Author Topic: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol  (Read 1720 times)

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Offline Franco

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Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« on: December 10, 2018, 07:07:58 AM »
Hello everyone
Since in the fall winter, a lot of active squirrels spend time on the ground more so than trees, I was wanting to hunt them with a 22 pistol. Any suggestions for a gun and set up?

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2018, 08:34:57 AM »
When I was younger (better eye sight and enjoyed hunting) I used a Ruger Mk1 5.5" bull barrel with the iron sights.  Mine is like a short rifle.  As my youngest brother said, until he saw me shooting that Ruger he never knew pistols could shoot like a rifle.

There are bound to be other pistols that shoot pretty nice, too, my whole family bought Ruger Mk1's (except that youngest brother, who was never a hunter like the rest of us).

You'll want to find a place where they are eating.  Not traveling from the nest/hollow tree to where they eat, but the place the come to eat.  They will find a nut and often stop (barely moving) to cut it open and eat it.  Makes it easier when they are sitting still.  My dad taught us not to jump up and go grab the just shot squirrel as there might be others close that would see the movement and be spooked.  Sometimes he'd shoot three or four before getting up to pick them up and put them in the pockets of his field pants or pouch on his vest.

My younger brother put a red dot on his Mk1 but I don't know whether he got to use it much before he passed away.  They make mounts for the Rugers (sure they do for other .22 pistols as well).

It's fun.  Sneaking up close, if you go that route, is tough and exciting. 

Try multiple brands/bullet types in your pistol to see what is reliable and accurate.  Believe it or not, my old Ruger shot Remington Thunderbolts like it was a laser.  These days they have a bad reputation.  I sighted in one of those tiny little single shot bolt action .22's (meant for youngsters) a couple of weeks back and it shot some very nice groups at 25 yds. with the iron sights.  Sometimes I'd get two bullets tearing a bigger hole in the paper vs. three distinct bullet holes for the three shot groups.

So, again, try different brands to see what your pistol shoots best.
I stopped carrying the SIG 556R.  SIG changed models and couple/three times and stopped supporting it with parts.  So, I stopped supporting SIG.  Back to the tried/true AR15 Carbine.

Offline Ron M.

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 08:04:46 PM »
The latest version of the Ruger Mk series, the MK4 is every bit as good as the earlier generations. I have a MK2 5.5 inch and a Mk4 22/45 5.5 inch they're both excellent squirrel and rabbit guns.  My favorite 22 handgun for small game is a S&W 617 4 inch.

Try CCI Small Game Bullet ammo, if your gun shoots it well, its one of the better loads for rabbits and squirrels. All of my 22s love CCI Minimag HP ammo, it's my go to ammo for hunting. The best low cost ammo for my MK series pistols has been Federal Auto Match bulk.

I like the factory sights on my 22/45 with a small dot of red or orange paint on the front sight. The 617 has a red ramp front sight that works well too.

Offline Franco

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2018, 05:48:08 AM »
When I was younger (better eye sight and enjoyed hunting) I used a Ruger Mk1 5.5" bull barrel with the iron sights.  Mine is like a short rifle.  As my youngest brother said, until he saw me shooting that Ruger he never knew pistols could shoot like a rifle.

There are bound to be other pistols that shoot pretty nice, too, my whole family bought Ruger Mk1's (except that youngest brother, who was never a hunter like the rest of us).

You'll want to find a place where they are eating.  Not traveling from the nest/hollow tree to where they eat, but the place the come to eat.  They will find a nut and often stop (barely moving) to cut it open and eat it.  Makes it easier when they are sitting still.  My dad taught us not to jump up and go grab the just shot squirrel as there might be others close that would see the movement and be spooked.  Sometimes he'd shoot three or four before getting up to pick them up and put them in the pockets of his field pants or pouch on his vest.

My younger brother put a red dot on his Mk1 but I don't know whether he got to use it much before he passed away.  They make mounts for the Rugers (sure they do for other .22 pistols as well).

It's fun.  Sneaking up close, if you go that route, is tough and exciting. 

Try multiple brands/bullet types in your pistol to see what is reliable and accurate.  Believe it or not, my old Ruger shot Remington Thunderbolts like it was a laser.  These days they have a bad reputation.  I sighted in one of those tiny little single shot bolt action .22's (meant for youngsters) a couple of weeks back and it shot some very nice groups at 25 yds. with the iron sights.  Sometimes I'd get two bullets tearing a bigger hole in the paper vs. three distinct bullet holes for the three shot groups.

So, again, try different brands to see what your pistol shoots best.

Thank you

Offline Franco

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2018, 05:50:10 AM »
The latest version of the Ruger Mk series, the MK4 is every bit as good as the earlier generations. I have a MK2 5.5 inch and a Mk4 22/45 5.5 inch they're both excellent squirrel and rabbit guns.  My favorite 22 handgun for small game is a S&W 617 4 inch.

Try CCI Small Game Bullet ammo, if your gun shoots it well, its one of the better loads for rabbits and squirrels. All of my 22s love CCI Minimag HP ammo, it's my go to ammo for hunting. The best low cost ammo for my MK series pistols has been Federal Auto Match bulk.

