New member questions

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by Mordis, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Mordis

    Mordis Member

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    Feb 29, 2008
    hi, Im new here and i figured id ask some questions. I would like to buy my first long range rifle and i want it in a varmit caliber. I pretty much know what rifle i want to use(one of the savages) but i am stuck on caliber choice.

    I have done as much searching and am still at a loss so ill ask here. I need a reccomendation. I would like to beable to kill them at close range and extended ranges. I think my maximum shot on a 'yote would be around 400 yards maybe a smidge higher. At that range, will any bullet strong enough to do a clean kill destroy the pelt?

    My second use for the gun will be for long range target shooting/small varmit killing. I really dont know where to begin caliber wise. I know the .243 winchester is a good round, but all the factory stuff is slow.(atleast compared to some of the stuff i see here.) I know ill have to handload, and that fine, but id like to atleast be able to use factory stuff for plinking and longrange target/small game killing if i cant reload for some reason.

    Also what is appropriate muzzle velocity for a long range varmit round 4000fps+?
    So if you can reccomend me a cartridge that will help with me make my selection id be greatly appreciative. I know this is a lot to ask, but i figure i may as well ask if i want to get anywere with my purchase. Will i have to buy more then one rifle to suite my needs? like one for short to 450yards coyote hunting and one for long range target or can i just have one rifle and load up 2 different loads for those very different situations. I ask this, becuase if i shoot a coyote(which would be my first real hunting experiance), i would love to beable to sell the fur.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  2. 1kstr

    1kstr Well-Known Member

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    Dec 20, 2006
    Mordis:
    The easy answer is two guns. Not the popular choice with the spouse sometimes. I prefer a lighter weight gun for coyotes because of the walking I do. I like a 22. cal or the 6mm class (you mentioned the .243 which is a good choice) of caliber for this. I use a Browning micro hunter in .243 myself as I could get that in a left hand bolt and it happpens to shoot my reloads very well.

    Small varmints ie. prairie dog size and paper punching, I like and don't mind a little heavier weight gun which these days are available from most manufacturers. I like the Remingtons and Savages and would recommend the .204 or 22-250. Also there is nothing wrong with the .223.

    If you reload, which you should get into, you can get away with one caliber and if you are going to do some volume shooting I would recommend a 22-250 which would cover the spectrum of shooting you mentioned and because the bullet selection is very good. Good on Pd's to coyotes.

    Another option if funds allow, consider visiting with a gunsmith in coming up with a solution to your needs. What I am seeing is that a new Rem VSSF is not that much less than taking a used/new 700 action and putting a new custom barrel on it and having a tack driver with a barrel that is easier to clean, will have better accuracy potential, and you can put virtually whatever stock on it you want. More options for calibers too. The Savage would be somewhat less than the aforementioned Rem. and at least 1/2 of the "custom" gun (depends on what you do) but I just want to mention that in case you have something sitting in the gun case that could work for the gunsmith.

    You indicated a velocity number in your post and I would just find a round that shoots accurately and not put alot of concern on the speed at this point. You will end up in the 3,300-3,700 fps in most applications and that will suit you just fine in what you had mentioned for shooting. Factory .204 32 grain bullets/ammo will get you the 4k fps magic number if that is what you are after and you can get that also with reloading a 22-250 or 220 swift using 40 gr bullets.

    Plenty of choices which is a good problem to have. Find a friend that reloads and hunts, put your heads together and you will have fun coming up with your new toy. You will also get plenty of good opinions/suggestions here as well.

    BTW: Welcome to long range hunting.


    1kstr
     

  3. Mordis

    Mordis Member

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    I was at the hogdon data center for reloading and it seems that the 22-250 looses alot of energy at extended ranges. I know its perfect for upto 500yards on yotes, but what about 600yard plinking and small game, is it enough to do the job?
     
  4. devildoc

    devildoc Well-Known Member

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    Feb 10, 2006
    I'd go with a 25-06 or a .243. Stick with heavy bullets for long range stuff and go with light bullets for short range gopher gooshing. If you're worried about pelt damage, stay away from the varmint bullets and go with a controlled expansion hunting bullet.
     
