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Thread: On the other hand... .22LR alternatives.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default On the other hand... .22LR alternatives.

    A great deal of conversation has ensued over the last good long while about the relative unavailability of .22LR ammunition. Not that I want to beat that dead horse (again) about whether the market will ever recover or whether we'll see abundantly inexpensive .22 ever again. In the interest of hypothetical conversation, what are folks doing for shooting fodder in the meantime? Sort of thinking about what if that wonderful round has seen it's run as the round of choice for low $$$ shooting.

    For target practice/ training and for small game hunting primarily...

    Anyone pick up an air rifle?

    Anyone take up shotgunning more seriously?

    Unconventional reloading for training purposes?
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    First off, I think 22LR will remain the lowest cost ammo for the foreseeable future, IF you only consider the normal retail price (approx $25 a brick these days). You're not even going to be able to reload anything for that price. Now, given, as you said, the relative unavailability of 22LR ammo, then I think the next best thing is an air rifle.

    I started a thread a few months ago about using a 177 or 22 air rifle for hunting, and there are quite a few Alaskans doing that already. A high qualiy air rifle cost as much as decent 22 rimfire rifle, but the pellets are incredibly cheap (about $9 per 500 rds). A shooter will get most of the benefits (practice practice practice...and on the cheap) with an air rifle as he would with a 22, and still be able to take most of Alaska's small game.

    Moving up to a centerfire round, I've gone with 32-20, only because my Dad left me a gun in that caliber. 38 spl would probably have been a tad more practical, but, thus far, I've had zero issue getting projectiles and brass for it. (Loaded ammo is about as rare as rimfire and far more costly.) I have a small stock of 22 rimfire ammo, but when that is gone, my 22 rifle is a wall-hanger. 22 Hornet has been mentioned a lot in the past year here, but loaded ammo I've seen at Gander Mtn was $1 a round.

    I really think air rifles are the future of recreational shooting, training, and small game hunting; in the future, they will be the "alternative product" that shooting consumers buy as 22 ammo becomes both too scarce and/or too costly. It's a simple law of economics.

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    9 bucks for 500 pellets? That's cheap?

    That's approx 2 pellets per round of 22. My have our views of cheap shooting really changed.

    Dan

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    I forgot to say, I think bows and crossbows will be in my future. But I may try a BB gun, since pellets will soon be priced at 22lr prices of a few years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan2079 View Post
    I forgot to say, I think bows and crossbows will be in my future. But I may try a BB gun, since pellets will soon be priced at 22lr prices of a few years ago.
    Good point Dan... I've always tended to equate archery tackle in the "big game" box but there's no reason you can't take small game with one. They may even be more practical than a air rifle on some level.

    You may be right- we may see a whole new generation of archery hunters.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    High velocity sling shot...rocks are free...for now.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Traditional muzzleloader, air rifle and air pistol, cast bullets in my centerfires. Recover the lead and shoot it again. Archery is cool too, but aging hands put the kibosh on my stick flinging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan2079 View Post
    9 bucks for 500 pellets? That's cheap?

    That's approx 2 pellets per round of 22. My have our views of cheap shooting really changed.

    Dan
    A 525 box of. 22 is 25bucks, not sure how your math makes that cheaper?

    sent from my igloo

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post

    You may be right- we may see a whole new generation of archery hunters.
    Heard on the radio a while back that the Archery Assoc of America or whatever it is has doubled in size over the past couple years. Connection is that kids are watching/reading "the hunger games," which are books/movies which apparently have a popular character with a bow. So all the kids want bows.

    It's a shame the bow shops that went out of business just a couple years ago.

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    Adfields fixed me up for life with a plinking rifle. He turned a Rossi 92 into a 256 Win mag. I have accumulated 10k little lead bullets to shoot out of it. I can load 2500 rounds out of a pound of powder and the combo is perfect for squirrels and rabbits. I have another Rossi that I would like to do the same with for grandson but right now he's liking it as a 357. When he gets the 357 ammo shot up(and he has a lot of it) then it will become a 256.

