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Thread: Ruger .308 with 125 grain bullet; success stories??

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    Default Ruger .308 with 125 grain bullet; success stories??

    Recently picked up a ruger .308 and was thinking about running some 125 grain nosler balistic tips for coyote or a wolf (if I was to get lucky enough to see one and get a shot). I'm looking to run some IMR 3031 with a WLR primer. Anybody run a similar setup and care to post about the impact it had on a critter of this size?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bgarcher44 View Post
    Recently picked up a ruger .308 and was thinking about running some 125 grain nosler balistic tips for coyote or a wolf (if I was to get lucky enough to see one and get a shot). I'm looking to run some IMR 3031 with a WLR primer. Anybody run a similar setup and care to post about the impact it had on a critter of this size?
    You have way more gun than you need but that sure beats being under gunned. One of the old timers that took me to missouri deer hunting for several years used pretty much the same set up for whitetail deer. He killed a whole lot of deer with 125 grainers of different makes in his 308. He didn't hunt coyotes with the group very often but killed several with his 308....same load.

    If you put the 308 with a 125 grainer next to Jack OcConner's known world over load of a full case of 4831 and a 130 grain bullet in his 270, well there is not enough difference that a game animal would ever know which he was shot with. That being said your 308 with 125s is not the perfect varmint set up but will kill varmints just as dead, just as far as the perfect varmint set up. If I were you and the gun fit me well when shouldered/pointed naturally then I wouldn't look back!

    I have killed more Iowa coyotes with guns that were not considered varmint guns than with guns that were. 20 years ago the predator hunting "in" crowd all carried bolt action rifles with barrels the size of a railroad workers crow bar. Now every manufacture has what they call their predator rifle which requires a short buggy whip barrel shooting the same cartridges as the fat barreled guns of 20 years ago.

    I can't think of a scenario where a coyote/wolf hunt would turn out unsuccessful because of the fact that you were using a 308/125 grain bullet. On windy days I sometimes shoot 100 grainers out of my 243 or grab a 7mm-08 loaded with 120 grainers. Your set up on windy days would beat any varmint hunter purists pet gun every time in my book

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    Give up any notion of saving coyote pelts with that combo.

    Long, long ago (and yes, in a land far, far away) I did a lot of mule deer, blacktail and elk hunting with a Pre-64 M70 Featherweight in 308. Perfect satisfaction all around until I took it into my head to try flattening it out. Loaded up a bunch of Sierra 125 grain spitzers, and they were laser accurate and virtually as flat as a 130 in a 270 Win, as EKC points out. I was headed for some big expanses of an old burn to look for mule deer, and shots tended to be long.

    Fortunately I didn't see a single buck that morning, because when I was walking back out a coyote came hurtling out of nowhere and crossed in front of me from left to right about 100 yards out. In one motion I brought up the rifle, swung and fired, and the coyote did several flips through the air before stopping, it had been moving so fast. I was really proud of that shot!

    I went over for a closer look, and the coyote was laying on it's left side, the side that had been away from me at the shot. Curious about bullet performance as always, I rolled it over. The left shoulder and foreleg were gone, leaving a big gaping hole without even a lung in sight. I mean gone, G-O-N-E. I looked all around, and for the life of me I couldn't find a trace of that shoulder and leg. Must have disappeared in the low brush somehow, but I sure couldn't find it.

    That gave me real pause, and back at the friend's house I resighted the rifle with my usual 165 grain Partitions. Took a nice muley the next day too. I can't imagine how much meat I would have lost if I'd made the same shot on a muley with that 125 Sierra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    You have way more gun than you need but that sure beats being under gunned. One of the old timers that took me to missouri deer hunting for several years used pretty much the same set up for whitetail deer. He killed a whole lot of deer with 125 grainers of different makes in his 308. He didn't hunt coyotes with the group very often but killed several with his 308....same load.

    If you put the 308 with a 125 grainer next to Jack OcConner's known world over load of a full case of 4831 and a 130 grain bullet in his 270, well there is not enough difference that a game animal would ever know which he was shot with. That being said your 308 with 125s is not the perfect varmint set up but will kill varmints just as dead, just as far as the perfect varmint set up. If I were you and the gun fit me well when shouldered/pointed naturally then I wouldn't look back!

