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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a Ruger Predator 243 and have the Monstrum 8-32x56 scope mounted. I want as cheap as possible rangefinder that is great at ranging prairie dogs. I will be using this rifle for coyotes, prairie dogs, pronghorn and maybe a cow elk down the road. I have the scope set for the Winchester 95 grain Ballistic Silvertip for all of the above. I do not reload and I want to stick to one round for if at all possible. I figure that commercial loads are the route I’ll go for at least the beginning years of hunting. I am in no way new to guns and hunting but I am a beginner at prairie dogs and ranging them. This is a good start. Upgrades later .
 

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Bob, I don't mean to sound ugly or pry into your business, but can you tell us if you're Extremely Rich, Super Rich, or Just Plain Rich? Seriously, when you start talking one rifle for everything from PDs to elk and then say you'll need to buy commercial loads, you're gonna have to be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay somekinda rich.

If we confine ourselves to just the rangefinder question, that's considerably easier. I'd love to tell you the cheapest rangefinder that will work well on PDs, but I have no idea. I have a Leica that I bought maybe 10 years ago and like very much. I think I paid around $400 give or take. Honestly, given what you're gonna have to spend on commercial ammo, I'd hold off on a pricey rangefinder. Most guys go several/many years PD hunting without a rangefinder. We range 'em by watching for the puff of dust and then hold up or down based on that. Honest.
 

