PDA

View Full Version : Coyote Rifle: AR-15, Bolt .223, or 22-250


aquaman
November 25, 2013, 15:31
Before I get into my question, I'd like to assert my biased opinions: I've never been a fan of the .223 and I certainly prefer the accuracy of a bolt over semi automatics. That's why I'm posting in the bolt action section, I hope that someone here might have some informed advice for me.

"I" used to have a 22-250 (it was grandpa's gun). Grandpa and I had it dialed in and I had great luck with that rifle. After he passed away, about 10 years ago, that particular rifle went to another relative. I never replaced it because I haven't had much opportunity for long range varmint shooting... sadly, work/career has interfered with long range shooting pursuits.

Over the years I've accumulated and built (assembled really) various AR-15 rifles. One of them is a Rock River Arms National Match model. It performs quite well but nothing like Grandpa's 22-250. Admittedly, I' haven't shot enough past 300-400 yards to work up a long distance load and I'm not using a scope that would compare to Grandpa's 22-250.

I recently moved to an area where I can get back into long range varmint shooting.

Finally, I have a self imposed "no new calibers" rule because the ammo situation has gotten out of control.

So my question:
Do I spend time and money tuning the RRA AR-15?
Do I get a bolt action in .223 to take advantage of the ammo/reloading I already have?
Do I break "my rule" and add a 22-250?

They say "Beware the man with one gun".

Should my one coyote gun be my AR-15, a Bolt .223, or a bolt 22-250?

W.E.G.
November 25, 2013, 15:36
Accuracy is all about the scope and the trigger.

Most rifles have decent-enough barrels.

A good rangefinder will compensate for a lot of the shortcomings of the .223.
Plus, you are shooting rodents that are going to be left where they fall.
Not like you are gunning for a prize moose or once-in-a-lifetime pelt.

Bust 'em with the .223

A good AR-15 trigger can be pricey.
You may already have a good-enough trigger in that RR NM gun.
Now you just gotta decide how much to spend on scope and rangefinder.

ALL FAL
November 25, 2013, 17:32
I have to agree with WEG, if you want super long range, buy an larger caliber flat shooting rifle like a 7MM Mag or a Lapua, then you have an rifle that can take down large edible game or take out an enemy reliably.

I shoot coyote's out to 400yds with an .223 pistol, that is fun with Irons.

12v71
November 26, 2013, 00:04
My current 'yote buster is an Olympic 16" bull barrel AR 15 with an A2 stock. At the moment I have a 29$ walmart /tasco 3-9x40 scope on it and its done well out to 250 yards. I keep saying Il get a better scope, but it wont break. I used to use a Rem 700 22-250 Varmint special, but the oly is handier.:wink:

grumpy1
November 26, 2013, 06:06
15 years ago I would have said get a bolt gun, but now I would agree with the others and stay with and stay with your AR. Work with it and tune it up some.

Put your money into some good glass as you already should have a good trigger in your RRA NM.

hagar
November 26, 2013, 16:37
Buy a 26 inch 223 bolt action. I had more luck with my Remington 223 VS hunting coyotes than anything else. It was quiet on the ears (theirs and mine), and killed them pretty well with the 50 grain Federal hollow points I used to buy for $4/20 (still have 100's of them). My best bull barrel AR shoots pretty well, but is no match for my Remington VS. I shot so many almost 1 hole groups with it, it's not even funny. One year I took it to South Africa and got entered in a bench rest match involuntary, first (and last) benchrest match I ever shot. Had one of the top shooters shoot it with some match ammo, and he shot 10 rounds through one ragged hole. The best AR triggers I ever shot, is no match for the slightly tuned Remington tigger I have on my VS, and I do own some AR's with Timney triggers.

The 22/250 is a good round, but is noisy, burns barrels and not much of an improvement over a long barrel 223. I'd get a 204 Ruger instead if I moved away from the 223 round.

Another thing about the AR15, they don't balance as well for me shooting coyotes as a good bolt. I am not biased against the AR15, as a matter of fact I shoot highpower with them (rather badly the last couple of years), and have more than 40,000 rounds through them at least, but for shooting varmints I'd take a bolt rifle with a 27 inch Harris bipod any day.

grumpy1
November 26, 2013, 18:52
Another thing is that at least in my neck of the woods the coyotes are getting smarter and harder to hit. They rarely stay still which makes it nice to have a fast follow up shot with an AR.

