Re: .223 for general varminting
Another one to consider is the CZ-527 Varmint, w/ either a laminate or H-S Precision stock. Detachable magazine, single-set trigger out of the box, and normally very, very accurate. New around here normally goes for around $565 or so. And the new models (last year or so) come w/ a 1-9" twist as well.
For what it's worth, I've ixnay'd a metric buttload of sod poodles w/ a couple bone stock .223 bolt guns. One was a Rem788 w/ a 6-24x Tasco scope (my first centerfire rifle), and the other a 700VS w/ a 20" barrel (factory) and a 10x scope (and a freakin' 5-3/4# trigger!), and the cheap reman ammo w/ 50-55gr bullets. Cheap, and works like a charm out to at least 300yds. Beyond that the wind starts mixing thing up a little, at least w/ the lighter bullets in my experience. Never used the heavies, as where I was shooting I needed to be sure that whatever the bullet hit, either the varmint or the ground or sagebrush, it wasn't going to carry *anywhere*, so I stuck w/ the light highly frangible projectiles. Besides, they make a definite 'impression' on impact [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
FWIW, the one coyote I connected with w/ a .223 Rem *did not* stay down. Shot from a bipod, w/ him sitting, facing quartering towards me. I must have hit him in the shoulder, as he flipped end-for-end and halfways again in the air, and went down hard. As I jogged towards the spot, from about 250yds away, he got up and I swear I've never seen anything on four legs move that fast before or since. No blood trail, and no recovery [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] Best guess is the bullet may have blown up on the shoulder, and not penetrated (55gr soft point).
[ 03-11-2004: Message edited by: milanuk ]