Can You Hunt With Airgun?

There are many uses for an air rifle. One of the most common uses is for hunting a variety of game sizes. With the right hunting air rifle, hit the mark with every shot. There is certainly no shortage of hunting air rifles on the market today thanks to the growing popularity of this item over the years. While there are many to choose from, finding the right one is a different matter. We offer a wide range of models featuring only the top brands to ensure you get the right one for your standards and needs. With such trusted manufacturers as AirForce, FX Impact, and Hatsan at the ready, rest assured that every option offers the performance and endurance you need to bag your shot. Since not every size game requires the same power or speed to take it down, we have taken the time to categories these rifles by game size to remove some of the hassle on your end. With our selection of small game rifles, get just enough speed and power for handling smaller pests or vermin without carrying a larger airgun than necessary. Our medium game rifles offer all the same features as the small game options but with more power or features to build on. When looking to take down large game, our selection of large game rifles has you covered. Whether looking to take down a deer from an impressive distance or bag a wild boar, these larger air rifles for hunting are the right solution to give you the power, speed, and precision needed to achieve success. We also offer air pistols designed for hunting purposes for those looking for a change from the traditional rifle.

Airguns are powered by CO2 cartridges, pistons with powerful coil or gas springs, or pre-compressed air. Not only do they come in a variety of power plants, but they come in a range of calibers extending from the small .177 caliber. You can see why we love airguns and why they become more popular each year.

Benefits of air guns:

  • Versatility. They are available in a variety of calibers and sizes appropriate for shooters of all ages and sizes, and many of them are quiet enough to shoot in a backyard. Whether you want to knock over cans with your friends or kids in the backyard, join a local field target club for some competitive shooting, or getting decked out for big game: they can do it all.
  • Great for Learning. Because they tend to be quiet and don’t have much recoil, they are great for introducing people to shooting. Master the fundamentals of shooting with one of these options and the skills will transfer to any shooting discipline. Plus, because you can shoot them in a basement or backyard you can get a lot more practice in.
  • Cheap to Shoot. You can spend as little or as much on an airgun as you want, but the ammo is usually very cheap. If you aren’t shooting big bores then typically you are looking at just a few pennies per shot and if you are shooting BBs it is even less.
  • Safety. Standard firearm safety practices should always be followed when shooting airguns, but pellet and BB guns have less power than firearms and the projectiles don’t carry as far, which makes them less dangerous. Teaching firearm safety with a BB gun or low powered break barrel is a great way to instill respect for guns into a new shooter.
  • Accuracy. This is something that astonishes a lot of people who haven’t used a modern version that can shoot sub minute of angle out to 100 yards and more. When you send 5 pellets into the same hole at 25 yards, you’ll understand what we are talking about!
  • Great for Training. Many CO2 replicas are virtual matches for the real firearm in size, weight, and trigger, making them great options for developing habits and skills that will transfer over to your sidearm of choice.

Airgun Classification

How your state classifies airguns can be a major factor in purchasing and hunting with it. Federally, airguns are not considered firearms so they are not regulated as firearms.

However, some states like New Jersey, classify airguns as firearms. So hunters must follow NJ’s firearms laws when possessing, transporting, and shooting them.

Other states classify it as dangerous weapons and not as firearms. This is another important distinction. While there are countries that do not classify airguns as firearms, but felons are not allowed to own them. And there are those that do not classify them at all.


Some states require specific licensing for specific weapons when hunting. This includes a separation between bow hunting, black powder, and firearms. It’s critical to make sure that you don’t need a special hunting permit when you’re out there hunting with your airgun.

Airgun Caliber

This is another major concern for a variety of reasons. As a hunter, your goal is to kill an animal humanely and reduce the potential of suffering. Many states require a certain caliber based on the game’s size.

As a rule, anything with fur should be shot with a .22 caliber projectile or larger when appropriate. This is reflected by placing standards for caliber size on certain animals. .22 caliber projectiles are excellent for rabbits and squirrel, but not appropriate for deer.

Some states require .30 caliber, or even a .35 caliber projectile and larger. Missouri, for example, requires a .40 caliber projectile for whitetail deer.

Some states also determine both the weight and caliber of the projectile. Like in Rhode Island, they allow small game hunting with .177 and .22 caliber projectiles but requires them to weigh at least 7.5 grains.

Velocity Requirements

The velocity of a projectile is another factor of taking a game humanely. The largest projectile can be rendered quite useless when fired at a slow speed.

Some country have certain velocities that a round must meet for it to be legal to hunt with.

Hunting Seasons

Different weapons are tied with respective seasons. Like in Florida, hunting season opens with bows only, then black powder, and then general gun season. Some states may regulate airguns to one particular time per year.

In Maryland, for example, you can hunt turkeys with an airgun but only in the fall turkey season. Some states may restrict you to a certain game in particular seasons, but allow you to hunt all hunting seasons for certain animals.

The latter is usually applicable with a small game like squirrels or pests. Typically, these animals aren’t as protected as deer or turkey.

Animal Restrictions

Some countries allow a certain animal to be hunted with airguns and restrict certain game to bows and firearms. There is no issue with hunting small game and pests with airguns.

Most laws have not caught up with the times. Modern airgun technology makes it possible to take a deer or hog with an air rifle effectively and humanely. However, many state laws do not reflect this.

Country may have peculiar rules regarding very specific animals. For example, Kansas allows airguns for hunting but you cannot shoot turtles or bullfrogs with it.

Age Restrictions

Many country regulate the user’s age in terms of when it can be purchased and used independently. Some require a person to be over 18, some over 16, and others don’t restrict it at all. This is certainly an important aspect of research since laws vary per state.

Always Remember

Many states take their hunting laws very seriously. Being labeled as a poacher is a serious crime in many states, and there is a broad range of fines that are imposed.

Make sure to check current law of your nation and that your airgun abides to state requirements before you start your hunt.