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Range of .22 shotshells

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Laphroaig, Jun 12, 2018 at 10:00 PM.

  1. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    I went to war with an English sparrow this afternoon that is terrorizing my bird houses. For several years I have had blue birds in one and tree swallows in the other. As near as I can figure, this male sparrow killed four young swallows (I opened the box after I started seeing him and not the swallows), drove the swallows away and stands guard on the box. I don't think that he has a mate but is trying to attract one by showing off the fine house that he thinks that he owns.

    I thought about the best way to shoot him without doing damage to the bird house or spraying my neighbors. I had a couple of RWS .22 shotshells and decided to give them a try. I think that they are #12 shot so I knew I had to be pretty close. I chased him around for awhile but he wouldn't let me get close enough. I even posted up within range of the birdhouse, but I think that he saw me and stayed away.

    I was in the garage and saw him on a nearby fence and decided to give it a try. When I shot he flew away like I missed. I paced it off and it was 30 yds. But I never saw him the rest of the day and think that I must of hit him. Is that possible considering the range and the miniscule shot size?

    If I don't see him tomorrow I'll know either I did or he decided to get out of Dodge while he could.
     
  2. SoonerMedic

    SoonerMedic Member

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    Sparrows, like most small birds, are very delicate. One single pellet should do the trick. If you hit him in the gut it's likely he could have flown away to perish.
     
  3. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    In my experience....30 yards would have been about 25 yards too far to maintain any kind of shot pattern.

    IF (and its a big if) you managed to hit the bird with any of the pellets....you should have been able to note a 'reaction' indicative of a 'telling' hit. (Feathers dislodged, erratic flight as bird departed). It is not inconceivable that a pellet could have hit the bird and penetrated...but I'd wager at best...you only scared it away.

    Set up a cardboard box at the same distance, shoot into it and note the pattern. You will fine HUGE holes in the pattern and you may or may not even fully penetrate the cardboard with the pellets. Post back here your findings. It will be informative at the very least.
     
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  4. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

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    Agree. My bet is there will be no holes in the box.
     
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  5. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    In my experience, 22 shot shells are good to maybe about 10 feet on dragonflies, butterflies, etc.

    A BB or pellet gun would be more effective.
     
  6. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I would say the effective range is from the muzzle to the snake that is close enough to bite you. Use a bb gun.
     
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  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I have an ancient .22 revolver. In testing the shot cartridge, I had a 12" pattern at five yards. Anything beyond that seems to me to be a waste.

    My only real-world use was a successful wipe-out of a rattlesnake, a head shot at three feet.
     
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  8. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    An old Cajun duck hunter told me that even one pellet in a duck would eventually kill it. He was talking about lead pellets not steel. I assume that they still use lead in those #12 .22 shells so it's possible. However, it's more likely that you did hit the bird hard enough to make him seek ardor elsewhere.
     
  9. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    No personal experience with .22 shot shells but from what I've seen 30 yards would be too far. I'd bet that those tiny shot pellets lose velocity like crazy once they leave the muzzle. Perhaps one or more did hit the intended target but only hard enough to make the bird decide that this is a very dangerous place and I shouldn't hang around here. The main thing I've always heard about .22 shot shells was that " you better be CLOSE".
     
  10. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    A pellet gun would work perfectly.
    I agree. I killed an amazing sort of critters with a .177 caliber Benjamin air rifle when I was a kid. I'm not proud of that fact but I do own it.
     
  11. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    Pellets in a populated area are not a good idea. When I was a kid we had a pellet from somewhere undetermined hit our sliding glass door which cost a fair bit to replace.

    I used Federal game shok on a wood pecker that was ripping up my roof 4 or 5 years ago. At ~20 feet the shot took out the pecker without any question. I was using a Ruger Mark II target with a 10" barrel.
     
  12. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    30 yards is far beyond the maximum effective range of .22 bird shot. For rattlesnakes i much prefer .38/.357 birdshot.
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I used to shoot mice on the back porch in my old house. Every morning I'd open the back door and look behind the washing machine and pick one off, range about 10 feet. I'd prefer my 4" barreled Rossi 511 sportsman to my NAA mini revolver which didn't seem to have a 10 ft range.

    Snakes? Meh, gimme a bullet or my TC contender with .410 barrel. That one takes their heads off at 10 feet. :D It has a full choke screwed into the barrel, can remove that, but not to fire shot shells, will mess up the threads. .45 Colt shoots pretty well with the choke removed. But, that'd make a pretty good BOOM in a neighborhood, probably not a good idea. LOL!
     
