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Favorite small caliber varmit round

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Doublespey1, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Doublespey1

    Doublespey1 Vancouver, WA New Member

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    I am interested in opinions on favorite small caliber rifle rounds. I am old school and have always loved .22 long,
    and .22mag. However, I am interested in something with a little longer and flatter trajectory for better long range accuracy.
    Thank you in advance for your thoughts on this subject...
     
  2. Tango1niner

    Tango1niner Tacoma New Member

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    Doublespey1...I was looking for the exact same thing. I quit looking after getting a Savage 12 BVSS in 22-250 Most accurate off the shelf rifle I've ever had.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  3. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    22hornet, 22-250, 220 swift
     
  4. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    I hate to admit my varminting experience is limited. I had recently acquired a couple of fireamrs to try my luck they year but I missed my chance to hunt sage rats so I won't be able to share how well they do.

    On the rimfire side, the recently acquired a Savage 97R17 from Bi-Mart, shooting Hornady's 17gr V-Max 17HMR can do ~0.5" at 50yds and a tad over 1" at 100yds on a calm day. 50 rnds go for just under $13 at Bi-Mart. I've heard 17HMR should be ok up to 200yd but for smaller pests, i don't see how it can perform well much beyond say 125 to 150 yds with any kind of wind.

    I also have recently acquired a 223Rem Wylde chambered 20" bull barrel upper. With Nosler 55gr varmint over 25gr H335 I was able to shoot ~0.5" @ 100yds once but again, little experience. My guess is this should do great with the smaller pests up to ~ 200yd but iffy beyond 'cause it might be too hard to hit them tiny critters.

    I have handloaded a Tikka Varmint in 308Win for a handful of years, which can shoot 0.5" with the right handload. Doesn't have as flat a trajectory as the above options but compensates with more range.

    My take? It depending on the varmint size, of the three above, I think 17HRM for the smallest and 223Rem for up to gofer size. I am sure 223 will do great with 'yotes and larger. But i'd probably go with a lighter barrel rig for the such.

    If I were to do it all over again, in 22 caliber I'd try 22-250. Very fast, very flat, reasonable barrel durability, and low recoil.

    For the very long range varminting, if 264 Rem firearms and brass were more readily available, that'd would be my choice.
     
  5. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    .22LR .22Hornet or .22 K Hornet .223 .22-250 and .243win/6mmRem in order of power and varmit size. The .22's are great for sage rats and hoppers the .243/6mm are great dog guns.
     
  6. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    you could shoot a lot of 223 cheap compared to a 22-250 with only 3-400 fps lost
     
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  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    And yet they cost almost exactly the same to reload.
     
  8. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    .223 can be a good inexpensive varmint round. Large selection of bullets to choose from. For longer range the 6.5 Grendel is my choice. More than capable of 1000+ yd range. Neither round is a barrel burner, something to consider when choosing a caliber.
     
  9. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    The two most popular choices are the .223 and the .22-250. After I got my first .223, I bought two more. A few years later I sold my .22-250 because I didn't use it very often. The .223 is not quite as loud and the recoil is just enough less to make it more enjoyable to shoot. The .22-250 is faster with less bullet drop, but that can be compensated for.

    If you are a reloader there are lots of other options. The .221 Fireball is a good choice and you can buy factory ammo but it can be hard to find and be expensive. The .20 VarTarg is an excellent choice but you have to neck down Fireball brass and fireform loads but that isn't hard. The 6mmBR with light bullets is outstanding on varmints, but due to case design not the best choice for a repeating rifle.
     
  10. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    I've never seen a bag of once fired 22-250 brass for $20-$30 per 500 cases
     
  11. erslll

    erslll Hermiston OR Active Member

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    .204 Ruger. I wouldn't even think twice for squirrel/varmint hunting. Great round.
     
  12. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    .22 Hornet or .22 K Hornet. Low report, no real recoil, reasonable accuracy to 150-175 yards. My favorite thing about the hornet is that recoil is so lite that you can watch the impact thru the scope, that's fun!
     
  13. sandman1212

    sandman1212 NW Oregon Active Member

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    .22 long out to 125 yards works great, 17 HMR at that distance is devastating to rodents and small animals and for the little larger animals the .223 is a great round out to 300 yards.
     
  14. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    For very cheap components that are widely available, the 223 is very hard to beat.
    Like erslll, I fell in love with the 204R a while back as well. ShootersProShop has some REALLY cheap Nosler seconds.
    The issue I had with the 204 was early-on. There was some very soft brass being released.
    The biggest issue for me was the rate which sub-22 cal barrels develop hard carbon, if using many stick powders.

    Remember if you want to shoot on the cheap(varmint nightmares, dogtowns, low vel TNT's or SPSX bullets) to watch RPM in the faster twist barrels.
    MV * 720 / Twist = RPM
    Over on shootersforum I have all the major brands RPM limits for 22-cal bullets. The skinny is keep the light jacketed stuff below 250,000-ISH RPM and they will be fine.
     
  15. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    To 300 yards? Times 2?
     
  16. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    .221 Fireball. Makes a sage rat turn into a pink mist.
     
  17. BK13

    BK13 PNW Member

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    .204, .221 Fireball, .223... this one's out there a bit, but if you are not burning through a bunch of rounds, I kinda like my .220 Swifts.

    On the want to acquire list: .222, .22-250, .22 Hornet, .17 Fireball, .17 Hornet (maybe, depending on who offers guns)

    One the want to build list: .22-204, .223 AI, .22-250 AI

    Have, but don't use much: .17 Remington
     
  18. FarmerTed1971

    FarmerTed1971 Portland, Oregon, United States Well-Known Member

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    17HMR or .223