Lever and/or Pump .22lr accurate enough for small game hunting?


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CoyoteSix
October 31, 2012, 12:41 AM
Hey folks, So I'm a young'n living in the boonies of southern Idaho.

Me and some friends from work we're talking about bagging some rabbits after the frost this winter.

My initial thought was my Marlin XT-22 with a bull barrel would do fine. Until I remembered how much of a pain it was last time I went hiking with it! Darn thing weighs way too much for anything but target work. :banghead:

So this might be a good excuse to buy a new .22 rifle small game!

I really want a Lever action or Pump, both by Henry, but they have to have head shot accuracy on a rabbit. 25 yards max? I'll be throwing a scope on it as well.

These both of course are running against a second Marlin XT-22 WITHOUT a bull barrel.

Also:I understand that Marlin makes a far superior Lever gun, however at a pound and almost $300 less, I'll take the Henry.

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BCRider
October 31, 2012, 03:04 AM
My own shooting with my basic H001 suggests that at 25 yards and if you are either steady enough or rest the gun against a tree that head shots on a rabbit using a scope for sighting will be more than easy.

Even with the basic irons and with shakey "old guy" arms and "old guy" eyes shooting standing freestyle I can hit a steel swinging target that is about the same size as a rabbit's head 3 out of 4 times. With a scope and using something as a rest I can't see missing as being a big issue.

Clipper
October 31, 2012, 03:36 AM
The lightest and highest quality LA 22 is gonna be the Browning BL-22. Accurate as hell, too, but not cheap...

caribou
October 31, 2012, 06:35 AM
While not "more accurate" than a bolt or semi, the advantage of a pump or lever is that you can keep the rifle at the shoulder and not take your eyes from the sights while reloading.

Thats a definit advantage in hunting small moveing targets, and my small game .22mag was a Winchester M-62..........I wore it out over the course of several years, surely wish I had another......

GLOOB
October 31, 2012, 06:43 AM
How far can you make a headshot on a rabbit from a field position? Any 22 rifle that's not broken would be accurate enough for me. :)

bigfatdave
October 31, 2012, 07:00 AM
I routinely line up water bottles or discarded cans and pop them off the board/table with my H001L (the lever carbine - adult stock, youth barrel, large loop lever)

This is easily done at 20-30 yards with the basic iron sights, rapid-fire. If there aren't bottles or cans, I bounce junk around on the backstop when I get bored punching paper.

Anything in the Henry H001__ series will do the job for you, although an optic on a lever gun just looks off somehow, a low-magnification scope or no-magnification red-dot type does allow some fast shooting.

chicharrones
October 31, 2012, 07:59 AM
While not "more accurate" than a bolt or semi, the advantage of a pump or lever is that you can keep the rifle at the shoulder and not take your eyes from the sights while reloading. .

I don't know of many rimfire lever or pump guns that don't use a front loading tube magazine. Reloading those rifles while shouldered is a bit tough for me. :)

snakeman
October 31, 2012, 08:12 AM
I can shoot a baseball at 100 yards with my henry! I'm not exaggerating a bit. My mom's is the same way. I've shot more rabbits with my henry than any other gun I own. Never had a problem. My shots are typically 50 to 100 yards.

bigfatdave
October 31, 2012, 08:30 AM
I don't know of many rimfire lever or pump guns that don't use a front loading tube magazine. Reloading those rifles while shouldered is a bit tough for me.pretty sure that he meant re-loading the chamber, not the magazine

Sav .250
October 31, 2012, 08:45 AM
If you read enough forums you`ll see where guys tout shooting deer and just anything else that isn`t called a Bear with a 22 cal. That being said, a 22 cal is certainly fine for "small" stuff but shot placement is first and foremost.

68wj
October 31, 2012, 08:45 AM
My Remington Fieldmaster pump was very accurate growing up.

chicharrones
October 31, 2012, 09:55 AM
pretty sure that he meant re-loading the chamber, not the magazine

That's what I though on my first read too. Except, the comment "bolt or semi" was there.