  14. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    He's back. Wishful thinking on my part.

    My air rifle is sighted in for 10 meters. 30 yards would be an impossible shot on a target that small.

    I'm going to pull out the 12 ga., and hope he flys where I can get a safe shot. I'm a terrible wing shooter, so I'm not very optmistic:thumbdown:
     
  15. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I once went to war with a sparrow in my attic. Marlin 60 and cci shot shells. I got good shots at the bird as far away as 20ft and as close as 8 ft. 8ft was a confirmed hit but the bird lived to fight and fly. Even at 6-8 ft (lawnmower to snake) results are not great, and longer barrels don’t seem to help. Beyond about 10 ft slingshots and bottle rockets are more predictable and more effective.
     
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  16. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    If you have a .22 magnum, it should work better due to the capsule holding more shot .. but still no 30 yard shots.

    upload_2018-6-13_18-7-31.jpeg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR3fkWgk7cY6BFd-ouShBIzFvtOtQOyByB3SZuz4PBiicngjs9f.jpg
     
  17. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

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    (Many) years ago a friend had some .22 "Rat Shot" cartridges. We set up some old clam shells on a sand bar and he fired away from about ten yards. The pattern was pretty wild, although he got some hits However, the marks on the clam shells indicated that the #12 shot isn't much larger than dust. At 30 yards it probably wouldn't penetrate the feathers of a sparrow.
     
  18. RedlegRick

    RedlegRick Member

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    Back when I was in the Reserves, a lot of us carried small, cheap pistols solely to use shotloads against snakes. I had a twenty five dollar RG which also used to inhabit my tackle box for the same reason. Five to ten feet was about it for the .22lr loads. I ended up with a Davis derringer in .38 because it carried smaller than the revolver and threw more shot out.
     
  19. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I recently tested my .22 revolver (6.5" barrel) with Federal shot shells at 5 paces against a 8.5x11 printed target on a larger backing and on a couple of aluminum soda cans full of water. The pattern was mostly on the paper target. The cans had entry and exit holes and drained very quickly: penetrated aluminum front side, 2 1/2" water and aluminum backside. These were the old fashioned crimped shotshells. I need to test the revolver with CCI shotshells since that's all I see currently on the store sheves.
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    My “good” shot shells from pistols peter out around 10 yards. And they are a lot better than CCI’s .22 offerings
     
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  21. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have a friend that keeps one of those RG drop guns with rat shot in his tackle box for the same reason. Don't know if he ever used it.
     
  22. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    That's been my experience. I used to argue with a guy at work who carried a 38 Special loaded with shotshells in addition to his deer rifle while he was deer hunting. He claimed he carried the 38 Special loaded with shotshells in case he ran across a mountain grouse of one kind or another. It's legal here, but my argument was that if he was close enough to a grouse to kill a grouse with a 38 Special shotshell, he was danged sure close enough to shoot its head off with a real bullet from either his 38 Special or his deer rifle.
    I can't even remember how many mountain grouse I've snipped the heads off of with 22 pistols, 357 and 44 magnum revolvers, as well as assorted big game rifles. But I can remember the ruffed grouse that flew away, leaving just a few feathers behind, after I shot it with a 44 magnum shotshell at about 15 feet.:confused:
     
  23. RedlegRick

    RedlegRick Member

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    I used mine against a rattler once, when I was out plinking in the desert with my M1 carbine. Took three shots to do it in, from perhaps three feet or so. I only switched to the .38 derringer when the RG stopped revolving and the fix cost more than I paid for it.
    The guy I knew at the pawn shop gave me five bucks off the derringer and I called it good. My problem with the RG was I tended to use it more than it was designed for. CCI shotloads out of that were good to about ten to twelve feet and opened up rapidly. Never needed it for snakes, though, and I sold it a few years later.
     
  24. George P

    George P Member

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    Except woodpeckers are federally protected........

    .22 shotshells are good for snakes (marginally) at 5-6 FEET, NOT 30 yards
     
  25. Dinosaur1

    Dinosaur1 Member

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    I have a Crossman pump up that I put an old .22 scope on and sighted it in for 10yds. It was very accurate at that range. I used it for the same thing, to knock sparrows off the bluebird houses. I took a shot day at one that was about 30 yds out and knocked it off. Surprised, I benched it and found that the pellet crossed the line of sight again at about 30 yds and with amazing accuracy. I have a friut tree at that distance that the starling love. I went 24 straight one day. I would op for the pump up and practice until I could hit. You could vary the power and drop by pumps.
     
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