Small game hunting, an endeavor cherished by many for its challenge and connection with nature, requires not just skill and patience, but also the right equipment. In this pursuit, the choice of firearm is crucial—a tool that must be as precise and reliable as the hunter wielding it. With advancements in technology and a deeper understanding of wildlife, today’s market offers a variety of specialized firearms, each designed to meet the unique demands of hunting small game. From sleek shotguns to accurate rifles, these weapons are engineered to enhance the hunting experience, offering improved accuracy, handling, and adaptability in diverse environments. Whether targeting rabbits darting through the underbrush or squirrels nimbly navigating the treetops, the right firearm can make all the difference. In this guide, we delve into some of the best firearms for small game hunting, exploring their features and capabilities, and why they stand out in this specialized field.
Henry Small Game Rifle
The Henry Small Game Rifle exemplifies the classic American lever-action rifle, making it a go-to and nostalgic choice for small game enthusiasts. Chambered in .22 S/L/LR or .22 Magnum, Henrys are known for their quality build. And that thoughtful design leads directly to two defining characteristics of a Henry: Pinpoint accuracy and butter-smooth actions. Hitting precisely where you aim is an especially critical factor when targeting smaller animals, and that silky lever action along with ease of handling allows for fast follow-up shots, which can be crucial in dynamic hunting situations. The Henry Small Game Rifle combines tradition with functionality, appealing to hunters who appreciate a classic design without sacrificing performance.
Remington 870 Fieldmaster 20 Gauge
In the shotgunning world, the Remington 870 Fieldmaster in 20 gauge is legendary. More squirrels, rabbits, and birds of all types have likely fallen to an 870 than all other shotguns combined. Lauded for its durability and reliability, the venerable 870 in 20 gauge strikes a perfect balance between power and manageable recoil, making it an ideal shotgun for small game hunting. Its pump-action mechanism is renowned for consistency ensuring performance under various field conditions. The 870’s design points easily, making it an optimal choice for fast-moving targets such as rabbits squirting through brambles, doves rocketing over the milo field, or gray squirrels streaking through naked hickory branches. This is a versatile tool for all small game hunters. Its sturdy construction and proven track record in various environments make the Fieldmaster a reliable companion for any small game hunting expedition.
The Savage B-17, a bolt-action rifle chambered in .17 HMR, offers an exceptional balance of accuracy and power. In more vivid terms: this is an extremely flat-shooter built for a long-range precision bullet placement that will arrive on target at a terminating velocity. The B-17 features an adjustable AccuTrigger, allowing hunters to customize the trigger pull to their preference for ultimate crispiness—all things equal, perhaps the most crucial component of accuracy at a distance The B-17’s ergonomic design contributes to steady handling and a rock-solid platform for delivering those little .17 bullets exactly where you want them to go.
Benelli Montefeltro 12 Gauge
The Benelli Montefeltro is a blend of Italian craftsmanship and practical functionality. It’s pretty but it’s also practical, and it’s particularly effective for bird hunting thanks to its fast cycling action and consistent shot patterns. Those desirable wing-shooting characteristics also make the Montefeltro an easy swinger on bouncing bunnies. The Montefeltro’s low recoil and lightweight design contribute to comfort shot after shot, and that contributes to more hours in the field with a happy shoulder. And don’t we all want more hours in the field with a happy shoulder? Benelli’s reputation as a builder of guns that always operate with silken smoothness under various conditions makes the Montefeltro a preferred choice for hunters who demand performance and elegance in their hunting equipment.
Accuracy, versatility, and lightweight handling define the Winchester Xpert, making it the ideal choice for small-game hunting. Engineered with a .22 LR caliber, this rifle features a precision Rimfire M.O.A. Trigger, ensuring remarkable accuracy with every shot. The button-rifled barrel, designed with a Bentz-style chamber and recessed target crown, enhances precision, especially critical in small-game scenarios. The Xpert’s lightweight polymer stock not only makes it easy to carry through varied terrains but also ensures comfortable handling and stability. This combination of exactitude, dependability, and sleek design in a bolt-action package makes the Winchester Xpert a superior choice for hunters seeking reliability and style in their small-game pursuits. Whether you hunt the furred, the feathered, or both, you can find the firearm best suited to your small game pursuits at guns.com.