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Old June 23, 2019, 07:11 AM   #1
Join Date: September 11, 2018
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Factory 223 for Prairie dogging.

Any advice or recommendations for 223 factory ammo for Prarie dogs. We're using a Howa 1500 20" 1:9 heavy barrel and a Tikka Varmint 24" 1:8. I've used fiocchi 50gr on woodchucks out to 300 without a problem. Over 150 yards they don't exit a good size chuck but they still deflate them where they stand.
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Old June 23, 2019, 11:01 AM   #2
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I find that ammo to be very accurate in my rifles and the price is right. You don't need a lot of power for what you're doing. That is what I'd use
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Old June 23, 2019, 10:12 PM   #3
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When I started hunting prairie dogs back in the last century I used 130 gr 270. I found it a bit of an over kill. If I was to go hunting now I would use .223 55gr. I believe your choice of ammo would be spot on, good hunting and be safe.
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Old June 24, 2019, 10:53 PM   #4
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Too bad you missed out on Nosler's clearance sale on their Trophy Grade Ammo. I picked up 400 rounds in a nice Nosler plastic ammo can for $169.95 + $13 shipping.
Great deal on top grade Nosler factory ammo with 40 gr Ballistic Tip Bullets.
I would try to find the best deal you can on the Fiocchi Extrema ammo loaded with either the 40 gr or 50 gr V-Max bullets. Won't be quite the deal Nosler had, but they do work well, in my experience.
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Old June 26, 2019, 06:55 AM   #5
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The Fiocchi 50gr V-Max in 50rd boxes is exactly what I used my first year of prairie dog hunting and my handloads (every year since) have replicated that load. I'm even still using some of that brass. The price is also pretty good.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old June 26, 2019, 11:06 PM   #6
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Hey, the Nosler Trophy Grade 40 gr Ballistic Tip ammo is available again. They only have 5 left in stock.
I can vouch for their accuracy in a Remington 700 SPS Varmint. It is what I heartily recommend.
PS - save your once fired brass. Even if you don't reload, someone will buy 400 once fired Nosler cases in a Nosler plastic ammo can.
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Old June 27, 2019, 12:54 PM   #7
T. O'Heir
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A woodchuck is a great deal bigger than a ground squirrel. So it's more about accuracy than anything else.
In any case, if you're not reloading, you'll have to try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo each rifle shoots best. With those rifling twists I'd be thinking heavier than 50 grains, but neither the ground hog nor squirrel will care what you use. Haven't used any factory ammo for eons myself.
"...found it a bit of an over kill..." Ain't nothing like varmint hunting as practice for deer season. And if you were a prairie dog, a 55 grain would be over kill. snicker.
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Old June 28, 2019, 02:22 PM   #8
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Anything will kill them, it’s a matter of what you want. The 40gr vmax makes them explode extremely well
"When there’s lead in the air, there’s hope in the heart”- Hunter’s Proverb
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Old June 29, 2019, 05:34 AM   #9
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How far do you want to shoot and how much of a mess do you want to make? If it can shoot accurately at the distance you want to shoot it will kill it, if you want to make a mess it may take more development.

If the Fiocchi already works for you, no reason to change horses.
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Old June 29, 2019, 03:53 PM   #10
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I've had good luck with the Black Hills 52gr MHP ammo.

Twist is not going to be an issue with any bullet weights that would commonly be used for varmint hunting--especially not with the barrel lengths you have.
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old June 29, 2019, 07:37 PM   #11
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I had a short notice invitation to go on a hunt a while back and didn't have time to load up enough ammo to use so I picked up some Federal American Eagle 50 gr HP ammo to shoot. I got good accuracy with them in my Sako and they expanded nicely.
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Old June 30, 2019, 07:55 PM   #12
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Purely Personal Opinion: When it's .223 vs. prairie dog, bullet construction is irrelevant. Whatever gives the tightest groups in your rifle will give the largest percentage of hits.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old July 2, 2019, 12:19 AM   #13
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"Rifle" magazine ran an article by John Barsness(?)a while back, and he was extolling the virtues of tipped bullets in .223 for 'dogs. Logic was that the tipped bullets in most bullet weights yielded higher BC's than their HP and SPT counter parts, yielding flatter trajectories and less wind drift and allowing more hits at longer ranges. So much so that he supposedly claims to have retired his 22-250's for softer shooting .223's.......and he can spot his own misses due to lower recoil.

My own heavy .223 rifle, twisted 1-9", is set up for 68-69 gr HPBT match bullets, but I do not due a high volume of shooting with it.
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Old July 2, 2019, 01:53 PM   #14
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55 gr HP's by Federal make quick work of prairie dogs out to 350 yards. Recently tested. :-).
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