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View Full Version : 'Yote hunters. Help me put together a coyote gun


Diesel65
March 1, 2006, 03:28 PM
I've gotten interested in hunting yotes. Unfortunately, the season just ended here, but that gives me a few months to come up with a good platform, and plenty of time get familiar with it at the range. I'm not planning to go after deer with this gun. So, I've got a few questions for the veteran coyote hunters.

Hunting will be in timber, clearcuts, and fields. 90% or more of the ranges will be below 300 yards, but may have occaisional 300-500yd opportunity. I'm only interested in the 22-250 & 243 calibers for this gun. I will likely buy a used gun and make modifications as I wish. Pelt damage is not concern.

1. I like rifles with shorter barrels. Do you think a 20-21" barrel is too short for those rounds and coyote hunting? (rare opportunities past 300yds)

2. Would a heavy barrel be much of a benefit? (doubt I'll be heating up the barrel much, 'cept at the range) Seems like it would be better for the folks who shoot lots of rounds at prarie dogs and such. What do you think?

3. What stock options do you like? (varmit style, standard hunter, thumbhole, etc)

4. What about scopes? Is a typical deer hunting scope in 2x7 or 3x9 ok? Or, should I look at something a bit stronger for yotes, fox, and bobcat?

5. Lastly, (might as well ask ;) ) which of the two calibers would you feel is best suited to the hunting conditions I've described.

Don't want to take up too much of your time, so short answers would be great. Any additional feedback you'd care to share would be icing on the cake! Thanks

Art Eatman
March 1, 2006, 04:42 PM
My Sako Forester .243 carbine came with a 19" barrel. I've killed over 20 deer with it, and a fair number of coyotes.

You can always have a barrel cut to your own specs. From the "Houston Warehouse" article, the absolute perfect length for accuracy is 21.5 or 21.75 inches, I disremember. (Gotta get off my duff and Google it back up.) But I commonly stay at 1/2 MOA with my rig.

Standard weight hunting barrel is plenty good. Rare I've ever had to take a second shot, but almost any barrel will give very small groups with just two or three shots.

I don't think it matters a lot whethere it's a 2x7 or a 3x9 scope. I've never use the big-50 lenses, either. My Leupold 2x7x3? works just fine at night.

Standard stock has always worked for me.

I'm very pleased with my load with the Sierra 85-grain HPBT, these last 30 or so years. The Federal factory load with that bullet is as accurate as my handloads, I should give them a thumbs up for discovering that. :)

Hope this helps,

Art

PPD7617
March 1, 2006, 08:19 PM
Wilson barrel, .223 20" with 1 in 8 twist
It's not the caliber you are looking for but it'll do everything you stated as a requirement for your needs.

FirstFreedom
March 1, 2006, 09:05 PM
1. I like rifles with shorter barrels. Do you think a 20-21" barrel is too short for those rounds and coyote hunting? (rare opportunities past 300yds)

No, that's fine. I personally would get a 22-24" bbl just for the extra vel, but it doesn't really matter when it comes down to it.


2. Would a heavy barrel be much of a benefit? (doubt I'll be heating up the barrel much, 'cept at the range) Seems like it would be better for the folks who shoot lots of rounds at prarie dogs and such. What do you think?

I agree. You're not going to shoot a ton of shots, so a sporter weight is fine. Barrel quality is more important that thickness.


3. What stock options do you like? (varmit style, standard hunter, thumbhole, etc)

Just whatever floats your boat - stock to action fit (including possibly bedding the action) is more important than external curvatures. Just whichever one is light enough to tote it around with you, and feels good & natural to you. The weight you can tolerate depends on how far you're going to carry it. Howa has a good selection of stocks - you can get the thumbhole for example, both with or without the wide varminter front portion.


4. What about scopes? Is a typical deer hunting scope in 2x7 or 3x9 ok? Or, should I look at something a bit stronger for yotes, fox, and bobcat?

I'd definitely get a bit bigger, like a 4-12, 5-15, or maybe even a 6-18. Depends on how long of a shot you'll be taking, and whether you're going to hunt a lot at dusk & dawn.

5. Lastly, (might as well ask ) which of the two calibers would you feel is best suited to the hunting conditions I've described.

.243 Win, definitely.

Nice paint job, PPD! :)

TJ Freak
March 1, 2006, 09:23 PM
I use a Rem .22-250 model 700. I have a Burris FullfieldII 3x9 ballistic plex scope, (Got it at Fox Optics for 160.00 to my door). Shoots flat, everyone drools, compare their .223's to it, say it really shoots fast, I use Hornady 40 gr bullets, don't reload, but save my brass. Only regret I have is I wanna save pelts to tan. Bullets aren't too expensive. Just getting out is good for the soul. I use Primus howler's and distress calls. Varmit Al's hunting page has calls ya can download and lot's of good advice.

Good Hunting!

Take a kid.

Diesel65
March 2, 2006, 12:09 AM
Art & FirstFreedom, I do like the flexibility the .243 offers with all the different bullet sizes. I'm leaning more toward .243 for that very reason. That little Sako Forester sounds like a sweet little gun! I don't feel the extra barrel length is necessary for the ranges I typically hunt, I don't mind loosing some velocity with those rounds for the benefit of having a handier gun to tote around. Just wanting to get some opinions from experienced coyote hunters.

