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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Rifles

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A_Pepsi_Cola_Can
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Reged: 22/12/15
Posts: 12
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
So... Varmint Rifles?
      #299543 - 24/04/17 04:07 PM

I know this is more or less a page for bigbore and classic rifle enthusiast's, but what are your go to varmint rifles.
Your lazerbeam-esk fox busters, im looking at a 22-250 Ruger. Thoughts, suggestions, and pictures are appreciated.
Cheers Guys!


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gryphon
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Reged: 01/01/03
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: A_Pepsi_Cola_Can]
      #299544 - 24/04/17 04:34 PM

Mine is a .220 Swift Rem Stainless in a pro bedded thumbhole lammy.It has a simple 6-18 x 40 Leuey on top and it kills things.

--------------------
Get off the chair away from the desk and get out in the bush and enjoy life.


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Claydog
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Reged: 17/08/12
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: gryphon]
      #299546 - 24/04/17 04:59 PM

I am no help as besides a .22 the 275 is the smallest gun I own.

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Homer
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Reged: 07/04/09
Posts: 1845
Loc: Canberra, Australia
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Claydog]
      #299549 - 24/04/17 06:28 PM

G'Day Fella's,

Pepsi Can, using my life time of experience (and Mistakes), may I suggest a .223 Bolt Action rifle for starters.
Then, if you find that the .223 is regularly not enough gun (the varmints are too far away), may I suggest a .243 Win (instead of the .22-250 and .220 Swift).

I once had a rifle built for me, and the first barrel was .22-250 AI. In hind site, a .243Win would have been a better cartridge choice. There are so many great 6mm/.243 Bench Rest quality barrels and components available these days, and with a 26"+ barrel, and 70grn+ bullets it makes for a great Long Ranger varmint rifle.

Hope that helps

Doh!
Homer

--------------------
"Beware the Lolly Pop of Mediocrity,
Lick it Once and You Will Suck Forever"


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Rolf
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Reged: 26/02/07
Posts: 332
Loc: Germany, Bavaria
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Homer]
      #299551 - 24/04/17 08:37 PM

Gentlemen,

there are quite some nice options:

- Rem 700 with match barrel in 223 or 222 Rem Mag
- Sako Match rifles from 222 Rem to 308 Win
- Unique Alpine in 6,5x47 Lapua
- Keppeler (Germany) Jagdmatch rifles

Personally I take a Sauer Weatherby in 224 Weatherby Mag. for Fox and a Rem 700 with a Lothar Walther match barrel for crows in 223. Rem.

The longest shot with the 223 Rem was a hit on a crow at lasered 356 meters.

best regards
Rolf


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Rell
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Reged: 03/12/04
Posts: 559
Loc: Oyster Bay, NY, USA
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Rolf]
      #299552 - 24/04/17 09:03 PM

My go to is a Cooper Phoenix in 6.5x284 with a Leupold 6-20 VXIII mounted on it. Using 140 VLD Berger bullets it is a laser beam.

After that I mostly use a 223 Sako stainless laminate with fluted barrel. It has a 3-18x42 Leupold VX6 on it.

I've been really impressed with a friends Valquartsen 17 WSM, out to 200-250 meters it is unreal.

I'm not a fan of the 22-250 or 220 Swift, just not enough umpf for wolves and to much for ground rats and such.

--------------------
450-400, 9.3x74r and 7x65r.


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DoubleD
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Reged: 23/11/03
Posts: 1897
Loc: Retired in Montana
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Rell]
      #299555 - 24/04/17 11:35 PM

I have been shooting varmints for 50-55 years,

My first gun was Stevens Savage .22Lr Mod 15y, still have this gun.

Your choice of a Ruger .22-250 is a good one.

My first dedicated Varmint gun was a Ruger Varmint rifle in .22-250 that I acquired in 1986. I put a Tasco Varmint 4x-16x scope on it. I have shot several thousands of prairie dogs, picket pins and gophers, hundreds of Grey diggers squirrels, rock chucks , ground hogs, a lot of coyotes, and a few passing by badgers with this gun. I haven's shot that gun in 15 or so years but I still have it-with original factory barrel.


Since I got the Ruger I have tried a number of other guns and calibers. What I have learned is you must select a gun for your game. You can take most anything with the Ruger but you must be be diligent about shot placement in the larger animals and it massive over kill on the smaller animals.

Without knowing what your chief game it is difficult to suggest a specific gun or caliber for you.