I also own a custom remington 700 in .223 with a 26 inch barrel, timmey trigger, and sitting in an H-S stock. It shoots great but the AR is my coyote gun. It could be that the coyotes in UT are quite gun/call shy because of the recent bounty for their heads (really just their ears & lower jaw).

Also if you need more power you can also get a 223 WSSM upper for your AR.

W.E.G.
November 26, 2013, 18:59
I wouldn't use anything less than 10mm on them uppity coyotes.

gunplumber
November 26, 2013, 19:59
Use your FAL with 110g Hornaday TAP!

I guess a lot also depends on where you're hunting. A semiauto lets you miss really fast when they decide to go from 0 to 40 in 0.25 seconds, dodging between trees.

If they hold still, then a bolt gun is fine.

Timber Wolf
November 27, 2013, 08:58
Sometimes working with what we have is the hardest thing to do. I know I am bad at wanting to buy or build something new even though deep down I know it is really not going to help my shooting much. A good AR with the right load and scope (and trigger) combo will do a lot. I took an AR class a few years back and I was the only one to show up. The Instructor put the class on anyway, and I had private instruction for two days!:uhoh: On the second day he had me busting 450 yard IPSC style steel silhouettes (and upper-half silhouettes at shorter ranges) at will from prone. I mean laying in the dirt propped up on elbows prone. And this was with a 16” CAR-AR with a 2X7 scope with standard trigger. I had never shot past a 100 yards in my life and was pretty impressed with myself. I would love to smoke a ‘yote/Zombie at 4-600 yards with a nice heavy barreled AR with good scope and trigger.

aquaman
November 27, 2013, 16:06
You guys are doing nothing to support the gun industry! Of course I'll have to agree with the consensus. I have some great rifles in my collection, probably a few too many. It's time for my gun budget to be spent on shooting, reloading ammo and glass rather than collecting guns.

This thread has made me realize... I have fundamentally changed over the years, I have transformed from a shooter to a collector! :uhoh:

So how does a shooter become a collector?

When I was a kid on the farm, all I had was a .22, 30-30, and a 12 gauge I made do with what I had. I took more game and varmints in 3 years than I have in the last 20 years. I learned a lot about reloading too. But, a lever action 30-30 has it's limits.

When I saved up enough for a .270 a whole new world of long range opportunities opened up to me... That was exciting! And the rewarding feeling of working your ass off for something you desperately want is magical stuff for a young kid. Can any of you relate to that? I wonder How many kids of the younger generations are robbed of that experience? The 30-30 didn't get much use after the .270 came home, but it still went along when I was beating the brush for whitetail.

And then I bought my 7mm rem mag... I wanted a magnum because all "the men" in my family had magnums. The .270 was sold soon after. And soon after there were regrets, I wish I had kept it to pass down to family, dialing in the magnum was a pain... Literally! I developed a flinch. But the .270 was gone, I spent too much time regretting selling my magic rifle. I sold that .270 because I didn't "need it". That was the right thing to do, I was a poor student and times were tough on the farm. But there was the scar of regret, it lingers to this day. That's a scar that defines my collection habit.

Then George Bush... Followed by Clinton....

Those bans hit when I was a poor student before I had a chance to purchase some of the rifles I'd only read about. That left another scar. I've been trying to buy all the rifles I might possibly want before they are legislated out of my reach. I've been buying receivers and kits for close friends and family too. I think it's called Black Rifle Disease? I have a half a dozen FAL variants and about the same in mouse guns. So it's not as extreme as others. The point is that the overwhelming majority of my gun funds have not been spent on shooting.

So.... The AR-15 in .223 is more than good enough. I'll have more of a glass/ammo budget. Any bets on How long will it take to change back from a collector to a shooter?

My name is Aquaman... I'm an addict. It has been three weeks since my last rifle purchase....

aquaman
November 27, 2013, 16:53
You know what... That's all BS!

I came to a bolt action page and not one person posts the merits of a bolt action over semi-auto.... You guys suck, I'm going to go post somewhere else. Perhaps someone on another forum can talk me into buying a bolt action .223 if not a 22-250? :tongue:

grumpy1
November 27, 2013, 19:59
You guys are doing nothing to support the gun industry! Of course I'll have to agree with the consensus. I have some great rifles in my collection, probably a few too many. It's time for my gun budget to be spent on shooting, reloading ammo and glass rather than collecting guns.

