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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2015 at 22:56
Dakota66 View Drop Down
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Hello All new to this site and need help. I am planning a prairie dog hunt for next year, and will be purchasing a Rem .308 heavy for my long range set up. Have decided on a SWFA scope fixed power but now do I purchase a 10x, 16x or 20x plan on shooting to about 700 yrds at max. I already have a Rem 700 in .223 for the short range stuff.
Plan on using either 168 or 178 gr hornady bthp Match grade. Any opinions or comments will be appreciated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 08:04
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Welcome to Optics Talk. 

Do you plan on reloading? If not, I'd start with using the 168gr Fed Gold Medal to start. That is assuming your rifle has a 12 twist. 

I'll let the others expound on the scope, but I personally wouldn't consider any magnification over 16x. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 09:12
Dakota66 View Drop Down
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As a matter of fact I do. I currently reload .223 and .40 S&w
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 09:43
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Varget, CCI BR-2 primers, and a 168gr SMK would be a great place to start. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 10:49
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The 10x would be great.  For out past 500 and beyond, the 16x would probably be ok, but you'll limit your rifle to other applications.  In a pinch, I could use a 10x for deer hunting at 100-500yds, but a 16x would be ridiculously difficult to manage, IMO.  Welcome.  The previously suggested load components are spot-on, IMO.  The only thing you might consider is going with a 7mm-08 for the long range stuff - in a 150gr SMK - the sectional density is higher, and your BC below 1700fps is .450 vs. .405 with the 168gr.  I only raise this option because 1) I'm a 7mm-08 homer, and 2) you said you hadn't purchased yet.  Either way, it sounds like a blast.  I wish we had PD's around here to practice on in the spring and summer!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 13:03
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I wholeheartedly endorse the previous post!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 14:04
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Get the 12x.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 15:44
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What about the 168 a-max? I'd vote for at least a try. Varget can be hard to find right now....RL-15 is common.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 16:25
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Originally posted by JLud JLud wrote:

What about the 168 a-max? I'd vote for at least a try. Varget can be hard to find right now....RL-15 is common.

Amax is a great choice. I just threw the SMK out there. I was more concerned with the bullet weight, than the brand. Assuming the OP has a 12 twist barrel, of course. FWIW, my 12 twist Remmy loves 155gr Lapua Scenars a tad over the Sierra's or Bergers.
  
I forgot about the shortage on Varget. I got a several lbs rat holed.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 16:51
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I'm not sure I would do a 308 for a prairie dog hunt, unless you have free ammo on tap. The 7mm-08 is not a bad suggestion, I would also throw out 243Win.

On the fixed SS, I am a fan of the 10X, can't seem to get myself to be a fan of the others. The 10X is good for most applications, the higher powers are better at certain tasks, but not as good for general purpose scopes.

On reloading, 4350 is popping up and, though not as good for 308, it does lots of things well, especially if you decide on a 243. I know 308 ballistics by heart (168 Amax is my go to) and I still push the 243Win, just awesome bullet selection and awesome ballistics. It hits hard and it shoots true. And for prairie dogs, wow!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 17:16
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I've done a lot of PD shooting. If this rifle is intended solely for PDs and not serve double duty as a BG hunting rifle, I would NOT get a bore dia larger than 6mm (.244), long range or not, for multiple reasons. I've zapped countless PDs beyond 800 yds with a .223. If you're on a place infested with them, you will be doing a LOT of shooting. I've burned through 4000 rounds in a single weekend on multiple occasions. First, it's virtually impossible to consistently spot your shots (to correct for misses) through the scope at long distance with anything having more recoil than a .243 class cartridge, unless the rifle is extremely heavy AND braked. The slightest jolt from what you'd normally think is very mild recoil is enough to disturb your sight picture enough at high magnification at long range when viewing critters the size of PDs that you will have difficulty spotting your shot impacts. Second, assembling enough ammo sufficient for a good PD shooting trip is expensive enough with small calibers with modest powder capacity. What's more important for LR shooting is selecting bullets with decent BC, and you can do that with .22 and 6mm bullets. I'd personally pick the likes of .223, .22-250, 6 BR, .243, 6-284, .204, etc. you'd be surprised at the effective range of those rounds if you select the right bullets.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 19:51
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I haven't shot my 6mm br yet but I bought it for dawgs and targets. Can't tell you how it will shoot but for 1,200 if it lacks I can get a new barrel for 300 and still be under a build.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 20:13
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IMHO based on volume shooting of ground squirrels and PDs in ID, MT and WY an ideal battery for PDs is a 17 HMR, .22 Mag, a .204 or .223 and something in 6 or 6.5mm plus an accurate .22 LR pistol or revolver for the close in shots of opportunity.  If I could take only one centerfire rifle it would be a .204 and only one rimfire it would be .22 Magnum.  Although .308 does not have nasty recoil the cumulative effect of recoil over a several day period and several thousand rounds takes its toll.  Mirage can become a factor by mid morning so I would not go over 12x on a fixed power scope and really recommend a variable you can dial down to the 8-10 power range for really hot weather and hot barrels. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2015 at 20:42
Dakota66 View Drop Down
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Thanks all for the replies and thoughts will have to look into maybe a .243 as they are legal here for deer and coyotes also and a little cheaper than .308.
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