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What do most of you prefer for yotes - AR or bolt action rifle? Also, which caliber do you prefer?

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AR for me. I’m a convert. I was never an AR fan until I actually gave them a chance. Lots of caliber options that can do double duty for deer and predators.


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I've used both, and prefer a bolt rifle. Probably goes back to my first rifle, a bolt action 22, and the fact that I just happen to like bolt action rifles for hunting. As far as what cartridge, I shoot 223, 22-250's, and 243's. There's nothing wrong with an AR, providing you find one that's accurate enough for those longer shots, as the lower price AR's are sometimes not exactly tack drivers.

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Coyotes don't know what your using, what ever works for you. Rio7

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What Rio said ^

I use both depending on where I intend to hunt or just what I want to carry that day. If I’m gonna do a lot of walking and the area is more open, I’ll grab one of my Kimber Montanas in either 204 Ruger, 223 or 22-250AI. If the area is tighter cover, I’ll grab an AR carbine in 223/5.56.

Either work about as well in both areas but the AR’s are going to weigh at least 2-3 pounds more. Simple as that.

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I get the draw of an AR - they're just not for me. Although I have a spare lower laying around that I'm thinking needs to be either a Grendel or ARC.

That said - I just got a 22-250, bolt for Coyote hunting. It's what I'll be using until further notice. Son uses his bolt 243 but often one of us will go 12 gauge and other the rifle as we're hunting upper midwest coyotes - timber/ag fields. A LONG shot is 125 yards mostly.


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bolt action all day and every day for me. Used AR's for a few years, but figured out a bolt action will get it done.

I carry my 17/204 most often. Sometimes use my 22-250 although it is set up for night calling now. And late season I'll pull out the .22 Creed


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Originally Posted by RIO7
Coyotes don't know what your using, what ever works for you. Rio7

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


THIS


I like a bolt personally but I can see the usefulness of an AR if a guy was doing a lot of serious calling/culling.


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Originally Posted by CrazyCoot
What do most of you prefer for yotes - AR or bolt action rifle? Also, which caliber do you prefer?


'scuse me while I overthink this. smile It depends on temperature. If it is real cold, I prefer the heavier trigger on my AR. If it is warmer, then bolt action. I'd put the dividing line somewhere around 25 degrees. In choosing cartridge, it is important to remember that I'm not even vaguely interested in saving hides, I'm shooting them to turn them from live to dead and that is all. .223 in the AR. Bolt action .. I've used a lot of things in the past. Currently .204. Probably my favorites would be the .204, .220 Swift, 6x.284, and 7mm STW.


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Bolt guy here, I have a very nice AR with uppers in 20P and 223. I just can't warm up to it, it feels awkward in my hands, noisy, to much to do the make sure it fires when you want it to. I've killed coyotes with it so I'm not blow smokke out of my ass. My bolt actions run from 20P to 6mm-204, with my favorits 20P, 222 Rem, 22-204, 22-250AI. I am partial to combo guns with my favorites 12/5.56x50R Mag , 12ga/22 Sav Highpower(5.6x52R0 and 16ga/16ga'6.5x58R Sauer.

I have found calibers to be of little concern, my 222 Rem kills the just as well as the 22-250AI, use an appropriate bullet. I call coyotes so most of my shots are under 100 yards even in open country.

I do hunt for pelts, hate runners and find it is hard to find anything over .224 to be more consistently fur friendly than .224 and under, they put coyotes down as well as the bigger bores.

Last edited by erich; 12/28/22.

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I am a bolt gun guy. I gave an AR a try one winter but ended up missing some coyotes with it, not for lack of accuracy but they just feel foreign to me. I have shot bolt guns all of my life and the operation of them is so ingrained into me that I don't even have to think about the operation of them unlike an AR where I have to make a consious effort on the operation of them, so I will stay with bolts.

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223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.

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Curious to what makes an AR harder to run than a bolt gun?

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Originally Posted by TWR
Curious to what makes an AR harder to run than a bolt gun?

One answer for me .. I grew up on shotguns with a cross-trigger safety. When I get in a hurry, instead of releasing the safety on the AR, I fall back on old muscle memory which leads to dropping the f**king magazine on the ground instead. frown

Another answer .. the comb on a bolt action guides my eye to the crosshairs intuitively. Finding them with an AR is a much slower process.

However, that much heavier AR trigger is a plus with seriously numb fingers.


