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Rimfire Firearms .22, .17 and other Rimfire Handguns and Rifles

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2013, 9:16 AM
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Default .17 VS .22

Here is the scenario (actually happened)

At my LGS, my son (20 years old) was looking to buy his first rifle (we have always shot handguns except for the 10/22, but that is mine and he want to buy his own).

While at the LGS, he started looking at .22's and .17's. The salesman was pushing him towards the .17 saying that once he shot one he would never want to pick up a .22 again....

I have never shot a .17 and neither has he and since he is old enough and has his own $$, I told him that it was his choice. But he wanted some opinion from those who have both. Both the .22 & .17 are in his budget with no problems so any advice would be appreciated....
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Old 04-14-2013, 9:19 AM
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I would go with the 17 the 22 ammo is cheap but the 17 is so darn accurate.
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Old 04-14-2013, 9:26 AM
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17HMR is comparing Apples to Oranges.

The Hummer a flatter trajectory.


.22lr
Best overall IMHO for utility and FUN IMHO.
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Old 04-14-2013, 9:30 AM
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There was a test done & the result was that .17 is better from 120yds & further. .22 is better for distances under 120yds. The heavier .22 suffers
from more drop at longer distances. .22 is also cheaper. Marlin 795 in .22
for $170 is a great deal. I'd start with that.
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Old 04-14-2013, 9:37 AM
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Not knowing what your son plans on using the rifle for is an issue.

If plinking/target and using ammo in large quantity, then I'd go 22LR
If hunting at distance, the 17 is quicker, flatter but more expensive to feed.

Barry
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Old 04-14-2013, 9:44 AM
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It depends on what he wants to do with it. 22LR ammo is more far affordable (if you can find any), and he can get into match shooting if he likes. 17 is more of a 100+ yard squirrel hunting round. As for 22LR accuracy - that depends on the ammo (match ammo is accurate, bulk ammo isn't), the rifle, and the range. You'll note that they shoot 22s in the Olympics and nobody claims that their shooting isn't accurate - but while 22 rifles can hit targets and kill rabbits well past 100yds they are really best at 50-75yds or so.
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Old 04-14-2013, 9:51 AM
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22LR or 22 WMR? Makes a huge diff.

What's the intended use? Makes a huge diff.

I have all 3, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. If you're just plinking at 25 yards at the range, might as well save the money and get a 22LR. If you want to knock down bigger varmints or buck the wind best, 22WMR is the best of the 3. If you want the flattest-shooting round, 17HMR is king, but get some side wind and you'll be amazed how far a bullet can be blown in such a short time...

My pref overall is the 17 HMR.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:35 AM
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Whats the CalGuns consensus on the brouha about 17HMR ammo not being safe in semi-auto rifles?

It was a while ago but I thought there was the problem of ammo mfg's saying that they didn't advise the use of 17HMR in semi-autos resulting in some rifles being recalled and some organizations/ranges etc not allowing use of 17HMR in semi-autos.

At Appleseeds instructors are advised to advise shooters of 17HMR issues but not to bar/ban their use however instructors are not allowed to loan 17HMRs due to liability insurance issues.

Not trying to rag on anyone's rifles or choices, just trying to keep up with latest info.

My google search on 17HMR and semi-auto still throws up 2011 era articles on the recalls, not much on later developments.

Cheers
V
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V View Post
Whats the CalGuns consensus on the brouha about 17HMR ammo not being safe in semi-auto rifles?

It was a while ago but I thought there was the problem of ammo mfg's saying that they didn't advise the use of 17HMR in semi-autos resulting in some rifles being recalled and some organizations/ranges etc not allowing use of 17HMR in semi-autos.

At Appleseeds instructors are advised to advise shooters of 17HMR issues but not to bar/ban their use however instructors are not allowed to loan 17HMRs due to liability insurance issues.

Not trying to rag on anyone's rifles or choices, just trying to keep up with latest info.

My google search on 17HMR and semi-auto still throws up 2011 era articles on the recalls, not much on later developments.

Cheers
V
It's all a bunch of BS. Remington started it all because of their own screw up.

Remington wanted to get in on the .17 action. So they decided to throw it into their 597 semi-auto platform. But the .17 HMR was cycling the action too quickly to be reliable. So they decided to increase the weight of the bolt to slow it down. How did they increase the weight? Like idiots, they added tungsten to the bolt. Anyone who knows metallurgy knows that tungsten is brittle. So it's no surprise the bolts started blowing up in .17 HMR 597's and lawsuits started to fly.

