Many say that rat hunting is the domain of the bigger bore calibres, like .25 and .22 – but there are plenty of airgunners who will attest to the effectiveness of .177 and .20. The truth is, at the mid-ranges over which most ratting jobs are carried out, all calibres will suffice.
However, one issue when shooting scaly-tails around farmyards is that you’re often targeting areas in which foodstuffs are stored – and the use of conventional lead-based ammo can make some farmers nervous. So, going ‘green’ is the only alternative – which is why more and more ammo manufacturers are producing non-lead alternatives for airgun hunting.
H&N Sport’s Baracuda Green is one such field round – and though (like all non-lead ammo) it’s significantly lighter than your typical lead diabolo, the 12.65-grain mass of the .22 version is still large enough to stop Rattus norvegicus in its tracks with a well-placed shot to either the head or just behind the shoulder in the heart/lung area. Plus, it’s ideally suited to a rifle in the N2’s ‘power band’ – and because the Green leaves the muzzle at a much greater velocity than a heavier lead pellet (600fps in our test rifle’s case), it’s exactly what you need when twitchy rats are the target; that extra speed afforded by the lightweight pellet can make all the difference between putting a hole in ratty’s head… or the wall behind where he was just a split second before.