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Posted: 6/16/2003 10:55:29 AM EDT
I got to go praire dog hunting last weekend and try out my new varmint rifle.

Made some interesting/fun observations.

First, where I'm at they aren't actually praire dogs, they are Richardson's ground squirrels, which are much smaller (call them gophers). Around here they infest a lot of praire/ranch land, and if they aren't controlled they cause a lot of major problems.

First observation was with the Winchester 45gr JHP that you can get at Walmart. I wanted to try this stuff out. I have to say it was extremely accurate in my 1/9 16in barrel. And it pretty much vaporizes the squirrels. Hee hee!

I was very impressed.

Second observation, the effects of handgun vs. rifle.

I also brought my USP .45 tactical for the close range shots and noticed some interesing effects. Whenever I would shoot a gopher with the .45 (185 gr FMJ), they would usually just keep running. Then eventially slow down and die.

Every time I shot one with a 55gr FMJ (used this when I ran out of the superior 45gr JHP).
The bullet would pass right through, but the gopher would topple over and die instantly on the spot.

Both wounds from the .45 and .223 FMJ looked almost the same. It usually blew their guts out of the exit wound.

Maybe this does or doesn't say something about the effects of velocity on incapacitation of gophers. The "shock wave" of the 223 must aid it killing the gopher faster?? Where as the .45 was slow moving and would just punch big holes in them.

Anyway it was a lot of fun and thought someone might like to hear about or have similar experience with this that they'd like to discuss.

