Deer Rounds


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dfunde01
November 6, 2008, 03:54 PM
What is the best .223 deer load?

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slow944
November 6, 2008, 03:56 PM
I've used 62gr for deer. Try and shoot them in the ear.

oregonhunter
November 6, 2008, 04:21 PM
Whats the best .17hmr load

R.W.Dale
November 6, 2008, 04:23 PM
lots of hunters report the winchester 64grn power point to be an excellent performer on small southern whitetail

highorder
November 6, 2008, 04:24 PM
I don't know where you are, but I don't have alot of confidence in .223 for deer.

At the minimum, I would use .243/ As it is, I use 8mm Mauser.

Olympus
November 6, 2008, 04:32 PM
I've seen a lot of guys use the .223 for deer though it was never while the season was in and always from across the hood of a truck.

I would never recommend any .223 bullet for deer hunting. Like someone said, you'd have to head-shoot one. I strongly disagree with this philosophy. I've seen a deer with the lower jaw shot completely off because the guy tried a head shot. Luckily he was able to get off another shot to the vitals afterwards.

I also agree that the .243 is about as small of a caliber I would go for deer.

Tacbandit
November 6, 2008, 04:35 PM
Hey, d........Welcome to THR...Hey, I recently posed this same question and I received a few replies...Check them out as well, and I hope you find the info you're looking for...I'm going with the Winchester 64 gr Power Point...Haven't tried them yet, but they were the most recommended...Good luck with it...!!!
www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=401632 :)

dfunde01
November 6, 2008, 04:42 PM
Hey, d........Welcome to THR...Hey, I recently posed this same question and I received a few replies...Check them out as well, and I hope you find the info you're looking for...I'm going with the Winchester 64 gr Power Point...Haven't tried them yet, but they were the most recommended...Good luck with it...!!!
www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=401632

I read your thread earlier. It is interesting how the question is ignored in ss many cases. The question still is which .223 load is best for deer, not if the .223 is acceptable.

Dave

R.W.Dale
November 6, 2008, 04:43 PM
I get a kick out of these threads especially how a .243 shooting a bullet that's .020" larger is great on deer out to 500yds but a .223 won't cleanly kill a housecat even inside 100yds

There are sevaral loads of factory .223 loads geared twards hunting deer at moderate ranges

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=564348

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=467277

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=891153

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=402682

Read the reviews for these products, they serve as a great source of info from those whose been there done that vs the "what I was told at the gunshop"
crowd

mr.trooper
November 6, 2008, 04:53 PM
Whats the best .17hmr load

Not even close, and you KNOW it.

I don't know where you are, but I don't have alot of confidence in .223 for deer.
I don't recall that being the question.

Tacbandit
November 6, 2008, 04:58 PM
Quote:
"I read your thread earlier. It is interesting how the question is ignored in ss many cases. The question still is which .223 load is best for deer, not if the .223 is acceptable."



Exactly....You'll get a lot of stories about why not, or why they don't, and the original question seems to float on out into cyber space universal somewhere...I still appreciate the replies, though. Sorry I don't have any actual test results as of yet...Like you, I'm looking for that right round for that specific situation...Be sure and post some results and pictures...We should be out testing soon....Good luck :)

hboy35
November 6, 2008, 05:59 PM
both my does dropped dead last year with one shot. Fully exited on both does, one thru the heart and one through the neck. Range was 80yrds and 65yds. I liked the minimal amount of damage to the meat and not having to track. YMMV.

highorder
November 6, 2008, 06:32 PM
I retract my comments.

I did not answer the question as asked because the OP has 6 posts. I thought I might offer my thoughts, but the taskmasters are right.

Shawnee
November 6, 2008, 07:19 PM
You don't need exotic ammo. Plain old 60gr. Federal Vital-Shok ammo should be just fine.

Yes, you have to be careful about shot placement but you have to do that with a .308 too.

:cool:

Tacbandit
November 6, 2008, 08:51 PM
hboy35 Quote:
"Winchester 55g FMJ"


Wow...good shooting...Tracking is never fun(well, hardly ever)...I don't think
that FMJ ammo is allowed here, however...:)

WVMountainBoy
November 6, 2008, 09:09 PM
Here in WV, we can't use under a .25 cal bullet. I've always used an '06 or 7mm

groundhog34
November 6, 2008, 10:52 PM
You really should not shoot deer with a 223 it is not humane too great a chance of a wounded animal. The amimal deserves better.

Seafarer12
November 6, 2008, 11:15 PM
You really should not shoot deer with a 223 it is not humane

I have to disagree. I have seen more wounder deer with 7mm mags and 300's because of flinching than botched shots with 22 caliber centerfires. A guy I work with has and old .222 that has taken more deer than 95% of the deer rifles out there. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a deer with a .223. I will admit there is less room for error with a 22. You need to pick your shot but a head or neck shot will drop them no problem. I wouldnt take a shoulder shot unless he was fairly close and was angled just right. I am not saying it is the best round to shoot deer with but is plenty to kill a deer. I personally use a 7mm-08 but if I was at my coworkers place without my gun and he offered to let me use his .222 I wouldn't hesitate.

