Caliber/Range/Animal Question

Discussion in 'Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards' started by MACK133, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. MACK133

    MACK133 New Member

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    Hi, this is my first post on LRH.com. I have a question regarding predator hunting in Northeast Pennsylvania. I am looking into buying a firearm specifically for predator hunting in the thick woods/open fields of my area. The fur will mostly be an afterthought, although I may consider keeping it or selling it in the future as I gain more experience in predator hunting (i.e. I'd like a fur-friendly. My quarry will consist of mainly coyotes and woodchucks, although fox and bobcats will be an option if I can find the time. Most shots will be under 100 yards, although there are some spots on the property where a 500 yard shot could be had easily.
    I am interested in the .223 AI, but I am afraid it won't be good out to 500 yards. I hear the .22-250 Remington is pretty good, but I am afraid of the damage to fur at shorter ranges. Reloading is not a problem, and I am willing to go wildcat/custom (I would actually prefer going this route).
    I may be asking for alot, but can any New England Predator hunters who have been in my situation reccomend any custom/wildcat weapons of theirs. Include your kills if possible. Let's roll!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

  2. MACK133

    MACK133 New Member

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    Nobody?
     

  3. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Mack
    Welcome to the Forums. I live in TN but have been to PA once or twice. Our hunting situations are a lot alike. The land is a combination of woods and open fields that keep most of our shooting a short to medium ranges. But, as you say, occasionally we find a spot to stretch our shooting out to longer ranges, especially on groundhogs. You're right about the range limitations of the 223 class of rounds. They don't have the punch of the 22-250. I've killed most of my varmints with the 22-250 for the last 40 years. I've bought every new varmint caliber that has come along in those years. There have been some good ones. They allow a shooter to customize his choice of firearm to his present quarry and situation. But 9 out of 10 times when I grab a gun to go groundhog, fox, coyote, crow, or whatever my quarry, I grab a 22-250. What I will change however, is the type bullet I carry with me. If I shooting prairie dogs or 13 line ground squirrels, I'll use 40-50 grain thin jacket bullets. If I want to save fur on coyotes, fox or bobcat, I'll shoot a heavy 55-69 grain, solid built bullet such as a solid, bonded or partition bullet. These same type bullets also work well on deer when placed in the right spot.

    So, my vote is for a good 22-250 Rem. for all your varmints out to around 750 yards. Hope this helps.
     
  4. MACK133

    MACK133 New Member

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    Thanks Nimrod! I did say I was interested in the .22-250. However, I am really afraid at the damage it will do on the majority of furbearers which are found within shotgun range, especially foxes and bobcats.

    I appreciate your opinion, so if you have any experience with coyotes/foxes at 15-100 yards with minimum fur damage, please tell me. Enty/exit size? Pics?

    Maybe somebody can suggest a Contender/Blazer-type gun where I can easily change calibers in the field, perhaps a .223 to .22-250 or even .223 to 6.5-284 or something like that. Are there any combination guns out there?


    EDIT: P.S. I've heard people suggest it so I don't want it to be said this time. I know somebody will tell me to bring along a friend and we use a shotgun/long-range caliber combination between us. This could be done sometimes, but 99% of the time, I can't find anybody to tag along, so I need a do-it-all caliber for when I cannot bring a friend.
     
  5. midwesthunter

    midwesthunter Well-Known Member

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    If I'm hunting where I think there will be a close shot I carry a rifle and shotgun. Rifle set up beside me with bi pod fully extended and shot gun in lap. I have taken yotes out to 300 with my 223, If I think farther shots will be needed I take my 243. I shoot 4 shot where I think I might call in a fox and #4 buck if just yotes, in the 223 I shoot a 40 grain vmax and a 75 vmax in the 243. I try to avoid bone like shoulders. I like a facing shot as it minimizes pelt damage.
     
  6. Creedmoor shooter

    Creedmoor shooter Well-Known Member

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    22-250, 220 swift, or any of those calibers will work just fine for you. Id love to get my hands on a 220 swift:D Are you set on a 22 cal?
     
  7. Damol

    Damol Well-Known Member

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    Midwesthunter has it right carry both a shotgun and a rifle.
    If that is to much you could carry a good handgun for close
    in work, but I like a short 870 loaded with 3inch #2 or #4s.
    Good ammo can be found on sale after turkey season for lead
    or copper plated shot, and after waterfoul season look for
    sales on Tungsten shot. I had a gunsmith cut down a barrel
    to 20 inchs and rethread it for choke tubs and run a full choke.
     
  8. PRDATR

    PRDATR Active Member

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    I use an older Remington Model 788 in 22-250 and sometimes a 12 gauge with 3" Magnums in #4 Buck for the thick stuff where shots will be under 40 yards.
     
  9. threejones

    threejones Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Midwest and Damol on this one, it's a two gun thing. It's pretty tough to find something that'll reach 500yds effectively without tearing em up on closer shots. I like the 6mm rem and a 12g shotgun, mine happen to be a Remington 788( it's funny how many guys love the 788 despite the bolt handle issues) in 6mm shooting a 70g vmax and a Mossy 500 12g with hevi-shot dead coyote,( it's spendy, but awesome) in my lap. If it's 5feet or 500yards, it's dead. The 6mm isn't always what I'd call fur friendly, but it puts em down like the hand of god. I'd stick with your 223AI and a 55gr vmax for saving fur.
     
  10. PRDATR

    PRDATR Active Member

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    What's the issue with the bolt handle?
     
  11. threejones

    threejones Well-Known Member

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    The 788 was Remingtons try at a cheap yet accurate rifle. Good barrels, but the short cuts they took to keep cost down weren't all effective, and this led to a pretty short production run. The bolt handle being the main thing. The weld between bolt and handle is known for breaking. Both my dad and I have 788s in 6mm (I got mine because I liked shooting his so much, groups anything you feed it under an inch) We've both had the bolt handle break off. It's really no big deal, I spent something like $40 to have it repaired and dads was even less. Both done by the same smith, but nearly 20 years apart. Once the bolt issue is fixed, they're absolutely awesome little guns. For this reason, 788s have a die-hard fan club, so much so that they're becoming increasingly hard to come by. I'd love another in 22-250... If I could find one that was a reasonable price.
     
  12. PRDATR

    PRDATR Active Member

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    Gotcha. I had never heard of that problem with them. I have had this one for about 20 years and while it is heavier than I would for lugging around it shoots everything well and has taken lots of coyotes, javelina and a few Doe's.
    I like that is has the nine locking lugs and probably still the fasted lock time of any production bolt action although the trigger is a bit heavy.
     
  13. threejones

    threejones Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya. The trigger could stand to lose a little weight on mine as well, but is does break clean. I'd heard that there was a time during the 788 run that was better for the bolts than the rest of the run, sounds like you got lucky, or maybe I just reef on my bolts too hard:D.
     
  14. PRDATR

    PRDATR Active Member

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