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Rifles

varmint rifle calibers

Uploaded on March 07, 2012

Looking to buy a varmint rifle for use in Western Pennsylvania. Have some calibers in mind and am seeking advice on favorites of other hunters.

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from Moose1980 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Can't go wrong with .223 or .22-250. I'm partial to the .22-250 mostly because of its edge in velocity.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I've got a .220 Swift mostly because everybody else has a .22-250 and I like to be different. Hard to beat it.

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from chuckles wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I have a .223 and a 22-250 and they both work very well. Ammo is definitely cheaper for the .223, maybe if you reload it doesn't make as much difference.
The last time I went prairie dog shooting my friend had his 220 Swift along and man is that a fun cartridge to shoot. Explosive results are the only way to describe it.
Unless you are taking long shots the .223 is hard to beat IMO.

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from platte river rat wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Now days I use either the 223Rem or 243 Win for my varmint hunting.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I currently own a number of .22 centerfire varminters, but the .223 and the .22-250 see the most use, and I honestly can't recommend one cartridge over the other. I set them up a little differently, so the .22-250 is zeroed at 200 yards and the .223 is zeroed at one hundred, but they're both reliable. When I lived back east, friends of the family have property near Hawley and Shohola, PA, and I spent some time plinking at woodchuck there, though the whitetail deer population was impressive. You can't go wrong with a .223 or .22-250 there! Good luck in the field.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

My two these days are my .22 Hornet and my .223.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

You guys live the life! My .22-250 hasnt been fired in a couple years i.m sorry to say. Not legal here in Jersey and i don't get out of state as much as i used to. It's a wicked little round though.

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from jr9893 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

or you could use your deer rifle too. my father used his 25-06 for groundhogs and deer using the same bullet. he killed deer over 500 yards away because he knew the ballistics of his rifle from all the extra practice./

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

22-250

Like to double as a deer rifle, 25-06!

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Apologies...I have no idea how that happened!
Ed

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Ed, centerfires are not permitted in NJ. Not even in the mountainous NW section of the state for whatever reason. NJ is one of the most gun unfriendly states in the nation.
On another note, care to recommend a scope(reasonable) for my new .257 bob? I was leaning towards a Leupold vxII 3-9 but would love to hear opinions on a Burris Fullfield II. I've read many good reviews but i'd like a qualified opinion. I am not about to cheap out but the Leupold is the top of my range.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Thank you, Steve. I didn't know that. I left the east coast in early 1972. In the '60s and early '70s, we hunted the Wharton and Lebanon State Forests. I knew NYC was bizarre on firearms legislation, but hadn't realized things have gotten so difficult in NJ.
I don't have a Burris Fullfield II to critique. My only Burris is a 6X Compact on my Rem Model 600 carbine in .222 Rem., which has served me well for many years.
As ever, you have excellent taste in cartridges! I think the .257 Roberts is a fine choice. I had two, a Ruger Model 77 and a a Rem 700 I had rebarreled by a gunsmith. Both were gratifyingly good shooting & hand loading experiences, but I sold them to friends who admired them. Soon after, I was "distracted" by a Win Model 70 carbine in .250 Savage, and that one has withstood the test of time in my possession. The .250, the 257 Robts and the .25-'06 have been very good to me!
I live in NW Oregon, about 14 miles from Leupold's campus, and it's difficult to be objective because I've never had a disappointment with their scopes. My Burris Compact has never disappointed me either. Happily, it looks like whichever one you choose will be a win-win situation.
All the best,
Ed

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Thanks Ed. I always appreciate your input. I will likely "splurge" on the Luepold but i've seen the Burris's at Closeout prices and wondered. I have some time as the rifle is still several months out. I have an old Redfield widefield i could but on it. We'll see.
The gun laws here in Jersey are about as tough as it gets. rifles and handguns in particular. I am primarily a bowhunter, especially at home. The Pacific Northwest is an area of the country i've never seen but hope to visit someday. Regards.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Steve, I readily admit that the rainfall in my corner of Oregon (Washington County) takes a season or two to accept. We get our share of rain, but it seems we get Idaho and Montana's share as well. On the other hand, the winters aren't "extreme" in terms of temperatures and snowfall in the Willamette Valley. We'll see subfreezing, but we don't get sub-zero temps. This area has been good to us for 15 years. Before that, we lived in southern California for 25 years. Oregon is clearly a more hunter-friendly environment than SoCal, where the demographic shift has resulting in more firearms limitation. They didn't ban firearms, but they zoned the outdoor rifle & pistol ranges out of existence in the county where I lived, and it seriously impacted the sales of centerfire rifles because there was no place in the county to shoot them. Since much of what I appreciated and enjoyed since the '60s was paved over or covered with houses and condominiums, it was time to press on. I'm more at home in Oregon than I've been anywhere else.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