As far as the original poster. I would pick a 55 to 60 grain psp not intentioned for varmints. I reload so I would load up some partitions personally.

d2wing
November 10, 2008, 07:37 PM
Due to injury, I loaned my 7mm to my son and took a ar-15 .223 to the woods last Saturday. My worry was that I'd get a shot at the biggest buck I've ever seen and the .223 wouldn't bring it down. As it happened I did get a shot a 240 lb 14 point buck. I got a quick shot to the Lungs at 60 or so yards between trees. It went about 40 yards and was dead when I found it. I used
55 grain pointed soft points, Black hills brand. The next day my son shot a doe with the 7mm also in the lungs. It went over 100 yards. I am very pleased
with the .223 and the 55 gr bullets.

woof
November 10, 2008, 07:43 PM
I agree that the .223 is inadequate for deer. I also think saying so is a very valid answer to the question - which .223 load is best?

GooseGestapo
November 10, 2008, 08:00 PM
As I've posted many times before;
Any 55gr PtSpt or heavier.
Well placed shot. This includes heart/lung shot.

Favorite loads: (I don't use factory ammo, but these will closely mimic my handloads)
1. Hornady 60gr SoftPoint (I saw these at Academy Sports in Opelika,Al last week!) I load them over 26.5gr of either BLC2 or RL15 in .223; 38.0gr of H380 in .22-250. (duplicates the performance of .243 w/100gr Hornady BTSP).
2. Winchester 64gr Pt.Spt. (I use the Sierra 63gr in my .22-250, 65gr BTSP in the .223 which has a faster twist)
3. Hornady 55gr PtSpt. (I use 27.2gr of BLC2 for 3,100fps from 18.5"bbl)

I've had more blow-ups and failure to penetrate with a .243 than either .223 or .22-250 due to the .22's being constructed not to "come apart in flight" from the ultra-fast .22cf's.

Just my observations from 40yrs as a hunter and 30yrs as a Game Warden.........

berettashotgun
November 10, 2008, 08:06 PM
A 55gr in most older,i.e. rem 788 ,rifles w/1-14" TWIST; faster twist 1-7,8,9 (AR's)handle the 60+gr softpoint well.
75gr hollow points have worked well in a 243 for many a kid around me.

Auburn1992
November 10, 2008, 09:12 PM
+1 for Win Powerpoint 64 gr

killzone
November 10, 2008, 09:46 PM
What ranges are you considering your affective ranges? I'd agree ,however .223 would not be my pick as a deer load, with using 55gr within 100yrs... beyond that go with havier if you must.

bang_bang
November 10, 2008, 09:55 PM
If a 22LR or 22MAG can down a deer, .223/5.56 will do it better and faster. It's illegal to take deer in VA with a 22 caliber bullet, but only if you're caught.

Doesn't ballistic tips offer deep penetration? Or would the ballistic tips in the .223 expand more rapidly than the ballistic tips in say a .243?

woof
November 10, 2008, 10:15 PM
"It's illegal to take deer in VA with a 22 caliber bullet, but only if you're caught."

Integrity is what you do when no-one is watching.

ants
November 10, 2008, 10:35 PM
Here's an answer that is true for all calibers

Go to the bullet manufacturers' web sites and learn more about bullet construction. Hornady, Sierra, Speer would be good to start. Then see if Barnes, Swift, Nosler or Berger have additional information.

In general, you will discover that they make different bullets for each of four different uses: Target, varmint, big game, and dangerous game. Each category is constructed differently for that particular purpose. Deer are in the big game category. Choose a bullet designed for big game. If you buy factory ammo, look for a manufacturer with bullet construction meeting big game requirements. That's all you gotta do.

Auburn1992
November 10, 2008, 11:03 PM
Winchester 55g FMJ

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

both my does dropped dead last year with one shot. Fully exited on both does, one thru the heart and one through the neck. Range was 80yrds and 65yds. I liked the minimal amount of damage to the meat and not having to track. YMMV.

Too bad FMJ is not humane nor legal to hunt with...

longdayjake
November 10, 2008, 11:17 PM
Too bad FMJ is not humane nor legal to hunt with...

