Fur friendly caliber/.223 bullet

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Dec 11, 2020
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Durango Colorado
So this is discussed in depth online, but my search here was unsuccessful. My simple question is, is there one round that can be used for coyotes, bobcat, and fox. The reason I ask is I have been using my AR 15 and have been shooting 55 gr Hornady varmint bullets. This seems to be ok for coyote, but not for fox, they seem to explode. I know a lot of people use the .17 caliber for fox only, but it's not enough for coyotes according to my research. So it would be nice not to have to carry multiple rifles. Any suggestions would be great. Oh and I would really like it if it was a .223 round. My wife would not be ok with me buying another rifle right now. Thanks in advance!
 

MJE2083

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My initial thought would be to go with a 22 Hornet. If you want to stick with .223, maybe consider shooting a non-varmint bullet. Varmint bullets are designed to expand violently in most cases. Maybe consider something that's designed for more controlled expansion like a barnes tsx, or nosler partition.
 

MJE2083

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Vmax 40grain. Very rarely get a pass through
I'd agree with this too. I haven't shot a fox, but I use these bullets for groundhogs and it certainly doesn't "blow up" at least at 150yrds+ not sure about close range.
 

brockel

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223 and fur friendly on fox is going to be really tough. Anything over a 17 cal centerfire is tough on fox.
 

Pmacc60

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17 cal is not a great choice for bigger predators . It a poor choice for cold temps and windy winter conditions. I loved the idea of the 17 rem and fireball until I used them for fox hunting. The wind blew the bullets around past hundred yards. The 204 ruger is superior to the 17’s somethings a little rough on foxes but devastating on yotes out to three hundred yards. 223 is also good as is 221 fireball and 222 rem. I like 50 and 55 gr bullets but there will be pelt damage on foxes.22 hornet is a good compromise for 22 cal but you drastically shorten the range. Here in the East we night hunt with rimfire 17 hmr 17 wsm 22 mag and my oldie but goodie 5 mm rem mag. 17 and 22 hornet is also good night medicine because ranges are short and they are not as noisy as the bigger centerfire.

I see you qualified your question by saying coyotes are the main fair , 55 grain ballistic tips or something similar will do a great job on coyotes. Pelt damage will happen once in a while but most of the time with bullets traveling 3200 FPS and less you won’t have a problem.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
74
Location
Durango Colorado
17 cal is not a great choice for bigger predators . It a poor choice for cold temps and windy winter conditions. I loved the idea of the 17 rem and fireball until I used them for fox hunting. The wind blew the bullets around past hundred yards. The 204 ruger is superior to the 17’s somethings a little rough on foxes but devastating on yotes out to three hundred yards. 223 is also good as is 221 fireball and 222 rem. I like 50 and 55 gr bullets but there will be pelt damage on foxes.22 hornet is a good compromise for 22 cal but you drastically shorten the range. Here in the East we night hunt with rimfire 17 hmr 17 wsm 22 mag and my oldie but goodie 5 mm rem mag. 17 and 22 hornet is also good night medicine because ranges are short and they are not as noisy as the bigger centerfire.

I see you qualified your question by saying coyotes are the main fair , 55 grain ballistic tips or something similar will do a great job on coyotes. Pelt damage will happen once in a while but most of the time with bullets traveling 3200 FPS and less you won’t have a problem.
yea the 55s are good for coyotes but not on fox. They have a very thin skin
 

Addicting

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55 grain ballistic tips or something similar will do a great job on coyotes. Pelt damage will happen once in a while but most of the time with bullets traveling 3200 FPS and less you won’t have a problem.
At 3700fps they damage AR400 steel.
24EFFBD2-AA43-4291-8D4A-A76197EF7C95.jpeg
 

Outlaw99

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Question for the OP. Why are you targeting fox? Do you have a market for them thats paying something reasonable? Fox are the one species out there that unless I was on an ADC job of some sort, I’d do my best to just leave alone at the moment.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Durango Colorado
Question for the OP. Why are you targeting fox? Do you have a market for them thats paying something reasonable? Fox are the one species out there that unless I was on an ADC job of some sort, I’d do my best to just leave alone at the moment.
Not targeting them, but some of the ranches/farms we hunt want us to hunt all predators. I am trying to learn to tan the furs myself, not too sure what I'll do with them if I get a bunch.
 

Outlaw99

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Not targeting them, but some of the ranches/farms we hunt want us to hunt all predators. I am trying to learn to tan the furs myself, not too sure what I'll do with them if I get a bunch.
I gotcha. Even if you do put a bigger hole than you’d like, sew em shut, tan em, and they’ll still look fantastic
 

brockel

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I shoot 40 grain nosler ballistic tips out of 223 for coyotes and it’s very fur friendly. Normally there isn’t an exit and you only see the entrance when you turn the coyote over and the blood runs out. But they won’t be nice on a fox 95% of the time
 

JohnCushman

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I use 55 grain Hornady Vmax on coyotes out of my AR15. I can't remember the last time I had a pass through. You get one small entrance hole and once it gets in the lungs and heart get scrambled with no exit. If you're only worried about fur, I would highly recommend these, and the bullets can be bought as components to reload.
 

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