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Old May 4, 2009, 06:23 PM   #26
wyobohunter
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picking pellets

If you don't feel like getting too picky about picking lead pellets you can always go with steel shot. Just go up one in your choke restriction.
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Old May 4, 2009, 09:40 PM   #27
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If I were mostly into small game like squirrel, rabbit, quail, and dove (which for the most part I am) I would need nothing but my Benelli 20 ga Nova. A 20 ga pump with a 3 inch chamber can handle just about anything you need. 3 inch 1.25 oz #6 will handle a crow nicely, while non-toxic 3" loads are respectable enough to take along if you only hunt waterfowl once a year or so, and the slugs would be enough if you ever got a whim to hunt deer with the gun.
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Old May 4, 2009, 09:51 PM   #28
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I really love the feel of a H&R break action 20 gauge. Youth models are a little lighter. You can often find them for 50.00 used or 100.00 new

On the other hand I also have used a saiga 12.. Less fair but as they say "if hunting is a fair fight, you suck at it"

I would go the single barrel option (single shot, semi, or pump) as doubles are more weight and a higher cost then they are worth for small game.
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Old May 4, 2009, 10:24 PM   #29
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If you are looking for 1-gun solution, a 12 ga pump will take anything in N. America; effectively and fairly inexpensively. You said you have some experience with deer and geese, does that mean you have the guns for those? If you enjoy buying different guns for different purposes like many of us do, than I would suggest a .22lr. I prefer an open sight lever gun and stay within its limits. I also have a scoped Ruger 77 in .17 HMR but, I always seem to grab the .22. The .17 has more range and accuracy but it is not as quick or as easy to carry plus the ammo costs much more.
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Old May 7, 2009, 01:18 AM   #30
Death from Afar
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Other than the .17hmr recommendation all are good. And i say no .17 because in va its illegal
WHY?????
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Old May 7, 2009, 09:29 AM   #31
justinicus
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Yes, I do have the guns for deer and goose -- a Remington 700 clone in .30-06 for the former, and my dad's 12ga autoloader for the latter (well, soon... He's twisting my arm to trade for my Mossberg 500 since he needs a home-defense gun). And you're absolutely right, I DO love getting new guns! So it's good to be reminded that my 12ga will take fine care of me, but a .22LR might be on the way anyhow .

As for why the .17HMR etc. is illegal here, it's for the same reason anything's illegal anywhere; someone with enough dedication and influence is afraid of it.
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Old May 7, 2009, 01:04 PM   #32
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for rabbit's and squirrel and what not?
I'd go with a savage 17. tack driver. but a lot more charge than a 22.
maybe carry a .44 on your side if you've got one.
that's just my opinion.

-Kaizer
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Old May 7, 2009, 05:50 PM   #33
yakfish
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A 12 guage is probably the most versatile firearm your can have for hunting. but for small game I would go with something more along the lines of a .22 there is not a tree rat or rabbit that will walk away from a head shot. and your won't have to worry about picking shot out oif the meat. personally I won't hunt squirrels with an 17hmr because it will cause more damage to the meat compared to a .22lr just due to the higher velocity. a .17hm2 would be a great choice also. as you can see I'm a big fan of rimfires and there is nothing more fun squirrel hunting with w .22

good luck with your choice!
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Old May 7, 2009, 07:10 PM   #34
Brian Pfleuger
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I won't hunt squirrels with an 17hmr because it will cause more damage to the meat
Head shot my friend, head shot.
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Old May 7, 2009, 07:15 PM   #35
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Personally I like the 28ga the best for all small game from rabbits, to upland birds, squirrels, any other small pests I need to get rid of. Ammo is hard to find in places and is a little pricey, but I still like this gauge the most out of all my shotguns! Lots of knock down power, reaches out farther than the 410, hardly any recoil at all. If you want slugs they are unavailable though, if you tend to use them I'd go with a 20ga.
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Old May 9, 2009, 12:43 AM   #36
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In western Washington, grouse season is around 4 months and I use a .410 shotgun. (Winchester 9410)
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Old May 9, 2009, 01:26 AM   #37
kraigwy
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Savage Model 24, 22 over 410.

The first two winters I lived in Alaska, in a little cabin north of McKenly Park, I got laid off.

That Model 24 fed my family.
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Old May 9, 2009, 01:44 AM   #38
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If youre talking squirrels and rabbits, theres really no reason for anything more than the .22 LR.

