.223 to hunt with.

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by f150howard, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. bdbrown66

    bdbrown66 8 pointer

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    JD, I'd really like to read that article showing a .22 caliber bullet (any bullet) expanded to .75. It would be difficult to achieve that in a .30 caliber bullet, so I'd like to see how they achieved that with a .22. Please post the link.
     
  2. muddhunter

    muddhunter 12 pointer

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    Reduced recoil 30/06 rounds work fine if your into that. Just have her shoot some to make sure she is comfortable with it.
     
  3. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    Over the months I've read countless articles on the 223 & 5.56... some test were fairly extensive..... some were just forum postings from someone who did their own. Which if I run across it again I'll post a link but all in all it's the internet. Being it may be legit or maybe not ... but it's out there.

    Which I don't have anything to prove and just implying we all need to be open minded. As I've seen the same arguments with other calibers as well as the bigger caliber is better mentality ... it just doesn't hold water.

    Ultimately my opinion boils down to the critter your hunting and my thoughts are .... our deer in Ky are just not that hard to kill if you put an arrow or bullet in the right place. Bigger calibers ... high dollar guns & bows... best ammo or broad heads you can buy will never change that fact.
     
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  4. muddhunter

    muddhunter 12 pointer

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    JD I couldn't agree with you more on shot placement. I have anecdotal evidence only that leads me to believe that a larger caliber bullet hitting with more foot lbs of energy are deadlier than smaller high velocity rounds. I don't know the math and if you presented it to me may fall asleep before reading it all, but I have witnessed deer hit in the boiler room with a .223 take off like a shot and never found a drop of blood or deer. Conversely, Ive seen marginal low hits on deer with 30 calibre weapons that caused massive damage. Some required follow up but the deer was bad hurt and left plenty of sign to trail. I just feel like if the fella owns both gun caliber's, then the bigger one might be the best choice. If you can use managed recoil ammo and keep shots with in 75-100 yards it should at least be an option.
     
  5. buckfever

    buckfever 12 pointer

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    My kids have shot 7 deer with a .222. We've found 5. Three of those deer dropped in their tracks due to the veritable explosion of the bullet inside the deer. The .222 has plenty of kill power, but I will say that the blood trails absolutely sucked on every deer that ran off.

    I bought an AR-15 this past winter with plans to eventually buy a 6.8 spc upper for it, but was intending to let the kids shoot it with the .223/5.56 caliber barrel on it this fall. So, I started to investigate recommended deer cartridges for the .223.

    I read numerous articles that have discussed that recent 223/556 bullets expand to achieve the same expansion as a .30 cal bullet. When I say numerous, it was at least 5 different articles, all from reputable sources. If memory serves, there was a 62 grain Barnes .223 bullet that showed this dynamic. I also at least one video on youtube that tested bullets and compared the relative expansion between one of these new .223 deer bullets and a 30/30 bullet (may be wrong on the 30/30, but it was definitely some 30 caliber gun). Sure enough, it concluded that the expansions were close to the same.

    As you point out though, shot placement is critical, because expansion will be offset by the loss of penetration. Huge bullet expansion on a light caliber bullet like a .223 will likely result in a wounded deer if the hit is on the shoulder. And that might not happen with a bigger caliber. I don't personally believe that makes it unethical though, because the exact same argument could be said about the difference between a .243 or 7mm/.08 vs. a .300 Win Mag.
     
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  6. EarlyBird1

    EarlyBird1 8 pointer

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    A far as kids go... I'll say that I'd rather have a kid shoot a 223 that they are completely comfortable with than a 243 that they are even the least bit apprehensive about shooting. If your kid is deadeye with a 223 and you choose the right bullets they can be pretty deadly on deer. I personally still want to get my kid on a 243 (or bigger) as early as I can but not before they are very comfortable with the larger calibers.

