I want a new varmint rifle, but I don’t want to be ordinary.


six 4 sure
May 18, 2003, 03:14 AM
I’m sort of in the market for a new varmint rifle and I don’t want something that everyone else has. Right now I have bolt actions in .243 and .270WSM and I have a couple of semi-autos one in .223 and another .308 so I don’t care to duplicate those calibers. I’m looking for another bolt action but I’m having trouble with what caliber to pick. Besides killing paper this gun is going to be used to thin out the local coyote population and I doubt I’ll be taking shots over 300 yards. I believe the majority of the shots will be in the 100 to 300 yard range.

I plan on reloading whatever I buy so factory ammo selection isn’t really an issue. At the moment I’m considering either a .220 Swift of a .257 Roberts. Any other suggestions? I know I should pick something more mainstream, but where’s the fun in that?

I’d like to by new, but my searching has been disappointing. Not many companies are offering guns in these calibers. Ruger makes a couple in .220 Swift as does Remington, but so far the only .257 Roberts I’ve found is a custom left hand Mod 70 Winchester and a Ruger Mark II. Any thoughts, suggestions, or scolding are welcome.


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May 18, 2003, 04:26 AM
Well, if you want to be unusual but not totally out there, I think you have two fine selections. I've always had a soft spot for the .257 Roberts as that was the pet rifle of the person that inroduced me to shooting. The .220 Swift is an excellent choice and certainly not as common these days as the more popular but slightly inferior .22-250.

As a couple other fine but slightly less common cartridges worth a look into - the 260 Remington or it's predecessor the 6.5x55 Swede. While neither is what I consider a varmint caliber, they are both certainly more plentiful than the 257 Roberts these days. And both offer among the best ratio of good trajectory vs. recoil and should work just fine with light bullets assuming you reload.

Or you could go with a bit lower number and get a .222 or even a 22 Hornet. Nice, quite effective to the ranges you mention.

And of course, I'm a big fan of the .25-06. A bit bigger boomer than the 257 Roberts but more effective at longer distances and a much larger selection of rifles and ammo to choose from. I've long said that if I could only have one centerfire, it would be the 25-06 and if I could have two, it would be a 243 and a 270. You already have some fine choices. Anything else is really gravy.

May 18, 2003, 04:31 AM
i have a plain ruger m77.in 223.i put a long harris bipod on it and a tasco 6-24x scope.i have been very happy with mine.i have taken groundhogs well past 300 yards with it.shooting 50 grain vmax.i looked at several varmit type rifles in 223 and the ruger was the cheapest i could get at the time and i liked the mod mauser action they use,the 3 position safty and the ring setup for scoping it(im very picky about accuracy)there are a bunch of custom rifles for varmits and some will cost you an arm and a leg(and probably your first born) but for me,i went with ruger rep, the best features and price.it works for me.

May 18, 2003, 08:13 AM
I just got an old Sako in .222Rem with a K-4 Weaver scope. Is that different enough? 'Course I've also got a Martini Cadet in .222rimmed...

Art Eatman
May 18, 2003, 10:45 AM
Even Ol' Wiley deserves a clean kill, so if you'll be looking at 300 yards, I'd sure select a Swift over a .223.

If you can find one with a decent barrel, where the leade isn't burned from a lot of shooting, the old Ruger 77 heavy-barrelled .220 Swift is a heckuva shooter. (One of the few rifles I regret selling.)

Dunno why, but I just like the Swift--preferring it to the .22-250. It's one of those "I like blue better than red." deals.

Since it's not common to get off more than one shot at a coyote, or have occasion to shoot more than one coyote, you might play around with the notion of a single-shot. All of them of which I've read are accurate enough to hit a coyote at 300 yards.

Hmmm. As long as I'm playin' with your money, I'd rebarrel something to a 26" Swift, with a medium-weight barrel. Maybe a Vari-X III in up to 14X on top. :)


May 18, 2003, 11:07 AM
I hear that .50BMG is pretty rare in varmit circles.:D

May 18, 2003, 12:05 PM
Six 4 sure;

Well how about that, I'm not alone. I just picked up a gun to turn into what's going to be the primary coyote gun. It's a 6mm Remington in a 788LHB. It's got to have some TLC, as the gun goofs had been at it, but nothing terminal is wrong, and I got it cheap. Just don't run out & think you'll pick up a coupla spare magazines, the gun show prices here were $130.00, $100.00 and $35.00. Except the $35.00 was for a mag originally intended by Remington to be for somethng else & 'modified' to 'fit' the 6mm.

if this is interesting to you, drop me a line & I'll go into detail.

