View Full Version : Scope for varmint/woodchuck hunting

October 2, 2004, 12:51 AM
I want to use a mil-dot scope. I thought I was going to get a Busnell Elite 4200 6-24x40. I looked at the dot that made up the mil dots and I relized they might cover up to much area at long ranges. I want to mount it on a Savage 12FV in .243 or .22-250. I looked at nightforce optics and they had some really nice reticles MD's that are O's with 1/32mildots to tell you where the center of each dot is, they also have a reticle that is thin lines spaced 2 moa apart for figuring your bullet drop. The only problem is the nightforce scopes cost $1000. Are there any MD scopes that have smaller dots that are made for varmint hunting. I was hoping to use the dots for rangefinding and as aiming points. I looked at the Burris Ballistic MD and it looked promising but I figured something that was evenly spaced would work better especially for developing handloads. nightforceoptics (http://www.nightforceoptics.com/index.html)
I might not have described the reticles that nightforce has on there scopes very well and they have many different types. Click on the link to check them out. Any help would be appreciated.

gordo b.
October 2, 2004, 10:32 AM
Although more of my hard core (10,000 plus kills a year) old time varminter friends have gone 'back' to Leupold 12x fine cross hairs; the 6-24 4200 Bushnell is a good choice. I have the earlier Baush & Lomb variant of same one of my 22-250s and it is bright and positive. You don't need all those mil dots for a flat shooting varmint cartridge out to any range I can think of hitting a varmint at! Get the fine cross hairs or the regular reticule if you want to use it all around. It is harder to dope the wind than the trajectory ;)

October 3, 2004, 01:33 AM
I am a little confused. Are you saying with a standard reticle it is easier to calculate the distance on varmints, than with using a mildot or the NP-r2 reticle. I am not sure but by using the reticles for bullet drop on a 55 gr bullet and to figure how far left or right seems nuch easier with a reticle than by twisting knobs which on some scopes need a screwdriver. At what distance are you shooting that you don't need to worry about bullet drop?A .22-250 should do the job out to about 600yds. a .243 with a 75gr v max should work out to at least 800 yards. I will need a lot more range time and then time in the field to hone my skills before even trying these types of shots. I like fixed power scopes. I would love to own a large amount of acreage that I could let farmers use to plant as hayfields or short crops that I would be able to shoot at varmints regularly. Are there any sites out there deicated to varmint hunting or does anybody kow of a scope similar to the Elite 4200 6-24x40 md with dots that are made for small game. I know Mil-dots or used by snipers to take out people so a dot that is 3/4 moa is not a big deal at 500 yards on a person. Anybody out there use a burris B-md plex with aim points for like 200 to 700 yards depending on the cartridge.

October 4, 2004, 01:45 PM
You really have friends that kill 27 critters per day, 365 days a year, on average? Wow.

gordo b.
October 4, 2004, 06:56 PM
Nope they shoot upward of a thousand a day (average 400-600) groundsquirrels in Hollister Calif. They use .22ppc and 6mmBR(and .223, .22-250, .220Swift and 6X47) bench rest quality guns and go thru a couple barrels a year! And they cool them with carbon dioxide hoses when the squirrels go under! The ranchers don't poison anymore so this keeps the population down in infested areas.These guys shoot off of turret benches on the top of their pick up campers or vans. They are retired and go a few times a week to various locations on private land. These guys have NEVER shot a ground squirrel farther than 600 yards with this equiptment level and use laser range finders ect. Average shot is 250-350 yards which means sub MOA is a must on a target less than 3" across! They reload of course and most use Berger bullets, although the guy that gets the most uses BULK Sierras. So I am saying that the ole boys like 12XLeupold fixed power AO scopes with fine cross hairs or 1/4MOA Lee dots for this work. Some do use 6-24 Leupolds and Nikons.

