When it's green out, I usually use the old single shot, Harrington & Richardson Topper model #58 in 410, but when it's brown out, I use my suppressed RAR in 300 BO, with a subsonic 130gn Speer Hot Core load I developed, goin 790 FPS. This along with a Vortex 4-16 Diamondback scope produces head shots to about 50 yards very easily, with very little to no hold over.
The expansion velocity on this projectile is waaaaay above the MV produced, and does NOT expand, but instead pencils through, so meat damage is minimal with proper shot placement. Head shots produce a helicopter effect flying squirrel, and very few (none) are not recovered.
I hunt in a very secluded, sparsely populated area, and take only low angle shots, as the Hot Core keeps on a'goin after deliverin its near head removing punch.
I thought I would try something different this year. I've been practicing with a s&w 617 revolver and a ruger Mklll with red dot this summer. I think my limit on distance for head shots is about 20 yards.
Handgunning squawks is a ton of fun. I have an old K22 that has killed a bunch. I have used Ruger MK semi autos over the years for squirrel hunting. I have also used centerfire .38 Special and .45 ACP with powderpuff wadcutter and SWC loads.
I just took the red dot off the mark lll and put a scope on. My wife and I had been shooting steel plates with the red dot and knocking one after another over. About 500 rounds in to shooting both of us began to miss. I put up a large paper target and found the zero had moved several inches.
Squirrel hunting season opens tomorrow and it looks like the revolver with open sights will be the handgun to carry.
Have two Ruger 77/22 integrally suppressed,Leupold 3X9X40 insane accurate,Winchester Australian subsonics,40,or 42 work awesome,trigger 2lbs. Or my Tikka T1X Weaver Grand Slam,4X16x44 CCI velocitors,this thing can shoot with the best of the best,squirrels at 100 yards is a cake walk.One and a half pound trigger,drop tested etc.
BSA Lightning XL .22 air rifle in picture, also have 10-12 other springer air rifles I squirrel hunt with.. Also a custom Bestill .32 inline muzzleloader based on the T/C Omega action, this gun will shoot 3 shot 5/8 in groups at 50 yds with patched round ball. https://imgur.com/a/aSGOOGK
I have several that I use depending on the mood.
Walks down memory lane get the winchester 61.
Just killing time equals the henry lever.
Long walks while scouting means that I will have the nylon 66.
Just for fun I use the TC super 14 with the 2x7 burris.
My Squirrel Rifle -Custom Winchester Model 52C patterned after author Charles Landis idea of the perfect squirrel rifle -
The rifle has a Lilja SS barrel which was added by Gordy Gitters. He also reblued the action and other parts and set the trigger pull. The custom chamber is excellent. The stock was prepared and finished by the late John Maxson of Washington Courthouse, Ohio. I purchased the stock from him at the Ohio Gun Collectors show in Wilmington, Ohio (6 shows each year).
I used the original sling swivels from the Model 52 target stock. It weights just over 9 lbs. with the Swarvowski 6 X 18 TDS reticle scope. It is well balanced. I have found that it shoots easily into small groups at 50 yds. using Lapua SS or SK SS ammo. I sighted in to hit on target at 40 yds. Using the 1st TDS bar it hits on target at 60 yds. At 70 yds. it hits squirrel sized targets when centered between the 1st & 2nd TDS bars.
The rifle's stock work was completed during the summer of 2008 by John Maxson. Gordy Gritters was the only gunsmith of the 3 smiths I checked with who was willing to chamber for the .22 LR at that time. He DID AN EXCELLENT JOB!!!!
The blank I think cost $ 800.00. It was purchased 2006, then when I visited John I always found one I liked better, so I traded. Both are excellent craftsmen.