Nero Steptoe
May 18, 2003, 01:33 PM
What I gather from this thread is that the threadstarter isn't really necessarily interested in using an efficient varmint rifle, as a varmint rifle in .243 would certainly do everything that he says he wants to do in the field. Given that he just wants to make a statement, kind of like the used car salesman who wears the Rolex watch, I'd suggest a hand-built rifle in the $3000-$4000 range. There are several custom riflebuilders around, including one Terry Clifton in Grand Ridge, FL, who's not THAT far from Alabamer.

May 18, 2003, 09:28 PM
Buy what everyone else has and then scratch your name on the side with a knife...

May 18, 2003, 09:40 PM
how about the new 243 WSSM?? Hot velocity, low powder use. Should be accurate.

Or more exotic...6PPC. I've got a friend that wants to sell a complete BR gun. Stolle action, Kreiger barrel, Timney trigger, Speedy Gonzales kevlar stock. It's a 6 PPC. He's got $3,200 in it. Could be yours for $2,500. Unfired. Should put 5 in one hole at 200-300 yards.

May 18, 2003, 10:40 PM
.223 WSSM seems pretty close too Swift ballistics.

Brian Williams
May 18, 2003, 10:47 PM
How about a CZ in 7.62x39
NEF Super light Handi in 357 and rechamber it to 357 max
Tc contender in 7 mm waters

May 18, 2003, 11:00 PM
A 6mm 284 would prolly hammer the heck out of yotes for quite a ways. Not the average coyote killer.

May 19, 2003, 12:03 AM
a Tubb 2000 would be unique and it comes in some interesting calibers:

The TUBB 2000 is currently available in the following calibers: .22-.250 (twist options);.243 Winchester; 6mmBR Remington; 6mmX (.243 Winchester shortened 0.130 inches); .260 Remington (6.5mm-08); 7mm-08; and .308 Winchester.


May 19, 2003, 12:59 AM
Ultimate Coyote Rig (http://gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=8982897)

Can take them out to 5,500 yards! And I almost guarantee you'll be the only guy shooting them with a 30-378. :p

May 19, 2003, 01:23 AM
:cuss: :fire: :banghead: :mad: :confused: :uhoh: :neener:

Here's the gist of what I posted before it was wiped out:

You mentioned 'different'.

The Remington XP-100R in .223 or 22-250 or ? fits that description.
It's a literal blast, and even more fun as the sun goes down.
I'm talkin' serious fireball here.
It's one of the most fun to shoot guns I've ever had.

Shown with its stablemate in .308.


...wow! like magic, the post has been re-born! Thanks, Moderators! ;)

May 19, 2003, 01:42 AM
Although not necessarily viewed at a "varmint" caliber, the .300 Whisper does offer something a bit different from normal. A bonus is that you could use it on an existing AR lower.

Plenty accurate and Corbon also offers a factory loading if you want some factory ammo to start with.

Good Shooting

six 4 sure
May 19, 2003, 02:24 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Right now I’m leaning toward the .220 Swift. I’ve considered the WSSM’s and one would make a nice addition next to my 270 WSM, but before I go that route I think I’ll wait for a little more info to be published.

Several of you have suggested a custom rifle, and as much as I’d like to do that, the funds simply won’t allow this to happen. I want to be different, but even I can’t justify spending huge cash for a coyote rifle. I’d like to keep the total price of this project under $1500.

Cratz2 you mentioned the 30-378. It’s on my list of things to get, but that’s a little more gun than I need right now. If I were still in Nevada I’d be more inclined to get one. Several guys out there raved about them. I’ve seen pictures of what they can do to a mule deer I can only imagine what they’d do to a coyote.


May 19, 2003, 09:14 AM
Six 4 sure;

I've got a .220 Swift in a Ruger #1V with a Burris 6 X 18 A/O target turret scope on it. It's a hell of a rig, accurate & the results of a solid hit have to be seen to be believed. 'The Society Of The Red Mist' is alive & well as long as people shoot the Swift.

However, I'm also looking now to get a bolt action .223. Unless you really want to get into the esoterics of reloading, seriously consider buying a good chrono, etc. The .223 may be a far more practical choice for the guy who primarily wants to shoot than fiddle with reloading.

As far as the statement on the .30-378 reaching out 5500 yards: that's THREE AND ONE EIGHTH MILES. 5500 divided by 1760. Shooting at a target about 1/3 the size of a man. I hope somebody's fingers just slipped a little on the keyboard, rather than putting that forth as a serious statement.