October 4, 2004, 11:31 PM
Most people don't see that many woodchucks in 3 years in MI. I will have to look up the laws on hunting from a vehicle, but I don't think you can do that here either. I think you are limited to finding a high spot of ground and set up some sandbags and waiting for the critters to show themselves. The new savages will shoot a 5 shot 5/8" group at 200 meters. I plan on doing some range work so that I can shoot as well as I can. I like the .243 because it should be able to buck the wind better than a .224. The biggest problem in MI is that farmers would rather that you shot deer on their property. Most people I know go out andare able to shoot their quota of deer with a bow. If anybody uses a shotgun it is usually a 20ga. because the shot is maybe 40 yards. Most people want to know what bullet to use that will kill the deer but won't wreck so much meat. It just sounds like the conditions and laws are so much more different here than in CA that the advice doesn't apply. Thanks for trying though. I dont' know exactly the size of Pararie dogs but I think woodchucks are a lot bigger they are about 30 inches long with 5 inch tails and weigh about 10-15 lbs. I have neighbors who belong to a Gun Club that has a 200 meter gun range, 2 indoor pistol ranges, Trap, skeet, 3-d archery, and cowboy action shooting. I should probably try to find some guys who hunt some farmers land for deer and might let me on the property to shot at anything they think is messing with their crops.

User Name
October 5, 2004, 03:27 AM
I will have to look up the laws on hunting from a vehicle, but I don't think you can do that here either.
Prolly not....
Most people don't see that many woodchucks in 3 years in MI.
And thats why...

I went to visit my buddy in OKC, and Man! :eek: When you run across a group of those things...they are EVERYWHERE...the ones we saw like that were at a statepark...I would have loved to been turned loose on those with my 22 mag w/6-24 4200 Bushnell ... :D

Back to the topic at hand:
I like the fine line cross over mildots also...

October 13, 2004, 08:06 PM
User Name I don't know what your post means. Your second reply to my response about not seeing many woodchucks in MI is becasue of the way they live. They do not live in communities of 1,000's. They are the most solitary of the mamots, or ground squirrels As of right now the state of oklahoma of that is what your are referring to in OKC says there are some woodchucks in the NE portion of the state, and they are not native. (http://digital.library.okstate.edu/oas/oas_htm_files/v76/p95.html)You saw Prarie dogs. I think it is great that you like a standard reticle I did not ask for opinions I wanted facts, and got it the super sniper uses 1/4 MOA mil-dots use it don't use it I don't care.

Gordo what kind of laser thing do your buddies use to find out the wind? Well if I miss with a mil-dot I can estimate on my next shot, cause I don't have a 1/2 dozen people with me. I can believe they go through a couple of barrels a year. You take a hot barrel and put very cold greenhouse gas that is probably illeagal to vent into the atmosphere in calif. and you work harden the barrel. Heating and quickly cooling steel hardens it making it very hard and brittle, which means that more of the barrel breaks on next shot. Same reason a light that stays on and is never turned off will last longer than turning a light off and on. Hunt how you want to hunt. You obviously don't know the conditions in michigan. You might shoot 20 rounds a day, unless you are a pro and somebody pays you to come to there dairy ranch horse ranch or whatever. I do not want to become joe hunter, I just want to shoot how I want to shoot, and if I can help out a farmer or somebody with a problem with "varmints". I don't know much but at least I know it.

User Name
October 13, 2004, 08:56 PM
User Name I don't know what your post means. Your second reply to my response about not seeing many woodchucks in MI is becasue of the way they live.
Prolly not: refered to the fact that you more than likely can't hunt from a vehicle...not many states you can.
And that's why: meant if you were over run the laws regarding hunting them might change.
I think it is great that you like a standard reticle I did not ask for opinions
I just saw someone else post they liked the standard reticle scopes so I said I did also (aslo usualy does refere to agreeing with someone else).
I agreed with someone elses opinion, but funny...I didn't see them get kicked in the nuts for it...I'll go away now.

gordo b.
October 13, 2004, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the lecture on barrel metallurgy :rolleyes: prolly the thousands of rounds and gradual degradation has little to do with wearing out the barrels :rolleyes: I used to shoot woodchucks in the East when I was young and we liked K hornets and .219 Donaldson Wasps with external adjustment target scopes, and yes we only got a dozen or so shots a day at up to say 350 yards. A typical ground squirrel colony has many thousand residents however and they have pups every 100 days or so! These old boys are in the late autumn of their varmint hunting days and were barrel makers, stock makers and gunsmiths largely for 30 or more years each so I think they might know something :cool: They go to Wyoming ect for prarie dog safaris too! I guess doping the wind is best done by mirage observation which takes a few years to perfect sonny :cool: Once again good luck with those 600-800 yard varmint shots, these old gents don't /can't do it with $3000+ rigs but maybe you can with a warm "greenhouse gas that is probably illeagal"! :D

