Best Varmint Rifle: The Ultimate Review
There’s nothing more annoying than dealing with nuisance animals on your property. For this reason, you should consider investing in the best varmint rifle. This will allow you to hunt vermin from any distance. Remember- vermin control is critical for the health of your crops and livestock. If you fail to take care of this problem, it can quickly spiral out of control. In this article, we’ll not only show you the best rifles for hunting these creatures, but we’ll also talk about varmint hunting tips and tricks. Let’s get started.
Types of Varmint
From as far back as the 1530s, the terms varmint and vermin have been used interchangeably. Today, people use these terms to refer to animals that compromise the health of livestock and crops. In this section, we’re going to show you several types of varmint to watch out for:
Have you ever had a raccoon make its way into your garage and tear trash bags looking for food? If so, you’re the perfect candidate for the best varmint rifle. These little pests can be quite annoying to home owners, especially when they’re present in large numbers. Growing up, raccoons used to tear through our garbage every single night. Eventually, we had to buy garbage cans with side locks on them to prevent this from happening.
If you own chickens or other smaller livestock, then foxes can be a big problem. These pests are fast, agile, and should be removed from your property as quickly as possible. Foxes are found in North America, and can adapt to virtually any type of environment. If you see one (or multiple) of these animals on your property, you’ll need the best varmint rifle possible to get rid of them.
Believe it or not, crows have been known to harass goats! So if you’re raising goats, keep an eye out for crows. Crows are also notorious for destroying crops. So if you’re living off the land, and there are crows everywhere, varmint hunting might be in order. Keep in mind that crows won’t be the only nuisance bird you’ll need to deal with, but they are the most common.
Whether you’re raising chickens, goat, sheep, or any other type of livestock, coyotes can be a big threat that you’ll want to take care of right away. They are treacherous predators, killing livestock and wild game before you can do anything about it. The best varmint rifle will allow you to shoot these pests before they can cause damage to your livestock and/or crops.
Qualities of the Best Varmint Rifle
So, you’re in the market for the best varmint rifle? Great! But buying any old rifle isn’t going to suffice. There are certain qualities that you’ll want to watch out for before committing to any particular model. You want something that’s efficient, ethical, and budget-friendly. Most vermin are incredibly quick and agile, so shooting them is going to be challenging. Here are some qualities to look for when shopping for the best varmint rifle:
- Velocity: You want a rifle that is capable of excelling a bullet from the rifle at a high velocity. This will dramatically increase the chances of making the kill. Anything around 1,400 FPS should suffice.
- Cost: It goes without saying that you want a rifle that isn’t going to break the bank. Unlike regular hunting rifles (which are typically used for “big” game), most varmint rifles don’t cost that much.
- Accuracy: As we mentioned earlier, vermin are very fast and agile. You’ll want a gun that provides you with a ton of short- and long-range accuracy (although short-range accuracy is probably more important).
Remember, a varmint rifle isn’t designed for hunting. They’re designed to be highly mobile and easy to shoot. For example, if you’re sitting on your porch and you see a varmint in the distance, you can quickly grab your rifle and shoot them (you don’t want something that takes forever to load and shoot).
What Caliber Should You Get?
As a general rule of thumb, the best varmint rifle is one that has a small caliber. Not only are bigger caliber rifles considered overkill for smaller game, but they’re also more expensive. You’re better off going with something like a 22-caliber rifle, which will save you money and still get the kill. The 22-caliber rifle is by far my favorite type for varmint hunting. Other people might have their own preferences, but I consider it the best for smaller game.
You don’t need heavy ammo when trying to kill vermin. Rather, you want a gun that’s going to deliver a very fast shot. Take, for instance, groundhogs. They escape into their underground burrow long before you can get within 100 feet of the animal. For this reason, you want a bullet that reaches the animal fast. Since these animals are so small, a small bullet will kill them just as quickly as a larger one. Note, there are bullets that travel way faster than a 22-caliber.
Best Varmint Rifle Accessories
Assuming that you’ve already purchased a rifle for varmint hunting, you’ll then want to think about accessories. These aren’t mandatory but are highly recommended. Certain accessories will make it easier to shoot vermin during certain parts of the day. Let’s take a look at some of the most common accessories to add to the best varmint rifle:
- Scopes: We have an in-depth article about scopes that was posted earlier this year. I highly recommend that you check it out. Basically, having a scope on your rifle makes it way easier to kill vermin. There are dozens of different types of scopes to choose from, so check out the article above to learn more about which one is right for you.
- Silencer: Having a silencer can be an invaluable add-on to your rifle. Why? Because each shot that you take will make all the vermin in the area more aware. By silencing your gun, you can take more shots without “raising the alarms” in the animal’s brains. Just keep in mind that some silencers can reduce the power and/or speed of your bullet.
