A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Second hunt of the 2016 season with the M&P 15-22


I made it to the parking lot at 7am, a little later than yesterday, and was surprised that on a Saturday there was only one vehicle there. Today was a little more humid than yesterday, very cloudy with a slight breeze in the air. It's funny that I never really know when I'll have a good day but I can usually tell when it will be bad. This felt like it would be a bad one.


The first sighting occurred about 5 minutes into the hunt, on the ground and at a distance. It spotted me, dashed for a hollow tree and hunkered down. I sat the spot out for 20 minutes, then moved on. On the return trip as I neared the same spot I saw a squirrel at a distance about 30 yards from where I spotted the first one. I closed in but lost sight of it. Then another squirrel jumped through the branches about 20 yards away. It stopped long enough for me to get a bead on it and I squeezed one off  from my 15-22. The CCI MiniMag HP passed through the heart and it dropped. That's two shots in two days harvesting two squirrels. Considering that all of today's sightings were within 30, my bet is that it was the same squirrel moving from tree to tree.

The hunt lasted an hour longer and still nothing moved after traveling 2.5 miles. I called it a day, returned home, showered, ate and cleaned my rifle. Then I had an idea. I grabbed my Henry .22 carbine and the CenterPoint scope that was mounted on my Benjamin NitroPiston air rifle, found a set of rings that fit and quickly mounted them on the rifle. Using my LaserLite green laser, I dialed the dot onto the crosshairs in seconds. After changing back into a clean set of hunting clothes I grabbed two boxes of CCI Quiet .22, jumped back in the car and returned to the woods. It was now almost 3:00, well beyond the end of their feeding time. No one was hunting so it was a good time to finish dialing in the scope for Monday's hunt.

I spotted a plastic barrel about 50 feet away that had a brown mark smaller than a dime on it. I braced myself against a tree, set the scope parallax correction ring at 50 feet and took a shot. I didn't see a hole. I took a second shot. No hole. Going up to the barrel it was obvious that both shots landed dead center on the mark (see photo / hole to the right of rifle). That really excited me because this ammo is actually quieter than my Gamo .177 air rifle. The main reasons I haven't been hunting with this rifle is because the stock isn't drilled to mount a sling swivel (Did you hear that Henry?), and that octagon barrel makes the rifle very heavy. A sling would help distribute that weight while walking. I had rings installed by my local gunsmith on another Henry and it set me back about $70. In my opinion all Henry's should have them pre-installed.

I think I'll give the rifle a field test on Monday if we don't get hit by that incoming storm. Check back then, and thanks for reading.

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