.22 hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting & Fishing' started by notorious, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. notorious

    notorious Guest

    Does anyone know what you can legally hunt with .22 ammo ? I am in Texas but I am interested in the laws elsewhere.
  2. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    You didn't specify game animals or just anything with a hunting season attached to it.

    Rabbits, Squirrels, Ground hogs, Prairie dogs, Wild dogs, wild (feral) Cats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, muskrats, about any kind of rodent has a season here you can use firearms, and the .22 rimfire is often the best choice if you are any kind of a shot with one.
    I've killed more than one coyote with a .22LR or .22 WMR,

    There used to be a fishing season with guns here (Carp) but they don't allow shooting into bodies of water anymore.

  3. gds

    gds Well-Known Member

    Here in MO. you can't hunt turkey, migratory or upland birds with a .22. Anything else goes including deer, has to be a center fire 22 for deer.
  4. justsayno

    justsayno Guest

    What is the difference between center fire and rim fire?
  5. justinpcox

    justinpcox Guest

    .22 Hunting - Great for anything

    if you need to have one gun...make it a .22
    The ammo is affordable and you can kill anything from a squirrel to a deer.

    It is not legal to shoot deer with a regular .22 but if it came down to survival, I am sure it would do the trick...probably a head or neck shot.

    they even make .22 rounds that shatter and some with bird shot.
  6. gds

    gds Well-Known Member

    Are you playing? or do you really not know?

    Just in case your not playing, a center fire has the primer set in the center of the case. a rim fire has primer all way around the rim of the case.

    justinpcox, ".probably a head or neck shot."
    Well which one is it??

    With a .22 rim fire always take a head shot, from 2 legged critters on down the food chain.
    Now if you get into the 22 or smaller center fires, (22-250, .223, .17, .204, etc..) That gives you more options.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  7. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    .22 rimfires for survival and subsistance hunting

    If you live way out in the country where 911 response is longer than a few minutes, having some kind of a firearm readily available makes sense for home security, as well as for meat gathering and pest control.

    For the NON-HOBBY shooter who intends to own only one firearm, the best gun to get is a bolt-action repeating 22 rifle.

    The plain bolt action .22 rifle with open sights is virtually ignored by serious shooting hobbyists, but it is inexpensive and works just fine in the farm and camp utility role. A bolt action is the simplest design for a novice to use. This is because its chamber is exposed and easily accessible when the action is opened. You can see if the chamber is empty and everyone around can see that the gun is safe. A bolt action rifle may be single-loaded and shot one round at a time and remains functional if you loose the clip magazine or if a tubular magazine becomes damaged. That can be difficult with an autoloader.

    Hobby shooters like semi-automatic .22s because they are just plain fun to shoot. They hold more rounds and shoot faster. While it is true that this could be useful in a self-defense role, it can be very wasteful of scarce ammunition when times get tough.

    Telescopic sights are a help to older people with declining eyesight, but they make the rifle less handy. Cheap, poor quality Chinese scopes which you see in discount stores are often poorly sealed against moisture, have inferior optical quality, are less rugged and may fail to hold a zero. A quality scope and mounts may double the cost of your farm rifle. But if you need the scope because you cannot see iron sights well enough to shoot the varmint, then grit your teeth and buy the best one you can afford. Receiver or "peep" sights are a good compromise. Anyone who has been in the military since WWII is familiar with the peep sight and it is simple and rugged. The combination of a simple .22 bolt action with a bright front bead that you can see and a peep sight with large hunting aperture useful in dim woods is hard to beat.

    A practiced and skilled shooter can reliably kill small game with a .22 handgun.
    But, unless you are willing to practice frequently to acquire and maintain skill, a rifle is MUCH better. An adult of average skill, after some training and practice can readily hit a target the size of a tuna can at 50 yards using an iron-sighted .22 rifle. This is fully adequate for field shooting. Most people learning to shoot a .22 pistol or revolver handgun after basic instruction can do so at 10 or 15 yards. A relatively skilled shooter can do so at 25 yards.
    Only an expert pistol shot can hit as well using a .22 handgun at field ranges as the average novice rifle shooter can at 50 yards. This is reality.

    Handguns have the advantage of small size, light weight, low bulk and portability. For this reason many people who live and work outdoors in rural areas carry a .22 handgun. A handgun doesn't get in the way when you have other work to do, but can be a comfort when you are alone and threatened by things that go bump in the night.

    In new .22 handguns one of the best sellers is the Ruger semi-auto.
    Out of the box, hand held from sandbags, Rugers average 1-1/2" ten-shot groups at 25 yards with standard velocity ammo of average quality. High speed ammo runs closer to two inches.

