The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 21, 2012, 04:54 PM   #1
Join Date: November 24, 2011
Location: Canton, Ohio
Posts: 18
12 gauge for squirrel

I just wondered if a 12 gauge loaded with #5 shot would be an effective load for squirell and if it would produce edible meat
.22rimfire is offline  
Old January 21, 2012, 05:13 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 26, 2004
Posts: 225
Yes. I've shot lots of squirrels with #5 shot 12 gauge while bird hunting. Anyone who says it will "blow them to pieces" is full of it.

Shoot away. Enjoy your stew.
bird_dog is offline  
Old January 21, 2012, 06:19 PM   #3
Join Date: January 26, 2007
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Posts: 89
I can't speak to #5 shot, but my buddy uses #6 in his 12ga. for squirrel hunting. It works great and doesn't blow them to pieces at all, in fact I think it messes them up less than my .22 does.
Vortexyz is offline  
Old January 21, 2012, 07:49 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: December 29, 2006
Location: Carencro, LA
Posts: 335
Yes, 5 will work fine, I normally use 6 shot 2 3/4 shells in mine.
MikeRussell is offline  
Old January 21, 2012, 08:21 PM   #5
playin' hookey
Join Date: August 20, 2011
Location: South Boston, VA
Posts: 48
#5 is what I use. Excessive meat damage is caused by shooting them too close to you.
playin' hookey is offline  
Old January 21, 2012, 08:40 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 6,963
Overkill !!!

Normally I would not question any choice. You can certainly use a 12ga. but a .22 would be better. ...

Be Safe !!!
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is online now  
Old January 21, 2012, 09:32 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: Helena, AL
Posts: 3,529
Have used 4, 5, and 6. I liked 4 and 5 best.
GeauxTide is offline  
Old January 22, 2012, 01:38 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: November 9, 2005
Location: Ohio, Appalachia's foothills.
Posts: 3,779
Used a 12 gauge with 4,5, and 6 shot all my youth.

Haven't picked up a shotty to squirrel hunt in years however.

The 22 is much more fun.

If you are after pure meat gathering capabilities however, the shotgun is the way to go.
mrawesome22 is offline  
Old January 22, 2012, 02:30 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: January 10, 2011
Location: Leesville SC
Posts: 2,454
#4 or #5 shot work just fine. But umm I am going to go against the grain here, I love to eat squirrel stew and have used many tools to take them, I don't like shot in all of my meat, nor do I like to bust them up with the .22. I use my Crossman Powermaster ( a very accurate bb gun too I might add) with 4 power scope to take them, yep thats right a BB gun. And I have found that it doesn't scare the rest off for a while like using the shotgun or 22. just my .02
deerslayer303 is offline  
Old January 22, 2012, 02:50 AM   #10
Irish B
Senior Member
Join Date: October 10, 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 359
I pull out the old pellet gun any time I want squirrel
If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live
Irish B is offline  
Old January 22, 2012, 11:02 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: October 25, 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 853
Around here, squirrels are smaller. They've never lived long enough to complain about number 8s either. I generally don't have to pull many pieces of shot out. They are either a pass-through or they hit something inedible like the head. The .22 tends to shatter big bones and make kind of a mess. They always pass through as well. Unless you drill a squirrel right in the head, there is a lot of loss. I use a cylinder bore 12 gauge for squirrel. My friend uses a .410 with a full choke. The 12 does far less damage. It peppers them. The .410, at the right range, will blow big chunks out of them due to the shot concentration.
chewie146 is offline  
Old January 23, 2012, 09:32 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Posts: 2,185
Use a M37 Ithaca in 16ga with #4 for squirrels,

just aim off side and that minimizes the meat damage. Choking was "SKEET".

Have taken three squirrels and the number of pellets hitting after skinning have range from one to three.

