My go-to pest control gun here on the farm is a Savage 93R17, .17 HMR.
Many, and I mean many groundhogs, skunks, raccoons, possums ...etc., have been taken. Along with some coyotes and one feral pig.
I do have on loan an AR, with some hand-loads worked up for this .223.
Just, I seem to always have or snag the .17 HMR for MY needs.
Just me, for MY tasks on near 90 acres, is the fact the .17 HMR does not ricochet. Meaning if I miss, the bullet will fragment hitting soybeans/corn, or anything downrange.
With cows, horses, farm dogs and cats, chickens and whatever else is around me here in the country, I felt this was being responsible and respectful of me.
I will neither confirm or deny I like the fact pests "blow up" or turn to "jelly inside" when hit. *evil grin*
Use Enough Gun