The Best Coyote Gun | 100+ Top Varmint Rifles | Predator Calibers
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Finding the best coyote gun is an impossible task. There doesn’t yet exist the perfect weapon for slaying song dogs in every situation. Debates will rage on about what’s the best caliber, the best loads, and of course the best way to hunt coyotes! This list is not complete, it’s intention is to compare the current varmint rifles available on the market. It’s meant to help you in your research in finding the right gun for you.

There are thousands of rifles that can be used for predators. I understand that by limiting this list to varmint, predator, and coyote rifles that I am leaving a lot of good rifles off the list. Without setting a parameter to only focus on these models, I would spend a lifetime comparing models. If there is a gun you think is missing or that is a new release, please paste the link into the comment section below. If you are a custom rifle maker or gun builder and would like to be included in this list, please comment with your contact information and I will respond from there (your contact information will not be visible to others).



.204 Ruger Coyote Rifles


Tikka T3x Varmint

“The .204 Ruger is a centerfire rifle cartridge developed by Hornady and Ruger. The 204 Ruger was developed from the .222 Remington Magnum, which has the second largest case capacity in the family that began with the .222 Remington. To make the 204 Ruger, the 222 Remington Magnum case was necked down to .204 inches (5 mm) and shoulder moved forward and angle increased to 30 degrees.

The .204 Ruger has proven to be a very accurate and efficient cartridge: an early tester reported 1/2 MOA groups at 100 yards (91 m) with the Hornady loads and a Ruger #1 Varmint rifle. The .204 Ruger was intended primarily for varmint rifles, which require bullets with flat trajectories but not much mass or kinetic energy. The .204 was “splitting the difference” between the popular .224 varmint rounds such as the .220 Swift and .22-250 Remington, and the tiny .172 caliber rounds such as the .17 Remington and the .17 HMR. The resulting cartridge provides somewhat higher velocities than any of these, giving a maximum point blank range of more than 270 yards (250 m).”1

.204 Ruger Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .204 Ruger in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Browning X-Bolt Eclipse Varmint26"9.3 lbs12$1,070
Browning X-Bolt Varmint Stalker24"6.9 lbs12$940
Howa Heavy Barrel Varminter Rifle24"9.0 lbs12$681
Kimber Varmint24"7.3 lbs12$1,291
Kimber Pro Varmint24"8.0 lbs12$1,427
Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint26"8.5 lbs12$761
Ruger American Rifle® Predator22"6.6 lbs12$529
Ruger Hawkeye Predator Rifle24"8.0 lbs12$1,139
Sako 85 Varmint20" or 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs12$1,928
Sako 85 Varmint Stainless20" or 23.7”8.2 & 8.6 lbs12$1,798
Savage® Arms 25 Lightweight Varminter24"8.3 lbs12$772
Savage® Arms 25 Walking Varminter22"6.9 lbs12$620
Savage® Arms Specialty 10/110 Predator Hunter24"8.5 lbs12$999
Savage® Arms 12 FCV Varmint Series26"9.0 lbs12$781
T/C Venture™ Predator22"7.0 lbs10$638
T/C Encore® Pro Hunter™ Predator28"7.8 lbs12$882
Tikka T3x Varmint23.6”7.9 lbs12$848
Tikka T3x Super Varmint20" or 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs12$1,557

.204 Ruger AR-15 Rifles

A major benefit of the .204 platform is the ability to build an AR-15 in the .204 caliber. There aren’t many companies making a .204 designed for varmints and predators, but here’s a short list of options.

Rock River Arms LAR-15M Varmint A4

.204 Ruger Varmint AR Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .204 Ruger AR Platform in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrel LengthTwistMSRP
Rock River Arms LAR-15M Varmint A420"12"$1,400
DPMS LR-204 Varmint Target Rifle24"12"$1,059



.220 Swift Coyote Rifles


Remington® Model 700 Varmint SF

“The 220 Swift was the first factory loaded rifle cartridge with a muzzle velocity of over 4,000 ft/s (1,200 m/s). The .220 Swift remains the fastest commercial cartridge in the world, with a published velocity of 4,665 ft/s (1,422 m/s) using a 29 grain bullet and 42 grains of 3031 powder.

The Swift is a large cased .224 caliber cartridge and bullet that was created for small game such as prairie dogs, groundhogs and other vermin (or “varmints” in the US) such as marmots. Upon its introduction it astounded the varmint hunting world by being fully 1,400 ft/s (430 m/s) faster than its nearest competitor, which was the .22 Hornet (also .224 caliber). It was found to be an extremely accurate cartridge as well.

