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.223 for Deer?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by El Guero, Nov 3, 2003.

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  1. El Guero

    El Guero Member

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    When I turn 18 in a few months, I want to get a rifle. I was looking for something that I could plink with and hunt deer with, because I want a practical use for it. When I went to the gun store, the guys there said that .223 was legal for deer, and I decided that I'd buy some sort of AR-15.

    But I'm still kind of skeptical about it. I know 7.62x39 would be more of a sure thing, but I like the AR-15 and want to know if a .223 will bring down a deer at 25-75 yds. every time, or pretty close. I'm a good enough shot for those ranges, so I'm also pretty sure I'll have a vitals hit. What do you guys think?

    BTW I'm looking at Olympic Arms' rifles, and I want to get a 16" barrel carbine with a flattop. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    this is a very controversial topic...

    in my own opinion and experiences, the simple answer to your question is no.

    as far as the ar goes for hunting... if you decide to go w/ a 223 to hunt w/, be sure to check legality... you will likely need, at the minimum mags w/ reduced capacity.

    for a rifle that will be primarily a plinker and sometimes a hunter, look into something like a remington 700 (and the many variations - like vssf, vls, adl, etc etc etc).

    for caliber, i'd reccomend something based on the 308, like 243 or, even better, the 7-08....
     
  3. son of a gun

    son of a gun member

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    Get an AR15 chambered for either one of the 7.62 bullets.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2003
  4. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    .223's are legal in several states, and are even popular for deer in Texas. I have heard some impressive stories about the "deer" bullets in .223 (Partition, PowerPoint, TBBC, X), and would strongly recommend one if you insist on shooting at deer with a popgun. However, I recommend that if you like AR's for deer hunting, they (or clones) are available in many calibers. I have seen .50 BMG uppers for AR lowers.....
     
  5. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Talkin with a guy at the club Sunday .. and he was relating tales on .222 .. seemingly numerous successes! One or more was out to beyond 200 yds!! (he said!!!).

    Hmmm ... well ... grain of salt for me i'm afraid .. sorry but even with 80 grainers and good shot placement etc .. Nope ... really do not feel this is enough gun at all. IMO, better overkill than underkill.

    MINIMUM I would choose is my .243 Savage with 105 grainers ... now that is beginning to get useful. 270 will cut it too but .... in the end, seems way best to me to use the trusty .308 ...... or 30-06 if you are so inclined ...... even at the shorter ranges we take em round here.
     
  6. son of a gun

    son of a gun member

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    I think with a well placed shot it's not a problem, but in non optimal conditions will it make a quick humane kill ?
     
  7. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Member

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    223
    with a scope
    and a steady hand
    at a standing deer
    sub 100 yards

    meat in the freezer
     
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome to THR, Trippy.

    The .223 can definitely do it. So can a .22 LR.

    If you're a beginning shooter, especially, though, you would do well to choose something with some margin for error. Deer hunting can be difficult enough without handicapping yourself with a marginal round. I've seen good shots with much more powerful rounds that barely did the trick.

    If you like the AR, fine. Get an Olympic Arms in .243 WSSM. No marginallity there!

    Best,

    John
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2003
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Sure, cartridges like the .222 or .223 will kill a deer. The problem lies in the skill of the shooter.

    Many marginal cartridges work well with exact or near-exact shot placement. However, a bad hit from one is more likely to allow a deer to escape and be lost to suffer and then die or be permanently crippled. It is common for a bad hit with a stouter cartridge to anchor a deer long enough to get off a second, killing shot.

    Some degree of "buck fever" or one's adrenalin rush can really ruin one's day. It's hard on the ego, as well, as one thinks back to all those tight groups from a benchrest...Experience and self-control play a large part in this deal...

    :), Art
     
  10. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    Have you thought about getting a nice lever gun in .30-30 or .44 Mag? Fun to plink with, and much better suited for deer hunting. Cheaper too...
     
  11. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    Get a Mauser in 308..

    Some states don't allow .223's..
     
  12. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Member

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    I wouldn't hunt with a .223 Too much damage to the meat at that velocity. Save it for the Coyotes and ground hogs.
    But look closely at a Rock River Arms. One of the top AR's made today. You can buy the A2 carbine for about $800. Or do as I am doing. Buy the lower from them for $250, or less from Pete in New Hampshire. Then order the upper from Pete for $405. $655 plus S&H and transfer fees. Don't ask me why it is cheaper to buy them seperately, but it is!
    Check out www.ar15.com
     
  13. SC_shooter

    SC_shooter Member

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    ScottsGT,

    The answer is excise tax. That only has to be paid on a complete firearm, as I understand it.

    You could take a deer with .223 but I wouldn't. You'd have to have a near perfect shot.

    Better a 357, 44 or 45 lever gun. Any of them will take down a deer at 150 yards or less. And they are cheap and cheap to shoot.

    Paul
     
  14. ChairborneRanger

    ChairborneRanger Member

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    .223's are legal in Michigan. At the ranges you are talking about---25-75 yards, a .223 will take a deer right on down----just be sure to use a good hunting-type cartridge----something like a Trophy Bonded Bear Claw.