If chambering is the issue, bolt guns can be run from the shoulder shot to shot whether rimfire or centerfire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXZL83sAWLA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS3bFlmjeQo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4s5UXXyZ1M

22-rimfire
October 31, 2012, 10:43 AM
I think the OP pretty much knows what he wants. The ones he's considering are sufficiently accurate enough (on average) for small game hunting. I am not really familiar with a Henry pump action rifle.

The best lever action 22's are Marlin 39A, Winchester 9422, Browning BL-22, and Henry. Winchester also made the M250 and M150 back in the 60's and 70's that weren't half bad. The 9422 was more expensive and popular. Mossberg currrently produces a lever action 22.

Pumps... your best bet is a Remington 572 although I believe Taurus still makes a repo of the Winchester M61. I grew up with the Remington 572 and it is a very good gun for small game hunting if you don't want a semi-auto.

smokey30725
October 31, 2012, 10:59 AM
Rossi made a fine little pump 22 lr styled after the winchesters. I have a breakdown model that stays in my emergency gear in my car along with a brick of ammo. Its one accurate little booger and easy to disassemble and put into a backpack. I believe they made a full size version as well. See them on Gunbroker fairly often.

Still Shooting
October 31, 2012, 11:03 AM
FWIW, I personally prefer a pump .22 (I have the one I grew up with - my Dad's Remington 572) for small game. When cocking on the shoulder, the forward motion of the slide tends to "pull" you back onto the sight plane. With a lever, the muzzle moves upward, and I usually have to correct my sights downward for that second shot.

jogar80
October 31, 2012, 11:12 AM
My Remington Fieldmaster pump was very accurate growing up.
My uncle has one of these and it is VERY accurate.

CraigC
October 31, 2012, 11:23 AM
Yes, either would be plenty accurate enough.

BCRider
October 31, 2012, 01:16 PM
When cocking on the shoulder, the forward motion of the slide tends to "pull" you back onto the sight plane. With a lever, the muzzle moves upward, and I usually have to correct my sights downward for that second shot.

Adding a leather recoil plate cuff that has the rough side out will do a great job of increasing the friction of the recoil plate to the jacket and shoulder and greatly avoid the cycling of the lever causing the gun to slip. This is why you see such things so often on lever rifles used for cowboy action shooting. And of course there's lots of other options if you don't want the moisture holding properties of the leather on a hunting gun. For example stick on skateboard or anti slip shower traction tape stuck onto the recoil plate would do the job nicely.

EDIT- Now mind you despite this "cure" for the lever gun movement I do have to agree that a pump action does better at being a more natural and faster style of action for rapid firing or at least getting the gun re-chambered for a possible followup shot. I've got two pump rimfires and they are both great for that sort of thing.

Nifty944
October 31, 2012, 03:58 PM
Please do yourself a favor and look hard at a Remington 572. They can be found very reasonably priced used if you are patient. The one in our family (which belongs to my dad) is the subject of many arguments over who gets to be the one to take it to the woods. You either get the 572, or you get "stuck" with one of the other .22's.

DM~
October 31, 2012, 04:20 PM
If you are buying a pump, better make it something other than a Henry! They are having a lot of complaints about their pump! I had one and it was a total POS!

As for the Henry levers, i have 3 and i can't say enough good things about them! GREAT lever 22 rifle!

Henry is under water right now, so i'm thinking there could be a bit of shortage on Henrys pretty soon?

If you want a pump, look hard at a Remington!

DM

CoyoteSix
October 31, 2012, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the wealth of info folks!


I think I'll jump on the Henry lever after what I've read.

is a scope easily mounted on one?

bigfatdave
October 31, 2012, 05:00 PM
is a scope easily mounted on one?

the scope rail is built into the receiver cover

CoyoteSix
October 31, 2012, 05:02 PM
Thanks Dave! is it a dovetail style rail?

rcmodel
October 31, 2012, 05:09 PM
Theres only type of .22 rail in general use on American made .22's.

They all take 3/8" Weaver type tip-off rings.
Which are supplied with many if not most "less expensive" .22 scopes.

