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Old 12-14-2009, 04:37 PM
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Default Advice on .22lr close range issues- livestock



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Here’s the conundrum;
There will come a time soon where one or two of my sheep will need to be ‘humanely dispatched’ to use the UK legal lingo. The reason for doing so lets please leave ambiguous.

I have in the past always done this out in a field with 12ga birdshot- let’s say that it is highly effective.

On these coming occasions I will need to use my Ruger 10/22 instead. Again, please do not just recommend another firearm or tool: due to legal and other reasons this is what I MUST use.

My questions are regarding ammunition.

I KNOW that what I have will do the job admirably- but I am worried that it will work too well and am concerned about operator and bystander safety.
I currently have available CCI stingers. I MAY have some Remington sub sonic also.
I may have to carry out the ‘humane dispatch’ on concrete- I know to aim at the skull in such a way so that the round SHOULD go down into the neck, but what if I end up coming strait down, I have not had the opportunity to experiment with old skulls and fleshy stuff to check penetration yet. I heard that If a round will penetrate ¼” plywood then it will penetrate skull; the CCI stingers I am using out of my firearm easily go through ¾” at 25yds. I will have the muzzle of the rifle only inches from the animal- so I will be quite close in turn.
My questions are as follows (many are rather repetitive, and just rephrase the same issue- sorry);
  • How much of a possibility is there of the CCI stinger leaving the animal and ricocheting?
    i.e. Can the round pass through both sides of the sheep’s skull and out the other side?
  • Would putting hay or something down help at all?
  • Is a sheep’s brain cavity and contents sufficient for the round to expand and stop?
  • If I have any Remington Subs then would they be a better choice?
  • Do you have any ammunition that you recommend instead of the above two to keep in stock for such things?

I know that ideally I will do this on soft ground, but situations are not always ideal.
I hope I have not confused you too much, and thank you in advance.

GENT
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:15 PM
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all it has to do is go through the skull a 22 short will do that , a standerd 22 lr will do the trick use a hp to avoid over penatration i dont think you will have a prob you can always use a hammer like some packing houses do !
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:53 PM
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I just used a knife for my hogs and goats.

I looked around online for some info. It seems they aim for the base of skull. Where the vertabrae / spine meets the head.

That bullet could bounce back at you. If that bullet has the same chance of bouncing anywhere, you have a 1 in 12 chance you'll get hit. Back up like 3-4 meters, then you have 1 in 100 chance of being hit.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:05 PM
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Either one should work fine but if it were me I would use a sub sonic and stand beside the sheep aiming at the base of the skull, where the spine meets the skull. Sheep have thick foreheads, and it is possible for a 22 to ricochet off a forehead, even on a thin boned white-tailed deer, like we have over here. Firing in from behind will sever the spinal cord, instantly ending it. The sub-sonic will lose most if not all of it's energy inside the animal.

I have had head shots go bad on occasion, even with high powered rifles
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:23 PM
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A standard Velocity 22lr should work fine. that is what we used on hogs and cattle. Try to line up a shot to the center of the forehead, any kind of an angle makes a ricochy more likely. I would not worry about over penetration. Even if the bullet did exit it will no longer have any velocity.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:04 PM
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I used a .22 once on a ewe that I had. Next time I'm using a really sharp knife.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:28 PM
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"I KNOW that what I have will do the job admirably- but I am worried that it will work too well and am concerned about operator and bystander safety."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

If there is ANY chance that a bystander could get hit with a ricochet, then I would recommend that you use something other than a firearm.( "things could happen, and if Mr. Murphy shows up, and the bullet "misses" the animal and hits the concrete to eventually end up hitting a bystander...for example..) It aint worth it IMO. Go on the side of caution.
A knife will do, but you'll leave a mess on that hardball. I have dispatched goats, and pigs with a hammer in the past. ...FWIW

11B
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:56 PM
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Just a suggestion. Don't aim for the forehead, put the muzzle just behind and under the ear and aim so the bullet crosses diagonally through the base of the skull, taking out the medula oblongata. The forehead is very thick bone, the sinus process behind the ear and the base of the skull is not as thick.
Save your stingers, a standard velocity .22 will do fine, even a .22 Long or short shoud be adequate. We kill beef with a .22 regularly, and that's what they use in slaughter houses when the "bolt gun" misses.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:26 PM
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My dad always used a 22 short betwen the eyes for cattle aiming toward the base of the skull. He would approach from the side away from the feet and cut the throat immediately after the animal went down. Stinger or subsonic should work as well.

If your rifle has a scope, remember to account for the height above the actual bore at close range.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:43 AM
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Alright, I can't resist the temptation to tell a goat slaughtering experience from my mispent youth.........

My Crazy Uncle Armand (yes, that's his full name....well, should be) used to raise a goat every once in a while for meat. Well, one summer when I was about 10 years old I happened to be staying with my Aunt and Uncle when it was time to slaughter the goat. My cousin, who was maybe 15 at the time was there as well.

