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To the wise ones on the board- I want to add a varmint rifle to my arsenal. I have every deer and up caliber of bolt action you can imagine, several ARs, shotguns out the wazoo, etc.

What would caliber would you choose for a nice bolt action varmint rifle (coyotes and down)? May suppress but not required. Say 300 yards-ish given realities of my property.

Thanks
 
Posts: 438 | Location: FL | Registered: February 03, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
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I always liked the 2506 for deer when I hunted in northern Kentucky.
I took coyotes here in Georgia with it but they were within 100 yards.
That caliber will stretch in open country with the right glass.
 
Posts: 22271 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
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I also use a .25-06. Mine is a Remington 700 BDL Varmint special.

Great gun.
 
Posts: 7372 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Caribou gorn
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If I'm gonna have a dedicated varmint rifle, it's gonna be a burner. 22-250 or even better, a 220 Swift. I'll never shoot it enough to burn out a barrel.



I'm gonna vote for the funniest frog with the loudest croak on the highest log.
 
Posts: 9736 | Location: Marietta, GA | Registered: February 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What calibers do you already have?
I’d expand on that.
You already have an AR? Go with a 5.56 bolt action.
300BO? Go with a bolt action 300…

All your doing is just getting more of the same caliber of an existing platform.

To me, venturing off into a different caliber gets too expensive and takes up more space.


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"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
 
Posts: 6874 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My usual vote is for a 223, share ammo with some other rifles. One should use a firmer bullet for coyotes.

My favorite though would be the 22-250, especially if one hand loads ammo. For mostly casual use, I would pass on the newer, less common chamberings, Valkyrie & such.

A downloaded 243 works too. I go prairie dogging at times, the 223 & 22-250’s get used.

For small stuff, coon/possum sized varmints, inside 75 yards, I like the 17 HMR.
 
Posts: 5025 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Coyotes on down to 300 yards is critical to the choice of the cartridge. As you probably know, large powder charges and high velocities burn out barrels more quickly. When I hunted prairie dogs decades ago I used a Ruger 77 in 22-250, and it did very well, but I never went on one of those “safaris” in the Dakotas that I’ve read about in which hundreds of shots could be fired in a day. If, however, your shooting will be limited to a few shots at odd intervals, then barrel life is of much less concern.

I haven’t ever hunted coyotes, but I believe that the 223 Remington cartridge is fully adequate for them, and certainly for anything smaller. Larger calibers can of course be used for smaller animals (I knew a guy who used his 7mm Remington Magnum for prairie dogs), but there are drawbacks with no real benefits. Cartridges like the 22-250 or 220 Swift that allow bullets to be driven at higher velocities offer the advantage of requiring less accurate range determinations at long distances, but laser rangefinders are a vast improvement over the methods I had to use long ago.

Something to keep in mind about rifles chambered for 223 Remington is that some of them should not be used to fire 5.56mm NATO ammunition. Most AR-type rifles are chambered for 5.56 which allows shooting 223 with no problem, but the opposite is not always the case. My Tikka T3 handles 5.56 with no issues, but that’s not true of all 223 bolt actions. Normally military FMJ or even something like the IMI 77 grain open tip load is not used for hunting, but sometimes people buy a 223 with the thought that they can use cheap(er) 5.56 for plinking and practice.

As for the rifle, I am very happy with the Tikka and Sako rifles I own and have owned, including one chambered for 223.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 44492 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would look at a 20" ar platform with a 10 round mag and bipod.

6.5 Grendel, and 5.56 would be great options out to 300 yards. In most states, you can hunt with the 6.5 Grendel.

Both rounds can take a coyote no problem.

I thought I would need a varmint rifle here on our property. Every varmint I have dispatched has been with a subsonic 22lr and a can. It turns out that the varmints seem to like to get within 50 yards of the house.

I aim for a simple double lung shot, if I can't get that I wait for another day.
 
Posts: 6435 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Retired, laying back
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Another that would recommend the 22-250. A lot of versatility with good barrel life.



Freedom comes from the will of man. In America it is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment
 
Posts: 796 | Location: Northern Alabama | Registered: June 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
To all of you who are serving or have served our country, Thank You
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Have HB bolt action varmint rifles in 223, 22-250, 220 Swift, 243, and 25-06. The 25-06 is my least favorite. The 22-250 is my most favorite.
 
Posts: 2269 | Registered: March 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've only shot paper with a 22-250, but apart from ammo cost, I'd love to add one to the safe.
My trigger time with one was a Ruger M77 MkII Target. Huge boom, with 22lr-like recoil.

2nd choice, and much more affordable (at least in ammo costs), I'd go with a .223/5.56




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 10016 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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I have 3 rifles I use for varmint hunting, primarily prairie poodles. We shoot out to as far as a 1000 yards at times.

-- .223 40gr fodder in a 1:12 twist 22" H&R SB2 Ultra for relatively short distances
-- .243 80gr fodder in a 1:10 twist 24" M70V for intermediate ranges
-- .308 168-175gr for way out there fun. 10FP 1:10 twist 20"

That vintage 1966 M70V with a Canjar two stage 2oz trigger is the bomb.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bald1,



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
 
Posts: 13438 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
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Nothing wrong with the 22-250, but my suggestion would be my favorite rifle, the 257 Weatherby. Good for everything from dogs to elk.


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"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 16982 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm a fan of the 22-250 as well, but since you said 300 yards, the 223 will do just fine with cheaper ammo and longer barrel life.
 
Posts: 823 | Location: WV | Registered: May 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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Here’s what I have for varmints:
22lr savage MKIII that’s threaded. 100 yds Hollywood quiet
17 hornet CZ 523 threaded. 100-200 ydsbut small critters
223 ar also threaded. 400yds and coyote sized…

243 REM700 for deer or enemy officers/ncos (wolverines!)


Uhhh, sorry got carried away there. But really if you have a AR or 223 already just load up some sierra Blitzkings and have at it..I’ve rolled a few coyotes back in NC with them.



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
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Posts: 8963 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Never shot a coyote with this caliber, but I am gonna throw out the .17 Fireball. 20gr bullet going 3900-4000 fps. Bullet explodes an the ground if a miss so no chance of skipping on flat ground. Shot prairie dogs with mine, nothing but chunks and red mist out to 300 yards.


Always the pall bearer, never the corpse.
 
Posts: 438 | Location: Illinois | Registered: December 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In my Groundhog hunting days, my go to rifle was an Anschutz 54M in .22 Magnum. What a great gun. I kept distances for it around 100 yards and it was very effective. For longer distances, I had a Ruger Heavy Barrel M77 in .220 Swift. High accuracy and effective out to 300 yards. But hard on barrel throats. If I was going Varmint hunting these days, I would opt for the .223 for its wide availability of excellent ammo and rifles. Lots of Coyote hunters in the Yoop use the .22 Magnum to limit hide damage.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12616 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks guys. Great info. I think I’m gonna go with a 22-250. While I have an AR that would work great, I’m a bit of a kit diva. Just love to buy rifles and stuff to go with them.
 
Posts: 438 | Location: FL | Registered: February 03, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My main predator gun is a Savage model 25 in 17 hornet. We shoot mostly fox with coyotes mixed in. Most shots are under 300 yards with it with minimal damage since I sell the fur. We have tried 204, 223, and 22-250, but the damage is too bad on anything smaller. That being said my backup is a 223 bolt gun.
 
Posts: 196 | Location: Southern, PA | Registered: July 25, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Hopefully this drift will be okay as the OP has decided, but who buys coyote hides?




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 44492 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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