Long-ish range prairie dog caliber?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by SavageHunter11, Jul 9, 2019.


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  1. 5.56×250

    5.56×250 Well-Known Member

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    The most spectacular casual shot I ever saw was with a 22-250. My neighbor growing up was working on a little addition on his house and I had volunteered to lend a hand one Saturday. It was an overcast day and about mid morning we kept hearing a crow caw off in the distance. Crows were our P dawgs, so Rick grabbed his Remington 700BDL varmint 22-250 and set it outside in a place he could get to it quickly. This crow made racket for at least 15 minutes before we finally spotted him. It took 7 power binos to make him out. With the naked eye, if you knew exactly where it was, you could see a speck of black. We laughed it off as too far but ol Rick finally said it's just a bullet and grabbed the rifle. All he had was the 2x4 corner of the addition to brace off . We made a completely uneducated guess that the bird was 400yds. Rick knew he had 16" of drop at 400 with how he had it sighted in. He laid that rifle across his wrist as he held the 2×4, estimated a hold over and touched one off as I looked on with the binos. After a split second of hang time, I saw the black puff of the crow exploding as the aggravating cawwing came to a sudden stop. That instilled a respect for that little round that never went away. Good times !
     
  2. KENNETH R BRACKENBURY

    KENNETH R BRACKENBURY Active Member

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    Jul 14, 2018
    Get you Dad the 22-250 1-9 twist Long Range Precision Varminter Savage rifle. Or build him a custom with Savage Long Range single shot action and your choice of custom barrels.
    We have shot Prairie Dogs since the 90's and the 22-250 is king in my book. Hardest longest shot after many bullets launched down range was 1013 yds. But I killed a PD at 197 yds with a Browning Buckmark .22 LR pistol the same year.
    I started with a 1996 Savage model 12 in 22-250 with 1-12 twist and ran 7243 rounds down the tube before it wouldn't shoot anymore. Why so many rounds without issues? Moly coated bullets. And I don't like to clean. Most shots are 100 to 600 yard shots with 770 yds in 2 shots.
    My pet rifle (1st pic) is the same action above but with a Douglas XX 22-243 AI barrel with 1-8 twist launching 40 to 80 grain bullets from 3400 to 4800 fps. Only a few 40's for show off time. I'm on the third barrel because this round is good for 2000 to 3000 before throat is gone. Again moly coated bullets.
    I have a Savage Model 12 in 22-250 AI with the Mako Shark stock. AI helps the brass live longer for reloading. (2nd pic)
    I have a Shilen 6mmbr and use it out to 300 to 400 yds because its so slow I get bored waiting for impact. Custom built bench rifle.
    I have a .308 Baer Magnum 70 lbs custom bench rifle for the 2000 yd shots. But its heavy but accurate.
    Savage model II (model 2 Cabela's PD rifle) in .223 with 1-9 twist and you can hit out to 400 fairly easy without much wind.
    Savage 6.5x284 F/Class Savage for 1600 yds and under.
    Get you Dad a 22-250. Buy a used Savage F/Class model 12 and rebarrel with a Bartlein, Brux, Lilja, Kriger or Douglas barrel. Also a thumb hole stock is awesome. Wall, rifle on benchpond 006.JPG 22-25022-250 AI 001.JPG
     
  3. Dean2

    Dean2 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 31, 2010
    Did not read all eleven pages of this so someone may have posted this already.

    Take a look at a ballistics chart for the 204. You have to go to a pretty big calibre to beat it for wind drift to 600 yards. Accurate, easy on barrels, easy to watch your shot as next to no recoil, can shoot lots for little money. There is quite a good selection of factory ammo.
     
  4. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Well-Known Member

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    204 is great, but I wouldn't say it was easy on barrels. Mine made it about 1700 rounds. My 223's go about 2700 rounds.
     
    436 likes this.
  5. JimmyCP

    JimmyCP Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Jun 12, 2018
    Alot better son then me. Custom build for hist first rifle. Wow.
    As others mention 600 yards on prairie rats you have a mass of options.
    6.5 creedmoor, 6.5 prc, 243, 22-250, 22 nozzler, 223, and the list goes on.
    I'll adopt you and you can pick one or get me both.
    Thompson center compass 6.5 creedmoor and 22-250. Total $718.00 two laminated feather weight thumhole stocks from boyds. 294.00. 2 muzzle brakes 300.00
    1312.00 total. If you want a scope for it, I'll take the athlon argos BTR 6-24×50 FFP in MOA $313.00 Prime free shipping.
    Its his first rifle for prairie dogs, they'll shoot 600 yards all day long, have a custom feel, he'll be happy and it wont break the bank. Pick one with the scope 969.00. Did the same thing for my dad and bought the compass 300 win mag. He loves it.
     
