prairie dog rifle, what would you go with?

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

  1. Justin B

    Justin B

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    20 Practical building my second one today.

    I don't want to steal the thread but curious how many of you guys use varmint hunter reticle or how many use FFP??
     
  2. Billy 30-06

    Billy 30-06

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    My Shepherd scope is FFP.
    Billy
     
  3. Dan Hall

    Dan Hall Silver $$ Contributor

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    Dakota Predator for a used one or a Dakota Varminter for a new one. Pick whatever cartridge you want. Couple of suggestions: .204 Ruger, 22-250, 20 Practicle. These 20s will handle being shot a lot without a problem. The 22-250 needs
    To be watched so as not to over heat. Best way to go is 2 guns at least. 20 Vartarg and 6 BR, 204 Ruger and 6 BR or 22-250. Whatever make sure you try the 20s. I use a 22 mag, 20 Vartarg, .204 Ruger and 6 BR. All Dakota Predators except the rimfire. I shoot the 20 Vartarg the most. Great cartridge.
     
  4. Larry sigmon

    Larry sigmon

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    243 or 6 mm the wind can be very bad at times
     
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  5. Idaho-Lefty

    Idaho-Lefty

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    We don't have, Prairie Dog's in my part of Idaho, just small "whistle Pig's" and Rock Marmots. I have a solid but, portable Bench, I start with, w/ 55 or, 60 gr. Bal Tip's, in my Adams Arms, 1-7 tw, "piston" driven, Giesele triggered, .223 Rem. for, the "close" shots. Working my way up to, the .22-250 Rem w/ 5-20X Scope, using 50-55 bal tip's or 52-53 gr. Sierra HP's, using, low Powder charge's of H-4895, to control recoil a bit. Next, I'll be on to my New, .243 Win with, the fantastic, 80 gr Sierra Blitz's or, 87 V- Maxes for, the longer stuff, OR, when, the WIND Blows, this year. The .223 Adam's is easily, Sub MOA and the two Bolts ( Sporter medium wt. Barrels ) are both, Sub 1/2 MOA Rifles. I like a bit of Variety when "playing" with whistle Pig's or, Rock Marmots and to keep my barrels "cool"! But for serious Coyote Huntin', I'll be taking the .243 Win., any Day now, as "loads" are getting, done. The Adam's AR, was bought, because Mrs Clinton, DOESN'T think, we should have, them ! Fun to shoot when, my grandson lets me, use it ! Lots of, "good choice's" posted, here ! Have fun !!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  6. Larry sigmon

    Larry sigmon

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    I had a heavy barrel remington in both 6mm and 243 both with 70 great bill tips
     
  7. gmorris

    gmorris Gold $$ Contributor

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    Swift...
     
  8. 1raggedhole

    1raggedhole Silver $$ Contributor

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    338 Lapua
     
  9. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    Hahahahaha

    As counterpoint to such an expensive way to obliterate small mammals, I will suggest a small cartridge that punches WAY above it's proverbial weight: 20 Vartarg.
     
  10. Mark W

    Mark W Gold $$ Contributor

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    Would a prairie dog sized animal even upset a bullet that large? Seems to me that it might just punch a .338 sized hole and keep going. Fast and flat with red mist and flying body parts are the fun part!!!
     
  11. remy3424

    remy3424

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    In my limited experience of PD shooting (around 15 years), heavy barrels and lightweight bullets are my preference. I have used everything from 22LR to 25-06. I now only take 20P(32gr-AR), 204R(32gr-AR 39gr-bolt) and 223R(50gr bolt & AR). Any of these allow you to "see the show", you just might have to reduce the optic power when shooting at targets inside of 175 yards or so. Of everything I have used, the 50 gr. Vmax from a 223 has the most dramatic affect on a prairie dog. I have a bunch of Nikon Buckmaster scopes (6 to 18X), now discontinued, which I think are pretty good for the price point and work well. It would be hard for me to pick one, any of these are great for my shooting distances (out to 450 yards or so), but it would in an AR platform for sure.

    Bring 3 rifles if there is any decent amount of shooting. I take 4 rifles and would take 5 if room allowed it. I might a take a 17H this season if it shoots well and I can bear to leave one of my favorites behind.

    I have had a 17HMR bolt gun get so hot, I quit shooting (on a walk-about away from the benches, a great problem to have), so I might be a little suspect of a 20 VT that doesn't heat-up, but I have zero experience with it.

    Long story longer, 20P, 204R or 223R would all be great cartridges (204R or 223R if you don't reload, which doesn't seem likely). If I wanted to shoot past 500 yards, I would bring a 243, 6mm or something similar with fast twist, heavy bullets and 20-25x power optics, but this would be overkill for me, I love shooting within 300 yards where with my limited skills, I can normally shoot within a minute of a prairie dog without a ton of effort.

