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Rim fire for small game.
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Thread: Rim fire for small game.

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Washington, Olympic mtns
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    1,324

    Default Rim fire for small game.

    I've been looking to get a rim fire for small game. Trying to decide between 17 HMR or standard 22 long rifle. Might go with a pistol like the Ruger 22/45 with some kind of reflex sight or bolt action rifle with low powered scope in a 1-4x, not sure which way to go yet. This will be used for grouse, squirrels and rabbits. Accuracy is my number one concern being that I dont want to ruin or lose meat on grouse, worried the 17 could cause too much meat damage if anything other than a head shot is used. Lets here what you all think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Kiowa,Co.
    Posts
    2,771

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    Personally, I wouldn't have a 1-4 on a .22 rifle that I'd expect to make headshots with past 50 yards. And I'd have a S&W or Buckmark over any Ruger semi....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    I really like the Marlin 880SQ (bolt) or Golden 39A (lever) I've broken 4" clay targets at 100 yards, then busted the pieces, with both of them.

    My pest control gun is a Ruger 10/22 with a fixed 4-power. I'm comfortable with it out to 50 yards. I understand that accuracy in a 10/22 is
    very much dependent upon the individual gun (and finding a round that it likes), but this one works for me. It's the tapered barrel, not the
    heavy bull barrel.

    Good luck in your search!
    Last edited by DavidLewis; 03-05-2018 at 09:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Littleton, CO
    Posts
    1,479

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    I have to disagree with Huntsman22 on the 22 pistol choices. The Ruger Government Model is a little heavy, but extremely accurate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    eugene, oregon
    Posts
    4,641

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    I hunt small game with either a Ruger 77/22 or a 10/22 either will easily make head shots on squirrels or rabbits at 50 yards. My to 22 pistols are a Colt Woodsman or an older S&W K 22 Masterpiece. Either will shoot better than I can. All that said, my favorite small game getter is a Browning Micro Medallion in 22 Hornet. Of all, that one gets the nod most of the time and will easily head shoot out to 150 yds if I do my part. A good 22 is one of the most important guns a person can own IMO. Good luck with your search, it will be fun with a tough decision at the end.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Portland oregon
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    I picked up a 77/17 is 17wsm and I love it. Handles grouse and prairie dogs very well.
    Nothings impossible, just expensive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fountain, Colorado
    Posts
    939

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    I have to bow Huntman's experience in the small game field, that said...I've used a Ruger HB Mk1 for years if I'm serious using a pistol. I've not shot a Buckmark in the field, but the set up Huntman has is just about Nirvana. I have used an older S&W Model 41 and loved it, but the price is unreasonable. In the Rifle category I'm a bolt guy and have used a Ruger 77-22 w a 4X scope for a long time, I would prefer a higher power magnification though. Fifty yard head shots on targets at the range are tough enough. In cover they are a real challenge.
    As for the 17 HMR, I've yet to use one, but I've yet to talk to someone who has one that isn't sold. For me, meat damage on small game is a trade off. They seem to have a love for life all out of proportion to their size, and I hate hitting and losing game. Make the head shot and meat loss isn't a problem. hit them elsewhere and you may lose some meat, but with enough gun (funny thing to say about small game), but at least you can make rabbit soup instead of stone soup.
    Finally I have to give a thumbs up to the 22 Hornet. You can just about make a career with it. You can load it down to CB cap range, 22LR, 22 Mag, and up to a decent coyote gun (albeit it won't reach out like the big 22's). I've a friend in Iowa that swages 22 LR cases into 50 gr bullets for his Hornet, Bee and 222 for peanuts and loves them. I've a 1432 Anschutz that's a great field gun, but my prize is an old M70 in 22 Hornet. It's the heaviest rifle I own, but my small game typically doesn't take place in British Columbia's sheep country.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Washington, Olympic mtns
    Posts
    1,324

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    Found it and its more multi purpose. Kel Tec CM30,16 inch barrel, 30 round mags, 22 magnum... 1-4x25 in a decent brand should work great.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Near Canon City, CO
    Posts
    6,712

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    I have my Ruger 10/22 stainless takedown, topped with a Leopold VX-1 2-7X28 rimfire scope, mounted in Warne QD Weaver-style rings. It's lightweight, durable, and accurate. I've taken many snowshoe hares, grouse, and pine squirrels with it.

    https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/...jPNF8VNOuiiKfT

    https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/...SNy8dqW9DnE7RR

    I've also got a Ruger 22/45 Lite that I'm going to be adding a red dot to. Really looking forward to sticking it in my Koala and backpacking with it this coming fall.

    https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/...5jA7w8tBvIGEdL

    Lastly, I recently acquired a nice little Savage Model 93R17 in 17HMR with a synthetic stock. This thing drives tacks! I'm still not sure how much application it has beyond whacking prairie dogs and picket pins, but I can see already that it's so accurate that you can really pick your shot placement to avoid damaging meat.

    https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/...PCmAI3nL83f5AA
    Last edited by Sawtooth; 04-15-2018 at 10:04 AM.
    "Me got no house; me all time moving; light fire, make tent, sleep; all time go hunt, how have house?"

    --Dersu Uzala
    Sihote'-Alin Range, Ussuria, 1902



    www.tenkaratracks.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Washington, Olympic mtns
    Posts
    1,324

    Default Re: Rim fire for small game.

    Got the 22/45 lite, adding Burris Reflex next week. 3k of CCI mini mag.

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