Based on my experience over those long years I have to agree wit Homer, a bolt gun in .223 with a good variable 4x-12x Scope makes good universal varmint gun in this day and age.

I have Remington 700 VLS with a Leupold 12X in .223 that is my choice in this caliber. Awesome shooting gun, shots way under an inch. Don't recall how small because it has been a while since i shot it on paper. My main shooting these days is gophers and is done with various 17's. But when the occasional badger or coyote pop up, I reach for the VLS.

You will be just fine with the .22-250 but also consider the .223 bolt gun for general varmint shooting

So what is my main gun these days? BSA 1215 in 17 Hornady Hornet with Simmons 4x-12 AO scope, usually always set at 6X. Put 1200 rounds through it last year.

--------------------
DD, Ret.


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Ripp
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Reged: 19/02/07
Posts: 8884
Loc: Montana, USA
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: DoubleD]
      #299556 - 24/04/17 11:50 PM

Personally I probably have more rifles in the varmint class than all others, ranging from 17HMR which I do use on P-dogs out to 200 yards or so..

Have several Coopers. One in 6/284 with a Schmidt/Bender 4-16 scope.. 70 gr Blitz Kings.-3900+ fps...which is hell on wheels for P-dogs and pretty much anything else it hits in that size of game..have also used it on antelope and deer with great results..the next one I have used a lot is a Remington 700 in .243 that I load with 70 Nosler ballistic tips--have a VX3 4-14 Leupold on it..have them running just shy of 3600fps using Varget Powder..actually used that one day to shoot a 22 yr old black bear sow that was on my friends ranch...have another Cooper in 220 Swift that I have used a lot on P-dogs...Have a heavy barrel Remington in 22-250 that I have also used a ton on P-dogs..very very accurate, even with Factory loads..Have 2 rifles in .204 Ruger which are fine up to and including coyotes..One is a Cooper and the other is a CZ with a set trigger..actually the CZ is every bit as accurate as the Cooper and love the set trigger on the CZ--both of those have Leupolds on them..My truck gun and what I have been using the most for calling in Coyotes in the past 3-5 years is a little Tikka Stainless with a 4.5-14 Leupold on it in 22-250...I shoot 50gr ballistic tips out of it..have shot tons of P-dogs with it. My wife hammered a Pronghorn with hit at just over 500 yards 3 years ago..also shooting 50gr ballistic tips..and have used it on culling deer..works great..I have 2 custom built rifles with Rem acitons and Hart barrels chambered in .257 Weatherby that I have used on coyotes but its too much..also have a Weatherby in 240 Weatherby..works well also but I prefer the Cooper in 6/284. Have a Remington 5cut barrel sporter in .223 that I have used on P-dogs --works great but I like the toss factor a bit more for the 220 swift and 22-250..speaking of which, I do like the ballistics a bit more of the 220 Swift but like the availability of ammo of the 22-250 should you run out of your handloads..

I have numerous AR's chambered in 5.56 or 223..frankly don't use them much for varmint hunting other than coyotes..fun if a group of 'yotes show up and you want to toss a large amount of lead their direction..but for all out accuracy I prefer one of the both actions..as to optics, they range from Trijicon red dots to Leupold 4-12 to 1-4's, etc..again, they are more set up for the two legged varmints therefore are scoped accordingly..


For the closer stuff--shooting gophers or closer P-dogs..have a Ruger and savage in 22Mag..that works really well out to about 150 yards..have also shot coyotes with them --have to be more specific on shot placement ..but it works..have 3 different 17HMR's...2 Anshutz--one heavy barrel--one sporter--both have a Leupold 4-12 on them....also have a CZ 17HMR with a set trigger as well..one of my favorites as to rimfire..

For me..of all those I have I would choose either the 22-250 or the .243 and load it accordingly to what you plan to shoot..as with most hunts, shot placement is everything..

As to scopes I really really like the Leupold 4.5-14 VX3--its is enough power to shoot and see out as far are you will ever need it, yet allows for quick acquisition on running game such as coyotes if you have doubles or triples come in to a call..I have others up to and beyond 20X but find I rarely use them at that setting..

I am sure I missed some I have, but this is what comes to mind as to what I have and have been using in the most recent past.

