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Old November 19, 2011, 09:09 AM   #1
Elliottsdad
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Rabbit cartridge

For those that hunt rabbits (to eat, not for pelts), do you prefer .22lr, .22mag or .17 hmr within 100 yds? Why?
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Old November 19, 2011, 09:28 AM   #2
hogdogs
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.22lr
Effective.
Adequate.
CHEAP for practicing...

Brent
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Old November 19, 2011, 11:26 AM   #3
Pahoo
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.22 LR is more than enough and less expensive

I prefer the .22LR over the others. The mag is over-kill and I've seen what a .17 can do to a cat. Doesn't take much to kill a rabbit and it's mostly at close range. I really enjoy hunting rabbits, in the snow, using my Savage-24BDL; .22LR over a 20Ga.

I once shot a rabbit at a longer than normal, for the 20ga. Was bit surprised when he just fell over. On inspection, found that only one #6 BB had hit him, in the head. .....

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Old November 19, 2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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Another vote for the 22LR.

Reasons, already stated by Pahoo and hogdogs.
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Old November 19, 2011, 12:22 PM   #5
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Of those 3 .22lr hands down. Cost less, less meat damage if you shoot the body, less noise, etc. That being said I'm kinda prejudice. Not that I have a love affair with the LR but I have little if any love for the rimfire magnums. If you need more power and range than a LR you should be shooting a centerfire. That goes for rifles as well as handguns.

LK
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Old November 19, 2011, 12:48 PM   #6
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22LR 40 gr, plated RN standard velocity. Not fussy about brand. Rifle, pistol or revolver, not fussy about that either.
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Old November 19, 2011, 01:32 PM   #7
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.22 LR is probably the most economical, is relatively quite, and produces little recoil, and will do the job just fine.........but centerfire cartidges are much more fun.


My favorite for Jacks and Cottontails in my .22 Hornet.

My family hunts them with what ever calibers we happen to have with at the time, from my experience, all the following will work just fine.


.22 LR
.22 Mag
.22 Hornet
.223 Rem.
.220 Swift
.243 Win.
.270 Win.
7.62x39
7.62x54
.30-30
.30-06
7.7x58 Arisaka
.300 Win Mag.
.358 Winchester
.410, 12, & 20 ga. shotguns

.380 Auto
9 mm
.38 Special
.357 Rem Mag.
40 S&W
10 mm
.41 Rem. Mag.
.44 Rem Mag.
.45 Auto

.50, and .54. caliber roundballs will work too.............as will 540 grain hardcast buffalo bullets.
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Old November 19, 2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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.22lr though if they're running I prefer a 20ga.
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Old November 19, 2011, 05:36 PM   #9
MOshooter65202
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22lr in the rifle choices
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Old November 19, 2011, 06:24 PM   #10
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22lr is all you need. If you use anything bigger expect to have very little rabbit in the pot.
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Old November 19, 2011, 09:06 PM   #11
jrothWA
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Either my 77/22 or my 1960's era Marlin Glenfield 100...

in .22LR.
VEry effective on Snowshoe hare in a alder/cedar swamp.

Otherwise, I just love my 16ga M37 or Marlin 90 with 5 shot.
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Old November 20, 2011, 02:20 AM   #12
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22 lr works just fine.
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Old November 20, 2011, 03:00 AM   #13
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I agree with almost everything in the above posts except for the part about meat damage. The 17hmr is such an inherently accurate round that meat damage is a non issue. A walmart bought savage bolt action with the accutrigger and a decent high power varmint scope will yield sub 1" groups at 100yds. Head shots are all I take. And thats with a scoped 17hmr revolver. My friend has the savage. Most accurate rifle ive ever seen. Plus they do sell fmj and hp rounds that arent as devastating as the original V-max rounds. Yes, they cost more. But dont you owe it to that furry little bunny to blow his head clean off????
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Old November 20, 2011, 06:57 AM   #14
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.22 Long Rifle is perfect for Rabbit, I have used a .22 Mag to hunt them before but it tore them up too bad if you didnt get a head shot.
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Old November 20, 2011, 08:10 AM   #15
m.p.driver
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Have to agree .22 Lr,grew up shooting them and squirrels with a Mossberg 144 and never seen the reason to change.Did try a Ruger .22 mag for a while,but it wasn't worth the added expense or damage to the meat.
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Old November 20, 2011, 02:07 PM   #16
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Where I hunt rabbits, only about 5% allow for a carefully-placed shot; the other 95% have to be shot on the run.