Yeah, too bad international government considers fmj to be the most humane on a human but hunters consider it to be the least humane. I don't get it. Someone is going to have to define "humane" for me.

gvnwst
November 10, 2008, 11:23 PM
Look at cor-bons 70gr (barnes) x-bullet loads. Or any other 60gr+ weight. That is what i am going to use, when i go out with my .223.

skinewmexico
November 12, 2008, 01:46 AM
My 11 year old twins killed 14 does one year with a 223, none of them went over 10', and none of them were head shots. Traditional high lung / shoulder shot placement works fine, despite what the old school "bigger is better" people say. A 55g Remington PSP works wonders.

cliffy
November 12, 2008, 02:10 AM
.223 Remington and .243 Winchester: both adequate deer fare. ONLY the 60 grain .223 Nosler Partition is proper for deer hunting in my experience, while regarding .243 Winchester fare, the 100 grain Speer Grand Slam and the 90 grain Swift Scirocco II have served well out to 300 yards. The .243 100 grain Nosler Partition is only needed on tough Western Mule Deer. This year I will stalk the Wyoming Pronghorn with 90 grain Swifties @ a muzzle velocity of 3300 fps. These missiles shouldn't quit at beyond 350 yards. Regarding
.223 Remington offerings, the Nosler 60 grain has no peers to date. The 55 grain Speer Bear Claw has eluded my grasp to date. I wish to some day attain some for experimentation. They have been thus far "difficult" to obtain. Any OTHER .223 fare to date are COYOTE bullets at best. cliffy

drgrenthum
November 12, 2008, 05:12 PM
OP i applaud you wanting to use the best bullet in 223 that you can get. Dont listen to the guys with their .600NEs talking about you're not using enough gun. A bulllet in the right place will put down anything. I use 223 almost exclusively with no issues.

Whether it is legal or not is another conversation. Just because something is legal doesnt make it right and just because something is illegal doesnt make it wrong. I like using 62g m855s for penetration, i want to make sure the bullet is getting to where i want it and want shroom up stop short. I could be wrong in my assesment and it wouldnt be the first time but it works.

The Bushmaster
November 12, 2008, 05:24 PM
Question:
"What is the best .223 deer load?"

Answer:
Trading in the .223 for a .30...

woof
November 12, 2008, 05:46 PM
I could send my wife or daughter out on the road in a Yugo with bald tires and bad brakes. It is "adequate." I know lots of people who have driven Yugos and lived. Maybe a hack novice shouldn't drive a car like that but if you have superior skills it's ok, right?

No, when it's about something that matters, adequate and minimum and barely legal aren't good enough. I care about my wife and daughter. I also care about deer being killed as cleanly as possible. Any young hunter who learns from me will learn that and learn it well or he won't hunt with me.

But different people care about different things and that's why threads like this go on and on. There's no accounting for taste and there's no accounting for values.

220_Swift
November 12, 2008, 06:00 PM
A good friend of mine has been using the Federal loading with the 60gr Nosler Partition for a couple years now. With great success I might add. He has taken a total of 7 deer, and none made it further than 50 yards. He keeps shots under 200 yards, and waits for a good broadside shot. He always shoots for the lungs. Seems to work well for him. And he still gets to go hunting. He was in an accident several years ago and cannot tolerate much recoil. That is why he decided to give this a whirl.

My therory is, if it is legal in your state have at it. To me, being ethical is following the letter of the law. JMHO of course.

BigBuckMaster
November 12, 2008, 06:31 PM
Winchester 55g FMJ with a spine shot. thats what i did. keep in mind that you need to be real good with your gun.

ggarfield965
November 12, 2008, 07:38 PM
Here is my 2 cents. I have been out hunting times where a big old rock would have been sufficient to kill a deer. I like to hunt in thick woods where a lot of shots are along shooting lanes from tree stands along deer trails. In my opinion, your average doe or medium-small buck is going to be dead meat with any .223 expanding round. I like to wait for a broadside shot and shoot a deer clean through the heart or lungs. If I had to pick a shot to use, why not Federal Vital Shock, they are very consistent.

Now granted, I see no good reason to pick a .223 over a medium powered rifle, they are a bit on the small side and I would not take an especially long shot or a shot through a lot of bone. I think in an ideal world a .243 is a great rifle, a .30-30 is swell for the woods, and a .270 or .30-06 will do the rest. I happen to use the .30-30

This said, the .223 may cramp your hunting style a bit, but a good hunter will know how to use this round humanely and how to put meat on the table with it. Try hunting with a bow only for a few years and you might find yourself singing the praises of the .223 I probably don't need to remind anyone that our troops are virtually shooting .223s over there, and if the army has adapted to use this, I'm pretty sure you can manage to kill a deer with it.

If I had to choose a gun to survive in the woods with if I got stranded, I would pick a .22lr. Why? Because I could carry a ton of ammo and kill everything from birds to deer. How do I know? I shot clean through two sides of our steel burning barrel with my .22 with a standard load at 60 yards.

