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Hello, I am new here and this is my first post. Looks like a great website with lots of info. Here is my dilema.

I am looking for a new gun for shooting prairie dogs only. It will have no other use. I have other guns for other things.

I currently have a browning a bolt 243 wssm varmint, and it works great, but the ammo is too expensive. Reloading is not really an option as I can barely find enough time to go hunting between work and family. I am totally pleased with the performance of this gun and caliber but $24/box of 20 is eating up all my $$$. I can easily shoot up $250 worth of ammo on a saturday.

I have a 17hmr that I use on the close praire dogs and it is nice, and I intend to keep it but I really want another centerfire so I can shoot out to 400yds, although the majority of the shots we have a 2-300yds.

I am thinking 223 or 22-250. both have relatively cheap ammo that can be bought anywhere. 223 ammo seems cheaper, but 22-250 seems to have better performance. Which caliber do you think would suit me best, or is there another caliber that would be better? Keep in mind I am not neccessarily looking for the best performance wise, but rather the best combination of performance and cost.

Finally I have mainly shot bolt action guns such as browning, remington, ruger, winchester but I am reallly thinking hard about getting a single shot such as a NEF or Thompson. And thoughts on this? And hopefully not asking too many questions at once if I was to get a TC with the pistol grip instead of a rifle stock could it be shot as accurately as a rifle (for practical purposes)?
 

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Well, I'm no expert, but I'll take a shot at this. If you don't reload and ammo price is a critical issue, then I think you should go with the .223, as there are lots of different loads out there and you can probably find some factory load that your rifle (or handgun) will like. What gun to buy is a bit harder. I've owned a number of Contenders over the past 35+ years and found both carbine and Super 14 barrels to be about equal in accuracy, certainly adequate for PDs out to 300 yds and more. You'll lose some velocity in the shorter barrels, though, so the trajectory is not quite as flat. Be sure to buy good glass, and good luck. Let us know what you decide.

RonF
 

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If it were me and I was starting I would go .204 Ruger. Cost of ammo doesn't mean much to me as i load my own and the total cost of components is relative to the results. I have all three and a .221 Rem and they all get lots of use. The .204 offers range and performance on par with my 22-250 and less recoil than a .223.
I shoot a Contender carbine in .221, .223, .204 and properly setup each will make 350 yard 'plus' shots tho so ....pick your poison.
 

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I would have to suggest the 204 ruger. Its a great little cartridge. One of the guys i know made a 453 yard shot with a 204 in a handi rifle so you can imagine what it would do in a bolt gun.
 

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Predator And Varmint Hunting

bdog,

Welcome to GBO. Glad you dropped in and i hope we can help you out with your question. There are many different ways you could go as far as what gun caliber etc. You are right when you talk about the expence of shooting your 243 wssm V. I take it you don't load your own, Thats bad.
There are lots of good calibers for varmint shooting from 17 to 243. I think the 223rem is probably the cheapest for a guy that don't reload. there are several off the shelf companys like Black hills that make a good varmint round and at a reasonable price. My advice would be if possable get into loading your own, That way you can taylor your own to fit which ever gun you use, Best of luck to ya and stay safe........Joe..........
 

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Welcome to GBO! I think you'd be well served with a .223. It'll be considerably cheaper to shoot and should work great for the 2-300 yard shots. I've spoken with guys who have stretched their .223's past 600 yards. At that range I'm sure I'd be missing my targets more often than hitting them.

As for what gun, I'd probably go with a heavy barreled bolt action. I currently have an Encore w/a heavy .223 barrel, but would like to get a bolt action. If the gun is heavy enough you can "walk" your shots in. You can't really do that with the Encore because you have to break it open to reload. And every time you do that you have to reaquire your target. My Encore seems to be reasonably accurate. All I've shot through it is the Winchester white box HP's. They usually group in the 1-1.25".

Hope this helps. And let us know what you end up getting! :D
 

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A .223 should do it for you, 22-250 is great, that is what I use, but you need to re-load to keep the cost down. With a .223 you can get really cheap mil surplus ammo up to very accurate factory loads with a veriety of bullets. No other centerfire will be close to the cost of shooting a .223. Savage makes some very nice .223's what would probably be just what you are looking for. Larry
 

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I think either the .223 or .204 will serve you well! As a pure PD gun & with
no other purpose, I believe the .204 will provide a small advantage, ammo
cost & variety aside.

