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Varmint gun...which caliber?

Discussion in 'Ohio Trapping and Varmint Hunting' started by vc1111, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. I have an Encore rifle by Thompson Center. As you guys probably know you can buy about any caliber you might want.

    Sooooo....I'd like to buy a varmint barrel for groundhogs and maybe coyotes, although I have never hunted coyotes...yet.

    Which caliber barrel should I buy?

    Some other caliber?

    I am interested in the varmint calibers because I have been told that the rounds tend to fragment when the hit the critter or the ground and therefore might be better from a safety prospective than a deer type round.
  2. Either one would do just fine, I have a 26" heavy barrel in 223 for my Encore, also a 26" heavy 25-06, I use a 40gr V-Max in my Remington 700VS in 223 while hunting hogs and rarely does the bullet exit, just blow up inside.

  3. Both are good round and with varmint bullets you don`t get muck of a ricochet. If your want the safest and the round that does the least fur damage get the .17 Remington. It is good for coyote out to 300 yards, or alittle more and the .17 Cal. bullets will stay inside the game 95%+ of the time. Spend the extra money and get a barrel from Bullberry or Virgina Valley. I got 3 barrels from Bullberry, 1 I just got and have not shot, but the other 2 barrels are very accurate. The .17 K-Hornet carbine barrel will shoot 1/2 moa and the 15 in. .357 max. barrel will easily do 1 moa.
  4. Bullberry is also having a year end closeout sale right now as well, you might be able to pick one up a little cheaper, I have been hearing mixed reviews on Virgin Valley, but I have heard nothing but positive things about Fred at Bullberry, also if for some reason you decide not to go the custom barrel route Eds Contenders is a great place to get barrels, his prices are really hard to beat, he is out of Oklahoma City, his website is like WWW.Edstcs.Com, his website right now doesnt have his current inventory but you can E-Mail him or phone him and find out what he has, be forewarned though he is sometimes a bit hard to get ahold of as he is also a CPA, but he is well worth the wait, a great guy to do business with.
  5. Try a Savage 22-250

    Try a Savage either 12FV or 12BVSS in 22-250. The price is right and you'll be hard pressed to find a straighter shooter out of the box. Look for one with the new trigger by Savage. If not you can go to rifle basix online and get one for $79.95 and install it your self. You will be set to drill chucks to 300 yards with ease and Coyotes will fall just as easy.

  6. Hunt them with your bow! I do.

    When the farmer really puts the pressure on me to get rid of the hogs, I use a .223 with V-Max bullets.
  7. Thanks guys. Lot of great tips here.

    I have been putting it off for a variety of reasons, but I think I may take the plunge this spring. I love hunting varmints and the idea of calling in coyotes is very appealing to me. (I love calling in any kind of wildlife).

    I'm leaning toward the 223...seems like you can buy off-the-shelf ammo in a variety of configurations and you can get it just about anywhere.

    But I hear those 22-250's are super straight shooters too.........:confused: :D :D :D
  8. I would say if you handload or are going to start the 22-250 is the way to go .. if you are going to rely on factory ammo then the .223 is the way to go ... It depends on your situation both are good rounds ... I am a little surprised that no one mentioned the .243. I know it is a tad heavy on the varmint side but a very nice all round hunting rifle. Handloaders can get the best of both words from the 243:D :D
  9. I have been snooping around for a 243 for a while now, I would prefer a 700VLS or a 77VT, I have a Ruger 77R in 6MM Remington but havent done a great deal of loading for it, I am thinking that any of the 6MM ballistic tips or V-Max would be lightning death on varmints out of a 243 or 6MM.
  10. I have two 243's an old savage model 99 and a pre 64 winchester model 70, you can get bullets in the 60 gr. range that do a good job on groundhogs .. plus you get the added bonus of being able to use it on larger game. I have thought about getting a .17 cal but there are only a handful of bullets at best so I have never made the move. I spend most of my time shooting targets. My most often fired gun is a 308, I use 110gr for varmints and targets I generally use a somewhat reduced load. I have used the sabots in them, both factory and handloaded and although they offer reduced recoil and a 22cal bullet I could never get the accuracy needed to do any long range shooting with them. Have any of you guys ever used the sabots in your 30ca. if so how were your results ...
  11. About the smallest bullet I have used in my 308 is the 125gr Nosler ballistic tip, I still use that bullet matter of fact in my 308, I have seen the accelerator rounds offered by Remington but never tried them.
  12. MadCatter

    How many different bullets do you want? Hornady, Berger, Calhoon and Starkie all make .17 cal. bullets and I`m shure there are more out there. If you need areason not to get a .17 cal.there is one good one, they are additive. I bought a .17 Rem. afew years back and now have 2 - .17 cal. wildcats also. There are plently of bullets for the .17`s out there I got 8 different .17 cal. bullets on the shelf right now. How many different .243 - 6mm bullets do you have?
  13. Catfish... I was more refering to bullet weights, not manufactures, when I was looking for a gun a few years back I could only find a few different weights.... After reading your post I looked online and found a host of bullet weight for the .17 I stand corrected. There seems to be more than enough bullet weights available. I originally wanted a 17 for the low recoil and lower cost of handloading.... I can see that I need to start looking for a good deal on one ... Thanks
    Seems the 17 has caught on in the last few years or I did a lot of over looking, there was only one store here in town that really carried reloading supplies but it has since gone out of busniess. Not due to lack of sales, but the owner got sick and the family didn't want to bother with it .. Now its gun shows or online ordering ...

    I have tons of .243 bullets, but I mostly shoot the 308, it is not a high dollar gun so I don't have to worry about getting it banged up or anything.:D :D :D . I also have a .257 roberts that I am very fond of it was left to me by my dad ... I imagine he has taken more game with that rifle than I will ever see.:D :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2002
  14. Madcatter

    I have a 257 Roberts as well, its a Ruger 77R I have had it for several years now and I love it, nailed many a groundhog with it, I used to use the 100gr Speer HP, but now I have worked out a load with H414 and a Nosler 85gr Ballistic tip, groundhogs dont go to far when you nail them with the 257.
  15. just a quick thought

    it seems everyone has talked caliber.and a concern for a ricoche. the ability for a bullet to get up and go is there in every caliber . more attention should be paid to the type of bullet that you are shooting.the 223 is always mentioned as a varmit caliber but if you are shooting a full metal jacket(most cheap or military surplus ammo is) round out of it it WILL bounce off everything and keep going. i have found this ammo 3 feet up the backstops at the state range doing its best to get back in the air. so pick what ever caliber you like just make sure the bullet is on the light side and a hollow point or ballistic tip or other round known to fragment or deform on impact. and always remember that the lighter the bullet the more the wind affects it the heavier the more gravity does. look for a happy medium
  16. Havent shot a FMJ in years, mostly ballistic tips or V-Max 55grs and under out of my 223s or 22-250.
  17. I find it interesting no one has mentioned the 12 gauge. When we go out my buddy takes his 243 and I take the 12 gauge. We are bout even on harvests. How many times have you been surprised and not been able to get the cross hairs on the target.
  18. I dont hunt Varmits but wouldnt a 22-long rifle be a good choice?
  19. I have been surprised a few times, but since I hunt alone most of the times I dont use a shotgun, snuck up on them sleeping a few times as well.