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Old 11-27-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
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Default Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

Hello everyone! I was just wondering what you all liked for a varmint rifle (Under $800) and caliber, and what bullet you prefer for shreddin' some varmints!
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:19 AM   #2
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

I hunt varments with my Bushmaster ar-15 and love it. Ireload my .223's withspeer 50 gr TNT hollow point bullets. I've shot several bobcats and countless coyotees with it with great results. They are very accurate out of my gun and do a great job of making a quick kill without totally messing up the critter.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:25 AM   #3
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

.22-250. As far as the gun, you'll be hard pressed to set up a decent centerfire varmint rig for under $800. Is $800 your total budget, or just for the rifle? Remember, a good varmint rifle needs good glass on top. I'm a fan of the Nikon Monarch 6.5-20x44 (don't know if they still make that exact scope anymore, though), but one will set you back about $600-650 just for the scope unless you can find a really good deal.

If I were shopping for a varmint rig I'd either be looking at the Coopers, but they're going to be a bit more than $800.


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Old 11-27-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

"Varmint Hunting" is a pretty big category. You really need to describe what type of varmint hunting you are wanting to do. Varmint hunting is my favorite thing to do, however I have a dozen different varmint rifles for different purposes.

Most varmint hunters are hunters who would like to shoot out to 200 or 300 yards. With your budget that would probably be the limit of the equipment you could buy with your dollars.

A 223 makes a very effective varmint rig out to 300 yards, and is probably the least expensive ammo to buy, that will still allow you to have accurate shooting(accurate enough for varmints).

Probably your biggest decision is do you want a lighter walikng varmint rifle. Or a heavy barrel fixed position rifle.

Single shots work fine for fixed position rifles. But for a walking rifle the magazine fed rifle works great. A magazine fed rifle is easy to load and unload, while having your ammo available in an instant.

A fixed power scope will allow you to buy better glass for a cheaper price. however fixed power scopes are acceptable on a fixed position rifle. But not the best for a walking rifle. Target knobs are really not needed for a 223 out to 300 yards. So you do not need to waste your money on the so called "tactical" scope. 12X is more than adequate for shots out to 300 yards, but 14X or 16X would be alright if you find a good deal. Also light transmission is not a big deal since twilight shooting will not be the norm. A good Bushnell 3200 or a scope in that range should do you just fine.

Some shooters will recommend a Savage rifle. And that is not a bad choice. It would not be my choice, but still not a bad choice.

If you have budget constraints then an Encore rifle would be a god choice. you could get a heavy barrel now, and a light barrel later on. But that is just an idea.

There are plenty of good walking rifles available. The Tikka light would make a great walking rifle. Also the CZ would make a great one also.

The Remington SPS Varminter would make a great fixed position rifle. And the are actually cheaper, or priced comparatively to the Savage.

As suggested above the AR platform is a great varmint hunting rig. I have a Rock River Varminter that is scary accurate. However there is 3 major problems with the AR. First they do not fit your price range. Second: I varmint hut in 5 states. the AR is only legal to hunt with in 2 of these states. Third: Some farmers will look at you like you are a terrorist if you pull out an AR to shoot ground hog's with. Their opinion may be wrong. However perception is reality. Tom.
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We need to stop using these terms today, "Sniper Rifle", "Tactical", "Assault Weapon".
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

With that kind of budget,you likely need to look at a savage or marlin bolt action (in .223,.22-250,.243,or 25-06) and use the rest on a good scope. I'm pretty sure the marlin don't come in smaller calibers however but just got 1 in shop and am impressed with it for the price. The cheapest "varmit" scope I've had good success with is the weaver V16. It's a 4x-16x-42mm scope with tall turrets,very good optics and tracking(adjustment reliability) for the price. They run289$ at www.swfa.com. Now,with about 400$ or less in rifle,and a lil less than 300$ in scope,you'll have enough left over for mounts/rings and some ammo.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:34 AM   #6
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

I love my 22-250 for varmit hunting. great flat shooting caliber that will reach out and touch something.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:44 AM   #7
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

I'm not a serious varmint hunter so I'd go for something more versatile than the .22's.Either a .243 or .257 Roberts would be my choice.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:25 PM   #8
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

.220 Swift, or 22-250 Rem. Good luck.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:46 AM   #9
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

If you are looking at $800 total including glass then I would recommend this
If you are looking at $800 for the rifle then I would recommend this

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Old 12-11-2008, 05:20 PM   #10
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Default RE: Best Varmint Rifle and Caliber?

I would definatley go the Savage route. They make an awsome 22-250 with the accu-trigger. Stainless steel barrel, synthetic stock, put a $350 nikon on it . All under $800 and you got an awsome varnmit gun. No need to spend thousands. 300yrd shots will be no problamo.
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