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.223 for deer
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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tlo7mm
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:31 pm    Post subject: .223 for deer Reply with quote

I recently picked up a bolt gun in .223 Remington primarily because I have wanted one for some time and I don't have really any varmint rifles aside from 22lr and 17hmr. It occurred to me that my son turned 9 on the 7th and is now eligible to be involved in the Mentor Program here in Oregon. He is not a real big kid so I am not comfortable putting him behind to big of a rifle just yet, I don't particularly want to get him gun shy yet. Anyway I am going to use my .223 for him to shoot my deer this year. My dilemma is this; I am looking to a good round to deer hunt with. I am leaning towards a 60 grain Nosler Partition if I can get my hands on them but right now all I have is varmint bullets to load. Anyone have any thoughts on a good bullet to deer hunt with? hell for him i will even go with factory ammo just to use for mentoring.

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

While 223 can do the job, I am more partial to use 243 or 6 mm for deer.
Give better reach and flatter trajectory too for minimal-ish heavier recoil.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

I have a mate that has shot fallow deer with .223 using 55gr projectiles, but in all honesty, I am not a big fan of shooting deer with the .223 because I don't believe they have enough oomph to do the job cleanly and ethically. We must be humane when hunting.

I'm with Gelan on this one...the .243 Win, or any 6mm for that matter, is a better option because of the points Gelan mentions, plus there are heavier bullets much better suited to taking deer sized critters.

A slightly heavier .243 rifle with a quality recoil pad and maybe a muzzle break and with rounds loaded properly to a suitable power level should not be too much gun for your young fella and it will be better suited to deer hunting. If you opt to go the 6mm route, take your young fella out to the range, load up some light loads (mild 55gr bullets). Work your way up to maybe 90gr bullets over a little time to allow him to get to know the .243 and get used to the recoil.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

Deer have been taken with all manner of 22 caliber rifles. Even with varmint bullets a neck shot will drop a deer in its tracks.If you can put the round through both lungs and the heart it won't be guaranteed to drop him there but neither are any cartridges going to result in a dead right there hit. Most walk or run till the brain shuts down. You aren't likely to break through big bones so shoulder shots would likely not be the best target. A head or neck shot is what I would do with a 223.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:53 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

ahhhh hummmm excuse me here Gentlemen



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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:04 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

MY take on .223 having shot a few deer (big reds at that) using 50 grn barnes TTSX is this...keep range under 150 yards, poke them out over 3000fps and break them shoulders or go slightly FORWARDS of them into hillar area and Bambi will drop quicksmart no fuss no bother. the damage this bullet does is opposite what you get with cup n core from larger cartridge eg you get the major damage on nearside shoulder and minor damage and exit hole on far side.
Ive taken red 2 year old at about 150 and she took 10 steps half of which were backwards.broadside above photos show side facing me.
BIG red hind at about 30 yards bangflop facing me slight angle entered neck throat and took out vitals before exiting.
70lb pig at about 180-200 2 through and through both a tad far back and she went 20ish yards before carking it.
I wouldnt hesitate to take deer with this load at this range again.
yes a 6mm and above gives more room for error but this load works and works plurry well with added bonus of less meat damage or at least no lead in mushy bits.
I went with 50 grn load to be able to get them going fast enough to open properly 24.5 grn-25grn of AR2206h works for me.
Scratch oh yeah Nathan has taken 2 with it as well one chest shot at 75ish bang flop and one barrel stretcher at 200ish (wasnt with him but cut it up only one Ive recovered projectile from) Very Happy

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:20 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

It's all about the bullet and distance !!!

Understanding what a bullet can and can't do at a given distance is the key to a successful hunt.
Too many hunters what to argue the ethics a give cartridge. The argument should be on the hunter themselves. Do they understand their limitations and the choosen equipments limitations ???

If it were me I'd use a Barnes or Barnes like bullet. Bullet weight to me is somewhat irrelevant. Just make sure it's impact velocity is within its operating range.

