Squirrel with a .22LR?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by oldrelic, May 22, 2007.

  1. oldrelic

    oldrelic New 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?
  2. teknoid

    teknoid New Member

    I have used a .22 rifle to hunt squirrel for a long time, and used to wonder the same thing. I was a long way into the woods, but still worried. I recently watched the John Stossel piece on 20/20 about myths. Of particular interest was the old one that said if you dropped a penny off of the Empire State building, it could kill a pedestrian. This is untrue, and since a .22 weighs about the same, I quit worrying. With the trajectory shooting upward into the trees, I'd say it shouldn't be any different.

    You're right about the mess, too. A head and a tail aren't much use. A shotgun can pretty much ruin anything in between.

  3. BrassMonkey

    BrassMonkey New Member Supporter

    Just remember not to HP ammo on squirrels. They will ruin just as much meat as a shotgun if you get a center mass hit. Head shots on tree rats are gonna be tough. I'm not saying you can't do it, just that most will have a hard time with it. As far as the bullet falling from the sky myth goes it's just that......myth. The Discovery Channel show "Myth Busters" did a test on this one, and proved that the bullet lacks enough velocity when falling to be of any danger.

    A .50 round dropping on your head might hurt........but if your hunting squirrle with a fifty you may need some couch time with a shrink ;) .
  4. Brent L

    Brent L New Member

    As mentioned above, yes, you can and no, you don't have to worry if your trajectory is high. I would have some concern if you shoot on low limbs about ricochets, just use common sense and make sure of your background.

    I used to use a Ruger Single-Six with iron sights to harvest squirrel in East TX, using standard velocity .22 long rifle cartridges. Stay away from the hyper velocity and HP stuff, too messy-ruins meat.

    Love to eat squirrel and dumplings!:D yumm yummmm!:)
  5. MudHog

    MudHog New Member

    I say check your local laws first. I know in LA we can't legally hunt them with .22 LR here. Even though Myth Busters may say it's a myth, LA dept. of wildlife and fisheries would still issue a citation for hunting them with a .22 LR. If your state allows it, go for it and aim for the head.
  6. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    .22Lr for squirrels

    I have used the .22Lr for squirrels all my hunting life in both rifle and contender/ruger mk2. I especially like using subsonic match ammo because the report is 1/4 as loud as hv ammo due to lack of supersonic crack. My best all time year with handgun(contender)was 117 squirrels(both gray and fox). Just please don't ask me how many misses I had:) . With a finely accurate .22 the max range is level of shooter skill. I have shot squirrels with .22Lr at 100 yards before and at 150 yards with .22mag. The nice thing about using a .22mag with solid bullets(fmj) is it leaves exact same wound channel as .22Lr hv.