.22 Rimfire Squirrel Rifles

rth1800

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  • Sep 16, 2009
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    As squirrel season is about to open in Kansas and Missouri I am starting a thread about rifles and related items we utilize to hunt them. Was not sure if proper to post in this or the hunting thread but decided here as the main focus will be rifles and ammo.
    I will be posting photos of my rifles, ammo, groups, DOPE etc.
    I encourage others to make commnets and post thier own photos as well.
    It will take me a while to get photos posted but will start today.
    Rifle pictured is is old Winchester 52C factory Sporting Rifle.
    The groups are Eley Match EPS bullet. listed at 1057 velocity. Both are 5 shot groups one at 50 and one at 100 yards. Both fired sitting with back against tree and tight sling.
    Scope is Leupold 3-9 AO EFR. Dot reticule. I aim off top of dot at junction of fine CH. some vertical dispersion is caused by the inexact aiming point. I will trade out scope at some time. I sight rifles to shoot just above the POA. That way I can hold on bottom of squirrel eye and center it.
    The flat nose EPS BULLET kills better than the older RN bullet. Rounds are all magazine fed just as they are in hunting.
    Will post more information on this and other rifles later.
    My 100 yard data is exactly +5 min above the 50 yard data. I find this odd as my 28" 52 is 7M plus to the same range with same ammo. The 24" barrel is faster and louder.
    9CC20643-5593-4267-8B3D-9CC04EB6DED0.jpegFCA583E7-3A04-4131-B00E-52E5AEB071CD.jpeg9B21FB35-4FA6-4A09-A2AD-A0FCD38CC138.jpeg08CCA379-D542-410A-A64E-C7D77EFC0E25.jpeg
     
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    rth1800

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    I normally keep several rifles sighted with complete data ready to go. Rifles are selected for use under varing conditons such as close cover, medium range long range, rainy day rifle, irons, on faster moving grey squirrels or the larger red ones, how much ground will be covered etc. Each rifle has it's own ammo, data book etc.
    You will notice that I do not shoot 50 shot groups, strings of 10 ten shot groups etc. My groups are shot with great care in ideal conditions. Mostly at dawn or dusk. I am very careful to get a no wind zero then leave it alone.
    The issue with shooting long strings is that shooter or eye fatigue can play an unwanted role. I want to get my best group, a true point of impact from a hunting position and move on. A stray shot only serves to reduce confidence in the set up. In the field confidence is key to good shooting under potentially adverse conditions. I don't want to know that one out of every 500 Eley Tenex rounds will impact .75 MOA low at 100 yards. Nothing I can do about it so best ignored.
     
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    justin amateur

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    Antique Model 60, from 1976, 17 shot tube fed, 21 inch barrel.
    Cheap 3x9-32 on top for myself.

    ACtC-3frdisMsGoyb1bTnPyjXYBvJvs7CO24ROuA_37q4iEySabK0PQ-MlOtlWBogDjw3K86mqMxtz4A29tM_WDCo-P4pvNYB2jA1akV7S_SzoW9bcNisncw-CeaOQ7PJheUO1-lmrzAm8u1ALttj8uS6KB6=w332-h417-no


    The wife has a more recent stainless version, 18 inch barrel, 15 shot tube fed.
    She could have any optics she wants, but insisted on a CenterPoint red dot.