    I have killed more Iowa coyotes with guns that were not considered varmint guns than with guns that were. 20 years ago the predator hunting "in" crowd all carried bolt action rifles with barrels the size of a railroad workers crow bar. Now every manufacture has what they call their predator rifle which requires a short buggy whip barrel shooting the same cartridges as the fat barreled guns of 20 years ago.

    I can't think of a scenario where a coyote/wolf hunt would turn out unsuccessful because of the fact that you were using a 308/125 grain bullet. On windy days I sometimes shoot 100 grainers out of my 243 or grab a 7mm-08 loaded with 120 grainers. Your set up on windy days would beat any varmint hunter purists pet gun every time in my book
    I appreciate the advice. I also grew up in western IA chasing coyotes off of the family farm. I always used shotguns as a young buck but now am running a 17HMR which I'm not sure will do the job. I'm either running to small of a caliber at the 17 HMR or may run too much of a caliber with the .308! I guess that means I should go sniff around the gun counter and find an "in between" caliber. Thanks again!

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    [QUOTE=BrownBear;1518594]Give up any notion of saving coyote pelts with that combo.

    That is what I was afraid would happen.

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    Whether 308 or 270 or even '06, would the fur loss be as bad if a solid/FMJ bullet was used?

    Been itching to try for coyotes with my 270 which (for whatever reason) always seems to shoot where I point it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    Whether 308 or 270 or even '06, would the fur loss be as bad if a solid/FMJ bullet was used?
    My experience with solids and fur bearers was with 243 and 257 cartridges. At "standard" velocities, it depends a whole lot where you hit them. Strike bone other than ribs, and bone fragments will go off like a bomb. I limited that by dropping velocities down to 2000-2200 fps at the expense of trajectory. Another down side is that with marginal hits and solid bullets, you better be an accomplished tracker.

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    FMJ's? Please just say no.

    I've run the 125's before as reduced recoil loads for new shooters. Slowed them down to between 2550 and 2650fps and they worked well on Kodiak for the kid for his first 2 years. Most impressive was impact on the point of the shoulder and exited behind the ribs of the off side at approximately 100 yards. "Dad" brought me photos of the insides because he didn't think I'd believe him how good of a job the bullet did.

    Fast isn't always the answer. Sometimes it helps, but not always. I don't have the data in front of me and it's been several years since I worked with this load, but IIRC, a fella could zero at 150 and be able to hold on hair from 0 to 200 yards on a coyote or a wolf.

    Personally, if I was to have to go back to carrying my 308 for predators, I'd continue to shoot my tasty critter loads. 165g partition @ 2800fps+ is my preference for putting meat in the freezer. Heavier jacket of the heavier bullet generally will slow down expansion and not make a mess that can't be sewn. Still have to deal with the effects of energy transfer if you happen to hit things just wrong & that will make a mess, but that happens from time to time even with the smaller centerfires.

    17HMR? I wouldn't have a problem sending headshots out to 150 yards on either canine. Use the 20 grain load and send it.

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    I don't care if I cut every coyote plumb in half. They aren't worth any thing any way. 1/3 of the Iowa coyotes have mange and that number is creeping upward.

    I was busy over the New Years 3 day weekend so didn't hunt but the number of coyotes killed buy 4 different groups was dazzling. Our group was short handed but still killed 17 coyotes. The Brooklyn coyote clan killed 19 over in the east side of the county. The Wray boys who hunt the timbers south of town killed a dozen. There is also a group of guys that hunt southern Poweshiek and northern Mahaska county. These guys paid some big bucks for coyote dogs. The area that they hunt is all river bottom ground. We have had record rainfall for the month of December. 3 inches of rain with the ground frozen and 10 inches of snow on the ground makes for a mess. All the river bottom ground is flooded thus all those low land critters have been pushed out to the switch grass and government set a side grass land. That group of 8 guys killed 43 coyotes in 3 days. My son lives in Harlan Iowa now and he tells me that the local group over there killed near 20 over the long weekend.

    Near as we all can figure we have but one main fur buyer for the whole area and he couldn't handle that many coyotes at once. He doesn't even want them if they aren't skinned, washed and stretched and if they are then $15 is the going rate for the best ones. I know noone who will go to that work for $15.

    Coyotes have gotten to be a real problem in this part of the world and very few get harvested for the fur.

