In your opinion, what is the best rifle for foxes, bearing in mind the cost of the ammunition? What is the cheapest price I could buy one for?

George Wallace advises: 

You might as well ask how long is a piece of string. You don’t specify whether you intend to shoot foxes on foot, from an ATR or a 4×4, so I will have to generalise.

Single-shot rifle

My view is that a single-shot rifle such as the Ruger No.1 is a sensible choice because it is very easy to load, unload and make safe. (Even when it’s being poked out of a vehicle window.)

However, if you prefer a bolt or lever-action rifle for shooting foxes it really doesn’t matter provided you learn to handle it safely and accurately and, just as important, be seen to be safe by anyone else who may be present.

Cost can be anything you like.

Second-hand rifles are readily available, I recently spotted  an excellent Ruger No.1 in .223 available at a tempting price.

rifle for fox control

Don’t scrimp on your purchase

Buying a new rifle for shooting foxes

New rifles start from about £500, up to whatever your budget allows you to pay. Any modern rifle is likely to be extremely accurate. However the most important thing is to get a good telescopic sight and a set of quality mounts. When shooting small targets, particularly at night, you really mustn’t scrimp on your purchases.

Get the very best scope and mounts that your wallet will stand.

Cartridges and calibre

Cartridge and calibre are equally a personal choice. Cost of ammunition is not really a consideration unless you intend to fire thousands of rounds per annum.

Any accurate rifle chambered for .17 Remington (the centrefire cartridge, not the Hornady Magnum Rimfire), .22 Hornet, .222, .223, or .22-250 and loaded with suitable bullets, will kill foxes cleanly at any sensible range.

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Final tip

As always, the secret is to get in close and make sure of the shot. A missed fox will be very much wiser and very much more difficult to approach the next time you see him.