Best AR-15 Rifles For Coyote Hunting

Coyote hunting is one of the most controversial hunting practices in the country due to Coyotes being dogs. I don’t know how many domesticated dogs we have in our country, but I think it’s safe to assume that most of us love dogs.

I’ve had pet dogs ever since I was a young boy and I loved every moment I spent with my dogs, (especially my Boxer).

However, as cute as Coyotes appear to be and as close as they are to wolves and domesticated dogs, they’re classified as a nuisance species in most states. There is much debate about whether culling the population works, but that’s for another discussion.

I’d like to focus on some of the best guns you can buy right now online that will give you a great chance at bagging your first Coyote.

Rock River Arms X-1

The Rock River X-1  series features an 18" barrel and an overall weight of only 7.7 lbs for a lightweight and quick rifle. Generally speaking, I wouldn’t go with any rifle with less than a 16" barrel in most places. Coyotes are taking their place as one of the nation’s top predators because they’re able to adapt to any environment, are naturally paranoid, and stay out of sight until nighttime.

The Rock River Arms (RRA) X-1 features an 18" barrel with a 1:8" twist rate to be able to handle heavier 5.56mm ammo and still chamber the lighter ammo as well. The X-1 is chambered in .223 Wylde to accommodate both a 5.56mm NATO bullet and the .223 bullet for great versatility.

RRA does a great job of keeping this rifle lightweight and effective at any range from 50 to 300 yards with the right riflescope attached. The Picatinny rail system attached allows the owner to put almost any style riflescope imaginable. One of the big reasons I chose this rifle was the ability to install a night vision or thermal scope and allow yourself to hunt Coyotes at night. For the most part, people buy an AR-15 and shoot it a few times a year at a range and keep it in a safe or closet.

Coyote hunting with an 18" barrel instead of a 15" or 16" gives you more use out of your AR and helps conservation of other species. AR’s are very diverse and you’ll see barrels from 15" all the way up to 24" to improve accuracy at all ranges.  A lot of companies wouldn’t be as open about guaranteeing RRA guaranteeing a 3/4 MOA at 100 yards. You could always replace the stock and go minimalistic with something like a Magpul CTR stock that remains sturdy in any position with multiple LOP options.


  • Very lightweight
  • Great audible 2-stage safety
  • Incredible versatility with chambering multiple rounds for different hunts and environments
  • Sub-MOA at 100 yards


  • It could use a better stock
  • Very expensive


Weight7.7 lbs
Barrel Length18"
HandguardRRA Free Floating Rail
Caliber5.56mm, .223 Wylde
TriggerRRA Two-Stage Varmint
SafetyRRA Star Safety

Rock River Arms X-1

at Kentucky Gun Club
Prices accurate at time of writing

Maxim Defense MD15

If you’re seeking the ingenuity of Maxim Defense in a standard AR-15 package, then the MD-15 is the answer you’ve been looking for. It was specifically designed to cater to the increasing demand for reliable, accurate, and affordable AR-15 style rifles.

To enhance comfort and versatility, each MD-15 is equipped with our free-floating Slimline handguard. These handguards not only offer a monolithic-like upper receiver platform but also provide M-Slot compatibility for added flexibility.


Caliber5.56 NATO
Thread Pitch1/2×28
Material7075/6061 Aluminum & tool steel
FinishNitride / Type III anodizing
Barrel Length16"
Barrel Twist1:7
Barrel Material4150 CrMoV
Muzzle Velocity2,786 fps (M855)
TriggerALG Combat Trigger
Weight6 lbs 14 ounces
Length33" overall length

MD15:1516 Rifle

at Maxim Defense
Prices accurate at time of writing

STAG 15 Super Varminter Rifle

If you’re new to Stag Arms, they’re known for producing smooth-firing, aesthetically beautiful designs, and top-quality components in everything put out. The Stag 15 Super Varminter rifle is built with incredibly durable and rigid 416R stainless steel and 7075 T6 Aluminum with Type 3 hard coat anodizing. Strictly for Coyote hunting, the Stag Arms Super Varminter is a perfect choice for hunting across large farms or dense forests.

A 20" 416R stainless steel barrel is going to give you much better accuracy than a 16" barrel but with less mobility and maneuverability. Sometimes you can get within 50 yards of a Coyote, but other times they will smell you hundreds of yards away and whatever decoy you use won’t matter. Having a 20" barrel will allow you to outsmart the dogs and keep your distance to avoid detection.

The most impressive feature of this rifle, for me personally, is the Stag Arms 2 Stage Trigger mechanism. The initial 2 lb break is a little heavy (average is about 1.5 lbs), but the second stage breaks at only 3.5 lbs! Very rarely can you find an AR trigger that is breaking at 3.5 lbs, especially on a rifle with the versatility to act as a hunting rifle with the right scope and skill. I prefer a 2 stage trigger in all of my guns because I’m much more accurate than a single-stage trigger.

The initial break gives me a better indication of when the hammer is going to break and allows me to focus more on my fundamentals. I can shoot too quickly sometimes because I am normally fighting daylight and see my prey during the Golden Hour of the hunt. A 2-stage trigger forces me to slow down and breathe. The only thing I try to listen to is the audible sound of my trigger setting and getting primed to fire. No matter what, you’d be incredibly happy with this firearm, even if you didn’t hunt Coyotes.


