When it comes to prairie dog shooting, there are two clear schools of thought. First is the “whack ’em and stack ’em” crowd. These are the guys who have push-button counters hanging on a lanyard around their neck so they can keep track of the body count.
The other end of the spectrum is populated by the long-range guys. They’re also into numbers, but theirs are yards–the more of them between the muzzle of the gun and the prairie dog, the better.
Both types of shooter will find favor in these.
DPMS Panther Bull 24 Special
The AR 15–style DPMS Panther Bull 24 Special was the brainchild of my buddy and former DPMS owner Randy Luth. It features a 24-inch fluted stainless-steel barrel with a 1-in-9 twist. At 10.25 pounds before you scope it, the gun is heavy enough to fight recoil and allow you to spot your own long-range hits. ($1,229; dpmsinc.com)
Remington Model 700 VS SF II
If there’s a classic prairie dog rifle, this is it. I’ve had mine for close to 20 years, and the design hasn’t changed much. It doesn’t need to.
The 700 is legendary for out-of-the-box accuracy, and with a 26-inch bull barrel, this rifle milks all the performance possible from the design. Mine is in .22-250 Rem., because sometimes you just want to reach out to a prairie dog so far away that he chirps with a goofy accent. ($1,332; remington.com)
Savage 12 LRPV Dual Port
This single-shot bolt-action has the conventional ejection port on the right side of the receiver, but also has another port for loading on the left side. That turns it into a production-line rifle, where ammo is inserted in the left and fired out the center, and the empty case is ejected out the right. The accuracy of the Savage is good enough that the long-range guys build shrines to it in their basements. ($1,351; savagearms.com)
H&R 1871 Ultra Varmint Thumbhole Stock
Prairie dog guns don’t need to cost a lot of money, and any dimes you save on the rifle can be better spent on more ammo. The H&R line of single-shot rifles has long been underappreciated. They’re capable of incredible accuracy, particularly if you tune the trigger a bit.
The break-action H&R is offered in .223 Rem., .243 Win. and, my pick, .22-250 Rem. ($445; hr1871.com)
Four rifles that will satisfy all your prairie dog hunting needs.