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Rabbits with .22 rifle

 
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Brownbear



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 779



PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 12:30 pm    Post subject: Rabbits with .22 rifle  Reply with quote

Having been killing an awful lot of bunnies with the .22 lately, I thought I'd pass on what I've learned recently. There is a great controversy concerning the .17HMR vs. .22 choice - but as far as I'm concerned, the .22 still comes out on top.

Why .22? Bolt or semi?
The .22 is the only truly silent rifle. With relatively inexpensive sound moderator and subsonic ammunition, the only sound you hear is the firing pin falling, apart from the impact of the bullet on whatever it hits. This is another reason to go for head shots, as the sound of a bullet going through a rabbit's lungs makes an almighty slap, but the sound of an impact on the head is relatively silent.

After experimentation, I have gone for the CZ (or BRNO as some call it) bolt-action rifle. The Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic is popular with many, but has severe drawbacks. Firstly, it shares with other semis the problem of reduced accuracy - it's useful in theory to be able to take a fast second shot, but it's unlikely that it will be a lot quicker than a bolt gun, given that you need to bring the reticle of the sight to bear on your target rather than just blaze away as with a shotgun. Thus, your quick reload is more than cancelled out with the reduced accuracy of the semi. Common to other semis is the problem of reduced power (15-20% of the propellent power is used to operate the mechanism) and increased noise (of the action slamming away and discharging gas). They are also prone to jam every 300-400 shots or so, as the .22LR is a very 'dirty' round, so a full strip and rezero is necessary at regular intervals. In addition, the Ruger has a very heavy trigger - about 10lbs of pressure is necessary to discharge it, which can easily take your aim off.



The Sako Finnfire is another very fine rifle, but is no longer made, Sako having changed to the expensive and - to my mind - rather flimsy Quad.

Ammunition
After experimentation, I find that the best round for rabbiting is the Eley Subsonic hollow-point. .22 hi-velocity ammunition in theory extends range, but makes a hell of a racket. Winchester subs are OK but not of very high quality of bullet manufacture, leading to inherent inaccuracy. Eley subsonics are, to use up spare capacity, manufactured on the same machines as the higher grades of match bullets used in target competitions. They are more accurate and reliable for only a few pence more.

Most subsonics are 40-grain - CCI make a 60-grain, and although these have more stopping power at short ranges, the added weight reduces range and causes an irritating amount of bullet drop to compensate for. If you're going for head shots (necessary to drop the little buggers), consistency and accuracy matters a lot.

Aiming devices
The .22 is perfectly accurate out to 100 yards if the bullet drop is properly compensated for. My method is to use a Bushnell Yardage Pro rangefinder (I got it for deer stalking but it's had much more use in rabbit shooting, where twenty yards can cause a 2-inch drop at the 100-yard range) to get the range accurate to a couple of yards, and use it with a Bushnell E3200 10x40 scope with target turrets. Having zeroed the scope in on the range for distances from fifty to a hundred yards, in ten-yard stages, I can use this with the rangefinder to alter the 'scope with the precise number of clicks required to be on zero for any realistic range.



Other kit
Many people go in for camo and hides etc, which can be useful if lying up, but my preferred method is to walk up on the quarry to within reasonable range - I find that about 75 yards gives the ideal combination of accuracy and stealth. What is necessary is a rifle rest. If you are fortunate enough to be able to take prone shots (ie not too uneven ground, not full of nettles, thistles and cowshit etc), then the trusty Harris bipod is your best bet. If you're taking a lot of standing shots, then a Stoney Point or x3m1 tall bipod is your best bet. One note about the x3m1 - it's best to replace the crappy, self-unscrewing joint at the top with a bolt going into one of those locking nuts with the plastic around the edge to hold them firm. And remove the stupid strap from across the top of the bipod, it achieves nothing but to get in the way.





