The Ultimate calibre for LR Varmints?

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by duovid, May 27, 2007.

  1. duovid

    duovid Member

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    If you were starting from scratch with a blank canvas and were designing your ultimate LR varmint rig for coyote/red fox (Aust). What Calibre would you choose and why? It would need to be an effective one shot killer from 100yds to at least 750yds or greater. Please go into detail with barrel length, twist rate, stock setup and if it can be done accurately enough with a factory rig or would I require a fully customised rifle. Then suggest optically a power range that would be suitable to see these small critters at extended range along with reticle choice. Im not asking for brand names as I think we all have our preferences, just the technical requirements to make an extremely accurate and deadly varminter. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Regards,

    Duovid.
     
  2. CatShooter

    CatShooter Well-Known Member

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    That's a hand full of a request.

    If you want to keep (sell) the fur, then you are out of luck, cuz anything that will kill a 'yote at 750, will absolutely wreck them at 500yds, and turn them to mush pudding at 250.


    But if you are shooting them, without concern for the pelts, there IS hope ;)

    Any of the cartridges in the energy/velocity range of the 243, 6mm Rem, 260 Rem 264-WM families, and equivalent wildkitties will do what you want.

    Muzzle velocity with medium to heavy bullets should be around 3200-ish or faster, and more faster is more better.

    It should be a caliber that V-Maxs and Blitzkings are available - I tried long range feral dogs with a 300 WM, and I could hit them, but the bullets kept going... and going and going and going.

    This limits you to 243 and 264 bore size. With a very few extreme exceptions like the 8" twist 22-250 and Swift, this eliminates the .224 bore size.

    For a barrel, I would have 26" as a minimum, with 28+ being preferable, and a 3/4" or larger muzzle .

    For a scope, generally a 6x20 to 8x32 is common place for long range varminting, but a 4.5 to 14 is fine. A good fixed 10x will do fine on these critters 99% of the time. DON'T cheap out on the scope. The scope should be from the better brands, and the top of their line.

    What is VERY important for a rifle like this, is elevation repeatability... when you range a 'yote at 800 yds, and dial the elevation turret, it MUST go to the same place each time... and there are many scopes that won't do this simple chore.

    The rifle should be built on a Rem 700, a Win M-70, or any of the better custom actions (BAT, etc).

    The stock should have a wide fore end, aka Varmint stock. Some of the best are the H-S Precision stocks. It should be glass bedded.

    Weight should be roughly 12 to 15 pounds, all up and ready to shoot.

    It should be fit for a Harris bipod, cuz you will do most of your shooting from one.

    There are factory rifles that will do this. Remington Varmints in 243 and 6mm Rem. Remington Sendero's in 264. Sako and Tikka equivalents are very fine rifles.

    Look to lighten your wallet from $2k+ for a factory rig, to twice that (plus) for a custom rifle..

    And you will need to hand load, cuz factory ammo will rarely do the kind of accuracy needed for long range shooting.

    But, at these distances, the rifle is only 50% of the battle. The rest is up to you.

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007

  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I have had exceptionally good luck with my 22-243AI (8" twist) for varmints out to 1,000yds. My best load launches a 75gr A-Max @ 3,670 ft/sec and is extremely accurate and deadly on varmints. It would probably work well on critters up to deer size too. Hornady now makes an 80gr A-Max in .224 but I haven't tried it yet.

    For whatever reason, I also built a heavy varmint rig in 6.5x284. It also has a fast twist barrel and is a reliable shooter day in and day out with the 142 SMK bullet. A heavy A-Max bullet may also be a good choice but the SMK shoots better in my rifle. At the 1,000yd benchrest matches you will find MANY shooters using the 6.5x284 and bringing home the trophys.

    If you have the $$$$$ there is nothing quite like a Nightforce scope for varminting. I use a 12x42x56 but it has much more magnification than necessary. I regularely take shots out to 1,000yds with the scope set on the lowest power setting (12x). The optical resolution of a scope is far more important than magnification and the Nightforce is hard to beat in that regard.

    For a semi-custom rifle I would suggest starting with a Rem Sendero. The stock will not need to be replaced and the action can easily be blueprinted by any competent gunsmith. Lots of bells and whistles are readily available for the Remington 700 actions.

    For an all out custom rifle, the sky is the limit. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  4. ROCKETSAM

    ROCKETSAM Member

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    Another consideration on coyotes is flexability. When you have one pop out of the brush at 10 yards i can tell you from experience that a 6x24 scope on a 12 pound $3000 rifle is next to worthless. My next will be a 6mm remington on a 700 remington #4 contour 24" with a very good 3x10 or 4x12. total weight around 9#. The bigger,heavier rifles are the ticket in the spring when the coyotes are paired up and call shy but in the fall and early winter when the pups are running i have called in as many as 7 at once... got one... Great excuse to build another rifle though.
     
  5. ROCKETSAM

    ROCKETSAM Member

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    I also have a 22-243 AI. It is astounding what it can do. The 8 twist is great I built this gun to hunt in the wind here on the high desert. Was wondering what load you are using to get 3670?
     
  6. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    Catshooter has pretty well layed it out. I would look to a swift/AI or a 243 of some sort as well.

    I built a rifle for these purposes some time back and went with the 220 swiftAI, mine is a little lighter than catshooter explained but then again I was looking for a 500yrd gun that might get out there to 6-700. Mine is a heavy sporter Krieger 26 in 1:8 twist built on a Tikka 695 action with a richards laminate monte carlo stock. I keep the pelts if possible so I load 2 loads for this rifle. I like the Sierra 69gn SMK and the 80 grn SMK. I have found that the 69 is real good and even better than the 80 out to 450 or so but beyond that the 80 begins to shine. I am happy with the 69grn but I'm in the process of getting that 80 way out there just to see what it will do. These bullets buck the wind ok at least managable and I live in Texas where wind is common.

