Generally either will do, critter killing, depends on the critter and the range. If you are going to go up to coyote size i would recommend more like a .223. I would say anything over the size of a groundhog is candidate for a centerfire. Maybe asking what your looking for by way of critter hunting can be asked and answered in the hunting section. When you get .22 mag vs. .17 hmr you will get a controversy.