My next excursion will involve a video camra.
Most shots I took with the .223 were 75-200yds. It is very good practice to be able to hit something that small at that distance.
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 11:38:12 AM EDT
Thank you.[banana] This is the kinda thing i joined the site for. Next time, get pics before and after etc.
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 12:03:16 PM EDT
[url]http://www.dogbegone.com/video.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 12:15:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ridge: Maybe this does or doesn't say something about the effects of velocity on incapacitation of gophers. The "shock wave" of the 223 must aid it killing the gopher faster?? Where as the .45 was slow moving and would just punch big holes in them.
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The temporary cavity in rifles is MUCH larger than in handguns. So more tissue is disrupted with the .223 over the .45, resulting in a faster incapacitation.
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 1:05:11 PM EDT
Yes the above videos are pretty much what happened with the 45gr HPs. The FMJs where less graphic. The gopher would just sit there then you'd hear a fleshy smack when the bullet hit and it would topple over backwards. Gotta love temporary cavity!
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 1:26:42 PM EDT
Not to hijack this thread, but your sig is incredible, Innocent_bystander [:D]
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 1:29:28 PM EDT
Best "launches" I've ever had, squirrel landed to the tune of 15+ feet away from the point of impact while clearing a total height of 6-7 feet. Not bad for a little 223Remington, was using 50grain Speer TNTs and the shot was made from about 80 yards away.
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 2:46:46 PM EDT
On my first prarie dog trip (you can tell it was my first, I was using a .220 Swift, and didn't mind spending countless hours in front of my reloading bench) I used a .220 Swift, and in the early morning when there was still dew in the air, I would get a vapor trail. I thought that was the coolest thing about the whole trip! Vapor trail to full vaporization.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 5:24:16 PM EDT
220 Swift - instant vaporization! Yes my Son and I both love to shoot dirt rats (ground squirrels) and we do it with mostly 22 calibre stuff. He shoots a Bushy 223 and a 22-250 rem while I use a 22 Hornet, 220 Swift, and my old reliable 22 bolt action. I've not shot one with a handgun, although in the Spring you sure could, as targets run from 20 feet to as far as you can shoot. Our best shots last Sunday were in excess of 300 yards. Little buggars aren't much bigger than a shotgun shell - so it takes some patience - :-) I can hardly wait till next June when we are going to Wyoming to shoot Prairie Dogs - vapor trails - WOW! That ought to be cooler than sh*t!
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 8:21:23 PM EDT
.223 Rem, 55Gr. FMJ for prarie dogs?? That's about as IRRESPONSIBLE as you can get varmint hunting. No TRUE prarie dog shooter would think of shooting FMJ bullets, in ANY caliber. 97% of the time they will not produce humane kills on the target and they are DANGEROUS to property and bystandards because ot thier lack of fragmentation upon impact with soft tissue, or when they impact the ground.These bullets will travel HUNDREDS of yards across the open lands, skipping until they either hit something or just run out of momentum, and stop. It is the moron varmint hunters that ricochet FMJ bullets off Farm equipment, Buildings, Livestock, that cause more and more property owners to turn away hunters because of the irresponsibility of the ones who are too cheap to shoot a premium bullet in their weapons. Spend some cash and shoot the proper bullet......or stay home... Don't you think for one minute that it is OK or right to shoot FMJ bullets for prarie dogs or varmints.....No REAL prarie dog shooter or varming hunter would do so. KyARGuy
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 9:39:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2003 5:36:15 PM EDT by dpmmn]
[b]".223 Rem, 55Gr. FMJ for prarie dogs?? That's about as IRRESPONSIBLE as you can get varmint hunting. No TRUE prarie dog shooter would think of shooting FMJ bullets" from KYARGuy ok maybe I am a little out of line but I have been hunting Prairie Rats for years in North Dakota, I have used everything in my power too, but I feel using a 55gr FMJ is just plain clean fun, they are instantly in the next life when impact occurs, plus it gives you a chance to see what Olympic tryouts look like, for the standing broad jump. I do admit that using a Ballistic tipped bullet it much more sporting for the Prairie Rat is VAPORIZED instantly.I sure hope you enjoyed your Hunt!!!! I myself go twice a year May and September. As far as usable weapons, I always Bring a fine selection of .223 calibered rifles and a small catche of ammo, model 70 Winchester in .300 mag for the hard to kill for the Prairie Fedayan(LMFAO), and a 22 mag revolver for the rattler that just always make his way towards me. try a North Dakota or a South Dakota hunt sometime you will have a blast and you will be helping out some good rancher.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 11:46:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kyarguy: 97% of the time they will not produce humane kills on the target and they are DANGEROUS to property and bystandards because ot thier lack of fragmentation upon impact with soft tissue, or when they impact the ground.
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*cough* [url]www.ammo-oracle.com[/url] *cough* I think you need to read up on 55gr FMJ a little more. Unless it's the Russian crap, it fragments quite nicely. Get off your horse and get some facts.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 8:01:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2003 6:43:39 PM EDT by Ridge]
