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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got some sort of weird compulsion to buy a rifle. I know, I know, we all suffer from it.

I've been seriously considering a .17 WSM for over a week now. I want something longer ranged than my .17 HMR for Prairie Dogs. Full disclosure here, I have a Rem 700 in .22-250 and two rifles chambered for .222 Remington; a Rem 40-X and a Sako. Both cartridges in any of those rifles will do what I'm after and are already set up. Yet somehow I still want a .17 WMR. I can't even load for the .17's. This irrational desire for more rifles is clearly a character flaw, right?

I did go ahead and order a few hundred 50 grain varmint bullets to load for both the 22-250 and 222. I think I caved to my other desire to not add more to my overflowing safes, but wouldn't be surprised at an impulse purchase of a .17 WSM in the next few months...

To make some conversation, what cartridges and platforms do you use when hunting Prairie Dogs?

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i've looked that win rim fire round over pretty hard.
i'm glad i didn't buy the rifle since i ain't seen a single round of ammo for it since like the year after they invented the round.

i was gonna get one to shoot ground squirrels and the like then punch the cases out to make 7mm jackets from them.
 

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As I said in the other post, I love the 17 WSM. It is a 200yard gun, my 17HMR and my 22 mag Ruger Precision Rimfire, all shoot under .5 inch. I shoot all three suppressed. That said, the WSM basically doubles the range. Now, I have not shot prairie dogs with it. I have a dedicated varmint gun which is a 223 with a 6 x 24 x 50 scope. I also load some 34 grain Dogtown bullets for it, I think the are about 3600 fps from my 24 inch barrel. It has far greater range and wind ability than the 17.

As I said in the other post I highly recommend it. If you like the 17HMR you will love the WSM. It doubles the range.
 

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My grandfather and his brothers used to shoot the prairie dogs with .38 SPC revolvers. They considered it unsporting to use a rifle on the little critters. 50 or 60 yard shots with a .38 were their game. I didn't know they were such sharpshooters for many years. Grandad and Jerry are both taking dirt naps, only Alan is still here to tell the stories.
 

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My grandfather and his brothers used to shoot the prairie dogs with .38 SPC revolvers. They considered it unsporting to use a rifle on the little critters. 50 or 60 yard shots with a .38 were their game. I didn't know they were such sharpshooters for many years. Grandad and Jerry are both taking dirt naps, only Alan is still here to tell the stories.
thats pretty impressive, but with enough practice, im sure its possible
 

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When I lived in Colorado my room mate and I shot prairie dogs almost every weekend. He had a Remington 700 in .17 that was a decent shooter, he had another chambered in .223 and another in .22-250, he also used to bring his reach out and touch 'em chambered in .240 Weatherby Magnum. I had a Savage 110FP chambered in .223 as well as a Sako chambered in .22.250 I also used to bring my Ruger 77/22 in .22LR. To me the faster shooting .22-250 was a great performer, it tended to do well when it was windy. For calm days the .223 was inexpensive to shoot has minimal recoil and relatively quiet when shooting on the prairie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I lived in Colorado my room mate and I shot prairie dogs almost every weekend. He had a Remington 700 in .17 that was a decent shooter, he had another chambered in .223 and another in .22-250, he also used to bring his reach out and touch 'em chambered in .240 Weatherby Magnum. I had a Savage 110FP chambered in .223 as well as a Sako chambered in .22.250 I also used to bring my Ruger 77/22 in .22LR. To me the faster shooting .22-250 was a great performer, it tended to do well when it was windy. For calm days the .223 was inexpensive to shoot has minimal recoil and relatively quiet when shooting on the prairie.
Makes me wish I'd kept my Ruger American Predator in .223.
 

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I’ve never used the 17 WSM, but I was taken in by all the hype over the 17 HMR when first came out. I was very disappointed in the terminal performance of the tiny pill on prairie dogs.

I switched to a .22 Hornet for my small PD gun, I liked it so much I have 2 now. It got to be that I didn’t use the .223 much anymore. Just the hornet for close in work and the .22-250 when I need to reach out.
 

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Get what suits your fancy. However I do consider ammo availability and cost. I have a Rem 700 .223 target varmint and a WBY Vanguard .223 both are extremely accurate (the Rem does better and much heavier) so I configured the Vanguard for hunting and it is lighter to carry. I reload so ammo shortages have not been an issue. Whatever you choose, care and feeding keeps everyone happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh jeez.
I’ve never used the 17 WSM, but I was taken in by all the hype over the 17 HMR when first came out. I was very disappointed in the terminal performance of the tiny pill on prairie dogs.

I switched to a .22 Hornet for my small PD gun, I liked it so much I have 2 now. It got to be that I didn’t use the .223 much anymore. Just the hornet for close in work and the .22-250 when I need to reach out.
I had forgotten about the .22 hornet. That’s a sweet cartridge too.
 

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I’ve never used the 17 WSM, but I was taken in by all the hype over the 17 HMR when first came out. I was very disappointed in the terminal performance of the tiny pill on prairie dogs.