This thread has made me realize... I have fundamentally changed over the years, I have transformed from a shooter to a collector! :uhoh:

So how does a shooter become a collector?

When I was a kid on the farm, all I had was a .22, 30-30, and a 12 gauge I made do with what I had. I took more game and varmints in 3 years than I have in the last 20 years. I learned a lot about reloading too. But, a lever action 30-30 has it's limits.

When I saved up enough for a .270 a whole new world of long range opportunities opened up to me... That was exciting! And the rewarding feeling of working your ass off for something you desperately want is magical stuff for a young kid. Can any of you relate to that? I wonder How many kids of the younger generations are robbed of that experience? The 30-30 didn't get much use after the .270 came home, but it still went along when I was beating the brush for whitetail.

And then I bought my 7mm rem mag... I wanted a magnum because all "the men" in my family had magnums. The .270 was sold soon after. And soon after there were regrets, I wish I had kept it to pass down to family, dialing in the magnum was a pain... Literally! I developed a flinch. But the .270 was gone, I spent too much time regretting selling my magic rifle. I sold that .270 because I didn't "need it". That was the right thing to do, I was a poor student and times were tough on the farm. But there was the scar of regret, it lingers to this day. That's a scar that defines my collection habit.

Then George Bush... Followed by Clinton....

Those bans hit when I was a poor student before I had a chance to purchase some of the rifles I'd only read about. That left another scar. I've been trying to buy all the rifles I might possibly want before they are legislated out of my reach. I've been buying receivers and kits for close friends and family too. I think it's called Black Rifle Disease? I have a half a dozen FAL variants and about the same in mouse guns. So it's not as extreme as others. The point is that the overwhelming majority of my gun funds have not been spent on shooting.

So.... The AR-15 in .223 is more than good enough. I'll have more of a glass/ammo budget. Any bets on How long will it take to change back from a collector to a shooter?

My name is Aquaman... I'm an addict. It has been three weeks since my last rifle purchase....

We must be close in age, I was in high school for the Bush/Clinton election and was out of the country when the AW band took effect. I however had a dad that had the means and foresight to buy some select guns at some amazing prices, like a Finnish M39 for $75 out the door. I sold that one about 5 years ago for over $500. I used the money for a gun I'd been wanting for over 10 years and I'm happy with the decision. I do miss the M39 as it was built on a pre- WWI hex bolt with the csar crest on it and some other cool marks.

I also know what its like to work hard and save up to buy something. I think I learned to take care of my things more because I knew how long I had worked and saved. I also remember the Christmas when I received my first gun, a simple bolt action 22 that I still have. Thought about getting rid of it a few times, but just can bring myself to get rid of it.

My first gun I bought was a brand new in the box SKS that I paid $200 for in 1989. I know some of my student loan money went to buy some guns. I also have a list of guns I'd like to own, but don't know if I'll ever get them all because I'm sure I'd find another to add to the list.

I look back when I only had a couple guns and I know I was a better shot back then until I went to sniper school and learned to shot all over again. Always be weary of the guy with just one gun, he most likely knows how to use it very well.

Also I have multiple guns that need a little TLC, or a few projects that need to be finished. I plan to work on those next year and get them finished up before I get any more projects or guns. I have a few that need scopes and a few that need stocks re-done. The FAL needs a little work too.

I'll support your decision to buy a bolt gun but I think you don't need it, you may just WANT IT. :wink:

hagar
November 27, 2013, 20:29
An AR15 will look silly with one of these bipods, and it is the single greatest tool I ever used coyote hunting. This is my 25/06, and that coyote did not shed one drop of blood but was a mass of jello inside. Full frontal shot at about 120 yards.

https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/30531_1434736624413_5617460_n.jpg?lvh=1

E5c03
November 27, 2013, 21:01
.243 Winchester,in a bolt gun of choice,,Winchester,,Remmy
or Savage they've come along way,or even a CZ
Great forgotten cartridge,,desighned as a varmit cartridge.
Works good on medium size game too.

12v71
November 28, 2013, 16:43
I have to admit that once in a while, If I can call them close enough. My bull barrel Marlin 17hmr comes into play. Its done a decent job clear out to 185 yards if they will hold still. Mostly it does its job at 100 yds or less though.

kopcicle
November 29, 2013, 15:29
Okay I'll make the effort...

One of the most reliable , affordable , accurate , 22-250 platforms I have owned borrowed or shot is the Remington 788 . I suppose it could be because of careful optics choice or understanding MPBR , or going to the bother of loading for it , or bullet choice , or ....

