looking for a cheapish varmint rifle.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:27 AM   #1
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Default looking for a cheapish varmint rifle.

Hi, i just started looking for a new rifle today. ive wanted a nice, accurate smaller caliber rifle for awhile but havent really put much time into finding one.
this will mostly be for fun and getting rid of pests. usually within 100 yards, but id really like the ability to shoot up to 200 yards accurately, and further is always nice.

i was looking at some 22 mag lever actions at the gun store today, the henry golden boy was very appealing. i know i should be looking at bolt action if i want accuracy, but a lever action 22 mag seems like it would be on of the funnest guns i could find for under 500 bucks. i wouldnt use a scope, just keep it cheap simple and fun.

as far as bolt actions there are sooo many out there and in different calibers, i have no idea where to start. .17hmr seems like an awesome round, better distance than 22 mag, just not sure about stopping power.

im about a year into owning my first firearm, so im pretty new to guns. and id like to keep in mind sharpening my skills when choosing. i do plan on getting a .308 or 30-06 bolt action in the future. and it would be nice to "train" with something before then.
id just like a couple rifles to decide between, as i really dont know where to start. and any advice on caliber or anything else would be great.

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Old 02-28-2011, 05:30 AM   #2
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forgot to add, i was also considering getting a lever/revolver in the same caliber, probably 357 mag, as im planning on getting a revolver soon, and it would be pretty neat to have a lever action to match. and though its a bit larger than something like 22 mag, its still something id consider. and it could be nice for any larger pests i need to take care of.

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:02 AM   #3
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I use a 22lr,22 mag, and 17hmr for getting rid of furry creatures that wander into my sight. Depending on the size of the critter and the distance I'm looking at would dictate what I want to shoot at them. A 17hmr does not have much trouble at all making short work of varmints. But wind does play a factor in how the round flies being it's pretty small. On a relatively still day I've picked off crows out around 150-175 yards and it's kind of like a feather bomb going off. The hills around me make longer shots not all that common. More wind I would rather have the 22 mag as it's a little harder to push around. The Remington Premier Magnum is a great round for critters. I've been trying the Dynapoint rounds form Winchester too but they are not quite as good. They are cheaper though and make fun shooting a little easier. Out to 100 yards it's a 22lr. I have a few different ones and none has a problem at all at that distance. I figure if I can head shot an opossum and it stops right there it's done plenty good enough.

There's a lot to be said for a revolver and rifle in the same round. I've got the combo in 22lr and 44 mag and am looking for a pair in 38/357 at some point.

Everything comes down to what are the distances you are really going to shoot and what is the critter you are wanting to make fall over. I have an AR that works wonders at great distances compared to the ones I mentioned earlier in I need it or am looking at something a little bigger like a coyote. The smaller rifles get most the work though being I really don't see many coyotes around here anymore and I'm in no shape to hunt them these days.

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Old 02-28-2011, 10:03 AM   #4
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The 22mag will handle anything small game wise out to 100 or 150 yards same with the 17 hmr. Now when I say small game I mean varmint. Fox and Coyote are not on that list. This is my personal point of view as well. The 22 map and 17 hmr require a large step up in ammo cost over the 22lr.

Anything over 150 yards is moving into centerfire territory. If you can afford it a Ruger 17/22 Hornet would make a great 250 yard and under varmint getter. Not much louder than a 22 mag not any more recoil but an increase in power. It can be reloaded to bring cost of ammo down but the pesky 22 hornet brass is thin and fragile expect to destroy a bunch when starting to reload. If you don't reload they can cost more than the 222 or 223 round.

The 223 is like the chevy small block of the varmint world. You can get it in just about any flavor you want. It comes in bolt actions semi-autos (Mini-14, AR-15). It can be loaded with bullets as low as 35gr all the way up to 80gr (1:7" twist required). The nice thing about the 223 is factory ammo is out there for just about anything you want to do with it. Want to shoot a bench rest match Federal and black hills make match ammo loaded with 53gr Sierra Match King bullets. Varmint hunting I prefer the 50gr Hornady V-Max it will make a huge mess of a varmint out to 400 yards. I shot a ground hog at 350 and the little 50gr pill ripped his guts out and spread them over 5 or 6 feet.

I right now have 2 223 a Remington 700 VLS topped with a Nikon Monarch 6.5-20x42mm and a Rock River Arms Predator Prusuit Rifle both are super accurate but both set ups have over $1000 into them. With scopes mounts rings and rifle cost plus the extras like aftermarket trigger (On my Remington) and other goodies.

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Old 02-28-2011, 10:07 AM   #5
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I so totally forgot to address your cost factor.

Take a look at Howa 1500 for a lower cost bolt gun. If you need something that is even lower cost take a look at the H&R handi rifles. They have a varmint line. I would go for the 223 myself. If you really want a varmint snuffer they make a 500 Smith Mag that sure would be hell on squirrels and what not.

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Old 02-28-2011, 03:13 PM   #6
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mossberg makes some smaller caliber rifles. they are a decent price also. how are these rifles?

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:35 PM   #7
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You could buy my mini 14.

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Old 02-28-2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctherock View Post
You could buy my mini 14.
Now that is funny right there.....
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:53 PM   #9
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i plan on getting a 700 in 308 in the future, so for now im looking for something cheaper.
does anyone have some experience with a lever action in 22 mag or any other small caliber? if i could be accurate up to 100 yards, id be happy. henry makes one in 17hmr which is pretty tempting, though id consider going with something bigger like 357 mag or similar as it would be much better for slightly larger animals, ive got a sig 522, but i dont trust it to be accurate much past 50-70 yards, and id rather not use it on anything bigger than a rabbit.

if i can find a cheap .223 bolt action today when i look around i might consider it, but id still rather have something smaller to fill the void when i drop much more money on a .308 700.

and a lever action seems like it would be an awesome gun for under 100 yards.

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Old 02-28-2011, 05:56 PM   #10
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so after more looking around ive got a good idea on what small caliber bolt actions to consider.
but i know a lot less about levers, so if anyone could help me out with finding some lever actions, and choosing a good small game round that would be great.

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