Shooting and Conservation
Vermin control plays an important part in the UK’s rural economy. Two-thirds of the UK’s rural land area is managed with the involvement of shooting. And there are around 600,000 people in the UK who shoot live quarry.
Let’s have a look at a couple of small mammals that cause havoc to farmers.
Because a squirrel buries nuts, but doesn’t remember where it buried them, it’s a useful fertility aid to many tree populations. But this doesn’t cut much ice in the popularity stakes. The harm done to woodland by the little grey squirrel far outstrips the benefits.
The grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is an opportunist feeder, thriving on a wide variety of food, including berries, fruits, seeds, nuts, flowers, leaf buds, fungi, insects, birds’ eggs, and fledglings. It also has a penchant for the phloem tissue (sweet, sap-filled layers) just beneath the bark of trees, which is responsible for the movement of sugars within the plant. Removal of bark and phloem tissue can cause permanent damage to a tree.
It’s important to remember, though, that your target must be in front of an adequate backstop. In most cases, this means that the animal is on the ground. Never shoot at a squirrel when it’s in a tree.
The rat is a pest to urban societies as well as rural ones. There are other ways of culling vermin, of course, besides shooting. But as we’re talking here about shooting pests with a rimfire rifle, we’ll have to leave town dwellers to sort out the problem as best they can. Those of us who live in rural communities do have the option of shooting them.
Of the two species of rat in the UK, the most common is the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). It carries diseases – salmonella, listeria etc – which can spread to humans; it eats the eggs of ground-nesting birds; and it destroys property. Not a popular fellow.
A rat needs to gnaw constantly in order to wear down its incisor teeth, which never stop growing. The rat will cause floods by gnawing through lead pipes; dangerous gas leaks by chewing through gas pipes; and fires as a result of stripping insulation from electrical cables. It’s been estimated that 25% of electrical fires in the UK are caused by rats.
CZ 455 Varmint
A consistent feature of CZ rimfire rifles is the hammer-forged barrel. The rifling of the bore is created by inserting a reversely rifled mandrel, and then machine-hammering along the outside of the barrel in order to impress the rifling pattern onto the new rifle’s bore. This method of fabrication gives the barrel tremendous strength and accuracy.
The CZ 455 Varmint Walnut .17 HMR Screw-Cut Barrel is a great favourite with Pellpax customers.
The beautifully crafted walnut stock feels good in the hands …
“There’s a traditional feel to this rifle. A sort of timelessness. I use it for shooting rats by our compost heap.” (Jane)
With CZ rifles, you know you’re getting a top-quality product …
“I like the smooth bolt action and two-stage trigger. The trigger can be adjusted, too, to suit the shooter. Squirrels are destroying the trees on my land. They’re sneaky little buggers, and I don’t want to make a bad shot, and leave an animal badly wounded. I need to get a clean kill every time. With this rifle, I do.” (Thomas)
At the end of the 525 mm (20.5”) barrel, there’s a ½” UNF (unified fine) thread for the attachment of a silencer …
“I use a Swift silencer with my CZ 455 Varmint. I think Swift is the best you can get. It’s very lightweight. Super piece of kit.” (Oliver)
This rifle is fitted with a two-stage safety system and a rubber shock absorber on the butt. It comes with a detachable 5-round magazine, and an additional 10-round magazine is available to purchase separately. And it’s also available in .22 calibre.
As a Registered Firearms Dealer (RFD), Pellpax has a legal obligation to adhere to the UK’s rigid legislation surrounding the ownership and sale of firearms. However, we are also committed to facilitating the purchase of firearms. If you own a Fire Arms Certificate (FAC), we’ll deliver your purchases right to your door.
For more information about any of our products, or about the Pellpax delivery service, give us a call on 01263 731 585.