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Need rifle recommendation for small game

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by kboy2379, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. kboy2379


    Jun 11, 2001
    My uncle owns a lot of open land outside of Houston and he is having problems with varmints (sp?) and rabbits eating up his crops that he is trying to grow. He has given me the permission to go and shoot anything that has four legs to help him rid of the varmints.

    I have never hunted before so I wanted get some recommendations on rifles and a scope for small game. Also, I need pointers on rules and regulations for hunting small game on private property (ie licenses, times, etc.). Much help is really appreciated.


    The varmints that are avilable on the property is rabbit, squirrels, prarie dogs, and deer. The land is pretty clear with a few trees and bush here and there. Visibilty is good. I am new to hunting but not new to shooting.
  2. What type of varmints, what type of cover, long or short shots, what your skill level?

    See alot of question need to be answered before one coudl really decide on a good answer. For rabbits a good 12/20ga or 22LR would be more than adequate for the typical wabbit or squirrel.

    Shootting at extended distance and bigger game might require something more gun in the form of a rifle.

  3. OhioLibertarian

    OhioLibertarian Senior Member!?

    Wellllllllll I'd say a .40/70 Gubbament with hardcast bullets aught to take care of them.....

    Just kidding.
    Anything from a .22LR to a .223 or a .22-250 should be okay. Go much above a .22-250 and you will start really messing up this small critters, and hell, you might wanna eat some of em.

    For the record, in Ohio we have a crop damage permit system for most animals...

    And let me tell you that wild turkeys really don't like a 55 grain Nosler ballistic tip out of a .22-250.... Especially when it smacks em just below the head on that big long neck.
  4. OhioLibertarian

    OhioLibertarian Senior Member!?

    Crap I meant to say .45/70
    Wow who is looking like an idiot this morning

    See kids thats what u get when u try to be sarcastic

  5. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    How about let's start with what guns do you have now and will they work well?
  6. kboy2379


    Jun 11, 2001
    HK 40 Compact
    Glock 26
  7. Rabbits, squirrel, gophers, out to 75 yards, use a .22LR rifle with a 4x scope.

    Same animals out to 100 yards, use a .22mag, 4x scope.

    Same animals out to 200 yards, use a .223, 3-9x scope.

    Same animals, plus deer, out to 200 yards, use a .243, or a .308, or many other possibilities with a 3-9x scope.

    On the small stuff, a .22LR is better if you are eating them. The ranges I gave you are a rough estimate for having good power and flatter trajectory at the distances.

    Past 200 yards, you certainly don't need my advice.
  8. OhioLibertarian

    OhioLibertarian Senior Member!?

    I guess I am just biased to the .22-250 as a good intermediate round that has a flat trajectory. It could sort of be compared to a .223+P+ lol :)
    If I need more power than that I move up to a .308 or 8mm Mauser.
  9. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

    Mar 19, 2005
    Eureka, CA
    I would get a ruger 10/22 and a 243. Hunting varmints with a deer rifle will get expensive fast.
  10. Savage 93R17 with the heavy varmint barrel, .17 HMR with a 6-24X scope. Should only set you back about $250 or more depending upon what glass you put on it.

    It will take care of anything on the property you listed except for the deer out to 200 yards or so.

    For them you will need a centerfire rifle. I'm a big fan of the .30-06, but there are lots of good deer calibers out there.
  11. Vafish, I never shot a .17. What caliber is it comparable to? Is it more like a .22 mag, but with a lighter faster bullet? Or more like a .223, but with a lighter bullet?

    I suppose I could look up the balistics to answer the question, but figure I'll let you do that :)
  12. Happy to.

    The .17 HMR shoots a 17 gr bullet at about 2,550 fps. (there are other .17 centerfires that get around 4,000 fps with a 20 gr bullet)

    It's made from a necked down .22 mag case. Noise is about the same as .22 mag.

    Sighted in for dead on at 100 yards it has 8" of drop at 200. Sight it in for 2" high at 100 and you are about 4" low at 200 (I think I'm remembering the trajetory table correctly on that one).

    It is a very accurate round. I have a $179 rifle with a $49 scope on it that routinely shoots 3/4" groups at 100 yards. it easily hits the little 10 ounce water bottles at 200 yards.

    It's a fun little round. Ammo cost is about $10 for a box of 50.