October 14, 2004, 05:06 PM
Your buddies are putting carbon dioxide, (this is labelled a grennhouse gas) down their barrels to cool them. Mainly enviromental nuts in Calif. say this is the main gas that causes global warming. Now you equate the price of a gun with it's accuracy. Read up on the dpms panther bulldog 24. $1200 for a 1/4 moa AR-15 with every goody in the book. # of dollars spent doesn't = quality. Do you think if you spend $1000 on a rifle if one that costs $2000 shoots 2x as well. Or the barrel lasts twice as long. Read some reviews of the super sniper scope made by tasco. I learned a long time ago there are 2 types of people in the world, the ones who pine for the good ole days when cars were cars and why do you need Fuel injection when the guys on nascar use carbs, and you don't need that type of scope, there is another group of people who think people don't need assault weapons are normal cap mags, and the other type of person who says lets try something different. I never said that I could hit the side of a house at 800 yards. I never said that I thought that my rifle skills were sufficent to hunt any game at any range ethically. Where I am from I shoot pistols and shotguns and I do allright with both. Do you think your post helped me to find the type of scope I was looking for? Do you think your job is to correct young people in the errors of their ways? Well guess what I persuaded my father that I live where I want how I want when I was 17. Here is a nice physics of shooting question for your know it all friends. Why does a fluted barrel cool more rapidly than a non fluted barrel. Another one which is stiffer same length and diameter barrel solid or fluted.

October 14, 2004, 05:25 PM
To Mr. Gordo any differences on hunting shooting aside, I just want to thank you for being a vetran and doing your service to our country. I think Mcnamara, Johnson and that whole mess of idiots in the white house should be shot for treason. We should have done in '65 what the NVA did after we pulled out. Sent tanks straight to their capital with B-52 strikes leading the way. My father is a vet, he is older than you.

gordo b.
October 15, 2004, 09:47 PM
These old guys are doing not talking . I never saw a 1/4MOA AR yet, but it is possible in contolled conditions I guess. A Lilja or Krieger match grade barrel,cyroed and glued into a Stolle Panda action or a blueprinted 700 action with a light benchrest(Varmint) fiberglass stock with a good 8oz trigger(or as low as 2oz) and a lapped mounting 12X or better high grade optic shooting Berger or other Match grade bulletsthat have been straight line micrometer seated off the lands at optimum depth MAY get you 1/4MOA regularly if you spend a couple seasons and many thousand rounds of training. BTW a fluted barrel has more surface area and the exterior angle form buttresses and the process stress relieves the barrel generally. I started getting some barrels fluted in 1983 as Chet Brown and Lee Six , who both lived in San Jose Calif and invented the fiberglass stock(around 1975) started doing it on the custom rifles they built me.It was a trick to get a lighter but stiffer benchrest barrel under the class weight limits.

October 15, 2004, 10:49 PM
My personal choice for a scope would be something on the order of 24X and duplex reticle I like turret adjustments. some scopes that don't have then you can get after market add ons. I shoot chucks here in north central PA Generally I shoot in the 100-300 yd range, I shoot a 22-250 Rem 700VLS. I use sierra 55g blitzkings I use the 55gr because the darn thing has such a deep throat the lighter bullets can't reach close enough to the lands and have enough left in the case to get a consistant pressure before the bullet leaves the case.
running my balistics software I find that after 300 yards the bullet path takes a serious downward trend and will go sub-sonic at about 830 yards. My "zero" set is 1.6" high at 100 yds I'm right on at 250 and a tad over 3" low at 300 2" high at 150. So from 100 to 300 yards. I just use a small fudge factor and the little critter spills his guts. I find a sun shade a great help. If I hit a "target rich" field i keep a beach unbrella in the trunk.