Other taken have been with .22 rifle or pistol. two shot max.
jrothWA is offline  
Old January 23, 2012, 11:04 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 5, 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 723
Occasionally in the flooded timber where i duck hunt, we'll have a slow day and pop a few squirrel for the pot. #2 steel shot works real well. Doesn't tear them up much at all - tends to pass right through so hardly ever find a pellet unless its in under the hide on the other side from where shot.
RamSlammer is offline  
Old January 23, 2012, 11:23 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: March 13, 2011
Location: illinois
Posts: 678
dang you guys use big shot :/ i always have used 7 1/2 shot remington game loads an never had a pellet an it kills them in 1 shot.
23 year old NRA member AKaholic #158907 , 1942 Ex-Sniper Izzy Mosin Nagant, 1970's Marlin 30-30, Remington 870 tatical, Charter Arms The Pink Lady 38 Special.
customaquatics is offline  
Old January 23, 2012, 11:36 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
I just use trap loads.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 12:14 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: November 19, 2005
Location: southwestern va
Posts: 765
i do like jroth, aim a little to the outside of the head and hopefull little or no shot will hit the body. If i squirrel hunt with a shotty i usually use a 20g with express 4's or 5's, the shot goes fast enough that it will usually pass thru the squirrel if you do hit body, so no chomping down on a shot when youre eating it later.
"i got the most powerful gun in the .88 magnum. It shoots thru schools......"
scottycoyote is offline  
Old January 25, 2012, 09:48 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: October 25, 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 853
Luckily around here (I guess) the squirrels are small enough that you can see any shot left behind. Most of the time, if it stops in the squirrel, it stops on the off-side hide and falls out when you skin.
chewie146 is offline  
Old January 25, 2012, 09:58 AM   #18
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,069
Can't remember ever using #5 but use #6 for much of my squirrel killin'... 7 1/2 when shots will be closer and/or less foliage in the canopy...

If I am killin' for the dogs or snake/s, I don't mind the damage of a .22 but if it is for me, I want shot pellet killed tree rats...

hogdogs is offline  
Old January 25, 2012, 12:38 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: December 21, 2010
Location: Osceola, IN
Posts: 258
just don't get real close and you'll be fine.
tynimiller is offline  
Old January 27, 2012, 02:02 PM   #20
Junior member
Join Date: July 10, 2011
Posts: 377
I rather use a .22.
JACK308 is offline  
Old January 27, 2012, 08:23 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: December 25, 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 308
Used .22 shorts as a kid for squirrel and rabbit quiet so it didn't scare the rest into their nests. Didn't go through so I didn't have stray bullet worries. Head shots only, no head shot, no shooting.
I'm looking for a gun for a fella that can't shoot. (John Wayne, Eldorado)
littlmak is offline  
Old January 28, 2012, 07:14 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: March 29, 2009
Posts: 340
Ive taken many squirrels and small rabbits with 12 gauge. Unless you are shooting it point blank it wont "vaporize" them. I usually just use #6 bird shot mostly because its my standard small game load. But now days i prefer to hunt small game with rimfire of some kind. I enjoy the longer shots and challenge. Even funner is hunting with a .22 pistol IMO.
biohazurd is offline  
Old January 28, 2012, 07:26 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 6,921
Don't hunt the bushytails much any more, but in my youth many years ago it was always either a 16 Ga. or 12 Ga. with #4
Cheapshooter's rules of gun ownership #1: NEVER SELL OR TRADE ANYTHING!
Cheapshooter is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 03:46 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: June 27, 2011
Location: Augusta, KS
Posts: 226
2 3/4 #6 out of a 12 ga. People look at you funny when I say that around here. They think .22 lr is all you need. My experience is .22 will tear them up worse than shotgun pellets. If they are close to you, just aim off their nose a little bit.
BUFF is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 04:17 PM   #25
Deja vu
Senior Member
Join Date: March 14, 2010
Location: Border of Idaho & Montana
Posts: 2,507
Shooting a squirrel with a 12ga will destroy meat! If the squirrel is with in 10 feet. Other wise it works great! I typically just use trap load such as 7 1/2 or 8
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
Deja vu is offline  

12 gauge , hunting , squirrel

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10219 seconds with 7 queries