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The P-Rod Gets A Chance At Ground Squirrels (No Photos) :(


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#1 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 01:41 PM

First I'll say "Sorry Everyone" :( . Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of this to show for what I did on Saturday, late in the afternoon. I know... no photos or it didn't happen. Well, whatever... my daughter knows it happened. She wanted me to pick the critters up and skin them when we walked around to see how many were left above ground :puke: .

Anyway on to the story:

I was up visiting some relatives for the weekend and was invited over to one of their friend's house for dinner. This particular couple has a huge ground squirrel problem.

They have about 16 to 24 orange or tangelo trees on their property and the ground squirrels go crazy consuming the ones that fall on the ground. This in turn allows them ample food to reproduce like mad. I was informed of this problem a while back and therefore brought my Benjamin Marauder Pistol (in Carbine set up) with me when I came up to the relatives house.

As we drove up to the friend's property I could see countless ground squirrels running for cover and from the open ground to their burrows and the orange orchard. I would estimate that I easily saw over 100 squirrels scurrying around here and there and there were most likely many more. We went in and talked for a bit and around 5:30pm I decided to take out the P-Rod and see if I could help to thin out the squirrel population.

I sat on the edge of the back porch with my short (30"), homemade shooting sticks (now best referred to as "My Daughter's Shooting Sticks") and sat overlooking the down slope towards the orchard. Out of 24 shots taken, 14 were dead on either head shots or vital shots, and on two others I had to quickly take a follow up shot to take them out for the count. So I took 18 shots that connected out of 24 and there were 16 less ground squirrels running around by the time I left. I only got to shoot for about 30 to 45 minutes at most before dinner and after that it was cold and the squirrels had bedded down for the night.

The closest shot was about 5 yards (maybe a little less) and the farthest shot was around 55 to 60 yards with the average distance being about 40 to 45 yards for the majority of the shots. I was amazed at the accuracy of the P-Rod using the H&N FTT 14.66 grain 5.53 diameter pellets. I wasn't using a rangefinder, otherwise my accuracy would have been much better and maybe one or two shots would have missed instead of 6 shots missed. I was happily invited back to help rid the property of more of the destructive critters whenever I was available in the future.

I think the P-Rod, with it's lower power (633FPS average), quiet report and excellent accuracy was the perfect airgun for this particular situation and it operated beyond my expecations. :)

#2 Wingman115

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:00 PM

They are great little guns. The one I shot with I was impressed.

#3 Brant

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:30 PM

You can't buy fun like that. I am jealous. Over one hundred squirrels at a crack. I have taken about two dozen tree squirrels with the P-Rod but over a few months and maybe a dozen chipmunks during the same period. :653: Our only real numerous airgun quarry is sparrows, pigeons, and starlings.

#4 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:30 PM

I was very surprised when we drove up and I saw the hoard of ground squirrels that were running everywhere. I only shot at the ones down the hill. The homeowners also mentioned that there were huge ones up the hill. Since I didn't have much time, I just concentrated on the ones I could see were an immediate problem. These squirrels were wrecking everything. They even dug holes in their gravel road. I hope I get to go back up there again.

Next time I'll arrange to get their around 7 or 8am and stay until around 4pm. That way I can probably rid them of around 50 or more at one time. I'll have to take some gloves to pick them up and toss them in a heap at the edge of the property for the coyotes. Next mission will be ridding the property of the pesky coyotes. :) I'll have to break out the .25 M-Rod for those at close range.

#5 screwwork

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:49 PM

Sweet, good job on the squirrels ARH.
Pictures or no pictures, this was a good report :yahoo:
Have a great time when you get to go again :good:

#6 Bisley

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:39 PM

Man, I don't know how I missed this one, :signs1180lq: . Nothing like having dessert before dinner. But this was my favorite part of the whole story:

She wanted me to pick the critters up and skin them when we walked around to see how many were left above ground :puke: .


:rofl2: So why didn't you? :bleh[1]: . How can anyone not the love the honesty and thought process of a child :lol: . Keep up the good work, and hope you get a chance to get back there soon, with a camera :pot: .

#7 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:28 PM

Man, I don't know how I missed this one, :signs1180lq: . Nothing like having dessert before dinner. But this was my favorite part of the whole story:



:rofl2: So why didn't you? :bleh[1]: . How can anyone not the love the honesty and thought process of a child :lol: . Keep up the good work, and hope you get a chance to get back there soon, with a camera :pot: .