PPD, LOVE that paint job, especially the coyote - very nice!

Thanks for all the feedback so far!

kingudaroad
March 2, 2006, 07:49 PM
The season is over? I can't believe coyotes are protected in Arkansas by having a season.

Good to be a Texan:cool: ... Sorry for the hikack....y'all continue.:)

brianidaho
March 2, 2006, 08:23 PM
How about a Coyote for Coyotes??

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=44083676

Unfortunatly prices have gone nuts with the announcement of the Winchester plant closing, you could pick one of these up for $500 or so a month or 2 ago, I thought they were a great rifle for that price.

Bri

PPD7617
March 2, 2006, 09:01 PM
Diesel65 Thanks for the compliment!
That is the first rifle I've ever painted. I read the "paint your rifle" section on Varmint Al's and "How to Camo by CamoJack" which is linked from Al's section and got 'er done. I had a hard time putting the first paint on thinking I'd screw it up but it turned out ok. The coyote was a picture I cut out of a predator & prey magazine.
Here is the first coyote I took with it two nights ago.
The magazine has been permanently modified and will only hold four rounds.

Jseime
March 2, 2006, 10:39 PM
What id do. Go to the savage website and look at the model 10FCM Sierra under the hunter series. It comes in .243 just like you wanted its short, light and accurate, everything a yote hunter needs.

You wont be needing a heavy barrel or any fancy stock. Believe me you wont want them either. In a few years when I can afford a dedicated yote gun Ill be looking for the shortest lightest .243 that is offered in a left-handed version. As for glass I'd buy a good quality 3-9X40 which will give you close range and long range ability.

So basically:
-Savage 10FCM (.243)
-Harris Bipod
-Leupold 3-9X40 (with butler creek flip-up scope covers)

12-34hom
March 3, 2006, 11:31 AM
My currant coyote rig, Savage Striker - 22-250 Remington - if i was going to modify this gun i would opt out for the Ackley Improved version of the 22-250

Using a Harris bipod - i can sit down & extend the bipod so the guns right at eye level. It's a legit 300 yard gun.

12-34hom.

Chris Phelps
March 3, 2006, 02:38 PM
Your season just ended? Wow, I have never lived in a state with a close on coyote season... Its open season on them here.


Can't give any advice because I haven't shot a lot of rifles built for coyote hunting, but I can share my setup with you...


I built an AR for messing around at the range, medium-long distance shooting, but it works good for yotes, too...


Model 1 24" Varmint, Versa-pod bipod, BSA 8-32 x 50MM scope.


I just leave the scope on 8 while hunting. Maine also has a limit as to how many rounds your mag will hold, so I had to order a 5 round magazine from Bushmaster.

Diesel65
March 3, 2006, 10:41 PM
Your season just ended? Wow, I have never lived in a state with a close on coyote season... Its open season on them here.

Yep, they've got coyotes in the furbearer category and the season is October 1st thru Feb. 28th. But you can hunt them during the April Turkey season, but only with shotguns and ammo which are legal for taking Turkey. Then we have the spring Squirrel season in May and June, again you can hunt coyotes during this time, but ONLY with guns and ammo legal for squirrel. That means rimfire 22's and shotguns w/ squirrel shot. I guess they think this curbs poaching?

I do appreciate all the feedback. I have been an avid Turkey hunter for years, and shotguns for Turkey's have become somewhat specialised over the years. I thought I would get some input from the veteran coyote hunters as to what to look for in a good coyote gun. Sounds like about any good deer rifle in a 243 will have it covered. Thanks guys!!

Anthony2
March 8, 2006, 09:37 PM
I know for a fact that a .22 mag. with a Sheffield scope will dust a 'Yote out to 300yds. without a problem, and with minimal pelt damage.

shureshot0471
March 9, 2006, 09:02 AM
1. I like rifles with shorter barrels. Do you think a 20-21" barrel is too short for those rounds and coyote hunting? (rare opportunities past 300yds). no In fact my .22-.250 has a shorter barrel

2. Would a heavy barrel be much of a benefit? (doubt I'll be heating up the barrel much, 'cept at the range) Seems like it would be better for the folks who shoot lots of rounds at prarie dogs and such. What do you think? Yes go withit you wont regret it.

3. What stock options do you like? (varmit style, standard hunter, thumbhole, etc)Standaed is fine but thumbhole woulds be good with a heavy barrel.

4. What about scopes? Is a typical deer hunting scope in 2x7 or 3x9 ok? Or, should I look at something a bit stronger for yotes, fox, and bobcat? Go with nothing under a 14x this is spusto be a snipper rifle not a deer gun plus your targets are much smaller.

5. Lastly, (might as well ask ) which of the two calibers would you feel is best suited to the hunting conditions I've described. .22-.250 would be your best bet les recoil for more shots.

fisherman66
March 9, 2006, 09:38 AM
I know for a fact that a .22 mag. with a Sheffield scope will dust a 'Yote out to 300yds. without a problem, and with minimal pelt damage.


