CZ452 Varmint .17 HMR backs up Magtech 7022 .22 semi auto in 5 minute shoot out.

October 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

Several years ago I was recommended to a local farmer, who was struggling to fatten cattle on land being ruined by a growing tide of rabbits. He’d tried to reduce the numbers with a shot gun, but didn’t have the time , or the weaponry to do a proper job. Within a month I’d decimated the rabbit population and regular visits over the years had kept the numbers under control, allowing the grass to grow back, supporting a larger stock of beasts.

It was while visiting this land and cropping another five rabbits with my CZ 452 HMR, that I was introduced to another owner of a small farm suffering the same problems.

 Behind his house was an acre paddock, that he used for rearing Angus calves, but this year the rabbits had rendered it useless, claiming it as their own, digging up the grass roots and burrowing at will. I agreed to visit him the next evening with two of my rifles, the Magtech semi auto .22 with it’s red dot sight, which is ideal for close range, multiple targets and the CZ .17 HMR for the longer range considered shots. On arrival, I felt the adrenalin rise at the sight of over twenty rabbits, casually going about their destructive business in the paddock the other side of his garden fence, unfazed by the two humans peering over it.

 I decided to get straight to the job in hand, bringing both rifles back to the fence, along with two full ten bullet clips for the the .22 Magtech and two full five bullet clips for the HMR, the spares going in opposite pockets. With the Magtech rested on the fence, I placed the red cross in the sight on the nearest rabbit’s head behind the eye, eased the trigger and pop, it jumped up dead. The Magtech moderator is whisper quiet and the next rabbit toppled over seconds later, it’s near neighbours sitting up in alarm, perfect targets, another two, or three falling, before confusion set in and rabbits were going in all directions. Keeping my own excitement under control was difficult in the heat of the moment and I missed, or winged a few, needing extra shots and the other clip of .22 RWS subsonics. One rabbit, head shot, was running in decreasing circles, until it fell over of it’s own accord, despite my efforts to down it on the run.

The remaining rabbits had now either reached the safety of their burrows, or were scattered around the far edges of the paddock. Time to switch to the HMR. The heavier CZ 452 rested on the fence, gave a much more stable shooting platform, but my heart was beating hard, causing the cross hairs of the scope to move on the next target, looking back at me 60 yards away. A deep breath, followed by a slow exhale, steadied the rifle, and I squeezed the trigger, watching the rabbit leap skyward. Even with it’s moderator, the HMR bullet makes a loud crack when fired and the last rabbits were soon making for the exits, but not before a few more were added to the tally from the five minutes of carnage.

The land owner was most impressed, having watched from his verandah. I could have shot more, but head shots mean saleable rabbits and humane kills, so it pays to take that extra bit of care, when sighting on a target. I’ve been back a few times since, getting the odd one, or two, but they have made themselves scarce during daylight. I’ve now been recommended to the two other farms along the lane and have already added a couple more butchers shops to my list of customers.