    Ox8axYsnD6vtBetb0MoTDRC_7EoJvm9CxqagrpEaXuG8i28QxMNLZfgE6uAeSqP28AYhIiKJ-j2P-5VvgEINpnT7AG5ckLDG1ckPNaHD174MgXz7rgS0hoOpj64dgz3AMMe5gRAs28fJSHnnws4JorB4yWYzpJgjqUEb8ElqMgrmryc8mhOhWmcqlnyqeXB04SAIBd6LEzfAlHuaoncMyA7h9Re3pO7NhVsWHmlfMge3rQVb-3ztuHQrwL7lRCR2wCyoO2LDGzJtFmYwJYfsE4UdWN1TcSvRNgTsz4mSTqQZmLle98qx4BZzb5C5tMkkkYBgYrDUXwGCHhnAYrG3dp7aObBErB1pED5UmxfpZ-HNZe3uPITKT_cRHX15bIowyFO2rmRJ43dRaT4bXSJYFU8ki9h-vjczH2bKbPoQp0DGBXGy1GQTVSgN-BIDHKcEYAelDzARnrCrQNbjUpizWrZOXBSRJJiXbH-L37FrtYtYsbJI-n7RAw862g9KDSbz71k99SccmKHXEZDh6j9JkMuT8bsqW0a6-WR-P4UsGlJWhAeu9iOm8P6hgF7r6-MOj2Hideo2ketNLRHBM6wPY4-hh_4lNq81HgwifOXrhyd5okZXz6I0CewOqEiRVCl-LAIrQ0rKmc4wRSBQNGL8K6VIc1TZT50xdtEqdUngpSunuG8FhVyaLb0PJEAdJDHedr1wN0wK-aYZa6TUXKwvBxQi=w298-h514-no


    G9FQQ28cxbitQ3O8mpvo2IZ2fVCRmbeKAhqul6XR38weaCkqGb1lOulFTO-Rt0iEpCKgn1lFu2z8DDyHYBL7Tyx9ml5sugYeh7NdJ9TICXFviuYZiuOpNBoJ7914GS7VYkSK0QzHmyAvENw0h8jbzHDJosjzL7EGdm5aMHDDnjF-gC82Oj15gcVlZX_qOV55MZxNBTrZ8Q5KMM2uBbTUMUcm3qRd9TOEI73MuE5EUaD882w1Kbyt0LQdRUwuWOgwZQRjrVwIWRkLsYyp8junzbO_A0gnv4jHRIGbQSiWO7rdlWw-BmIpfYnOFLyZuPJPaaDh5lXPtnNMjF9oi1N3bNQS-zwkz0OFxSq2bnluacX0wW7dbO7vonmhVzb4XaUFgkiyOuX9e_KxGHKd8szvYhA1wvJF90es7tE3v0zHxUCf8k8M7dt4IvCq6jsZCk9Ye9NHi1ze6HB9kHkW93xhSuw95ohYHxKS5178DYXVQ-LQApzQPa8ervuD4poVmjSXTeZstS_zMP0gTeLNZPgiJHr2q8i2Z0Fp_r75ptqkar4YSwqqZIxZ6dkPV9q0Y-D3lbmabFsjSXp_GQvMFMf4Vc5zFJrnBNjpxNq2fp3Lx_og10BkcaNEfh5fl7JDRVHRcZJ4A5gT-uDhAPm_EHFFWDCUfyWR-V7e_9uJFO4GvyO63fYh2Juaa2g66T7LG5d69rhWCy6j_xHI5hSnu9vnpdIL=w459-h441-no


    She doesn't want to worry about parallax or focus.
    1x no adjustment needed....put the dot on the head and squeeze.

    o8gpUhqSuVfOalTcIDUW8fZsToU40tISiFgWTLIO05QCkx0UGEhEr6hG41ksXdZgPnnK9PJjDMALPYFuy87WwopnnP7v8jXQFmNLgaephl9quumA88lZOBJGeWxXPE6Zdgns6Q6BPLp_07BEDx_DM14N_ZUOj3TEtIwEtVTSLlAVfNUAfhxP8QAMjTpij5c3k_wmOAlkD6U_pgFFdgBIlnI-7DnT2eay-lW7475yqrs7lpQUmd812hg1ewuh_GpGi-2zUwk7lIa4CmYn1jO26TG4jXEaKaRawz74FEIHYshXexwH9LA9qGjiRb2ycF8uEGRSE1sZQ_Z-mbA_FvF5A6sYqREYud6F191mjIaIiwDUgs728tIpTeaJLnly-n4v_wVfogghLjqjAXDw0AjO7rWEXMne46C6kJxBGD4brCsimFfxnSGUhUauFJ0-Uu6vedqF5qAqak1R-o57XlJOLQp4EtDTFOUvwoIqQr3ukxNF4yFJjaQQE2CsJ2aEnuA41dTCQFK2OUHsSj4HVfEf3i7AfPMRbjP1M8C5Y5Ref81uJgNs8Xt85v1n8BAu1hRq3b2P9pjVFVH-2kp_Iqb2uLANVr2F-tKbXJCfDEeSUip363HE_zjjZHP0KVW6wpp9Qjmu9OqlxUwL4m9VBpxXA6Rj4hh0B_-yHdA0D8cD3C9qgP3zbNISAa8HxxUvO9DPnVvzEwfcNylvWyMe1HRhqnQT=w255-h267-no


