Hill People Gear Forums
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsFirearms and Sk...Firearms and Sk...Small game while big game hunting, optionsSmall game while big game hunting, options
Previous
 
Next
New Post
9/20/2018 9:12 PM
 

What is everyone using for small game while big game hunting? 

For years I have been experimenting with options for small game hunting and camp meat while deer and elk hunting. I have tried 22 pistols, takedown 22 rifles and cat sneeze loads. The pistols were too loud (without suppressor), rifles too heavy and bulky and cat sneeze not accurate enough. 

Two years ago I tried a 308 chamber adapter from MCA sports out of Alaska. This was what I had been looking for. Light weight, accurate and quiet. This adapter shoots 32S&W long, 32S&W shorts and 32 H&R mag right out of my 308. Simply insert a 32 round into the adapter, chamber the adapter in the 308 and fire. Yes, it’s single shot but I rarely need another. It shoots 1/2” groups at 30 yards. I have the Leupold CDS on my Hell’s Canyon Speed rifle and I just adjust 7 clicks in elevation and I’m ready to shoot. This set up works well. Try it! 

 
New Post
9/26/2018 6:32 AM
 
Another option that I like is the Crossman P1377 pellet pistol. It’s quiet and deadly on small game out to about 25 yards. It weighs a little less than a Ruger 22/45 Lite with suppressor. The problem is that you have to pump it 8 times which requires movement so still hunting with it is basically a one shot affair. Where it shines is when deer/elk hunting and you come across a rabbit or grouse within 25 yards - guaranteed dinner!

 
New Post
9/26/2018 8:00 PM
 
I have had a 1377 since I was 12 (that's a long time) and used it at our gun club's air pistol league. It shoots quite well for the money, but having killed a few grouse with a variety of other weapons, I can't recommend it as a 25 yard grouse getter -- rabbits either. Maximum velocity is around 500 fps with a 7.9 grain pellet. It will kill smaller small game at close range, but you will have to be a heck of a field shot to consistently brain a rabbit or grouse (the only real killing shot with that velocity/caliber/weight) with an iron sighted air pistol at 25 yards. Mine has a skeleton stock now and peep sight, and I wouldn't count on it.
 
New Post
9/27/2018 7:02 AM
 
CCH - I hear you, 25 yards is definitely the upper end of its lethality range. In most cases when U get to the dove or grouse U have to pop its head off. I never try for head shots only center mass - unless they are very close like 10 yards or so. It does provide meat for the pot which is a welcome change after a couple days of dehydrated meals.

The chamber adapter is still my favorite for weight and lethality.
 
New Post
9/27/2018 11:24 AM
 
I was hesitant to post a reply as my situation is not really congruent with the original question. I have posted similar opinions and stories before and I don’t want to sound like “that guy.” But…you sound honestly interested and it beats doing my work.

As a general rule I try my best to stay focused on filling my big game tag when I am lucky enough to get one. However I have a taken a LOT of small game, varmints, and small to very large feral animals while running a trapline or doing ADC work with non-traditional firearm setups in some pretty unique situations that look a lot like hunting year round.

Before I had access to suppressors I tried quite a few setups, some similar to yours. I have never used the 32acp/308W insert but I remember Ragnar Benson writing about them.

I used a singleshot NEF shotgun in 12g with a 12” 38sp insert form MCA (Ace Dube) in AK. With cowboy loads it is surprisingly quiet and hits about like a subsonic 38sp would. The issue was getting headshots at any distance with just a bead sight. I have thought about trying to add some type of iron sights or rail for a RDS. If I had to do it over I would get an 8” 22lr and 9mm insert from ShortLane.

I also used the same NEF reciver with a 44mag barrel shooting cowboy/catsneeze type loads. The 44mag shooting 500-700fps 240-300g slugs hits HARD on game and is surprisingly easy on fur. It is quiet enough unsuppressed to hear the bullet spin down range. The rifle sights make getting hits much easier than a bead but a RDS would be better option.

I used a 10/22 Charger with a 6” Kidd barrel suppressed for awhile. It would keep CCI SHP subs into 1” at 50yd and was lethal on prairie dogs and similar game. With a folding brace it would be similar to Mark White’s Pocket Pistol idea. I also ran LPV and MPV but the RDS was handiest. This would be a neat set up if you struggle with shooting a pistol in the field well. Subonic 22lr are leathal on ~60lb animals out past 100y if you can shoot and thread the shot.

I ran a suppressed MKII Ruger with a cut down 1” factory barrel and a separate TacSol upper for quite awhile. I ran an early Bushnell Halo sight on the TacSol upper as well as a Burris EER scope. You can do things with a suppressed RDS pistol that are hard to believe. I have taken birds on the wing with this setup and a truck loads of small game, pigeons, and ferals. With a good trigger and RDS a suppressed 22lr pistol is hard to beat…if you can shoot!

