Dad passed away last night. He was a wonderful father to four boys, a loyal husband of 55 years, a hard worker who loved to farm, and a Baptist preacher for five
decades. My brothers and I are better men having been raised under his guidance. If we follow his example, we can do no better.
This brings to mind the passage from
St. Paul's letter to Timothy: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the
faith." (2 Timothy 4:7, KJV)
James Patrick Quinn was a good man. We shall see him again.
article is not about the search for the ultimate, long-range rig
for the pursuit of the elusive coyote. We will not delve
into the particulars of the evolution of cartridge development
relating to predator hunting, or the subtle differences in
bullet shape and construction for the best terminal performance.
Scope reticle design as it relates to predator hunting will not
be a topic, nor will the differences in the methods of gun
barrel construction and material enter into this article. This
is not about building, buying, or designing a coyote rifle, it
is about THE Coyote Rifle. To be more specific: Dadís coyote
Dad is not a hunter. He is a preacher and a farmer; neither of
which is a lucrative profession in our part of Tennessee.
When Dad was younger, he did find time to do some occasional
quail and rabbit hunting. Later in life, he tried deer hunting,
but found that sitting in a tree during freezing weather was not
for him, especially since he greatly preferred beef and pork to
the flavor of venison. In his earlier years, he enjoyed shooting
squirrels with a .22 rifle, and really liked the way that they
fried up with a nice batch of gravy. When asked where to
shoot a squirrel, he would usually reply "Anywhere in the
eye." He was pretty good with that old Remington
model 510, and did not see any need for a scope or any other
fancy appendages on the gun.
is also not what one would refer to as a gun collector. He likes
guns, and would shoot with us kids from time to time, but did
not acquire guns just for the sake of owning them. He is, or at
least used to be, an incurable trader. That is how he did end up
with a gun or two. He would trade almost anything. He once
traded a tractor for a plow horse. He was also constantly
trading vehicles. We never knew what he would drive home in, but
it was often not the car that he left in that morning. As far as
gun trades, I remember that he once traded our pigs for a double
barrel twelve gauge. Also, after one particular morningís
hunt, he traded six squirrels and his shirt for his friendís
shotgun. Guns were good trading material, but nothing that Dad
really got excited about.
the years passed, Dad quit hunting. I donít think that he
really thought much about it; he just got busy. He was
preoccupied with working a job, raising four boys, serving the
Church, and trying to support his farming habit. He never showed
much interest in guns. When I would show up with a new gun of
some sort, he would usually say "I thought you
already had one of those." That is why I found it
interesting when one day a couple of years ago Dad told me that
he had shot a friendís rifle. He really liked it. It was
pretty accurate, and didnít have much kick to it. It was a .22
magnum, and he asked if I had ever heard of one. Sure I had. The
.22 magnum has been around as long as I have. It is a dandy
little cartridge, but like most shooters, I have come to take it
for granted. There are many more-powerful cartridges around, and
the little .22 Long Rifle is better for plinking.
asked Dad about his sudden interest in the .22 magnum.
"Coyotes" was his reply. He had seen a couple of them
while on his tractor, and did not like the idea of coyotes in
the pasture with the newborn calves. The .22 magnum that
he had fired that day was a semi-auto that had a plastic stock,
and was a bit heavy, but he thought that a .22 magnum would be
an ideal coyote rifle, at least under the conditions that his
gun would be used. He still has a nice Ruger .243 that he has
owned for years, but he wanted something lighter to keep on the
tractor, and besides, the .243 was too loud and powerful for
close range coyotes. I agreed.
for close range predator work, I recommend a good centerfire
revolver, but Dadís hands are not as steady as they once
were, and his eyes are starting to fail him as well. After a few
minutes, the topic of discussion changed, and I didnít think
much more about it. Awhile later, he once again was asking about
.22 magnum rifles, and if I knew where he might acquire one. He
was serious about this thing.
was just a few days later that I learned that Henry Repeating
Arms was building their handy little lever action in .22
Magnum, and I immediately called McLainís Firearms and
placed an order for one. The gun arrived wearing a
decent-looking walnut stock, and handled and functioned very
well. Still, before giving the rifle to my Dad, I wanted it to
be something really special. I wanted the gun to be his, unlike
any other, so I called upon a friend who had previously done
some laser engraving for me, and had him to put Dadís name on
the walnut stock. Also, in keeping with the purpose of the
little carbine, I had an image of a coyote engraved beside the
couple of days later, I found Dad walking around outside the
barn, and told him that I had something for him in the truck.
Pulling the rifle from the cab and handing it to him, you would
think that I had given him a million bucks. He didnít say
much, but it was obvious that he really liked that little Henry.
Looking at the gun, never lifting his eyes from it, he thanked
me very much. I pulled a box of Federal .22 magnums from
my pocket and showed him how to load the gun. We both fired the
little Henry, plinking a few sycamore balls from a tree over by
the creek. I heard that he showed that little gun to everyone
that stopped by for the next couple of months. Later, he thought
that it might help by placing a scope on the little coyote
rifle; nothing fancy, just a scope. I picked up a new Simmons
at a gun show, and we got it sighted dead on at sixty yards.
donít think he ever had the rifle with him when a coyote was
around, but occasionally I hear him firing the little Henry at
sycamore balls or walnuts. We only live a few hundred yards
apart, and sometimes when he hears me testing a new gun, he
brings over the coyote rifle for a little practice.
there are many choices in firearms for varmint and predator
hunting, the best rifle for coyotes is a Henry .22
magnumÖÖÖat least to me and Dad.
out Henry Repeating Arms' line of rifles on the Web at: www.henryusa.com.
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