It is none of our business to tell someone with a .223 (whether that's their only center fire rifle, they prefer it, or they are a varmint hunter that shoots a few deer every year) that they shouldn't be shooting deer with it. You don't need the optimum gun for every dang thing you shoot. You don't need to throw down $600-800 every time you take up hunting a new animal. Bottom line, guns kill and they are good at it. In Wisconsin, a .223 is legal, and I say use it if you want to.

UnTainted
November 12, 2008, 08:03 PM
Cor-Bon offers a .223 DPX (barnes X all-copper bullet) loading in both 53 grains and 62 grains. I would feel comfortable using the 53 grainer on whitetail, but I'd stick with the 62 for mule deer, though I don't use the .223.

If I had to, I'd want these.

UnTainted
November 12, 2008, 08:09 PM
And it's illegal to do something, by it being illegal. You're probably only going to be punished by the State if you're caught, but you've still chosen to do an illegal action. ;) A criminal caught or not is still a criminal.

woof
November 12, 2008, 08:41 PM
"It is none of our business to tell someone with a .223 (whether that's their only center fire rifle, they prefer it, or they are a varmint hunter that shoots a few deer every year) that they shouldn't be shooting deer with it."

It is our business when someone goes to a forum and raises the question for discussion. If I overheard a conversation in which someone said they were hunting deer with a .223 I would make no comment.

black_powder_Rob
November 12, 2008, 10:21 PM
he only asked for the best load to take deer with... I belive a 60 gr soft point will work just fine. Good luck with which ever you choose.

KINGMAX
November 13, 2008, 11:44 AM
I like a 270 for deer

cracked butt
November 13, 2008, 11:49 AM
60 gr Nosler partitions.


I'd rather see hunters use properly loaded .223s that they can shoot very well than have them shoot 30-06s that make them flinch. Most of the guys in the woods are way overgunned and way underskilled. That being said, a lot of hunters consider the .243 to be 'unmanly' and too small.

BENELLIMONTE
November 13, 2008, 12:28 PM
dfunde01,

I sighted in my Savage 111(223) with Federal Premium 55 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw ammo (catalogue#P223T2)It gave me 1" groups after 5-10 shots. I haven't used it on deer size game so I can't testify as to the efficacy of the 223 on deer. If I did use this round on deer I'd be sure I only took side presentation (heart/lung/rib cage) shots.

Good luck,

BENELLIMONTE

Olympus
November 13, 2008, 02:37 PM
I could send my wife or daughter out on the road in a Yugo with bald tires and bad brakes. It is "adequate." I know lots of people who have driven Yugos and lived. Maybe a hack novice shouldn't drive a car like that but if you have superior skills it's ok, right?

No, when it's about something that matters, adequate and minimum and barely legal aren't good enough. I care about my wife and daughter. I also care about deer being killed as cleanly as possible. Any young hunter who learns from me will learn that and learn it well or he won't hunt with me.

But different people care about different things and that's why threads like this go on and on. There's no accounting for taste and there's no accounting for values.

That makes a very good point right there. :cool:

I love read all about how these .223ers love to post all their success stories. We hear plenty of that. But I haven't seen too many people saying that the one they shot with a .223 ran off and never was found. I think it's hard to believe that something like that has never happened.

I also love to hear people giving the argument that it doesn't matter what size the bullet is, as long as you place it right. I completely agree. A nice 55 grain V-Max through the eyeball of a cape buffalo will put it out of it's misery. But how many of us are capable of that kind of accuracy? And of that number, how many of us are capable of that kind of accuracy without shooting from a bench? Shooting from a blind or treestand without much of a rest, if one at all? How many of us honestly think about breathing rates before we fire on a deer? What about looking for limbs that could deflect a bullet that small? Out of all the deer that have ever been shot anywhere other than a head/spine shot, out of that number how many actually drop in their tracks? I'd wager a good amount of money that more run off and run a further distance if shot with a .223. Nobody wants to tell the stories about how the exit wound on a deer shot with a .223 was so small that the deer was lost because of an inadequate blood trail to follow.

I love the posts about how the soldiers use essentially .223s and they kill terrorists just fine, so why wouldn't they work against deer? That's a good point, but you're comparing apples to oranges. Soldiers are firing considerably larger amounts of rounds at a single target than a hunter fires at a deer. Soldiers are also working to neutralize a threat. I don't think they're worried about the guy that got shot in the femoral artery and is slowly bleeding to death. It might be a better example to compare a sniper to a deer hunter. Snipers aren't spraying a lot of lead at a target. They're one-shot one-kill shooters. What's the most popular round for a sniper? It's essentially a .308...a .30 caliber, not a .22 caliber.

You can argue this debate until you're blue in the face. I even have a .223, but I have more sense than to take it to the woods. It really makes no sense. :banghead:

Bottom line: use the .223 for what it was DESIGNED for.

Olympus
November 13, 2008, 05:45 PM
Basically, the argument that X "will kill" an animal does not make it a good or even adequate choice except in an emergency.

