Long range limits of the .223 as varmint round?


PDA






saturno_v
February 9, 2011, 11:01 AM
In particular out of a regular 20" barrel Bushmaster AR.

Is 500 yards on coyote doable?? What type of bullets??

Thanks

Regards

If you enjoyed reading about "Long range limits of the .223 as varmint round?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
brnmuenchow
February 9, 2011, 11:23 AM
I wouldn't recomend it even with a great scope the .233Rem 55gr.SP will have significant drop (also consider the elements,wind drift,etc..). Not to mention that at 500yds. est. velocity would be @ 1,000fps, and energy could be as low as 180-200ft.-lbs. not a risk I would take. (My opinion). A special forces sniper conversion 5.56 Nato rifle against a human target is one thing, a humane animal shot with a civilian Bushmaster 20" is another.

OPtact4
February 9, 2011, 11:31 AM
You can certainly reach out that far. The 223 is even getting more popular with 100 yard matches. I was at a shoot at the St Louis Bench Rest rifle club, one of the best ranges I've ever been to by the way, and Was hitting 6'' plates with a DPMS 223 with a 4-16 Nikon Monarch. Hornady 75 gr. BTHP Match hits at 500 yards with over 1700 FPS and 500 ft/lbs. Their 60 gr. TAP-FPD hits at 500 yards at 1500 fps and 300 ft/LBS.
So can you do it, definitely. Just make sure that you are the shot you think you are and take them on your first hit, no one wants a wounded animal running around. Ideally you want to take them closer to be a sure shot.

saturno_v
February 9, 2011, 11:42 AM
I wouldn't recomend it even with a great scope the .233Rem 55gr.SP will have significant drop (also consider the elements,wind drift,etc..). Not to mention that at 500yds. est. velocity would be @ 1,000fps, and energy could be as low as 180-200ft.-lbs. not a risk I would take. (My opinion). A special forces sniper conversion 5.56 Nato rifle against a human target is one thing, a humane animal shot with a civilian Bushmaster 20" is another.

Actually the 55 gr. 223 rounds with varmint type bullets (not regular softpoints) from the major manufacturers shows well over 300 ft/lb left at 500 yards (travelling at ~1600 fps) with a drop somewhat comparable to a 150 gr. 30-06 with similar ballistic tip.

Heavier bullets retain even more energy (the over 60 grainers are in the 400-450 ft/lb range)

brnmuenchow
February 9, 2011, 12:00 PM
Heavier bullet weights do add more energy, I was just concerned with a humane shot with the atmospheric elements in play. (I have nothing against the .223Rem. or AR capabilities in the slightest, I'm just not a big fan of using that type of ammunition combating the elements at that distance to kill an animal.) I save that for more powerful rifle's that I shouldn't have to worry, ex. a) .270Win.
b) .30-06Spfld.
c) even a scoped 7.62x54R with PPU 150 SP
would be good if your worried about the price
of the bullet compared to the above ammo$

Art Eatman
February 9, 2011, 12:25 PM
I sorta figure that if it's serious pest control, anything goes. But for just casual and occasional coyote hunting I fall back toward the old clean, ethical kill idea. So, I limit myself to around 250-ish on Wily Coyote. It doesn't take much of a breeze to get a six-inch drift at 300 yards, and the farther out you try, the worse it gets.

saturno_v
February 9, 2011, 01:09 PM
I sorta figure that if it's serious pest control, anything goes. But for just casual and occasional coyote hunting I fall back toward the old clean, ethical kill idea. So, I limit myself to around 250-ish on Wily Coyote. It doesn't take much of a breeze to get a six-inch drift at 300 yards, and the farther out you try, the worse it gets.

Thanks for underscore the difference...yes it is a pest control situation....a friend of mine wants to borrow my Bushmaster for coyote control on its eastern Washington farm...he doesn't own high powered rifles, only shotguns and a couple of .22, he needs to take long range shots...I guess he doesn't care about maiming a coyote as long as he can put it permanently out of business.

H&Hhunter
February 9, 2011, 04:13 PM
The best long range coyote rig is something in the .243 class.

PandaBearBG
February 9, 2011, 08:22 PM
.223/5.56 in AR platform stabilized by the 20" barrel is very doable as long as you have the proper skill and practice to ensure you can make a clean kill. If you can do make hits consistently and are sure of the shot, go for it.

BeerSleeper
February 9, 2011, 08:30 PM
It's a coyote. They are pests. Take any safe shot you think you have a chance of hitting. A wounded animal is as good as dead-drop shot. Nature will finish what you started, and the population of a nuisance animal goes -1.

oklahoma caveman
February 9, 2011, 10:35 PM
It's a coyote. They are pests. Take any safe shot you think you have a chance of hitting. A wounded animal is as good as dead-drop shot. Nature will finish what you started, and the population of a nuisance animal goes -1.


I disagree. Pest or not I personally do not believe that is a responsible or ethical idea. I believe that if you shoot an animal that you should make EVERY effort to make it as quick and humane as possible. It eats on me for days if I am unable to find a wounded animal. Yes it can/will/does happen, but I try to do my part to see that it doesnt. Be that animal a mouse, a coyote, a wild hog, or a monster buck. All animals should garner the same amount of respect in death or the manner of death. I.E. quick and humane vs long lingering painfull.

