What armament for prairie dogs?

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by jamesdmock, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. RegionRat

    RegionRat

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    77
    I use two ARs with WOA Varmint Uppers in 223 with 12 twist. I feed these 40 grain Hornady VMax at about 3500 fps. These cover out to about 400 yards till the wind comes up, and then I tend to run them within the first 300 yards. I use SWFA 3-15x FFP scopes with an MOA reticle on these two. That is because... If I sit a rookie down on it, I have to be able to drop the magnification since rookies tend to struggle finding the target. I click the dope for them and tell them the wind hold to keep it simple. The system works well when they can find the right target.

    For the longer shots, I used to run Rem 700 Sendero but they are no longer being made, so I have a pair of Savage 12 Low Profile Varmint rigs in 223 with 7 twist and feed them 77 TMK. These do much better in the wind and out to 600 yards. I run the NF NXS 8-32 with MOAR-T reticle on these and like them very much.

    For the mornings before the winds come up, I cover the first 200 yards with a Ruger Precision Rimfire in 17 HMR being fed with CCI 17 gr and I use the reticle for the hold. These 17 HMR are very easy to run out to 200 yards using point blank system where you just hold over or under. You also don't waste centerfire ammo on rookies till they start ramping up the learning curve. Everyone who has tried this rig loves it.

    You can see your hits with all of these rigs and follow up shots are easy if you miss your wind call.

    I think I will try a .204 WOA Varmint Upper next year just for fun. I have used my friend's 204 truck gun on coyotes and think 204 will be great on prairie dogs out to 400 yards in a WOA Varmint Upper with a 24" heavy profile bbl.

    For most rookies, I would advise starting with a 17 HMR and 223 for their first season, unless they are already experienced at wind shooting. This is a volume shooting sport and shooting small targets in the wind at distance isn't like shooting their deer rifle once or twice per year.
     
    LonewolfMcquade likes this.
  2. Mr. Ten-X

    Mr. Ten-X

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    507
    My arsenal was very similar to yours...a 22LR, a .223 Rem and a 22/250. In the 80's and 90's, I burned out a few barrels in the .223 and 22/250 shooting those rodents. If I went again, those would be exactly the calibers I'd be taking.
     
    sw282 likes this.
  3. searcher

    searcher

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,016
    When I used go on a long-distance varmint trip - I agonized over what to take. Seemed easy to justify the "need" to bring about 8 rifles ranging from rimfire to 6 BR. But even today - not much has really changed. The .223 is still great- despite the advent of, say, the .20 Practical or .22 Nosler and the use of calibers such as the 6BR over the .243 or .22/250. Personally - I REALLY like these newer calibers as they truly are better in most regards but you would have just as much fun with your old gear.
     
    sw282 and LonewolfMcquade like this.
  4. long40shot

    long40shot Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,090
    High velocity and low recoil. 204 ruger is my pick. I ran 22-250, 243 and 223 for years. I finally saw the light about the twenties. Now, the 204 is my primary, 22-250 is second chair now.
     
    LonewolfMcquade likes this.
  5. shoot4fun

    shoot4fun Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,417
    A shop vac and a Cold Steel.
    Suck them out of their holes and stab them with the knife.
    Must wear a Rambo uniform for effect.
    If you happen to suck up one of those pesky rattlers it makes the hunt more interesting.
     
    LonewolfMcquade likes this.
  6. GrocMax

    GrocMax

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,194
    Yeah, but ya gotta bring along the 300WM, 110 vmax at 4000+ a time or two.
     
    LonewolfMcquade likes this.
  7. Mr. Ten-X

    Mr. Ten-X

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    507
    I was pretty lucky in that I traveled ND and SD as an archery/firearms sales rep in the 80's/90's. Would plan my sales trips so that I would be near prime PD country 3 or 4 times each spring/summer. The most fun was right at the snow was leaving and the PD's would be walking out over the snow to get to any green grass where they would fill their bellies. When they were waddling back across that snow is when things took a horrific turn, LOL. THE bullets of that day for making pure gore were the Hornady SX and the Sierra Blitz in the .223 Rem. Out to 250yds, they would make a spray on the snow that most decent folks don't talk about in public. The bulk bullets from Win or Rem were plenty good enough to 300yds in the 22/250 or the Swift and they would hold together at high velocity en route to the target. Otherwise, I would use the Speer 53gr hollow point. It was as aerodynamic as a 4x8 sheet of plywood, but it would do some real ugly things to dogs out to 300yds. The sound of the impact of that bullet was memorable...WHOP!!!

    Before I whipped out the big iron early in the year, I'd shoot up a couple of bricks of CCI Mini-Mag HP's on each trip in a Rem 513 target rifle with a 10X Weaver. That was reliable out to 100yds (it was a 1.5MOA setup or a bit better) and many were taken down out to 150yds if it wasn't real windy. You really had to square them solidly at much beyond 100yds or they'd run off wounded. Wounding critters just isn't my bag, so I was mighty selective about shots. The PD's were almost tame just as the snow was leaving the ground because they hadn't been shot at for several months. Sooo...definitely take a 22LR.
     
  8. sw282

    sw282

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    111
    Mr T. You are right about shooting varmints in the SNOW.. The carnage is UNBELIEVABLE... Even shooting itty-bitty ground squirrels with a 17HMR would leave a ''debris field'' a yard long across the snow.. l have the pictures to prove it too!!
     
    LonewolfMcquade likes this.
  9. LonewolfMcquade

    LonewolfMcquade

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Pics or it didn't happen, lol
     

Share This Page