browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Long Range Pest Shooting

Posted by on March 19, 2016

I get a lot of questions about using standard caliber (.22 and .25) Airguns for long range pest control. In this context, long range means 75 to 125 yards, and the viability is dependent on three primary variables: environmental conditions, the gun, and the ammunition. If everything lines up, you can get impressive results on prairie dogs, ground squirrels, Eurasian doves, and other smaller species that are out there a ways.

Conditions includes things such as wind, rain, shooting up or down hill, intensity and direction of sun, shooting position and rest (shooting off a portable bench, sticks, sitting, prone). A a rule, if you have anything more than a wind of a couple mile per hour, you’ll need to pull it in. The other thing you need to understand, is that the wind where you are is not necessarily the same as the wind where your game is. So besides looking at indicators at the muzzle, you need to look for those along the path and at the termination point.

Shooting off a bench is about as solid as you're going to get it, but not practical for most hunting applications.

Shooting off a bench is about as solid as you’re going to get it, but not practical for most hunting applications.

You need to make sure that you have a stable rest and shooting position, the gun has to be rock solid and so do you. In my experience the most stable position is shooting prone with the gun rested on an attached bipod or resented on a bag. However, this position is often not possible, because you need to shoot over grass, brush, or rocks. The next best is off a portable Benchrest, but again this is not always practical, especially when you need to move a lot. The way I often end up shooting is sitting with the gun on a bipod or tripod, and to fortify my position I’ll try to find a backrest I can lean against.

You can get a stable rest off bipods, and these provide lots of mobility in the field.

You can get a stable rest off bipods, and these provide lots of mobility in the field.

The gun of course needs to be capable of shooting tight groups, and higher velocities with a heavy projectile is preferable. I have found guns in the 35 to 70 fpe range tend to work well for reaching out. I don’t mind a single shot rifle for this application as you tend to have time to reload and you are most frequently shooting in warmer climes. A heavier gun is easier to stabilize, but I haven’t necessarily found that the rifle needs to have a long barrel.

Pellets that I tend to use for longer range shooting are round nose and heavy. These are generally more accurate, they retain energy better, and produce a good terminal effect on quarry. Heavier pellets are a bit less susceptivity to wind, but still if the winds start blowing, dial it in.

Round nose pellets are my preferred projectile when it comes to Diabolo pellets, especially for long range shooting.

Round nose pellets are my preferred projectile when it comes to Diabolo pellets, especially for long range shooting.

Some of the guns I have had good results with are the FX Royale, the FX Verminator, the Daystate Air Ranger, and on the less expensive end I have even had good results with the Benjamin Marauder out of the box. The thing is you need to put the gun, scope, pellet, and shooting technique into practice on a regular basis, and understand how and where it shoots at increments across the range you’ll be shooting. Fill out a card that maps the POI at 10 yard increments, because this can have a major impact on your success as a long range varmint sniper.

The last thing I’d recommend is advice I am unable to follow myself, pick one gun and use that one gun. As your familiarity with your rig increases, so does your effectiveness. If you use this advice, you’ll be able to shoot varmint out to 100 yards ethically and efficiently!

2 Responses to Long Range Pest Shooting

  1. RidgeRunner

    Jim,

    I have heard many praise the performance capabilities of the Marauder. With the ability to adjust the operating pressure and to be able to fine tune it, there is no wonder this air rifle has been so successful.

    The only possible drawback to the Marauder is that it is not pretty to look at. The new synthetic stock is very functional, but it is not going to win any beauty contests. Maybe Crosman will offer a premium grade Marauder one of these days. Of course there are after market stocks available.

    Have you had any experience with the BSA R-10 MKII? The biggest caliber it is offered in is .22 which is a limiting factor to long range, but where I live a 100 yard shot would be long range.

    • Jim Chapman

      I do use the BSA R-10 .22 and it is a nice rifle. Mine is very accurate, moderately powerful, ergonomic and nice looking. If you like the Marauder (and it is a good rifle and a good value for money) but don’t like the looks, you can buy a number of stocks that are inletted and ready to finish from Richards Microfit. You can turn it into a real looker that is tailored to your taste.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Theme by Contexture International | ©2000-2012 Airguns of Arizona | All Rights Reserved