    Last time she adjusted the red dot at 20 yards

    BLKlL5pwX5s-q8rhqELDzYEOJaI2TmBAZiqQMt0HH-cVgLwfAj1pHQ_n52ALMlyRKPGmAE5q0tK7gP-eCrxWEhKEJYKvUpn5SRJuhr6_OAoXM6BAUNjInhSUp0mXW3GbXVjhvpAFmuVbol2yc_XFwnNv_NjI3KKk1FBG9FNBmohEBuki00SRGHRFS3cE8Mmd2Bz54X8ujD7ZFOkX6xD2cU_POv75TKgs85l7UDUQA0TPclGvd4_EE1z0xMGjTRnntJD3bN_JbEGbakxmTcUAXLNykwO0bsnl1cq94g54dlxcPRd3Wka6HUCqpMtobUmlAJwwanxGEuhY5YTosM7gLZtS88wKyGL6J2wlyveyprLtPN-vfHTeGv4j9yx3Lt8uKkrQ-_XEl4ah_SPU50wfMA5DqNqo5RClmhxjcExygmRgQ0VcZEgfutBqIyi0hhNR6cNxqLbngBlIcvsIdqDrd1DzzOwbhc9tfjIecIQ4dFHn9S6VBLu0rr8yr6qo685ppIWG-RSNEeJQ_gpQj3hG5G3VwZzHLaZBVOOSnYabRxkdrlgLyW8i3wdZtLVKlxWZ6qX88hNITKsAIk63bHtCemnhiR4iRVZol91dpsiCQZx8wUJJwpva3Tv-qcfGKE7cfqsr5VEePzRmQuTCWZSAK6gBYFXO2jVdL8IiAq5T7NOdc9MldhUIvNMRn21uc6Kk0jyM-tx5qXdBySa-M0__jQQX=w731-h939-no


    Cheap ammo and no problem for the brush we wander around in.
    Rarely is a shot taken at more than 25 yards.
     
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    iShoot17

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    I am certainly jealous of those who also get a spring season for squirrels. Here in PA, we don’t have that luxury. Our season starts in September and is off-and-on until February. With that said, I hunt with multiple .22s, mostly being CZ; however, I enjoy using the 17HM2 more. My furtherest squirrel to date is 127 yards. Here are my two favorite squirrel rimfires. The CZ is a 17HM2 and the Single Six Hunter is 22LR.



     

    JG26_Irish

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    Our spring season opens tomorrow morning. Like rth1800, I too keep a number of squirrel rifles available and ready depending on the terrain, and conditions. My main squack killers:

    1. CZ452 American with Hawke 4-16x scope loaded with Eley HV HP ammo which is not supersonic and shoots to the same POI as my usual Lapua CX tgt ammo. If I am close range only and want to be quiet, I switch to CCI shorts which feed perfect in this rifle and are quieter than a pellet rifle. Just aim 1mil high.

    2. Sako Quad Tac Custom with Lilja BBL and Arken Optics 6-24x. This is really my NRL22/PRS rifle and is too heavy to lug around all day but is also the most accurate and the one that I have the best dope on out to about 200y. It will head shot a squirrel at 100y as long as I have a solid hold or rest. Same Eley HP ammo. I also have a Lilja 17M2 bbl for it which is a lighter profile and is still getting broken in.

