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I have been shopping around for a new rifle for groundhogs. I have been reading that anything from a 17 HMR to a 308 will do just fine, depending on your situation. I need some advice and or suggestions on a new rifle based on my situation:

1). I already have a Weatherby Mark IV 25-05 and Remington Model Seven 270 WSM that I use for deer, so I do not necessarily need a dual caliber.

2). I do not reload YET but I do have the press and everything else that goes with the process. Plus I have the components to reload 25-06 and 270 WSM. I would be shooting factory rounds first, then reloading at a later date.

3). I have ranges in excess of 500 yards but I DO NOT have experience shooting beyond 250 yards. I have no issue with practicing longer ranges! Wind is always at least a small factor where I hunt the hogs due to being up on a hill with surrounding open fields on all sides.

4). I like to walk the fields to hunt ground hogs but I also like to sit in the shade at a bench and glass.

5). I have a Bogpod tripod for standing shots when stalking and I have a bipod for bench shooting or laying in the grass. I have a Bushnell Elite 3200 5-15x40 to mount on this rifle.

6). I have been looking at the 204 Ruger, 22-250, 223 and 243 but I am open to suggestions.

7). I have been looking at Savage, Remington, Ruger and Tikka.

8). I do prefer stainless but I do own blued rifles.

9). I love the idea of a light target-like trigger pull. I can always replace a trigger or have the pull lightened but do not have the confidence to do either.

10). I have a budget of about $600 or so for a new or used rifle.

I look forward to hearing some thoughts. I figure the more opinions the better. Why not get ideas from hunters who hunt the same terrain I do? Thank you for any reply.
 

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I recommend the .22-250 or a .223. Both are easy to find in stores and will do for 300 yard shots on hogs. The .22-250 can let you kill them at 500 yards unless a very windy day.
 

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rflktrman said:
I recommend the .22-250 or a .223. Both are easy to find in stores and will do for 300 yard shots on hogs. The .22-250 can let you kill them at 500 yards unless a very windy day.
223 from a factor new and reloading cost is also a very cheap round.
 

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You already have 2 good rifles for shooting groundhogs.

I am never one to talk someone out of getting a new gun, I always say go for it. But both of those rifle calibers are good long range groundhog guns. The 243 is similiar to your 25-06.

I would spend your money on reloading supplies and work up a good load for that weatherby using 85 or 100 grain noslers. It could be a good walking varminter and you'd still have the 270 for deer.

But if you really want a new gun, I would suggest the 204 since its a nice light caliber. Another good one that I have experience with is the 17 Rem. But the wind makes these calibers better for inside 300 yards. Your 2506 and 270 are perfect for 500+ and whether you have experience or not, I would use those and not hesitate at the long shots.
 

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It's a shame your budget is so tight.
I have a nice Weatherby Mark V Stainless Synthetic in 240 WBY on the chopping block.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so far everybody. I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject lately and I have been more indecisive than ever. I'm just trying to get opinions to the point where I know exactly what I want to do.
 

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My 2 cents...
-You could load the 25 w light bullets (so start reloading earlier than expected) as highcountry suggested
OR
Since you like to walk the fields...both weatherby vanguard and howa ranchland come in a lightweight setup in a variety of calibers. I have been looking at them in 223 for a combination of weight, compact size, light recoil, and effective range...I think they both have adj triggers, but there are def aftermarkets for them. They're both relatively inexpensive as well.

Good luck in your purchase(s)!!!
 

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This is my groundhog gun, a Remington 700 ADL 223 w/heavy barrel. I shoot a Remington 55gr psp factory loads and is a tack driver.

 

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wild willy said:
Wow!!! I never knew a .204 was worthless after 200yds.
I never really thought of the 223 Rem. as a 600 yard varmint round either!
 

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Out of the suggested selection of choices I would go with a 22-250.Most important would be knowing the drop and wind drift for the one you choose.You will never find a windless day to hunt.
 

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WildTigerTrout said:
wild willy said:
Wow!!! I never knew a .204 was worthless after 200yds.
I never really thought of the 223 Rem. as a 600 yard varmint round either!
I don't think I would call the 204 worthless past 200 - maybe once you get around 400
Take another look at the ballistics of the factory Hornady ammo [email protected] 0.00 @200 [email protected] and [email protected] I wouldn't call that worthless. In fact, if you look at the charts, pretty sure the 204 shoots flatter than the 223. ([email protected] and [email protected])
That being said - the little 32gr vmax will have a drift issue on a breezy day - but hey that's what makes it fun.
 

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If you just want another rifle I would go with the 223. Cheap to shoot, and can easily shoot 2-300 yards. You already have rifles that can shoot way farther than that if you find you have an actual location to shoot that far. The nice thing about the 223 is the noise is far less than the other guns. The recoil is all but nil.

A 22-250 would be a close second in my book. It's only a little more money to shoot than a 223. It does have some recoil, but not anything bad. Just enough to move the scope off target at the shot.

I personally don't really care for a really heavy gun. Anything with more than a medium contour barrel gets heavy real quick when walking.
 
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