Good point. A .17 "will kill" a deer but I don't see too many people posting threads on what the best .17 bullet for deer is.

<............>

cracked butt
November 14, 2008, 10:17 AM
A guy who can make a heart or double lung shot with a .223 is going to lose a lot less deer than a guy with a 30-06 or 300 magnum who flinches and jerks the trigger every time he 'aims at' the deer.

I've watched through binoculars a lot of deer being poorly shot or wounded while hunting- by the sound and number of the muzzle blasts and the cadence of the shooting, its usually with remington 742/7400s in 30-06.


I've worked deer rifle sight-in clinics over a dozen or so years, I've seen countless people who have not fired their deer rifle since the last season and could barely keep their shots on a target- from a benchrest! I can shoot my AR-15 more precisely at 100 yards standing than 99% of them could shoot their '06s. A properly constructed .224" bullet (not hollow points,not FMJs, Not varmint bullets) placed in the boiler room of a deer will bring it down very quickly, a .30 bullet to a front leg, lower jaw, stomach, or hams will not.

rklessdriver
November 14, 2008, 10:56 AM
The REAL problem with using the .223 on deer, is that the guys who wound deer with a .223 are they are the same group of guys who wound deer with a .300 Weatherby...

It's all about skill. Shooting a deer in the hind leg, jaw, antler, lower front leg ect is not humane reguardless of what caliber you shoot it with.

Proper shot placemnt is paramount in taking any game animal cleanly and humanely. Simply put you know the limits of your rifle, you know the limits of your shooting ability (if you don't you have no business hunting), if the shot is out side those paramaters... pass on it. It's the buck fever riddled clowns who fill up their scope with a deer and shoot "at it" that wound deer, not the rifle, not the optic, not the caliber or anything else.

I have a little Weatherby Vanguard in .223 that I have used to kill a whitetail every year for the past 10yrs. As for illegal, state laws differ but its completely legal to use a .223 in in NC.

I have used hand loaded 60gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claws (I think they are availiable in 55gr and 60gr now) and the factory loaded Winchester 64gr Power Point. My little Weatherby's 1 in 12 barrel turns both projectiles fine (less than 1"@100yrds). BOTH projectiles are specifically constructed with killing deer in mind. So is the 60gr Nosler partitioned, but I haven't tried them yet as I'm happy with what I have so far.

Given PROPER SHOT PLACEMENT any one of those 3 rounds will humanely kill a deer.
Will

nickotineisdeadly
December 6, 2008, 01:26 PM
i am 16 years old and i used a .223 to kill my first deer.
everybody that says that it is not powerful enough is completely wrong.
this gun will drop a dear just as fast as a 270 as long as you have a heart of lung shot. when i used a 223 i used the bullistic tips and they work very well.
dont listen to all the fools that tell you dont hunt with a .223, cause trust me, it will get the job done

this has nothing to do with a .223 but i read a post earlier about somebody talking about bow hunting and im just throwing this out there for people like that.....

ive moved on from rifle hunting and i am a bow hunter now. i think alot of people should consider bow hunting as it is alot more fun and if you have the rite equipment it will drop a deer in no time. i use the Rage broad heads and they put a bigger whole in a deer than the 270 i use to use did.

Dos
December 6, 2008, 02:12 PM
sure 223 will kill deer...but why not use an ice pic in hand to hoof combat and save that 223 ammo for assaulting other things. :rolleyes:

robsc
December 6, 2008, 02:27 PM
People who have hunted deer for 40 years are not fools when it comes to common sense caliber choice and experience.

The .223rem. is toooo light for deer. It`s a varmint/target cartridge. However, too many people have used it successfully deer hunting for the varmint argument to hold water.
Most importantly, shot placement is critical. Anyone hunting deer with a .223rem. should only use the heavier 62gr., 65gr. 68-69gr. or the 70gr. and heavier weight bullets. Head and neck shots only.

All those guys who gotta kill a deer to brag about it will learn that when you get older, having seen so much sorrow and death in your lifetimes and being able to go into any restaurant and order anything you want to eat, will realize less and less pleasure to destroy an animal`s life for food when you really don`t have to. At some point. the hassles of hunting are no more challenging.

Decker
December 6, 2008, 03:04 PM
I don't see a big problem with killing deer with 22 caliber bullets. Its 2008, the availability of premium bullets in all calibers for every situation is there.

While i haven't specifically seen the 223 in action on deer, i have seen a pile of them drop to 22-250's and 220 swifts, extremely effective. I realise the 223 is slower, but i am sure it will knock a deer silly out to at least 200 yards.

I'd rather see more people shooting accurately than see them shooting bigger at the end of the day, that is the final say in any gun battle......

Shawnee
December 6, 2008, 04:35 PM
:)

"I'd rather see more people shooting accurately than see them shooting bigger"


High-5 to that, Decker !

