I have a real problem with you Preditor guy with your thrust that 243 is good for bear.. I have yet to see a humane or ethical kill on a California Black bear with a 243/6MM of any kind. I have been hunting and guiding for 24 years.. I will not go into detail but the last 6 MM used on a cal black the shooter has one less hand... the bear ripped it off once he caught up to the idiot. he had other injuries but nothing as serious at the missing hand. I was over 600 yards away and could not get a clean shot to save the guy's hand.
Varmint guy.. My hat is off to you using all those calibers for coyotes.. I have used 17 Rem, 22 Hornet, 22-250 Rem, 257 Roberts, 270 Win, 308 Win, 300 win mag and once with a 45-70.. okay I was out for deer and the Coyote was a target of opportunity. I have tried 22 LR, 22WRM, and 17 HMR without good results.
In my old home town the coyotes were thick.. they were healthy and they would laugh off any rimfire. that is one reason why we used centerfire.. 17 Rem, 17 Mach 4, 17-222, 17-223 were all very good at bringing down the coyotes. the 17 cals went in, exploded, never left the other side.. Barns Varmint grenades 224 cal 40 Grainers are awesome on coyotes with leaving very little damage to the hides.
this gun guy is out the door.. the shop needs to be cleaned up and locked up.. its closing time.. I am late for dinner.
my personal opinion, I think it'd be hard to beat the .444 Marlin with 300 grain solid nosed bullets on black bear, but a 35 Remington or a .375 Winchester should work very well. I simply would not consider anything smaller than 30 caliber, and really .338 is the place to start.
I firmly believe that if you are using a 22 centerfire round, then you want a round with no exit wound. That way the animal recieves all the energy the bullet contains. I've shot coyotes with .222's .223's, and the 22-250. On 30lb. dogs I don't see a nickle's worth of difference! And now with some of the better varmit bullets out there today, the .222 and .223 really do well. Still none of the 22 centerfires will tag a dog as well as an 80 grain bullet shot out of a good 24 caliber centerfire round
I made a choice based on circumstances now I'm second guessing myself. 1) I'm not a shotgunner but always owned one. 2) Coyotes are coming up pretty close to the house.
3) Urban sprawl has left me limited shooting lanes for rifle fire. Went tire kicking for shotgun ammo, first time in years (wow what a change) fell for the well packaged Hevi-shot Dead Coyote ( Gotta love a product that just comes out and says it) got past the sticker shock, and then someone asked me if that was "OK" to use with the turkey choke currently on the gun. No warning on the box-welcoming your thoughts/experiences as to which choke to use, and the wisdom of using a turkey choke with this ammo. 12 gauge 3 inch by the way. Not exactly a long range rifle topic, but thank you for your thoughts.
My choice of calibers is like this. When i leave the house for a morning going coyote hunting and calling, i will have about 1 box of shell for each gun, along with a 22-250 varmint rifle, a 243 win in rem 700 lvsf to use if there is wind, and a 12 ga 11-87 with "Heavy" Reloads using #4 buck. The location and the conditions will vary my weapon. Anything in close, or in tall grass, or near some farmers cattle, i will go to the 12 Ga, cause 27 pellets at 1300 fps stops mr coyote in his tracks easily at 90 yds. If it is open ground out to 350-450 yds, i am happy with a 22-250 and a 55 gr nosler ballistic tip if the wind is under 10 mph, any other situation and i use the 243 with a 75 gr vmax at about 3400. That leaves me feeling somewhat confident on any shot within 1/4 mile.
My primary coyote shooter is a 17 Remington with 25 grain V-max over 26.5 grains of Win 760 in a prepped Rem-Peters case. #2 rifle is a 22 Hornet with a 36 grain Speer Gold Dot hollow point topping off a 7.5 grain charge of H-110 in winchester cases. #3 gun is a 257 Roberts with a 60 Grain speer flat nose covering up a load of H4350 in Winchester +P cases. after that I have a 270 Winchester with 90 - 110 grain slugs in Hornady cases. if I have to go bigger then I am out to explode the coyotes because they are eating my friend's livestock. well, that is not true.. any of my guns could be in my car when I roll up to take the coyotes out at my friend's farm. that goes for any one of his neighbor's as well.
my first two guns are for less than 350 years shots. the rest well if I can not get any cover that allows me a 350 or less shot I go to the heavier slugs and larger diameters.
I do not own a 204 Ruger.. never needed one since I have a 223 WSSM which is getting a bull barrel for next year's coyote hunts.. then I will be able to say my #2 gun is a 223 WSSM...
keep your powder dry and your trigger finger sensitive..
I shoot a remington sps tactical .223 with a nikon 6x18 mil dot. My bullet of choice is a 55gn nosler ballistic varmint. I dont get many runners.... I am a firm believer that the type of bullet you shoot plays a huge role in how many "runners" you will have. When I began coyote hunting I shot soft points which were effective but didnt have the hydrostatic shot that the ballistics have and yes, I would occasionally have a few runners. The 25-06 and bigger calibers will definately get the job done on coyotes but have two flaws in my book... 1. they tear up the pelts " if your skinning them out" 2. The recoil keeps you from watching the shot through the scope..which to me is half the fun. All in all I would have to say im a .223 fan.
the .243AI fixes a couple major defects in that case design, but also increases another. The vortex of the flame path ends up in the throat on a regular .243, and causes the barrels to go south in a hurry. But with the 40 degree shoulder angle it brings it back into the neck where it should be (actually the first half of the neck length). It also decreases the brass flow, and increases case life. But then it creates another problem in case shrinkage during fire forming. Usually about .030" in an already too short of a neck length. The best way to fix this is to form your cases out of .257 brass or even 6mm remington. This will restore the longer neck length you need so badly. I've seen several folks run a 6mm Ackley reamer in short to create a .243AI with the 6mm neck length (they both have the same taper per inch and the same basic diameters). For a die you can either shorten a .257AI bushing die or do the same with a 6mmAI die. Then run the reamer in the sleeve on a Forster seater (use a standard .243 sleeve). Sounds like a lot of work, but it's really pretty easy. By going with the longer neck length you will be able to seat the bullets correctly, and also keep the bullets from being seated past the shoulder.
Wouldn't it be better to just start with a 6mm Rem case and avoid the short neck problem? I think a 6mm Rem AI would be an ideal caliber. FWIW
I shoot a .22-250 but I am leaning towards the 6mm Rem AI for my next rifle.