  5. Mordis

    Mordis Member

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    Looks like the .243 will be my first rifle. Devil you mentioned controlled expansion bullets. I was thinking of using Berger VLD for my handloads,seeing as almost everyone on this site is using them. They seem to be great bullets. Would that be a good round that wont destroy pelts or is there some other type that will work as good.
     
  6. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    the Berger bullets in the heavier VLD styles will make a mess of a pelt as it is going to exit and if that thin jacket so much as come close to a bone its comming apart and gonna leave a big hole on the exit , for the very limited amout of pelt shooting I have done I have found that a hyper velocity very small bullet does the best job as they don't exit the vast majority of the time ,in the 22-250 a 4o gr V-max at 4200fps does a great job , the 55gr Ballistic tip out of a 243 at 4000+fps would also work very well but it might exit and if it does their no sense in even thinking about patching that up. On the total other end of the spectrum a good solid bullet works also as it does exit but leaves a small hole , the down side to this is that the animal generaly runns off a ways before dieing.

    I know a couple guys that are professional pelt hunters and both use 17 cal wildcat round running bullet out at 4K+ , the new 204 Ruger would also be a decient choice.

    All in all , If it were me I would get a 22-250 Ackley , 1-10 twist , that would allow you to shoot up to the 69gr Nosler custom competition bullets and at this round velocity you could play on paper/small varmints to 800+yds and the twist will allow you to shoot the light weight varmint pills realy fast , the 50gr Ballistic tip run out at 3900fps will flatten a coyote at 500yds.
     
  7. Mordis

    Mordis Member

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    my only objection to ackley bullets is id have to make the brass, and i really am not that good at reloading yet, seeing as i just recently started. Is there a place to get brass for the 22-250AI brass? How much of a improvement over the regular 22-250 is the AI version?
     
  8. Mordis

    Mordis Member

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    Ok, need advice on the gun. I am considering the Savage 16fss. Its a short action(i think) has 4round internal box magazine. I got to shoulder one at a Dicks sporting goods and it felt good. The price is amazing only $299 brand new. The main reason im going for a savage as my first rifle is 1 it makes for a good inexpensive starter rifle. 2. shillen makes drop in matchgrade replacement barrels.

    Now my next question is, is there any gunsmiths out there that will Accurize it? The website says its double piller bedded, i assume you can also glass bed it for further improvement? Secondly I hear people say they have blueprinte and trued the action, what is that, how much does it help, and can it bedone to this rifle.

    Ergonomiclaly the rifle feels great, i dont mind the cheap looking synthetic stock. I know there are better rifles out there, that im sure of. But i feel this will make a fine starter rifle.

    EDIT to add, It also comes in 22-250flavor if i feel i want to get a rifle in that and have it ackleyrized.
     
  9. HoytemanPA

    HoytemanPA Well-Known Member

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    Dec 16, 2001
    Mordis,
    My advice would be to purchase the rifle. Sounds like a good starter rifle.

    Caliber doesn't matter other than I would suggest against a wildcat at this stage in the game. 22-250 and 243 are easy to make and learn to shoot well. Shoot a bunch, try different loads, etc..

    When you are absolutely certain that you can shoot better than the rifles capabilities, if it doesn't have the accutrigger, get a replacement and shoot some more. Still not cutting it, buy a prechambered Shilen and screw it on. Then shoot a bunch more.

    If you get to a point where patterns emerge as in heat affecting POI or unexplained flyers from your 1/2moa groups, Buy a stock slap it on and bed it. Get to a point that you can't resolve the aiming point due to increased distance, buy a better scope.

    If you get to the point that you have the absolute best load for the Shilen, no detrimental stock problems, best scope fit for your application, and you are still not happy with groups........then start looking for gunsmiths.

    Running the load to the best of its ability, all else in order but now bored with plain jane yet effective cartridge....Start all over with a wildcat. Only now with full knowledge of what the parent cartridge lacks as far a cartridge design, if anything.

    If one were to skip all the other steps, accurizing and AI rechambering a $300 savage would be sort of like balancing, blueprinting and changing the cam in a Craftsman lawnmower.

    For what it's worth I have a Savage in 25-06 that has a chamber that is so sloppy in the rear that the cases look bulged above the web. Some equally, some on one side. And it really doesn't care, it just puts bullets where you aim it.

    Good luck,
    Shummy