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Range finders are useless on prairie dogs. In the field you will be working low on the horizon and viewing multiple plateaus. Dust up shots are the only option. I had shots on the flat where the prairie dogs look 3 feet apart....ended up to be 30 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. You input is priceless for a beginner. At least I know that I don't know and appreciate any advise and humor. I don't expect to be the 1,000 yard shooter nor do I expect to be the shooter that burns out barrels with 1,000's of rounds sent down range. I have become a city slicker with multiple medical issues that keep me from heading to the great outdoors as I have done all my life. Now that I am officially "disabled" and not willing to stay parked on my ass in a recliner, I want to get back out in the wild and back into the shooting game after a near 30 year absence. I figured that since I am no longer a trophy hunter, I don't care for the taste of mule deer meat (can't call it venison after eatting southeastern white tail/black tail, corn and sweet pea fattened, mouth watering, beautiful venison and I can no longer walk 100 yards without excruciating pain in my feet - I gotta plan this next adventure out pretty thuroughly.
I loved river and highland lake/reservoir trout, northern, white perch fishing either walking or belly boating. I used an ultralite spinning rig with a torpedo bobber, 5 feet of #2-4 pound fly line and a seasonal, area specific fly or small spoon lure with the barb flatten and I caught up to 2 dozen rainbow, cutthroat, brown trout while the other fishermen wearing $300 waders and fishing with $600 fly rods were working on their 4th fish of the day. God, how I loved fishing into the wind rushing down the Arkansas River through the Big Horn Sheep Canyon, the "J-hooks", behind mid river boulders, along the opposite bank and under overhanging trees and brush. All the areas a flyrod just can't cut it. I loved the small game hunting along the trails leading to the remote lakes and reservoirs. When in season, the highland grouse shot with my 21 inch, Briley choke tubed, 28 gauge "poacher's gun" (CZ Bobwhite) tasted as good cooked over open flame as the trout and brook trout, perch, northern fried or smoked along the shore line with the camper or tent dwelling near enough to hear the water moving on it's way to the Mississippi in class 1-5 rapids. Damn that Ideopathic Peripheral Neuropathy.
So, now I am planning a single gun (rifle) sport with a couple of boxes of factory ammo. Killing coyotes, possible prairie dogs, pronghorn, and amy be a cow elk for her meat and leather (for a throw in my latter years). I now own a Ruger American Predator 22" threaded barrel 243 that shoots a consistant 1/2" group (from an unsteady shooter) at 100 yards using the Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 95 grain ammo. It is a coyote killer out to 800+ yards, prairie dog exploder out to whatever yardage I will be able to correctly range, and a humane harvester of pronghorn and cow elk out to 350 yards. I am a patient man and I don't take chances wounding game so, waiting on the best shot has always been my way of hunting and I have never lost a "cain cutter" (very large and beefy bunny) to deer size game as of yet. I am very confident of my caliber choice and my shooting skills. I just can't hike or shoreline/wade walk anymore. It's a challenge I am looking forward to meeting after hunting season ends this winter.
I am now the proud papa of the Sigsauer BDX system. I have the Sierra3 BDX scope 4.5-14x44 scope and the Kilo1000 range finder combo. The glass is a clear as any budget consious shooter can hope for. The system is guaranteed MOA accuracy out to 800 yards and the range finder ranges just fine within 0-800 yards. I also have a shooting mat by Ruger, a shooting 360 degree chair by Benchmaster, a Rhino R75-RTE 2 shooting blind, a good wind meter and rotating vane set on a light weight tripod. I created a light weight (sort of) shooting table with a sturdy rifle rest attached (Caldwell 7 raised and bolted to a protable, non rotating (unfortunately) shooting bench) with a cushioned screw on lid 5 gallon storage bucket for a seat.
I am gonna purchase Percision Armament's new muzzle break that reduces felt recoil by up to and may go beyond 80% reduction. This is for that quick second shot on the 2nd or 3rd coyote running together toward or away from my game caller/rabbit decoy. You gotta see the number of coyotes that plague area ranchers and mountain plains here in Colorado. I have a spot on BLM land that is surrounded by ranches which means plenty of coyotes. The largest herd of pronghorn I have witnessed out here was outside of Westcliff, CO (a beautiful 3 hour round trip drive from my house). It numbered in the hundreds. Cow elk and young bulls, mule deer, mountain lions, black/brown bear, coyotes roam our streets, golf courses and area ranches. My neighbor who was having her swamp cooler winterized had the maintenance man come down from her roof telling her that she needed to be careful with herself and her pets because she had mountain lion scat all over her roof. Apparently, a lion climbs up on her roof to look over into her neighbor's yard where they raise, chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, sheep, etc... and is appreciating the menue. I finally saw my mountain lion (in town) in my neighbor's tree back lit by nightlights. The hair on your neck stands up if you are a newbee to such things. I was in my back yard looking up at the stars when I detected movement in a tree less than 100 yards away as the animal was coming out of it's perch into the dark. I, sort of, backed into my closed-in porch's storm door like that was gonna protect me. I didn't see the cat again. It was either a young male or a female lion. The males will cover the white line at the edge of a country road with their nose while their tail will be touching the middle of the road yellow line. I know, cause we came up on one in a curve at night as it was crossing a country road. We were coming back from Brechenridge, CO which is 2 1/2 hours from our eastern slope, mountain town of Canon City, CO.
I have had 7 or more monster mule deer bucks, about 2.100 pounds of meat with antlers that could not get through our front door battle it out across the street in a small field in front of my house for the umpteen does that get gathered up before rut season. We grab a cup of coffee and go sit on our front porch to watch and listen to the antlers rattle as they spar for the rights to a small herd of doe deer (on our street). We then raise countless of beautiful fawns that travel through our yards with their mamas. The bucks then go back to running through our neighborhoods with impunity. Lots of aspens, maples, and cottonwoods get rubbed on and killed by bucks preparing their weapons for next seasons rut. I have my maple tree and shrubs wrapped in chicken wire to protect the trunks and leaves. we also have great fox, reccoons and the black and white "Pepe Le Pews" living in colverts and crawl spaces. We have neighborhood water ditches for the Arkansas River that runs through our little town and most of us irrigate our lawns, shrubs and gardens with river water. During spring fiver flooding from snow melt and rains we have world class rapids that kill upwards of 11 or more rafters each season. The last one here in town was a 17 year old girl from Arkansas pinned under the rocks in class 5+ rapids after she was thrown out of the group raft just a few yards from the unload point in our town. Bodies are well preserved in the cold water until the water level subsides enough to retrieve the bodies or they are forced to redirect the water enough to safely locate and retrieve the remains. Mountain living - even in town mountain living - is a whole bunch different than the quaint life back east where I lived my first 55 years of life. There I had wild hogs, rattle snakes, water moccasins, wild dogs and bootleggers to moix it up with while hiking, camping and hunting. We are not allowed to fire a weapon within city limits without a fine - even in self-defense. Ya, baby, stupid rules!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bob, I don't mean to sound ugly or pry into your business, but can you tell us if you're Extremely Rich, Super Rich, or Just Plain Rich? Seriously, when you start talking one rifle for everything from PDs to elk and then say you'll need to buy commercial loads, you're gonna have to be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay somekinda rich.

