predator rifle


November 22, 2008, 10:58 AM
Alright i'm looking for an excuse to buy a new rifle. Specifically for predator hunting. I'm thinkin bolt action maybe a semi-auto but what caliber? Probably most commonly used for coyotes. So what do you guys think? Caliber? Model?

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November 22, 2008, 11:11 AM
I don't own one, but a Savage .22-250 has been the choice for some of my friends. They do work good.

I own a Ruger 77 .22-250 and am perfectly pleased with it.

Many calibers to choose from, but I would get something in a common chambering. A .222 on up to .270, with the .22 being a minimum and the .270 being a bit large. A .243 or 6mm Remington being good dual purpose rounds. Lots of choices for caliber. I personaly like the .22-250 as a preditor caliber. A coyote likely wouldn't know the difference between most of the common varmit calibers.

November 22, 2008, 11:11 AM
they're good to about 300 yds, more or less depending on you and your ammo and conditions.
if your budget is low, go with a saiga 223, cheap, reliable, and pretty darn accurate. if money is not an issue, i am sure that some one will have another idea...
bolt actions are, i would say, more accurate across the board, but there are definantly semi-autos that can compete.

November 22, 2008, 11:26 AM
.22/250 or .243.


November 22, 2008, 11:30 AM

November 22, 2008, 11:32 AM
.22/250 is a very good round for coyotes from what I've heard. But if you want to hunt coyotes, this could be a perfect reason to buy an AR-15. You'd get semiauto capability, practically limitless accesorability, the ability to fire different calibers, etc. With a long barrel and the proper tuning, an AR-15 could be a marvelous coyote rifle.

1911 guy
November 22, 2008, 11:36 AM
Coyotes and woodchucks/rockchucks warrant one of the following:
.223 Rem, .22-250, .222, .243 Win, .204 Ruger, .22 Hornet or, if on a severe budget, a .17HMR which requires head shots on 'yotes.

My personal favorite is the .223 Remington, assuming this is a Varmint Only rifle. Loads are Available from 40gr all the way to 80gr bullets, with the best varmint bullets being from 45 to 68. This is a caliber that begs to be handloaded, there's enough accuracy in most factory .223 rifles that you can really wring it out with a tailored load.

If this is a Varmint/Whatever Else rifle, go with the .243 Winchester. Bullet weights are vailable from about 85gr to 120 gr. This takes you from varmints to deer with a change of ammo and scope zero. Honestly, though, I think it's a little much for just varmints.

The 22-250 is O.K., but usually more picky about ammo and at one time had a reputation for being hard on barrels.

.222 was replaced by the .223. Some benchrest shooters may argue that it's more accurate than the .223, but I've yet to see real proof.

.204 Ruger is a proprietary cartridge whizzing a little .20 caliber, 35-40gr bullet along. Absolute death ray on woodchucks. I can't recommend it only because I have no idea what it does for coyotes. If someone else can claim good results on them, put this little thing on your short list.

.22 Hornet. If this were thirty years ago, I'd say go buy one. Ammo is hard to find on the shelf right now, though. When you do, it's pretty spendy. If you want to handload this one, get a mess of cases, some 45gr bullets and a few cans of Hodgon "Li'l Gun" powder. If you handload, this is a contender. If not, you won't hardly be able to afford to shoot it.

.17HMR is a last resort, "I can't afford a centerifre so here's what I got" varmint rifle. I like it for squirrels and woodchucks under 200 yards, but wouldn't dream of using it on anything heavier without a guaranteed head shot. It's a .22 Rimfire Magnum necked down to .17 caliber. Notice I said "Rimfire". Everything else here is centerfire.

Now for rifles. Personally, I think you either have to go with the Remington 700 or Savage/Stevens rifles. Both have a reputation for excellent accuracy, both are push feed, both are available off the shelf in nearly any caliber you want, especially .223 Remington. Here's where the coin turns in favor of the Savage/Stevens rifle. The barrel has a much fater twist, 1:9 vs 1:12 for the Remington. This allows you to use the heavier bullets if you reload, the heavier loads off the shelf if you don't. Couple that with the fact that a Savage Model 10 with a scope is the same price as the Remington without, I opt for Savage. You can go even better, buy a Stevens Model 200 (same rifle as Savage Model 10, but plastic stock and no accu-trigger) for $300 and put better glass on it yourself.

WOW, all that to say "Go buy a Savage .223".

November 22, 2008, 02:55 PM
Thanks. I was leaning towards 22-250 but i think i might have to look into .223 as it is probably more versitile

November 22, 2008, 03:10 PM
If you want coyotes DRT every time, get the 22-250.