    Bolt action .22 rifles are more accurate than semi-autos, pumps or levers. The best buy in a new bolt-action .22 is one of the Marlins. A good .22 rifle should readily shoot groups under 2 inches at 50 yards with iron sights, if you use "good ammo."

    In handguns any good .22 autoloader with a barrel longer than 4 inches which you can still see rifling in should shoot about two inch groups at 25 yards off sandbags, again, assuming "good ammo."

    "Good ammo" means something other than the cheapest stuff they sell loose in a bulk box at Walmart.

    The best buy in a new .22 revolver is the Ruger Single-Six. This is a "cowboy style" single-action which everyone is familiar with. Mine is just as accurate as a standard model Ruger auto pistol. But most .22 revolvers do no better then 2-1/2 inch groups at 25 yards. Years ago I went through a succession of S&W .22 "Kit Guns" and K-22 target revolvers and didn't find any that would average consistently less than 2" at 25 yards hand-held off handbags. That's realistically all a .22 revolver can do. For most outdoor use that's good enough. Woods ranges are short and 25 yards is a long shot for a handgun. In used .22 revolvers the Cadillac is the Smith & Wesson K-22. It is a reliable 2-inch grouper at 25 yards with standard velocity ammo and highly reliable piece, but any S&W brings a collector price.

    If you get lucky, an inexpensive .22 revolver may shoot as well as an expensive one.Worth considering if you can find one in good mechanical condtion is the now-discontinued High Standard Sentinel. This is a 9-shot double-action .22 revolver can sometimes be found in pawn shops for around $150. These are ugly, but very serviceable if in good condition. If you can find one of the H&R Sportsman, High Standard Double-Nine or Sentinel 9-shot .22 revolvers, tight and in good mechanical condition, and cheap (less than $200) don't pass it up. You may be pleasantly surprised.

    If possible test fire any used .22 revolver before you buy it. Cut the corner out of a Kraft paper grocery bag, poke the muzzle out and fire a cylinder load through it double-action. Inspect the bag to see if any lead fragments cut holes when exiting the sides of the bag. If not, it's a keeper. Clean it well, and shoot GREASED or WAXED, UNPLATED ammo in it. Avoid plated, dry-lubed bullets in revolvers, because they lead up the forcing cone and cylinder throats, destroying accuracy.

    Fixed sights are best for a field or “survival” gun, but you may need to drift the rear sight for windage or carefully file the front or rear sights to get a clear sight picture and to adjust point of impact. This requires your spending range time to see which ammo is both reliable and accurate, setting up the gun for that ammo and getting a good supply of it to last a long time. I would buy a full case of 5000 rounds, which will last the casual shooter for many years. Good quality .22 ammo doesn't go "bad."

    I recommend that irons sights on a subsistence .22 rifle or handgun be zeroed to strike about 1inch above point of aim at 25 yards. If your gun has adjustable sights, once you get a perfect zero, flood the screws with LocTite so that the sights stay put. Some serious hobby shooters put scopes or red-dot sights on their long barreled target .22 handguns. By the time you put high quality, reliable optics on a standard Ruger pistol you increase the total "system cost" to over $500 and the resulting "full race dragon" pistol tips the scales at about 50 ozs.! A heavy barrelled, "full race Ruger" is more bulky and much less handy for field use than the "Target and Trapper" model pistols of the 1930s and 40s. These were designed for the very backpack survival situations we talk about around the camp fire and plan for.

    The .22 pistol I actually carry in my survival rucksack is a High Standard Model B made in 1942 with a 6-3/4" barrel. It was bequeathed to me from an old Alaska bush pilot who carried it in the survival seat pack of his DeHavilland Beaver float plane. The High Standard Model B uses the same magazines as the pre-war Colt Woodsman. It is similarly trim, light and accurate. High Standards in very good to excellent serviceable condition are common on web sites such as Cabela's Gun Library, and are worth looking for to have shipped to your FFL dealer, if you are serious about finding a .22 pistol for your survival ruck. A “shooter grade” Colt Woodsman, Huntsman or Challenger will cost $700-$800. The less-classy High Standard Model A, B, GB, D, H-B, or H-D in similar VG to Exc. condition will sell for about $200 less than a Colt in simiolar condition. Classic trapper's .22 autos are handy in the ruck and worth EVERY penny!