Yes mother nature is cruel in the way things die, But personally I try not to be. YMMV

cottswald
February 9, 2011, 11:04 PM
Be that animal a mouse, a coyote, a wild hog, or a monster buck. All animals should garner the same amount of respect in death or the manner of death. I.E. quick and humane vs long lingering painfull.

Yes mother nature is cruel in the way things die, But personally I try not to be. YMMV
^^^ Couldn't agree more! ^^^

BeerSleeper
February 9, 2011, 11:10 PM
It depends on your priorities. In my case, I'm defending a farm. A wild animal, that has been who knows where, is a biosecurity risk. Every one that steps on the farm is potentially carrying a disease from a previous farm that could do serious economic damage. If the animal is a pest such as that, priority # 1 is elimination, priority #2 is to do so humanely.

Art Eatman
February 10, 2011, 10:25 AM
As far as the ethics and morality of how a varmint is killed, the primary issue is the food on the table from the net profit from the rancher's livestock.

If a thief with his gun comes into your house to steal your money or your family's food, do you really worry about a clean, ethical kill?

For sheep and goat ranchers, a coyote is a thief coming in at tooth-point to steal the real-world equivalent of money.

saturno_v
February 10, 2011, 11:57 AM
As far as the ethics and morality of how a varmint is killed, the primary issue is the food on the table from the net profit from the rancher's livestock.

If a thief with his gun comes into your house to steal your money or your family's food, do you really worry about a clean, ethical kill?

For sheep and goat ranchers, a coyote is a thief coming in at tooth-point to steal the real-world equivalent of money.


I do not agree with the comparison...a coyote is following its nature and is searching for food....the animal doesn't have any malicious intentions nor it understand the meaning of theft, it cannot make a distinction between good and bad behaviour, it doesn't really have a choice....just following what mother nature instructed to do in its DNA....so I think you still should try when possible to make an ethical kill if you can....

Obviously if the coyote is just attacking your livestock or, in another circumstance, an animal is attacking me, the ethical kill consideration is out of the picture....

brnmuenchow
February 10, 2011, 09:56 PM
The .223Rem I was refering to was the Winchester super-x series loads, I wouldn't use that for long range shots. But after looking at some of the more expensive Winchester supreme silvertip(mentioned by SaturnoV) and Hornady ballistic-tip loads, they have about 350-500ft.-lbs. of energy with better trajectory. But that does seem pretty pricey ammo for what his coyote problem may require. ($$$) Then again if I am crazy enough to use that for grouping accurate shots into paper targets( not exclusive to .223 rounds), than I say to heck with the price! I actually switched to the Blackhills FMJ rounds for that(target shooting) it a little less expensive and accurate, but I would pay the extra $ for a good clean hit/kill by using the more expensive ammo.

suzukisam
February 13, 2011, 09:32 PM
what twist are you working with? do you handload? if you got a fast twist then run some heavy Barnes or bergers 62gr+. and if 500 is the max shot, you'll be great on everything else. my brother took a whitetail doe this year at 350 with a 70gr tsx from a 16" 1:7 twist YHM barrel on his AR carbine. it went in the temple and out the other side. didn't even take another step. just flopped over people really underestimate the 223/556 it's performance really comes down to putting the right bullet for the job in the chamber. if you can stabilize a Barnes VG they are nasty on yotes. you'd have to look at velocities though and see if you had enough left to blow a big round hole out the other side:eek:

saturno_v
February 14, 2011, 12:15 AM
what twist are you working with? do you handload? if you got a fast twist then run some heavy Barnes or bergers 62gr+. and if 500 is the max shot, you'll be great on everything else. my brother took a whitetail doe this year at 350 with a 70gr tsx from a 16" 1:7 twist YHM barrel on his AR carbine. it went in the temple and out the other side. didn't even take another step. just flopped over people really underestimate the 223/556 it's performance really comes down to putting the right bullet for the job in the chamber. if you can stabilize a Barnes VG they are nasty on yotes. you'd have to look at velocities though and see if you had enough left to blow a big round hole out the other side



Mine is your regular Bushmaster 20" AR rifle with 1:9 twist

suzukisam
February 14, 2011, 12:43 AM
yeah a 1:9 isn't going to stabilize the heavy stuff I doubt all my 223/556's are 1:7 so I don't have much experience I can add on that twist rate

Buzzard
February 14, 2011, 02:51 AM
1:9 should stabilize anything up to a 75gr round. Note I say should stabilize; there are bullets that tend to run long for their weight (Nosler, among others). The best, and really only thing you can do is to buy one box each of various varmint loads and see what your rifle likes. Then pass the word on to your friend (or be a really good guy and give him a box or two).

As far as the range consideration, 250-300 yards is about the maximum distance to be shooting at coyotes. Most people have a devil of a time hitting targets beyond that, and as others have said: getting an ethical kill on an animal is priority.

Davek1977
February 14, 2011, 06:07 AM
Coyotes are a "shoot on sight" animal here in South Dakota. I won't hesitate to shoot at one at about any range with whatever weapon I happen to have with me. Coyotes aren't very merciful and compassionate when feeding on livestock, so i see no reason to extend that courtesy to them. The .223 is certainly capable of killing coyotes at that range with a solid hit.

Art Eatman
February 14, 2011, 11:39 AM
"....a coyote is following its nature and is searching for food..."

