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Best prairie dog rifle?

Old 08-23-2007, 12:21 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Best prairie dog rifle?

Okay, I went out the other day to help a co-worker out with a prairie dog infestation that he is having a problem with. He has about 100 on about 50 acres out of his 640 acres but is wanting to keep them from spreading any further.

I went out a few evenings ago and tried to work them with my Ruger 10/22 and wasn't very successful. I feel good out to about 50 yards with the .22 and they just don't let you get that close. I stalked a few and am pretty sure I hit a few, but they were all able to get back in their holes even if I did hit them.

I've been looking around and I could pick up a Marlin 917 .17 HMR bolt action rifle for $208 at academy ($298 for a stainless laminate version) and from looking around this would be able to reach out to 100 to 150 yards and I was routinely able to get that close to them before they ran for their holes. I could probably pick up a cheap scope and get it all setup for $500 or so.

Not sure I want to spend that much to have a rifle that is just good for prairie dogs.

Any tips or tricks to get within 50 yards of the prairie dogs so I could use my 10/22?

If I get the .17 HMR should I get rid of my 10/22 as they are used for about the same thing but the .17 HMR is better?

Is the Marlin 917 a good choice? How much is .17 HMR ammo and what is the best choice for shooting prairie dogs at 100 yards?

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

Nathan
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:01 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

Man, if I were you....... I would go ahead and get a 22-250 Rem. I have one and it is for a variety of game other than just prairie dogs. If you get a 17 hmr, fine, but a 22-250 is going to be more accurate, more powerful, and flatter shooting at longer ranges. Just a 2 mph wind will take a .17 bullet whatever the direction of the wind is. My grandparents own a 650 acre farm in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, and I have killed plenty of groundhogs there past 400 plenty of times with it. I have a 22-250 Sendero with a free-floating bull barrel, harris bi-pods, 10x40-50 scope, and I am in love with it. Just my opinion though. All I am trying to say is, an all-around super accurate varmint gun such as the 22-250 is going to serve you better and have more uses than a .17 hmr in my opinion. But have fun with those prairie dogs anyway whatever rifle you buy.
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:10 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

Oh yeah, this guys place is in a fairly populated area. I would be hesitant to shoot a large bore center fire rifle in the area. I felt pretty good with the .22 and I think the .17 HMR would be fine, but not sure about a larger rifle.
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:14 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

I dont shoot any prairie dogs, but ii shoot coons, opossums, ect with my 10/22. My suggestion is to change you bullet. I went from the 500 per box remingtons to 50 per box CCI Stingers. You will need to re-sight in your gunbut trust me, they shoot flater and faster. Try that out first before you go off and buy a new gun. If it doesnt work your only out $7.
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?


ORIGINAL: bigjim12

I dont shoot any prairie dogs, but ii shoot coons, opossums, ect with my 10/22. My suggestion is to change you bullet. I went from the 500 per box remingtons to 50 per box CCI Stingers. You will need to re-sight in your gunbut trust me, they shoot flater and faster. Try that out first before you go off and buy a new gun. If it doesnt work your only out $7.
I agree the CCI stingers is a great round for the .22!
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

dont get the stingers. get cabelas supermaximum. they shoot 110fps faster and are also flatter. or if its closer range get 60gr bullets and that will do itbut i would still stik w/ the .17mag. good gun and not too loud. also super accurate! .17mag will do better than that 10/22 anytime anyday. .17 extends ur range quite a bit. iwoudl stik w/ polymer tipped or hollowpoints in the .17mag. but if u still want a little challeng w/ the .22get a bipod or somthing and put ur gun right at the top of the hole like 25-30 yards away and stay totally still becuase they can hear the vibrations of u coming and walking. but after half an hour or so, they should come out. good luk
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:14 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

for that kind of money id go with a .223 or .22-250. just because its a more versitile gun. the .17hmr would be a good gun but not much versitile of a gun. and for 500 u could have a real nice .223 u could use on coyotes fox ect... but like u said in populated areas u have to watch out. i use my 223 on gophers and it works great just have to watch were i am shooting.
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:15 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

Sounds like you have a good excuse to get a new rifle to me. The .17 hmr is a great little prairie dog gun. I've shot hundreds upon hundreds of prairie dogs with my savage .17 hmr using the .17 grain poly tips and for the most part, the prairie dogs don't get back to the hole. The bullets fragment very quickly, so very little to worry about deflections going very far. Might look into the BSA scope that is made exclusively for the .17 hmr that allows the shooter to adjust each shot for different yardages, and the scope is not expensive at all. I've got a cheap bushnell on mine and it does just fine. And 150 yards will be stretching the range if there is any breeze at all. But out to about 125 yards, it is simply fun and deadly.
Buy the new gun. Once you have it sighted in, it'll put a smile on your face around those prairie dogs. Ammo. is about $11-$13/50!
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:24 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

I wouldnt use the .17 unless I was at closer ranges. IMO from experience, I would use the .223 or the .22-250. (I like the .22-250 the best)
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:44 PM
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Default RE: Best prairie dog rifle?

Well, I was talking to the guy today and told him I was having a little problems getting close enough with my .22 and he said he had bought a gun a few months ago to shoot them with but just hadn't gotten around to it.

Guess what it is? A Marlin 917 .17 HMR bolt action rifle!

It hasn't even fired a single round. It is topped with a pretty cheap Bushnell 3-9x 40mm scope but it should do the trick. I'm going to go sight it in and try my hand at the prairie dogs again this evening. He even gave me 2 boxes of CCI 17 HMR TNT hollowpoint shells to shoot them with!

I pinched myself afew times, but I think this is real. Pretty sweet deal!
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