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Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? #8956869 11/17/23 12:49 PM
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bbarron80 Offline OP
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Never squirrel hunted. Just got into hunting in general. Plan to do some post season scouting/squirrel hunting. I have a 12 ga for duck hunting. But would it be more advisable to get a .22 or .22lr? Any recommendations would be appreciated. Also are they pretty tasty?

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8956871 11/17/23 12:53 PM
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If you want to become more proficient with a rifle as a new hunter use the 22.. if you want a mess of squirrels use the shotgun.

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: scalebuster] #8956876 11/17/23 01:03 PM
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Probably go shotgun. Best size shot? 6?

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8956877 11/17/23 01:06 PM
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Squirrels taste great. Shotgun for leafy earlier season hunting, rimfire for later on is what I do, though some places I hunt are shotgun only. If you don't already have a .22, you should get one regardless.

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8956953 11/17/23 03:08 PM
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Depends on area to be hunted. Population or proximity to town may indicate the shotgun.
Cat squirrels........shotgun. unless they are in your yard, they are usually moving fast if they see you.
Fox squirrels......22 if area is safe. Shorts if your gun can use them.


Squirrel is good food!

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8957407 11/18/23 11:43 AM
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For pest control (not hunting) my Dad was using an old bolt action 12 gauge but was dissatisfied with the damage to his fruit trees so I got him an old but nice Marlin .22 with a scope and a brick of ammo. He's killed 20 or 30 squirrels in the last few years. I have never killed a squirrel with a shotgun but I have with a .22. Old boss used to have a bounty on squirrels at work due to the damage they cause.

[Linked Image]


Pass the gravy.


Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8957430 11/18/23 12:50 PM
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Beautiful pic guzzler

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8958760 11/20/23 09:16 PM
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Scoped .22 and head shots. They taste too good to blow up with a shotgun.

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8958777 11/20/23 09:39 PM
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I hunt fox squirrels after deer season. It is hard to beat a scoped 17hmr or good .22. Nothing wrong with a 12 gauge and #5 or #6 high velocity shells.


Shoot. Eat. Repeat.
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: scalebuster] #8960454 11/23/23 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by scalebuster
If you want to become more proficient with a rifle as a new hunter use the 22.. if you want a mess of squirrels use the shotgun.


This 100%


The end won’t be for everyone…
WWG1WGA
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8960483 11/23/23 04:27 PM
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17HMR is what I use.

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8961401 11/25/23 04:06 PM
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Heck go the the Gusto and go Big. Miss um and the tree limb you Blow off will fall on them and kill um. [Linked Image]

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8961406 11/25/23 04:21 PM
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When I was a kid, I started with a .410 for squirrels. I've used that .410 and a 20ga and .22 since. And a bow. Bow hunting small game is a blast. Use the 12 if it gets you in the woods sooner. Put a .22 on your Christmas list.

Last edited by unclebubba; 11/25/23 04:23 PM.

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Originally Posted by Nolanco
current federal policy is clearly irrational, scientifically insupportable and ridiculous.
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8966970 12/04/23 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bbarron80
Never squirrel hunted. Just got into hunting in general. Plan to do some post season scouting/squirrel hunting. I have a 12 ga for duck hunting. But would it be more advisable to get a .22 or .22lr? Any recommendations would be appreciated. Also are they pretty tasty?

Fry the young ones, Stew the old ones.

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8969088 12/07/23 02:51 AM
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I love my 22 and 17 however with the homes being built in or near squirrel hunting areas remember the range of a round that misses.


Don't be afraid of the light it's just me.
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8969740 12/08/23 06:35 AM
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I strictly hunted rabbits and squirrels only for a few years. Mostly an access issue for me, i could always find access for squirrels and rabbits when i had time for hunting. I have hunted them with everything from a daisy 880 up to a 12 gauge and I can promise you one thing- a 12 gauge will not tear them up at all. Shotgun pellets do not do any meat damage whatsoever unless you shoot them at close range and center the pattern.

If you catch them with the center of that pattern up close they really will be trash though. It will grind them right up. But you are not going to do that, because you are going to pattern your gun and pick your shots.

So what you need to do is pattern your gun and learn to use the edge of your pattern when it gets too close, or just catch them peekinng around the tree and take their heads off.

My favorite squirrel load is Federal heavy game loads #4 shot. 4 shot is the best because it zips straight through or sticks in the off side of the hide. If you are on a tight budget then shoot Remington light game loads, #6 shot. I would recommend #4’s here too, but Remington’s cheap game loads top out at #6. You probably need the pattern density of 6 shot with the lighter loads anyway.

Where I currently live, lead shot is forbidden in all the best squirrel woods nearby. So I use the Federal steel waterfowl loads, the cheaper ones that come in blue boxes of 100 rounds and you can only find em around duck season at Walmart. I shoot #4 steel and it works pretty good, but I would rather use 2 shot in a steel load. But larger than 4 shot is strictly forbidden for anything besides waterfowl.

If I am not using a 12 gauge for squirrels, then I am either using a Beeman R9 .177 or my bow. So far with the bow I am 0-4 squirrels win lol. The R9 is my favorite, it is a break barrel air rifle and not near as efficient as the shotgun but it is quiet and fun.

