Long Range (100+yds) 22lr Hunting

Whitebeard177

Private
Minuteman
Jan 6, 2020
6
1
I am wondering how many people out there shoot ground squirrels, pest birds, pigeons ect. At long range with 22lr? When I say long range I mean anything over 100yds. I have been shooting ground squirrels with 22lr past 100yds since I was a kid. Farthest kill so far on a starling is 112yds. Farthest ground squirrel kill is 235yds. I know there is an argument to be made about how ethical it is to shoot pests at that distance but in my experience head shots and upper torso shots are kill shots all day long. I shoot only sub sonic rounds because it has been proven to be more accurate at longer range. To repeat my original question, any one else shooting pests this way? What are your experiences? Do you disagree with shooting animals at those distances with a 22lr? What type of equipment are you using? Picture of a set up on some ground squirrel holes about 150yds out.
 

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Kisssofdeath

House of Yates
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Minuteman
  • May 9, 2018
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    I agree with shooting pest animals at any distance. I couldn't kill another animal unless I was going to eat it.

    Tell us about your setup in the photo. Looks like a Savage action and stock, Vortex scope and a carbon fiber barrel with some type of muzzle attachment?
     

    Whitebeard177

    Private
    Minuteman
    Jan 6, 2020
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    1
    It is actually a stock savage mk ii with a trigger job and a little epoxy in the for end to stiffen it up. The barrel is actually stock as well it just has a barrel wrap that I got from a gun show. Simple muzzle brake on there from tactical solutions. I ended up taking it off because it was making the bullet do weird stuff at longer distances. That photo is a little old I now have a vortex viper Gen ii sitting on it. Atlus bipod. Hoping to get a Vudoo either this year or next. Still saving my pennies! The main reason for the post is I don’t see much online of guys doing this type of hunting. There is a ton of videos and stuff of air gun guys taking pests out past 100yds but almost nothing when it comes to 22lr.
     

    TurboTrout

    Sergeant of the Hide
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 30, 2020
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    With my Sako, I’d have no issue taking out up to a rabbit at 100 or so, I’m confident of my/rifles consistency as well as my DOPE to 150yrds, just be sure of your shot placement.

    Even if some “expert” says it’s a “pest” best to be a good human and make it a quick death.

    I remember a energy chart for X animal, can’t find it off hand, but something to keep in mind.


     
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    Sieg

    Major Hide Member
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    Jun 14, 2018
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    From a humane standpoint the .22lr beyond 50-75 yds isn't a lights out kill depending on their size. I prefer my .22mag, .17M2, .17HMR or .17WSM depending on the size of the squirrel. I have Northern CA Digger Squirrels behind the house and they are mean and tough compared to the typical 'Sage Rats' I've shot for over 30 years in central and eastern Oregon.

    Ask my Lab how tough they are....


    He's killed a lot of Silver Grays and Belding's and never been bloodied up like this.

    I getting soft in my old age, but shooting varmint squirrels is still my favorite shooting activity. Louder the pop and farther the launch the better.... Speed Kills. :sneaky:

    FWIW - I shoot my Vudoo monthly in a local 100-200 yds match, I just don't choose it for killing. If it was all I had... you bet I'd using it. Extended range .22lr is definitely challenging due to wind sensitivity and ammo inconsistency. (y)
     

    Blutroop

    Major Hide Member
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    Minuteman
  • Oct 25, 2018
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    Op, you should check out the current state of air rifles. Especially if all your shooting is subsonic anyways.

    I try and eat and/or skin what I shoot but someone out there will always have a problem with what you do regardless.
     

    Big Bo

    Sergeant
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    Jun 7, 2005
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    My longest kill on a ground squirrel was over 15 years ago, with a .22lr with my CZ 452 Varmint. Shot was a hair over 300 yards. If you and the gun are capable, do it. My longest kill shot with a pellet gun on a ground squirrel is 265 yards. 22lr has longer reach. Enjoy.
     

    Slab74

    Bullets, BBQ, and Bourbon Connoisseur
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 23, 2019
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    Squeaker hunting was fun, until all the alfalfa plots went to strawberries. My longest shot was 268 yards with and m&p .22. POS gun, but it did the job that day. A month later I had an out of battery discharge and the bolt blew up in my face.
     