    3. Savage Mkii HB in 17M2. Loaded with Eley ballistic tips or the newer Hornady 17g BT's this is the rile that kills the most squirrels. It is point blank out to 100y and even a moderate hit is generally a clean kill. Another heavy rifle but the only 17 Mach2 I could find at the time. Will group 5sh into a Quarter at 100y or a dime at 50y. This one is topped with a Zeiss 4-16x optic and is very effective.

    4. Winchester 67 22lr with iron sights. I use both the CCI shorts and the Eley HP in this super light, very accurate vintage rifle. I also have the 69A repeater version and both are effective as long as I can get within 40y or so.

    5. Savage BMag 17WSM topped with BSA 6-24x optic in a boyds forrest green laminated stock. Too much cartridge and too much scope for this type of hunting and is better served on groundhogs, ferral cats and coyotes but it is light as a feather and has the best cold bore accurate shot of any of my rimfires. This endears it to me and I use it often especially when lots of walking is needed. I try to stick to headshots with the 25g ammo to keep damage to a minimum.

    6. Benjamin Marauder 22cal PCP pellet rifle with 10rd clip. This is dead silent and accurate out past 50y as long as no wind. Great for urban sniping or stealth hunting.

    7. Savage Mkii HB in 17hmr. This is a supremely effective rifle topped with a BSA sweet 17 4-12x. I often loan this one to visitors since any hit is usually deadly so we don't have them getting away. Lots of ammo choices make it easy to tailor to the task. I prefer heavy 20g soft point or HP rds for squirrels since it slow the HMR down to Mach2 speeds and does not tear them up quiet as bad but even the fast 17g BT's work good with this little rifle.
    None are as pretty as the little Winchester 52 sporty or shoot as well except maybe the Sako but none cost what a vintage 52 sporter is worth either and I don't have to worry about scratching them.
     

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    rth1800

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  • Sep 16, 2009
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    I am glad to see that many here are interested in squirrel hunting. I will post more pictures as I continue to get my data.
     

    rth1800

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    The special heavy barreled one is currently my favorite. Shoots same point of impact from any rest or position. Tight sling, no sling, offhand etc.
    Accuracy is stunning. Shoots great with about any lot of Eley Tenex or Eley Match. The unsuppressed 28” barrel makes less noise than shorter barrels do with a suppressor.
     

    JG26_Irish

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    Two more 52 C rifles. One with Lyman 48 and one with Unertl. View attachment 7625705
    I love Win 52's. I have four of them and all of them are amazing shooters but they are all heavy barrel tgt models. Each has a name and is fitted with a vintage scope, Fecker, Unertl, BalVAR, etc. Some still have the original peeps with them as well. I shoot two of them often. The other two are so close to being un-used that the bbl's are not yet broken in. Great rifles. I have hunted with one of them which is a Pre-A but it is really too heave to be a good hunting rifle. One of my 52-B's is called the "Ugly Girl" and it is a regular match winner in an out-law BR match that we hold at our club. Her sister the "Pretty Girl" is too much of a prima donna to be seen out it the wild being shot in public. She is flawless. Come-on Mike post a squirrel rifle pic :eek:)
     
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    Loud Lyle

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    The black squirrel is extremely common but only in a specific area. The Mississippi Delta region is full of black squirrels and they are the predominant ones over the red and gray. Not seen in the rest of the state.
     
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    deltawiskey

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    Beauty and the beast here... my very first gun, a Winchester 94/22 purchased in the very early 80's and my favorite squirrel rifle is my Remington 40X built to M40A1 specs. Sorry, no pictures of groups to post, but they have both killed more squirrels than I could ever count! My preferred ammo is Eley subsonic hollowpoint, it hits em hard and is so quiet it sounds suppressed.

    butynbst.jpg
     

    deltawiskey

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    Are the black ones common?
    Here in Western WI the black squirrels are very common in town, but not so much out in the woods... my theory has always been that the predators keep them thinned out more out in the woods?
    No spring season here, I sure wish there was...
    DW
     
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    godofthunder

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    www.rustynutsdesigns.com
    Some awesome squirrel guns here! No spring season in Nebraska unfortunately. Maybe I’ll have to make a trip south sometime to go after some in the spring.

