30 caliber coyote rifle


June 18, 2013, 09:07 PM
I want to purchase a 30 caliber rifle for coyote hunting. Accuracy and speed are the main criteria that I want in a rifle...in that order. Accuracy out to 400 yards and speed for light weight bullets with good fragmentation. Brand-wise, I prefer Savage rifles...however, I may have to choose another brand due to available calibers.

A few caliber thoughts are .308, 300 Weatherby, 300 H&H, .30-06 and 300 WSM.
Bullet availability is good in 30 caliber, which is another reason for this caliber choice.

If you have another caliber with good bullet availability and selection, please suggest your caliber. :cool:

Thank you, Bowhunter57

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June 18, 2013, 09:15 PM
If I were to go for coyotes, the only way I'd choose a .30 cal is if it were all I could have, and then the 30'06 would be as big as I'd want to go, using something like 125gr Speer TNT's. Anything from .223, 22-250, .243 (probably ideal, and good for deer & the like), any 6mm, 7-08 - many choices that would be more efficient, less expensive to shoot, shoot flatter and be more than plenty for 'yotes, IMHO.

June 18, 2013, 09:17 PM
The ballistic coefficient of 30 caliber bullets under 150 grains is horrible. The solution is to use a 165 grain and zero at 250 yards, then use your laser range finder to figure out the rest. Otherwise, get a 22-250 or a 243.

June 18, 2013, 09:23 PM
IMO: For coyote hunting, you don't really want a .30 cal rifle.

I have been a coyote hunter all my life here in Kansas.

And I'm here to tell ya they don't come any better then the 22-250 or .220 Swift as far as you can see them.
Even .243 or 6mm is way better then a .30 cal for one shot kills.

The super-fast .224 bullets get inside them, right in the middle of them, and explode.

You can see early morning dew fog out of a yote's hair from nose to tail tip from the shock when the bullet hits.

.25 and .30 guns blow a hole through them, expend all the energy in the dirt behind them, and they sometimes run off and die where you can't find them.

I blew a whole front shoulder and leg off one once with a 110 grain HP out of a 30-06 at 300 yards or so.
The yote ran off on three legs and I found his bones in the brush later that winter about 1/4 mile from where I dismembered him with the 06.

I have never had one do anything except hit the ground, DRT with a Swift or 22-250, out to 500+ yards.

The other consideration is safety.

A big .30 cal bullet will hit the coyote, hit the ground behind him, and then ricochet across farmer Brown's cow pasture for another half a mile and kill his prize bull before running out of steam.

The .220 Swift, 22-250, etc, hits the yote and whatever comes out the back is a pink vapor cloud that isn't going to ricochet anywhere.


June 18, 2013, 09:24 PM
All the really experienced varmint exterminators in my neck of the woods handload 22-250.

June 18, 2013, 09:29 PM
If you want to save the hides, a 223 or 22-250 is the standard of most of the dog killers I know out here in the west. A 30 anything will blow em up too bad. Since availability of ammo is a consideration, a .243 would be my next choice, it was available all through this latest crisis. If this is a dedicated coyote only rifle, you will only need 100-150 rounds a year though. A .22-250 or a .243 bolt is a lot of fun, bad medicine for coyotes out to 5-600 if you can hit em.

June 18, 2013, 09:36 PM
Also IMO: The .223 isn't fast enough for DRT performance much past 250 yards.

I gave up on the .222 Remington about 1965 after losing too many at long range.
The .223 isn't that much better, maybe another 50 yards better then the .222.

They are perfect for close in calling.

Not so perfect over in the next pasture 500 yards away.


June 18, 2013, 09:54 PM
RC, I have to agree with the .223, but a lot of callers I know out here use em. Me, I have shot a 22-250 for years with never a complaint. I have tried a lot of coyote guns, everything from a .17 Remington to a .25/06, but if I had to buy a new one tomorrow, I would get another .22-250. Sight in a 50 VMax at 275 yards and you have a 350 point blank range. Aim at the middle of a coyote out to 350 yards!!! No guesswork. Dead yote.

June 18, 2013, 10:00 PM
rcmodel: "Also IMO: The .223 isn't fast enough for DRT performance much past 250 yards."

I too agree, but in my world, 250 yds is one long way away! I know a lot of guys shoot at 400-600 yds., but in my time in NC and even in IN, that kind of range still kinda blows my mind.

June 18, 2013, 10:04 PM
Come to the plains of Kansas.
Sometimes you see them at 50-100 yards running away.

But they don't stop running until they are a Long Ways off, and stop to look back over their shoulder!

