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Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

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Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby Jeck » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:15 pm

I know alot of guys use the Hornady V-max bullets for coyotes. I have had some bad experiences with them and will never use them for coyotes again. I reload my own shells. I shoot a 22-250 and use Hornady 52 gr BT Hollow Points. I have had very few wounded coyotes with these bullets. If you hit them... they are usually down. Well, I was loading up some bullets last year. My dad had a few boxes of V-max bullets... so I figured I would load up 15 shells to see how they shot and how they did on coyotes.

I headed out late in the season last year hoping to get a coyote with the V-max. I called in a pair. One coyote gave me a standing broadside shot. I drilled him in the shoulder. He started to spin circles and bite at his shoulder. He was instant red on his chest/shoulder area. I didnt want to put another shot in him... figuring he was dead for sure. He took off into a low spot. No problem, I knew he was dead in that low spot... he wasn't. I trailed him for half a mile to some posted land. It was real flat land, and I couldn't see him. I figured hell with it, I wasn't keeping coyotes and it wasn't worth getting into a pissing match with a land owner. So, I wasn't impressed with the V-max's from the start.

I made a few more unsuccessful stands, until I spotted one 3/4 of a mile from the road bedded in a creek. I snuck in on him and started to call. The coyote popped over the hill 40 yds away to my right (where I didnt expect him to come) and spotted me. He took off. I ran to the top of the hill hoping to get a shot at him. He was running quartering away from me at over 300 yds. I had the bipod out, got a rest, threw a lead on him... and to my surprise rolled him. I was impressed I hit him out there. All celebration ended when the bastard got back up and took off running. He ran about a half of a mile and layed down in the middle of a field. Long story short, I finally caught up to him and finished him off. He wouldnt let me get closer than 300 yds and would run. I had to hit him hunkered down in the snow to finish him. When I checked him out, I had hit him in the hip as he quarterd away. I broke his hip/leg, but didnt penetrate past the bone to kill him. So, I decided these bullets are garbage on coyotes and made up my mind I was finished with that experiment.

I talked to a couple guys at work that use the V-max's for coyotes. They said they haven't had any problems with them. I told them my story on using them. But for some reason, I was out on Saturday. I had killed two coyotes and I still had a few of those shells left in my bullet box. I thought I would give them another try. I called one into 125 yds. He got nervous and started to go in the opposite direction. I barked and he stopped broadside. I put the crosshairs right behind the shoulder and shot. He started spinning circles and took off. He only ran 25 yds and fell dead. I walked up to him and there was a blood trail a blind man could have followed. Problem was... I hit him behind the shoulder and the bullet hit the ribs and absolutly exploded. I could drop a golf ball in the entrance hole! I can't believe how that bullet opened up on the ribs for an entrance. Needless to say, there was no exit hole. I included a picture, but it isn't pretty. I can tell you for sure that I will never use these bullets for coyotes. No wonder they were shit when I hit one in the shoulder and one in the hip. They can hardly handle a rib bone, let alone a more solid bone.

Those bullets are meant for one thing, and that is shooting varmints like prairie dogs. Not coyotes. Just my opinion based off a few recent experiences. I was wondering what other peoples experiences are with them.


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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby Optimax90 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:08 am

Jeck, Sounds like you at least had some calling success!!! What gr. V-max are you useing??? I and my parnters are all using V-max's and have never had one run away yet..... The 55's seem to tear them up a bit more than the 50's but 98% ofour coyotes go down on the spot....?
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby lyonch » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:04 am

Great post Jeck!!! I have had the exact same experiences as you have with V-max bullets :evil: What you are witnessing, is what i call bulletsplash. I also feel they are junk, until you get into the heavier weights (around 65 grains and heavier). The only bullet i shoot now is a sierra 55 grain spitzer boat tail, and absoultely love that bullet. I do have an exit hole a majority of the time, but it is usually no bigger than a quarter. If anyone thinks that V-max are great bullets and penetrate well, shoot a V-max bullet and a Spitzer bullet of the same caliber and size at a metal gong, and see which one splats, and which one penetrates the steel :wink: On a side note, there are a lot coyotes shot every year with V-max bullets though.
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby Jeck » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:02 am

Optimax - I was shooting the 55 gr. V-max. That is what I heard from others too... that they never had problems with them. That is why I went out and gave it another try. I was thinking the first two were just bad luck... not so much. I don't know how much speed plays into it. My gun shoots around 3650 fps. What caliber and weight are you shooting?

