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I am considering a varmit rifle for the first time in my life. I usually stick to the lever action boomers but my shoulder and dental work need a rest. I was sold on a 22-250, probably in a Remmington 700. But what about a 243 WSM or a 221 fireball or a ?????? I occasionaly get my hands on my wife's 243 but would like my own.

Your thoughts will be appreciated!
 

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Can think of varmint shooting in several classifications, and each would be best served with a differnt type of rifle. Hardest is to get a single rifle to do decently at them all.
Can shoot hundreds of rounds from a set position in a few hours...or shoot once or twice while stalking or calling in critters....or lob a few bullets way the **** out there for some long-long range tries. An eastern woodchucker will get a few shots in a day, usually pretty long, but he has to be able to move around from place to place pretty easily. A Dakota 'dog stand can run you out of ammo in a hurry without taking a single step.

Want to help, but if you could aswere three questions first, could probably point you in the best direction:
1. How far will you be shooting?
2. How many shots/how quickly?
3. Do you intend to walk around or will you be seting up a stand and staing put?

Guess the closest to a general all around rifle would be a medium weight (8-10 pound scoped) .223 bolt gun. Not too heavy if you need to be mobile, not too light to take a good number of shots before heating up. .

The 22/250 and .22) swift are great rounds, but not ones I'd pick to burn up 200 rounds of ammo in a single morning.
 

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Lindsey

Back in the late 80's, I bought a Ruger #1V in .22-250 and topped it with a Leupold VariXIII 6.5-20. I have used a Sierra 55gr BT on top of 38.5 gr H-380 and nothing else since I started shooting it. The gun still prints 3/4 moa when I do my part and I have shot ground squirrels, prairie dogs and coyotes all day with it. It is not so heavy that you can't take it on a mile hike to a favorite coyote stand and accurate enough to shoot 500 yard prairie dogs. The one gripe I have with it, the throat is too long. I can't touch the lands even with an 80 gr bullet. After much trial and error, I found a seating depth that produced 3/4 moa and stayed with it. I have close to 3k rounds through it now and am trying to burn it out so I have an excuse to rebarrel to 6mm-something. Last year I put a bore scope in it and found the smallest indication of pressure erosion in the throat. I almost missed it, it was so minute. One other draw back to it, if you're hunting coyotes and miss the first shot or call in a double, you can't reload quick enough for a second shot. It will make you concentrate on that first shot. Just my biased opinion on #1's. (I own 3 #1 varmint rifles and all shoot less than 3/4 moa.)

Allen F.:D
 

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Lindsey Mathiso said:
I am considering a varmit rifle for the first time in my life. I usually stick to the lever action boomers but my shoulder and dental work need a rest. I was sold on a 22-250, probably in a Remmington 700. But what about a 243 WSM or a 221 fireball or a ?????? I occasionaly get my hands on my wife's 243 but would like my own.

Your thoughts will be appreciated!
Hold on Lindsey why not a lever.I have many lever action varmint rifles.

Savage M99T in 22 Hi-Power (70gr 3100fps-1500fpe,Hornady)
Marlin M336 in 219 Zipper(60gr 3300fps-1451fpe,Sierra)
Marlin M62 in 256Win Mag(60gr 2800fps-1045fpe,Conley)
Browning BLR 22/250(55gr 3600fps-1580fpe,Speer)
Savage M99C 22/250

I also have a Win M70 Varminter in 225Win with heavy barrel.Very accurate(55gr 3700fps-1672fpe,Hornady)

Any of those shoot 1" at a 100yds,256Win 1.5".Good Luck and don't forget your lever actions.
 

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I have heard the new Savage 22/250 with that acra trigger is winning all the shoots, a good shooter. I like the 22/250 for reaching out and touching something;) a good varmint cart. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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Are You a Reloader?

Are You a Reloader?

If you are not I like the Sako Stainless Heavy Barrel Varminter in 22-250
IF You Reload I Like a 22 PPC USA in the same gun and
she shoots competitively in the Sako at 3400 - 3500 FPS.

IF you want a Walk around gun then consider the
Sako Stainless Hunter in 223 or 222 with a 1 and 14 twist.
Both are awesome and a light gun weighing 6lb 3 oz. The
223 is often hard to find in a 1 and 14 twist; often comes in
a 1 and 12 which is ok for 60 to 65 grain bullets but most guys want to shoot 50 to 55 grainers. I still love the 222
because they are so quiet. But you can't knock the 223 either.


I Have all but one of the above and Love them. If You can't
afford a Sako, our group has always been impressed with the Remington fluted Barrel in Stainless in 22-250.

So many good guns out there so have fun choosing but
in the last few years the stainless barrels have become a very practical choice.

