Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Good caliber for predators?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    9

    Default Good caliber for predators?

    I have a .204 that is a tack driving machine and is quite lethal on coyotes and fox back in Montana but I am a little leery that it may be too small of a caliber if a wolf comes in while calling. I am debating about picking up a .243 AR but to me it just doesn't make sense being I already have a good gun for calling. I know it would do the trick with good shot placement but I don't want to be tracking down a wolf all day on a mediocre shot if you know what I mean. If anyone has any experience with the .204 up here please chime in.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I'm new up here, too, but I plan on just using my AR. Odds are low that I'll bump into a wolf where I'll be hunting.

    Side note: Coyotes in NY (home state) weighed 50 to 60 pounds and the .223 dropped them no problem. I know wolves are bigger and have had the .243 suggested to me a few times, as well. Seems to me that if a .223 can knock down a whitetail (I've never done it, but I know youths do it all the time.), it can take down a wolf. Just my .02.

    I looked at Hornady's ballistic table; depending on the bullet weight the .204 has more energy than a .223 at 500 yds. .243 has a lot more energy than both at that distance.. If you have the money try an AR in 6.8 APC! I've heard they're incredible.

    People back home liked the .204 and a .243 is probably a more logical choice, but financially it makes more sense for me to just stick with my .223. Little cheaper to shoot, ammo is everywhere and I have school loans..

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I am kinda with you being how as I already have a .204 I think I will just stick with that but I love the 243 round ha and always have room for more guns just not the money haha

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I hear ya there. ALWAYS more toys to purchase..

    Let me know if you'd like a hunting partner. I'm up to chase song dogs anytime!

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    Hopefully I will actually have some time and be able to connect with my 6.8spc. There are some interesting options out there developed around the AR platform. 6.5 creedmore is another interesting option.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I hear the 6.5 Creedemoore is similar to the .260 cal? I've heard some good reviews about the .260.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Deer Brook Farm View Post

    Let me know if you'd like a hunting partner. I'm up to chase song dogs anytime!
    I would be down to go out but I just don't know how much time I'm going to have to be getting out this year. Work work work.....

  8. #8

    Default

    .204 will work fine on a wolf. I believe there is a post on here where someone shot a nice wolf with one. The problem with the .204 is the high velocity and keeping it from destroying fox and lynx. A slower moving, heavier FMJ type bullet will help you save pelts or if you want, a small, light bullet that goes in and doesn't exit. It's tough to always keep the small bullets from exiting though and sometimes you can get a big split if you hit low or on the shoulder. Food for thought.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    712

    Default

    223 with as heavy of bullet as you can get. I use it with a 75 gr. Hornady bullet. Try to get the bullet under 2800 fps. Huge diff on fur damage. I'm only loading it to about 2600. Another nice thing about this setup is it works great on caribou lol.

  10. #10

    Default

    Teacherman,
    What twist do you have in your .223? I've never loaded up that heavy of a .223, but would like to tinker a little bit with it this winter.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snowcamoman View Post
    Teacherman,
    What twist do you have in your .223? I've never loaded up that heavy of a .223, but would like to tinker a little bit with it this winter.
    I killed a coyote and a lynx with 69gr. SMKs at about 2450, group about .4 MOA from my 16" bull barrel 1-8. I've never tried to shoot anything longer. Neither exit was bigger than a quarter, both animals had to be tracked and finished.

    My current load is a 62gr TTSX, unknown velocity but its a grain or so above minimum in my manual. groups a little over .5 MOA and has the same POI as 55gr factory PMCs which is handy. I developed this load with Wolves in mind after finding lots of tracks last year, never saw the beasts and missed a really nice coyote, so no field results on this load yet.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    wasilla
    Posts
    788

    Default

    Bullet placement is the key to success.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  13. #13
    Member The Kid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    1,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    Bullet placement is the key to success.
    Herein lies the answer. I use a 17 remington with either 20 or 25 grain bullets going as fast as I can shove them safely. Fur damage is nonexistent and it kills like lightning on chest shots. I used to use a 22-250 and while it killed great it was rough on hides, velocity is what gives the dramatic kills on varmints but I don't want an exit if I can help it. I got spectacular kills with the hotrod 22-250 but I also got big exits a lot of the time. The 17 gives the dramatic one shot kills but doesn't leave gigantic exits if it does exit. Before anyone screams "what about the wolves", point A is that most times you're 100 times more likely to see a coyote or fox than a wolf, point B is that a good friend of mine killed over 20 wolves while living in the Copper Basin using his 17 remington and the 25 grain hornady hollow point.

