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Old 07-27-2019, 07:58 PM
Merkel

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Dedicated Squirrel Rifle



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I already have numerous 22 long rifles but was thinking of adding a dedicated squirrel rifle for some little longer distances. I figure out to 100 yrds or a little further. I wanted something a little flatter shooting and the 17 interests in the Mach 2 or HMR. This rifle is only a squirrel rifle so any suggestions on caliber and brand? It would be for fall woods hunting while stalking, not a sit on my land in a chair to pick them off so don’t need a bull barrel or rifle that’s too heavy.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:44 PM
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I laid myself off about six years ago and restarted squirrel hunting-
heavy-and messing around on the computer. That's when I found this place! and it seemed like anyway that everybody said the Mach2 was the ultimate squirrel gun. So I stumbled around and found a savage at a pawn shop for not a lot with a 1/2 box of shells, I picked it up and put my little 4 power on it-and fell in love with this round. since then that Savage has moved away but 2 CZs have replaced it, an American and a varmint, the American I bought new and it's got maybe 100 rounds through it, the varmint was used from an estate sale, that's what I carry with a sling, the weight doesn't bother me and I'm a stalker too. I later picked up a/an hmr, but it's loud and the only thing besides paper is 1 woodchuck shot with it, and that would have been dead with a Mach2. I've killed chucks at 85yds, no problem. Longest squirrel was at 85 also. All squirrels are head shot, the biggest problem I had to get used to was the hold-over for closer shots everything else is center the cross hairs and squeeze. A lot of guys use the hmr for squirrels, I don't need the extra 50yds. or noise. Seems odd but to me anyway the mach2 report doesn't seem to spook squirrels as bad as when I carried a 22? seems like more of a pop than crack.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:17 PM
tbates66
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The Mach2 might be your best option and the ammo is readily available at present. My longest shot is 125yds with my Anschutz 1502. The ammo is a bit quirky so don't be surprised iof you miss the same long shot one day that you made the day before. That said, I do very well with my Sako FinnFire II 17HMR. I know it's bit noisier than the M2, but find it is more consistently accurate...very accurate and easily accurate well past 100 yds. Don't think you need to spend for a Sako though. My friend has a Marlin that is quite accurate and another friend has a very accurate CZ; all a bit more consistent than the M2 and in my opinion clearly the best choice for longer shots. Ammo more readily available than M2 and more options.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:17 AM
jm17
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I would go with a 17hmr. I had a 17mach2 and was left with buyers remorse due to a lack of ammo and choices that were consistently accurate. I have several CZ 452's in 22lr and just picked up a used CZ 452 in 17hmr to use as a late season squirrel rifle. The .17 mach2 is a great choice but the lack of ammo choices, in My opinion, make the 17hmr better.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:04 PM
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I think if a good supply of quality ammo was available (hello Ely) there would be no question about my choice being a Mach II. As tbates66 said The ammo is a bit quirky so don't be surprised if you miss the same long shot one day that you made the day before. I sold the one I had just because I could not get ammo to perform consistently. That was back when ammo was really hard to get.

Its a great little round and likely the absolute perfect squirrel round. I have often thought a short barreled, high end, bolt gun with a very light single stage trigger would be perfect for my hunting style.

JMHO
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Last edited by huntschool; 07-28-2019 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by huntschool View Post
I think if a good supply of quality ammo was available (hello Ely) there would be no question about my choice being a March II. As tbates66 said The ammo is a bit quirky so don't be surprised if you miss the same long shot one day that you made the day before. I sold the one I had just because I could not get ammo to perform consistently. That was back when ammo was really hard to get.

Its a great little round and likely the absolute perfect squirrel round. I have often thought a short barreled, high end, bolt gun with a very light single stage trigger would be perfect for my hunting style.

JMHO
hummm? I wonder if that is around Belleville.... I am starting to see more and more of the MachII on the shelves now...

Rick
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:37 PM
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hummm? I wonder if that is around Belleville.... I am starting to see more and more of the MachII on the shelves now...

Rick
ricky9x22

Nope, much further south. Johnson county...….

I will admit there does seem to be more around now but I would not want to bet money on its consistency...… My experience was a number of years ago. However, I have considered looking at the caliber again. Likely in an Anschutz.

JMHO
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Last edited by huntschool; 07-28-2019 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:31 PM
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ricky9x22

Nope, much further south. Johnson county...Ö.

I will admit there does seem to be more around now but I would not want to bet money on its consistency...Ö My experience was a number of years ago. However, I have considered looking at the caliber again. Likely in an Anschutz.

