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Old August 21, 2012, 01:00 PM   #1
AdamSean
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Best, cheap .22LR hunting ammo thread

I recently bought a new .22LR everyday beater gun and just finished sighting it in the other day. Today I saw a squirrel in the back yard running off the birds from the bird feeder and decided to get some early practice and sniped him out from the window. He kept hiding his head behind some brush so I decided to take the body shot. I only had Winchester 36 gr plated hollow point in the magazine so I just used that instead of reloading with some stingers. Stingers would have been a little much at only 35 yards anyway.

I expected him to twitch and roll around a bit when shot, but he didn't even move. Dropped right he was. I fact his from legs were spread out in front of him. The Winchester cheap ammo must have some serious expansion going on there to cause that kind of energy to drop the squirrel like that. The only other times I have been able to drop a squirrel clean was with a .17 HMR. So it seems the Winchester 36 gr plated hollow point in the 333 round box is a decent choice for hunting while remaining super cheap.

Has anyone else found the same kind of results with the cheap stuff? What kind of ammo was it? I would be interested in checking some out for myself.
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Old August 21, 2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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I dropped a squirrel just like you described (chasing away birds from bird feeder, sniped from a window) with a single shot from a Rossi break action single shot youth .22lr using Aguila Super Colibri at about 15 yards.

I hit him in the chest and the bullet penetrated into his body cavity and caused his guts to exit out his anus. He fell dead where he was hit. I was quite surprised when I saw him fall dead upon impact. I honestly never expected a Super Colibri to have that kind of effect on squirrel.

Normally I take squirrel with Federal Bulk plated hp. Never had a problem with losing a squirrel shot with it.
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Old August 21, 2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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I actually took a rabbit like that from about 40 yards. Didn't even twitch, just dropped where he was
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Old August 21, 2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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I hunt with a marlin mod. 780 bolt action that I have had sence 81 and all that gun will shoot accurate is the remington golden bullit.I know a lot of people dont like them and that is the only gun I have that likes them,but they work for me.I hit them they are dead on the spot.
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Old August 21, 2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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I really like the Winchester 333/555 bricks of 36 grain HP - as indicated, they have good terminal performance.
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Old August 21, 2012, 08:28 PM   #6
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Yay, someone else uses the Winchester. lwb, I used to have Marlin Model 60 that shot the Remington Golden Bullets well too.

On another note, I bagged another squirrel later on using a different load. This time I went with a Remington Subsonic 38 gr hollow point. I hit this one in the same placement on the body and he just clumbered to a spot on the tree and sat there for about a minute and then fell out of the tree. I achieved the same end result, a dead squirrel, but it took a little longer.
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Old August 21, 2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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I use American Eagle plated HP for everything. Work great.
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Old August 21, 2012, 11:35 PM   #8
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I use what's on sale.
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Old August 22, 2012, 12:26 AM   #9
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Whatever is copperplated and on sale.
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Old August 22, 2012, 05:22 AM   #10
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"Whatever is on sale."

Me too..........

And the squeril........

Dredge in salt, pepper and flower. Then brown in the bottom of a pressure cooker along with a onion. Once that's done add a bit of water, carrots, potatos, celery......close it up and cook for 15 minutes or so.

Make fun of tree rats if you like but the meat is better than rabbit.....and way better than grocery store chicken!
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Old August 22, 2012, 03:24 PM   #11
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I bought several boxes of (525 round) CCI Blazer on sale recently. I try to keep a couple of thousand rounds in stock here at home. I use it and CCI Mini-Mag for everything.
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Old August 22, 2012, 07:24 PM   #12
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Wanna go real cheap? I use an RWS Diana 350 breakbarrel .22 pellet rifle for most of my squirrel hunting. 14.5 gr RWS super point pellets. 500 for $20. Head or chest shot, the tree rats drop.
Where I squirrel hunt, the .22LR makes me worry if I was to miss. Them little bullets do go far.
To the question asked, the CCI 40 gr lead round nose is plenty of bullet. Are they truly cheap, not really, but I trust em more than most bulk ammo.
Just my .02 cents.
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Old August 22, 2012, 10:22 PM   #13
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Just took a rabbit out of my garden this evening with my Rossi youth .22lr shooting a CCI .22short.

At 25 yards I took aim at his head but the bullet fell a bit low - striking the rabbit just above the chest bone. The bullet then penetrated through the rabbit and came out just below its anus. The critter fell over, twitched a bit and died right there.

They're not exactly cheap compared to Winchester or Federal Bulk Packs but they're not expensive either and are quieter than most high power air rifles. A 29gr bullet at 700+fps is lethal to rabbits and squirrels at closer ranges and is quieter than my Ruger .22cal pellet rifle.
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Old August 23, 2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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The Federal Automatch is very accurate out of my guns, and is bulk-pack inexpensive, but a little more than the win, etc. The reason I liked it so much out of my pistols is because guts didn't come squirting out. Head shots drop them every time right away, but it doesn't make a mess if I shoot them head-on and it keeps going through the body. Even minimag solids will make a gut pile. I eat the squirrels, so blowing them up just makes for a gross gutting job. Now, with ground squirrels, rock squirrels, prairie dogs, I'll use whatever gun is handy.
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Old August 23, 2012, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
The Winchester cheap ammo must have some serious expansion going on there to cause that kind of energy to drop the squirrel like that.
Nope. Going through the thin body of a squirrel, that bullet didn't really have time to expand. What dropped him nerve shock. That would have happened regardless of the bullet you used - you just got lucky enough to hit the right spot. I've gotten the same results from CCI CB Caps (which don't expand at all and don't even always exit the squirrel's body) when they are hit just right.
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Old August 23, 2012, 06:29 PM   #16
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Doyle-