    The CCI High Velocity Small Game Bullet (SGB) and CCI Subsonic Hollow-Point are the best hunting ammo, depending upon whether you want maximum power and penetration, or if you want low noise from your rifle for garden pest control without disturbing the neighbors. CCI Blazer is the best buy for low cost, high volume practice ammo. The CCI Subsonic HP is the only low noise (in a rifle), standard velocity round I have found which also expands reliably from a 4" or longer semi-auto pistol. While I prefer the SGC for goundhogs, subsonic hollowpoints are great for stuff like squirrels and rabbits.

    Getting any bullet expansion from .22 revolvers is problematic. This is because the cylinder gap reduces velocity. Also, any cylinder misalignment causes asymmetrical scrubbing of the bullet which accentuates its initial yaw as it leaves the muzzle. In water-jug tests I have found that the same bullets which expand well from my 4-1/2" barrel Woodsman do not from revolvers. In revolvers you are better off with solids. High velocity is OK if you can find a batch of unplated stuff that is accurate.

    Practice with your .22 frequently from field positions. With handguns use a lanyard of parachute cord to steady it. Practice until you can hit a Vienna sausage can all the time at 50 feet, then increase the distance to 25 yards. When that becomes easy, double the distance to 50 yards and shoot from a steady sitting position or using an improved rest. If you start trying to shoot clay birds on a dirt bank at 100 yards you've now become a hobby shooter and are just showing off!
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  8. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Hello JustSayNo.
    I'm a former Military Firearms Instructor, Range Officer, and Weapons Systems Specialist.

    I'm also a NRA Master Instructor and teach firearms hunting & safety classes locally.

    I also compete in both rim fire and center fire rifle competitions.

    I'm pretty well qualified to answer your question.

    Rim Fire Cartridge has the 'Primer',
    'Primer' being a pressure sensitive compound designed to set off the main gunpowder charge,

    Contained in the rim of the cartridge,
    So the firing pin of the firearm is designed to mash that rim and set the 'Primer' off, and that is more than enough to set the main powder charge off, which usually isn't nearly as pressure sensitive.

    Center Fire Cartridges have a 'Primer' right in the center of the brass casing and the function is the same.
    The idea is, the firing pin strikes the 'Primer' and that pressure/shock sensitive material will ignite and set off the main gunpowder charge in the cartridge case.

    The idea of moving the firing pin to the center of the cartridge came about when bolt action rifles took over, and it was easier to machine a firing pin down the center of the bolt instead off to one side.

    Also, it's widely believed that center fire cartridges are more accurate since the firing procession is in a straight line with the bullet, and supposedly the gunpowder burns more evenly and more efficiently than with a rim fire case that stars the burn on one side of the case.

    I personally believe the small volume of gunpowder in the cases of rim fires, and the super fast burning primers used today, it's really not an issue.

    There is NO QUESTION that center fire cartridges are much safer from accidental discharge from rough handling or damage than rim fire cartridges are.
    The rim can easily be damaged enough to cause accidental ignition, and a center fire cartridge keeps the primer safer in the center, harder to impact the primer material...

    Anyway, if I could only have ONE firearm, it would be a 12 or 20 Gauge pump shotgun.

    Just too many different kinds of loads, and you can hunt everything from ground squirrels and small birds on the wing to bears, moose, ect.!

    With the advent of rifled barrels, sabot rounds, they are as accurate as any 'Cowboy Action' rifle and give fast follow up shots.

    When hunting, I often use a 20 Ga. under with .22 WMR (.22 'Magnum') upper barrel.
    If I can get close enough, I can bag any game from close up squirrels to running deer or fleeing turkeys with that combo gun.
  9. lisat

    lisat Well-Known Member

    Great information JeepHammer and KE4sky. We are just starting out and this is great for us to get started. And thank you for answering without insulting the "new people" here.
  10. Blister

    Blister Active Member

    I have never seen a .22 that's center fire. As far as I know, it's just the .22 magnum that's center fire. .22 longs and shorts are generally rim fire. Two totally different weapons with totally different shells and loads.

    I agree with those who said the .22 (long) was the best all-purpose firearm. I don't agree with the idea that having a semi-automatic may promote wastefulness. Wasteful people are going to waste shells anyway. If you're assaulted by 2 or more people, the semi-automatic weapon may be the only thing that saves you. I can hit 3 targets as small as a can within 30yds in 3 seconds with mine and I've had the same bucket of bullets for almost 5 years. They're not as reliable as bolt and lever actions but if they're kept clean and oiled, they're good weapons.
  11. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

    .22 magnum is rimfire..........

    As for .22 hunting, I have seen deer taken by .22 ( I dug the bullet out) and I have seen deer size animals dropped by a headshot at 150 yards with a bolt action .22
    I even saw a goose headshot on the wing with a .22 but I have only ever met about two people in my life who could have pulled off that shot.