A guy who spends all Spring and Summer sniping varmints with his .22/250 isn't going to shoot for just "someplace between nose and tail". All the wounding is going to be done by the slob who drags his over-powered .30 caliber out once a year to shoot at brown deer, gray deer, maybe deer, and sounded-like-a-deer.

:cool:

WormCan
December 6, 2008, 06:09 PM
I cant tell you which is the best deer round from your gun or mine. There are three popular loads I can tell you about. I personally have some Federal 60 gn Vital Shock NP on order. Some other rounds to consider is...
Federal Power Shock Jacketed soft point 64 gn
Winchester Super X Power Point 64 gn

Im sure there is a few more out there but these are three of the major ones I can think of and have recently seen during some research.
Good luck.

XD-40 Shooter
December 6, 2008, 06:47 PM
In Colorado, the minimum deer caliber is .243. .223 is illegal for deer hunting, in Colorado.

tblt
December 6, 2008, 06:49 PM
bigger gun
243 is min here

UnTainted
December 6, 2008, 07:34 PM
243 is minimum in Nevada also, though in Idaho that doesn't apply. I think the 243 and 223 are similar, with the edge for bigger deer like mule deer going to the 243, but bullet construction, range, and most importantly shot placement will rule what happens to your deer.

I like a 30-06, but it's in a heavy gun with a heavy piece of glass, so the recoil is very, very soft comparable to a lighter weight bolt rifle. I also shoot a lot, so that helps, but I agree that some people do bring more gun than they are trained to use effectively.

Shawnee
December 6, 2008, 07:34 PM
"....223 is illegal for deer hunting,"


The government agencies of many states draw the line to exclude the .22 centerfires and, in particular, the .223/5.56.

Personally, I don't think their true motive is due to the .223 really being inadequete for deer.

I think the bureaucrats are afraid the EBR types are going to go out hunting with their AR-15s and spraying the hunting grounds with so many bullets that citzens are mown down by the truckload. I also think the many state wildlife officers who may have to arrest hunters would rather those hunters not be armed with AR-15s etc. And too, if a state recognized such rifles/caliber as legitimate hunting rifles - the antis would scream because it would be tougher to portray them as unnecessary EBR murder machines.

:cool:

XD-40 Shooter
December 6, 2008, 08:38 PM
In Colorado, you can hunt with an AR-15 style rifle, but it has to have a 5 round magazine.

corncob
December 6, 2008, 08:54 PM
"It's illegal to take deer in VA with a 22 caliber bullet, but only if you're caught."

Integrity is what you do when no-one is watching.

To me, being ethical is following the letter of the law.

You guys can't be serious. The laws in this country are so numerous that no human can even know them all--and game laws are often the most arbitrary of them all. Conversely, any 13-year old knows right and wrong.

I thought we were talking about bullets anyway. A heart/lung shot is a heart/lung shot. If you're aiming for the spine (head/neck), you might want a more significant wound channel in case you miss, but I would think a small, fast bullet would get you there better than a heavy, slow one. With any bullet, though, you only have so much kinetic energy to blow. Every bit you spend on expansion, making a terrific wound, you don't get to spend on penetration. Remember that only blood-loss and shock or nervous system damage will kill a deer, but you have to know where the bones are if you don't plan on shooting through them to get to the cardiovascular or nervous parts.

tnieto2004
December 6, 2008, 08:59 PM
I took this one with a 55gr soft point, behind the shoulder.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p240/tnieto2004/deer08.jpg

mljdeckard
December 6, 2008, 09:20 PM
I know guys who use .223 or 22-250 for mule deer, but I wouldn't do it.

White tails I might be a little more giving on, I honestly don't have experience with them. If the advantage of lighter calibers for hunting is lower recoil, and more confidence in the shooter, THEY SHOULD TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF IT. They should be training to the point where they are absolutely confident of the shot.

Brian Dale
December 6, 2008, 10:48 PM
I've taken exactly one deer with a .223, with a match grade AR-15. I had planned to hunt does that afternoon, so naturally a big, northern white-tail buck came walking through the woods toward me. When he was broadside and 25 yards away, I took the shot. He ran 25 yards and collapsed. I had hit him perfectly: heart and lungs with a Winchester Super-X 64-grain PowerPoint. He weighed 180 lbs after field dressing.

It's perfectly legal to hunt deer with .223s and with semi-auto rifles in this state; there's no magazine size limit, either. I used the same 20-rd. mags that I use for match shooting.

I won't do it again. That was the closest shot that I have ever had at a deer. I've watched deer travel (swiftly!) for hundreds of yards after having been hit properly (heart and lungs) with .30-'06s. The woods are heavy here, with lots of places for a deer to hide and to die undiscovered. Hence, I carried a Marlin 336 in .35 Rem this season, with 200 gr Core-Lokt soft points. It works just fine.