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    Whitebeard177

    Private
    Minuteman
    Jan 6, 2020
    6
    1
    I have looked into air guns but they don’t have the power that 22lr does or the reach it seems. I am going to be running a suppressor this year on my 22lr and am excited to see how the ground squirrels react. I looked up the minimum suggest ft-lbs of energy for taking out a squirrel and it is only like 3ft-lbs the 22lr still has around 45ft-lbs at 300yds with subsonic load. I have seen a ground squirrel taken out at 357yds with a 22lr. My buddy used my Marlin model 981t to shoot it. It took two mags to make a hit but killed it instantly with a lucky headshot. We were using crappy ammo and it was just shear luck we hit it at that distance.
     

    jLorenzo

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 20, 2017
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    I shot a prairie dog at 169y with some federal 40gr lrn 1200fps. Lucky shot. Got him directly in the side of the head also. It set off some weird nerve reaction and he jumped up and down like crazy, wasn't pretty but I assume he was dead immediately. When I looked closer the bullet had not exited at all. I wouldn't take that shot again, for small animals I prefer my 17 hmr,MUCH more effective. With a 22 I wouldn't go much farther than 100y on anything squirrel size or bigger. If Im going to shoot something I want to kill it immediately and as humanely as possible.
    I have also shot one at about 10y with CCI sub sonic hollow point. It was effective but again I prefer my .17 hmr.
     
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    larry meyer

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 19, 2020
    8
    4
    Medford Oregon
    From a humane standpoint the .22lr beyond 50-75 yds isn't a lights out kill depending on their size. I prefer my .22mag, .17M2, .17HMR or .17WSM depending on the size of the squirrel. I have Northern CA Digger Squirrels behind the house and they are mean and tough compared to the typical 'Sage Rats' I've shot for over 30 years in central and eastern Oregon.

    Ask my Lab how tough they are....


    He's killed a lot of Silver Grays and Belding's and never been bloodied up like this.

    I getting soft in my old age, but shooting varmint squirrels is still my favorite shooting activity. Louder the pop and farther the launch the better.... Speed Kills. :sneaky:

    FWIW - I shoot my Vudoo monthly in a local 100-200 yds match, I just don't choose it for killing. If it was all I had... you bet I'd using it. Extended range .22lr is definitely challenging due to wind sensitivity and ammo inconsistency. (y)
    Target rich environment, (like a cork gun shooting gallery @ a carnival) Klamath Falls, mid eastern OR, parts of northern CA. I have been shooting rodents (Belding's, (squeaks stick pins) & rock chucks, (yellow bellied Marmot's) there for past 30+ yr. Like Vietnam, but they don't shoot back. Every Spring I am welcomed @ a number of ranches to help eradicate rodents, (very prolific & destructive in alfalfa fields & under buildings). I use air rifle out to 60 yd. 22lr out to 150 yd. (mostly inside 100 yd.) 17 WSM out to 250 yd. (mostly inside 200 yd.) (there about's) Must say the dog was having to much fun, lol. Number of years ago, Klamath Veterinary clinic requested local squirrel shooters bring in any head shot squirrels, they would use for food for there rehabbing hawks, eagles etc. (the birds would not eat gut shot). My son & I accepted that as a challenge for head shots only. My son & I both use 10-22 w/bull barrels & trick triggers. (1.5 min accuracy) (White Beard 177) I generally do not shoot 22lr to the long range you mentioned. Top tier ammo (to much $, I use American Eagle 38 gr for 10-22) is the only thing, for me, that is accurate to that range. I say it is recognizable that you (that any one) can hit a squirrel out that far w/22lr. That is a challenge in its self. Hat is off to you. I just recently procured a B14R That will (accept for an occasional flyer) shoot American eagle, sub 1.5 min out to 200 yd, & I am itching to try it on the squirrels this spring. (April May).
     
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    Teuchter Boy

    Private
    Minuteman
    Oct 29, 2020
    7
    4
    Glasgow
    I generally shoot my Anschutz 1417 with A14 inch barrel, moderator, Shv F1 and rws subs to around 100 yards when out hunting, although on a few occasions I have pushed out to 125 yards. Were I live tends to be windy and a lot can happen in the time it takes a subsonic bullet to reach out to 125 yards. The rifle is capable of much more but I don't tend to need to stretch it as most rabbits are taken quite easily between 50 and 80 yards. Fair play to you for pushing out the distances as the 22lr with subs is certainly capable way out past my self imposed limit of 100 yards. For me it is the nut behind the butt that limits my hunting range. I do however enjoy plinking at much greater distances, having reasonable success at 200 yards and beyond.
     
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    308pirate

    Gunny Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 25, 2017
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    I shot a prairie dog at 169y with some federal 40gr lrn 1200fps. Lucky shot. Got him directly in the side of the head also. It set off some weird nerve reaction and he jumped up and down like crazy, wasn't pretty but I assume he was dead immediately. When I looked closer the bullet had not exited at all. I wouldn't take that shot again, for small animals I prefer my 17 hmr,MUCH more effective. With a 22 I wouldn't go much farther than 100y on anything squirrel size or bigger. If Im going to shoot something I want to kill it immediately and as humanely as possible.
    I have also shot one at about 10y with CCI sub sonic hollow point. It was effective but again I prefer my .17 hmr.

    The jumping around, leg twitching, etc, is just the muscles losing control and releasing energy because there are no more nerve impulses coming from the now-dead brain.

    It looks terrible, but it was DRT if the bullet went through the head.
     
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