The Perfect Coyote Rifle


Mar 6, 2008
In his senior year of high school, my youngest son and hunting partner, Ben, needed a Senior Project. Ben is an avid predator hunter, long range shooter and gun nut so he chose to build a rifle for his project. He would be working under the tutelage of a local mentor. Ben is also both careful and artistic in his approach to his responsibilities so his mother and I blessed him in the endeavor. School rules and personal finances precluded him from building the rifle for himself so, never being one to miss an opportunity to add to my rifle collection, I funded the project for Ben and we began to plan the "Perfect" Coyote Rifle. Read More...
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My safe is proof I can get a little goofy about having the right tool at hand for any job!

Using the competition rules as guidelines I think you're really close to "perfect". Your rifle/scope combo gives high percentage opportunities on the shots we really should make, and give us a fighting chance at the ones we like to think we can make.

It could be my age, but even knowing the AR is successfully used in some tough spots I still have more confidence in a bolt gun. If we consider we'll likely never be charged by packs of starving coyotes, and like other sports if we execute well on the plays we are supposed to make, end of the day/week/season we will likely put more fur in the truck.

I believe the suppressor will get you a few more dogs. Even if it just preserves a bit of hearing and allows you to play closer to civilization, I'm thinking well worth it.

If we were to count them I doubt the score goes up one dog, but I think having an 8 or 9 twist opens up a few possibilities to play with bullets, without negative effect. I'd be curious to hear comments by LRH folks regarding the 7 twist Berger is recommending for one of their bullets. A lot of fun, but again over specialized to help much in competition.

Well thought out, applied, and written. Thanks.
I agree with HARPERC, you can go crazy searching for that perfect rifle having thousands of options to choose from. If your son has limited funding for his project I would suggest a low cost platform you could grow with. Keeping in mind that coyotes are relatively easy to knock down you don't really need to go nuts in the ballistics of your caliber choice.

My current personal choose is a 5.56mm, easy to obtain brass for reloading with numerous projectiles to chose from. I found the Hornady SST fit my needs, providing excellent grouping out to 500m. Ive used both an AR and bolt platform and agree you will harvest more fur with a bolt.

So because of its ability to utilize a AR magazine I selected the Mossberg MVP HBBL in 5.56mm as a starting platform. Nice accurate rifle from the start, having a good stock trigger pull. nice fluted HBBL and easy ability to upgrade. After a a few minor trigger adjustments and a stock change I mounted the rifle with a Burris MTAC scope. Its become a real tack driver and my primary go to rifle for harvesting coyote. Everything purchased new for under $1000.

If funding is not a concern, I've built many a precision rifle starting with a Remington Short or Long action. Give a quick call to HART for a 24inch fluted HBBL and add a Jewell match trigger, Wyatts trigger guard with magazine, HS Precision stock and top her off with a Vortex PST or Nightforce scope and you won't be disappointed.
The suppressor stamp arrived! Too late for fur this year but it will get some time on jackrabbits, sagerats and rockchucks while waiting for the fur to prime up this fall. The rifle shoots to almost the same point of impact at 200 yards as it does unsuppressed. The last 200 yard group measured 0.825" for three shots so it doesn't seem to have negatively effected accuracy.

Here is the real finished product....

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