The reason I didn't mess with the squirrels, in all honesty, is that I didn't bring anything to put them in or pick them up with. When it comes to handling ground squirrels I don't like to mess around with them too much.

I do have a tanned ground squirrel hide in my home office and that is the only ground squirrel that I ever skinned and tanned the hide from. I think it was the fourth ground squirrel I shot when I was first getting into air gunning in May of 2011. It was also my first experiment in tanning an animal hide. I had to pick it up with gardening gloves and put it in a bucket of water with a stick to hold it under water. Then I waited about 15 to 20 minutes for the fleas and other nasty stowaways on the squirrel to drown and then I wore vinyl gloves when I skinned it and tanned it.

Tanned Ground Squirrel Hide:
Attached File  TannedSquirrel.JPG   106.23KB   0 downloads

Now when I harvest cottontails or jack rabbits the first thing my daughter says when I'm cleaning them is "Are you saving the fur for me?" That means I have to be a little more careful when skinning them so that I don't tear the hide or cut big holes in them. I'll attach a photo below of the hides I've tanned for her so far. I think there are the three jack rabbit hides from the jacks I just got in the last few weeks, and about 16 cottontail hides from last rabbit season.

Cottontail Hides:
Posted Image

Jack Rabbit Hides:
Posted Image

I actually like the process of tanning and working the hides (I use the Salt and Alum tanning process currently because I can get what I need from the store), but if you do alot of them at once it can be time consuming. The good thing is that everytime I do it I get better at it and the hides usually turn out softer and more pliable. I'm not sure what I'm going to make for her out of them (maybe a real fur teddy bear?), but she gets real sad if I don't do my best to save the "furs" from the rabbits I harvest everytime I come home with some from a hunt.

Next time I go up to that place to shoot ground squirrels I'm going to try and take a video camera too and set it up on a bipod. Or I might even get a camera mount, or make one and mount my wife's digital camera for a scope cam and record through the scope. Nothing like watching a rated "AV" video (airgun violence) for some afternoon entertainment.

#8 Bisley

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:47 PM

Just a thought, but my father always wanted to make a matching set of gloves and a jacket or a vest with rabbit skins. It was one of those never completed projects even though he had more than enough fur. It would sure be warm for sure. Either that or make her a soft gun case just for her air guns with them B)

#9 Thumper Dunker

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:19 PM

Good job. :good:

#10 ElPaso73

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:33 PM

Considering buying an M-Rod pistol. Any owners/ experts out there know the best method to use for upping the ftlbs, maybe in conjunction with a de-pinger? Any experiences/ advice would help. Found one out of the box promising 750 ft./sec (.22) from a reputable supplier from N.Y....not bad. But many will boast of +/_ 1000 ft.per sec. with mods without pushing the barrel out or losing meaningful accuracy. Thanks in advance for any help.

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#11 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:54 PM

There are guys that you can send a P-Rod to and have it tuned to shoot faster, but typically that involves having the valve modified, heavier hammer spring, transfer port modified and having a longer barrel installed (which means you'll need a custom length shroud if you want it to stay quiet). However, what this will do is lower the amount of optimal shots that you will get out of your P-Rod. A standard P-Rod will get you around (24) good shots. If you modify it for more power your shot count can drop to around 12 to 16 goot shots.

Citrus airguns offers a tune service that will up the velocity on a P-Rod. I don't know how much it costs, but you can check online.

#12 Brant

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:39 AM

My P-Rod does perfectly well stock on squirrels with head shots and a few with heart/lung shots out to 50 yards with JSB Exact Jumbo Express pellets. It is that accurate with a good rest. The stock sweet spot is about a 2500 psi fill but some guys mod/tune to get a full 3000 psi fill. It adds shots/power but increases the deviation slightly too. It seems like once they tune it it often requires constant tweaking which I choose to avoid.

#13 ElPaso73

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:19 PM

Thanks for the replies, I like it / no opinions/ just info. based on experiences. If an extended barrel accompanies an upgrade in ft.lbs. ...Then I'll keep it stock- otherwise would defeat the purpose of a "backpack pistol" regarding My aims. Sounds likely I would want to remain close to stock until I get to know the internals. Might be some time as the flat top piston install I attempted today on a mundane 1322 ended with a hissing whisper- instead of A BANG!! uh well..not givin' up. Thanks again there.




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