First Squirrel of the Season! (Graphic) Pic And Dog Story!


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Joshua M. Smith
August 31, 2010, 02:48 PM
Hello,

I was shooting on my range today, testing .22LR handloads.

At 30yds, a largish fox squirrel appeared.

My mind went, "squirrel!"

It saw me at about the same time, so I dialed down the 'scope to 4.5x, which is the minimum setting, stood up, did a Hasty Hasty sling, and sent the bullet.

The handloaded 40gn HP struck right behind the lungs - very poor placement on my part. I had not had a chance to set the trigger, so I was operating with a 5# trigger instead of a crisp 12oz trigger. I had also not adjusted the parallax off of 100yds. But I know this rifle and it hit only 1/4" further back from where I aimed. The squirrel was moving as well, so it may not have been all me.

Regardless, of the bad placement, the squirrel dropped. I've not seen the local squirrel drop with less-than-precise placement with anything but high velocity HP.

I secured the rifle an got my dog, Nikki, and we walked out there.

Sometime during all this, the squirrel had "come back to life" and was among the trees. I had Nikki sniffing around for it when it fell in among some briers and thick growth that I couldn't make it in. So I gave the command (since she had seen it fall), "Nikki, GET THE SQUIRREL!" and she was in faster than I thought a dog that size could move.

I heard a brief struggle, and Nikki came sauntering back out of the brush, covered with little green burrs and holding a largish squirrel in her mouth.

She put it down at my feet.

Then it tried to get up.

She grabbed it in her mouth and squeezed it until it stopped breathing.

And I have to say, this is something I've not seen a dog do. I've seen them shake prey to break its neck, and I've seen them just chomp. But she just squeezed it and kept on squeezing it even when it bit her.

She put it down.

It was still alive.

Not wanting to make her get bitten again, I just stood on it.

I told her "good girl!" and only then did she show how happy she was with herself.

Here's what we ended up with:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b191/WabashShootist/2010%20to%202011%20Squirrel%20Season/NikkitheBrave.jpg
The little specs on Nikki are burrs. The squirrel looks smaller than it was because of dog drool.

Nikki, of course, got to eat the entrails. I don't know what was going on, but I botched the skinning job. The muscle wanted to stay on the skin, and I got little more than the back legs. Wasted about half the animal, but I couldn't figure out any other way. It was hot and I had to get it in before the meat could spoil.

The bullet passed through-and-though, but there were no support structure hit. Additionally, the lil' slug did expand a bit according to the exit wound. I put a hollowpoint in them as part of the handloading process.

I'd still like to know why most of the meat peeled off with the hide when I didn't wait any longer or skin any differently than usual. But overall, it was a good surprise hunt.

Nikki is definitely showing her worth again this year.

Josh

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rondog
August 31, 2010, 03:18 PM
Wait, backup...... .22LR handloads?

bigfatdave
August 31, 2010, 03:21 PM
".22lr handloads"?

what's that lump on the barrel?

Why a scope for 30 yards? (OK, maybe if it was already mounted and that was the only gun handy)

Cosmoline
August 31, 2010, 03:35 PM
Squirrels are incredibly tough critters. I've seen them running around after the equivalent of a cannonball through the chest.

Also--what's the story on the handloads and that buck rogers looking thing?

Joshua M. Smith
August 31, 2010, 03:58 PM
I've been playing around with pulling the bullets, keeping them undamaged, and finding a bit better powder for my 21" barrel. I'd like it to burn all the way down instead of the last 5" or so being wasted. Also, I modify the bullets into HPs before reseating them using a Hollowpointer Tool from D Rock at RFC.

I noticed a reduction in fliers after putting on the Limbsaver deresonator (the big donut thing). I also have a controlled pressure point on the barrel about an inch in front of the receiver, pushing up at 55in-lb or so.

The rings are actually two groups of three O-rings apiece, and they further cut down barrel vibration. I can actually spit out any brand of 40gn bullet at similar velocities and notice no POI difference.

Either I did something right, or got very lucky. Regardless, with its set trigger, it's a very accurate rimfire.

Josh

john917v
August 31, 2010, 05:36 PM
Interesting setup, and good teamwork! Don't take it so hard-squirrels aren't very big animals, and you took a standing shot.

Joshua M. Smith
September 1, 2010, 07:24 AM
Hello,

The below pic contains the instructions for handloading the .22LR as I do it.

By clicking the link to go to the full sized picture on Photobucket, you are absolving me of any and all responsibility should you try this and get hurt.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b191/WabashShootist/Handloading%2022LR/th_handloadscreencapturelow.jpg (http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b191/WabashShootist/Handloading%2022LR/?action=view&current=handloadscreencapturelow.jpg)

Have fun!

Oh, and if it comes up too small, just click it again and it will be readable.

Josh

RDA 226sig
September 8, 2010, 05:20 PM
Good Grief! Handloading 22LR would be like polishing grains of sand. Cool... but I don't think I could work with those little rascals. Like the dog.

The Bushmaster
September 9, 2010, 11:13 AM
Very interesting read and well done I might add. But, I doubt that it would improve the accuracy of my Winchester model 290. Still very interesting.

Tully M. Pick
September 17, 2010, 03:19 PM
I picked up one of D-Rock's ammo tools on RFC, and it's really a nice piece of kit.

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