prairie dog rifle, what would you go with?

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by Buzzsaw, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. daniel brothers

    daniel brothers

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    If you can't watch the PD getting hit... then what is the fun of shooting it? That's why I built a 20 VT for only 32 gr vmax bullets... so I could watch the hit... and that the barrel would stay cool all day, without the need of change... if I didn't want too.
     
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  2. Rick in Oregon

    Rick in Oregon

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    This thread has really been amusing to me, as I've been shooting grass rats now for just over 50 years and have a safe full of varmint rifles to prove it (and an empty bank account). Lots of opinions for sure. When the ground squirrel shooting is blistering hot, the 20VT really comes into its own.

    Daniel above nailed it. I want to see my hits/misses too, and have narrowed the stable to the 20VT for 90% of the rat shooting I do. It has worked out great for rock chucks too. Wicked accurate, and virtually every shooter I know that has built/purchased one has also come to the same conclusion.

    But I'm certain these Orygun rock chucks would seriously disagree.....

    [​IMG]
     
  3. AckleymanII

    AckleymanII Silver $$ Contributor

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    Hit it out of the park with a 6 BRX or 6 Dasher, shooting the 55g Nosler at 4130 fps with H335 and AA2230 with very long barrel life...3/4" at 300 is not unusual.

    6 BR-55's at 3700-3800, again with H335 or AA2230, bug holes abound

    Check the BC on the Nosler 55g, it is better than the 22 caliber counter part

    zero freebore reamers on all the above or no more than .020 for LONG barrel life!

    The Nosler 55g Varmageddons have proved to be very accurate, but not quite the BC of the Ballistic tips. The 55g Sierra blitz kings are more explosive than the 58g V max which is a heck of a bullet also.

    Bullet weight makes things fly. I shot a 223 AI with the 40g ballistic tips at 4100, they ran out of gas around 325 yards, dogs just fell over...where is the fun in that???

    Hint: fire form while you have the cross hair on P. dogs...blistering accuracy!

    I use muzzle breaks on everything!
     
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  4. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    I myself have also been shooting Little Critters for many years. More often it's not the caliber but the weight of the rifle that dictates visual impacts through the scope. That statement is of course within reason. A 17 to 20 lb 22-250 shooting any weight bullet will allow you to see the impact through the scope. Stock design also plays a factor. It's not just as simple as a 20 caliber rifle vs the 22 or 243. Many more factors come into play. Deciding to use a 20 Cal rifle takes a lot of those factors out of play of course but not necessarily making it the best choice. That's why the phrase to each their own is so popular. That 204 looks like a wicked little round so I'm certain I'll own one some day and it will be a 15 to 17 pound rifle. It will kick like an air rifle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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  5. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    For prairie dog, ground squirrels or ground hogs, a rifle typically gets to the shooting location by 4 wheels more often than not. That's why many of my guns are 15-20 lbs in those smallish calibers. My most recent 22-250 Ackley comes in at around 18lbs without ammo. Wears a 30" barrel in a straight taper 1.060" - 1.010". Shooting 80 Amax bullets, I can see bullet impact easily. It wears an F Class stock that rides bags superbly so impacts can be seen. Not just at very long ranges but even at 100 yards. Definitely not a walking rifle.
     
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  6. pacificman

    pacificman

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    I been liking the 20 Practical so much I own two of them now...I do have a 20VT but you will get a bit
    more range with the 20 Practical...I like to hit them way out there for fun and challenge.;):)
     
  7. varget204

    varget204

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    Have read all posts,overall theory is over welling .20 cal,20VT or 204 Ruger ,I think i would listen to guys who have been shooting 50 years plus.A 15-18 pound gun ? Whew I'd need 2 Gorilla's and at least 1 900 pound Mother to carry it for me.lol Do they come with wheel's,or are they mounted on vehicle. i think Hernia would become part of my vocabulary.lol
     
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  8. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Yeah they suck in every way except when you're behind them pulling the trigger. I've carried a couple in the field for coyotes and you are correct, it's no fun, in fact I hated every step of it until shooting began. Prairie dog or groundhog shoots my truck is within yards of my shooting position. Takes all the work out of it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  9. moorepower

    moorepower

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    My LRPV in .204 is heavy, but 15-18 lbs.? Your second gun can be only 10 lbs. !! If your walking, get a golf club cart and adapt to a gun cart. All I know, is if the shooting gets hot and heavy, and you only have one gun, you really want a second gun. Don't overlook a heavy barreled AR in a dogtown. If you want to see them fly, hit them low. It's like kicking a football.
     
