It’s a rare hunter that doesn’t feel the itch to get out there between the big game seasons. The solution to this dilemma for thousands of hunters is varmint hunting.

As fun and absorbing as varmint hunting can be, it can also serve an environmentally and ecologically important function by culling invasive, destructive, and financially burdensome species that eat crops, destroy property, kill native species, spread disease, and can otherwise run amok in places they shouldn’t be.

While caliber is certainly important when hunting smaller varmints such as prairie dogs, rats, starlings, squirrels, and the like, if you score a hit on one above the legs with 22 LR ammo or up, a clean kill is pretty much assured. That is not the case with medium-to-larger varmints.

18To avoid the unnecessary suffering of a varmint (annoying as they may be, they’re just doing what they do instinctually), be sure to choose an appropriate caliber. The following three varmints can be used as stand-ins for varmints of roughly the same size. Considering the popularity of the AR-15, the caliber chosen was one compatible with the AR platform—the 22 Nosler.

Medium Varmints: 22 Nosler

Nosler has been knocking it out of the park recently with their cartridge innovations, including the 26, 28, 30, and 33 Nosler cartridges, but their 22 Nosler may be the most exciting. It’s technically the smallest caliber in the AR platform, but don’t let that fool you. It outperforms the .223 Remington cartridge in case volume, velocity, and energy, with hundreds more FPS.

Basically, it hits like a dump truck. It also means a long, flat, straight trajectory making it perfect for medium varmints. Perhaps best of all, if you own an AR-15, you don’t need to invest in a new rifle. Just switch out the upper receiver and mags and you’re ready to rock and roll.


Left to their own devices in the wild, groundhogs are harmless beasts that mind their own business. However, when they start undermining pastures, destroying lawns, ruining crops, and otherwise damaging property, they become a problem. That’s when the 22 Nosler becomes the go-to problem solver.


Like everything else, coyotes play a vital role in the ecosystem, even culling other varmints. However, they become an issue when they begin overpopulating in a region and invading suburban and even urban areas, killing pets and livestock. As long as it can be taken safely, the 22 Nosler will do the trick.


These enormous rodents, aka coypu, are indigenous to South America but were introduced to the United States where they have been causing a massive amount of damage in Louisiana. Alarmingly, the destructive feeders and burrowers have now begun showing up in California and the state is scrambling to deal with them before they cause even more havoc. If you live in either of these states, pick up that Nosler and do nature a favor.

Bonus Tip

If feral hogs are a varmint on your dance card, the 22 Nosler may do the trick but considering the thickness of their hides (and sharpness of their tusks), consider switching up to a 300 AAC Blackout upper for your AR to ensure a successful drop.

About Ammunition Depot

Ammunition Depot is the premier online merchandiser of ammunition, from single boxes to bulk orders and from 300 AAC Blackout brass to .22 LR ammo. Founded by proud Americans, they put a premium on our freedoms and our right to defend us, ours, and our country. A freedom guaranteed by our Constitution.

The Ammunition Depot team is proud to provide great jobs in their home state of Florida, with an emphasis on hiring vets. They plan to continue creating jobs; supporting charities for our troops, law enforcement, and shooting sports; and providing bullet-fast delivery of quality products for decades to come.

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