JMHO
I have also been thinking about one, seems ammo is back on the shelves,,, but I just tranfered to Scott AFB from Sheppard AFB in Texas a few months ago and I am just getting out and trying to look around for some squirrel hunting areas. It seems Illinois is not real friendly to out of state folks, (rifles & ammo), but didn't mind taking my money for the out of state hunting licence!
Rick
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkel View Post
I already have numerous 22 long rifles but was thinking of adding a dedicated squirrel rifle for some little longer distances. I figure out to 100 yrds or a little further. I wanted something a little flatter shooting and the 17 interests in the Mach 2 or HMR. This rifle is only a squirrel rifle so any suggestions on caliber and brand? It would be for fall woods hunting while stalking, not a sit on my land in a chair to pick them off so donít need a bull barrel or rifle thatís too heavy.
I have CZ rifles in 22, 17 HMR and 17 HM2. I generally only use the HMR in the late squirrel season when the woods are open, or when Turkey season is also in. The HM2 will make a head/neck shot as far as I can see them, if they sit still long enough. I wouldn't worry about the lack of "match" ammo. Even with the mediocre ammo we can get, it still shoots way better than any .22, and just about as good as the HMR. There is a big difference between shooting good groups and hitting your target in the field. With the first/only shot. I don't hit every squirrel - sometimes I miss. The gun doesn't miss, I do. A good group never killed anything.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:49 PM
jaia
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I apply gramp's first rule of rimfire...

Any rifle can hit a dime every time, if'n ya' get close enough.

The stalk is more critical than the shot in my book. More fun too.

My 1974 model Marlin 60 22lr does fine with both tree rats and floppy ears.
Rarely have to make a shot more than 60 feet, when y'er sneaky and quiet.

Last edited by jaia; 07-29-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:08 PM
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I have said before, sometimes I wish I had never seen a target. I have spinners, big and small, and golf balls hanging, all the way out to 90 yds. On one of those days that I can't seem to get that little ragged hole, for whatever reason, I change over and start popping those spinners and golfballs and it brings me back to earth and makes me realize that after all they are not bench guns but little sporter squirrel rifles. If I can hit a golfball at 90 I can dang well hit a squirrel at 35 to 50! and I agree with Jaia.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:03 PM
mmpsteve
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I have said before, sometimes I wish I had never seen a target. I have spinners, big and small, and golf balls hanging, all the way out to 90 yds. On one of those days that I can't seem to get that little ragged hole, for whatever reason, I change over and start popping those spinners and golfballs and it brings me back to earth and makes me realize that after all they are not bench guns but little sporter squirrel rifles. If I can hit a golfball at 90 I can dang well hit a squirrel at 35 to 50! and I agree with Jaia.
Very well said.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ricky9x22 View Post
I have also been thinking about one, seems ammo is back on the shelves,,, but I just tranfered to Scott AFB from Sheppard AFB in Texas a few months ago and I am just getting out and trying to look around for some squirrel hunting areas. It seems Illinois is not real friendly to out of state folks, (rifles & ammo), but didn't mind taking my money for the out of state hunting licence! Rick
You are right about taking your money.....

It takes me an 1.5 hours to hit Bellville. Check out maps for Shawnee National Forest. Its wide open and mostly Oak/Hickory timber. Generally loaded with tree rats. There are numerous camp grounds scattered around from the Mississippi side to the Ohio river side if you like to camp. A scouting mission might be in order but thats at short term. Squirrel season opens day after tomorrow if ya can stand the ticks and chiggers and heavy foliage.

What are you shooting now ?

Feel free to PM me for more info....
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:15 PM
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Squirrel hunting grew into a full-blown obsession with rimfires, especially the 17s. So when I think of these guns, I always think about them hunting.

Here are some thoughts:

+ Mach 2 is the best tree rat round because its laser flat, so even if your distance estimate is off, you can still hit them in the teeth. When you do, it doesn't make a bloody mess like an HMR and muss up your pants or vest. It rises a falls only 2-inches out to 130 yards or so. Sight it in at 35 yards and everything you can see, you can hit with a head hold.

+ The best Mach 2s currently available are the 1502 Anschutz, which they don't make anymore but can be found on gunbroker and other dark corners of the Internet for $700-$900 with regularity. Lilja makes a Mach 2 barrel for the CZ 455/457 so buy a $300 scout .22lr rifle and making it a Mach 2 is even cheaper. (Mine shoots as good as the Annie, maybe even better but it's too soon to tell.) The Savage guns are the only still in production Mach 2s. I hear good things about the bolt gun and hope to get one, but the A17 is a jam factory.

+ The 17HMR is louder, but flatter longer and great for critters you don't plan to eat or carry home. It makes a mess of things. There are lots of them to choose from, but among mine the new Tikka T1x is my favorite. It shoots good as the ammo can, and handles great. I have an A17 that shoots great, too, but I've sunk more time into making it shoot than I'd like on ponder. It's a good gun, if you want a frustrating and expensive project.

What was the question again? I don't remember. But you got me thinking and ranting...
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:17 PM
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You are right about taking your money.....

It takes me an 1.5 hours to hit Bellville. Check out maps for Shawnee National Forest. Its wide open and mostly Oak/Hickory timber. Generally loaded with tree rats. There are numerous camp grounds scattered around from the Mississippi side to the Ohio river side if you like to camp. A scouting mission might be in order but thats at short term. Squirrel season opens day after tomorrow if ya can stand the ticks and chiggers and heavy foliage.

What are you shooting now ?

Feel free to PM me for more info....
Thank you for the info and yes, I will give you a buzz and chat some! I only have 2 B-Mags up here right now. I plan on going home to Louisiana the first weekend of Sept. and I will bring back a Henry Frontier in 22LR to squirrel hunt with, those 17 wsm will be too much gun for squirrels I think....
Rick
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