Needing a turtle plinker


Mar 3, 2010
Abilene texas
As the tilte says I am wanting to get a gun for shooting turtles. I have an old Colt semi auto 22lr right now that I am using but I would like something more accurate. Im looking for something full size with a heavy barrel.

My price point is under 750 with a scope. I am looking for suggestions of what the best fit for an accurate heavy barreled 22 would be. I will be shooting prone for the most part from 25 to 90 yards taking head shots


Quiet & Armed...
Full Member
Oct 25, 2010
Just out of curiosity, is there a turtle nuisance problem in Abilene?
I remember tarantulas, scorpions, and rattlers. Not so many turtles...

Put as much of that $750 towards good glass, as able. Put the rest on a Savage bolt action. Your ammo budget is hopefully a separate fund, especially these days.

You should be able to consistently/humanely hit a 2-inch target at 90-yards with almost any modern 22 bolt action.

It really depends on what you consider an acceptable target size. A one-inch target at 90-yards will require a mix of good ammo, good skills, and an accurate 22LR rifle. Those west Texas winds will play a huge part, too.


Full Member
Apr 11, 2013
somewhere on a mountain
Turtle hunting-my all time favorite.
I've shot a LOT of turtles with a Glenfield Mod 25 and Ted Williams 7/8" 4X scope.
I've also shot a lot with a 22-250 off of logs at long range.
If I was going to get a turtle gun I'd put a 10x or 12X scope on it. I wouldn't go more than 14X because you'll likely end up leaving it set on a lower power so you can get on target at close range faster. Less than $250 for decent glass for a 22. Even the Tasco Varmint/target scopes are good enough for under 100yds turtle shooting like you are doing. If you can get a scope with 1/8MOA adjustments even better.
Platform would be a Savage Mark II with that wood thumbhole stock, 77/22 or T-bolt heavy barrel. The Remington varmint/target or a 10/22 with a heavy floated barrel would be good choices for a semiauto platform.
Bipod of course, mine would be tall so I could shoot from sitting.
Ammo is probably the most important component. If you can afford match ammo all the better. But you may be more inclined to use cheap ammo. If so, It is worth the time to experiment with modifying the noses to see if it tightens things up.
Paco Kelly makes a tool and so does Waltz. Here is a thread on castboolits about a homemade job that seems to work rather well and there is discussion of the other tools also.
My 22 wide flat nose tool
There are other threads in the rimfire section that discuss these tools, this is only the most recent.
I will tell you from experience that just nipping, filing, or flattening the nose of cheap ammo will often make it shoot to near match standards.
Have fun shooting them fish eating devils.


Full Member
Jan 31, 2010
Back in the early nineties, I built up a Ruger 10/22 with Volquartsen fluted, comped SS barrel, scope base, trigger, mag release, and thumbhole stock (made by McMillan). It has a dedicated .22 LR B&L scope from that era, with duplex reticle.

Unlike all other .22's I've used, this one demands to be cleaned regularly. Gotta use a BoreSnake after shooting with this tight chamber to keep it running smoothly. The performance with even bulk pack ammo is surprisingly good, but it really shines with the match grade stuff. I've never felt the need to upgrade anything on this rifle.

Caution: Go for head shots only, so you don't run out of targets.

You may be out there plinking red ears at extended range when an unlucky half century old alligator snapper gives you a shot, or a nice fat Cottonmouth. The possibilities are unlimited. Turtle plinking been one of my favorite shooting past times for the longest time.


Full Member
Nov 24, 2008
Frankfort, Kentucky
Have you considered the 17hmr or hm2? At what angles are you shooting from? You mention prone so unless you are higher, like on an overlook, the chance of ricochet is high. The v-max should disintegrate on water contact. If you need some help, I am in Austin. :)


Colonel Angus
Full Member
Aug 17, 2010
Face Slapping Distance
Have Paco Kelly and Neil Waltz fallen on hard times? Why do we keep hearing about these snake oil contraptions? Beating a 22lr cartridge with a mallet or running it through a die, will not turn shitty ammo into great ammo. Match ammo kills just fine, ESPECIALLY with head shots. Enough already. The man asked about rifles and was advised he needed a magic die to turn Thunderturds into Lapua Center X.

Lots of rimfires will fit the bill for shooting turtles to the ranges you indicate. Whatever you get will only be as good as the ammo you use. Stick with standard velocity match ammo if you plan to shoot past 75yds


Full Member
  • Nov 9, 2011
    So Cal
    You should try a Winchester 52 b sporter or Ruger 77/22 for 22 LR - incredibly accurate. If you want "full size," try a Ruger in 17. Should fit the bill well.

    I'm in So Cal, so I hate to think of a turtle being shot. We don't see many turtles or frogs out here.

    No judgment, but God bless and GET SOME!


    Full Member
    Nov 19, 2010
    Held prisoner in New England
    Cz 452 or 455. As accurate or more than the Savage and better made. I own a Savage mk2 BV and it is nice, but if I'd had a larger budget at the time I'd own the CZ.


    Full Member
    May 30, 2009
    I used to shoot turtles too until I realized how old they had to be to get to any size. Must be getting soft in my old age.


    Full Member
    Sep 24, 2012
    Jake: I have several 22 lr cal rifles that all seem to produce acceptable m/o turtle accuracy. The Ruger 10-22 would be my first choice for a 22 cal, they are cost effective and surprisingly accurate. The other feature the 10-22 has is infinite.... aftermarket upgrades, barrels, stocks,triggers.You can buy once and continue to upgrade to what ever level you want "WARNING" this is a form of addiction, upgrade with caution, if you need an intervention I can't The next option would be a bolt action, I have had great luck with the Ruger 77-22,older Remingtons,and CZ 452 rifles. I am just speaking from my experience and different weapons that I know would fit the bill in 22 lr, another option I will put out is the 17 hmr. I have one in a CZ 452 heavy barrel and it works.... very well. This is in no way intended to be the final word on rimfires , only my limited opinion, all of these rifles would fit in to your budget. P.S some times a good cleaning and new glass make a big difference in a 22lr. The biggest changes to 22lr performance usually involves finding the ammo your weapon likes the best, and the only way to find out is to try different ammo. Good Luck.