Originally Posted By Kyarguy: .223 Rem, 55Gr. FMJ for prarie dogs?? That's about as IRRESPONSIBLE as you can get varmint hunting. No TRUE prarie dog shooter would think of shooting FMJ bullets, in ANY caliber. 97% of the time they will not produce humane kills on the target and they are DANGEROUS to property and bystandards because ot thier lack of fragmentation upon impact with soft tissue, or when they impact the ground.These bullets will travel HUNDREDS of yards across the open lands, skipping until they either hit something or just run out of momentum, and stop. It is the moron varmint hunters that ricochet FMJ bullets off Farm equipment, Buildings, Livestock, that cause more and more property owners to turn away hunters because of the irresponsibility of the ones who are too cheap to shoot a premium bullet in their weapons. Spend some cash and shoot the proper bullet......or stay home... Don't you think for one minute that it is OK or right to shoot FMJ bullets for prarie dogs or varmints.....No REAL prarie dog shooter or varming hunter would do so. KyARGuy
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Did you even read my post. Every Dog that was shot with FMJ was killed INSTANTLY, they just didn't explode (That's a far cry from 97% inhumane kills [rolleyes]). AND, Have you ever been to Montana. The areas I shoot at are many many hundreds of acres with no livestock (It's Montana Ranch land, maybe you can't comprehend but these places are BIG).In addition,I [b]ALWAYS[/b] shoot in a safe direction no matter WHAT bullet type I am using. The person that goes off half-cock without any information calling people, Irresponsible, moron, and not a REAL/TRUE varmint hunters, turns out to be the actual irresponsible moron. So what constitutes a REAL varmint hunter. Do you get paid for it or something. I bet your the same type of guy that tries to belittle everyone at the gun shows with your SUPERIOR knowledge. Ranchers turn away varmint hunters because they aren't considerate(make a mess and tear up their fields) and don't practice basic firearms safety. Maybe they think they can get by with an unsafe shot because they're using "premium" ammo. Save the lectures for your kids, my father did a fine job with me and I don't need it from you. Now lets have some FUN! Edited a bit cause I've calmed down. [:)]
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 12:09:13 PM EDT
Guess he's never shot a dog in the middle of a 1000 acre dog town in the middle of a 200,000 acre emptiness. This is home to the 1500 yard shot without concern for buildings because there aren't any. When I was a kid we shot them with 22 shorts. Gut shot no less so that their buddies would come for dinner and then we'd shoot their buddies too. Gopher lip sandwiches - yum yum yum - :-)
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 3:42:03 PM EDT
I would love to do that type of varmit hunting. In TN could could possibly shoot a groundhog or 2 in the eve. I couldn't imagine shooting 500+ rds a day. Next time pick up some aquila .45 ~1400fps, corbon 165+p, and some 185+p to shoot them with. That, I would like some feedback on.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 6:48:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2003 6:51:44 PM EDT by Ridge]
I had some regular hollowpoints for my .45 but I didn't bother using them because I figured they'd act just like FMJ (gasp) and not get a chance to expand. NOW, The rounds your talking about might be interesting (High velocity, fangible). I'll have to try some of these out next time. [}:D] Edited to add. A pistol is always a good idea for Pdog hunting. There's always lots of CQG (close quarters gophers) that help tune your pistol skills. I probably killed just as many with the .45 as I did with the .223.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 12:16:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 1:09:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2003 1:10:08 PM EDT by BigD]
Originally Posted By Troy: M193 is not gonna fragment in something the size of a prarrie dog. Perhaps YOU should take another read through the FAQ... [:)]
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Uhh...well, you've never been Prairie Dog hunting then, have you. M193 will begin to fragment only a few inches (4-5) into gelatin. Prairie Dogs are *usually* thick enough for the fragmentation to begin.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 2:27:27 PM EDT
Hey Troy, I've been quite surprised actually by 55grn FMJ. I resorted to using some of the stuff recently as it was all I had available after running out of the good stuff(55grn Vmaxes). After picking and choosing my shots for proper backstops against the 55grain FMJ rounds I made a couple solid hits on a few Ca. ground squirrels. I wasn't expecting them to do much more than roll over dead after an impact but I was getting 1-2 foot arials when hitting the suckers in the crap factory. Shots were 80-100 yards from the mega beast JP Enterprises gun. The little buggers weren't all that pretty looking after being pummeled by the 55grn FMJ, they weren't splayed open or into tiny little pieces like a Vmax would do but I was definitely surprised. A good Ca. ground squirrel will give some prarrie dogs a run for their money in terms of size. Are the FMJ bullets fragmenting in the little squirrels? Probably unlikely unless we start some kind of scientific squirrel cadaver testing process but I don't know if anyone on this forum is willing to pick out bits of bullet fragments from those hairy little flea bags. But I do believe that the bullet is acting pretty violently on impact either yawing or causing enough of a wound cavity through impact velocity alone for the wound cavity to exceed the total diameter of the fleshy vermin. And ofcourse we all know that when the wound cavity exceeds the overall size of said fleshy creature that is what creates the satisfying "pop" of said field rat.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 2:32:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Norton1: Guess he's never shot a dog in the middle of a 1000 acre dog town in the middle of a 200,000 acre emptiness. This is home to the 1500 yard shot without concern for buildings because there aren't any. When I was a kid we shot them with 22 shorts. Gut shot no less so that their buddies would come for dinner and then we'd shoot their buddies too. Gopher lip sandwiches - yum yum yum - :-)
