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Tools of the Trade => Firearms => Topic started by: Hunt Master on October 18, 2018, 11:04:09 AM

Title: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 11:04:09 AM
As I am mostly meat hunting this season I am considering using my AR-15 to take a deer. I know its a small round... I have a great scope (thanks to Bo during a talkhunting event) and its very accurate. My shot should be less than 100 yards and I am thinking about using the Hornady VMax 55 grn ballistic tip round. I just want to see if I can take a deer with this rifle. It will probably be a one time thing since its hard for me to use anything except for one of my .308's.

Pros? Cons? Suggestions?
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 11:55:17 AM
A .223 can be devistating on deer, or it can be disasterous.

I would use heavier bullets in the 62 to 70gr range.  The trouble with the .223 is finding a round that will penetrate and expand without breaking apart or losing energy  before it hits the organs.

With a good broadside shot I would not hesitate with the range you mentioned.

The other downside not related to performance is they are awefull loud, esp from an enclosed blind.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 12:59:24 PM
A .223 can be devistating on deer, or it can be disasterous.

I would use heavier bullets in the 62 to 70gr range.  The trouble with the .223 is finding a round that will penetrate and expand without breaking apart or losing energy  before it hits the organs.

With a good broadside shot I would not hesitate with the range you mentioned.

The other downside not related to performance is they are awefull loud, esp from an enclosed blind.

Hi Mike, Just like MI Bowhunter said a heaver bullet is much better!  I would not hesitate to take my 223 out and use it on a big deer.  As we always say with every thing shot placement is most important.  But the 223 has killed a lot of deer.  Have fun and can't wait to see pics.       
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 02:02:09 PM
.223 will take down a deer but I would go with a heavier  bullet like 60 or 70gr. and a copper solid ballistic tip if possible .  ##$%#1118
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 02:41:02 PM
Shot placement and bullet construction are your two main criteria.  You are plenty aware of the importance of placement.  More than just bullet weight, I'd be particular about bullet construction and frankly wouldn't use a Vmax.  They're accurate but designed more as a fur friendly varmint round and may not consistently give you the penetration you want for venison ventilation.  A jacketed soft point would be my choice at the moment.  If you want a plastic tipped bullet the nosler ballistic tip is a more robust bullet for deer than the Vmax. I don't hate the Vmax but wouldn't use it for a deer or hog.  Take a look at something like Sierra's 63 gr SMP.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 03:44:02 PM
A guy I know told me he had used a 223 on deer,  and neck shots did quite a job on the deer.  A head shot would definitely put a deer down.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 04:26:48 PM
i agree w/ the above. the most important part might be the small hole. chances are he will run off. you will have little or no blood trail.

why are you using the 223 instead of the 308?
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 06:13:24 PM
I agree with Yari - Why not a AR10 or a AR15 in 300BO or in 6.5 Grendel or in 6.8 SPC II ?? Same Lower, but a new upper (and possible magazines). There will be a lot of deer taken with a AR15 this hunting season....

If by some slim of a chance I would use a AR15 in 223 on deer, I would use the heaviest bullet that I could...most of my AR15 shoot great using 75 or 77 Gn Black Hills in it. They shoot so well that I don't even hand load....most of them shoot quarters at 200 and have a couple of 22-250 that shoot quarter size groups at 250 yards...now I do reload for the 22-250....but sill would not use a 223 on Deer, maybe on Doe(s)

Just my two cents worth....   
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 18, 2018, 09:21:10 PM
I probably wouldn't do it either given that I have other options in hand, but a lot of people are taking deer successfully with .222 & .223 rifles.  Does it have the massive knockdown power of a larger cartridge?  No, but it has enough with the right placement & the right bullet.  I wouldn't tout it as the best thing to go with, but have pretty high confidence that HM will be selective enough with his shots to make it work just fine.  Have seen plenty of goofballs wounding deer with 12 gauge slugs at ranges you couldn't believe (very close), so for sure the .223 will result in some lost animals too if the user isn't pretty proficient.  Give it a go HM and let us know how things turn out.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 08:12:22 AM
LOL. Love the responses so keep them coming.

Why am I using a 223 instead of one of my normal deer rifles?
Because I want to see if I can kill a deer (doe) with it. Its a challenge and it would be cool to say every rifle I own has taken a deer. Its a one time thing.

Why dont I use a AR-10 or a blackout?
Because I dont own one. however, I am definitely open to someone donating one.  @--0--0120

I can buy a bigger bullet, and will probably do that. I just thought I would ask about one of the rounds I already have.

I would probably pass on a buck or even a big doe. The goal is a small doe for meat. I know its an odd idea but I got it in my head to make a kill with every rifle I own and I want to try.

So...

Best bullet (store bought)?

Best shot placement?

