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Old June 18, 2013, 08:17 PM   #1
Bowhunter57
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30 caliber coyote rifle

I want to purchase a 30 caliber rifle for coyote hunting. Accuracy and speed are the main criteria that I want in a rifle...in that order. Accuracy out to 400 yards and speed for light weight bullets with good fragmentation. Brand-wise, I prefer Savage rifles...however, I may have to choose another brand due to available calibers.

A few caliber thoughts are .308, 300 Weatherby, 300 H&H, .30-06 and 300WSM.
Bullet availability is good in 30 caliber, which is another reason for this caliber choice.

If you have another caliber with good bullet availability and selection, please suggest your caliber.

Thank you, Bowhunter57
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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Any of those cartridges will work fine with light bullets with the right twist riflings. I like my 7mm mag with 100g Hornedy V-max's. Talk about flat shooting. Wow.


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Old June 18, 2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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Unless you're fairly skilled with a rifle, it's likely you'll find rounds with more recoil than a 30/06 are going to be difficult to master. I keep a target grade 308 loaded and waiting to shoot a coyotes on my bait pile all winter but I carry/use a .223 or 22/250 for variable range coyote hunting. I started out coyote hunting with a 30/06 and shot quite a few but it was a real revelation when I switched to a 22/250.
If you simply must have a 30 cal coyote rifle, I suggest one of the Savage .308 heavy barreled synthetic stocked rifles.
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Old June 18, 2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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Mobuck,
I understand what you mean about mastering a rifle with a heavy recoil. I am not a recoil sensitive shooter, but just the same it can effect the best shooters' skills.

My purpose in a 30 caliber is to stop the coyote in its' tracks and not have any wounding loses. I've had my share of running shots and have had 50% recovery of those that were hit. Don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting a bigger rifle to take the place of good shot placement.

Perhaps a .22-250 with 55gr. V-Max bullets would do the job I'm attempting to achieve.

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Old June 18, 2013, 09:55 PM   #5
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Re: 30 caliber coyote rifle

Smaller, more explosive bullets will do a better job than a .30 caliber projectile.
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Old June 19, 2013, 06:40 AM   #6
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I respectfully refute your logic about the 30 caliber being more likely to "stop a coyote in it's tracks". I've made many more one shot on the spot kills with the 22/250 or 25/06 than with any of the 30 calibers(308, 30/06, or 300 Win mag). If you're at all interested in salvaging the fur, you'll find the 30 cal nearly always blows a big hole on the far side while the fast little 22 often blows up inside and doesn't exit.
The only real advantage to the bigger bullets is wind bucking but that is only an effective argument if heavier aerodynamic bullets are used instead of short, lightweight slugs. The reason I use the 308 target rifle over bait is it's wind resistance. I'm using 155 HPBT Noslers which aren't affected by crosswind nearly as much at 350 yards(the range to my established bait pile). I don't get many shots but on the ones I do, I can't spend much time evaluating wind drift.
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Old June 19, 2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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A few years back I was out feeding the animals and found a dozen or so coyote's in the field. I happen to be packing my old springfield( 30-06 ). When the 150gn SST hit the little guy he literally flew 10 or 15 feet. Not much was left. Normally I'd use my 22 hornet. My 40gn V-max loads stop them like you flipped their off switch.


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Old June 19, 2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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If you're looking for coyote killing power with lower recoil, you want light, fast bullets. I would highly recommend either 35gr Nosler LF in .22-250, you can get over 4,400fps from a 24" barrel, or 55gr Nosler LF in a .243Win, you can get nearly 4,100fps in a 24" barrel. Amazingly devastating in either case, the .22-250 obviously having less recoil. If you're a handloader and really want to push it up there, go with the AI version of either, though it would require a custom barrel.
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Old June 19, 2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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Don't get me wrong, .30 is fine and dandy but for some reason I like the .277 cal better. Bullet selection is a bit more narrow but you have bullets available from a 75 grain AP Ammo (military/LE only) to light 83,85,90,100,110 grain bullets that can be shot at 4000fps+ with a good handload.
Then there's the more common 130 and 150 grain loads which you can get factory loaded ammo. The 150 grain bullets in .277 caliber have about the same sectional density as a 185 grain in .30 cal.