EJP
Cal sounds like the state of MD next door to me. I have copy of a law signed by Pres. Bush 1 saying I can carry my firearm nationwide. Md will honor it but takes you to the police station till they check all of your paperwork to see if it is in order, even though I have all of the documentaion right on my person. They are about the most gun unfriendly state around. They just closed a Rod and Gun Club that has been in exixtance for 72 years and someone complained that is not even close to the range and some Judge in the Capitol 150 miles away decided it should be closed. It is truely a communist state. I know alot of their Natural Resourcres Police officers because we used to work back and forth across the lines and the head of their DNR is a non-hunter unless they got a new one with the new Gov.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Interesting how the winds of politics (and special interests) can change what we regard as the established norm. A major real estate developer managed to exert enough political influence to close my favorite rifle & pistol range, and it had been in its leased-land location for 17 years.

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from Hillbilly75 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Really enjoy my .243 using 60gr hollowpoints for prairie dogs. I have always wanted to try 22 Hornet or 204 Ruger.

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from PAShooter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

To answer your question,it would depend on what cartriges/calibers you already own, if you are a handloader or not. My alltime favorite is the 220 Swift in a heavy barrel. However the .243 Winchester has numbered in the thousands in groundhog kills for me, more than any other. I have killed woodchucks with most my rifles to keep in practice. For cheap shooting and not a handloader a 223 Rem is hard to beat. The combination of good optics, good trigger, good bedding is needed in a groundhog gun. Lately, I have been sharpening my skills by "stalking" them, thus not requiring a long range rig.

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from mdpaulus wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

PB, I love my swift as well, its a hot and flat round. The .223 is a fun gun as well because as you point out ammo is cheap. My question is on groundhogs. Is that a hunt similar to prairie dogs? Out here we don't have lots so I really have not heard of hunting them before this sight. I guess I am just trying to fill my curiosity with this question. Thanks.

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from PAShooter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The groundhog is not as numerous as the prairie dog. It also seems more careful and aware of hunters. The long range shots of years passed (300+ yds), are getting scarce do to development of homes. I recall years that I shot 200+ in a reason, now that I'm retired, I haven't shot more than 50, even with more time,just less areas to hunt them here in the East. On a prairie dog hunt, you would shoot as many in a day, as you would groundhogs in a year. The woodchuck is about 2X the size of the prairie dog

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from PAShooter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

reason=season oops!

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from mdpaulus wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Thanks, out here we have some woodchuck but they are not numerous at all. As well we shoot tons of Pdogs. They are certainly a fun hunt and was just curious as to the hunt its self. Thanks for answering the question. Best of luck, as I know the urbanization really sucks.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

@ steve182

Burris seems to be reinventing its product line with new Fullfield E series and dropping some of the high-end lines like the Signature Select and retaining only a couple of $$$ models like the Black Diamond line. I have two of the recent manufacture Signature Select scopes that can be found online at good discounts from Natchez S/S and other retailers. You will have to bump the $1,000 mark in a Leupold to exceed the quality of the U.S.A. made Burris scopes. Nothing wrong with a Fullfield II for an inexpensive scope. I would buy the newer VX-2 line rather than the older VX-II that are on closeouts these days. I have a pile of the VX-II's including a 3-9x40 that I removed from a Wby Mark V that I purchased recently. They are good scopes all around, too.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

WMH thanks for the advice. I purchased a Fullfield II last week. It is not mounted on a rifle yet, but my first impression was very good for the price. I am a little miffed with myself for not buying a little more scope to put atop a beautiful new rifle i plan to pass on to my kids, but i can always upgrade later as they are still too young to use it. Since my daughter is righthanded like me, she'll get this one. I will be ordering something similar in the near future for my lefthanded boy and will need to put a scope atop that one too. Thanks again for the input.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I would not be hesitant to put anything with the Burris name on any rifle. The other "B"s might be a different story...

