Which would be better for deer...


September 1, 2009, 10:09 PM
... a .30 Carbine with a 110 gr. softpoint or a .223 with a 64 gr. Winchester Power Point.

I have hunted deer for years, but rarely with modern rifles. My son has an opportunity to go on our youth deer hunt on a friends property and I have access to an M1 Carbine and an AR15. He shoots both equally well. The long shot will be 100 yards at the max, 75 yards more likely. The deer are also smaller deer.

Please give me input on this question. I know I will be told neither will work, or to buy something else, but these are not really options. I have killed many deer, some with 1911A1's in .45 ACP, so I am familiar with what it takes to drop a whitetail. Thanks for your help.

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September 1, 2009, 10:11 PM
Depends on the laws in the state. If it requires anything larger than .223 then .30 carbine. If there were no restrictions I would pick .223 but both would be alright.

September 1, 2009, 10:22 PM
Restrictions simply call for a centerfire cartridge.

September 1, 2009, 10:23 PM
Mind you I have never tried either, but my money is on the .30 Carbine due to the more favorable TKO value despite a small energy deficit. Just keep the shots close in or either (I would limit to 50yds...but 100 should be alright). :)

September 1, 2009, 11:08 PM
Are you hunting in woods or are you going to have shots exceeding 100 yards? For close range, use the .30 Carbine and have fun with it. For longer ranges, use the .223. Teach proper shot placement and either will drop a deer.

September 1, 2009, 11:11 PM
We use .223 for deer culling a lot, and some of the guys down here hunt with them exclusively. Either the 64 gr. PP or the 53 or 62 gr. DPX will work fine. Personally I prefer the DPX as it always seems to perform well and completely exits even after hitting bone.

September 1, 2009, 11:14 PM
How big are the deer your going after? Shot placement is going to be paramount with either. That 64gr. 223 load leaves the muzzle with a light 1269 Lbs of energy and only holds slight over 1000 pounds at the 100 yard mark. That .30 carbine is way to light energy wise. To make things even worse both of those rifles have shorter barrels than the rifles used to obtain those ballistic specs so your handicapping yourself even more. Light loads can kill deer but just because something can be done doesn't make it ethical.

September 1, 2009, 11:16 PM
I think you would find very little real world difference between the two, especially with good ammo.

My dad killed two mule deer in one day with the .30. I'm not going to try it.

September 1, 2009, 11:34 PM
just from talking a lot of hunting w/folk over the years, most people, not all people, who tout the .223 as a deer round aren't much of hunters and I bet they wound and lose there share of deer. Ive never lost a deer in 15 years of hunting. I'm speaking from real life experience not misinformed hill billy logic. Go buy a .30-06

September 1, 2009, 11:45 PM
Go buy a .30-06Quote..."to buy something else...[is] not really [an] option". It is for a kid that probably A) Doesn't have a great deal of experience and B) Is not very recoil tolerant...in which case .30-06 does not fit the bill. :)

September 1, 2009, 11:46 PM
I would definitely go with the .223. I have done real well with fast, light bullets on deer.

September 1, 2009, 11:55 PM
I guess I remember the deer being rather small down south. They should be hunted with a handicap, kind of like golf. My 13yo nephew hits paper chinet plates every time at the 100 line with my model 70 - '06. Maybe he's just a tough kid.

September 2, 2009, 12:04 AM
If you are trying to teach the kid to hunt, I would choose the .30 carbine. The reason I would choose that one is because it is the closest to a hunting rifle of the two. The AR with the pistol grip and the straight stock is just so different from most hunting rifles that I would not choose it to teach a new hunter.

September 2, 2009, 12:12 AM
How would there be anything wrong with teaching off the AR platform?

September 2, 2009, 12:17 AM
No doubt about it, the 223.

Shot placement is key of couse and given accuracy requirements, the run of the mill AR will shoot circles around a M1 carbine.

You did not mention whether or not if these wer scoped or not:confused:

September 2, 2009, 12:40 AM
I ran the numbers through ballistic software and the energy and TKO value for the two are as follows (for two Remington Soft Point loads...had them handy). I will run the numbers for other loads at the OPs request provided the bullet weight (in grains) and the velocity (in fps).

.223Rem Soft Point (55gr @ 3240fps): Muzzle Energy=1282 ft/lb with 5.68 TKO 100yd Energy=921 ft/lb with 4.81 TKO

.30Carbine Soft Point (110gr @ 1990fps): Muzzle Energy=967 ft/lb with 9.63 TKO 100yd Energy=600 ft/lb with 7.58 TKO

I think the TKO value is a better analog than the sheer energy...but like I said no experience with either. :)

September 2, 2009, 12:42 AM
inside 100m, i'd do the carbine, after that, it just drops too much, too slow, and loses energy fast.

September 2, 2009, 12:50 AM
Does anyone have a minimum TKO recommended for deer?

September 2, 2009, 01:06 AM
why not a 7.62x39? It is more than adequate for deer, cheap practice ammo, light recoil, sks or CZ 527 carbine are light enough for easy handling.


