Low recoil shotgun or rifle for Coyote

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Okay, this is serious stuff...my first encounter with a pack of coyote's on my land and nothing but a bat to confront them with...they took about 6 of my Black Australorps...somehow this pack manage to get over a 5ft electric fence...anyways....one got my boot and well...to keep a long story short...I just got back from the doctor and got my rabies shot....

Anyways....I really didn't want to own a gun but this well...got very scary....so I need advice...some recommend a Ruger 10/22 Long Rifle with 10 round magazine...others (even the doctor) recommended a 12 gauge Remington 1187 semi-automatic shotgun.

Back in my Marine Corp days I shot with an M16 and got an expert badge for it. So how is the recoil of the semi shotguns???

And am I on the right track for coyote's or am I better off locking the door and wait to morning?...I just can't seem to not get involved...they are my livestock...of course...I also don't want to be burying coyotes....can't I scare them some other way????

-- David Kennedy (dkennedy@midtel.net), August 06, 2001


Speaking generally, I wasn't a fan of self-loading firearms even when I could buy them, which I can't any longer in Australia anyway. However, the mechanism does act to reduce recoil, so a self-loading shotgun will push your shoulder less hard then would a simple double- barrel or under-and-over. 22 rimfire is the most versatile firearm you can get, but probably marginal for animals any bigger than foxes. I've used 22's to kill much larger animals (kangaroos), but that was picking my shots and very careful aiming. My impression is that the best value you can get in firearms over there is some of those Chinese or ex-Soviet-bloc 7.62x39 self-loaders. Not enormously accurate, and fairly wimpy by comparision with other cartridges of the same calibre, but they are centre-fire, the firearm and the ammunition is cheap, and you can afford to practice. Certainly good enough for coyotes or even small deer.

-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (darmst@yahoo.com.au), August 06, 2001.

ok,, coyotes dont travel in packs too much,, was it wolves or maybe wild dogs? Doesnt matter either way,, but why the concern about the recoil,, if you can shoot the M16,, you should be able to shoot most rifles. A good versitle gun would be the 12 gauge,, either, 870 remington (pump),, or the mossberg 500 (pump), they dont tend to jam as much as the semi's and take ALOT of abuse, easily repaired by most anyone with a good book. With a 12 ,, you can hunt most critter,, from deer to chipmucks, and even good against 2 legged "critters' that may com into your house uninvited. Email me if you want to discuss more on this

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), August 06, 2001.

David, My husband is an ex-Marine and a hunter and he said to tell you that a 22 or 12 guage is not the way to go for Coyotes...he recommends a Savage or a Remington bolt action in caliber 270. This is a good all around flat shooting rifle that will take coyotes easily out to 200 yards and will also be suitable for hunting deer. Good Luck !!


-- Brenda (CherokeeMaiden2@aol.com), August 06, 2001.

I saw a fella with a .410 double barrel customized with an adult stock for varmit control. He seemed real satisfied with the accuracy and range control on his 15 acre farm.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), August 06, 2001.

I use a double-barrel 20 guage shotgun using #3 buck shots. You don't have to be a sharpshooter with this set up. All you have to do is just point in the general direction and pull the trigger. It will take care of anything from a house cat all the way up to a man (if you have to). Also there is less mechanical to go wrong with a breakover shotgun and if your adrenline is rageing when something is killing your livestock you want even notice the recoil.

-- Russell Hays (rhays@sstelco.com), August 06, 2001.

i used to shoot coyotes here in oklahoma. they would be bothering livestock and i'd help farmers out by shooting the coyotes. oftentimes the coyotes would be out a ways, more than several hundred yard at the least. those rascals can move very quickly. i found i needed a fast bullet. i settled on the ruger mini-14 in .223 which is a very fast bullet, i recall 3,000+ feet per second. originally tried 30-30's, 30.06's, etc, and found out that if the coyote was more than a few hundred yards out, often he could move quickly enough that by the time the bullet arrived he'd have just moved out of the way. got the mini-14 and BOOM had many happy farmers/ranchers with safe living livestock.

good luck.