Anyway, this method works very well for me, and I hope it's of some use to others. Given the smallness of the target (below the rabbit's ear) and the shorter ranges, rabbit shooting calls for more accuracy than deer-stalking - the DSC1 requires 3 shots in a four-inch circle at 100 metres. Try 2" accuracy at 50 yards in rabbit shooting and see how far it gets you.


Last edited by Brownbear on Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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fish



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 2597



PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

all well and good but wheres the bdooly photos!!??????!!! :roll:
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Brownbear



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 779



PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, one dead bunny looks much like another... I'm planning to post some bunnygeddon photos after a field trip soonish. Probably around 7th or 8th of June. But that will be in the photos section.
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Lloyd



Joined: 29 Mar 2007
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Location: bs36

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About now then matey?
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
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Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fine post Brown Bear. Another fine entry towards the OTG data base. Many Thanks.
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Brownbear



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloyd wrote:
About now then matey?


This Saturday actually, I'm taking a trip down there with Fish lending a hand. Will try to post pics on Sunday if nobody else wants anything shot at in a hurry that day.

I could do a bit on paunching and skinning a rabbit if anyone's interested, at the same time. Or has someone done that already?
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kaz
Site Admin


Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 13487


Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Brownbear
I could do a bit on paunching and skinning a rabbit if anyone's interested, at the same time. Or has someone done that already?[/quote]

No - go for the whole thing
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Brownbear



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added the pics at the top of the thread - paunching and then skinning will be seperate threads.
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fish



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and i can tell you all this brownbear REALY can shoot! 80+ yds and a head shot! just makes my BSA air rifle seem all the more wanting! :-?
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moleman



Joined: 06 Jun 2011
Posts: 17



PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:00 pm    Post subject: .22 Ammunition Reply with quote

I have been using the CCI segmented rounds in the .22
(on my 4th thousand batch)
They have been pretty good as a bunny round and the noise is fine as well, very little difference.

I use the eley subs on the range and they prove to be the most consistent and accurate round and the price is half of CCI.

Segmented I use to reduce ricochet

The other thing I have changed to is the three stick support (stoney point) these are a real help when stalking rabbits, makes a really comfortable rest and aids accuracy, use it all the time now, 2 poles support gathering dust.
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
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Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Moley and thanks for bringing an excellent post back up to the surface.
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moleman



Joined: 06 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: .22 v .17 HMR Reply with quote

Well I have been and done it  -  sold off the .17 HMR.

Over the past few months I have been monitoring shots with the two calibres for accuracy, distance, noise and effective cull rates.

The .22 has really out stripped the .17 in numbers and noise reduction.

Most of the rabbits have been in the .22 range by 90% the other  outside this given the noise is not really relevant.

Myself and my buddy went out on the same field to reduce the rabbits me with the .22 and bud using his HMR

After a while I was convinced the noise of the HMR slowed the rabbits coming out in his area, and I had a steady flow throughout.

The two rifles are CZ varmint with Mods of a good make, it become pretty apparent the HMR wasn't required any more - the quietness and accuracy of the .22 is pretty good and an all round rabbit control tool.
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Moley
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bodger



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Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a huge difference in the cost of the ammunition too, with the .22 being way cheaper.
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One for the Pot



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 387



PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the .22 ruger 10/22. Have owned this rifle for 10 years and have shot 1000's of rabbits with it. I would not have anything else. It's very accurate, light and slient, and have only had a few mags jam on me in 10 years.

My father has the Bruno .22 now I can get on with it for a short period of time, however for me it's too heavy, too long and its a bolt action, which is ok if there are limited rabbits, but when the action gets going, I need a semi auto.  

My father is against my views  
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moleman



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arctic  What ammo you using in the Ruger sa, I only use the CCI segmented rounds now.

My 22 BA is the varmint barrel, fantastically accurate, fifty metres virtually all through the same hole.

Eley subs are the most accurate in the CZ but I hate the old ricochets, hence the segmented round.

I had a anschutz semi auto many years ago, the stock kept coming loose after a few rounds, put me right off em, always had CZ, gradually changing to Sako now for quality purposes


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