View Full Version : Need an economical bolt action .22LR varmint(woodchuck) rifle

December 26, 2010, 11:31 PM
The time will soon be upon us, the snow will melt and the woodchucks will rear their ugly heads once again!

In years past my father has managed to keep the woodchuck population on his Wisconsin property in check himself, this year he will be busy building a house on another property so I volunteered to help him out. I am looking for a no thrills, economical, semi automatic or bolt action rifle in .22LR to help thin the herd a bit.
Only needs to be accurate out to about 80-100 yards as that is about the maximum "clear" line of sight on his property.

Any recommendations?

December 26, 2010, 11:53 PM
Have you tried just yelling at the woodchucks? Works for me.

those damn woodchucks are always chucking my wood..:D

(sorry couldnt resist).

Look at the savage or marlin .22s. There all accurate and economical.

December 27, 2010, 08:53 AM
As 43FL suggested, the marlin and Savage Bolt action rifles are a great economical choice for your purpose. I have personally found .22 lr ammo to be insufficient for anchoring a big woodchuck at 80-100 yards- they tend to crawl off and die in their holes. I reach for a .17hmr or a 22. mag for 100 yard shots.

December 27, 2010, 09:00 AM
Have you tried looking at a Mossberg Plinkster 702?


They can be had for between $100-150 new. 10 round magazine with stock sights and the ability to mount a scope. Hard to go wrong.


December 27, 2010, 09:24 AM
You'll need a lot more gun to stop a charging woodchuck! ;)

Actually, many moons ago, when in high school, a few of us used to hunt woodchucks with deer rifles, for practical hunting practice. A favorite load used 125 grain Sierra PSP ahead of 53 grains of IMR 4064.

I'd recommend nothing smaller than a .22 WMR for chucks. They're tough critters and it takes a really accurate head or neck shot to down one with a .22LR. I didn't hunt them with a .22LR, but occasionally killed them with that round, never cleanly beyond 80 yards, but inside that distance, anchored them well with accurate shots.

December 27, 2010, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the reccomendations, I am going to do some research on all of the fine rifles mentioned here.

As for .22LR not being sufficent against woodchucks, 14 shots 14 kills in 2 years with an old .22LR would be my fathers record, Come to think of it most were headshots due to the woodchucks sticking their heads just above their holes to have a good ole look around first thing in the morning. I believe my father had a problem with a couple he had to shoot on the move crawling off on him but then he switched to some kind of JHP round, that seemed to solve it.

December 31, 2010, 11:03 AM
Since it's an Argentine made gun,,,
It doesn't get a lot of respect from a lot of people.

I bought one specifically because I needed a 10 shot semi-auto,,,
I'm normally a single=shot guy but I wanted to do the Appleseed shoot.

So I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money,,,
I bought my 702 from Wal Mart brand new for $117.00.

The dang thing eats any ammo from cheap to expensive,,,
Accuracy with a 4X scope is I can hit a soda can at 100 yards almost every shot.

For the money it's a fine rifle,,,
Heven't regretted buying mine at all.


January 1, 2011, 04:07 PM
I'm a big fan of base model Savage MkII's for accuracy. They come in around the 120 range on sale.


January 1, 2011, 04:39 PM
I have a Savage .22Lr, a Marlin .22Lr, a Savage .17hmr, and a Marlin .17hmr. Out of all of them the Marlin .17 is by far the better gun. The Savage basic rimfire guns are basically garbage imo. They are chintzy and are basically all plastic. The Marlin is only around 50 bucks more and for another 25 bucks the .17 will be a better gun for you to use. Still cheap to fire but is alot more accurate and faster at the 100 yard mark. Marlin .17 gets my vote

January 3, 2011, 03:31 PM
I'd also recommend a Zastava Z5 imported by USSG. Same rifle as the former Remington Model 5. Nice rifle for the price. Only about $20 more than the basic Savage. Then again, the Savage will have better customer support.


January 3, 2011, 05:19 PM
I know Y'all might think this is a stretch but really as it fits the bill on what the OP is looking for. ... ;)

One of my shooting buddies bought a Norico trainer in .22, did a trigger job on it and it shoots great and very reliable. Not the nicest looking rifle you will find but what the heck ..... :rolleyes:

Be Safe !!!

January 3, 2011, 05:23 PM
I have a Savage Mark II in .22lr and it's by far my favorite rimfire rifle. Lightweight, accurate, and the accutrigger is just superb.

Use CCI Velociters (1,500 fps and 40 gr) and shoot those chucks in the head or neck and you have a DOA chuck. Chest shot will do it too, but they may flip around a bit longer!