Im a pretty good shot so I am confidant of being able to hit what I want or pass on the shot.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 08:22:40 AM
I have an AR10 and a 300BO upper I could loan you...but I'm not yet ready to totally let them go

The AR10 has night vision. ;-D
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 10:02:09 AM
HM- i get that. it's always good to 'justify' every gun

i would shoot just like a bow. right behind the shoulder. avoid any bone. you will likely obliterate the vitals as i don't know if the bullet will hold together. at least this is what i found w/ my daughter's .243. also, you may not get an exit hold

good luck
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 10:26:03 AM
I have an AR10 and a 300BO upper I could loan you...but I'm not yet ready to totally let them go

The AR10 has night vision. ;-D

If I did that I would not be taking a deer with my rifle. I will have to insist that it be gifted to me   @--0--0120
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 10:30:25 AM
what about

73 Grain ELD - Hornady Match
https://www.luckygunner.com/223-rem-73-grain-eld-hornady-match-20-rounds

or

77 Grain Sierra MatchKing HP - Black Hills Remanufactured
https://www.luckygunner.com/223-rem-77-grain-sierra-matchking-hp-black-hills-remanufactured-50-rounds
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 11:00:33 AM
Here you go HM:

https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/hornady-american-whitetail-223-60-grain-centerfire-rifle-ammunition

Or maybe Remington's Hog Hammer ammo?
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 11:39:06 AM
.223 will git-r-done good bullet and shot placement are key. Good luck hope whack a nice one.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 12:26:52 PM
yes what ever heavy grain bullet you can get for it 60 grains or higher
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 19, 2018, 09:19:05 PM
what about

73 Grain ELD - Hornady Match
https://www.luckygunner.com/223-rem-73-grain-eld-hornady-match-20-rounds

or

77 Grain Sierra MatchKing HP - Black Hills Remanufactured
https://www.luckygunner.com/223-rem-77-grain-sierra-matchking-hp-black-hills-remanufactured-50-rounds
HM these are both target loads , the ELD will leave a very large entry wound and the matckking has a thicker jacket and just mite just go through . the whitetail hunter in 60gr would be about right . In fact check with BugFixer I think he used something like it on his deer last year .
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 20, 2018, 12:02:43 PM
Sundowner - You are exactly right, the Ballistic Tip and the ELD-X and other similar tipped bullets are great target makers but for taking game make sure that it will leave big hole in the game....I would like to say that I would use a 243 with a 100 grain Sierra Pro-Hunter of PSP or other soft point that would expand into a exit big hole.....
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 22, 2018, 08:02:30 PM
I've taken two deer with a 223. Both at about 80 yards. One shot was in the neck and the other behind the shoulder. Both dropped in there tracks. I was using a 62 grain soft point. Awesome little round.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 23, 2018, 06:46:34 AM
Yes, I was there when Split Toe took his deer with a 223 round and it wasn't pretty...man those deer hit the ground and one was knocked completely over......

The story goes, it that I was hunting down in GA (I lived in Norcross (subrub of Atlanta) at the time) and Dad had gone home for a day or two, he had to have a shower every three or four days, so I was down there all by myself Split Toe showed up (he was working at Delta and was off during the middle of the week) at the camp where I had set up and showed him lay of the land....so we decide to go hunting...I had just dropped him off at a stand location and climbed up in mine and was up there about 5 minutes when I heard a shot, knowing it was Split Toe, it startled me a bit.....I climbed down went to where I dropped Split Toe off and sure enough saw Split Toe standing over a 6 point buck that he had shot with a 223 bullet.....the next morning got up and dropped Split Toe off and wasn't even at my stand yet when I heard Split Toe shoot again and so I turned around and headed back his way and sure enough, there he was Split Toe was standing over his deer......he had been hunting only 15 minutes!!! holy cow, those were the days, maybe back around the mid to late 70's.... --9-908

But the 223 bullet worked very well on both deer....glad after all these years it told me about the 62 gn soft point bullet...I'm sure he had told me before but had forgotten about it....LOL....
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 23, 2018, 05:05:08 PM
bo- I've been watching some vids of guys in atlanta bowhunting and shooting some huge buck. suburban bucks in folks yards
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 23, 2018, 05:30:57 PM
I believe everyone would agree, it's all about shot placement. 
About 50 years ago I new some fellers that market hunted in central Florida.  They were law breakers but they were conscientious about their ability to kill a deer.  They sure didn't want to have to track one and I believe they had enough heart and respect for their prey not to cripple one.  They got $50 for a dressed deer from certain "elite uptown Orlando business men".  Most of these poached deer were taken with a Winchester 61 in 22 magnum. 
All that ugly history to say the .223 is way ahead of the venerable 22 magnum that was quiet sufficient in the hands of those marksmen so many years ago. 
It's all about shot placement and knowledge of deer anatomy.
Treefarmer
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 23, 2018, 06:16:42 PM
Yari - Thanks, the big bucks are located in pockets of land, it still amazes me what two acres will yield as far as the size of these Suburbs Bucks!! Let Deerhead tell you some stories about those suburban bucks he has seen on camera!! Holy cow, they can go some monsters right under your nose and you would never know.....

