View Full Version : Help pick a .223 rifle

January 12, 2012, 04:55 PM
It seems like all I do now is hunt coyotes. So I would like a rifle in .223, Im thinking either a bolt action or a mini14. Any thoughts, recomendations, or input would be nice. Please don't suggest any other calibers, Im set in 223. Thanks

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

January 12, 2012, 05:18 PM
I would say that if you feel the need for quick follow up shots (frequent encounters with multiple critters, for example) go semi-auto. Otherwise, get a bolt action and spend the leftover money on more ammo:D

January 12, 2012, 06:28 PM
I am currently looking at the newish Mossberg MVP bolt action rifle that accepts AR15 mags.

No, it's not a Salvage, or a Remington, or even a Tikka, but I think the AR mag idea is timely.

January 12, 2012, 06:43 PM
Why a mini-14 and not an AR-15?

January 12, 2012, 06:46 PM
cz 527 carbine:D

January 12, 2012, 06:53 PM
saiga .223

January 12, 2012, 07:21 PM

Art Eatman
January 12, 2012, 08:48 PM
My Mini-14 never got any negative feedback from Ol' Wily. They just lay there, real quiet.

Same for my Ruger 77 Mk II light sporter. Granted, it shoots a tighter group than a Mini, but inside of a couple of hundred yards it's not enough to worry about.

Unless you're in really wide-open, short-grass country, it's pretty hard to get a second shot on a coyote if you miss the first. He's rather rapid about practicing being elsewhere.

January 12, 2012, 08:54 PM
20 years ago I would have said get a good bolt action but the new mini's and AR's are pretty near as accurate, extremely fun to shoot, and that fast follow-up shot is hard to beat.

January 13, 2012, 08:09 AM
I would say Smith M&P15 can't go wrong for the money. I like mine and it don't care what mag or ammo I slap in her, she goes bang everytime! :-)

January 13, 2012, 09:19 AM
the mini 14 gets mixed reviews. a lot of guys dont have problems with them and a lot say that they are garbage. I dont have any personal experience with them and dont know anyone that owns one so I wont make further comments on it. it is hard to go wrong with any of the major branded bolt actions out there.
remington 700
savage model 25
ruger m77
are all very decent rifles that will have no problems putting a bullet into a coyote.

January 13, 2012, 09:50 AM
I've never seen anyone say mini 14's are garbage.:confused:
Must be an internet "thing".

January 13, 2012, 10:20 AM
The mini 14 are fine for coyotes as long as you stay within limits of the cartridge.

If you plan on longer ranges then you need something in the format of 2x-xxx

I have a mini with a 3x9x40. It really needs a lower powered scope, but the 3x9 works well enough and they can be bought off the shelf and are very common.

The mini needs a threaded muzzle for a flash suppress device or brake, the flash and dust kicked up can be bothersome at night.

If heavy use is expected, I would suggest a synthetic or after market stock. My wood is starting to show its battle marks. The hand grip is like shiny glass, polished by the constant contact of my hand. The forearm is dimpled from various causes, but I look at them as 'notches' chronically marking my now numerous outings.

I overall, am satisfied with the rifle.

January 13, 2012, 10:38 AM
Don't forget to consider barrel length and twist rate. I chose an upper with a 16" barrel and 1:8 twist. I chose portability over the extra 100-200 extra fps velocity I'd get with a 20" barrel. I chose 1:8 twist because I'll be shooting some 75gr bullets but probably never any heavier (longer).

January 13, 2012, 11:09 AM
i second a CZ 527. Mine has acounted for dozens of coyotes.

January 13, 2012, 01:57 PM
Budget? Other info would help narrow the choices I might suggest.

Since you included a Mini-14 I'm assuming at least $600. There are lot of bolt action rifles that will be tack drivers at 1/2 that price and will easily outshoot even the best Mini-14 ever made. Do you want a heavy varmit barrel, or something lighter to carry a lot?

Not bashing the Mini's at all. They are what they are and I actually do like them. But if you want a semi you can buy an AR that will easily out shoot the Mini for basically the same money. Lots of folks settle for a Mini thinking they can't afford an AR. Some just don't like an AR, and that is OK too. Just choose with all the correct info.

January 13, 2012, 02:51 PM
mini 14 would be a good choice, semi auto may help you take more than one dog per outing.

January 13, 2012, 04:02 PM
I think a saiga .223 will shoot every bit as good as a mini for a lot less money

January 13, 2012, 04:17 PM
This will be after tax returns, and the "last" rifle I will buy. So as long as its under 800 then its within budget. I have glass taken care of. And I am leaning more and more towards a bolt action, I mean I doubt a follow up shot is possible for my skill level on a coyote.

January 13, 2012, 04:19 PM
If I remember correct, a Saiga can be ordered with longer barrels than a mini.

January 13, 2012, 04:35 PM
^ up to 20" but i doubt that has much effect with factory loads

January 13, 2012, 06:55 PM
^^^ 21.8" but it will probably only help with a bit more velocity. Accuracy should be about the same when only length is considered.

January 13, 2012, 07:52 PM
Take a good look at Savage.very accurate right out of the box.

January 13, 2012, 09:09 PM
I haven't shot any coyotes with it yet, but I really enjoy my Mini. Accurate enough for coyote, 2" at 100yds seems to be the norm with factory ammo. It's also a great plinking rifle, cheap to shoot if you reload and a little more snot that the .22lr. All that being said a quality bolt action would almost certainly be a bit more accurate, especially if you handload for it. Can't really go wrong either way.


January 13, 2012, 10:12 PM
Cz 527 American.;)

January 15, 2012, 11:20 PM
Ruger works for me no matter bolt or semi.

January 16, 2012, 12:48 PM
I'd go for the bolt action and not worry too much about any followup shots. In the last couple of years, there have been a couple of times when pig hunting that I wished I'd had a semi, but that second shot usually is a lower percentage shot. On the coyotes, I shot doubles 3 or 4 times in 2011, and the second shot was always a non-running shot. It seems that if you see the male/female pair, shoot the one following. The lead coyote almost always runs a short distance to the edge of the woods, stops and looks back. Of course I may have now shot all the dumb ones. If I was in the market for a 223 bolt gun for coyotes, I'd go for a short barreled lightweight version like the Remington Model 7 or something similar from Sako, Ruger, Savage, Winchester, etc. One more thing of interest if you're a picky reloader is that with the Bolt gun you have a better chance of keeping your highly prepped brass. After the first shot, I rotate the rifle so that the ejection goes down, not out to the right. I hate losing my brass.