Anthony, while I have no doubt you have killed 'yotes out to 300 yard with a 22 mag, it is not in my mind an ideal caliber. Inside 100 yards with a head shot; sure, but that is as far as I'd go.

This fellow anticipates taking a rare 300-500 yard shot. If I'm expecting that, I'd take a look at the 220 swift or .243 wssm (for the extra weight to buck the wind.) I'd buy a pretty high magnification scope 4-16X40 or higher that is reliably repeatable, because I'd anticipate adjusting out past 350 (or Kentucky windage and holdover after lots of experience). A rangefinder is a must beyond 400 unless you have a way to flag the target area. Learn the ballistic table if these shots are really anticipated.

alleyyooper
March 9, 2006, 04:56 PM
I have two yote rifles I like a lot. A older Ruger 77 medium weight barrel chambered for 220 Swift. A 6x18 Simmons is mounted on it.
Next is a Remington 700 BDL in 243 with a Pentex 4 X 12 lite seeker.

:D Al

Anthony2
March 9, 2006, 05:05 PM
fisherman66= your right most shots are far less than 300yds. at a 'Yote. I am just suggesting that with ample practice and a head shot it is possible. This is not a shot I would or do take every day although it can be done. In all reality, most of my 'Yote shots are 100yds. or less.

maas
March 11, 2006, 05:26 AM
if you reload 22-250 verry accurate and fast lots of bullet choices and differant power combos i have a model 70 bbl with a leupold 10x on it
im surprised even though he specifyed 223 or 22-250 nobody mentioned the barrel burning 220 swift

Anthony2
March 11, 2006, 11:07 AM
Sorry, my mistake...In an early reply I refered to a sheffield scope...It's not a sheffield, it's a Shephard. I was holding to conversations at the time.

Art Eatman
March 11, 2006, 11:45 AM
The Swift's undeserved rep for barrel-burning is from back in the days of single-based nitrocellulose propellants like the old HiVel series. With double-based propellants like IMR, etc., the Swift is no worse than any other hotshot centerfire.

My fathers' 1952 version Model 70 is still giving 3/4" groups with ammo he loaded in the early 1970s...

Art

maas
March 12, 2006, 12:25 AM
i know but its still fun calling it the barrel burner (as my dad still does) its actually really good now since factory guns in this cal have crome barrels

alleyyooper
March 12, 2006, 09:57 AM
Most of what was called a burn't out barrel on a SWIFT was throat erosion.
My Ruger still after many rounds put thru it still knocks their ______ in the dirt.

:D Al

Jseime
March 18, 2006, 05:38 PM
Sounds like about any good deer rifle in a 243 will have it covered.

Yup that oughta do the trick then if you want to hunt deer you dont have a super specialized rig and you can go shoot a deer as well.

alleyyooper
March 19, 2006, 08:21 AM
243 Model 77 Ruger with a 3 x 9 Simmons Whitetail scope. 85gr. HPBT serra with a charge of IMR 4350. Entered just below the left ear at a paced 97 yards.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid91/pad94dbcf266857e6030251309ac5d254/fa6401f2.jpg

Same rifle Same load and bullet a month latter stopped this buck in it's tracks at a full 105 yards lazered measured.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid91/pfd25ad9b5885d94a71337adb116daea8/fa6401fd.jpg

A bit of over kill is this 300 Win. Mag song dog. 168 gr. Hornaday bullet with a charge of IMR 4350. Entered the poop shute and completly field dressed the dog.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid91/p88ff0307100ea47044eec198287c1918/fa63f968.jpg

:D Al

Whitworth
March 19, 2006, 09:41 AM
Any deer rifle will dust a coyote.

It's not so much the rifle as the accuracy. I hunt them in southern forests, so it's more on hitting a smaller target than a deer; a target moving closer to the ground; and the greater possibilitity of hitting a twig or sapling on a moving target.

dfaugh
March 19, 2006, 10:13 AM
As we now have a serious coyote problem here...My friend has just started "ranching" sheep, and the 'yotes are all over his place, as well as elsewhere. NOTE THAT I DON"T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE, JUST ALOT OF OBSERVATIONS, AND FEEDBACK FROM EXPERIENCED HUNTERS. ALSO, I WANT MINIMAL PELT DAMAGE, AS I'D LIKE TO MAKE A FEW BUCKS, TO OFFSET THE COST OF A GUN I WOULDN'T BUY OTHERWISE.

So, what I've settled on is a Heavy Barreled Savage in .22-250. I do a lot of long range shooting, and prefer a heavy gun. I won't be carrying this thing around much, so weight isn't an issue. Most shots will be fairly long, as the coyotes here are very wary, and won't let you get very close. Will also be using variable scope, probably 6-24x, as that's what I'm used to.

One reason I've picked the Savage, is because of the "barrel nut" system...So I can switch barrels easily( as long as I have a headspace gauge)...If I'm not happy with the .22-250, I can go to .243, or .308, or any number of other calibers. The only thing I DON'T like, is that they don't make faster twist barrels(in .22-250), as I would like to use heavier bullets, for better "wind bucking".