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from Coyotekid123 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

.22 mag,.22 hornet,22-250,5.56,.223,25/06,12 gauge bird shot or buckshot with extra full choke,.243

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from Shuck M. wrote 2 years 5 days ago

I gotta go with the 204. Or the hornet.

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from DakotaMan wrote 2 years 3 days ago

I like several for varmints assuming you have a very accurate rifle. All these will shoot to 1000 yards but the lighter the bullet, the more difficult it is to shoot a tight group at extended distance because of wind and rapid decelleration of the bullet:

.204 - FAST if you only shoot 100-200 yards.

.223 - inexpensive to load, solid on varmints to 500 yards with the 50g V-Max. I prefer it when I expect to shoot several hundred rounds a day or several thousand a week. I limit coyotes to 300 yards or so.

22-250 - faster than the .223 but doesn't hit any more varmints than the .223 does. A great all around varmint rifle providing range out to 500 yards. You can get out a bit further with 68g bullets depending on your barrel twist. Coyotes out to 400 yards.

.220 Swift - The most fun I've ever had shooting varmints. Just plain FAST. You won't run into anyone shooting faster than you can, especially with 40g bullets. Careful though... you must be prepared to see varmints explode in the high magnification of your scope because the bullet hits before the rifle recoil moves the scope. Can vaporize small varmints so watch out if you intend to save hides. The effect of wind and air resistance on these small bullets limits its effective range to no more than the other .22 calibers. Coyotes out to 400 yards.

.243 - The 58g V-Max makes this one of the top varmint cartridges out to 500 yards. Gives you a little longer range than the 22/250 for about the same cost. Light recoil but more than the .22s. Doubles as a deer rifle.

25-06 - 75g bullets smack varmints better than any of the above between 400-600 yards and the Berger 115s let you reasonably smack them out to 1000 yards. The 87g bullets are deadly on coyotes. As Clay says, also doubles as an outstanding deer rifle. A little more recoil than any of the above but quite similar to the .243 with the 75-90g bullets. Costs more to load than any of the above but it is my favorite varmint rifle for ranges beyond 400 yards. Its trajectory is more predictable than the little .22s and therefore it gets better accuracy at long ranges.

It depends on how you intend to use it. For pure fun, I'd take the .220 Swift. I've shot more varmints with a 25-06 than any of the above because I like very long range shooting. The .243 is an interesting compromise. Best of luck on your choice... have fun! You can't go wrong with any of these.

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from savageron wrote 1 year 52 weeks ago

Between my shooting partner and I, we have been experimenting with the 222, 223, 22-250 and 220 swift for over 10 years religiously. Trying different brass, primers, powders and bullets. They are all great varmit guns! My wife loves the 222. My shooting partner prefers the 220-swift. His experience is with my Ruger M77 with bull barrel. He usually shoots his 22-250 with bull barrel as we are usually shooting at very small ground squirrels about the size of a 12 oz. Beer or pop can. We set up a shooting bench and trade off spotting and shooting. In the southwest Idaho dessert there are hundreds of miles of open space to shoot. We started with a laser range finder, targets out to 1,000 yards. We were both trying to find our most accurate loads. After a couple thousand rounds and many days we narrowed down our most accurate. I personally own only the 220-swift. I enjoy shooting them all. The 222 and 223 were very accurate out to about 300 yards. The 22-250 was more accurate out to about 400 yards. My 220-swift was the most accurate out to 500 yards. I do not remember what worked best for any but my own which happened to be the 220-swift. The 222 was most accurate out to about 250 yards. 223 fared worst in all distances, although a very accurate shooter! The 22-250 was most accurate from 200 to 400 yards. The 220-swift was a very very close second from 200 to 400 yards and most accurate to 500 yards. We used a chronagraph through all initial trials. My most accurate load is using a variety of brass and large magnum rifle primers, Hogden H-4350 powder at 41.6 grains and a 60 grain spitzer hollow point. I was more accurate at closer ranges with Hodgden B-330and Varget powders with Hornady 45 grain ballistic tips. Once I figured out my most accurate overall I've stayed with it. I can continually hit the squirrels (whistle pigs) as we call them while seldom missing out to 450 yards. Once on the way our I killed one off the hood of my truck at 612 yards with a cold barrel. Confirmed by my partner after he drove to where I shot it and he used his laser range finder, bouncing it off my truck from where I shot. I have hit 6 consecutive clay pigeons from 530 yards. Over all they are all great guns! The 220-swift is still tops for both of us. Lots of fun! Good luck!

