Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Selecting a Predator Rifle

When it comes to hunting and shooting predators there is a large selection of firearms to choose from. Styles, calibers and actions all play a role in the choices. In recent times, what is commonly known as 'modern firearms' or military style firearms have seen a surge in popularity among predator hunters. Their accuracy, large magazines and function make them a popular choice. 

Many hunters, however still like the more traditional bolt gun for predator hunting. These time tested accurate rifles are capable of killing coyotes and foxes out to five hundred yards with relative ease. Let's look at a few choices of calibers and styles for taking predators this summer. 

When discussing this I always like to start with the caliber choices. In centerfire there are several wildcat cartridges, but for mass produced calibers, the .223, 22-.250 Rem. .204 Ruger and to a lesser degree the .220 Swift are all great choices. preference here is largely due to the individual. Many will argue about different ballistics, bullet variations, and availability. Personal preference is with the 22-.250 Rem. The little 55 grain bullet is capable of lethal kills out to very extreme yardages. And when mounted into a Remington 700 bolt action rifle, there are few better combinations available. (We'll discuss optics later) 

The 22-.250 in Remington 700 offers a time tested rifle in an excellent caliber that will send any coyote, fox or bobcat into never never land very quickly. This gun was designed to kill predators at long ranges and the fast expanding bullet is capable of killing larger game if needed. 

One of the major advantages of the .223 is the availability of affordable ammunition. This round is very popular right now with the popularity of the AR style rifles. This has driven the price of ammunition down. Aside from that, it is also a great round for predators. In some areas of the country it is the most popular round by a large margin. Chambered in any rifle, the .223 is an excellent choice for predators and varmints. 

With the introduction of the .204 Ruger. many hardcore shooters and hunters were converted. This is an excellent round, but the popularity from the beginning never really caught on like many thought it would. Essentially, it is falling the way of the 16 gauge shotgun. An excellent choice, but other calibers are just as good and already available. 

Lastly the .220 Swift has lost ground the past few decades. Once thought to be the best available, with the development of new and better bullets for the earlier mentioned calibers, the .220 Swift is not nearly as popular. It is still an great round for predators and should not be overlooked by those wanting something different. 

These are not the only calibers available for predator hunters, but they are some of the more popular. Whichever you choose, you really cannot go wrong with any of these choices. 

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