Head shooting rabbits

private fraser

Well-Known Member
There isn't a lot of margin for error on any head shot.
Yet lots of people think nothing of head shots on rabbits.
Are we applying the same humane principles to the humble rabbit that we apply to deer?.
 

Barkingsnake

Well-Known Member
All of the ones I've head shot with a 22-250 died very promptly and without any knowledge that their brains were in the next county. Same goes for the 17HH except none of the chest contents accompanied the brains. I'll continue to be happy to use this method provided they're safe shots and the target isn't mobile to any degree.

The same could not be said of those I've chest shot with a 22LR using subsonic or HV hollow point and I've shot over 500 in some years.
 

Jimbo 30 06

Well-Known Member
All of the ones I've head shot with a 22-250 died very promptly and without any knowledge that their brains were in the next county.

Brilliant reply Barkingsnake :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Jimbo
 

Tackleberry270

Well-Known Member
It seems you don't have to be dead center either with a rimfire bullet to impart enough shock to knock them out/kill them. Some places I have hit rabbits would certainly result in a deer running off but rabbits are a bit more fragile it seems.
 

perdix

Well-Known Member
Never thought about it except that butchers/dealers etc aren't too worried about taking a heart/lung shot deer properly gralloched but you tend to get a lot of hassle off them if you send in rib shot rabbits.There fore I always attempt to head shoot rabbits to swell my meager coffers
 

Buckaroo8

Well-Known Member
I head shoot about 95% of my rabbits..........I have a specially trained dog to track and catch any runners...........like all responsible rabbit stalkers :smug::stir:
 

Finch

Well-Known Member
I can only recall one rabbit which survived an HMR headshot. I'd missed a couple in suspicious circumstances. I shot another at barely 50 yards, hit it, but it didn't sound right. The rabbit went down and disappeared into a hollow in the ground but I could see it lifting its head so I went to investigate. I aim directly under the ear with head shots but it turned out the zero was off and at 50yards I was shooting over an inch to the left and the bullet had struck between the eye and the snout. The rabbit was crouching in shock but fully conscious with a neat entry and exit hole clean through the sinuses. As it breathed a bubble of blood appeared at each hole like the air pouches on a frog.
I've never seen this before or since. I've head shot rabbits with the HMR at extreme short range when they've hopped out of cover right next to where I've been sitting and the effect has been explosive. So it can't have been an expansion issue. I guess it was just a flukily perfect placement right in the sinuses that are as thin as paper. A fraction either way and I reckon it would have been near decapitated as you would expect at that range.
A few times when I've napper shot rabbits at 150 odd yards with the HMR I've seen them spun round sideways 360 and found them with their necks broken. A rabbit's physiology is quite different from deer with short, less supple necks and I reckon its extremely rare for them to survive head shots wherever they strike.
You can see and hear the strike from an HMR and if I was regularly getting runners from head shooting I'd have stopped doing it.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
They are a pest here. No money in them, no love lost. I shoot to kill but if they dash with a fatal wound and I can't put a finisher into it, I figure the coyotes will still dine on it. I have some 40 grain Interceptor (1500 fps) ammo that will tear a cottontail rabbit in half under 75M. I used to use it all the time. Never had a rabbit walk away from it yet.~Muir
 

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
I'm always genuinely intrigued at hearing of rabbits being shot at 150 yds etc, as I've always used a 22 and rarely ever had the opportunity to shoot at anything over 60 yards due the to the ground cover. What sort of scopes/magnification are you folks using to accurately hit the spot at these distances.
​Incidentally I agree that we should apply the same rules of humane despatch to anything we shoot, whether it is vermin or prize game.
 

Finch

Well-Known Member
I'm always genuinely intrigued at hearing of rabbits being shot at 150 yds etc, as I've always used a 22 and rarely ever had the opportunity to shoot at anything over 60 yards due the to the ground cover. What sort of scopes/magnification are you folks using to accurately hit the spot at these distances.
​Incidentally I agree that we should apply the same rules of humane despatch to anything we shoot, whether it is vermin or prize game.

8 power usually for me. My HMR scope is a Meopta Meostar 4-12X56. It lives on 8 power most of the time because that is its optimum mag in low light which is when it gets most use. I'll wind it up to 10 or 12 for zero checking to make it easier to see the strikes but otherwise 8 power at HMR ranges is plenty. Quality optics and a fine reticle are far more important than mag. I shoot rabbits out to 300 yards with my .222 and again as its a 56mm lens that scope ends up on 8 power in low light. Its all relative - its a question of what you're used to. If you've never shot beyond 100 yards, 200 seems like a mile. Spend a bit of time on targets with an appropriate rifle and it becomes second nature in no time.
What can get tricky is constantly swapping between shooting rabbits at 200+ yards with a CF in the daylight and 50 yards at night with a rimfire and NV on different mag and getting your range estimation right each time. I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to get my brain in the right mode.
 

