Sighting in 22lr for Pest/Small Game Destruction

So the other night I went out for a cull under crop protection permit. Listed pest animals on the permit were wallaby (Pademelon & Bennetts) and brush tail possum. I had some new ammo, CCI Mini Mags, that I had trialed and decided to try as I felt that my rifle had gone off the boil with Velocitors. To start with, I had some real issues finding the target. Long shots and close shots were ok (the first few were longish clean head shots) but anything at mid range seemed to be missing. I lowered my aim from the head and discovered that my rifle was shooting high. Probably my fault because I was tinkering with it and had it out of the stock on the weekend and only put a few through it at close range to check it was on. I won’t be doing that again, and will be checking zero at real range anytime I tinker from now on; I just got lazy!

After adjusting the scope down by a 1.5MOA, things improved but I was still getting better hits at distances out to 80-90m than at say, 35-50m. In the end, it went alright and I got on target for good clean kills but it prompted me to sit down and do some serious analysis of the ammo I have on hand with a ballistics calculator and some spread sheets.

I have a practice target that I copy for pest control that is an actual animal’s vital area traced onto some paper. I used this to measure all relevant info for drops and aim points based on actual field knowledge of where the vital kill zones on the animal are.
Using JBM Ballistics Calc ( and as accurate data as I could glean from manufacturers, I set about creating drop charts with ZERO set to MPBR (Max Point Blank Range) and inputting data for effective aim points allowing clean kills at various ranges.

Most of you will probably think I’m nuts or over thinking it all but humane destruction is high on my list of priorities and I dislike having to take a follow up shot too often and misses really throw my confidence and effect my ability to get the job done. Anyway, at risk of being called a pedantic loony, my initial info is below. It can be used as a guide for Tassy Crop Protection Shooting as to what hits will give a good clean kill with a minimum of fuss.

DISCLAIMER: Wallabies and Brush Tail Possums are prolific breeders in Tas and unless controlled, they not only eat crops and denude paddocks of grass, leaving stock hungry, they also out breed their own sustainability and end up dying of starvation in the paddocks in late winter. For these reasons they can be shot under spot light via Crop Protection Permit process.

As per the image below, a solid hit anywhere in the designated target areas shown or in the area inline between them will result in a clean
kill on Pademelon. Bennets Wallaby are slightly larger but a similar principle may be applied, though I prefer not to shoot ‘the greys’, as they are less prolific and the Pademelon are the real issue.

PS: A clean head shot to the brain as per target above is preferable where ever possible.

Not meaning to hijack but are you allowed to utilise the meat?
When they cull roos here we are not allowed to eat them, a real waste if you ask me.

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Yep. Both are listed as game species and can be hunted and used under a game licence. Only need Crop Protection Permit for spotlighting.

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It’s absolutely idiotic.

What? Needing a crop protection permit?

Leaving animals where they drop, as per Vic law, instead of making use of the meat.

Oh yeah… totally!

I think you may have to read the Control permits again. In Vic from what I read and understand and have evern been told by DEPI that you can use all parts of the animal. It must remain on your property however. Other than my mittens.:smile:

Well that’s good to know!

Never read it… But this is something I’ve been told by a few people (independent of each other). Could be wrong, but that’s the bases of what I thought it is.

Although, leaving them on the property, where the property is not the residence is effectively the same thing, I guess.

Yes that is a technicality I hadn’t considered. I should get out the papers or the website and have a look. It didn’t apply to me so much so I didn’t worry. Although I shoot for the neigbours who have permits and bring the meat back to my side of the fence. The critters cross fences and you are allowed to follow injured game and bring it back. Even reading that Deer shooting/spotlighting FAQ allows you to go 250m into a adjoining SF with a spotlight. So there must be some wriggle room.

@Gwion dont feel like your the only one. I am sure no one would be surprised that I also use a dope sheet in 10 yrd inc for different projectiles in the 22. Really I see it as not much of a choice a 22 drop is quite large from 50yrds even just out to 80. I have a scope in mils zeroed at 30 at 80 it is 1.4 mil or 4.8 MOA that is significant in scope adjustment terms. From 50 to 80 it is still about 4 MOA a significant scope adjustment you would make on centerfire shot.

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Yep. More an excercise to know where to sight in the ammo and drill the aim points into my mind. I’ll confirm data when we get a decent day and waste a box on targets from field positions.

Ok. Beautiful day today so out i go to test all my drop charts, etc.

Ended up going with Winchester Power Point 40gn HP. Even though i didn’t achieve my best groups with them, they did seem to be consistent even while rapid shooting and the are easy to come by locally, not to mention being quite a bit cheaper than CCI Velocitors.

Some of the other loads gave some nice groups, usually on my second string, but 3rd & 4th groups where all pretty ordinary. I don’t get it. I have had this rifle shooting a lot better than this. Maybe it really is the crappy trigger on the T-bolt wrecking havoc with consistency…

Any way. I decided to sight in the Win 40PP 2" high at 50m, as per my calculated drop chart. I then confirmed the chart with rapid 10 round strings at 25, 50, 75 & 100m. The drop chart turned out pretty accurate once taken to centre of the group. Groups are quite crapoy but i was purposely rushing as you don’t get a lot of time to line up the shot for pest control with these poor little hoppity buggers.

After a good look at the results i have decided that my point of aim should consistently be the base of the neck for full presented animals. They quite often present a good standing target and this POA will result in a clean kill out to 75 or mor meters. When presenting a crouched target, my POA will be centre of mass for the upper chest area and only out to 50m or so, which should also yield reliably clean kills.

I would really like to see what difference a good trigger makes with the CCI 45gn Suppressor round, as i think it would be very effective out to 75m odd on these animals.

Pics to follow and comments welcomed.

For the WinPP. when sighting in for elevation on my drop chart, i aimed center bull on the lower target for my first 10 rounds until i was roughly 2" high (right on the dividing line). Then i aimed at the dividing line and fired three round groups, adjusting as needed until i was hitting center bull on the top target.

First confirmed at 50m, then 25, 75 & 100.

If you take too two shots as fliers, the rest of the group is pretty much bang on 2" high at 50m, as per previously calculated drop chart. Other ranges also proved pretty close to calcs.

I really think 100m is pushing it for a reliably clean kill.

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Set up for shooting at 50m… sunny, still day!

As i said above, reareally not 100% happy with results but confident it will yield clean, effective pest control shooting.

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There’s thousands of NSW farmers willing to give their left nut for pastures that green. I don’t eat a lot of Roo up bush and when we’re dropping 50+ a night it’s a massive waste of a natural resource which unfortunately cannot be helped. I was talking to the cousin last night and he’s knocking a few over each night from his verandah with his .303, they’re so desperate for food they’re even getting into the hayshed near the house.

They must be doing it tough up your way, Brett.
Our grass may be green but you can see how short it is in the pic. There hasn’t been sheep in that paddock for months. All chewed by wabblies.