Who says you can’t hunt varmints with a 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum? We will go on proving the point that EVERY cartridge is a varmint hunting cartridge. That’s what makes varmint hunting so great! I (David Hillis) was shooting this 6.5-300 Weatherby and Cache Carlson has already showed us that the .28 Nosler is a rockchuck slayer. What should we shoot next?
- Cartridge: 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum
- Weatherby Vanguard RMEF Edition
- Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25x56mm
- Leupold Back Country mount
- Vortex Precision Matched 34mm Rings
- Peterson Brass
- Hornady 143gr ELDX – 2980 FPS (over Vihtavuori N568)
These rockchucks live in large rockpiles that border an area where cattle graze. The rancher asked us to remove as many as we could, so we put the 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum to work! I situated myself in a position where I could make all the shots a prone position on the ground. The backstop was a large mountain not visible from our location, but high enough where we had no concerns (rancher was okay with it too). The shots with the Weatherby Vanguard rifle ranged from 190 yards, out to 257 yards. As noted above, I was shooting handloaded Hornady 143 grain ELD-X projectiles, loaded with Vihtavuori N568 powder, traveling at 2980 feet per second. Although this cartridge can push these projectiles much faster, an excellent accuracy node was found at this speed and I was satisfied with the ballistics for my needs.
After getting set-up and shooing the curious cattle away from my shooting location, Eric spotted a rockchuck on the top of one of the piles at 250 yards. I adjusted slightly and calculated the holdover needed for the shot (which was not much). The wind at the time wasn’t too bad, but I did notice it was swirling up on the ridge. At the crack of the shot, the rockchuck was blown a good 5-8 feet into the air and was instantly dead! After a few moments, Eric let out a huge, “Daaaamn”! Obviously, the shot impressed him (which is hard to do). I went on to shoot a couple of more, before the wind really picked-up and we had to call it for the day.
The question many are going to ask is, “Why?”. The answer to that question and many others that revolve around varmint hunting, is “Why not?”.
The question many are going to ask is, “Why?”. The answer to that question and many others that revolve around varmint hunting, is “Why not?”. I could give you the standard answer, like “It helps me make better shots on big game”, which is definitely true. But, it is not the reason I was shooting these rockchucks with the 6.5-300 Weatherby. I was actually testing out some new loads and wanted to see what this cartridge/projectile combo would do at 200+ yards on rockchuck. Also, because, why not?
We will be shooting more large caliber cartridges at varmints, to not only show that it can be done, but the results when you do so! My motto is, go have fun and use whatever cartridge you want when shooting varmints!
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