How Much FPS Does It Take To Kill A Rabbit?

How Much FPS Does It Take to Kill a Rabbit?

When it comes to hunting small game like rabbits, one of the most common questions asked by hunters is, How much FPS (feet per second) does it take to kill a rabbit? While there isn’t a definitive answer to this question, there are some important factors to consider when determining the necessary FPS for a clean and ethical kill. In this article, we will explore these factors and provide some insights into finding the right FPS for rabbit hunting.

Can a FPS spring airsoft gun knock out a rabbit? - Quora

Factors to Consider

Shot Placement: Shot placement plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of your shot. Even with a lower FPS, a well-placed shot in vital areas such as the head or heart can result in a clean kill. On the other hand, a higher FPS won’t guarantee a quick kill if the shot is poorly placed.

  • Ammunition Type: The type of ammunition you use can significantly impact the FPS required to kill a rabbit. For instance, if you are using a lightweight pellet for an air rifle, you may need a higher FPS to compensate for its lower energy transfer. On the other hand, a heavier bullet from a firearm may require a lower FPS for an effective kill.
  • Rabbit Species: Different rabbit species may have varying tolerances to the impact of projectiles. While some species may be more susceptible to lower FPS shots, others may require a higher FPS for a clean kill. It is essential to research the specific species you intend to hunt and understand their vulnerabilities.
  • Distance: The distance between you and the rabbit also plays a role in determining the required FPS. As the distance increases, the energy of the projectile decreases, potentially affecting its ability to deliver a lethal shot. It is crucial to practice at different distances to understand your firearm or air rifle’s effective range.

Finding the Right FPS

While there isn’t a specific FPS number that guarantees a kill every time, a general guideline is to aim for an FPS between 800-1000 for air rifles and 1200-1500 for firearms, depending on the factors mentioned above. However, it is important to note that these numbers are not absolute and can vary based on the variables involved. It is recommended to conduct tests and experiments to find the optimal FPS for your specific hunting setup.

When testing different FPS levels, focus on shot placement and the resulting impact on the rabbit. Pay attention to how quickly the rabbit is incapacitated and the ethical considerations of the kill. Keep in mind that achieving a clean kill should always be the primary goal, rather than solely focusing on FPS.


1. Can a lower FPS still kill a rabbit?

Yes, a lower FPS can still kill a rabbit if the shot is well-placed in vital areas. Shot placement is crucial for an effective kill.

2. Do I need a specific type of ammunition for rabbit hunting?

The type of ammunition can impact the required FPS. It is important to choose ammunition suitable for rabbit hunting and take into account its weight and energy transfer.

3. Are all rabbit species equally susceptible to projectiles?

No, different rabbit species may have varying tolerances to projectiles. Researching the vulnerabilities of the specific species you are hunting is crucial.

4. How far should I practice shooting for rabbit hunting?

It is recommended to practice shooting at different distances to understand your firearm or air rifle’s effective range. This will help you determine the appropriate FPS for different hunting scenarios.

Remember, achieving a clean and ethical kill should always be the priority in hunting, rather than obsessing over a specific FPS number. – Experienced Hunter

In conclusion, determining the ideal FPS for killing a rabbit involves considering various factors such as shot placement, ammunition type, rabbit species, and distance. While there are general FPS ranges for air rifles and firearms, it is crucial to experiment and find the optimal FPS for your specific hunting setup. Remember, shot placement and ethical considerations should always take precedence over FPS numbers. Happy hunting!

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