AR-15 for Deer.


July 17, 2006, 08:42 PM
Game laws changed this year here in TN. Now we can use any caliber for deer so long as it is centerfire and No FMJ. So the question is what bullet specific weight or types will put em down out to 200 yards. Wanted to try the ar-15 cause it weighs as much as my bb gun and my AR-10 bull barrel 20" is one heavy bastard. Barrel is 1-9 twist. 16 in barrel.

Anyway thanks in advance for info guys.


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July 17, 2006, 08:50 PM
60-70ish Gr and Hornandy has some pretty descent expanding ammo.

July 17, 2006, 08:53 PM
My father has a bean farm in OH and is issued crop damage permits for deer. He reports surprisingly good results with Black Hills FMJ .223 and rather poor performance with Hornady V-max varmint ammo. He scoffs at anyone who says .223 is not enough for whitetails.

July 17, 2006, 09:34 PM
.223 is not recommended, but it will preform well if the shooter does his job. I would choose a heavy bullet. Partitions, Accubonds, Core-Lokts, Interbonds, Bear Claws are examples of what I would choose. I would stay away from the more fragile varmint bullets.

July 17, 2006, 09:58 PM
"...poor performance with Hornady V-max varmint ammo..." Not surprising. Varmint bullets are not made for the penetration required for deer sized game. They tend to 'explode' on contact. FMJ's aren't made for deer either, but I suspect the BH bullets penetrate far more than any varmint bullet. FMJ's are illegal for deer hunting in most places as well. Mind you, your da isn't hunting deer. He's trying to save his crop. T'ain't the same thing.
The right bullet is essential for using a .223 on deer. If you intend using an AR at 200 yards you'd best be very sure it's accurate enough at that distance. If it can't keep every round inside a 9" pie plate at 200, it's not accurate enough. You should developing a load or trying every non-varmint bullet you can to find the load that shoots best out of your AR. Most, but not all, factory .223 ammo is loaded with varmint bullets.

July 17, 2006, 11:14 PM
i know a very successful hunter who swears by 52gr HP from black hills for nusance permits. sierra has a 69 gr hpbt that shoots great, and would probably be humane with solid shot placement

July 17, 2006, 11:15 PM
i have 64 grain soft point boat tails im gonna try this year. I havent experimented with heavier weight than that with my 1-9 inch twist. Have heard that the weights above 60ish have to have 1-7 in to stabilize. I know that the 60-64 grain range will shoot well in my rifle. Anyone have success shooting higher than 64 grains in a 1-9 inch twist? I know most of you are against shooting deer with .223 but have you ever carried a 15 pound AR-10 for a long period of time! Whew... tired just thinkin about it. My intentions with the AR-15 are still hunting situations where most shots will be close. Ill make a deal with you guys that feel that the .223 isnt powerful enuf for deer.........I wont just shoot one time ill shoot as many as it takes till the deer falls.:evil:

Cause followups are alot easier with the ar-15 than the ar-10 .

July 18, 2006, 04:49 AM
I have had to explain to a few people there are a few differences when they read an article about a 'deer' rifle. Out here in Utah, we have mulies, which are significantly larger than white-tails. While a 30-30 is heralded as being the cartridge that has put more venison on the table than any other, (and the 7.62x39 is pretty much a ballistic equivalent,) they are talking about the EASTERN U.S. In Utah, the only law is, "A centerfire rifle capable of shooting expanding bullets", there has been much talk recently about changing the law to add caliber and or energy requirements.

I have known a VERY few people who wanted to use a .223 for deer, mostly because they thought it was easier to just use a smaller gun than to get say, a .243 of significant weight to reduce felt recoil. I THINK, this is at the peril of increasing the liklihood of making an animal suffer. I have known more who will use a 22-250, and if any of them have had anything other than a perfect heart/lungs shot, they won't admit it. I suppose a .22lr will work if you know you can put one in the eye every single time. I suppose what will suffice for mule deer out here will work for white-tails out there.

I have been talking to my dad a lot about going to Wyoming to hunt antelope, and my little brother in the army at Ft. Bliss/El Paso has suggested coming down there to shoot white-tails and javelina, and if I do, I might actually consider bringing out an AR using a heavy BTHP dedicated game bullet. (Or my SKS if I have found the right combination of stock and scope by then.)