The land in Norcross, GA was just begin to being developed when I first joined the Engineering firm back in 1974...most of us parked on dirt parking lot and it would be nothing to look out your window in the office and see one of the monarchs just standing there next to your truck/car....

 
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 23, 2018, 09:01:08 PM
bo- I've been watching some vids of guys in atlanta bowhunting and shooting some huge buck. suburban bucks in folks yards
We have several booners taken out of Fulton and Dekalb counties each year. The city of Atlanta is in Fulton county. It's one of the largest counties in the state. North Fulton is bow only and South Fulton has a rifle season. It's amazing the number of huge bucks that are located in those counties. These deer are taken on a lot of five acre tracks.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on October 26, 2018, 06:05:21 PM
I've been thinking about this topic a lot since it was posted. I wanted to prepare my response carefully. I'm only expressing my opinion.

Many people advocate the use of the very smallest small bores for big game, the .22 centerfires. There have been many articles written on this very subject in nearly every hunting and gun magazine published in America and all the articles were guardedly in favor. Why this is a bad idea in my opinion is readily seen in a wound track analysis. The wound track created by even the most robust of .224 bullets is barely acceptable as a minimally effective lethal wound on anything larger than a 100 pound deer, their use is questionable and even in this regard the utmost of precision accuracy is required. A 64 grain bullet does not suddenly transform a .220 Swift or any other .224 cartridge for that matter into an ethical big game cartridge. The 64 grain .224 bullet has a sectional density of only .182; even the puny 85 grain .243 caliber bullet has a SD of .206 and has more terminal prowls. But mass is not the greatest problem of the .224 bullets. The greater problem comes from the design of these small bullets. These are varmint cartridges and are designed to go fast and flat to hit targets weighing less than 50 pounds. With this intended purpose expansion is not a requirement, and they don't. The hydrostatic shock on small mass weight animals is more ethical and lethal. This is to say terminal velocity versus body mass weight must be kept in an ethical range.

Once again this is my opinion. I also realize the ability to confidently use any weapon regardless of caliber makes it potentially more lethal. A confident shooter usually is a better shooter. If you're confident in your ability then I say go for it. But as always...

Practice! Practice! Practice! Then Practice some more!!!!!  ;D Dutch out
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 25, 2018, 06:28:56 PM
HM if it's still time yoy should checkout the 223 Ripout round , it's a great hog round and should put a deer down no problem , it's a bit pricey though .  ##$%#1118
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 29, 2018, 02:51:15 PM
Because of our poor season this year, I decided to hold off...
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 29, 2018, 03:53:24 PM
Because of our poor season this year, I decided to hold off...
Being that you've waited this long I suggest either a 243 or 7mm-08 over the 223. Those will give effective results out to 200 to 300 yards. Recoil is very light on each caliber.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 30, 2018, 01:32:11 PM
My only reason for wanting to do this was to see if I could kill a deer with every rifle I own. I may just put that off and keep it a yote only gun
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 30, 2018, 03:50:50 PM
HM - That is a nice set up with the Vortex Scope and those very high mounts....you can take the front site off if you would like, but if you put lower rings on the AR you can see through the front sight,...it is too close to make any difference......but anyway you go, it still a good looking setup....

My last word on the 223 for deer, I would use a Accubond or Parition or Barnes or Swift or any deep penetrating, heavy bullet....you got to go with the accuracy because of your small targets - the yotes you may encounter.....aim small, shoot smaller!!!
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 30, 2018, 05:45:38 PM
nice gun. it will work for deer, but it is a great yote gun.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 30, 2018, 06:30:24 PM
My only reason for wanting to do this was to see if I could kill a deer with every rifle I own. I may just put that off and keep it a yote only gun
HM you really don't need to mount that scope that high , here's my M-4 , you will not see that front sight in your scope , I don't , here's a picture of mine .
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 30, 2018, 07:13:40 PM
My only reason for wanting to do this was to see if I could kill a deer with every rifle I own. I may just put that off and keep it a yote only gun
HM you really don't need to mount that scope that high , here's my M-4 , you will not see that front sight in your scope , I don't , here's a picture of mine .

why isn't the front sight in the way? it looks like it's the same height as the scope
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 30, 2018, 07:50:50 PM
The scope can not focus on anything under several feet so you don't see it .  It's got to do with the focal plan of the scope . I thought it would but after I put the scope there is not even a shadow post when you look through the scope .  ##$%#1118
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on November 30, 2018, 10:38:08 PM
sun- that is wild. I would think at the very least it would distort your image. good info. thx
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on December 01, 2018, 05:14:11 PM
I have that same front sight/gas block on one of my builds.  I use a lower scope mount (medium or high, can't remember, HM's looks like extra high).  Was surprised I could see through the scope reasonably well, but then I removed the little front sight post and it improved considerably more, even with the sight frame still there.
Title: Re: 223 for deer?
Post by: [Blocked] on December 03, 2018, 10:35:10 AM
LOL... There is a very scientific reason I used those high mounts....

Because I already had them   @--0--0120