Well-Known Member
I have mentioned this before about suitable calibres but it is time to take the task in hand.Anyway i use a .22 for vermin along with .17 Rem, the .22 is ok close in and the .17 is brill to about 200yds but it is getting expensive £15 for heads £50 for 100 cases then primers and powder+time i cover a lot of ground and so far this year i have shot in excese of 4000 bunnys anyway i want to use my .223 since i can get factoy ammo for £14/100 a big saveing,but my FLO says the .223 is for use on roe and fox and would be overkill on bunnys and his boss won,t allow it and the bunny would be blown to bits which the.17 does anyway.All the landowner and i want are dead bunnys, how do i stand


Well-Known Member
To my mind the phrase overkill has no place in sporting shooting but it is still used by the police in this situation.

'Overkill' is na-palming a village to take out the lone sniper in the church tower.

As i understand it many forces are now taking a far more relaxed view to the species that you can shoot with any particular calibre. Perhaps another example of inconsistencies between counties.


Distinguished Member
£14 per 100 sounds like ex mil FMJ to me. Personally I would be reluctant to use such ammo due to the possibility of ricochet.


Site Staff
rh120 I don't know if you are a member of the BASC or not, but irrespective of that you should maybe bring the attention of your FLO to the relevant web page. Chances are he may not be up to scratch with this information. Keep us informed.



Account Suspended
questions answered

It looks like 300wsm and Jayb have this covered. It maybe that the flo isn't aware of the changes and maybe a gentle reminder would be in order. .223 is a suitable calibre for longer range vermin control and is especially useful for foxing. The .17 rem is also a very potent round and should not be confused with the .17 rimfires.
It may raise the question of why do you need the .17 rem if you want to use the .223 for vermin. If you can make a good arguement of why you need it then i don't see there is a problem.

remember communication is the best bet. give them a call, then submit a variation with a covering letter explaining your reasons and see how it goes from there.



Well-Known Member
Thanks for the interest.I am a member of the SGA so I will contact them for advice as well. In reply to 8x57 You are right ex-mil ammo 5.56 which is legal.You will also find in many country,s FMJ,s are prefered for pelt and meat damage but this is not a concern for me. I cover 2300A in rural Scotland and I know the ground very well for livestock and rights of way ect, eg safety. My tactic is to site myself some distance away from the warren,s and shoot the bunny,s as the ground is quite hilly and most of the warrens are on the hillsides riochet,s should not be a problem as I can shoot down and accross the hills. It is amazing how many you can shoot before they sus all is not quite right often when using this tactic I can stop and have a break and they will come out again or I can move to another warren. Also in reply to JAYB I will keep all posted. Thanks Swampy while out for Roe or after a Roe stalk I can then go after vermin

The Mole

Well-Known Member
Don't forget that FMJ may be legal for bunnies but is totally out of order for roe .... and I bet it doesn't shoot to the same point as whatever expanding ammo you are using if you do a quick swap over in the field!


Well-Known Member
Yes you are right,FMJ,s are illegle for roe and the point of aim is different.But if you take a close look at the scope on a rifle there are ajustment turets so set the scope at say 150yds with one type of ammo and note the scope reading then re-zero the scope on the other type of ammo no problem just a little range time and a few clicks of ajustment easy


Well-Known Member
I do not shoot a .223 but some of the fox shooters that i know have being useing mill surp ammo for years to shoot rabbits and they have even some times pulled the Fmj heads from the cases and replaced them with expanding heads. they call them Mexican reloads!! but they say that they work fine for the job in hand.

I think that i will stick to my .22 Horrnet for shooting bunnys though.

223 for rabbit

I suggest you have a quick look at the drawings for .223 Remington & the drawings for 5.56 Nato, some small but very important differences!, also milsurp bullet weights are usually in the higher end & may not be suitable for the twist rate in your .223?


Well-Known Member
Thanks 270 i had taken these things into consideration and i had a 1 in 9 twist on that rifle so it stabilized the heavyer bullets,it does not matter now as i have replaced that rifle still a .223 but with the slow twist rate so it won.t take anything over 55g and it,s getting harder to find 55g mil surplus ammo. I also had the rifle worked on by Norman Clark and Calum Ferguson no problems.


Well-Known Member
I think that you, having demonstrated good reason to possess .223 (roe and fox) should not really be prevented by the police from using it for other lawful quarry.

I think the ACPO decided something to that effect not long ago; there are those on here who know chapter and verse on this - indeed I think it is on the BASC website.

If I were you, I'd check these things out and have another chat with your FEO.


Well-Known Member
Dalua said:
I think that you, having demonstrated good reason to possess .223 (roe and fox) should not really be prevented by the police from using it for other lawful quarry.

I think the ACPO decided something to that effect not long ago; there are those on here who know chapter and verse on this - indeed I think it is on the BASC website.
Yes, and here it is to save you looking:

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Firearms and Explosives Licensing Working Group (FELWG) has issued advice that supports Chapter 13.14 & 13.22 of the Home Office guidance. It advised police forces to allow larger calibre rifles to be used to take lesser species i.e. where the primary reason for possession e.g. deer stalking was established, all lesser species such as foxes and pests could then be shot.

This practice has been commonplace in Scotland for some time, and has not endangered public safety in any way. In June 2009 ACPO FELWG again advised forces of a new condition that can be used in place of the standard condition in Appendix 3 of the Home Office guidance. -

The (rifle/sound moderator/firearms/ammunition) shall be used for shooting (Named Principal Quarry Species) and any other lawful quarry, on land deemed suitable by the chief officer of police for the area where the land is situated, and for zeroing on ranges, over which the holder has lawful authority to shoot. (Delete italics where appropriate)

This identifies the primary reason for use e.g. deer/fox control, then allows “other lawful quarry”. Certificate holders are invited to apply for this condition from their local licensing departments.

If the FEO or Licensing Dept don't want to allow this eminently sensible condition and start to make up their own rules just ask them to put it in writing, including the justification, and take it up with your association if you don't feel confident enough to negotiate with them yourself.