July 18, 2006, 06:29 AM
I've had good success with Speer 70 grain Semi-Spitzers. I load them in a .222 Rem., a .223 Rem. & a .22-250 Rem. all with 1:12 twist barrels and get good accuracy with them. Using them I took a deer at 360 yards with the .22-250 and at about 100 yards with the .222; both one shot in one side and out the other kills.

July 18, 2006, 08:04 AM
Get a real hunting rifle and leave the tacticool for range use. :rolleyes:

July 18, 2006, 05:03 PM
Most deer here in TN are no more than 150 pounds. My intentions are to harvest doe with the rifle and most does are no more than 12o pounds. You can harvest 3 doe a day here.There are some bigger bucks that are in the 200 pound range but mostly around the 150 pound range. What im trying to say is the .223 is used to kill men by the military. If the round can kill men then why are so many of you against shooting a deer that weighs as much as an average woman. Deer are not armor plated. All im asking is what specific bullet weights that people have successfully taken deer with. Dont need the deparaging remarks.

Zak Smith
July 18, 2006, 07:58 PM
70gr Barnes TSX

July 18, 2006, 08:02 PM
The average Tenn woman is 150 lbs? Hmmm, what are you feeding them? JK; I know what you're saying. :) In my state, the requirement is "centerfire .22, with 55 gr or heavier bullet" - this eliminates .22 hornet, pretty much, but allows .222/.223. The key here is the type of bullet. Something like a Winchester powerpoint 64 grain is going to be a controlled expansion bullet, and should work well on these eastern/southern whitetails. Or other simlilar heavy bullets that are softpoint and/or bonded or partitioned. Even HPs that are heavy, like a Black Hills 75 or 77 grainer (or 68 even) are going to be heavy enough that the core of the bullet will penetrate into the vitals, even if a lot of the bullet breaks up. The problem is peeps using varmint bullets - that's no bueno. It's inhumane to the animal, because it might die a slow horrible death if you don't hit the vitals hard. Stuff like 35, 40, 45, 50, 52 gr hollow points - these should be off-limits - in fact, I'd prefer it if the game regs required "64 grains or heavier" - this would exclude .mil ball ammo (55 & 62), but include 64 gr powerpoints on up, Some Hornady Tap, Black Hills, etc. Or at least "62 plus", rather than 55. Plus any variety of handloads with good heavy bullets will work. Like the man said, wouldn't try it on northern/midwestern whitetails or western mulies. .243 or .25 cal minimum for those.

July 18, 2006, 11:01 PM
Get a real hunting rifle and leave the tacticool for range use.

So something that may be capable of better than 1 MOA is inadequate for hunting because it is not called a "hunting" rifle?? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Zak Smith
July 19, 2006, 12:02 AM ( [ link to LARGER image ] (

July 19, 2006, 01:17 AM
Zak - Is that your 6.5 Grendel Upper on that AR? Was that a yearling bull or a cow? Or just a deer monsterous enough to look like an elk?

FatalMove - Can you afford a couple/three hundred for a new/used rifle? If so you might want to consider a lever action in .30-30, .32Win Spc, .357, .44Mag, etc, or a bolt action in anything from .243 thru .35 Whelen. Any of those will be a whole lot lighter than your AR-10, and possibly little if any heavier than your AR.

If you are too enamoured with the AR to use anything else, and can afford the several hundred dollars, consider a 6.5 Grendel, 6.8SPC, 7.62x39 or similar caliber upper to use instead of the .223 upper. Any of these will give a whole lot more margin for error that the .223, especially at 200 yards.

If you must use the .223, then I'd agree with Zak on the use of Barnes X-bullets, though I would merely recommend figuring out the heaviest TSX, XLC, or regular X-bullet that will shoot accuratly though your rifle (they do now have 53 and 62gr TSX bullets). I was very pleased with the performance of the 6.5mm XLC I used a large cow elk last year, but that was also a 140gr bullet with a SD that beats the snot out any .224" bullet I've seen (equiv to a 100gr .224" bullet). Then again, we are talking southern whitetails, not AZ elk so SD isn't as critical.

Zak Smith
July 19, 2006, 01:21 AM
18" 6.8 SPC, 110gr Sierra Pro-Hunter. Big healthy Wisconsin doe.

July 19, 2006, 01:28 AM
Damn, Zak - That deer's as big as the yearling my partner shot on our elk hunt last year. At first I though it was an elk becuase of the size, then I looked closer and saw the hide and head didn't match an elk, but I didn't think a doe (even a western mulie) could get that big.