    Use your 204 with the most frangible bullet you can load in it and resist the urge to shoot foxes, they are tiny and fragile and you'll shred them with your 204.

  14. #14
    Member Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    3,410

    Default

    I'll be using a 22-250 this winter for predator hunting, mostly just coyotes. I've been shooting this Model 70 all summer and got a good load dialed in shooting 40gr Nosler Ballistic Tips and Varget powder. The 1/14" twist barrel is a bummer when wanting to shoot longer, heavier bullets though. Only rifle I've shot that didn't like a Barnes TSX bullet of some kind, too.

  15. #15

    Default

    I bought a .204 for predator hunting in the interior of AK. I shot 1 fox square in the spine as it was running straight away and blew a huge hole in the hide. It was a waist of a fox. I shot a beautiful black female wolf with a shot to the neck at 205 yards and she piled up - lights out and no damage to the hide. Like the others said, the .204 is a bit fast for thin skinned critters at least if you hit bone. The .204 will work well, even on a wolf, with a well placed shot to the neck or I believe tight behind the front leg (lung shot). I shoot 35 gr Bergers and like yours, mine is a tack driver - like a lazer. The 35 gr Bergers are a little heavier constructed than a ballistic tip which I would not recommend for wolves. What I fear and you should to, is if you hit a wolf in a non-lethal area like a shoulder, leg, or even in the guts because you may loose it with a small caliber like a .204. That's when you will wish you were shooting something with more energy and a heavier bullet. Of course, shot placement is your first and foremost friend. Lastly, most all of the wolves I see are on the run because they here my snogo coming so precise shot placement isn't usually an option for me. Calling them in would be a different story, but that's not so easy.

    Now then, knowing what I know now, and based on the fact that I almost exclusively pursue wolves, I wish I had a .243 or similar caliber. Heck, I shot a wolf last April with my .22 pistol, but I wouldn't go buy a .22 for wolf hunting.

    I probably didn't tell you anything you didn't already know and that is the .204 will kill a wolf every time with good shot placement. Me, I'll continue packing the .204 over my shoulder, but I'm looking for a .243 or .260 for my winter wolf gun. Have fun!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1st wolf.jpg  

  16. #16
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    I bought a .204 for predator hunting in the interior of AK. I shot 1 fox square in the spine as it was running straight away and blew a huge hole in the hide. It was a waist of a fox. I shot a beautiful black female wolf with a shot to the neck at 205 yards and she piled up - lights out and no damage to the hide. Like the others said, the .204 is a bit fast for thin skinned critters at least if you hit bone. The .204 will work well, even on a wolf, with a well placed shot to the neck or I believe tight behind the front leg (lung shot). I shoot 35 gr Bergers and like yours, mine is a tack driver - like a lazer. The 35 gr Bergers are a little heavier constructed than a ballistic tip which I would not recommend for wolves. What I fear and you should to, is if you hit a wolf in a non-lethal area like a shoulder, leg, or even in the guts because you may loose it with a small caliber like a .204. That's when you will wish you were shooting something with more energy and a heavier bullet. Of course, shot placement is your first and foremost friend. Lastly, most all of the wolves I see are on the run because they here my snogo coming so precise shot placement isn't usually an option for me. Calling them in would be a different story, but that's not so easy.

    Now then, knowing what I know now, and based on the fact that I almost exclusively pursue wolves, I wish I had a .243 or similar caliber. Heck, I shot a wolf last April with my .22 pistol, but I wouldn't go buy a .22 for wolf hunting.

    I probably didn't tell you anything you didn't already know and that is the .204 will kill a wolf every time with good shot placement. Me, I'll continue packing the .204 over my shoulder, but I'm looking for a .243 or .260 for my winter wolf gun. Have fun!
    How tall are you? That looks like one big dog...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  17. #17
    Member akhunterosu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    33

    Default

    I love my .243. Flat shooting and more than enough power for a wolf. As always, shot placement is key to putting down any critter. I would rather have too much gun than too little. Goodluck

  18. #18

    Default

    I'm a little over 5' 9" tall. Yep, it was a big, old, female wolf. She weighed 98 lbs and her teeth were very worn, many were missing, and bone decay.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    How tall are you? That looks like one big dog...!!!

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cody Wy / Tok Ak
    Posts
    55

    Default

    I was wondering what you guys think about 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser for wolves 140 gr bullet FMJ so it dos'nt expand not too fast but still pretty flat shooting

  20. #20

    Default

    I think that would be a great combination for wolves. I think any hunting type bullet that has good weight retention and penetration would also be good.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •