I remember Gibsons too. That was my favorite store to go in when I was little to take a look at the knives and guns. Got my first pocket knife and BB gun there.

Even though this is an old thread I'll add my experience with the .223 since that's my main tool of choice for all around critter killin. I've shot 18 coyotes,2 bobcats and a badger with it this Winter. Shots have been anywhere from 50 to a little over 300 yards. All but 3 animals have went straight down. And two of those didn't make it over 25 yards before falling over. One coyote made it about 50 yards before giving up the ghost. I've mainly been using a 55 grain softpoint. Behind the shoulder and neck have been where I'm putting the softpoint. I haven't ever really been a huge fan of softpoints but they're growing on me. You get an exit every time on broadside shots but generally it's not too bad of an exit wound.
I didn't climb to the top of the food chain to eat carrots.