That's my answer: if you're going to hunt deer with a .223, then use good, heavy, well-constructed bullets, know deer anatomy very well and practice a lot before the season. mljdeckard expressed that very well in the post above this one.

retsub
December 7, 2008, 05:18 PM
^^^What he said about bullet weight and construction.^^^

Last year I helped skin a deer that had a perfectly placed .223 bullet lodged against its ribs. I don't know the bullet weight or how far the shot was but I couldn't believe it did not even penetrate the ribs.

I won't be one of the guys that says a .223 is not enough gun, but bullet weight and construction should be considered with any caliber-especially such a light one.

moooose102
December 7, 2008, 11:04 PM
180 grain soft point. you may have to run the cleaning rod through the barrel a few times to open it up to .30 caliber though!

d2wing
December 8, 2008, 08:06 PM
I have shot a large deer with the .223. Apparently it does what the told us in the army. I am convinced that the shock does alot of damage to soft tissue. I used 55 gr psp and was impressed with the damage it did. I have hunted many years with a wide variety of calibers and guns. The pentration was also excellent. However I was careful to shoot behind the front leg and there was almost no blood trail. It went 40 yards.

groundhog34
December 8, 2008, 09:22 PM
I shot a deer at 600 yards with a 17 cal air rifle he ran 30 yards before he fell. What is the best pellet to use?
Do the humane thing use a large enough caliber to kill the animal quickly. IMO it is at least 243 or 25-06 for a whitetail.

Deer Hunter
December 8, 2008, 09:24 PM
Groundhog,

Have you ever shot a deer with .223?

BornAgainBullseye
December 9, 2008, 10:35 AM
If you are going to use .223 for deer, then spring for a bonded bullet. Like the 55 grain SPEER trophy bonded bearclaw. There is a factory load usind this bullet in the Federal Premium line. It penetrates deep and does not frag like all others. I usually find the bullet in the hide if the shot is over 200 yards. Deer are still dead. Shot placement is key for a fast kill. Shoot them in the neck if you dont want to get on your hands and knees to find a blood trail.

Jamyatunes
December 9, 2008, 11:32 AM
The "conventional wisdom" that states the .223 is not enough bullet for a deer is the same "conventional wisdom" that claims you don't need to aim with a 12 gauge loaded with 00buck in a HD scenario.

The most inhumane thing to do to a deer is to aim for the deer and yank the trigger - with any caliber. Aim for the vitals, and hit them. You will drop the deer.

I use a .308, but if I were hunting deer with .223 I'd probably go for the 62gr DPX.

stiab
December 9, 2008, 11:57 AM
After reading this thread, it appears that many of the successful .223 deer hunting examples cited involve does and smaller deer. That seems to make sense.

d2wing
December 9, 2008, 02:06 PM
I wouldn't call a 240 lb 14 point buck, small.

Deer Hunter
December 9, 2008, 02:15 PM
Small deer, big deer, it makes no difference. Know your gun and make the shot count. You should do this with any caliber.

Most of the people who claim the .223 isn't enough for deer have never tried it and/or don't hunt and are spouting what they heard somewhere online.

The people that do hunt, on the other hand, know that caliber doesn't mean much in the woods.

stiab
December 9, 2008, 02:28 PM
I wouldn't call a 240 lb 14 point buck, small.

I said "many". In this thread there are 18 examples of people killing deer with a .223 where they identify if it is a buck or doe. Of those 18, 16 are does. See what I mean?

Most of the people who claim the .223 isn't enough for deer have never tried it

Why should we try it, when there are so many better options available?

or don't hunt

How do you know that?

BornAgainBullseye
December 9, 2008, 03:07 PM
It will do the job. I have killed many deer with .223 remington. My first was when I was 10 years old. Over the span of 10 more years it was the only gun I hunted with until it was stolen. I have replaced it with a .30-06, a Nagant, a .308 custom mauser, a 8mm M48 mauser, and guess what... another.223 remington. It will be the gun I let my son shoot his first on. If it is legal in your state then It is ok to use it. If not then oh well. Still a great caliber. Are there better for deer hunting. absolutely.. but does it work. Yes it does. Will it kill a " big buck" It sure as hell will kill it just as dead as a 105mm belted magnum. I do have 2 wall hangers that were killed with .223. one was shot behind the shoulder, which ran 75 yards. The other I droped where he stood with a shot in the neck. Overall I have killed 6 bucks and 3 doe with this caliber. Never have I had one I could not recover. Never have I made a bad shot with it either. Stop bashing it! It will do its part if you do yours!!

woof
December 9, 2008, 03:11 PM
Why does this subject have to go on and on? It is clear that about half the posters here look with some contempt upon those who hunt deer with a .223 and that those who hunt deer with a .223 don't care. So be it. It is unrealistic to think that the distribution of ethics and sportsmanship among those who shoot and hunt would any different than in any other walk of life.

