germany. Get 'em for about $200 at Gander Mountain.

http://www.dnrws.com/model_34.html

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Old June 15, 2006, 01:49 AM   #8
razorburn
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Visit http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/
to talk to people with experience. I think it's the main airgun forum on the web.
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Old June 15, 2006, 08:30 AM   #9
FirstFreedom
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If coonan is right, that 750 fps and up is a firearm, with stiff penalties for urban use, then a .22 cal air rifle @ 750 is going to be superior to a .177 cal air rifle - more energy. If you can afford it, I'd recommend the Air Force Talon "SS" - the SS is the suppressed model - very quiet. I know you can get it in .177, and I think you can change out the barrel with a special order, to .22.

http://www.airforceairguns.com/

I have an RWS model 34, and it's loud, and it would violate the 750 fps rule you apparently have.
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Old June 15, 2006, 08:59 AM   #10
Wild Bill Bucks
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If you want to spend some REAL money for an air rifles, check out the "Airrow Stealth" Air rifle. Big performance (Air powered sniper rifle .25 caliber) Big Price.
Totally worthless for me, but I thought it was an intersting looking rifle.
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Old June 15, 2006, 10:30 AM   #11
ribbonstone
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HAve had a 'possum problem before. Airguns are one good solution, but do be careful in your selection as many are pretty loud. In gneneral, the pre-charged pneumatics are (1) expensive and (2) loud unless supressed.

Same with the old multi-pump pneumatics. Get good power, but they tend to have a louder "crack" than spring-piston airguns. Can say much the same for CO2 guns, the few that have the power level needed.

Spring-air might be the way to go...and in a larger caliber (.22....there are some .25's).

Neighbor had a possum in his attic...refused traps. I wated up for that critter in a home-made blind on an overlooking roof and nailed it to the ground with a bolt from a crossbow. Needed to be quiet and the crossbow from a sharp downward angle (that's why I was on the roof) had limited chance of skipping off into the neighbors bedroom window.
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Old June 15, 2006, 10:55 AM   #12
Jack O'Conner
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My folks lived in town for a time. Dad and I built unobstrusive box traps from Ragnor Benson designs. A peice of plywood was leaned against the garage and the trap was placed under it. Sort of like making a tunnel for the critter to walk into. Dad caught many animals. He simply took the trap into the garage. Then he reached in with heavy welding gloves and off'd the critter with a ball peen hammer. Feral cats were the common pests he caught. Silent and deadly.

Skunks were drowned inside the traps as they get fussy and will spray. Dad just lowered the trap into a section of metal ducting and filled it with water.

If the area critters get wise and stay away from the trap, try this old trick. Place an opened can of cheap catfood inside the box trap but don't set the trigger. After awhile, they get used to the free meal. Then you simply set the trigger and start catching again.

Plan to dispose of the corpses with care. Dad dumped 'em alongside the road a mile or so away. Hey, crows gotta eat, too! Its a good idea to be somewhat cautious and elusive.
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Old June 15, 2006, 11:28 AM   #13
swampdog
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I think your asking an airgun to do too much in the case of racoon, possum and possibly skunk. I'd definitely go with a .22 caliber airgun over a .177. If you'll be violating a local ordinance using an airgun over 750fps anyway, use a .22lr from inside the house. If you keep back in the room and just crack the window, the room itself will act as a big expansion chamber. You'll barely hear it from outside. That's with standard 22lr. If you can use cb's, they'll make less noise than an air rifle. I'd be leery using cb's or an air rifle on a possum or racoon, btw. Your neighbors just might not understand when you have to get one you wounded out from under their porch.

This might be a good time to take up bowhunting. You can get a good used one from a pawnshop for around $100. The crossbow mentioned from an elevated position is a good idea, but I'd have a hardtime justifying the expense. Get yourself a good backstop (straw bales) and a deer target. Climb up on your roof and "practice". Who's to know if you "accidently" pop a coon.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=205656

Stay out of trouble and have fun.

Edited because I can't spell.

Last edited by swampdog; June 15, 2006 at 06:56 PM.
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Old June 15, 2006, 01:45 PM   #14
mikejonestkd
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pay attenion to local laws

You could get in trouble dispatching them even with an air rifle. Like the others mentioned they can be treated as a firearm depending on the velocity.

Even trapping and killing them could get you in trouble with the PETA folks. Cruelity to animals charges don't look good on a resume.

In my state of NY you can't discharge a firearm/bow/crossbow/ airgun within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling/school/church, even when hunting ( except duck hunting )

You could also get fined for hunting out of season or without a license.

If I were in the same position I would find a lethal quick and quiet trap and don't tell a soul that you are using it. Its still illegal in most localities as you would be trapping without a license....so be careful.
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Old June 15, 2006, 02:20 PM   #15
Wild Bill Bucks
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Unless there is some reason you can't use one, I would put a fence charger on my fence. They are non-lethal, and can be turned off when not needed.
Animals quickly learn to stay away from them ( as do people)
If you are in an area where there are people walking around your fence, this is probably not going to be a solution to your problem, as you wouldn't want anyone to get shocked.(Unless they were undercover PETA members)
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Old June 15, 2006, 04:04 PM   #16
Boardwalk
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City varmits - continued

Hey all:

Thanks for a wide range of expertise, the web links, and especially for the words of caution with the FPS rule in Illinois. I should have done my homework but there has been no harm done up until now. At the very least, you all have provided me some sound advise on the right kind of equipment to get these critters. If the air gun is a 'no no' I'll trap the remaining two babies and then get back there and bury a small grid, heavy guage wire mesh and run it down the fence and across to the shed and up the shed about 1' and just monitor it until they give up I guess.

