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 Post subject: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:45 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:57 pm
Posts: 26
I've already stated my all time favorite squirrel gun was my old Model 37 Winchester, and rightfully so, but thinking back in depth I'd have to call it a tie between two. At that same time in the early to mid 80's I split hunting time with another, and I do love my Singlebarrels but my old Belgium A5 Browning Light 12 was probably king! If shot distance was important, and for me it was and is, especially after leaves fall and the squirrels get on the ground. The A5, I believe I can say would reach out there to close to 50 yds often with #4's and get them. That's 2 guns of all I've owned I sure wish I had back! I've got a 78 model japan made A5, 3" Mag 12, 30" that I've only hunted one time with since I got it 3 years ago. I'm gonna give it a good test soon?

What was, and or is, your "All Time Favorite Squirrel Gun"?




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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:57 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:49 am
Posts: 651
Location: Osage County MO
Really hard to say but most likely my Ruger 10/22. I've had a lot of squirrels fall to it and a Remington 552 22lr. I have done very little squirrel hunting with a shotgun but prefer a small bore shotgun when I do use one. Currently have been hunting with a 2-1/2" chambered Stevens .410 single shot and really enjoy using it. So much so that I'm right now trying to decide whether to purchase a 410 O/U or a LH CZ 452 in 17 hmr.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:51 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 1448
Location: SW Missouri
Mine would have to be the gun I took my first ever squirrel with in 1982 - Stevens .410/.22 over/under. Very good gun to use as you can use the .22 if they are sitting still and switch to the .410 if you get a moving shot. Best of both worlds. My Dad still has that gun and still uses it on occasion.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:54 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:50 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Colebrook, NH
Nothing like getting to use the classic guns - hope you have a good time with that A5 :B3 I have an old Remington Model 11 that I like but have yet to use afield...hopefully it will do well also.

I guess probably my favorite squirrel getter was a .22 caliber QB78 CO2 rifle (a Chinese-made copy of the old Crosman 160). My buddy and I each had one, and both were tuned by the late, great Gene Sunday of G&L Airguns in Tuttle, OK. I don't know if Gene is still around, but he was a great fellow to deal with and turned those QBs into powerful, reliable airguns; with their great barrels and triggers, they were deadly on any squirrel within fifty yards. We never used airgun or even rimfire specific scopes back then, but we probably killed more red squirrels with those two rifles than everything else we've used combined. At last count, I had 30-35 confirmed kills, and my buddy was at least 10-15 up on me - we had quite a few 'probables' on top of that, as we hit more than a few squirrels good and didn't recover them. My buddy's gun is still going strong, and mine has been serving my cousin well in a plinking/pest control capacity for nearly a decade now...Gene did great work with those diamond-in-the-rough Chinese airguns.

Over the years, my buddy and I accounted for a large number of squirrels while bird hunting with 20 gauge shotguns, mostly H&R single shots; my father and I cleared a large number away from the bird feeders and buildings around the family property with my first gun, a .410 H&R Pardner Youth, too. For most squirrel hunting, I think a shotgun might well be the ideal tool, if not the most sporting one to some folks.
Before I returned it due to some minor mechanical issues the dealer didn't want to be bothered to fix, I killed three squirrels and two ruffed grouse on opening day last fall with an old Mossberg 385K 20 gauge. I really liked the setup that gun offered, and in addition to a general purpose, 'utility gun' I think it would make a fine squirrel gun as well.

Today, I think I would choose either a smaller bore shotgun or a Henry lever action .22 for all-around squirrel and small game use, but to this day, I occasionally use an airgun, and am reminded of the fun times my buddy and I had in the squirrel woods as budding hunters :) :B3

Kind Regards,

~ SH ~


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:50 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Colebrook, NH
jac63 wrote:
Really hard to say but most likely my Ruger 10/22. I've had a lot of squirrels fall to it and a Remington 552 22lr. I have done very little squirrel hunting with a shotgun but prefer a small bore shotgun when I do use one. Currently have been hunting with a 2-1/2" chambered Stevens .410 single shot and really enjoy using it. So much so that I'm right now trying to decide whether to purchase a 410 O/U or a LH CZ 452 in 17 hmr.


People like their CZs, but I too think a .410 double would be fun. Savage/Stevens and Stoeger both offer affordable .410 O/Us, though both have something of a mixed reputation. The Stevens 555 is better finished and nicer to handle than Stoeger's Condor - it also offers a selectable trigger, and isn't vastly more money. My buddy and I have had good luck with Stoeger products over the years, and in general, they seem to make solid hunting guns. I trust and prefer a double trigger system myself, and thus would suggest looking at a Stoeger Uplander or Coach Gun in .410, as long as you are ok with a SXS. My buddy's Coach Gun has been hunted hard and shot a pretty fair amount with heavy 20 gauge loads for a decade now, and has always performed well.
If I could acquire one for a good price, I'd love to have a Winchester 9410, but people want way more $ for them nowadays, so I doubt I'll ever own one.

