Varmint Rifle Advice


February 13, 2008, 12:13 AM
I'm am about to begin coyote hunting and have little hunting rifle experience.
I've always been a bird hunter and my rifle experience is limited to the Ruger 10/22, AR type rifles, and AK type rifles.

I need to choose a weapon for this new venture, as well as the round it should fire. From my research, I've narrowed the caliber down to .22-250 or .223 REM with local availability being considered.

Just getting involved in this, I don't want to drop a ton of cash to get started.

As stated, I have a few AR Type rifles that are A3 flat top variants. Should I mount the appropriate scope and start with one of these? Am I better off with a bolt or single shot?

Here are some reasonably priced rifles that I am considering. I would appreciate any feedback you might have on them.

H&R Handi Rifle
Howa 1500
Savage 16FHSS
Remington Model-799 (Mauser Action)
Stevens Model-200

Recommendations on reasonably priced scopes that are up to the task?

I'll be hunting on very flat ground with good visibility across wheat fields, soy beans, peanuts, etc..

My hunting will be confined to coyotes as they are the only varmints in this area. Any recommendation on bullet weight and type for taking coyotes with .22-250 and .223 REM would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

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February 13, 2008, 12:46 AM
I like the H&R Handi-rifle in .223 with the medium weight barrel. I try to keep at 1 round for visitors the shoot coyotes or crows round my place. The 22-250's are hotter and little easier to reload. The .223 has less bark the 22-250 but pretty much the same bite. The NEF and H&R are the same metal but with differant options. Some seem not to be able to get them to shot. I have had real good luck with the 5 i've had. The have all shot minute of crows.

February 13, 2008, 08:13 AM
It is not on your list, but it would be worth considering one of the CZ 527 rifles. I love mine, and have never heard of a CZ not working right.

1911 guy
February 13, 2008, 08:20 AM
There's nothing wrong with the .22-250, but .223 is less expensive by a good bit.

I wouldn't feel out of place using a flat top AR with a good scope, as long as it was a standard 20" barrel.

I've got a Stevens model 200, picked it up new for less than $300, slapped some glass on it and it shoots minute of groundhog with Winchester factory ammo. I'll work up a load for it with heavier bullets when the weather warms up to take advantage of the 1:9 twist. Frankly, I'd recommend either a Savage or Stevens (just a Savage with no accutrigger) for nearly anything unless there's a specific need that's met by another rifle manufacturer. Inexpensive and well known for accuracy. Triggers are user adjustable, even old style. If you don't like the stock, buy an aftermarket and you're still less than most other rifles.

February 13, 2008, 08:24 AM
Use your black gun with a good piece of glass. If you decided later that you need something else then get it.

February 13, 2008, 08:52 AM
savage model 12fv in .223.

.223 will be easier on your wallet and my savage 12fv is the most fun gun I have to take to the range. It is very very accurate, just not pretty to look at. I also only paid $400 for it new about a year ago.

Good luck on your search for a varmint rifle, many to choose from.

February 13, 2008, 09:35 AM
Use your AR if you have one. Anything works. This idea that you need specific equipment to coyotes is a marketing concept, not a funtional one.

February 13, 2008, 10:29 AM
I would use your AR's but, if you really NEED a new one who am I to argue...The Stevens in 223 is a great gun...I own one and it is hunting accurate to at least 200 yds if not more.

February 13, 2008, 10:49 AM
"...recommendation on bullet weight and type..." A lot depends on if you plan on keeping the hides or not. Using either cartridge. Typical varmint bullets will blow big holes in the hides. Commercial FMJ's won't. These are not the same thing as a military ball bullet. The jackets are thinner.
The rifling twist in the rifle you end up using will determine the best bullet weight. Fast twists will stabilize heavier bullets(60 grains and up) better. Not that you need a heavy bullet for Wiley.

February 13, 2008, 11:08 AM
I believe the OP is in Florida from the signature, so it would seem a hide (except for a snazzy rug in the house) wouldn't be an issue as not enough winter to create a good pelt. If you are calling 'oties, what you have with a decent piece of glass would be fine for a starter. If you are wanting a new bolt gun, I recently purchased a Sako/Tikka T3 lite in 22-250 for the same purpose, and am very very pleased, both with upfront price, less than 500.00, and accuracy. Minute of prairie dog. Also the T3 has an adjustable trigger not requiring take down to adjust. Very snazzy. Just about any 50 or 55 g HP ought to anchor a poor old coyote, just have to decide on your gun, and see what shoots best in it.

February 13, 2008, 11:31 AM
I think I would go with a 700 SPS Varmint in 243 with a well constructed bullet that won't tear them up too bad. With the right bullet you also have a nice deer rifle.

