Quantcast

.223 for deer

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    15,710
    Location:
    Hot and Humid FL
    I've known folks out West hunting mulies with .223's...not all the time, but they were very proficient with their particular rifles and had no issues with decent mulies going down quickly. They also like to use them for pronghorn and coyotes
     
  2. jordan1948

    jordan1948 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    498
    Location:
    Heiskell, TN
    Alright the deer I'll be hunting will be under or right around 175lbs. If I see any much bigger I'll just go back later with a bigger gun. I don't have to worry about anyone coming in and getting them before me as I have exclusive hunting rights on this property.
     
  3. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Send em here!!
     
  4. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,432
    Location:
    Luling Texas
    the usual old argument, here in Texas, any centerfire is legal for deer, and believe me many a deer has been taken by a .222. yeah our deer aint as large as the northern big boys, but when a average shooter shoots a .222 or .223, .22-250 and makes a good shot, it is a whole lot better than one that believes everything he reads and figures he has to shoot a 7mm mag or 300 win mag and flinches when he pulls the trigger and misses or gut shoots a deer. in reality here in the continental U.S. a .308,.270 or 30-06 will do the job for any game unless you really got to believe the gun gurus.
     
  5. Kurt S.

    Kurt S. Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Brewster County, Texas
    When I used to hunt on a company-owned ranch back in the '90s, there was a guy from one of our NM field offices that used a .220 Swift with handloaded 50 gr. softpoints. This was a managed property, and you were required to shoot 3 does before you had a chance at a buck. This ol' guy would shoot his limit on the first morning of a 3 day hunt, 3 does, a buck, and usually a couple of feral hogs. Shot placement.

    My wife hunts with a AR or a Mini-14, uses 64 grain Power Points in the AR and 55 grain SP in the Mini. No problem with hogs or deer.
     
  6. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    3,290
    I have previously posted pics of the 250lb 14 pt buck I shot in Minnesota with a .223, using 55gr soft points. One shot to the lungs, dead before I got there 40 yards away. I only would recommend soft points and be very sure of your shot.
     
  7. Extremely Pro Gun

    Extremely Pro Gun Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    If it kills terrorists.... it damn sure can kill a deer.
     
  8. overcast_days

    overcast_days Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    NM
    My 10 year old cousin brought down a 8 pt deer with 1 well placed .223 shot, 2 weekends ago.
     
  9. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,434
    I'm glad to hear this as

    I have worked up accurate loads for my Bushmaster consisting of 62g Barnes TSX Solid Copper Bullets.

    They apparently do devastation equal to regular bullets of a larger caliber, according to the Barnes Web Site and Video.

    So, what would be a 62g X Bullet will do the approximate same damage as, say, a 100g 243 Regular Soft Point Bullet.

    With all that being said, of course it all really depends on shot placement. A gut shot is not going to drop most any animal, however a well-placed heart, head and/or lung shot is a different story.

    Here is an excellent slow-motion video showing the X Bullet working through Ballistic Gelatin:

    http://www.barnesbullets.com/videos/308 130 TTSX 2912fps 16Gel_WMV9_640x480.wmv

    If you set your video player play speed to SLOW you can really get a look at the effect the X-Bullet has.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  10. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,529
    Location:
    UK and Texas
    First, I prefer a heavier caliber, generally more than needed. (either my rem bolt in 30/06 or G3 in 308). That said...

    The last time I went hunting I took one deer with a 7.62x39 with soft point and one with the 308. The 7.62x39 was a botched shot on my part and it ran about 150 yards and required a follow-up shot (you botch a shot, it doesn't really matter that much, you've just created a bad situation for your prey). The 308 was spot on and it dropped where it stood.

    My brother took 2 with a 223 using, iirc 62 grain soft points. Both ran about 30 yards and expired.

    These were Texas deer, so pretty small.

    I have been in the hunting party where 223 were used in about a half dozen instances. In EVERY case the deer was down as quickly as any other caliber used. This is personal experience only, ymmv.

    My opinion is I would always choose a heavier caliber (243 or better in Texas), but if that's what I had (and it's legal) I would be fine with using it. (and I'm a meat hunter, respect the animal kind of guy.)
     
  11. North Texan

    North Texan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Capitol of Cow Country
    I do most of my hunting with a .223. I handload for it, and use 55 gr. Sierra Gamekings. Never shot a deer with it (don't hunt them much), but have shot many, many hogs with it. Very seldom did they ever do anything other than fall over dead. Some have been larger than the average whitetail most hunters will encounter.
     
  12. zt77

    zt77 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    55 grain ballistic silvertip, starting load with reloder 7, s&w mp-15.
    Last year I got a lung shot on a 135 lb whitetail doe, took two steps and collapsed. Both lungs were really tore up, but bullet did not exit.

    year before that at 215 yards I got off a shoulder shot with same load. dropped the doe (although a bit smaller at 105 lbs) and bullet also did not exit. heart was pierced, however.
     