    I used to be pretty good with a sling shot but now-a-day the stray cats in the neighborhood laugh when I come out the back door with only it. I did break the neighbors bird bath with it though so it has some power

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    I have several that I shoot a lot now instead of 22.
    22H,22KH,25/20,256W,38spl are some that can be shot with cast for right a 5 cents per round. I have a 22cal pellet gun but the only pellets it likes are the RWS match at $16+ per 250 and even that is only about an inch at 20yds. All my replacements will do better than that. 22lr will come back

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    For small game, 177 cal pellet from a gun at better then 1000 fps is deadly. Many a small game beast died from that combo.

    Ron
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

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    I know, that a lot of you guys like to "THINK POSITIVE", however,,,, .

    It's my understanding that the 177 cal. pellet guns are not enough power for small game. 22 is better, but I doubt them also.

    I tried one, and wasn't impressed with the accuracy, the range, OR the power. pellets barely buried themselves in a board, where a 22 LR would have gone clear through and made a big hole.

    So, the only practical use I can see for them is practice, and I'm afraid one would get more "PRACTICE" in pumping them up than in shooting.

    There may be advantages like less noise, but at this point, I'm not ready to spring for a pellet gun. Certainly, not as an alternative to a 22 LR.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Sheridan blue streak growing up shot a pellet through the door of a 72 Pontiac. I think that is enough for a rabbit. I shot a rabbit at 10 yards with a 177 caliber pellet. He tasted good fried.

    Ron
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Sheridan blue streak growing up shot a pellet through the door of a 72 Pontiac. I think that is enough for a rabbit. I shot a rabbit at 10 yards with a 177 caliber pellet. He tasted good fried.

    Ron
    Yeah, I'm shot BBs through a can if it hit just right.

    Still, I'd feel pretty safe from a pellet gun in any kind of Pontiac.

    Smitty of the North
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    Air guns are a viable alternative. Very powerful examples date all the way back to the Lewis and Clark expedition, when they took all kinds of big game with air rifles. Modern air rifles are far more powerful and accurate than they used to be. One shot from my .177 cal. Crossman Quest put a porcupine in the crockpot. I still love my .22 rifle though. I hope someday ammo for it will be easier to find.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Since posting this up, I've some more research and checked out some of the videos posted on YouTube by "Ted's Holdover".

    He's popping critters to impressive ranges (100+ yards!) with a pre charged pneumatic .25 cal pellet rifle.

    I'm thinking for small game and pest dispatch it would be more than fine to typical ranges. Pneumatic guns are kind of pricey but the accuracy looks stellar, spring piston guns are cheaper but more problematic with regard to consistent accuracy. Pricing some pneumatic guns you quickly get into serious money, more than i'd be willing to spend on one since my main shooting interest is centerfire rifles.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    The air gun I tested was an off the wall brand of the type that seems most commonly sold. The barrel breaks down to cock it or pump it up.

    They often advertise 1000 fps but that is a with Special Lightweight pellets. You don't get that kind of velocity with regular weight pellets, or 22 cal. pellets in 22 cal. pellet rifles.

    Still, 22 cal. may be the best option with this type of air gun. ????

    Yeah, I know that there are larger cal. air guns, but they are possibly too expensive to be a viable alternative for 22 LR. The current crop of break-barrel air guns are the ones that seem to be the common choice for such an alternative. I'm not convinced that they measure up.

    I've considered them for the last cupla-three years, thinking they would be good for practice, and the occasional pest around, here, (Grandson excluded.) I have so many shooting areas to deal with now, that I'm not sure I wanna get into Air Guns, also.

    This is a useful discussion, nevertheless.

    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    The air gun I tested was an off the wall brand of the type that seems most commonly sold. The barrel breaks down to cock it or pump it up.

    They often advertise 1000 fps but that is a with Special Lightweight pellets. You don't get that kind of velocity with regular weight pellets, or 22 cal. pellets in 22 cal. pellet rifles.
    A friend of mine has a pretty common brand of break barrel rifle and it's not particularly suitable in my mind. Indifferent accuracy and one of the worst triggers I've experienced on anything- low budget all the way.

    There's got to be better options but so far I've found the really good stuff is freakishly expensive. Air gunning is apparently a serious pursuit in it's own right like everything else.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Airguns are like any other gun-if you want good quality, good workmanship, good trigger, and accuracy, you have to pay for it. The $100 bb gun at mal-Warts ain't gonna cut it. (Which is why I haven't bought one yet. I spent $50 and bought enough 22 ammo to keep me going a few more years. Probably just prolonging the inevitable.)

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