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Varmint questions from a Nob

 
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  #1  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:25 AM
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Varmint questions from a Nob

I'm going to buy an AR in 223 for a combination varmint / yorte rifle and have some questions. All advice is helpful. By the way, lots of hunting experience from upland to big game, just none of this long range small target stuff.

1. Correct me if I'm wrong but the .223 is limited from a practical sense to inside 500 yes? I'm ok with that limitation. Yes I know the bullet will travel further but if this was an objective of mine I'd go bolt action 22-250 or something

2. Within this limitation - How much magnification do I need to see a PD at 500 yards. I'm looking at nikon 4-16 and and leupold 6-18 scopes. Wouldn't think I need 20 or 25 on the upperend.

3. The recticle and system. Mil dot or a bdc/holdover system like leupolds LRV recticle or Burris fullfield? This is kind of a "how accurate do I have to be". Let's say the bullet drops 15 inches (just guessing) between 300 and 400 and the PD is 8 inches high. Does that mean I have to know the range with 50 yards to get a hit? If that's the case a LRV system might work well enough? Especially if I convert the 200/300/400/500 marks to actual based on the round I'm shooting. I like the inherent accuracy of the mil dot system with target knobs to dial yardage buyers next question.

4. How accurately will I know yardage in the field. I'd guess rangefinders can be pretty suspect at that range especially if your level with the PD town. Makes me think guess the yardage, apply Kentucky windage and let the led fly to observe results can be an effective method.

5. On the leupold LRV recticle does anyone know the MOA between the marked holdovers so I can apply the ballistic table of the round I shoot.

6. For those that also hunt totes out west what your average range. I'd think if they come to your call your looking at something within MPBR.

7. Does the PD ranging feature on the LRV recticle really work (closer / further than 300)?

Thanks in advance for any help

Last edited by Climbhard; 06-29-2011 at 09:54 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2011, 07:18 PM
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Re: Varmint questions from a Nob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Climbhard View Post
I'm going to buy an AR in 223 for a combination varmint / yorte rifle and have some questions. All advice is helpful. By the way, lots of hunting experience from upland to big game, just none of this long range small target stuff.

1. Correct me if I'm wrong but the .223 is limited from a practical sense to inside 500 yes? I'm ok with that limitation. Yes I know the bullet will travel further but if this was an objective of mine I'd go bolt action 22-250 or something

500 is pretty far on dogs with a 223. Especially if you shoot in the wind. Granted, the 69grn and heavier bullets buck the wind pretty good but we loose some trajectory because of them and kills aren't near as spectacular. If it's relatively calm, 500 is certainly doable.

2. Within this limitation - How much magnification do I need to see a PD at 500 yards. I'm looking at nikon 4-16 and and leupold 6-18 scopes. Wouldn't think I need 20 or 25 on the upperend.

16 or 18X is just about right for this. In my experience, much more than that all we see is mirage. Dogs get really hard to see through that mirage. 20 and 25 is nice for testing loads, but I rarely use more than 16X when shooting in the dog towns, simply due to mirage. Also, 20X and more makes it tougher to spot your hits/misses.

3. The recticle and system. Mil dot or a bdc/holdover system like leupolds LRV recticle or Burris fullfield? This is kind of a "how accurate do I have to be". Let's say the bullet drops 15 inches (just guessing) between 300 and 400 and the PD is 8 inches high. Does that mean I have to know the range with 50 yards to get a hit? If that's the case a LRV system might work well enough? Especially if I convert the 200/300/400/500 marks to actual based on the round I'm shooting. I like the inherent accuracy of the mil dot system with target knobs to dial yardage buyers next question.

When you get beyond 250 yds with a 223, you will want to know the distance within 50yds, more preferably within 20-25 yds. Any reticle works, so long as it's not too thick. Dogs vary in size quite a bit, from the young ones that aren't any bigger than a pair of pliers to the big old fat ones that stand 12" tall and 4" round at the base. Reticle preference is just that......what you learn to use and how well you use it are the determining factors.

4. How accurately will I know yardage in the field. I'd guess rangefinders can be pretty suspect at that range especially if your level with the PD town. Makes me think guess the yardage, apply Kentucky windage and let the led fly to observe results can be an effective method.