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from Moose1980 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Can't go wrong with .223 or .22-250. I'm partial to the .22-250 mostly because of its edge in velocity.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I've got a .220 Swift mostly because everybody else has a .22-250 and I like to be different. Hard to beat it.

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from platte river rat wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Now days I use either the 223Rem or 243 Win for my varmint hunting.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I currently own a number of .22 centerfire varminters, but the .223 and the .22-250 see the most use, and I honestly can't recommend one cartridge over the other. I set them up a little differently, so the .22-250 is zeroed at 200 yards and the .223 is zeroed at one hundred, but they're both reliable. When I lived back east, friends of the family have property near Hawley and Shohola, PA, and I spent some time plinking at woodchuck there, though the whitetail deer population was impressive. You can't go wrong with a .223 or .22-250 there! Good luck in the field.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

My two these days are my .22 Hornet and my .223.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

22-250

Like to double as a deer rifle, 25-06!

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Apologies...I have no idea how that happened!
Ed

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Thank you, Steve. I didn't know that. I left the east coast in early 1972. In the '60s and early '70s, we hunted the Wharton and Lebanon State Forests. I knew NYC was bizarre on firearms legislation, but hadn't realized things have gotten so difficult in NJ.
I don't have a Burris Fullfield II to critique. My only Burris is a 6X Compact on my Rem Model 600 carbine in .222 Rem., which has served me well for many years.
As ever, you have excellent taste in cartridges! I think the .257 Roberts is a fine choice. I had two, a Ruger Model 77 and a a Rem 700 I had rebarreled by a gunsmith. Both were gratifyingly good shooting & hand loading experiences, but I sold them to friends who admired them. Soon after, I was "distracted" by a Win Model 70 carbine in .250 Savage, and that one has withstood the test of time in my possession. The .250, the 257 Robts and the .25-'06 have been very good to me!
I live in NW Oregon, about 14 miles from Leupold's campus, and it's difficult to be objective because I've never had a disappointment with their scopes. My Burris Compact has never disappointed me either. Happily, it looks like whichever one you choose will be a win-win situation.
All the best,
Ed

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Steve, I readily admit that the rainfall in my corner of Oregon (Washington County) takes a season or two to accept. We get our share of rain, but it seems we get Idaho and Montana's share as well. On the other hand, the winters aren't "extreme" in terms of temperatures and snowfall in the Willamette Valley. We'll see subfreezing, but we don't get sub-zero temps. This area has been good to us for 15 years. Before that, we lived in southern California for 25 years. Oregon is clearly a more hunter-friendly environment than SoCal, where the demographic shift has resulting in more firearms limitation. They didn't ban firearms, but they zoned the outdoor rifle & pistol ranges out of existence in the county where I lived, and it seriously impacted the sales of centerfire rifles because there was no place in the county to shoot them. Since much of what I appreciated and enjoyed since the '60s was paved over or covered with houses and condominiums, it was time to press on. I'm more at home in Oregon than I've been anywhere else.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

EJP
Cal sounds like the state of MD next door to me. I have copy of a law signed by Pres. Bush 1 saying I can carry my firearm nationwide. Md will honor it but takes you to the police station till they check all of your paperwork to see if it is in order, even though I have all of the documentaion right on my person. They are about the most gun unfriendly state around. They just closed a Rod and Gun Club that has been in exixtance for 72 years and someone complained that is not even close to the range and some Judge in the Capitol 150 miles away decided it should be closed. It is truely a communist state. I know alot of their Natural Resourcres Police officers because we used to work back and forth across the lines and the head of their DNR is a non-hunter unless they got a new one with the new Gov.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Interesting how the winds of politics (and special interests) can change what we regard as the established norm. A major real estate developer managed to exert enough political influence to close my favorite rifle & pistol range, and it had been in its leased-land location for 17 years.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

@ steve182

Burris seems to be reinventing its product line with new Fullfield E series and dropping some of the high-end lines like the Signature Select and retaining only a couple of $$$ models like the Black Diamond line. I have two of the recent manufacture Signature Select scopes that can be found online at good discounts from Natchez S/S and other retailers. You will have to bump the $1,000 mark in a Leupold to exceed the quality of the U.S.A. made Burris scopes. Nothing wrong with a Fullfield II for an inexpensive scope. I would buy the newer VX-2 line rather than the older VX-II that are on closeouts these days. I have a pile of the VX-II's including a 3-9x40 that I removed from a Wby Mark V that I purchased recently. They are good scopes all around, too.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I would not be hesitant to put anything with the Burris name on any rifle. The other "B"s might be a different story...

