Hunting Squirrels with an Airsoft Rifle for Wilderness Survival

A guest post by William Bell

NOTE: The title should read Air-Powered Rifle, not Airsoft. ts

Squirrels are the ideal food when you’re in a survival situation. Granted they are not big, but they are usually everywhere, and it’s easy to spot and shoot them. Even more, where there is one squirrel, there will be more as it only takes them a couple of months to reproduce.

While the taste is not fantastic, squirrel meat is a 100% organic, sustainable protein that will keep you alive and functional in an SHTF situation. So, if you’ve never done this before, it’s time to start practicing!

In the interest of adaptation to any conditions the future might throw at us, I decided to try my luck at hunting with airsoft weapons. Many hunters will give you a long look before asking if you’ve gone mad, but to them, airsoft guns are just toys. Still, given the fact that you can hunt squirrels with a slingshot, why wouldn’t this work for a BB gun too?

I know from experience that there are some powerful air guns out there and they are quite effective in hunting small game. Even more, if you master hunting with a BB gun, you’ll be able to save live ammunition for the bigger game when SHTF.

How to choose the Right Air Gun & Ammo

Of course, not every BB gun will do for hunting so let’s take a look at the caliber and power you’ll need.

The Caliber – Since I didn’t feel like testing out every airsoft weapon in my collection, I reached out to an expert. So, I talked to Tom from, and he recommended I try the .177 and the .22 caliber. He also mentioned that the .177 is better for the avian game while the .22 works best with squirrels and other furry rodents. Still, I’ve had luck with both calibers in shooting squirrels.

The Power – If you’re using a .177 gun, you’ll need one that is capable of developing about 415 feet per second at the point of impact (or 3-foot pounds of energy). With a .22 caliber, you’ll only need about 300 fps.

Of course, the point of impact must be in the kill zone (head or heart/lung) for a clean shot. Otherwise, you’ll only manage to injure the squirrel, and this won’t do.

If you want to learn more about the power you need in various situations, here you can find a detailed graph and more information.

Choosing the Ammo – The main concern when you choose the ammo is accuracy. That’s why I strongly recommend testing the ammo you have before going squirrel hunting. It’s very important to find the ammo that works best with your gun, regarding accuracy. After all, you’re not shooting at a still target, and you need pellets to hit the right points.

How to Improve Your Skills

Any survivalist knows that when everything goes haywire, the time for preparedness is over. If you want to survive through hunting, you need the necessary skills, and accurate shooting is one of the most important.

If we talk about squirrels, you must be able to hit a really small target that’s most likely moving at high speeds. For this, I recommend a lot of practice, and here you can also learn a few tricks to make your gun more accurate.

One way to make sure you’ll actually hit the target is to get a scope. Since the kill zone on a squirrel is tiny, I use scopes on all my airsoft guns, and it’s not just improved my accuracy; I can also spot the little buggers better.

The squirrel is highly skilled at hiding (they try to become part of the tree by standing still), and the fur is specially colored to camouflage it. So, if you get a 3-9x scope with an adjustable objective, you may have a better chance at finding them. The adjustable objective is great at bringing things into focus, and the zoom is helpful at placing the pellet in the optimal position.

How to Prepare the Squirrel

As a hunter, you must know how to shoot and how to prepare the meat for consumption. With squirrels, things are simple as the most of the meat is concentrated in the legs, especially the rear ones. Of course, if you manage to bring down a large one, you may have enough meat to cook the whole body.

To remove the skin, make a vertical cut down the sides and pull half the skin over the head and half over the tail. Next, chop the legs off and cook them as you would cook chicken wings.

You’ll notice that the taste isn’t gamey and the texture is quite clean on the tongue, so there’s no need to wash it down with a beverage. The meat is nourishing, and it brings protein in your diet, which is very important in times of survival.

Also See: FREE PDF – Rabbit Processing

A Few Final Words…

In the spirit of being prepared for anything, knowing how to shoot squirrels with an airsoft gun is quite important. In times of need, live ammunition is important, and a BB gun can help you save it. Even more, squirrels are high in protein and can be found in almost any environment.


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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6 thoughts on “Hunting Squirrels with an Airsoft Rifle for Wilderness Survival

  1. Damion

    There’s a big difference between Airsoft and Air Powered. Maybe try killin sqoiuells with an actual airsoft gun (with plastic BBs) and i’ll be impressed.

    Been killin varmint with a Crosman for like 20yrs now dude.

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author


      You are absolutely right. I can’t believe I missed that when I was formatting this guest post. Thanks for pointing that out to me. I don’t want to change the title because that will cause some issues on the site, but I’m going to make a note of it at the top of the article.


  2. james

    I use a Stoger ™ .22 air pellet rifle. It comes with internal suppressor, super quiet, and permanently mounted scope. I bought a cheap laser boresight tool, and got it zeroed in with .5 inch groups in mabey 10 shots. its a really efficient and quiet meat maker.

  3. crusty

    Two things i disagree with. Squirrel and dumpl’ins is some of the best tasting eats going.

    If you are shooting at squirrel ” moving at high speed” you are not a squirrel hunter

    As a lover of squirrel both live and on my plate i have shot hundreds upon hundreds in my life time. I have shot them with air rifles, shot guns, bows, slingshot, and pistols.
    I have never shot a moving squirrel. You pretty much just have to tell’m to stop and they will. They are very curious. I have planted several acres of mast for the squirrels around my property and my siblings adjoining property, and they now tease me about being squirrel poor. I have as many squirrels coming to my back yard squirrel fedders as my wife has birds to her three dozen bird feeder.

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