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  10. Larry sigmon

    Larry sigmon

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    6 mm or 243
     
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  11. Iowa Fox

    Iowa Fox Silver $$ Contributor

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    with 87Vmax
     
  12. tstowater

    tstowater

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    Many good suggestions as to calibers, etc. I personally have found that I am going to take at least 5 guns on a prairie dog trip. You never know what the weather is going to do and shooting volume and distance, at least in my experience. I'm generally going to take a rimfire in either 17 HMR or 17 WSM. Covers the closer ones and less noise. I generally am going to take a pair of 204 and a pair in either 22-250 or 220 Swift. I haven't done it yet, but you should try matching rifles and scopes in the same caliber so you don't have to adjust. Surprising how the little differences do show up. I've started to migrate from the 204 to the 20VT for the 32 grainers and will stick with 39 or 40 grainers in the 204. The 20 VT is almost without recoil and doesn't have the heat up factor of the 204. If I am thinking that we are going to experience some longer distances in the wind, I will take a bigger caliber such as a 6MM Remington. If you have enough room for guns and ammo, the more the better. Whatever you do, get enough brass or get something that brass can be made and/or generally available.
     
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  13. moondog

    moondog Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'm spoiled! I use to organize trips to Wyo. and eastern Co. Now I drive 10 minutes
    to the ranch next door. Funny thing is, it isn't as fun now that it's not an adventure.
    But, I always brought multiple guns if I had to drive to a spot.
     
  14. FlyingSweede

    FlyingSweede

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    22-250 with a high quality, high power scope.
     
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  15. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    Agreed. Aren't going to spot your hit shooting free-recoil or any proximity of it; you need to hold the gun.
     
  16. moorepower

    moorepower

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    If you have your scope cranked up to 20X or more, you are not going to be able to hold it hard enough to see the hits, unless you have a Hornet or 20VT. I thinks someone has already covered it, but it does not take much movement to get the object out of your view. Now if you turn the scope down, to 12X, you can see alot of hits with a .222, verified. I learned to hold hard shooting highpower matches with a Garand and have used since.
     
  17. ranger3

    ranger3 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have 204,223, 22 250, 220 swift, 6 br, 243, and if I'm down to one, it would be 40 vmax w 204. Second choice 223, 22 250 or 6 br.
     
  18. Rustytigwire

    Rustytigwire Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have an 8 x 32sf on 223 ar15. Initially used at higher magnification (cuz i kin see out there real far wow!) but realised a technique change was necessary. Last outing I learned to spot them at low power, zoom up a fair amount to get the paralax side focus just right for the distance then bring it back down to 8 or 12 to watch then let er rip. 20 and up is good to see if they have fleas or need to brush their teeth. Or watch the fragments of your partners shot.
    boom-plop-heh heh heh
    I know my technique needs work if I can not see impact because of a hurried shot. Take it easy...
    Discipline same for 6 remington. Cant see? turn it down some and follow thru. worked for me.
    20p is on the build list.

    Shoot the far ones first so the shrapnel from mid distance hits or misses doesnt scare them into their holes.
     
  19. B23

    B23 Gold $$ Contributor

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    But won't the sonic crack as the bullet is traveling by the closer ones scare them back into their holes too?
     
  20. Rustytigwire

    Rustytigwire Gold $$ Contributor

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    That is a very interesting question!
    After 3 or 4 misses i think they are deaf and dont notice.
    Seriously. Sometimes a near hit or miss sends fragments out past and a whole bunch on all fours you cant see will pop up to see what the commotion is about. Good targets for a while. Then get the near ones
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018

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