There are multiple different rifle options available for coyote hunters today, and nearly all the cartridges are more than enough to take down a medium-sized coyote.
Coyote hunting is a common practice nowadays, and .22-250 Remington and 0.223 Remington are the most used and famous cartridges. Coyote is an animal that can easily be hunted with the help of .17 caliber, but most hunters try to use lightweight cartridges because lightweight bullets do not ruin the fur, and they can easily be preserved.
A perfect Coyote gun will have perfect aim and shoot cartridges that will not leave a big mark on the animal's skin. A good coyote gun will preferably be chambered in a small chamber; although it is not compulsory, it gives the weapon a plus point.
If you are on a quest to find the best cartridges and calibers to hunt coyotes, stay with us till the end.
Before we dive deep into the list of best cartridges, you have to remember that the cartridge selection depends upon multiple factors such as distance, rules and regulations, type of terrain, and more.
Rimfire is one of the best options for the coyote hunt as it gives you the advantage of the near shoot if the target is immediate. Rimfire cartridges are always available in the market, and .17 HMR is one of the best options available.
The bullet weight matters when it comes to Rimfire cartridges, so you should check your gun's specification beforehand.
.17HRM is the smallest bullet we have on this list. Due to its lightweight, it is deflected by heavy winds. It is always advised to shoot the target within the range of 200 yards. You can notice the option of .17HMR is tack-driving bolt riffles. Also, it can also be used in semi-automatic and lever-action rifles as well.
22WMR fires 40 grains at the speed of 1900 fps. Also, it is considered best for the range of 22 yards, but it can work well even if the range is a bit extended. If you have a gun with a re-loadable 22WMR, it is not necessary to shoot every time. Also, due to the high velocity, you can annoy your target or annoy their group as well because of its noise.
Our selection for Little Centerfire Cartridges
- 204 Ruger
204 Ruger is a cartridge that can be loaded with multiple projectiles of a variety of weights. The most significant of all can easily excel 3000 fps at the muzzle. Using the 40 or 45-grain bullet will increase the speed and help you take down the target. This cartridge is popular among hunters, and it can also be present in bolt-action rifles and single-shot rifles.
- 22 Hornet
22 hornet is a famous and comparatively old cartridge; the speed of the bullet is 2000 fps which is quite low, but it will still get the target down if the target is close to you and the habitat is not dense. The high speed is not a matter of concern because it usually does not have a significant effect on the target. This cartridge is generally available in bolt-action rifles.
The Goldilocks Zone
If you have purchased a riffle especially for coyote hunting, the below-mentioned options will be the right choice.
- .220 Swift
.220 is one of the most used and fastest cartridges mentioned on this list. It comes in with a 50 grain .22 caliber, which travels at the speed of 4000 fps. The damage of the bullet is extraordinary, and it can destroy the target in just one shot.
If we talk about the history of the bullet, we can see it was invented back in World war II. It is considered an old cartridge, but you can still find riffles for .220 Swift in bolt action and single-shot rifles.
- .223 Remington
.223 Remington is similar to the .22 Hornet, but the speed is 700 fps faster than it. The extra size of the projectiles can help to reach further, and it also includes AR platforms which aid in faster follow-up. The .223 Remington is a popular round and can be used for all types of coyote hunting.
- 22-250 Remington
Experts have ranked 22-250 Remington as the best coyote caliber. It enjoys a unique status in the .22 caliber cartridges category. Like .223 Remington, the 22-250 Remington also uses 80-grain bullets.
Also, the speed of the bullet fired from 22-250 is relatively 300 FPS fast. The mini-magnum is accessible in both bolt action and single-shot rifles. In addition to this, lever-action rifles are also available in this caliber range.
- 224 Valkyrie
224 Valkyrie is .22 caliber cartridges that can perform better than .223 Remington, specifically for long-range targets. The Valkyrie is structured on a 6.8 SPC case. The high ballistic coefficients of the bullets outperform .223 Remington. However, the 80 grain projectiles are also likely to yield a good result with 224 Valkyrie. The Valkyrie is accessible in bolt-action rifles.
- .243 Winchester
One can anticipate shooting heavy shots in the deer woods, and that too at a good speed with .243 Winchester. It has been considered the best coyote caliber for hunting. The .243 Winchester fires a bullet weighing 100 grain but at the exceptional speed of 2600 Feet-per-second or more. The .243 Winchester can be designed in all styles, from single shot to lever-action. So, if you are looking for a rifle to hunt down deer or any other predator, .243 Winchester is worth considering.
- 250 Savage
If you are obsessed with vintage-style guns, 250 Savage is one of the best options to consider. It will offer you the perks of the best coyote caliber. Though the cartridge is old-styled, the weight capacity of the bullet has greatly enhanced—250 Savage fires 117-grain bullets, which is much greater than that of .22 calibers. Moreover, 250 Savage also fires at a good speed of up to 2500 fps.
