Rabbit Hunting Guns
Dr. John Woods 02.10.20
Just mention this topic around the hunting campfire and the debate is sure to ensue. It’s a classic hunting and hunting gun choices debate. Of course, it really is a matter of personal choice. If a rabbit hunter is successful at taking rabbits in the field, one might argue that whichever gun he used was the best firearm for hunting rabbits.
But another hunter might be just as good at bagging bunnies with a completely different type of firearm. Who is to say what is the best gun for rabbit hunting? There are many choices, and the right choice depends greatly on the individual hunter and that hunter’s skill set.
If you were to read a book about how to learn to rabbit hunt, you would see discussions about the uses of various types of firearms for the applications. Shotguns are universally preferred. These would include pump guns, semi-auto models, doubles, and even single shots. While the 12-gauge or 20 would be a first choice, I have known rabbit hunters looking for a real challenge that will use a .410 gauge shotgun.
Modified choke is most often used. The modified choke spreads out the shot pattern in a moderately wide spread. This spread is good for running rabbits that offer a challenging shot to begin with. Stoked with No.6 loads for distance power shots or 7 1/2’s for close quarter runs, shotguns are a prime choice for rabbit hunting.
Alternatives to shotguns? Some rabbit hunters find it quite sporting to slip around the edges of rabbit run habitat with a 22 rimfire rifle. It takes good shooting skills and a lot of patience. Rabbits will of course sit tight sometimes, making a perfect sitting shot. If you are really looking for a fun time offering a lot of shooting, try rabbit hunting with a 22 rimfire rifle.
Kicking it up a notch, try a rimfire handgun. With either a good revolver like a Ruger Single Six or a semi-auto pistol such as a Ruger Target model or a classic like a Smith & Wesson 52, rabbit hunting with a handgun is one enjoyable hunt.
As you see, there are many options for rabbit guns, all suitable, all fun, and as effective as the shooter.