What was Remington's response when they withdrew .17 HMR 597's from the market? It surely wasn't a mea culpa. Noooo. They blamed the cartridge instead of admitting they screwed up. CCI in fear of liability exposure, went along with the Remington BS and said it shouldn't be used in semi-autos.

A few manufacturers knew it was all BS and decided to buck the trend and continue to make semi-autos or introduce them. And none of them have ever had a problem. Volquartsen, Excel Arms, and Alexander Arms all make .17 HMR semi-autos. There's very little information available about Excel Arms, which is strange because they are a California company. But if you read the reviews from Volquartsen and Alexander Arms, there's been no problems whatsover. So if you want a .17 HMR semi-auto, go for it.

To the OP, get a .22 as his first gun. It's cheap, reliable, and EVERYONE should have one. It's been most people's first gun since forever for a reason. They just work and they're cheap to buy and feed. This may be his first gun, but it surely won't be his last. He can always add a .17 later. And if he's paying for his own ammo, he'll appreciate it even more. When I was 20, I didn't have 2 nickles to rub together, but I always found a way to afford .22 ammo. I wouldn't have been shooting much if I had to pay .223 prices for .17 back in the day.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2013, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sholling View Post
It depends on what he wants to do with it. 22LR ammo is more far affordable (if you can find any), and he can get into match shooting if he likes. 17 is more of a 100+ yard squirrel hunting round. As for 22LR accuracy - that depends on the ammo (match ammo is accurate, bulk ammo isn't), the rifle, and the range. You'll note that they shoot 22s in the Olympics and nobody claims that their shooting isn't accurate - but while 22 rifles can hit targets and kill rabbits well past 100yds they are really best at 50-75yds or so.


This is true. A .22LR is excellent at 75 yards. It does pretty well out to 150 yards. But heres what I find after shooting already over 300 squirrels this season. The .22 often allows the squirrel to get back to its hole even if mortally wounded. Unless you get a head shot or paralyze it, those little guys can (not always) run 10 or more feet before they die. But with a .17 caliber, I find that round devastates their body and they either drop dead or do the funky chicken right where you shot them, then die.

The .17 is best for the long shots. 150 yards is a cake walk and after that its up to you, the day, the target but we hit them out to 250 yards out here without wasting ammo.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
To the OP, get a .22 as his first gun. It's cheap, reliable, and EVERYONE should have one. It's been most people's first gun since forever for a reason. They just work and they're cheap to buy and feed. This may be his first gun, but it surely won't be his last. He can always add a .17 later. And if he's paying for his own ammo, he'll appreciate it even more. When I was 20, I didn't have 2 nickles to rub together, but I always found a way to afford .22 ammo. I wouldn't have been shooting much if I had to pay .223 prices for .17 back in the day.
^^This!

The 22LR is a great platform, both to learn on and as a way to increase proficiency! A perfect first gun since the ammo is (was) relatively affordable. As a new/young shooter, I would want to shoot many rounds, not 20 rounds per range trip at maximum accuracy.

The WMR is more cartridge, but more expensive. The HMR is very expensive to shoot and as a single "overall" rifle, not my first choice.

Robert
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2013, 1:34 PM
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A box of .50 rounds of 22 roughly $3 dollars. 50 rounds .17 in the $15 dollar range.
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Old 04-14-2013, 1:51 PM
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I do not think you can compare a 22LR gun to a 17HMR. Its not fair. The 17HMR is far superior to the 22LR in many ways, and in other ways, the 22LR is far superior to the 17HMR. Not just talking about ballistics here...

I will say this - it is very hard to rationalize NOT getting a 22LR as a first rifle. They generally are not very expensive to buy or to feed.
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Old 04-14-2013, 2:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry View Post
Not knowing what your son plans on using the rifle for is an issue.

If plinking/target and using ammo in large quantity, then I'd go 22LR
If hunting at distance, the 17 is quicker, flatter but more expensive to feed.

Barry
This^^. That is my only gripe about the .17 is the cost compared to .22lr. As a range linker, .22 is the way to IMO.
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  #15  
Old 04-14-2013, 5:27 PM
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.22lr: Good for plinking, hunting small critters out to 75yds, excellent target shooting plaform with the right rifle and match ammo that it likes.

.17HMR: Blows up small critters out to 125yds unless head shots, ammo too expensive for plinking unless you have deep pockets, excellent target platform with the right rifle and and ammo that it likes, ammo not much more expensive than good match .22lr ammo.

As has been said, it comes down to the use of the rifle. I have seven .22lr firearms, one .22WMR and one .17HMR (most accurate 100yd rifle), each for its own purpose.

