Fox minimum calibre

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pjkaz

Well-Known Member
hi
I have been given permission to shoot fox as pest control over a large area of land appox 1,000 acres this will be the first time a rifle has been allowed on the land for pest control. the owner of the land would like me to use the smallest calibre possible most of the shooting will be over 20/100yards your thoughts please to ensure humane killing. i have the following calibres .22lr 17hmr .243 .308 300 win mag all may be used for vermin control.
 

User00004

Distinguished Member
I am not the most knowledgeable but I would suggest no caliber less than .22 CENTREFIRE, this way you will ensure a good clean kill with less likelyhood of a wounded animal. I know people say "It's just a fox", but treat it with the respect a living animal deserves.

Your .243 will be more than enough to use. I wouldn't use .17 or .22 as you are limiting your abilities, atleast with a .243 you can be confident out to 200m (more if your are within your capabilities) unlike a .22 and .17

TJ
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
I agree with the others, as long as it is centrefire it will do the job, not to start a "rimfire will do the job war", as many foxes have been killed with them but if you are there for a job then do it properly.

John
 

Xim

Well-Known Member
the 2 foxes thati have shot has been with a .17hmr, close range 50- 80 metres, ballistic tip. dropped them instantly.

but now i use a .243 that would be my tool of choice. my only criticism is that .243 bullets work our at approx' £1.00 each.

.17hmr works out at approx' 22p per bullet.
 

re'M'ington

Well-Known Member
Well,I am going to be 'Devils Advocate' so please don't get personal.I have in the past used a .22lr on foxes,and,have shot an awful lot with them.And,I can honestly say that I have never had a wounded animal,as,I like to squeek them in as close as possible,and,30/50yds sees them just right for a head shot.I do now however use the .243,and,when I get it,I will use the .22-250 as a dedicated fox rifle.But,if I am out for the rabbits,and,Charlie makes an entrance,then,a few squeeks,and he will be dropped as the rest have.
What reason has the farmer given you for the calibre restriction?
.....................................Martin.
 

Offroad Gary

Well-Known Member
the smallest calibre possible might be .22lr
the smallest calibre suitable in somes eyes would be .22lr
the smallest calibre that you would be given reason to possess is likely to be .22 centre fire.


use the .308 :D
 

devon deer stalker

Well-Known Member
.243 would be my choice, .22 for bunnies, but on occasion i might change the sub sonic for .22 high velocity if a fox shows his face.
could it be that the landowner does not have much experience with firearms and that is why he has insisted upon a small calibre?
after all, in my experience, a .22 sub sonic is more likely to richochet
cheers
richard
 

WAYNE DAVIES

Distinguished Member
I agree with Devon deer stalker .22 c/f or .243 every time. I've shot fox with a .22lr but IMHO at 100 yards they are not up to the job and they ricochet like hell.

WD
 

Frax

Well-Known Member
I remember well from my teenage years the terrible sound of a .22lr bullet richocheting towards the farm when out foxing. now with some grey in my beard I'm not too happy at shooting ofxes over about 40m with .22's. I'd go for something where you are as safe from ricochest as possbile and with plenty of knock down power...204 Ruger, .22-250 that kind of thing. Personal favourite though is the good old .223
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
In my humble opinion the minimum calibre for fox would be .22 hornet, though I have a particular fondness for .222 rem, fairy quiet and gets the job done with little fuss..
I have used .22 rimfire on occasions but limit my range to 50yds.
.243 looks like a very suitable choice from the armourey on offer.
 

reiver

Well-Known Member
Why not try the .22 Hornet mine is very quiet and easy on the shoulder and very easy to reload 100 bullet heads £13.00, a tub of powder around £30.00 and approx 600 rounds from a tub, loads vary from 8 grs to 13grs.
factory ammo was about £30 per 50 for winchester 45 gr
this round it good out to 175 yards on charlie no problem and is great for shooting rabbits and easy to use with a modie.

Bob
 

EMcC

Well-Known Member
As you already have a .243, I would suggest you use that with a light bullet. Use a sound moderator and the land owner will think you are using a .22rf !
As you have already stated, all foxes will be taken at maximum 100yds and most times less, make sure you zero your rifle at the shorter ranges or at least, if zeroed at 100yds, make sure you know the point of aim at closer ranges.
As for .243 rounds costing £1 each as stated by one member, go for the cheaper rounds like Privi Partisan or reload or get to know a reloader!
My light (87gn) reloads work out at 30p a round and the heavier (100gn) work out at 32p.
The .22rf will certainly do the job but range is very, very, important when using it.
It is not a recommended calibre when out specifically for foxes.
 

User00004

Distinguished Member
reiver said:
Why not try the .22 Hornet

He hasn't got one, he was asking which of his rifles would be the most suited.

Dead is Dead, not Overdead.

From his rifle selection, his .243 is the best all rounder for the job.

TJ
 

pjkaz

Well-Known Member
Thankyou guys for your input, which i have read with much interest. The landowner has not specified a calibre. He is happy for me to use .243 if i think its appropriate, i have only shot fox before whilst out stalking if i have been asked to, and, of course this has been with the .243 or .308 which certainly did the job. But i understand that a lot of shooters like to use .17hmr and .22rf . I have just started to reload .243 so this might keep the cost down, my only concern is to ensure a humane kill. Bearing in mind my capabilities!.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
I think yo have answered your own question, 243 especially as you are a reloader.

John
 

splash

Well-Known Member
Why bring the cost of ammo in to it ?

£1 a shot or 22p ? are we not talking about fox shooting ? apart from the i have shot 1000 with a pea shooter brigade, most dedicated fox shooters see 0-10 foxs in a night and out of that you might get 5 SAFE shots so cost do's not come into it.
What is scary is how many people admit to shooting a animal with a caliber that the police do not recommend. { but of course they have never had one run } i have seen a couple run after a bad shot with a .22-250 .

.243 is the best caliber YOU have for fox. Use a small grn highly frangible bullet.
 

pjkaz

Well-Known Member
Thank you all it looks like i shall be useing the .243 55 grain ballistic tip ill let you know how i get on. thanks again
 
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