That is when the .220 Swift and the 22-250 come into their own!

The OP said 400 yards.
And that was my answer for his needs.


June 18, 2013, 10:07 PM
I know a guy who uses a 308 with a 110 grain bullet and he likes it. I think I would go with a 22-250 as it is fairly easily found.

June 18, 2013, 10:17 PM
Just so you know, .243 bullets are very easy to find (especially varmint bullets), and it is a great varmint gun.

June 18, 2013, 10:23 PM
All of use started with 30-06 and .308 rifles for coyote hunting back in 1962.
My first was a 1903-A3 Springfield Sporter with a K6 Weaver scope I built myself.

My hunting pard at the time inherited his grandfathers Model 70 featherweight in .308.

We killed coyotes & crows all right.

But we upped the odds considerably when we went to the super-fast .22 center-fires some few years later as soon as we could afford it.

We found there were better calibers that killed them deader, faster.

.22-250, .220 Swift, and a distant second, .243, & .6mm Rem.

Those are coyote killing machines as far as you can see them.

My hunting buddy today still uses a 6mm Rem.

He shoots them, then I kill them with my 22-250! :D


June 18, 2013, 11:00 PM
You guys are twisting my arm with all the talk about .22-250s. I used to own one and sold it to a Marine Corps friend of mine to purchase a Rock River Arms A4. Unfortunately, the A4 didn't even come close to the killing power of the Savage .22-250.... :banghead:

I currently own a Stevens .25-06 that shoots some 87gr. BT bullets at 3300 f.p.s. and a 5/8" group at 100 yards and a 1 1/4" group at 200 yards. Which doesn't come close to the .22-250's 55gr. V-Max bullets that would shoot 5 out of 5 inside a nickel at 200 yards...at a 3855 f.p.s. 3-shot average.

Yep...I think I see another .22-250 in my future. :cool: The quarter bore is going to be for sale. :)

June 18, 2013, 11:13 PM
22-250 off my back porch all 1 shot kills

June 18, 2013, 11:22 PM
If I am hunting coyote I usually have two rifles with me.

Up close its an AR15 loaded with a 55 grain Nosler Ballistics. Over 250yds or so I use a 25-06 with 85 grain CT silvertips. Has worked well so far, but I would say the quarterbore is bordering too much for a 40 lb dog. A 22-250 on the heavy side like 60 or 65 grains or a 243 around 60-75 grains seems about right to me for 200-400 yards.

June 18, 2013, 11:25 PM
Your .25-06 is a viable long range coyote rifle. Why not use it?

What do prime coyote pelts go for these days? Anyone know?

June 18, 2013, 11:30 PM

June 18, 2013, 11:38 PM
I built my 'Ideal' long range coyote rifle about 1970 something.

It's a 25-06, 24" medium heavy barrel.

Too much gun, and it doesn't kill coyotes DRT nearly as well as the old .220 Swift it replaced!!

Again, too much destruction, and too much energy wasted on the ground behind the coyote.

It was a bad mistake not re-barreling the .220 Swift when it needed it.

That's my story and I'm sticking too it.


June 18, 2013, 11:40 PM
185437 Personally, all my yote hunting tkes place with my .243

IF I was ever to decide I needed something more,I would look at the .270's

The 48-coyotes I took last year were mostly wrapped up in handcuffs,and only required an old axe-handle of my fathers to dispatch them, I only called in and shot 11 of them 4-dozen dogs,,and because of the drought we had (thats what im blaming it on) I ended up burying 9 of them on-site as they were all manged-up,and I would have taken a serious brow-beating from my fur buyer had I tried to pass them unto him

June 18, 2013, 11:44 PM
The .243 Win and .244 Rem (6mm Rem) are close to perfection. The .25-06 Rem and .257 Wea are perfection. Even the .270 Win loaded with 100 grain projectiles is a great varmint cartridge.


June 19, 2013, 06:28 AM
I took a coyote with a 300 RUM and 180 gr Partition last year. It worked, and it wasn't a very good gun for it, but it's what I had in my hands at the time. Bullet passed through and ended up somewhere and the coyote made it about 40 or 50 yards before dropping. I'd use 6mm if that's what I was hunting. It's cheaper and much easier to shoot. I'd also consider 204 Ruger and I'm surprised nobody brought it up. It's deadly within 300 yards.

June 19, 2013, 07:34 AM
I can't fathom ANY reason to pick ANY .30 caliber rifle over the myriad of better choices outs there for hunting coyotes.

Sav .250
June 19, 2013, 07:42 AM
300 WSW............. talk about over-kill!