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from chuckles wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I have a .223 and a 22-250 and they both work very well. Ammo is definitely cheaper for the .223, maybe if you reload it doesn't make as much difference.
The last time I went prairie dog shooting my friend had his 220 Swift along and man is that a fun cartridge to shoot. Explosive results are the only way to describe it.
Unless you are taking long shots the .223 is hard to beat IMO.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

You guys live the life! My .22-250 hasnt been fired in a couple years i.m sorry to say. Not legal here in Jersey and i don't get out of state as much as i used to. It's a wicked little round though.

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from jr9893 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

or you could use your deer rifle too. my father used his 25-06 for groundhogs and deer using the same bullet. he killed deer over 500 yards away because he knew the ballistics of his rifle from all the extra practice./

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Ed, centerfires are not permitted in NJ. Not even in the mountainous NW section of the state for whatever reason. NJ is one of the most gun unfriendly states in the nation.
On another note, care to recommend a scope(reasonable) for my new .257 bob? I was leaning towards a Leupold vxII 3-9 but would love to hear opinions on a Burris Fullfield II. I've read many good reviews but i'd like a qualified opinion. I am not about to cheap out but the Leupold is the top of my range.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Thanks Ed. I always appreciate your input. I will likely "splurge" on the Luepold but i've seen the Burris's at Closeout prices and wondered. I have some time as the rifle is still several months out. I have an old Redfield widefield i could but on it. We'll see.
The gun laws here in Jersey are about as tough as it gets. rifles and handguns in particular. I am primarily a bowhunter, especially at home. The Pacific Northwest is an area of the country i've never seen but hope to visit someday. Regards.

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from Hillbilly75 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Really enjoy my .243 using 60gr hollowpoints for prairie dogs. I have always wanted to try 22 Hornet or 204 Ruger.

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from PAShooter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

To answer your question,it would depend on what cartriges/calibers you already own, if you are a handloader or not. My alltime favorite is the 220 Swift in a heavy barrel. However the .243 Winchester has numbered in the thousands in groundhog kills for me, more than any other. I have killed woodchucks with most my rifles to keep in practice. For cheap shooting and not a handloader a 223 Rem is hard to beat. The combination of good optics, good trigger, good bedding is needed in a groundhog gun. Lately, I have been sharpening my skills by "stalking" them, thus not requiring a long range rig.

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from mdpaulus wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

PB, I love my swift as well, its a hot and flat round. The .223 is a fun gun as well because as you point out ammo is cheap. My question is on groundhogs. Is that a hunt similar to prairie dogs? Out here we don't have lots so I really have not heard of hunting them before this sight. I guess I am just trying to fill my curiosity with this question. Thanks.

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from PAShooter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The groundhog is not as numerous as the prairie dog. It also seems more careful and aware of hunters. The long range shots of years passed (300+ yds), are getting scarce do to development of homes. I recall years that I shot 200+ in a reason, now that I'm retired, I haven't shot more than 50, even with more time,just less areas to hunt them here in the East. On a prairie dog hunt, you would shoot as many in a day, as you would groundhogs in a year. The woodchuck is about 2X the size of the prairie dog

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from PAShooter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

reason=season oops!

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from mdpaulus wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Thanks, out here we have some woodchuck but they are not numerous at all. As well we shoot tons of Pdogs. They are certainly a fun hunt and was just curious as to the hunt its self. Thanks for answering the question. Best of luck, as I know the urbanization really sucks.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

WMH thanks for the advice. I purchased a Fullfield II last week. It is not mounted on a rifle yet, but my first impression was very good for the price. I am a little miffed with myself for not buying a little more scope to put atop a beautiful new rifle i plan to pass on to my kids, but i can always upgrade later as they are still too young to use it. Since my daughter is righthanded like me, she'll get this one. I will be ordering something similar in the near future for my lefthanded boy and will need to put a scope atop that one too. Thanks again for the input.

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from Coyotekid123 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

.22 mag,.22 hornet,22-250,5.56,.223,25/06,12 gauge bird shot or buckshot with extra full choke,.243

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from Shuck M. wrote 2 years 5 days ago

I gotta go with the 204. Or the hornet.

