A New Varmint Rifle


December 21, 2011, 10:48 PM
I'm planning on putting together a new rifle for varmint, predators, and maybe even for antelope. Sportsmans Warehouse has the Weatherby Vangaurd available in several calibers for $349. Seems like a heck of a deal, another couple hundred for a decent scope and it should make a nice rifle for its intended purpose. I'm leaning toward 243, its a common load available in various bullet weights, fairly affordable, easy to find, light enough for coyotes yet big enough for pronghorns.
So, whats the opinions from the "Riflemen" here, good plan or bad idea. :confused:

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December 21, 2011, 10:53 PM
243 is a good choice for the range of uses you describe. i have no personal experience with the weatherby vanguard/howa 1500, but online reviews sure make it look like a good buy for the money.

December 21, 2011, 11:00 PM
I don't think you can go wrong with that set up. I own an old Smith & Wesson (Howa) in '06 and a 2 year old Wxby Vanguard carbine in 7mm-08. However, I replaced the triggers with Timneys. My .243 is a 1983 vintage model 7 Rem in .243. I've used it on antelope, deer and coyotes. It'll buck the wind alitle better with the heavier bullets when using it on varmits. Go for it.

December 21, 2011, 11:17 PM
my newish stainless 257 weatherby mag. vanguard has a trigger with absolutely no creep, light break. It shoots sub moa groups from a cool barrel. I've got it coupled with a Leupold VXI 4-12 mounted in QRW rings on a Warne tactical one piece base. I don't think it can get much better. Took a nice buck with it at over 300 yds.

December 21, 2011, 11:55 PM
Good idea .243 is a nice round but double check the twist rate of the bbl so you can shoot the heavier bullets that would be very versatile then.

December 21, 2011, 11:59 PM
1:10 will shoot the heavier hunting bullets just fine. It might have trouble with the heavy VLDs but those don't exactly fit into his stated use.

Mauser lover
December 22, 2011, 12:04 AM
Sounds good to me. I live next to Weatherby, but, alas, I have never really used one. .243 Win is my favorite theoritical cartridge.

December 22, 2011, 12:11 AM
I hunt hogs here in Tx with my Weatherby Vanguard in 30.06 and am very happy with it. I put a $200 scope on it and the bullet hits where I put the cross hairs every time.

hope that helps.

December 22, 2011, 08:30 AM
If I was putting together a "walking varmint rifle" today, It would be the Savage "Edge" in .223 with a Bushnell "Banner" 4-12X. I saw one of the Savage "Edge" at a Walmart three days ago for $267.00. The Banners are $99.00 at Academy Sports the last time I looked.

I have Weatherby Vanguard in .257wby. It had an atrocious trigger. 'bout 9lbs and gritty as light as I counld adjust it and still get sear to hold. I installed a Timney, and got it down to about 4lbs. (frankly, I'm disappointed with the Timney....).

The Edge is an interesting rifle. I'm told the .223's have a 1/9" twist. If so, they'll handle bullets up to 70gr in weight. My Remington Mod-7 has 1/12" twist and shoots the 65gr Sierra GameKings to ~1.5" for 5-shots @ 100yds. (25.5gr of RL15 @ ~2,900fps from 18.5"bbl.).

I've had excellent performance on Antelope sized whitetail deer with bullets from my .223's. Best has been the 60gr Hornady PtSpt and Sierra 63gr Semi-pt and 65gr GameKing BtSpt. For practical purposes they perform like a .243 w/100gr bullets.....
But, just like with my .300RUM or .375Ruger or .338/06 ect,; you have to hit them in a vital organ to take em' down.....
Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement........

December 22, 2011, 09:57 AM
I've got a Vangaurd in 7mm Rem Mag. I paid $500 for a first generation model with a wood stock (sporter not deluxe). They come with adjustable triggers, which I was able to adjust quite nicely.

If I were leaning towards a varmint rifle, I would consider the 240 Wby mag. This is a new addition to the Vanguard series. Previously they only offered them in the Mark V rifles. Several years ago I built a custom 240 Wby on a Mauser 98 and I couldn't be happier with it. It's a damn fun rifle to shoot. It was also Roy Weatherby's last cartridge he developed before he passed away. It'll outperform a 243 (and all other commercially available 6mms) any day of the week.

December 22, 2011, 04:17 PM
And ammo for it is expensive and all but unavailable as well. Performance of the .243 WSSM is basically the same with ammo easier to find and much more affordable. For a casual shooter, neither offer anything over the .243 Win.

December 22, 2011, 04:47 PM
The 240 Wby is approx 150 fps faster than the 243 WSSM. Plus those short mags are fugly.

Good point on the ammo cost. Any Weatherby ammo will be quite a bit more than a more common cartridge like the 243. I handload so this makes it a little easier to justify.

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