Choose from Available Calibers for Groundhogs Under 100 Yards

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by DMW1116, Jun 28, 2022.

  1. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    My moms place has a bit of a groundhog problem. They live on her property but are undermining the foundation of the neighbors barn. They generally hang out about 100 yards or less from her porch.

    From the following calibers, which would be best for dispatching the little critters:

    22LR in Interceptor, HV, or SV loading.
    30-30 downloaded to 9mm level (135 grain cast bullet at 1100 fps)
    223 loaded at minimum level (55 grain soft point at 2650 to 2700 fps)

    Or should I invest in a crossbow. Through careful approach I could probably get within 50 yards.
     
  2. rayatphonix

    rayatphonix Member

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    Of those, I would choose the 223. I’ve used it with great success on groundhogs on my farm. That said, my preferred rifle for groundhogs is a 17 HMR.
     
  3. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    For over 50 yards I used 22 Magnum. The 22LR can be inhumane if not a clean kill. For what you have, I would pick the 30-30 but would miss a scope at 100 yards. You would have to sight in for that distance.
     
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  4. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    222 loaded with Bluedot. Your bullet of choice.
     
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  5. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    He will be shooting toward a building and anything inside, so I was cautious about choosing 223 at the velocities cited.
     
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  6. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    I like and use 223's loaded with 55 grain Nosler BT's over 4895. Work great on the chucks, but the bunnies are a lot more "explosive" and dramatic. :)

    Ive used 17's in the past too and they worked pretty well on the chucks. The bullets are pretty fragile though, and any vegetation in between can and does upset them. I hit a bunny with one that was just on the other side of my wifes garden. It was dead, but instead of the explosive result I usually got with them, its head was "shredded" and it appeared that the bullet must have clipped something in the garden and was already coming apart when it was hit.
     
  7. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I don’t want to buy another gun but if I did, I’d get a 17 HMR. The 30-30 doesn’t have a scope so unless I can get within 50 yards (I’ve paced out the area) it might not be precise enough.

    I have a scope on the 223 and 22LR. I’d need to try them both and zero them for appropriate distances.

    I could download the 223 to a stout 22 magnum rather than buy a new gun. It won’t cycle but it would work.
     
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  8. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I killed a lot of groundhogs with a 10/22 and a 3-9x32 Tasco scope growing up.
     
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  9. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    I went to the Cabela's in Gonzales , Louisiana on Sunday and they had a very nice supply of 22 LR ammo . There was even a Sale !!! A retro packaged box , 222 rounds of Winchester Super - X Power Point 40 gr. HP @ 1280 fps (Limited Edition) I didn't need any 22 LR ammo but the retro packaged boxes looked so cool , and there was no limit sign posted (it was stacked high, deep and wide in two places) I bought two boxes .
    My choice would be 22 LR ... there is a article in Rifle Magazine about hunting groundhog varmits in the latest issue ...Plus I found NO Primers and very very very little powder ... Titewad was about it .
    Gary
     
  10. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I agree with the .223 . I have killed them , bang flop with a ,22 under 50 yards head shots only .
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Between the three choices listed I would probably go with the .223. My Colt AR15 SP1, with iron sights is good to go out to 200 yds. and will get the job done at 100 yds. quite nicely.
    157Wxoc.jpg
     
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  12. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    In my experience a 22LR is not enough gun to cleanly kill a ground hog. They run and hide when wounded and die, we’re talking stink if you can’t get them out. Long ago I switched to a Mini 14 in 223 with tipped varmint loads. I’ve hit them at 70 yards and with varmint loads the results are devastating.
     
  13. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    Of those you listed 223 with varmint bullet. I hunt with a cross bow and hitting a ground hog at 50 yards would be a fantastic shot. and get expensive, you probably wouldn't be able to reuse the bolts after shooting into the dirt and they are over $5 a piece. my personal choice would be a 17hmr.
     
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  14. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Of the three you mention, I'd go with the .223, assuming you have a good backstop. My preference at that distance would be a .22 Mag.
     
  15. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I’m a decent shot with iron sights but only at paper. I don’t trust myself with them at living critters beyond 25-30 yards without a lot more practice. I’ll check my cast bullet manual for reduced loads and see what’s there.
     
  16. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Go with something fast.

    My in-laws had a groundhog issue and I used my 30-30 for one and a .45acp carbine for another.

