Belayer, your points are well taken, but both my Dad and some of his varmint-hunting friends have had trouble with .223 just not having the knockdown power of .308. Both of them have had coyotes run off after solid hits with .223. To be perfectly candid, one of my Dad's friends stated flat out, "Forget rifles for coyotes. As close as they come you can hunt them with a shotgun."
Part of the fun of this whole thing is "wind-doping." I've shot .223 enough to know how flat-shooting it is. It's more fun to me to pick a caliber that requires a little bit of a learning curve to master. I've been shooting 7.62x39 AK's for the past 12 years, and to me it's just part of the fun to know that there are a lot of variables to consider every time the trigger is pulled.
Sheesh--what started my interest in long-range shooting and coyote hunting is that after 12 years I'd go to the range with my AK and some plinker targets (aluminum cans, etc.), and 100 rounds of ammo. After hitting the first five targets with the first five shots, I'd ask myself, "Well, do I want to do that 95 more times, or am I just wasting ammo?" These days I'd rather take my time and fire one really good, difficult shot. To me that's more satisfying than launching a flat-shooting caliber knowing that it didn't take much planning to make that shot land where I wanted it.
Plus, I know .308 is a little potent for little Wily Coyote. I'll give you that. But as I've said before, one rifle may have to suffice for everything from coyotes on up, and I just KNOW I don't want to face a cougar with a .223.
On top of that, my shooting club has been known to shoot matches with distances to 1,000 yards. Nobody is going to say this is easy with a .308 (a 10-mile per hour wind can throw the bullet path off by 40 inches), but in a way, the more difficult it is, the more FUN it is.
So, Three-Oh-Eight it is. :sniper2:
Should things change down the road and I have more room in the safe or more money to play with, then maybe I'll get a .223 or .22-250.
Anyway, earlier today my dealer finally found a Savage 11FNS in .308, so I'm gonna mount an SWFA Super Sniper scope and Harris bipod on it. Then I can tell Wily there's a new sheriff in town!