new to coyote hunting, 7mm-08 or .223?

Discussion in 'Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards' started by ScottG, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    I have recently got into coyote hunting as well as long range/target shooting. I am looking for a rifle that will fill both of those rolls. I have some free time on my hands now that the new GI bill made going back to college affordable and want to get a budget friendly rifle set-up. I am looking at the Weatherby vanguard in either .223 or 7mm-08. I live in Ohio so it will not likely be used for a deer rifle, and I own a 30-06 for that. I also have an AR15 carbine in 5.56, will a bolt gun with a 24" barrel be that much better or make that much noticeable difference in accuracy within the range of the .223/5.56? I see both pros and cons to having two in the same caliber(not needing new brass or dies is one) as well very little recoil for days at the range. As for the 7mm-08 I like the ballistics, BC and range of this caliber, but Im thinking it may be a bit much for coyotes and groundhogs. Also, is its recoil high enough to make a day of target shooting uncomfortable? And will the rifle I'm buying be accurate enough to justify getting the 7mm-08 for longer ranges. thanks for any input.

    I will not be trying to sell the fur but will keep some of the nicer ones for myself.
    and how does the 7mm-08 compare to a 30-06 in recoil?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  2. fj40mojo

    fj40mojo Well-Known Member

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    7mm-08 is a pretty light recoiling cartridge compared to the '06 but the .223 is even more pleasant to shoot, easier on hides, and a bunch cheaper to shoot. With all considerations you included in your post taken into account I'd recommend the .223.
     

  3. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    With the larger cals some times it can be hard to get the larger bullets to open up and not just poke a hole without blowing something in half. I would vote the 223.
     
  4. PRDATR

    PRDATR Active Member

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    I have shot thousands of 7-08 and will tell you that even in a 10# rifle you will be aware of the recoil. Will you reload?
    If so then Barnes solids or X bullets in 120gr's loaded to 2400fps will give minimum pelt damage. Accuracy is superb so head shots are desireable.
    Recoil will be very acceptable with this load. Since you already have a 223, I say step up to the 7-08.
     
  5. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    I have started looking at the .243 also. I may go with it. It is more than tan the .223, higher BC with the bullets Id use (85 to 95gr). not as good as the 7mm-08 but I'll hold off on that one.

    Any load ideas for a 24" barrel? I'm thinking 95gr. Sierra matchking bthp; 87gr Vmax; 85gr speer boattail. With varget, H350 or IMR 4350 powders. Probably Winchester primers.
     
  6. yotefever

    yotefever Well-Known Member

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    99.9% of my hunting is done with handguns but I will use a 223 AR or 17/223 AR once in a while. I think it is the perfect rifle for coyotes.
    My buddy I hunt with uses a 243 and it works great too.
     
  7. stifle

    stifle Active Member

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    Scott,
    Go with the 243. I have hunted coyotes with this rifle for years. It is in my oppinion the premium caliber for coyotes. I don't know how much long range work you want to get into, but this caliber will fight the wind a whole lot better than the 223. Don't bet me wrong the 223 is an excelant round and my hunting partner roughtinely makes shots out to 800 yards on a calm day. But if you consider that a good 10 mph breeze can blow your round 125 inches it can be very tricky to dope wind. I have shot the barrel out of my 243 and since rebuilt the rifle into a tack driving 6x47 lapua. If you are going to go wildcat I would highly recomend this round. Simmiliar ballistics to the 243 with way better barrel life. Anyway for a good old coyote gun "243" all the way. Good luck to you sir,
    Stifle
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    I am a big fan of both but for all round hunting the 7/08 will be better .

    The 223 is great for varments coyotes and smaller but the 7/08 will work for big game as well
    and at longer ranges the .284 bullets will buck wind much better and drop them in there tracks
    no mater what you run across.

    Where I hunt we have bobcats.coyotes,turkeys, deer and hogs and I use a 7/08 for everything
    and with there accuracy a 200+yard head shot on turkeys is possible. And if a hog comes running
    buy and a head shot is not possible the 7/08 will dump them.

    I have tried the 223 and been caught with not enough rifle especially on hogs because once the
    first shot is fired the rodeo starts and follow up shots are never as good as you would like.

    There are a lot of more powerful calibers available but you wanted minimum recoil and the 7/08
    in a 7 or 8 pound rifle is almost a non event.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  9. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    thanks for all the input. I'm going to go with the .243 for now. I already have a .223 and i can ad a more accurate upper. the 7mm-08 I'll keep on ice for a while until i can pay for HQ rifle and scope
     
  10. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    thanks for all the input. I'm going to go with the .243 for now. I already have a .223 and i can ad a more accurate upper. the 7mm-08 I'll keep on ice for a while until i can pay for HQ rifle and scope
     
  11. cva54

    cva54 Well-Known Member

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    I am just geting in to coyote hunting to. Right now the only rifles I got is a .06 a a 7 rem mag both over kill I know but between the 2 I think the 7 with a costom down sized load will work. I was looking in my reloading handbook trying to find a popular round what about 270 win (a reloading press is on the way)
     
  12. tracker12ga

    tracker12ga Well-Known Member

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    I use both calibers. I hunt both night and day for the song dogs. I use the 223 at night and in the thicker areas during the day where the shots are more than likely going to be closer. My longest coyote kill with a 223 was at 351yds. I use the 7mm-08 for day hunting in the wide open cut crop fields of NW Indiana. Alot of the time the dogs will travel the weeded ditch lines that border these fields and will just sit there looking at the source of the call- a little apprehensive to commit to the open field. That is where the ballistics of a 7mm-08 will shine. And I am not using a varmint style bullet in the 08. I am using a 154gr SST. High BC and good energy at range. I'm not worried about the pelts but I do believe that if you are keeping a few for your self, the taxidermist can sew up the hole that a 7mm will put in one. That being said, the 243 is a coyote killer that will really anchor them to the ground more times that not. I have a buddy that uses the 243 for yote hunting and that round really put the smack down on em.
     
  13. 1357MAG

    1357MAG Well-Known Member

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    Hi ScottG,

    Firdt I would like to say that I am jealous in the fact that you can shoot coyotes with a centerfire rifle! I live in the United Socialist Republic of New Jersey, and here we can only use shotgun with shot sizes between #4 and #T in the "special" season, or muzzleloader, but not at night.
    If you already have an '06, use that with FMJs if you don't want to ruin the pelts. My second choice would be that AR of yours. You can get plenty of follow up shots, and it is cheaper on the ammo factor. Good luck, and send me some pics of your success!
     
  14. Goofycat

    Goofycat Well-Known Member

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    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: Dec 26, 2009