Author Topic: Good Squirrel Calibers  (Read 21247 times)

BrownBear

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2008, 06:59:53 PM »
It's always struck me that folks are so careful about fabric thickness for their shooting patches, but many are darned sloppy about what they use for cleaning and swabbing patches.  Yet, bore fit for the patch/jag combo has a huge influence on fouling accumulation.

If you've got a good tight fit for swabbing, you're just going to accumulate less fouling.  You're also likely to have to swab less often.  I used to cuss my 32 for fouling when using old t-shirt for swabs.  Got some heavier flannel and POOF!  That 32 was so impressed it decided to quit fouling so much. 

Daryl

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2008, 07:03:15 PM »
DP- I've been 'told' that Hornady sells both pure lead buck shot as well as the normal alloyed stuff.  Even the 'hard' buck is softer than WW metal.  Of course, I am not referring to the pure or almost lead wheel weights, the glue-on strip type.

Levy

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2008, 08:19:21 PM »
I've been able to retrieve very few of the #2 swaged buckshot that I've fired at squirrels (don't remember what brand).  Most of them go right on through (20 grains of 3fff) .  The ones that I have retrieved have been very flattened out (maybe they just met with more opposition).  My impression is that they were pretty soft.  I haven't tried shooting with a harder alloy.

James Levy

WRDSMTH

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2008, 05:16:52 PM »
I have a question for you squirrel hunters who use a flintlock. Is it possible for the little buggers to "jump the flash"? I have missed a number of "easy" shots lately...the last one being at 21 steps with the rifle resting across my knees!!!I use a .32 with 20grs. of powder and normally try for head shots.

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2008, 08:47:07 PM »
I've got a couple of 29/30 calibers as well as a good 32, but the one that is a little different is the 22 percussion that I built for my grandson a number of years ago. Instead of trying to handle 22 RB and patches we shot 22 lead pellets with a 22 long rifle case for a charger. Surprisingly it was pretty accurate, on calm days, out to 20 +/- yards and packed quite a little punch.
Mark
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Daryl

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2008, 04:31:41 AM »
Jump the flash?  I doubt that very much. With a good lock, ignition is almost instantaneous. Lock work, as RB indicated might be a solution if your's is slow.

northmn

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2008, 02:41:15 PM »
Other than use in a squirrel rifle, I cannot imagine a use for pure lead buckshot as it would not pattern as well as alloyed.  It is surprising how much a little tin or antimony will harden lead, but likely not so much to matter really.  Just make them harder to load.  I have had days when I thought critters "jumped the flash" as I know I could not have missed that shot.  Targets can do that too on some days, no matter how well I staple them down.  Seriously, even with modern rifles I have made less than perfect hits because the critter decides to take a step during the trigger sqeeze.  You just start to pull the trigger, theres no going back, and the critter moves.   Had that happen on a couple of deer that got hit less than ideal.  Easily could miss a small game animal.

DP

Mike R

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2008, 04:44:31 PM »
I had to grin when Daryl commented that he had seen a grouse disintegrate when hit with a .32 rd ball...knowing how much powder he normally uses behind a ball, there is no wonder!  ;D  [but of course you can kill a spruce grouse with a thrown stick].  If I remember the ballistic info properly, the .32 rd ball weighs ~ same as a .22 LR bullet and travels ~ same velocity with a reasonable charge [or can be goosed up to .22 mag vel].  That is why I say it is comparable to the .22--the biggest difference being the diameter of the hole [which is a factor].  No doubt a squirrel can be killed in any number of ways with any number of calibers [or bird shot].  I have killed squirrels [and bigger animals]with a BB gun.  My father routinely hunted everything from quail to pheasant , including squirrels and rabbits, with #8 birdshot out of a 20 gauge!  I never saw him lose a game animal he shot at--but he was a crack shot with his mod choked old Remington Mod 11.  Down in Texas last week some hunters were using #6 on the little bobwhites and kidded me about the #8s and #7.5s I had.  Each to his own.  I like to scale the bullet or shot to the game.  Shooting a squirrel with a large bore rifle is akin to deer hunting with a howitzer. Where I live it is illegal to use any rifle >.36 for small game.  My stubby arthritic fingers fumble with the tiny .32 pills and I cannot imagine using .25s--maybe that is why the bullet loading blocks were invented?

Daryl

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2008, 06:45:28 PM »
I hear you Mike. I think the fellow was using 30 ro 35gr.(stricken pyro) in the .32.- nothing but feathers and some sinue left.  The longitudinal shot up the hoop at a sprue grouse in a tree allowed the ball to pass full length.  We(I) reduced his load to 15gr. on the measure and he at least left something for the pot on the next one.

northmn

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2008, 04:03:19 AM »
Thread kind of got some juices flowing, so to speak.  Went out and shot a grey squirrel with my 40.  It finally stoped running and stood still long enough to shoot out of a tall old oak.  Hit the shoulders instead of the head and it didn't even kick when it hit the ground.  Can't say it did all too much damage and really wasn't all that dramatic.  Would have had to throw away the shoulders no matter what.  Used a 45ACP case full of 3f, about 30 grains and a Hornady swaged ball.  The 40 is not all that bad.