As such, I go for the .22 WMR.
.22 LR is plenty of cartridge for a rabbit, but it doesn't work well with poor placement. When you add the fact that Black Tailed Jacks are often more than twice as big, twice as fast, and twice as jumpy as the Cottontails most people have in mind, the extra power of the .22 WMR is nice to have.

Cost isn't an issue. I paid 6 to 9 cents per round (over 10 years) for my stash of .22 WMR ammo, and I usually hunt with a 4-round magazine in the rifle. If I fire every round in the magazine... that's a whopping $0.36. Even at current unnecessarily inflated prices for premium ammo (Win Supreme 34 gr HP - $0.27 per), it would be $1.08.

On the rare occasions that I'm actually after only cottontails, I give up before leaving the truck or camp. Since cottontail-only trips only happen during big game hunts, the only legal weapon is a shotgun. Since the terrain I hunt in doesn't provide many shots within shotgun range... the shotgun is a waste of time. Conclusion: give up before you start (or go after grouse, instead).

Summary:
.22 WMR - for power, range, and bullet selection.
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Old November 20, 2011, 02:35 PM   #17
Archer 9505
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.22 LR

I love hunting bunnies in front of beagles. As you know, the rabbits general work a circle when pushed by beagles. I like the "Looking Back Head Shot", when the rabbit is craning his head to look at it's back trail trying to get a fix on a short legged beagle. Always used a .22Lr and don't see a reason to change now.
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Old November 20, 2011, 03:16 PM   #18
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I know a guy in Kodiak that uses reduced loads (think .45 Colt levels) in his .458 Win Mag on bunnies.

He only has to carry one rifle for bunnies and bear protection. Keeps the magazine full of hot bear loads, and top loads in a light "bunny load" in after each shot. He doesn't miss often.

That being said, I recommend a .22lr above all others.

I used a 10/22 for a while, got bored with it, then used a Browning Buckmark pistol for the difficulty level to remain entertaining and challenging.
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Old November 20, 2011, 03:33 PM   #19
Pahoo
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Bunnies in the snow !!!

Quote:
I love hunting bunnies in front of beagles. As you know, the rabbits general work a circle when pushed by beagles. I like the "Looking Back Head Shot", when the rabbit is craning his head to look at it's back trail trying to get a fix on a short legged beagle. Always used a .22Lr and don't see a reason to change now.
If anyone else has had the pleasure of hunting rabbits with Beagles, it is quite an experience. Have been invited on these hunts before and could not believe the number of shots we got.
Quote:
"Looking Back Head Shot"
They actually do that and your reply reminded me of this. Many a shot could be taken with a .22 Short.

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Old November 21, 2011, 12:16 AM   #20
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One of my friends uses a 17 ,which requires head shots. Everyone else uses 22lr in some form, still head shots but if your off a little you still have most of the meat. Oh yea these are snow shoes hares.
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Old November 21, 2011, 01:13 AM   #21
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22lr.
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Old November 21, 2011, 05:55 PM   #22
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Headshot, even with a 22lr. Too much meat damage from any of those calibers. I've gone over to the dark side with the 17hmr, (just too much fun shooting it.) The only round I used that didn't ruin the meat was a .22lr lead round nose target round.
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Old November 22, 2011, 08:12 AM   #23
Daryl
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.22 LR.

Adequate, inexpensive, and less meat damage on a less than perfect shot than the others.

In fact, I actually prefer subsonic ammo, or .22 shorts for the purpose.

Daryl
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Old November 22, 2011, 12:37 PM   #24
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I've no experience shooting jackrabbits, so I'll answer for eastern cottontails: subsonic .22lr. At long range, it often won't even alarm them if you miss.
Most all of my cottontail kills have been shot at long-ish range in a close cropped clover field. The last was about 35yds in the back of the head. My record is around 85yds with subsonics. He did an amazingly high backflip and was DRT.
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Old November 22, 2011, 01:27 PM   #25
Daryl
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Quote:
Headshot, even with a 22lr. Too much meat damage from any of those calibers. I've gone over to the dark side with the 17hmr, (just too much fun shooting it.) The only round I used that didn't ruin the meat was a .22lr lead round nose target round.
A few folks hereabouts need to learn to place their shot to avoid meat damage. I've hunted small game with a handgun, as well as a rifle with nearly no meat damaage at all.

Head shots are the norm, but a chest hit through the ribs with a subsonic .22 LR works great. I prefer the Rem subsonics, but mostly because they're easy to find here...and are cheap.

It isn't rocket science; just put the bullet where the meat isn't, and avoid gut shooting them in order to avoid tainting the meat.

The .22 LR has been taking small game for more decades than any of us can count, and it'll continue to do so. It's what it was designed for, and it does the job well.

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