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

Chambered, you should also add "placement"
I don't do deer, only roedeer and I feel very comfortable with Sierra's 63 grs semi-pointed (SMP) in my .222 Rem, but I wouldn't even try bullets of 50 or 52 grs for this alltough I did use 45 grs in the .22 Hornet for fallow deer... It's all about energy-transfert at the right spot (and it's easier to hit that right spot when the distance is not too great + when you use a rifle with low recoil).
And I didn't have the opportunity to try Barnes's bullets in the .222, but I can support Chambered's vision on this (as I do use the Barnes in 7 mm)

but for tlo: such a .223 could work fine, but I would also feel comfortable with a 30/30 Win and in my opinion all boys like a lever action...
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

I consider that part of the hunter understanding their own limitations !!!

Barnes actually makes a 45gr bullet suitable for deer. Shocked

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

I have not shot a deer with a .223 but I had tested a lot of .223 bullets with the intention of hunting deer with my .223. I ended up deciding to go with a 6.8mm SPC which is another story.

There are several good bullets out there like Elvis has experienced for taking deer with a .223. The copper bullets like Barnes are a good example because they retain their weight and can penetrate though a mid-size game animal. However, they are range limited in their expansion plus, because of the wide range of twist rates in .223 (1:7 to 1:14) bullet selection becomes critical to ensure stabilization for the twist of your barrel.

tlo7mm, what is your barrel length and twist? the difference in a 16" barrel compared to a 24" barrel can be 100 yards of effective range.

Below is some expansion comparison information for monolithic bullets. Twist rate can also affect there terminal expansion as shown with the GMX bullets. The best expanding bullet I've seen that is lead core is the 62gr Federal Fusion MSR which is bonded.



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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:09 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

here is the expansion chart. Don't bother with the 70gr GMX. It has the original expansion cavity where as the newer 55gr GMX has Hornady's 2nd generation expansion cavity. The 70 GMX needs a fast twist and a .223 can not get enough energy in the bullet to reach its expansion potential.



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Last edited by slimjim on Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

Looks like I had the barrel twist affects on a separate chart. Besides the 2nd gen GMX, I've also see the affects of barrel twist rate on TTSX bullets. The 62gr Fusion MSR's expansion was not affected by barrel twist.



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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

Found some of the testing on the 62gr MSR. This was a 200 yard shot with a 24" barrel. The Nosler 64gr Bonded Performance Bullet expands nicely in close but expansion drops off rapidly as kinetic energy drops. This bullet actually tumbled after impact because it didn't shorten enough or expand to a large enough diameter. The 62gr MSR is pretty impressive for an off the shelf production round. I think I bought a couple hundred to have on had for further hunting needs.



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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

that 64grn BPB down to 2105 looks like the barnes we pulled from Nathans barrel stretcher.
GS custom also do a 40-45grn copper jobbie suitable for deer and I know of one well known writer who shoots a hell of a lot of deer and has shot more than most of us have seen (ex meat hunter) uses a .22-250 who swears by the GS, light and going really fast for same reasons of expansion plus bonus of copper jobbies penetration you need a 40-45 grn to get it to stabilise in older slow twist barrels like .22-250 and if you think about it your 40grn that penetrates and exits is similar to a 80 in .243 that gets down to that weight before exiting/resting on skin anyway as both have travelled same amount of tissue.

there are two ways to use .223 on deer
a barnes or indeed your partition and chest shoot
or a varmint type going really fast and head/upper neck shoot aiming for decapitation.
personally I prefer the chest option as head/neck is harder to Guarantee

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:03 am    Post subject: Re: .223 for deer Reply with quote

Elvis, when you still can find Sierra's 63 grs SMP overthere, just get them and try them. I've been told that Sierra no longer produces that bullet, so I bought here what I could find and I'm careful not to waste them. Yesterday-evening I used one: 1 bullet for a (rather big) young female roedeer at somewhat more than 100 m, I was surprised that she still could run but only for about 20 m... 1 small hole on both sides of the chest and after opening I saw the bullet hit the heart. Empty weight 13,36 kg and no meat wasted. I love that 63 grs SMP Sierra in my .222...
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