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.223 for deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by jordan1948, Sep 12, 2009.

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  1. jordan1948

    jordan1948 Member

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    Alright I know there's a lot of controversy over whether or not a .223 round is adquet for whit-tail deer or not. Well this season I'm planning on using my Mini-14 as I might be taking shots over 50 yards which is what I'm used to when using my Winchester .44mag. The ammo I plan on using is Federal JHP. So basically I'd like some comments on whether or not this round is capable of taking deer? I know shot placement is key with most hunting but if I get a lung instead of heart shot I'd like to know the deer is still gonna go down quickly.
     
  2. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    For the smaller bodied Southern deer it would probably work.....for the bigger Northern bucks, too small.
     
  3. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    The JHP is not intended for deer-size game - find a better bullet. I believe that TN limits mag capacity as well, correct?
     
  4. slodsm

    slodsm Member

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    I don't think I would use a standard JHP if I were going to use a .223 for deer. I would try the federal fusion 62gr soft tip rounds. I've never shot deer with them but have taken mature boars with single well placed shots.
     
  5. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I believe a 62-64 gr. soft point to be a better choice.
     
  6. DIM

    DIM Member

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    Another one, I just saw same post week ago… So here we go yes you can shoot deer with 223, but be prepared to put it out of its misery... Anyway there are many same posts but all of them got locked by admin, guess what will happen to this one…

    Here is another one it is still open, all you need to know about 223 and deer

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=472924&highlight=40+mm
     
  7. jordan1948

    jordan1948 Member

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    I live in the south so thats fine.
    No mag capacity limit but I only plan on taking the 5rder anyways.
    62gr won't have any accuracy out of my barrel so that's out.
    So would JSP be better?
     
  8. kdstrick

    kdstrick Member

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    Shot placement is CRITICAL with a .223. Head or neck shot works great. If you make a body shot, I hope you have a good dog to track it, or you will probably lose it.

    Do not use a hollow point on deer. If it hits bone it may shatter and fragment, not allowing it to penetrate and wounding the deer. I think it is irresponsible and unethical.
     
  9. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Member

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    I have had very good luck with the Remington 55 grain soft points on three different deer; they expand well and stay together. They also shoot very well in my CZ 527 with its high twist rate. Whatever you choose, make sure and research the specific bullet. A lot of the match hollowpoints won't expand properly or stay together.


    I will add that all three were shot behind the shoulder and none of the them went more than 70 yards.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  10. blackops

    blackops Member

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    These 223 for deer post end up getting closed pretty quick lol, along with overkill threads etc, but I'm not going to say a 223 can't work. It wouldn't be MY choice, but it will work. Honestly, IMO even if a certain bullet isn't designed for hunting, it doesn't matter IMO. Deer are thin skinned and placement is going to matter more than type of bullet. Although some bullets ARE going to be better than others for hunting. I would take what ever bullet you are most accurate with. Either way your dealing with a smaller, lighter, bullet as a whole, and penetration isn't going to be the issue because of the high velocity. Your shot placement is going to be critical, but even more so with a 223. Keep your shot inside 100yds, clip some vitals, tag em, and bag em.
     
  11. TehK1w1

    TehK1w1 Member

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    A 223 should work fine, with a couple caveats.
    1-hit it in the right spot (always important, but especially with small calibers
    2-bullet construction- use a good soft point bullet. No varmint rounds, fmjs, or hollowpoints.
     
  12. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Agree with Kiwi, ^^^^^^^^

    Broadside shots, precise bullet placement, no HP's or FMJ's (use a good softpoint).

    Even then...be prepared for a tracking job.

    I started my Daughter at age 9 with a .223, she took several deer with it (all perfect shots). But, we NEVER found a deer in less than 100 yds.

    Not a problem for me (bowhunter for 40 yrs so I'm used to tracking), but it might present a problem for some folks.

    We moved her up to a .243 and things got much better, then moved her up again to a 7mm-08 and everything drops right there.

    A .223 is "capable" of killing deer, no question about it, but it is marginal in terms of effectiveness IMO. Too, the mini-14 is not noted for it's accuracy, so be mindful of yardage and shot placement.