    While I agree that---if given a range of different rifles/cartridges----something larger would be 'better'----the .223 will get the job done for you. Heck, here in Northern Wisconsin I know of folks who use a .30 Carbine on deer-----and that is anemic compared to the .223
     
  15. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    One must also factor in the size of the deer.

    I have effectively used a .223 on many deer. The small "Jack Rabbit" sized deer we have here in Central Texas are fine for smaller calibers.

    I wouldn't hunt the larger South Texas white tails. I wouldn't use it on Muleys either.

    My $.02

    Smoke
     
  16. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    These are my thoughts on the matter.

    I've never been a hunter, but I've been thinking about trying to go this year, for the meat. Rather than buy a whole new bolt gun in .308, I think I'm just going to get some optics and decent hunting cartridges for my bushy 20" HBAR A3.

    I figure a well placed, preferably head or neck shot inside 200 yards with powerpoints at ~3100 fps will do the trick. And of course, followup shots are going to be quicker with an AR than with anything else.
     
  17. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Member

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    I think it could be done. If the shooter is well practiced and does not compromise on shot placement or shooting conditions. A nice heart/lung shot inside of ~ 100yds. should bring down the animal with minimal tracking effort:p If you like tracking that is ......................Hey, it can be fun. I have never tried it. I have only used .270 & 30-30 in rifle calibers.
     
  18. JohnMc

    JohnMc Member

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    Right now, Dick's Sporting Goods has Savage package guns (scope included, I forget the array of calibers) for ~$320 and Remington 710's (.270 or 30-06) for about $10 more (scope also included). 30-30 Lever actions are around the same price (I wish I had the advert right here).
    Wally-mart is about the same.
    The stainless Savage package guns are about $450.
    They were the same prices last year, with it varying about $10-20, depending the week and which store's ad was better.

    Any of these would be fantastic deer guns. And Savages are nice shooters, regardless of the looks.

    As for .223 for deer, I'd follow Smoke's advice.

    My $0.02.

    JohnMc
     
  19. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...223 with a scope and a steady hand at a standing deer sub 100 yards meat in the freezer..." If, and only, if you are using bullets designed not to break up on impact like 99% of .223 calibre bullets do. Far more places do not allow .22 calibre centre fire firearms than allow it. Get a .243 Win as a minimum.
     
  20. Med 10

    Med 10 Member

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    7.62x39. similar ballistics to a 30.30. and cheap enough to plink to youre hearts content. I would stay with something in the 30cal. range.

    If youre talking about 200 yards or less 7.62x39 is OK.

    Me personally, I would get a dedicated deer rifle in 308, and save up youre money for a plinker SHTF type weapon.
     
  21. 98G

    98G Member

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    You owe it to the deer to use something more effective. .223 is marginal at best.

    7.62X39 is a better choice for deer and a cheaper rifle.

    If you really like the AR platform, get an AR10 in .308 or .243.

    If you must have a 5.56 AR, get a dedicated deer rifle as well.

    98G
     
  22. Newt

    Newt Member

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    I agree with gun-fucious, however, I'd save up and buy a rifle just for your hunting purposes. I've witnessed a 22-250 take a deer down one shot 400+ yards, but I wouldn't count on that everytime. You can't have too many guns. Save up for a .243 cal. or up.

    Newt
     
  23. MagKnightX

    MagKnightX Member

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    I have to agree. On one hand, ARs are fun guns, relatively cheap to shoot, and can be tackdrivers. And in states where you can legally hunt deer with them, you can use them to take one down, assuming it's a good shot.

    But on the other hand, what if it's not a good shot? If you flinch and only wound it, it gets away, and you lose its trail. You have to live with the knowledge that you did not provide a clean, mostly painless kill. It suffered, and could still be out there suffering for days or weeks. With a .308 or a .30-06, you have a much better chance of a clean kill. Even a .243 or .270 will work very well. If recoil is a problem, .30-30 is good for shorter ranges. You can also use 7.62x39, but usually that's not terribly accurate. So get a Savage or Remington bolt-action hunting rifle if hunting is your prime purpose, or the AR if plinking is your prime purpose, but don't hunt with it unless you are absolutely sure you can kill the deer quickly.
     
  24. teppo-shu

    teppo-shu Member

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    Second the AR10 in .243 (or .308), but you're talking beaucoup bucks, even before you mount the glass.:uhoh:

    For plinking AND occasional deer, why not a real nice AK klone? Arsenal has the SAM7S or SLR-series with scope mount. You can get a flat-top Weaver mount for it and put any kind of scope you want.

    As someone mentioned, the 7.62x39 ballistics are virtually identical to the 30-30. And muy, muy cheap.

    Good luck.

    p.s. forgot to mention that CZ also has a little bolt-action carbine in 7.62x39. been thinking on one of these meself.:cool:

    p.p.s. duh! didn't even realize there's another thread going on the CZ right now.Click here. Guess great minds think alike!;)
     
  25. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    My brother took one with his Rem 700 VSS. He did a chest shot while it was facing him. Why chest? He wanted to do a bullet expansion test with a Nosler partition. 3 petals did blossom out like in the pics and the fourth broke off. It went through the chest and through the internal organs before lodging somewhere in the hindquarter (forgot where). He was less than 100 yards away when he made the shot.
     
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