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probably a dumb question re squirrel rifle

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MikeMyDay

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From "Guns and Gunmaking Tools of Southern Appalachia" by John Rice Irwin: p.8. "As stated earlier the Kentucky rifle was most commonly referred to in our area as the "hog" rifle. When I was a child, I never heard it called anything except the "old hog rifle" or sometimes the "squirrel gun". I never heard the 'old folks' use the term "Kentucky rifle". Perhaps what you called it just depended on whether your rifle was used to hunt mostly hogs or squirrels. The author shows a bill of sale "I, Alfred Stooksbury, sell this hog rifle to Kenneth Cark Keck -- this rifle is a dark pineapple stock (full stock) this gun is approximately a 38 caliber ...."
 

flntlokr

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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
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.
in my area, (West Coast) the only requirement for rendezvous is =<40 cal.
 

Banjoman

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Here in east Tennesse and south east Kentucky where I grew up, a 'hog rifle' was usually a bolt action, single shot 22 or in my great grandfathers day a small caliber muzzleloader. These guns were also used for squirrel, rabbit or ground hogs too. Weren't hardly any deer around then. I remember when I was a kid hearing my dad and uncles talk about my great grandfathers 'hog rifle'. I never got to see it and don't know what ever happened to it. All I know about it is that it was a percussion muzzleloader in 'thirty something' caliber. They said it was very plain, what we now call a barn gun. I wish I could have seen it and wish I had it.
 

hanshi

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I'm not being sarcastic, but a squirrel rifle is actually any rifle that one uses for all or most of their squirrel hunting. In this case it's the opinion of the hunter as what constitutes a "squirrel rifle" that matters. IMHO a true squirrel rifle is an accurate, rather plain, small caliber, .32 or .36, rifle, mostly with a longer barrel and full stocked. Half stock rifles with medium length barrels in these calibers also satisfy my definition of squirrel rifles. Classic squirrel rifles are often represented by by full stocked SMR; this is sorta what I call "true squirrel rifles". I very much like the .32 & .36 and consider the .40 an "in-between". But many are indeed .40 squirrel rifles.

Robby mentioned shooting upward at treed squirrels. This is where the little calibers rule. Those tiny balls don't carry as far as larger ones and are more easily stopped by branches and twigs.
My favorite for squirrels, .36 SMR.

A .32 "Crockett" half stock.

An SMR .32.
 

Des52

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I have one of each, a .36 long rifle, a cabelas blueridge flint and a half-stock Tradition .36. Both are good squirrel guns.
 

Griz44Mag

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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
Easy question - Easy answer - If you kill a squirrel with it - it's a squirrel gun.
 

Banjoman

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The terms 'squirrel rifle' and 'hog rifle' were usually used to describe the same guns here in the south. A 'hog rifle' was not necessarily used for hunting hogs (although they could be). It was used to put down pen raised hogs whenever it was hog killing weather, usually sometime after November. This was done at point blank range in a pen so an economical small caliber rifle made more sense than a large caliber gun. When these same guns were also used for squirrel hunting they then became squirrel guns.
 

bang

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Smooth bore and shot. Shooting larger projectiles upwards not safe.
 

SchwartzStock

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I once shot a cottontail with my 50-70 roller. Took the head off cleanly and sucked the innards out with it. Since a cottontail is not much bigger than a squirrel I guess it qualifies as a squirrel rifle.
 

Smokey Plainsman

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I prefer the dashing and lofty title “Squirreling Piece” for my small caliber guns.

This is a title reserved for only the finest and most noble of small game. What a glorious and impressive beast!

9EDD6C43-E18A-42BF-8D2B-030609887A6E.jpeg
 

cositrike

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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
It has to be quite a big bore gun, or you’ll never be able to get the squirrel down the barrel. Lol
 

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