New Varmint/Target Rifle

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by matt_3479, May 17, 2011.

  1. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    886
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    My old man is going to get himself a cheap, first varmint rifle that he can use on Coyotes, Foxes, crows, ground hogs and he is undecided on what to get. He wont be taking shots much further then 300 on game but will if he has too. For targets he will probably stay within 500 yards. I wanted to try the 204. Ruger so asked him to get that, and he was sold on it until he realized he was going to get the savage axis cause you can never go wrong with a savage gun and the 204. ruger isn't offered in it so naturally i suggested the 22-250 to take its place.

    i was wondering what you guys thought on the savage axis as well as the 22-250 vs 204. ruger vs 223 remington?
     
  2. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    I have a Ruger Mod. 77 Target Gray with their target trigger with a 26" barrel in .220 Swift. It almost always will shoot under 1/2" 5 shot groups at 100 yds. I reload and use Berger 55 gr. bullets. I have always had an easier time to get a Swift to shoot more accurate than a 22-250. Both shoot about the same velocity with the Swift a little faster. I use the 55 gr. bullets because they shoot very accurate and they keep the velocity down to 3600 or less that gives you much longer barrel life and they will still shoot like a laser.

    Another very accurate caliber is the .243. I had one that would shoot 1/4" groups all the time with Searra .85 gr. HPBT Game King bullets.

    joseph
     

  3. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    I dont know about the Axis, but Savage does make some rifles in .204

    If it's windy where you and your dad shoot, go with the 22-250 or 204 and try to shoot 39 or 40 grn bullets in the 204, 52-55 or even 60 grn bullets in the 22-250.

    204 is a little flatter shooting, 22-250 drifts less in the wind. Sure, you can shoot 69-77 grn bullets out of a fast twist 223 and get less wind drift, but you loose quite a bit of velocity doing it. You can shoot 75-80 grn bullets in a fast twist 22-250 too, but off the shelf rifles dont usually come with fast twists, so we're dealing with 40-60 grain bullets usually in the 22-250. The 223 is the most cost effective/cheapest to shoot, especially if you are buying factory ammo. Take your pick, they've all got good things going for them. I prefer the 22-250 for longer shots and windy areas.

    You'll get the most bang for your buck with a 24-26" barrel.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  4. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,385
    Joined:
    May 31, 2001
    I just pickt up an Axis in 25-06 for a truck gun. Had to lighten the trigger and center the barrel in the stock but it shoots OK...Not a tack driver but it has kept everything I've put through it under an inch @ 100 yards.
    If he is wanting an Axis I would go 243. You can use flat shootin 55Noslers or go long with the 105 Amax. I would have gotten the 243 but there are already three in the safe. a 243 is everthing a 22-250 is and more!
    The 204 is a great small critter-getter but really lacks the power for coyotes. The 32 grainer do a real good job on prairie dog pups and ground squirrels but the 40s fly a lot better. I sure wouldnt trade a good shootin 223 or 22-250 for a 204 as there aint much to be gained?
     
  5. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    .243 would be my suggestion as well. Use a 65 to 87 grain bullet. That will put the smack down on the size animals you want to shoot to 500yds. Especially if you use the 80 to 90 grain bullets.

    Tank
     
  6. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    MATT- sps varmint. pick the caliber you like.
     
  7. BlackSS

    BlackSS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    246
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Another vote for 243.
     
  8. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    886
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Dad doesn't want a 243. win cause to start he owns a 270. win and uses that for everything so he doesn't need the 243. win. I think we might be getting the savage model 11 now cause it comes with the accutrigger and the 204 ruger.

    I hunt in southern ontario where the wind isn't usually more then 5 mph, 2 weeks ago the wind was the worst i have ever seen it and my neighbor told me at the high point it was 20 mph, and at average was 15 mph. Normally the wind is close too 3-5 mph which to me wont effect the bullet all that much at 300 yards. The other good thing, the field i hunt in is littereally surrounded by bush and is a thing field which even on the stronger wind days (10mph) is normally cut down by half so wind is litterally not a problem.

    I already own a 243. win shooting 80 grain serra's keeping them at 1/2" at 100 yards and the new rifle is to fill the gap between a 22 lr and the 243. win. The reason i want the 204 is because nobody we know own one and i like owning something different, plus i feel it fills the gap beautifully, and the shots will stay within 300 yards. Like i said, because wind isn't an issue for me and if for some reason it is, i have the 243. win to kick in and take over but for not, the 204 seems quiet, and reasonable.

    i just want peoples opinion on the 204 for like crows, ground hogs, and coyotes
     
  9. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    If wind isn't an issue, he/you could shoot the 32 grn loads and not have a problem at all. They will be super flat shooting out to 300 without issue in the 204. You might still want to try the 39's and 40's if coyotes are in the bag.

    I haven't shot any coyotes yet with the 204, but many others tell me it's great up till about 400 yds. After that, they say it wounds and looses too many. I would think 300yds is plenty far for a 204 and coyotes, but that's just an opinion.

    I did shoot 1/2 dozen prarie dogs the other day with some 32 grain bullets in a 8-10 mph crosswind. Shots ranged from 100 yds to 175 yds. I wasn't holding off the target for wind any more than about 1" (or about 1/3 dog). 6 out of 6 hits off the hood of the pickup, resting on a pair of gloves.

    Even though I recommend the 22-250 for wind, I got a 204 for spotlighting jackrabbits. They are similar in size to a rockchuck. Less chance of a long range richochet into the darkness, and when spotlighting; generally 300yds +/- is max visible range on a jack.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  10. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Assuming a crow is about 2" wide?

    This flourescent target dot is 2" diameter. Just shot this 300yd target a few days ago with a Remington VTR in 204. It's the Remington 32grn Accutip-V ammo. I intend on shooting the 39's or 40's hopefully, but this stuff is what the store had when I bought the gun.

    The other bullet hole is a 25 caliber.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Go for the .204 then. I want a .204 also, but right now I am concentrating on a starter rifle for my son. I have played with the idea of the 20 Practical which is just a 223 Rem. necked down to 20cal. Anywho, go for it. Sounds like a good plan.

    Tank