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Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

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Old 06-21-2010, 03:10 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 732
Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

I love varmint hunting, but i have never owned a proper caliber for it. I have always borrowed rifles from buddies. Its finally time to purchase my own. I will be buying factory and i haven't decided on what yet. I am just starting with caliber. If i find the money for custom i will either fully or semi custom a rifle, but for now its factory. I dont want a 223. even though its a good caliber. I was thinking something a little larger, so that wind drift will be as little as possible with still shooting a decently light bullet. I was looking towards a 243. win. The velocities are pretty high, the wind drift is minimum compared to the smaller varmint calibers, and it has potential for long range plus it is a popular and easy to find caliber for shells and reloading.

Any opinions or other suggestions on the 243. win or other calibers.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:18 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

I have a 25-06 that with 90gr Sierra HPBT have killed chucks as far as 550yds back in Ohio.
You can make 25-06 out of 30-06, 260, 270, 280
I just bought 300, 270 once fired brass for dirt cheap from here.
December Sales
I built my 25-06 back in 1970 when it was still a wildcat, and it still drops em.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:59 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,327
Re: Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

243win, 260rem and 308win...all great cartridges and all readily available in factory ammo. All will kill varmints for as far as you can see and all will kill deer if you decide to 'graduate' from varmints.

It sounds as though you're on a bit of a budget for this project (aren't we all on some kind of a budget??). My suggestion would be to get your hands on a mid-level Remington or Savage. Personally, I lean more towards the Remingtons. With either the Remington or Savage, any gunsmith will work on the rifle and both have good accuracy out of the box and both have excellent accuracy potential with some gunsmith work.

Here are my suggestions as to what you might do with your rifle as you go forward....

Nephew's Transformed Rifle!

My 280 - Updated!
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:51 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,118
Re: Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

I am an avid Savage fan. Most guys will agree. These would be my pics. Don't let the list price scare you on the Savage web site. They sell for 100 to 200 dollars cheaper. My thoughts would be to look for some of these models used also. There are some out there that have the accu-trigger. They are all pillar bedded. Take some time and check them out.

Savage Arms Firearms > 12 VLP DBM Own one, and is a very nice rifle for the money.

Savage Arms Firearms > 12 BVSS

Savage Arms Firearms > 11 Long Range Hunter Awesome beginner set up with a ton of bells and whistles.

Savage Arms Firearms > 10 Predator Hunter Brush


Burris 6.5-20x50 Fullfield II Tactical Rifle Scope

Bushnell 5-15x40 Elite 3200 Rifle Scope

Bushnell 6-24x50 Elite 4200 30mm Rifle Scope Highly Suggested

Sightron 6-24x50 SIII 30mm Riflescope Highly suggested

Vortex 8-32x50 Crossfire 30mm Rifle Scope

Vortex 6-24x50 Crossfire 30mm Rifle Scope

Vortex 6.5-20x44 Viper 30mm Rifle Scope High Suggested

EGW 20 MOA Own 2 of them and will order more later on for other rifles.

SWFA Mounts, Rings and Bases Burris Mounts Burris Signature Rings These things are nice for adding elevation if you need to. If not, they are still quite robust.

Just my thoughts. As far as caliber, I started on a 308. 243 in any of these rifles will do the trick. Will be able to shoot some heavier bullets with the 9.25 twist. Light bullets will work well also. Some guys really like the 87grn A-max in 243. Nice thing with the Savages, if you want a different caliber, you can purchase a pre-threaded, pre-chambered barrel that will spin on using the appropriate wrench. There is info readily available on the net and guys here know how to do it. Good luck in your search. Hope this helps.

Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If you find your self in a fair fight, your tactics suck!- Marine 1st Sergeant Jim Ryfinger

Friends don't let friends develop canonitis!-chucknbach

arguing over the internet is like the special Olympics....even if you win, you are still...special!
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:20 PM
Miller Outdoors
Posts: n/a
Re: Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

The .243 would make an excellent choice. When you're ready to go custom the 6mmBR would be worth a close look.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:36 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,542
Re: Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

243, quiet capable, very economical, readily available, easily reloadable...keep it simple.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:49 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pilot Rock Oregon
Posts: 123
Re: Which caliber for Varmints and targets out to 600. yards

I would go with a 22-250.... Low recoil... fast.... ammo easy to find. If you get the right twist you can send 77 grain even 80 grain if you need the wind bucker. If you have a deer rifle like 270 or 30-06... a 22-250 would fill in nice for you. I think a 308 is supper accurate but IMO is a little much for vermin... not a "true varmint gun" like you said... But they work... the only draw back to a 22-250 is they are close to not being enuff for deer. But like ya said you wanted a true varmint gun.. 22-250 cant go wrong. A rem 700 vssf is a mean factory stick IMHO.
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