Ripp


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Ripp
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Reged: 19/02/07
Posts: 8884
Loc: Montana, USA
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: A_Pepsi_Cola_Can]
      #299558 - 24/04/17 11:56 PM

Quote:

I know this is more or less a page for bigbore and classic rifle enthusiast's, but what are your go to varmint rifles.
Your lazerbeam-esk fox busters, im looking at a 22-250 Ruger. Thoughts, suggestions, and pictures are appreciated.
Cheers Guys!




Agree--with your choice..22-250 is hell on wheels for anything you shoot in my experience up to and including deer..BUT you will need to check you bullets if you want to save the pelts on fox and or coyotes..otherwise it will require a lot of sewing to repair the hides..go with something other than a ballistic tip perhaps especially on Fox--it will blow the hell out of them..

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Bidgee
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Reged: 08/04/15
Posts: 697
Loc: Slightly west of Dubvegas, NSW
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Ripp]
      #299560 - 25/04/17 01:04 AM

I've had a mix of .223's and 22.250's and currently am using a CZ527 as general purpose small critter (foxes/rabbits/hares) rig but if I'm spotlighting in areas where I might encounter pigs I'll take my Ruger M77 in 25.06. It also works just fine on foxes but not if you are after skins.

Edited by Bidgee (25/04/17 01:14 AM)


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Daryl_S
.577 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 16694
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Bidgee]
      #299561 - 25/04/17 02:03 AM

I started shooting foxes with a .22 LR, back in 1963, in Ontario, but moved up to a 6.5Rem Mag on a Remington 660. Fox were shot for bounty there, with no care for their hides, so the huge holes and 2piece foxes were not a concern. I tried an Ackley Custom Mauser .22-250 and a .22 Hornet BRNO Fox in around 1968 through 1972 & these worked as well, but didn't blow them up as badly as the 6.5. A hit about anywhere with the .22Hornet worked very well but didn't blow them up. It was a rare fox shot past 100 yards, with the odd one out to 150.

My recommendation for long range fox would be the .22-250 in a varmint rifle, or better yet, a .204 Ruger. The .204 will shoot like a laser beam to 300yards and easily take fox with 38gr. or even the 32gr. bullets out to 450yards. The barrel will also last longer than a .22-250. The only advantage of the .22-250 over the .204 would be the use of the solid copper HP's or 60gr. Partition for deer.

Over the last 17 years, I've been using .17Rem, .17 Ackley Hornet, .17 HMR for shooting ground squirrels. The most fun is with the .17Hornet and the HMR.

The new .17HH would also be a good one for shooting rats (20gr. Vmax., as well as fox and coyotes with 25gr. HP's only. The Vmaxs tend to splash-wound badly, especially on coyotes.

A .223 would be a good rifle as well, deer capable with the right bullets, as well as being quite easy on barrels. Brass is the most plentiful of all - here, it's straight ground pick-up for once fired Fed cases (mostly).

Now, for me, it's a tossup, an old Sako A1 in .222 gets the nod for 'plinking' as it's still a 1/4 moa rifle with both 40gr HP's at 3,550fps and 52gr. Match at 3,200fps.

There are lots to choose from, for this type of shooting, today.

Were I going specifically for coyotes, wolves and/or deer, I have both a varmint .22-250 Rem, and a WTBY Van. .243 which are good shooters with most all of the suitable bullets.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Ripp
.470 member


Reged: 19/02/07
Posts: 8884
Loc: Montana, USA
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #299574 - 25/04/17 07:18 AM

Quote:

Were I going specifically for coyotes, wolves and/or deer, I have both a varmint .22-250 Rem, and a WTBY Van. .243 which are good shooters with most all of the suitable bullets.




Daryl..

Your a man after my own heart...

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Rell
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Reged: 03/12/04
Posts: 559
Loc: Oyster Bay, NY, USA
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Ripp]
      #299576 - 25/04/17 08:03 AM

Both of you might own to many guns!

--------------------
450-400, 9.3x74r and 7x65r.


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Rell
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Rell]
      #299577 - 25/04/17 08:03 AM

Just kidding

--------------------
450-400, 9.3x74r and 7x65r.


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gryphon
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Reged: 01/01/03
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Rell]
      #299581 - 25/04/17 09:06 AM

I dont know if a wolf makes it to 'varmint' class ha ha


But I reckon the .220 with a heavier hard bullet in it would make the biggest wolf flop.

--------------------
Get off the chair away from the desk and get out in the bush and enjoy life.


