View Full Version : Back up for small game.

February 15, 2007, 12:53 AM
Wasn't sure which section to put this in but anyways.
Whats your opinion on what I should pack with me for possible run-ins by raccoon, rabbit, and grouse, while coyote hunting with a 223.
I have figured out these options, and keep in mind, budget plays a big role here. Also I want something that will be pretty easy to pack around with me, cause I'd be packing a Howa Varmint as my main gun.
1. A 22 LR or 22 Mag Revolver
2. FMJ rounds for the 223, and practice with them so I know the difference in zero from my coyote rounds.
3. A short barrel, fixed cylinder bore 12 gauge, with about #6 size shot.
4. Any other suggestions you might have.

john in jax
February 15, 2007, 11:38 AM
I don't really feel the need to carry a "back-up" for small game. I have a CWP and carry .45acp or .357mag while in the woods for the very same reasons I carry in public - - dangerous 2 legged predators.

Since I have a handgun on my hip, I might leave my rifle in the vehicle while tracking, but if in the woods my long gun (rifle or shotgun) is my primary weapon for self-defense as well as hunting.

Now if you want to try a handgun to take small game that's a different story, Ruger's 22LR/22mag convertible "single six" is a good choice.

February 15, 2007, 11:44 AM
I second a .22 pistol. The only thing is you aren't going to get a flushing grouse with it. I wouldn't carry a rifle and a shotgun due to the extra weight, but thats me. Maybe get a sxs coach gun and strap it on your back.

February 15, 2007, 12:14 PM
A 44 or 45C pistol? 4 seriouis rounds and a couple shotshells as the last two. If you see small game, you'll have time to index the shotshells up front.

I had a close encounter with 3 mtn lions while small gaming once. A momma out teaching her yearlings how to hunt. Just because you're out for small game & predators doesn't mean something bigger wont come along. Fortunetly lions are thin skinned.

February 15, 2007, 05:04 PM
I aint gonna be flushing grouse, most likly will be shots while they are in a tree or on the ground

February 15, 2007, 05:04 PM
I've done lots of thinking about the same thing. Well, kinda the same thing. Mine is more on the lines of what is the best field gun. This is what I've come up with.

If you are out hunting with a centerfire firearm, a .22 is a great gun to have. Great for small game, finishing off wounded fox and coyotes and a fun/cheap plinker for the dull times.

If you are out hunting with a rimfire firearm and snakes/LARGE bears are not an issue I would prefer a semi-auto centerfire sidearm like a 9 mm. A great back up and it's a better round if you decide to take a shot at anything bigger than a rabbit. Also better for defense, even though that’s almost a non-issue while hunting. I believe a semi-auto is easier to completely clean if it gets wet.

If you are out hunting and snakes might be a problem, get a 4" - .38 revolver. 1 or 2 rounds of snake shot followed by whatever you want. IMHO, .22 shot-shells are worthless.

If you are in bear country, .357 minimum.

You will see that the .22 mag is not on my list. Again, IMHO, I think the .22 mag in a handgun is worthless. It's not suitable for anything bigger than rabbits and it cost a lot more than a .22 LR. You can get .38 and 9mm ammo for the same cost as .22 mag ammo and it will be much better for game up to coyote. If you're a .22 mag fan don't despair, I think the .22 mag in a rifle can be a great hunting gun for game in size up to coon/fox/bobcat. It's much more effective than a .22 LR for larger small game.


February 15, 2007, 05:41 PM
most of the time I am in the field, I have a S&W .22 pistol. Usually a model 34 or a 63. Both have 3 inch barrels and adjustable sights.

February 15, 2007, 05:54 PM
Have you thought about the Taurus 4410? I've never used one but there are several threads going on about it around here. Looks like you could put a couple of .410 shotshells in #6's and then the rest in .45LC for the two legged predators or bears and such. Don't know the specifics on the cost, but I don't think they're terribly expensive.

February 15, 2007, 06:22 PM
I guess i gave people the wrong idea, i am not using it for defence, i mean as something to pack along so i can shoot small game eatables, while coyote hunting

February 15, 2007, 06:51 PM
My suggestion don't shoot small game while coyote hunting. You will probably push the coyotes out of the area while shooting your rabbits and such. If you are not having any luck hunting coyotes then switch modes to small game, and go back to your vehicle and get out a .22 rimfire or take head shots with the .223.

February 15, 2007, 07:04 PM
For the purpose you intend I'd pack a .22LR handgun. I'd recommend a good semiauto like a Ruger or Browning. If you want a revolver there are a lot of those around too. I just like semi's.

February 15, 2007, 09:51 PM
:D That's funny. I just have my usual CCW. Heck, you've got a .223 in your hands! Now if you want to bag bunnies for the pot, carry some downloaded ammo.

February 15, 2007, 10:04 PM
Why in the world do you want to carry another gun when you are already packing a 223? Just use the rifle. Small game backup? I know, you just never know if that bunny is going to attack you and you can't swing your rifle fast enough. :)

Okay, for the fun of it... a .22LR rimfire pistol or revolver.

February 16, 2007, 01:09 PM
i faced that delimea some time ago also, while carrying my 454 RB around i kept seeing Rabbits and couldn't shoot them with that beast. so being a handloader i took the .45 cal Speer shot capsules and loaded them with a 1/2 ouce of #8 shot put 10gr Pistol/Shotgun powder in the case and thats it. hot swap your 300gr with one of these babies and kill some rabbits/grouse/coons/squirrel/ etc. it works...... it patterns very good @ 8-12 YARDS. further than that the pattern goes to crap in a hurry. when i am rifle huntin i carry a Ruger MKII on my hip for the varmints

February 16, 2007, 06:22 PM
I'd get either a Savage 24 or Baikal/Spartan combo gun in .223/20 ga or .223/ 12 ga, OR carry a 6 or 7.5" .22lr revolver or pistol for a good accurate shot. .22 mag revolvers are too loud! Or just shoot them with the .223 in the head.

February 17, 2007, 10:07 AM
If you reload, RL some FMJ rounds and adjust your powder charge to get the same POI as your 'yote rounds. I did this w/ my 22-250 to use in case I see a turkey during deer season. Works great. I also use them for head shots in the hog trap, and bobcats too...

February 17, 2007, 10:13 AM
that 223 will do bunnies just as well as yoties. now if your looking for an excuse to buy another gun... GO FOR IT:)

TJ Freak
February 18, 2007, 11:59 AM
I have always carried a Ruger Mark II. It's just plain fun to take along. I like it's accuracy any the way it fits my hand. It's perfect for those finish it off shots or for just plinking.

February 18, 2007, 12:55 PM
If your looking for an excuss to get another gun, go for it. But I've never seen much of a need to carry a handgun while hunting. Especially for what your hunting. I would zero my 223 in for FMJ and just stick with that for everything. They will do just fine for the coyotes.

February 18, 2007, 01:07 PM
Ruger 22 pistol