Hello everyone, this is my first post. I have always been a big game hunter, killed lots of deer and couple Elk and bear. You guys have me REAL interested in Predator/Varmit hunting, and would like to know what you guys think of my selection for my budget setup.
I'm thinking of buying the Savage 12FV but don't know if I should go Stainless Steel or Blue. I can't make up my mind on 22-250 or .223, 22-250 I hear wears down a barrel fast. I would like to know how many shots before this happens. The only thing I like about the .223 is the ammo is affordable, but I will pay more for extra performance of the 22-250 if the barrel lasts.
The Scope will be a Nikon but would like to know the major difference between the Buckmaster and the Monarch.
A rifle for predator / varmint hunting, if you want something that is extremely accurate for the small critters and for the predators if your collecting hides you want somethig that isn't going to destry the pelt. They are both well qualified for the job. I like the .22-250 myself, a very accurate cartridge and with the right bullet will do maximun damage to a woodchuck or praire dog and just a small hole for predators hides. The .22-.250 will last for several years if you take care of it and push the loads too hot. A round count can easily be above 2,000 rounds, which will take a long time especially if your only hunting with it. I'm not a big Nikon scope fan so I can't help you there.
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Yes the Savage is priced right for the working man, but you'll probably be suprised at the accuracy those sticks generate! I've owned a couple 110FP's and both were outstanding. One was in .223 with the 1-9" twist. It loved the 69 gn Sierra MK and Nosler Competitions equally well. I was really suprised to find that it shot the 55gn Ballistic Tip even better! The .223 is an accurate cartridge, cheap to shoot and easy on barrels. The .22-250 (I've owned two) is fast, accurate and cheap also. I say cheap assuming you reload. The .223 averages 25gn of powder while the .22-250 averages 35gn, give or take.
I shot the .22-250's (1-14") I owned alot, more at targets than varmints/predators and I never shot the barrel out. In my opinion, what would make that .22-250 shine would be the 1-9" twist vice the 1-14" or 1-12". Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed shooting NC crows with that 40gn Ballistic Tip leaving the barrel around 4000FPS. Those crows are fast, but they ain't that fast! Not sure how fast the 22-250 could sling those 69's but I know it's faster and flatter than the .223.
Nothing wrong with the .243 either as demo9pro mentioned. Just bought myself another one and may try for some coyotes in a couple of days with it. Take a look at the 6mmBR also, very impressive little round as is it's little brother .22BR. So many rifles and bullets and not enough time!
As for Nikon, I have one mounted on my M70 Coyote. It's a Monarch UCC 6.5-20x44 AO with fine crosshairs. It came with two sets of scope turrents, one that can be concealed with a screw-on cap the other set can't. I figured one was for hunting the other for targets. I like my Nikon, never had a bit of trouble from it. It tracks great and never had a zero shift or anything else weird happen. Rock solid. Don't think they make this particular model anymore though. I think the differance between the Buckmaster and Monarch is that the Monarch is one grade up in quality.
If I had to choose or could get my choice in barrel steel, I'd go with stainless every time. I can't comment on the metal properties and what makes one better than the other, but it seems to me that SS cleans better and faster than carbon steel. There you have it. Good luck in your decision and hope to see you here again. JohnnyK.
"The pleasure you get from life is equal to the attitude you put into it."
Savage has a good rep for being an accurate out of the box rifle. It also is very user friendly for upgrading and switching barrels... However, I recently purchased a12 fvl (left handed version of what you are talking about) and I'm not very impressed. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no BR shooter, but I can't get mine to shoot better than 1 inch at 100 consistantly with various handloads and most are shooting between 1.5 and 2 inchs at 100. They have a cheap stock, trigger is OK, and the barrel on mine is not good. It takes forever to clean the copper out of it!!! I got a dudd. I've heard and seen many people getting similar rifles to shoot twice as good as mine ( and I'm sad to say, thats about what I expected out of mine).
Last year I purchased a Tikka T3 Lite left hand 300WSM and that rifle impressed the heck out of me. I know that my Tikka will out shoot my savage any day of the week and twice on sunday as long as you keep it cool ;). If you don't plan on switching barrels yourself, I will honestly say the Tikka is a bette buy than the savage for about 100 to 150 more. You get a 24 inch barrel instead of the 26 (bummer) but it is always better to smack the target slower than to miss it quicker.
