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Best .22lr bullet for small game?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Guvnor, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. Guvnor

    Guvnor Member

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    This fall I would like to try small game hunting with my .22 rifle. Ill be going after squirrel, rabbit, grouse, and possibly fall turkey.

    What would be the best ammo choice for this type of hunting? Hollowpoints or solids? I first I though of using hollowpoints, but would they be too explosive on small game? I would trying for headshots mostly.

    Thanks.
     
  2. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    Shoot 'em in the head and it doesn't make any difference. I don't have much experience with turkey hunting but I know they are tough, and I would recommend a head shot only. For rabbits and squirrels, solids and hollowpoints both work great, especially to the head. The hyper-velocity stuff like stingers do make bigger holes (squirrel heads go poof!), but there's not much difference between standard 36gr hollowpoints and the 36gr RN.
     
  3. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    What wankerjake is correct. Turkey's are tough birds. A .22 with proper shot placement will kill them, but I much prefer a .22 mag.
     
  4. Marc257

    Marc257 Member

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    I use the CCI SGB (small game bullet) for squirrel hunting. It has a flat nose that is deadly on small game. It can be hard to find so I bought a 1000 rounds when a local supplier had them.
     
  5. Guvnor

    Guvnor Member

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    Thanks, I will look for some of those small game bullets.

    I know .22lr would be a marginal caliber for a turkey but I would only consider it for a head shot within 30 yards or so.
     
  6. 308win

    308win Member

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    Let us know how this works out on the grouse. I have only been grouse hunting twice and I don't think a .22 rifle would be my first choice for Ohio grouse.
     
  7. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    I like 40 grain bullets better than 36 for hunting....more accurate/stable in flight and that little extra weight helps in penetration.
     
  8. glockgod

    glockgod Member

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    For close range use (as in under 30 yards or so) I like .22 short hollow points. Does a good job on squirrels without alarming every critter in the woods!
     
  9. slabuda

    slabuda Member

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    Grouse hunting with a .22? Seriously? Grouse hunting should be done with a quick pointing shotgun and a great gun dog!!!!!:D

    I dont have the quick pointing shotgun...yet.

    Buy my dog is turning into a fine bird hunter.


    Good luck getting a head shot on a turkey while they are moving about. Not a easy target to hit even with a shotgun. But hope you do get a great long beard.


    As far as small game get a bunch of different boxes of standard or high velocity hollow points of flat nosed bullets and pick what shoots the best out of your gun.
     
  10. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    Accuracy counts more than solid or hollow point. If you have the accuracy in the rifle, take the headshot and they simply drop. Good luck on your hunt. By the way, what rifle are you planning on carrying? Will you use optic sights, or iron sights. Personally I enjoy both.

    Geno
     
  11. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    Wow!! In AZ we can't use centerfire or rimfire for birds.
     
  12. interlock

    interlock Member

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    i use winchester or eley subsonic hollow points with 40 grain bullets. with a moderator they are very quiet indeed. if your shots are under 100 yards and you are a good shot they are very very effective on rabbits
     
  13. Guvnor

    Guvnor Member

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    I know .22 for grouse sounds unusual, but in my state where I hunt rimfires are legal for "small game" which is squirrel and rabbit of course, but also technically includes grouse, pheasant, and quail. I would only take shots at birds on the ground, or if I spook one and see it land in the distance. Im not much of a shotgunner and I enjoy rifle hunting much more.

    My eyes aren't that great with iron sights, so probably a 4x scope. I will likely be using a marlin 981t bolt action.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  14. desidog

    desidog Member

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    ...you might want to check that technicality - I've never heard of legally hunting any birds with a .22lr. Not to say it's not possible somewhere, I just haven't heard about it. What state are you hunting in, Guvnor?

    As for .22lr hunting ammo, i think the 40gr CCI Velocitors work very well.
     
  15. Guvnor

    Guvnor Member

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    Pennsylvania. I think PA is one of just a handful of states that allows it. According to the hunting digest...small game includes squirrel, rabbit, grouse, pheasant, quail, woodchuck, and crows.

    "Regulations
    Arms & Ammunition: 1) Manually operated and autoloading shotguns with a capacity of no more than 3 shells in the chamber and magazine combined; 2) Manually operated rifles and handguns less than 23 caliber; 3) Muzzleloading
    rifles and handguns 40 caliber or less and shotguns; and 4) long, recurve and compound bows and arrows. Single projectile
    ammunition, or fine shot pellets no larger than No.4 lead, bismuth-tin, or tungsten-iron, or No. 2 steel. Note: Rifle and handgun caliber restrictions do not apply when hunting woodchucks, although rifles and handguns must be
    manually operated. While hunting small game during the bear or muzzleloader deer seasons, the only rifle or handgun
    that can be used is a 22 caliber or less rimfire."
     
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Most hunters in PA would frown upon someone shooting ruffed grouse or pheasant on the ground. It is just not sporting. But I know it's tempting sometimes, but you don't often see them on the ground before they flush.

    This in in regard to fall turkey season. Most use 22WMR but any rimfire is legal as long as you aren't using a semi-auto rifle or handgun. No single projectile fireamrs allowed for spring turkey season.

    I would check out CCI Velocitors and see how they do in your rifle. You definitely need a little extra punch for wild turkey. Solids or HP's are fine for squirrel and cottontails. I love to hunt rabbits with a 22 using dogs. It is truly a blast if your dogs are good, you're in a good area with lots of bunnies, and it is a day that the bunnies don't just run into holes when flushed.

    Since you are in PA, you might check out HuntingPA forum. It is very popular and primarily PA oriented.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  17. Guvnor

    Guvnor Member

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    Thanks for the info. I was thinking the velocitor or stinger might be a good choice for the turkey. A properly placed headshot with either should be deadly.

    As far as shooting birds on the ground, I see your point but I have to respectfully disagree. While I do agree that shooting them on the ground with a shotgun might be unsportsmanslike, with a rifle I feel it would be a bit more challenging.

    I am not a fan of shooting .22 bullets in the air so shooting them on the ground, or in a tree (with backstop) is all I would really consider.

    Not trying to argue ethics with anyone, just my 2 cents.

    Thanks for the link, I will check it out.
     
  18. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    In my experience the solid .22 rimfire is a poor killer on anything but head shots. For varmints and pests that you just want to get rid of the hollowpoint does a MUCH better job. A .22 short does as well as the hollowpoint at shorter range. It's what I use for cottontails, the only editable small game in my area. Rifles and birds are a no-no in my state.
     
  19. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    CCI Mini Mags in 36 grain HP or 40 grain solids...
     
  20. pake

    pake Member

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    I use RWS High Velocity 40gr
     
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