Or, maybe I'll wait for the 4th of July when I can take two full tilt shots with my Model 66-2 snubby (Just kidding...)
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Old June 15, 2006, 04:10 PM   #17
CrazyLarry
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whoa whoa whoa, didn't read all the posts because I feel you need to read this ASAP!!!

I too have felt out the options for neighborhood varmints, and believe I have found the ideal set up. I've had high velocity, expensive air rifles and was not impressed.

so here ya go- Get a bolt action .22LR, I got a Marlin model 60 used for $60 from my local toy store. then buy a brick of aguila colibris, you will be in business!! The colibris will shoot accurate and are less noisy than an air rifle....but, they are also more powerful i.e. more knockdown!!

I have shown this set up to lots of people and they are blown away at how quiet it is. Let alone you still have the option to shoot hot .22 rounds. It puts squirrels down and my buddies and I have even used them effectively on prairie dogs when we find those colonies right next to a road hehe.
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Old June 15, 2006, 04:15 PM   #18
CrazyLarry
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for those unfamiliar, the colibri is a 20gr .22 bullet in a casing with no gun powder, just a primer. Will blow straight through a pop can
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Old June 15, 2006, 04:18 PM   #19
robroy15
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Crazy Larry has the correct idea. You can also use CCI CB long ammo.
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Old June 15, 2006, 04:23 PM   #20
CrazyLarry
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don't fall for that subsonic crap, it still seems to have an almost full report.

My aunt had pigeons throughout her barn in ID last X-Mas. She hated the pigeons yet also dislikes guns around her horses.


well well well, my cousin supplied the beverages and I brought along the bolt gun + colibri's, everyone wound up happy, + no holes in her roof lol.
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Old June 15, 2006, 04:52 PM   #21
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Be careful with those colibri. While I've never had it happen, they can supposedly "stick" in the barrel of a rifle. There's a warning on the box "to be used in handguns only". I've fired them with no problems in a ruger 10/22 and a CZ 452. I guess it could happen, though, and if it does and you put another round down the barrel, you've probably got a mess. The CCI cb's are slightly louder, but they're more accurate and use a heavier bullet. Like I said, I'd be real leery about using cb's on a racoon or possum. CrazyLarry mentioned a good, ethical rule for varmint hunting on another thread. "Nothing deserves to suffer". Makes good sense to me.

Last edited by swampdog; June 15, 2006 at 06:54 PM.
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Old June 15, 2006, 06:05 PM   #22
jhgreasemonkey
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Speaking from experience dont shoot a skunk! I got sprayed at close range and its wasnt a pleasant experience. Run.
I was on vacation in Alaska last month and stopped in at Ketchikan for the day. They have hundreds of these funny (varmits) at the dump. Theyre big furry 100-500lbs and can eat you. I'd love to varmit hunt those bad boys but would like something around 30-06.
My grandpa lives in the city and shoots rats from his porch with an air rifle. Air rifle gets my vote for those kind of pests.
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Old June 15, 2006, 06:55 PM   #23
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Another vote for the .22 with Super Colibris or CCI CB longs. If there is a legality issue using a firearm, I would opt for poison.
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Old June 15, 2006, 10:26 PM   #24
FirstFreedom
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But fellas, couple things about the super colibris:

1. In the guns I've tried them in, they are not nearly as accurate as my air rifles - and accuracy is essential when you're talking about a head shot on Pepe La Pieu. You want to knock out the control center immediately so they don't spray.

2. EVEN IF it is technically *just as* illegal to shoot an airgun in the city limits in your locale as it is to shoot a rimfire firearm, as a practical matter, I believe it can make a great deal of difference as to whether you are cited, arrested, and/or prosecuted if you are shooting "just a bb gun, officer, what's the big deal?". But a .22 firearm, colibri or otherwise, in most jurisdictions, is gonna be looked on quite a bit more unfavorably by law enforcement, even if on the same technical legal ground.

3. They are excellent bird killers out to about 15 yards. But for 20, 25, 30 yards, or more, a .177 pellet gun is going to have a much better point blank range - we're talking 700-1000 fps instead of 500 for the super colibris, AND a better ballistic coefficient.

So there is definitely a place for a good, suppressed airgun in some circumstances. Another good thing about that is no class 3 paperwork is needed to get a suppressed airgun. I'd get one of those Air Force if I had the cash for it AND all the damned accessories required - hoses, clamps, connectors, tanks, the whole bit.

Crazy Larry is right - CB cap ammo (short & long), such as from CCI is NOT quiet. Sure it's a tad quieter than full power ammo, but still much much louder than a colibri or pellet gun. I have on order right now some RWS/Diana true BB cap ("flobert") ammo, and I'll post to let y'all know if they're more accurate than the colibris - I sure hope so!
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Old June 15, 2006, 11:16 PM   #25
2rugers
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A simple snare would suffice in your situation very, very well. Put it at the entrance they are using to get under your shed, check early a.m. Problem solved.
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