Kind Regards,

~ SH ~


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:50 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Colebrook, NH
double20 wrote:
Mine would have to be the gun I took my first ever squirrel with in 1982 - Stevens .410/.22 over/under. Very good gun to use as you can use the .22 if they are sitting still and switch to the .410 if you get a moving shot. Best of both worlds. My Dad still has that gun and still uses it on occasion.


That is indeed a handy setup to have. If I were to buy a new one, I think I'd try out Chiappa's Double Badger, as it is better designed and more refined than Savage's overpriced Model 42.

Kind Regards,

~ SH ~


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:24 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:57 pm
Posts: 26
Actually 98% of my squirrel hunting the last 10 years has been with one of three CZ 22's I've got. I used a scoped 452 American in 07 till 09, then went to a Lux with the open sights, and then in 010 I went to a 452 Ultralux with it's open sights. This rifle is actually my all time favorite gun for squirrels easily, nothing like the satisfaction of success with open sights!

This year I decided to go back to my shotguns for the simplicity and enjoyment of the hunt. It's tough in these big mountains where I hunt often to work for a good shot, and I'm 56, eye's getting older, and hearing about gone already!

But for me that's one of the most enjoyable parts of squirrel hunting. I can't get enough time in the woods to use all the guns I'd like too. I enjoy guns as much as the hunting, and shoot often in off season. One gun I never tried tho was a rifle-shotgun combo, and must admit with the rifled barrel&sights being accurate, sounds like the ultimate squirrel weapon. Maybe in the future?


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:14 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:04 pm
Posts: 338
Location: San Diego County, Calif
In my squirrel safari days in western Illinois in the late-70's I often used a scoped JC Higgins .22 rimfire bolt action for head shots. But my 12g Rem 870 with Full choke and #5 or #6's served with distinction also.

_________________
1959 Browning Superposed, 12ga, Gr 1, 28" Mod / Imp Cyl
1986 Browning 325 12ga Citori
1993 Browning 325 20ga Citori
1972 Browning A-5 Light Twelve
1969 Browning A-5 Magnum 12ga


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:47 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:50 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Colebrook, NH
Drawdown wrote:
Actually 98% of my squirrel hunting the last 10 years has been with one of three CZ 22's I've got. I used a scoped 452 American in 07 till 09, then went to a Lux with the open sights, and then in 010 I went to a 452 Ultralux with it's open sights. This rifle is actually my all time favorite gun for squirrels easily, nothing like the satisfaction of success with open sights!

This year I decided to go back to my shotguns for the simplicity and enjoyment of the hunt. It's tough in these big mountains where I hunt often to work for a good shot, and I'm 56, eye's getting older, and hearing about gone already!

But for me that's one of the most enjoyable parts of squirrel hunting. I can't get enough time in the woods to use all the guns I'd like too. I enjoy guns as much as the hunting, and shoot often in off season. One gun I never tried tho was a rifle-shotgun combo, and must admit with the rifled barrel&sights being accurate, sounds like the ultimate squirrel weapon. Maybe in the future?


Couldn't have said it any better than that myself Drawdown {hs# :B3

Though I'm almost thirty years your junior, my eye have never been good, and my hearing is on the way out too. Like you, I very much enjoy recreational shooting in addition to hunting; the latter is always more fun when you have someone to go with I find, as being out there is just as good an experience as bagging game in my opinion.
My most memorable shots have been with open sights too; though optics are arguably more effective in most cases, I like the challenge and simplicity of forgoing them when I can.

Don't know where you live and hunt, but I very much enjoy getting out in the woods and high country here in northern NH at every opportunity. My buddy and I don't get out nearly as much to hunt or shoot together these days, but we fully enjoy every outing we do get in. Hopefully, we'll get in a good fall this year...happy hunting & good luck to you as well.

Kind Regards,

~ SH ~


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:30 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:57 pm
Posts: 26
NHShtr, thanks! I'm in S.E.Ky right on the Virginia state line. I've never been in the N.E. but I've seen plenty of beautiful pics of N.H., Vt., and I believe about every state up there! You're blessed, but the long winters, Whew!


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:06 am
Posts: 468
The only game I remember my grandfather hunting in the 1950s was squirrel. The only gun that he had was a Tenite stocked Savage 22/410. He provided many meals with that gun and I was privileged to be there on many occasions for the hunting and the food.

