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357 VS 223 for deer under 100 yards.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by R H Clark, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. R H Clark

    R H Clark Well-Known Member

    Thinking about either caliber for my 8 year old daughter's first centerfire.Even a 243 has too much recoil for her.We are looking at both calibers in a 5.5lb rifle.All shots will be in the woods under 100 yards,probably under 50 yards.

    I am sure either will work but was wondering about how recoil would compare.

    Would the 223 have an edge in killing ability?

    The 223 will be a 1:9 twist and we will use either heavier partitions or TTSX.

    I like that we can practice with 38 special in the 357 and it is a lot cheaper than the 223 we are considering.
  2. knifeman32

    knifeman32 Member

    223 hunting loads, at least for me are few and far between, even for think skinned game. I would look into the 6.8 spc cartridge if it were me.
  3. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    The .223 slays average-size deer at common hunting distances.

    The .357 will have more recoil.
  4. WYOMan

    WYOMan Well-Known Member

    Is .223 legal to use where you are? If it is, then as long as you use a tough bullet, and don't try to crush shoulders with it, I would let her use it.
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    With good softpoint ammo a 223 will kill any deer. Just have to limit your ranges a bit. I wouldn't pass on a 200 yard shot with the small whitetails around here, but with some of the bigger deer would probably limit my shots to 100 or less. About the same as a 357.

    If you are asking from a purely performance perspective I'll take the 223 any day. But if I had a 357 in a rifle I wanted to hunt with I'd have no problems using it either.

    Both have limited range. The problem with a 223 is that is is very easy to hit game at ranges at which it does not have enough power to get the job done. With most other weapons with limited range, handguns, muzzle loaders, bows etc., you lose the ability to make hits before you lose the energy to reliably kill game. Nothing wrong with a 223 if the shooter understands this and has the discipline to only take shots within the cartridges limitatons.
  6. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    I have used Black Hill 55 grain soft points with great success. You do not need long heavy bullets to kill with a .223 within 100 yards.
  7. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering what platforms you're considering first then caliber next.

    In generalizing. I view .357 in lever and slide actions most and .223 in bolt and semi-auto more.

    On some platforms you're really not going to have much readily available choice I should think.
  8. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    FYI, the point of impact changes quite a bit between .38's and .357's.

    I'm not sure which cartridge is better for hunting deer-sized game, but .223 practice ammo costs about the same as LRN or FMJ .38 Specials, and is cheaper than any .357 unless you load them yourself.
  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    Cheap practice with 38's in my experience is a red Herring

    The poi at 50yds between 38 and 357 in most of my guns so chambered is right around TWO FEET!

    This discrepancy requires a complete resight in and in the case of a couple of my guns required a different front sight as the rear sight wouldn't adjust that far.

    Forget about "cheap. 38 practice" unless practice is merely making some noise
  10. R H Clark

    R H Clark Well-Known Member

    I'm actually about 99% settled on a Kimber Montana in 223.I will only have to grind away all but about 1/4" of the recoil pad to get correct LOP.It is at the weight and recoil I am looking for.

    I am only asking because I have been tempted by the Ruger 77/357 at the same weight and similar recoil.For some reason I like the idea of heavier bullets also.Maby because I've never hunted with a 223 but have a friend who has killed a bunch of doe's with a 357 revolver.I also like that it's half the price of the Kimber but don't want that to be the deciding factor.
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Plenty of loads, nowadays, which make the .223 a reasonable deer cartridge. There is a thread running right now in the Hunt forum at http://www.thefiringline.com on that very subject. Probably a fair number of fairly inexpensive good-used bolt-actions available.

    The difference in point of impact between a .38 Spl and the Maggie is irrelevant. There is a reason that sights are adjustable. :) I'd have no qualms about trying to ruin Bambi's day with a .357 carbine/rifle. Precision aiming, range to maybe 100 yards or so.
  12. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    For 100 yard shot you will have much better accuracy with a 223 than with a 38 Special load. For a 25 or 50 yard shot there may not be a significant difference.

    In regards to the 223, as long as you place the bullet in the neck, head, heart or lungs, you don't need a real special bullet. In a 22-250 I've used a 55 gr. Remington soft point and a Speer 70 gr. Semi-Spitzer. In a 222 I've used the Speer 70 gr. Semi-Spitzer and in a 204 Ruger a Hornady 45 gr. Spire point. The closest of said deer was probably 80 yards and the longest 360 yards away. They were full sized Ohio deer by the way.
  13. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    I load a 30-30 with a 125 grain jacketed HP @ 2150 fps. It kills deer dead. The caliber choice between the two mentioned is irrelevant within 100 yards.

    55 grain 3250 fps muzzle
    125 grain 2100 fps muzzle
    180 grain 1800 fps muzzle

    All equal dead. The only thing that I will say is if you do not neck shoot and you hit a shoulder with a .223 within 100 yards. Plan on loosing it and possibly the other shoulder depending on the angle.
    A .35 caliber soft point will have less meat loss. This is a general statement. Bullets do funny things and are not predictable.

    Choose. Practice. Hunt.

    I'd have to say the best 100 yard deer gun would be a 12 gauge slug gun.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  14. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

    Me and a buddy went out hog hunting this last weekend and he popped a hog in the neck with IMI 5.56 FMJ and it blew a tennis ball size hole on the exit wound, DRT. That is hog hide, not deer hide. You get both lungs with a .223 and it is lights out.
  15. R H Clark

    R H Clark Well-Known Member

    I know either will work.I also know that many will say either are marginal. I just wondered if either caliber had any specific advantage or disadvantage over the other inside 100 yards.
  16. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    Given the choice of the 223 and the 357 for a low recoil round I would go with the 223 loaded with 52gr TSX bullets, both are a long way form being ideal but can get the job done in the right hands.
  17. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Well-Known Member

    8 years old + centerfire rifle.


    .223 shoots flatter! That might make it easier for a new hunter (?).
  18. firesky101

    firesky101 Well-Known Member

    My wife thinks .223 is cuter than .357. Just sayin' you got to love what you are using.
  19. R H Clark

    R H Clark Well-Known Member

    I completly understand the concern.We have been through one squirrel season of her carrying a BB gun to help teach her safety and one season of her using a 22 under my close supervision.

    I will not just give her a rifle and turn her loose.She will be sitting becide me in a shooting house the whole time.I just want something her size,so that I can also begin to teach her field shooting positions and such.

    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.Safety should be the #1 concern with all parents.
  20. leadaddict

    leadaddict Well-Known Member

    It's not the age of child that matters, it's their maturity (and that of the parents) that matters. Well done teaching her right!

    I'd personally lean toward the .223 for her. It's harder here in Iowa, since rifle use is all but outlawed for deer. I'm trying to decide between a 20GA and a muzzleloader to start my 9 year old on this year. He shoots the .22 extreemly well and I don't want to give him a flinch!

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