Need help choosing a p'dog gun??


September 3, 2008, 10:09 PM
Hi, I am planning on a P'dog hunt next May-June. I load for .223 so that is the caliber I will stick with. Now I found a used model 11 Savage bolt gun but it has a tapered barrel but very reasonable. Next is a model 12 Savage ss with a thumbhole stock fluted varmint barrel, but twice the cost. Now I won't be P'dog hunting every weekend so give me some feedback. If I found the right used gun with a scope, I may go that route. I just don't know if I will need the varmint/bull barrel or not. Thanks for your help. Mac

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September 3, 2008, 10:39 PM
Don't know about Mississippi but out in west Texas the P-Dog shooting can get hectic. I find the heavy barrel on my 12 FV to be a little better than regular sporter weight barrels and for me it's easier to keep the heavier barrel on target off a bipod.

September 3, 2008, 11:23 PM
Hey Browninguy, We don't have p'dogs here in Mississippi, we are going to Texas , Wyoming or Colorado. Where in Texas is closest to us that have good hunting? Any info is appreciated. Thanks Mac

t george
September 3, 2008, 11:45 PM
well in big spring texas there is a healthy herd of pdogs at the air port but those are off limits but they have a truck with a big vacum and they suck them right out of the hole its kinda interesting to watch just thought i would share:) now back to topic it seems to me that you should get what u feel u can afford and which ever fits u best my uncle has a stevens 200 witch shot suprisingly well and its not to hard on the wallet pretty much a savage without the accu-trigger

September 3, 2008, 11:50 PM
With an approximate number of 50,000 human residents, even Pronghorn Antelope outnumber people. Prairie Rats outnumber everything within that vast and beautiful state. The Red Desert surrounds nearly everything. Prairie "DOGS" and scorpions live up to and including the streets of Rock Springs, WY. Lack of Jobs are the main reason few people live in Wyoming. West Vaco mines are the major hiring factor. Care to work underground for 12-16 hours a day, six days a week? Wyoming is a natural world of wonder and beauty, but most people cannot afford to live there. New Mexico offers little more, unless you have a get-rich-quick angle. Colorado offers natural beauty, but costs an arm-and-a-leg to live there. The Midwest offers both palatible living conditions and egress to great hunting if one can afford the time and GASOLINE prices to get there. I've lived there; I moved to Southwest Michigan, yet Northern Illinois offers the very best in decent job availability. cliffy, the retired

September 4, 2008, 12:13 AM
for pdog, you need the heaviest rifle you can stand, with the thickest bbl.
you can carry, or move.

September 4, 2008, 08:22 AM
Been shooting prairie poodles for several years. My friend whose land we shoot on uses a Mini 14. You know, the rifle that is supposed to be so inaccurate? And a bolt actioned 22 long rifle from some E. Bloc country in the 70's, and he doesn't have problems shooting them.

Myself I have used a Mosin Nagant, a PTR91, a V93 Vector, a CZ 527 LUX (with the soda straw barrel) and have had good success with them.

The key IMO is to have a rifle that you shoot well, and ammo you can keep sub MOA, and an ability to read wind. A range finder and a suitable scope will also make your outing more enjoyable.

Art Eatman
September 4, 2008, 10:43 AM
I've done quite well with a Ruger 77 Mk II light sporter in .223. Good to 300 yards, easily. I don't get in a big hurry to see how many I can shoot in a short time, though. The most I've shot in five hours or so was around 50, I guess. Shoot some, alternate with my shooting partner while he bangs away. Take a snack break. Leisurely social deal.

But, lotsa folks are more serious about it than I am. :D

September 4, 2008, 11:00 AM
With an approximate number of 50,000 human residents
You mean 500,000?

My uncle swears by 17HMR in a Handi Rifle, out in West Texas. Most of his shooting is at the pasture adjacent him, so shots are under 125yds.

Stevens 200 is a good bet.

September 4, 2008, 12:51 PM
for pdog, you need the heaviest rifle you can stand, with the thickest bbl.
Exactly. The rifle I built for Pdogs is a Savage Model 12 LRPV. I wanted .223 but ended up with 22-250 as that was the only rifle I could find for sale used on gunbroker. The big problem I had with it was the trigger slowly got heavier and heavier as fouling and crud built up on the shelf-esque accu-trigger and the extractor only extracted about 20 rounds successfully out of 2500. I don't know if it is just my rifle or what, but a friend of mine has a model 110 in .223 that does the same thing.

You really need a lot of weight if you are going to shoot where it is windy. 13-14lbs of rifle and it was still moving around with the wind. Also, if you get into a big town, your POI will start to move if your barrel gets too hot, so the bigger the better to absorb all the heat. Maybe not if you don't shoot a lot in one string, but in my case, when we got into them there were a bunch.
My uncle swears by 17HMR in a Handi Rifle, out in West Texas. Most of his shooting is at the pasture adjacent him, so shots are under 125yds
My dad used 17hmr when we went, but he was having a time trying to get on target before I did. He was mostly hunting from the truck, while I was walking around. Most of my shots were 200+ yards and about a third were 300+ which pretty much rules out 17hmr.

