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  #1  
Old 09-17-2012, 10:46 AM
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Default Best .38 bullet for unexpected coyotes

I carry the little Mod 36 on hikes. For the occasional unexpected encounter with coyotes (or even small hogs) what non +P load is best for these critters? OK, I know .38 is not preferred for these, but that's what I have. And I'd like to stay non +P.

I load them. I tend to like the 158 gr. LSWCHP. But for the coyotes I could see a full power, faster load with a 110gr jacketed HP might be decent, though not so well for the hogs.

Opinions?

Thanks.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:11 AM
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If you can hit them, the 158gr is as good as any.
My walkaround gun is 4" K frame with adjustable sights.
My experience is that the problem is hitting them in the boiler room with whatever you have with you.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:07 PM
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Do coyotes attack people? I've never got closer than 40 yards, and they were running away. If by hogs you mean peccaries, or large feral hogs out East, make sure you have a lanyard on that .38 - if they don't run, you'll need both hands for climbing.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:28 PM
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Coyotes, rarely, but do occasionally pose a threat to people. As for hogs, you'd better hit exactly where you are aiming. Since you are not going +P, the Hornady FTX's are good penetrators, which is what's needed on a hog. I'd think about anything would drop a coyote.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:31 PM
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I would use unexpected JHP's.....the last 2 coyotes I shot here in Montana were not at all impressed with Hornady XTP's..1 shot 1 kill on both...course they were only about 20 yards away......

Coyotes also have a deceptively small area to shoot at. Gotta get past all that hair!

Randy
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2012, 02:05 PM
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I load 158 gr hard cast SWC's by the thousands, over 5.0 gr Unique. That's mildly +P. It does everything & anything I might ask a 38 Spl to do. And when you shoot only one load, you learn where & how that load shoots.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:33 PM
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Attack? We had some menacing a schoolyard around here not long ago, but they definitely have attacked dogs and cats (we have both), and the young calfs and goats of our friends, so I see it as my job to help with varmint control. There's been a few cases of jumping them at 15 to 30 yards in the thicker woods. I wouldn't rule out rabies in them or other critters, leading to unexpected aggression, so I like to be handy with the pistol and load it reasonably well.

Hogs of course are a wild card. I'd watch my step with the bigger ones, but the smaller ones I consider fair game.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:48 PM
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We had 2 or 3 incidents of small kids being bitten in the suburbs last year.No one seems to know why their behavior suddenly changed,but the pack was killed.

Last edited by arjay; 09-17-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:35 PM
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Here in my neighborhood, surrounded by a golf course and a major wash with all kinds of hiding spots, we have coyotes, bobcats, javelina and plenty of snakes. I see all of the above on my evening walks with the dog. I have also had all of the them-minus the bobcats in my yard. They have always darted away as soon as they see me. Never had a problem until last night. While walking the cart path I heard a dog start raising hell down by the wash so, we headed that way and here is a yote yipping and barking all by himself in the middle of the wash. When he saw me he actually started yelping and almost growling at me. I was about 50yds from him. He couldnt have seen my dog because the brush was about three feet tall right in front of me (I'm just over 6ft). Anyway, he did this for about 30 seconds and then started running towards me. I thought to myself( this *** is crazy).
I picked up the biggest stick I could find and started backing up and getting ready. He came right to the edge of the brush, stopped, saw my dog yelped once an took off running back across the wash. I usually dont carry when I'm walking in the neighborhood but, that changed as of last night!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:52 PM
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We had two attacks two years ago by coyotes in one town by different animals in the span of a month about two hours south of me. What we really have had up here is fox attacks, nearly a dozen in the last three years and all were rabid. We don't have the hog problem (yet) so for me I carry either a 170 grain #358429 with a mild load for when I am out in the woods. Any one of those will do the job on coyotes or foxes.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:19 PM
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A pair of Eastern coyotes killed a young female jogger in Nova Scotia a couple of years ago. One dragged a toddler off a swing set here in MA, but the kid's mother chased it off. Where I walk my dog there's a pack that regularly takes down full-grown whitetails and they don't scare easily. I usually carry a 9mm. with Speer 124 grain +P Gold Dots or a .38 with +P Gold Dots. I'll be reloading some more .38's, probably the 158 grain lead SWC and a generous helping of W231 or Unique.
The Eastern beasties are closer to wolf size, and indeed have a good bit of Canadian wolf along with dog and western coyote blood. They're an invasive species here in the last 50 years or so, and it looks like they're here to stay.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:26 PM
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I would not carry a bullet heavier than 158gr in a J frame. It's just too much for such a small revolver IMO.

