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Heavy barrel vs sporter weight barrel predator hunting
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Picture of Buglemintoday
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At one time I had built a DPMS .204 Ruger AR15 for coyote hunting, but once the build was done it weighed near 14 pounds scoped...Didn't take long for me to realize it wasn't a great calling gun to carry.

Shortly after a .220 Swift in a Ruger m77 Mark ii varmint in 220 swift followed me home, but it too was pretty heavy to carry over sand hills to call coyotes.

I ended up going to an m77 Hawkeye in 204 Ruger with the regular barrel for my predator hunting gun.

Does anyone on here use a heavy barrel/beavertail fore end rifle for predator calling? I know the trend lately has been to go to an AR style rifle. Probably does give more opportunities for a double or triple. I've always been able to find some sort of feed issue with each AR I've owned (probably a lip issue on mags).

I am considering giving an m77v another try just for another caliber to switch to besides the 204. These are the longer/heavy barrel varmint rifles that look more suited for a prairie dog shoot. With enough meat in the diameter of the barrel, it would be no problem to have threaded for a suppressor...which is what I am thinking of doing with it.
 
Posts: 3139 | Location: Permian Basin | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With Quote
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I recently set up a Rem700 with 3-9 scope. Ten pounds with bipod. I am planning to cut the barrel back to 24" or 23"and replace the factory stock and go to shooting sticks to lose the bipod. It's a 22-250.
 
Posts: 816 | Location: S. E. Arizona | Registered: 01 February 2019Reply With Quote
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oop! double post.
 
Posts: 816 | Location: S. E. Arizona | Registered: 01 February 2019Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Alec Torres:
I recently set up a Rem700 with 3-9 scope. Ten pounds with bipod. I am planning to cut the barrel back to 24" or 23"and replace the factory stock and go to shooting sticks to lose the bipod. It's a 22-250.


Did you cut back the barrel for weight savings? Or plan to run a suppressor?
 
Posts: 3139 | Location: Permian Basin | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With Quote
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I have taken a heavy varmint rifle and used for coyote calling, but only cause that’s the only gun available. I much prefer to take a sporter barrel rifle for coyote calling. The heavy barrel gun adds nothing but weight in a predator calling application.


NRA Patron member
 
Posts: 2339 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Ditto to df06. I started with a bolt gun because that's all I had. Now (past 45 years) I use an AR-15 with scope and magazine approaching 8 lbs.


Swift, Silent, & Friendly
 
Posts: 423 | Location: Nevada | Registered: 14 July 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Buglemintoday:
quote:
Originally posted by Alec Torres:
I recently set up a Rem700 with 3-9 scope. Ten pounds with bipod. I am planning to cut the barrel back to 24" or 23"and replace the factory stock and go to shooting sticks to lose the bipod. It's a 22-250.


Did you cut back the barrel for weight savings? Or plan to run a suppressor?


Cutting the barrel to reduce weight and make the rifle a little handier in a stand. I will probably lose the Rem factory stock and go with a 'sporter' model. Accurate rifle... I just need to make it work for me and the conditions I shoot under.
 
Posts: 816 | Location: S. E. Arizona | Registered: 01 February 2019Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by df06:
I have taken a heavy varmint rifle and used for coyote calling, but only cause that’s the only gun available. I much prefer to take a sporter barrel rifle for coyote calling. The heavy barrel gun adds nothing but weight in a predator calling application.


Exactly.

I started with a Winchester m70 Coyote which is a heavy varminter in .223 but now use a Tikka t-3 light. Works great and is a joy to carry. I don't shoot the distances that folks in more open places do very often but it's weight has never been a factor when I did.


Roger
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Posts: 2416 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by df06:
I have taken a heavy varmint rifle and used for coyote calling, but only cause that’s the only gun available. I much prefer to take a sporter barrel rifle for coyote calling. The heavy barrel gun adds nothing but weight in a predator calling application.


This
 
Posts: 16962 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by p dog shooter:
quote:
Originally posted by df06:
I have taken a heavy varmint rifle and used for coyote calling, but only cause that’s the only gun available. I much prefer to take a sporter barrel rifle for coyote calling. The heavy barrel gun adds nothing but weight in a predator calling application.


This


Triple this. I had a Savage heavy barrel 223 for prairie dogs and varmints and just hated carrying it. Sold and now use an AR platform, which is way better to carry and, as in the original post, is nice for follow up shots. A sporter 223 would be very nice as well.
 
Posts: 952 | Location: Bozeman, MT | Registered: 21 October 2002Reply With Quote
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i got a rock river in .223 with the 24" heavy bull barrel stainless.. with a scope and bipod it prolly weighs 13-14lbs... so i bought a 16" heavy bull barrel stainless upper.. rock river also... probably cut off 2-3 lbs,,, cant tell any difference performance=wise... but it seems to handle/carry better


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Posts: 2663 | Location: dividing my time between san angelo and victoria texas.......... USA | Registered: 26 July 2006Reply With Quote
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I have taken my heavy barrel Savage 223 calling before. Hell, I've taken my model 70 in 375 H&H out calling...

If I'm going to be covering a lot of ground, I much prefer a light rifle.

I've considered buying (or having built) a real lightweight in .223.

And for just firing a couple shots at at time (assuming multiple coyotes come in) my light barreled rifles have always been just fine.
 
Posts: 200 | Location: CA.  | Registered: 26 October 2016Reply With Quote
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My recent purchase of a NIB Ruger in 220 Swift is a fwt at 8.2 to 9 lbs with a 3.5x10 Leupold, it has a light weight 26 inch barrel with a crown of Id say .600..It is definately lean and mean and shoots groups so small I can;t hardly measure them but lets call them one holers at abot 1/4 inch for 3 shots, but I shot 5 groups of 3 and still under a half inch when overlayed with the hot barrel..I intend to shoot a 10 shot group or two when it warms up in Idaho, its a wonder gun..I also found out it was a new production and only for one year in 2008 and shiped to Helper Utah in 2013, and had never been out of the box when I bought it in a small shop in Helper in 3-12-21...Apparantly they are sought after..I got mine for the original price tag of $665.00 across the table, the original grease in the bolt had hardened and had mostly misfires, so stripped it and cleaned it and now its 100 percent..Primers and brass were a problem but I got 400 new WW cases from a fine gentlymand on AR, and found a carton of 1973 CCI primers in my shop that I would have never trusted before this shortage, and bingo they are working 100%..So Im now coyote ready in the desert behind my house that,s crawling with coyotes..The Owyhee and its as big as most states.. tu2

That said a coyote gun to me is whatevers in the pickup on a given day, Ive shot them iwth a 22 L.R. to a 404 Jefferys and near everything in between, missed many a shot, made some impossible shots over my custom rest, the backup mirrow and pickup window work for me, with my elbow on the steering wheel..and we have rock chucks out the kazoo where I hang my hat, and its just about that time of year..Ive seen a few in my pasture and missed on the other day with my 22 L.R. at about a 100 yds, and had a good solid rest! oh well! it won't be the last..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 37889 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I have both heavy barrel and featherweight barrels. More often than not I take my Ruger Hawkeye 243Win with me when hunting yodel dogs. It's a light weight compact package and it hammers coyotes. It has a 22" barrel and is quick to bring up and shoot. I have a bunch of small to medium sized calibers from 204 Ruger to 25-06 with light to heavy barrels. They all work well. Just depends on what I feel like lugging around.
The wife likes the 204 Ruger because "it's pretty".
It's a CZ 527 Varmint and has a fairly decent piece of Turkish Walnut on it. She also likes the fact that there is no recoil to speak of.
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: 23 June 2009Reply With Quote
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I like fwt rifles, for any hunting..heavy barrels are for bench rest IMO and speaking for myself. Never saw the need for a heavy gun for preditors, they never saved a miss on a coyote or bobcat that I know off, more than I can say for myself..I did the heavy barrel thing back in the day, I just didn't know better! Roll Eyes


