HUNTING

Coyote Hunting Rifles: 9 Choices for The Quiet After The Boom

Rifle ready for hunting
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Coyotes are one of the most annoying and frustrating vermin you will encounter on your property. They strike fear in the heart of little children with their howling, but coyotes frustrate most land owners.

If you own land or livestock, there is a good chance you will need some coyote hunting rifles to keep the pack at bay and save your animals.

Things to Look at in Coyote Hunting Rifles

Most coyote hunters use a rifle as their best coyote gun. Some rounds and guns are popular. However, you want to make sure you don’t use too large of a caliber because it will put a huge hole into a coyote. There will be no chance of selling the hide with a large hole in the coyote.

Benajmin rifle on Coyote

When it comes to firearm shopping for the best coyote gun, there are a few attributes you want to check off your list to make sure your weapon is one of the best performers for the job.

  • Accuracy: Coyotes aren’t a large target. While it is bigger than a rabbit, a coyote isn’t as large as a bear. Most coyotes have a maximum weight around 45 pounds, although some rare males can reach up to 70 pounds.
    Their organs are around the size of an apple up to the scale of a grapefruit. You want to look for a rifle that will shoot under 1 MOA, but the best coyote gun can shoot groups of ½ MOA in right However, we all know good conditions don’t always happen.
  • Flat Trajectory: When you are hunting coyotes, you don’t have time to wait for the perfect shot. You don’t want any errors, or you are going to miss your chance. A coyote hunting rifle shoots at fast velocities with a flat trajectory. They tend to be more forgiving and can fire a bullet much more rapidly.
    Some guns can shoot bullets at 3,400 feet per second.
  • Low Recoil: Sometimes, you are going to miss your shot and will need a follow-up shot. Some hunters get lucky and have a pair of coyotes come in at the same time. The last thing you need is a recoil that sends you backward, wasting valuable time.
    One of the attributes of the best coyote gun is one that allows you to stay on your scope after the shot. A semi-automatic, such as an AR-145, has great accuracy with fast repeat shots.
  • Projectile: The best coyote cartridges will expand on impact. Upon entrance, the bullet will fragment into particles, which is the best way for an immediate and humane death. However, calibers such as a .20 or .17 cause small entrance holes for minimal pelt damage, yet penetrate fully.

The Best Coyote Hunting Rifles

Savage Axis

Savage Axis rifle on the ground

Weight: 6.5lbs

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 22 inches, Overall Length – 43 inches

Features: .223 Remington, Bolt Action Rifle, Carbon Steel, Lightweight

Description: The Savage Axis is a bolt action rifle, available in .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, and .243 Winchester.

All of these options can take down a coyote with no problems. Priced under $400, the Savage is a solid option for those who have a coyote problem but don’t have the budget for an expensive, custom rifle.

Tapped for a scope mount, the barrel is 22 inches and is carbon steel, which is perfect for all weather. Carbon steel is one of the strongest options available. The barrel has a 1×9 twist and can handle 40 to 75-grain bullets.

You can get 1 MOA at 100 yards with ease. The gun is lightweight when empty, weighing only 6.5lbs. The Savage Axis is durable and made with quality materials. Why spend thousands of dollars when you can get everything you need for less than $400? Remember, low budget doesn’t always mean bad quality.

Ruger American

Ruger American rifle

Weight: 6.5lbs

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 22 inches, Overall Length – 42.5 inches

Features: Lightweight, Bolt Action Rifle, .243 Winchester, Affordable, Mild Recoil

Description:The Ruger American uses a .243 Winchester, and it’s the perfect solution for shooting coyotes in fields.

The American is another lightweight, bolt action, rifle, weighing only 6.5lbs empty. The barrel is 22 inches long and has a black matte finish. You can easily attach optics and scope rings come with the gun.

The Ruger American comes in four calibers:.30-06, .308, .270, and .243, which are all popular hunting options. The .270 round is a flat shooting round. The overall approach to this rifle is affordable quality.

There is a bit of a recoil, but Ruger added a rubber butt pad on the stock. The rubber will absorb some of the shocks. You will get more out of this budget rifle than you expect.

Howa/Houge Ranchland Compact

Howa Houge Ranchland Compact rifle ready

Weight: 7.15lbs

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 20 inches, Overall Length – 40.25 inches

Features: Bolt Action Rifle, Compact, Lightweight, .223 Remington

Description: The Howa 1500 is a bolt action rifle that comes with a Hogue Overmolded stock. It was designed as a compact rifle for close quarters.

