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  1. #1

    What .22lr ammo to use for rabbits and pigeons?

    Hi all,
    Anyone got any recommendations on what .22lr ammo I can use for rabbits and pigeons?
    I've bought some Winchester hollow points for clearing rabbits but not sure what to use for pigeons.
    Ideally I would like to keep the pigeon breasts so not sure what ammo would cause less damage if a head shot is not clear.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Young Shot
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    Never dissected a "Flying Rat" but they all dropped to either a hollow point or a solid. Hollow point was messier by far, my ammo was/is hi-speed. I would imagine that standard velocity would be "cleaner".

  3. #3
    Cheers GLS, guess your not a fan of pigeon breast then lol!
    I've also got some eley sub sonics but the RFD said that I'm not allowed to use them for rabbits or pigeon which I found quite strange?

  4. #4
    Young Shot
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    [QUOTE=Longshanx;66569]Cheers GLS, guess your not a fan of pigeon breast then lol!
    .
    Around where I've grown up, and I am 61 years old, pigeons have always been considered a vermin. I know they're closely related to doves so they should be good eating, but never gave it much thought, but since there is season on them and they are treated like a nuisance.

  5. #5
    Veteran neutron619's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshanx View Post
    Cheers GLS, guess your not a fan of pigeon breast then lol!
    I've also got some eley sub sonics but the RFD said that I'm not allowed to use them for rabbits or pigeon which I found quite strange?
    I believe your RFD is talking b*llocks.
    .
    Assuming the conditions on your FAC are amenable, "not allowed" is probably nothing more than his prejudice as to what kind of ammunition he thinks you should use. (The expensive, profitable kind, I expect.)
    .
    I may be wrong, but I've always worked on the basis that, with the exception of deer, there is no species in the UK which we can legally shoot where the law specifies expanding ammunition must be used. It might not be morally advisable to use FMJ / target ammunition to shoot game, but it is legal.
    .
    However, in the case of rabbits and pigeons, for me, it's even more clear cut. Given that both will fall over with as little as a piece of #7 shot hitting them in the right place, I don't care what you use, provided you're sure you're going to hit the vitals. If it's a choice between accurate subsonic ammunition with the "wrong" kind of bullet, or high-speed expanding ammunition with which you can't get a even a 2" group, it's the "wrong" bullet for me every time.
    .
    On a red deer, that would probably be the other way round, but either way, you have to be practical and humane, not just one or the other. It's no use shooting the "right" bullet if you have no idea whether you're going to hit a target the size of a 5p piece.
    .
    Oh, and if you're going to take head shots at pigeons, shoot low-ish. Most of the gubbins that makes them work is actually in the upper neck. I've once or twice seen birds with skull casings and faces shot off, brains destroyed, still wandering around - I imagine - somewhat confused. Put it this way - I have a strong stomach and the first time I saw that, it was pretty horrific.
    Freedom is having the right to offend and be offended; politeness is temporarily eschewing that right in respect of others; maturity is understanding the compromise and applying it.

  6. #6
    Should give it a try GLS pigeon breast when cooked right is rather tasty 😉

  7. #7
    Thanks neutron, for the advice,
    all I've got in my head now is the picture of that pigeon wondering round like something from the walking dead😂.
    Think I may use a shotgun for the pigeon😉

  8. #8
    Beginner
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    I'm turning up late to this party, but I'll add my 2 pen'orth for what it's worth ..

    Neutron is correct on his assumption r.e. your RFD.

    I find that 40gr Winchester subs work well in both of my rifles (a bolt and a semi) so I stick with them, although I'm yet to get around to trying the newer 42 gr version now on the market. Rabbit's, squirrels, pigeon and the odd Charlie all fall over nicely if you put the hole where it needs to be, and that's the important part. Find ammo that works well, producing good tight groups from your rifle. Practice enough at various ranges to learn hold-over and hold-under as well as any windage so that you can consistently put the lead where it will do the job quickly and cleanly and there's very little if any legitimate .22 quarry that you can't drop instantly with sub-sonic ammo.

    I know some people prefer faster ammo, and longer shots obviously need less hold-over with this, but the increased noise levels mean that you may as well be shooting with .17HMR or .204 Ruger. Your moderator will cut out a lot of the 'bang' from the powder burning but will do nothing to eliminate the sonic crack of the bullet leaving the gun.

    If meat damage is of that much of a concern, you could try using some even less powerful ammo with solid heads such as RWS Z-Lang. These make using your rimfire a little like using an FAC rated pre-charged air rifle and will produce around 50 ft lbs of energy at the muzzle. With a good moderator on your rifle these make less noise that a break-barrel air rifle going off and work plenty well on bunnies and the like. Mind your backstop though as I've found that these rounds are particularly likely to ricochet after passing through the quarry.

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