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View Full Version : .308 for coyotes? Input?



DVS_182
07-17-2014, 07:42 AM
i'm looking to get into varmint hunting, mostly coyotes. for this i need a new rifle as a .303 or 7mm would be a bit much an a .22lr not enough. i'm leaning towards a .308 or a .243 something that i could still use to hunt mulies. im just curious if there is any input on a better all around caliber that isn't over kill for coyotes or my budget as i don't reload(yet).

thanks,

Drache
07-17-2014, 07:47 AM
.243

Cheaper, less recoil, amazingly accurate round.

Bagged my Mulie last year with my .243!

FlyingHigh
07-17-2014, 08:21 AM
Depends what you want to do with the coyote. If you simply want to kill them and be done with it, then a .308 is fine. 7mm Rem Mag kills em too, just doesn't leave much left... If you want to save the pelt though, go with a smaller caliber.

.223 or .22-250 have been my choices in the past. .243 is a good in between cartridge. With lighter bullets is perfect for varmints and with heavier bullets it'll easily take deer.

Foxer
07-17-2014, 09:13 AM
I dont think input will be your problem. I think your problem will be output. :)

You can do it with controlled expansion rounds that will basically 'pencil' so you don't blow the entire crap out of them (i've experimented on sitka deer which are often about the same size for the little ones) but honestly if you're hoping to do much with the hides it tends to leave a pretty big hole no matter what you do.

awndray
07-17-2014, 12:58 PM
http://gunownersofcanada.ca/showthread.php?12127-Varmint-Bolt-Rifle

;)

Haywire1
07-17-2014, 03:10 PM
Talk to stevesummit about a snipetac build. Nail em from a mile out....

Rory McCanuck
07-17-2014, 04:26 PM
Start reloading, and the world is your oyster. The savings after 5-8 boxes of factory stuff would pay start up costs. Heck, you could down load your 7mm a bit and just use that. That doesn't help you if you're just looking for an excuse for a new rifle, though ;)
I'm partial to 6.5mm as any flavour of it would do what you want very nicely.
If deer hunting you needn't be so careful to wait for the perfect shot, as you do with a 243, but factory ammo isn't nearly so cheap or plentiful.
There aren't very many wrong answers...270?

Drache
07-17-2014, 05:12 PM
If deer hunting you needn't be so careful to wait for the perfect shot, as you do with a 243

Every shot should be the same no matter the caliber and a 100gr interlock .243 will drop anything in it's tracks just as well as a .308 will. People seem to under estimate the .243! It falls between a .223 and .308. Larger than a .223 but fires at almost the same speeds as a .243! No over penetration like the .308 makes it nice when there are multiple animals (or people in a tactical sense). I've seen a .243 drop everything from a white tail, mule, black bear, and even an elk with a single bullet. Granted type of bullet is key.

There has been some skuttlebutt with a couple Law Enforcement agencies wanting to try the .243 in the sharp shooting roll. Problem is there is no tactical law enforcement loads available for it. People reloading their own have had amazing results. If I remember correctly it was a .243 that won the 1000 yard Nationals back in 2010 using a 105gr bullet.

BuckingFastard
07-17-2014, 05:41 PM
I use my .243 for yotes up to moose, that's why my .223 is on the ee right now haven't picked it up in a couple years. I'd be very leary to use on a elk but that's just me personally. The only reason I've used on moose is cause I can normally get under 100 yards on a moose and brain them. The 308 is to big if you plan on saving the pelt, if not then no worries take your pick 308 or 243 I like both and gotten the job done with each.

Stephen
07-17-2014, 10:03 PM
Yeah, the .243 is where it is at. I have slayed a few deer and coyote with one!!

There is also 22-250

bearhunter
07-18-2014, 01:49 AM
I used the 308 for coyotes for years. 150gr fmj bullets were the best choice over all. No big holes to worry about if I wanted to save the hides and those relatively heavy bullets can be pushed fast enough to keep the trajectories useful out to and past 400m.

Now, I use the 6.5x55 in a Tikka T3. I load it with 95 gr V max bullet to over 3000fps. The thing is, there is no saving hides with that bullet. If I am hunting them in December/Jan part of the season, which is most when I do hunt them I use 139grn fmj. They have slightly better trajectories than the 308 and slightly better velocities.

All of the rounds listed are absolutely lethal and give instant kills if you do your part an put a clean shot into the chest cavity. Funny thing though the animals seem to drop instantly at over 100m but run for 10-20 meters if they are shot close up. Not sure why. Maybe the shock is different at the higher close up velocity?? I would have thought the hydraulic effect close up would have been greater therefore killing the animal quicker.

Drache
07-18-2014, 07:40 AM
Closer in means higher impact velocity and most bullets stay together and can pass straight through. At distance the bullet slows, can tumble/fragment more, and with the case of a round like a .243 won't go through.

bearhunter
07-18-2014, 10:51 AM
Closer in means higher impact velocity and most bullets stay together and can pass straight through. At distance the bullet slows, can tumble/fragment more, and with the case of a round like a .243 won't go through.

