View Full Version : any squirrel hunters?

June 4, 2009, 12:00 PM
I'm heading out sat morning for the late spring/early summer season here in Virginia.........did really well last year. I only use a .22 rifle to make it more challenging. Not as easy as it seems with all the leaves on the trees. I am curious about something........I normally use the Remington Gold solid tip rounds but I discovered a brick of the Gold hollow point rounds in my safe......shot about 150 rounds last range trip and they were fine.......how much damage to small game will they do compared to a solid tip.........I normally try to wait for a good head shot but I do not want to totally tear the little critters up if I have to go for a rib/body shot because my buddies mom loves to eat them......any suggestions?


June 4, 2009, 12:21 PM
Since I am normally only buy HP, I cant answer a comparison... but I go for head shots as a body shot usually is messy. I am shooting them for the snake so a bit of mess is fine on the occasional torso hit.

June 4, 2009, 12:42 PM
22 HP + Squirrels = Mess. Stick with the solids.

June 4, 2009, 02:11 PM
For tree rats HP's are definitely overkill - especially if you want to have anything to eat.

June 4, 2009, 02:16 PM
When I hunted squirrels in Michigan I always took headshots. There were tons of squirrels everywhere so I sat down against a tree and didn't move for 40 - 60 minutes. After each one I would shoot I would just remain seated. As long as I didn't get up and walk around or move too much they'd be back out running around on the ground again within about 15 minutes or so.

I guess a .22 rifle can be considered challenging compared to a 12 gauge. These days I don't get to squirrel hunt much (here in AZ) so I just use my .22 pistol with open sights when I have the chance.

June 4, 2009, 03:23 PM
I prefer solid subsonic rounds. They are a little quieter so I don't disturb the woods as much and they don't seem to do as much damage.

I'll never buy Remington subsonics again though. Those things are absolutely filthy. I'm going to try CCI next.

June 4, 2009, 06:05 PM
Basing this off of the eastern gray squirrel. i'd stick with hollow points. i've had them take several hits from mini mag HP's through the vitals w/o the desired effect. Solids would have done even worse. If you are using a bolt action, i'd highly suggest subsonic hollow points. nice and quiet, plenty accurate, usually more so than the super sonic rounds. I've hit them solidly in the heart and lungs with both subsonic HP's and high velocity HP's and had them not DRT but dragging themselves away/running or flipping around for awhile. So its not like HP's do too much damage to them. Kind of like deer hunting you keep the bullet behind the front leg and through the ribs and out the ribs you are good as far as meat damage is concerned. if you hit them in the shoulder/leg its going to get messy. And if you eat them, (which you should if you are hunting them) there is no good meat on the ribs anyway just the legs and "backstrap". so if you heart/lung them no damaged meat and if you hit them in the brain well of course no meat damage. Solids could be used if you only brain shoot them but you might as well use HP's b/c either will work on a brain shot and if you miss and hit the body the HP is going to do more damage and minimize them running into a hole n dying.

As for using a shotgun on them #6 or #5 shot, kills them 99% of the time... instantly. whereas the .22 seems to take much longer to kill them with solid hits. yet actual damage to the meat if far greater from the .22. strange. Infact i have a multi page thread at www.rimfirecentral.com on this topic. Here in NY the season is September 1st -> end of Feb

June 4, 2009, 06:37 PM
I agree about how the round nose bullets can fail to anchor an Eastern Grey with a direct body hit. If the nervous system isn't hit, the squirrel can scamper into a hole or nest in the 10 to 20 second time period during which it can still climb.
In the same situation with a hollow point to the back, the hole will be twice as large and the bullet shock will incapacitate the squirrel while the meat damage isn't usually significant.
A round nose bullet won't result in much if any external bleeding from a body hit, while a hollow point will result in a spray of blood. But the blood is not always indicative of meat damage since the majority of eatible squirrel meat is in the hind legs and back bone area.
If anyone is concerned about meat damage, then a .410 with #6 shot is a great squirrel round for minimizing meat damage and for shooting upward into high limbs. But if using a .22, I suggest loading with a high velocity hollow point rather than a round nose bullet to anchor them better, especially when they are hit closer to ground level or in the lower reaches of trees.

June 4, 2009, 07:03 PM
I use either subsonic hollow points or short hollow points. As has been said the solid bullets often do not stop the squirrel from going in a hole and the head shot is easier said than done.

June 4, 2009, 09:33 PM
The meat wasted on an errant shot with a HP is little compared to a complete squirrel getting away and dieing due to an imperfect hit with a solid. Do your game a favor and use HP's.

Quickdraw Limpsalot
June 5, 2009, 02:44 AM
Honestly, I've never noticed a lick of difference between solid or hollowpoint on squirrels at .22 lr velocities. You either hit 'em good or you don't.

...And I eat any I kill.

June 5, 2009, 03:42 AM
Yeah, buy a savage 17 HMR with a heavy and head shots wont be a problem. Thats what I use and it is scary accurate at 70 yds.

June 5, 2009, 06:49 AM
I use HP's, cause you never know when a coyote might come in for a little target practice. Never really noticed much difference in the damage caused by an HP over a solid point.

Good luck with the hunt, looking forward to some pics.

June 5, 2009, 12:57 PM
The last 472 squirrels (Eastern greys) I have shot have been with Crossman Premier .177 caliber pellets. All but 17 have been one shot kills. 316 have been ribcage shots. Very little meat was lost on any of them.

It does not take a lot to kill squirrels, and generally you can get quite close.

June 5, 2009, 04:21 PM
It probabaly what most of us hunters cut our teeth on. And probably your first gun was a .22lr. So hand in hand the best combo for squirrels I personally use a Ruger Mark II with a 2x Burris scope. Deady at 50yds. I have use a shotgun for squirrels, effective, but didn't like dealing with the shot. Solids or HP, with a .22 accuracy IS EVERTHING. Try both,see what shoots best, use it, use it alot. Nothing like seat time.