Will A Pellet Gun Kill A Raccoon?

As humans, we share the natural world with a variety of animal species. Raccoons are one of them. While some people think they’re cute and frequently feed them, others think they’re a nuisance. The use of pellet guns to kill raccoons is a matter of debate and consideration of several factors. So, will a pellet gun kill a raccoon? 

Raccoons can be a nuisance, especially if they intrude on your property or pose a threat to your pets. The most effective method is to just eradicate the hairy animals. 

Considering the effectiveness of a pellet rifle in eliminating a raccoon poses a number of complications. The ability of these air-powered weapons to deliver a killing blow is dependent on a variety of elements, including caliber and velocity. 

However, the ethical, moral, and legal implications of using pellet guns to exterminate raccoons should not be neglected. In this article, we’ll explore this topic in-depth. 

About The Pellet Gun 

Before we answer this question, it’s vital to understand what a pellet gun is. Pellet guns, a form of air-powered firearm, have gained popularity due to their numerous applications and capabilities. These guns, which use pressurized air or gas to propel pellets, come in a variety of calibers and velocities. This makes them suitable for activities ranging from target shooting to pest control. 

Their appeal arises from their comparatively silent operation, low cost, and less recoil when compared to traditional weapons. Pellet guns find use in recreational shooting, small game hunting, and pest management. Their efficiency, however, varies according to elements such as pellet type, muzzle velocity, and shot accuracy. 

Will A Pellet Gun Kill A Raccoon? 

The answer to this question is yes, a pellet gun can kill a raccoon. However, it depends on a few factors such as the caliber of the gun, shot placement, and the distance between the shooter and the animal. 

Pellet guns exist in a variety of calibers and velocities, with some models powerful enough to kill smaller animals like raccoons. Raccoons, on the other hand, are hardy species with a high pain tolerance, and their survival instincts may allow them to flee even after being shot. 

will a pellet gun kill a raccoon

It must be noted that the firearm must be powerful enough to generate at least 35 ft-lbs of energy. 

Some pellet guns have special design to kill raccoons and other furry creatures. These firearms often employ hollow point pellets designed to deal the most harm. Shot placement also influences the efficiency of a pellet gun in killing a raccoon. A well-placed shot to a key region could result in a swift and humane death. 

Several people have reported using pellet guns to kill raccoons. The raccoon was usually killed with a headshot, which is considered the most compassionate way to kill an animal. It should be noted, however, that not all pellet guns are created equal. Some are stronger than others and can fire more powerful shots.

In general, a.22 caliber pellet gun is considered powerful enough to kill a raccoon. These weapons can blast pellets at rates ranging from 500 to 1000 feet per second. This is enough to puncture a raccoon’s skull and produce enough damage to kill it instantly. 

Furthermore, local rules and regulations may limit the use of pellet guns for hunting or animal control, requiring responsible and ethical behavior. 

Guide To Choosing A Pellet Gun

When selecting a pellet pistol for dealing with raccoons, be sure it has the power and accuracy to deliver a compassionate and successful result. 

Type Of Pellet Gun Best For Raccoons 

The size and speed of the raccoon will determine the type of pellet gun you need. The term “foot-pounds of energy” (FPE) refers to the power of a pellet gun. Caliber is the millimeter diameter of the pellet gun’s barrel.

Raccoons range in size from 18 to 30 inches, so you’ll need a powerful air gun to take them down. A.22 caliber pellet gun with a 25 FPE is appropriate for this task since it has the necessary kinetic energy to dispatch the animal. Additionally, this caliber provides a good balance between power and accuracy, making it suitable for larger pests like raccoons. 

In addition, when choosing the right gun, consider the following outstanding features:

  • Muzzle Velocity: Select a pellet gun with a muzzle velocity of 800 to 1000 feet per second (fps). This guarantees that the pellet has sufficient energy to penetrate and kill in a humane manner.
  • Power Source: Due to their increased power output, spring-piston or gas-piston (break barrel) pellet guns are commonly utilized for hunting. For larger pests like raccoons, CO2-powered weapons may not be as effective. 
  • Scope: A quality scope can improve accuracy, helping you make precise shots.
  • Quality and Brand: Invest in a reliable and accurate pellet gun from a renowned brand. Consider reading reviews and asking advice from seasoned shooters.
  • Safety and Legal Considerations: Always follow local laws and regulations regarding pest control and firearm usage. Ensure you have a safe and proper shooting environment. 
will a pellet gun kill a raccoon

Comparisons Of Pellet Guns Vs Other Guns 

Pellet guns can kill raccoons, but they are less successful than other types of weapons. A shotgun or rifle, for example, might be a superior choice for killing raccoons. These guns have more power and can deliver a more lethal shot. 

Shotguns are frequently employed to hunt small game such as raccoons, rabbits, and squirrels. They have the ability to fire numerous pellets in one shot, improving the likelihood of striking the target. Rifles, on the other hand, are more precise and accurate than shotguns. They can shoot bullets over longer distances and with greater accuracy.

Advice For Using Pellet Guns To Kill Raccoons 

There are a few things to consider before using a pellet gun to kill a raccoon. First, make sure that the gun is powerful enough to deliver a lethal shot. As we mentioned earlier, a .22 caliber pellet gun is the minimum required caliber for this kind of task. 

Second, while firing at raccoons, aim for the head. Because it results in quick death, a headshot is considered the most merciful method of killing an animal. However, if you miss the head, the raccoon may suffer immensely, so take your time when shooting. 

Lastly, make sure that you’re shooting from a safe distance. Raccoons are known to carry diseases such as rabies, so you don’t want to get too close. Aim from a distance of at least 20 yards to reduce the risk of getting bitten or scratched. 


In conclusion, a pellet gun can kill a raccoon, but it depends on several factors. The gun must be powerful enough to deliver a lethal shot, and the shooter must aim for the head to ensure a humane death. It’s also crucial to remember that raccoons are wild animals and should be approached with caution. If you’re not sure of your ability to wield a pellet gun properly, it’s better to leave raccoon control to the specialists.

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