The 250 Savage will take down elk, deer, or any other target for you. Luckily, it is available in all common styles. However, it may work best with pump-action or hand-loaders.
- 6.5 Grendel
The cartridge collection is incomplete unless 6.5 is included. Though not famous, Grendel is the best coyote caliber in this category. The design of the 6.5 Grendel was made compatible with .26 bullets. Grendel is likely to shoot bullets up to 130 grains. Also, the optimum performance can be expected out of 100 or 123-grain bullets.
The Grendel can be structured in both AR and bolt action platforms. In addition to this, it offers no or minimal recoil. So, you can hit the target with stability.
- 20 Gauge Sabot Slug
If centerfire rifles are prohibited from using in your country or where you are heading for hunting, don’t worry. You can use a 20 Gauge Sabot Slug with a capacity to target at 300 yards.
Another prospect of an opting 20-gauge shotgun is that the Federal Ammunition recently acquired Remington, an arms and ammunition company. So, the Sabot Slug is likely to become easily accessible in the market. 20-gauge shotguns are incorporated with barrels and are found in bolt action design mostly. In short, it is the best coyote caliber for regions with riffle restrictions.
The southern New Jersey, my hometown, coyotes are hunted down using 12-gauge shotguns. Mostly, the reason behind this choice is the state laws rather than the hunter preference. In case you want to take down a coyote, you are bound to use a shotgun, and a 12-gauge shotgun can be a good choice. However, make sure you use a shot size larger than No. 4; for instance, 7 ½ or 8 can work best.
Nowadays, 12-gauge shotguns are available in tactical style. The Remington Model 870 is one of the most trusted brand names among shooters these days. A number of manufacturers also introduce pump-action firearms that come with 10 or more rounds capacity to fire them quickly if needed. There are several big-name companies that produce 20-gauge guns as well for customers interested in smaller rounds capable of stopping varmints at short ranges.
12 Gauge buckshot ammunition is legal in some states where rifles are not allowed or restricted for hunting coyotes, but using slugs often requires the coyotes to be closer than desired. You can expect results of the best coyote caliber from 12-gauge shotguns.
Best Caliber for Hunting Coyotes
If you are looking for the best coyote caliber, you must pay heed to different options. The .22 and .24 caliber may be suitable for a short distance. Likewise, .24 and .25 calibers may bring the best results for big predators and varmint.
In addition, .24 and .25 have also been deemed the best coyote caliber for long-range shooting or hunting. Similarly, when it comes to bullet weight, some hunters use 110-grain bullets for hunting coyotes. On the other hand, some would prefer light bullet weights to minimize pellet or fragmentation upon impact so they can use 120-grain bullets.
Moreover, 130-grain bullets are usually preferred by hunters who want to take down coyotes without fragmentation so an animal can be harvested more humanely if desired.
Finally, you have to weigh the pros and cons of the different calibers available before choosing one that is best for you.
A large number of options in cartridges for coyote hunting is irrefutable. Likewise, the chances of finding multiple choices in rifle platforms can also be not denied. Some hunters are likely to opt for bolt action rifles. In contrast, the others may choose to pursue their hunting goals with the conventional lever-action gun.
And, if you search for faster follow-up shots, the AR platforms offer the finest and best coyote caliber and cartridges. The cartridges mentioned above are also the best options. So, you can choose them for your next hunt. The only thing you need to remember is that the cartridge has to be effective so it can ensure humane killing.
Interesting Facts about Coyote
- Coyotes may look equal to a wolf but they are relatively smaller in appearance than actual wolves.
- It is relatively harder to domesticate coyotes because their wild instincts compel them to stay in the wilderness. This animal likes following the natural instinct to get wild in jungles.
- In case you are looking for true love in animals then Coyotes will not disappoint you. They choose their mate for life and feel depressed about parting with their partner.
- Coyotes are one of those species that are capable of producing more than 11 different sounds on different frequencies.
- Coyotes are blessed with strong olfactory nerves and there are certain smells like strong perfume and white vinegar that they dislike in particular.
- In case you're planning to hunt this animal then make sure you take stead in a day time. Although, they are particularly not nocturnal yet they are not active in a day.
Hunting coyotes can be a perfect family project if you follow certain rules in order to avoid stressing your kids out. The best times for viewing the activity of coyotes would be early morning or late evening hours when they come out during sunrise or sunset respectively in search of food. The best places for spotting these creatures would be near agricultural fields, ploughed fields, burnt forests, and grasslands.
Well, even after reading everything an individual may still need some more information before planning the entire coyote hunting trip. So, I would highly recommend you to get in touch with experts or hunters if needed so that you can enjoy your hunting experience without any hiccups.