Chris - That is what I don't understand. I know I have read a lot of magazine articles and heard from a lot of guys that are using them and love them. That is why I gave them another try. I figured long range accuracy would be a little better with the V-max and I wanted them to work out and be a good bullet. I just don't see any reason to go away from my hollow pts anymore. They seem to anchor the coyotes pretty well.

What is everyone else using for a bullet for coyotes?


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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby lyonch » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:24 am

If the hollow points work, then i would stick with them. I think you are on the right path looking into the velocity these V-max bullets are being shot at. I know Tbush and BnB both shoot the sierra #1365 bullets that i shoot and have not heard any complaints from either one about the bullet. Another bullet that was recommended to me from coyotehunter was the 52 grain sierra HP BT. He has had really good luck with them, and i personally had ok luck with them. What caliber are you shooting jeck? I am presuming it is a .22-250 or a .220 swift with the velocity and size of bullet you are shooting out of it.
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby Jeck » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:00 am

I am shooting a 22-250 in the Hornady 52 gr. BT HP. For the last two years, I shot the Sierra BT HP that you say Coyotehunter recommended. They are also a very good bullet IMO. There doesn't seem to be any difference between the Hornady's and the Sierra... except $7 per 100 rds. That was the price difference between the two when I decided to give the Hornady's a try this year. They both seem to anchor coyotes very well... even on less then great placed shots.

I can say, I have only had one coyote get away with the hollow points in the last three years. i hit him straight on but too far right in the shoulder. It busted him up pretty good, but I couldn't catch up to him and gave up after chasing him over a mile. I dont think he made it though... but I do not like not having a clean kill.


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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby snareit » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:07 am

jeck had the same stuff happen to me with them there junk for dogs


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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby Optimax90 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:57 pm

I'm running my 50gr. V-maxs @ 3550 out of a .22-250AI and my fire form load is a 55gr. V-max @ 3500ish... The 50gr load is on the slow side, I know my partner is running 50 @4000+, and we never have had a problem with anything like you are talking about..

In fact I was just telling somone the other day that out of the 20+ coyotes that I shot with my 50gr. load this year not one of them moved an inch, and no exit holes bigger than a quater.... They seemed to be VERY fur friendly for me.... :?
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby lyonch » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:01 pm

Opti were the shots you made on those coyotes mainly right behind the shoulder or frontal facing you? My experience with the V-max bullets was they were ok if they were looking at you, or you put it behind the should on a quartering away shot. If they were completely broad side, or i hit nothing but pure front shoulder, chances were that they were going to need a follow up shot. I really feel taht shooting these bullets at a steel gong will open your eyes up on how much they literally splat. All it does on my 3/4" thick mild steel gong is make the paint come off and thats it. I can see why these bullets turn p-dogs into a red mist :twisted: .
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby Optimax90 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:41 am

I would say a little more than half were frontal chest shots but, but even the shoulder shots were never "splash" holes :? :? I agree with you that they are not a heavy jacket bullet and deep penatration on bone or thicker skined critters is just not going to happen..... I don't know why I seem to have good luck with them, but I do :? The V-max has a purpose and P-dogs and plinking is one of there main purposes I think. I agree that they are not the best bullet out there, but as much as I shoot and the way they pattern I will continue to use them, plus as for now Im still happy with the kill rate from my gun.....

We did shoot some steel last summer, and it is funny to see the difference in "dents" that they make..... :)
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby Tbush » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:03 am

Whan I first started hunting coyotes I shot the vmax type bullets and to many bad hits and wounded dogs, but moved to the 52 gr hp bt and loved it and shot it for a while ( and still would) but I found the 55 spitzers and my gun loves them :D They do do not splash or open up a big hole to often ..ON fox yes! but coyotes no...we use them for deer and antelope as well and they preform very well. shooting a 22-250 and a 223
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby coyotelatrans » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:11 pm

Jeck you made a great post and something I have been posting for awhile now. People can't say they are junk there a good bullet but where never designed for coyotes, they are a varmint bullet and too many want to group the body mass of a coyotes into that catagory. Doesn't matter if your shooting the Hornady or Nosler or others varmints bullets, the results will be the same!!! They are all drawn with a thin jacket and are made to be exsplosive. The reason I went away from a 22-250 the bullet selection to make them a really good coyote rifle when things don't go as planned, is not very good IMO. If I where to go back to using a 22-250 it would be with very few bullets ones with a thciker jacket and reliable exspansion, not exsplosive results like varmint bullets! Laws of physics tells us a light bullet with a thin jacket at fast speeds and bone = bullet splash and runner coyotes. Spire points, partitions would hold together better and have something to bust through those shoulder bones.

