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Old November 23, 2012, 10:04 PM   #1
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New rifle for hunting varmits

I'm looking to purchase a new rifle in the near future for shooting groundhog, coyote and such. I would like to hear opinions on caliber and rifles if you guys care to share your opinions with a new to guns guy lol.
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Old November 23, 2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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I started with the 223. Great all around for Yotes and Dogs. Then went to 22-250 another great one for both. Finally i went to a 243. They are all devistating to Yotes and Dogs. All depends on your needs and wants. Next now i am telling the wife i need a 25-06 for Yote and Doges. Not sure what excuss i am going to tell her for the 7mm-08

Really it comes down to what you want. All 3 are great for both. If not reloading i would go with the 223 for cost sakes. If reloading then any one.
All 3 are very accurate rifles. The scope is what you need to look at. For Yotes you don't need to much,but to take a Dog at 400 or more yards you will need some power in your scope.
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Old November 23, 2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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The .243 Winchester is the do it all varmint up to medium game (black bear, hogs and deer) caliber. I highly recommend it, although I mostly hunt with my .30-06 just because I love the rifle. I would not lose much in the way of ability or confidence if I had to step down to the 'mini magnum'. It shoots flat, and lightly recoils even in light 'mountain' guns with short barrels.
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Old November 23, 2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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There are many calibers that would be great for what you're asking.

I like, 204Ruger, 22-250 and 243.

Dozens more would do the job.

A 35gr bullet at 4,400+ fps from a 22-250 is tough to beat though.

243 does near 4,000 with 55gr

.204 does 4,000+ with 32gr.

All shoot very flat.
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Old November 23, 2012, 11:47 PM   #5
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I concur with the above calibers. I chose a 243 for my vermin gun. I will get a 223 soon as I can talk the wife into it. I recommend a bolt action. Most makes are accurate and dependable. A few to look at: Ruger M77, Remington 700, Remington 7, (youth size) Weatherby Vanguard and Howa, Winchester 70. Lots of other choices but these are the ones I have experience with.
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input guys, like I said I am new to the whole gun thing and any help is appreciated.
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Old November 24, 2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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I mainly shoot gophers and yotes with my AR (.223), .22-250, or .308. I have used every gun in my cabinet including my .50 caliber cap and ball muzzle loader to take down a few whistle pigs.
Really it depends on how long your shots are going to be and whether or not you intend to shoot a lot (cost of ammo and such).
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Old November 24, 2012, 11:09 AM   #8
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If you go with a 22-250 you might find a trapper to buy your yote pelts off you. I got a couple with a .243 and my buddy, and trapper for 10+ years, told me the hides were too damaged to sell.

4runnerman, just tell her the coyotes have picked up the scent of your 25-06. Then sell it to me when you get your 7mm
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Last edited by ChasingWhitetail91; November 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM.
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Old November 24, 2012, 06:43 PM   #9
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My go to varmint killer is the .22-250. It is capable of reaching out and taking varmints at farther distances than many people give credit. I love slinging 55gr pills down range.

On that note, I just picked up a sporter rifle in .243 and love the ballistics. I may try and pick one up in .243 if I can find another good deal on a M700 varmint.

I am comfortable shooting out past 500yds with the .22-250. It still does what it needs to, even out past that.
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Old November 24, 2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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I've done sort of like 4runnerman. I started with a 220 Swift and then got a 223. They worked great on coyotes, but then I started seeing more pigs than coyotes. I went to heavier bullets in the 223, but that wasn't enough 'medicine' for the long shots on big pigs. I finally just went to the next size rifle in the gun case, which is the 260, and it works great. If I'd had a 243, that would have been just as good. And if you have or get a 243, I suggest that you just use a deer load in it, so you have all the bases covered.
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Old November 24, 2012, 11:11 PM   #11
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The little varmint hunting I have done was with a 223, but I will at some point buy a 22-250 for the job. Probably a savage. maybe an AR-10 derivative.
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Old November 25, 2012, 07:21 PM   #12
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I think it depends on the kind of ranges you anticipate. The 223 is always a very good choice out to 200 yds or so. Up to 500 yds, you're probably better off with 243 win but I never could hit a woodchuck at that range. Fun to see the dust fly however.