Due to its very high velocity its bullet drop allows dead on sighting on game such as groundhogs to ranges out to 375 yd (343 m), and it is still considered an excellent cartridge for taking varmints by experienced Swift shooters.

The Swift’s high-velocity performance comes at a price, because the high velocities and high internal firing temperatures accelerate chamber and bore wear. Modern metallurgy and cryogenic treatment have vastly improved barrel life with the .220 Swift and other 4,000 ft/s (1,200 m/s) cartridges, although weapons firing these cartridges still usually require rechambering or rebarreling much sooner than those firing lower-velocity cartridges such as the .222 Remington and the .223 Remington.2

.220 Swift Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .220 Swift in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Remington® Model 700 Varmint SF26"8.5 lbs14"$991



.222 Remington Coyote Rifles


Savage® Arms 25 Walking Varminter

The .222 Remington, which is also known as the Triple Deuce/Triple Two/Treble Two is a centerfire rifle cartridge. Introduced in 1950, it was the first commercial rimless .22 (5.56 mm) cartridge made in the United States. As such, it was an entirely new design, without a parent case. The .222 Remington was a popular target cartridge from its introduction until the mid-1970s and still enjoys a reputation for inherent accuracy. It remains a popular vermin or “varmint” cartridge at short and medium ranges with preferred bullet weights of 40-55 grains and muzzle velocities from 3000-3500 fps.

While the .222 Remington is rarely found in current production in America, its derivative cartridges are among the most popular in the world. In addition to the .222 Magnum and .223 Remington, the .222 has also served as the parent case for the .221 Fireball, the fastest production handgun cartridge.3

.222 Remington Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .222 Remington in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Sako 85 Varmint20” or 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs14"$1,928
Sako 85 Varmint Stainless20” or 23.7”8.2 & 8.6 lbs14"$1,798
Savage® Arms 25 Walking Varminter22"6.9 lbs14"$620
Tikka T3x Varmint20” or 23.7”7.5 & 7.9 lbs14"$848
Tikka T3x Super Varmint23.6”7.7 & 8.2 lbs14"$1,557



.223 Remington Coyote Rifles


T/C Encore® Pro Hunter™ Predator

This is the most popular caliber across all varmint rifle manufacturers. It’s a tried and trued caliber for hunting coyotes. This cartridge was designed for military use, and access to ammunition make this an inexpensive round to purchase factory ammunition as well as reloading. It has grown in popularity due to the AR-15 platform that

“The .223 Rem was first offered to the civilian sporting market in December 1963 in the Remington 760 rifle. In 1964 the .223 Rem cartridge was adopted for use in the Colt M16 rifle which became an alternate standard rifle of the U.S. Army. The military version of the cartridge uses a 55 gr full metal jacket boattail design and was designated M193. In 1980 NATO modified the .223 Remington into a new design which is designated 5.56×45mm NATO type SS109.”4

.223 Remington Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .223 Ruger in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Browning X-Bolt Eclipse Varmint26"9.3 lbs12$1,070
Browning X-Bolt Varmint Stalker24"6.9 lbs12$940
Howa Heavy Barrel Varminter Rifle20"8.5 lbs9$681
Kimber Pro Varmint24"8.0 lbs9$1,427
Mossberg® MVP Series Varmint24"7.8 lbs9$754
Mossberg® MVP Series Predator18.5"7.0 lbs9$733
Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint26"8.5 lbs12$761
Remington Model 700 Varmint SF26"8.5 lbs12$991
Ruger American Rifle® Predator22"6.6 lbs8$529
Ruger Hawkeye Predator Rifle22"7.7 lbs9$1,139
Sako 85 Varmint20” & 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs14$1,928
Sako 85 Varmint Stainless20” & 23.7”8.2 & 8.6 lbs8$1,798
Savage® Arms 25 Lightweight Varminter24"8.3 lbs9$772
Savage® Arms 25 Walking Varminter22"6.9 lbs9$620
Savage® Arms Model 11 Trophy Predator Hunter22"8.8 lbs9$713
Savage® Arms Specialty 10/110 Predator Hunter22"8.5 lbs9$999
Savage® Arms 12 FCV Varmint Series26"9 lbs9$781
T/C Venture™ Predator22"6.8 lbs12$638
T/C Encore® Pro Hunter™ Predator28"7.8 lbs12$882
Tikka T3x Varmint20” & 23.7”7.5 & 7.9 lbs8 - 12$848
Tikka T3x Super Varmint20” & 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs8 - 12$1,557

The AR-15 Platform has made the .223 caliber an extremly desirable round for coyotes. Having the ability to use a semi-automatic rifle allows for quicker follow up shots. Not many manufacturers are taking advantage of this platform and the desire for hunters to create a predator model. Here are the few popular varmint AR-15’s on the market.