A charge of 4.0gr W231 under a 158gr LSWC is a good place to start.
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Last edited by ArchAngelCD; 09-18-2012 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:31 PM
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never underestimate a Coyote... the larger the pack the more brave they become... and if they are really hungry all bets are off...
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:14 PM
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Which are you more likely to encounter, the coyote or the hogs?
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:47 PM
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:03 AM
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Odds of encounter... about 40% hogs and 60% coyotes in this case. Hogs typically less than 100lbs., but of course can be significantly heavier.

A little while back I saw a mud rub on a tree trunk that was almost to my belt, about 38 inches up the tree, where there was no livestock. Cameras have caught some large sows. Obviously I'm not loading for these. Really just the best load I can get at non +P levels out to 40 yards or so, for whatever may appear...
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:31 AM
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I load a Lyman 358156 w/o gas check over 5.0 grns. Unique in my model 15. It does about everything I need in rural Oklahoma. If I want something with more punch I use the same bullet w/ gas check over 15.0 grns. 2400 in my model 27.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:50 AM
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I carry a DA .22 magnum revolver that has nailed four coyotes in the last three years. A solid body shot will put them right down.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarebutt View Post
A pair of Eastern coyotes killed a young female jogger in Nova Scotia a couple of years ago. One dragged a toddler off a swing set here in MA, but the kid's mother chased it off. Where I walk my dog there's a pack that regularly takes down full-grown whitetails and they don't scare easily. I usually carry a 9mm. with Speer 124 grain +P Gold Dots or a .38 with +P Gold Dots. I'll be reloading some more .38's, probably the 158 grain lead SWC and a generous helping of W231 or Unique.
The Eastern beasties are closer to wolf size, and indeed have a good bit of Canadian wolf along with dog and western coyote blood. They're an invasive species here in the last 50 years or so, and it looks like they're here to stay.
Good to know! I load .38 Hornady XTPs on top of 14 grains of 2400 in a .357 magnum case. These go into a 686+ in various barrel lengths.

What's a J-frame
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:26 PM
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The J-frame is the smallest of Smith's revolvers, such as the Model 36 Chief's Special revolvers, the 649, 640 series etc. They are five shot and are in .22 long rifle, .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum.

This is my 649. I have loaded and shot the 170 grain #358429 bullets in this gun and as long as the loads are kept within reason, they shoot just fine and are pretty accurate.

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Old 09-18-2012, 09:31 PM
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These are coyotes, not brown bears. Its easy or relatively easy to hit them someplace. Maybe not where you intend, but seriously anyway. We're talking about self defense shooting here, not sport shooting. Different set of rules. Forget one shot clean kills. Sure, those are preferable, but not necessary to achieve the goal (surviving.) Critters generally don't have access to modern medicine facilities. The idea is the critter should die, the sooner the better, but instantly isn't required. If he suffers, no problem. Much like bad guys that commit crimes.

Pick the round you shoot well or best, no reason to alter it just because you've seen a wild animal or two. Actually, one of the best mild rounds is the old 148 grain wadcutter. Sure, it travels slow and doesn't recoil much. Mostly everyone shoots it well. Round nose and even many hollow points just push material (tissue) out of the way. The wadcutter could also be called a plug cutter. Same for the semiwadcutter. The sharp full caliber edge just cuts its way along. And it leaves an avenue for any blood or fluid to run out.