Same deal for house flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches.

saturno_v
February 14, 2011, 12:13 PM
"....a coyote is following its nature and is searching for food..."

Same deal for house flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches.

....which usually get killed instantaneously.....I'm not saying they should not get killed...but if I can be merciful in that particular situation I would be....

rcmodel
February 14, 2011, 12:56 PM
Is 500 yards on coyote doable??You can probably hit one that far if you are a very good rifle shot.

But killing one DRT that far with a .223 is another matter entirely.

The longest coyote kill I have made was 517 measured yards.
With a 22-250.

I hit the coyote right through the chest with a 63 grain Sierra.
He just sat down and waited for me to walk out and shoot him in the head with a pistol.

It was evident after skinning that the bullet did not expand at all, and just poked a .22 hole through him with very little internal organ damage.

IMO: A .223 is at best a 250 - 275 yard caliber for quick humane coyote kills.
Beyond that, velocity has dropped so much the explosive bullet performance necessary is very poor.

rc

suzukisam
February 14, 2011, 05:32 PM
IMO: A .223 is at best a 250 - 275 yard caliber for quick humane coyote kills.
Beyond that, velocity has dropped so much the explosive bullet performance necessary is very poor.


I have to disagree with you %100, @ 350 yrds a 70gr tsx had enough velocity to go through and through on a whitetails skull and at that it had enough velocity to make the entire head feel like and old worn out leather boot. no rigidity left to the skull at all, all the sections blew apart. and that was a 16" government profile barrel. the 70gr tsx was powered by 24gr of varget. So it wasn't a crazy hot load or anything. the op I believe said it's a 20" barrel so he'll get the best velocity. whether or not you can make the shot or not I don't know that is your part of the equation. I'll about garantee that gun will dispatch those coyotes no problem at 500. you'll need the right bullet though.

rcmodel
February 15, 2011, 02:57 PM
I have to disagree with you too.
A 70gr tsx will show no sign of expansion at 500 yards out of a .223.

All it will do to a coyote is shoot a .22 cal hole through him.
If you get lucky and break the sping or hit him in the head it will kill him.
Otherwise, probably not so much, and you will have a long trail to follow..

rc

suzukisam
February 15, 2011, 06:07 PM
rc-

you stated that there was a 275yrd max on a 223/556. I gave you a clear example that out to 350 it had deadly explosive performance. I listed my bullet weight and powder so as to give a full picture of the situation. so your initial limit of 275 I believe to be false. now I ended that with saying he would need the correct bullet. the 70gr tsx may not be that bullet. and given a 1:9 twist I would say it's not.

for a few examples a 62 gr tsx will exit with a normal load right @ 3000fps
with it's bc that will bring it down to somwhere near 1550 @500. that is near the performance range for a tsx.

a 68 gr hornady will be moving around 1700 many bullets will perform well in these velocity ranges. there will be some variables, but for coyotes these numbers would be well suiteable. and moved down to 400 yrds these are great numbers. I understand that a 7mm rem mag, or a 300 wby mag, or even 243 are far superior, but the ops has none of those. so for what he is working with he is GTG! I would be, although I would be using my coyote sniper 243. but i have both. the op asked about 223

sscoyote
February 16, 2011, 04:49 AM
i have an AR 223 AI and am getting decent performance out to ~550 with the Nosler 69 Comp and the 65 SGK--all of about 5 shots so far. Killed a dog last season at 470 yds. with the SGK and i knew it was dead before the bullet hit him. It fell off the back of a dike at the shot and killed the dog very quickly. Shots beyond ~400 or so oughtta' be taken only under ideal conditions though...IMO.

If a guy has a tried and true system for reticle or turret applications to 500 yds. he'll be set. Sometimes though, that's a big assumption.

dirtykid
February 23, 2011, 01:20 PM
I have classified my .223 varmint rifle as "less than 250 yds" although i could get the shot at greater distances,using lightweight varmint loads makes it tricky beyond that with wind and such , when calling into big valleys that would need 300-400 yd shots I use my .243 with 80-grain bonded-bullets,, and then consider ANY shot almost fatal instantly (on coyote)

suzukisam
February 23, 2011, 11:39 PM
I totally like my 243 the best! I'm a 6mm junky. I would put one up against about any game. but I think with a little talent and a good load, the 223 is very viable

Big Kid
March 2, 2011, 06:34 PM
Is the 223 the only rifle you have available? I beleive it'll do the trick if ya answer to what you think is ethical. I don't fur hunt and when I have a coyote problem I normally use a 25-06 or 270. Maybe a little over kill, but it gets the job done and i don't beleive it's questionable.

bowyer19
March 3, 2011, 12:18 AM
Where I live I shoot them from my front porch from time to time.I have been shooting them with .223, 45 grn. Winchester varmint out of a 20" barreled Savage Model 16. Ranges have varied from 80yds to 317yds. Inside 250 yds they have dropped like hit by a bolt of lightning. The 317 and a 278 yarder you could see the bullet hit;a fraction of a second pause then they just fell over and never moved again. I gut shot one at 250 when my dog nudged me just as the gun went off. He went down instantly, layed there for several minutes,got up ,ran as fast as a coyote can; then dropped dead at a 560yd. tree line. These shootings involved 9 coyotes and only the one was under 100yds.

slabuda
March 4, 2011, 03:50 AM
I'd echo mostly what was said above. .223 can kill a yote @ 500 yds but it wont be easy thats for sure. LOTS of drop and wind drift at that range. .223 cal does not have a good BC.