I switched to a .22 Hornet for my small PD gun, I liked it so much I have 2 now. It got to be that I didn’t use the .223 much anymore. Just the hornet for close in work and the .22-250 when I need to reach out.
Nothing wrong with the hornet and certainly better for things like coyote. But when the 17 WSM was created the 22 Hornet was about dead. Too many people went to the 223 and the 204 and the 2 17 Remington rounds. Then not long after, the 17 Hornet hit the market. Too many choices. I have not seen much 22 hornet ammo on the shelf in maybe 10 years. That said. the 17WSM was created to replace it with a rimfire. Here is what the NRA said about it in 2014.

"''Bottom line is this: Winchester’s new .17 WSM provides better performance than a .22 Hornet in a rimfire package that’s less than half the price of the .22 Hornet. Its trajectory is 50-percent flatter than the .17 HMR. I have had a fair amount of experience with both the .17 HMR and the .22 Hornet, and I am a big fan of both. Count me in as a proponent of this new cartridge "' Rimfire Screamer: The .17 WSM | An Official Journal Of The NRA (americanrifleman.org)

I am not sure where they get their data, but at least for the first 250 yards the 17WSM is like laser and the Hornet is starting to fade. FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The only manufacturer I found still making a .22 Hornet is Savage. There are more options in .222 Remington than 22 Hornet at the moment. The old Ruger M77's chambered for it sure seem to be grabbing a premium on GB though. Not saying anything, just found it interesting.
The 22 Hornet, Swift, and Bee all seem to be niche at the moment. I never had much interest in the small varmint cartridges, this is all new territory for me. I knew about them of course, but never looked hard at any of them until now.

The .204 Ruger is an odd cartridge. Pretty darned neat with it's listed velocities but I can't imagine the barrels are long lived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Both of my Hornets are Ruger 77/22s. One has the standard blue barrel and walnut stock, the other is a stainless heavy barrel with the laminated wood.
Nice! I immediately went and looked at them after the post mentioning the cartridge it last night. Mostly to check availability and prices, possibly to buy if they were relatively affordable. Given the bids on the current crop of 77/22's on GB I didn't enter into the foray. It's a neat cartridge though.
 

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Nothing wrong with the hornet and certainly better for things like coyote. But when the 17 WSM was created the 22 Hornet was about dead. Too many people went to the 223 and the 204 and the 2 17 Remington rounds. Then not long after, the 17 Hornet hit the market. Too many choices. I have not seen much 22 hornet ammo on the shelf in maybe 10 years. That said. the 17WSM was created to replace it with a rimfire. Here is what the NRA said about it in 2014.

"''Bottom line is this: Winchester’s new .17 WSM provides better performance than a .22 Hornet in a rimfire package that’s less than half the price of the .22 Hornet. Its trajectory is 50-percent flatter than the .17 HMR. I have had a fair amount of experience with both the .17 HMR and the .22 Hornet, and I am a big fan of both. Count me in as a proponent of this new cartridge "' Rimfire Screamer: The .17 WSM | An Official Journal Of The NRA (americanrifleman.org)

I am not sure where they get their data, but at least for the first 250 yards the 17WSM is like laser and the Hornet is starting to fade. FWIW

This is exactly the kind of hype that I fell for when I bought my 17 HMR. It was accurate, flat shooting and would drift in the wind with the slightest breeze. The big problem I had with it was the of terminal performance. I never saw it live up to the hype in the field. When I shoot I PD I want instant death and I want to see the splat. I don’t want the PDs limping away or dragging themselves back down a hole. Hopefully, the 17 WSM significantly outperforms the HMR, but call I’m still skeptical.

A 35 grain v-max out of a hornet will tear up a PD at 150 yards. And, me being a reloader. I can put together my own ammo for half the cost of buying 17 rim fires. I can load over 600 22 Hornets with a single pound of H110.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
This is exactly the kind of hype that I fell for when I bought my 17 HMR. It was accurate, flat shooting and would drift in the wind with the slightest breeze. The big problem I had with it was the of terminal performance. I never saw it live up to the hype in the field. When I shoot I PD I want instant death and I want to see the splat. I don’t want the PDs limping away or dragging themselves back down a hole. Hopefully, the 17 WSM significantly outperforms the HMR, but call I’m still skeptical.

A 35 grain v-max out of a hornet will tear up a PD at 150 yards. And, me being a reloader. I can put together my own ammo for half the cost of buying 17 rim fires. I can load over 600 22 Hornets with a single pound of H110.
I shot a couple dozen prairie dogs with my .17 HMR two weeks ago. They didn't explode like they do with the .222 Rem, but they all died on the spot.

Pull the trigger,
watch the dog flop over dead,
hear the thump.

A cleverer man could turn that into a Haiku...

Ranges were from 125 to 225 yards. Wind drift was surprisingly small at those ranges, certainly more than the .222, but it was consistent and therefore manageable.

I was using the Federal Speer TNT ammunition, so maybe that ammo performs a little better than average?
 
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