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30-6

Air rifle power for squirrel

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We have all heard that squirrel are tough little critters, but any sensible energy level of an air rifle placed correctly should be effective.

I don't want to use a baiting situation as walking around quietly in the woods for exercise is important to me as a helping hand towards arthritis to keep mobile.

But here is my dillema. Don't want to use a shotgun so i've been using 11.5 ft /lbs with a 16g and a 34 ft/lbs with 18g fac. Both are dropping them with sensible range shooting, most however can cover a few yds before expiring. Shot placement is head or heart. 

So, in a walk and stalk scenario what's the feeling for sub 12 or fac ?  Are the new pellets out, beginning with D, can't remember the name, with a cross on the head the latest super duper must have . 

I would add I have trapped a few in their garden for the owners, but this post is specifically requesting air rifle advice.

Cheers in advance.

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Both your guns have plenty of power its all about shot placement ..oh and squirrels always take a few seconds to expire even with a shotty .

Dont worry about it and carry on .

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Search Teds Holdover,  Headshots. On Youtube. Sorry awful at doing links.

Explains the science behind why stuff bounces about after an instant kill.

Shoot a lot of squirrels and use JSB Exact in 177 and JSB Express in 22.( both sub 12 ).

In my rifles they give the best accuracy and if I do my job right they work perfectly. 

I only take body shots  ( ribs or between shoulder blades )when stalking them. Can't speak for a F.A.C. but sub 12 avoid the shoulder.

Study squirrel anatomy on 'google images' and size of the brain and heart are smaller than most folk would imagine.

In view of this it seems reasonable to suggest that a lot of body shots are through the lungs.

 

 

 

 

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20191028_130434.thumb.jpg.da0020a5c74a2d70bcbc0df5ae470873.jpg

This lot was shot with me old falcon. Which was recently chronoed by my mate and is doing under 10ft lbs. But sorted now 

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11 hours ago, 30-6 said:

don't want to use a baiting situation as walking around quietly in the woods for exercise is important to me as a helping hand towards arthritis to keep mobile.

I understand you not wanting to sit about, but putting up a feeder the birds can access as well would give a central point to bring the squirrels in and help the birds through winter. 

I would expect most animals to go a short distance with H&L and with head shots, if you hit them slightly high they can still go a short distance. Some drop clean, some flip about.

20191216_224125.jpg.fe3b0bcedb7cf3256f7b263b3066ec56.jpg

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Mostly as above.  I use an AA S200 in 22  JSBs but to be honest any pellet accurately put just behind the eye of a tree rat will kill it.  My normal shots are 20yrds or under and head BUT there are occasions when I have to take a body shot and always wait to get a full sideways on shot and put it, as I do with any deer I shoot, just in that litle dimple behind the front shoulder ....heart lungs.  Invariably a tree rat shot there will bounce about for a few seonds until the fuel runs out.  At present all of my set ups are safe for the 22RF so my new Browning T Bolt is getting plenty of action.

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For mammals it is heart and lung for me every time whatever gun or calibre. Virtually always guaranteed a kill. Largest target area. 

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As said you’ve plenty of power n the latest design pellet won’t make any difference.They simply tough animals n nothing but a perfect shot will drop them on the spot,and a heart lung shot your bound to get some that will run some .Last time I was out I had 7 all head shot but a couple needed another shot ,they weren’t going anywhere one I thought was down n out started moving minutes after.Its hunting and it happens  

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2 hours ago, Robertt said:

Search Teds Holdover,  Headshots. On Youtube. Sorry awful at doing links.

Explains the science behind why stuff bounces about after an instant kill.

Shoot a lot of squirrels and use JSB Exact in 177 and JSB Express in 22.( both sub 12 ).

In my rifles they give the best accuracy and if I do my job right they work perfectly. 

I only take body shots  ( ribs or between shoulder blades )when stalking them. Can't speak for a F.A.C. but sub 12 avoid the shoulder.

Study squirrel anatomy on 'google images' and size of the brain and heart are smaller than most folk would imagine.

In view of this it seems reasonable to suggest that a lot of body shots are through the lungs.

 

 

 

 

This one?

 

 

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It's the JSB Hades pellets your thinking of and they will work very well in your fac gun as they will get the expected expansion.

Or even better at longer ranges the FX Hybrid slugs.