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That's a strategy we use out here in Ca. too. When the grasses die out and the pickings get slim, those little ground squirrels WILL turn to cannibalism. I can't tell you how many times I've shot a squirrel splattering his contents all over the hill side only to see one of his little brother/sisters over there chewing away on his corpse. Ofcourse it's the easiest shot in the world to make because you already know the proper dope for making a shot at that distance having done the shot once already.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 5:33:53 PM EDT
FMJ's may not frag in a PD, but I bet they do when they hit the ground behind the PD, gopher, ground squirrel, or whatever. As long as the target isn't skylined, I don't feel at all uncomfortable using FMJ ammo, except for the usual lack of pinpoint accuracy.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 6:04:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By innocent_bystander: [url]http://www.dogbegone.com/video.htm[/url]
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WOW, awsome
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 9:25:16 PM EDT
LOL you guys would seriously piss of my buddy...his mom runs a prairie dog rescue "house" - she has an entire room of about 30-40 of them, and lets 2 or 3 of them run around the house. Its nasty. He always gets pissed when I refer to them as "mobile insulated targets"- their house is a zoo...hell he didnt get pissed when I took out a crow (AKA winged rat) with a Speer Gold Dot +p 9mm round last time we were out hiking. Some people are weird. He is now going to Valley Forge...wants to go infantry. I dont understand how you cant take out an animal that barely understands its existence, but can take pot shots at people...well see what he does in a couple years when he graduates and has to choose his MOS. Personally, I dont see any harm in shooting prairie dogs...they arent your family pet (unless your in my buddies house)
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 9:56:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By innocent_bystander: [url]http://www.dogbegone.com/video.htm[/url]
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they seem like they might be fairly curious animals. lets set a gallon or so of tannerite up and watch them come investigate! now someone needs to get that on film!
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 9:09:34 AM EDT
dravisar, Are those the people I've been hearing about in the news with [b]MONKEY POX [/b] [shock]!!! [:D] Citabria7GCBC, Ya, you could shoot a few and pile the corpses around the tannerite and when a sufficient number has gathered for a meal. KKaaaBOOOM !! [devil]
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 9:13:33 AM EDT
or just put a few of the tiny bottals near the interence of their home. when they pop up to see what it is, kaBOOOOM!
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 10:57:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ridge: Citabria7GCBC, Ya, you could shoot a few and pile the corpses around the tannerite and when a sufficient number has gathered for a meal. KKaaaBOOOM !!
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Been thinking of that exact thing. The 5-6 feet arials with the pelts landing some 15feet away from point of impact just isn't quite satisfying enough with my ordinary 223Remington. Me thinks it's time to bring out the high order stuff and start blasting them into orbit.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:27:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2003 3:33:39 PM EDT by STANMAN]
See below.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:32:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dravisar: LOL you guys would seriously piss of my buddy...his mom runs a prairie dog rescue "house" - she has an entire room of about 30-40 of them, and lets 2 or 3 of them run around the house. Its nasty. He always gets pissed when I refer to them as "mobile insulated targets"- their house is a zoo...hell he didnt get pissed when I took out a crow (AKA winged rat) with a Speer Gold Dot +p 9mm round last time we were out hiking. Some people are weird. He is now going to Valley Forge...wants to go infantry. I dont understand how you cant take out an animal that barely understands its existence, but can take pot shots at people...well see what he does in a couple years when he graduates and has to choose his MOS. Personally, I dont see any harm in shooting prairie dogs...they arent your family pet (unless your in my buddies house)
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And the fact that they can carry the Black Plague does not bother them? When we stopped to get our licences there were about 10 pages of warnings to not handle any PD's as they carry every nasty disease known to man. I would assume it's because of the close proximity to one another, but regardless, when I went out, we rarely got out of the truck.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:58:46 PM EDT
Same here in Ca. with the ground squirrels. Something about living in a burrow and having fleas crawling all over you day in day out, that doesn't promote good health among animals I suppose. I have walked up to "popped" squirrels only to see the fleas jumping off of them like they are on a sinking ship. VERY gross, the fleas not the blood and guts.
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