Most important thing is to go squirrel hunting, use what you have or what you can get. If all you have is cheap cheap 7.5’s and 8’s bulk pack 12 gauge and a shotgun then it will kill squirrels. But that little shot, they will be loaded up with pellets!

Edit- don’t let anyone tell you shotguns don’t have range either. You would not believe how far out i have dropped them, even with steel shot. But you gotta pattern your gun to know the true capability. Let’s just say i have killed squirrels so far off I hold over a little to center the pattern and rip two shells out fast as i can. I would not recommend it but it worked!

If you must know I shoot a Mossberg 835 with a factory full choke. It is an over-bore gun and the factory full choke in this gun is actually a teensy bit more open than a standard improved cylinder. I don’t know how it works but it works. It throws that steel shot in a very very nice dense pattern. I believe it was engineered to pattern a 3.5” steel goose load. Picked it up cheap at a pawn shop.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 12/08/23 06:43 AM.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-14
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: 10 Gauge] #8969822 12/08/23 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. Heimann


. . . . . So what you need to do is pattern your gun . . . .

. . . . But you gotta pattern your gun to know the true capability. . . .


^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

That right there. Key words to live by if you want to hunt

Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8969906 12/08/23 05:14 PM
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It’s a fact. You will be a better and more effective hunter with a cheap pumper that you have patterned and know it well than with the sweetest benelli or etc without patterning it. Many guns even the best top end guns may throw a pattern way off center. Personally i have had issues with kick’s chokes throwing a pattern so low i have to completely blot my target to hit anything. I wonder if that is intentional? Probably great for swinging and putting the whole barrel in front of a duck quick like but if you shoot off the bead like I do it’s not ideal.

Also the way the gun fits you makes a huge difference. I have an old single shot baikal that i could not hit anything unless i held my head straight up off the stock. Centered the pattern way way way low. I bent the barrel against a soggy old log so I could shoot it without doing anything outrageous and it worked. If your pattern is only a couple inches off center it will wash back out at distance and still work good.

If you have a little bit of time i would read this book, i got my copy cheap at a bookstore coffee shop type chain. Helped me out a lot.

https://www.amazon.com/Shotgunning-Art-Science-Bob-Brister/dp/1620878305

Crunched for time, read the parts about stockweld and patterning and catch up on the rest later.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 12/08/23 05:23 PM.

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Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8969924 12/08/23 05:46 PM
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And yes squirrels are very, very good.


1 Thessalonians 4:11-14
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8969974 12/08/23 07:50 PM
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For me shotgun when the leaves a still thick on the trees, once the leaves are gone most of the food is on the ground and I switch to the 22. Dirt makes a good backstop for the 22 also.


lf the saying "Liar, Liar your pants on fire" were true
Mainstream news might be fun to watch
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: kmon11] #8969980 12/08/23 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kmon11
For me shotgun when the leaves a still thick on the trees, once the leaves are gone most of the food is on the ground and I switch to the 22. Dirt makes a good backstop for the 22 also.


That is the rule for most squirrel hunters. Shotgun in the spring, rifle in the fall. If I could have only one squirrel gun for fall and winter squirrel hunting it would be a 17 hmr. But if I had to settle for one gun for ALL of my squirrel hunting it’s the 12 gauge.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 12/08/23 08:14 PM.

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Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8970862 12/10/23 09:27 PM
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See if you can find some 22 Colibri ammo with no powder. It’s not all that accurate but makes very little mess or sound.

Last edited by Dave Davidson; 12/10/23 09:32 PM.

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Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: Dave Davidson] #8970875 12/10/23 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
See if you can find some 22 Colibri ammo with no powder. It’s not all that accurate but makes very little mess or sound.


Can work up close but it is a short range round but quite for sure at least from a rifle. Revolver pretty loud. Still have a few hundred of these. Back when I wanted a little trigger time without going to the range used it in a 22 boltaction in the house into a 22 trap shooting 10 yards in the house with a Winchester 39A Target it worked pretty good. i have dispatched raccoons in Dukes traps with it from the Winchester 62A.


lf the saying "Liar, Liar your pants on fire" were true
Mainstream news might be fun to watch
Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8971050 12/11/23 04:22 AM
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I’m not a huge fan of CB caps. The CCI Quiet is a decent load out to 25 yards or so but it is also still pretty dangerous out to a good long ways. Not my favorite load either but I have a crap ton of it on hand.


Anything that calls for less juice than a .22 LR would deliver, I just use the Beeman R9. It’s got about a tenth of the energy of a .22 LR and far less dangerous range than any rifle round, more like shotgun range. But deadly accurate to 50 yards, about 1”-1.25” 5-shot groups at 50 yards with my sweet little air rifle. Plus the bonus of nostalgia, hunting with lead airgun pellets. I love love love it.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 12/11/23 04:23 AM.

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Re: Squirrel- 12 ga vs .22? [Re: bbarron80] #8977219 12/23/23 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bbarron80
Probably go shotgun. Best size shot? 6?


Yes i think #6 low brass is a good choice.

Last edited by Greg Z; 12/23/23 08:20 PM.

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