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 37889 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I've used both. Most of my walk around coyote hunting is done with an old Rem 600 in 222. Accurate, light, easy to pack. - dan


"Intellectual truth is eternally one: moral or sentimental truth is a geographic and chronological accident that varies with the individual" R.F. Burton
 
Posts: 5248 | Location: Alberta | Registered: 05 October 2001Reply With Quote
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I don’t do much predator hunting but shoot a whole lot. When I hunt I always prefer a lighter weight rifle if it can do the job. I have found that the lightweight short barrels shoot much the same as a longer heavier barrel for the first two or three shots or even more. Hunting preditors you will never shoot enough shots to makes a difference before the barrel gets to cool off. It’s the cold shot that counts in hunting. My pencil barrels will all shoot sub moa and do it as well as my heavy target barrels with the proper loads and off. A rest. Hope this helps.
 
Posts: 739 | Registered: 25 February 2009Reply With Quote
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Picture of hm1996
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quote:
Originally posted by mt Al:
quote:
Originally posted by p dog shooter:
quote:
Originally posted by df06:
I have taken a heavy varmint rifle and used for coyote calling, but only cause that’s the only gun available. I much prefer to take a sporter barrel rifle for coyote calling. The heavy barrel gun adds nothing but weight in a predator calling application.




This


Triple this. I had a Savage heavy barrel 223 for prairie dogs and varmints and just hated carrying it. Sold and now use an AR platform, which is way better to carry and, as in the original post, is nice for follow up shots. A sporter 223 would be very nice as well.


Started hunting coyotes with a Savage heavy barrel .223 but didn't take long to shed that extra weight. In a bolt gun, the Savage scout makes a very handy rifle, much quicker to bring to bear on the target w/shorter barrel. Not a fan of forward mounted scopes, however.



Regards,
hm


2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
 
Posts: 901 | Registered: 21 September 2002Reply With Quote
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I thought id be the minority using lt. wt. varmint rifles, guess not..

One of my favorite guns is my old 1920 Savage 99 lt. wt. in 250-3000 and its a rare one in that it shoots 5 shot groups at 1/2" most of the time, one of the reason it will never be sold, and thats rare around my place, most go down the road within a few months, I love to trade..its a 1x14 twist but shoots 110 Nosler into a 1.5" group day in and day out..5 shots or 10..You run across one like that on rare ocassions, but they are out there..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 37889 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I sold my Cooper 22-250 with it's medium weight 24 inch barrel, it was .750 at the muzzle, and bought a 788 in 22-250. The 788 is much better to carry and I even think I find the target quicker with the same scope. Both were, are, very accurate. I had to set the slugs back .060 so I wasn't jamming them into the lands but it shoots the old loads very well. I like light at 74 with a bad back.
 
Posts: 1005 | Location: Happy Valley, Utah | Registered: 13 October 2006Reply With Quote
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Really heavy rifles are a pain to carry, for me.
Really light rifle are difficult to shoot well, for me, especially if the coyotes hang up out there 200-300 yards.
Right in the middle is where I find is the best of both worlds. Sits well on a bipod, swings well on moving dogs and carries easily getting to the calling spots.
I've use them all and settled on a medium weight rifles for coyote calling.
My buddy and I ended this season with 67 coyotes in the bag.

Zeke
 
Posts: 1576 | Registered: 27 October 2011Reply With Quote
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Plus one for Zeke . to me is a rifle of any kind in my truck suits me and coyotes are a target of opertunity..If Im walking give me light gun in the truck either will do.
If I miss a coyote or a rock chuck, I don't see it as a mental catastrphy however, in fact, I could actually care less, theres always another down the road..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 37889 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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