After around 250 yds it really starts to drop quickly. Thats why I am looking for a .243 for long range predator duty. Ill still have my AR for quick shots close in. But will be able to reach out further (300 yds plus) much easier for yotes and rock chucks.

sm
March 4, 2011, 10:33 PM
On loan to me is a Bushmaster, with 4x12 variable scope and using 60 gr reloads set up for this gun.

Longest shot I have taken on a 'yote, of the 13 I have felled here on the farm is about (guesstimate) 200 yards. Most have been within 100.

Then again I ain't got good sense, and have taken some of these using fieldcraft and felled with a youth single shot 20 ga shotgun, or snub-nose revolver.

[ I may be old, but can still crawl amongst the soybeans if need be...]

1stmarine
March 4, 2011, 11:57 PM
Your best bet to buck the wind and deliver some energy will be a hot load with the 70gr BARNES TSX. These I get at 2970fps at the muzzle with a BC of .318.
Also the 75gr TAP but make sure your rate of twist is 1:8 at least, 20" barrel and no much wind. These will deliver a little over 400ft-lbs at 500yards that should be enough but it is pushing it. I would not even try with the average 55gr bullet. BC and SD too low.

Lots of folks report great success with the bergers VLDs and SMKs that provide deadly effects due to tumbling. The 75gr SMK is used in the actual NATO sniper round due to the deadly tumbling in soft targets. It was not designed for this but it does a very good job at taking living beings out.
I just checked my spreads and ballistics charts and you can put a 75gr SMK or VLD at 2850fps from a 20" AR barrel and with a Ballistic Coeficient of .400 will deliver 535lbs-ft over the animal. Plenty of punch, very accurate and time tested in all sort of matches.
I use them for target but have not tried for hunting. For that I use the 70gr TSX that is a tad slower (tad lower BC) but extremely lethal bullet and has never failed me even with white tails up to 200yards.

If you like the lightness of the AR another great option with much better bullets is the 6x45mm round. that can put an 87gr/90gr bullet at more than 600ft-lbs at 500yards with less drift from the wind. This round won many bench rest competitions back in the 70's before the BR came along and other than the barrel in 6mm the rest of the upper everything is the same. You can reuse the .223 cases or buy (expensive) but .223 case are easy to reload and cost effective. In fact this shoots flatter and delivers more energy at that range than the Remington 6.8SPC due to the great 6mm bullets and high BCs.

Then another alternative is a Grendel. This will take a 120gr TTSX bullet to 700ft-lb and will take care of the coyote at that distance though the 6x45, 6mmBR or any of the cousins are on average more accurate. It has nothing to do with the system and everything to do with the bullet selection and speed combination.

My personal preference is that when I am approaching long range I like to jump to the .308 at least and up to 800-900 yards. At this range your main worry is not the energy left but to have a very good system and training so you can actually hit the target where you want to hit it.

Regarding the humane kills there is no sane person that wants to make an animal suffer and when errors happen (and they do happen) and someone wounds the animal normally they make a natural effort to follow up quickly and finish them off. That is what a good person will do, but if not possible, as someone mentioned, the first priority is to protect the ranch, farm and/or cattle.

The above information is from my personal data and first hand experience. What works for me might not work for others based on your systems, preferences, likes and dislikes but I hope this helps you or someone.

Cheers,
E.

BoilerUP
March 10, 2011, 04:55 PM
Haven't tried beyond 100yd, but my 26" Savage with 1:9 twist seems to do a good job stabilizing the 75gr Hornady BTHP Match bullet. Thinking about trying 68gr next, though...just because...

1stmarine
March 10, 2011, 10:55 PM
There is no long range hunting with the .223. Long range starts past 600yards.

If you had a .223 AI with an special mag and a really worked out load I would say 350-375yrds for a white tail and 500-550 yards (maybe a tad more for a coyote)
The biggest problem will be bullet drop (can be mastered) and the wind in .223 that is much harder.

With a very nice .223 load I would not try the yote at 500yards. Stay below 400yard. Too much below 2000fps the TSX doesn't expand well. Follow the manufacturer recommendations.

138076

This system I Am working on it would be more suitable for longer range purpose if you want to use the .223 cases. Also the AI project mentioned here....

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=564287

I hope this helps you or someone else.
Cheers,
E.

langenc
March 12, 2011, 12:29 AM
200 yds maybe 250..

bowyer19
March 12, 2011, 02:26 PM
For me it has worked fine to 317YDS.(lasered).

BikerRN
March 16, 2011, 11:22 AM
As far as the ethics and morality of how a varmint is killed, the primary issue is the food on the table from the net profit from the rancher's livestock.

If a thief with his gun comes into your house to steal your money or your family's food, do you really worry about a clean, ethical kill?

For sheep and goat ranchers, a coyote is a thief coming in at tooth-point to steal the real-world equivalent of money.

Very well said, and I agree.

Coyotes are shoot on sight for me. I'm as concerned about a "clean kill" on a predator as I am the price of tea in China.

BikerRN

1stmarine
March 16, 2011, 11:59 PM
If anyone is interested this was posted in my post above. Nice work to get the yotes at 500 yards and 'ethically' very dead..... this is with the AI casing....
The system without experience and good training is not a good combo...

