View Full Version : How loud? Pest Problem... .17 and .22

February 18, 2005, 11:35 AM
I live in a semi-populated area, it's out in the country but it's a small development my neighbor to the right is in good relations with us and the one on the left is probably far enough away.

We have a horrible pest problem with chipmunks though, those suckers dig our lawn up something fierce and my dogs and I have tripped in their holes several times.

I generally use a BB gun but sometimes it isn't the most humane way to kill them. I was wondering how loud the .17 calibre is, and for $***s and giggles I was wondering how loud the .22 is (It's been a long time since I fired a .22, I don't remember).

Just as a background I used to fire my paintball gun all the time as well as use a pump action air rifle which has a considerable pop to it at 14-17 pumps.

I'm looking to pick up a .17 just to have one, I do have two .22's in manum and LR, but I don't want to 'test' them on the neighbors until I know how loud they really are. And I have no real shooting range around to do so. :(

Thanks in advance... also other suggestions on how to deal with the problem would be good.

Oh.. there are no houses behind me we're the only ones on this side and my woods are all swamp for the most part and behind that is about 3 large empty fields.

February 18, 2005, 11:55 AM
The .17 hummer is kinda loud; probably a smidge louder than .22 mag. I'd say for real stealth, you need a high quality spring piston airgun in .177, or some Aguila Colibri ammo (formerly known as Super colibri) in your .22. These are super quiet. For a little more noise, a little more accuracy than the colibris, and a lot more power, step up to some CCI "CB" ammo (either short or long) for a .22 rifle, and get to work.

February 18, 2005, 12:02 PM
The other option is too, my bed is in a perfect location near a window that I can rest on, and with some earplugs I can probably shoot from within the house, out the window with a clear view of my surroundings. I'm sure the house would absorb most of the noise but I've only done this with my air rifle.

Any experience with those .22 air rifles?

February 18, 2005, 12:51 PM
Yes, .22 air rifle is also very good on pests for short range shots (out to 25-30 yards), but for longer shots (30-50 yards), I like the better sectional density of a long, *heavy* .177 pellet (10-11 gr), for more retained energy and less bullet drop than the same weight .22 pellet.

Yes, the house itself will act as a sort of suppressor, when shooting from inside to outside as you describe, to an extent, particularly if the window opening is very small. And in MY neighborhood, this fact would allow me to bump it up to perhaps .22 short, but not .22lr or .17 hmr /.22 mag. In YOUR situation, it may very well be the case that the noise from a .17 or .22 mag is sufficiently stifled. Only way to tell I guess is have a friend stand outside on or near the property of the people that would take offense from shooting nearby, and report to you on how loud it sounded to him. But then again, that ain't such a great plan either since the test shots could have an adverse effect on thier attitudes, obviously. Bottom line, I wouldn't do it... .22lr hi-vel, and .22 mag/.17 hmr are pretty damned loud. I suggest looking and asking around to find a place to shoot.

Ya know, since chipmunks are a little tougher-skinned than my varmints du jour (birds), I would go with a .22 cal airgun as a bare mininum and try for head shots, and better yet, the colibri rounds. A heavy .22 airgun pellet is only 13-15 gr (albeit going much faster than the colibri). But the colibri (super colibri) is a 20 grain bullet doing about 500 fps - it offers plenty of oomph to penetrate a critter like a munk and make a clean kill - a springer airgun is more on the marginal side, I think. I think at least colibris or CB ammo would be the preferred, and sure, if noise is not a problem, then better still, .22 short, .22 long, .22lr std, .22lr hi-vel, .22 mag, or .17 hmr, but these are not necessary to make the clean kill.

I've said before that if someone made a colibri-type round that was ACCURATE, it would be the best thing since sliced bread....


February 18, 2005, 03:16 PM
A .22 air rifle is an excellent pest control device. Over the past year, using a RWS 34, I have eliminated a family of skunks which had been living in my backyard, killed two coveys of rabbits, protected the family cherry orchard from marauding birds, and removed the local ground squirrel population. All of the above were responsible for tangible property damage. A .22 air rifle has excellent stopping power, and is reasonable quiet. And ammo is reeeallly cheap :D.

But a .177 will work fine too :)

February 18, 2005, 03:30 PM
Thanks for all the replies I will have to look into a .22 calibre air pistol or rifle, I don't know that the stores around here sell them but i will have to check this weekend..

