Varmint questions from a Nob

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by Climbhard, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Climbhard

    Climbhard Member

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    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: Jun 29, 2011
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck.
     

  3. ranjan1

    ranjan1 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  4. jerrschmitt

    jerrschmitt Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. tt35

    tt35 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. Climbhard

    Climbhard Member

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    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.
     
  7. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    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.?
     
  8. Climbhard

    Climbhard Member

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    Thanks for the responces so far. I'm looking at a 2.5-10 scope now and wondering if that will be enough magnification to see a PD at say 300-350
     
  9. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Yea, it's enough power to see one. My bino's are 10X and I can see them much further than 350 with the binos.

    Reticle thickness is going to be a bigger concern though. The finer the better for prarie dogs, but too fine will be a detriment for calling coyotes, unless it's illuminated. Something around 1/4 moa dot or finer crosswires is about right IMO without going to an illuminated reticle. I've got a NF rangefinder reticle on my coyote rifle, and I hardly ever need the illumination but it's too thick for some praire dogs. In contrast, I've got another NF reticle that is great for PD's but too fine for coyotes at dawn/dusk when they're in the brush (unless I light the grid).
     
  10. Climbhard

    Climbhard Member

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    Thanks Bruce