  6. Dean2

    Dean2 Well-Known Member

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    That is pretty poor barrel life out of both guns in my experience. I have 223s that didn't need to be re-barreled to well over 6000 rounds. My present 204 has about 3000 rounds through it now and it still easily shoots 1/2 MOA to 400 yards. Even a 7 Rem mag will last 2500 and it is burning far more powder. The 243s I have had showed far worse barrel life, neither went 1800 rounds before needing a new barrel and it is way more overbore than a 204 and burns double the powder. My worst gun for barrel life is a 7 RUM and even it gets 1100 to a barrel, but it is way overbore and burning about 100 grains a pop, nearly 4 times what the 204 burns. I really can't imagine a 204 regularly needing a barrel at anywhere close to 1700 rounds.
     
  7. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Well-Known Member

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    If it was just my barrel, but that life is consistent with the other 8 of us that shoot pdogs every year. Also consistent with my gunsmiths experience. Barrels include Savage, Remington, CZ, Hart, Pacnor and few others. Can’t say one has held up better than the others. Once you see the heat cracks you’re on borrowed time.
     
  8. 5.56×250

    5.56×250 Well-Known Member

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    Could it be that it's not so much the round count, but the heat cycles, that are wearing the barrels out at a low round count ?
     
    Dean2 likes this.
  9. just country

    just country Well-Known Member

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    morning, 243AI anything to 600M. justme gbot tum
     
  10. Ingwe

    Ingwe Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Did you let that 204 barrel get too hot? My Savage M12 has 3,800 rounds through it and it still shoots clusters at 100 yards. I have an aftermarket stainless Criterion Barrel bull barrel on it
     
    Dean2 likes this.
  11. djm670

    djm670 Well-Known Member

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    To me, and I have a .220 swift, 6 mm Remington and a .25-06; they are all too much noise and fury for an afternoon or day of gopher shooting...The .22-250 is much like the .220 swift. A .17 Remington, .222 or .223 is more than enough noise and fury for them. It might be different if you are just taking one or two long shots at them while waiting for the other rifles to cool off.

    I have a couple of key towns that I shoot. My first shooting is with my .22 pistol as I clear out the rodents running around where I am shooting from.. then it is with the .22, 5 mm and .17 M2. While I occasionally take one farther out with the .223. Ha ha.. a long afternoon just shooting the .220 swift (.22-250) or 6 mm Remington would wear this old duffer out. You guys that shoot a couple of hundred Prairie Dogs with a .243 or a .22-250 in an afternoon have my admiration..

    Good luck with your dad's rifle and the rodent shooting. No matter which one you choose, he is going to love it since it was built and given to him by his son! And you will be sharing so grand times together hunting.

    There is a lot more commercial ammo with heavy bullets for a fast twist .223 than for a .22-250 and they are a lot cheaper..
     
  12. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Well-Known Member

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    Heat no doubt is a big factor. I've neve let them get hot enough to burn skin, but warm yes. I always shoot some reference groups before and after our pdog trip and run the borescope in for a look. My Remington will probably be done with the next trip at about 2800 rounds. The heat checking has started up.

    Last season was the end of my buddy's CZ in 17 hornet. Groups opened up to 4" at 200yds. Pretty hard to overheat a 17 hornet. He bought it used so we don't the actual round count on it. On my rifles I know pretty much exactly as I am real good at documentation.
     
  13. Ingwe

    Ingwe Well-Known Member

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    I don’t have a borescope so I just shoot a paper target off the bench at 100yards to see how it’s shooting after the season. Maybe I’m lucky and have a good barrel but I really think that it’s because I’m shooting a bolt gun and by the time I shoot at a PD, find another one, range it, get on it and shoot, my barrel has cooled down
     
  14. Dean2

    Dean2 Well-Known Member

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    I would say heat would definitely have to be a factor. If u and your friends are all getting that short a life my bet is the barrels are way hotter than they should be. I know the 7 RUM that I can get 1100 rounds out of, other guys are getting 6-800 becuase they insist on shooting fairly rapid 5 shoot groups. All in however new barrels cost WAY less than the ammo and gas it takes to wear them out so to me that isn't the biggest consideration in the world. If the type of pdog shooting your doing gives u that many shot opportunities that close together I probably wouldn't slow down the rate of fire either.
     
    jasent likes this.