    The 30-30 ripped it in half but didn't "shock" or "explode" the critter like high speed varmint rounds normally do. It drug itself over their concrete and died in its hole about 30 feet away, leaving a bloody mess that is still stained 5 years later.

    The .45 ACP left a hole, but didn't do any fancy ballistic fun stuff even with a hollow point. It died in its hole as well but took a long time since they were so fat and slowed the bleeding.

    Use a varmint round for a humane and less messy kill. There's a reason people use varmint stuff for varmints.

    So I pick .223
     
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  17. film495

    film495 Member

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    I would just tell the neighbors their groundhogs are starting to damage their barn, so they should take care of them if they care about the barn, and let the neighbors trap them or do whatever. I've caught a few in traps of the years, I just drive them up 5 miles near the river that runs through the area and let someone else deal with them. They probably end up in the corn fields in that area now that I think of it, so - you know, they get a few more days that way, but they likely are not saved by any means.

    I'd offer the neighbors half off a quote from a real pest control company, and just use the .22 probably with some high velocity hollow points. Why do you want to take care of this problem, once the animals go onto the neighbors property, they own them I think. Just like a tree on your property falls on their barn, as soon as it crosses the property line, it is their tree, and not your problem.
     
  18. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    Mostly because this is a gun forum not a “other reasonable solutions” forum.

    I won’t be back there for a couple weeks anyway. If the hoboes haven’t dealt with it and I get the chance I may take a rifle and some downloaded 223.
     
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  19. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    223 or 17HMR depending on the platform you like
     
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  20. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I’d ask you which gun you shoot well.

    30-30 is fine if you can hit the critters out to distance. Any body shot would likely kill or seriously maim it for a second shot.

    .223, same thing. If you and the gun are capable of 2” groups at 100 yards, you can certainly kill them DRT with any bullet, but soft points or varmint rounds would be my choice.

    You said you can get to 50 yards. Can you consistently make head shots at that distance? If that answer is yes, I see that being a viable option. If you’re only able to make body shots, I’d say you may end up with a lot of injured animals and not an ethical choice.

    YMMV
     
  21. Bob Willman

    Bob Willman Member

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    Place something that you can hide behind closer to the barn where the woodchucks are seen. Try to determine when ( times ) the chucks are out and about without disturbing them. Then 15 - 30 minutes before they come out to feed be behind your blind with a .22 and CCI Stinger hollow points. Wait patiently, move very slowly, take aim and fire. If the chucks are wary and go back home, don't leave, wait quietly with rifle ready and many times within a few minutes you will see a nose appear, then eyes and then if not alerted the whole animal will come out of the burrow to look around. I have taken woodchucks in an open field while laying 20 yards from the hole by waiting for them to appear. I remember three that were within 3 yards or less, and one that was only 3 feet away but that is not normal.

    NRA Benefactor Golden Eagle
     
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  22. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    That’s a good idea. They burrow beneath the barn, which is the source of the neighbors problems. They come over to my moms place to eat and forage. Still, a blind near their feeding area might work and allow a Minimag or Interceptor 22 instead of a centerfire. I haven’t seen Stingers in a long time here.
     
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    At our place they bring up rocks from their tunnels and put them on top of their mounds. Then the hay mower hits them and they break out a $300 window.

    So, we don’t fool around getting rid of them. Shooting is fun but less than ideal for pest elimination.

    I built this plow that creates a tunnel under ground and drops a thimble full of poison seed every 3 feet. I have yet to find anything more effective to get rid of underground pests.

    A43E79FD-1249-4238-9E7F-9730A46B99DD.jpeg BEDA42DB-C08F-4529-8298-8E09C4D077ED.jpeg
     
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  24. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Get that 22 zero'd and TCB. Save $.
     
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  25. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    22LR with HV hollow points. CCI Mini Mag, copper plated would be my choice. Or the higher-end Winchester Super-X.

    The trajectory will be fine at these ranges. There’s PLENTY of excess power. I hunt with airguns, and with a .22 PCP airgun running 30 ft-lbs of energy and a draggy projectile, groundhogs stand no chance out to 80 yards. A 22LR HV is more like 150 ft-lbs. and with a much more aerodynamic projectile. I'd zero at 50 and figure your hold-over closer and further.

    We "powderburner guys" (as the airgunners refer to us) often think we need more power than we do.

    With a 22LR HV HP, if you miss or pass-through, the damage to any building is going to be minimal, and with also a minimal risk of damaging something on down the line.
     
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