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
 
New Post
9/27/2018 11:26 AM
 
Part II:

I ran catsneeze and loads in a suppressed AR for awhile as a dispatch load. 42gr Calhoon DHP bullets if I remember correctly loaded over Trailboss and Unique powder. Even tried some reduced loads with H4895. I could never get accuracy any better than a good 22lr so didn’t mess with it much. I found the catsneeze load a hassle to reload and tune. It wouldn’t cycle the action but that was assumed.

I have tried having small game loads tuned for other bigbore setups but it never was practical for me over a season. Trying to keep them separated, different dope, different zeros, trying to get them swapped in a hurry, not as accurate, etc. I have just gone to running a suppressor on everything from 22lr to 300WM (minus 9mm) and deal with the added report. I have had better luck getting headshots on small game with full house loads, than trying to get body shots with reduced (less accurate) loads and two zeros. YMMV greatly on the context!

Used a TSG19/22 upper on a Glock 19 lower for a season or two. Most of the time I would keep the 9mm upper on the G19 in a holster and quickly swap uppers when needed. This became a hassle and it was never as accurate as I would like.

The last season or two I switched to a G19/T1 RDS and KKM threaded barrel. I was never impressed with the accuracy or suppression of the 9mm suppressed pistol. Neat idea…didn’t pan out. The RDS 9mm hit considerably harder than any rimfire for dispatching and putting down bigger animals, as would be expected. This pistol will shoot into 2.5” at 25y with Gold Dot. The RDS takes the pistol to a whole new level of abilities…if you can shoot. This set up covers a LOT of ground, but is not quiet. Actually took a ~600-700lb feral with this set up. I had a Carver comp on at the time. I can tell you that it is NOT hearing same and the comp came off that night. Again, neat idea…didn’t pan out.

As a side note the CCI Snakeshot in 9mm has performed much better on snakes than expected. At 5-7yd it will take the head clean off. Will cycle the action to boot. I have some CCI #4 Ratshot loads I may try on tree squirrel or rabbits if given the change.

I have looked and researched quality PCP, springer, and pump airguns enough to not see a value for what I do currently.
In closing I think I could stay fed with any of these setups. The pistol is by far the handiest but without a RDS I would hesitate to call it practical.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
 
New Post
9/27/2018 1:40 PM
 
Strow- my experience with cat sneeze loads mirrors yours. I agree with your assessment of the pistol as well. As I mentioned in the initial post this journey has led me to chamber adapters. The only better option, which is heavier and less convenient, is having a dedicated small game getter like a shotgun or 22 rifle back at camp. If we want camp meet, go small game hunting.

During archery season it’s much more simple...G5 small game head!
 
New Post
9/27/2018 2:07 PM
 
The G5 small game heads are supposed to be a big improvement of the older Judo points.
Slingshots where not mentioned...but a bodyshot with a 40cal lead ball should be pretty easy and lethal out 15yd on small game.
Both require a lot more talent and practice than a firearm.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
 
New Post
9/27/2018 7:02 PM
 
I missed the part about short lane adapters and the single barrel NEF shotgun as suggested by Dave Canterbury. I did like that idea - for a while - but later decided I would rather just have an 870 with a Ruger 22/45.

I also agree about focusing on the big game hunt and not messing it up with SG hunting...unless the opportunity is too good to pass up.

Another idea I have been toying with is using the mouse and rat traps from my ‘go bag’ to work for me while I’m out hunting. I have both the plastic traps from Lowe’s as well as the classic wooden ones. I might try it this fall.
 
New Post
9/28/2018 8:03 AM
 

In have used the big Victor (wood) rat traps, Kness Big Snap-E rat traps and a mess of Duke and BMI 110 conibears on small game, varmints, and rodents. I have used them right beside my bobcat sets to collect bait on the line. Got to be a hassle on a real long line, but it does work.

The Kness Big Snap-E traps are light years better than the old wood Victors that warp and crack if you actually use them. If you do use the Victors lacquer or paint the wood base to water proof them. If you try the Kness don't get the cheap Chinese knocks offs! The Kness are a rat killing machine. They will easily take wood rats as big as a RockStar can.

In a good location a man could get fat with a dozen 110 Conibears on tree squires using leaning poles. Snaring small game is another option but is not nearly as easy as the survival books and internet experts would have you believe. Don't even get me going on the "Survival Experts" and their cheap wire snares...


Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
 
New Post
9/28/2018 1:00 PM
 
Strow, you obviously have some deep experience with trapping. I have only trapped critters around the yard that I didn’t want to be there. I really know nothing about it but enjoyed reading your post. We may have come to the end of this thread bc I’m not sure we can up any other practical options for harvesting camp meat in the form of small game.
 
New Post
10/1/2018 8:44 PM
 

Strow, I’ve started another thread in the general discussion forum. It would be nice to hear your comments on that one. http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/forum...585/scope/posts

 
Previous
 
Next
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsFirearms and Sk...Firearms and Sk...Small game while big game hunting, optionsSmall game while big game hunting, options