Throughout much of America, coyotes are an absolute nuisance. They are destructive to natural wildlife, commonly kill pets, and have a destructive effect on local ecosystems. As their population continues to grow, more and more people are looking to get rid of coyotes from their backyards and farmlands. In this article, we will go over five of the best coyote rifles. While there are hundreds upon hundreds of weapons that could do the trick, these five are our favorites.
These five coyote rifles will be reviewed in depth, covering their features, pros, cons, and the suggested retail price.
There are many different rifle cartridges that are commonly used for coyotes. Some of the most common are .223, .243, and even .308. While it is largely dependent on where you are from, all of these cartridges are more than acceptable. In the Western United States or other similarly flat and windy areas, .308 may be a better cartridge to use, as you may have to take a shot at a much greater distance than someone living in the Appalachian Mountains. Many of the weapons on our list of best coyote rifles are available in multiple calibers.
Top Five Coyote Rifles
Reviews of the 5 Best Coyote Guns
Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II
It has been written about extensively, but the AR-15 is the rifle of the modern day. They are becoming increasingly common, and most gun owners are very familiar with them. They are easy to use, have a high magazine capacity, are extremely reliable, and are easy to disassemble and clean. Overall, the AR-15 platform is an excellent, widely applicable rifle. It can shoot either 5.56 or .223, and when paired with an optic, can easily shoot out to 300+ yards.
The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II is an entry level AR-15. It doesn’t have many fancy features, but the beauty of the AR-15 is how customizable it is. Nearly every inch of the rifle can be completely customized with aftermarket parts to ensure that it meets your needs. The M&P15 Sport II comes with a picatinny rail, making it easy to mount any optics you might want. The handrails are easy to replace if you are interested in adding any more aftermarket parts, such as lasers, flashlights, or a foregrip.
Don’t let the entry level AR-15 pricetag fool you, the M&P15 Sport II is a very high quality rifle. It’s backed by a lifetime service policy, and comes with a Magpul MBUS rear sight, collapsible stock, internal trigger guard, a dust cover, and a forward assist. The 16 inch barrel is extremely compact for maneuvering.
For killing coyotes, 5.56/.223 are more than enough in most places. Customizing the rifle to meet your needs will make it an excellent shooting weapon for you specifically. The fact that it is semiautomatic with a high magazine capacity is also good for a coyote rifle. The ease of use, proven results, and most of all, the customizability, make the M&P15 Sport II the absolute best coyote rifle.
Suggested retail price: $739
- Customizability: Thousands of aftermarket parts are available, so you can make this rifle fit your exact needs
- Size/Weight: Compact and light, easily portable if need be
- Quality: Smith & Wesson is an extremely reputable firearm manufacturer. The M&P15 Sport II is an excellent weapon
- Ease of use: The AR-15 platform as a whole is very easy to shoot
Savage Arms Axis
Savage Arms is well known for making affordably priced weapons. If you aren’t looking for anything fancy, and don’t want to spend much money, the Axis series of rifles made by Savage Arms may be exactly what you’re looking for.
The Axis is available in many different calibers that are good for coyote rifles: .223, .243, .270, and .308, to name a few. They are bolt action rifles, and have a 22 inch barrel. Most of them have a small detachable box style magazine that has a four round capacity. They are pre-drilled for scope mounts, and have a floating bolt head for smooth action.
As a coyote rifle, the Savage Arms Axis would excel because it is simple. With a bolt action design, there is less that can go wrong. There is absolutely nothing special about these rifles, other than the fact that they are consistent, reliable, and affordable. If you are looking for nothing more than a basic rifle that you can pick up to put down a coyote, the Savage Arms Axis is right up your alley. They make this list because they are the best affordably priced coyote rifle.
Suggested retail price: $368
- Affordability: It doesn’t get much more affordable for a coyote rifle.
- Many calibers available: Pick exactly what you would like to shoot
- Floating bolt head: Ensures smooth action, shot after shot.
- 22 inch barrel: Small enough to be portable, long enough for shots at distance.
Smith & Wesson M&P10
Loved what you were reading about the M&P15 Sport II, but concerned about the caliber? Look no further. The Smith & Wesson M&P10 is the M&P15’s older brother. The AR-10 is a beefed up AR-15, as it is bored in .308. The M&P10 has the same features of the M&P15, except it fires a larger cartridge. This specific weapon is the most deadly coyote rifle, and the best coyote rifle for long distance.