Scopes are another great question ...... lots of fun!
 

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.223 for cheap.

.22-250 if you really want to reach out and touch something...

Both are good rounds and a lot of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks! You have given me some great info to chew on. I will likely go with a reasonably light gun as I will be mobile and probably not shoot more than 100 at a time. I am not sure of the distances. With the big bore Marlins I usually use it is up close and personal. This 3-400 yard stuff will be a new and fun experience.

Will also look more seriously at the levers as I would hate to ruin my reputation for being an old dinosaur!

THANKS AGAIN!
 

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I'm using a Ruger stainless 77 sporter with laminated wood stock in 223. After breaking in the barrel, bedding and trigger job I'm averaging 5/8" for the last 7 three shot groups I have fired at 100yds. My tightest group so far has been .225". Ruger barrel quality seems to have improved considerably over the last few years. I like the 223 especially with Sierra 50gr Blitzkings, very explosive! If you go with the 223 give Hodgon's Benchmark a try. Great clean burning powder which meters beautifully and gives good velocity. I'm getting 3350fps with the 50gr Blitzking out of a 22" barrel.
 

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I'm considering a new upper for my AR15. I already reload for the 223 and have all the brass that I need. However the 223WSSM is interesting, 3600fps with a 55gr pill if I'm correct. But you have to wonder about barrel life and throat erosion at those speeds. For now I'll just have to stick with my iron sighted CAR15 til I get that upper.

De Oppresso Liber
 

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What about the .222 Rem !!! cheap ammo is no excuse to buy a ruddy .223 when the .222 Rem exsists !;) Sorry im not a fan of the .223!

From your list i would really fancy the .221 fireball do you really need a .22-250 ?? My old Hornet killed fox out to 200 yards........I would really look at the .221 fireball if you feel you need more ... then .222 will impress you.:)

lever is it ? Well ive just bought me a 1990 Marlin 1894 classic in .218 Bee:D it may not have the reach of the mighty .22-250 but......... i reckon i well have a darn sight more fun plugging Mr Fox with my marlin !:cool:

Good luck with what ever you choose after all its your choice:rolleyes:

Englander
 

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Good, cheap, fun, accurate and light to carry? Mini14 in .223

Good for coyotes, pigs and waskally wabbitz

Long distance? Remmington model 700 in .223 (heavy barrell)
 

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If you are a handloader, take a good look at the 243, as bullet technology has made it a better choice for serious varmint shooting at long distances.

For example the Nosler 55 gr BTips in .224 have a BC of .267, while the 55 gr .243s are .276...yup, lower SD and a higher BC, go figure. H380 will drive these 243s over 4000 fps, but better yet, you can duplicate the 22-250 55 gr velocities in the 243 WITH THE SAME AMOUNT OF POWDER used in the 22-250. This means that recoil is THE SAME but pressures drop to les than 45,000 CUP in the 243.

The two cases have identical expansion ratios in bbls of equal length, so there is no advantage to the 22-250 there either.

Since varminting is not a rapid fire exercise, I use the 243 in a 24 inch Encore rifle...I sold my 22-250 bbl and replaced it with a 243 bbl after shooting a friend's 243 Encore. His had the Tamer muzzle brake and felt exactly like a 22 Hornet.

Lore has it that the 22-250 can be more accurate than the 243, but I found no difference at the range...both shot 3/8th MOA 5 shot groups. The reduced 243 loads showed markedly less bbl heating, and stayed on zero better.

Way out yonder the 243 will launch 70 gr BTs at the same velocity as the 22-250 with 55 grainers and the recoil increase is not noticable. For deer, you can go all the way up to the Barnes 115 grainer with a sectional density of .278, right there with the 160 gr 7MM and better than the 180 gr .308.

Serious shooters have set records at 1000 yards with the little 243...that should say something. If you are on a bubget and want to be sure it will drive tacks right out of the box, look seriously at the new Savages with the adjustable trigger. Put the money you save into optics and don't look back.
 

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Savage? All the good actions are in the remmingtons. Has Savage started to produce a better product? They are known for low cost hunting rifles but long range varmet I dont know.
 

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Zepplin -

A few years back Savage built a true short action to go with the 110 long action. The 110 long actually was and still is very common at 1000 yd competitions.

Anyway, the short actions are probably the most accurate out of the box bolt rifles under $1200. Sure, you will hear reports of this REmington and That Winchester shooting .25 MOA, and they are probably true, but these are unique rifles that just came out good. The Savages are 1 MOA and under...99% of them.