And if you ever decide to hunt "big game" there's the 180 grain semi-spitzers which have very high sectional density, comparable to heavy .30 and .338 loads.
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Old June 19, 2013, 04:42 PM   #10
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If you are stuck on 30 caliber I would suggest a .308. With the wide range of bullets available it is a very versitile hunting rifle. A good one size fits all with easy recoil and good accuracy.
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Old June 19, 2013, 05:01 PM   #11
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I'd say go with a .308, hands down my favorite caliber for ANYTHING. I hunt deer with different brands of 165gr plastic tipped rounds and it works great. I think there are 125gr factory loads available for it and if not you can definitely load your own.

Savage has a plethora of choices for Varmint rifles in .308 also.
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Old June 19, 2013, 05:25 PM   #12
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If you want the baddest coyote rifle around, you need a .257 Weatherby Mag. You can load a 75 gr bullet to 4000 fps. Not a good idea if you want to save the fur though... Barrel life isn't great either.

All things considered, especially if you shoot ALOT of rounds, its pretty hard to beat a .223 for game up to and including coyotes.
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Old June 19, 2013, 09:07 PM   #13
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30 caliber coyote rifle

Are you planning on calling yotes? If so you'll more than likely never have to fire 400 yards. That's quite a shot for a calling setup.

Like others have said, if you're stuck on 30 cal I'd go with a .308.

I personally use a .243 and .223 for yotes and have never had a problem. Buddy uses a 6.8, .223, and 22-250, mostly the 22-250.

Honestly I think the 22-250 is probably the best choice out of all of them, flat shooter, super fast round that will really thump them.
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Old June 19, 2013, 09:17 PM   #14
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.22-250 for sure. You can still find that in store, and don't have to destroy the hide
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Old June 19, 2013, 10:10 PM   #15
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I appreciate all of the replies, so far.

I sold my last Savage 22-250 to a Marine Corps friend of mine, to purchase a Rock River Arms A4. The A4 was very accurate, but sadly lacked the killing power of the 22-250.

Since it's flatter than a road killed squirrel around here, the high speed and good fragmentation of the 22 calibers make more sense.

My next question is whether to get a 22" sporter barrel or a 26" varmint barrel. I've had both and the varmint barrel was consistently more accurate with all bullet weights.

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Old June 20, 2013, 12:00 AM   #16
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Compromise and get a heavy 24" barrel! Smart move on the .22-250. I'll have to get one someday, as I've always liked them. A little more speed than my pet .223.
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Old June 20, 2013, 12:22 AM   #17
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Good ol' 30-30 still gets the job done. (150 yards with the dog on the dead ass run)


300wsm will do it too...just a little further than the 30-30 (300 yard chest shot, that just eviscerated the animal)



By the way...the bottom yote was with a Savage. If you are a dedicated coyote hunter, though I don't one a rifle in this caliber, the 22-250 or the 243 would be my top two choices.
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Old June 20, 2013, 11:17 AM   #18
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Concerning the barrel length/weight question, I've used a standard sporter weight 24" Rem 700 in 22/250 to make a lot of coyotes dead. Firing 1,2,3 shots doesn't seem to affect the lighter barrel and it's much more portable. I really don't think a 22/250 will gain much advantage from going to a 26" for coyotes. I have a 220 Swift 24" heavy barrel and it's a real chore to pack during much of a hunt. The 22/250 I carry most often lately is an old Savage with the light contour 24" and it puts the first and second shots right on target every time while being 3/4-1# lighter than the Remington 700(thinner barrel and synthetic stock).
RE:257 Wby
My longest one shot coyote kill was a measured 500 meters(550 yards) using a 26" medium heavy barreled 257 Wby. (even had a witness). I currently have a 257 Wby but just can't shoot it as well anymore due to recoil.
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Old June 20, 2013, 11:37 AM   #19
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Not an expert by any stretch, and I dearly love the 06, but it seems that any higher velocity rifle in the 25 caliber area would be by far the most effective for what you want.