June 19, 2013, 07:46 AM
I guess you not into keeping the hide! all you need in a 223 or 22-250 anthing else is overkill.

dagger dog
June 19, 2013, 08:55 AM
I guess if you are dead set on a 308, you can use that 125gr. Speer TNT but the max' launch is barely 3000 fps out of a 26" barrel, the BC is only 0.326, with a 200 yd zero it will drop 7.6 inches at 300 yds but almost 2 FEET 22.7" @ 400 yds and only traveling at 1914 fps when it gets there.

Even though the TNT's striated jacket is made for "explosive expansion" I don't think there will be much fire works if your target is at 400 yds.

I've shot that load in 308 at paper, benched @100 and did get acceptable accuracy, hunting it leaves a headless ground hog at that range and a little farther.

Never shot that bullet any farther and I bet wind would be a big factor at longer range and it would probably just punch a hole.

Outlaw Man
June 19, 2013, 09:04 AM
I'd probably pick a .300 Blk if I was going to use a .30 cal rifle. I know they're not as common as others, but most of the others are tremendous overkill.

I've seen what a .243 can do to a coyote, and it is MORE than adequate.

June 19, 2013, 10:03 AM
300 WSW............. talk about over-kill!

A 130 gr Barnes TTSX at 3550 fps isn't such a bad idea. Only 14" of drop @ 400 yards with a 200 yard zero. It is still a deer killer well beyond 500 yards.

I guess if you are dead set on a 308, you can use that 125gr. Speer TNT but the max' launch is barely 3000 fps out of a 26" barrel, the BC is only 0.326, with a 200 yd zero it will drop 7.6 inches at 300 yds but almost 2 FEET 22.7" @ 400 rds

I can get 3100 fps with the Barnes bullets from a 308 with a 22" barrel.

But unless you really want a dual purpose rifle there are lots of better choices. I have to ask why you really want a .30 caliber for this?

June 19, 2013, 11:50 PM
30 cal is quite a bit of overkill on a medium dog sized target, as is the Barnes TSX which would expend the vast majority of it's energy out the far side of the target. 243s and 25-06s are both fine dual purpose cartridges

June 20, 2013, 11:09 PM
Along with the 22-250, I'm going to have to consider the .243 too. The bullet selection for the .243 is off of the chart...not to mention the ballistics comparison to the 22-250.

Since I'm considering Savage rifles, there seems to be 2 barrel types/lengths to choose from, in both calibers.
There's a 22" sporter barrel and a 26" heavy varmint barrel.

What would make you choose one over the other? :confused:

Thank you, Bowhunter57

June 20, 2013, 11:16 PM
would meloniting the barrel after breaking it in increase barrel life on those barrel burners?

June 20, 2013, 11:26 PM
would meloniting the barrel after breaking it in increase barrel life on those barrel burners?

Yes, it would, but it limits what you can do to the barrel after it is melonited. You can't recrown it, cut it down, or rechamber it.

June 21, 2013, 01:06 AM
All you need is a good AR in .223 and you can take song dogs out to 600yds. I have shot a ton of them with the .223 and some into the 50+ lb range that never took another step. The AR give me fast follow ups when running hounds and you need to hit a fast mover.

June 21, 2013, 03:06 AM
It is funny you mentioned .30 caliber. I love shooting coyotes with my .300 weatherby. It does to them what a 12 gauge does to a sprung missouri copperhead. I am positive there are better utilitarian choices to kill them than a .300WYB with a 180grn sphire tipped hornady, but it has become my favorite part of deer season.

I have never had one of atleast six I can think of remain standing or even take one step. Infact, I usually think I miss them because after the devastasting and addicting recoil of a magnum cartridge the coyotes are no where to be found. They aren't running away or spinning in a loud yelping circle. They are dropped dead.

Forgive my irrational response, but I just realized to what extent I enjoy this experience, lol. I can tell you I have killed them with every .30 caliber you have mentioned. None of them are quite as fun as my .300 Weatherby.

June 21, 2013, 04:05 AM
Must admit I would go with something like .22-250, .243 or maybe a .25-'06, Would you think about a 7mm Rem Mag? Why the .30 requirement?

June 21, 2013, 04:21 AM
Must admit I would go with something like .22-250, .243 or maybe a .25-'06, Would you think about a 7mm Rem Mag? Why the .30 requirement?

I would recommend a .308 well before a 7mm Rem mag...

June 21, 2013, 05:55 AM
Yeah I take your point, only thinking is the 7mm Rem Mag shoots flatter than the .308


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