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Thread: Besides 22LR what caliber do you hunt small game with?

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    Default Besides 22LR what caliber do you hunt small game with?

    With 22s being as scarce as they are what caliber do you hunt with?

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I use a Marlin .17 hmr, works great for me
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    .223 loaded down to moderate velocity worked great on a hare last year, .410 shotgun has been my go to gun for a few years now. Not cheap but always easy to find.

    I suspect some .22 hornet guys will chime in, seems like a great option too.


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    If you can get head shots the 17HMR is hard to beat but body shots are ugly. The 17HMR is kind just special in the since that it is extremely accurate regardless whether it is be shot out of a cheap rifle or an expensive rifle.

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    I've always carried a .410 more often than a .22. Sometimes the 20 gauge gets the nod.

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    The 17 hmr vert accurate but you must take the right shots.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoor1 View Post
    The 17 hmr vert accurate but you must take the right shots.
    .....you mean like when the wind isn't blowing.........lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    .22 Hornet

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    .17 HM2 is super fun and accurate. It goes where I point it, no excuses.

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    Ah man, better to ask what calibers I DON"T hunt snowshoes with.

    I used reduced vel cast bullet loads in all my centerfire calibers, rifle and handgun. Top to bottom in rifles, those include 50-140 Win, 458 Win, 44 Kodiak, 375 H&H, 358 Win, 35 Rem, 30-40 Krag, 7mm RemMag, 284, 7x57, 257 Robts, 250 Savage, 6mm Rem, 243, 22-250, 223 and 222. There's more, but that's what I can think of at the moment. In handguns it's 44 Mag, 44 Spec, 357 mag, 38 Sec.

    Dedicated small game guns? Pride and joy is tied between 25-20 and 25-35.

    Then we get into the muzzleloaders, with reduced loads in 75, 72, 62, 58, 54, and 50 cal. Dedicated small game muzzleloaders are in 36, 32, and 30 calibers.

    Air rifles and air pistols are all in 17 caliber, and they've all taken snowshoe hares, too.

    Just can't beat reduced loads in bigger calibers for field practice. Snowshoe hares is all about head shooting, so the size of the hole doesn't matter. Extra days in the field with your bigger calibers mean a heck of a lot, though.

    Basically, the heck with rimfire and the hoarders. So far this year, I fired zackly 10 rounds of 22 rimfire to sight in a rifle for a hunt, then I ended up taking a muzzleloader instead. At this rate, a brick of 22's is going to last 50 years.

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    I have loaded a lot of 25-20s but have never used them on small game. I bet it does very little damage to the meat. I really like that little round. I am looking at building a 17 Fireball.

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    25/20 tops the list but 45acp and 38spl if I'm using a handgun all of which I can shoot as cheap as the elusive 22lr.

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    Funny, I was just having this discussion with a guy on the local ham radio repeater.

    One thing I've been considering is super low power 38 spcl hand loads. I have a Rossi 92 38/357, and I used to load something like a single digit amount (8 gr maybe?) of ...I don't recall...unique perhaps, on some lead projectiiles that I got free from some guy at the range. The recoil wouldn't even budge the rifle on the rest. Real accurate.

    Then, of course, there's my 32-20. (Speaking of which...I need to meet up with SOMEBODY in this thread to load some more of these...you know who you are lol) But I came buy a sizeable stash of 22 brick for sale in Florida last year, so I'm not "hurting" on rimfire-just wish I had a better rifle to shoot it in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Funny, I was just having this discussion with a guy on the local ham radio repeater.

    One thing I've been considering is super low power 38 spcl hand loads. I have a Rossi 92 38/357, and I used to load something like a single digit amount (8 gr maybe?) of ...I don't recall...unique perhaps, on some lead projectiiles that I got free from some guy at the range. The recoil wouldn't even budge the rifle on the rest. Real accurate.

    Then, of course, there's my 32-20. (Speaking of which...I need to meet up with SOMEBODY in this thread to load some more of these...you know who you are lol) But I came buy a sizeable stash of 22 brick for sale in Florida last year, so I'm not "hurting" on rimfire-just wish I had a better rifle to shoot it in.
    A single shot .357/.38 is a great idea! I've got the pistol powder already and lead cast is back in stock pretty much everywhere.


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    12ga #7.5 shot

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    12ga, the 20ga (perhaps my favorite) as well as some Trail Boss loaded .308WIN for headshooting bunnies. Trying to do more work with the .32S&W Long as well.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    It funny how with some good reloading you can give a cartridge a whole new purpose.

    Not being small game but I have a friend in Arizona that hunts deer with a 470 Nitro. Heavy, Soft and Slow. Same principle on a lager scale.

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    I picked up some .375 225 gr. soft points that I want to try in my h&h with some trail boss for a bunny load...


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    I use a 12 gauge #6 shot and my stepson uses a 20 gauge.
    I bought a lot of 20 gauge for cheap at a going out of business auction at a gun shop few years back so my stepson will be shooting those Remington 20 gauge shells for awhile.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    A single shot .357/.38 is a great idea! I've got the pistol powder already and lead cast is back in stock pretty much everywhere.


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    Yup. T/C Contender would be my pick for a single shot, but I already have a lever gun in that caliber.

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