Should I buy a Air Rifle, .410 SG, or .22 Squirrel Hunting

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by Jmg198, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Jmg198

    Jmg198 New Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    I can't decide whether to buy a .177 or .22 Air Rifle, a .410 caliber shotgun, or a .22 rifle. I have done some research on the air rifles but don't know a great deal about the .22 rifles or .410 shotguns.I currently hunt squirrels with either a 12 or 20 guage. Most of the time I place more shot into the squirrels than I would like to, for eating purposes. I hunt in an wooden area where homes are off in the distance. I would love to hear some pros and cons for each type and what make and models you would recommend under $200. Or should I save and purchase something greater than $200. Thanks
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2007
  2. Sturm&Rugerfan

    Sturm&Rugerfan New Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    what state do you live in, I live in Western PA no air guns are legal for hunting period. even though I have one 1000fps and louder than my CZ 452 22lr was. air rifles are good for practice like 22lr are. See how much 410 rounds are and look up your state hunting laws on allowable means of dispatching critters.

  3. Jmg198

    Jmg198 New Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    As far as I can tell it is legal to hunt here in Maryland with a Air Rifle. I am looking on the Maryland DNR website for Firearms regulations. It says that rifles can be used to hunt forest game. I might have to ask someone in the DNR system. (The website page is I have read a few accounts of some airguns not lasting very long and even snapping in half. How is yours holding up Sturm?

    I have resently read a book titled "The Ultimate Guide to Shotgunning" by David R. Henderson. I learned a great deal of information from this book. Especially the importance of knowing what pattern your gun puts out and with what brand and load your using with that gun. Knowing the pattern of my gun may help in my squirrel hunting effort.

    The .410 bore may be the best choice for me since I will be hunting in a slightly populated area. I just think that it would be fun to pluck a squirrel off with one projectile instead of 50. I wouldn't need to worry about biting down on lead shot either.

    Does anyone else have a helpful opinion or agree? Thanks
  4. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    North Idaho
    Personally I would stick with a 22 or a 410 shotgun. I prefer a 22 but if you are in a congested area of course there is the added necessity of a proper backstop for your shots. Most of my squirrel hunting was in an area that I was miles from any habitation. I still like a 22, like you I don't like picking the shot out of the squirrels. Dad always had me shoot the squirrels in the head which irritated Grandpa as he liked to cook the heads. Daddy said head shots so Grandpa was out voted on that one. Most of the time anyway. I personally would not go with the air rifle but that is just my opinion. I have a CZ22 long rifle that I sold a Remington target rifle as the CZ shoots so much better. The cost of the CZ is about $200.00 which is in your stated price range. I would probably put a 2.5X8 Leupold scope on it also,expensive I know but they are great scopes. Makes a great squirrel rifle. Don't know if this helps but its my story and I'm sticking to it. catfish
  5. durk

    durk Active Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    I don't know the price of the .17 HMR but have you considered them?
  6. Jmg198

    Jmg198 New Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    I haven't looked at either the CZ 22 long rifle or the .17 HMR. Would either of you happen to know of a good website to find information on these firearms?

    While looking for information on the CZ22 I found a youtube video titled "Shooting CZ22long". I watched it and I would give it two thumbs down. If your bored and have nothing else to do I would recommend that you watch it.
    Thanks for the help.
  7. chim

    chim New Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    united kingdom

    try this site i have a .22lr and the .17hmr both good guns shoot great straight out the box for the money .as for air rifles they have there place as well as the rim fire i have two .177 great for close shots at 30-45 yards oh buy the way mine are 12lb pcp's guns
    hoped this helped
    rgds chim;)
  8. Michael G

    Michael G New Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Garland Texas
    I own a German made RWS air rifle with an air rifle scope in .177 cal. Sweet gun. Not cheap though.

    I guess you first need to decide what type of hunting you want to do. Do you want long shots (22 rimfire) or do you want to test your ability to get closer and do head shots with an air rifle and not eat lead.
    Be advised though, if you get a quality air rifle without a scope and later want to install one. It needs to be a scope made for air rifles. I found out by doing some research that an air rifle will break a regular rifle scope over time due to the forward and rear recoil of an air rifle. It has something to do with the inner seals of the scope.
  9. Jmg198

    Jmg198 New Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    Thanks for your input Michael G. I will take it into consideration and take a look at the RWS air rifle. I have been practicing still hunting (without a gun) with the squirrels in my fathers back woods and am getting quite good. I can get within about ten feet without then getting scared or barking at me. While deer hunting in the stand this year I almost had a squirrel take a seat next to me. The squirrel jumped into the tree I was in from the tree beside me and proceeded to walk down toward me. It got within about 3 feet when I threw my arms in the air. It stayed still for a second or two and then bolted away. I got scared that it might jump on my head or something. I don't want to find out what thier claws will do to my skin.
  10. BillP

    BillP New Member

    Nix the airgun unless you need to shoot the "tame" squirrels in town. Go with the shotgun if downrange safety issues are a problem. Keep in mind that 410 shells are comparatively expensive. Not much data on this as they are new but in theory the 17s should present less of a downrange safety issue when fired at high angles as the bullet only weighs half of what a .22 LR does. Keep in mind that you can buy .22 shorts, BB caps, and even CB caps which will work fine in a .22 bolt gun. They do however present the same "humane kill" problems that the air gun does. Airguns and sub power .22s can do the job but range and your ability to hit the most vital areas are important. :)
  11. I recently got a Ruger 10/22 stainless Target model .22LR rifle, and I love it. Put a Weaver 4x32 scope on it, puts holes in paper right where I want 'em. Can't wait to go to the farm in W.Va. and put some holes in ground hogs that are undermining the foundations of the house.
  12. MOS0311

    MOS0311 New Member

    Dec 12, 2007
  13. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    to heck with that, get a .50 bmg, with a 70mm tube and show those squirrels whos boss from two counties over:D
  14. Michael G

    Michael G New Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Garland Texas
    The reason I nixed the 22 and 17 cal. is because of the "houses off in the distance" part of JMG's statement. He also stated that he was tired of eating lead from a shotgun. So the logical alternative is either an accurate pellet gun( if legal) or a slingshot (if legal). Urban squirrels or not. A pellet in the brain will kill it.
  15. Texman

    Texman New Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Personally I would find a good new or second hand 410 bolt action,, like the Stevens I have in the closet.. Perfect for squirrels. and bunnies and bull frogs. Wish I knew how old mine is,, Daddy got it from his mother and I got it from him.. Sweet gun,, fun to shoot.
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