Varmint Rifle Suggestions

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by grouseguy, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. Glendale John

    Glendale John 6 pointer

    I bought a Ruger American Predator in .204. It's a bolt with decent action and rotary clip. Inexpensive,but it has a threaded barrel and a factory mounted scope rail. I mounted a Burris AR scope on it with an AO and target type elevation turret. I have $700 in it all new. It took some time to sight in but its size,weight,and performance make it my truck rifle for varmint occasion.
     
  2. Jacobhwrd

    Jacobhwrd 6 pointer

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    Jan 26, 2014
    Richmond, Ky
    If you go to the the firearms section you will see a post about the savage axis. I have one myself in 22-250 and have less then 600 in it and my worst group at 100 yards was 1/2 inch. This gun would be perfectly fine with just the stock options other then the trigger but you can fix that by cutting two coils off or buying a new trigger for $15. My vote would be a ruger American in 22-250 or 243. It's about 400-450 and comes ready to shoot.


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  3. grouseguy

    grouseguy Cyber-Hunter

    Well, it took longer than I intended, but I finally found my new toy. I was at Rural King and they currently have Savage Axis bull barrel in .223 for $199 (after rebate) and I brought one home. I should meet my needs just fine. Now, I just need to pick up a set of rings to get it set up and sight it in.

    Jaconhwrd,

    Can you tell me a little more about that $15 trigger you mentioned?
     
  4. Docwaters

    Docwaters 6 pointer

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    Prospect
    I have a 1968 Remington 700 in .222 with a Gibson scope, can't beat it.
     
  5. Tufrthnails

    Tufrthnails 10 pointer

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    Lakeland, FL
    Little update on the 17 HMR and yote hunting. I killed 7 yotes this year during my two weeks hunting in KY. 4 with the 17 and 3 with my .270 win. There were some long tracks to find the kills with the 17. not one exited which is great for hids if that is what you are after, but I think I am going back to hunting them with my AR. of course the .270 just made a mess of them with the SST rounds.
     
  6. Coyotes

    Grouseguy, I see you finaly got your varmint rifle. Congratulations. The .223 is a perfect coyote/varmint rifle for the eastern woods. Sorry, I did not reply to your post sooner but the Savage would have been one of my first suggestions for a low cost high accuracy varmint gun. I use a Remington mod 700HB in 223 for long range varmints. I have taken coyotes out to 300yds with it and shoot prairie dogs out past 500yds with it. Once took a badger at 450yds that was moving right to left. I just had to lead him a little, lol. Any centfire rifle will do, but the vast range of ammo choices for the 223, their high accuracy and low recoil make them a great choice. You will be able to maintain your sight picture to verify your shots. Several friends use the Savage and it is a jewel. If it has the accutrigger, it is easy to adjust. I use 40g or 55g Nosler Ballistic tips or Hornady Vmax bullets and a near max load of H335 for my best varmint loads. The 40g slugs are getting muzzle velocities of about 3600fps with no signs of OP and very good accuracy even at extreme ranges. The 55g loads are slower but more accurate and will retain a little more energy at longer ranges. We don't usually get extreme long coyote shots here in KY. You will be lucky to see one out past 300yds. Too much cover.

    In addition to the .223, I often use a 17WSM with the 25g Vmax round for locations where shots out past 200yds are rare. It is light, accurate enough for head shots at 200y and works well. The 17hmr will kill them but is a little light and out past 150y the wind really makes it tough. It is as accurate as the WSM but is not as flat. It will still hit a clay bird at 230y on a calm day. That is about the size of the coyotes head. Both of my 17's are Savages. They are not as devastating as the 223 but do the job. I live in Morehead and work in Ashland. I use a Foxpro caller as well as a set of Ruger calls on my Iphone with a can speaker to give the set up some dimension. I often howl with one and us a prey animal call like bird/rabbit/fawn etc to call with the other. Good scent management is critical for you and your clothing. Good camo too. I sometimes use a Ghillie but not always and depends on the location. Even with all that, it can be tough. These critters are smart and the ones in KY are not as hungry as those little ones out west.

