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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve never been a hunter, always a fisherman. But I’ve decided it’s time for that to change. Figured I’d start at the bottom and work my way up, since I don’t have enough white privilege to be a duck hunter, I’m gonna start with the little critters. I’ve had a shotgun for a while and now I want a rifle for small game hunting. I was thinking just getting a 22 Long Rifle, but the 17HMR looks pretty interesting also. Would I be better off with a 22 Magnum maybe?? I thought I had it narrowed down to a Ruger 10/22 or a Savage MKll, but now I’m starting to second guess myself. What’s the best for a noob squirrel and rabbit killer, with maybe an occasional ground hog or turtle thrown in?
 

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Hard to beat a 10/22. Still plenty ammo to be found, still cheap to shoot, tons and tons of customization options but plenty accurate right out of the box.
My advice for a budding rimfire enthusiast is that a quality scope makes the rifle just like the suit makes the man. And the first thing I’d customize after buying a good scope is a quality trigger group.
Once you’re set up, accuracy can vary widely from one type ammo to the next, so buy several boxes of different stuff and play around some before you hoard.
A clean 10/22 is a happy 10/22. And they last pretty much forever. In my opinion quality is not what it was in some of the older guns, but I read about one at a gun club in Africa that had somewhere in the neighborhood of seven hundred thousand documented rounds down the pipe before they eventually had to replace the firing pin.
 

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A .17 HMR tends to be a little too much for the job. A 10/22 is always a fan favorite. As the man said, a scope and a trigger are really important. For me, the trigger would be my first upgrade. A stock 10/22 trigger is something I can't get along with.

The Savage won't get you laughed out of the woods either. The fact that it comes with the AccuTrigger is a plus. The Savage can be modified but there aren't as many options. A 10/22 can be whatever you want it to be. There are a lot of parts to throw at it.
 

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You Called? Jackie53 Squirrel Eratacation service at your Service..
10/22..Sky the limit on any up Grades you want..And Budget...
Scope ..3×9× 40" Rimfire Scope.."
Lots of Good ones out their..Get one that fits your Budget..

Join a Shooting club or a Shooting/ Squirrel Hunter .Close to ya..
Arkansas Hunting.net Squirrel hunting Forum..
Youtube Videos...,Arky or Reb On the Squirrel hunting Forum..Best advice anywhere..
Good Hunting..
 

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If you told me you were gonna dump me in the forrest and I could chose one .22lr rifle it would be a 10/22 or Marlin model 60. In a true survival situation I might give the Marlin the edge simply for the tube magazine.
For a first .22 the 10/22 would be incredibly hard to beat. Back in my ammo manufacturing days I was on a project where we used many different .22 rifles. We used them hard and put thousands of rounds per day through them. Those two rifles stood above all others. We did break a few but putting 250,000 rounds on guns in six months will do that. I once put 1000 rounds through a 10/22 as fast as I could pull the trigger and swap 25 round magazines. Two guys were loading mags and I was pulling the trigger. No misfires, no mis feeds, and that gun was smoking!
 

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You Called? Jackie53 Squirrel Eratacation service at your Service..
10/22..Sky the limit on any up Grades you want..And Budget...
Scope ..3×9× 40" Rimfire Scope.."
Lots of Good ones out their..Get one that fits your Budget..

Join a Shooting club or a Shooting/ Squirrel Hunter .Close to ya..
Arkansas Hunting.net Squirrel hunting Forum..
Youtube Videos...,Arky or Reb On the Squirrel hunting Forum..Best advice anywhere..
Good Hunting..
/thread
 

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10/22s are great fun. But you can honestly pick just about any .22 and go kill squirrels and rabbits.

If I was just starting on small game, I'd get a 12 or 20 guage and a box of 1 1/4oz 6s and go shoot stuff. Little harder this time of year but you'll find a lot more success and more room for error.
 

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Can't go wrong with a Ruger 10/22. It's one of the best when factoring price/performance/reliability. Get you a decent scope in the $100-$200 price range and you're set. If you buy a nice bolt gun, spend a little more on the scope. When you get your first mess of squirrels, holler at Jackie. He'll turn you on to an air fryer, thousand island recipe that'll knock your socks off.
 

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for accuracy, and not having to mess with the rifle to get that accuracy, the savage is hard to beat. I have a 10/22, though, and it shoots good enough. mine is a longer barrelled stainless model, and it has been beat to crap and keeps going... thousands of rounds through it with just minimal cleaning... a real testament to the rifle. it has jammed a few times with really cheap ammo, which is my specialty.
 

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Well, K-Mo, as you can, tell, everyone has an opinion on this topic! Here's my free advice, worth every penny. I wouldn't bother with the more powerful cartridges for squirrel hunting. Squirrels hang out in places with lots of tree limbs, so you aren't likely to get many shots longer than 50 yds. A good 22LR sighted in for 50 yards should be perfect. I see lots of love for the 10/22 here, and it's a fine gun, but off-the-rack it may not be accurate enough for reliable head shots on squirrels. A bolt action is always going to be more accurate than a semi-auto. An off-the-rack Savage bolt-action with the accutrigger will put shots on a dime.
I agree with the guy who said you will kill more with a shotgun, but it isn't nearly as satisfying as dropping a squirrel with a solid head shot!
Also agree with buying several different brands of ammo and spending some time shooting from a solid rest to figure out which shoots the smallest groups in your gun. You will see a lot of variation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I’ve got a line on a used Savage with a Nikon scope for pretty cheap. But I don’t want to buy a gun I can find ammo for. So I’m currently beating the bushes trying to flush out an assortment of quality 22 long rifle ammo. As soon as I find a small stash, I’m going to buy the rifle. Sounds like I need a Ruger also.
 

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Commish Weld
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It sounds like you have made up your mind. The Ruger 10/22 can be a great hunting rifle, and the sky is the limit for customization. If you want a bolt gun, a Savage MKII is tough to beat for the money. However the Ruger American with the flush mag is really nice bolt gun too. I would add that a good scope will be a big help in your ability to hit squirrels. With the optics, you will get what you pay for (in general). I would also say that all 22lr ammo is not made equally. I am a fan of CCI. It is not the most expensive and it is not the cheapest. They have pretty dang good ammo for the money. You will have to find out what your future rifle likes to eat in order to squeeze all the accuracy out of it.

I would stay away from the 17HMR. It is just too much for squirrels. However if you really want to hunt for ammo, get a 17M2. IMHO it is the perfect squirrel round and extreeeemly accurate. With my stock MKII off a bench, I can shoot a 3 shot group (at 40 yards) that is the diameter of a 22LR bullet.

All that being said, I really like CZ rifles. The 512 Carbine is a really handy semi auto 22 that is dang accurate for a semi auto. The mags are expensive though. My most accurate 22 is a CZ scout 475 (thanks to Xring working his magic on it). Off the bench in the Sniper Dome with CCI standard velocity it will shoot tiny little groups.
 
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