All you need is a coin or a screwdriver for the screw slots to mount them.

rc

claiborne
October 31, 2012, 07:12 PM
As a kid growing up in Mountain home, I never went anywhere between Boise and Twin Falls without my Marlin 60. It shot stingers like lazer beams. The whistle pigs down by Grandview and the Simplot feed lots quivered with fear. The rockchucks along the Snake River canyon quivered with fear. The rabbits in between quivered with fear. Did you know you can kill a big badger with 18 stingers? I did when I was in 8th grade at the Mountain Home golf course
That Marlin 60 was the only rifle I ever wore out! ;)
Too many 22 rifles have passed though my hands since, including the ones you mention. My favorites that I'll keep and pass on to my son are a CZ 452 Trainer I bought in 2003 and my 5th Marlin 39a (the first two disappeared in trade, the last two went to my dad in Mountain Home and Uncle in Twin Falls).
In good faith as a native Idahoan, I can only recommend a Marlin 60, Marlin 39A (not AS), and a CZ 452 of some sort.
Take care.......Good luck, let me know if you want some suggestions on where to slay critters.

doc2rn
October 31, 2012, 07:17 PM
^+1 to what claiborne said. Your post just screams Marlin Mod 60! Every boy around 11 I know got a .22lr and dad's all chipped in on ammo for us to go p-dog shootin.

22-rimfire
October 31, 2012, 07:58 PM
Scope is easy to mount on a Henry H001 (I believe that is the right model #), but difficult to mount of the Golden Boys. I don't believe they are drilled for scopes and the certainly don't have the dove tail. The Henry is a good choice which is pretty much what you started with. My only Henry is a Mare's Leg 22 which is fun to shoot.

CoyoteSix
October 31, 2012, 08:09 PM
@Claiborne!

Always nice to see a fellow Idahoan on here!

I just moved to the Murtaugh area from Eden! right around the Murtaugh lake, any good places to get Rabbits and chucks? Please bestow me with your wisdom! :what:

Me and my friends still can't find a consistent place to get varmints!

berettaprofessor
October 31, 2012, 08:21 PM
My Henry pump has been a fine rifle, but, like others, I'd say a Marlin 60 is your first choice; or a Marlin 795, the removable magazine version of the 60's tubefed. My 795 was $99 after rebate at Dick's.

CoyoteSix
October 31, 2012, 08:27 PM
I've been looking at the Marlin 795/60's

I just don't really have an interest in a semi-auto rifle at the moment.

Manual loading rifles are so much funner. If I don't get the Henry lever I'll probably nab a second XT-22:evil:

Vern Humphrey
October 31, 2012, 08:32 PM
I personally like a bolt rifle for serious squirrel hunting, but there are some very good lever actions -- notably the Marlin 39A and the discontinued Winchester 9422.

My favorite squirrel rifle is a Kimber M82 bolt gun, with a Burris Mini 4X scope. I practice offhand at 50 feet on an 11-bull 50 foot NRA target. The idea is to empty the magazine (5 rounds) on each target, working the bolt from the shoulder. I hesitate to estimate how many rounds I've fired that way -- but many a 5,000 round case of .22s has gone up in smoke.

I also used to shoot this rifle in Smallbore Silhouette matches, where the ram, shot at 100 yards, is just about the size of a squirrel. And I have shot squirrels out to 100 yards with this rifle.

mr.t7024
October 31, 2012, 10:21 PM
Yes, Check them out,shoulder them U will know which fits. as a matter of fact any .22 actions will do the trick!:) Cliff

CraigC
November 1, 2012, 01:14 AM
No matter what, in every thread where somebody asks about .22 leverguns, boltguns or pumps, at least one or two interject with the "buy a Marlin 60/795" nonsense. Yes, I grew up with one and yes, it's a great rifle for a boy to learn on but really, it's not the answer to every rimfire question. :rolleyes:

76shuvlinoff
November 1, 2012, 05:58 AM
I grew up with one and yes, it's a great rifle for a boy to learn on but really, it's not the answer to every rimfire question.

I agree, 39A is the real answer and we all know it.. :neener:

Just joshin.

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