This is a loaded question. I shoot Hornady. I like the bullet performance and quality. The 55 gr. TAP round is great ! It penetrates around 8" to 12" while breaking up. This is a good feature, when you maybe worried about where the bullet ends up.
I normally load 50 gr. hp or ballistic tips when I am using my .223. I recently loaded some 50 gr. Barnes Varmint Grenades for it. Barnes recommends at least a 1 in 10 twist barrel and my Stevens Model 200 has a 1 in 9". I have not taken a coyote with this load yet but took a pretty good size bobcat with a shoulder shot from about 78 yards. Really no bullet exit wound but it destroyed both shoulders from the inside and blew some bone fragments out the opposite.
I'm pretty new to predator hunting but am shooting a TC Encore with a heavy .223 barrel. A couple weeks ago I shot a female coyote at 305 yards off my back deck. Shot through the motor and she dropped where she stood. Moments later a big male came out across the field from her final resting place. I shot him at 275 yards but evidently hit him either high or far back. He went right down but dragged himself back up and limped away. A second shot missed. My tracking the next morning revealed a likely scenario of complete pass-through and failure to anchor him. I've been shooting 55 FMJ and am convinced that, while they're cheap and shoot well for me, they are not the ideal round for varmints. I want a bit more expansion with more retained energy so I don't have them run off wounded. Looking forward to other replies to this thread.
The fmj is not made to expand, nonexpanding bullets are made to pass through and you can only be sure to hit vital organs if the bullet travels through. Try the match hollow points, they are made to punch holes and the front are a hollow cavity that will fold over and do some damage.
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