Arkansas Hunting banner
1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious about "real world" squirrel hunting 22lr accuracy. Here is my issue. My rifles shoot great from the controled enviornment of a shooting bench. In the woods however, squirrels do not sit still, limbs get in the way, and I don't squirrel hunt from a sandbagged bench. Most of my shots end up being off hand or just slightly supported. I rest the rifle against a tree, my leg or knee when I can. It is a major differnce than what your gun can do off the bench.

My goal is to be able to head shoot squirrles out to about 50 yards. My current 22 is a marlin model 60 with a Leupold Rifleman 2-7 mounted on it. I did a test today and set up a spinning squirrel target at 50 yards and shot at it standing on my back porch from realistic hunting shooting stances. I shot leaning the rifle against a post and off hand. I was aiming at the squirrels head. I hit the squirrel 4 out of 10 shots. The trigger is terrible on that marlin but the gun is accurate. I dropped down and rested on a backpack on top of my grill and hit it 10 out of 10 shots. So the gun is accurate. Do yall experience rougly the same results with your rifles?

I am toying with picking up a CZ 455 American or building a Ruger 10-22 and putting an aftermarket trigger in it. Do you think my "real world" hunting accuracy would improve with a rifle like this? Is my standard of headshots out to 50 yards in hunting conditions to high?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
88,032 Posts
If it hits from the bench but not off hand then you need to check the loose nut behind the trigger...

The Marlin 60 will do it, if you are looking for a reason to buy a new rifle we are here to support you.

As you know, aftermarket triggers are basically non existent for the Marlins. I've done a little work on mine but it's my gun and if I screw it up it's still my gun.

Good quality ammo (not cheap bulk pack stuff), a good trigger, a good rest and LOTS of time behind the trigger is what it'll take to get proficient at hitting squirrels in the head consistently at 50 yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
Ammo, trigger, optics, shooter. The gun can only shoot as well as the ammo you feed it. With a crappy trigger you are not get the optimum accuracy from the gun. With low quality optics you are getting a low quality image, which affects your ability to see the target and your ability to hit it. Unless you are shooting with open sights. And if you are routinely head shooting squirrels at 50 yards with open sights you certainly don't need to be taking input from the rest of us. And, as was mentioned above, a poor shooter becomes a better shooter with lots of trigger time.

It's probably not realistic to expect a high percentage of offhand head shots at that distance. But it's certainly a possibility with a rest and stationary animals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,150 Posts
Typical for me to miss offhanded,so I rarely take a shot without a tree for a rest.Im shooting a 541t that will shoot 100x better than I can hold it.I have learned over the years to never stop a stalk without a tree for a rest.PATIENCE WHILE HUNTING WITH A RIMFIRE IS A LEARNED TRAIT!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
The rest or lack thereof is obviously a major factor in hunting accuracy. This season I've been shooting a pre-war Mauser .22 rifle with a really early Weaver scope. It's freakishly accurate, especially when you consider that it's at least 75 years old and the scope is 50 years old or better. I haven't killed a lot of squirrels this season, 25 or less, but I've only missed twice. Both misses were offhand shots, one at a runner, which I really thought I should have hit, and the other at an undisturbed young squirrel sitting on the ground at the barrel stretching range of maybe 15 feet. Still haven't figured out what happened there, but I killed him on the next shot when he ran up a tree and I had a rest. Had several head shots in my total, some with a rest, some without, at least three of them were over 60 yards. Also had several unfortunate hits in that total. All of those were offhand. With that rifle and a rest I am confident of a head shot on a stationary squirrel out to 50 plus yards. It's so routine it's almost boring. Offhand, it's possible but it sure ain't likely. As someone mentioned above, plan your stalks to stop at a tree for a rest.
 

·
Premium Member
Commish Weld
Joined
·
22,906 Posts
This year I have squirrel hunted a bunch. I think the best way to improve your offhand shot is practice that way. I know my offhand shooting ability has increased tremendously simply because I have shot that way so much. Of course I cannot match my bench accuracy, but I have a squirrel pop up target set up at 50 yards. I can kill it offhand very consistently (head and chest shots). Practice shooting like you are going to hunt. I primarily shoot a Rem 552 with a Leupold 2x7x32 using winchester HP. I am sure there are some tips and tricks for accurizing your Model 60 over at Rimfire Central.

You can get a small Prarie Dog pop up target at Academy for 20 bucks. Screw it to a stump and try to shoot the rifling out of your barrel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,370 Posts
I shoot the close squirrels offhand with no rest when they get to 50 I find a rest or don't shoot. My CZ is capable of head shots at 50. I went through 4 other rifles before I settled on the CZ. I do have an aftermarket trigger improvement in my Savage and CZ. They are both light and it really helps. I have weaver 3 to 9s on both of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
I've got a 455 American and a 10-22 that I built. You wont go wrong with either one if you choose to upgrade rifles. Off a bench, they both will put 5 shots in one ragged hole at 50 with ammo they like. They both have 1.5 to 2 lb triggers also. That being said, I agree with the above posts. I would start with some trigger work and see if that doesn't help you. Practice from your expected shooting positions would be my next step. I cary an extendable monopod with me in case a tree is not close by. If I never use it for a rest, it makes a good walking stick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,685 Posts
Good thread..........

Good luck on finding shells for the .410!!

I've had shoulder surgery on left shoulder, and had a rib removed........it's hard for me to shoot offhand.

Here's a question.......I have a tricked out .22 mag, Savage, with a heck of a scope, more than a .22 needs.......but it's what I had. I want to start squirrel hunting again.....what would be wrong with shooting the WMR in FMJ at squirrels?
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top