The pros of the M&P10 are similar to the pros of the M&P15 Sport II. It is a very user friendly weapon system, and is extremely easy to load, fire, and disassemble. There are thousands of parts available to completely customize the rifle however you would like. Similar to the M&P15 Sport II, it also has a lifetime service policy. It comes with a high capacity magazine, and the semiautomatic rifle functions very quickly. It is an extremely accurate and powerful weapon. One additional pro is the fact that it shoots .308, which makes it an extremely effective weapon. As a coyote rifle, these are all excellent features.
The one con of this weapon is the pricetag. While it is not the most expensive AR-10 on the market, it is still a rather expensive piece of equipment. For some people this may not be an issue, but others will not want to spend this amount on a coyote rifle. However, the quality supports this price, and this weapon is one of the best coyote rifles. It is also slightly larger than the M&P15 Sport II, but is still relatively portable.
Suggested retail price: $1619
- Customizability: Has a picatinny rail system, meaning you can attach any number of external features. Almost all internal and external parts of the rifle are easily upgraded with any number of aftermarket parts
- .308: Accurate and powerful, handles long distance shots extremely well
- Quality: Smith & Wesson’s quality is unquestioned
The Ruger American is very similar to the previously mentioned Savage Arms Axis. It is an extremely basic rifle available in multiple calibers. For the purpose of coyote rifles, some of these calibers are: .223, .243, .270, and .308. Each caliber has a slightly different purpose, but all of them will get the job done for a coyote rifle.
The biggest pros of this rifle are the ergonomic stock, accurate shots, Ruger’s patented Power Bedding, and an adjustable trigger. The precision rifling of the barrel paired with Ruger’s Power Bedding makes this an extremely accurate weapon. The Power Bedding has a bedding block in it that will allow the barrel to float free. This increases accuracy, decreases recoil, and makes cycling the action very smooth. Another excellent feature of this rifle is the adjustable trigger.
The cons of this weapon are the limited magazine capacity and bulkier size than the AR frame weapons. Most of the calibers have a rotary magazine that holds 4 rounds. The weapon has a 22 inch barrel, and weighs over 6 pounds. While this isn’t unnecessarily large, it is much bigger than the AR weapons. Since it is bolt action, it will also shoot slower.
Overall, this is a basic, but high quality weapon. Similar to the Axis, it comes in multiple calibers, and is a simple bolt action rifle. The primary differences are the price and the quality. The Ruger American is an extremely high quality weapon. The internals of this rifle are far superior to the Axis, and the results will show. However, this added quality comes at an added cost. As far as bolt action weapons go, this is one of the best coyote rifles.
Suggested retail price: $489
- Many calibers available
- Adjustable trigger, between 3 and 5 pounds
- Ruger’s Power Bedding: It’s hard to explain, but once you shoot this rifle, you will immediately notice the difference
Remington Model 700 SPS
Last on our list of best coyote rifles is the Rremington Model 700 SPS. The Remington SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic) is a more affordable version of the Model 700, which is an absolutely iconic weapon. Just like many weapons on this list, it is available in multiple calibers that are great for a coyote rifle. Most of the rifles have a 4 round magazine capacity and a 24 inch barrel, although some have a little variance.
The biggest pro of this weapon is the quality. The Remington SPS 700 is the absolute highest quality of the bolt action rifles on our list. It is even higher quality than the Ruger American. There’s a reason that the Remington Model 700 is one of the most popular rifles of all time, and that reason is its quality and reliability. The rifle also features the extremely popular “three rings of steel” that Remington created. These three steel rings are internal to the weapon, and go a long way in increasing the speed of the action and the reliability of the weapon.
The cons of this weapon are that it is even more expensive than the Ruger American and is slightly larger.
All in all, the Remington Model 700 SPS is on our list of best coyote rifles due mainly to its reliability, accuracy, and overall quality. This weapon has consistently been one of the most popular weapons in America for these reasons. While it is a little pricey for a coyote rifle, it is of the absolute highest quality.
Suggested retail price: $731
- Quality: One of the highest quality weapons in the industry
- Reliability: Tried and true, the Model 700 is a very reliable weapon
- Pre-drilled and tapped for scope mounts
This concludes our list of the best coyote rifles. While many of them are classic American bolt action rifles, more modern AR frame weapons also appear on the list. The multiple bolt action rifles have varying features and quality, as we discussed on our list. The AR frame weapons are the most popular weapon of the present day. These rifles make the list because of their versatility, customizability, and quality.
When making your purchase, one thing to keep in mind is the area in which you are planning on hunting. If you live in a very flat area, any of the weapons in .308 will make for the best long range coyote rifle.
There are literally thousands of rifles on the market that would function well as a coyote rifle, but this list was just a starting point to find a few popular ones. Whether you value quality or price more, there is a rifle on our list that is meant for you.