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New Varmint Gun
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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ruger44
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Joined: Dec 10, 2006
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Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

I finally got "approval" to get another gun and I'm going to get a varmint gun. I don't know much about them though, I hunt mostly with a 30-06. In reading the various posts there is a lot of experience here. I'd like to hunt coyotes with a range 300+ yards. I've narrowed it to 204 ruger, 220 swift, or maybe 22-250. Where I hunt, I'd like to keep the noise to a minimum. Is there much difference in recoil between them? As far as the gun, I'm on kind of a limited budget ($600) and I was thinking of 2 options. Get a Ruger, Savage, etc. and put a Leupold 3x9 I have on it until I can save up for a better scope or get a single shot NEF and put a decent scope on it. I'd appreciate any hands-on advise anyone could give me. Thanks.
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Dawgdad
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Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 1033
Location: On the Prairie

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Welcome to the site! Good to have another member from the Land of Lincoln! Any of the calibers you mention will do what you want but so would a .223. If you reload, the 30-06 with 110 V-max and IMR 4064 at 3300fps does very nicely too but it is a bit louder than the others. Laughing the coyote in my avatar was taken with the 30-06 at 400+ yards.

The Savage is a good choice for quality and economy which will allow you put more money into a scope.

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sniper
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Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 735
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Welcome! Don't waste that precious permission from National Command Authority! Very Happy

As far as noise is concerned, the difference between the '06 and some of the more prevalent varmint calibers isn't all that much , IMHO.

The old timey gun scriveners used to say the smaller caliber "spoke softly", before sending the 55 grain pill, with 3,560 fps of muzzele "Gee Whiz" downrange. Oh, POPPYCOCK! Embarassed Pardon my Dutch.

The Ruger .204 looks like a good cartridge. Time will tell.

But the great old standards, like the 220 Swift, which is enjoying somewhat of a comeback lately, the 22-250, and .223 do all you will need in the way of a varmint thumper. Ammo is more readily available for the last two.

May I say, donning my flameproof Fruit of the Looms, that the newer cartridges will not do much the older ones can't do as well! Look at the REAL numbers, not what the manufacturers' marketing departments wish the performance would be. Of course, somebody probably said that about the 22-250, at one time.

My views about scope power are well known on the forums. Most guys are over scoped, with 24 power 50mm optics. IMHO, 9X is good, and 12-16X will do fine for all probable applications. Side focus, "Tactical", Mil dot, Illuminated reticle, power to see the rings of Saturn? Hey, if it warms the cockles of your heart, go for it. But, they are largely unnecessry.

You might wish to look at the Savage Varmint guns. They have a reputation for accuracy, and the Accutrigger has overcome some of the lawyerproofing. Gunblast.com has an excellent review of their newer gun.

Good luck in your search. Whatever you ultimately choose, you will certainly enjoy the heck out of it---dreaming of that perfect 500 yard shot, or the 300---or even a good 200 yarder. It is ALL good! Very Happy
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squirrelbait
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Joined: Sep 23, 2005
Posts: 220
Location: Nottingham, NH

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Would a 243 in 55gr. b-tip at 3900 or so do well over 300yds?
I get consistant groups of .75 inches or less at 100yds.
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Dawgdad
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Joined: Feb 08, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Squirrelbait,

I am sure Paul S will weigh in with his calculation but Point Blank says that load will have 1000 fpe and only 7" of drift per 10 mph wind at 300 yards. Sighted +1.5" at 100 yards with a 267 yard zero you have a 4' PBZ out to 310 yards. Given all of those numbers, put the crosshairs in the middle of the coyote and pull the trigger out to 300 yards without hesitation. I f you do your job the load will take care of its job.

What is your load for the .243 55BT's? I shoot the 58 V-max at 3600 with similar results.

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squirrelbait
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Joined: Sep 23, 2005
Posts: 220
Location: Nottingham, NH

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Dawgdad, I have tweaked it down to 49.5gr of 414. 414 meters nice so, being the lazy basta... that I am, it has been my powder of choice recently. Has worked well. I tried to get the Hornadys to shoot as well but couldn't get there with the h414. Just haven't tested any further yet. I really have trouble spending the money for the Noslers but so far they have won the race.
For me the 243 has been an incredibly versitile cartridge.....which saves me some cash as well. Smile
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Dawgdad
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Joined: Feb 08, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

I had to back the H414 down to 48.0 grains to get sub moa accuracy with the 58 grain V-max. I was running around 3450 fps I went to 53 grains of IMR4064 to get 200 more feet per second and almost as good accuracy. I am going back to the H414 ease of metering and that and I have 8 pounds of the stuff Very Happy

Sorry if we hijacked the forum thread but keep the .243 on your long range coyote gun list too. 70-75 grainers make very wind resistant long range loads for more than a 300 yard shots. As you can see the 55 and 58 grainers are deadly flat out to 300-350 yards. load up a 100-105 grain bullet and go after deer too.

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ruger44
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Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Thanks for the input. I'm leaning toward going with the Savage package in 204 ruger. In reading other forums though, I'm still not 100% sure of the 204 ruger for coyotes over 200 yds. Any more thoughts? Thanks again.
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sniper
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Joined: Aug 18, 2005
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

ruger44 wrote:
Thanks for the input. I'm leaning toward going with the Savage package in 204 ruger. In reading other forums though, I'm still not 100% sure of the 204 ruger for coyotes over 200 yds. Any more thoughts? Thanks again.

There are a couple of threads somewhere in here about just that.

Guys who seem to know say don't do it, and the .243 suggestions look very good; you have a deer/bear/pig/varmint rifle, to boot. Smile
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Northern Canuck
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Joined: Sep 18, 2006
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Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

The .204 does fine. I have a freind with one and it will kill no problem at 200 yards. I have a .222 rem that I reload with 52 gr BTHP match bullets. Kills them at 300 yards no problem. A shot to chest is fatal. My brother shoots the .223. Same thing just 100 fps faster. I also have a 22-250 and it shoots great also just not as quiet as my .222. Lots of choices just have to pick one, buy it, get a load and then shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot Shooting What you are looking at would be fine. Very Happy Good Luck and have fun.
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ruger44
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Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Thanks for all your input. Wow, there is a lot of information/opinions out there and I’ve got to decide which one to pick. I think this is how it all boils down. I’m just looking at 22-250, 220 Swift, 204 Ruger, and 223. I know there are a lot of other good calibers out there (25-06, 243, etc.), but it makes my head hurt thinking about all the different possibilities. The 22-250 and the 220 Swift are very similar, each has advantages/disadvantages. The 204 Ruger and the 223 are also similar, although the 204 Ruger shoots flatter. For coyote under 200 yards they all will perform well. From 200 to 300 yards – bullet placement becomes more important with the 204 Ruger & 223. From 300 to 400 yards – the 204 Ruger & 223 may or may not do the job. Over 400 yards – use the 22-250 or the 220 Swift. From everything I’ve read, there isn’t one perfect varmint gun. The key is to pick one, know it’s strong points and limitations, and get out there and shoot it. One more question, how does the noise from the 22-250 and 204 Ruger compare to a 30-06, almost as loud, half as loud? Thanks.
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Dawgdad
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Location: On the Prairie

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

The noise will depend on the load used, barrel length and the atmospheric conditions where you are shooting. On a nice warm day all of them will ring your ears :-D.

IMHO, the -06 is just a tad bit louder but not enough that a neighbor could tell the difference a half mile away. They all will have a pretty good report to them. Are you near the suburbs and worried about sound?

I have killed coyotes with many guns at many distances and I love all of the guns I have, but...... If you were to make me pick one gun for coyotes, I think the .243 would win because you can shoot heavier bullets at 22-250 speeds with better BC's and less wind drift. (comparing the 55-58 gr. 243 to a 45-50 gr .224) Sight this load in at about 2" high at 100 yards and you will be dead on out to 300 yards with no worry about hold over. If you must go after a 400+ yard coyote the heavier 70-80 gr. bullets are available that will carry the killing power that far.

What ever caliber you choose, until you can kill them all cleanly out to 300 yards, the longer shots should be saved for milk jugs in the field for practice. You will only educate the coyotes that the call you made is associated with a loud noise and not food. They never get any closer when they learn that. Evil or Very Mad

Nikon scopes have a blurb in their manuals that talks about your maximum lethal distance. It boils down to the ability to put the first shot into a 10"paper plate every time. This distance is different for each gun/load/optics combination in your arsenal. For coyotes I may even use a dessert plate of 6" to determine this. Start at 50 yards and keep backing up until you miss using the shooting positions you will have in the field.

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Dimitri
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Location: Southern Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Ruger,

I'd go with a good 220 Swift with thouse choises only because of Handloaders work on developing some pretty fast loads, should be called "Laser gun loads" at about 5,000fps. Shocked

www.huntingnut.com/ind...pic&t=1909

Dimitri

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moose2
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Joined: Mar 19, 2005
Posts: 707
Location: North Idaho

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

Ruger 44--Dawgdad has some very good info here. My personal favorite would be to go with something in the .244 line. I just finished putting together another 6MM for coyotes but have used a .223 for years. The .223 just not all that great on windy days, like we seem to have all the time on the northern prairies, but it certainly performs very well on a fairly calm day out to 300 yards on coyotes. Have fun selecting your caliber and good shooting.--tr

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Morax
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Joined: Dec 18, 2006
Posts: 618
Location: Pittsburgh Pa

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: New Varmint Gun Reply with quote

I just went through this delema this past year, I wanted something i could use for groundhogs, but also for yotes, and deer.. i had cut it to the 22-250 or the .243.. looking around at the options i had i went with the savage .243 and well first thing i did was loose the cheese optics, got a bsa 6x24 and stuck that on top, went with a harris bipod and shit it with fair markings.. noticed the bipod came loose, tightened it, shot pod loose?1 tightened, and promptly pulled the sling/pod mount right out of the cheap synth stock! called savage they gave me grief. I went with a boyds varmit thumbhole and never looked back! a 75 grain ballistic tip pushing +/- 3000fps does wonders on hogs out to 300 yards plus (2 recorded 1 at 175yd and one at 310)..
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