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Thread: Predator Caliber?

  1. #1

    Default Predator Caliber?

    I'm going to start doing some predator hunting and am looking for some recommendations on which caliber to choose. I have narrowed it down to either the .204 Ruger, .22-250 or possibly the new .223 WSSM. My hunting will be pretty casual, not a hardcore effort but do want to get out and enjoy winter. I'd like some input from you all to get your opinions. If I run across a wolf would the .204 be borderline on a wolf or would it be enough gun?

    I do not intend to spend a bunch of money but am looking at either a Remington SPS in either the .204 or .22-250 or possibly the new Weatherby Vanguard Varmint Special in the .22-250. The new WSSM appears to be produced in Rugers and Winchesters and also Brownings which are a possibility as well.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. #2

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    I have not fired any of the calibers you mentioned but I did buy a Stevens 200 shooting a .223 topped with a burris FF2 3-9x40 for predators. Its nothing special but the rifle is much more accurate than I am and this setup was friendly on the wallet too.

  3. #3
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    My varmint/predator calibers are the .204, .223 and a .257 Roberts. The .204 is easily the most accurate of the bunch although I've yet to take any critters with it. None of mine are varmint models since I prefer a smaller, more compact rifle to tote around in the winter. It would seem like a 40 grainer traveling at high velocity out of the .204 would be adequate on wolves, but I'd also like to hear from those that have actually used it in the field. The .22-250 and .223 WSSM should definitely work for you though.

  4. #4
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    With the price of accurate factory .223 ammo as low as it is I would choose .223. I simply can't imange any wolf not dropping if hit in the vitals with a proper bullet out of this round at 300 yards plus.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks for the help

    Thanks for the advice. It's always nice to log onto the forum and get good advice.

  6. #6
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Question Wssm?

    Just curious why you are thinking about the .223 WSSM over the straight .223? I don't know of any ballistic advantage (maybe I'm wrong). Ammo is quite a bit more expensive and you can't fit as many rounds in the gun.

    Just curious....
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  7. #7

    Default .223 WSSM or .223

    AK Mud- no particular preference. Kinda overlooked the good old .223 when i wrote this.
    I've narrowed my choices down now to the .204, .22-250 or the .223. I'm also looking at which brand of rifle to purchase. I need to keep the cost in the $500-$600 range so I'm looking at the Weatherby Varmint Special in the .22-250 or possibly a Remington SPS, or even a Savage. I've read some good things about the Savage Varmint Models. I have not ruled out a Ruger or Winchester but I think the first 3 will fit my price range a little better.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks........

  8. #8

    Default The Savages

    are supposed to be the "sleeper" in accuracy. At least according to the rags and the new trigger probably just helps even more. That said, I do not own one but if I were in the market for a small to medium bore bolt gun I think I would try one.
    Mike
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  9. #9
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default other considerations

    You may want to consider a heavy barrel'd AR-15 also. With a flat top and picatinny system there are so many options for sighting systems and also light mounts (with a trapping license you can hunt at night with a light). I am considering using my AR this winter since it has a Surefire millenium light on it and is deadly accurate, even with open sights, out to 200 yds.

    If you are in the Anchorage/Valley area, I'd be glad to get with you and let you shoot my T/C Encore also. It's only a single shot, but with practice it is almost as fast as a bolt gun.

    I got my Encore (set up with the scope and all) for $650 shipped off of WWW.Auctionarms.com You may want to look there for a good setup.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  10. #10

    Default TC Encore

    thanks AK MUD. I'll keep that in mind. I live in the Valley.

  11. #11
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Id rule out the 22-250. they rip foxes up pretty bad. 223's even on a fox will require some sewing usually. This is especially true when using something like a V-max or Hp's. Use a soft point spitzer. I even lost a fox using a 40 grain Vmax outa a 223. The distance was about 300 yards. I hit him and drew blood but Im not confident the bullet went in. I think it just blew up on the outside. there was just a little drizzle of blood, I tracked him for a while and eventually the blood just dried up.