A 243 bullet will go all the way through any coyote way out past 500m. It likely won't do that with a Mule Deer, depending on bullet weight.

Hopefully you aren't planning on using one bullet weight for everything????

One other issue you don't mention. In the area you live/hint in, there are cattle all over the place. Often, most of the best hunting is located close to these cattle. Especially in the winter when the ranchers have their animals off the range and penned up in larger numbers.

The coyotes/wolves/raptors hang around these areas lurking in tight cover. They wander out early in the morning and patrol for deads and often just to fill up on whatever offal dropped by the cattle. The very odd time, a sick animal will be taken out if it wanders from the main herd. No smart coyote/wolf/raptor would even think about trying to be a threat in the middle of the herd. That is a good way to get dead or maimed very quickly.

When hunting the above condition, I use explosive bullets. For obvious reasons, I want that bullet to be as accurate as possible and to blow up a few inches into the body of the animal I am aiming to kill. Wilderness coyotes are a whole different story.

When you have a bullet that passes all the way through, without expanding, you have a problem waiting to happen. You have to be extremely aware of everything in the path of that bullet after it passes through the animal.

A couple of years back, one of the varmint hunters that was allowed access to a ranch that was openly available to hunters, was shooting a 22-250 but was using 55gr FMJ bullets that were loaded to max specs. He managed to kill a heifer with a pass through. He wasn't careful and screwed up a prime hunting area for a lot of people. Now, only two hunters are allowed on that ranch.

I understand that a lot of the bullet's energy is bled off going through the body of the coyote but a coyotes through thickness is at most 8-10cm, even through the shoulders. If you are targeting the lung/heart area maybe even less. The bones are small and so is the mass. This all has to be taken into account. That is the main reason I went to the 6.5x55 with light/explosive bullets.

Drache
07-18-2014, 12:02 PM
A 243 bullet will go all the way through any coyote way out past 500m. It likely won't do that with a Mule Deer, depending on bullet weight.

Depends on the rounds used yes. Changing the bullets from an interlock Remington will go clear through a Mule Deer at 100 whereas the Power-Shok Federals do not (same weight for both).


Hopefully you aren't planning on using one bullet weight for everything????

Thus why I have two guns for each caliber generally (like the .243). Lighter grains for varmints and then a second rifle strictly for larger game and thus heavy grains. No worries on making sure to sight in the rifle every time I want to change a bullet weight.


One other issue you don't mention. In the area you live/hint in, there are cattle all over the place. Often, most of the best hunting is located close to these cattle. Especially in the winter when the ranchers have their animals off the range and penned up in larger numbers.

Couple times I've had to kill bears going after calves.

saskcoyote306
10-28-2014, 06:28 AM
wow you must have some tough coyotes up your way. Id buy a .223 or .204 and call it a day. Both of these cals are easily capable of shooting dogs out to 500 yards with practise. Nice thing about both is practise comes way cheaper then with a .308
Not to mention you can sell coyotes on the whole if they arent messed up to bad. A .308 tends to mess them up bad..20 cals..not so much.

kennymo
10-28-2014, 08:23 AM
I prefer a 223 for yote, mostly due to cheap ammo at a decent trajectory. I traded mine though so it's back to 308 for now. I've shot a number of coyotes with it in the past, mostly incidentally while deer hunting, and it often doesn't muck up the coyotes as bad as one might think. My theory is they're skinny enough that the bullet doesn't get a chance to open up. The worst damage I ever did to a hide was with a 223 FMJ oddly enough.....left an exit hole big enough to stick your head in and wear it as a coyote hat....
If you're wanting a double duty rifle for coyote and deer the 243 is a good pick. 25-06 might be an idea too. Cool guys use quarter bores....I suspect my 257 Weatherby might be hell on hides though...

adrielm
10-30-2014, 12:04 AM
I've hit coyotes with GMX's in 270 (while deer hunting) and they completely penciled through. For pure coyote action, I still prefer 223.

This fox was hit with a 223 varmint grenade, no exit hole. Bullet marketing that came through with on-game performance?? Who'da thunk it?

http://www.huntinggearguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/fox-700x518.jpg

6MT
11-01-2014, 10:58 AM
I use my surplus SKS and 7.62X39. Works good!

Petamocto
11-01-2014, 01:50 PM
You can certainly kill a coyote with a 308, just like you can kill a human with a .50cal.

.223/5.56mm is generally considered the "just right" cartridge for coyotes, because it is more than enough to kill them, while also still being cheap in bulk.

No need to suffer more recoil than you need to, and the smaller the bullet, the easier the follow-up shots.

adrielm
11-11-2014, 05:30 PM
I didn't set out to use a 308 on coyotes, but I ended up using a 308 on yotes while I was hunting deer this weekend.

A couple at 250 and one at 70.

http://i.imgur.com/UXaOPRB.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/EUGExm1.jpg

kennymo
11-11-2014, 10:18 PM
I saw more yotes than deer opening Monday too. Nothing quite came within range though, and I hadn't bothered to toss the cottontail call in the sack.