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BikerRN's picture
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Varmint Rifle

OK all, in the interest of generating some discussion, I need some help selecting a varmint rifle.

I'm trying to complete a 3 Gun Battery for all North American hunting. So far I have a .338 Win Mag and a 30-06. Now I need something for the lighter end. I've selected the .223 as my varmint caliber and need help deciding between two platforms.

The first is a bolt action. Either a Used Ruger with a laminated stock and a sporter barrel, stainless, for weather durability. If I can't find that on the Used rack I'll look for a new Tikka in stainless with a fluted heavy barrel. The next option is a Winchester 1885 Single Shot.

This is a small game rifle where coyotes are the biggest thing taken. I will admit to a prejudice towards the 1885. It's classy looking, has better resale value in my opinion, and I want one. My only question is, what are the negatives and cons of using a single shot as a varmint rifle? Is it feasible?

I have other rifles in various calibers but this would be for my 3 Gun Battery if I only had to select three. Anything the .270 Win can do I can accomplish with the 30-06. The .338 gives me, with my loads, a little more range and power. I already have an AR so I'm covered there. This rifle will be for shooting coyotes out to 400 or 500 Yards but generally closer. What say you all? Give me the pros and cons as I'm interested in hearing them.

Discuss.

Critter's picture
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That I know of the 1885 High

That I know of the 1885 High Wall doesn't come in .223 but for a .22 caliber it comes in .220 Swift.  For your other rifle ideas I would lean towards the Tikka.  It may be easier to get it to shoot to the ranges that you are looking at.  The Ruger is a fine rifle but it takes work to get them to be a tack driver.  Also the .224 caliber bullet really isn't that ideal for long range shooting when using the lighter bullets.  You will want to see if you can find a rifle with at least a 1-9 rate of twist for the barrel, that will stablize the heaver bullets if you want to shoot them which you can get in the Tikka and Ruger with a 1-8 in .223. 

For varmets 99% of the hunting I have done, I have done it with a Ruger #1V in .22-250 and have had fun doing it.  I topped it with a Leupold 6.5x20 AO VXIII and have no problem popping ground squirls out to 400 yards+.  Your biggest problem with a single shot is a follow up shot if needed but if you do your part it should't be. 

BikerRN's picture
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Thank You

Thanks Critter.
That helps a bunch in making my selection. I had a friend suggest a .223 in a bolt and he knows I already have an AR. I wasn't thinking of the .223 until he mentioned it. I was in fact considering a 25/06 or a 22-250 and leaning towards the 25/06.

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Your AR is a 223? I'd go for

Your AR is a 223? I'd go for a 243 bolt action. I have the 243 bolt and the 25-06 in a bolt.

BikerRN's picture
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.223

Don Fischer wrote:

Your AR is a 223? I'd go for a 243 bolt action. I have the 243 bolt and the 25-06 in a bolt.

Actually it's a 5.56 but I shoot .223 in it. 

I've been considering the .243 but I'm heavily invested in components for the 25-06.

Critter's picture
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I have been thinking and a

I have been thinking and a neat little round for varmets would be the old .250 Savage. 

SoCoKHntr's picture
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If not

Interested in saving hides the 25-06 or 243 will be excellent long range pred killers but will likely tear em up bad. Run into a nice bobcat you'd like to rug or mount and again might tear em up too bad. In my experience most shots are under 200 yds some out to 300 and many much closer into shotgun range. Most times I see coyotes at 500 to 600 yards its when driving not calling. With that being said I think the AR is the perfect pred gun in 90% of situations and I also like my savage predator bolt in 22-250 for when the range needs to be extended some. I really want to get my hands on the bushmaster predator AR in 223 or possibly 204 ruger in the near future. Great accuracy reports on that model.

tim
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I like my ruger #1 in .223

I like my ruger #1 in .223

charlotteB's picture
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That was cool. Perfect for

That was cool. Perfect for hunting.

BikerRN's picture
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.204

Strongly considering a .204 Ruger in a bolt action.

I had found a Winchester single shot in .223, complete with an octegon barrel, but passed on it as I'm not real fond of the caliber. Since everything I own could conceivably be used on deer/antelope sized game, or larger, I decided to look at even smaller calibers.

The 30-06 will be relegated to bad weather/brush/truck gun usage and I'll likely reach for the .338 Win Mag or 6.5 x 284 for any game animals I care to hunt.

Biker

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