Get the best rangefinder you can afford within reason, and the Leica has the smallest beam divergence that I know of when talking $1000 or less. The coincidental types work further and probably more accurate on flat ground, but they are big and need to be mounted on a tripod. They also take you away from the rifle/scope. You'll find that the dogs won't often stand around and let you range, dial, steady and then finally shoot. Lost count of the times I've spotted one in Binos and by time I got the scope on him he was not there anymore.

5. On the leupold LRV recticle does anyone know the MOA between the marked holdovers so I can apply the ballistic table of the round I shoot.

6. For those that also hunt totes out west what your average range. I'd think if they come to your call your looking at something within MPBR.

Yes, generally when calling them in, they are within 350 yds. Sometimes they don't actually "come in" and they circle out there from 400 to 600 yds away trying to get the scent of something. Sometimes they wont even attempt to come any closer, they'll just sit on their butts out there at 600-1000 yds away and look at you. But if you've really called them in, shots are usually well within PBR.

7. Does the PD ranging feature on the LRV recticle really work (closer / further than 300)?

See response to question #3 They work if the dog is the same size that the feature is designed for.

Best advice I can give for 500 yds dogs with a 223 is find the most precise load that your rifle will shoot. Minimum, IMO....We need consistant sub 1/2 moa for a good chance of 1st or 2nd round hits when they get beyond 400 yds. Ultimately, We're really looking for 1" groups at 300 yds. Additionally, the rifle needs to shoot those groups all day long, even with a hot or dirty barrel.

Thanks in advance for any help

Best of luck.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:19 PM
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Re: Varmint questions from a Nob

get a rifle with a little more powder and push behind it. most of my shooting is done with the scope at or about 16 to 14 power. works for me
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:46 PM
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Re: Varmint questions from a Nob

You should have no problem seeing prairie dogs with either scope. My buddy uses a 4.5-14 on his .243 AI and has taken dog out to 900 yards with it. I used a 3-9 for many years with no problem. 500 yard prairie dog with a .223 AR might be a little tough to do unless you have varmint designed rifle.

I don't like any of the magic reticules. Just a plane fine cross hair on any of my scopes. I do have one scope with a mil dot and I have used it for hold off on windage but the darn thing covers a prairie dog at any distance and it's useless for ranging any varmint.

.223 is marginal on coyotes at any distance in my estimation. I've taken a few with it but went back to my .243 Win.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:10 PM
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Re: Varmint questions from a Nob

SBruce brings you good advice.

I'd also suggest getting a faster twist .223 to use high BC bullets. You may get lucky and find a lighter bullet that will shoot to the same POA for your closer shots.

You should be able to get the MOA values for the VH reticle from Leupold's site. You may have to look at one of the owner's manuals to find it. The reticle is calibrated for less than maximum power however and I generally shoot at the highest magnification so I recalculated for max power. I had to get the factors from Leupold. I may still have them. PM me if you're interested.

Asto coyote calling ranges, 95% of our called coyotes are taken inside 250 yards. We feel confident with shots inside 200 so we'll usually stop them when they get to 175 to 150 yards which is about maximum midrange trajectory for most varmint cartridges. It caused too many misses. We now sight our calling rifles in for 200yards. We can hold dead on out to 250 yards.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2011, 09:28 AM
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Re: Varmint questions from a Nob

Thanks for the responses so far. To clarify. Being effective at 500 yards is a requirement or even a criteria. If it were I would be looking at a different caliber. As it is if I can be effective in the 300-400 raange that's great. I am looking at a faster twist AR. A RRA predator pursuit 1:8 specifically with 20 inche barrel. Also surprised to hear people suggest that a 223 is to light for yotes.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:59 AM
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Re: Varmint questions from a Nob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Climbhard View Post
Thanks for the responses so far. To clarify. Being effective at 500 yards is a requirement or even a criteria. If it were I would be looking at a different caliber. As it is if I can be effective in the 300-400 raange that's great. I am looking at a faster twist AR. A RRA predator pursuit 1:8 specifically with 20 inche barrel. Also surprised to hear people suggest that a 223 is to light for yotes.
I've shot coyotes with 223 and 60 grn bullets, not alot of them because when I'm actually out after coyotes specifically, I am using a 22-250 or bigger.?
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