Coyotes - What is Optimal caliber?

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by Ten Man, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

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    I want a bolt action rifle with hunting/killing performance midway between .223 and .308 cartridges, that is MOA accurate to 200 yards.



    What rifle or cartridge should I be looking for?

    Maybe .30-30? Or reduced charge .308 soft points?

    The problem I am trying to solve is finding a cartridge that will drop a coyote at 150 yards, DRT, without over penetrating.

    It may just be a matter of changing bullets. The .223/5.56 bullets just seem to zip through them, and they run off. The .308 bullets make huge holes on the exit. I have bolt action hunting rifles in both of these calibers, and I am not getting the terminal performance I want.
     
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  2. mouser868

    mouser868 G&G Evangelist

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    22-250, 220 Swift, or possibly a .243
     
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  3. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

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    I've used my SKS for years for coyotes, and it always drops them. I've also used my Enfield. Both are great.

    I don't think there's really an ideal cartridge. I have a cousin that dropped one in one shot with his .17hmr.

    Whatever you like to use the most, just use that.
     
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  4. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

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    I have shot the 22-250, and it seems that it would just be worse than the .223 for overpenetration. I don't know about the 220 swift, but it sounds similar.

    I have not shot a .243. Are the bullets better at expanding than the 22 caliber bullets?
     
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  5. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

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    As I said, I am looking for a BOLT ACTION rifle for this purpose.

    The 7.62x39 seems to be just slightly less power than the .30-30. Is it going to do the job I want at 150 yards, i.e. DRT without blowing a big hole out the exit side"
     
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  6. mouser868

    mouser868 G&G Evangelist

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    If you use light varmint bullets you should be good, they should go in and not come out
     
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  7. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

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    yup. Usually the exit hole is just a gooey spot on the grass. I've been taking the Enfield lately and it is great, but it is a little harder to take down a pack in one go.

    For that matter I was able to get the slow movers of a pack several years ago with my CZ52 pistol at more than 50 yards from the seat of a moving tractor.

    It was at the end of the day when I was bush hogging and I didn't want to hunt through the tall grass to find them until the next day. Coyotes love coyote meat, so they had already cleaned up for me by the time I got back out.

    If I was hunting them for sport I might care about caliber, but since I've been just trying to keep them away from the cows it isn't a big deal.
     
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  8. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    Seems to me NOT a matter of caliber, bu of bullet choice and velocity.
    You need to try different bullets - find that which expands quickly at a lower velocity to dump it's energy RIGHT NOW and not exit. Have you tried the thinner-skinned .30-30 bullet in the .308 at a moderate velocity? Maybe the .30-30 specific leverevolution bullet?

    Posted From Gun & Game Mobile!
     
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  9. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

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    Thanks for all the REPLYs and suggestions, fellas.

    I did some research, and also called a guy that used to hunt them for bounty in Idaho. He cashed in on 78 hides, and said he lost about 20 more, in one year. He used a .30-30 lever, because he was on horseback. The bullets were semi-jacketed round nose flat point 170 grain soft points.

    He said the .30-30 made them DRT, with all his shots within 75 yards. He said he lost some of the longer shots, because he was shooting open sights.

    It seems to definitely be a "bullet selection" problem, since the search for "coyote preferred caliber" yielded mostly 22 caliber recommendations:
    .22Magnum, .223/5.56, 220 Swift, 22-250, and .243.

    I am not hunting for pelts. I am looking at eradication for livestock protection, and I want to make sure they are dead. Blowing a hole through one, and having it run away, leaves the outcome in question.

    Most of the articles I read on using the 22 caliber rifles called for hollow points or high expansion bullets.

    It seems that I would be better off, economically, to stay with the .223, and just find a high expansion bullet, rather than trying to "down load" the .308.

    There are a LOT of articles on the different 22 caliber bullets, and it's difficult to separate the "advertorial" write-ups from the "real" hunting results write-ups.

    My minimum distance shot will be 100 yards, and max distance out to 150 yards. I will not be stalking them, only shooting them from a fixed location. I do not care if it makes a big exit hole. I just want it to knock them dead with a shot through the torso. That is as precise as I am going to get at that distance.


    I should add that I am using a Ruger 77/223 rifle with a 24" barrel, 1/10 twist, with a 4-16x40 Alpen Apex Varmint Reticle scope. The rifle shoots 1.0 MOA with 55 grain bullets.


    For those of you that use the 22 caliber bullets, what do you find works the best on coyotes?






    .
     
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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  10. jwrauch

    jwrauch G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    Have you tried any of the varmint bullets in 223
     
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  11. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

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    The ammo I had available was 55 grain hollow points. Not good results, but not a surprise, because they are not hunting bullets.

    It was a matter of shoot the varmints before they got to the calves, last summer.

    Now that "reloading season" is upon us, I want to come up with an "ideal" load for the buggers for next Summer.




    My minimum distance shot will be 100 yards, and max distance out to 150 yards. I will not be stalking them, only shooting them from a fixed location. I do not care if it makes a big exit hole. I just want it to knock them dead with a shot through the torso. That is as precise as I am going to get at that distance.


    I should add that I am using a Ruger 77/223 rifle with a 24" barrel, 1/10 twist, with a 4-16x40 Alpen Apex Varmint Reticle scope. The rifle shoots 1.0 MOA with 55 grain bullets.


    For those of you that use the 22 caliber bullets, what do you find works the best on coyotes?





    .
     
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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  12. jwrauch

    jwrauch G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    If I were you I would load up some 55 gr Nosler Varmageddon bulletsas I have heard they are dynamite cuyote medicine. Maybe someone here has used them !! JR
     
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  13. thrillbilly

    thrillbilly G&G Evangelist

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    I use anything I have in hand to kill prairie dogs.

    BUT..if I was gonna HUNT them, and sell the hides...I would buy a 22/250

    I just use my .270, but it tears the hide up too bad to be valuable. So I want (at some distant date) to buy a rem700 varmint 22/250 and maybe make enough money off the hides to pay for it.
     
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  14. Virgil Caine

    Virgil Caine G&G Newbie

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    When I lived in Western Colorado I had 1200 head of sheep, and lots of coyotes. My absolute favorite rifle was a Ruger M77 220 swift with a 18X variable Burris. It has a heavy barrel, not bull, but heavy.Incredibly flat shooting and accurate.
     
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  15. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

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    Awesome.

    What BULLET were you shooting?
     
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  16. big boomer

    big boomer G&G Enthusiast

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    I have a 7.62x39 in a bolt action (they do make them) a 257 Roberts, 204 ruger, 243, 6mm, any of these would do nicely.
     
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  17. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    50gr speer TNT, or 50grn hornady VMAX.
     
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  18. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

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    Thank you, Lefty O!
     
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  19. rimfirenut

    rimfirenut G&G Addict

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    .223 is perfect for your range.. Try the white box Winchester U.S.A. in 45 grain hollow points, works great with no exit wound and smokin fast at 3600 fps...I also prefer the 50 grain v-max but have encountered exits with them around the 200 yard mark..Fiocchi has a 50 grain v-max offering that is superbly accurate in all my .223's, if you can find them they are reasonably priced at around $25-$30 per 50 rounds..If you reload you will have no problem finding good varmint bullets in the .224 class..
     
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  20. wharf

    wharf G&G Evangelist

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    I would use 22/250 with barnes varmint grenades,I used to head shoot foxes with these projectiles and they would stay in the head most of the time.Nosler balistic tips were my main projectile and might stay in the chest but will blow the head off.22/250 is fast and accurate out past 200yards.Mine was zeroed at 200yards.Anything inside of 350yards was toast.
     
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