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#3970713 - 04/06/10 11:44 AM Re: Most explosive 50 grain varmint bullet in the 223? [Re: kcnboise]
VarmintGuy Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 6317
Loc: SW Montana
Kcnboise: Again the correct answer to your "popping" inquiry now that you have decided you are shooting/Hunting Prairie Dogs with your 223 - IS - the Sierra 50 grain Blitz (NOT the BlitzKings) bullets.
Again this bullet WILL really "pop" Ground Squirrels and Rock Chucks along with Prairie Dogs!
I have used these bullets for a VERY long time and have been very satisfied with them.
They ARE accurate and relatively inexpensive.
And to re-visit the the Ground Squirrels being "callt" Whistle Pigs - I spent 3 days this past long weekend at the Spokane, Washington Gunshow and MANY of the participants there were from Idaho and in fact several from Boise!
Our tables were unmistakeably leaning content wise toward long range shooters and Varmint Hunters.
We atrracted a LOT of Varminters.
I posed the question to virtually everyone who came along talking Varmints as to what "Whistle Pigs" are.
Everyone answered Rock Chucks!
Now again you can call your Ground Squirrels ANYTHING YOU want but in 51+ years of Hunting Varmints of all kinds all over the west I have never heard Ground Squirrels called "Whistle Pigs"!
Pertinent case in point: I Hunted one family ranch not far from Boise, Idaho for several decades starting back in the 1960's. The grandfather who was in his 80's back then and semi-retired but still living on the ranch, took me out one day and explained to me how his parents had homesteaded that ranch and they had tasked him with shooting the "Whistle Pigs" (Rock Chucks) when he was a youngster!
He and his progeny were still shooting the "Whistle Pigs" (Rock Chucks) after all these years and he wondered why the "Whistle Pigs" (Rock Chucks) were never shot out?
He also mentioned that during lean times of the Depression they would cook and eat the "Whistle Pigs" (Rock Chucks)!
He further relayed how the 3 to 4 pound "Whistle Pigs" (Rock Chucks) were the best eaters and that the big 10 pounders were to "fatty" to make good eating.
This life-long resident of the country east of Boise WAS NOT talking about Ground Squirrels when he mentioned Whistle Pigs.
As all during the time of our visit/Hunt we were SHOOTING Rock Chucks and he referred to them as "Whistle Pigs".
Speaking of the "noises" that Ground Squirrels make versus the noise that gave Wood Chucks and Rock Chucks THEIR nickname "Whistle Pigs", the Ground Squirrels noise is much less whistle like than the Rock Chucks noise.
The Rock Chucks do make a very shrill and distinct whistle like noise - Ground Squirrels make a much quieter and a more "peeping" like noise!
Thus the nickname of "Peeps" that is often used for Ground Squirrels around Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada and Utah Varmint Hunting Campfires.
Another reason Rock Chucks are referred to as "Whistle Pigs" is because they often (once mature) become VERY obese and covered with fat - like a pig.
Rock Chucks whistle, and they often are very fat, thus the nickname "Whistle Pigs".
Another pertinent point is many friends of mine (who Hunt and live where there are Wood Chucks) from back "east", where Ground Squirrels DO NOT live, refer to Wood Chucks and Rock Chucks as "Whistle Pigs".
Good luck to you on "popping" the Colony Varmints of all names and varieties this season!
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy


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#3970950 - 04/06/10 01:03 PM Re: Most explosive 50 grain varmint bullet in the 223? [Re: kcnboise]
drover Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 2232
Loc: Idaho
kcnboise,
Like you for the whistle pigs I lean to a 22 lr, there just isn't mass on them to waste a centerfire cartridge for shooting them unless they are out of 22 lr range then I will pull the 223 out. I use the Nosler 40 gr ballistic tips and on occassion they will not blow up on a whistle pig, not quite enough resistance I suppose. But for the Columbians I love the 40 gr Nosler out of my 223, it is going a chronographed 3760 and it does a number on them - there are no "walking wounded" when they are hit.

I was down your way about 3 weeks ago and had a great time shooting whistle pigs, they were thick. I needed a varminting fix and got it on that trip, my son, who lives in Boise, and I went out west of Boise and shot until we were tired of shooting. Your gophers are out about a month before ours are, we are just now starting to see a few in the mountains of central Idaho.

Your definition and descriptions of the two species are spot on. We have pockets of both here in central Idaho but our local Beldings are slightly larger than the Boise whistle pigs but not as large as I have seen in other places.

As far as what they are called, I lived in Boise for a couple of years over 40 years ago and at that time everyone called them whistle pigs or picket pins and when I was down there about 3 weeks ago folks were still calling them whistle pigs, it has been quite a while since I have heard anyone refer them to picket pins. Perhaps that is because not many folks know what a picket pin was anyway - it is a stake that you put into the ground to tie your horse to so they don't wander away, and a small standing gopher resembles a picket pin (without the horse tied to it of course - GRIN).