    I don't know for sure but would imagine that an Alaska coyote would fur out much better than an Iowa coyote. We've only had a day or two the whole winter where we haven't surpassed the freezing point for day time highs. We have had a lot of days in the upper 40s - 50s. That doesn't make for prime fur like you guys up north have. It also isn't cold enough to kill off the sick ones.

    What do coyote furs bring in Alaska these days?

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I don't care if I cut every coyote plumb in half. They aren't worth any thing any way. 1/3 of the Iowa coyotes have mange and that number is creeping upward.

    I was busy over the New Years 3 day weekend so didn't hunt but the number of coyotes killed buy 4 different groups was dazzling. Our group was short handed but still killed 17 coyotes. The Brooklyn coyote clan killed 19 over in the east side of the county. The Wray boys who hunt the timbers south of town killed a dozen. There is also a group of guys that hunt southern Poweshiek and northern Mahaska county. These guys paid some big bucks for coyote dogs. The area that they hunt is all river bottom ground. We have had record rainfall for the month of December. 3 inches of rain with the ground frozen and 10 inches of snow on the ground makes for a mess. All the river bottom ground is flooded thus all those low land critters have been pushed out to the switch grass and government set a side grass land. That group of 8 guys killed 43 coyotes in 3 days. My son lives in Harlan Iowa now and he tells me that the local group over there killed near 20 over the long weekend.

    Near as we all can figure we have but one main fur buyer for the whole area and he couldn't handle that many coyotes at once. He doesn't even want them if they aren't skinned, washed and stretched and if they are then $15 is the going rate for the best ones. I know noone who will go to that work for $15.

    Coyotes have gotten to be a real problem in this part of the world and very few get harvested for the fur.

    I don't know for sure but would imagine that an Alaska coyote would fur out much better than an Iowa coyote. We've only had a day or two the whole winter where we haven't surpassed the freezing point for day time highs. We have had a lot of days in the upper 40s - 50s. That doesn't make for prime fur like you guys up north have. It also isn't cold enough to kill off the sick ones.

    What do coyote furs bring in Alaska these days?
    When I hear about all the coyotes your various groups kill down your way, I'm thinkin, there must be a LOT of them, and how big a problem there would be if no-one hunted them?

    How is the Wabbit Hunting?

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    What do coyote furs bring in Alaska these days?
    Dunno, but it can't be much. Same for fox in my area, on top of which they just don't bring as much as good cold weather fox from the cold interior in the best of years. To clarify, not coyote one on Kodiak.

    I wonder about one thing though, with AK coyotes. I know several fox hunters who "save up" pelts in low price years. They case them and have them tanned, then sit on them until the price comes back up. Kind of a speculator's game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    When I hear about all the coyotes your various groups kill down your way, I'm thinkin, there must be a LOT of them, and how big a problem there would be if no-one hunted them?

    How is the Wabbit Hunting?

    SOTN
    80% of our timber is bottom ground that corresponds with rivers. All of that land being flooded pushed the coyotes into the huntable from truck property. It was also the first weekend of the season with both frozen fields and good snow cover. Lots of hunters out and lots of dumb 6-7 month old coyotes pups fresh off the nest that had never been shot at either got killed or educated.

    I doubt that we ever see a repeat of New Years Day weekend in Iowa from a coyote hunting perspective..........and I missed it😤.

    Did actually see a rabbit yesterday but he got in his hole. Not many rabbits left. Hard for farmers to even keep farm cats around. The coyotes pick em right off the porch!

    It got well below zero last night for the first time this winter. My dog Hank was sniffing the back yard this morning in a tell tale manner. The tracks were a dead give away. I know of at least 5 coyote dens with in 2 miles of the city limits a block west of my house. They must be out of farm cats and are now coming to town at night. They have been doing it every winter since they chewed up Ruger(my last hound dog) 3-4 years ago.

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    Yeah, I heard that this season is the right time of year for predator hunting.

    Thanks for the interesting and exciting update.

    We'll call it "Avenging Ruger the Dawg". I will eagerly await the next episode.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Are you allowed to shoot coyotes at night and are night vision scopes legal? Build a chicken pen about 50 yds from the house and set up a bunch of infrared pole lights around the pen. Get a muffler on a 22lr and an IR scope and let the mangy varmints come to you to die. The gas savings should pay for the fancy equipment. No reason to play fair and even one coyote a night for a year is a bunch of good coyotes.

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