    I use a .222 now. but pretty much the only reason for that is I like the rifle (788) that I have. I would not reccomend that round though unless you handload.

    Ive never shot a coyote or wolf so I am not sure how pelt damage is to one of them. Ive seen lots of videos though, and none of the coyotes looked bad after getting hit with the 250's

    I too would like to use a 204 as an all rounder but am wondering about wolf killing power of that round. I have seen several articles of people claiming that speed kills, so Might be worth a shot. However when If I am going after wolves that is usually all I am after and then i will carry something bigger. like a 243. My buddy used his 338 last year and it did not do anything a needle and thread couldnt fix. He just got his rug back and it looks great.

  12. #12
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    In NM for coyotes I used a Rem Model 788, bull barrel 22-250 loaded at 2850FPS and 53 GR match grade hollowpoints. In the size of a dime and no exit hole. If you can get close to those specs with a 223, you will save money. Only 3 (if you are lucky) reloads per case.

  13. #13

    Default

    I can speak strongly on behalf of the Savages. I don't remember the model (stainless w/ synthetic stock), but I've kept one in 223 for years in the Southwest, where I use it extensively for coyotes and sod poodles. I've never shot a wolf, but plenty of coyotes. And I gotta say that inside 300 yards, you better use the right bullet if you don't want big holes in your hides. I haven't experimented much, but all the 55 grain HP's and SP's I've used create an ungodly mess on exiting a coyote.

    I have comparatively little tied up in the Savage, but it will hit or beat an inch at 100 yards with almost anything I stuff in the barrel- even after many thousands of rounds. It's so good in fact, that I'm thinking of picking up the 30-06 version as a knockaround gun up here. Tough as nails and pretty carefree, yet accurate as I could hope for.

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    I use the 222 Remington(Remington 788), 222 Remington Magnum(Sako Vixen), 223 Remington(Bushmaster and Encore), 22-250(Encore), 243(Encore), 6.8 SPC(Remington 700) and 25-06(Encore).

    The 224 calibers are good for Fox, Beaver and Coyote sized critters. Stretching them a little bit to use them on Wolf. That is what the 243, 6.8 SPC and 25-06 are for.

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    i think a .22 long rifle or .22 mag is also fine just as long as shot is good and range is taken into consideration.ive done it.

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    I have shot a couple fox with my 204 Savage S/S and it didn't make very big holes at all. It does depend on where you hit em. I didn't hit shoulder with either of mine. The 38 grain Fed factory ammo I am using has proven to be most accurate in mine. I wouldn't hesitate to bust a wolf with it for one second. Its a tack driving machine out to 300 yards its just too easy. I have a bipod on mine cuz the snow is always so deep but with the legs out I find some crust and it gives me a great shooting platform. The longest shot I have taken so far was on a red fox at a lazered 256 approximate yards (yes it was hard to lazer him so I lazered some trees near him), dumped him in his tracks.

  17. #17
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default solids?

    Have any of you used solids or full metal jackets on predators? I am wondering if the exit wound would be significantly smaller with the pass through or is it simply a result of the hydro shock of the bodily fluids?
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  18. #18
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    I just loaded some FMJ 115 grains in my 6.8 SPC. I'll find out this weekend what the exist hole looks like on a Fox.

  19. #19

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    I've used solids for hides a lot, both in a 243 (Barnes 80 grain) and 223 (55 grain). They're fine as long as you keep muzzle velocities below about 2700, and around 2200 is even better if most shots are inside 100 yards. Push them fast though, and sometimes they act just like an SP in terms of exit holes.

  20. #20

    Default Thanks for all the advice

    All- Thanks for all the advice. I think I've decided to go with the .22-250 and keep the loads under control to avoid fur damage when I need to.

    I've looked at the CZ's, the new Weatherby Varmint Special, Savages and the Remingtons. I think I'm going to go with a Rem, Stainless SPS and keep the cost reasonable and have fun!! Because thats what its all about.

    Thanks again for all the great advice.

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