Gun recommendations?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by punk-a-doodle, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Not sure where to put this, but I'm guessing here. What is a reliable, good quality, easy to maintain, all purpose gun for the farm? I'm open to all suggestions since I may eventually get more than one, but I greatly prefer rifles to handguns. I am good with rifles, but am more likely to shoot myself than anything else with a handgun. ;) Recommendations for a nice gun for pheasant hunting would also be great. Any predators would be those found in Texas (though I do prefer to use non-lethal means on native animals). I do appreciated closed sights, but they are not neccessary.
  2. chickortreat

    chickortreat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    My personal favorite is a .22 magnum. I've taken fox, coyote, coon, possum, skunk, armadillo, groundhog, you name it, out to 125 yards. Ammo is around $12/box of 50 at Wally-world. Great all-around caliber. No recoil, minor muzzle blast.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: You need to be more specific in what you expect to do with this gun, since none are really "all purpose"

    For 99% of predator control, a 22 LR is all you need, but if you have a big Coyote problem, you may want something with more range and power.

    You can't go wrong with a Ruger 10/22 for a good start though

    ANY shotgun that FITS you will work for the Pheasants
  4. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    I don't really want to limit the advice given too much, so don't want to get too specific. Posts like chickortreat's are just what I'm looking for. 'I have (blank) gun. I use it for xyz. I like it because of this and this".

    Thanks for the great suggestions so far. :)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    For less than $100, you can also pick up a single shot, break in half, 20 gauge. Brand new. Shotgun shells are not expensive and having a shot gun, you can have everything from bird shot to #6 type "rabbit" loads, some double aught or even some slugs. A shotgun is just so useful in countless ways and situations. To reach out further, the 22 is the starting point and the ammo is cheap. If you are confronted with even large game or large predators then the choices really get expansive. Lots and lots to choose from in the rifles. Can anyone really have just one gun? [​IMG]
  6. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    A shotgun with typical bird shot (#4 to #6) is good for animals up to the size of a raccoon out to about 30-35 yards. Using smallish buckshot (#1 buck) will stretch that killing distance to about 50 yards and work very well on game up to coyote-sized critters also. There are some specialty choke tubes available for shooting buckshot that will increase the distance even further. These, of course, require a shotgun with screw-in chokes. Several manufacturers make special loads for coyote sized predators that are reportedly killing out to 75 yards consistently! The choke tubes and the new ammo is a couple of the biggest advancements in shotgunning in the last 40 years. If you already own a shotgun, the choke and shells are a really effective and inexpensive predator solution for close-up killing. Not to mention, the 12 gauge shotgun is a great pheasant gun.

    A .22lr is a good choice for killing work for coon-sized predators out to about a hundred yards. A hundred yards is a long shot for a .22 and, not many people can shoot accurately with iron sights, with a .22 at that distance. It is safer than larger centerfire rifles in regard to the downrange travel of the bullet. And, the .22 rimfire is by far the cheapest firearm ammunition to shoot. I get a carton of 500 bullets for $8.00 at Walmart! My sons and my grandchildren have become very good shots from practice shooting many hundreds of .22 rounds. I could never have afforded that much shooting with ANY of my other guns.

    I really like the .243 centerfire rifle for predator killing. With a reasonably priced scope, the .243 will give you astounding performance out to REALLY long ranges. My Savage rig will stone coyotes out to distances that I am not skilled enough to accurately shoot (400-500 yards). The gun will never be the reason I miss! The .243 is a small-ish centerfire rifle. If you already have a larger caliber like the old venerable 30-06 or whatever, use it for the larger predators and for the long shots. It may be larger than needed but, the dead predator will never know the difference. Just make ABSOLUTELY SURE that there is noTHING and noONE downrange of where you are shooting!

    My chickens are a little expensive. Losing a hen is a pretty considerable loss, especially when you factor in the cost of raising it from a chick, future egg production and the chicks you'll never have from her.

    I kill every predator that comes within range of my guns.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: I think everyone needs at least 5 to start out with
    A 22 rifle
    A 22 handgun
    A deer/big game rifle
    A larger caliber handgun for self defense
    A shotgun
  8. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    One of the biggest questions I have is how much are you willing to spend on this? That will change the recommendation greatly.

    Personally, I prefer having several firearms depending on the use, just like Bear Foot Farm. I generally skip the .22 handgun just because I've never had the occasion to use one, other than for extremely novice people who are terrified of firearms.

    I love my shotgun for general purpose use. I have rifled slugs and 00 buck for home protection and my use at work. There's bird shot for target practice, small game and birds. Then, I have my .22 LR with iron sights for birds and small rodents, if I choose. I have my .223 rifle for medium game like javalena or deer. Then I have the .270 for large game.

    If I had to choose one, I would recommend an AR-15. By having two separate upper receivers, you can quickly and easily switch between the .22 LR and the .223. You can also buy or load extremely light loads for the .223 that mimics the qualities of the .22 LR.
  9. Greyfox Farm

    Greyfox Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    "What's the best gun" is something like" what's the best food" or "what's the best tool."

    For an accurate, inexpensive rifle with enough power to kill predator-sized game cleanly, and with little noise and no recoil, I'd recommend a .17 HMR. It has the same powder capacity as a .22 magnum, but will push a bullet at 2550 feet per second. The light (17 grain) bullets are frangible so there is very little ricochet risk and they don't over penetrate. The Savage model 93, with a 2 or 4 power scope would be ideal.
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The things I'd consider is what predator are you going after? Others have spoken quite well about that.

    What is your skill level? That's not just being able to hit what you are aiming at, but how comfortable are you in handling that weapon. Training and practice can make a huge difference here.

    Very important to me, what conditions are you going to be shooting in. Do you live where mothers are out walking their babies, fathers are out in the back yard playing catch with their kids, or such as that? Flat terrain or do you have a hill for a backstop? My problem where I am is not so much people living close by but there are a lot of horses and cattle pastured nearby. There have been times I've had a lot of trouble getting a safe angle to shoot, even with a shotgun.

    When possible, I favor a shotgun. They can still riccochet but they really do have a much more limited range as far as doing serious damage. You do need to pay attention to the load and shot size. My choice for a dog or such is usually a 12 gauge with #4 shot and turkey load.There are times a shotgun just won't do but a .22 will handle anything else I'm likely to see here. The .22 is normally a range thing.

    I have a lot of respect for what a firearm can do. After all they are made to kill. A friend of mine blew out his 12-year-old son's knee with a riccochet on a hunting trip. A few years back I saw a news report where someone fired off a .22 in the air celebrating New Year's Eve. It came down about a mile away and seriously injured a woman holding an infant. Luckily it hit her in the top of the shoulder instead of the top of her head. They were able to trace the weapon that fired it.

    I use firearms and have no problems with them being used responsibly. To achieve that, you need common sense or maturity (however you want to say it), training, plenty of practice, and choosing the right weapon and ammunition for the job and conditions.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by