When the local gun shop closed up they offered a 10% discount on all rifles, so I bought a Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 in .25-06. Just recently I bought a Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40 to top it. I want to shoot 600 yards with this gun hopefully.
I have a Savage 10 Tactical in .223 with the heavy varmint barrel. This is my primary fox hunting and groundhog killing gun. I just ordered a Nikon 6-18x40 scope for it to replace the old Simmons on it. We're going to start reloading soon and I want to know some loads and bullets to use to make this a great fox rifle with a good distance to it. I have a feeling my maximum range to kill an animal with it won't be much over 250 yards though, am I wrong about this?
You can kill a long way out with a 223 if the wind aint to bad. For a pelt saving load the 52grn smk comes to mind, if your twist rate is fast enough the 77grn will reach out fairly well but be a bit more destructive if it hits bone at close range.
I also shoot an older Savage model 10 Tactical .223 with the heavy barrel and a Simmons 6.5-20x50 scope. I took a coyote at about 280 yds and have not tried anything (even targets) further than that. Last night I was cruising Youtube and came across this video where the 2 guys are shooting a Savage model 12 .223 at 490 yds. It is making me rethink what might be possible with my .223.
I use a .223 savage and practice out to 700 yds all the time. Pretty humbling when the wind cranks up, and we seem to get wind about 364 days a year. It will dang sure make you conscientious of what wind will do to a bullet.
I have nailed coyotes past 700 with mine, but have to admit missing more than hitting at that range. I personally view the 223 as a capable coyote gun out to 500 give or take but of course there are far better ones out there. Aint there always? The rifle can do it, the cartridge can do it, the only question is can you drive it effectively enough to make it worth doing?
If it is what you got, it can be done. If your planning on a lot of 500 yard+ shots I would start shopping for a fast twist 22-250.
Are you going to reload bullets for the .25-06? I have one as well, and I reload. One load that shoots well is 75gr V-MAX and 47.5gr powder. Can't remember the powder, but if I figure it out I'll get back to you on that.