    My purpose was to build a rifle I could carry allday and be able to shoot off hand in a shorter distance situation( if needed) this is why I went with the 26 inch barrel over the 28 so the gun would be more balanced I chose the Tikka action because they rarely need work to get them right and it was deffinatley strong enough for my application. I went with the laminate stock because I like to fit and finish my own stocks and I prefer wood and of course this is the best of both world not to mention the laminate are much more affordable if your willing to do the work. I went with Krieger because I have never goten a bad one and they use a 4 grove that I can buy in steel and blue(I just prefer blued barrels) Lijia is a good barrel as well. I put a 4-14 scope on it which for my purposes does a fine job. The Tikka I used to build this gun from has a great trigger so I am using the factory trigger. I shoot off of sticks instead of a harris bi-pod because ,to me the balance of a gun is very important and I may rest it on a rock or a trees and don't need the sticks and last but not least the barrel is 1:8 for the heavier bullets.

    If I was going to build another rifle I would build this one if I didn't own it already but, if I where building another at this point I might consider the 243AI or maybe 6mmAI although it more then likely would be the 243 because I could use the Lapua brass.

    I like the 22 cals over the 6mms for this sized critter because of the damage factor but the 6mms are a good choice plus I own a 25-06 AI for up to mule deer sized animals and I believe it is plenty of gun. bottom line is I don't really need a 243 but need and want are two entirely different things
    The next question would be are you going to hunt deer with this rifle as well. if you are I would go with the 243.
    I hope this helps if you getting ready to go but if its a year or so off you should get some pretty good feed back here.
     
  7. duovid

    duovid Member

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    Thanks very much guys, I appreciate your thoughts. I would like to set up a rifle correctly the first time, rather than wasting time and money re-inventing the wheel! So again thanks for your input and happy hunting.

    Regards,

    Duovid
     
  8. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    sam b
    [ QUOTE ]
    I also have a 22-243 AI. It is astounding what it can do. The 8 twist is great I built this gun to hunt in the wind here on the high desert. Was wondering what load you are using to get 3670?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I am shooting a 75gr A-Max (moly) bullet over 48.2gr RE22. Lit by a Fed 210M primer in the Lapua case. Best group to date was a .625" (3-shot) group fired at 600yds, witnessed by a few non-believers. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Terminal performance has been DRT at all ranges out to 1,000yds. The 22-243AI is one addictive little cartridge.
     
  9. ROCKETSAM

    ROCKETSAM Member

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    VARMINTHUNTER

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I am shooting a 75gr A-Max (moly) bullet over 48.2gr RE22. Lit by a Fed 210M primer in the Lapua case. Best group to date was a .625" (3-shot) group fired at 600yds, witnessed by a few non-believers. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Terminal performance has been DRT at all ranges out to 1,000yds. The 22-243AI is one addictive little cartridge.

    [/ QUOTE ] Yes i understand the non-believer part. I caught a lot of flak from my hunting buddies while i waited for this one to be built... They are all pretty quiet nowadays though. Thanks for the info, i have been using 80gr vld and smk on coyotes but im gonna try the 75gr A-Max also. Not that i have any problems with accuracy, just trying to save some pelts... probably in vain!
     
  10. reed mosser

    reed mosser Well-Known Member

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    I have had just about every thing out there and for your purpose a 8 twist .224 with the 80 grain a-max is the ticket. Compare drop charts and you will see the fast twist .224 will hang with 6mm 25 6.5 ect. I also have a 22-243 ackley and it shoots great with the 80 a-amx at around 3600 fps. I would go with 22-243 or 22-243 ackley because of laupa brass. I have around 30 reamers and my 22-243 ackley is my favorite long range rig. I have shot it past a 1000 on many times and it performs great. i would go with savage's new target action single shot accu trigger 30 inch 8 twist barrel and muzzle break. With breaks on .224's you can see every shot its a priceless option on many days afield. I also shoot .224 for 1000 yard benchrest and many 500 ground hog shoots and have alot of expierence with them. If you have any questions pm me. Thanks Reed
     
  11. killahog

    killahog Well-Known Member

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    Here is what I suggest This is a Remington 220 swift chambered with a improved neck .260 factory brass works fine no trimming needed. this barrel was chambered at the Remington custom shop it has a 1-8 twist and can shoot in the .200 range with 75 g amax bullets. The gun is for sale for 900.0$ with the reworked Remington trigger that breaks at just under 1 lb. With this rifle one shot kills at 650 yards are not hard to do under the action I have Installed about 1 lb of lead shot expoxied into the magazine well of the stock this makes the rifle balance very well when shot from a bipod and calling your shots are much easier because of the Increased weight. I am selling this because my 25-06 AI can handle those long range shots and I am wanting build a savage on a 112 action of which I will consider a trade on. [​IMG]
     
  12. killahog

    killahog Well-Known Member

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    75g amax typical 5 shot group at 100 yards [​IMG]
     
  13. CatShooter

    CatShooter Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    "Here is what I suggest..."

    [/ QUOTE ]

    ... and you just happen to have one for sale???

    .
     
  14. killahog

    killahog Well-Known Member

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    why yes I do just happened to have one for sale. But wait there's more order rite now and I will throw in some brass already re sized and Have the neck's cleaned up.