The secret to making the Savage accurate is the interface between the barrel and receiver in which the barrel screws into the receiver and a large lock nut (really a lock collar) screws down on the outside of the barrel against the face of the receiver. If you count up all the threads involved, you get the longest, strongest, most rigid barrel/receiver interface in the business.

Originally this set up was conceived to cut production costs, because they are so easy to headspace...screw the bbl in intil it stops on a fired case or SAAMI blank, tighten the lock nut and you are done.

Until this year Savages came with poor triggers, and it took a lot of skill to take advantage of the accuracy. Most serious folks dropped in custom triggers. This year Savage has a new fully adjustable trigger based on Glock's safety system. The two part trigger solves the liability problem for too light a pull, and they can now be adjusted down to target weights by the shooter.

I do need to give Remington credit for the 7600 pumps...they do match up in price and accuracy with the Savage bolt guns. This is a case of a very rigid receiver, and the complete free floating of the barrel.
 

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If any of my long rifles with a scope shot consistantly 1 MOA I would sell it or run over it with a truck. My .338/.378 Weatherby with 250g Partitions shot 5/8" groups at 200 yards just yesterday out at the range. My Remmington 700 in .223 gives me 3/4" at 200 yards and my Winchester model 70 in .308 is the same.

I stopped practicing at 100 yards a long time ago as 3 shot groups all ended up 1/2" or better. Of course that did not happen overnight as I had to build the loads for these guns and fine tune it. A trigger job on the 700 made it real sweet and a massive break on the Winchester kept the rifle on the table. The Weatherby really surprised me. I only went thru 7 loads to tune it.

I am NOT a great shot, I just practice 40 weekends a year :D

However, next time I see a savage I will try it. I just never see them out at the range here and we have the largest in the USA at Ben Avery. Non of the dozen or so people I shoot with have a savage.
 

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Zepplin -

Nice shooting! For a serious shooter like you I don't think the Savage has many advantages other than bbl interchangability (all one needs is the spanner wrench for the lock collar). To get tiny groups, you need to put about the same amout of work into a Savage as a Remington. It's more a question of what you get out of the box for a hunting application. For the average varmint shooter, the Savage in 243 will handload to 1/2 MOA pretty quickly, giving 2 inches at 400 yds.
 

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WOW

Zeppelin! said:
If any of my long rifles with a scope shot consistantly 1 MOA I would sell it or run over it with a truck. My .338/.378 Weatherby with 250g Partitions shot 5/8" groups at 200 yards just yesterday out at the range. My Remmington 700 in .223 gives me 3/4" at 200 yards and my Winchester model 70 in .308 is the same.

I stopped practicing at 100 yards a long time ago as 3 shot groups all ended up 1/2" or better. Of course that did not happen overnight as I had to build the loads for these guns and fine tune it. A trigger job on the 700 made it real sweet and a massive break on the Winchester kept the rifle on the table. The Weatherby really surprised me. I only went thru 7 loads to tune it.

I am NOT a great shot, I just practice 40 weekends a year :D

However, next time I see a savage I will try it. I just never see them out at the range here and we have the largest in the USA at Ben Avery. Non of the dozen or so people I shoot with have a savage.
Heres what i use for 500yd competition.

Schultz & Larson with 27.5in barrel in 358Win
Champlin Octagon Sporter with 26in oct barrel in 284Win
Wichita WSR with 24in barrel in 284Win
Win M70 with 22in barrel in 225Win
 

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Lindsey, I take it you mean just varmints only? In that case I would put my hands on a 222 caliber (super accurate) for hunting at up to 250 yard normal ranges on varmints. The kind of accuracy you need for shooting chipmunks or knocking flies off the buttermilk at 100 yards! I am not sure what gun manufacturer's still chamber this round in new rifles. Now for longer ranges up to 325 yards the hotter and louder 22-250 traveling at 3600 to 3800fps gets my nod on varmints. Not to say you can't use it on bigger critters such as coyotes with absolute satisfaction.

As mentioned earlier, varmint hunting isn't usually fast and ferious, unless your parked in front of a big dog town, out in the western scenery. I have come to be very found of my 1/4 bore (25-06) for handling anything in the varmint to deer catagory. I use 51 grains of IMR 4350 powder @ 3345fps, with a 100 grain Ballistic Tip bullet for varmints and predator's. It is the Cat's Meow" on groundhogs and predator's out to 400 yards with a good scope. Deer hunting I jump to the 120 grain Nosler partition bullet using the same powder @ 48.5 grains for 2950fps.
 

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u guys say use 223 243 22-250 i wish i could i am 15 and love chuck huntin but all i have is a 22 long rifle i was wondering could u use a 30-06 with somethin like a 150 grain bullet i dont handload what do u guis think
 
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