If I could only have one rimfire rifle it would be a .22lr.
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Old 04-14-2013, 9:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzy43 View Post
If I could only have one rimfire rifle it would be a .22lr.
This.
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Old 04-15-2013, 8:43 AM
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After two years shooting a CZ 452 Varmint in .17HMR I've decided I've satisfied my curiosity and would be willing to part with it. Great guns, but the cartridge leaves me a little cold. Flat shooting and accurate it's a good choice for varmints, but not small game (tends to explode the little critters, the.17H2 is a better choice here). For plinking and target shooting it's too expensive.

First rimfire rifle? .22 LR no contest.
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Old 04-15-2013, 8:03 PM
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Got A 10/22 for my first gun as a 21 year old this time last year. I just bought a savage 17 last month. 22 uses are cheap lead slinger, variety of ammo brands and varients, semiauto, parts available on the aftermarket. Cons: in stock form less accurate at 50 yards than my 17 is at 100 yard. Knockdown power of the 22 is lame. The savage 17 came with a great trigger stock, shot a 3 shot .5 inch group at 100 yards, blows squirrels apart at shorter ranges and more than takes care of them past 100.(I got one at 125 yards Saturday in the neck and it dropped instantly.) I've shot squirell a at 100 with a 22 rarely but they typically get to a hole. For a first rifle I'd get the 22 as it is exciting to be able to shoot as much as possible, plus u will always have that gun to shoot when he can't afford to shoot when he can't afford to shoot his next gun anymore. After a year of shooting and shooting 3 times a month in every type and caliber I get more joy out of tight groups at 100 than I do slinging lead. Because of that I prefer th 17 as it shoots better groups than my m1a, ar, howa, 700, and 22's. figure out exactly what you want and go with that. If I were you I'd strongly recommend a 17 at some point even if you do decide to get a 22 first.
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Old 04-16-2013, 7:35 AM
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It appears most will say get a .22 for your first rifle. I’d have to agree to that. Especially now that firearms and ammo is so costly.

Regarding the use of each. What I read here pretty much is what I find. I am out on a ranch with no worries of missing and the round hitting anything else but dirt. There is a lot of open flat acres and hundreds of squirrels. The 22 is excellent up to 75 yards and ok to 100 yards. The 150 yard shots for me anyway takes no wind, adult squirrel and a bipod. The same goes foe the .17 out to 250 yards. I never thought of shooting those distances until this year. And then I found out all it takes is practice and a scope like the Nikon Rimfire with the reticles or graduations in it to make the long shots much easier. I was amazed when I shoot the .22 at real long shots like 250 yards how far it reaches out with a little adjustment to the trajectory. That is a stretch but fun for target practice with so ay squirrels.

Again the posters are correct about one thing. The .17 makes a mess out of the meat if you plan to eat the rabbit. The .22 may take a while to kill it, maybe not depending but the meat is still there.

Getting back to the question; I really think a .22 is an excellent choice rifle, especially if you are young.. You learn so much by handling the .22. Not only safety but basic shooting skills. Also, I am now using my Henry H001 .22 lever action over the bolt action style. I love it’s accuracy and was amazed how well the Henry rifles are built for the money. Try one. The Ruger 10/22 is really fun if you miss and the squirrels scatter, the semi-auto makes it great for macking out the magazine until is runs dry in a few seconds.

I just read an article on the .22 survival rifle and how it has been a favorite among pilots as part of their emergency survival equipment in case they go down.

God Bless the rimfire cartridge. I look forward to reading more comments.
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Old 04-16-2013, 7:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanDreamer View Post
The salesman was pushing him towards the .17 saying that once he shot one he would never want to pick up a .22 again....
Very good recommendation from the salesman.
I've been shooting .22LR all my life and never had any interest in .17HMR because of the small caliber and expensive ammo. I finally got a chance to shoot it last month and I'm sold on .17HMR because of its accuracy. You should look into the CZ 455 American Combo rifle. I have one with the following configuration (22LR, 17HMR and 22WMR). Out of the 3 calibers, I prefer .17HM and .22WMR the most.
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Old 04-16-2013, 8:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedrrracer View Post
22LR or 22 WMR? Makes a huge diff.

What's the intended use? Makes a huge diff.

I have all 3, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. If you're just plinking at 25 yards at the range, might as well save the money and get a 22LR. If you want to knock down bigger varmints or buck the wind best, 22WMR is the best of the 3. If you want the flattest-shooting round, 17HMR is king, but get some side wind and you'll be amazed how far a bullet can be blown in such a short time...