Concerning the gun, I use bolt guns, an Encore, Handi Rifles & the last purchase a Rock River Arms AR Varmiter with 24" Wilson Air Gauged Bull
Barrel. It also has a match trigger & free floating forearm. What a PD gun this AR is. They guarantee 3/4" groups but it will beat that. I mounted a mill dot scope & with a bipod & rear bag you can shoot multiple targets like PDs & not lose you sight picture. It is a pure delight & I am a bolt man at heart.
 

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I'm sorta in the same boat as you bdog, I have 3 boys and don't have much ME time. I like to plink, shoot ground squirrels and varmint hunt for Lynx, Coyote, Fox, Wolverine and Wolf. When it came time for me to buy a rifle I settled on the 22-250. I can get 40 rounds of Winchester HP for $14. I've been saving the brass and a while back I bought all the components to reload about 1000 rounds. I've owned a few .223's and I was not always impressed. I think everyone here has made some valid points, but it is really hard to beat the performance of the 22-250. Mine happens to be a Remington bolt gun. I've owned a few NEF's and there is nothing wrong with them but I have always been happier with a bolt. Everybody that has shot my 22-250 has went out and bought one. There is something about that Laser like trajectory that they liked.... LOL

This last winter I went "calling" with 2 friends. One had a bull barreled AR-15 in .223, the other had a 22-250 Ruger bolt gun. We had been calling all morning when we came to the end of the trail we were on. It overlooked a river valley. And it intersected a powerline trail. As we sat there BSing I asked my buddy how far he thought this 4" post (used to mark the trail in winter) was from us. Buddy #2 said it was at least 350-450 yards....

I said I was gonna hit it first shot, and whoever wanted the bet was buying lunch. They both wanted to bet so I extended my Harris bi-pod and squeezed one off... BING is all you heard.... They were amazed. The guy with the .223 shot at it 10 times before he hit it. I know his rifle is very accurate, and he has a Leupold on it so it ain't off. He said it was too far and had to hold too high. The other guy with the 22-250 said that was too far for him to try. But I egged him on and told him to hold on the top of the post. He did and hit about 6" from the top. He was amazed.

Then I picked up the AR and held on the top and was hitting about a foot low. I was hitting the post about 1 out of 7 times. was it an AR thing? maybe... I would say it was a .223 thing... which has been my experience with every .223 I've ever owned. That's why I have the 22-250. Less shots means less money in the long run... Just my $.02..........

- Clint
 

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I also would recommend the 223 if you want cheap ammo, although its not the longest range shooter and the cheap ammo that you can get is cheap for a reason.
If you want a shooter, that boast better ballistics than the 22-250 (lets get it going again) go with the 204. This is one hot little round. I have it in an Encore bull barrel (factory-don't waste your money on custom) and am so impressed with this gun that I can't believe it. I have a buddy with the 22-250 in same gun and he is selling it for a 204. I've been shooting it quite a bit lately and can get 2" groups at 300 regularly with Hornady 32s.
I have a metal dinger out at 350 the size of a hardball, which I've never hit until this gun, hit it so many times the other night that it broke off the stand. The 8" dinger is of no challenge anymore. I just put a 12" out at 600, and I know this gun will hit it! Give me 5 shots to find it and I bet I or nearly anybody else can hit it every time. Never shot such a fun gun. Little recoil and bullets are about $12, not to bad for premium ammo in my opinion. For some reason I'm going to work the trigger, but I don't know why, just like to tinker I guess.
 

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Let's remember the original question! The 22-250 has it's place in the
Varmit world & I like them alot & I have dusted my share of groundhogs
with a 220 Swift & am considering a 22-6MM Imp. with a fast twist barrel
for 80 Gr. bullets which would make a 22-250 look weak! And by the way
my 25-05 already does that in spades.
But the question is concerning the ideal PD gun. The 22-250 & bigger
cased rounds are not high volumn guns unless you like buying alot of
barrels! Many PD shooters I know will shoot some at longer ranges with
bigger guns they take along but there main gun will be a 223 or now with
some the 204 or similar wildcats.
Concerning the AR thing, I have installed a Mil Dot Scope on my gun
& with the 69 Mk. or 75 Hor. & knowing my mil dots, it is a new ballgame.
Check out the 600 Yard Contests & see for yourself. It just depends on
who you run with doesn't it?
So, when it comes to a PD rifle, like I said before the 223 or 204 are
hard to beat in THAT APPLICATION!!
 
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