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squirrel with a .22LR

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by edze, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. edze

    edze Member

    I currently hunt squirrel with a 20 gauge, but I want to switch to my .22 because it is quieter, and i can shoot for the head so as to ruin less meat and fur.

    My question is: Can you safely take squirrel in trees with a .22?
    I'm worried about the arc of the bullet should it continue on, and not knowing where it will land. Is this a concern? Will it carry enough velocity to be dangerous when it hits the ground? Or, at what angle will the velocity be diminished enough to no longer be dangerous?

    i would hate to not be able to take squirrel in trees...
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I don't see a problem as long as it's not near populated areas. I generally try to shoot either into timber horizontally as the squirrel is on the ground or as straight up as possible. You want to avoid the angles between straight up and horizontal into backstop, as that's where the bullet can maintain a ballistic trajectory and be lethal at surprisingly long ranges. If you're straight up the bullet cannot maintain ballistic trajectory, and the grain weight of a .22 is nowhere near enough to cause damage from terminal velocity alone, in the extremely unlikely event it hit someone.
  3. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    Generally, If I can, I wait till it's on the trunk, but you're usually safe if you're in the woods can't see sky behind him.
  4. edze

    edze Member

    thanks guys, makes sense. So, as much as possible shoot with backstop (a large number of trees behind instead of clear skies is probably sufficient?) or as vertical as possible.
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    You can also get one of the old Savage combination small game rifles that have both a .22 and a .20 ga barrel.
  6. easy

    easy Well-Known Member

  7. smithbm

    smithbm Active Member

    Last season I started squirrel hunting with my pellet rifle. The effective range is roughly the same as that of a shotgun and it doesn't destroy any meat. It's definitely more challenging and it doesn't spook the squirrels nearly as much as a shotgun. There's also plenty of opportunity for followup shots on other nearby squirrels as long as you don't make too much noise reloading. Where I hunt there are houses within a half mile. I'd probably be using my 10/22 if there weren't any houses within a 2 mile radius.
  8. andrewdl007

    andrewdl007 Well-Known Member

    My recomendation is to get .22lr CB caps. They dont have powder so they just use the primer for power. They are so quiet and dont go to far if you miss. The only problem is a limited effective distance. I killed many a squirrel with CB caps.
  9. Mike U.

    Mike U. Well-Known Member

    I'm with Andrewdl007 on this. I live in a heavily wooded suburb and have an ongoing problem with tree rats. I've taken to using CCI CB Shorts in my Winchester 150. This week I have three DRT's, 2 head shots and one neck shot. At 20-25 yard ranges the CB's shoot right to POA. What I find interesting is it knocks'em right off their branch and the slug has not exited in any of them. Even with a head shot. :what:

    Now, I use the .22 CB Shorts because they are quieter than my Gamo Shadow 1000. :eek:
    Oddly enough, I get some exit wounds using the pellet rifle. :scrutiny: :confused: Bizarro!

    FYI, the CCI CB Shorts are advertised as having a MV of 710 FPS.
  10. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Well-Known Member

    I recommend one of the older Savage Model 24's. They came in a variety of gauge/caliber combinations and are great for squirrel hunting. This way you have the choice of either shot before depending on what is there for back stop.

    Mine happens to be 20ga/22WMR. I used to own the 410/22lr version.

    Here's a pic of mine.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2007
  11. Gohon

    Gohon Well-Known Member

    I see this all the time and it is not correct. Only the Aquila Colibrí is a powderless 22 rimfire that uses the primer only. CB caps such as the CCI short and long CB caps does have powder however small it may be. The Aquila Colibrí stuff is made for shooting gallery or basement shooting and has a warning on the box for revolves only because they can and do hang up in rifle barrels. Now having said that, the CCI CB's are very, very quiet and work very well out to 25-30 yards for squirrel size game but accuracy is usually not very good in most guns. The only difference in the CB longs and shorts is shell length only. They both have the same powder charge, same bullet weight and ballistics. The CB caps produce 710 fps with a 29 grain bullet and the Aquila Super Colibrí produce about 375 fps with a 20 grain bullet.
  12. hexidismal

    hexidismal Well-Known Member

    Interesting Gohon, I'd never tried the cci cb rounds. I think I might. I've had very bad luck with the super collibri stuff. It seems to hit way off point of aim. How is the volume comparatively between the cbs and the super collibri ? I would have to assume its somewhat louder. I haven't tried the collibri in a rifle, only my beretta neos.. and it's still sort of loud, at least too loud when you have close neighbors.
    I just picked up a .22 rifle myself, the first I've had in..oh.. almost 15 years I suppose. So far the only notch its got is a chipmunk at about 15 yards.

    Its a savage Model MARK II-FVXP package with heavy barrel and accutrigger. Soon to be the bane of squirrel I hope. Just put the harris bi-pod on it, so now it's time to take it out.

    Attached Files:

  13. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

    I'm with smithbm, use a air rifle in .22 or .17 with 1000fp if you're in the city and worried. A .22LR can travel up to 1.5 miles
  14. borrowedtime69

    borrowedtime69 Well-Known Member

    my squirrel getter.

    i use this:


    Ruger MK II 22/45 target/competition with True Glo 2X red dot scope. it shoots CCI mini-mag HP's. the pistol is my choice cause its lighter than a rifle, i can carry it hands free, and it has a shorter range than a rifle.

    the shorter range makes it a little safer if shooting into the trees. you can shorten the range even more if you find a good, reliable hollowpoint or flat nose sub-sonic round.

    good luck! - Eric
  15. Mike U.

    Mike U. Well-Known Member

    Sweeet! I'm liking that Ruger's set-up, BT69. I see your using the overall best round for tree rat tagging too. Hard to find a more consistent round than the Mini-Mags without paying out the wazoo for the top shelf stuff like Eley.

    What's your average range with that set-up?
  16. bagul

    bagul Member

    I hunt pigeons with a 22 lr rifle. Always i shoot them on the ground and posibly with a back stop behind (especially for long shots where a miss is probable). also i use subsonic hollow points to be sure the bullet desintegrates upon a hit (spoils meat though). I almost never shoot on trees even if angle of fire is almost vertical coz i think terminal velocity of a 40g lead bullet is still lethal (or so i think). does anybody know the terminal velocity of a 40 g subsonic lr bullet? it would put my mind to rest and make me enjoy the sport more.
  17. borrowedtime69

    borrowedtime69 Well-Known Member

    More on the 22/45

    the ruger is a better shooter than i am. with the red dot i can be very accurate benchrested at 15 yards. i can occassionally get a good hit out to 25 yards while hunting in the field by using a tree to steady it.

    with the 4X Simmons scope it shot like a laser! i still have the 4X scope and am looking into getting a serious weaver rail with deep grooves and quick removable rings that tighten & loosen with the screw replaced with a lever "wing nut" type of thing. that way i can instantly chage from hunting in day light to low light conditions.

    - Eric
  18. Picknlittle

    Picknlittle Well-Known Member

    I've got an old Nobel 22 pump that was given to me a few years back. That is one deadly squirrel head magnet. I haven't tried anything over about 30 yds, but haven't missed anything under that.

    I like not being surprised by shot that were missed during cleaning showing up in my vittles.:)

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