What Can You Hunt With a .22 gun?

Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Dwayne Easton

Adding a .22 gun to your arsenal? Or thinking about it? We’ve researched the ins and outs of this guns, so that you can make an informed decision before your purchase. Let’s jump right in!

Most hunters start shooting with a .22 caliber rifle, and it is a must-own gun. I still remember the first 22 rifle my father brought me for my 11th birthday: a single-shot, bolt-action .22 with open sights. I practiced for hours in the fields at the back of our house. I kept moving the target, improving my skills. The .22 is perfect for beginners who want to learn how to shoot a rifle and hunt newbies. Despite the small punch it packs, the .22 cartridge can still be helpful in the right hands.

Another great thing with .22 caliber rounds is they’re light and affordable. With a .22 caliber rifle, you can fire off a couple of hundred shots and will only cost around $15. So when you go hunting, you could carry a thousand rounds with ease. shooting and hunting with a .22, a very affordable hobby. .22 caliber rounds are tiny too, so this means that your gun can take a shot, and it’s not as loud as other guns. So perfect for beginners target practicing. With enough practice and enough experience, you can effectively shoot a target at distances that can reach up to 440 yards.

The .22 caliber rifle isn’t as powerful as larger hunting rifles; this gun can only be used for hunting game animals. You can easily take down winged game animals such as small birds like quails—also larger birds including duck, geese, woodcock, grouse, partridge, and pheasants. The .22 is also suitable for small game animals like rabbits, hare, and squirrel.

hunting with kids

Hunting squirrels is easy. Get into the trees, watch and listen. You’ll hear them barking or see their furry, gray, or red tails flicking. Sneak close or wait until they come near. Find a nut tree and watch its branches. Buy a squirrel caller and bark with it to bring curious squirrels closer. I spent countless hours up the woods as a young boy hunting them with my .22 caliber rifle. You wouldn’t have to feel nervous before pulling the trigger because there’s no painful recoil to anticipate a kick. A .22 caliber rifle practically has no recoil, making it easy for you to aim and shoot at them.

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt Deer With A .22?

It is illegal in most states to hunt deer with a .22 rimfire. On the other hand, .22 centerfires are usually legal. There is a vast power difference causing this rule to make sense. When looking at the design and function of centerfire vs. rimfire ammunition. It is hard to deny that centerfire has an edge. There is a reason why almost every modern round is made centerfire. The first difference to consider between these rounds is reliability. Because centerfire rounds have a separate self-contained primer designed for only one function, they are much more reliable. The rimfire round is more accurate because it creates less recoil put packs less of a punch. When looking for a band for hunting, there are several pros and cons for centerfire vs. rimfire ammo. For small game, rimfire is considered the best. The inexpensive rounds and the lack of recoil make them ideal for rabbits, squirrels, and small birds. The actual argument comes into play when you look at a game. You will need to do your research for the law on this in your state. If you get caught by the game warden in a state where it is illegal, you could end up getting issued a ticket. And a pretty large fine attached or even arrested and taken to jail.

Can a .22 Kill a Deer?

Yes, a .22 will kill a deer if the shot is put into a vital area. If not, the shot will result in the deer dying a slow, painful death after running for a long distance. Deer are not difficult to kill. I have seen many killed with a .22 rimfire long rifle. That doesn’t mean that it makes it suitable. To do this, you need a perfect shot to the brain, lungs, or head to take the animal quickly and humanely, even with a great shot through the lungs. The animal could run for some distance before dying, creating one hell of a tracking job. It is an ethical hunter’s responsibility to make every kill shot instant if possible. If you are a fraction of an inch from your intended shot, it could result in a wounded animal that suffers for a week or longer before it dies. Nobody wants this. 

Is a 22 OK For Self Defence?

22 for self defence

For personal defense, the .22 is not ideal as an aggressor can withstand multiple shots. .22 caliber bullet before being significantly hindered. Yet, all it takes is one well-placed shot from the same gun to end a fight. But the fact that there is incoming fire may cause an attacker to rethink his or her plan.

Any reliable firearm is better than nothing, as the gun allows one to maintain or create distance and time between a threat and oneself. It is better than other defensive tools that don’t shoot like a knife or bat.
Some people prefer to carry the tiniest pistol possible. The idea of being a small pistol that’s no big deal to carry is one you can always keep on you. If it’s too easy to carry, there won’t be a reason not to do so. Some people also need the deepest concealment possible. If legally carrying in a less than entirely permissible environment. And then you have people that take a tiny backup gun.

For a gun for self-defense, I recommend a nine-shot .22-caliber revolver. If you get a misfire in a firearm, pull the trigger again to bring a good bullet under the firing pin. Many types of .22 ammunition include the .22 short for cheap target practice and a .22 long-rifle bullet with a hollow nose. This bullet makes a small hole going in, but a big hole going out. It will kill a man if the right shot is placed.

You don’t need a permit to keep a gun in your house. But you do need a license to carry a concealed weapon in your purse or your pocket. You can take the short course to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon at most gun shops. And they will also teach you relevant law in the state you are a resident of.