    Please use caution, this type of activity can be extremely addictive. I have about 20 heavy barreled rifles with scopes, thousands of pieces of brass in maybe 10 cartridges, thousands of bullets in 5 calibers, tens of thousands of primers, more powder than I care to admit and a small trailer with a custom interior to carry everything needed for multi day shoots with 3 or 4 shooters. I should have a great estate auction!
     
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  12. dbrad197

    dbrad197

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    I have been extremely tempted to make mine on my trip in 2 weeks, but thankfully I dont really have any more room for it.
     
  13. varget204

    varget204

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    CORRECT Answer is a 20 Caliber,20 Vartag, 20 Tacticle/ Practicle,204 Ruger 20 BR.20 PPC
     
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  14. centershot

    centershot Silver $$ Contributor

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    How do the .20's hold up in the wind? What would you say is the maximum yardage of them?
     
  15. long40shot

    long40shot Gold $$ Contributor

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    Surprisingly well. After watching a buddy use his 204 for several years in the western kansas wind. I broke down and bought one last year. With the 32s or the 40s you will have less wind drift than a 223 with 50grn bullets.
     
  16. CubCouper

    CubCouper Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'm within a half hour or so of a million dogs here in northern Wyoming, so short trips usually have a specific objective -- testing a bullet, tuning myself or a rifle configuration, etc. For an all day adventure with friends, I like to break the PD game into 3 or 4 ranges: short 0-200, medium 150-350, long 300-600, and very long 450-to-forever. With that in mind, I try to optimize my rifle selection for the trip. If I'm taking a gun specifically for short stuff, it might be a 22LR, 17HMR, Hornet, or my new project this winter, a 5.7x28 bolt gun. For the medium category I bring along a 22-250, a PPC, a VarTarg, a Deuce or maybe a 223. My long and very long range guns tend to be just a touch bigger: BR's, Dashers, 6x41, Grendel, 6.5x47 Lap, and anything else that I want to see if I can stretch. PD's are great practice for the big game season and in the fall I'll be out there sharpening the eye with a 6mm Rem, or 7mm Mag, or even running heavier hunting bullets in the other guns.

    This winter I've been stocking up on small-stuff-- got reamers, dies, barrels and such for a new Vartarg, 20 Practical, a 20 Tactical, and the 5.7x28. All this for the big small-gun contest this summer with a buddy and his Hornet. Rules are yet to be determined, but the prize will likely be a cold beverage. I even threatened to build a 300-yard 10/22 to take the crown from his 290 yard Hornet shot last fall.

    There is no magic to any of the choices and of course ranges and guns can cross over as far as you care. Remember that the prairie dog usually doesn't care what he is hit with :)
     
  17. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

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    My PD arsenal for this season:
    17 Hornet
    20 Wasp
    6mm-250AI
     
  18. IdahoSharpshooter

    IdahoSharpshooter Gold $$ Contributor

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    I am pretty old school; but I started about 40 years ago and went to two rifles. Savage had deals on BVSS stainless rifles, so I bought a pair. Both 223, because they offered a 1:9" twist. I shot them both for accuracy, both were 1/2moa out to 300 yds. I took the best grouper and had it rechambered to 220 Swift. I would use one of those one minute egg timers and shoot 20 rounds, closer in with the 223. Then step out with the Swift to as far as I could see them. 20 rounds with it, and then clean both properly. I had two 100 round Case-Gards full of each. Shoot it all up, and head back to town (Zortman, MT) for lunch and a short nap. Reload all the empties, and go back out about 4pm.
    For those of you that may not know, until about 2000, Zortman, MT, was the Prairie Dog Capitol of the world. Boyd Mace kept writing shooting dogs up for Precision Shooting Magazine, and the place was swarmed by out of state hunters.

    The biggest dog towns were on the Gros Ventre/Assiniboine (sp?) reservations. Some years later I shot my second Bison up there just before Christmas with an 1886 Winchester in 50-110.
    Good eating...
     
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  19. varget204

    varget204

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    If your shooting out to 600 yards a lot flatter,less drift than a 223,Have shot sub 1/2 moa on calm days,w 40 grain bullets at 1000 yards with 204 ruger w/ 26" barrels
     
  20. onelastshot

    onelastshot Gold $$ Contributor

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    If you're going out to 500 yards, I'd skip the 20's and look at a 22-250 AI 55 grain bullets and you'll have yourself the perfect setup. Typically when I go beyond 400 yards I turn to my 6mmAI. THis will take you out to 800 yards and beyond. THe only downfall with the 6mmAI is that it does have a bit of recoil so you don't always see your hits. I just loaded 100 85 grain Sierra's this morning for the 6mmAI, using 45.3 grains of H4350.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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