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
Sorry neither of you think the subject worthy of discussion and one of you makes an incorrect presumption.

Atb

​fraser

If you were looking for sensible answers you're probably on the wrong forum.

yes of course deer have a higher status than anything else as some are in fact unicorns in disguise - that's why we don't shoot them at night or out of season, and why there's a stream of relentless drivel about how to shoot them. And of course you only need a dog for tracking deer as any other wounded animal deserves to crawl off and die slowly for not moving to intercept the bullet properly. If you opt for a dog make sure it tracks like the books say or there'll be hell to pay - I should add you won't actually ever use your dog if you shoot deer properly!!!!!

to be fair head shooting has been done to death on this forum, in fact after a year you notice it's basically the same topics being talked about over and over again. Welcome to ground hog day.

in answer to your question - simply put, no one gives a f*ck about rabbits.

Head shooting is the quickest way to drop deer (but only if you can actually shoot straight, and most of us non pro's can't guarantee being within a half inch of our target 100% of the time). Personally I only head shoot if the animal is facing towards or away from me. Rabbits I only head shoot if I want meat, or if I'm using my air rifle or 22.
 

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
8 power usually for me. My HMR scope is a Meopta Meostar 4-12X56. It lives on 8 power most of the time because that is its optimum mag in low light which is when it gets most use. I'll wind it up to 10 or 12 for zero checking to make it easier to see the strikes but otherwise 8 power at HMR ranges is plenty. Quality optics and a fine reticle are far more important than mag. I shoot rabbits out to 300 yards with my .222 and again as its a 56mm lens that scope ends up on 8 power in low light. Its all relative - its a question of what you're used to. If you've never shot beyond 100 yards, 200 seems like a mile. Spend a bit of time on targets with an appropriate rifle and it becomes second nature in no time.
What can get tricky is constantly swapping between shooting rabbits at 200+ yards with a CF in the daylight and 50 yards at night with a rimfire and NV on different mag and getting your range estimation right each time. I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to get my brain in the right mode.

Thanks. I should perhaps give some longer range stuff a try, and will once the variation comes through and I can pick up the 223 I've just bought. One problem is the current rabbit population here, I should think I'll be taking crows instead.
 

sauer

Well-Known Member
Hi Malc.

I zero at 50yds with .22lr and I like a scope that can go down to 3x or 4 x mag..... good for night shooting and quick pick up on yer target.... do shoot out past 50yds but like you say with cover etc ..rarely past 75 / 80yds .
that way if out enough you soon learn your rifles wee bit hold over required for that and regularly hit heads anything between 10 & 80 ish yards.

I think a night under the lamp on rabbits is one of the most underrated bit odf sport you can have.....it sharpens you up on for the bigger rifles too I think
love my .22lr
just need the rabbits to come back a bit :cool:




paul
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
I'm always genuinely intrigued at hearing of rabbits being shot at 150 yds etc, as I've always used a 22 and rarely ever had the opportunity to shoot at anything over 60 yards due the to the ground cover. What sort of scopes/magnification are you folks using to accurately hit the spot at these distances.
​Incidentally I agree that we should apply the same rules of humane despatch to anything we shoot, whether it is vermin or prize game.

I recently acquired permission on a piece of land which has loads of rabbits.
The problem is that due to the presence of livestock nearby night shooting is out and the nearest cover for shooting the main warren is 80 - 100 yards away.
If I try to get closer, the rabbits spook and disappear.
I'm using a Hawke 4-16 with ladder reticle and ballistic turrets, still getting the hang of the scope but it's going quite well. It's good shooting practice, need a laser ranger though as obviously the .22 rimfire trajectory is quite loopy. I'm shooting for the pot and don't want too much meat damage but I don't want them crawling or kicking back to their burrows either.
What with the range and sometimes strong wind I've avoided head shots and just wondered what others experience was.
 

Archer

Well-Known Member
With my .22lr I use CCI segmented subs for any rabbit up to 70 yards and I" step up" from subsonic to HV for 70/100 yard targets- rarely shoot at further ranges with a .22
Oh and mainly chest shots unless a really good head is visible
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
With my .22lr I use CCI segmented subs for any rabbit up to 70 yards and I" step up" from subsonic to HV for 70/100 yard targets- rarely shoot at further ranges with a .22
Oh and mainly chest shots unless a really good head is visible

I haven't tried those CCI's, been using the trusty Winchester super x.
What's the meat damage like and does the round hold together or do the segments go astray?
​Thanks
 
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