What makes a big game cartridge also a good varmit cartridge?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Mule, May 1, 2007.

  1. Mule

    Mule Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    I would like some input on what makes a "big game cartridge" also a worthy "varmit cartridge". Is is the availablity of lighter bullet weights, good BC and velocity without burning more than 75 grs. of powder. It seems that some of the "big game" rounds offer a nice combination for varmit setups but they are not utilized due to some notion that a "big game cartridge" can never be a "good varmit" cartridge. Also what cartridges do you think fit this bill.

    Thanks for the input

  2. oneshot976

    oneshot976 Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    I may not find many that will agree but in my opinion, the answer to your question in one word is, accuracy. Now with that said I only hunt ground hogs so I do not eat them and I have no use for thier fur and there is only one level of dead!! I use my 338 Edge for some ground hog hunting not all the time but some and I have found it to be great practice for LR deer hunting. Shooting ground hogs at 600++++ is good practice for the deer season.

    Just my opinion.

    Good Shooting,

  3. CAM

    CAM Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2002
    Just as oneshot said accuracy #1.
    Then I think it mostly has to do with distance!!!
    no need to shoot varmits at close range with big game cartidges, very expensive fast!! and the smaller rounds are better suited for the task.
    also just to buck the wind the bigger guns generaly do better.
  4. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    I would say a 6.5mm with 140gr class bullets for big game and the lighter 100gr size pills for varmints. The mid size 7mm would be a good choice also.
    The 6.5-284 would probably kill deer efectivly out to 1000yds as well as varmints and with the same bullet !! If I were shooting say Elk that I'd choose a bit stronger bullet like a partition. I've killed a deer with a 308 at 618yds with a factory loaded 175gr Sierra Match King bullet and the 6.5-284 kicks it butt balsiticaly with a 140gr A-max .

    Say a 280 Ackley improved shooting a 160gr accubond would cleanly kill Elk to 500yds if the conditions were decient , loaded with a 150gor Balistic tip I'd say it could be a 800-900yd deer gun , load it with some 120gr Vmax and it would be very explosive on smaller "varmint" out to at least 500-600yds and still kill worthy out to close to a grand. This combo burns a little over 60grs of powder , barrel life is deciantly long , I'd say close to 2000 maybe more.
  5. Flybuster

    Flybuster Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    I think a huge factor is recoil, not that it scares me but I like to see my bullet impact. If its a miss I can see how far I was off, if I hit, well I get to enjoy the view through my scope. One reason I shoot a varmint weight 2506ackly, Ive found bullets over 115 grains and over I don't see 100% of my hits. I think its a good big game cartridge too.
  6. .25AOD

    .25AOD Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    What makes a big game cartridge also a good varmit cartridge?

    The stamp on the side of the barrel that says: .25-06 REM.
    Enough said. ~JT
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    My thoughts are that any good LRH big game cartridge would be a good candidate for a LRH varmint/predator cartridge at least in the "wide open spaces".

    Though there aren't enough chucks around to make it worth while, I'm into busting rocks at several of my fall LRH deer and elk spots.

    I've been shooting the 270 AM and maybe 5 shots over the period of an afternoon.

    I would guess that the 270 AM takes a back seat to both the 7MM and 338 AM and Snipe-Tac for LRH Varmints.
  8. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    it takes acccuracy and power to accomplish both. see page 22 of the american rifleman april 2007. the 6.5-06 or a 6.5-284 with a kreiger barrel or broughtn; h and s or mccmiln stock and a mk4 or nightforce scope would do it.
  9. bryan c

    bryan c Member

    May 23, 2008
    I have to go with a 6.5-284 or the 25-06, depending on personal preference. The 6.5 will shoot heavier bullets with a higher B.C. Berger does now make a high B.C. 25 caliber bullet and you can buy a 25-06 right of the shelf if thats important.
  10. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    I started with a .308 Win for my varmint and deer needs for LRH. I found that 1000 yards even for ghogs was a little difficult with just enough snot to get us there. We hit around them, but just couldn't get on them. I've upgraded to a 300WSM. With the .308 for deer it runs out of steam at about 800 yards (even then a well placed shot is required with good conditions), with the 300 I can get out to about 1200. My MOA clicks for the .308 at 1000 is 43MOA, w/ the 300 it is split in half shooting 26MOA.

    The .308 is really limited to 168-175grn projectiles for the best effectiveness for those ranges. You can use the 110 V-Max for varmints out to about 400. A better marksman than me could push that I'm sure. With the 300 I use a 200grn SMK that will do all my work from short to long, because I generally carry one rifle for varmint. Very few of our shots have been under 200yrds. I guess I like the wind bucking ability, and with the break, recoil is very managable. I will carry the .308 if I know we are shooting short feilds (400 or less).

    I think big calibers are very capable of great accuracy.

  11. canyonman1

    canyonman1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    I use my 338 edge and 300 mk for varmints and everything else I hunt. I believe in using the gun you use for long range hunting big game, for varmints also.
    If you cant handle the recoil or cant see your impact at long range on a varmint, you have no business shooting at larger game at long range either!
    Only 1 exception, and that is with a very experienced spotter in whom you trust. If you can't spot your own shots and you're not willing to hike a mile or 2 on the word of a hit or miss from your spotter, don't shoot.gun)

    Heed the man who owns only one gun, he likely knows how to use it.
  12. Talyn

    Talyn Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    IMO anything over 6.5 mm and a magnum is overkill for varmits. If you want to use more powerful cartridges it's your choice. But it will cost more, plus in my experience those I've seen using heavier cartridges get beat up more and develop poorer shooting habits because of it.
  13. Chugiakbilly

    Chugiakbilly Active Member

    May 12, 2012
    Hi, living here in Alaska there isn't really a one gun answer to your question. There are also a few other states with the same problem... Bears. Big Bears. Big Grizzly bears. Our varmints are listed as fur bearers and their pelts (hides) are worth a lot more in one piece rather than several. Thus the two gun solution. .338 Federal or .325 WSM for sheep, moose, caribou and the inevitable Brown Bear. For the varmints most use the .204 Ruger or the AR.223 with TNT bullets. They go in - but don't come out. Use 4x magnification for every 100yards on varmints. Keep your powder dry.gun)