My pref overall is the 17 HMR.
I agree with speedrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrracer.
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Old 04-16-2013, 8:54 AM
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One of my varmint hunting buddies has a Volquartsen, the rest Savage bolt rifles. If you look at a .17HMR case fired out of a Savage bolt rifle the head is flat, I notice the Volquarten case heads are slightly bulged out. I am not sure if the case is starting to rupture or not but it has a distinct bulge in the head. Just my observation. The Volquartsen is sweet and very accurate on squirrels.


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Whats the CalGuns consensus on the brouha about 17HMR ammo not being safe in semi-auto rifles?

It was a while ago but I thought there was the problem of ammo mfg's saying that they didn't advise the use of 17HMR in semi-autos resulting in some rifles being recalled and some organizations/ranges etc not allowing use of 17HMR in semi-autos.

At Appleseeds instructors are advised to advise shooters of 17HMR issues but not to bar/ban their use however instructors are not allowed to loan 17HMRs due to liability insurance issues.

Not trying to rag on anyone's rifles or choices, just trying to keep up with latest info.

My google search on 17HMR and semi-auto still throws up 2011 era articles on the recalls, not much on later developments.

Cheers
V
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:54 PM
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My Savage is in .17MK2. While only slightly more cost than .22, it outperforms it at all logical distances. The nice kicker, is .17 Aguila shoots safely and accurately from MK2 chambers.

Ground squirrells have the nasty tendancy of losing large parts of their anatomy when the .17 hits
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Old 04-16-2013, 4:43 PM
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One last comment if you are in a no-lead zone. The .17HMR in my experience vastly out groups the .22LR no-lead offering. So if you might ever varmint hunt the .17HMR is the way to go but everyone should have a .22LR or several, they are fun.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:19 PM
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Whats everyone got against squirrels?
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Old 04-17-2013, 7:04 AM
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On working ranches ground squirrels cause a lot of damage and many counties do not allow poison because of second kill, so you shoot them.

Same with Coyotes, if you ever saw a cow giving birth and the Yotes have already killed the unborn calf during delivery you might understand.

That is why their is no season on Varmints they need to be thinned out from time to time.


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Whats everyone got against squirrels?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:17 AM
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Thanks for all the help guys.

He ended up jailing a Remington Fieldmaster a couple days ago . I was Pi**ed cause I been looking for one for a while. He just happened to walk into the LGS at the right time as the owner had just put it out (it is used and the guy had just sold it to the LGS a couple days before).

Guess I will be borrowing it a lot . What I love about that rifle is it will eat shorts, long or LR's....
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:44 AM
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May I pose a question for which I am confused about. I have read a bit regarding the argument that a 17 hmr is frangable and may hit a coyote's fur and explode with poor penetration....not sure if that is accurate or consistent...but if true....does this carry to the 17 wsm.....and secondly....does a 22 mag, which is just a little bigger have the same risk....or for some other reason possesses greater penetration secondary to design?
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:36 PM
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May I pose a question for which I am confused about. I have read a bit regarding the argument that a 17 hmr is frangable and may hit a coyote's fur and explode with poor penetration....not sure if that is accurate or consistent...but if true....does this carry to the 17 wsm.....and secondly....does a 22 mag, which is just a little bigger have the same risk....or for some other reason possesses greater penetration secondary to design?
http://www.chuckhawks.com/compared_17HMR_22WMR.htm
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:41 PM
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Thank you Jack L.....an excellent review that answered my question. I appreciate your reply.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:44 PM
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We don't shoot coyotes with rimfire only centerfire. Centerfire is overkill for squirrels unless you are going out over 200 yards. I have shot squirrels at 450 yards with .223 36gr. NTX bullets but a waste of dollars/rounds under 200 yards. I use 6.5mm centerfire on pigs. Different tools for distance and animals.