-- gene ward (gward34847@aol.com), August 07, 2001.

since it appears this would be your only gun to start out with, I'd go for a 12ga. shotgun. A Remington 1187 would work. A Rem 870 or Mossberg 500/590 pump would be fine also and a bit cheaper and less maintenance. Alot of times you can buy either of those with an extra slug barrel which would be more versitile. If you're looking to hit something a bit farther out, then go with a rifle. Any decent quality bolt action .223 and up would work, better if you get a nice scope on it. The Winchester model 94s lever action are good guns also. If you want a low priced semi, get a 7.62x39 ak(not sks) variant. There's still quite a few around and ammo is cheap. They don't look quality but they're built very tough and fairly accurate. If you want to spend a bit more, get a mini-14 .223, mini-30 7.62 or ar-15(civilian m-16).

-- Dave (something@somewhere.com), August 07, 2001.

Stan, they were coyote's and they were a pack of 5 or more..

I don't know if I have time to setup with a scoped rifle, since they were within 10 to 20 feet from me...that is why I was leaning towards the shotgun...as far as semi-auto....I wanted to make sure I got off more than one shot if they decided to come after me again...and as far as recoil...well I wanted to save my shoulder...since when confronting wild animals it's hard to get into a shooting stance right away to effectively control the felt recoil...thanks for the advice

-- David Kennedy (dkennedy@midtel.net), August 07, 2001.

I'm an average sized woman, and I shoot an old Remington 1148 12 gauge with no problem. If I shoot Magnum shells it rattles my teeth a bit, but you shouldn't need Magnums. I just keep them loaded for the "boogey man." I really don't have any trouble with my 1148 jamming. I've got a Remington 870 pump in 20 gauge that I like, also. As far as rifles, I've got a Winchester Model 94 that esthesically is one of my favorites, but somehow despite careful treatment I managed to break a piece in the action. It is a new rifle and I've been told that some of the parts that were steel in the pre-64's are now made with alloy. Anyone know anything about this kind of problem in the Model 94's. My favorite varmint rifle is the SKS. Cheap to buy, cheap to shoot, holds plenty of shells, accurate enough. One thing about coyotes, though, many of the ones I've seen shot didn't die well - lots of squealing and biting and other unsettling theatrics if your first shot isn't a clean kill.

-- Lynne (boodad@us.inter.net), August 07, 2001.


I only saw one post recommend the AR15 which is identical in ballistics, recoil, etc to the M16 you were so very proficient with in the Corps. You would quickly adapt to it again and take these varmints out as long as you could see them. I own several long guns including an AR which is my favorite. I would also agree with the gentlemen that recommended the 7.62x39AK. Though I disagree in his downplaying the SKS. I own an SKS and it is a very reliable and accurate weapon and ammo is dirt cheap. If I were buying an SKS I would be sure to get a Russian model. I see them in the $200 range often.

If you are a marksman the Ruger 10/22 will eliminate one of these varmints as well and is an extremely handy tool for dealing with other pests, target shooting and training youngsters.

In the long run you will be well served by owning a small variety of firearms and ought to consider our government's and the United Nations heavy leaning towards disarmament.

-- Paul (pbray@tds.net), August 07, 2001.

I use an old Remington 870 12 gauge pump with a slug barrel, loaded with low brass feild loads or I have a Stoegers 12 gauge side by side "Caoch Gun" short barreled that fits in a scabbard on my Suzki Quad, usually loaded with buck shot or slugs, either one takes care to the Coyote. For reaching out a long way I use a Winchester model 94, with 30/30 "Accelerators" hollow points, Coyotes can't out move or out run these little hot cartriges.

-- hendo (redgate@echoweb.net), August 07, 2001.

coyote's will pack up,and thats when the trouble starts. 1-2 coyotes is not a prob. when you get three thats where the pack mentality begins. 3 or more in a "pack" get very brave and will attack an adult sized person. i would recomend the 20-12 gage shotgun with #1 buck shot. and for the person who says they dont pack up,i hope you never cross 3 in the same group,because that non pack is going to have you for lunch.

-- paul coleman (wormfarmerone@yahoo.com), August 07, 2001.

For just about ANYTHING at a range of 10-20 feet, your best bet is a shotgun with buckshot. An autoloader will have slightly less recoil, but will be more expensive. A Remington 870 Express pump shotgun sells for about $220 new here.

For longer ranges, you're looking at a centerfire rifle. One of the varmint cartridges like .223 Rem (what the M-16/AR-15 is chambered for) or .220 Swift would be ideal. A lot of coyotes have been killed with rimfire 22's (22LR), but your shot placement has to be perfect, and you'll probably end up wounding more than you kill cleanly. Since you're not concerned about saving the hide or meat, any of the larger deer sized cartridges (.30-30, .270, .30-06, etc) would also work.

