That's going to depend on the gun and barrel twist IMO. My father-in-law shoots a Cooper in a .223 and we have been loading Varmit Nightmare 50 grain bullets from MidSouth Shooters with great success. That particular gun will shoot about anything well, but this has been a great performer on prairie dogs. I generally shoot either a .22-250 or a 220 Swift. Some reason I started with 55 grain soft point bullets for the .22-250 and have stayed with those for no particular reason and shoot 50 grain Ballistic Tips out of the Swift. I'm partial to the Noslers, but that is personal preference more than anything. I'm generally loading to get the splatter upon impact and not to do the least damage to a pelt. Got some Barnes Varmit Gernades and just haven't had the time to play with them. They sound like a lot of fun. If I was chasing coyotes or foxes, I would probably stay with the soft points. Going mountain lion hunting around the 1st of December and planning on taking a .22-250 and will probably use the 55 grain soft points unless someone says not to do that. If you are shooting out of a black gun with a fast twist, forget everything I wrote here and go to bigger bullets. If you are planning on close shooting and don't want to damage a pelt, you could go with lighter bullets such as the 40 or 45 grain ones.
I shoot most of mine with a .22 hornet. I reload a 40 grain Barnes Varminter that stretches the little hornet to 300 yards. I also have a .223, but have used it little for varmints because of the noise. The hornet is pretty quiet compared so I can shoot one and keep calling without spooking close animals still coming in.
Rosinbag, I have been experimenting with a Hornet also. Tell me more about your load. You can PM me rather than highjack this thread. I am curious what others like for their 223's. So many different guns and purposes lead to so many different loads.
Thanks, RosinBag. I've just tried some basic soft points, but have seen some of the better bullets and was considering trying them. Really like the light recoil and noise compared to the Swift and .22-250.
I've used lots of the 55 Vmax in my various 223s. Never had them not shoot very well in any 22 CF I've been around. This winter the new Pacnor 1-8 223 will hopefully get a steady diet of 75 Amax. If I can get a load for them, it will extend my range quite a bit...