Stiff Neck

223 40gr V-max for coyotes

17 posts in this topic

The guy from coyote canada reports that for him, the best bullet in 223 is the 40gr V-max. I know there are a lot of folks who would say that's not a very good choice at all for coyotes, let alone the bigger ones they have up north in Canada. On his web site he anylizes the terminal performance of the little 40gr V-max on several kills from different angles. Most of those shots are taken over 200 yards if I remember. It seems to work pretty darn well for him!

while not as small as what those shooting a .17 remington use, for the type of hunting I do on the type of terrain around Calgary, I have found the 40 grain v-max to be the best performer when it comes to what happens once the projectile strikes it's intended target.... I have put together some information concerning my current load: a .22 hornady 40 grain v-max that push out of my Rmeington 700 at approximatgely 3750 feet per second.... With a 40gr v-max bullet travelling somewhere in the neibourhood of 3700 fps, this has proven to be an effective marriage between my desire to have enough gun and minimize damage to the coyote's fur. My hunting buddy shoots a .220 swift, and with his 40 grain bergers screaming out at over 4200 fps, it has also proven to be highly effective in meeting my two criteria for selecting a coyote cartridge.
What do you guys think? I know a lot of folks recommend something heavier like 55gr or more, but then again, there a now several calibers that shoot much much smaller bullets (17Rem, 204) and they seem to do just fine. Of course, ANY varmint caliber performs poorly on shoulder hits (even the mighty 22-250) so that goes without saying. Thoughts?I've only shot one coyote with a 40gr bullet, and it was a Nosler Ballistic Tip not a V-max. Black Hills claims it's got 3600fps under the hood. But it put that dog right down. Reason I ask is because my 223 LOVES the 40gr NBTs and I'd rathern not switch on and off between different bullets (and changing the scope all the time) depending on what type of hunting I'm doing. I'd prefer to just have one load for everything for that rifle for simplicity.

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I've only shot one coyote with a 40gr bullet, and it was a Nosler Ballistic Tip not a V-max. Black Hills claims it's got 3600fps under the hood. But it put that dog right down
I think you answered your own question :lol: A 40 gr. is just right, thats what I load up

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Those 40gr V-Max are really thin jacketed and unless you make a bad shot almost never come out the other side. I've found them to be extremely accurate to over 400 yards. I can shoot sub MOA a 250 yards with them. The wind affects it a little but not like it would a .17 Remington and they work fine. I just like the bullet for it's accuracy and explosive expansion. When you pick up a coyote shot with one it makes a nice slushy sound. :lol:

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That's what I thought guys. Seems like a lot of folks over at PM disagree. I read a lot of archived posts going way back and most shooters discourage the lighter 223 bullets. Whatever.

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I have had excellent results with the Hornady 40 gr. V-Max on coyotes with both a .223 and TC Hornet. However, as with any bullet, things can go wrong. Here is a picture of a coyote that stepped forward just as I committed on the trigger resulting in a mid-body impact. I would have never thought that little pill could exit a coyote at .223 velocities at 100 yards.85511bloodyote.jpgHere is another extreme example of things going wrong with the 40 V-Max. This coyote was laying down facing away and chewing on a staked down deer carcass. This is the surface blow up on the entrance wound. All of the other coyotes I have shot with the 40 V-Max had no pelt damage......just tiny entrance wound and no exit. The 40 Nosler works just as well and is more accurate in several of my guns. Also, the 40 Nosler has a solid base allowing for more penetration and less likely to blow up on the surface at high velocity.coyote5.jpg

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SBF - The 40 works very good on bobcats but most have been head-on shots in the center of the chest at night with no exit. One that I can recall hit behind the shoulder was behind a net wire fence and the little pill hit the wire and split and put two small holes into the chest......cat ran 60 yards before collapsing. I really can't think of a "normal" broadside chest shot with the 40 V-max as the vast majority I have kiiled were with either a .17 Remington /25 HP or the .222 /50 gr. Sierra Blitz. The 50 gr. Sierra usually exits with about a 1/2" to 3/4" inch hole on lung shots.Here is the monster tom killed with the 40 V-max that split on the net wire. The rifle is a Rem. 788 with a 27.75" Lilja Barrel. I pretty much shoot 40 V-Max's exclusively in this barrel because that's what it really likes. The two blown up coyotes were also shot with this rifle.21bcat1.jpg

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That's a nice cat Bill! ;) I don't usually post reloading info because most people don't reload as much as I do. But these gopher loads at Calhoon's site are awesome. They're relatively quiet compared to a normal load and they are very accurate. Plus they don't tear things up. I've used them for several years especially around houses. But I have to mark the rear of my cases with a felt tipped marking pen so I don't confuse them. Here's a link if you'd like the information.Gopher Loads for the .223

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John - thanks for the gopher loads......my ex and I used lots of reduced loads in a .223 and .222 on gray fox back in the 80's and they worked very good on saving pelts. After I got a Hornet, we pretty much used it exclusively for fox calling but killed a lot of unexpected cats and yotes with it too. My favorite Hornet fur load was with a Speer 40 gr. Spire Point at 2,800 fps.....it was a killer and not a wrecker!

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Bill - Here is the first of those two reduced gopher load pages. I have them printed in my loading manuals but couldn't find the web link earlier.Gopher loads page 1I'm glad someone is interested in them. I think they're great and do a fine job on most animals. ;)

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Thanks for the link John. I may load some of those up for "windy day" squirrels? That might be the ticket at Cedarville when the wind is moving the .17 HMR around too much?

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Shooter John - appreciate all the load data......I have 2 lbs. of 800-X sitting on the shelf that sounds like it needs to find its' way into some .223 brass. I have quite a few 33 gr. V-Max (green tip) that should work very well.

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I'm always glad when someone else can use something I've stumbled across in the past. I've really enjoyed the loads and they are a pleasure to shoot as well as being very accurate. Like Bill told me it's like having a whole new gun. ;)

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Which barrel twist rate would you guys recommend? 1:14? 1:12?

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Which barrel twist rate would you guys recommend? 1:14? 1:12?
I've got 1:8, 1:9, 1:12 and 1:14. My 1:9 in the Savage Model 12 is probably the most accurate. But the 1:12 of my Remington 700 VSF is very close. The faster the twist the heavier the bullet it will shoot well.

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I am going to load up some 40's for my 223 and 22-250 and see how they do. The Varget load for my 22-250 as per my Nosler book is moving at about +- 4100 fps. I hope to keep this fast tracker out of shoulders and other big bones to keep them from exploding on the surface.

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