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View Full Version : New to squirrel and rabbit hunting. Question for you guys...


aternie
February 3, 2009, 07:57 PM
Would a .22 Magnum do the job, or would it be too much for the squirrel and too little for the rabbit. Not interested in ruining any meat or harming any animals without a kill. I really like the henry .22 Magnum lever. I wont be shooting any long distance. Nothing more than 25-30 yards. Any help would be appreciated.

JWT
February 3, 2009, 08:01 PM
A .22lr is plenty of power for tree rats and cotton tails.

aternie
February 3, 2009, 08:07 PM
I was really more wondering if the magnum would be too much. I dont wanna ruin a squirrel.

hogdogs
February 3, 2009, 08:07 PM
If you intend to eat them head shots are by far best. With squirrels it is almost a requirement if you intend to eat them. The mag is fine for either. The mag offers one concern with an increased range so back stop safety is paramount...
Mags are a touch pricey for my tastes so I use the .22lr with a known decrease in effectiveness at times.
Brent

Doyle
February 3, 2009, 08:19 PM
Yes, a .22 mag is overkill for squirrels. I never use anything more powerful than subsonics and I frequently use CB caps. The squirrels are just as dead. Anything faster than a subsonic is just going to go completely through the squirrel anyway so the energy is just wasted and the projectile becomes a safety hazzard.

aternie
February 3, 2009, 08:19 PM
they are for food. I kinda figured that it would have to be a head shot as squirrels are so small. Thanks for the response.

Brian Pfleuger
February 4, 2009, 12:10 AM
A decent 600fps+ air gun would be plenty. Anything more is bordering on overkill. 22lr, 22mag, 17hmr, 17mach2 all would be fine so far as "dead", just stick to head shots if you want the meat.

butta9999
February 4, 2009, 12:59 AM
.22 is all you need. Ammo is a quarter of the cost, and that comes in handy when you practicing. I have shot foxes and roos out to 90 yards with head or neck shots no problem with my brno .22lr.

The magnum has its advantages out to 100yds, but not needed for you.

surfersami
February 4, 2009, 08:21 AM
.410 works well on both also. I personally use .22lr.

DiscoRacing
February 4, 2009, 08:30 AM
with tracers surfersami??

Bitmap
February 4, 2009, 10:00 AM
I was really more wondering if the magnum would be too much. I dont wanna ruin a squirrel.

If a .22mag is what you have I would get some full metal jacket ammo and try it on one squirrel to see how much damage there is. On the big fox squirrels it might not be too bad with a body shot.

A .22mag is more than you need, but it might be ok with FMJ ammo or with head shots.

JustKev55
February 4, 2009, 10:27 AM
Butta9999,

You shoot at roos? Aren't you afraid "Crocodile" Dundee will help them shoot back at you? After all, we saw it in a movie so it could happen.

Serious question, though, do you shoot them as varmints like we to prairie dogs here in the U. S. or do you make roo stew?

Kevin

hogdogs
February 4, 2009, 10:33 AM
I hear roo is a regular meat source d-under...
Brent

SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
February 4, 2009, 05:20 PM
G'day. 'Roo' has been available at the supermarkets now for a while, about 10 years as pet food. You need a permit to take Roo. Most Australian native animals are protected by law.

Back to the original question, I think for the range aternie is planning to shoot that the .22mag is gust not needed. The savings made by using a .22lr would cover the cost of a cheap .22lr.

kyle663
February 4, 2009, 07:27 PM
for the cost of about 12 boxes of 22mag you can get i decent 22 bolt action at wally world. i bought a savage synthetic stock bolt 22lr there for about 110 or 120 a year ago.

Smallgame2100
February 4, 2009, 07:31 PM
I use 22LR for any small game.
36 grain [fed champion or value pack]
1 lung shot will stop it. :)

Not to mention is as cheap as dirt.

butta9999
February 5, 2009, 12:11 AM
Roos are protected and as skulls said you need culling permits as a farmer, or you need to be a pro shooter. In my experiences if the farmer asks for a favour i usually help out.

The last property i was on which was mainly wheat fields, i saw hundreds if not a thousand roos in a few days. This was most during spotlighting for pigs and rabbits and on dusk.

We shot 3 pigs for the trip and saw another 14, on every wheat field there were heaps of roos. So to me they eat more and do more damage.

Also when they are on the hop a roo can destroy a fence by getting caught up in it. You can understand a farmers frustration. Currently there are about 60 million roos different species, thats 3 times our population.

sometimes the boys get some meat for the dogs, i have tried it on occasions, but it needs careful cooking.

FrankenMauser
February 5, 2009, 02:13 AM
If a .22mag is what you have I would get some full metal jacket ammo and try it on one squirrel to see how much damage there is. On the big fox squirrels it might not be too bad with a body shot.

A .22mag is more than you need, but it might be ok with FMJ ammo or with head shots.

.22 WMR is more than needed here, but if that is what he owns; there is no need to buy another rifle.

I'm not trying to argue here. However, I don't think FMJs are necessary. Squirrels have such a small head, that expansion of even the most brutal HPs or frangible bullets doesn't do much to them.

I have tested almost every brand, bullet, and variation of .22 WMR factory ammo on the market. The only load I would worry about for head shots on squirrels is the Winchester Supreme 34 grain HP. It still isn't going to tear it apart... but would be likely to decapitate and ruin some front shoulder meat.

Even better than Hollow Points or frangible bullets (tipped, for those that don't know), would be the cheapes soft-point ammo you can find. My personal favorites are the Fiocchi 40 and 45 grain soft points.

treg
February 6, 2009, 08:38 AM
.22 lr is plenty for small game, cheaper for lots of practice and more fun when you start rippin 'em off with a Henry LA. With a Henry you could also use the lower powered .22 longs or shorts as well. Use HP ammo when hunting.

Hmmm, about that Henry.................

Bitmap
February 6, 2009, 09:18 AM
I'm not trying to argue here. However, I don't think FMJs are necessary. Squirrels have such a small head, that expansion of even the most brutal HPs or frangible bullets doesn't do much to them.

No argument or offense taken. I was thinking that the small size of the squirrel's head would lead to more body shots and the FMJ would be less destructive there.

I agree with you that I wouldn't buy a different rifle if I had a .22mag.

kyle663
February 6, 2009, 10:27 AM
bitmap i think thats the perfect reason to buy another gun. i sometimes buy the ammo first then a just gotta have a new gun so i can shoot it. :)

jgcoastie
February 15, 2009, 07:22 PM
Probably about 98% of the bunnie-hunters here use 22lr exclusively, the ones who don't normally use a .410 with light shot. The tree-rats here are too small to even worry with... I use an ATI GSG-5 with Aguila SuperMax Hyper Velocity 30gr on bunnies and Aguila Interceptor 40gr on fox. The Interceptors will take out a fox at about 80-90yd, but after that, it's not much good... Looking at getting a .204 or .223 for the long-range fox shots.

Crankylove
February 15, 2009, 11:58 PM
"Yes, a .22 mag is overkill for squirrels"

Dang...........does that mean I have to stop using my .270 with 100 grain hollow points? :D I will admit, it dosen't leave much (or anything) of the squirrel or rabbit, but, it is quite fun.

SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
February 16, 2009, 12:28 AM
G'day Crankylove. It's OK for you to use your .270 on the small game as long as you only hold on to it with one hand.:eek: That is what I do when shooting rabbits with my .270:D

troy_mclure
February 16, 2009, 12:49 AM
you have never "barked" squirrels with high powered rifles before? lol