July 19, 2006, 01:51 AM
Barnes X-Bullets work great!

As far as the Angel peeing in the flash hole a Knee protects from that as most flintlock huntares know!!:D :D

July 19, 2006, 09:21 AM
So something that may be capable of better than 1 MOA is inadequate for hunting because it is not called a "hunting" rifle??

I find military weapons heavy, usually worse than 1moa accurate, cumbersome. I don't like pistol grips afield, not very quick to the shoulder. I just don't like 'em. If you gotta have tacticool, fine, whatever floats your boat. I think it's rather stupid, but that's just MHO. Gimme a hunting rifle for hunting. Keep the M16s in the service.

I've tried to sporterize military guns. I usually wound up spending more than the gun justified, had a heavy rifle that didn't shoot all that well, and sometime as with the SKS, in an inferior caliber. I sporterized a 7x57 (great old caliber). It was heavy, but rugged and short (Spanish Mauser). It would only shoot 175 grain round nose, though, due to a fast twist barrel. It was about the closest non-custom military gun I've had to useful mainly because it was old, beat up and I didn't worry about bangin' it around. I sold it to a friend, though. He uses it in tide land areas for hogs.

You can buy a military Mauser action, like a 98, and rebarrel, restock it, drill and tap it, put a scope on it, put a decent single stage adjustable trigger in it, but you'll find a M700 Remington cheaper and just as good a hunting rifle. I just don't see the point in sporterizing military weapons anymore what with all the good sporting rifle choices.

I mean, you can use an un-sporterized military gun to hunt with. It can be done. I just think it's less than optimum. If all you had was a match grade M14 or M1 Garand, though, you could do a lot worse. At least it has the accuracy required and is in a decent, well, actually, danged appropriate caliber. The ARs, I'd just hang 'em on the gun rack in the truck to scare the neighbors with, buy a Marlin 336 to hunt with. :rolleyes: However, I'll keep huntin' with my Remington M7 Stainless in .308, thanks.

BTW, you sure that doe ain't a mulie????:eek: They sure don't get that big in Texas, despite what you might hear. :D

July 19, 2006, 09:38 AM
No one is saying that .223 is inadequate for deer. Of course it's adequate with good shot placement. For that matter, a .22LR will kill a deer if you place the shot just right. But the fact that you can kill a deer with a .22 (or a .223) doesn't make either one of them a great hunting rifle, in my opinion.

I consider myself a good shot and a good hunter, and I've killed a lot of deer, but I can't claim that every shot I've ever made went right into the sweet spot. In fact, I don't know any experienced hunters who would make that claim. Sometimes brush or branches between you and the deer (that you may not even be able to see through the scope) can make bullets (especially small bullets) do strange things. Being winded from the chase, or having to contort yourself into an odd position to shoot around a rock or tree can make your shooting less-than-perfect. All sorts of things complicate shooting in the woods, so you rarely get the kind of accuracy you get used to at the range.

So as experienced as I am, I've gut-shot a few deer in my time. I even had one buck wind me and bolt just as I was pulling the trigger, and I ended up busting him in the ass. If I'd been hunting with a .223, that's one deer I probably would have lost. He might well have gotten away, only to die later from infection. Since I use a .30-06, there was enough tissue damage that the deer bled out and died pretty quickly.

The point being that while a .223 will do the job, there isn't anything that it will do that a larger round won't do as well or better. So with all other things being equal, wouldn't you rather use a weapon that gives you the best possible odds for a conclusion you'll be happy about?

July 19, 2006, 04:42 PM
I guess I am not sure what a person GAINS by using a .223/5.56mm over a cartridge such as a .270 or .308. If that is all you have, then don't give it a second thought, just choose your shots carefully, and mind the wind.

To me, the wind (we have lots of it here in Nebraska) plays as big a factor in choosing the cartridge as the game. Get a gusty 25 mph wind, and the my .220 Swift is no longer in the same league as my 7mm Remington Magnum in hitting the bullseye at 200 and 300 yards. A .223 would be even more discouraging, I would think.

I think the recoil excuse for using lighter calibers is a red herring. If you are in sound shape and haven't shot enough to come to grips with the recoil of a .270 or .308 Winchester, then you probably haven't shot enough (period) to go afield with a deer permit in your pocket. If you can play touch football, you can handle a .270's recoil.

