Which Cartridge should I go with?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Prairie Dog50, May 31, 2011.

  1. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    I have recently aquired a vz24 mauser 98 and I was hoping to build a prairie dog rig with it. I know traditionally a short action would be preferable because you could select cartridges like the .22-250, .243, or .223. I have thought about the .25-06 as a Long action possibility. So to this forum I ask "if you had a vz24 98 mauser action, and you wanted to build a prairie dog rig with it, which cartridge would you select?
     
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I don't know anything about the gun, but cartridges in PD towns yes.

    For shots out to 300 yds (let's assume there's going to be some wind, usually alot of wind) the 204 and 223 are good. 204 beats the 223 with normal weight bullets IMO.

    For shots out to and beyond 300, maybe even out to 600 and 700 (depending on the wind) most prefer the 22BR, 22-250, 220 Swift, 22-250AI, 22-243 varieties.

    For shots beyond 400-500 yds and when it's windy; 243's 6mm's, 6 BR's, 6 Dashers, 243 AI's and 6mm AI's, 6-06 and 6-06 AI, 6-284, 25-06 and the 257 Ackley. Some are also going to the 260, 6.5-06 and 6.5-284.

    Opinions are like Azzholeos, but my opinion is that the 22 BR, 22-250, 22-250AI, 220 Swift, and 22-243's are extremely good for the majority of dog shooting. They are easy to shoot all day long, not much recoil. They buck the wind better than the 204 and 223 (again, normal bullet weights) and don't cost as much to shoot as the big 6mm's, 6.5's and 06 based cases. They are also about the biggest "bang" I can shoot on 16X to 20X without a spotter to call my shots (unless the gun weighs 15+ lbs and has a good brake on it).

    It's not very easy to get ranges on prarie dogs, even with the newest and best rangefinders; so flat shooting is also important. It's not just about high BC bullets and low wind drift when PD's are on the menu. We've gotta have flat shooting and extreme precision too. The status quo "1/2 minute" rifle really struggles on PD's once the distance gets beyond about 400 yds. What we are really striving for is one hole at 200 yds and 1" or less at 300 yds.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I sense skepticism in your post. A long action Mauser can be a fine hunting rifle. But, it would not be one of my top choices for a pdog platform.

    If your expectations are high, then you should start engineering the correct solution from the ground up and figure out how to get there even if that means selling the long action Mauser and buying something else to build on.

    It can be frustrating and very costly trying to make a rifle into something that it's not well suited for.

    -- richard
     
  4. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    You are correct, I am a little bit skeptical about using a long action platform to build a short action P-Dog gun on. My dad keeps telling me that it would be fine. However I think that he forgets that his tack driving-very accurate prairie dog gun is built on a Yugo 48 (basically a 98 Mauser, short action.)
     
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to be negative or start a religious war. But, SBruce points out the costs and advantages of various cartridges. There are some cartridges for long action that can perform well, but at a greater expense and chambering for a short action cartridge is less than ideal. Either way, Mausers are not the best actions for this type of rifle although there are exceptions such as your dad's Yugo.

    You might be $ and time ahead to sell yours and buy a Savage (or whatever suits you) varmint rifle as compared to blueprinting and rebarrelling your Mauser. Ultimately, you need to do what makes you happy.

    -- richard
     
  6. JeffP40

    JeffP40 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely nothing wrong with a Mauser for this purpose. The VZ24 is one of the best. I believe I would go with the 6mmAI. Good cartridge that will fit the action well, and give you good performance. Good selection of bullets from light to moderately heavy, and it splits the difference between the 22s and the 25/6.5s. Put a 26" varmint profile barrel on it, with an 8" or 9" twist, choose a stock that fits you well, a good, medium priced ($3-500) scope with targets turrets, and go kill PDs.