February 13, 2008, 05:05 PM
You could go a couple different ways on this.
AR-15 and I agree 20 or 24 inch barrel with the flat top. I would also get a barrel float tube (Free floats the barrel) and a good aftermarket trigger. Should get you .75 MOA or better with quality ammunition.

Or you could go with a good bolt action like a Remington or Savage Varmint set up. I have a Remington VSSF in .308 and it is a tack driver. I bought it after a write up in the Rifleman (NRA) magazine with a .223 version. After seeing the sub MOA groups they were putting up I just had to have one.

If you shooting 350 yards or less a .223 should be enough round for the job.
If your going out to 400 or more yards I'd look at the 22-250.

Once you get addicted to the accuracy of a good bolt action you will never look at your AR's the same way. :evil:

February 13, 2008, 08:04 PM
I'll differ here...

Get a .22-250 over a .223. You can always handload the .22-250 to .223 velocities.

You can also handload a .223 to .22-250 velocities. Once.

Or, conversely, consider a .222 or a .22 PPC.

For that matter, a 6PPC, shooting a .243 68 grain bullet at 3,000fps or so is dandy coyote or prairie dog medicine.

Give Bob White at Shooter's Corner a call. He sells mostly used rifle. Used ACCURIZED rifles. Rifles that will shoot better than anything most of you guys have ever picked up. And yeah, some of those triggers _are_ two OUNCE triggers.

B89. 6BR 40X Rem HV, 6BR sleeved 40X action, Lilja bbl w/factory nk c.7-850 rnds, wood pillar glassbedded stock by Hart, Hart 2oz trig, Hart scope mounts, Gunsmith: unknown, VG cond O/A. Good shooter in a desirable caliber, $995.

B90. 6PPC Heavy Varmint, Rem 40X action w/custom extractor; Hart bbl 25” w/.265 nk c.6-800 rnds; Six f-glass glue-in & bolt-in stock w/pistol gripless style w/new paint; Hart 2oz trig; Weaver scope mnts; Gunsmith: N.B. Waltz; VG to Exc cond. A good beginner piece requiring minimal case neck turning at a bargain price, $949.

B91. 6PPC Rem XP-100 HV, 1 Hart bbl w/2600 rnds, 1 Shilen bbl w/<800 rnds both w/.262 nk, McMillan f-glass glue-in stock, Jewell 2oz trig, Millet scope mnts. Gunsmith: Jim Meyer, Exc to VG cond. Bolt has Ruger bolt handle & Sako ext. Shoots .1 & .2 @ 100 yds; .3 to .5 @ 200. $925.

B92. 6PPC LV R/R partially trued Rem 700, Shilen bbl w/.262 nk <500 rnds, Bruno pattern f-glass glue-in stock, Jewell 2oz trig, Gunsmith: J. Meyer, Exc to VG cond. Exceptional value in a beginner piece. $925.

B95. 6PPC Heavy Varmint, Rem 700 trued/single shot action w/$500 custom Stolle Bolt, Hart bbl w/.263 nk 1000 rnds, McMillan f-glass glue-in stock, Shilen 2oz trig, Exc. to VG cond. Good entry level rig @ a bargain price, $899.

B96. 222 Light Varmint, Rem XP-100 R/R action, Hart bbl w/factory nk 4-500 rnds, Brown Prec. f-glass stock w/unique block type bedding, Hart 2oz trig, Gunsmith: CPS, inclu scope mnts, metal-97%/stock-80%. Highly accurate rig for target or varmint. $899.

�B97. 223 Heavy Varmint, 40X action w/5”X2”X2” Alum sleeve, Hart SS 23”X14T bbl. w/.251 nk c.1100 rnds, CPS Alum skeleton stock, Canjar set rig, w/scope mnt. Highly accurate target or live varmint rig, $899.

B98. 6PPC Sleeved 700 Rem Light Varmint, R/R, Hart 21” bbl w/.267 nk c.8-900 rnds, McMillan f-glass stock bolt-in, Canjar 2oz trig, Gunsmith: Hart Rifle Bbl. VG cond. Great beginner or club shooter piece. $899.

B99. 223 Heavy Varmint R/R Benchmaster action, Hart factory bbl 800 rnds, Six Hart pattern f-glass pillar glassbedded stock, Burns 2oz trig, Kelbly bases plus will accept Unertl type scope, Exc to VG cond. Rare caliber in a BR rig. $898.

B100.6PPC Heavy Varmint, sleeved/trued Rem 700 action; Hart bbl w/.262 nk <250 rnds; Latino-Borden style f-glass glue-in stock; Canjar 6oz trig; Gunsmith: M. Hollister; VG cond. I’ve seen several <.2 grps from this rig. $875.

B101. 6X47 Light Varmint, Rem mod 722 action w/black Shilen sculptured sleeve, Dewey SS bbl c.3-500 rnds, Shilen pattern RH TH lam walnut stock, Rem 40X 2oz trig, include Weaver scope bases, Gunsmith: SS&D, 96% cond. Rarely see this quality today – would make a great 204 Ruger w/new bbl, $875.

