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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CoyoteSix, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  2. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    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.
     
  3. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    The lightest and highest quality LA 22 is gonna be the Browning BL-22. Accurate as hell, too, but not cheap...
     
  4. caribou

    caribou Member

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    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......
     
  5. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    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. :)
     
  6. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    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.
     
  7. chicharrones
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    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    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. :)
     
  8. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    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.
     
  9. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    pretty sure that he meant re-loading the chamber, not the magazine
     
  10. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    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.
     
  11. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    My Remington Fieldmaster pump was very accurate growing up.
     
  12. chicharrones
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    chicharrones needs more ammo

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  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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.
     
  14. smokey30725

    smokey30725 Member

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    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.
     
  15. Still Shooting

    Still Shooting Member

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    Pump vs. Lever for Small Game

    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.
     
  16. jogar80

    jogar80 Member

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    My uncle has one of these and it is VERY accurate.
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Yes, either would be plenty accurate enough.
     
  18. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  19. Nifty944

    Nifty944 Member

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    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.
     
  20. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    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
     
  21. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Member

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    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?
     
  22. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    the scope rail is built into the receiver cover
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  23. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Member

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    Thanks Dave! is it a dovetail style rail?
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  25. claiborne

    claiborne Member

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    Marlin 60

    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.
     
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