Your best bet is to talk to some of your gun owning friends and see if they will let you try out their guns so you can actually shoot a variety of them before you make your final decision. Whichever one you choose, PRACTICE with it extensively before you put yourself in a position where you need it.

You also may be able to avoid the whole gun-buying problem by asking around and finding some varmint hunters who can take care of the coyote problem for you. They will be quite happy to remove the coyotes for nothing more than the opportunity to hunt and the hides.

-- Steve - TX (steve.beckman@compaq.com), August 07, 2001.

hey two foot onion 1 pump 20 ga, easy to clear stoppage, easy to find ammo, good variety of ammo (heavy bird shot for home defense, 2-4 buck for coyotes, deer etc, can even get flechette or beehive rounds for the coyotes) 2 Ruger 10/22 get the magnum good on coyotes to 75 yds and smaller the critter the longer the range rabbit & squirrel to 150 yds. 3 SKS cheap, accurate (usually better than the AK), bigger bullet, longer range, if you use hardball you can still sell the pelts off winter killed coyotes, can humanely harvest deer out to 150-200 yds evaluate your needs, make a sound decision oorah Pops

-- Pops (cindy556@devil-dog.com), August 07, 2001.

About recoil...I can handle the 12 gauge pump shotgun felt recoil when I'm in the proper shooting stance...but with coyote's in pack mentality I don't want to be caught off balance after a shot or take to long in getting another shot off or worse...a shotgun jam...

-- David Kennedy (dkennedy@midtel.net), August 07, 2001.

OK, I admit that I am very soft hearted when it comes to animals-expecially wild animals. I also admit that I don't have any live stock (although I do have cats and a dog, and there are LOTS of coyotes here)

That said, I would strongly request that you find out what an incredible animal the coyote is, and do anything you can to keep them away from your stock without injuring or killing them!

I recommend a really great novel by one of my favorite writers: Barbara Kingsolver. The book is titled PRODIGAL SUMMER, and the main focus is the coyote, the terrible destruction of their numbers and habitat by humans (often mistakenly blaming the coyote for stock kills which were actually dogs. Not to mention there are some people who just like to kill, in general.

You won't BELIEVE the social structure of the coyote.


-- jumpoff joe (jumpoff@ecoweb.net), August 07, 2001.

oh...I do BELIEVE in their social structure...they manage to surround me and almost have me for supper! I guess the mistake I made was presenting them a bigger dinner than the chickens!

-- David Kennedy (dkennedy@midtel.net), August 07, 2001.

I use a 12 ga for deer hunting, so I think it will put dogs and coyote's out of their misery if need be.


-- lew (lewr93@aol.com), August 07, 2001.

At close range like you just encountered, any gauge shotgun that you are comfortable with is gonna stop them dead in their tracks. (Pun intended). I like my 7.62 for long distance accuracy, and the made -in-China "plinking" rounds are dirt cheap. But I've taken out most coyotes with a .22. I'm very comfortable with it, and if you are a good, accurate shot, you will automatically grab for it. A good trick to know about coyotes....always pick off the ones in the back of the pack first. The leaders will keep coming. If the rear of the pack sees the front ones fall, they'll haul butt, to come back another day. Starting from the back, you should be able to get them all. Once you've seen a pack of them tear apart a calf that is only partway out of the mother, you lose a lot of sympathy for them. Good Luck, whatever you choose, Let us know if you get them. Kathie

-- Kathie in Western Washington (twinrosefarm@centurytel.net), August 07, 2001.

A #3or#4 Trebel fishing hook hung 3 foot off the ground with some meat attached to it works pretty well,if you happen to catch one shoot him from a distance 22 works real well,I know it sounds cruel but when you get to losing Livestock desperate times call for desperate measures.oh yeah use electric wire to hang the hook from..Hope i didnt offend anyone have lost my share of Livestock to Coyotes good luck Keith..

-- (klong27@yahoo.com), August 07, 2001.

I've heard that Temik (otherwise and insecticide) works very well.

-- charles (clb@dixienet.com), August 07, 2001.

Thank you all for the advice. I picked up a Ruger 10/22 Sporter edition and I will search the local gun shops this weekend for a semi-auto Remington 1100 12 gauge.

-- David Kennedy (dkennedy@midtel.net), August 08, 2001.

If they're close enough to get your boot . . . I like my 12 gauge Mossberg 500 pump shotgun with 00 buck ammo. Never had any trouble with it jamming. With the plug removed, it will hold six shells. Make sure you always buy high brass shells.

