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Nawth East Moderatah
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Morning fellas.
I've been introduced to coyote/varmint hunting, something I have never really done, short of whacking some woodchucks on a horse ranch property.
I've decided to build a dedicated varmint/target gun using an AR 15 as the platform. Here's what I have so far:

Bushmaster 20" free floated 1/9 twist upper.
Superior arms lower, with NM 2 stage trigger.
A bipod, nuthin' fancy.
Bushnell 10x Elite 3200 scope, mounted in IOR/Valdata QD rings.

I'm using the loads I had developed when I shot the National matches, that employ, 52grain, 55grain, and 69grain bullets.

For the cost effectiveness of not shooting match bullets, I have been sticking to 55grain bullets;
The Winchester power point 55
Marshall's 55grain leads. http://www.beartoothbullets.com/bulletselect/details.php?id=111
And finally, just plain old 55grain FMJ, of which, I have 1000. My loads for the 52grain work well with 55grain.

I've worked a load out with the FMJ's to achieve 1/2" groups @ 200 yards, [in NO wind] and have been able to get the same results with the power points. I'm getting about 2800fps.

My first question is, will the FMJ bullet work on a coyote, or will it pass on thru and not create a big enough wound channel to kill the animal cleanly? I know they work fine on a chuck, but there is a BIG difference between a chuck and a 'yote. I have no doubt that the power points will be lethal on 'yotes.
My second question is, would a different bullet be better, such as the Vmax or Amax, for a clean swift kill?

Marshall's Beartooth bullet 55 grainer is still in a load development for me, as I want the accuracy to be a bit tighter with this one...I am in the process of trying different powders. For all the above loads, I have been using Varget, which has always given great results. Thinking of trying Win748.

Thanks in advance to you varminters for any help you can provide.
 

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I just use Ballistic Tips on 'yotes in my .220 Swift. But (obviously) I'm not concerned with pelt damage (which is severe), i just want the coyotes dead.

I've heard that the Varmint Graenades do not exit on 'yotes and keep pelt damage to almost zilch. Might want to look into them.
 

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I would never use FMJ on coyotes. My tiny bit of experience with them, and my significant experience calling coyotes makes me believe they are one of the toughest animals I hunt, pound for pound. I want an expanding bullet to help anchor them. I would predict many solidly hit animals will run off and be lost before they die from FMJ bullet wounds.

I use 50 or 55 grain Ballistic Tips in my .22-250 for coyotes.
 

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I would never use FMJ on coyotes. My tiny bit of experience with them, and my significant experience calling coyotes makes me believe they are one of the toughest animals I hunt, pound for pound. I want an expanding bullet to help anchor them. I would predict many solidly hit animals will run off and be lost before they die from FMJ bullet wounds.
Very good point. They are incredibly tough and can soak up a very hard hit. I've seen it too many times.

Also have to consider the pass-through aspect of the FMJ and what is beyond your target for the next couple miles.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I would never use FMJ on coyotes. My tiny bit of experience with them, and my significant experience calling coyotes makes me believe they are one of the toughest animals I hunt, pound for pound. I want an expanding bullet to help anchor them. I would predict many solidly hit animals will run off and be lost before they die from FMJ bullet wounds.

I use 50 or 55 grain Ballistic Tips in my .22-250 for coyotes.
magnumitus said:
Very good point. They are incredibly tough and can soak up a very hard hit. I've seen it too many times.

Also have to consider the pass-through aspect of the FMJ and what is beyond your target for the next couple miles.
Thank you...
this is the info I am looking for, and exactly what I do not want. I want the clean kill, not the wound.
As a 22-250 shooter, do you feel the .223 in the AR will work as well??? I know the 22-250and .220swift are screamers, and accurate to boot!
 

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Thank you...
this is the info I am looking for, and exactly what I do not want. I want the clean kill, not the wound.
As a 22-250 shooter, do you feel the .223 in the AR will work as well??? I know the 22-250and .220swift are screamers, and accurate to boot!
"As well" ??

No.

But completely adequate?? Yes.

The 22-250 and Swift are going to have a much more severe expansion and shock than the .223. I have AR's, but have not used them on 'yotes (not legal in PA). But the AR platform, from what I can gather, is one of the most popular coyote rigs everywhere it's legal. You will not be undergunned. Just use an accurate and highly frangible bullet.
 

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a lot of people, maybe not on this forum, will say that the FMJ bullets start to tumble when faced with an obstruction. while this is true, sometimes, it is not a predictable enough path to rely upon. you may get lucky and have it tumble in a straight-ish line and have a massive wound channel, or it may tumble rearward and not do much damage. or it may not tumble at all and give you less than a 1/4 in wound straight through.

they are perfect for killing paper though. why wouldnt the .223 work in the AR? thats their primary chambering.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
"As well" ??

No.

But completely adequate?? Yes.

The 22-250 and Swift are going to have a much more severe expansion and shock than the .223. I have AR's, but have not used them on 'yotes (not legal in PA). But the AR platform, from what I can gather, is one of the most popular coyote rigs everywhere it's legal. You will not be undergunned. Just use an accurate and highly frangible bullet.
OK,
I'm learning as I go here.
I understand the whole expansion thing, that's why in my original post I queried about different bullets.
The Winchester Power Points I have are a round lead nose/flat base bullet that do expand well.