Same with meat damage. Range, bullet type, and where it hits makes more of a difference than which cartridge and caliber. Slip a 7mm Mag. bullet through the ribs, and you won't lose enough meat to make a single Slim Jim. Catch both hams on a quartering away shot with anything that expands, and it's a disheartening mess.

If you just plain like a .22 centerfire for deer hunting, then that is fine, no excuse is needed.

Art Eatman
July 19, 2006, 06:28 PM
I've seen a bunch of rifles that would give one MOA from a benchrest. That's no big deal.

I don't think I know anybody who can group one MOA out in the field from hasty-rest shooting positions...

If my hunting were to be in an ambush-type situation, tree-stand or some such, I'd take a neck shot with a varmint gun at around up-close to maybe 50 or so yards out. It wouldn't be my preference, though...


July 19, 2006, 07:01 PM
My Remington 700 has been successful with deer and pigs using the Federal commercially loaded 55gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. Usually "through and through" penetration with an exit wound of approx 1" in diameter, but on the toughest of hogs the bullet was usually found just under the hide on the backside. The TBBC bullets are now available in component form at Gander Mtn and other places.

The VMAX will not give you the required penetration, and a Match HP will be akin to using FMJ. That's how our .mil gets away with using it in excursions. It wasn't designed to expand. Use a tough (bonded is possible) soft point in a weight/length that your barrel likes.

Please read this ( before handloading Bear Claw ammo.

July 19, 2006, 11:32 PM
In Colorado the minimum legal caliber for deer is a .243 shooting an 85gr bullet.

Will a .223 kill a deer? OF COURSE it will. And if you just have to do it I would think the Barnes would be a very good choice. The only caveat being that you must pick your shot, watch your angles and there is no room for error. And that there are far better choices out there for hunting big game. I can however understand the desire to use a rifle just to see how it will work if that is your intent. Been there done that.:) That desire is not going to make your AR into a great deer hunting rifle. It is what it is.

My question to you is. Have you ever killed a big game animal before, and why do you want to use this rig over a better suited caliber?

From what I have been reading about Iraq the 5.56 is giving less than great shot performance on human sized targets.

Zak Smith
July 19, 2006, 11:38 PM
70gr Barnes TSX shot into solid dry phonebooks, 2700+fps at about 15'. That solid shank isn't going to fragment, so penetration will not be an issue. ( [ link to LARGER image ] (

If you want to hunt deer with a 223 and it's legal in your state, just pick an appropriate bullet and know your limitations.


ETA--- there's not reason to limit this to the 223. There are now a bunch of other viable caliber choices fofr the AR15 which get you in the 100-300gr bullet range, depending on what trajectory you want.

Art Eatman
July 20, 2006, 12:31 PM
Several things to remember: A lot of these bullets just didn't exist until relatively recently. Not all of the "average hunter" types even know about them. Some of these bullets are handloader-only, or else are not commonly in stock at the proverbial average ammo-seller's--Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, etc.

Game laws about appropriate cartridges have always been aimed at the average hunter of average skill and are based on what was commonly available at the time of the writing.

As far as Bambi, though, for all that the majority of my kills have been right around 100 yards, I want to have confidence that I'm able to *reliably* get a DRT at 400. That keeps me from getting excited about the new bullets in the smaller calibers.


July 20, 2006, 06:05 PM
Ok guys thanks for the info. Just to clarify for some of the guys tellin me to use different rifles. Sure im man enuff to shoot bigger guns , Hell i got 300 magnum 7mm magnum,.280 rem, AR-10 and a .257 Weatherby Magnum. Recovering from recoil takes a little longer on my other guns and the ar-15 has no recoil practically. Therefore, If i need followup shots the AR-15 is much quicker. Since I can harvest 3 doe a day, I shoot alot. .Not to mention the weight of the little .223 pop gun lots lighter than the Browning Bars ,Rem 7400 or the AR-10. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency says i can use the AR-15 so im gonna give it a try and if i put holes in a deer and i cant recover the animal then i will go back to the HEAVY AR-10. Finally i just wanted to know what bullet weights and contruction work well from some of you who actually shot deer with the pop gun round. Just a simple question but i gotta hear oh you sissy cant you shoot a bigger gun? What about a lever action this or that? But the facts are when a man wants to shoot or hunt with an AR platform nothin else will do.:neener:

July 20, 2006, 09:12 PM
I have a .222 that I have killed many whitetails with. I let my grand son start his deer hunting with it at about age 8 and he has taken many deer with it. He is 19 now and still has enough confidence in it to use it occasionally on what he is sure will be relatively short range shots.

