Re: new to coyote hunting, 7mm-08 or .223?
A .243 is a good choice. The .223 is fine, too, but if you encounter a heavy crosswind, you might be thankful for a heavier caliber that bucks the wind better. Also, if you are hunting deer and happen onto a coyote, a heavier caliber rifle than the .223 would be appropriate for either animal. I take two rifles: a .270 for shots in wind, and a .22-250 for coyote-sized animals on low-wind days. The .22-250 is a BR rifle and much heavier; the .270 is set up for boars and deer, but will do fine with coyotes (I don't save pelts). There are a lot of variables, and you will find that no one rifle fills the requirements for both large and small animals. You must consider accuracy, recoil, whether or not you want to use the rifle for club competition (where you might shoot many shots in one day), rifle weight, reloading large cases vs. small cases, and just what size/weight of animal you are hoping to harvest. Long range vs. short range, and on and on.
Now, you want to choose a rifle that offers low weight, out-of-the-box camo, a good trigger, good bedding system and a half-way decent barrel. I would certainly choose a stainless model with synthetic stock for use in cold/wet weather. If I had to purchase a new rifle, I would check with Savage. I understand they are coming out with a new model for 2010 that has a nice aluminum stiffening system for good accuracy. Also, if you prefer a semi-automatic, Ruger and Sig Sauer have come out with AR-type rifles (nice for quick shots if you miss). Whatever you do, take your time in making your decisions, or you will surely end up buying a rifle you don't really like, then have to turn around and sell it for one you wish you had waited for and bought.
Last edited by Goofycat; 12-26-2009 at 09:52 PM.