If you want one to run off after you shoot it occasionally, get something slower/smaller.

Explosive bullet performance runs out with the .223 at about 250-275 yards.

My longest coyote kill with a 22-250 was 517 yards, and by then it was running on fumes too!


November 22, 2008, 03:18 PM
Either .22-250 or .223. if you have the money, go with the -250, it is better, but if you dont, the cheap pratice .223 is nice.

Whichever way, i would go with a savage, of whatever flavor.

November 22, 2008, 03:22 PM
Why not something with more versatility than a .22 cal? Like .243, .25-06 or .260 Rem?

Vern Humphrey
November 22, 2008, 03:41 PM
If you want to handload this one, get a mess of cases, some 45gr bullets and a few cans of Hodgon "Li'l Gun" powder.

For the .22 Hornet, try the Hornady 35-grain V-Max. This bullet has the same shank length as heavier bullets, but a shorter nose. You can load it to almost touch the origin of the rifling (which is how most Hornets shoot best) and still have an OAL that will feed through the magazine.

November 22, 2008, 04:08 PM
I'll give another vote for the 22-250. The 223 is a lovely round, but the 22-250 just takes the 223's performance to a greater range. You're shooting a smallish bullet at high velocities which makes for a reliable coyote killer with next to no recoil.

November 22, 2008, 05:46 PM
I have both a 22-250, and I later built a 25-06 for my "ultimate" coyote gun.

I swear, the .22-250 kills them deader then the 25-06!
It's too much gun.

Something about that little explosive .224 bullet going inside and completely wrecking the innards & nervous system. I have on more then one occasion seen it knock a water vapor cloud out of their tail hair with a chest hit!

The .220 Swift does the same thing.

As opposed to blowing a leg clean off with the 25-06 and still having them run a ways on three legs!


November 22, 2008, 06:27 PM
rcmodel, Of course in one case you are hitting the target and in the other you aren't :)

November 23, 2008, 12:10 PM
No, I am talking about a clean low shoulder shot with a 75 grain HP. Complete bullet blow-up and a complete leg, including the shoulder muscle flying out of the scope view.

Then losing the coyote in the brush where it made it out of the area on three legs.

For whatever reason, I have killed more coyotes cleanly, without a twitch, with the .220 Swift & 22-250, then I have with the 25-06 and 30-06.


Jeff F
November 23, 2008, 09:39 PM
The 22-250 so outperforms the .223 its like night and day. Same with the .220 Swift, an oldie but goody.

November 23, 2008, 10:28 PM
I went with a .243, a Savage 12FV with a Sharpshooter supply stock. That way I can use it on varmints at long ranges, and deer if one gets in the way.

I also have an AR in .223 when I know the area we are hunting will only have shots inside 300 yards.

I have changed the stock back to a rigid stock as I could never get 100% of the play out of the 6 position. If I was going to do just one in .22 caliber it would probably be either 22-250 or .220 Swift.

November 23, 2008, 10:57 PM
If it's just for varminting I'd go with the 223 in something semi-auto. An AR type rifle springs to mind forst because of the availability, accuracy, and well proved history. It's easy to get very good long range accuracy out of an AR.

Nothing wrong with the 22-250 but it's really a more specialized cartridge. It's more expensive to shoot on a regular basis and it's much tougher on barrels than the 223 is. If I got a screaming good deal on a 22-250 I wouldn't turn it down but it wouldn't be my first choice. It will shoot farther than the 223 but accuracy is more of a limiting factor than power. I remember reading a comment from Col. Jeff Cooper saying basically if you ever take a shot over 300 yards at a living creature you should sit down a write a paper justifying why you took the shot.

If cost isn't really a concern I'd consider going up in caliber. The 243 is a great varmint round and can be used on larger game as well. I have a DPMS AR10 in 243 which shoots .75 inch 100 yard groups with the right loads and has such light recoil I can shoot it all day long if I feel like it.

frank c
November 24, 2008, 09:31 AM
My choice would be a CZ rifle in 223 or 204 cals.:)

November 24, 2008, 12:05 PM
I kind of went 2 ways---a Ruger 77 MkII Sporter .243 with a high powered scope and new Remington R-15 in .223.

November 24, 2008, 06:35 PM
I couldn't make up my mind........ my remington 700 Varmint special in .....223 works fine with the 12x Redfield.. The Ruger MKII VT in 204 works great to

couldn't stop there Needed a Savage Model 12 VLP in 22-250 works fine to

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