The 204 Ruger is not a bad choice either.
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Old December 15, 2012, 11:39 PM   #13
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My vote is the 204 Ruger. I currently use a 270 on coyote and even with 90Gr. bullets there can be some massive pelt damage on the backside. I can't imagine what would be left of a fox with the 270.
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Old December 15, 2012, 11:51 PM   #14
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I'm a tremendous .243 fan.
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Old December 16, 2012, 01:31 AM   #15
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223 Rem, 22-250 Rem, 17 Rem, or 204 Ruger. The 17 or 204 really do very little damage to the pelt, and are great for low recoil shooting. If you need or want a 22 cal, 223 is good out to 350-ish yds, 22-250 is great for longer shots but can damage pelts if you just blast indiscriminately. If you are considering using or selling the pelts, nothing larger than these.
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Old December 17, 2012, 02:55 AM   #16
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Just about any varmint rifle I've seen has a .223 option. You'll have a greater selection of new and used rifles to pick from.

But I gotta tell you the .204 is really fun to shoot.
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Old December 17, 2012, 10:04 AM   #17
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I used a .22-250 for years and always used 55 Sierra Blitz bullets, but now the hot bullets like Hornady V-Max are probably even better.

In Maine, we have heavily-sodded fields that don't show misses with light varmint rounds very well. When we first started hunting woodchucks with 30-06s, as practice for deer hunting, we could easily spot misses, especially low shots, by the large cloud of earth thrown up.

With the .22-250, we needed to be more careful in determining range because if we missed, there would often be no dirt cloud. One day, we estimated the range to be farther than it was and probably overshot a standing chuck that was about 250 yards away. Two of us fired about 5 shots each and never touched it. Of course, that was before laser rangefinders were available.

Today, it's very hard to find woodchucks in fields here because there are too many people with great varmint rifles/ammo. About the only places their dens are exposed for long distances is along roadways and other places where most people can't shoot.
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Old December 23, 2012, 08:11 PM   #18
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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*

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Old December 23, 2012, 08:41 PM   #19
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Bar none my favorite coyote cartridge is the .22-250. But then again I now shoot a .243..... Why? Cause I wanted the same gun for yotes and deer and that's about the only reason to step up IMO. So if you're lookin for just a varmint and yote gun go .22-250. Combo to include deer a .243.
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Old December 23, 2012, 08:49 PM   #20
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I've had great luck with my 22 MAG rifle. Most of my shots are 75 yards or less.

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Old December 23, 2012, 11:24 PM   #21
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I use my 22-250 the most which is a Remington 700 vssf heavy barrel.
I also use the 223 and 6mm rem for varmints,all three do a great job on coyotes as well as groundhogs.
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Old December 24, 2012, 12:22 AM   #22
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My favorites are,Ruger MKII in 25-06 & AR 15 -223. GROUND HOGS,YOTES,BEAVER,FOX Even deer hate them both
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Old December 24, 2012, 03:55 AM   #23
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I'm a 6mm fan (.243 Win, 6mm Rem, etc), but one of my favorites rifles is a .22 WMR.
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Old December 24, 2012, 07:11 AM   #24
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I could use any of those mentioned so far, but until I own my own rifle, I'd have to borrow my daughter's Mark X, .243 win. I haven't developed a varmit round combo for this rifle as of yet, but it will come in time.
I'm saving to purchase a Mini-Mauser in .223. For Xmas Santa Claus is bring my daughter dies and bullets for her 25-06, 85 grain Ballistic Tips, so she'll have a varmit load worked up for that one.
Thanks for coming!

Last edited by hooligan1; December 25, 2012 at 09:32 AM.
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Old December 24, 2012, 07:42 AM   #25
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.223 Rem / 5.56 NATO out of an AR pattern rifle is what I shoot. 55gr FMJ makes a small hole in, small hole out typically.
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