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.177hmr v .22lr


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What do you prefer and why?

Personally I'm leaving towards the 177 due to longer accuracy and surrounding vermin don't react to the sound.  But the price of ammo is x5 that of 22 ammo.

As many have said its unlikely to get a first licence above a 22, I'm Wondering if an airgun and a 177 would be better for rats upto fox (on a calm night) close range exploding head shots, over a 22, as I'm seeing plenty on YouTube take out the fox on a .177 due to the accuracy of it over a 22. Tim pilbeam over at feildsports suggests that head shooting a fox with a 177rim is acceptable on a calm night although not an alternative to a 223.

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Im not keen at headshots on fox  with the hmr personally. The rounds not penetrative enough and can splash if the shot isn’t int 100%. A wobble or the fox moves slightly and you’ve got a yelping fox r

I was out the other evening with my .17 hmr and I had just shot a rabbit in the head at about 110/120 yards I have a pic but it’s a bit OTT perfect shot I was happy, but whilst skinning and gutting it

Personally i would forget all about rimfires and foxes, the two should never be mentioned in the same sentence. I don't understand all this "you won't get c/f on first application". That is so wr

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Let me see if I can answer some of this for you, please note this is just my opinion, I don’t prefer one over the other, they both have a place in my cabinet and are used for different shooting situations, for example, last night I was on a rabbit job and knowing the land the .17hmr was the rifle to use due to the distances I’d be shooting, I also shot a fox with it while I was out and although it’s not the ideal fox rifle it is capable if used correctly, there is some FEO’s that will not grant the.17hmr for fox ( mine does ) and none will say the .22lr is suitable for fox but in some situations it is the right calibre for the job, I’ve known someone who was granted .17hmr on first application but he had land suitable to shoot it on. The .17hmr is no more accurate than the .22lr. I would strongly recommend that you spend some time at your local rifle club, the information and guidance you will get from them will be invaluable 👍

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As stav says, neither one is better than the other, depends on the shooting you’re doing. For me personally, of all my rifles, .17hmr gets the least use. As for .22rf for fox, it’s well capable if you know what you’re doing. I have my .22 rimfires conditioned for all legal quarry and also fac air for that matter. Not that I’m saying fac air is the tool for the job though, but some of the higher powered ones would no doubt be capable. 

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Well it boils down to personal preference once again. I have both and prefer the .22 for rabbits and hares for the reason you stated , cheaper ammo and quieter. My .17 HMR rarely gets used as I dont really like it , if I'm going foxing I use the .243 

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4 minutes ago, villaman said:

I was granted 17 HMR  , .22lr , .22 FAC air & .25 FAC air on first application for fox and open license on all four 

It really is just a lottery depending on the force, a lot of it comes down to the suitability of your land and being able to provide a good reason for the calibre you want, I’m lucky that my FEO is really helpful and I’ve got the pheasant shoot that’s cleared for any calibre 

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11 hours ago, FOXHUNTER said:

Well it boils down to personal preference once again. I have both and prefer the .22 for rabbits and hares for the reason you stated , cheaper ammo and quieter. My .17 HMR rarely gets used as I dont really like it , if I'm going foxing I use the .243 

Same here, I’ve never really liked hmr. 

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I like both, they both serve a purpose in they're own right. If I could only take one out for bugs though, it'd be the hmr just for the extra distance.

If I'm out with the .308 I take the lr as a side.

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With RF's it's all about placement and distance on quarry such as fox. The official recommendation for .22rf is no more than 50yds although some will use it a little further. The guidance does say a little further is acceptable to expert shots. The onus is on you to remain humane. On .17hmr, I can't comment as don't haven't shot one.

Remember though even a head shot can miss vitals if badly taken or affected by wind and can leave an animal badly injured. Care, skill and the ability to take a fast followup should unforseen circumstances intervene are vital. If that doesn't sound like your skill level, you need to stick to close ranges and larger targest such as the heart / lungs.

Many forces will grant .22 for fox at limited range but the onus is on you to ensure it's used humanely.  If you wound through taking shots at excessive range, you could be prosecuted. Larger calibres become expensive to run on smaller pests such as rabbits and grounded magpies and crows (don't even contemplate shooting them in trees with any propellant rifle, bullets travel for miles and you risk killing someone / ending up prison. You always need a good solid backstop behind prey such as a hillside. Note here .22rf has a tendancy to ricochet so good awareness of whats behind / to the side of the backstop is essential. Luckily richochets don't tend to travel far due to deformation. They are dangerous though which is why awareness of the dangers and taking precautions to ensure the bullet cannot leave the property or endanger anyone or property on or off the site is essential).

.22rf and .17hmr are probably the best rf's currently for an all round rifle choice for small game. They're most suited to small pests with the occassional close range fox if permitted by your licence conditions and skill.