Given the properties of a hard cast bullet, do you think that the cast bullet would have the same effect as the FMJ???? I've taken many animals with larger hard cast calibers, and the wound channel is huge. I guess I am going to have to perform some expansion tests/channel tests with the hard cast to see if it is a vialable option. Also, the cast bullets are running a bit slower than jacketed, so trajectory will play in too. Sounds like experimenting ahead.

why wouldnt the .223 work in the AR? thats their primary chambering.
thans for your reply too Zach, and thanks for your service...from a former NJite.....Ft. Dix???

My question was not about the .223 in the AR, but more about the .223 vs. the screamers like the swift and 22-250
 

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oh, roger that. and yes, ft. dix. i love it here.

i guess i read the post a little wrong. i thought you meant in general, not compared to. my bad.

and as far as cast bullets go, i would assume they expand nicely, i may be wrong. thats all i shot out of my muzzle loader, in a sabot though.

and by the way, the only reason im in nj is because of the service, i love new jersey, i have jersey tattoos, i grew up here, but my family(wife and two kids, and the rest) are in upstate new york. where the hunting laws are a little more lax. and no problem, im just doing what i thought was right, i joined AFTER 9/11 knowing what i was getting myself into.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Discussion Starter #10
Zach said:
and by the way, the only reason im in nj is because of the service, i love new jersey, i have jersey tattoos, i grew up here, but my family(wife and two kids, and the rest) are in upstate new york. where the hunting laws are a little more lax. and no problem, im just doing what i thought was right, i joined AFTER 9/11 knowing what i was getting myself into.
Love the 'jersey tatoo' comment....lol, ink is addictive, ain't it?:cool::p

Born and bred in NJ, 45 years, but have "opted out", and will be officially gone from the state in 2 1/2 short years. Retired, period.

getting back to my topic:p

Would going to a lower grain bullet, say 50 or lower be a good choice, shooters?

Went to Midway.com and looked, they offer plenty of .223 range bullets for varminting. They offer Hollows, and soft points, from 45 grain to 64grain.
I always found great accuracy with the Hornaday 52 grain match pill, so going on that, a 50 grainer should give the same. Is a lower weight a good idea???? to trade weight/mass for speed and explosiveness in a yote???
 

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Bushmaster 20" free floated 1/9 twist upper.
Superior arms lower, with NM 2 stage trigger.
A bipod, nuthin' fancy.
Bushnell 10x Elite 3200 scope, mounted in IOR/Valdata QD rings.
\.
with that 1-9 twist, id say heavier is your friend. my rem 700 in .223 is 1-12, mine loves anything from 40GR to 55GR. anything heavier and the groups open up. i would say stick with the 55-60GR and maybe a little heavier. just remember, faster twist=heavier, slower twist=lighter.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Discussion Starter #12
with that 1-9 twist, id say heavier is your friend. my rem 700 in .223 is 1-12, mine loves anything from 40GR to 55GR. anything heavier and the groups open up. i would say stick with the 55-60GR and maybe a little heavier. just remember, faster twist=heavier, slower twist=lighter.

Yup....I got that.

my experience with the 1/9 twist has been that the rifle likes 52-62 grain with just about every load, and will shoot up 69 grain, but the 69gr. match ammo needed alot of load work to come up with one that made it really, really accurate. I used that @ the 600 yard line in the NM course from a NM Bushmaster service rifle.

Using that very same load and ammo in this new rifle has produced excellent accuracy to 200, but nothing like the service match rifle did.
also, the 69gr. ammo is just that, match ammo that will not expand.

It will stabilize the 52 grain stuff, so, in theory, WITHOUT actually loading it, it should work well with a 50 grain.

I'm going to buy a box of 100 of these and get to the range. Perhaps some honeydew melons to shoot at to check the volatility.
 

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i guess youre right, im not a reloader. i buy off the shelf pre loaded. and now that im thinking about it, 2 grains of bullet wont make that big of a difference really. 600 with a service rifle? not bad, not bad at all. and bushmaster is the way to go with AR's. i bought a .450 about a year and a half-2 years ago. i love it. it fits together better than any other brand i tried. would i buy another one? no. am i glad i bought the one i have? you betcha! but thats the first and last ill ever buy.
 

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I would not go with FMJ loads. I tried them to cut down on damage to pelts, and spent more time tracking than hunting. I have used Blitzkings, V-max, and Nosler BT's all to great effect on yotes and g-hogs. I like the "dog town" bullets too since you mentioned Midway. The soft points did well for me in the past. I plan to try the 50gr HP version when I return from deployment.

While many will scold me, my AR with a 1:9 16" barrel loves the light bullets. with the 20 barrel adding a bit more velocity and therefore energy to yours it would make a vicious round that has worked for me in the past on different rifles. 50-55gr pills would give a good long MPBR for sighting in and enough punch to do the job at your most likely ranges of engagement.

Heavier bullets are fine, but I have had problems with them not expanding on g-hogs and other small targets. They kill them, but I don't like to track if I don't have to.
 

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I have some experience with using a .223 with my own loads using the hornaday 40 gr V-Max bullet @around 3400 ft seconds for coyotes.....out to around 200 yds, they (if hit solidly back of the shoulders) yip and die before they hit the ground..... usually exhibit the "Swallered a grenade" effect..... love the V-Max bullets.....
 
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