    I’ll have to take some pictures, but most my life I have used a Ruger 77/22, paddle stock with SS action and barrel. Has a fixed 4x scope, can’t remember the brand. Was my first rifle and is my favorite.
     

    Rimdenter

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    The plastic reloaded boxs of 244 remington tells his age (AKA) pre 6mm 1955ish Ole Schooler or a not so Ole with good taste in fine guns!
     

    Lange Carabine

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    Havent done much squirrel hunting since dad died in 2012. It just ain't the same...
    Got the hankering for a mess of fried squirrel last year though and shot a few out the pecan trees with my trusty Marlin 39a topped off with a 4x Unertl Hawk scope.
    I used to do a lot of squirrel hunting with my 1976 Ruger Mk.1 target but my eye sight got to where I can see the sights well enough anymore.
    I like to take it along when I'm on the tractor to shoot snakes, and its also fun and challenging to take pot shots from a moving tractor at running field rats and rabbits. Every once in awhile one runs right smack dab into the bullet...
    A friend gave me this Mauser MM 410b for Christmas several years ago but so far as I've done is poke holes in paper with it. Cant see the sights good enough to go after squirrels with it.
    Some might call it cheating but I'm not opposed to getting the shotgun after them.
    Around here, on cold winter days when its drizzling rain they'll run on the ground until they get to their den tree, which might be quite a ways off. The old Ithaca Flues 16ga worked pretty good for shooting the ground runners.20210511_084127.jpg20210511_084053.jpg20210515_225727.jpg
     
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    SourMash

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    Down here in GA we call the black ones "fox" squirrels. They are around but rare. They're about 1 1/2 times the size of the grey squirrels and I guess they mate with the greys every once in a while because you'll see a large reddish grey usually with a black head. I wish they were more common, It'd make a cool mount.
     

    Mr. Wolf

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    As squirrel season is about to open in Kansas and Missouri I am starting a thread rifles and related items we utilize to hunt them. Was not sure if proper to post in this or the hunting thread but decided here as the main focus will be rifles and ammo.
    I will be posting photos of my rifles, ammo, groups, DOPE etc.
    I encourage others to make commnets and post thier own photos as well.
    It will take me a while to get photos posted but will start today.
    Rifle pictured is is old Winchester 52C factory Sporting Rifle.
    The groups are Eley Match EPS bullet. listed at 1057 velocity. Both are 5 shot groups one at 50 and one at 100 yards. Both fired sitting with back against tree and tight sling.
    Scope is Leupold 3-9 AO EFR. Dot reticule. I aim off top of dot at junction of fine CH. some vertical dispersion is caused by the inexact aiming point. I will trade out scope at some time. I sight rifles to shoot just above the POA. That way I can hold on bottom of squirrel eye and center it.
    The flat nose EPS BULLET kills better than the older RN bullet. Rounds are all magazine fed just as they are in hunting.
    Will post more information on this and other rifles later.
    My 100 yard data is exactly +5 min above the 50 yard data. I find this odd as my 28" 52 is 7M plus to the same range with same ammo. The 24" barrel is faster and louder.
    View attachment 7625244View attachment 7625245View attachment 7625246View attachment 7625247
    Lovely rifle and excellent shooting, but what's the history behind the awesome pelts? Beautiful tiger and a big saltie maybe?
    Thank you and happy shooting
     

    rth1800

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    This is my rainy day rifle, loaner rifle, high volume varmint rifle and great for simply killing stuff rifle.
    Kidd 10/22 Super Grade. It has the light barrel and two stage trigger. Leupold 4.5-14 with Christmas tree reticule external adjustment turrets and side focus.
    It’s light and deadly accurate. Will keep 10 shots at 100 yards under 1” in calm conditions. Eley Match or Eley Tenex. EPS BULLET.

