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Looking for a varmint/deer rifle

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Unread 08-14-2010, 07:07 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 39
Re: Looking for a varmint/deer rifle

I might as well toss my opinion/2 cents worth into the fray.
I have several guns in the class you want. 243 I do not have. however, I have two calibers that no one has even mentioned yet. 25-06, that is a good varminter and it will take down a deer with 120 grain slugs at over the 600 yard max you have said. you also could look into the 257 Roberts, I own one of these too and its no slouch at all. with 90 grain sierra HPBT's I can sink just about any deer I know of. with 65 grain V-max you could explode most varmints or even Coyotes. My 257 is the go to rifle when I want to take on coyotes at 300 yards or longer. nothing says "gotcha" like a 90 grain slug that I can drive tacks with at 300+ yards. I know you can not find much variety of ammo.. I reload so I can make my own tailored to my application. 75 to 100 grainers for deer, light 60 grain slugs for coyotes, and if I get a varmint in my sights.. they have a hard time standing up to a RNFP slug designed for a 25-35 or 25-20.. red mist time. its been a long time since I worked the bolt on my 25-06. I am not even sure why I have not pulled out the old BDL heavy barrel.
one of my customers just picked a bullbarreled, 25-06 Rem BDL for 200 dollars out of a pawn shop. it seemed no one wanted the caliber. I inspected it. maybe 20 rounds down range. it was a Varmint Special, very sweet trigger, and it came with a burris, Black Diamond 6-24X50MM scope mounted to it. the scope is worth over 700 dollars alone. the rifle was worth at least 800 dollars. all that for 295 out the door. look around.. you might be able to find something like this for really cheap. I am also told, since I live in antelope territory, the 25-06 is a great antelope gun too.

good shooting
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Unread 10-12-2010, 09:55 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Montana Plains
Posts: 289
Re: Looking for a varmint/deer rifle

A .223 Rem with a fast twist barrel that can shoot long and heavy bullets will be your cheapest and most versatile choice, provided .22 cal rifles are legal for deer/antelope as they are in Montana. I use a heavy barrel CZ 527 Kevlar Varmint, but drop the Kevlar stock and heavy barrel you can get them about $300 less cost. I had to buy the heavy barrel to get the 9" twist.

.224 bullets are the smallest that come in big game type construction, like Nosler Partition and Barnes-X.

If you can afford ammo for hunting prairie dogs, affording a rifle is no problem. $100 per day for ammo, even if you reload, is very common at dogtown.

The .243 Win is the obvious choice if big game has more of an emphasis, and the ammo is available everywhere. .22-250 rifles are hampered by slow twist rate barrels that don't handle heavy bullets properly, unless custom barrelled. .25-06 will be expensive to shoot, and barrel heating will be a problem at dogtown. The .204 Ruger (mine is a CZ 527 Varmint) is the perfect prairie dog round and barrel heating isn't much of an issue if using a heavy barrel. Heavy constructed bullets for heavier game isn't available yet in .204 cal, and may never be. .223 Rem comes in FMJ for taking fur bearing animals where you don't want to ruin hides, and it's the cheapest thing you can shoot and military rounds are a cheap source for good brass. If you are a crack shot and pick appropriate ammo, a .223 Rem can kill about anything inside of 300 yards in spite of what naysayers might say. Ballistic performance is almost identical to .222 Rem Mag. .308 Win is unquestioned as an adequate short range moose round, and a .223 Rem has half the power and should be just as adequate for any soft skinned animal up to half that size. That means big Mule deer approximately.

If shooting big game at long range, a 6mm to 6.5mm bullet has the minimum ballistic coefficient that you will need. .224 cal bullets seem to tap out at about 300 yards no matter how fast you shove them at the muzzle. An old Swedish Mauser will outshoot any fancy .22 cal varmint rifle past 300 yards, and it's a super pleasnt round to shoot and it shoots dead accurate. I shot one that cost $100 in a pawn shop, and it was a nail driver.
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Unread 10-13-2010, 05:44 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Illinios
Posts: 587
Re: Looking for a varmint/deer rifle

G. A. Precision in Kansas City has what they call an Accratizing Package. You might consider that for you 7 mag. They also install muzzle brakes. I had a Vias Brake put on my 7 WSM after i had shoulder surgery ( not that a brake is an accruracy improver) but my groups did improve somewhat after it was installed. Like was memtioned earlier, load your 7 mag down to lighter bullets.
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Unread 10-19-2010, 08:33 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 191
Re: Looking for a varmint/deer rifle

Consider the 260 or 7-08 in a Rem SPS or a Savage..... Assuming you plan to reload ... if not the 308 would have more factory ammo available. I would much rather have either the 260 or 7-08 for your intended use though..
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