You'll probably never see those coyotes again. That's how my luck runs - if I have a gun with me, no coyotes. If I don't have one, then I see them.

-- Paul (hoyt@egyptian.net), August 08, 2001.

My personal opinion - you've made the most versatile two-gun (or two- calibre) selection you could. My suggestion would be that you keep in mind the possibility of rounding it out with another, centre-fire, longer-range, economical selection in the future. Could be the 7.62x39; or another good possibility is the .303 British (almost up to 30/06 ballistics, better than .308/7.62 NATO) if bolt action is acceptable to you. For general use, as a homestead tool, I can't see much value in paying more for a longer range than about 200 metres/ 220 yards; and the 7.62x39 will do that. At least, realistically I run out of accuracy about there, so I don't see much point in asking more of a firearm.

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), August 08, 2001.

If you want, you could get a over and under. I have one that is 20 guage on bottom and 22 rifle on top, it's made by savage arms. They make different combinations also. My over and under is great for hunting...if there running I shoot them with the shotgun, if there sittin' I shoot them with rifle. Also I saw in Wal-mart the other day they had a rifle that came with interchangable barrels. It came with a shotgun barrel and a rifle barrel for whichever you prefered for the day. I forgot who made the outfit but I,m sure they may come with different size's of barrels. However when it comes to eliminating predators such as coyotes, I'll stick to my breakover shotgun using buckshots. NO MECHANICAL FAILURE. Shoot twice, break the barrels open, out pops the empty shells, slide two more buckshots in, snap the barrels shut, and your ready to shoot again.

-- Russell Hays (rhays@sstelco.com), August 08, 2001.

David, I'm am still reeling over the news that coyotes were aggressive enough to attack a person. . . I've never heard of that, but okay, hell holes in your boots are good enough reason for me!

Russell Hays probably had the best overall answer. A combination rifle such as a .223/12 gauge or 30-30/12 gauge will solve 99 percent of your "in-the-middle-of-the-night" problems. I don't know the terrain where you are at, but coyotes really scoot, especially when being shot at, so chances at multiple shots will probably be few.

But if you are getting coyotes at "boot biting" range, a pump shotgun or even semi automatic (or self loading: sorry Don)pistol will serve admirably; 9mm or higher power loaded with 125 grain hollow point will do the job.

Sorry for your troubles; hopefully, the pack will take the hint and move on. Good luck.

-- j.r. guerra (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), August 09, 2001.

I wanted to elaborate on my previous answer as to acquiring a handgun for this use.

I would definitely ADD a handgun to the shotgun and rifle you selected; my reasons are listed on a previous question(see Guns on the Homestead thread in the Archives below), but short explanation: while you are working on your homestead, you will need both hands for the task at hand. Loading grain sacks, mucking out the pens, feeding your animals, etc. Actually having a rifle or shotgun at hand, or even slung over your shoulder will be highly unlikely; just gets in the way. The rifle or shotgun will therefore be left inside the house, inside the vehicle, or left leaned against a tree / fence. A handgun holstered on your belt or on your shoulder will ALWAYS be there, ready for your INSTANTANEOUS USE. No shotgun or rifle will be available for this reason alone!

By the description of your problem, it sounds like a handgun would be a must. But just my opinion; I don't know how hard it is to acquire a handgun in your state.

-- j.r. guerra (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), August 09, 2001.

j.r beat me to it. I too think a handgun either a 9 m/m or a 38- special snub. My wife does her gardning with a 38-snub on her side she says you hardly notice the weight. This year shes already dispatched 2 rattle snakes and a medium size wild dog.

We like the 38-special because we can use the snake/rat shot shell as a first round. It can deter multiple targets. Ammo is relatively cheap about 7.50 a box here in nc. (50 rounds)

Ruger 10/22 excellent choice. But do keep it oiled for they will rust and rust. (I've had 2 both had a tendacy to rust if left damp for more than 24 hour period.) Did you know Ruger made a 10/22 in 22 magnum? I like it too.

SKS 7.62x39 are very easy on the shoulder and I've had very ggo results with mine. (Please be sure of your backstop when using an SKS, You know that but the wife said remind ya)

My dad uses a auto 20 gauge and feels quite cofident that it can handle any situation. He also carries a 32-auto pocket pistol. So Theres a lot of choices.

Your on the right track. Let us know how it turns out.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (wizardsplace13@hotmail.com), August 09, 2001.

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