Ultimately, if you need regular fox control, you will probably want to progress to a separate CF rifle for fox to give you the range and humane killing power (subject to a well placed shot of course). They're simply too expensive to use on pests / small game and risk over penetration.

There is no true all round rifle. Everything is a compromise somewhere.

For me you're looking at the correct 2 calibres. Just be aware you're going to have to kerb your fox control ambitions to very close range and what your FEO will allow.

Final note, .22rf / .17 hmr is overkill on rats and will cause you considerable issues with collateral damage if used near or in buildings. Percussion caps would be about the only ammo I'd even contemplate for rats and these are hard to come by and cannot necessarily be chambered in all rifles due to their short size. Only rifle I've ever fired these thorugh, seen them fired through, was a very old pump action Remmington .22 at a fair decades ago before H&S banned the use of propellent guns on fairground ranges. To that end, a non fac air rifle is a better bet for ratting unless shooting them out in the open, away from buildings and people and with a good backstop. 

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When I was in the Met Police area my 22LRs had vermin, including fox, and AOLQ written on my ticket. When I moved to Wales they omitted the "including fox" part and when I queried it they said they don't use that as it's covered by AOLQ. 

I've definitely shot more foxes with 22LR than my other calibres put together. Just keep the distances sensible.

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1 hour ago, Alsone said:

With RF's it's all about placement and distance on quarry such as fox. The official recommendation for .22rf is no more than 50yds although some will use it a little further. The guidance does say a little further is acceptable to expert shots. The onus is on you to remain humane. On .17hmr, I can't comment as don't haven't shot one.

Remember though even a head shot can miss vitals if badly taken or affected by wind and can leave an animal badly injured. Care, skill and the ability to take a fast followup should unforseen circumstances intervene are vital. If that doesn't sound like your skill level, you need to stick to close ranges and larger targest such as the heart / lungs.

Many forces will grant .22 for fox at limited range but the onus is on you to ensure it's used humanely.  If you wound through taking shots at excessive range, you could be prosecuted. Larger calibres become expensive to run on smaller pests such as rabbits and grounded magpies and crows (don't even contemplate shooting them in trees with any propellant rifle, bullets travel for miles and you risk killing someone / ending up prison. You always need a good solid backstop behind prey such as a hillside. Note here .22rf has a tendancy to ricochet so good awareness of whats behind / to the side of the backstop is essential. Luckily richochets don't tend to travel far due to deformation. They are dangerous though which is why awareness of the dangers and taking precautions to ensure the bullet cannot leave the property or endanger anyone or property on or off the site is essential).

.22rf and .17hmr are probably the best rf's currently for an all round rifle choice for small game. They're most suited to small pests with the occassional close range fox if permitted by your licence conditions and skill.

Ultimately, if you need regular fox control, you will probably want to progress to a separate CF rifle for fox to give you the range and humane killing power (subject to a well placed shot of course). They're simply too expensive to use on pests / small game and risk over penetration.

There is no true all round rifle. Everything is a compromise somewhere.

For me you're looking at the correct 2 calibres. Just be aware you're going to have to kerb your fox control ambitions to very close range and what your FEO will allow.

Final note, .22rf / .17 hmr is overkill on rats and will cause you considerable issues with collateral damage if used near or in buildings. Percussion caps would be about the only ammo I'd even contemplate for rats and these are hard to come by and cannot necessarily be chambered in all rifles due to their short size. Only rifle I've ever fired these thorugh, seen them fired through, was a very old pump action Remmington .22 at a fair decades ago before H&S banned the use of propellent guns on fairground ranges. To that end, a non fac air rifle is a better bet for ratting unless shooting them out in the open, away from buildings and people and with a good backstop. 

I use cb/bb caps and .22 shorts for shooting rats, but I only use .22 shorts on an embankment that’s infested with the things. Also shoot a fair few squirrels with .22 shorts. I’m using s&b’s at the moment running about 750fps, ideal for what I need in some situations. When did rimfires get banned from fairgrounds? They were on in 2019 before covid,

I had a go with an old Winchester pump, I think it was something like ten shots for three quid😀

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3 hours ago, Alsone said:

Remember though even a head shot can miss vitals if badly taken or

This is very true, especially with the.17hmr, the other night I took a head shot at a rabbit around 80ish yards, taking  an eye out, the rabbit ran and luckily it was towards me so it got another one in the body, there’s nothing worse than a shot going wrong and an injury not an instant death, no matter what the animal 

 

when I started doing this ( I’m not that old ) all the lads that used to take me out only had .22lr and they would shoot anything with them, using them at a sensible range and good shot placement they will kill anything, you need to realise that a hollow point round expands and depending on a few factors can expand to just under 10mm, that’s a fare size hole in any animal 

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