Remington® Model R-15 VTR SS Varmint

.223 Remington Varmint AR-15 Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .223 Ruger AR Platform in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Bushmaster Predator Rifle20"8.0 lbs8$1,159
Bushmaster Varmint Rifle24"8.4 lbs9$1,159
Remington® Model R-15 VTR Predator18"6.8 lbs9$1,229
Remington® Model R-15 VTR SS Varmint24"7.8 lbs9$1,299
Rock River Arms LAR-15 Coyote Rifle20"8.4 lbs9$1,335
Rock River Arms Predator Pursuit20"7.9 lbs8$1,350



22 Nosler AR Coyote Rifles


Nosler 22 Nosler Varmageddon

“The 22 Nosler is a 22 (.224″) caliber, rebated-rim centerfire rifle cartridge designed by Nosler. The 22 Nosler is a SAAMI approved and standardized cartridge. It is the fifth cartridge designed by Nosler. It is claimed that the 22 Nosler delivers 25% more energy and is nearly 300 fps faster than a .223 Remington/ 5.56 NATO. This cartridge is designed to use the existing bolt face of an AR-15, and conversions to this caliber can be accomplished with a simple upper receiver swap. The case diameter and taper resemble those of the 6.8mm Remington SPC, so Nosler recommends using a magazine designed for that cartridge. While similar to the 6.8SPC in some regards, there is no parent case and the 22 Nosler cannot be formed from 6.8SPC brass.”5

22 Nosler Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the 22 Nosler in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
22 Nosler Varmageddon18"TBDTBD$2,870



.22-250 Remington Coyote Rifles


T/C Venture™ Predator

“The .22-250 Remington is a very high-velocity (capable of reaching over 4000 feet per second), short action, .22 caliber rifle cartridge primarily used for varmint hunting and small game hunting, though it finds occasional use on deer. This cartridge is also sometimes known as the .22 Varminter or the .22 Wotkyns Original Swift. Along with the .220 Swift, the .22-250 was one of the high-velocity .22 caliber cartridges that developed a reputation for remote wounding effects known as hydrostatic shock in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The .22-250 started life as a wildcat cartridge developed from the .250 Savage case necked down to take a .224 caliber bullet. In the early days of the cartridge there were several different versions that varied only slightly from one to the next, including one developed in 1937 by Grosvenor Wotkyns, J.E. Gebby and J.B. Smith who named their version the 22 Varminter.

The .22-250 is similar to, but was outperformed by the larger .220 Swift cartridge. However, it is in much wider use and has a larger variety of commercially available factory ammunition than the Swift. This makes it generally cheaper to shoot. The smaller powder load also contributes to more economical shooting if a person is doing their own reloads. Despite common myths regarding longer barrel life on a 22-250 vs the Swift or other calibers, that is directly related to shooter habits, allowing the barrel to cool between volleys and the speed of the bullet, an important factor for high-volume shooters. Both the Swift and the 22-250 shoot at very similar velocities and bullet weights so barrel wear when used and cooled equally is identical between the two calibers. Due to its rimless case the 22-250 also feeds from a box magazine with ease.

The .22-250 is currently the fastest production cartridge, surpassing the .204 Ruger. This round is loaded by Hornady under their Superformance line and is a 35 grain, non-toxic, fragmenting varmint bullet at 4450 feet per second (1356 m/s) from a 26″ barrel. The .223 WSSM is loaded to 4700 fps (1432 m/s) by Monolithic Munitions, but this is a custom loading by a specialty shop, not by a major manufacturer.”6

.22-250 Remington Coyote Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .22-250 Remington in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Browning X-Bolt Eclipse Varmint26"9.3 lbs14$1,070
Browning X-Bolt Varmint Stalker26"7.2 lbs14$940
Howa Heavy Barrel Varminter Rifle20"8.5 lbs12$681
Kimber Varmint26"7.6 lbs14$1,291
Kimber Pro Varmint24"8.0 lbs14$1,427
Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint26"8.5 lbs14$761
Remington Model 700 Varmint SF26"8.5 lbs14$991
Ruger American Rifle® Predator22"6.6 lbs10$529
Ruger Hawkeye Predator Rifle24"8.0 lbs14$1,139
Sako 85 Varmint20” & 23.7”8.2 & 8.6 lbs14$1,928
Sako 85 Varmint Stainless20” & 23.7”8.6 & 9.0 lbs14$1,798
Savage® Arms Model 11 Trophy Predator Hunter22"8.8 lbs12$713
Savage® Arms Specialty 10/110 Predator Hunter24"8.5 lbs12$999
Savage® Arms 12 FCV Varmint Series26"9 lbs12$781
T/C Venture™ Predator22"6.8 lbs12$638
T/C Encore® Pro Hunter™ Predator28"7.8 lbs12$882
Tikka T3x Varmint20” & 23.7”7.5 & 7.9 lbs14$848
Tikka T3x Super Varmint20” & 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs14$1,557
Winchester Model 70 Coyote Light24"7.5 lbs14$1,270



