There are a lot of variables to consider to answer you question.
If you are looking for a one shot drop kill with any firearm your are going to have destroy the central nervous system everytime you shot, every time! That is the only way you will get the one shot drop kills.
Is the .223 capable of doing just that given the parameters you laid out.
The question is can you place your shot in the exact right spot each and everytime.
I have shot and dropped coyotes in their tracks with everything from a .22 lr to a 404 Express to a .40 S&W. I have also shot coyotes with those same calibers and had them run off like they were missed.
Maybe I shouldn't quite count that one shot with the .40 S&W. I shot it at about 40 yards as it was walking along beside my truck out in a wheatfield. Dropped like it was pole axed. Walked out in the field pickend it up and carried it back to the truck to take home and skin. tossed it in the back and headed home. As I pulled in the driveway, I looked up in the mirror and the coyote was looking back. Got out the 580 Remington, opened the canopy and stepped back. When the coyote fell out of the back of the truck, I put a .22lr in it's ear and it never moved again. you just have to hit that central nervous system everytime!
When I skinned that coyote I found the 40 cal bullet had passed just under the spine but above the lung an stunned it. Elmer Keith talked about this phenomenon in big game numerous times in his writings.
Like Double D I have killed many 'yotes with a multitude of cartridges. Also like he says you've got to put the bullet in the right place regarless of cartridge. That said let me say many I've killed were with the .223 from 5 feet to a tad under 500 yards. I prefer the Hornady 55 SX in bolt guns and the 52 gr Speer HP in gas guns. However these were in 1-10 and 1-12 inch twist barrels. The faster twist may require a different bullet. Most all the 'yotes I've shot in the heart lung area have been dropped immediately when the range was 250 yards or under. Ocaasionally at longer range they would run a bit either straight or in circles snapping at the wound but none went more than 30 yards. On the other hand a gut shot or leg shot 'yote is going to go a long ways and your chances of catching up with him are slim to none with slim being gone. Shoot well and you won't have any trouble with the .223 if you use a good quick expanding bullet and put it in the right place.
Phil B said:
what is average range of effectiveness...most shots here would be 50 to 200 yards. iS 223 ENOUGH for one shot drop kills? :shock:
Wind in Montana?! What's the problem, it stop or something?:lol: I never had any problem with Montana wind just put your cross hair on the windside about a 1/2 coyote per hundred yards and you were bound to hit him some where...
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