Reconsider .22 Win. Mag. For Coyotes
Q: I’m 14 years old and recently purchased a bolt-action Marlin .22 Win. Mag. for coyote hunting, topped with a 3-9X40mm Simmons scope. I’m planning on buying a Harris bipod and was wondering if this is a good rifle for coyotes. I’d also like to know the ideal range that I should sight-in my rifle. I’m using CCI Maxi Mag. ammo.
-Chance Swanson, Aledo, Illinois
A: I’d consider the setup that you describe to be an excellent choice for small predators such as red and gray fox, raccoons and bobcats, but the .22 Win. Mag. is a bit on the light side for coyotes. Coyotes are sturdy animals-often exceeding 35 pounds in your neck of the woods- and while the .22 Win. Mag. is capable of dispatching these hefty canines if bullet placement is precise, it won’t do it with the consistency that I consider acceptable. My advice is that you reserve your .22 Win. Mag. for hunting fox and other smaller critters and consider one of the fine .22 centerfire calibers for coyotes. Rifles chambered in .223 Rem., .222 Rem. or .220 Swift.- using fur-friendly bullets such as Winchester’s 40-grain Ballistic Silvertip or Remington’s 50-grain V-Max Boattail- for example, will not only give you more energy to anchor larger predators, but will extend your reach for long-range shots. As for sighting-in your .22 Win. Mag., the CCI Maxi Mag. bullet is a screamer, with a muzzle velocity of about 2,200 fps. If you zero-in at 50 yards, you can expect about a 1 1/2-inch drop at 100 yards. -Gordy Krahn
Is .30-06 Too Light For Elk?
Q: I recently read an article that Bryce Towsley wrote about hunting elk with a .30-06 loaded with a Federal cartridge and a 180-grain Nosler Partition bullet. He also mentions a Remington Premier Safari Grade .30-06 load with 180-grain Swift A-Frame bullets. I’m thinking about a Core-Lokt .30-06 cartridge with a 220-grain bullet. Which do you recommend using?
-Roger Jacobs, Winter Haven, Florida
A: If you’re hunting trophy elk, then I think that a .30-06 is marginal. You’re looking for big bulls, which tend to be tougher. You might have to pass on some shots presented; those that you could ethically take with a bigger gun. It’s different for somebody who lives in elk country and is only after the meat. It’s no secret that thousands of elk have fallen to the .30-06 and no doubt thousands more will in the years ahead, no matter what I think. The 220-grain bullet in the .30-06, however, is almost too heavy for the case capacity.
It’s difficult to generate enough velocity with the amount of powder that will fit in the case for this to be a good elk cartridge. It will certainly take elk, but it will drop fast at longer ranges, making those shots difficult. With the new bullet designs on the market coupled with the higher velocity of the lighter bullets, loads using the 180-grain Swift A-Frame or Nosler Partition will probably penetrate as well as the 220-grain while shooting flatter. Also consider loads from Federal with the Barnes X-Bullet or from Winchester with the Fail Safe bullet. -Bryce Towsley
Any Info On Antique Shotgun?
Q: I own a Iver Johnson Champion 16 gauge full-choke shotgun. The barrel and lug are forged from one piece. It has I.R.B.X. #CJ stamped on the lug and the forearm. I’d like any information that you have on this gun.
-Buddy Bolick, Salisbury, North Carolina
A: This model was manufactured from 1909 to 1956 in a wide variety of gauges, and a few rifle calibers as well. Depending on condition, the value is probably $100. -Bill Hanus