    It is good to take a partner to watch your back. Where you are hunting is prime Bobcat and Mountain Lion country. Nobody wants to be calling yotes and have a big cat sneaking up from behind. Mtn Lions were spotted last year in Boyd, Floyd counties that I know of personally. Two killed in Fleming and Montgomery counties in the last two years. My sister has had three encounters with them on her Floyd farm in the last two years. Where I hunt in Fleming, we had seen Bobcats that are huge. They are more common than the ole Puma but less likely to bother a man. If you would like to come to Morehead and try this, I could take you with me after New Years. I want to let the deer seasons all play out first. Or if you prefer to take me to your farm, I might be able to meet you in the evenings after work as the days get a little longer in Carter Co at your place. The last 2-3hrs in the evening seem to be a good time to hunt them or at night during the night season (with shotguns). PM me if you are interested.

    I attached a pic of the Rem 223 and a 200yd group shot with it that was about 1/2moa. Also a pic of the 17WSM with the Green laminated hunter stock. Both are good for yotes.

    Irish


    17WSMc.jpg Rem 700HB Zil View.jpg Rem700 200yds c.jpg
     
  7. Jacobhwrd

    Jacobhwrd 6 pointer

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    Jan 26, 2014
    Richmond, Ky
    Sorry never saw you asked me about the trigger. I ordered mine off of amazon. It's just a replacement spring for the one that's in the trigger. It takes about 2 minutes to swap out. You can also just cut a coil or 2 off of the one you have but I prefer not to.


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  8. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

    10,763
    3,798
    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    I yote hunt LBL quite often through the winter.... which they only allow you to hunt yotes with the legal weapons that are allowed during whatever season is in... squirrel, rabbit ect... mostly small game. So..... your pretty much limited to rimfires or shotguns the majority of the time. However they do allow centerfire for the month of February.

    That said..... I use a 17hmr (Savage 9317) and have killed several yotes there. All have dropped on the spot and so far I've had no runners to find.

    Which most 17hmr ammo is loaded with bullets that fragment on impact. But CCI makes 20gr GamePoint ammo that will mushroom and penetrate .... this is what I've used on all the yotes I've killed at LBL.

    As such .... again I'm limited on what I can use at LBL... and if I'm hunting elsewhere I'm packing a 22-250. Which no doubt there's better options unless your limited to rimfires because of regs in a particular area. But the 17hmr will work on yotes with the right ammo and limiting your shots to 75yds and under.

    A couple with the 17hmr....

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  9. JD,

    Are you using head shots with your 17hmr or center mass body shots. Just curious. I did not mean to imply that the 17hmr will not work as it will and it does. I have not used mine much cause I am lazy. My HMR is a heavy bbl model and it weighs more than my WSM and since the accuracy is about the same, I use the WSM the most and my 223 when I need to reach out longer than the WSM is capable of. So, my experience with the HMR is still more limited. Thank you for posting your observations.

    Irish
     
  10. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

    10,763
    3,798
    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    No head shots ... basically try to aim right up the front leg / shoulder. Pretty much all have been a bang-flop deal. Which if you look at a coyotes anatomy... the heart is straight up the front leg..... if you aim behind the shoulder or futher back your screwed with small calibers lacking the shock and damage. As such just about any hit with a centerfire will anchor one..... you don't have that luxury with the pipsqueak rimfires.

    Which I'm not saying the 17hmr is a good coyote round ... wouldn't use it unless your limited to using rimfires like I am at LBL .. but in my opinion it's every bit as good or better than a 22mag or giving you a tad more distance than a shotgun. My original intent for using a 17hmr was for bobcat at LBL but I have only called up yotes.. lol.

    The ammo you use is key in my opinion as most of is frangible bullets available. The CCI GamePoint 20gr loads are the only ones I've come across that are not. Which the frangible stuff like V-max is fine for smaller critters but any contact with bone it's going to fragment and not penetrate.

