September 28, 2017
A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting
All coyotes share one common trait — they're savvy predators that will use the surrounding terrain to their advantage when approaching your calling position.
Different hunting setups demand different rifles. Here's a list of three of our favorite new coyote guns, a trio of rifles that will work for any calling setup.
The budget-friendly A22 Magnum semi-auto features a delayed-blowback action, 21-inch carbon steel button-rifled barrel, synthetic stock, rotary magazine and Savage's superb AccuTrigger. It's chambered in .22 WMR, which limits its effective range, but for hunting coyotes in thick cover (especially in developed areas) the mild .22 Mag works just fine.
This rifle measures a mere 40 1/2-inches long and weighs about 5 1/2 pounds, so it's light and handy, too. Is it accurate? Of course (after all, it's a Savage). The one I tested was a sub-MOA gun at 50 yards, and so long as you keep things under 100 paces this gun is a coyote slayer. As a bonus, .22 Mag bullets don't destroy pelts. With an MSRP of $473 it's affordable option, too.
What We Like: Deadly accurate and dirt cheap, the clever and functional rotary magazine, and the AccuTrigger. Additionally, the blowback action is very reliable and the mild .22 Mag produces scant recoil and minimal muzzle blast.
What We'd Change: The design begs for a tang safety (as opposed to the crossbolt design located at the front of the trigger guard) and a threaded barrel.
- Weight: 5.5lbs
- Barrel Length: 21 inches
- Overall Length: 40.5 inches
- Magazine Style/Capacity: Detachable Rotary Box, 10+1
- Stock: Black synthetic
- MSRP: $473
The Hell's Canyon Speed, like all Browning X-Bolts, features a three-lug bolt with a short lift for fast cycling, excellent detachable rotary magazine, adjustable feather trigger, glass-bedded action, and hand-chambered barrel, as well as a laundry list of other high-end features.
What sets the Hell's Canyon Speed rifle apart, though, are all the extra touches that make this a semi-custom rifle, accoutrements like a Cerakote burnt bronze finish on the metalwork, a composite stock with A-TACS AU camo, and a fluted, threaded sporter barrel that comes with a removable brake. This rifle produced groups that averaged seven-tenths of an inch at 100 yards and the brake and Inflex recoil pad do an excellent job controlling muzzle rise (which equated to fast follow-ups in the unlikely event you miss your first shot).
MSRP on this rifle starts at about $1,200 with store prices lower. Weighing in at about 6 1/2 pounds this is a versatile rifle that's good for all-day walks, shooting in cover or taking long shots at extended ranges. Available caliber options include 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Winchester, .308, and several other calibers.
What We Like: All the high-end, accuracy-enhancing features, the top-notch trigger and functional rotary magazine, and the ultra-cool (but ultra-tough) exterior finish. It's a versatile and accurate coyote rifle.
What We'd Change: It's pricy for a coyote rifle, and even though it's available in two 6mm/.243 chamberings, we'd love to see a hot .22 version of this gun.
- Weight: 6.3- 6.8lbs
- Barrel Length: 22-26 inches
- Overall Length: 42-46.75 inches
- Magazine Style/Capacity: Detachable Rotary Box, 3+1 or 4+1
- Stock: Composite, A-TACS AU camo finish
- MSRP: $1,199
Lithgow has been producing arms in Australia since 1912, but they've only recently made an appearance in the States. They are imported by Legacy Sports International in Reno. Though these rifles look a little radical, they're packed with incredible accuracy-enhancing features like a minimized ejection port for added rigidity, a breaks-like-glass trigger, and a free-floated military-grade precision trigger. These guns are available with either a laminate or composite stock, and the composite comes with three stock spacers for a perfect fit. There's a rail mounted on top of the receiver so adding a scope is a cinch, and the plastic magazine fits snugly in place with no slop. These guns run about $1,400, which may seem like a lot of money for a gun your shooting buddies have never even heard of, but the accuracy is what really sells these guns. The .243 I tested printed a legitimate one-hole group with Winchester ammo and every single load I tested was sub-MOA.
What We Like: Phenomenal accuracy, nice touches like dual sling studs, Cerakote finish, threaded barrel and a pistol grip that is angled for prone shooting. Precision machining and attention to detail make it immediately obvious that this is a quality rifle the first time you hold one.
What We'd Change: The rear wing safety is a bit confusing and not as user-friendly as the Browning's tang. It's expensive, too.
- Weight: 8.2lbs
- Barrel Length: 22 inches
- Overall Length: 42.4 inches
- Magazine Style/Capacity: Detachable In-Line Box, 3+1
- Stock: Laminate, composite black
- MSRP: $1,390