AR-15 16in for Prairie Dogs


June 21, 2009, 09:36 PM
I have had this AR-15 for sometime and it has a 16 in barrel 1/9 twist. I have never really used it for much other than plinking, paper punching, and showing off to friends. I recently moved from Alaska to South Dakota and heard of the fun in the sun Prairie Dog shooting. I think this might be something I could get into. So I was looking into what I might need to help me along with this venture.

I would need some optics even though I have a 3x9x40 mounted on my .300WM. Honestly if that 3x9 is sufficient I might just swap it over instead of buying a new scope simply because I dont have a ton of money right now. I also planed on adding a cheek rest, 4-way rail system with a bipod, and maybe some various other things.

What I need to know is, will this rifle be sufficient with the 16in barrel? What bullet is recommended for this setup for varminting? I was reading around and it looked like a 55gr V-Max would be ideal. Would it be better from Sierra or maybe the Hornady TAP?

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Bob R
June 21, 2009, 09:41 PM
If it were me, I would swap the scope, use the 55grain V Max and try to keep my shots within a reasonable distance until I learned the rifles capabilities.

Further down the road when you can afford it, go looking for a varmint upper to put on the receiver. You can sometimes find them used for a reasonable price.

When you really get into it, you will have a bunch of bolt guns in different calibers.


June 21, 2009, 09:43 PM
I have the same setup and have yet to try it on p-dogs here in SD. Probably not a sub-moa rifle, but should do the trick. 3x9 should be fine, bipod would be a good idea.

Where are you planning to go for some dogs?

June 21, 2009, 09:44 PM
That will work fine, I shoot a heavy 16" barrel on one of my AR's with a 4-12 scope and it works fine out to 250-300 yards which is all I have used it at. The Vmax as suggested is a fine bullet, but any of the 45-55 gr. varmint loads should work fine.

June 21, 2009, 09:44 PM
double tap. nevermind

June 21, 2009, 09:55 PM
I was thinking of a different scope at some point and I know a 20in+ barrel would probably be ideal. Honestly, I was going to buy one because one of my AR upper is in need a re-barreling. It has a 11.5 inch barrel with 5.5 inch suppressor. I have put quite a few rounds through it and I have started to have some failures which have never happened before. I also made the mistake of shooting a lot of wolf ammo through it for plinking purposes.

I actually have my A2 upper with the 11.5 inc barrel and a stripped A3 upper just sitting around. So I just purchased a factory new 16inch upper from Gun Broker. This pretty much depleted my gun funds for now as I wanted to just purchase a barrel seperately. But apparently most barrels are on a 6-8 month wait.

JonB - I am not sure I have a few guys at work who say they know some great spots out here in Rapid. Apparently Farmingdale has a few good spots too. Its just hard to say as we are all nubs in this whole ordeal and just picking up what we can from other people. Another guy at work owns some land nearby on the res and recommended we go shoot there, but 4 white dudes running around with rifles might spell trouble out here I think.

June 22, 2009, 06:44 AM
my prairie dog ar's all have 18" or shorter barrels and i like them that way. i think 16-18" is ideal for a prairie dog ar-15.

i don't think a 3-9 scope is ideal in this application, but it is better than nothing. go over to cabela's and see if they have anything in their used scope basket or price out an alaskan guide and see if that is affordable to you.

stay away from real low end glass - a day on a dog town w/ low quality glass is a great way to get a headache you will remember for the rest of your life.

if you're going to do this w/ factory ammo, the hornady 55 v-max load is pretty good, but will get expensive in a hurry. suggest you pick up some ultra max ammo loaded w/ nosler b-tips for a more cost effective and accurate way of doing this. the ultra max stuff has always been very accurate for me.

i don't get to go dogging every week like i used to, but i still get out just enough to have a ball. i will typically go to red owl (about an hour or so out of sturgis), but it can be tough because so many of the ranchers poison the dogs any more.

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