Many hunters like to keep the Howa 1500 in their truck or use it in their hunting blinds. At 7.15 pounds, it is a lightweight rifle with 20-inch barrel.

The Howa 1500 takes .223 Remington in the chamber and .204 Ruger. The magazine can hold four rounds. It is clear why this could be the best coyote gun.

The compactness and ease of use make it so you can quickly load and reload. The Ranchland has proven itself and has good MOA at 100 yards.

Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical

Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical rifle

Weight: 7.25lbs

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 16.5 inches, Overall Length – 36.25 inches

Features: Bolt Action Rifle, Short Barrel, Lightweight, Multiple Options, Great Accuracy.

Description: The Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical was originally designed for law enforcement, but that doesn’t mean a coyote hunter couldn’t benefit from some of its features. The Tactical is built on the Remington 700 bolt action rifle, which is a reliable firearm. The barrel is 16.5 inches long and is easy to use concealed areas. However, it is long enough to give you the accuracy you need when shooting coyotes.

One downside is that the Remington Tactical doesn’t fit into the budget range, but it shoots like a dream.

You can use some options such as the .223 Remington, .300 AAC Blackout, and .308 Winchester. The magazine takes four or five rounds.

The Tactical has some features that the original Remington 700 didn’t have. For example, the barrel is heavier than before, giving the shooter more accuracy. It is not abnormal to get .51 inch groupings at 100 yards.

They have the X-Mark Pro trigger which is one of the best bolt action rifle triggers on the market today. There is no doubt the Remington is one of the best shooting bolt action rifles on the market and makes a beautiful coyote hunting rifle.

DPMS Sportical

DPMS Sportical rifle on the side

Weight: 7.5lbs empty

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 16 inches, Overall Length – 32 – 36 inches extended

Features: Semi-Automatic, .223 Remington, Budget Friendly, Optics

Description: Semi-automatic rifles, such as the AR-15, aren’t always in your budget range. The DPMS gives all hunters the chance to own such a rifle. It is a carbine style rifle, which is great as a plinking rifle or a small game rifle.

The rifle has a rail on both the upper receiver and gas block so you can pick between an iron sight, scope, or optics.

Reliability is needed in any firearm. You don’t want a jam when you have a coyote in your sights. The trigger is clean each fire. It is best to use a .223 Remington in the chamber (5.56mm). You can carry 30 in the magazine. The DPMS has a 16-inch barrel, standard AR controls, and an adjustable buttstock.

If you pick to use optics, you can quickly reach more than 400 yards with a 3×9. Overall, if you are looking for a semi-automatic with extra features, the DPMS offers accuracy and dependability. No coyote will stand a chance.

DEL-TON DT Sport OR

DEL-TON DT Sport OR rifle in use

Weight: 5.8lbs empty

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 16 inches, Overall Length – 36 inches

Features: Carbine Rifle, Lightweight, Semi-Automatic Rifle, .223 Caliber

Description: An attractive option for a coyote hunting rifle is a semi-automatic rifle. If you are looking for an AR-15 style rifle, the DEL-Ton Sport was designed as a lightweight, no frills, entry type rifle. The ultra-light 16-inch barrel has a 1×9 twist. It is a carbine rifle that uses .223/5.56 caliber with a 30 round magazine.

The Del-Ton has a Picatinny rail on the receiver, giving you multiple scope options. These rails let you mount scopes or red dot sights quickly with little troubles.

One of the reasons the Del-Ton gets love is because it is a versatile rifle. For those who want a budget-friendly semi-automatic rifle for coyote hunting, you can’t go wrong with the DPMS.

Stoeger M3000 Gun

Stoeger M3000 Gun on the ground

Weight: 7.5 pounds

Dimensions: Barrel Length: 26 or 28 inches, Overall Length: 49 5/8 inches

Features: 12 Gauge Shotgun, Medium Speed Velocity, Budget Friendly

Description: Made in Turkey, the Stoeger M3000 is a semi-automatic rifle known for excellent quality. It is an upgrade from the M2000 with some great new features.

The receiver is now tapped to take a Weaver-style scope base. They increased the strength and reliability of the barrel extension and bolt. There are two large locking lugs and a rotating camming system.

The Stoeger M3000 is a 3 inch, 12 gauge shotgun, typically used for waterfowl. However, the gun is an excellent choice for a hunter who wants to use one gun for everything. The M3000 offers a velocity between 1,200 and 1,500 feet per second, depending on the loads used. If you are looking for a budget shotgun that is worth the money, you can’t go wrong with a Stoeger M3000.