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I’d guess I carry a bolt action 90% of the time. Probably 90% I’d that is a 22-250. I do carry an AR if I know I’ll be calling where shots will be close. But if I know it’ll be close I’m just as likely to carry a tight choked 12ga with 3” #4B.

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Insert mag, make sure it is seated, pull the charging handle and release, pull again a little to see if it picked up a round, release, hit forward assist to make sure bolt is seated, turn the rifle to the side so you can see if the safety is engaged.


After the first shot the rest are just noise.

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CrazyCoot: I am a "bolt action" Coyote Hunting guy - have been for 60 years now.
And MANY of my bolt action Coyote Rifles are in 204 Ruger caliber.
A lot of my calling partners use AR's (and a few "went through" the Mini-14 phase!) so I have seen a lot of them in use/action over the decades.
SO.... if I were starting out today Coyote Hunting I would give serious consideration to an AR platform in caliber 204 Ruger.
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Originally Posted by T_O_M
Originally Posted by TWR
Curious to what makes an AR harder to run than a bolt gun?

One answer for me .. I grew up on shotguns with a cross-trigger safety. When I get in a hurry, instead of releasing the safety on the AR, I fall back on old muscle memory which leads to dropping the f**king magazine on the ground instead. frown

Another answer .. the comb on a bolt action guides my eye to the crosshairs intuitively. Finding them with an AR is a much slower process.

However, that much heavier AR trigger is a plus with seriously numb fingers.
Which bolt gun has a cross bolt safety? Muscle memory only goes so far, sometimes you have to engage your brain.

The right scope mount will put the cross hairs right on target.

I prefer 3.5 lb triggers on both ARs and bolt guns.

Seriously, an AR can be set up to perfectly fit anyone if they give it a chance.

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What do most of you prefer for yotes - AR or bolt action rifle? Also, which caliber do you prefer?

I generally use a bolt gun if I am hunting for whatever shows up. For purely calling coyotes I tend to use an AR and I drag along a 12 ga if one sneaks in.

I think of the .223 as about right for most coyote use. I could care less about hides so a 55 gr Hornady SP works. For open country I do have a .243 that I have used a couple of times when I have been set up looking for marmots.

I actually kill more coyotes most years with a .22 Mag just because I almost always have one along off season. I have a bolt action Marlin, a Crickett, a .22 WMR over 20 ga 3" Mag and a couple of revolvers.

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I’ve used both, it if I had to choose one, it would be a bolt gun. The AR is great for runners and when multiples come to a call.I have many bolt rifles set up for coyotes.
Most of the guys that I call with use ARs.
As far as cartridge, I use 17 Rem to 240 weatherby and everything in between. But the 223 will do it all.


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Originally Posted by TWR
Originally Posted by T_O_M
Originally Posted by TWR
Curious to what makes an AR harder to run than a bolt gun?

One answer for me .. I grew up on shotguns with a cross-trigger safety. When I get in a hurry, instead of releasing the safety on the AR, I fall back on old muscle memory which leads to dropping the f**king magazine on the ground instead. frown

Another answer .. the comb on a bolt action guides my eye to the crosshairs intuitively. Finding them with an AR is a much slower process.

However, that much heavier AR trigger is a plus with seriously numb fingers.
Which bolt gun has a cross bolt safety? Muscle memory only goes so far, sometimes you have to engage your brain.

I didn't say anything about cross-trigger safety on a bolt action. Shotgun. Go back, re-read if necessary: I said shotgun. But continuing along that vein, I don't own any bolt actions with detachable magazines other than Ruger 77/xx style and those don't have their "drop the mag" button on the side of the trigger housing. It's not particularly relevant. Bolt actions put my thumb by the safety .. nature of the pistol grip and safety location. AR safety is way away from where it needs to be for speedy / instinctive operation <for me>.

Originally Posted by TWR
The right scope mount will put the cross hairs right on target.

I'll have to take your word for that. I haven't found one. I'm not putting much effort into it though .. no perceived payoff on effort invested .. for me.

Originally Posted by TWR
I prefer 3.5 lb triggers on both ARs and bolt guns.

I don't.

Originally Posted by TWR
Seriously, an AR can be set up to perfectly fit anyone if they give it a chance.

I'll have to take your word for that. I haven't found it to be true yet.

It seems to me you're taking my preference of bolt over AR very personally. Mind if I ask why you seem to be getting your panties in such a bunch over it?

Tom


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