Light loaded FMJ for squirrels?

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by grizlywinkleman, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. grizlywinkleman

    grizlywinkleman Well-Known Member

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    If I loaded a 223 FMJ with a light charge of powder, would it still blow the heck out of squirrels? Has any one tried this? Is there anything I could do to hunt squirrels with my AR?
    They taste great and I want the meat.

    Thanks
    Ryan
     
  2. LostInSpace278

    LostInSpace278 Well-Known Member

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    Sure there is something you can do...as dad always said ''aim for the head, don't waste the meat.''
     

  3. 7 loader

    7 loader Well-Known Member

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    Two guns I use. 20ga or my go to 410. Tried what you are wanting didn't work for me, could for you. Try Squirrel gravy on biscuits or toast. GOOD in the morrning.
     
  4. top predator

    top predator Well-Known Member

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    before you start messing around with light loads, make sure to get some good information on the loads themselves. you don't want to cause detonation. you may also have to use poly fill for a buffer.

    i have not used my AR for squirrels (in Pa. i can't)

    but for the amount of time and effort and possibly $ of loading .223 for the AR along with rezeroing or purchasing a seperate zeroed optic to put on and off, i'd sooner buy a dedicated .22lr upper.
     
  5. patience

    patience Well-Known Member

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    Buy a rimfire upper for it. That would be the best way. And it's way cheaper to shoot.gun)Lots quieter in the woods too.
    Loaded down enough to take squirrels w/o too much damage you may get unacceptable pressure levels from .223 Rem. be very careful if you're gonna try it. And stick to headshots and be sure of your backstop. I'd try the .223 from a deer stand. You could take all your shots into the ground and as we all know, all a fella has to do to see squirrels is go climb a tree and wait for the deer.lightbulb
     
  6. kelly mt

    kelly mt Member

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    Get a 22 conversion unit for the AR. All you do is pull the bolt carrier group out and slip the 22 conversion unit in and you are shooting 22 long rifle. About one minute. Mine had a 10 round mag. Most outfits that sell ARs sell the conversion units. Mine is a Jonathan Ciener, works perfect.
     
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Banned

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    Try loading some pistol powers, they work in 30 cal loads you will have to search the net to find
    more information.....
     
  8. bowhunthard

    bowhunthard Well-Known Member

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    Hodgdon's online reloading data center has some subsonic loads listed for the .223, but it would be a single shot proposition, as they won't cycle an AR platform.

    Good luck.
     
  9. bluerock

    bluerock New Member

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    How accurate are the conversion kits for an AR compared to a whole upper that is made for .22lr?
     
  10. kelly mt

    kelly mt Member

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    My 24" varmint AR will shoot 1/2" group at 50 yards from a rest using Yellow Jacket HPs. Lots of fun. PK
     
  11. walkingjay

    walkingjay Member

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    Michigan does not allow FMJ bullets for hunting. I have used 30 cal short jackets with FAST PISTOL powder, loaded to about 1300fps in a 30-30 for small game. Good practice for deer season. Be aware that Squib loads with TOO SLOW a powder can lead to detonation of the powder and extreme pressure excursions
     
  12. hunterbob

    hunterbob Well-Known Member

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    I have always used a 410 ga # 4 shot , 20 ga # 6 shot, or 12 ga #6 shot for all small game , like rabbits and squirrels. My Father did the same thing and wouldn't let me use a 22 for squirrel, because what goes up comes down,,, someplace...
    My son uses a shotgun for small game and my grandsons do too.

    We got a couple AR rifles too, but just like tools, different job may require a different tool. We got one AR-15 set-up , scoped for coyotes and varmints.
    We don't eat the varmints, but all the other small game goes in the pot.
    We got an AR-10 7.62 mm with a 1.5 X 5 IR scope for close up pigs in the creek beds. We got regular bolt action rifles for deer that are scoped, for the job to be done.Catch my drift.:)
    If you ever want to go small game hunting with us sometime, let me know, and we have an extra shotgun for you to use. Its great fun..
     
  13. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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  14. hunterbob

    hunterbob Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit that I had a situation one time about 45 years ago, that I had to bark a red squirrel off a tree with a 308... LOL. It was starve or do it.... My buddy and I got several and we ate that night. When daylight came the next morning, we figured out where we were, and got out of the woods by mid afternoon. Went straight to the nearist restaurant.... True story....:D