October 16, 2004, 01:31 AM
Chuck Taylor got a stock Bulldog panther 24 and reviewed it for a petersen magazine High Tech Firearms. It shot m-193 from the 60's into a .66" 100meter group whike breaking it in. He found a load of 26.5grs IMR-4320 Federal primer virgin win brass and Hornady 55gr SX 5 shot groups shot between 1/2 and 1/4 moa and the more rounds he shot the more it stayed at 1/4. I am not sure but I was told measure the group size and subtract the Dia of the round to get the actual group size. He has a pic of a group that looks like 3/8". But you have never seen it so it can't be true. www.dpmsinc.com. I have seen them for as low as $934. The fluted barrel cools more rapidly because the flutes are closer to the heat source(bore of barrel) the larger the difference in temperature the faster heat dissapates. 2 identical barrels if you flute one the fluted barrel will be less stiff. You have removed material and when you calculate the cross sectional are of the barrel it is thinner. Sheet metal if it has ridges pressed into it the cross sectional area becomes larger. If you don't know who chuck Taylor is here is his bio Chuck Taylor (http://usashooters.org/artman/publish/article_41.shtml) Why don't you look at the reloading section of this forum there are plenty of guys getting good groups. I have never seen half the planets in our solar system, but I believe they are there. Please continue to buy $4000 guns, I will buy a savage .243 and have an out of the box shooter for under $500 I will be the guy at the range with the ugly gun, the inexpensive equipment shooting great groups

October 16, 2004, 02:02 AM
If I got a .22-250 I was going to shoot 55gr bullets because of the 1 in 12" twist that savage has. Is it a fixed power like the weaver target scopes. I am thinking of getting a slug barrel for my shotgun finding some private land and Getting a deer. I would either give the carcass to my neighbor(avid deer hunter) he butcher the meat himself, or find a shop that will process the meat and donate it to a charity here in MI that helps feed people with donated game. then I can get some contacts for some summer relaxtion of whacking some varmints crows chucks etc. I have heard that some mirage is from the heat off a gun barrel, and that some guys drape a layer of plastic over there barrels. It is thick and very heat resistant. If I get a gun that I think is accuurate enough for predators, there is a list of Farmers that let hunters onto there land. I am not sure what I want to do quite yet.

4 Wheel Drive
October 16, 2004, 02:49 AM
Dan-if you are looking for good prices on shooting glass, check www.swfa.com
They carry everything from Tasco to Sworovsky ( or however you spell it ) at some very reasonable prices, fixed and variable.

Something you might consider instead of mil-dot is the "varmint plex" Leupold is using on some of their glass. Don't know if it will work better for you, but might be worth your time.
If you are already accomplished with mil-dots, forget what I just said. Its a simple, foolproof ranging system when you get comfortable with it.

Back in the 60's, I used to hunt those chucks with my uncle's Winchester M52 in Jackson County, MI. Lots of fun stalkin them if you like that kind of thing.
I know its all in where you go, but I would have liked to get shots of over 500 yards on a regular basis-would have needed a centerfire too.

That 243 is pretty good choice for any wind at all. A little more expensive to shoot but can be very satisfying. Otherwise, you'll likely get better mileage from a 223/22-250.

Your fluted barrel is going to cool faster slightly because of what you have mentioned, but moreso because you simply have more surface area. Just like a radiator.

gordo b.
October 16, 2004, 11:31 AM
Ya mean ole Chuck 'hyperbole' Taylor ? I took training courses at Gun sight from him in the late 70's and missed the one with him and Jim Cirrello recently. In the rarified bench rest crowd/varmint shooters a figure he is not. Occasionally you get a good rifle, on a good day, to toss one ragged hole groups which may be 1/3MOA or so. I DON'T think it is possible to get any milspec ball to approach anywhere near there unless it is a Las Vegas crap shoot. I have shot more than my share of that type ball, in my Brown Precision Rem 700 urban sniper with a 8x56 Kahles it won me the West coast Practical rifle competitions in 82-84. It dinked the milspec shilos ok to 300 yards as it IS a Sub MOA gun, but even in my/its hayday it would not consistently do 1/4moa with ANY ammo. :)

October 17, 2004, 11:41 PM
4wd, already have all the reloading supplies for .243. Seen the Varmintplex looks like it is made for standing PD's. Guess The power could be adjusted so it works on woodchucks. I am going to say that Super sniper is my choice. On another board that has a lot more people closer to home they liked it and thought it was excellent quality glass and adjustments for the money. Need to take care of some finacial biz and then I will look at the gun. I wish my wife would get an FFL. I wonder what the savage police rifle is priced at for law enforcement? Then I could just get the .243 barrel and have a .308 too. I have too much hurry up and wait time and I try to figure out too much ahead of time. Wish I could get to Cabela's in Dundee and actually look through some glass. I plan on hunting woodchucks like most people fish, to relax.