    +1 on the single six, my father has one and it is fantastic.
    He also has a High Standard which is aslo a good gun
    I have a Woodsman Match Target and that is accurate and easy to shoot.
    I will also be buying a new Ruger auto soon as I just love them.
    Good choices there mate, you have taste!
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  12. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    .22 WMR Is a VERY good hunting rifle, very good varmint caliber and it's a RIM FIRE ROUND!
    (Winchester Magnum Rifle, Winchester introduced the .22 'Magnum', so technecally, it's a .22 WMR, not a .22 'Mag'...)

    .22 Center Fire production rounds would include, but not limited to,
    .22 Hornet,
    .222 Remington,
    .223 Remington,
    .222 Remington Magnum,
    .223 Short Magnum
    .22 PPC
    .225 Winchester,
    .220 Swift
    Plus a BUNCH of Wildcat rounds made from different center fire brass...
    Have chamber reamer and brass case sizing die, and you can make your own version of a 22 center fire.

    Never been assaulted by 3 or more people before outside of the military in a combat zone...
    And even if I were 'Assaulted', I would have to think long and hard about shooting unarmed people.
    (you didn't say anything about the '3 people' being armed)

    In the event of 3 ARMED aggressors,
    Which is so VERY UNLIKELY I can't even wrap my mind around it,
    I sure wouldn't want to have a .22 LR for a defensive (or Offensive) weapon...

    As for wasting ammo,
    I've never seen a semi-auto loader owner that didn't waste ammo, try shots he shouldn't have,
    Try shots they should have lined up on better, before pulling the trigger, ect...

    All because they get used to that next round being RIGHT THERE...

    Start them out on a .22 Long, .22 LR, or .22 WMR rifle that's a bolt action, and preferably a single shot, and they WILL LEARN TO SHOOT!
    (Or go hungry!)

    Grandpa started us out on a old Winchester bolt action .22 LR rifle with fixed open sights and he even took the extractor out so it was a long, involved process to get the next round in...
    And we LEARNED to make the first shot count!
    (I still have that rifle, extractor back in, homemade stock and all!)
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  13. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    22 center fire at 150 yards...
    I'd have a REAL hard time believing a .22 LR would be accurate enough to strike the head hard and accurate enough on a deer size animal at 150 yards.

    223 Rem, no question, .22 WMR if the wind was just right, and you were VERY lucky,
    .22 LR I'm not buying it...
    And I do a LOT of hunting with small bores!

    In my younger days, I'd shoot walnuts, pennies, aspirins, ect, thrown into the air. Kind of a local 'Trick' shot.
    I've never seen anyone do it at the ranges required for wild waterfowl.

    Again, I'd have to see that one.
  14. J&J

    J&J Member

    I have a henry .22lr lever action rifle that is a nice in between the bolt action and a semi auto. The cycle is smooth and it is an easy to shoot, acurate firearm. Great fro target shooting, squirrels and other small beasties...
    Best advice I ever got about shooting was to get one and shoot often enough to be proficient...

  15. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    Ruger 10/22 nuff said.
  16. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

    Found it hard to believe myself when it happened, and I am not sure if it could be repeated, but I saw it happen with my own eyes and I doubt I will see anything like it again. Range was probably 50 yards.
    I didn't think it was possible when he tried but it worked...

    As for the 150 yard shot, it was in the thin part of the skull between the eye and ear, side on. A .22 solid will usually penetrate that, but a hollow point is dicey as it loses too much energy expanding and making itself bigger.
    Like I said, there is no bloody way I could pull that off, but I did see it happen. It also may have been unrepeatable, but it did happen whenI saw it.

    I have seen similar size animals dropped at 80 yards on a regular basis. But..I did once see it happen at 150. We paced it out after.
  17. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Actually, If I were going to depend on just ONE rifle, it would be a 77/22 or pump action.
    Much less to go wrong and will cycle about any type of .22 ammo including truncated nose, .22 short, .22 long. .22 long rifle.

    10/22 doesn't like shorter rounds and they don't like truncated nose bullets...
    (Ask me how I know what! ;) )

    I do most of my small game hunting with a 10/22 so I really like the rifle...
    But a 'Manual' rifle would be better for a 'Survival' situation...
  18. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    I had to google truncated nose bullet. What is that round used for? Yes I see how it could be a loading issue in the Ruger.

    I like mine because it always fires the round, It's fairly accurate, and it is rapid fire if need be.

    It's illegal, but it can be machined to full auto.

    No use for .22 short at all. My dad had a saturday night special. very small .22 short only pistol with a hairpin trigger. slightly stronger than my old bb gun.(poker gun?)