What BB or Pellet Gun Can Kill a Raccoon?

Raccoons have been stirring up trouble around your garbage cans, and you’ve taken wild shots at them with your BB gun, and you only seem to be injuring the things, driving them away, but not ending them. “What kinds of airgun will kill a raccoon?” you ask yourself.

An airgun capable of producing 35 ft lbs of energy in .22 caliber or larger will work best for hunting raccoons. PCP’s like the Hatsan BullBoss QEOpens in a new tab. are the most likely to reach that power level, making most other airguns not viable for killing raccoons.

So, why will my BB gun not work to kill the raccoons invading my garbage? Why doesn’t my springer airgun work well for this job?

What Guns Will Work, What Guns Will Not Work?

Okay, so your BB gun will not work. Sorry, I know. BB guns are a cheap and easy way to get into the airgunning world, and while they can work on squirrels, they would not be ideal to use against a raccoon. There are a few reasons for this, but among them are the fact that BB guns will not produce the right amount of energy needed to humanely put down a raccoon.

The ammo used by BB guns also is not the best. The BB’s used will almost always come in .177 caliber, which you may remember is less than the required minimum for raccoons, and are lighter and less prone to deformation than lead pellets are.

This means is that a steel BB will not be able to transfer as much energy as quickly into the target, both of which are needed for clean, humane kills.

A break barrel springer gun is also less than ideal. There are springers that will produce the energy that you need in the caliber you need them. If you can find those, great, but generally, springers will have difficulty producing the energy needed to quell the raccoon invasion, and won’t be as fast as the PCP alternative.

A good thing to remember is that the less powerful your gun, the more accurate you have to be. If you plan to humanely kill a raccoon with a less than ideal gun, you need to land in the lethal zone the first time every time, or you will cause long, painful injury.

PCP’s will prove to you to be the most ideal airgun for the job, provided that you can put down the money for one. The quicker reload time and greater power offered to you by a PCP will make the job easier and more humane.

That is a trend that you might notice the more you stay in the airgunning world. “What gun is best suited for this task?” you may ask, and then you will soon discover that the answer is usually a PCP of the right caliber. That won’t always mean that another type of airgun won’t do the job, just that a PCP will do it best.

Stay safe, and happy shooting!

Tanner Rydalch

Hey there, I'm Tanner. I grew up in Idaho, where there is plenty of space for shooting. I think Airguns can be a lot of fun and are a great introduction to firearms.

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