I went with a 22-250 because I've always had a soft spot for that cal and I was already set up to load for it because my friends shot them. The problem with this cal is that it is set up in factory rifles to handle lighter bullets. Most come with a 14 twist (savage 12" = another good point for savage). With the savage you will be able to handle a 55 gr blitzking and the others will only handle the 50 gr boat tail class.
The 223 will be slightly cheaper to load for, but you will have to lead into the wind a little more. The 22-250 has very little advantage over the 223. You can shoot the 69 g smk out fo most 9 twist 223's (if memory serves me well) and that will do well out to 500 +
The 204 seems to have lots of promise, but honestly, I just don't like the little bullets.
It all depends on what you want to shoot at and how far away it will be, how many rounds you want to shoot at a sitting, and what other rifles you are going to have to fill gaps. If I'd do it all over again, I'd get a Tikka varmint in a 223 or a 204, especially since I plan on getting a larger rifle for those over 400 yards.
I have a monarch 5.5-16.5 x 44 and a buckmaster 6-18 x 40. The biggest noticable difference is the size of the crosshair. I can get a much finer aimpoint w/ my Monarch. Monarchs will bring in a little more light (95% v/s @90% for the buck). THat is all I can tell for sure. I think the Monarch is a little tougher, but can't say for sure. I firmly beleive that Nikon buckmaster and Monarch are both a good buy for the money. THe Monarch is very comparable to Leupald VX III in terms of quality of picture and the Buckmaster to the VXII. Don't get me wrong, The VX III is a better scope than the Monarch, but I would buy a Buckmaster before a VXII.
Just want to add that this is all just my opinion, and that I don't have the experience that many on this site do. Hope my advice helps
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
Ram, you picked an excellent rifle for varminting. Savage are very accurate out of the box rifles. I would go with the Stainless Steel model. Savage has surpassed Remington in accuracy, and I never thought I would be saying that.
The 22-250 will give you more velocity and as a varmint hunter I am sure RED MIST is a very important part of your needs. The 22-250 will provide you with a better show and will also allow you to reach about 150 yards more than the 223 with the same bullet. The higher velocity performance will make the barrel burn out a little quicker than the 223. However, my buddy shoots a 22-250, and he has about 2000 rounds out of his rifle. His rifle is still shooting 1/2 MOA and lower at 100 yards. He has taken very good care of his rifle and never lets it get too hot during varmint hunting sessions. He uses a 17HMR for the 100 to 200 yard shots and switches to the 22-250 for the 300 to 500 yard shots. The point being, while he lets his 22-250 cool,he switches to the 17HMR.
The 223 is an awesome cartridge for shooting out to 300 yards. If you have a fast twist barrel and shoot the heavier and higher BC bullets, you can really reach out there. Another thing to take into consideration is brass choice. Lapua makes excellent brass for the 223 and that is a big plus when deciding between these two cartridges.
I would probably go with the 22-250 because I love the RED MIST factor and a 40grn V-Max at 4000fps is devastating on varmints out to 400 yards. Which ever one you decide to go with, I think you will be very happy. My vote is for the 22-250.
As far as your scope choice, that's an easy decision for me, go with the Nikon Monarch. IMHO, the Nikon Monarch is hands down a better scope with better glass.
If you do decide to go with the 223 and your rifle has a 1-12 twist barrel, use Viht-N133 powder, Lapua Brass, Federal 205M Primers and a 50grn V-Max. This load seems to work well out of any 1-12 twist barrel. Viht-N133 is excellent powder for the 223, thought I would give you that info if you decide to go with the 223. I used 26grns of VV-N133 and a 50grn V-Max and it was super accurate and deadly out to 400 yards. Velocity was around 3500fps out of a 26" 1-12 twist barrel. "WORK UP TO THIS LOAD IF YOU DECIDE TO TRY IT"
My only input would be that during a summer full of shooting at jack rabbits during a peak population, a hotly loaded 22-250 went for 1500 rounds before she gave up the ghost.
That was pretty much like slow prairie shooting but somewhere around 100 rounds per day several days a week with no regard for barrel heat or anything else. But it was a walk & stalk situation so not rapid fire for the most part.
Also the rifle was a Rem 788, and a fine shooter it was.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!