  • The Stag Slimline 16.5 in. M-LOK Handguard is a standout feature that reduces the overall profile of the rifle without sacrificing optics, lights, and lasers
  • Incredible accuracy with sub-MOA at 100 yards
  • Crisp safety lever fit for right-handed
  • 2-stage safety is light and improves accuracy
  • Durable rifle with a high-end coating to protect against trees, rocks, and other gear you’re bound to hit your gun against during a hunt and hike
  • Stag Arms always produces reliable and beautiful rifles


  • 42.5" overall length is going to limit your ability to transition quickly if a Coyote exposes itself in a different location than anticipated
  • 10 lbs for an AR-15 is really heavy to carry around the woods or farm at 1 AM


Weight10 lbs
Barrel Length20"
HandguardStag Slimline 16.5 in. M-LOK Handguard
Caliber6.8 SPC
TriggerStag 2-stage trigger
SafetyRight-Handed lever


Stag 15 Super Varminter 6.8 SPC Rifle

at Stag Arms
Prices accurate at time of writing

Faxon Firearms ION Ultralight 5.56 Rifle

The Faxon ION Ultralight 5.56 Rifle is a top-notch rifle that’s designed to cater to the needs of competitive shooters and firearm enthusiasts alike. Its ultra-lightweight construction makes it a breeze to handle, especially during long-range shooting and precision target practice.

One of the most noteworthy features of the Faxon ION Ultralight 5.56 Rifle is its patented Integral Muzzle Device Pencil Profile Barrel. This innovative design combines a pencil-thin barrel profile with a built-in muzzle device, resulting in a barrel that’s exceptionally lightweight, offers exceptional accuracy, and reduces recoil.

In addition to the lightweight and accurate barrel, the Faxon ION Ultralight 5.56 Rifle boasts several other high-performance components, including a Faxon Gunner Lightweight M16 Bolt Carrier Group, Carbon Fiber M-LOK Handguard, and an adjustable gas block.

What sets the Faxon ION Ultralight 5.56 Rifle apart is its exceptional quality and attention to detail. This rifle is crafted in-house at Faxon’s Greater Cincinnati, Ohio facility, using top-quality materials and machined to exacting standards. It’s designed to provide top-notch performance and longevity, making it an excellent investment for serious shooters.

Furthermore, like all Faxon products, the ION Ultralight 5.56 Rifle comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. This guarantee covers any defects in materials or workmanship for the life of the product, giving you peace of mind and protecting your investment.


Barrel16" 556 Integral Barrel with 3-Port Brake
Bolt Carrier GroupGunner Lightweight BCG w/ Superfinish
Handguard13" M-LOK Carbon Fiber Handguard
TriggerHiperfire EDTDM Single Stage Trigger
Gas BlockMulti-Position Adjustable Gas Block
Charging HandleAmbi Charging Handle
SafetyRadian Talon Ambi 45/90 Degree Safety Selector
StockMFT Minimalist Stock or similar
Gas SystemMid-Length Gas System
Weight4.95 pounds


Faxon ION Ultralight 5.56 Rifle

at Faxon Firearms
Prices accurate at time of writing

Radical Firearms 16" Socom 5.56mm AR Rifle

Radical Firearms reminds me a lot of Stag Arms because they both are relatively newer companies that are producing high-end AR-15’s for those who are serious about quality and aesthetics. Normally, I wouldn’t want to do any kind of hunting with a 16" barrel, but when the barrel is made of a Chrome Moly Vanadium or stronger, I consider it.

Chrome Vanadium is the common metal used in Mil-Spec rifle barrels. The reason they add the new process (Moly) is to improve the rigidity, temp tolerance, accuracy, and rust resistance. Radical Firearms spent a lot of money on every aspect of the Socom AR and it shows with CMV and Melonite finish to prevent any marring, abrasions, chips from hitting a rock or metal and handle the heat better from heavy use.

The Radical Firearms AR is built with an A2 muzzle hider so you can take a shot and still stay hidden from the other Coyotes that were not directly in front of you. The accuracy of the barrel is enhanced by the smoothness of the trigger. The twist rate of 1:7" allows for the heaviest of 5.56mm NATO to be used without any issues, giving the shooter better accuracy at range. Coyote hunting with this rifle allows you to maneuver very quickly while maintaining noise discipline and keeping control for a quick shot. One important factor in Coyote hunting is to understand you’ll only get a second to shoot in many circumstances.


  • 16" barrel provides excellent mobility
  • Incredible accuracy with sub-MOA at 100 yards
  • 15" free-floating RPR handguard improves accuracy
  • Any optic or scope that can be mounted to a Picatinny rail can be installed onto this rifle
  • $719.99 is a steal of a price for an AR that can be used in so many different applications due to its size and features


  • Even with better processing, a 16" will have a tough time keeping up with the distance of a 24" barrel


WeightAbout  8 lbs
LengthAbout 36"
Barrel Length16"
HandguardM-Lok Thin Rail
Twist Rate1:7"
SafetyAmbi safety lever (switched with no tool)


Radical Firearms 16" Socom 5.56mm AR Rifle

Prices accurate at time of writing


The AR-15 rifle is an excellent choice for those who enjoy hunting coyotes. It’s known for its versatility, accuracy, and customizable features, which make it a top contender in the market.

While there are many high-quality AR-15 rifles available, the best ones for coyote hunting are those that offer a combination of precision, power, and reliability. Among the top AR-15 rifles for coyote hunting are the Stag Arms Super Varminter, Maxim Defense MD15, and the Faxon Firearms ION Ultralight.

Ultimately, the ideal AR-15 rifle for coyote hunting will vary depending on your specific needs and preferences. By carefully considering your hunting requirements and doing your research, you can find the perfect AR-15 rifle that will help you achieve success in the field.

Related Article – The Best Caldwell Bipod For Your Hunting Rifle


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