new rifle for coyotes/foxes etc.

MAC

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i know this has been rehashed by everyone a thousand times. i am purchasing a new short action rifle for the aforementioned critters after my .308 ripped the right rear quarterpannel off of the last coyote i shot with it. i'm having trouble deciding on a caliber. i would like some suggestions, and if you could include fur mangling experiences i'd appreciate it. (songdog, i already saw your rear leg .243 coyote pic.) the rifle will be primarily for coyote with (God willing) a fair assortment of fox and bobcat mixed in. i would like to have salvageable hides, but do not want to use a .17 cal. info?
 

andrew

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I would go with the .223remington. I would suggest the .22-250 but that one may be a bit harsh on pelts and is almost overkill for little bitty foxes and bobcats but it is a very versatile varmint round. I still say go for the .223
 

Hook

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I also like the 223 for fox and coyotes, Plenty of ammo out there and not too expensive. Not too damaging on the pelts either.
 

songdog

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Two thoughts...

First, a .22 Hornet.  It's ideal for fox and bobcat hunting where you are concerned about hides.  Very mild shooting and effective out to 200 yards.  It will work quite well on coyotes as well as long as you limit the range to no more than 200 yards.  Past that distance on coyotes and you're just asking for lost animals.

If you are going to be shooting more that 200 yards at coyotes (which I think is really quite rare when you're calling) then a .223 would take you up to about 400 yards with the caveat being you loose the mild impact on the pelts that you get with the Hornet.

The .222 and .221 Fireball are still a little hot for 8lb foxes but if you like something a little different they could take the place of the .223 out to 300 yards.

The .17s tend to cover both ends pretty well - minimal pelt damage and solid coyote kills out to 350 maybe 400 yards when conditions are just right.  I understand wanting to stay away from the .17 as it means new cleaning rods, jags, dies, etc.

For what it's worth, the kindest firearm on pelts is a shotgun.  For foxes (gray at least) that would cover 90% of the foxes I've called in.  Only a small percentage hung up more than 50 yards out.
 

MAC

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thanks.
to take this a bit further, has anyone used an improved version of the .22 hornet? i would be interested as long as case forming could be done by only having to fire form. and just out of curiosity, how available is .221 brass?
 

songdog

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I've had K-Hornet's in the past.  Case forming is just firing it in the improved chamber.  It does increase the life of the case but the velocity gain probably shouldn't be the #1 reason to do this.  If you need more velocity it makes sense to go to one of the .223 base rounds.

.221 brass is easy to find.  Remington is making their 700 Classic this year in .221 Fireball which will ensure that there will be plenty of brass going forward.  Worst case you can always make it out of .223 brass but there's no point when you can walk into your relaoding shop and get good quality .221 brass so easily.
 

ghillie

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I recently bought a Savage model 24V in .222/20 ga. just for fox and coyote. They don't make the .222 in any combination any more but they do make a .223/12 ga.

I've loaded 40 gr Sierra hornet bullets for the .222 so they shoot at around .22 hornet velocity (perfect for places where a .220 swift or 22-250 is too big).

For critters bigger than a groundhog I've got 50 gr. Hornady SXSP bullets loaded. Haven't been able to try them out on a fox or 'yote yet.:frown-blue: but on groundhogs these bullets don't often exit. In fact if you push them at over 3500 fps, they come apart in mid-air. Perfect for .223 or .222 velocities.
 
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