View Full Version : Best .22lr factory ammo for Squirrel?

January 4, 2012, 09:13 AM
Eastern grey mostly.

January 4, 2012, 09:26 AM
The one that shoots best in your rifle. .22 rifles notoriously prefer one brand of ammo over another, and it is a fairly random preference. Two rifles made together on the assembly line and one will like brand X while the next might prefer brand Y.

Serious .22 shooters know what brand (and lot#) their rifles like and they've bought all of it they can find. Other less serious shooters (like me), simply test three or four boxes and find which one the rifle seems to prefer, then go buy a brick or two of it.

When you run out of that ammo, you start testing again. Or, you learn to live with ammo that your rifle might simply shoot well enough to satisfy the shooter. Either way, it's a great excuse to do a little shooting.

January 4, 2012, 09:37 AM
Paw Paw is correct, you have to test ammunition in your rifle. My factory barrel on my 10/22 preferred one brand of commercial. Match ammunition did not shoot any better than cheap stuff. Then I put on a Volquartsen barrel, which starts as a Walther blank.

That barrel clearly sorted out good from bad ammunition. Cheap stuff grouped just as large as in the Ruger factory, but good stuff shot within a dime at 50 yards.

As for match barrels, the best shooters test different lots of match 22LR. At Camp Perry, I met the 2010 Small Bore Prone Iron sights National Champ, Mr Kemp. With one lot of Red Box Eley, his rifle shot consistant 0.38" ten shot groups at 100 yards. That is amazing. To win the Nationals you have to spend big money sorting out different ammunition lots.



For the rest of us, I found match ammunition to give outstanding accuracy in match barrels and the stuff is quiet. Quiet is good as you don't scare the whole darn woods.

I would recommend you give SK Rifle Match a try. It is the lowest cost true match ammunition out there, it shoots very well, and it is quiet.

January 4, 2012, 10:14 AM
Cool. Thanks guys.

January 4, 2012, 10:30 AM
I use the bulk bargain boxes of 550 rounds from Wal-Mart with great success in my 10/22. I have a range in my yard and test for accuracy from time to time. When I had my target rifle I was more persnickity about ammo. Forget what worked best in it but I got dime size groups at 100 yards from a rest.

January 4, 2012, 11:24 AM
Aquila Super Extra 40gr solid or the CCI Standard velocity (may be marked "Target" 40 gr solid for grays.

Again the what groups best out of rifle will tell.

I'm four for six shots and WAITING for this week-end.

January 4, 2012, 12:45 PM
When I was a kid I liked to use .22 Short Hollow points. Plenty of power and the noise does not seem to disturb the squirrels like Long Rifles do.

January 4, 2012, 06:07 PM
I haven't done really extensive testing, but I've found that my Remington 581 likes Remington's Sub Sonic hollow points. When things are working right, it will shoot 1/2 inch 5-shot groups at 50 yards. They have more than ample power for eastern gray squirrels.

This ammo doesn't make as much noise as high velocity rounds. Last week I shot four squirrels from the same spot just by sitting still after each shot. There were 8-10 chasing each other through 4 different trees. They'd all hide at the sound of a shot, but after 5-10 minutes, they'd show themselves again. The only hard part was waiting till they presented a safe shot.

I'd like to think I can pick off a squirrel beyond 50 yards, but it's tough to get a shot that far in the woods where I've been hunting. :)

January 5, 2012, 10:20 AM
using my 77/22.

Heard the cuttings from first, located him and dropped him, was about to move to retrieve and second came down the tree and got him.

Sorta like hey, where you go?? [stew pot for both]

LR report had no effect, shotgun you'll have to wait for the chipmunks, "all clear".

January 6, 2012, 12:23 PM
If you like a full weight hollow point, the Winchester PowerPoint has a rep as being nearly as accurate as most match ammo. It is typically a bit hard to find locally, but it is what I use now for hunting.

January 6, 2012, 12:43 PM
I use cci stingers exclusivly in my thompson center contender, they are pretty expensive but i can shoot a 5 shot ragged hole at 50 yards and a 5 shot group at 100 that can be covered with a dime.

January 6, 2012, 11:13 PM
If you like a full weight hollow point, the Winchester PowerPoint has a rep as being nearly as accurate as most match ammo. It is typically a bit hard to find locally, but it is what I use now for hunting.

Very good small game ammo.

January 6, 2012, 11:27 PM
When I was shooting in college my S&W Target pistol hated match ammo. I convinced my coach to allow me to use practice ammo. My match scores improved. We also verified this by shooting off sand bags.

Some years ago one of the major Mags published an article on the effect of cartridge weight on dispersion of 22 long Rifle ammo.

the upshot of the article was that weighing your bullets and batching them in .o2 grain variations of weight caused a significant improvement in group size.

January 8, 2012, 04:14 PM
I like the CCI Velocitor. Devestating on small game, and now that it's back in production I'm so happy. Generally shoots well out of a range of rifles for me too.

January 12, 2012, 08:58 AM
I found Federal 525 bulk ammo (36gr hollow-point), that can be gotten for $15.00 when on sale, work well for me. My Marlin 795 shoots 1/2" minute of squirrel at 50yds. This comes after testing several different ammos in the months since purchased. The guys are right, .22s like someammo and hate others. Testing is a must.

As an aside, I shot a squirrel a little farther back this year. The broadside shot struck the critter a little farther back than I wanted. The Golden BB struck the left shoulder and darn near blew the right leg off on the way out. That is clearly enough horsepower for me.

BTW- I love my Marlin 795. I got it a couple years ago and it is very accurate right out of the box. Most accurate .22 i've ever shot. I have heard however. that since Reminton ****** in the pond the quality control has been iffy.

January 12, 2012, 11:26 AM
I am of the same belief as some of said. I never used LR ammo in my .22 for squirrels or prone rabbits and raccoons for that matter. I always used CD Shorts...guys would laugh but they didn't destroy meat at any distance and one put in the brain is all you needed...I couldn't believe the lost meat from a buddy's .22 shooting LR's which he didn't place on the head of the squirrel...

January 12, 2012, 06:01 PM