.243 Winchester Coyote Rifles


Howa Heavy Barrel Varminter Rifle

The .243 Winchester (6×52mm) is a popular sporting rifle cartridge. Initially designed as a target/varmint round, it may be used for animals such as coyote, blacktail deer, whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn, and wild hogs. It can also be used against larger animals such as black bear or elk but is sometimes said to be “too light” for such large animals. Rounds of at least 90 grains are better suited for hunting larger animals while rounds less than 90 grains are more suitable for varmints. The .243 is based on a necked down .308 cartridge case. It is very popular with target shooters, Metallic Silhouette, and long range shooters, because of its accuracy and low recoil.

This cartridge was first introduced in 1955 for the Winchester Model 70 bolt-action and Model 88 lever-action sporting rifles and quickly gained popularity among sportsmen worldwide. Just about every major manufacturer offers rifles chambered in .243.

It was a ground-breaking development of the day, combining a very useful combination of lightweight (70 to 85 grain) bullets optimized for long-range performance for varmint hunters (groundhogs, coyotes, prairie dogs) and 90 to 105-grain bullets suitable for the game up to the size of deer and pronghorn antelope. Its predecessor in the Winchester lineup, the very similar .257 Roberts, could have easily been selected to accomplish the same tasks, but was not available factory loaded with either lighter, varmint-weight pills or pointed, long range spitzer (pointed) bullets, so it never achieved the popularity of the newer round.

The .243 produces a velocity of 2,960 feet (902.21 m) per second with a 100-grain (6.6 gram) projectile from a 24-inch (610 mm) barrel. Commercially loaded .243 ammunition is available with bullet weight ranging from 55 grains (3.6 g) up to 115 grains (6.8 g). Twist rate of the barrel is the major deciding factor in which bullets to use, 1:10 being the most popular as it is sufficient to stabilize up to 100-gr. bullets. However, for VLD (very low drag)-profile and bullets heavier than 100 grs., a 1:8 or 1:7 (for 115-gr. VLD bullets) is necessary.7

.243 Winchester Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .243 Winchester in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Browning X-Bolt Varmint Stalker24"6.9 lbs10$940
Howa Heavy Barrel Varminter Rifle24"9.0 lbs10$681
Remington® Model 700 SPS Varmint26"8.5 lbs9.125$761
href="http://www.ruger.com/products/americanRiflePredator/specSheets/6972.html" target="_blank">Ruger® American Rifle® Predator22"6.6 lbs9$529
Sako 85 Varmint20” & 23.7”8.2 & 8.6 lbs10$1,928
Sako 85 Varmint Stainless20” & 23.7”8.6 & 9.0 lbs10$1,798
Savage® Arms 10/110 Predator Hunter24"8.5 lbs9.25
$999
Tikka T3x Varmint20” & 23.7”7.5 & 7.9 lbs10$848
Tikka T3x Super Varmint20” & 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs10$1,557
Winchester Model 70 Coyote Light24"7.5 lbs10$1270



.260 Remington


Sako 85 Varmint

The .260 Remington (also known as 6.5-08 A-Square) cartridge was introduced by Remington in 1997. Many wildcat cartridges based on the .308 Winchester case had existed for years before Remington standardized this round. Although loaded to higher pressures, the ballistics of this cartridge are basically similar to the 6.5×55mm when bullet weights do not exceed 140 grains. When loaded with heavier bullets, the 6.5×55mm is capable of greater velocity. Due to its shorter overall length the .260 Remington can be chambered in a shorter length action than the 6.5×55mm.

Because 6.5 mm (.264″) bullets have relatively high ballistic coefficients, the .260 Remington has seen success in rifle competition including bench rest, Metallic Silhouette and long range. It is capable of duplicating the trajectory of the .300 Winchester Magnum while generating significantly lower recoil. Also, converting a rifle chambered for the .308 Winchester (or any of its offspring, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington or .338 Federal) to .260 Remington generally requires little more than a simple barrel change.