    The right bullet... shot placement and limiting your range to 75yds and under is pretty much a have to case concerning yotes and the 17hmr.

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  11. CKYoutdoors

    CKYoutdoors 6 pointer

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    Nov 30, 2011



    What do you mean by mountain lions??
     
  12. Mtn Loins in KY

    I thought I was pretty clear. What I said was:

    "It is good to take a partner to watch your back. Where you are hunting is prime Bobcat and Mountain Lion country. Nobody wants to be calling yotes and have a big cat sneaking up from behind. Mtn Lions were spotted last year in Boyd, Floyd counties that I know of personally. Two killed in Fleming and Montgomery counties in the last two years. My sister has had three encounters with them on her Floyd farm in the last two years. Where I hunt in Fleming, we had seen Bobcats that are huge. They are more common than the ole Puma but less likely to bother a man."

    What I mean by Mountain Lions? Cougar, Puma, the Eastern Cougar. Scientific name: Puma concolor couguar. The official word from KY Dept of Fish & Game is that they do not exist in KY and that those few encountered were pets that got loose. I personally know this to be False". I have seen two in my lifetime. They were in Floyd and Knott Counties. Some years ago. A State Trooper killed one in Fleming about two years ago. I have a photo of it but was asked to NOT post it by a KSP official. A pair of Game Wardens killed one near Mt Sterling last year. That was made public but again they said it was a "PET". My sister has had three sighted on her farm in Floyd County in the last 18 months or so. Once it killed a 90lb Lab in her yard and two weeks later injured two more. The third and more recent time she saw one north of her home while hiking. I spotted tracks of one in Greenup county three or four years ago. I have work colleagues who also regularly see them near South Shore in Greenup County. Finally, a friend saw one while deer hunting in Knott County two years ago. Unlike the Bobcat, these animals all have very long tails (~3ft) and are about the same size as a large coon hound but far more agile. They usually do not come near humans so, I would normally not fear them. If you are using a remote call, they are going to come to the call if at all but if you are in their path?, well it helps to be prepared. Again I use mouth calls sometimes also. You do that and the predator is hunting you. I cannot speak for Western, KY but the Mountain Lion/Puma/Cougar is alive and well in the eastern counties. The addition of a healthy Elk herd may or may not be bolstering their numbers. But both of the ones I saw were well before the re-introduciton of Elk to Kentucky. I hope that helps. I will not post them here but if you want to PM me your e-mail address, I can send you pics of the Mt Sterling cat. The other one is not for sharing. Finally, it is hearsay but a childhood friend told me last month that he spotted one with his son while deer hunting last fall on my family farm in Floyd. That is less than a mile from where I saw my first one decades ago.

    If you are every near Ashland, I can show it to you in person. I have it in my office. In my opinion they are rare and not at all likely to be seen. But we have had many more sightings in recent years. They roam over a very wide territory and usually do not like other lions encroaching. So, chances of seeing more than one is slim. Still these days I no longer make a habit of sleeping in my stand, lol.

    I am gearing up to do some coyote night hunting this winter though and I would by lying if I said that the thoughts of a Puma coming in had not crossed my mind. There are no rules for hunting them in KY. State Fish and Wildlife told me that I can hunt thme anytime, with any method or weapon, night or day with or without a hunting license. That shocked me but it came straight from Frankfort. They are ruled as an "Exotic". Interesting.

    Irish
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  13. GrouseAssasin

    GrouseAssasin 12 pointer

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    Jackson, ky
  14. remman2

    remman2 6 pointer

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    Oct 11, 2014
    Popcorn time


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  15. riverboss

    riverboss 12 pointer

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    Jan 26, 2009
    northern ky
    I heard true rifleman270 was a victim of a puma in Lewis co but it was covered up by KFW.
    His family received a large check in return for their silence but a cousin that didn't get his share was spilling his guts at the yum yum in vanceburg.
    He said it had buried him so it could return later to feed but someone found his treasured magnum springer on a trail and knew something was bad wrong must of happened for him to leave his gun.

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