DP

Offline wvmtnman

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2008, 04:43:08 AM »
Every time I have shot a squirrel with a muzzleloader, they have hit the ground and never moved a muscle...All except for one time which really freaked me out.  I swear on everything that this is true.  A few Saturdays ago I was squirrel hunting and saw two running around.  One stopped long enough for me to pull the trigger.  I aimed for the head.  After I shot the squirrel, it fell off the tree and started rolling down the hill toward me.   (The distance between me and the squirrel was 25-30 yards.)   Then it started running down the hill, still toward me.   I did not move.  I was afraid that I would scare it into a brush pile before it died. 
     After it did not move for a second or two I took a step toward it.  It started to burrow in a thick pile of leaves, I moved toward it quickly to pick it up by the tail and bang it's head into a tree, to kill it.  When I picked it up and looked at it I almost fell over.  The squirrel was missing it's head!  The only thing left was the top portion of it's skull and the skin/fur on top of that.  Everything from it's ears forward and below was gone.  EVEN THE BRAIN!  I still don't know how that thing did all that moving in that condition.  Just one of those weird things hunters sometimes encounter.
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BrownBear

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2008, 07:10:19 AM »
Reminds me of chickens.  When our ages were still in single digits my younger brother and I discovered that if you didn't hold them down when lopping heads, the carcasses would run all over the place while spraying great spouts of blood.  The trouble started when we discovered that we could aim those scurrying headless projectiles.  Right into the adjacent hog pen, where they were immediately pounced and eaten.  Okay, that was the fun part.  The not-fun part started when our grandmother caught us in the act. :o

Offline pathfinder

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2013, 10:33:59 PM »
I cant understand all this talk of head shooting squirrle's? How ya gonna tan their hides if ya blow their brains out?
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2013, 03:44:42 AM »
I cant understand all this talk of head shooting squirrle's? How ya gonna tan their hides if ya blow their brains out?
I wondered when someone would bring that up.  grab some bark and make the tea, that way you get a little firmer leather... :D
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Offline PPatch

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2013, 04:34:01 AM »
Reminds me of chickens.  When our ages were still in single digits my younger brother and I discovered that if you didn't hold them down when lopping heads, the carcasses would run all over the place while spraying great spouts of blood.  The trouble started when we discovered that we could aim those scurrying headless projectiles.  Right into the adjacent hog pen, where they were immediately pounced and eaten.  Okay, that was the fun part.  The not-fun part started when our grandmother caught us in the act. :o

And your (good) story reminds me of the afternoon my aunt asking her son and I to go "fetch" two roasting chickens out of the yard for supper. He and I went out and tried to catch a couple, got flustered cause they evaded our every move, then had a brainstorm - the .22 rifle! Excited we retrieved the old bolt action from over the door in her and her husband Billy's bedroom. We each took a turn killing a chicken, success. But short lived, aunt Mable was fit to be tied - those .22 LR hollow points had made a wreck of her chickens.

dave
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Shootrj2003

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2013, 09:33:36 PM »
.36or.32 is as small as I can see going if I stopped using my .36 as a small game rifle what would I use it for? Besides paper?not legal for deer.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2013, 10:18:22 PM »
.36or.32 is as small as I can see going if I stopped using my .36 as a small game rifle what would I use it for? Besides paper?not legal for deer.
in your jurisdiction.  36 is legal in mine for all(!) big game-but i'd only try it on the whitetails and then at archery distances with perfect presentations.  a man has to know his limitations (some determined by his armament others by legislation).

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Offline David R.

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2013, 12:59:06 AM »
When I was young I always hunted squirrels with birdshot. My grandmother considered squirrel brains a delecacy and she would always complain if I cut off the heads when I cleaned them. "You threw away the best part!" she would say.
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Offline Dean2

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2013, 06:27:50 PM »
I have a flint in LH 32. It is a great gun and the Douglas Barrel on it will shoot from 10 to 40 grains into little holes at 50 yards. More than enough for small game all the way to deer under the right circumstances and where legal. I have never shot anything smaller but with 3F and the right patch, ball, lube I have never had any issues with it fouling.

Offline C Wallingford

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2013, 08:13:27 PM »
I am currently working on a 30 caliber. Many years ago I had a 30 caliber rifle with a  Bill Large barrel and that thing was a tack driver. Hopefully this one will do the same.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 08:14:03 PM by C Wallingford »

Offline hanshi

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2013, 11:14:55 PM »
wvmtnman, Whatcha bet that squirrel was a Democrat?

All seriousness aside, I found my .32 perfect for squirrels.  Damage was no more than a .22LR HP.  I now use a .36 and it's not much more damaging than the .32.
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Offline Pat_Cameron

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2013, 06:51:19 AM »
Squirrels, squirrel rifles, squirrel hunting, Squirrel recipes.
Gods way of saying you need to go for a walk in the woods.

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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2013, 07:06:43 PM »
Jump the flash?  I doubt that very much. With a good lock, ignition is almost instantaneous. Lock work, as RB indicated might be a solution if your's is slow.

I suspect I have had 2 deer do this over the years. One I am pretty sure of. One shot killed the deer anyway, the other gave the deer a "limp" ear from an attempted frontal neck shot (all I could see was head and neck) at about 40 yards. Good good hold, good break. I knew the deer was dead. No deer. Some, walking in circles, then trailing (no blood) and finally looking them (she was with 8-10 others) over from about 600 yards (close as I could get due to property lines) showed one doe with a floppy ear. Anyone who watches the outdoor channel and sees the way deer can duck an arrow when they hear the string will understand. Especially in slo-mo. Larger critters are not so agile. PROVING this would require shooting a number of deer on camera...
I suspect this is why the powerful atl-atl was replaced by the relatively anemic bow. Smaller critters would pick up the movement and be gone when the dart arrived.
This depends on the individual animal too. Some are far more "spring loaded" than others. I have shot past bucks during the rut, bullet passing withing feet, with HV rifles to kill a doe and the buck would not even get out of his bed...
Dan
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Good Squirrel Calibers
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2013, 08:11:32 PM »
it's settled, the ideal squirrel hunting caliber is your most accurate hunting weight rifle anywhere from ~20 to ~40 caliber. 

go get 'em.  ;)
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