Predator hunting rifles and optics

fattyboy70

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Idaho
Way more into this rifle than I should be but it is a coyote hammer! 22-250 krg stock, proof barrel, Timney trigger, lots of fancy things. Bad medicine on song dogs. Enjoy coyote hunting more than most big game hunting.


What Tripods are you using on that setup? More particularly the one that has 3 legs.
 

LETR_BUCK

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
134
Location
HELENA MT
It’s a bog pod. I have gone away from it tho and just got a taller carbon tripod and put the wide saddle on it with a Switcheroo adapter. Both the saddle and adapter are bog pod


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OP
mcseal2

mcseal2

Senior Member
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
1,755
OP, have you ever tested a 204 shooting 40gr pills? The ballistics should be better than almost any 223 and most 22-250s with “standard” twist rates? Would be interested. I have a 204 that I’m just shooting 32gr vmax out of, but only like 25” of drop at 400 yards with a 100 yard zero is pretty hard to beat. Closer shots can get messy since it’s going around 4000fps but it’s really not bad. Ammo isn’t too expensive either


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I have shot a lot of coyotes with a 204. I have a custom one built off a Ruger M77 action similar to what ajhood described. I like the 204 quite a bit for a lot of predator hunting. Mine has a Pac Nor #3 barrel, Timney trigger, Boyds thumbhole stock, and Leupold 4.5-14x scope with the VH reticle.

I have used the 40gr V max in mine on quite few coyotes. My rifle shoots the Superformance factory ammo really well so I never tried loading for it. It's pushing that bullet a little over 3800fps from my barrel. It kills coyotes in their tracks with a good vital hit that stays off bone. I went away from it after having some splash hits if I got the shoulder bones, or had coyotes that ran further than I liked if I hit them quartering away. The Hornady factory 45gr soft point ammo has been more forgiving for me on terminal performance. It seems to exit most of the time but with a tiny exit. It's tougher it seems to me, but it's also slower averaging 3429fps from my rifle. I'm not putting the stress on it that I am on the bullet leaving the barrel at over 3800fps.

It's a rifle I really enjoy shooting. Wind is pretty hard on the 45gr bullet with it's lower BC and slower speed. My "real world" shooting paper in wind shows more drift and more erratic accuracy than what the ballistics programs using the factory BC show. I'm not sure how much is inconsistencies in the fairly blunt lead tip compared to the poly tipped bullets, but I'm sure that's part of it too. It shoots great at closer ranges but seems to not hold it's accuracy past 300 yards as well as my other rifles.

I kinda quit using it much except as a truck gun when I got to shooting the AR calling. I used to carry it anywhere I thought I might get a bobcat to respond. I should use it more, I just got to using the AR platform and don't as much. If I'm lucky enough to call multiple coyotes in on a stand I feel like my best chance of getting more than one are the AR that shoots faster, or the bigger bolt gun that definitely anchors the first coyote on the first shot. I carry it in the truck with the 40gr V max ammo a lot during spring, summer, and early fall before fur season. It's fun to shoot smaller varmints and an occasional coyote with then.

If someone came out with a tougher poly tipped 40gr bullet that had a good BC I'd likely use it a lot more. I have emailed and called Nosler and Sierra asking for that bullet to be made. It probably won't ever happen, to small a market, but I'd sure like to see it. I have not tried the Berger 40gr bullet, and have limited experience with the 40gr Ballistic Tip. What I did use it there wasn't much difference between it and the V max.
 
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mcseal2

mcseal2

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May 8, 2014
Messages
1,755
Reading my original post I thought I should update a little:

I'm still using the same AR and 243 I talked about in the original post, and I already wrote about going to the heavier 73gr bullets in the AR for better terminal performance at angles.

I never gave much detail on my 243. It's a custom built off a Ruger M77 mark 2 action. It has a Timney 2lb trigger, McMillian Gamescout stock, and Pac Nor #4 fluted 23" barrel. It's a good shooter with most anything 85-100gr but likes a few lighter loads also like the 58gr V max. It's cerakoted in a Kryptek pattern with lighter colors to match our dormant grass. It's not to heavy to carry or shoot off hand, but it's heavy enough to be forgiving and shoot well.