I go down to the Gooding and Twin Falls area to shoot rock chucks and I have never heard anyone down there call rockchucks "whistle pigs" everyone I know from that area calls them "chucks". Now chances are that somewhere around the area someone does call them "whistle pigs" that only means that different folks call them by different names. Not unlike Oregon and California folks calling gophers "diggers", I had never heard that term before I started frequenting the fire and seeing an occassional reference to "diggers" in Varmint Hunter magazine.

As to another posters comment that he questioned Boise people about what they called them and the responses he received were negative, perhaps it is because most of Boise and the surrounding area is populated by non-native folks from the area and there is a good chance that many of the folks he questioned were transplants to Idaho like he is a transplant to Montana although from his post you would think he has lived there forever. As a matter of fact it is difficult to believe that many Boise people would drive all the way to Spokane for a gunshow, that is not an easy to make trip from Boise.

drover




_________________________
223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.

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#3972566 - 04/06/10 10:19 PM Re: Most explosive 50 grain varmint bullet in the 223? [Re: drover]
kcnboise Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 931
I called Sierra and talked to one of their bullet techs - he said the plastic tipped Blitz King is more explosive than the Blitz.

I called Hornady back about SX availability, they won't be running any until May, so they're out for this season...

I grew up in Colorado; there we called the yellow bellied marmots whistle pigs. You didn't see them until you got up in the high country. When I moved to Idaho I can't tell you the number of times I got corrected when I called rock chucks whistle pigs...

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#3973628 - 04/07/10 10:34 AM Re: Most explosive 50 grain varmint bullet in the 223? [Re: quarterboredave]
Seafire Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 17100
Loc: Southern Oregon USA
The Speer 50 grain TNT and the Speer 52 grain HP, have both been pretty strong returns on investment for dramatic "splat factor" in most of my varminting..real accurate also..
_________________________
"........and I ain't asked any pardon, for anything I done!"


"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." —Theodore Roosevelt"

"why do I carry a 45? Because they didn't make a 46.."






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#3976367 - 04/08/10 07:37 AM Re: Most explosive 50 grain varmint bullet in the 223? [Re: Seafire]
keith Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 4061
A few years ago, the Pres of PMC ammo and I were doing some bullet testing up in N. Ca on ground squirrels. We were shooting a 223 and a 22/250. The Ballistician for PMC had loaded us 250 each of the 50g Nosler, 50g Blitz king, and 50g V Max. We both had custom 22 PPC's loaded with the Sierra Lead tip Bliz(1340).

We shot 250 straight with each of the various bullets and calibers trading off guns with each other to get a mental picture of what was happening with the launches and helicopters the squirrels were doing.

We quickly came to realize that the Irrigation pipe that was 10' or so off the ground that walked on Wheels around the field was a good measuring stick. The squirrels would be blown up so far in the air measured by the height of the irrigation pipe or sideways measured by the height of the irrigation pipe.

It did not take us long to see that the Sierra 50g Blitz king was the hands down winner. So, PMC loaded the Blitz king in their ammo.

I won a benchrest match in 1987 with a custom Benchrest rifle chambered in 22 PPC shooting a load of 25.0g of IMR 4198 with a Sierra 50g Blitz (lead tip-#1340). The Agg was 0.187 for five-five shot groups with the Warm Up group measuring .069 (warm up groups do not count in the agg Score). The Sierra 50g Blitz is an unreal accurate bullet which is why you see so many people that like them.

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#3978732 - 04/08/10 07:34 PM Re: Most explosive 50 grain varmint bullet in the 223? [Re: keith]
BuckeyeSpecial Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 463
"Whistle pigs" are the eastern ground hog, and not the western rock chuck...they are two different species!!! DUUHHH

The groundhog will on occasion let out a whistle [through its prodigious front teeth] to its brethren as an alarm when danger approaches. Don't know if rockchucks do that as I have never hunted them.

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#3979054 - 04/08/10 09:38 PM Re: Most explosive 50 grain varmint bullet in the 223? [Re: BuckeyeSpecial]
kcnboise Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 931
Yes, rockchucks and ground squirrels both also whistle to signal approaching danger. So, DUUHHH, that's why Westerners call them whistle pigs, too... Further, the rockchuck (Marmota flaviventris) and the groundhog (Marmota monax) are related - both in the marmot family. Even further, the groundhog (also known as woodchucks or whistle pigs) are found from east central Alaska south to northern Idaho and across southern Canada in the west. They are found throughout the eastern United States as far south as central Alabama and Arkansas and as far west as the plains states.

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