Re: Whats the best caliber of rifle for varmits?
100% of the ground Hogs I have interviewed would prefer to be shoot with a 223 over any other cartridge. They didn't say much as they all had softball sized holes in their body with guts hanging out.
I have 3 varmint rifles.
1. Remington 700 VLS in 223 kills out to 450 yards with 50gr V-Max bullets. Never lost one yet with that set up.
2. RRA Predator Pursuit Rifle in 223/556 killes out to 425 with this using 60gr V-Max bullets. The 425 yard shot was slightly down hill and it looked like that chuck jumped on a granade to save his buddies.
3. 25-06 M-98 custom. I have killed a ground squirrel at 475 yards with that one 1 shot no sighters. That gun is amazing. Lets just say once we made it to that kill it looked like someone sent it through a meat grinder 2 or 3 times.
For what the OP is asking a 223 bolt or AR will do him fine. Ammo is cheap even good quality varmint ammo. 22-250 220 Swift 25-06 is just burning more powder to do the same job....