I have one of the older 22/410 but since I hunt mainly in areas where it is "shotgun only" I use only a shotgun now for all my squirrel hunting. My preference for awhile has been the Steven 94, 16 gauge but that may change this year as I use a 28 gauge H&R Pardner more and the H&R .410 Topper M488. My "favorite squirrel gun" is usually determined by time of year, foliage, how tall is the timber, what other game many be expected to be seen and how far I'm walking.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:09 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Rogersville, MO
I started out with a Stevens 940 12 ga as a kid in southern IL....and coincidentally, bought the same model in a .410 yesterday off gunbroker. Very simple and light.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:23 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:50 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Colebrook, NH
Drawdown wrote:
NHShtr, thanks! I'm in S.E.Ky right on the Virginia state line. I've never been in the N.E. but I've seen plenty of beautiful pics of N.H., Vt., and I believe about every state up there! You're blessed, but the long winters, Whew!


The winters do indeed suck here, and have every year I've been alive...almost thirty years and I still haven't gotten used to them -_- :mrgreen:
New England certainly does have it's share of scenery, some of it easily comparable to the best I saw in Colorado and Utah (never made it to Montana, but would like to someday). The most impressive sunset I ever laid eyes on was the one I witnessed looking out over Lake Champlain to the mountains of NY from the heights in Burlington, Vermont - it was quite a sight to say the least.

You guys have some nice country down that way too for sure; I saw some of mountain country in northern Virginia when my family lived in VA Beach for a few years, and I got to see a good chunk of West Virginia during a trip to and from Nevada back in 2012. If I ever got the chance, I wouldn't mind trying my hand at hunting in those mountains myself.

Kind Regards,

~ SH ~


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:05 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 5:27 pm
Posts: 3054
Location: southern Ohio
I use the same gun I turkey hunt with, an 870special field 20ga, 21"barrel with a turkey choke. Drawdown my roots run deep in bell and Harlan counties


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:45 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:57 pm
Posts: 26
Well, nice to speak with ya Turkinator! Born & raised here and moved away, kinfolk here or??


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:53 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 5:27 pm
Posts: 3054
Location: southern Ohio
Drawdown wrote:
Well, nice to speak with ya Turkinator! Born & raised here and moved away, kinfolk here or??

Lots of kin around Pineville


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:29 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:57 pm
Posts: 26
I'm about 2 miles out of Harlan, born & lived here all 56 years of my life. Probably will stay!


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:00 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:49 am
Posts: 25
Up until a couple years ago my favorite squirrel gun was a Stevens 311 double-barrel 12 gauge made in 1953. That old gun has fed me for many years and is a proven, versatile game-getter for sure with its choice of modified or full barrels via the two triggers.

Unfortunately, a couple of years ago I noticed a very small crack in the stock of the old 311 where it meets the receiver. I don't know if it's from all those years of shooting heavy field loads or just from all those years.

I decided to semi-retire the old gun when I saw a new Model 500 "Turkey Thug" 12 gauge selling at Academy. It came with an extra-extra full choke (.670 inch) which is great for turkey heads and also for late-season squirrels when the leaves are off and the squirrels are gun-wise. But for the first part of the season, the choke is too tight, so I bought a couple of additional chokes with more open patterns.

Problem is, I find changing the chokes in the woods to be less than practical (or safe) when I'm trying to prepare for a 40 yard shot through a clearing in the leaved branches or a 20 yard shot on a branch just ahead. So I bought a modern screw-on PolyChoke for the 500, and now I have a gun that is even more versatile than the old Stevens.

With a "twist of the wrist" I can easily go from an open pattern to a tight one to accommodate the shot at hand. It's not as fast as just moving the finger between triggers on the 311, but it's still quick and easy to do and is more versatile with the really open settings possible on the PolyChoke that are not available with the two barrels of the Stevens.

The PolyChoke I chose was the one with the vents, and I painted white marks on the vents to allow quick identification as to which choke I need to twist to. About a quarter-inch twist can get me to the next choke. My system: five dots for full, four for light-full, three for mod, two for light-mod, one for improved cylinder, and the next space for cylinder. How much more convenient and versatile can you get?

So now, the 500 with its PolyChoke is my favorite squirrel gun. Being in my 70s, it's likely to be my final one, good for the next 30 years if the polyticians let us keep our guns for that long :-)


Last edited by MikePP on Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:48 pm
Posts: 1485
Location: Sw VA
Drawdown wrote:
I'm about 2 miles out of Harlan, born & lived here all 56 years of my life. Probably will stay!


Howdy neighbor! I live in Lee county, VA.

_________________
"In order to be effective, the truth must pierce like an arrow. That is likely to hurt." - Wei Wu Wei


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 Post subject: Re: Best ever squirrel gun!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:27 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:27 am
Posts: 2890
Location: North Central West Virginia
I like this Savage O/U 22 mag/20 gauge. I use solids in the 22 mag so as not to tear up the meat. I'll use 3" #5 shot in the 20 ga, especially when the leaves are off the trees.

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