Best versatile rifle round?
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Best versatile rifle round?

My buddy and I are planning a trip to South Dakota for a prairie dog hunt. I need to buy a new bolt action rifle and was wondering about some opinions on versatile rifle rounds. My intentions for this round will be for varmints at distances of upwards to 500 yards. And then for possible deer hunts in open range country as well. I do plan on reloading for this rifle as well. And if you have and suggestions for a good rifle with a price tag of upwards to $700 I would appreciate it. Thanks for all the replies.

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Old 03-27-2013, 07:16 PM   #2
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To address all the topics above it definitely rules out rounds like the 223/5.56, 22-250 and the normal closer range prairie dog calibers. By adding in the facts of deer hunting and in open range country the brings another area to the table. In addition to the mention of 500 yard ranges. A lot of it has to do with the budget of reloading and what you want to do in that area. Obviously purchasing larger caliber ammunition for a lot of shooting is very costly and particularly for prairie dog hunting where it is nothing to shoot several hundred rounds in a day. For an all around rifle caliber although there are others that I like better would be the 30-06 cal. You can shoot 110 grain varmint loads in it 150 grain bullets for deer for example and up to around the 220 grain bullets and specialty bullets for bigger game. Another thing that you must contend with while shooting in the open range country is "Wind". Next for a basic caliber gun I would suggest the 270 Winchester round. You can find a good rifle in the $700.00 range but do not forget that the optics and mounts are as important if not more important than the rifle you are mounting it on. So do not skimp on the Scope! Remington in the 700 Models, Howa in the 1500 Models, Savage in the 110 series are all great choices. Personally I hunt prairie dogs with a 6.5 Grendel and deer,and bore with a Remington 700 CDL 7 MM Remington Magnum. Sometimes a 223/5.56 Rock River Arms 20" Varmint Gun for closer work up to 200-300 yards. I have found the wind out on the planes really affects the 223/5.56.

Good luck on your choice!

03

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Old 03-27-2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper03
Free 7

To address all the topics above it definitely rules out rounds like the 223/5.56, 22-250 and the normal closer range prairie dog calibers. By adding in the facts of deer hunting and in open range country the brings another area to the table. In addition to the mention of 500 yard ranges. A lot of it has to do with the budget of reloading and what you want to do in that area. Obviously purchasing larger caliber ammunition for a lot of shooting is very costly and particularly for prairie dog hunting where it is nothing to shoot several hundred rounds in a day. For an all around rifle caliber although there are others that I like better would be the 30-06 cal. You can shoot 110 grain varmint loads in it 150 grain bullets for deer for example and up to around the 220 grain bullets and specialty bullets for bigger game. Another thing that you must contend with while shooting in the open range country is "Wind". Next for a basic caliber gun I would suggest the 270 Winchester round. You can find a good rifle in the $700.00 range but do not forget that the optics and mounts are as important if not more important than the rifle you are mounting it on. So do not skimp on the Scope! Remington in the 700 Models, Howa in the 1500 Models, Savage in the 110 series are all great choices. Personally I hunt prairie dogs with a 6.5 Grendel and deer,and bore with a Remington 700 CDL 7 MM Remington Magnum. Sometimes a 223/5.56 Rock River Arms 20" Varmint Gun for closer work up to 200-300 yards. I have found the wind out on the planes really affects the 223/5.56.

Good luck on your choice!

03
Thank you for the huge amount of information! How do you feel about the .243 Winchester? I should mention for using this rifle for deer I would be looking for max distance of 300 yards. Just starting out with this type of hunting so I don't want to get to overboard. I'm used to northwest Indiana deer hunting where my shots don't go farther than 100 yards from a tree stand.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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for 500 yards on a small prairie dog how about the 7mm mag? its flat shooting which will help at the longer distances.

.308 or 30/06 gives you good choice for loading varmint to deer rounds.

wind and ballistics effect these two more than the 7mm.

300 yards with a 243 is very do-able. but i would rather have a little bit more rifle at that range. anything closer than 300yards and the 243 is great.

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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The 6MM Remington would be a better choice than .243 to address your needs. A good heavy barrel 6mm loaded with 85-90 grain bullets is fully capable of 500 yard varmint hunting if the shooter is up to it.

But if you want to shoot 500 yards at small targets, a scope capable of that will cost you over $500.

And the choice of scope is even more important than the choice of rifle.


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Old 03-27-2013, 10:35 PM   #6
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Free 7,

The 243 Winchester is an good round for both, providing you have excellent shot placement on Deer and staty within or close to 200 yard range. Farther out it is a little light for deer sized game. But a very accurate round. I have shot 243 Win. for years in my Sako Finnbear Varmint Rifle and it is certainly a good round for coyotes and varmints and deer but not a long range caliber for deer. For deer shot placement is critical as it is important with any caliber. But with the 243 it is slightly more important. And also to select the right ammunition for the game you will be shooting. For example for deer the 85 gr. or 100 gr. bullets. It is also a veery flat shooting round and averages in the area of 3500 fps. velocity range and higher with light varmint loads. Not a bad choice!

03

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Old 03-27-2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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22-250, 243, 308, 30-06. I've seen 308 and 30-06 hit their mark at 1000yrds.

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Old 03-28-2013, 01:10 AM   #8
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.32 ws?

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Old 03-28-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Pick from one of these: .243, 6mm Rem., 6mmx.284, .250 Savage, .257 Roberts, .25-06, 6.5x55, .260 Rem., 6.5x284, 6.5-06.
ct

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Old 03-28-2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper03
Free 7,

The 243 Winchester is an good round for both, providing you have excellent shot placement on Deer and staty within or close to 200 yard range. Farther out it is a little light for deer sized game. But a very accurate round. I have shot 243 Win. for years in my Sako Finnbear Varmint Rifle and it is certainly a good round for coyotes and varmints and deer but not a long range caliber for deer. For deer shot placement is critical as it is important with any caliber. But with the 243 it is slightly more important. And also to select the right ammunition for the game you will be shooting. For example for deer the 85 gr. or 100 gr. bullets. It is also a veery flat shooting round and averages in the area of 3500 fps. velocity range and higher with light varmint loads. Not a bad choice!

03

03
I think I'm going to go with the .243. I still want to do a little more research on loading possibilities for it and maybe a few other possible rounds. Thanks again for your help.
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