- Shoot Rest: Personally, I don’t use a gun rest during varmint hunting, but I know people who do. Some people like to sit outside for hours waiting for vermin to appear in their property. If you’re one of these people, then buying a gun rest might be a good option for you. They are designed to hold the gun up while you shoot, which lessens physical strain.
When shopping for the best varmint rifle, you technically don’t need these accessories. They are simply designed to make your job a little easier. The only downside is that you’ll be spending more money. But if you’ve got the funds to spend, it might not be a bad idea.
The Savage Axis, which costs about $350, is available in .24 Win, .22-250 Rem, or .223 Rem. The reason why this is a great rifle for hunting vermin is because it’s excellent for southpaws (people who shoot with their right or left hands). With a soft black matte finish, and a weight of only 6.5 pounds (when empty), it’s perfect for hunting smaller game.
For hunting coyote, the Ruger American is a decent option. It will cost you about $450, and offers lightweight bolt action with a 22-inch barrel. You can easily mount and dismount optics from this rifle, which is convenient. Another reason why it could be considered the best varmint rifle is because it’s lightweight and accurate. Check it out and you won’t be disappointed.
Howa/Houge Ranchland Compact
This model is the most expensive on this list, hovering around $550. But you definitely get what you pay for (and more). This compact rifle is great for shooting in tight quarters, and weighs a mere 7 pounds. The barrel itself is 20 inches and is also very lightweight. If you’re in the market for the best varmint rifle, this is another excellent option to consider.
Should You Invest in Night Vision?
There’s no rule saying that vermin only have to come out during the day. Quite the contrary actually, many of them will come out at night when they think that the coast is clear. For this reason, it might be beneficial to invest in night vision for your rifle. Night vision weapon sights are an excellent add-on to your rifle because they will allow you to hunt varmint no matter what time of day it is. Below we’re going to talk about some of the more popular night vision scopes that exist today.
Firefield NVRS 3×42 Night Vision Riflescope
For varmint hunting, the Firefield NVRS 3×42 Night Vision Riflescope is an ideal option. It’s built with a high power IR illuminator that will dramatically increase image details when you’re shooting at night. Implied from its name, this riflescope comes with a 42mm lens and 3x magnification. This combination will allow you to shoot long-range targets more easily. Due to its lightweight and rock-solid design, it’s arguably the best varmint rifle night vision scope that you can buy. This particular model will run you about $330.
Sightmark Photon XT 4.6×42 Night Vision Riflescope
Another excellent model is the Sightmark Photo XT 4.6×42 Night Vision Riflescope. With higher magnification, a lighter design (30% lighter to be exact), and a battery that lasts 33% longer, it’s an ideal model for varmint hunting. The large 42mm objective lens will allow you to accurately shoot up to 120 yards. Remember- vermin aren’t going to show up exclusively during the day. Many of them will turn up at night when the coast is clear. For this reason, you want a good night vision riflescope that will get the job done. This model will cost you about $490.
ATN X-Sight 3-12 Smart Night Vision Rifle Scope
Another model that I consider the best varmint rifle night vision scope (at least one of the best) is the ATN X-Sight 3-12 Smart Night Vision Rifle Scope. There are dozens of reasons why this model is special. Of all the night vision rifle scopes on this list, this is by far the most technological. It comes with a gyroscope, compass, geotag, Wi-Fi, E-zoom, and so much more. The only downside? You’ll pay about $475 for this model. If you’ve got the money and are serious about varmint hunting, might not be a bad investment.
Orion Predator H30 Night Vision Riflescope
Last but certainly not least is the Orion Predator H30 Night Vision Riflescope. The reason why this could be considered the best varmint rifle night vision scope is because it’s very cheap (about $130). For casual varmint hunting, it’s probably your best option. Still, just because it’s affordable, doesn’t mean that it lacks the basic night vision capabilities that you would expect from such a model. Overall, it will light up game from a considerable distance, allowing you to hunt vermin from short-, medium-, and long-range distances in either night or day. For the casual shooter, it’s the probably the best option to consider.
Best Varmint Rifle – Bottom Line
We hope that this article has given you a lot of information about how to buy the best varmint rifle. There’s no doubt that vermin can be annoying. They destroy crops, kill livestock, and are a general nuisance overall. But with a good rifle and the right accessories, you can kill these vermin with little issue. Also, having a good night vision scope setup will make you an even more versatile shooter by allowing you to shoot at night. With that said, what do you do to deal with vermin? What type of rifle do you use and why? Leave your answers in the comments below! Thanks for reading.