I like the factory sights on my 22/45 with a small dot of red or orange paint on the front sight. The 617 has a red ramp front sight that works well too.

What is better about the revolver over the other guns you mentioned?
You mentioned the 22/45 MK IV Ruger, have you ever tried the LITE version or a Ruger with a suppressor? I just like the look of the set up. Its different but I like it.

Offline larryflew

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2018, 03:00:37 PM »
Scoped Kadet with a Sparrow supressor.
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Larry

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and CZ fanatic
NRA life since the 70's
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A rubber band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

Offline Ron M.

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2018, 07:45:56 PM »
The latest version of the Ruger Mk series, the MK4 is every bit as good as the earlier generations. I have a MK2 5.5 inch and a Mk4 22/45 5.5 inch they're both excellent squirrel and rabbit guns.  My favorite 22 handgun for small game is a S&W 617 4 inch.

Try CCI Small Game Bullet ammo, if your gun shoots it well, its one of the better loads for rabbits and squirrels. All of my 22s love CCI Minimag HP ammo, it's my go to ammo for hunting. The best low cost ammo for my MK series pistols has been Federal Auto Match bulk.

I like the factory sights on my 22/45 with a small dot of red or orange paint on the front sight. The 617 has a red ramp front sight that works well too.

What is better about the revolver over the other guns you mentioned?
You mentioned the 22/45 MK IV Ruger, have you ever tried the LITE version or a Ruger with a suppressor? I just like the look of the set up. Its different but I like it.


The 617 with Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips just feels better in my hands and I can shoot it (in SA) more accurately that the Rugers. You really need to see what works best for you. My brother hunts rabbits with an old Ruger flat gate single six. I have not tried the MK4 LITE version, it does have a different look. I suspect it would need a suppressor to make it a little muzzle heavy.

Offline aandabooks

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 08:09:37 PM »
I used to have a Ruger Single Six with the 9" buntline barrel.  Deadly accurate out to about 30 yards offhand on squirrel.  Took a buddy to the range and brought it along.  He talked me out of it after shooting it.  Wish I had kept it as I haven't seen one at either of my gun shops since I let it go.

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 08:37:23 PM »
Does Ruger still make two different framed semi-auto .22's?  The one like the Mk1's and the Government model (looks similar to a 1911)?

Never shot the S&W K framed 6" barreled .22.  I had a buddy that had a S&W M14 (.38 special with a 6" barrel.)  The most accurate revolver I've ever shot.  I could have used it to head shoot squirrels with out to 25 yds.  Awesome, shooting quarter sized 5 shot groups (we always shot 5 shot groups so we could get 10 groups out of a box of ammo.)  Single action, of course.

I don't think I can hold that "tight" anymore.  Eyes, grip, arms/shoulders.  Still got a good trigger finger, but everything else is "wobbly."

If the S&W .22 built like the M14 shoots like a M14 then it's a pretty awesome revolver.  Neither of my Ruger Single Sizes would shoot with my Mk1 (or my brothers).  But my Mk1 would shoot with my buddy's high dollar High Standard target pistol.

Good luck, with whatever .22 handgun your buy. 

My only additional advice would be to test how they feel in your hand before buying, if you can.  Research to find one that is easier/more options for the red dot you want.  Research for upgrade parts availability/cost/ease of installation.  And, when you get one, buy several different brands/type of .22 ammo/bullets and take them to the range to see what is reliable and shoots good groups.
I stopped carrying the SIG 556R.  SIG changed models and couple/three times and stopped supporting it with parts.  So, I stopped supporting SIG.  Back to the tried/true AR15 Carbine.

Offline AZ_CZ

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 11:31:57 PM »
Still have my MK I 5.5 bull! Thought it was the coolest looking gun when I was 17 when my M&D bought it for me at the grocery store. It is still cool looking and a tack driver. Browning Buckmark and the Kadet are just as accurate IMO. The Kadet needs some trigger tweaking but it points wonderful.
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Offline larryflew

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 11:32:33 PM »
I used to have a Ruger Single Six with the 9" buntline barrel.  Deadly accurate out to about 30 yards offhand on squirrel.  Took a buddy to the range and brought it along.  He talked me out of it after shooting it.  Wish I had kept it as I haven't seen one at either of my gun shops since I let it go.

Need one again? Selling 2 of the 3 buntline single sixes i have.
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Larry

Minnesota shooter
and CZ fanatic
NRA life since the 70's
USAF 66-70

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

Offline skin

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Re: Fall/Winter Squirrel Hunting with 22 pistol
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2018, 08:56:37 PM »
 Since the 70's, I have used the Stoger Luger, a number of revolvers including the Ruger single six convertible, mk lll Cz Cadet and a lot that I can't think of right now. They all shot spectacular. Felt great in the hand. Shooting squirrels with a pistol will make you a better shooter. My go to squirrel pistol right now is a mk lll with a burris red dot. Whichever gun you choose, shoot it a lot, find the ammo it likes and have fun.