View Full Version : Calibre of choice?

02-27-2008, 06:53 AM
Hey guys,

Decided to finally get into yote hunting and ofcourse now I need a new gun. Just curious as what you guys out there are using for a calibre. I've pretty much picked a scope and gun but would to hear what the consenus says. Thanks for the help guys.


02-27-2008, 08:02 AM
This is like asking a person what is the best vehicle or brand. I will give you my opinions and it really depends on if you wish to save the fur which I will assume the answer is yes.

If you hunt cover, where shots will generall be 200 yards or less:
.17 Rem or .204 - I wouldn't choose either if you aren't going to reload shells but espeically the .204

If you hunt wide open spaces like where I do in ND:
.22-250 or .223 (there are lots of choices in the .22 caliber family)

For an all around coyote gun a 22-250 is hard to beat. The advantage of a .223 is price for brass and loads but the 22-250 in my opinion is still the king of the coyote guns.

I either shoot a .17 Rem or a 22-250 almost exclusively now. I have owned virtually every caliber in between from a .17 to a 25-06 and have settled on .17 Rem and the 22-250. Typically, I will pick one up and that is what I will use for the year. This year it has been the 22-250 all year. It has about 50 coyotes to its credit so far.

02-27-2008, 08:10 AM
I just use my deer rifle, .257 Roberts.

02-27-2008, 08:27 AM
I have a custom made 257 built on a Mauser action. It was my grandfathers and got passed down. The only thing is that it has a peep sight and I want something with a scope. And there is no way I'm drilling that gun for a scope!

Out here its all corn fields for coyotes. Been somewhat leaning towards a 243 cause then I could use it for deer. Some of my goose fields have dogs and also have a restriction to nothing bigger than a 270. We also have an ample supply of deer, so the I guess the 243 would do double duty.

The Baron of Bufflehead
02-27-2008, 08:48 AM
I would share the exact advice kirsch did! :TT: If you are leaning toward .243, that would also be a very fine choice indeed, either with handloads or factory ammo. .243 might be a little less "fur friendly" than the smaller stuff (not sure if that matters to you) but it's a great coyote caliber IMHO.

02-27-2008, 08:59 AM
Greatly appreciate the help guys. I also want to do a lot of distance target shooting with the gun but I guess thats somewhat irrelevant. I'm not overly concerned about pelt damage, I already have a rug/skin mount done.

Expect more questions to come in the near future lol

02-27-2008, 10:02 AM
I picked up a .223, and its a great gun with some nice range behind it. Savage makes some that won't brake the bank.

02-27-2008, 09:05 PM
I have a 17 and I just shot one out the back door and it ran 300 yards before it died on the neighbors place, was not impressed. I was shooting 17 grain V-Max bullets so I'm sure it would have been better done with a 20 grain or the CCI hollow point, they seem to penetrate pretty good. Damn thing was chasing one of the little yearling's we feed here, on his third trip around the house he got what he had coming. I have the shotgun buy the door now. Right after I killed him I grabbed my mouth call and called another one out into the field out back and gave him a 52 grain 22-250 right between the eyes.

I have a 257 Roberts also Rem Mod 722, great gun, I reload so it is pretty peppy. The wife uses it right now for deer. It was my fathers gun so I'm going to give it to my daughter this year and buy Deb a new gun, one with all the bells and whistles of coarse so that I may grab by mistake some days, hehe. 7mm WSM maybe. I think I am going to have a 7mm Ultra Mag built for real windy Yote hunting and maybe some long range mule deer.

To answer the question I have had em all and if I had to do it all over again I would go with the 22-250 again, it kills yotes like their stuck down by God, most never take a step. I have never had a bullet exit yet with the match bullets I shoot, they just frag like a bomb inside.


02-28-2008, 05:50 AM
Just a puff of dust and a dead dog with the 22-250. Great alround gun. I have seen guys kill some big deer with it as well. The one thing I like about the 250 is you can walk into any Wal Mart and buy ammo, unlike some of the other guns.

02-28-2008, 06:11 AM
I too was using a 22-250 for the first two years of varmit hunting. I recently just sold it and went to a .223. I have yet to shoot a dog with it, but I am liking the cheap ammo, smaller gun-lighter (easier for pushes). My brother on the other hand just purchased a .243 Tika mod. 595. It is a good all around gun for deer hunting and varmit. However like Baron has said it may be a little tougher on the hide. Keep us posted as to what you end up purchasing.


02-28-2008, 12:45 PM
I went with the 22-250. It gets the job done no problem, and it's like a 270 or 30-06 you can find ammo for them anywhere you go if needed.

02-28-2008, 03:12 PM
Cliff, in my opinion the .17 Rem is a fantastic coyote killing caliber. However, as you mentioned, I would definitely recommend shooting a heavier bullet. I shoot 25 grain Bergers and it drops them dead in their tracks. I also have heard a lot of good reports of guys moving up to the 30 grain Bergers. I always type .17 Rem because I don't want people to think that I am recommending shooting coyotes with a .17 HMR. It is like saying a 22 Mag vs. a 22-250. Same caliber different result.

On a similar note, I was about ready to throw my .204 off a cliff last year until I shot 35 grain Bergers out of it as well. I had too many coyotes run off with v-max loads. They don't any longer but I love my .17 too much and my 22-250 for the .204 to make a dent in my use of the other 2 guns. It is a great shooter but now sold to someone who will use it more than I do.

The reason I always recommend hand-loading for the .17 and .204 is a simple fact of the limited option in off the shelf loads. Virtually every load I can find for these are designed for prairie dog type hunting not coyote hunting in these smaller calibers. Expansion is great as long as there is penetration and too many coyotes get away. I use to shoot v-max for coyotes out of my 22-250 as well and I did kill lots of coyotes but I also had lots of multiple shots to finish the job. For me V-Max bullets at least in 22 caliber rifles and smaller are not great coyote loads.

For those of you shooting a .17 centerfire, don't give up on your .17 jsut shoot a bit heavier bullets. You will soon realize the joy of a caliber with little to no kick at all, range good to at least 250-300 yards and absolutely no pelt damage at all.

I have to agree though, for one gun and one gun only for coyote sized or maybe bigger game, I would buy the 22-250 as it is just better all around gun if coyote and fox isn't the only thing you shoot.

02-28-2008, 03:40 PM
Well, I went shopping today and ended up with a 223. I even had the store call another one of their locations looking for a 243 in a different brand of rifle than what I was going to buy, nothing! I hummed and hawwed hard for a bit and settled on the 223. I'll have a pic of it up later. For now, everyone can wait in suspense!!! lol

The Baron of Bufflehead
02-28-2008, 04:00 PM
Cool!:cool: I think you'll be really happy with that .223. Having a dedicated coyote/varmint rifle is a lot of fun! I'll definitely be watching for the rifle pics.:TT:

02-29-2008, 04:35 PM
Looks like your descision has already been made but I would say Twenty two two fidy. :TT: