Skip to main content Skip to main content

My Favorite Prairie Dog Battery

My Favorite Prairie Dog Battery
Larry Potterfield's Favorite Prairie Dog Battery

How many guns does one man need to shoot prairie dogs? Well, at least three, one for up close, one for mid-range and one for way out there. Always experimenting, I settled on a three-gun battery that made the most sense to me.

My short-range gun, out to 50 yards, was a Smith & Wesson Model 28, 357 Magnum, with a 6” barrel. Full-house 125 grain JHP hand loads were my favorite and typically I would shoot 150-200 rounds per trip. Earlier, I tried a S&W M-19 with 4” barrel, but it just wasn’t heavy enough to enjoy shooting 357 Magnums through.

Mid-range was everything out of reach of the Smith 28, but not far enough out to require a scoped rifle. If the sun was shining and the wind quiet, the dogs would stand up and I could see them well enough to shoot with iron sights out to about 125 yards. For this shooting, I preferred a Remington #1-1/2 Rolling Block Sporting Rifle in 32/20 Winchester. A folding tang rear sight and Beech front, provided for the finest sight picture. I’ve also used a Winchester low wall and a Winchester Model 92, in the same caliber, for mid-range work; but the Rolling Block is easier and more efficient to operate, as you simply roll back the hammer, then the breech block to extract the empty case and load a fresh round. The low wall and 92 require a second hand to operate the under lever. Whether walking & stalking, sitting at the bench or shooting off the truck door, this little rifle was always a joy to shoot and very accurate with Hornady 90 grain XTP bullets.

The third gun in my battery, and always the last one put into action, was a Remington Model 7 in 221 Fireball, with a Leupold 6-1/2 x 18 side-focus scope and a 40-X trigger. I have shot dogs with this gun out to four hundred yards on a calm day when the sun was shining; but have used it at 75 yards, shooting heads, on overcast days -- with the wind blowing at gale force. I have also fired lots of 222 Remington, 223 Remington, 223 Ackley Improved and 22-250, always in Remington actions; but settled on the 221 Fireball.

This three-gun battery served me well, and on my next trip, these will be the guns I take along.

Larry Potterfield
North, South, East and West of
Medicine Bow, Wyoming
June 2008

For more of Larry’s Short Stories, visit

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Why Kayak Size Matters: What to Consider When Purchasing a Kayak

Why Kayak Size Matters: What to Consider When Purchasing a Kayak

In this video we discuss what you should consider when deciding what size kayak you should purchase. Things like how you will store and transport your kayak as well as where you will be fishing the most are all important considerations.

Two-Person Tandem Kayak Options: Crescent Crew & Hobie Mirage Compass Duo

Two-Person Tandem Kayak Options: Crescent Crew & Hobie Mirage Compass Duo

In this video we discuss the benefits of considering tandem kayak options, like the Crescent Crew, which can be ideal for families with small children or pets.

Prepare Now To Catch Fish Later

Prepare Now To Catch Fish Later

Professional bass angler Brian Latimer spends a great deal of time each week preparing for the fishing tournaments he travels the county to compete in.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now