Walk-about Varmint rifle


October 31, 2003, 12:25 AM
Eversince I read reviews of the Remington 700 Classic in .221 Fireball , I've sorta had an itch for one. But the Classics sold out pretty fast & are pricey on the various guns for sale sites.Buuuuut-- Remington now has a 700 Mountain rifle and a Stainless Synthetic light varmint out there in .221 And now comes along CZ with a 527 American in (tadaah) 221 Fireball. Decisions. decisions.... Btw, my "logic" for the .221 goes something like this-- father=in-law has a 100acre farm that is home to coyotes, armadillos,feral cats etc. These sundry & assorted critters have a deliterious effect on the neighborhood quail. So a light , handy rifle hith a tad more oomph than a 22 Hornet looks like just the ticket. Thoughts and/or comments?? .

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Dave R
October 31, 2003, 12:36 AM
I'd say that the best justification for a new rifle I've heard in quite a while. ;)

Good description of the mission, good needs analysis, good tool selection. Can't find anything to argue with.

October 31, 2003, 04:11 PM
Sparky, I had no idea you were so eloquent. Your steamrolling logic is absolutely beyond reproach, once you get by the ammo availability problem. In your heart of hearts, you know you must drink the reloading kool-aide:D

October 31, 2003, 05:08 PM
Tikka T3 in .223----lightweight----accurate---priced right.

No problems presented by an obsolete cartridge---as the .223 is here to stay.

October 31, 2003, 05:16 PM
The .221 is an improvement over the Hornet but why not go directly to the .223?

I've owned several .223 walk around varmint rifles including a CZ527, Tikka Whitetail Hunter, Remington Model 7 and finally a Sako Model 75. The CZ was the lightest of the lot but had very sharp magazine lips and I could never get the single set trigger adjusted in a way that satisfied me. The Tikka was the heaviest and the action was a .308 length requiring a spacer in the detachable magazine. The Model 7 was a very handy little rifle but it too is on a .308 length action and for my purposes I preferred a detachable magazine.

Eventually I went with a Sako 75 because it has an action scaled to the .223, a detachable mag (6 rounds) and adjustable trigger and as an added bonus a very nice piece of figured walnut. It is lighter than the Tikka, about the same as the Remington but heavier than the CZ.


October 31, 2003, 05:41 PM
LOL, you guys want to know what my varmint rifle has been the past 6 years? A big giant accurized AR15, thing weighs in at 15 pounds and is 48 inches in length.

Can get a little burrdensome to haul around, I look like I'm carrying a crew served weapon when I'm out walking around. COMMON VERMIN! MAKE MY DAY!

Anyhow, the concept of a "walking gun" has long since fascinated me. I'm right on the border of rebuilding one of my AR15s into a shorter distance varmint rifle in "walking gun" configuration.

I figure I'll go 16-18inch barrel, gonna try to go with an SP1 pencil thin type barrel to save as much weight as possible. Gonna likely use a fiberglass freefloating handguard. Optic will be something like a 3-9x or maybe a 3.5-10x Leupold so it can see dual purpose on some other rifles. I'll probably do as much as I can to lighten the thing down.

I want to go for around 6.5 pounds.

October 31, 2003, 10:14 PM
I am still shooting my old Remington 788 in .222 for lil varmints. The .221 is not quite as good, but then it always did make a darn good small critter getter. I say "Go For It"

Almost forgot, for my 'walk about' rifle, I have been using a Ruger 77 International Carbine in .250/3000 Ackley Improved. There is nothing in Florida or Virginia (where I hunt) that this rifle won't handle. Ground hogs to feral hogs, deer and varmints.

October 31, 2003, 11:13 PM
NEF .223 HD,

easy to use

Atlas Shrug
November 2, 2003, 09:14 AM
While I have no experience with the NEF guns per se, I would like to second the idea of a single shot. For "walking around" one should appreciate handy and light over repeat shots, etc. - especially given the use as a varmint gun.

I do have experience with a Ruger #3 in .22 Hornet that is dandy with a very, very good trigger. The T/C Contender carbine would be great as well (and they're still produced, unlike the #3). Either can be had in .223, which is more versatile than the .22 Hornet that I have.

If the NEF can be had with a decent trigger, check it out. I'm somewhat demanding on triggers, so I'd lean towards the T/C personally.

Any of the above with a compact scope (say a Burris 6X mini or the like) and a good sling should do the trick. That's how I have my Ruger set up.

Enjoy the walks....

November 2, 2003, 03:00 PM
My Varminter
.30 Carbine that weighs in at only 6.5 pounds fully loaded with the 30 rnd clip.


November 2, 2003, 07:49 PM
I have a winchester bolt gun with a thin barrel and laminated stock, very light, very nice trigger, nice bolt. .223. Fairly accurate with factory ammo. I killed a coyote with it a few days ago.

NEF are indeed quite nice for the price.

November 2, 2003, 11:27 PM
Everybody's pointed out good options & alternatives. Hutch knows that I sometimes gravitate toward the esoteric (odd) side of the rifle/cartridge combo. The 221 in a light rifle some how struck a chord. Everybody has a 223 of some variety, so I was originally leaning toward a 222, however I think the 221 will fill the billfor the purpose/conditions I'll encounter. No shot on the place will be over 150 yds. & since there is , lacking a better term. rural sprawl around the place, noise and other considerations come into play. Also some of the coyotes are very healthy and take a bit of xtra puttin' down. Besides it's a neat little round that will, in all likelihood Rev. Hutch,put me at the punch bowl of metallic reloading once and for all.(my foray with 45 Long Colt doesn't count ?)

Bob C
November 3, 2003, 06:52 AM
My Contender carbine with 21" .223 barrel and 2x7 redfield scope weighs a total of 6 lbs., and it will hold just under an inch at 100 yards for three rounds with it's favored load.

These can also be had in .221 or .222 if that's your preference.

Also if you're into the more unique, the 14" Contender pistols are also plenty accurate for 150-200 yard shots, and can be had in .221, .222, 0r .223.

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