There is no such thing as a fur friendly longrange rifle..
A 223 will be a good 300yd coyote rifle ,"fur friendly" depends on the bullet you shoot -if you shoot a hunting type bullet at modest velocities it will be ok but you will not get explosive holes in the pelts.
Many fur men like the 17 & 20 caliber offerings -never had one myself but read alot about them , the idea is to pick your shot and not have an exit wound at all.Meaning shoot to not hit bone ,and straight on shots [longways] keep the bullet inside the body.
For 500-600yd. shots stick w/ your 7 mag w/a bonded bullet like a 160gr accubond or other tough bullet built for deep penetration ,and don't shoot for the shoulder area -shoot them behind the shoulder.
You're going to have to sew bullet holes in pelts -use a 22-250 -243 etc. and you'll spend a lot of time sewing those blast holes inside of 300yds.
Personally i'd get a remington 700 sps in 204 ruger ,it will get you out to 300-350yds i'd guess and still be relatively easy on fur.Shoot the heavier bullets if the gun likes them -i've read the bergers kill real well.
The gunshop guys who told you not to bother w/a sps model must be wood gun lovers -i'd take the sps over the wood as far as field performance goes anyday.
You'll find that there is no such thing as a perfect coyote gun because coyotes are tough and hard to get a good shot on.They rarely stand still when called -they sneak in behind you -they hide behind sagebrush and watch you -then a dumbass coyote will run towards you when you least expect it like it's trying to tackle you.
Get something w/ low recoil and shoot it alot -and always use shooting sticks if you call them in ,shooting sticks are invaluable for shots out to 300yds.
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For the ranges you WANT to shoot coyotes at, your not going to get it done with a smaller cartridge that blow holes in them. Just not possible...
If you want a pelt saver for coyotes, the .17 centerfires come to mind, 204 ruger, along with the .222 and .223 rem. They will work to 300-350 yards quite nicely and will leave quarter sized holes at most, providing you dont shoot the shoulder on a close one. I have a rem 700 ADL in .222 rem and use 40g vmax or NBT at 3500fps and have shot a few out to 350 yards with no problems. Most have been around 100-250 and depending on where you hit them you'll have a 2-3" hole if bone is hit, but if not they leave small holes.
The 22-250, and 243 will definately get you to your mark of 500-600, but at the cost of blwoing holes in most of them out to 400 yards. Most your yotes are shot at the max of around 300-400 yards.
As for rifles on a budget. Everyone seems to like savage for the price and accuracy, although I cant exactly attest to that....The rem 700 SPS Varmint models from what I've read from people who can actually shoot guns, is that they are shooters. You dont need a BDL or CDL...The barrel is still the same cheapo $20 mass produced factory barrel.
NEF's are controversial depending on who you ask. I myself have seen 2 of them, one in a .223 my buddy had, and I have one in a 45-70. They shoot anywhere from 1-1.5" at 100 yards and for coyotes to 200-300, they'll work most the time.
Tikka T3 lites are a very nice rifle for the price and they are very accurate to boot. They guaruntee 3 shot MOA accuracy for a factory rifle and come with a user friendly adjustable trigger down to around 1.5#
As for a scope, any decent 3-9 will work out to 350 yards or a little further.
The further you want to shoot, usually the more expensive glass your gonna need to get you there. Target knobs, etc...If you can use the mil dot reticle, you can find some decent 3-9 scopes with mil dot and probly use it out to 500-600 yards, but you'll be then limited to what caliber you have it on...
Bottom line is I would recomend a 204 or 223 since you dont reload. Plenty of decent factory ammo for both, with the cheaper being 223... I would then look very hard at Tikka's, or for heavens sake a savage...Then get a decent 3-9 scope with duplex or mildot reticle and you'll be set for out to about 400 yards. You wont be blowing holes in them either, since you want to save hides.
22-250 and 243 are NOT fur friendly calibers for coyotes no matter how you look at it...
Woodycreek, Thanks! First, love your signature. First day with my Senior DI at Parris Island he told us that we were lucky to be going into the Corps at that time "because President Reagan loves Marines". Made me proud!
What do you recommend for a better yote rifle? I'd like to be able to take some long shots (500-600 yds.) but not destroy the pelt. Is that possible?
You like the .243 I gather? A buddy of mine from Wyoming recommends the .22-250. I am familiar with .223.
I've shot coyotes with .22lr and Mag. @ 50 yds+/-. .30-06 and 7RM @ 300 yds +/- 12 g. close w/ OO buck. I used to just let one of my Pits kill them.
I haven't hunted them yet. Just learning to call lately. Just targets of opportunity so far.
First off Semper Fi. Do i like my .243? No i love my .243! I got the SPS V 243 just for yotes since i could care less about the pelts. If i had to i would use my 300RUM I live in beef cattle Va and the yotes have gotta go. Try FMJ bullets with the 223 and you should be ok with the pelts. 22-250 would get you out past the 223 but with more pelt damage. Some sets i go on i will carry my AR-15 instead of the SPS.
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Remington or Savage -me remington sps sporterweight if you do a lot of walking just an opinion.
Google =remington 700 trigger adjustment -follow simple instructions.
Sand out the barrel pad so it's free floated =barrel not touching stock.
START HANDLOADING !! A cheap Lee kit $90 plus dies and a caliper -powder,primers,brass and bullets -you'll be glad you did....
Scopes- i like the 4.5x14 -44 and 4x16 etc. not too much magnification and the 14-16X is great for longrange coyotes.
The nikon buckmaster line is real nice for the money ,look to the guys here that are site sponsors -"third gerneration shooting supplies"-lerch and bj- for all your shooting needs.
The bullets mentioned earlier for the 204 are the 35gr bergers -many top coyote shooters swear by them..
Best of luck -Mike
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