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May I pose a question for which I am confused about. I have read a bit regarding the argument that a 17 hmr is frangable and may hit a coyote's fur and explode with poor penetration....not sure if that is accurate or consistent...but if true....does this carry to the 17 wsm.....and secondly....does a 22 mag, which is just a little bigger have the same risk....or for some other reason possesses greater penetration secondary to design?
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Old 04-19-2013, 6:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Californio View Post
We don't shoot coyotes with rimfire only centerfire. Centerfire is overkill for squirrels unless you are going out over 200 yards. I have shot squirrels at 450 yards with .223 36gr. NTX bullets but a waste of dollars/rounds under 200 yards. I use 6.5mm centerfire on pigs. Different tools for distance and animals.
What Californio said. Its not appropriate or humane to use a .17 or .22 on a coyote. A quick knockdown kill is what we want. It's not a pretty sight to see an animal suffer in pain from an small caliber or poorly placed shot.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:01 AM
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Not that I have a coyote problem but what is a good caliber for coyote sized animals?
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Old 04-19-2013, 5:53 PM
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The no-lead .223 Remington's tend to take more than one round especially out at 400 yards. It stops them but doesn't kill them on the first shot. .243 Remington which is 6mm would be my minimum choice with no-lead. I use one round/rifle for Coyotes and Pig which is 6.5 Creedmoor and does well in the GMX or TTSX loads. I have an older .308 but have never been able to get it to group worth beans using no-lead.


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Originally Posted by NRai2001 View Post
Not that I have a coyote problem but what is a good caliber for coyote sized animals?
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Old 04-20-2013, 8:48 AM
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CA F&G told me lead free rounds are not required for predation. I live on a ranch surround by cattle ranches and vineyards.... I have not researched it. Probably has to be owned by you, your family or you are hired to shoot varmints and larger animals that rip up the crops or kill newborns..
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Old 04-20-2013, 4:44 PM
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http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunti...nformation.pdf

This link would not support that claim in the Condor areas.

Don't get me wrong I think no-lead is a joke but not willing to lose my license over it.
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Old 04-20-2013, 5:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Californio View Post
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunti...nformation.pdf

This link would not support that claim in the Condor areas.

Don't get me wrong I think no-lead is a joke but not willing to lose my license over it.
I see what you mean. Odd, I heard this from the gun shop owner who is friends with a number of F&G customers. No one seems to use lead free .22 around here. In fact, I don't think anyone stocks it. I have never seen a condor around here. Turkey Vultures and coyotes eat all the shot squirrels. Net time I see the vineyard manager next to me Ill ask if the use lead free and see what he says about it. I know they always try to comply.
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Old 04-20-2013, 5:39 PM
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I just found this. If anyone knows anything about it concerning ground squirrels, post it. See the section in red print.

What are the regulations and options for hunting with .22 caliber or smaller rimfire
firearms?
Rimfire firearms are not legal in California for hunting big game or for depredation killing
of big game animals (these are primarily deer and wild pig in condor range).
Rimfire firearms are legal for nongame animals (coyotes and ground squirrels primarily)
and for sport hunting of small game mammals [hares (jackrabbits), cottontail, and tree
squirrel]. However, for nongame animals the Commission has prohibited use of lead
projectiles in .22 rimfire or smaller firearms as part of this regulation change in condor
range.
The Commission has not addressed the issue of hunting small game mammals because
that section of the regulations was not “opened” for potential change. Therefore, hunters
can legally hunt jackrabbit, cottontail, and tree squirrel using lead projectiles, but not
ground squirrels in the same area. Part of the reasoning for this is that unlike nongame
animals that are hunted and usually left in the field, game species must be retrieved and
not wasted.
The Department and Commission are of the understanding that non-lead projectiles for
rimfire are not readily available or manufactured at this time and that the only non-lead
rimfire is in .22 caliber magnum, and not for the very popular .22 short, long, or long rifle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


And this;

For those of you shooting on your own property or private property you have the owner’s permission to be on, contact the local game warden. Ask them specifically, “Can I use lead.22LR ammunition for non-game animal, pest depredation?”

From what I have been told on two separate occasions by two different game wardens as well as when calling the local office, we are fine to shoot ground squirrels and rabbits with leaded .22 ammo with the purpose of pest depredation.

Please check with your local fish cops first and you should get the same answer. Just make sure you Do Not use the word hunting, just pest depredation.


http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/a.../t-277451.html

Last edited by Jack L; 04-20-2013 at 5:42 PM..
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Old 04-20-2013, 7:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzy43 View Post

If I could only have one rimfire rifle it would be a .22lr.
This, now that I've edited it a bit. Every gun owner should have a 22 rifle. The specific model isn't critical. If you like to tinker get a 10/22. If you want great accuracy at a good price without changing anything, get a CZ bolt action. Under anything approaching normal ammo supply conditions, you can shoot bulk .22 LR for a third to a quarter the price of the .17 HMR. If you want to shoot for accuracy, match .22 is about the same cost as regular .17 HMR which is very accurate also.
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Old 04-20-2013, 8:07 PM
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Or you could wait and see when the new 17 Win Magnums come to town....Thats what I am waiting for.......
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