Loc: SE British Columbia, Canada
I live in a area where the use of firearms in this semi-urban area is not allowed. I'm also seeing gophers starting to move into the area. Since I'm not allowed to use my .22 I was wondering what air gun might be good for shooting gophers. The law says I can use a rifle air rifle up to 500 ft/s and 4.2 ft lbs of muzzle energy. Should a person get a .22 air gun or stick with a .177. I know this is all really wimpy, but shooting gophers is more fun than poison or traps and the cops will be on me if I discharge a normal firearm within the community. Thanks.
Under 500 fps? You'd be better off using a sling-shot.
I recommend a Gamo .177 with a built-in muzzle brake. Although fps is well over the allowed in your town, they are so quiet that unless someone is watching you use it directly, they would never know you are just by listening. Compared to the noise level of a .22 rifle using CCI CB shorts or quiet lr, I'd say it's well under half, and fps is as good or more. Mine has racked up hundreds of squirrel, rabbit and gopher kills over the years. I can't remember the model # of mine but here's a similar one on Amazon. GAMO
I live and Canada and wouldn't use an air rifle anywhere inside town/city limits. You are simply asking for someone to mistake you as a gunman in this day and age and things can go sideways over mistaken identification of the air-gun for real.
You want to have some fun and be effective, set up some of these:
A well-armed friend of mine uses a Daisy pellet gun to shoot gophers in his mom's yard - CA has some of the toughest laws on the books. He says it's hit or miss, pun intended. I'll let him know about the quiet .22LR rounds, but a little .22 pistol isn't exactly a good varmint gun.
If you have plants of value or a garden, gophers are a pest. I just leave them alone - if my parents had gophers the cat would be begging to go outside.
I don't recommend using an actual rifle, whether you are a safe shot or not. Big difference in the law if you are caught with a firearm or an air/pellet gun. Not that we have much force behind our laws... another story for another day.
But, what you can do is talk with the town/RM or what ever jurisdiction you will be shooting in and ask for permission. There are numerous people in these parts that get permitted or permission to use small caliber firearms for varmints within town limits. Cant hurt to ask.
What ever route you go, if you are shooting them, get a gopher whistle or even a spent 17 HMR case would work. These have done wonders for me over the years.
Luckily for me I am rural enough that I can use what ever I want. Eleven years ago I bought a Savage 93R17 BV (Boyds stock version) with Bushnell Elite 4200 mil dot and Leupold aluminum rings. Trimmed the accutrigger down in weight, pillar and action bedded the stock and she shoots like a laser. Although my go to varmint gun is a Remington 550-1 that dates back to the 50's.
2006 Trailblazer LT. Castrol Edge with Fram Ultra. 2017 Ram 3500 SLT Megacab. Duron SHP 10w30 with Hastings LF608. 1993 GMC 1500. It has oil and still runs