    I really like this rifle for killing turtles, crows ferrel cats, packs of coons and other varmints that are shot in groups. It’s basically a cheap 10/22 crossed with a 52 Winchester. It is accurate, fast and quiet. Deadly rifle. BC23ADA0-BDEE-4C53-AD65-620F1C24B1C6.jpeg
     
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    deltawiskey

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    This is my rainy day rifle, loaner rifle, high volume varmint rifle and great for simply killing stuff rifle.
    Kidd 10/22 Super Grade. It has the light barrel and two stage trigger. Leupold 4.5-14 with Christmas tree reticule external adjustment turrets and side focus.
    It’s light and deadly accurate. Will keep 10 shots at 100 yards under 1” in calm conditions. Eley Match or Eley Tenex. EPS BULLET.

    I really like this rifle for killing turtles, crows ferrel cats, packs of coons and other varmints that are shot in groups. It’s basically a cheap 10/22 crossed with a 52 Winchester. It is accurate, fast and quiet. Deadly rifle. View attachment 7626680
    I'd like to get my hands on a scope like that...
    DW
     
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    iShoot17

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    Down here in GA we call the black ones "fox" squirrels. They are around but rare. They're about 1 1/2 times the size of the grey squirrels and I guess they mate with the greys every once in a while because you'll see a large reddish grey usually with a black head. I wish they were more common, It'd make a cool mount.
    That’s interesting!

    In PA we have “fox” squirrel as well. They are a reddish orange and grey, and similar to you, have a decent amount of size and weight as compared to greys. Black squirrels aren’t nearly as common, in my experience, and seem to be found in pockets around the state.
     

    Rimdenter

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    Nice collection do you wish the Weatherby at the top was a bolt , or does it shoot ike my friends heads shot good @50 ?
     

    rth1800

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    Nice Weatherby! The early ones shot very well. Not familiar with the later ones. They had an accuracy garentee. Like 5 shots in 1/2" at 50 yards with 1960's HV ammo. What they sold sure did it. I was told the problem was that they rejected so many that they lost money on what was sold. The first ones had a single shot selector that would lock the bolt open after each shot and they also did not have the rosewood caps or skip line checkering. Some were tube fed and others came with 5 and 10 shot magazines. All are nice rifles. Thank you for sharing the picture.
     
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    rth1800

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    Caught a great evening and really got the standard weight sporter dialed in tonight. Had 3 groups like this. 5 shots, 50 yards. I like a very slight left of center zero at 50 to center at 100. I also sight “squirrel’s eye high” POI. Hold on bottom of eye gets center hit.


    1DCEEFC1-5C36-4A29-9325-1E9022F237F3.jpeg1DCEEFC1-5C36-4A29-9325-1E9022F237F3.jpeg
    The rifle seems to prefer Eley Match EPS IN THE 1055-1060 velocity range as marked on the box.

    This will be my opening weekend rifle if not raining. Planning a 3 day trip to Missouri’s Ozark mountains. 2122A0F7-DB59-403C-A515-554946ACDB9B.jpeg
     

    justin amateur

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    I've taken to using my 22 cal AirKing springer for picking off squirrels.
    It's quiet and accurate, ideal for stealth hunting where you don't want to draw attention.
    Sub inch accuracy at 50 yards from a braced hold.

    rws54-balance.JPG


    At 20 yards no problem performing grey craniotomies.

    color-pellets.jpeg
     

    629-4

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    Caught a great evening and really got the standard weight sporter dialed in tonight. Had 3 groups like this. 5 shots, 50 yards. I like a very slight left of center zero at 50 to center at 100. I also sight “squirrel’s eye high” POI. Hold on bottom of eye gets center hit.


    View attachment 7628572View attachment 7628572
    The rifle seems to prefer Eley Match EPS IN THE 1055-1060 velocity range as marked on the box.

    This will be my opening weekend rifle if not raining. Planning a 3 day trip to Missouri’s Ozark mountains. View attachment 7628573
    Shoots as good as it looks!
     
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