One shot kills or incapacitation aren't guaranteed with any handgun round. If something is attacking you, expect to need more than one shot. Dog, coyote, hog, or criminal. Consider the idea that ensuing shots probably will be needed, and pick a gun/ammo combination that lends itself to that. I tend to doubt if anyone has much experience with coyotes attacking humans. Except for the young Canadian singer, these attacks are really rare. Any hit is a good hit, these aren't bears.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:49 PM
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It seems anything built by Acme always puts the hurt on Wiley.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:18 AM
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I'll go on the ACME website and order now!

Should have thought of that myself.

Man, was Wiley's butt kicked alot in every episode, but he kept on coming back.

Just to clarify, I would say the "defense" aspect of the question here is about 1%, and the varmint control and sport aspect is about 99%.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay View Post
We had 2 or 3 incidents of small kids being bitten in the suburbs last year.No one seems to know why their behavior suddenly changed,but the pack was killed.
I have never been bitten in the suburbs but I would imagine it could be very painful!
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:06 PM
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Probably why it made the news :-0
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:16 PM
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My neighbor usually bugs out for Europe in the summer. 3 years ago a coyote took up residence under his back deck and had a litter of pups. They tore up and chewed up everything in sight. The next year we found 2 dead pups and a den behind my barn (right off my driveway). My point is they are becoming more opportunistic and less afraid of human contact. I catch a glimpse of them quite often here and there but have never had a close encounter. That's just a matter of time. I usually carry a J frame or a compact 9 when on a walk in the neighborhood. Something larger if I'm in the woods out back. Maybe it's time to rethink my choice of carry or at least my loads.
2 hogs were shot in a friend's corn field a few miles from me recently and to my knowledge, were the first in our county. So that ****storm is coming too!
What next? Zombies?
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:04 PM
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Tacotime-I don't know what part of the state you are located but with the rabies situation like it is in several places you could end up in a defensive situation. Any pointy toothed quadruped that can carry rabies is a dangerous animal in my book. We dealt with coyotes and foxes in the mid 90's and they were plumb scary.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:41 AM
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The rabies issue is a real one and there have been a few reports in the area. In addition to the usual suspects, a neighbor once warned that he had heard of an incident with a rabid bobcat charging a guy and that carrying protection was a good idea. I think the incidence is fairly rare, but not funny if it happens to me.

Sounds like the 158 LSWCHP will remain the choice. The little M36 is shooting fairly well out to 40 yards after some load refinement, and I don't know that I'll be able to make further improvements other than getting better with simple practice.

Not expecting a coyote gang attack, but when I jump a straggler in the woods, I want to be able to make a good sporting shot with the little J frame. It hogs were a current threat, yes, the 629...
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:11 PM
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I've killed Coyotes with my Model 38 Airweight with a 125 grain Speer GDHP and with my Model 60 with a 158 grain LSWC, both non +P.

Coyotes can take a lot of killing (I've lost them from what looked like a good hit with a 6MM-06 w/100 grain bullets @3270 fps) but the 38 is plenty of gun for this work when the range is close.

I'd advise that whichever load where POA and POI coincide would be my pick.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:37 AM
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Good info, thanks all...
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:13 PM
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ANY WILL DO.
SHOT PLACEMENT, SHOT PLACEMENT. JP
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:05 PM
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It is darned near impossible to go wrong with a solid SWC at modest velocity for the coyotes. For the hogs, depending on how big and motivated ... I would rather carry a bigger caliber. I also like a larger frame revolver for the ergonomics of shooting.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neumann View Post
Do coyotes attack people? I've never got closer than 40 yards, and they were running away. If by hogs you mean peccaries, or large feral hogs out East, make sure you have a lanyard on that .38 - if they don't run, you'll need both hands for climbing.
They have been know to take small kids out of ther yards and drive ways. I read it in the paper when in AZ.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:57 PM
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I would be concerned that a hp would not penetrate to the necessary vitals of a hog. Any 38 bullet should kill a coyote.
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