B102. 6PPC Heavy Varmint, sleeved Rem 700 action, Hart SS bbl w/.265 nk, <1000 rnds, f-glass BR stock & Canjar 2oz trig, inclu scope mnt, O/A cond c.96%. Great beginner piece, $875.

�B103.* 6PPC Light Varmint, Rem XP-100 trued action, w/Ruger bolt handle, Sako ext. & Davidson 1pc. scope base, Hart SS bbl w/.263 nk sub 900 rnds, McMillan f-glass stock w/bolt-in bedding, Canjar 2oz trig, Good beginning BR rifle in VG/OA cond. $875.

B104. 6PPC Light Varmint, Sleeved Rem 700 action w/Sako extractor, Lilja bbl w/.262 nk c.2000 rnds, McMillan f-glass glue-in stock, Jewell 2oz trig, Kelbly scope bases, Gunsmith: Arnold Erhart, Exc-VG cond. Economy beginner or entry level rig. $849.

B105. 6PPC HV, sleeved 700 Rem action, Rt bolt w/double port; Hart SS bbl w/.262 nk c.750 rnds; f-glass glue-in stock w/new paint & alum buttplate; Canjar c.4oz trig; Stolle type scope rib; Exc-VG. Great beginner piece featuring Stolle type sleeve & good looks. Great buy @ $849.

B106* 222 Heavy Varmint, Shilen sleeved Rem 722 action, Shilen SS 24 1/2” bbl w/std nk, <700 rnds, Shilen pattern left-handed laminated walnut stock, Canjar lt. wt. trig, Gunsmith: Shilen Rifles. This is a 70’s vintage rig in 95% cond., $849.

B107* 7X57 BR HV, target class using 7oo Rem action, Douglas SS bbl 22” #7 taper <150 rnds, custom mahogany BR style stock w/split alum bedding block on the bbl, Canjar 14 oz trig, exc cond. An unusual but well engineered piece at a bargain, $799.

B108. 6PPC Sako LV, PPC benchrest single shot action Hart bbl w/.262 nk 7-800 rnds, Alum I-beam type bolt-in stock w/removable action bedding block, factory 1 lb trig, Exc to VG cond. A unique all metal piece (request photos). A great buy @ $749.

B109. 308 Hunter Class, Rem 700 action, Hart bbl w/.328 nk <500 rnds, H&S Prec. f-glass stock w/pillar glassbedding, Shilen 2oz trig, VG+ cond. An attractively priced very accurate piece, $729.

V56. 22-250 Rem Var. Spl., factory 24” blued bbl c.7-800 rnds; factory wood pillar glassbedded stock; inclu Leupold 1” scope mnt; factory 2 lb trig; Gunsmith: B. White g-bedding; VG-Exc cond. A good shooting economy varminter. $495.

V57. 220 Swift Varmint, 98 Mauser action w/custom handle & jeweled bolt; Douglas bbl, bore scoped good; Fajen walnut figured/checkered stock w/glassbedding; single stage aftermarket trig; inclu scope bases for Unertl type scope; VG+ cond. A handsome custom rig priced right. $495. w/carry sling

V58. Savage Pre-Accu Trigger Mod 12 BVSS cal 22-250 NIB, $479.

V59. 22-250 Ruger Varmint, Mod. 77 MK II blued action, 26” SS varmint bbl sub 200 rnds, lam Var stock, trig tuned, inclu scope rings, 98-99% O/A, $470.

V60. 22-250 Ruger, Mod 77; factory varmint 24” bbl c.2-300 rnds; factory wood stock; factory 1 lb trig; includes Unertl bases; VG cond. An honest original M77 varmint. $449.

V61. 222 Rem M722, Remington mod 722 action; factory 26” bbl, many rnds, but still grps well; factory wood stock; factory Rem trig c.1lb; inclu: Weaver scope mnts; c.90-92% cond. An all original 1950’s vintage in VG+ condition. $429.

dagger dog
February 13, 2008, 08:06 PM
all the above advice seems good , the rifle suggestions are dead on, the .223 and the 22-250 are coyote busters for sure.

but you have the chance with your AR lowers to build a custom dog buster. why not go with a 20" heavy bbl with the correct twist for the load you work up in .223 Rem.? for just about the same price as a new rifle you can probably get a trigger job also.

that rapid follow up shot is a plus also.

i think but not sure that some uppers can be had in .204 Ruger also if your in to .20 cal. mucho fps here very flat shoter.

don't go over board on to much XXXXX magnification with your scope. even consider fixed power if you can get a quality piece of glass.

Burris makes exellent scopes for reasonable money also Bushnell .