September 4, 2008, 07:16 PM
Shooters killed 15,000 PD on our ranch this summer. Most popular calibers seem to be .223 and .22 rimfire, with some 17's thrown in for fun.

September 4, 2008, 07:46 PM
.50 Bmg

September 4, 2008, 09:38 PM
Awwww... don't hunt me, bro!


September 4, 2008, 09:59 PM
Cliffy, I live near Rock Springs and it is WAY to dry for PDs out here right now (except for on the golf course but they won't let me shoot out there). Laramie, WY has a ton of prarie dogs around it. It is the best place I know of in Wyoming to hunt PDs.

Iggy, what part of the state do you live in? I have been looking for a good place in WY to hunt prarie dogs for a while. Any help would be great.

September 4, 2008, 10:55 PM
Encoreman, I'm in Houston and there isn't anything fun here. I got to shoot on a ranch about 75 miles west of San Antonio last spring and it was great. We set up about 200 yards from a Pdog town and started there, eventually taking shots out in the 400-425 range.

Unfortunately I don't know about public places as I really on the kindness of rich guys. I do a good job sucking up throughout the year, then get invited on 2-3 deer hunts and 2-3 Pdog shoots a year on private ranches. There are a couple of places west of San Antonio that do Pdog shooting on a commercial/guided basis.

October 8, 2008, 11:26 PM
I've "dinged dogs" in co, wy, mt, nd & sd. the thing i would suggest is a heavy barrel .22-250. I use a remington xr-100 topped by a 6.5-20 burris fullfield2. I've hit them as far as 450 yards and as close as 15 feet. just be sure to have LOTS of ammo and water with you as you can be quite far away from supplies in a good dog town. IMO it isn't as much the caliber you shoot but rather, cleaning your weapon. shoot 20 round strings and then clean your barrel. when the barrel is hot, it should clean easier. and that will also give it time to cool sufficiently. that's how ive always done it and, my xr has had 2500+ rounds through it and still will touch a 5 round group at 100 yards. ( i shoot 40g hornady v-max moly coats in my rifle) remember, take care of your weapon and, it will take care of you...

October 9, 2008, 12:01 AM
saiga .223

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 9, 2008, 12:55 AM
Get two sporter weight barrel rifles, and let one cool while you shoot the other one - then you have two rifles.

Otherwise, yes, if you get into them, you will want the heat dissipation, esp. in the summer.

Coal Dragger
October 9, 2008, 01:24 AM
Cliffy knows very little about Wyoming it seems.

The population of the state is not 50,000, more like 490,000. There are lots of jobs in Wyoming especially in the Gillette area. If you know how to weld, wrench on really big diesels, operate heavy excavating equipment, or drive a haul truck there are about 15 different mines I can think of off the top of my head that will pay you $60K/year to go to work. That is just the coal mining industry, which is not underground mining but strip mining via drag line.

If a person doesn't like mining oil and natural gas wildcatting firms are looking for people to work too. Or construction workers. In some towns in the state it is impossible for fast food places and gas stations to keep good people because anyone with half a brain, a pulse, and the will to work can make $20/hour with out too much trouble.

Now with my geography lesson out of the way for a guy looking for prairie dogs in Wyoming I have a few suggestions. Try some of the national grasslands areas around Newcastle, WY working your way east and south along the BNSF rail line. I see more damn dogs than a guy could shoot in a lifetime. The downside is the land owners will charge you money to shoot from what I hear.

Also don't rule out South Dakota. If anything I think we have more prairie dogs than Wyoming. Anyplace around Edgemont, SD in the Buffalo Gap National Grass Lands can yield dog towns of good size. Edgemont is roughly 60 miles from Newcastle. Good luck.

October 9, 2008, 03:36 AM
Get you a CZ 527 Varmint, or American in .223. Great rifle for P-Dogs, ground squirrel, or coyote.

October 9, 2008, 01:39 PM
I have enjoyed the Tikka Varmint in .223 for such expeditions. It is topped with a 6-18 Zeiss and added a Harris Bipod. The setup shoots brilliantly.

Also, working at a coal mine sounds terrible!

October 9, 2008, 09:56 PM
MAN!!!!, all them P-dogs you guys have dinged, ya,ll cook em up for an alternate food source or what?? :neener::neener:

October 9, 2008, 11:04 PM
saiga .223

sorry, but have you ever tried to shoot a PD at any range other than point blank with a sagia???:D

The savage 12 thumbhole is a accurate and fun gun. the tikka varmint is likewise a good choice

October 9, 2008, 11:59 PM
there really arent too many pdogs in texas, proly would have to go further north and west , in the state. I hunt for everyhting but pdogs, around the college station area, also west columbus, both about 1 hr away, everything from hybrid vultures, to piggies, to coyotes, to deer.

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