IMO any centerfire rifle is a waste of ammo money on something like a squirrel.

Would you rather pay $1 for a few little pieces of squirrel meat or 3 cents?

If you want to talk frugality, gun costs aside, 20 bucks worth of ammo gets you at least 500 squirrels with a .22 LR, about 20 with a centerfire rifle...assuming you never miss.

Now...if you want to get crazy and shoot at moving game then yeah a shotgun would be much preferred, but otherwise your back to the ammo cost equation.

Personally with some of the punchier .22LR ammo available I also wouldnt hesitate to shoot a Missouri coyote or bobcat, at close range of course.

I guess the only reason I can think of not to use a .22 for small game is if you feel theres a possibility of running into something dangerous, but even then Id rather have a .22 than a pointy stick.
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Old May 12, 2009, 09:49 AM   #39
Jack O'Conner
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I've taken many pheasants, rabbits, geese, and squirrels with a plain break open single shot 16 gauge made by Iver Johnson. This gauge is not common anymore but 20 gauge is just as good. New England Firearms makes new shotguns like this configuration but used shotguns are commonly found.

I'd avoid a lightweight 12 gauge due to painful recoil and excessive meat damage.

Good hunting to you.

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Old May 12, 2009, 10:02 AM   #40
wyobohunter
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Agreed, plus if you wanted to bring a few slugs along "just in case" the 20 gauge rifled slugs would do the trick on a black bear.
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Old May 15, 2009, 02:18 PM   #41
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Quote:
I'd avoid a lightweight 12 gauge due to painful recoil and excessive meat damage.
Try some blackpowder shells. Modest recoil and great patterns, deadly on game. Break open shotgun barrels are a cinch to clean. Newer ones (steel shot compatable) are chrome plated, offering more corrosion resistance. I also made an insert for my NEF 12 gauge to convert it to muzzle loading. That was fun but I enjoy the BP shells more.

I feel 12 gauge meat damage is over exagerated. Take a head shot or let'em get a little further away, same applies to any shot gun.

Quote:
Agreed, plus if you wanted to bring a few slugs along "just in case" the 20 gauge rifled slugs would do the trick on a black bear.
Or if you come across Mr. piggie.

My daughters 20 gauge NEF is a tack driver with Remington rifled slugs. Also a very nice shooter with shotshells.
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Old May 16, 2009, 02:05 PM   #42
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I almost always use a NEF 12 gauge on small game. It has a fixed full choke and I use low brass 5's and 6's. Patterns great and low recoil.
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Old May 16, 2009, 02:40 PM   #43
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My philosophy on handguns has always been that you 'live with the gun' if you want to master it. To that end, I have almost always been able to develop a small game/pest load for them, including the .45 ACP.

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Old May 17, 2009, 07:40 PM   #44
wyobohunter
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nice, is that a 1911 .45 A.C.P?
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Old May 17, 2009, 09:49 PM   #45
thecottonball
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howdy, new member but i say shotgun. using #4
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Old May 18, 2009, 09:04 AM   #46
Edward429451
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My Ruger Bearcat has more blood on it than any gun I own.
Ammo cheap.
Easy to pack.
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Old May 18, 2009, 09:52 AM   #47
justinicus
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To those of you who hunt small game with a handgun, how far out do you shoot? It sounds like the rifle guys routinely shoot 50-100yds. All of my handgun shooting this far has been solely focused on defensive handgunnery, so I'd need a heck of a lot of practice even getting a two-inch group at 25yds, I'd imagine.
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Old May 18, 2009, 06:44 PM   #48
James R. Burke
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If your thinking shotgun I would go with a 20ga. If money is no problem I would go with a Browning o/u. If you are thinking rifle there are a few good one's Ruger 10/22, Browning 22 auto takedown, Browning 22 BLR short throw my favorite. Pistols there are alot of good ones Ruger, Smith, etc.
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Old May 19, 2009, 01:34 AM   #49
jhammer
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I've bagged a few squirrels and rabbits with a .22 revolver while checking the trapline. Most of my shots were about 15-20 yards at most.
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Old May 21, 2009, 01:27 AM   #50
W. C. Quantrill
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Look for one of the Savage O/U's. Rifle on top, shotgun underneath. They come in a variety of combinations, 20ga/.223, or other calibers. They pretty well cover the small game needs nicely with either a rifle or shotgun available to you. If you need, you could shuck in a slug also..............That's what I would do.
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