So the goat slaughtering procedure was that my cousin was to put a leash on the goat, wrap the leash around a pole, cinching it up on the pole until the goats head was held perfectly still against the pole. Then my Crazy Uncle Armand was to shoot the goat in the head with a .22 rifle.

So my cousin cinches up the goat and keeps pulling, holding the goat steady against the pole. Crazy Uncle Armand shoots. Cousin Bobby goes down, blood gushing from his head and unconscious. The goat runs off down the hill.

For a few panich stricken moments we were sure that some how the .22 had ricocheted off the post and hit Bobby in the head, nearly killing him. After reviving my poor cousin and doing some invetigating we had thankfully found otherwise:

The bullet had hit the collar, breaking it. My cousin, who was pulling back on the leash, fell backwards, hitting his head on a rock on the ground which caused him to bleed and be knocked out.

A funny story now, but from then on Crazy Uncle Armand used a knife to the throat.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for some useful replies there, and other things to consider (like collars! )

Usually we use a captive bolt gun in such circumstances (forgot to mention initially), and then use the knife to bleed, but we don’t have access to it in the future.
I plan to shoot above and between the eyes where an imaginary cross would be if you drew a line between opposite (imaginary) horns and eyes. (These don’t have horns- if they did the procedure would be different.)

Then, as soon as the animal is down, it will be bled.

Thank you for your concern fragout- I meant bystanders to mean other people involved in the killing process, not random people- also anyone else in the vicinity will be standing behind me when the shot is taken.

I have had a couple of 'bad' experiences with a captive bolt gun not doing the job (I was not operating it), and I had to resort to just the knife. I will ALWAYS do my best to 'stun' an animal before bleeding it. It doesn’t deserve the pain.


What I have learnt;
I will also attempt to stand back from the animal a little further if the situation permits.
I will also use lower velocity ammunition if I have any.
I will look at the possibility of aiming at the base of the skull rather than the forehead. I will study the animal and see what is most feasible.
If things go wrong I will have follow up shots ready if necessary- or be prepared to go strait in with the knife (as always).
NO JEWELRY ON THE SHEEP!
Aim square on to the skull;- little or no angle to help prevent ricochets.

Thanks all!
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
I plan to shoot above and between the eyes where an imaginary cross would be if you drew a line between opposite (imaginary) horns and eyes. (These don’t have horns- if they did the procedure would be different.)
If you raise sheep, you know that part of the skull is probably the thickest. You know they ram each other exactly where you are shooting. If the animal moves it's head and changes the angle of the shot placement, I would think there is a small chance of a bullet might ricochet. I would shoot behind the ear at the base.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy View Post
If you raise sheep, you know that part of the skull is probably the thickest. You know they ram each other exactly where you are shooting. If the animal moves it's head and changes the angle of the shot placement, I would think there is a small chance of a bullet might ricochet. I would shoot behind the ear at the base.
I thought this also- especially since they are rams to be killed also, but this is the position that i am most familiar with having done captive bolt killings in the past, if i were to aim for any other part it would be guess work.
If i had seen it done once or twice in the manner you describe it would be my first choice, but i cannot guarentee my effectiveness using a method that i am not farmilliar with.
I will reasearch this more.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:22 AM
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You could do it like this

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Old 12-15-2009, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by letsgetreal View Post
Gotta love a country like that. Baby cries, they kill the king and massacre the rest of the family. Salute!
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:51 AM
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Well it is certainly effective...
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:01 PM
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I presume you are going to use some form of crush to hold the animal still to get a good shot. If the animal is placed in a wooden crush and its head is held firm between timbers is it not possible to place a sand bag or a plastic bag full of water underneath the head in front of the front legs so a nearly vertical shot is possible and should it over penetrate it would hit the sand bag or water bag ?
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by glenn13 View Post
I presume you are going to use some form of crush to hold the animal still to get a good shot. If the animal is placed in a wooden crush and its head is held firm between timbers is it not possible to place a sand bag or a plastic bag full of water underneath the head in front of the front legs so a nearly vertical shot is possible and should it over penetrate it would hit the sand bag or water bag ?
good suggestion, thanks.
We dont tend to use a restraint as our animals are so tame and docile that they just stand there, we have never had an isse with them moving away. the use of a sandbag or something may be worth looking into though.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:30 PM
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Stick the barrel in its ear and pull the trigger. I would use the stinger.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:41 PM
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Our processor uses a 22 to the head for everything hogs to buffalo. Nary an incident . we use a 22 to the base of the skull for our goats and sheep no over penetration drop like a stone every time.
Never did it in an oak grove though. Used to do it for a doctor I worked with but his had to be bled and facing east-ish.

Last edited by swamppapa; 09-27-2015 at 06:37 PM.. Reason: damn you auto correct
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