Loaded with lighter bullets, the .260 Remington can be used as an effective varmint or a small predator hunting cartridge for use against such species as marmots, woodchucks, bobcats and coyotes. Bullets chosen for these species should be designed to open rapidly unless harvesting of the pelt is the objective. FMJ or other non-expanding bullets can be used if the latter is the case.8

.260 Remington Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the .260 Remington in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Sako 85 Varmint20” & 23.7”8.2 & 8.6 lbs8$1,928
Sako 85 Varmint Stainless20” & 23.7”8.6 & 9.0 lbs8$1,798
Savage® Arms 10/110 Predator Hunter24"8.5 lbs8$999
Tikka T3x Varmint20” & 23.7”7.5 & 7.9 lbs8$848
Tikka T3x Super Varmint20” & 23.7”7.7 & 8.2 lbs8$1,557


6MM Creedmoor Coyote Rifles

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6MM Creedmoor

Popular manufacturers of the 6MM Creedmoor in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Ruger® American Rifle® Predator22"6.6 lbs7.7$529


6.5 Creedmoor Coyote Rifles

The 6.5mm Creedmoor, also called the 6.5 Creedmoor or 6.5 CM for short, is a centerfire rifle cartridge introduced by Hornady in 2007 as a modification of the .30 TC, which was based on the .300 Savage. It was designed specifically for rifle target shooting, although it is also achieving success in game hunting. Bullet for bullet, the 6.5mm Creedmoor achieves a slower muzzle velocity than longer cartridges such as the 6.5-284 Norma or magnum cartridges such as the 6.5mm Remington Magnum. However, due to its 2.825 inches (71.8 mm) overall length, it is capable of being chambered in short-action bolt action rifles and AR-10 semi-automatic rifles.

6.5 mm (.264″) bullets, in general, are known for their relatively high sectional density and ballistic coefficients, and have seen success in rifle competition. For some loads the 6.5mm Creedmoor is capable of duplicating the muzzle velocity or trajectory of the .300 Winchester Magnum while generating significantly lower recoil, based on lighter projectile weight. As this cartridge is designed for a bolt face diameter of .473 inches (roughly 12 mm), conversion of a short action rifle to another caliber (such as the .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester or .300 Savage) with similar bolt face diameter generally requires little more than a simple barrel change.9

6.5 Creedmoor Varmint Rifles

Popular manufacturers of the 6.5 Creedmoor in a Predator/Varmint model.
Make and ModelBarrelWeightTwistMSRP
Howa Heavy Barrel Varminter Rifle24"9.0 lbs8$681
Mossberg® MVP™ Series Predator20"8.0 lbs8$733
Ruger® American Rifle® Predator22"6.6 lbs8$529
Ruger® Hawkeye Predator Rifle24"8.1 lbs8$1,159
Savage® Arms 10/110 Predator Hunter24"8.5 lbs8$999

 
 

Coyote Guns used in this article:

Browning X-Bolt Eclipse Varmint
Browning X-Bolt Varmint Stalker
Howa Heavy Barrel Varminter Rifle
Kimber Varmint
Kimber Pro Varmint
Mossberg® MVP™ Series Varmint
Mossberg® MVP™ Series Predator
Remington® Model 700 SPS Varmint
Remington® Model 700 Varmint SF
Ruger® American Rifle® Predator Bolt-Action Rifles
Ruger® Hawkeye Predator Rifle
Sako 85 Varmint
Sako 85 Varmint Stainless
Savage® Arms 25 Lightweight Varminter
Savage® Arms 25 Walking Varminter
Savage® Arms Model 11 Trophy Predator Hunter
Savage® Arms 10/110 Predator Hunter
Savage® Arms 12 FCV
Thompson Center Venture Predator
Thompson Center Encore® Pro Hunter™ Predator
Tikka T3x Varmint
Tikka T3x Super Varmint
Winchester Model 70 Coyote Light
Remington® Model R-15 VTR Predator
Remington® Model R-15 VTR SS Varmint
Nosler 22 Nosler Varmageddon
Bushmaster Predator Rifle
Bushmaster Varmint Rifle
Rock River Arms LAR-15 Coyote Rifle
Rock River Arms Predator Pursuit
Rock River Arms LAR-15M Varmint A4
DPMS LR-204 Varmint Target Rifle

https://www.coyotehunting101.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Best-Coyote-Rifle-Pin.jpg
  1. .204 Ruger – Wikipedia
  2. .220 Swift – Wikipedia
  3. .222 Remington – Wikipedia
  4. .223 Remington – Wikipedia
  5. Nosler proprietary cartridges – Wikipedia
  6. .22-250 Remington – Wikipedia
  7. .243 Winchester – Wikipedia
  8. .260 Remington – Wikipedia
  9. 6.5 Creedmoor – Wikipedia