Night Hunting Varmint Rifle
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:11 AM   #1
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Default Night Hunting Varmint Rifle

Ive been getting into predator hunting recently--fox/coyote. Do most of my hunting at night. I usually go with my younger cousin carrying a rifle and I carry a shotgun.
I usually like doing the calling/spotting and let him do the shooting.(surprisingly he's ok with this)

In PA you cannot hunt from a vehicle like in other states so must pack gear in and out. So Im usually pretty loaded down. My 22-250 weighs around 15lbs so its out.
Been thinking about getting a lightweight 223 rifle with a short barrel to use as my hunting setup. I already have the perfect setup (m4) but PA doesnt allow semi
Anyone know of any short barreled(16-18") bolt rifles that would suit my needs? Or am I gonna have to go the custom route.
Feel free to share your setups and even your hunting tips/stories as I am fairly new to pred. hunting and any good advice is welcome.
Thanks---Ken

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:02 AM   #2
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do you have any certain caliber in mind?

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:52 AM   #3
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Pretty much set on 223. Most shots will be inside 100yds, majority will probly be closer than that, dont figure to be shooting 200 unless optimum conditions. .223/5.56 should be perfect.

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Old 09-22-2009, 05:11 AM   #4
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Ruger makes a 77 Compact in .223. I have no experience with it but it's a Ruger 77 so it can't be too bad.

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Old 09-22-2009, 06:30 AM   #5
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I had a Savage 110 in .223 and it was a great rifle. If I remember correctly (and I may not), it was a 110 E. I also don't remember the barrel length, but it was pretty handy.

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Old 09-22-2009, 06:35 AM   #6
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what Moss said above, 16 1/2 in barrel in .223,,, (ruger hawkeye),also tikka and rem both have sweeet 20 in barrel .223's,ive had both the rem and tikka and for the money tikka is hard to beat(free float barrel,2-4 lb trigger)mine is a 25-06 and is a great shooter!

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Old 09-22-2009, 01:16 PM   #7
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through experience i have found that if your dedicating a rifle to NIGHT varmint hunting, use a shotgun with a removable choke, preferrably 3.5" magnums.

if your sure your shots will be under 100 yards, a few more seconds to bring them into 75 yards will be bring them into range

use dead coyote loads and choke (expensive, but worth it) and a red dot.

those coyotes and foxes seem to appear from nowwhere, and sometimes run right in front, to the sides, and in back of you as they are coming in to "finish off whatever is dying (your calling) and get something to eat".

many times by the time you get the crosshairs with a rifle on target, try to illuminate the target, try to find the crosshairs in the dark, loose you night vision due to the illuminated cross hairs (if you use them), the coyote or fox moved on you.

a shotgun and patience is to doing this at night, during the day by all means take the .223

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Old 09-23-2009, 01:12 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tips everyone, keep em coming!!. I have been using Moss500/red dot with 3" Dead coyote or #4 buck with a hastings extra-full. Good patterns past 50.
Decided to get rifle with low magnification variable scope for longer shots, plus I just enjoy hunting more with a rifle, thats just me.
If ya dont mind me asking TopPred, I see you're from PA as well, what type of light setup you using?

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Old 09-23-2009, 01:59 AM   #9
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I got a ruger m77 mark II frontier rifle. It is a 7mm08. Shoots very flat. Barrel length is a little over 16", but accurate. Great gun but the ammo is a bit stiff.

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
Thanks for the tips everyone, keep em coming!!. I have been using Moss500/red dot with 3" Dead coyote or #4 buck with a hastings extra-full. Good patterns past 50.
Decided to get rifle with low magnification variable scope for longer shots, plus I just enjoy hunting more with a rifle, thats just me.
If ya dont mind me asking TopPred, I see you're from PA as well, what type of light setup you using?
i was using the night tracker scope mounted clamp setup with pressure switch, however it was a bit awkward and i don't like the idea of stuff hanging on my scope. what i am doing now is using a small rechargable for scanning, and if i spot something i have a focusable beamed flashlight i picked up at walmart attached to a rail i put on the side of my rifle stock / shotgun slide via a 1" scope ring. the flashlight has a tail cap actuater that can be easily operated from how i hold the gun or prone position with the bipod.

i put a clear flip up scope lense cover over the flashlight lense colored with a sharpie to tone down the amount of flash, i get about 60-70 yards with the yellow cover, 50 yards with red, and about 125-150 without, with fresh rechargable batterries.

the whole setup cost about $25.00 including batterries, is easily detachable, and is low profile, is not cumbersome, and transfers from one gun to another easily.

i had a savage 24 combo gun that i was using for fall turkey (.223 over 12ga) that i sold 2 years ago. when using that got a bit "easy" i went to .22mag for birds. i should've kept it as now that i'm into varmint hunting big time, that rifle gives you the long and short distance capability, and could be a solution to the your dilema. only drawback is that it is a heavy gun. advantage besides the long / short capabilty is being a single shot, your forced to use patience and keep the first shot the most important one, which should be the case with any gun.

i'm also going to start taking a .357 revolver with a red dot on it for those times the critters run up on me.

P.S. - like Quiet Riot!
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