My experience is that if you pick your shot and hit the vitals he will go down about as quick as with the 25-30 callibers. But the little bullet is not as forgiving and if you are off a little he will run a long ways.

I roll my own and usually load 55 gr BTSP to about 3200 fps for deer.

July 20, 2006, 11:56 PM
Sorry don't mean to hijack the thread.... but

Zak, did you try pushing the 70gain bullets any faster?
Was the 2700+fps the best accuracy load?
Or is the velocity due to the solid copper construction of the Barnes?
What was the load?
Oh, what COL?

Zak, as I let you know last week, I am trying to work up a load for some Lapua Scenar 4.5gram (69-70grain) BTHP for my 1:9 20" AR using CCI primers and BL-C(2). I have some loads made up ranging from 24.5gr to 26.1gr with a COL of 2.255". Unfortunatly I have to wait and see what works best.

Back on the subject, NM allows .223 for hunting deer. From the look of the Lapua Scenar I wouldn't recomend it for hunting, It "appears" more like a target bullet. The Scenar is very similar to the Sierra MatchKing. The Barnes sound like a really good bullet for hunting, that or a softpoint. But most of the hollow points in .224 caliber, seem to me, more for varmint or target use.

Zak Smith
July 21, 2006, 12:00 AM

Basically, I threw together a few loads which shot 2700 - 2750fps from a 14.5" barrel, using IM4895 and Varget, Winchester brass, and seated to magazine length. You might be able to get more, but the limiter will likely be powder space due to the LONG bullets.


Kurt S.
July 23, 2006, 04:40 PM
My wife took a button buck last year and has taken several piglets (60-70 lbs) with her Bushmaster. She uses 64 grain softpoints. The critters dropped like a sack, all neck shots under 100 yards.

Use that AR-15 this season, have fun and good hunting!

July 23, 2006, 05:31 PM
what is this this a high school class question and answer assignment? Its a freakin varmit gun hello:banghead:

July 23, 2006, 06:56 PM
The 223 is an excellent varmint caliber. Wish people would stick to varmints with the caliber and leave the AR's at home when deer season rolls around. Can't say anything constructive about an AR in the woods for deer hunting (sport) regardless of state laws..... Sorry, I know there are lots of you who disagree with me.

July 23, 2006, 07:21 PM
I'm holding a 16" AR in 7.62x39:

Works for me. This rifle has two doe and three hogs to its credit so far, and I've got another 7.62x39 AR that's got a buncha hogs to its credit.

June 14, 2008, 05:14 PM
i do realize that is is an extrmely old thread ( over 2 years i believe) but in reading it and with the increased popularity of the AR type rifles in the hunting arena, i felt that i had to comment as every year,just ahead of deer season beginning, this question comes up quite often

"is a 223 a good deer rifle"

my answer is this.

firstly, ive been hunting deer with small caliber centerfire rifles for years (over 35 years) and all i can say is yes, they are. ive taken deer quite often on land depredation permits,regular deer season,etc and have killed well over 100+ in my time with everything from a 22 hornet all the way up to 22-250 with the 222,223 and 22 hornet being my all time favorites. they work exeptionally well. so well in fact that now the majority of the states in the US have changed there game laws in recent years to reflect that it is now legal in most states to use ANY centerfire cartridge. in all of the deer ive killed with these small calibers, i have yet to have one run more than 25 yards max, and most of them drop like someone flicked off a switch or like they were struck by lightning...even many years ago when we didnt have access to all of the high tech bullets and powders we have now, we used to shoot them ( deer ) with regular old varmint weight bullets and they still didnt twitch when hit.