September 2, 2009, 04:12 AM
Does anyone have a minimum TKO recommended for deer?There is no such recognized value...and TKO is not a magical number that provides the actual "real-world" killing value of a particular cartridge...just a little better than using the energy values according to most experts. Ideally I would want something that has at least a value of 8 (relative to a .243 Win. at 200yds) at the desired maximum range. For instance a .260Rem. has a more energy than the average .45-70...but which would you choose for the charging bear? As you might imagine the .45-70 has a much better TKO...about 40 vs. 14.2 from a .260 at muzzle. :)

September 2, 2009, 04:46 AM
Hey, this is an interesting thread. Glad to find it.

I'll just read for a while. May have some ideas later.

Why? Well, I own a .30-30, and am planning to add an AR.

I'm also researching light bullets for the .30 (http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,41593.0.html).

September 2, 2009, 09:59 AM
"I guess I remember the deer being rather small down south"-Visionz45. Now that's funny right there,I don't care who you are! I have an M1 carbine,an AR-15 and also a Stevens Model 200 in .223 Rem. (I would choose the Stevens for deer with 64gr.soft points.). As long as the deer are under 150lbs and within 100 yards,you're good to go with either.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 2, 2009, 10:30 AM
I'd go .223, but don't take "quartering-toward" shots, just broadside and quartering away. Also don't take STEEPLY quartering away.

September 2, 2009, 01:03 PM
I appreciate the replies so far, the deer will not be any larger than 150 pounds. He will also be shooting open sights. My budget does not allow purchase of another rifle, and I can borrow the carbine and I own an AR. I have even thougt about selling the AR and buying a carbine.

September 2, 2009, 01:06 PM
M1 Carbines are just plain fun, point well, and get ragged on undeservedly for lacking stopping power (generally when regarding an HD situation). It is a fine rifle and can be had a pretty decent prices. :)

September 2, 2009, 02:15 PM
TKO is BS.

I'd take the .223

September 2, 2009, 02:30 PM
I've take about 10 Eastern NC white tails over the years with the .223 64gr Winchester PP from a Weatherby Vanguard VGL with a 20" barrel. It is a good bullet and was desgined for hunting animals up to the size of most white tail deer.

I've only had 1 of those bullets exit a deer. At least they don't fragment very badly and do expand well - but even expanded they are not very big. I've had a couple deer drop DRT, a couple "stagger or buckle their front knees for a second" then drop or just kneel down to die and one that ran about 100yrds with both his lungs and heart damaged before he finally expired. All of my shots have been between 50yrds and 125yrds. I've never lost a deer with it but keep in mind we are talking a super accurate rifle with high dollar optics, an experienced hunter and near perfect shot placement everytime.

SHOT PLACEMENT with the .223 is critical. I can't stress it enough, they don't make a very big hole, bullets rarley exit and the deer just don't seem bleed a lot after being shot with one. In my experience Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow is 100% correct in his shot recommendation.

IMO the .223 is not a good caliber to teach a young/new hunter how to hunt deer with.

I've never shot a deer with a .30 Carbine so I can't comment on it.

September 2, 2009, 02:53 PM
I just grabbed that equation for TKO of the net. Interesting bit of math but its got its errors.

September 2, 2009, 03:19 PM
Interesting bit of math but its got its errors.Very true...what is needed is a "kill index" like what is used for the lethality of pistols against actual victims. :)

September 2, 2009, 04:31 PM
I just grabbed that equation for TKO of the net. Interesting bit of math but its got its errors.

I agree and go so far as to say it's just about worthless because it fails to take into account the most important variable of all, BULLET CONSTRUCTION.

You can't tell me a 30 carbine is more effective firing a primitive 110grn SP that's widely lambasted for it's failure to expand and or penetrate. Compared to a .223 firing a TBBC or better yet a Barnes TSX

September 2, 2009, 04:46 PM
I agree and go so far as to say it's just about worthless because it fails to take into account the most important variable of all, BULLET CONSTRUCTION.The OP is comparing SP to SP...so your argument is moot...though TKO is nowhere close to perfect, it is a better guide than energy IMO. :)

September 2, 2009, 04:48 PM
I think the number of dead deer are a better indicator of the lethality of a given cartridge than any equation.

September 2, 2009, 04:51 PM
I think the number of dead deer are a better indicator of the lethality of a given cartridge than any equation.I agree...are you privy to such information (for the above cartridges in particular)? I would love to see such a index. :)

September 2, 2009, 05:26 PM
Sell the AR and set up two NEF's - his and yours.

I wish your son the best of luck this fall. Take some pictures for us.

September 2, 2009, 11:39 PM
I'm definitely going to call the State of Maine and get some figures regarding rounds used during last deer season. They always ask me what I'm using so I hope they'll give me something.

September 2, 2009, 11:42 PM
I've killed plenty of deer with the .223 and handloads of the 64gr Power Point. It's a great deer bullet.

September 2, 2009, 11:52 PM
I'd vote for the .223 in the barnes X bullet, maybe from corbon

September 3, 2009, 12:14 AM
What do you shoot the best? Use that.

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