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Discussion Starter #1
Sitting here in the comfort of my living room, watching for deer, I got a little bored and placed me a target about 70 yards out on the upper end of the yard where I have a deer feeder set up.

I was curious as how accurate i could I could place my shots from an open window with my 455 CZ 22 rimfire at that distance without the most solid rest.

Using my sling to steady myself, and resting my elbow on the window sill, I fired 5 shots of Federal Gold Medal Match.
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I was actually surprised I was able to be this accurate with all the wobble at 70 yards. This is easily brain shot accuracy, and I haven’t shot the gun since the early summer.
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The scope is a cheap Simmons 4x fixed power.

I have always said that if I could only have one gun for everything it would be a 22 rifle; and I state that with the qualification that I know what they are capable of.

Of course, I cannot in no way confirm my findings with those experiences, but let’s just say I proved it many times over in my younger, more free from constraint years:)
 

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Nothing wrong with a good .22 rifle! I also have a CZ 455 (receiver sight and front ramp-bead, CZ rings and a 3-9X40 for scoped use when needed).

The .22LR has been a favorite of poachers for many years. Relatively quiet, very accurate, and surprisingly effective at modest ranges. There have probably been many thousands of deer taken with .22LR over the years.

Many wildlife management agencies use .22LR in deer control, frequently suppressed rifles using subsonic heavy bullet ammo, and much of this work is done in populated areas without significant problems.

During WW2 the US sent thousands of .22 target rifles to the Soviet Union for use in training recruits. The Russians took those very accurate rifles and used them as urban sniper rifles against Nazi troops!

A few decades ago the Israeli Defense Forces purchased a bunch of suppressed Ruger 10-22 rifles, supposedly for non-lethal use against violent demonstrators. One account I read indicated that some of the Israelis found those rifles capable of pin-point accuracy out to 100 yards or more, and head shots were a preferred method.

I agree with the OP that if limited to one firearm mine would have to be a good .22 rifle! Properly used there is not much that can't be done when necessary.
 

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.22 mag has been a deer poachers favorite for years. I've used a .22 mag pistol for a couple coup de grace shots on deer with excellent results. A friend of mine who lived in Alaska for years said that the .22 mag was a favorite for Natives who hunted seals.
 
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I think 22's are severely under rated. It might take some experimentation to find the ammo a 22 rifle or pistol likes but the quest is well worth it. Fun too. I used to cut cards and light kitchen matches at 50yds with my Anschutz 64MPR using Wolf Match target ammo off sandbags.
 

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My problem with .22 LR on deer, is that the only humane shot with this caliber is a head shot. The target presented is much smaller than the heart/lung are, and if you mess up a head shot, the deer may die a slow painful death in the next county. I respect the animals too much to take such a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My problem with .22 LR on deer, is that the only humane shot with this caliber is a head shot. The target presented is much smaller than the heart/lung are, and if you mess up a head shot, the deer may die a slow painful death in the next county. I respect the animals too much to take such a chance.
I agree. There would be a lot of wounded deer dying a slow death.

OTOH, I have great confidence in my ability and judgement. The brain area of a deer is slightly larger than the kill zone of a squirrel, so, I think the person with the skill to self limit his shot selection to within his or her skill level would be fine.
 

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I agree. There would be a lot of wounded deer dying a slow death.

OTOH, I have great confidence in my ability and judgement. The brain area of a deer is slightly larger than the kill zone of a squirrel, so, I think the person with the skill to self limit his shot selection to within his or her skill level would be fine.
Fair enough. I suppose the flip side of this, is the guy who goes for a heart/lung shot at 300 yds, when his skills are only good for 100. You are right, that it is all about good judgement and knowing your capabilities.
 

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Our fish and game laws, including minimum caliber requirements for deer hunting, are adopted based upon the most commonly experienced abilities of the majority of hunters, etc. What is minimal for the least experienced may be something else in the hands of the most experienced hunter.

Will the .22LR cartridge kill a deer with proper shot placement at reasonable ranges? Most certainly. Will the .22LR suffice for the great majority of deer hunters under all normal hunting conditions? Of course not.

Lots of deer and other game animals escape with wounds from super-duper extra-powerful magnum ammo fired by less than proficient hunters. Even more may lie down, bleed out, and go to waste because of hunters who don't understand the basic requirements for following up a shot with a diligent tracking and search effort to recover the animal.

I am not advocating in favor of permitting the use of .22LR for deer hunting. All I am saying is that the cartridge is very capable of getting the job done when properly employed (and that includes appropriate range and careful shot placement).
 

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There is no legal minimum caliber for deer hunting in NC, IIRC. Like Retired Badge 1 says, proper deployment is the key. Is humane kill requirement enforceable, or does it have to fall under the category of “you can’t fix stupid”?
 

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Many years ago, I had a friend who lived in a canyon just outside of Santa Monica, on the Southern California coast.
Every couple of months, he illegally poached a coastal deer (they're small, buck or doe) with a cheap .22 rimfire single-shot rifle.
The local deer herd was his "supermarket meat counter," he said.
 
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