A Savage Axis is good for gopher to how many yards?

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by d_p_holland, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. I'm thinking of a new 'cheap' (under $500) small varmint (squirrel/rat/chuck) rifle that makes the cut for squeaky rodents perhaps up to 200 yards scoped or 100 yards w/ iron sights.

    I looked at a Savage Minimalist and it looks ugly as sin. I want a rifle with traditional styling.

    I want the gun to fire centerfire 22-ish calibers that tend to be no more than .30 cents a shot. .22 WMR rifles are largely out of stock and I might even be better served with a centerfire varminter like .223 Remington. .22-250 ammo is expensive and burns out barrels.

    Is there a better quality/more accurate "budget varminter" than this Axis or anything made by Savage? I still like bolt action over semis, pumps and levers for this purpose.

    This video makes the Axis look like a sloppy shooter or this guy can't shoot for chit:

  2. 410dude

    410dude G&G Evangelist

    I agree the Savage Minimalist looks ugly as sin.

  3. I've killed groundhogs out to 450 yards with a 22-250
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  4. mauser9

    mauser9 G&G Evangelist

    How about that Ruger Predator. Greenish stock I think. Just a thought.
  5. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    how accurate any "gun" is depends on the specific firearm, the optic, the ammo, and the shooter, as well as environmental and situational conditions.

    I agree with you on the fact that .223 or even .204 would be better than either rim-fire or the .22-250 for the reasons you stated.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  6. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    THIS is where the 17HMR would be a good pick. Better yet, the newer 17WSM.
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  7. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    I think they are kinda cool looking, whats so ugly? the funky stock cut out? i mean its unconventional , but saves weight and isnt really doing much anyways.. the stock colors/ materials are pretty neat.

    what they really should have done is make the stock hold a spare mag or two.
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  8. 410dude

    410dude G&G Evangelist

    I don't like the stock.
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  9. redcaddy51

    redcaddy51 G&G Evangelist

    I picked up a well used Axis flat back, synthetic stock, in 30'06 light taper hunter barrel,for a song, swapped on an Excaliber 18 inch heavy varmint barrel in .458 SOCOM. (the '06 bolt head covers a bunch of calibers from 6.5 Creedmore to .243) add a 6.5 X 24 x55 scope. Now I have a 7.5 pound, big bore truck gun that will hold 1 MOA past 200 yards.

    I found a used Boyd's thumb hole, laminated Varminter stock that I will pillar AND full length bed. (That heavy barrel is too heavy to free float in the laminate, even with pillars) Full length bedding doesn't seem to effect the sine wave of the heavy barrel, and an 11° target crown seems to help.

    The same things can be done in a smaller bore, like .257 Roberts, 257 AI or even 6-PPC. I just finished a similar heavy barrel Edge build in 22 K Hornet, that's a real gnat circumciser.(Barrel blank cost more than the donor rifle) I also built an AXIS in .218 Marshburn Bee that was spectacular, of course both of those must be handloaded to reach true potential. other wise, I'd stay with a .223.

    Blueprinting the action and adding a 1/4 inch recoil lug just improves the potential of the Savage short action. Well worth DYI, but a bit pricey to have a pro do it for you.

    For my latest build, the key was a short, stiff heavy barrel, good handling and easy carry balance in a big bore DRT caliber. YMMV
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  10. I have a Savage Axis in .223 it is a fine shooter, I replaced the polymer stock with a Boyds laminate and installed an MCARBO trigger kit and the rifle really performs. I got the gun on Armslist for a great price, the stock and trigger kit only made the gun more user friendy..I like Savage's products.
  11. Yes, the Ruger American Predator .223, olive drab (OG green?) stock, but I like the looks of the gun. It would make a neat little centerfire fun gun in that novel color to blast rodents and fox away. Out of Stock is still the mantra of today's gun vendors for popular models as that. There are a few Savages out there but I don't know about today's Savage "quality". The only Savage really worth a dam to me is that sorely-missed and long-gone Model 99 lever job. One in pretty shape will cost a couple grand these days if it can be found even. A bolt-action in 22 bore is more of a varmint rifle anyway.
  12. It seems like you don't have to do all that with a Ruger American out of the box except mount, bore-sight and zero a scope.
  13. Ron The Legend

    Ron The Legend G&G Evangelist

    I have a Savage Axis in 22.250. I had to rework the ejector spring and ball to get it to eject. Then went to work on that miserable trigger. It shoots ok now but with the thin barrel it's not meant for an afternoon of shooting prairie dogs. Cost of ammo if you reload is ok. Mine is just a truck gun for the occasional yote. Go with Ruger IMHO. And .233 if you can find one. A .243 with 60 gr. handloads works very well too and doubles as a great deer gun.
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  14. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I have a Howa 223 that I have used to head shoot prairie dogs at 200 yards and more. Same as the Vanguard. Of course most ARs produced these days will do the same. I just like to have the 6x24 scope on mine for longer ranges.
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  15. My Vanguard 6.5 Creedmoor on order will be my deer gun. .223 is too inhumane for deer. I would rather shoot 'yotes with 6.5 CM as well.