Amazing Job from sscoyote! fyi....

http://www.longrangehunting.com/articles/long-range-coyotes-scope-1.php

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=564287

Cob
March 17, 2011, 10:14 AM
[QUOTE]Same deal for house flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches[/QUOTE

For the Mosquitoes- I see nothing wrong with as slow and painful a death as you can imagine. The .223 may be a little over kill for those critters.:D
The Coyote, even if a nuisance, should be "dispatched" with as much accuracy as possible.

Zak Smith
March 18, 2011, 03:27 AM
_Bullet_ _BC_ _MV_ 0 100 200 300 400 500 | YARDS
308 M118LR 0.51* 2650 > 0.00 0.65 2.69 6.25 11.49 18.56 | wind (inches)
260 139 0.615 2900 > 0.00 0.46 1.89 4.35 7.93 12.71 | wind (inches)
243WIN 105 LAP 0.530 3050 > 0.00 0.50 2.05 4.75 8.69 13.98 | wind (inches)
243WIN 90 0.450 3050 > 0.00 0.59 2.44 5.68 10.45 16.91 | wind (inches)
243 70 NBT 0.310 3250 > 0.00 0.80 3.34 7.89 14.75 24.31 | wind (inches)
77gr 223 0.365 2700 > 0.00 0.87 3.64 8.57 15.94 26.14 | wind (inches)
223 69SMK 0.305 2800 > 0.00 1.00 4.21 9.98 18.77 31.09 | wind (inches)
55gr 223 0.240 3200 > 0.00 1.07 4.53 10.88 20.75 34.91 | wind (inches)

308 M118LR 0.51* 2650 > -0.00 0.00 1.86 4.53 7.63 11.10 | drop (moa)
260 139 0.615 2900 > -0.00 0.00 1.35 3.41 5.79 8.40 | drop (moa)
243WIN 105 LAP 0.530 3050 > -0.00 0.00 1.17 3.06 5.27 7.74 | drop (moa)
243WIN 90 0.450 3050 > -0.00 0.00 1.21 3.18 5.52 8.17 | drop (moa)
243 70 NBT 0.310 3250 > -0.00 0.00 1.08 2.99 5.38 8.24 | drop (moa)
77gr 223 0.365 2700 > -0.00 0.00 1.89 4.69 8.06 11.99 | drop (moa)
223 69SMK 0.305 2800 > -0.00 0.00 1.78 4.54 7.95 12.06 | drop (moa)
55gr 223 0.240 3200 > -0.00 0.00 1.26 3.50 6.42 10.11 | drop (moa)

Here are some .223 loads in comparison to some other loads.

223 isn't great at long range, and you won't get explosive terminal ballistics at 500 yards, but it isn't the worst either. In favorable conditions, a first-round hit on an 8" target at 500 yards is possible. It's all about having the skills and knowing when you can make the shot, or not.

Leaky Waders
March 18, 2011, 05:47 PM
I doubt someone can pick-up a loaner rifle and just load it up and hit anything at 500 yards. So the 500 yard varmint is probably pretty safe.

But, if the borrower set up some range markers of where the varmint would be, and then practiced some prone or kneeling shots on liter sized bottles at these various ranges, then the coyotes might be in for some rough times.

Remember that the military course of fire is 25 meter zero followed by man sized pop up targets from 25-500 meters while wearing helmet, body armor and fogged up safety glasses with iron sights.

joed
March 18, 2011, 06:57 PM
I disagree. Pest or not I personally do not believe that is a responsible or ethical idea. I believe that if you shoot an animal that you should make EVERY effort to make it as quick and humane as possible. It eats on me for days if I am unable to find a wounded animal. Yes it can/will/does happen, but I try to do my part to see that it doesnt. Be that animal a mouse, a coyote, a wild hog, or a monster buck. All animals should garner the same amount of respect in death or the manner of death. I.E. quick and humane vs long lingering painfull.

Yes mother nature is cruel in the way things die, But personally I try not to be. YMMV
Bravo for you and I couldn't agree more! I'm tired of seeing people trying to do something with the .223 that it wasn't designed to do. For hunting small game it's at its best to 200 yards.

And I'm disgusted with the states that let people hunt deer with that useless cartridge. It's referred to as slob hunting.

Sorry, I know I'll offend someone owning a .223 but tough. In the service the .223 was a good cartridge in Viet Nam. It may not have killed but it incapacitated the victim. And we're talking a man sized target not small game.

I had a Savage 10fp in .223 for a few years. It was fun and accurate at the range but when I tried varmint hunting with it I learned that it is inadequate.

Ended up selling it and purchasing something designed for varmint hunting, a .22-250.

Now someone will say "But look at the 69 and 75 gr bullets, they have a high bc". These are target bullets. Shoot these in a somewhat populated area and you'll get a lesson in ballistics. Instead of trying to shoot a 75 gr bullet at 2700 fps why not just get a rifle with a cartridge that will shoot a heavier bullet like a .243 Win.

Zak Smith
March 18, 2011, 07:21 PM
Let's let the numbers do the talking. As a note, the .223 numbers are from a 20" barrel.
_Bullet_ _BC_ _MV_ 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 | YARDS
77gr 223 0.365 2700 > 0.00 0.87 3.64 8.57 15.94 26.14 39.54 | wind (inches)
.22-250 55 0.240 3600 > 0.00 0.93 3.90 9.29 17.58 29.40 45.56 | wind (inches)
223 69SMK 0.305 2800 > 0.00 1.00 4.21 9.98 18.77 31.09 47.47 | wind (inches)
55gr 223 0.240 3200 > 0.00 1.07 4.53 10.88 20.75 34.91 54.23 | wind (inches)

77gr 223 0.365 2700 > -0.00 0.00 1.89 4.69 8.06 11.99 16.57 | drop (moa)
.22-250 55 0.240 3600 > -0.00 -0.00 0.81 2.49 4.70 7.49 10.97 | drop (moa)
223 69SMK 0.305 2800 > -0.00 0.00 1.78 4.54 7.95 12.06 16.98 | drop (moa)
55gr 223 0.240 3200 > -0.00 0.00 1.26 3.50 6.42 10.11 14.76 | drop (moa)

77gr 223 0.365 2700 > 2700 2474 2261 2058 1867 1687 1523 | velocity (fps)
.22-250 55 0.240 3600 > 3600 3187 2813 2466 2146 1852 1586 | velocity (fps)
223 69SMK 0.305 2800 > 2800 2525 2268 2026 1801 1594 1411 | velocity (fps)
55gr 223 0.240 3200 > 3200 2825 2477 2156 1861 1594 1366 | velocity (fps)

The only other thing I'll add is that mid and long-range misses are primarily due to estimating the wind wrong.

BoilerUP
March 18, 2011, 08:27 PM
Just to throw out there for comparison's sake, via Hornady's online ballistics calculator:

22-250 (1:9 twist)
75gr Berger Target VLD (BC 0.423)
3200fps (which might be sandbagging a bit)

@ 500yd, 70C, 29.92 altimeter/barometer:
2146fps
767ft/lb energy
7.8 MOA drop
18.2" drift

Zak Smith
March 18, 2011, 08:37 PM
75 gr Berger requires 8 twist per their site. The vast majority of .22-250s are sold with barrels for light bullets.

BoilerUP
March 18, 2011, 08:42 PM
I used the Berger because its actually a fuzz lower BC than the 75gr A-Max, which reportedly works to great effect out of a 9-twist 22-250 with its higher velocities relative to a 223...but I suppose the 77SMK works for comparison too.

You're certainly right that most -250s are 12 or 14 twist, but Savage offers a 9 twist in a model or two and of course the world is your oyster with the aftermarket.

sam700
March 19, 2011, 12:14 AM
The .223 at least in terms of a target rifle is good for a lot more range than most people realize. I've got a friend who shoots the 77 grainers out of a match AR out to 1000 yards and can basically shoot the same groups as I can with my .308 at that range. That being said you really have to read the wind well and the 77 grainers are too long to fit in the magazine so they have to be single loaded. You also need a relatively fast twist barrel

Zak Smith
March 19, 2011, 12:26 AM
Both Sierra and Black Hills sell factory match ammunition in .223 using the 77gr SMK bullet that fit in and feed properly from an AR-15 magazine.

joed
March 19, 2011, 09:38 AM
The .223 at least in terms of a target rifle is good for a lot more range than most people realize.

I'm a hunter, have been for over 30 years, and that's why I do not own a .223. The .223 shooting those heavy bullets is fine for F class and shooting paper and cardboard. For practical hunting I'll take a .22-250 shooting 55 gr bullets. That 75 gr bullet from a .223 isn't going to fragment when it hits an animal, miss and you'll probably have a ricochet using it for hunting. That's something I don't want in areas with farm animals and houses.

The 55 gr varmint bullet on the other hand was designed for varmint hunting. When it hits an animal the results are devastating. Put that same bullet in a .223 and you have a 200 yard hunting rifle at best.

1stmarine
March 19, 2011, 11:54 AM
Any of these bullets are extremely good and work just fine out the AR magazine:
77gr Sierras Match king
77gr Verger VLD
75gr Hornady HP Match
Hunting
70gr Barnes TSX (very effective including white tail)
75gr Swift Scirocco II (expands faster at lower speed)

The best loads are going to be compressed loads so start low and work your way up.
Consider some specialty mags that allow you to seat a little longer length than the average Colt magazine and make sure to allow 0.010 minimum before you hit the lands.
Personally I do not see a need for 80gr and specially for the 90gr bullets that require
very fast twist of rate and rendering the .223 to declining performance. I believe that at 77gr or 80gr we are done with the .223 but I can understand that some might like them but then single shot.
If you find a DPMS VLD centerstack magazine buy it as it will allow you to seat much further out, but again, make sure you know your barrel/chamber spec. Most likely will be a match spec specialty job.
Let me know if you need more info. I have ballistic charts out of 20" NM barrels for all the above.
Cheers,
E.

bowyer19
March 19, 2011, 03:53 PM
Opinions aside,actual experience with with .223 on coyotes shot with 45gr. and 55gr. hollow points to ranges of 317yds. they were DRT. Ranges were measured with laser range finders.

suzukisam
March 19, 2011, 08:15 PM
Bravo for you and I couldn't agree more! I'm tired of seeing people trying to do something with the .223 that it wasn't designed to do. For hunting small game it's at its best to 200 yards.