I won't go into the virtues of the rifle based on opinion I'll just say that it works .

I do own a mouse gun , and a quantity of milsurp ammo , brass , bulk no name and reloads in .223 . I rarely take the AR out of the safe let alone the house . I however have had the 70 , 700 , 788 and Savage in .223 . They all got far more use than my "mutt" AR . All the mutt AR is to me is a milsurp .223 sponge . I do shoot it . I shoot it well . I just don't shoot it often . It has ,for me all the anticipation and excitement of chewing down a cheeseburger prior to swallowing . This is actually an improvement according to some who know me . I once compared owning and operating an AR to the feeling I get when wipe after a diarrhetic dump . I still felt dirty and I knew there was more to come ...

I was taught Mill Dot so that limited my optics choices . If you don't have a "flat top" your optics choices are limited for the AR . I have one Nikon and an older Leatherwood (non BDC) that I use for intermediate varmint shooting and several Unertl from decades past that serve well at longer ranges .

My go to intermediate range weapon with optic is a .270 . A BSA in fact . Those that remember Herters copy of the K98 , full length extractor/guide and all that know my Monarch . It will stabilize near all from 125gr to 160's if round nose . It will shoot 150gr cast lead to 75yd point of aim @ 1275 fps . If you really understand MPBR work it out for 10" for larger game , 5" for smaller game and 3" for varmint . Then go to a ballistics chart and see how much more gun you will have to get to get just 50 more yards , just 50 more yards (yes I said that twice) @ the same bullet weights @ the same 10 , 5 , or 3" MPBR .
Now work it out for just 25 yards more distance . Magnum length actions do not make sense . Anything you want to do can be done below .358 , in 24" or less , in a standard length bolt action .

Anecdotal :

22-250 see above
.223/5.56 see above
Any of the .25's . This includes the 25-06 , 257 Roberts 25 sooper (25-.308) . Great if you load as the 25-06 is about the best availability followed by the Roberts . Light recoil , good inherent accuracy , will take Deer with a well placed shot . Again ammo can be a problem and platforms will be scarce as most manufactures have dropped the 25-06 and Roberts decades ago and the 25-.308 never was a commercial caliber .
6.5x55 , great sectional density , moderate recoil , great intermediate to long range potential , and down only 400fps to the .264 . Not a great availability outside of converted milsurp arms . Limited cartridge and bullet availability in commercial loadings.
.270 , I'm severely prejudiced , see above .
.284/7mm . Light bullets in a 7x57 make sense the rest is of no use
.300 ? no need for a .30 caliber cannon here .
.358 . Only because of the wide variety of bullets and cases in this caliber do I mention it .
This would still mean a barrel job on most actions and moderate reloading tools . The ability to cast and seat .355(9mm) through .358 in a pistol , carbine , rifle has more than a little appeal . being able to have a trusty .357 revolver on the hip , a light , quick handling carbine at port arms and a reach out and touch little things at a good distance slung or in the truck just makes sense . Only having to cast at .358 and size down no more than .003" for 9mm plinking rounds again just makes sense .

I rarely get to post what I know , where it may help . I hope the above at least spurs discussion or in some small way is a help . To the OP , buying another or yet another gun is not a sin . Buying yet another gun that doesn't get used because it doesn't do what it's supposed to when needed to and sits in the closet is a sin .

Please look at your most available best sight lines and do the math . It's all about MPBR .

worth a look as always (http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_trajectory_table.htm)

~kop

0302
November 30, 2013, 10:12
I have encountered many mah-ees (coyotes ) or slay-chon-aes (dogs) in groups where the semi-auto is preferred. The most I have killed out of one pack is 4. I am almost finished with my son's ar-15, flat top, 20" spikes barrel, magpul handguard. Those running jack rabbits are a hoot.
Any decent bolt gun & optic will get er done.

12v71
November 30, 2013, 19:04
The most I got, was 5 out of 6 last year using my little pet AR. Dumb bastages were busy squabbling over a dead cow at 75 yards, I got the 5 and my bolt gun partner looks at me and says, "thanks jackass". Last time he got to go along.:wink:

grumpy1
December 01, 2013, 04:21
Kpcicle, I would agree with you that the 270 is a great caliber, however I think its more gun than is needed for coyote or other varmint hunting. The 270 is a great deer and an ok elk gun (so long as the right bullet and shot placement is made).