If we confine ourselves to just the rangefinder question, that's considerably easier. I'd love to tell you the cheapest rangefinder that will work well on PDs, but I have no idea. I have a Leica that I bought maybe 10 years ago and like very much. I think I paid around $400 give or take. Honestly, given what you're gonna have to spend on commercial ammo, I'd hold off on a pricey rangefinder. Most guys go several/many years PD hunting without a rangefinder. We range 'em by watching for the puff of dust and then hold up or down based on that. Honest.
I am extremely rich in BS and good friends. I do not expect that I will encounter many democrat prairie dogs. I would like to visit a pd town some day. In ve evolution into the varmint world shooting, I expect to get far more involved in coyote calling and shooting. I may not get that involved into ranging there either but it will be fun to try ranging any way. the lower flat land plains as well as the highland plains will offer ranging on pronghorns. The wind is a factor out here in ahooting compared to back east where the wind was only a factor in scent travel. The BDX system is phenomenal in the right settings. It is going to be a lot of fun where correct ranging is needed. We all know that there will never be a short supply of critics in any area where sportsmen gather. So, I expect nothing less here. I am on a beginner's budget and have viewed a bus load of youtube and rtead a library of reviews on everything varmint and longer range shooting (out to 800 yards for me but I expect <500 yards for the norm). The days of shooting up a gon of ammo are over in this boy's fun time. I owned my own 310 yard long, 75 ward wide and 20 foot deep shooting range where I sold gravel to the state hyway dept. I reloaded mostly pistol but I also built my own target/hunting loiads for my customized 25/06, 308 M14 M1A brush rifle, my accurized Ruger Ranch rifle shooting under 3 inches in the bull at 310 yards. I shot between 500 and 1,000 rounds of center fire ammo a month and 2,000 22 lr rounds a month when I owned my own company back east.
Now, my cell phone free BDX app, Kilo 1000 rangefinder bluetoothed to my Sierra3 4.5-14x44 scope will be feeding my Ruger American Predator the kick ass data to drop things out to 800 yards with MOA accuracy. I will upgrade only if needed. Dropping 20 yotes in a day will be a good day or a good hunting trip. So, a pronghorn hunt, a cow elk or a coyotes shoot will not require a reloading set up. I will carry my 10/22 backpacker rig with my 1-4 illuminated reticle or my Vortex SPARC Solar opticed Browning Buckmark carbine along with my 243 bolt action rig along with my M29 or Sig P210 in a chest holster should hold off an invading horde of ********, cannibalistic, democrat vermin or prairie dogs - which ever trips your trigger.
This is gonna be a fun discovery for this 70 year old shooter out in Colorado. I am still interested in prairie dogs but not nearly as enthusiastic as I am over coyote hunting. I chose the 243 Win due to it being the smallest caliber allowed in Colorado for large game. All the 243 shooters say it is best to shoot 75-95 grain bullets even at prairie dogs. I'll stick with the 95 grain for what I want to accomlish out here.
 
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