99% of the comments youll read online condeming the 223 and 222 as poor inhumane cartridges to use on deer are NOT speaking from experience, but from what they have read someone else repeat online condemning the 22 centerfires in the deer woods. all i can say is HOGWASH. i have plenty of pictures ive taken over the years of the sheer devistating damage the 222 and 223 do to deer to prove what i say ( i was going to post the pictures here, but alot of them are really gory and bloody)....

personally, this year i built a super accurate AR-15 im going to use. ill be shooting 75gr hornady match bullets. ive had great long range success with these (out to 650+ yards out of this AR) and the gun will shoot an average 1 hole group at 300 yards, with the groups only opening up to around 1/2 dollar size at 600+ yards........

like i said, dont believe ehwat you read when you hear these guys slapping the 223 around. if it will kill a man cleanly, i will kill a deer even twice as fast (remeber the DC sniper?....he used a regular old HB bushmaster AR i believe as a 'sniper" rifle and killed alot of people with 1 shot from long distances...all with that little old inaccurate 223...imagine that)

June 14, 2008, 08:19 PM
Bullets have come a long way since the 223 was introduced. There are plenty of very good deer class 223 bullets. I've gone to 53gn TSX because the 64gn Winchesters I started with were too destructive. My hunting buddy's wife has used an AR for two years deer hunting, and all of her deer have been DRT out to about 200 yards.

Around here, 223 is very popular for white tail.

I am not sure why people see the AR as heavy. It's lighter than a good percentage of hunting rifles I see out in the field. My daughter has a 16 inch AR that weighs under 7 pounds all up and with scope. It's easy for her to pack around and she can shoot 2 inches or better with anything we put into it.

June 14, 2008, 08:25 PM
Get a 6.8 or 6.5 upper. It'll give ya a little more room for error - since it's hard to guarantee perfect placement.

June 14, 2008, 08:41 PM
Man, this thread is antique! I'll still, every time I see one of these 223 threads, ask myself why I should quit using what I know works for a .22? My smallest diameter deer killer is .257". I don't see why I'd want any less, just me I guess. I don't have to have a tacticool rifle, don't even like 'em, but as Jimmie just posted, there are other calibers now and you don't have to go to an AR10 to get an effective deer caliber in an AR.

STILL, after 2 years, JMHO. :D

June 15, 2008, 12:53 AM
im not planning on it but what about a 204 with a 45 grn hornady? its not a v max

Art Eatman
June 15, 2008, 10:07 AM
.204? I guess my concern would be mostly about penetration. Odds are, with a neck or head shot, it would do just fine. Maybe even a 90-degree heart shot. I'm always dubious about any of the smaller bullets when it comes to shooting through a good bit of meat--or innards--before hitting a vital area.

The reason I talk about penetration is that I once pulled off an inch or two on a front angle shot on a buck. Instead of going in through the front of the chest, the bullet broke up on the upper part of the near foreleg. The buck went down, apparently DRT, but managed to get up and run off before I could reorganize my brain. And that was with a .30-'06. (My second effort on him, I wound up with 4X setting sun in my eye as i was lining up on the buck. Bummer.)

June 16, 2008, 04:03 PM
I don't have to have a tacticool rifle nope, but you have to call them "tacticool" twice in one thread :rolleyes:

A lot of people shoot their ARs weekly, thus they feel more practiced and accurate with their frequent shooting rifle.

Why is it some people MUST state "tacticool" "kool-aid" "mall ninja", when someone wants to use a rifle for hunting?

An AR is a rifle, accurate and can be accessorized. There is no need to hunt with a "sporterized" or "socially acceptable" rifle IMO.

By the way, if you're so opposed to using military rifles for hunting, you better not use a flintlock, bolt action, or lever action rifle as all of these were military rifles at some point in time lol.

June 16, 2008, 04:41 PM
I just don't care for tacticool. :neener:

Live with it.

Pistol grips are for pistols. Picante rails are for taco chips.

Triple S
June 16, 2008, 05:43 PM
+1 on the Triple Shocks....The 53 grain TSX will work just fine on deer. You will be amazed at how well of a job it really does. It does a nice job with expansion, terminal damage, and travel. Those who have not tried it need to see it to beleive it before telling others not to do it. The key is waiting for the right shot and placing the bullet in the correct spot. Even on shoulder shots out to 150+ yards, the TSX's will exit the off-side shoulder in most cases on deer. Everyone is right, most people get in "trouble" with shooting deer sized game with .22 cetnerfires for two main reasons:

1) Bullet Choice (highly recommend tough bullets like TSX, Partitions, Power Points, or Bear Claws)

2) Taking sub-par shot angles. While not entirely the same, hunting deer with a .22 centerfire is similar bow hunting (In the aspect that you have to wait for the right shot and put it in the right place). You don't have to only take head or neck shots, but a shot right behind the shoulder will often dispatch an animal just as quickly (if not faster) as a larger caliber would. Just like bow hunting, its not for every one but it can be a very effective tool for taking deer. It may not be your choice, but it might be someone else's.

