Following on from my earlier post about taking care of vermin (actual rats, not politicians, of course), I had this thought.

Given my ummm tendencies, I’d rather address the rat problem like this — I mean, why let dogs have all the fun?  I think I’d prefer an inexpensive .22 rifle (semi-auto, for a quick follow-up shot if needed) over an airgun, but I’m open to suggestions.

And no post of mine would be complete without at least a brief look at the guns one would consider.  I’m thinking of a heavy barrel semi-auto, like the Ruger 10/22 Competition:

…or the Thompson TC/R22:

…or a ringer, the Browning Buck Mark FLD Target (which might possibly have the best trigger of the three):

No bad choices there.  But I’d be at a loss for which optics to choose.  Daytime, no problem:  either a red-dot or conventional rimfire scope would work.  But a night-vision  scope?  Never owned one.

Tell me your suggestions, in Comments.  And remember:  I’m a Cheap Bastard, so no $900 EOTech miracles need apply.


  1. I had an uncle who lived along the PA NY border southeast of Binghamton NY. He was renowned in the family for his cheapness – he didn’t have indoor plumbing until the early 1980s when his long suffering wife forced him to install a couple of toilets in the farm house. Anyway back around the same time Uncle showed me his “barn gun”. He was very proud that it was a Winchester. An early 70s vintage Model 200 lever gun that he won in a fire department raffle. He had taped a cheap flashlight to the barrel with the old fashioned black cloth friction tape. Fifty cents worth of .22s and that old Winchester was an evening’s entertainment. Sorry, nothing high tech or tactical here.

    The guy drove a bottom of the line 58 Chevy pickup until he died in 1994 or so and his estate was several million bucks when the old farm was sold.

  2. Got a night scope with a infrared light. Works good and for night pests it can’t be beat. Also have an air rifle with a laser and a flashlight mounted on the sides of the scope. That works, not as good as the infrared.

  3. On a totally separate topic, what are you doing to celebrate John Moses Browning’s birthday today?

  4. I’ve only seen one night scope. It was an early ATN infrared scope. My impression was it was very heavy and bulky. Lots of technical features, way too complicated. I’d prefer something smaller, lighter, and simpler. It sounds like that’s the way the manufacturers have moved with their newer models. If I had the coins, I’d be interested in thermal vision from Pulsar or ATN, instead of infrared.

  5. We had an early version in Vietnam. Big, heavy thing in which everything was green. However, you could pick up Charlie snooping around out in the paddies.
    For a good story check out Stephen Hunter’s book The Master Sniper.
    WTF Just check out anything by Stephen Hunter.

  6. WTH, Kim? Do you some soft spot for politicians?
    Although I’ll grant you vermin of that ilk would require a bit more firepower than a .22 rimfire.

  7. “…vermin of that ilk would require a bit more firepower than a .22 rimfire…”
    Shot placement is everything, especially when you put it right through the pupil.
    You can’t go wrong with a 10/22.

  8. When I lived in Dallas, not too far North of Love Field in a nice residential neighborhood I might have shot a couple of possums in my back yard with a .22 using the old, you can get away with one shot. And maybe I would shoot squirrels from time to time, tree rats that were all over the place, and I would use a nice old Benjamin pump up .20 cal pellet gun, it was accurate as the dickens and of course I would take my shots where the squirrels would fall in my neighbors back yard, jut because. Pellet guns are affordable, accurate and fun and they kill rodents deader than a door knob, as we used to say when I was a kid.

  9. In the early’60s, we lived on the second and third floors of a two-family in what the PC-crowd called a “neighborhood of change.” The back kitchen window looked over the back yard — about 100 feet deep and backstopped by a concrete block wall of a factory that only worked first shift. The old man had a 5 d-cell flashlight that could cast a bright beam to the top of a 1500′ broadcast tower two blocks away and a Colt Woodsman (.22 LR semi-auto pistol with a 7″ barrel and rifle sights.) On hot summer evenings, he’d sit by the kitchen window, flashlight in one hand, Woodsman in the other and pot the rats on our woodpile. Local feral dogs (and, doubtless, raccoons) took care of the corpse disposal issue most of the time. No complaint — or even comment — from the neighbors.

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