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: gryphon]
      #299589 - 25/04/17 10:04 AM

My all-time favorite varmint rifle was a Sharps-Borchardt (Model 1878 Sharps) that had been built into a custom .225 Winchester. It had hand made double set triggers and was sub -1/2 MOA. I hunted groundhogs a lot in the 80s and that rifle usually was with me. Yeah I had other varmint rifles, but this one was the king.

Here's a scan of the only photo I have of that rifle. It left my hands when I needed funds for a double rifle purchase.






I do miss that rifle.

Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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Daryl_S
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: CptCurl]
      #299593 - 25/04/17 11:36 AM

Those old single shot Borchardts made quite the varmint rifles, that's for sure.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Waidmannsheil
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Reged: 19/04/13
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #299614 - 25/04/17 07:37 PM

For me it's definitely the 222 Rem. My mates and I all have them in a variety of guns. Krico 600 (mine), Sako 85 Hunter, Tikka T3, Winchester model 70. With a good soft point or hollow point 50 grain bullet they are dynamite on foxes. I use Norma solids on hares and rabbits as they don't blow them to bits. I have also collected about 150 rounds of brass in 222 Rimmed including a box of factory ammo made by the Super Cartridge Company. One day I would like to have an Under and Over combination gun in 16 Gauge over 222 Rimmed. Would be very handy for some of the terrain that I hunt foxes in.

I also use a 22LR with Winchester 42 Grain Powerpoints. They are exceptionally good killers of foxes out to 100 yards. The heavy bullet really hits hard. I have never needed more than one bullet on foxes and feral cats.

I have also used a 22-250 quite a lot, it was in a Sako Model 75. Very accurate and extremely deadly on foxes. I was using Speer 52 grain Hollow Points and that combination is not ideal for collecting pelts. On the other hand, if you want to blow a hole big enough to fit your head into then that combo is great. The 22-250 kills out of all proportion to the size of the cartridge and projectile. Very nasty.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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Ripp
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Rell]
      #299622 - 25/04/17 10:35 PM

Quote:

Both of you might own to many guns!




I always thought guns were like previous female lovers..you can never have too many???

I specifically stated (FEMALE) --as this is now the world in which we live..

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Daryl_S
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Rell]
      #299631 - 26/04/17 03:18 AM

Quote:

Both of you might own to many guns!




Not hardly enough, but my wife agrees with you Rell.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Rell
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Reged: 03/12/04
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #299647 - 26/04/17 08:03 AM

Darlyl, I might actually semi agree with your wife on some level. I've been culling rifles like a mad man. I got to the point my rifles owned me and it took way to much time to load and clean the blasted things. Keeping the great stuff and selling the experiments / toys/ basic soulless tools / redundancies and such.

Ripp, mostly you are right but there are a couple that i still blame the tequila on. Two or three less would have been better.

As to varmints, on the farm we always considered wolves and black bears as varmints. Might cloud my judgement a touch on this topic.

--------------------
450-400, 9.3x74r and 7x65r.


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Daryl_S
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Rell]
      #299652 - 26/04/17 09:06 AM

No - you are right, Rell - they are VERMIN of the worse sort.

About the guns, not so much LOL.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Marrakai
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Reged: 09/01/03
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Loc: Darwin, Top End of Australia
Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #299657 - 26/04/17 10:03 AM

The only rifle in my gunsafe that could be called 'varmint' is a Sako L-46 .222 from the early 1950s.

That rifle has a short, medium-profile barrel with Mannlicher-style stock in two pieces, not bedded in any particular way, yet it shoots 5/8 inch groups at 100m all day long. This with an early Pecar in claw mounts.

Sure PCCan, Rugers are nice as far as modern longarms go, but as they say, "Life is too short to hunt with anything other than vintage classics"!

...especially when there is no penalty relating to accuracy and the handling quality is always nicer!

IMHO

--------------------
Marrakai
When the bull drops, the bullshit stops!
--------------------------------
www.marrakai-adventure.com.au


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SharpsNitro
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Marrakai]
      #299663 - 26/04/17 12:42 PM

My current chambering for varmints would be the .243 30deg Imp, I primarily shoot 115gr DTACS on steel out to 1400yds with it. I'm looking to get a .223 conversion barrel/kit (I'm shooting a Desert Tech Covert) for closer and smaller stuff like PDs.

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Ripp
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Reged: 19/02/07
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Re: So... Varmint Rifles? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #299689 - 26/04/17 10:00 PM

Quote:

No - you are right, Rell - they are VERMIN of the worse sort.

About the guns, not so much LOL.




#TRUTH..

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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