June 17, 2008, 12:33 PM
If the AR15 is a great deer rifle, this has got to be the ultimate.

I don't know how I ever killed anything without this. :rolleyes:

Deer Hunter
June 17, 2008, 12:38 PM

Numerous people have killed deer with the .45 ACP from a pistol. From a subgun, given the extra velocity, your range is increased even more.

It depends on the shooter. I'll be taking a deer next season with one of my .223s. Either my Saiga or my AR-15. Most likely the Saiga.

June 17, 2008, 12:47 PM
You don't gain that much from the long barrel in a .45, not like a magnum revolver cartridge. I get about 400 fps extra from a hot .357 load in my Rossi 92's 20" barrel over my Blackhawk. .45 is lucky to gain 100 fps from a longer barre, not really enough to amount to much in effectiveness. Have chronograph, done the math. It's going to be a 50 yard gun at best, not just from lack of energy, but from the rainbow trajectory. I'll say the .223 will at least take Texas bambis at 100 yards with the right bullet. That's and improvement on the .45, I reckon. .22-250 is rather popular down here, but our deer are more like varmint hunting. I've seen the deer around College Station, not much difference. Class of 75. :D

June 17, 2008, 01:13 PM
I have loaded the 223, Sierra 69gr. HPBT for a friend's wife to hunt with. She has taken 3 deer with it so far.

June 17, 2008, 03:01 PM
Will the .223 work on this thread?????

I'll keep my .30-30, mainly because I don't plan on assaulting the deer with 30 rounds as 1 usually does it.....


June 17, 2008, 04:04 PM
There's some fallacious thinking in this thread.

What im trying to say is the .223 is used to kill men by the military. If the round can kill men then why are so many of you against shooting a deer that weighs as much as an average woman.

Not at all applicable. If you're "killing men", it usually doesn't matter if it takes them a few minutes to die. On a deer, that could be half a mile or more of distance, and unless you got a good blood trail, you've just lost a deer.

Don't get me wrong: with a bullet whose performance that you've tested, a .223 can work just fine. Don't expect a lot of sympathy about your 15 lb rifle, though: I've marched many a mile carrying a 35 lb cannon.

From your description, you have plenty of suitable rifles available. Your reasons why you're not going to use them don't really hold up to examination. If you're going to use a legal firearm, use it, but don't just come to us to back up the decision you've already made.


June 17, 2008, 04:55 PM
I would hunt with Rem .223 having a bowhunters mindset. Get up close adn personal with the animal your going to harvest, and do it with the best shot in the vitals as possible.

This gives you the opportunity to learn something new almost every time your hunt since you can watch it closey for that perfect shot.

Not too sure if I'd carry my AR out for deer though. It's too milatant and doesn't carry the right message to the anti hunters and gunners. I'd put the varmit light and scope on for the foxes though!!!!!

June 17, 2008, 05:30 PM
Not too sure if I'd carry my AR out for deer though. It's too milatant and doesn't carry the right message to the anti hunters and gunners.

Anti-hunters will hate you no matter what you use. Anti-gunners will hate you no matter what you use as well.

I really couldn't care less what message I send to other hunters. If one sees my rifle, they have another problem: I am having them arrested for trespassing and poaching.

Seriously, I'd expect more from fellow gun owners than such close-mindedness. I have-- in the past-- gotten a little good-natured ribbing from the guys around here, but in the end, they all want to handle or shoot my rifles.

I've taken deer with the AK platform, the HK platform, and this year I'll be doing so with the AR platform.

My primary rifle is a LR-308 in .308 Win. and I'll be using a 1:7 twist AR with heavy grain bullets for my "trail" stand (shots will be less than 50 yards on my trails).

I've never had a deer run, so I am comfortable with 5.56 in a heavy grain at this distance. After all, a friend's daughter did quite well this past year with a 22-250 bolt action.

-- John

June 18, 2008, 09:33 AM
Get a real hunting rifle and leave the tacticool for range use.

I agree. You'll do the deer better by using a Caliber more suitable for it.

November 11, 2008, 01:34 PM
I just shot a 240 lb buck with my AR15 using 55 gr psp. I was impressed with
how well it worked on a lung shot. Turned the lungs to mush and broke the leg on the opposite side. I am of the opinion that some of you are working to ban "assault rifles". You are the people that talk about how guns scare people and put down any kind of military rifle. I sure don't like that gun banner propaganda.

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