I have changed optics on both rifles since starting this thread. I still don't get the opportunity to range and dial on coyotes very often, but I put a 4-16x Huskemaw on the 243. I ended up liking the 58gr V max out of it at 3823fps pretty well shooting the factory Hornady Superformance ammo. The HSM 69gr Berger at 3477fps did great also, but it keeps getting back-ordered so the Hornady won due to availability. The Vortex scope I had on the rifle needed to go in for some warranty repair and while it was gone I put the Huskemaw on. It doesn't quite have the field of view I always wanted, but it hasn't been an issue. The difference between the 30ft FOV I always wanted and the 25ft FOV my newer scopes have hasn't been an issue or even noticeable. Looking back I never had an issue with the 4.5-14x Leupolds that have even less. I shoot a lot and am pretty good at acquiring a target in the scope. With the 2.5-10x scope I put on one AR I found I almost always dialed it up before shooting a coyote after seeing one coming in. With the 4x bottom end I leave it alone.

The elevation dialing function of the scope might not get used often hunting, but it's there if I need it and have time to use it. Most of the time I just leave it set on 250 yards and the cap on. I'm running Huskemaw scopes on all the big game rifles I use. Having the same reticle and system on a coyote rifle I practice with and hunt with a lot of days seemed like a good idea to me. I also like that I can dial it down to 100 yards when I'm hunting in the brush for a stand if I want, eliminate the little bit of bullet arc to shoot through smaller windows. I've been having fun shooting Gatorade bottles from 250 to 400 yards with this set-up practicing prone.

I just put a Burris Eliminator III 4-16x on my AR. I found it used at a great price. I like it so far, although I think if I was buying new the 3-12x might have been a better choice for me. I had several coyotes hang up late last year and early this year between 200 and 300 yards. With my slow 73gr bullets this is a bigger deal than with a faster bullet. Having the rangefinder built into the scope makes ranging really quick and easy. There is no extra movement or mental math, I can just range and shoot keeping my eye in the crosshair. I have only shot one coyote with it so far so I'm still in the early stages of learning it. That coyote was at 180yds on a dead run so I didn't use the rangefinder or anything but the normal crosshair. I have had it out shooting water bottles and milk jugs from 100 to 400 yards with great results. If nothing else it gives me confidence knowing the exact range and having a hold point, and confidence is never a bad thing when shooting. I also now have extended range capability with a 100yd zero, so at normal calling ranges or in the brush I can be confident I will hit right where I aim. This is nice if I'm shooting through brush or a fence. Disclaimer, if I hit a wire shooting through a fence, it's a fence on our place and I'll be the one fixing it. The downside is that I am used to a 200 yard zero and I'm sure at some point being 3" low with the AR at 200 will screw me up. Hopefully if I'm shooting that far I'll be using the ranging function.

Anyway that's my only changes from last year working toward my perfect pair of predator guns. I still have others I use on occasion, but those are my go to rifles.
 

Paterfamilias

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
16
Location
Midwest
LETR_BUCK that is as sweet of a coyote rig as I've ever seen, lol. Lot of interesting setups with some thought put into the logic behind them.

I'm a 22-250/220 swift fan. For considerable wind, a 162 eld-x at 3110 handles the breeze pretty well. I love the TC Encore platform for a 22 caliber setup. It's rare to load for one that doesnt shoot very well in 22-250. Factory or handloads. Fall is whitetail time and I switch on New Years day back to predators. Knock out an oversized hinge pin, and the muzzleloader becomes the coyote gun. Both setups shoot sub moa and i feel it makes the setup very valuable for specialized uses.

For ammo the smokepole runs pr deadcenters, the 250 will run variations of 53 sierras, 55 Berger's and even 60 grain partitions out of 12 twist barrel. All 3 of those bullets will run in the .4's to .6's without much load work, and different powders for each. Not much I couldn't hunt in Missouri with that setup. Not my prettiest or nicest rig. But one I dont see ever parting with.

One thing that newer predator hunters often learn the hard way, is powder choices in wide ranging temperatures. I once had a slick shooting swift that loved H4895, or maybe 414. Fairly quick load, sub 1/2 moa. After winter and snow, haycutting season is the prime time to just hang over a round bale and hunt fresh cut fields. That same load would blow primers until it was modified.
 

SoDaky

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
460
Location
sd
Yes.My overall fav coyote rifle(220 Improved)will do that if not careful.Temptation for speed and zero to 400 'hold on' status took me to 4500 fps with 50 gr BTs but trouble in warm weather.
 
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