1/2 the fun is putting the rig together!

hope this is some help

dagger dog

February 13, 2008, 08:40 PM

I had a similar question last year. Got some good advice.

In the end I ended up with a Savage 12BVSS in .223 cal. I mounted a Mueller 8x25x50mm scope with Warne HIGH detachable rings/mounts.

Total cost including rings and mounts = $988.

I have had a great time target shooting and varmint hunting with this rig. It shoots better than I do. It is a heavy barreled set up - not for trotting over hill and dale for sure. Worth considering.

Love the accutrigger on the Savage.

February 13, 2008, 09:57 PM
Just speaking personal preference here, don't particularly care to hurt anyones feelings. A coyote ain't a woodchuck.

I don't like the idea of the 22-250, as fine a cartridge as it is most factory guns have a 1:12 or 1:14 twist in my experience. This is really designed for very light high speed projectiles.

I have shot coyotes with my 1:9 twist .223 shooting 60 and 64 gr. SP's, works fine for most shooting.

If I'm going to west Texas where I may well have most of my shots at 300 yards then I prefer the .243 Win (or any of the similar 6mm's). Shooting 85 gr. Sierra GK's it's absolutely deadly on yotes, and also works very well for deer size game. I have used this load on smaller varmints although I often use the 70 Nosler BT. My current gun for this is a Savage 12 FV in .243 with a 6.5-20 Weaver Grand Slam. The only change I'm going to make is to put a Sharpshooters supply stock on it, if it ever ships that is.

February 13, 2008, 10:35 PM
Here's another vote for the Stevens 200. I have one in .223 and it is a tack driver. I would go with the .223 over the 22-250, because the .223 has a 1:9 twist vs. the 1:12 twist of the 22-250. These guns usually get good results with the 60gr hornday v-max, and the 65gr sierra game king. Both are accurate over Varget powder. YMMV of course. I would actually prefer these heavier bullets for more "thump" on coyotes.

February 13, 2008, 10:37 PM
204 Ruger...

That's all I've got to say...

February 13, 2008, 11:54 PM
Use your black gun with a good piece of glass. If you decided later that you need something else then get it.

Amen and pass the ammunition! The AR is already chambered in 223 and there's no doubt the effectiveness of 223 on varmints and yotes.

February 14, 2008, 06:28 AM
T3 Tikka , .223 or 22-250 ( DOESN'T MATTER ) Nikon scope . Go hunting .

1911 guy
February 14, 2008, 08:07 AM
If you've got a flat top in 20" trim with the now standard 1:9 twist, spend the money on glass and maybe a trigger job for the AR. With a 1:9 twist, go with 60gr to 68gr bullets. Much heavier and you can't load them to magazine length for an AR.

If your flat tops are of the shorter variety, you'll probably want to get a bolt gun or a new upper.

As far as using FMJ on varmints, they work but not guite as well. In my Rem 700 VLS (1:12 twist) a 45gr JHP at 2,900fps does nasty things to both woodchuck and 'yotes that a 55gr FMJ doesn't. I've needed a second shot on a couple groundhogs shot with FMJ. You won't get the thick winter pelts in Fla, so I wouldn't worry too much about saving the hides.

Clint C
February 14, 2008, 08:15 AM
If money is an issue use your AR. .223 is a great round for coyote, that was my first caliber on dogs. I have alway been partial to bolt guns, but there is nothing wrong with using an AR-15.

dagger dog
February 14, 2008, 08:27 AM
Blazer, dagger dog again,

jpwilly's got the right idea for canis black rifles!

February 14, 2008, 10:48 AM
well, for a boltie, the howa is the choice here, but the ar is a much better setup for coyote hunting, as you may have to swing to side to side, and move fast, you may call in a double, you may have to quick change sides to fire.
Really , a flattop ar is double tough on coyotes. You just need to learn how to coyote hunt.

February 14, 2008, 01:30 PM
The rifle is a personal choice, and there are many good options depending on your budget and taste.

That said, I find larger caliber preferable for coyotes, especially if you're going to save the pelts. I persoanlly use a Ruger M77 in 6mm Rem. with 90 gr. Sierra FMJ at 3,300 FPS.

February 14, 2008, 04:39 PM
if you are on a budget, use your AR, buy good glass and some good loads. the AR is the best varmite gun availible. super accurate, and lots of fallow up shoots. now, i own and hunt with a bolt gun, but i love my AR. its amazing, and it can keep up with bolt action guns. hutn with what you have, that s the best thing about varmite hunting. you dont need to spend big cash to do it. and its fun!!!

try an pick up the magazine, xtreme predator, or go to there website. they have TONS of info on hunting, gear and how to's. it a great magazine. ther are other's out there too, but this is the only one i read.

February 14, 2008, 09:00 PM
My baby:

It ain't too practical for home defense, but it will blast varmints for sure. I advise getting an AR.

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