Good call on expansion, the CB short comes in around 32-35 ftl bs. Bullets do penetrate, but dont expand. When using my air gun, the RWS pellets are around 22-24ft lbs, but they mushroom to almost twice their initial size. Thats why they are deadly at short range. They dump all their energy into the animal.
Shooting dry 1 1/2 inch thick boards with .22 CB short and the .22 pellets, both entry holes are the same. The exit holes are not. The CB round exits with the same size hole as the entry. The pellets exit is about a 25% larger and is not a clean hole. Like you stated, the bullets will not have a chance to expand in a thin body animal.
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Old August 23, 2012, 06:43 PM   #17
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Hansam-

Good shooting, hope the eating was good also.
What kind of internal damage did the short do? Did it expand or just bounce around inside em?
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Old August 23, 2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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The eating was good although with the overabundance of rabbits in my area this year all of them that I've shot out of my garden were quite skinny and small. I was joking with my wife that I should let them eat the veggies so they get good and fat before I shoot them.

The bullet entered with just a little .22 cal hole. When I gutted it I was shocked - at the lack of damage internally. It put a hole through left part of the heart and tore through some intestines on its way through the body cavity but aside from that there wasn't much damage at all. The bullet was not recovered since it exited the rear of the rabbit and buried itself into the garden. I wasn't about to go digging around the garden to find a 29 grain lead bullet.

I don't believe that if the bullet had struck ANY bones at all it would have penetrated all the way through the rabbit. This was one heck of a lucky shot - that's all it was considering I was aiming for a head shot. I think if I had struck the chest bone of the rabbit it would still have died but I would have had to have my dog track it - as in it would have ran a good distance before dieing. In fact I've shot a rabbit in the vitals from the side with a .22lr HP and had it run a good 30+ yards before falling to a convulsive death. That rabbit had its lungs hanging out the exit wound on the side of its chest.
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Old August 23, 2012, 08:32 PM   #19
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Hole in the heart will do it. Sounds like the round didn't do a heck of a lot of damage. It is surprising how little internal disruption can occur. I prefer soft pellets and soft bullets for small game hunting. From my experience, a .22 soft pellet will drop a squirrel as fast as a standard velocity .22 bullet, if placed properly, and perhaps better than a high velocity round nose will. Hollow points have their place, but for squirrel and rabbit, they destroy to much meat.
Veggies are cheaper than meat, let mr bunny have a bit of em before he goes in the dinner pot.
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Old August 23, 2012, 10:39 PM   #20
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I shoot plenty of golden bullets I. 22s. The reason is they are very accurate out of my 22. They are as good as any at killing squirrels, rabbits and other things. But my main reason first and foremost is they got to be accurate.
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Old August 24, 2012, 05:13 PM   #21
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I was at Wal-Mart today and I found boxes of CCI Quiet .22lr for $7.95 each. Each box had 50 rounds in it. Not exactly cheap shooting but still plenty cheap for varminting. They were 40gr. lead round nose bullets with a muzzle velocity of 710fps according to the box. I thought, "What the heck I'll try it."

So I get home and load up a CCI CB Short (29gr. @ 710fps) and fired. Less report than an air rifle and the bullet entered the pine wood block but was still close enough to the surface I could see its rear end yet. Then I loaded and fired from the same gun (a Rossi break action single shot youth .22) the Quiet .22lr and I was amazed! Same quiet report as the CB but the bullet punched through the pine block (one layer of 1.5" thick) and hit the berm behind it. It didn't go very deep into the dirt so I was able to find the bullet (completely deformed) but nonetheless this thing punched through the wood!

I think I just found my new favorite back yard varmint cartridge! Now to wait and see if the rabbits come out to feed on my veggies tonight...
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Old August 24, 2012, 05:55 PM   #22
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That lack of "punch through" is why I use the CB caps for back yard squirrel conrol. I live in a neighborhood of 1 acre lots so I do have to worry about collateral damage. With the CB caps, I worry less about pass-through or riccochet.
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Old August 24, 2012, 07:15 PM   #23
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Since a .22 isn't likely to deform much when it impacts a rabbit I prefer to have as much kinetic energy as possible when the bullet hits the critter. That being the case I personally prefer these heavier bullets travelling at the same speed as the lighter CBs. I agree though that if you have to take into consideration over penetration and ricochet that the CB shorts are better. The shots I take on rabbits though are pretty safe - I'm shooting usually from no further than 25 yards and I'm shooting downward from either a window or my back deck into the garden (soft earth). As such I'm not too concerned about over penetration or ricochet and even if there were a danger my nearest neighbor is a few hundred yards away. Not much danger there as the bullet would run out of energy after a ricochet off soft dirt (and at 700 or so fps) long before it reached my neighbor's property.
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Old August 24, 2012, 09:08 PM   #24
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Hanson I have used the CCI quiet rounds a good bit on squirrels and rabbits around my house and they work good for that. Dont expect much on larger critters though. I dispatched a coon that I caught in a live trap a few days ago. It took 4 shots to the back of the head put him down with the quiets. He only weighed about 10 pounds. After skinning him the rounds only penetrated an inch or so. Hard headed coon for sure.
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Old August 24, 2012, 09:12 PM   #25
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That was one heck of a hard headed coon then! I've dispatched coons with a single shot to the top of the head from my Ruger Single Six loaded with CCI CB Shorts. Its the same load I use when I dispatch feral cats when they get caught up in my traps too.

EDIT added: With the cost of the CCI Quiet .22lr being the same as CCI CB though I'll be loading the Quiet rounds from now on instead of the CB Shorts. The ballistic calculator says the Quiets deliver almost twice as much energy as the CB Shorts.
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