Gunfight Friday: Coyote Rifles

Today’s gunfight matches two rifles with lot in common: They have synthetic stocks, fluted, stainless barrels, and they hate coyotes. They also have a couple of significant differences, which is good, or this wouldn’t be much of a fight. One is a Model 70, the other, a Remington 700. One is a .223, the other is a .308.

Zeke’s Winchester

I bought a Winchester model 70 Coyote Light chambered in .308. At first, I wasn’t so sure about it. I couldn’t get it shoot inside two inches at 100 yards. It turns out the problem was the scope. It’s an Oculus 6-24x50. It had all the features that I wanted: a great zoom, M.O.A. reticle, adjustable turrets, 30mm tube, and a large objective lens. But, while I adjusted the elevation the top turret screwed completely off, exposing the inside of the tube and leaking out the infused nitrogen. Then I couldn’t get it to shoot a good group. So, I switched to my in-laws’ old faithful 20-year-old Tasco 3-9x40. This short-action gem of a rifle now shoots half-inch groups at 100 yards with 150-grain bullets. I love it.

John MN’s Remington

This is the result of my search for the ideal small-caliber range rig that will serve well for varmints and coyotes. It's a Model 700 Varmint SF (stainless fluted) in .223 with a Leupold VX2 6-18. An AR might have done as well or better in many situations, but I guess I'm kind of old school. I'm pretty happy with it, although at an $800 entry price, I was hoping for a little better fit and finish (especially recoil pad to stock). But it shoots well, has no recoil, and is just fun to shoot.

Not being a coyote hunter myself, I have no dog in this fight (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) but the rest of you should feel free to argue rifles, cartridges and/or optics until we get this fight settled. Vote and comment below, and please, send your gun pictures to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.