Edited by figgy

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Just my opinion on pellet use. I found that using pellets with a point on (so called 'hunting pellets') resulted in more delayed or none kills due to the reduced damage during pass through. These necessitate a much more accurate shot placement. A 'blunter' or softer pellet is much more likely to hit the vitals. 

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We have in back yard time to time as we got bird feeders in the past the bloody have chewed through the bird feeder string and took the container over next doors fence also chewed other bits of the bird feeders we now just our mad dog out and she does the rest she shake the hell out she copped any 

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On 27/01/2020 at 07:44, Jim71 said:

Just my opinion on pellet use. I found that using pellets with a point on (so called 'hunting pellets') resulted in more delayed or none kills due to the reduced damage during pass through. These necessitate a much more accurate shot placement. A 'blunter' or softer pellet is much more likely to hit the vitals. 

Accurate shot placement is the goal regardless of shape.

Scaled up to human sizes a .22 pellet would be close to 3" diameter ( I guess ).

Something that size going through your brain is fatal.

Velocity or shape wouldn't matter.

Not sure what you mean by ' .... more accurate shot placement.'

If your not siming at the brain or heart, where are you aiimng ?

 

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7 hours ago, Robertt said:

Accurate shot placement is the goal regardless of shape.

Scaled up to human sizes a .22 pellet would be close to 3" diameter ( I guess ).

Something that size going through your brain is fatal.

Velocity or shape wouldn't matter.

Not sure what you mean by ' .... more accurate shot placement.'

If your not siming at the brain or heart, where are you aiimng ?

 

I agree Robert, the shape is irrelevant. It is accuracy that kills.

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I think what he means is that pointed pellets pass through too easily and don't displace the full amount of energy into the target, as always a decent well placed shot will kill, or make it appear to die quicker, but something that transfers the energy will often drop it in the spot quicker. Some cling on, some run, some hop about, but if you've hit it right it's dead even if it runs 3 yards then drops. As stu said just carry on.

Flat heads are ideal imo but they generally destabilise after 20+ yards so become ineffective. I personally only use round headed pellets as you get good penetration with ample energy transfer with a stable flightpath/accuracy. 

Speaking for sub 12ftlb always go for the most accurate pellet, accuracy is everything. 

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Just quickly made up this graph .showing my interpretation of the effectiveness of pellets on quarry at range .

In this case .177 s and rabbits but the trends are the same for other quarry and cals  .as you can see there is prefered pellet depending on range  .

If your shooting around 20 - 25 yds there is little difference between them and you may as well choose the most accurate  

But if your at 10 yds then the flat head will give the best results as long as its accurate  enough (which it should be).

At very long range the heavy dome would be best due to its greater energy retention  .

And as always the middle ground is the best option for the widest range of effectiveness  .

IMG_20200129_125456.jpg

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The big plus of modern air rifles is the outstanding accuracy they provide.

Energywise the muzzle energy is not great, similar to a .22LR 40g at 1100 fps at a 1000 yards.

Humane hunting is down to the ability to shoot straight and judge windage and tradjectory AND to know the anatomy of the quarry and the lack of this knowledge is,  in my opinion is were things go wrong.

When I started air rifle hunting I shot a large buck rabbit though the ' heart ' and was amazed to see it leg it for 60 yards and then keel over.

Out of curiosity I did a PM and realised the heart wasn't where I thought it was and it was lung shot.

No pellet of any configuration whatsoever would have changed thiis outcome.

As stated placement and internal knowledge of the intended quarry is paramount and one should use the most accurate pellet avaiable to achieve this.

 

 

 

 

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My father in law has now got a .177 bsa r10 appsolute tac driver i can put 10 AA fields in the same hole at 40m with it. Hes a new shooter but wants to hunt.  Understanable. But a new shooter

My advuce to anyone no matter how long youve been shooting for is paper.. close near and far. Understand your rifle.. Practice your shot placements for all ranges. Prone nealing and standing. If you struggle with one practice more.. untill you can keep doing it. 

 

Only then should you go hunting and then you should know where the kill zones are and the effectivness of your shot at range given. 

 

If its not a safe shot /clean kill do not even touch the trigger

Edited by Arron yeates

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Agree .after all the above .is learning what factors make you miss .

Ie .wind .elevation . Distance .light .

Then the human elements .of tiredness .out of breath .poor shooting position .

Differences between prone and seated .etcc.

The list is endless and most comes only with experience  and time .

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