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from DakotaMan wrote 2 years 3 days ago

I like several for varmints assuming you have a very accurate rifle. All these will shoot to 1000 yards but the lighter the bullet, the more difficult it is to shoot a tight group at extended distance because of wind and rapid decelleration of the bullet:

.204 - FAST if you only shoot 100-200 yards.

.223 - inexpensive to load, solid on varmints to 500 yards with the 50g V-Max. I prefer it when I expect to shoot several hundred rounds a day or several thousand a week. I limit coyotes to 300 yards or so.

22-250 - faster than the .223 but doesn't hit any more varmints than the .223 does. A great all around varmint rifle providing range out to 500 yards. You can get out a bit further with 68g bullets depending on your barrel twist. Coyotes out to 400 yards.

.220 Swift - The most fun I've ever had shooting varmints. Just plain FAST. You won't run into anyone shooting faster than you can, especially with 40g bullets. Careful though... you must be prepared to see varmints explode in the high magnification of your scope because the bullet hits before the rifle recoil moves the scope. Can vaporize small varmints so watch out if you intend to save hides. The effect of wind and air resistance on these small bullets limits its effective range to no more than the other .22 calibers. Coyotes out to 400 yards.

.243 - The 58g V-Max makes this one of the top varmint cartridges out to 500 yards. Gives you a little longer range than the 22/250 for about the same cost. Light recoil but more than the .22s. Doubles as a deer rifle.

25-06 - 75g bullets smack varmints better than any of the above between 400-600 yards and the Berger 115s let you reasonably smack them out to 1000 yards. The 87g bullets are deadly on coyotes. As Clay says, also doubles as an outstanding deer rifle. A little more recoil than any of the above but quite similar to the .243 with the 75-90g bullets. Costs more to load than any of the above but it is my favorite varmint rifle for ranges beyond 400 yards. Its trajectory is more predictable than the little .22s and therefore it gets better accuracy at long ranges.

It depends on how you intend to use it. For pure fun, I'd take the .220 Swift. I've shot more varmints with a 25-06 than any of the above because I like very long range shooting. The .243 is an interesting compromise. Best of luck on your choice... have fun! You can't go wrong with any of these.

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from savageron wrote 1 year 52 weeks ago

Between my shooting partner and I, we have been experimenting with the 222, 223, 22-250 and 220 swift for over 10 years religiously. Trying different brass, primers, powders and bullets. They are all great varmit guns! My wife loves the 222. My shooting partner prefers the 220-swift. His experience is with my Ruger M77 with bull barrel. He usually shoots his 22-250 with bull barrel as we are usually shooting at very small ground squirrels about the size of a 12 oz. Beer or pop can. We set up a shooting bench and trade off spotting and shooting. In the southwest Idaho dessert there are hundreds of miles of open space to shoot. We started with a laser range finder, targets out to 1,000 yards. We were both trying to find our most accurate loads. After a couple thousand rounds and many days we narrowed down our most accurate. I personally own only the 220-swift. I enjoy shooting them all. The 222 and 223 were very accurate out to about 300 yards. The 22-250 was more accurate out to about 400 yards. My 220-swift was the most accurate out to 500 yards. I do not remember what worked best for any but my own which happened to be the 220-swift. The 222 was most accurate out to about 250 yards. 223 fared worst in all distances, although a very accurate shooter! The 22-250 was most accurate from 200 to 400 yards. The 220-swift was a very very close second from 200 to 400 yards and most accurate to 500 yards. We used a chronagraph through all initial trials. My most accurate load is using a variety of brass and large magnum rifle primers, Hogden H-4350 powder at 41.6 grains and a 60 grain spitzer hollow point. I was more accurate at closer ranges with Hodgden B-330and Varget powders with Hornady 45 grain ballistic tips. Once I figured out my most accurate overall I've stayed with it. I can continually hit the squirrels (whistle pigs) as we call them while seldom missing out to 450 yards. Once on the way our I killed one off the hood of my truck at 612 yards with a cold barrel. Confirmed by my partner after he drove to where I shot it and he used his laser range finder, bouncing it off my truck from where I shot. I have hit 6 consecutive clay pigeons from 530 yards. Over all they are all great guns! The 220-swift is still tops for both of us. Lots of fun! Good luck!

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