    I figure a .223 would be great for (where legal to shoot or as a pest on private land):

    -ground squirrels
    -prairie dog towns
    -pesky fox
    -pesky skunk
    -pesky porcupines
    -pesky coon
    -pesky bobcat

    A gopher or a squirrel should blow up with a .223 round for dramatic effect and entertainment. Something a magnum rimfire might not even provide.

    6.5 Creed would work for (where legal to shoot or as a pest on private land):

    -wild pig
    -black bear

    Goodness, with the right loading, 6.5 Creedmoor could even work for elk or moose up closer. Would it work for mountain goat or sheep? There are generally long range. I dunno.
  16. Well, I did it!

    I found this puppy on Bud's Gun Shop and ordered it in .233/5.56 NATO:

    Ruger American Ranch Rifle, bolt-action, 16" barrel, should be called a carbine

    My new gopher gun is on its way. Also ordered for this "AR-15 caliber" manual-repeating rat-buster a Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief, 3-9X 40mm, XAegis Carbon Fiber 6"- 9" Rifle Bipod with Picatinny Adapter, Carbon Bipod for Hunting&Shooting and Leupold Rifleman Scope Rings Model #55860 - Rifleman Rings 1" - Detachable Medium Rings with a Matte finish from amazon.com. The price of a new Harris bipod is much too rich for my blood. An Atlas bipod, fine if you are Trump rich. The bipod is sling-stud-mounted so it will fit my Weatherby rifle as well.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  17. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Good choice. You should be pleased with that little gun. That gun in 223 and 7.62 x 39 have received high reviews since they hit the market and the 350 Legend is getting them this year as well. That gun and the 350 Legend version both use AR 15 magazines, always a plus when you can find the plastic ones for $10. Ruger made an excellent business decision on that line.

    I have the Harris bipod and copies, way overpriced since many copies appear to be clones. However, they are too short for much actual field use because nobody mows the grass where the critters tend to live, but fine on the bench.

    I have 16 inch carbines and you will enjoy that overall 36 inch length. They come out of the truck or wherever quickly.

    If you happen to try it on hogs, try to find some of those Wolf brand 75 grain hollow points. Great little rounds for a 223. Just shoot them low behind the shoulder.

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  18. I saw a YouTube that suggests Wolf ammo is very inaccurate. I want brass cartridges in my guns. I will not dare lay down in the prone or even set up a field bench where snakes and other nasties may hide out. On flat bare dirt or gravel with a tarp spread out, a short bipod should work for varminting from the prone. I like the notion of setting up a field bench for a prairie dog or open-field chuck shoot. A bipod might not be of much use for a coyote shoot. I associate bipods in the field mainly with long-range rodents.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  19. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I would not lay awake at night based on some review I saw on UTube about one brand of ammo or another. I suggested the 75 grain HP which was developed by Wolf for use in the newer 223 guns with 1/7-1/9 twist, back then they were very different than the established military twist of 1/12 which would not stabilize the heavier and longer bullets hunters and competitors want. Here is a link to SG where you can look at the reviews for all brands and quantities of 75 grain ammo for the 223. 19 of the 20 reviews gave it a 5 rating and only one gave it a 4 rating. The guy that gave it a 4 rating only said the worked "good out to 300 yards". Pretty funny if they are good at 300, what is the complaint? That they make a thud when they hit the ground? Now look at the SG reviews for the other brands, all listed as Match ammo costing from 75 cents to $1 per round. The Wolf had just as good ratings as the Hornady and others and was 31 cents or so. I use it for my defense ammo and use the 62 grain military issue stuff in my spare mags.

    My experience is they would shoot one inch in my AR with its 1/9 twist, cannot expect much more than that. They are hard to find so I hoard the 5-6 boxes I have left. They are a preferred round for hunting hogs in Texas. My suggestion is they should work very well in your bolt if you can find them. They are designed for match work, but the little HP is claimed to work well on hogs. FWIW
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020 at 12:15 AM
  20. What it amounts to is you're going to have to try more than one type of ammo to see what your gun likes. Also if you reload for it, you may have to try several different powder bullet combinations to find what your gun likes best.
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