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The Whistle pig rig thread got me thinking, what is the best set up for hunting ground hogs?

Personally, I like to stretch my shots out there a ways. My favorite is a 220 Swift on a Model 70 Heavy varmint. Deadly accurate, decent bullet selection and it has just worked well over the years. I like the fact that it has mild recoil which allows you to see most of your shots.

But the question is, what is the best and why, that opens the door to a lot of choices, 243, 6mmBR, 6mm Remington, 6.5-284, the list could go on forever.

When hunting ground hogs I typically encounter shots from 50 yards out as far as your ability will allow, for this thread let’s say 50 to 500 yards, much past 500 yards and I think you'll be looking into specialty guns to connect with any regularity. Of course, add your opinion on shots that exceed 500 too.
 

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Over 300 yards I want something in the 6mm/25cal families, but that is just me.
 

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I would say .243 - 6mm rem. lots of bullet choices mild recoil with the right set up your good well past 500 yards
 

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Gunnermhr you started a thred that suits me fine. Let me just say my favrite huntin is as follows chucks, deer, yotes, turkey. This order changes sometimes but it's summer. I've hunted chucks a long time so bear with my. Myfirst real chuck rifle was a mod. 70 factory heavy barrel .243-24", then a mauser action'ed 25.06 26" barrel. The 25.06 got me bored with how well it worked and went to a walk around .222 24" barrel. No fun so back to something bigger and better. In 2005 I got my Ruger MK.II target .220 Swift and is just about perfection with high power 4200 bushnell and 26" barrel. IMO the swift will always be the king of .224's I'm as of now sayen a well set up swift can't be beat. When I get more time on my new rig 26" Rem. action'ed 6.5 with 95 and 100gr. bullets I'll see what my pick is but for now @@) SWIFT, nice post....later
 

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In my opinion a .224 cartridge that will push a 55gr bullet 3500fps or better is about perfect low recoil and can kill way out there, 22-250 and 220 swift ect. I am going to try a 22x47 lapua this summer to see how it does.
Drags
 

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22-250 is my choice, although i definitely like my 243s as well, and my 25-06, and my 257 roberts, the 260 rem works well, the 6.5x55 is good, awww [censored] i cant choose.
 

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I shoot more close up then far away.

I like a .22wmr.
 

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With some of the larger calibers being spoken of, does hide damage come into play when you are voting? or are you not blowing big holes?
 

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Hide damage?? On groundhogs???? Never bothered me...didnt know there was a market for their hides???



After 300-350yds, i would rather have something bigger than a .224" bullet...between the wind drift and energy loss, the 22s just arent the ideal tool for the job once you pass that distance....ive hit a few right around 350yds now..ive recovered 1..headshot...the others i got signs of a hit but no recovery...granted shot placement is key....

Lots of great picks...
 

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My current choice is a ruger hawkeye stainless in 25-06. im currently shooting 85 grain nosler varmint bt's. at about 3350 fps. i put a nikon monarch 4-16 x 50 on it and it works just fine.

im thinking a heavy barrel .243 or .22-250 is next on my list.
 

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I love my ruger mkII 22-250. With my handloads I can consistently kill em at 450. I'm happy with that and really not able to shoot any farther at the farms I shoot hogs at. My 55 gr blitzkings buck the wind pretty good.
 

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My Encore Pro-Hunter with both the .223 and the .243 Win bbls will shoot better than 1/2 moa off bags. I hand load only though. 50 grain Balistic CT's set .002" off the lands in the .223 over 27 grains of Varget and 65 grain V-Max's set .002" off the lands as well over 40.4 grains of Varget will both print 3/8", 5 shot groups at 100 yards all day long and I have shot one hole groups with both. For around chucks at 300-400 yards and yotes to 300 max, the .223 bbl is all I'll run. For coyotes or chucks past that, the .243 bbl gets mounted up. I weigh all my bullets to be sure they are all the same weight before I even start loading and I single stage press everything. Just feel like it's more controlable to me...sure, it takes longer, but I'm not sitting on a bench in WY shooting up a prarie dog town...
 

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I have shot them with several caliber/gun combinations from a 22lr to a 375 ultra mag. I have come to the conclusion that the best chuck rig is the one you have and are comfortable with. The biggest baddest chuck rig isn't worth anything if it doesn't fit well and if you're not comfortable with it. My favorite outfits right now happen to be rifles I deer hunt with. One is a marlin xl7 in a 270 and the other is a savage 10 in a 243. Both wear 3x9 scopes and shoot 1/2 minute or less with hand loads.
 

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I like the Remington varmit special heavy barrel made in 1968, Remington 22-250, 243 and a 25-06 made in the early 1970's. It just depends on the day and my mood as to which goes a field. They all work very well with not enought diffrence between them to matter. They are truly a joy to carry.
 

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Last groud hog I took was with a 20 gauge shotgun with #6 shot.....

I would have to go with either a 223 or 22-250. Probably a 223. I don't have any places where I can shoot really far. Part of ground hog hunting is the fun in it. Shooting a laser like projectory to me takes the fun out of it.

Right now I don't have a "varmint" rig. The few times I do get out I hunt them with my 243. It's a pump gun, and I use the same 100 grain bullets I hunt deer with. To me it's good practice.
 
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