Coyote rifle build suggestions


Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2010
Hey guys, I've got the itch to build a new rifle, this one is specifically for coyote hunting.

I've got lots of long range, and lightweight deer and prairie dog hunting builds, but this one is going to be a designated 'yote calling gun. I want to keep it short, as I'll be running a suppressor.

I'm open to any caliber or cartridge, I think I'd prefer to stay between 20 cal and 6mm. I'm not concerned about pelt damage. Ranges are unknown, but I'm a long range guy, so I'm hoping for something with some legs.

I'm stuck on the decision between an AR pattern rifle or a bolt gun. I love bolt guns, but I'm concerned that I'll want the speed of a semi for follow up shots.

What are your thoughts? Currently kicking around an 18" 22 Nosler or 6mm ARC AR build or a 16" 22 or 6mm Creed bolt gun.

Thanks in advance
20" AR in .223 with 1:7 - 1:8 Twist shooting 65gr SGK. Not much pelt damage, DRT when hit, and you can get some 300-400 yd range no problem.
Or go with a 20 Particle or .204 and 39gr SBK
If building get a good lower and upper. White Oak has some very good uppers already assembled. We have several WO upper parts and barrels ready to be built for 1K shooting.
We purchased a RRA Fred Eichler Coyote Special maybe 15 years ago and it's a shooter!!
Just remember you get what you pay for especially in ARs. Factory Bolt guns are pretty easy to find good shooters. If you are putting together an AR make sure you know what you are purchasing.

Also if you are getting int to Coyote hunting think about optics, regular scope for the day and then NV or Thermal for night. You will go down the rabbit hole and your wallet will also have a hole in it.
Good luck and keep us updated with what you decide on.
I just about stopped all other hunting when went to night hunting Coyotes and Hogs.
Very addicting!!!
If I was gonna build a dedicated yote gun it would be a 22-250. I can’t give you a great reason other than there was a Remington 700 heavy barrel in 22-250 that sat in the gun store forever when I was an early teen that I wanted so bad for varmiting.

I do all my varmiting with an AR or semi-auto 12 ga though because I’m more likely to see hog(s) than I am to see a yote 99% of the time and I don’t pass up opportunities to kill land destroyers.
My two cents for what it's worth, I've been calling coyote since the early 70's, I've taken over 300, My brother lives in Idaho has taken a few more than i, all called in during the day using hand calls, A good day for me is 5 to 8 coyotes with a few cats fox and badgers thrown in from time to time, about the same for my brother although his best day was 11 coyotes (hate that kid sometimes) most of these coyotes for both of us fell to the 17 remington, he shoots a sako I a kimber, we both use a 220 swift when hunting alpine meadows and parks, I occasionally add a 2506, I've used 16 different cartridges in about 2 dozen rifles, I've lost only 2 hit with the 17, I'm sure one survived the hit the other one was ugly as I only found blood and teeth, I've lost coyotes hit with the 222 Mag, 22-250 220 swift and 338 win, I use the swift and 06 for longer shoots, I've taken coyotes out to 400 yards with the 17, the average shoot I get when calling is under 50 yards, the closest was point blank or 0.00 inches, I poked him with the barrel before I pulled the trigger, ive a second 17 in a Ruger num 1 both guns have 22in barrels, with the exception of the number i use bolt guns, i once took out 4 out of 5 coyotes on one stand, A second time I took 3 out of 5 and crippled a 4th with the 220 swift, I always felt that with the lighter and handier kimber i may have gotten that forth coyote, both 17's have 3x9 ultra light leap olds the 220 and 06 wear 4x12, if I had to give up my 17 I'd probaly choose the 204 ruger, although a 6MM PPC made sako would get serious thought.
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My coyote gun is a 6CM. I am more of a glass, sneak in, and shoot kind of guy though.
2 weeks ago, got two while scouting for pronghorn. 585 and 888 yards.

But if I was building a new rifle specifically for coyote, I would look at the 22GT. I have three buddies with them, and they are very impressive with an 85.5 Berger.
It depends on the type of stands that you set up, an AR is mostly a no go for me as I would have to snap it shut then hike thick brush with a chambered round, then move 200 yards to the next stand in short canyons, if you cycle an AR it's like slamming a car door so mostly bolt guns for me. I like shooting .223 inside ~300 yards but if I'm in a area that has wind I bring a .243 with a 55 grain pill at 4,200 fps, inside 400 yards it is lightning....I can hold hair and connect.
hunted 1/2 my life with bolt guns , the next 1/2 with both AR platforms and bolts .
For coyotes and hogs , AR all the way if your baiting hogs or calling yotes , many times there will be multiple targets . 6mm arc would be my choice from the cals u listed.
i personally use the 6.5 grendel as i have many 6.5 cals and a shelf full of that cal bullets to hand load for.
i run a 95 gr Vmax and coyotes just plain dont get back up from a hit .
223 they can spin and run and shake off the hit needing fast follow ups. Shot placement is key to anchor them with 223 head ,neck , hi shoulder works perfect.
if your saving pelts then smaller, light , varmit bullets are key .
for me im saving my livestock and could care less about a pelt thats worth $6-$8
If your just shooting when you see them hunting around your property , then a bolt gun is a little cheaper .
A custom built accurate AR will set you back a few bucks but very worth it if your shooting ranges are extended. Coyote have alot of hair which makes then look bigger than they are .
im not gonna suggest hunting at night as the budget to do so will scare the most understanding wife into a rabid encounter !!

you have been warned ,

thermal , NV , caller, and other gear for night hunting cost is expensive
223 or 204 is my go to for yotes. I usually pack my 6.5 PRC because I am generally hunting wolves and if a long poke presents itself, I don't fight the wind as much. For a stand type rifle I'd likely go AR platform and 223 with a 7 twist. Run the PSI and a heavier bullet for long range ability. I run 88s in a bolt gun for practice and have no issue out to 1000. My 204 is good to 800 for steel but really its a 600 and inside for killing and the wind effects it a lot. It's just super flat shooting for 500 and closer and especially on yotes inside 300. If I run a thermal and calling in close, AR and 223 would be an easy choice.