And I still might buy a .17 HMR or Mach 2, who knows just for fun I never fired those cartridges and you can pick up a rifle for like 150$ new...


February 18, 2005, 04:05 PM
Oh yeah, my Marlin 917 with heavy barrel in 17 hummer was only $169 plus tax (or it may have been $179). Fun, excellent gun - very accurate. I put a bipod on it and and a scope so big that it looks ridiculous in comparison to the rifle's size, but hey it works. Highly recommended. My brother has the Savage 93R17 with heavy barrel - about the same price but it has a plastic stock rather than wood like my Marlin. The Savage is also quite accurate, but not as pretty or quite as well finished either.

February 18, 2005, 04:54 PM
I use 22 LR subsonic HPs by RWS ,very accurate , very quiet.Fired outside with windows closed ,people inside won't hear it.

February 18, 2005, 06:30 PM
mete, that sounds good. I have no doubt that those RWS subsonics are more accurate than CBs by CCI, and much much more accurate than colibris, but in comparing the noise made, are they
-the same, or
than CCI "CB"s?

And what is the exact description/name of those, and where do you get them? Thanks.

February 18, 2005, 07:52 PM
A .22 rifle with Remington 60gr. sniper sub-sonic rounds are quite enough to shoot in populated areas and they will cleanly kill any small game with a properly placed shot.

February 18, 2005, 08:05 PM
Why not use an air gun? I dont know how big a pest your talking about. Most cities have laws/ordinances that make discharging a firearm within the city limits illegal. Air gun is definatly not loud enough to draw attn, nor do I think its illegal.

February 18, 2005, 10:08 PM
mete +1

RWS subsonic is all I use. That is some good ammo. I use it to hunt squirrels at the same time I hunt deer. I have shot 3 squirrels and a deer in the same day. I do use the big gun for the deer! unlawfull to hunt deer with a rimfire in Texas. But I killed a few deer with a rimfire. Deer that were hit by cars. The RWS with one shot to the head put there lights out.

too many choices!?
February 18, 2005, 11:16 PM

February 18, 2005, 11:42 PM
Thanks for all the tips, like I said I'm in a RURAL development the loudest neighbors are the cows... :-) Especially when the coyotes and ferral (spelling?) dogs are out.

Air guns work but sometimes chipmunks have a tendancy to NOT want to DIE!
So I wanted a better alternative. I saw that a lot of those 'subsonic' ones don't work well in semiautos which is ok, but what about rifles... some say they only work in short guns like pistols.

I appreciate all the information, keep it a comin!

I will look into that marlin, I love the way marlin guns look, I wanted to eventually get a lever action .44 magnum just cause I love the cartridge until my pistol permit comes in then I can get a .44 magnum pistol! :p

February 19, 2005, 10:01 AM
The .22 shorts, and sub sonic rounds will shoot in any .22 rim fire. You just have to load semi autos every shot because most will not eject te spent case, and load the next.

February 19, 2005, 11:13 AM
Understandable... thanks!

February 22, 2005, 08:25 AM
I almost hate to do this on a firearms site, but, while your making up your mind on which firearm to get, go down to the hardware store and buy two or three rat traps, bait with peanut butter, and place around your yard where you see them most often. This will lower your population somewhat, I know fellas "booo Hisss" party pooper..........just trying to help......

February 22, 2005, 11:10 AM
I want to be selective in my killing... Rat traps I have thought of but that also leaves them open to Grey Squirrels which I like to watch. However; I do not like red squirrels and chipmunks they are the more destructive of the bunch.

I also use those rodent smoke bombs at Agway which worked good for two, but if the tunnel system is TOO long it won't go through it all. My yard is mostly clay so they can keep digging and the tunnels will stay, I also found out I have a mole problem but mole traps will work for them, or the cat.

The party wasn't spoiled :p

February 22, 2005, 04:29 PM
Why not get a couple of these (http://www.safehomeproducts.com/SHP/ES/Mole_Control.asp) ? They don't make any noise at all and you can save ammo. However, I'm sure you're like me and would never consider such a boring solution. :D

February 22, 2005, 05:00 PM
Good idea for the moles... although I prefer ELIMINATION :D It's more fun although I've never tried to shoot moles, nor have I ever seen one walking outside except my cat carrying it around.