    Big thing is that the kids (or the ladies) need to shoot. They need to shoot and then they need to shoot some more. Too many newbie hunters take to the field having only fired the gun they are carrying a few times. This causes a lot of the problems that they end up having cleanly killing critters. Too many people have the inexperienced shooter take a couple shots from a vice or bench and call it good. That's crazy and doesn't begin to simulate real deer hunting situations. This kind of poorly considered training causes more wounded and lost deer than caliber choice.
     
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  7. bigbill30978

    bigbill30978 Spike

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    Will a 223 do the job, sure it will. You best make a good shot, if you don't you will have a wounded deer. If you are set on using an AR, swap the upper out. Little over $200.00 you can put a 300 Blackout on an AR-15 lower.
     
  8. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

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    Farmers in western KY kill hell out of crop damage deer every year with the .223.
     
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  9. predator1

    predator1 12 pointer

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    I'm thinking about trying the Hornady Superformance Match with 75gr for my son. He's already killed several deer and uses my a 243. But he's worrying me to death wanting to shoot one with the AR. In hindsight, wish I'd gotten a bigger caliber upper.
     
  10. WaterDog88

    WaterDog88 10 pointer

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    I don't know if I would shoot the match round. I think that's fmj?? Your rate of twist might not like 75 grainers either depending on what it is. I'd look at something solid that will expand like the tsx or partition. Both of those will hold together and mushroom/expand.
     
  11. predator1

    predator1 12 pointer

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    The 75gr are jhp. And my barrel is 24" with a 1:8 twist. It'll shoot less than 3/4" at 200 yards with them. I've got some of the 50gr GMX Full Boar ammo, but I'm iffy on a bullet that light.
     
  12. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    My opinion ... I wouldn't get too caught up on the mindset of a heavier grain weight bullet. I'd look harder at the bullet itself striving for controlled expansion.

    If you drop back to the 64 grain weights ... or that neighborhood... some really good stuff in factory ammo.

    Which I've been a fan of Winchester ammo for many years now. They make a 223 -64gr in their Deer Season XP line. Believe Hornady makes something similar in their American Whitetail series. Which neither one of those will break the bank on cost.

    Then you got Nosler bullets like the partitions ... in factory ammo by Nosler, Federal and several others.

    Which bullet design is everything and we've jumped leaps & bounds with what's available. Which overall I'd say most bad experience using a 223 on whitetails is poor bullet selection on the front end.
     
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  13. Ted Malone

    Ted Malone Fawn

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    I have taken two people hunting using the .223. This is a summary of ammo/experience.
    First was a junior using factory Winchester 45 jhp ammo (yes 45 grain jhp). Over two seasons he shot 5 deer. All deer were broadside but his shot placement wasn't the best. 2 deer ran off and never found ( no blood trail found either). The other 3 deer essentially dropped in tracks or ran very short distance. The other hunter was owner of property and wanted to use his AR-15. He only had fmj so I loaded up ammo for him. I used the sierra 55 spbt Gameking bullet. He has shot 4 deer in two seasons now with this ammo. All were broadside shots. The first deer jumped up and ran and we never found ( no blood trail found either). The other three deer were just like above. They either dropped right there or ran very short distance.
    For what it is worth ( and not wanting to start another thread on this topic!) I took my 12 year old daughter deer hunting for first time last season. She used a Thompson Contender single shot pistol with a 10 inch barrel in 357 magnum and 125 grain jhp bullet. This did the job! Moral to story is shot placement and stick to broadside shots!
    A not to to Predator1. The hornady superperformance ammo is a 75 grain bthp bullet BUT, it is a non expanding match bullet. It is a hollow point match bullet intended for target shooting only. I use these same bullets in my DCM match AR for competition. You can call or e-mail hornady to confirm this.
     
  14. bdbrown66

    bdbrown66 8 pointer

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    Thanks for posting. Thanks for essentially validating my opinion. Basically, if your shot placement is perfect, and if the bullet works just right, you've got a chance to get your deer. But if not, there is very, very little room for error. To me, and this is my opinion, this is not an ethical option. Especially when something like a .243 is readily available.
     

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