30 caliber is simply wasted energy on a critter that size, once the round exits the animal the energy is unused for the desired purposes.

Sound like you have a nice section to choose from with good supporting recommends. I would stay away from super high velocity stuff like the Weatherby for recoil, economy of ammo and barrel erosion. Someplace in the choices is a good balance.

Yeas back I went with a 44 mag and dropped back to a 41 magnum. I could handle the recoil, but I both like the 41 for a drop off in that and I shot it better.

Nothing wrong with the 30 Carbines, but its a really good shot to get one at 150 yds and it certainly lacks the ability to reach out to the 400 yard range.

I liked the question, as well as answers and the fact that the OP was wiling to change his views based on the input he received. Too many post with an agenda, I like the good discussion and give and take of this. I thank you all
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Old June 20, 2013, 12:33 PM   #20
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For sure, buy what you want. But...as the others are saying, you really don't need that 30 caliber. I hunted coyotes for years with a 220 Swift, and it's great on coyotes but not so great on pigs. I was seeing more pigs than I was coyotes, so I stepped up to the next size rifle in the safe, which was a 260 Remington. If I'd had a 243 or a 6 mm, that probably would have been perfect. The 260 really does a terminal job on pigs and coyotes, but it's probably a little more artillery than a fellow really needs for pigs and coyotes.
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Old June 20, 2013, 12:45 PM   #21
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Why use anything bigger than a .243 Win or .25-06? Flat-shooting, low recoil, and more than enough gun for a coyote. .30 cal with light bullets just sacrifices too much BC to be worth it unless you already own the gun for deer or whatever and don't want to buy a whole new rifle. The only .30 cal I'd consider for coyotes is 7.62x39, and that's just because the ammo is so cheap, not because it's better than the alternatives in any way. Hunting coyotes with a .300 magnum is like hunting deer with an elephant gun.

I've also never understood the .22-250 at all. The .243 equals or outperforms it in energy at all ranges, has less wind deflection for comparable bullets, and wears out barrels less quickly. The ammo is cheaper, more rifles are chambered for it, and you can make brass from all the .308-family calibers if you reload. On top of that, the .243 is suitable for up to deer-sized game, while the .22-250 is marginal at best for anything but varmints and predators. The .243 also loses less velocity with shorter barrels.
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Old June 20, 2013, 04:31 PM   #22
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I've had the best success on coyotes with a .264 and .284. Both were bolt rifles and accurate, flat shooting guns, and the coyotes dropped in their tracks. Also dropped mule deer in their tracks.
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Old June 20, 2013, 05:26 PM   #23
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You would have to stick to the used market but a 6mm remington is ideal for coyotes, deer, or varmints depending on bullet weight. Very similar to the .243 win but with a little more case capacity. If you reload you can get 150+ fps over the .243
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Old June 20, 2013, 10:00 PM   #24
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Along with the 22-250, I'm going to have to consider the .243 too. The bullet selection for the .243 is off of the chart...not to mention the ballistics comparison to the 22-250.

Since I'm considering Savage rifles, there seems to be 2 barrel types/lengths to choose from, in both calibers.
There's a 22" sporter barrel and a 26" heavy varmint barrel.

What would make you choose one over the other?

Thank you, Bowhunter57
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Old June 20, 2013, 10:10 PM   #25
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.308

I own a couple of .308's...You spoke specifically on the savage...I have a model 10 fcp with a heavy barrel,and it loves 165gr + pills, but anything under 150 starts to get a bit wild with the 1/10 twist that most savage varmint barrels have... I own a Howa 1500 in .308 with a 1/12 twist and load a 110gr sierra hollow point varminter that it shoots really well... 43gr of RL-15 pushes it over 3000fps with minimal recoil and stays accurate and flat well beyond 200yds... While the savage remains my favorite over all rifle, the Howa is by far my favorite coyote shooter....
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