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probably a dumb question re squirrel rifle

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old ugly

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i am curious. i see all sorts of guns called squirrel rifles.
what style of muzzleloader is a squirrel rifle?
is it just a small calibre rifle?
or is there a specific style of long gun that would be a squirrel rifle?
ou
tom
 

Bassdog1

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I agree its about anything you want to shoot a squirrel with. I prefer a 32 or 36 caliber as they are what I own but some have 29 cal. and several on this sight use 40 and above. I would say the biggest defining factor for me would be a gun that shoots very accurately around 35-40 yards as that seems to be about as far as I can head shoot a squirrel or rabbit.
 

sawyer04

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Used to butcher domestic hogs in the community back when neighbors were neighbors. The squirrel rifle was turned into a hog rifle for that operation. Modern weapons were available, but the old 40 was used until the custom shrank away.
 

Carbon 6

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Typically a "squirrel rifle" is small caliber, long barrel and full stocked.
 

ADK Bigfoot

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For my two cents worth, anything too small to legally hunt deer with (in my home state of NY) becomes a squirrel rifle. Or Snowshoe Hare Rifle, or whatever. That means my .32 and .36 rifles are probably squirrel rifles. My .40 is not legal for deer, but is mostly for target shooting. So it is my paper and steel rifle. My .50, .54, and .62 rifles are deer/bear rifles. And maybe someday Elk rifles. Or Moose rifles. I really need a .45 squirrel/deer/antelope rifle.

ADK Bigfoot
 

Art Caputo

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IMO, it’s generally a trim, long barreled design in 32-40 cal that shoots with sufficient accuracy to place its shots in a minimum 1.5” group st 20-40 yards. My particular choice is the 40 cal LRB with 40gr charges. While I would probably choose a 32 or 36 caliber were I hunting squirrels exclusively, I hunt the late season(Jan/Feb) combining coyote hunting, particularly at dusk/dawn. I like the 40cal as it’s sufficiently accurate for head shots on squirrels, but also effective for the longer shots on the big bodied Northeastern coyotes.
 

Robby

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Ooh ok
So no particular style but usually just a smaller caliber
It’s just a general term.
Thanks
Ou
Tom
I have made small caliber rifles specifically for small game including squirrels. Because you are sometimes shooting them up in the trees, I like a buttplate with some arch to it.
Robby
 

Bob McBride

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Most dogs who haven’t had the hunt bred out of them will bark up a tree at a Squirrel but thatdoesn’t make them a Squirrel dog. I think there’s some regional, cultural, and general use tie-in here too. Not every small caliber rifle is a squirrel gun. Reminds me of the term ‘farm truck’. I have two trucks and live on a farm. One is a farm truck and one is just a run of the mill pickup truck that sometimes does farm work.
 
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oldwood

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According to old texts I've read , the squirrel rifle became not only popular , but very necessary when corn fields expanded and most of the large game animals were gone. Squirrels migrate in mass when woods food in one area runs out , so a nice corn field is easy pickin's for the tribe. Hunted through two migrations in my 60+ years , and not a lot of hunting skill required to kill a nice mess . Shooting matches became very popular for entertainment as well . The style of rifle used for squirrels were mostly post 1800 era pieces. Stocks were slim , some were highly decorated w/ inlays , and most had little carving. In the back country of Appalachia where shiny unnecessary decoration was put aside , rifles were considered tools folks carried for protection and if game appeared , to gather a meal. Seems like most "squirrel" rifles were between .25 and .40. I'm with the crowd that likes the back woods ugly old looking .40 , made out of rusty repurposed parts. My favorite .36 for farm hunting had no butt plate , and both walnut stocked rifles showed only a grease /patch hole in the side. Utilitarian to the max. , lock stock and barrel. ...........oldwood
 

Grenadier1758

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Any rifle to hunt squirrels can be a "squirrel rifle". The basic requirements are first, accuracy to hit a squirrel's head at about 15 to 20 yards, second, light in weight for ease of carry, third, barrel length suitable to ease of carry and maintain high degree of on target accuracy (sights are easy to see and align on target) and fourth, small caliber to minimize damage to meat.
 
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