spiroxlii
December 9, 2008, 03:27 PM
Please remember that all deer aren't created equal, and all hunting environments aren't created equal. For large deer and long ranges, .223 may not be optimal. For the smaller deer we have in many parts of the country and for the short to medium range hunting that the landscape dictates in some parts of the country, .223 with the right bullet may be a fine round.

spiroxlii
December 9, 2008, 03:35 PM
^ Actually, some .223/5.56 loads might work better on thicker deer than on skinny deer, since passing through extra tissue will give the bullet more time to do its yawing and fragmenting magic. I don't know. Just as all deer and all hunting environments aren't created equal, all .223/5.56 loads aren't created equal.

762ghost
December 9, 2008, 06:16 PM
I roll my own ammo using Hodgdon Varget powder and Barnes 62gr TSX TripShoks. I worked the load up to the accuracy I was looking for and I have found this combo works well for deer. The controversy will always be there but the consensus here with those who know from experience seems to be stick with a 60+ grain bullet you a familiar with the POI on and use a well placed shot.

woof
December 9, 2008, 08:31 PM
A is free to hunt deer with a .223 if his state permits it and B is free to disagree and draw whatever conclusions he wishes from that. It is obvious that for every person who thinks .223 is adequate for deer there is another who thinks it is more than not recommended, it is unsporting, and there is no taboo against pointing that out. As someone said earlier in the thread, if wounded deer could get up and shoot back you would no longer see the .223 used.

indoorsoccerfrea
December 9, 2008, 08:33 PM
i think it all goes back to the shooter. if you are responsible and can get proper shot replacement, then essentially any round would do the trick.

Brian Dale
December 9, 2008, 09:57 PM
Indoorsoccer, how would you feel about this change to your comment?

"I think it all goes back to the shooter. If you are responsible and can get proper shot placement, then there are more loads that will work than one might initially expect."

Please keep in mind that, out in the field, we still need bullet energy, penetration, expansion, tissue damage and so forth.

woof
December 9, 2008, 10:25 PM
There are shooters who I might think capable of hunting deer with a .223 ethically. The problem is, when you say something like "if you are a good enough shooter" the ground shakes around here from all the heads nodding, "yeah yeah that's me!" There are those who can safely take bad turns at 70 mph too, but I wouldn't want my teenager trying it.

The danger is that very young, very inexperienced would be deer hunters read this forum and take what they read to heart. When they read that a .223 is fine in the hands of the right shooter how many of them do you really think say to themselves, "Gee, I don't think I have the experience or skill for that." Right. If someone out there wants to hunt deer with a .223 go ahead but you should really keep quiet about it because it sets a very very bad example and there is nothing more "high road" than trying to set a good one. A good example is saying one should never take hard curves at 70 (even though you secretly think you can) and saying the .223 is not adequate for deer (even though you secretly think it is, in your hands).

d2wing
December 9, 2008, 10:47 PM
I understand your point. I am done now.

Deer Hunter
December 9, 2008, 10:54 PM
A bad shot with any rifle round is bad.

It doesn't matter what a novice is hunting with. If it was a .223 or a .338, nothing makes up for a bad shot.

I'd trust a novice with a .223 more than some magnum-class round that I see thrown around as "great for deer and anything else!". Less recoil, more confidence, less likely to flinch and jerk a shot.

A bad shot with a .308 and a bad shot with a .223 look exactly the same: Deer runs off to either die of infection later or suffer a slow healing process.


If you hunt with a larger caliber, that's fine. I began hunting with an SKS and did just fine. I didn't know anything about bullet construction, weight, etc. I used wolf HP and took numerous deer at various ranges.

Bullet construction is nice, foot-per-pound is nice, but nothing beats a well placed shot. AND that doesn't apply to just .223, it applies to anything.

If you cannot kill a deer with a .223, you cannot kill it with a .308. The difference in bullet design, power, etc isn't enough to make up for bad shooting.

Dos
December 9, 2008, 11:30 PM
If you don't use at least a 243 for deer :neener: :neener:





publish and be damned..

Brian Dale
December 10, 2008, 01:08 AM
If someone out there wants to hunt deer with a .223 go ahead but you should really keep quiet about it because it sets a very very bad example and there is nothing more "high road" than trying to set a good one.

woof, you're probably right.

minimeh93
December 10, 2008, 01:13 AM
30/30 baby!:D

stalkingbear
December 10, 2008, 07:58 PM
The ABSOLUTELY best .223 round for deer is 140 gr fired from 7mm08!:D

Dos
December 10, 2008, 08:02 PM
The ABSOLUTELY best .223 round for deer is 140 gr fired from 7mm08!

I couldn't agree MORE !!!! Now there's somebody that knows what they be talkin bout.... :D

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