And I'm disgusted with the states that let people hunt deer with that useless cartridge. It's referred to as slob hunting

well one thing that people tend to overlook is that bullet design has changed very much in the last few years. with bullets such as the tsx that open and perform with monotonous regularity. a bullet that may have not performed as well will always perform at its peak with some of these new bullet designs. My bro and I have regularly dispatched deer humanely and rapidly with this combo. most of which were drt.
Having said that I will say it isn't going to be that easy to hit a coyote in a significant spot with a 20" AR at 500 yards. I've shot lots of AR's at 440 yards and it's a rare thing to actually hit what you're shooting at with a barrel that short.


jeff- barrel length has little to nothing to do with accuracy.. it has everything to do with velocity. if a gun is sighted for the load the accuracy will not change. possibly there may be a larger bullet drop at a given range with less velocity, but accuracy will not be affected.. my 20" ar will shoot one moa no problem at 350.. not sure where you got your stats, but even a few minutes on google you will find warranties on barrels that guarantee much better results than your claiming. the marines shoot 600 with irons, and they make"center mass" shots.. with a balistic plex/ bdc scope on a 308 1-2 moa is no big deal

1stmarine
March 19, 2011, 09:03 PM
Longer ranges can be done with the new bullets but you need a few more things. If you have the right system, training and experience and fill the conditions are right you can try the longer shot with confidence.

Very little and with carefully selected powder/bullet combination can be squeezed beyond the typical 20" National Match Barrel...

http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z327/fotoeiro/6x45/223vsOthers_charts.jpg

The decision is ultimately taken by the person pulling the trigger. Anyone can take the shot the question is who is going to hit it right.

Also there are other options that only require a new barrel like the 6x45 or any of the many alternative rounds and calibers that work really well in the AR-15.

223 Rem assortment left vs 6mmx45 right....

http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z327/fotoeiro/6x45/100_5973.jpg

suzukisam
March 19, 2011, 09:15 PM
yeah I really like that 6x45.. the 223 has some definite limitations, and admittedly it isn't my first choice, but it isn't garbage either. it will do some serious damage with a good bullet.

1stmarine
March 19, 2011, 10:56 PM
Hi suzukisam,
It has limitations but not as much as many people think. There might be some limitations to hunt large animals at moderate ranges. At 50 to 100 yards bears have been taken with the TSX bullets. Even at 500yrds a good load packs more energy than the typical 115gr SSA load in 6.8SPC and the reason is very simple... very good bullets these days.
Cheers,
E.

suzukisam
March 19, 2011, 11:20 PM
Marine- I agree.. it's funny how people think a bullet that expands to nearly a half inch moving over 3000 fps is uneffective, or even inhumane. Like I said I have other calibers I like more, but I still end whacking a few with my 223... the same discussion really gets me going when people say 6mm is a "varmint" round....oooookkkaaaaay maybe if your shooting 50 grainers

1stmarine
March 20, 2011, 12:01 AM
suzukisam,
folks have taken down bear with both the .224 and .243 bullets. Too lite varmint rounds do not have the ballistics of the large grainers that require more twist and can be too much for the light bullets and tear the jackets apart. The decision starts with the bullet and the purpose, then you decide the system and barrel you need to deliver that bullet. Even in the same caliber there are huge
considerations to take into account.
There are many good rounds out there but not doubt that, like the .224 and the .308, the .243 department is full of extremely good choices. My believe is that the .243 caliber offers a perfect balance between weight, recoil, speed, ballistics and terminal effectiveness. With the right load in the right hands, will take down most of what we need.
The achievements and facts around these calibers and high BC bullets are irrefutable whether one likes them or not.

suzukisam
March 20, 2011, 12:14 AM
Marine- I think we are on the same page...my buddies all call me the "6mm snob" cause they say I'm always talking about how great .243 and my 6.5 swede are... but to stay on topic, I really think that with the nasty wound channel in deer that I have seen I would challenge anyone who dislikes the 223, or thinks it's sub standard for hunting to load up some 70gr tsx and do some testing of your own...they are wicked. IMO they change the game by giving bullets the ability to open the same way everytime and consistently double their size. Plus being solid copper they retain 95% or more of their weight so they tunnel through..

1stmarine
March 20, 2011, 12:41 AM
Feeling attached to the 6 and 6.5mm is for a good reason.
Among other reasons I am building the 6mmx45 upper because for an inexplicable reason in some places the .224 caliber is not legal for white tail. Anyway it is fun to do and expect close to a 30% increase in terminal effectiveness. I am working in a custom/home made VLD mag centerstack design.
To this date nothing has escaped the TSX in any of the calibers obviously including the .308.
From the 70gr in .224 to the 180gr in .308 the result is the same, a consistent wound channel and the animal collapses right there. Never found one inside but it is clear it leaves most of the energy in the animal.
I have not tried the new TTSX that have even better BCs, close to match bullets but I cannot wait to try them this winter.
I am also going to try some nosler e-tip. Check them out, they reload very well and BC is also very high.
Cheers,
E.

Art Eatman
March 20, 2011, 12:45 PM
1stmarine, the reason that the small calibers aren't legal is because, mostly, those who write the rules aren't aware of modern bullet desgin. However, odds are that a lot of guys who would hunt deer with 22-caliber aren't up to date, either. Staying current is a bit of a problem, as has been shown in earlier posts here in this thread. Lordy, I stay behind, myownself. :)

That said, I doubt that I would take an angling shot on a large deer with any .22 centerfire. Neck or cross-body heart shot and generally smaller deer? Sure.

