Which varmint rifle? - same post on TFL


August 17, 2007, 01:40 PM
I have listed below my three choices after much research. I like the heavy barrels and I like the 22-250 round. I am pretty set on this round so unless someone sees it as a huge mistake (if you do, please let me know), I am more interested in which rifle will serve me well for years to come. I plan on prairie dogs mostly, coyotes, ground hogs, etc. as well. All probably will serve me for years, but some first hand experience would be helpful. All three are within $50 or so where I shop, so no real price problem for me.

12 Series Varmint

Weatherby Vanguard Varmit Special

Remington 700 SPS varmint

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August 17, 2007, 07:33 PM
Disclaimer: I don't own, nor have I ever owned, anything that could be considered a varmint rifle.

That said, I've been reading up on some for a while and I would personally choose the .204 ruger over the .22-250 as ballistics are very similar, recoil is much lower, and barrel life is much longer due to it burning far less powder. I imagine this would make reloading cheaper too but I really don't know.

August 17, 2007, 07:48 PM
I'd go with the Savage. But the 12 VLP, BVSS, or LRPV might be better choices due to the stocks.

August 17, 2007, 10:29 PM
Does the 204 have the punch for coyote and other varmints? I really like the 204's ballistics as well but thought the 22-250 would cover more ground in the future.
Anyone else have an opinion on this now that the can of worms is opened?

August 17, 2007, 10:45 PM
The .204 is flatter shooting and about 500 fps faster but has no nearly as much energy as a 22-250 does. If i had to choose the .204 and the 22-250 to take a coyote id bet on the 22-250. If barrel life isn't a high deciding factor go for the -250.

August 17, 2007, 10:48 PM
How much barrel life difference between 204 and 22-250. Are we talking a thousand rounds, 5 thousand?

August 17, 2007, 10:48 PM

August 17, 2007, 10:52 PM
When it's all said and done, I suspect there's little difference in the three. I have Remingtons, but you might look hard at the Savage Accu-trigger. If you're going to carry much, the heavy barrel gets, well, heavy.

August 17, 2007, 11:02 PM
Thanks for the info all, give me something to think about that I thought I had decided on. I kind of discounted the 204 and had been making my decision between the 223 and 22-250. 204 does sound good though.
Any more thoughts on rifle choices?

August 17, 2007, 11:07 PM
22 BR Almost exactly the power of a .22-250, better brass (Lapua, run a 6mm BR in a .22 BR FL die), less powder, and potentially more accurate with the good brass and the small flash hole.

And there is .22-250AI, .220 Swift, and .22-243 Middlestead which will put all of the forementioned cartridges to shame.

Then there is TAC 20, 20 BR, .218 Mashburn...

August 17, 2007, 11:10 PM
"How much barrel life difference between 204 and 22-250. Are we talking a thousand rounds, 5 thousand?"

It is hard to give an accurate assumption of barrel lives based upon the fact that not all barrels are made exactly the same. You can give ranges that will give you an idea (im trying to find the article that had the chart for the ranges of barrel life, ill post it later). The higher velocity or more powder the round uses the faster the barrel and throat will wear. Because the 22-250 burns more powder its subject to faster throat erosion and more heat. Which leads to faster barrel wear.

August 17, 2007, 11:47 PM
Not an expert by any means, my only sod poodle/coyote shooting is with a .223 AR. The 22-250 has a long history and is an excellent round, particularly when you get over 300 yards, but it is also well known as a barrel burner. I'd have to guess that a .223 or .204 would get double the life of a 22-250, someone must have a link to some testing data.

I'd also go for the Savage, whichever model has the stock you like best. My next small bore gun will probably be a .204 Ruger for small varmit shooting, I'll stick with the heavier bullets in my .223 for coyotes though.

August 18, 2007, 12:00 AM
It's rare that I buy a gun without having to have trigger work done to whip it into shooting condition. The exception was the Savage Accu-Trigger I bought.

August 18, 2007, 12:46 AM
Coyote's aren't a tough animal, even here in Minnesota where they are larger than the desert version. 204 will dispatch them just fine. The ballistic tip bullets of both guns loose energy so fast on impact that I doubt you'd be able to tell the difference. The plus side of the 22-250 is it can be easier to find heavier "deer" type bullets (nosler partition) if you feel the need, but the ballistic tip rounds drop coyote's every time.

August 18, 2007, 09:26 AM
How about an AR lower and then you could get the upper of your choice. You could even get an upper in .223 and one in .204.
The AR is a great platform for a varmint rig.

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