Magtech 7002 semi auto .22 rimfire round the farm

March 25, 2016 at 7:08 pm

According to the calendar, summertime has officially begun, but as I headed north toward a small farm at the foot of the Chilterns, I was met by leaden skies and a light drizzle. The last visit had been on a balmy October afternoon and the days had been ticking by since then, building up to a long overdue six months, during which time the rabbits had been able to build up their numbers with no interference from my rifle.

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Driving along the lane up to the farm, I could see a few rabbits quite happily feeding in a small paddock and coasted the van to a stop just out of sight in the yard. The Magtech was out of it’s case, a magazine clipped in and the action cocked in a minute. Creeping round the back of the van, I stuck my head out to see the rabbits still in place feeding, apart from a doe sitting up on guard. At thirty yards it was a gift shot, but bringing the rifle round to rest against the rear door, being a righthander, I had to expose my whole body and she stamped a warning thump, before turning to run, the bullet hitting the side of the head with a whack. There was no time for a second shot at the others, they were bouncing their way to safety through the fence in an instant.

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That was quick, I hadn’t even managed to get my jacket on. The paddock sits on the eastern boundary of the farm and I walked to the fence to see half a dozen more rabbits feeding beyond. I have no permission for this land, the owners leaving it fallow apart from a couple of horses. The rabbits pass through the fence from this safe haven to the farm and having gathered up my kill for cleaning, I returned complete with the camo net and jacket to wait in the cover of a rubbish heap. The run through the fence is well worn and I lay down with the rifle rested on my bag. The scope focused on the empty gap for ten minutes, then twitching ears appeared, seconds later followed by a head. Almost as a reflex, the trigger was squeezed and the rabbit jumped forward. I probably should have waited for more to come through, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush they say and I got up for another collection.

mag 001

This was a big old battle scarred buck with well chewed ears, that wouldn’t be passing on any more of his genes to the young does. Putting my camo net back in the van, I saw movement ahead near the barn and moved forward for a better look, the scope picking up three rabbits and a very young kit chasing round in the lane. With a metal gate in the way, there were no clears shots and kept low along the fence, until one stopped long enough. Being framed by the metalwork, I took the shot, knocking it down, while the others continued their dance and I searched for another clear target, getting too close, before they ran off down the lane.

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Passing through the gate and negotiating the muddy tractor ruts, number three was another buck, the forty yard target hit squarely in the head.

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Light drizzle was giving way to spits of rain and I decided that three was enough. My aim had been to call in at the farmhouse before I left, so walked back to the van to lock away the rifle, only to spook a rabbit on my way, which crossed in front of me, then away along the fence, catching it in the crosshairs as I followed it with the rifle. Being lightweight, the Magtech is ideal for this type of rough shooting, tumbling number four with an upper body hit from the RWS .22 hollow point bullet.

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Stowing my gear, I met the lady of the house, as she was coming out to feed the geese, unaware that I was even on site. An older couple, they restrict their farming these days to renting out grazing and tending their vegetable garden. Having no love of rabbits, they are happy for me to come and go as I please. Today I did not reach the veggie patch, the rain falling steadily as I climbed into the van.