    Good luck Sir,

    Flint.
     
  13. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    If I were to attempt this, I would use the 70gr TSX. I have shot it into media and its performance looked great.
     
  14. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    You need to buy some 64grn Winchester powerpoints, and yes they will stabilize in your bbl, or at least as much accuracy as a mini will provide.
     
  15. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    If you shoot well and can carefully pick your shots it'l work.....but it IS awfully light, even for small southern deer.

    I personally witnessed a good buck, being run with dogs, hit five times with .223's.............three rounds on one side of him, two on the other, all were what I'd call kill shots on the spot with a larger caliber yet that buck ran way more than a quarter mile before he dropped.

    If the deer's not being stressed then likely you are OK....personally I'd pass up any but an absolutely sure brain or neck shot.
     
  16. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...Federal JHP..." Which one? A regular 50 or 55 grain HP is a varmint bullet and is totally unsuitable for deer sized game. They're made to expand rapidly upon impact with little penetration. Deer sized game requires penetration with controlled expansion.
    If you insist on using an inherently inaccurate rifle, your bullet choice is absolutely essential. Federal loads a 60 grain Nolser Partition, but your Mini-14 isn't rifled for heavy bullets. Personally, I wouldn't ever think about using a .223 or Mini-14 for deer. Even though it's legal up here too.
     
  17. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Is there a diameter restriction? He in VA, we can't using anything smaller than a .23. Might wanna verify that before you go out. If it's legal, I'd second the neck shot if you feel confident doing it.
     
  18. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    If it`s "legal" where you hunt then why not ?
     
  19. bushfox25

    bushfox25 Member

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    You may want to check but i think TN does have a limit on mag capacity. A .223 will do ok on our TN sized deer but like others have said don't use a JHP.
     
  20. jordan1948

    jordan1948 Member

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    No mag limit.
    Any centerfire cartridge is legal. (I looked it up)
    I've changed my mind and decided to go with either 64grn Winchester powerpoints or Remington softpoints. My Mini groups around 1.5" at 100yds (last time I shot it). Thanks for all the imput guys and feel free to keep commenting especially with tips :)
     
  21. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    The 64gr Power Point is a great deer bullet. I've killed plenty of deer with them.
     
  22. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    WHAT, THIS THREAD AGAIN! my opinion is that a .223 has no place for deer hunting. not that it can not kill a deer, my concern is how HUMANELY it can, or can not do its job. i HATE to see any animal SUFFER! i am sure you could kill a deer with a shot to the eye with a pelet gun also, but how long would it suffer before it died of infection or lead poisoning? i know a 223 has much more power than a pelet gun. and if you are an excellent shot, AND everything goes right, you could drt a deer. but what if it does not go so well? the chances of everything going perfect is not so great. that is why i dont think the 223 is the right cartridge for deer. but, you are the one pulling the trigger. if things do not go so good, how far are you willing to track it?
     
  23. schnarrgj

    schnarrgj Member

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    What my concern is that if you need to ask if the .223 will work, you should not be using the round. I have used the round with good results. But I know when it can and cannot be used. I will let the deer walk if everything is not just right. Deciding to use a JHP again raises concern about the level of experience of the hunter. To be effective, it needs to be used by someone who is very experienced in not only shooting, but hunting. Deer hunting is a LOT more than shooting. Deer do not act according to a script. It will kill a deer. You will be much better served by using a larger round. To your credit, you asked the question. This shows your desire to learn and do what is right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  24. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    You have a winchester rifle in a 44mag?? Buy some hotter heavier ammo from bufflo bore and shoot out to 125 to 150 yards with no problem maybe even farther deppending on how well your lever gun shoots. Remember elmer keith killed lots of game at longer distance with a revolver and loads not as hot as out today. 223 like others said will kill but you and your rifle have to be up to better shot placement and besure its legal where you are. No all states allow 22cal anything for deer.
     
  25. Byron

    Byron Member

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    For the reloader, the 70 grain Speer semi spitzer is a good choice. When I lived in the th NGA mountains,it was poplar and always good results. Byron
     
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