As far as the 25-06 goes its still made by all the major gun makers, just take a look in any of their catalogs. Mine has taken more deer than any other gun I own combined and has taken a couple of elk too. It's NOT a good elk caliber but will get the job done if bullet selection and shot placement is right.

The 257 Roberts is loosing some ground as the younger shooters all seem to want a/ need a magnum caliber. And also because the 25-06 has increased in popularity. It only offers lower recoil compared to the 25-06.

But back to the OPs question. Bolt gun vs. AR and breaking a self imposed rule of no new calibers. All the virtues that where once only available in a bolt gun are no longer just available in a bolt gun. There are lots of great shooting ARs that are made out there and most will keep up with a bolt gun in the accuracy department. As far as caliber goes one really doesn't need much more than a 223 for varmints. I can't think of one that I would need more energy to kill than what the 223 can provide at its acceptable range with an expanding bullet. FMJ bullets really have no place any where but on a target range, I shot a coyote with one returning from a trip to the range at about 35 yards only to watch it try to get away and had to put a bullet in its head to kill it. Couldnt pass up the $50 running infront of me.

I stand by what I said before, invest in a good scope for your AR and be done. However, if you want a new gun in either 223 or 22-250 all back you on the decision but you'll still need good optics and maybe even a better trigger on a new rifle. Some times more isn't better its just more. Save some money buy a good scope and use the savings on more ammo.

Hebrew Battle Rifle
December 01, 2013, 05:14
I am not a bolt gun fan. I found that as far as practical accuracy is concerned, my semi auto battle rifles are more than adequate to the task. My definition of practical accuracy is consistently hitting anything that I can see with my naked eye. Bolt guns have limitations that my MBR's don't have. Magazine capacity and follow up shot capability being chief among them. I am not likely to get into a sniper dual anytime soon and barring that, if they are far enough away that I can't see them, they aren't a threat to me. When hunting for meat or anti predation, if they are far enough away that I need a scope to see them, then that is an unethical shot and I won't take it. Even varmints deserve a clean quick death.

But, that being stated, if shooting bolt guns makes your tender bits tingle, then by all means get one or a dozen and get after it. You needn't seek approval for that. "I want it" is as valid a reason as any.

randy762ak
December 01, 2013, 18:30
Im a fan of anything that goes Bang--
Over the years I have acquired many odd guns -One a McGowan 25-06 ,Built as a custom rifle in the late 60s By Harry McGowan.. On a Springfield action.

Got it for $250.00 has a nice custom stock,I mounted a classic Weaver K-10 scope at 200 Yards it shoots clover leafs with about any ammo you stuff in it..

I too love the 25-06.. Id not trade it for a Weatherby 257 mag no matter the value-- a pound more powder bigger blast and Nothing more [IMHO]

skeeterbay
December 01, 2013, 19:07
To me it depends on how I am hunting them.

If I was jumping them during the day on snow shoes I would hunt the edges of woods and old meadows. For this hunting style I like a handy quick carbine. For years my coyote gun for this was a Winchester model 53 in 32-20. It was light, very quick and hit them hard at 100yds or so. Later I retired the little 53 and replaced it with a Ruger mini 14. That worked very well but an AR 15 carbine works just as well and mine is more accurate than my mini was at longer ranges.

If I am calling them during the day in the open or shooting them at night over a bait. Then any decent scoped bolt gun or AR-15 does me just fine. Over bait you tend to get more than one yote coming in at a time and the AR 15 works well for trying to pick up a second coyote. I ain't fast enough to even think about getting four at a time;)

If calling them at night it depends on where or how I am set up. I normally bring a rifle and a shotgun along in the truck. Most of the time you find me calling at night with a Winchester 97. The old gun with a full choke barrel works very well on yotes at night.

I also used the old 97 when I was running them with hounds.

ArtBanks
December 04, 2013, 06:06
A number of years ago, I had the same question as you. I talked about it with my wife and shaZamm, under the Christmas tree was a nice new Savage model 12 in .223. This rifle is amazing out to 400. I shoot in steel prairie dog competitions against the boys with 22-250s and 22-243s. The .223 will hold its own. Coyotes fall like a rock, although with a little screaching first.

http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/nf1e/March272012accuracyweapons001.jpg (http://s1180.photobucket.com/user/nf1e/media/March272012accuracyweapons001.jpg.html)
Semper Fi
Art