I've had a lot of fun shooting prairie dogs with my .223, finding that clean kills were easy to 300 yards. Beyond that, wind drift was the main problem. With lasers, figuring hold-over is easy.

1stmarine
March 20, 2011, 07:53 PM
Art,
Wise words. No doubt there are a lot of myths around the .223 capabilities or, I should say, the lack of them. This comes from the multiple reports from previous conflicts including somalia about of the lack of terminal effectiveness of the 5.56 round. I was discussing the other day with a a friend that just came back from Afganistan about how the new penetrator rounds performed. He said in some instances penetration was far superior to anything seen before.
We also have a sniper round MK262 with 77gr of match performance.
I am not going to get into this deeply but there has been a lot of research and development to make sure that, all the obvious gaps the 5.56 round had in the past, were nicely filled one at the time. I think that the advances in the 5.56 military rounds have been greatly influenced by the growth and experiences acquired from the civilian markets over the years.

The original purpose of the .223 was very clear. The limitations today far less since its inception but still folks need to use common sense and understanding those limitations. The newer bullets buck the wind much better but still they are .224 bullets so I would not suggest taking on a bear or a big mule at 300yards with 20mph cross winds. White tails are perfectly ok for this round regardless of what some might think. Coyotes are also ok even at long distances just be wise depending on barometrics and wind situation before you pull the trigger.

At 50-120yards TSX shoots are extremely deadly whatever the animal. Think of it like a drill with 4 sharp razors on the tip running and turning all across the animal. Penetration is superb with instant shock all the time. Same as with the other calibers. My preferred hunting load is a hot load that took me a while to develop just like any good match load.

What we all really have going for us is the innate accuracy of the .223 in the AR match barrels and systems available today that will allow shot placements exactly where we want them. Needless to say, and in line with what you said, even with the best AR, scope and round you can find, extensive training and practice must be there, and this is the most delicate part of the whole requirement. You got to know your bullets and what you are doing.

In the end everything starts and ends with the bullet, hopefully a good one. The rest it is just the means to deliver that bullet accurately.

Cheers,
E.

1stmarine
March 21, 2011, 12:48 AM
A picture of my favorite NM system....

http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z327/fotoeiro/30%20cal%20bullets/100_5946.jpg

suzukisam
March 21, 2011, 09:10 AM
those are sweet!

1stmarine
March 21, 2011, 09:37 PM
Thanks mang.
AR's are good as they are always accurate and easy to toy with.
I am going to see if I have some time to work on the 6mmx45 upper tonight.
I am also trying to convert a promag AR magazine to single stack to take a 2.46" COAL.
Following sscoyote steps with this hard to find magazines...

http://www.longrangehunting.com/articles/long-range-coyotes-scope-1.php

burninfuel
March 27, 2011, 01:16 PM
Ihave several AR's, bolt guns in 223. range shots are out to 300yds and back slope to 408 yds.
I first shot 55 g FMJ with thr HBAR, 1-7 twist groups to 1 - 1.5 " Zero'd at 200, so 100yds was about 1/2" high, 300 yds were aprox. 2" low and at 408 yds were about 6" low.
Shooting 1/4" steel discs of 8" dia. round penetraited it every time except when hit extreame right of left, disc is mounted to 1/2 emt conduit with a flag in the ground so it won't rotate.
I know know that 1-7 twist is for 62g bullets and heaverier, the bolt gun uses 1-12 twist and like 40 to 50 g bullets.
My 24" heavy shaw barreled , 1-8 twist I shoot 68g hornady BC is 400 ?? 3050 fps and can drill 1/4" plate at 408 everytime. Bench rest in a shooting machine.
the range is slightly up hill and elevation is 5000'

1stmarine
April 4, 2011, 09:57 PM
Suzukisam,
I posted the first day out with the 6mm barrel here....
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=7219871&postcount=104

The long range test will come soon. I am working on the loads now.
Cheers,
E.

suzukisam
April 4, 2011, 11:29 PM
dude that thing is sick!

1stmarine
April 4, 2011, 11:45 PM
Thanks mang!
it is not broken in yet and showing tight groups in the quarter of an inch department. So far it looks that the Lothar Walter barrel all fresh cut was worth every single penny I paid for it.
That's why I want to build the VLD mag. similar to what sscoyote presented here. I cannot wait to put some high BC bullets downrange. As always I will go slowly with the loads and bring the chrono next day out.
I know I am not going to brake any record but at least the accuracy expectations everyone talks about are showing some potential.
No wonder why this round won so many matches before the BR got established.

I will post more of my findings. I am also looking at the potential at 400-500 yards.

Cheers,
E.

suzukisam
April 5, 2011, 12:32 AM
I've heard some great things about lothar barrels.. d9 where I get a lot of stuff has been using them.. I'm l;ooking forward to seeing your results.. I took the old 243 out a couple weeks ago, but about the best I could do at 200 was moa.. I shot one half moa with a nasty flyer, which turned a sweet group into a 3 moa.. first time out this year and I couldn't get my breathing and trigger control down.. next time will be better I hope

If you enjoyed reading about "Long range limits of the .223 as varmint round?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!