Henry Varmint Express .17 HMR

Henry Varmint Express .17 HMR rifle

Weight: 5.75lbs

Dimensions: Barrel Length: 20 inches, Overall Length: 37.5 inches

Features: Rimfire, Fast Velocity, Flat Trajectory, Made in the USA, .17 HMR

Description: The Henry Varmint Express .17 HMR debuted on the market in 2002, making it a new member of the coyote hunting rifles. Users can pack eleven .17 HMR rounds into a tubular magazine, which is perfect for varmint hunting. Like all of the other guns mentioned, this Henry is a lever action, offering a nice, smooth shot.

The .17 HMR uses a .17 caliber bullet into a necked down .22 magnum case, creating a very accurate rimfire cartridge. The combination can produce a velocity of up to 2,550 feet per second with a flat trajectory. There is no doubt that this is a lethal combination for any varmint like coyote and foxes.

Handcrafted in the United States, we are sure that the Henry Express is going to gain a name for itself over the years. It is made with high-quality material and delivers deadly accuracy. There isn’t much else you could want in a rifle.

.257 Weatherby Magnum Coyote

custom .257 Weatherby Magnum Coyote

Weight: 8.75lbs

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 24 inches, Overall Length – 42 inches

Features: .257 Caliber, Large Game, Flat Trajectory, 1.5 MOA

Description:The .257 Weatherby Magnum has long been a favorite of big game hunters. While most hunters nowadays wouldn’t pick it for a bear, it has the power to knock down must game. As noted by the name, the Weatherby is a .257 caliber (6.35mm) belted, bottleneck cartridge.

Over the last few decades, the Weatherby has gained popularity for elk, moose, and coyote hunting. The ballistics are top-notch. Weatherby can fire a bullet at 3,400 ft/sec and has one of the flattest shooting cartridges on the market today.

If you need to shoot long ranges, the Weatherby can easily shoot 300 yards or more. It has a 1.5 MOA with their ammunition. It isn’t an overpowered rifle and offers a mild recoil for a magnum cartridge. Overall, if you don’t mind a bit higher of a price tag, the .257 Weatherby Magnum is an overall excellent choice for a variety of game.

Ready to Make Your Pick?

These nine rifles, with a shotgun thrown in as well, can all pack a punch. Most importantly, they all have the power to take down a coyote with ease. You want a fast velocity with superb accuracy so you won’t miss your mark. Coyotes are typically on the move.

With any of these firearms, the features and details will give you all of these needed attributes and more.

Hunter waithing for coyote

The Ruger American is our top, budget rifle for hunting coyote. If you prefer a semi-automatic, similar to an AR-15, the DPMS Sportical can shoot fast and accurate without bursting your budget.

However, if you want a great all-around rifle, the .257 Weatherby Magnum Coyote rifle is one of the best. With a lethal velocity and flat trajectory, no predator stands a chance with you behind the trigger.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

  • Marvin Gomez

    The animal which falls on my list on least favorite target for hunting is coyote. But even though I’m not fond of having them as target, I can say that .308 is just the wrong caliber. Well, that’s just me. It might depend on your skills and preference. I personally think that a .22-.250 or a 17hmr would be a good pick for coyote hunting.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Coyotes can be very sensitive and highly alert that’s why they can be sly targets to exterminate. Bullet choice can be subjective, and as you’ve said, can also depend on skills and preference.

  • Will Harrison

    If you’re in the market for a true distance rifle, more often than not, you’ll be spending more money on glass than on the rifle itself, however, of course, gun choice is important and you could do an awful lot worse than the Remington 700. It has been in use by both the army and marines since the 60-70s and continues to be the gun of choice for a number of operations to this day.

    They’re available in a ton of varieties and calibers, for most, information can be found on their website, however, if you explore some local dealers or elsewhere on the web, you may be lucky enough to find one of their lesser known/limited edition type models, such as the 700 5r chambered in 308, which is what I personally own and I know from experience, they didn’t make many of them.

    If you ensure you have a reliable piece of glass attached, you can almost guarantee a hit on your target.

    • Shawn Harrison

      I agree, Will. Investing on a scope is another important consideration when it comes to buying a rifle. You can have the most lethal rifle in the world, but it is quite useless if it will not let you hit the target with extreme accuracy.

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