May 19, 2003, 09:42 AM
If you want to be truly different, buy an action of your choice. Then the stock you prefer and have an action block inserted for bedding. Get a single stage set trigger. Buy an air gauged match barrel and chamber it in a wildcat cartridge. The finished product won't be cheap, but with a little shopping around you can keep the cost down.
To hold down cost even further start off with a barreled action in the caliber of choice and have the chambered reamed to the wildcat.

May 19, 2003, 05:53 PM
They have several models/choices that might not be too far out of your budget. My BIL has one of their rifles and loves it.


May 19, 2003, 07:06 PM
since someone already covered 6~284...

How about 5.45x39? I doubt you'll come across many others who happen to have it.. it should be fair enough with good shot placement out to 200 yards, and has a readily avaliable semi-auto in the same chambering if it so strikes you..

May 19, 2003, 09:48 PM
Hmm... coyote varmint rifle, but not ordinary.

Are you wanting to keep the coyote pelts, or just for varmint control. What I've heard/read is that coyotes get very jumpy when they hear loud noises.

So, I'm thinking silent loads out of a 45/70, where all you hear is the hammer falling. You would need to really know your bullet drop tables and range estimation. Add night vision scopes, and I bet you can really make a dent on the yote population. That, or a Class 3 suppressed rifle of some sort.

Or, if you really want to be special, how about a 22 Cheetah, 22-243 Middlestead or 224 Clark (http://www.reloadbench.com/cartw.html). You can make these wildcat cases and have velocities (and barrel wear) that exceeds 220Swift. Barrel wear should be better if you have it made out of modern steels though.

May 20, 2003, 08:43 AM
I'm not a varmint hunter yet but have been looking into it recently. I picked up a couple older issues of Varmint Hunter magazine and the calibers that have really caught my eye are:
.19 Calhooun www.jamescalhoon.com (http://www.jamescalhoon.com)
or 6PPC


May 20, 2003, 11:23 AM
.17 Remington?

Just a thought.

I'd second the 220 Swift, 22-250, 25.06 votes.

Heres an idea. Find a good used action in the caliber of choice. Find a good gunsmith to put a custom barrel on it, buy yourself a custom stock and mate them together. Spend as much as you can scrape up on a good scope. You're done.

May 20, 2003, 11:42 AM
On second thought, I have a 6mm Remington. I can count on one hand the number of folks I've seen at the range with a 6mm Remmy, 0.
It is a factory chambered caliber which will save you $$plus it's a fantastic cartridge with a bit more case capacity than the 243. 4K fps is attainable with 55 grain bullet but it loses its gusto quickly. As Art has said many times the 85g Sierra BTHP makes a great deer round as well.
You could go out and buy a cheap Mauser for less than a C note and have a smith put in a 6mm Rem barrel. Since it is the same parent case (8x57,7x57,257bob,6.5x57) it should be pretty simple. It's not a rifle that you'd make money on reselling though.

May 20, 2003, 12:19 PM
How's this for different?...

.219 Zipper (http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/zipper.htm)

Or you could always try .25-20 or .32-20 lever-actions...:cool:

May 21, 2003, 03:17 AM
Just thought about it. I've got a friend who will build you a tack-driver AR-15 upper in 6mm X .223. He built some ARs for some Japanese clients and did them in this caliber because they aren't allowed to own "military calibers". Used flat-top uppers and 20 inch barrels for them. Said they were real nice shooters.

May 21, 2003, 07:01 AM
if you're gonna coyote hunt, check out the "Coyote Gods" forum

they use the .17 Remmie and get kills at 300+. Quieter than many other centerfires and, as noted previously, most times it doesn't exit.

It'd be perfect for what you want.


also, http:www.saubier.com

May 22, 2003, 01:06 PM
I was about to suggest .17 Rem as well. Coyote Gods is a great site.

Ky Larry
May 24, 2003, 09:32 AM
How about a Winchester Pre-64 Model 70 in .264 Win mag? I shot a ground hog from 177 yards (laser ranged) with my cousins Model 70 with an old 6X Weaver scope, factory Win ammo. The accuracy of this rifle/caliber combo is unbeleiveable. Trouble is , he won't sell me this rifle. :banghead:

Art Eatman
May 24, 2003, 10:52 AM
Even the post-'64 Model 70 in .264 WinMag is very accurate. And, it's a lot cheaper starting point if you want to restock, etc. IIRC, it came with a 26" barrel and was produced for only three or four (?) years.


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