After some thinking on the subject and visiting with a friend I went the .243 route for coyotes and never look back! You have alot more options in the 6mm for a bullet designed to take down coyotes with shoulder hits and the .243 is a great caliber. It doesn't do alot of damage but has the bullet offerings and power for extended rnages if needed. I have 2 .243 rifles and they are my choice of a perfect coyote rifle. My remington likes 95 Nolser Bal tips, the key is these are made and desgined for deer but perform excellent on coyotes, damage for the most part is minimal and the runners just go way,way,way down. The other is a savage I just purchased and am trying the noslers plus Hornady 85 Interbonds for a fail safe bullet in coyotes as well as deer if so desired, I like to find a good load and stick with it. I know some who love the 85 Sirrea BTHP but the key to these again a better jacket design as these fall in their game king lineup and the base holds solid to punch thru bone as well.

I'm not lighting up p-dogs with these guns so I don't mind paying a little more for well construced bullet. Here is my new Savage so far it is impressive and love the accu trigger and these come with a very nice bareel quaility for sure!
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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby xdeano » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:23 am

I'll agree with you, the vmax is a poor coyote round, the jacket on them is very thin and you'll have a lot of splash. I use a 50g Nosler Ballistic Tip in my 22-250 for coyotes and it does very well. Now you'll say that the vmax and the Nosler BT are the same bullet, no they are not. The Noslers have a thicker jacket. For coyotes i also tend to down load my powder charge for slower velocities, I lower to about 3400fps, which may not seem like much, but it helps on those splashes.

I have also used the 52g HPBT and they work great. These are the bullets that i tend to push people into as well, they're a great choice.

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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby barebackjack » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:32 am

Chalk me up as another that doesnt like the 50ish grain V-maxs. The only reason they're as popular as they are is their offered in a lot of factory ammo configurations and the all important power of advertising (they do advertise a LOT).

When compared to a like weight Nosler BT, the Nosler is ten times the bullet (for coyotes). Thicker jacket, different jacket taper, and a slightly heavier base (in fact, the v-max doesnt have much of a "base" at all). V-max's are inferior to the Noslers until you start getting into the heavier weights, than id say they're pretty equal.

I shoot the 50 gr. Nosler BT's on the "slow" side in a .22-250 and it is quite possibly the BEST combo for fur friendly and stopping power ive seen for coyotes.

Like has been stated, the lighter v-max's are meant for p-dogs, much like the .204!


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Re: Shooting Coyotes with V-max Bullets...

Postby coyotelatrans » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:19 pm

I would agree to a very small point but the varmint bullets offered by Nosler are not much better I have found. I have shot the 80's in my .243 and hit shoulders to see what would happen and the same thing as others did splash and a less than dirt dead coyotes is what I found as well. I had these shooting 3,100 fps but they still have a thin forward jacket you get above 2,800 and your going to turn them ALL into shrap metal with a bone hit, that is the very design of the thinner jackets! I will agree that the noslers have a tad thicker base but what % is the base and I can tell with past experiance they sure ain't a GOOD coyote bullet IMO either.

Look here by Nosler themselves: http://www.nosler.com/bullets/ballistic ... rmint.aspx

Hornady: http://www.hornady.com/store/V-MAX-bullets/


That is why I stepped up to a .243 I do damage work first and foremost so I want stone dead coyotes, but I have been surprised at the Hunting bullet offeings from Nosler and Hornady in 6mm they don't over kill too much so I go with something more fail safe I guess.

Here is the bullet I'm trying in my savage I like the BC and knwoing they will work for coyotes without fail! The bonding of core and jacket even though the base is on the smaller side
http://www.hornady.com/store/InterBond-bullets/

Here is what my remington 700 likes:
http://www.nosler.com/bullets/ballistic-tip.aspx
Notice the differance above 3,000 fps between the two bal tips offerings!!!!!


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