  13. okierifleman

    okierifleman Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Houston TX!!!
    I have seen this thread in several other forums and I still cannot believe it every time I see it. The .223 is NOT a deer caliber. They do NOT make a .22 bullet for deer. Will it kill a deer? With 100% optimal conditions and shot placement, yes. But, anyone who has spent ANY time hunting will know, that those conditions dont come along very often. People come on! Shooting deer in the head? What if you miss your mark by 1" and you have a deer running around with a blown off face or missing an ear. Shooting them in the neck with .223? What if you dont get close enough to the spine to shock it to the point of incapacitation? Even trying to place a perfect heart shot(which is the only one to even attempt with this round)What if you miss by 2" to the left or right? You will have a deer running around with blown off shoulder meat or worse. I respect the game I hunt way too much to even consider it. Optimal conditions are just that. Buy a real deer rifle already in a caliber designed to hunt deer.
     
  14. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,442
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    FYI it's NOT 1988 any more


    Barnes TSX
    Nosler Partition
    Sierra Gameking
    Speer trophy bonded
    Winchester power point
    amongst others

    ALL "Deer" bullets in .224"
     
  15. okierifleman

    okierifleman Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Houston TX!!!
    Its not 1988 anymore? Crap, I thought it was. Better change the calender. Just because you can do something doesnt mean you should.
     
  16. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,599
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    okierifleman, could you name a caliber that was specifically designed to hunt deer? The most common ones out there - the .30-30, the .30-06, and the .308 only one might be able to make that claim. The other two, which are more suited for long distance hunting, were both military rounds.

    The ample amount of deer taken with the .223 shows that in the right hands it IS a caliber sufficient for taking deer without optimal conditions. I have doubts that every shot is taken only when the conditions are optimal. Are there better rounds out there, yes.... but that doesn't mean the .223 won't do the job.
    If you miss 2" to the left or right?? You respect the game you are hunting but would take a 4moa rifle hunting at 100y? That is assuming that you aren't experiencing any vertical stringing at all. I would bet that most people use rifles that they shoot way better than that. It isn't like people are taking these out and shooting 400y shots, they, again I am assuming, are taking shots under 100y.
     
  17. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,002
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Years ago it was nothing for the old timers to go out and kill deer with a .22 lr. That doesn't make it a good idea. News flash. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH USING A CALIBER THAT'S A BIT LARGER THAN NECESSARY. For some reason people think it's a sin to use a cartridge that's a bit more powerful than necessary. In the words of Bob Hagel (the god of ballistics), I much prefer overkill to underkill.
     
  18. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,599
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    Arkansas Paul - I agree, there is nothing wrong with using too much gun, but is there something wrong with recommending a caliber that isn't overkill but is sufficient? I personally won't recommend anything smaller than a .30-30 / 7.62x39 or a 243 but that is only when the person is asking what caliber to get. When advising on a new gun, I always suggest more than the bare minimum, but when evaluating someones existing gun, we are only doing a disservice if we don't give an objective and accurate evaluation. There is too much evidence for the .223 as a deer caliber than against it. It is not what I would recommend for a new gun, but it will do if you have one in hand.
     
  19. fase3

    fase3 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Used a 223 to cull my deer herd with and then stepped up to a 22-250 which I found to be far more effective(head shooting with both). I still prefer the 243 Win. as a min. round even with my southern deer. Over the bean fields here at my farm I use a 300 WSM for the long shots that occur in late evening. Then that's just me.
     
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    45,925
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    There was a time when bullets for centerfire .22s were only available as varmint bullets, designed to blow up quite readily. That was considered "proper" performance.

    Then came the .223 and a beaucoup bunch of R&D. There now are bullets in the (generally) range of 60 to 70 grains which are designed for some expansion yet hold together. Just like their bigger brothers.

    Yeah, I sorta look at the .243 as my selection for a "light deer rifle", and an '06 as my "main battle rifle for Bambi wars". So? If what I had was a .223, I'd pick a proper bullet and merely be picky about the conditions for taking a shot--and I'd work at being somewhat more precise than usual. Not just "n the neck", but I'd sorta pick out which vertebrae I'd want to break.
     
  21. SalchaketJoe

    SalchaketJoe Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    TX
    60gr Nosler partition or the Win. 64gr Power point. Put it in the boiler. Dead deer.
     
  22. BushyGuy

    BushyGuy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    634
    Location:
    at the end of the world..
    my friend used a bolt action .223 rem he used 50 and 60 gr JHP bullets he killed a few deer with it with a single shot. Shot placement is important. you can also bring deer down with a 55 gr FMJ due to the fragmentation in that round, but it will ruin alot of meat if its a torso shot, best shot is upper neck.
     
  23. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,541
    Location:
    Georgia
    Agreed Krochus, the 64 grain power point has performed very well on deer for me. I keep my shots under 100 yards and I have had no trouble on big Nebraska deer.

    There are a lot of .224 caliber bullets as pointed out that will do a fine job on whitetails. BTW okie if you miss the heart by a few inches you have a lung shot. Thats makes the deer just as dead.

    No caliber, regardless of size, compensates for good shot placement.
     
  24. JASmith

    JASmith Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    California
    I've seen too many reports of little or no blood trails from deer hit by the .243 Win to even think of using a .223 on deer. (I did it once in '69 with a .222 Rem Mag and the Nosler Zipedo -- another member of our hunting party had to finish off the deer but my bullet was the only one recovered!)
     
  25. blackops

    blackops Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,238
    I agree. IMO a 223 is just to light.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice