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Author Topic: 223 for deer?  (Read 1073 times)

Offline Hunt Master

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223 for deer?
« 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?
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Online MI_Bowhunter

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #1 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.
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Offline Deerhead

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #2 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.       
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Offline sundowner

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #3 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
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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #4 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.
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Offline MichiganLouie

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #5 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.
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Offline yari

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #6 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?
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #7 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)

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #8 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.
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Offline Hunt Master

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #9 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.
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Online MI_Bowhunter

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #10 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
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Offline yari

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #11 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
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Offline Hunt Master

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #12 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

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Offline Hunt Master

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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 10:30:25 AM »
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 10:33:19 AM by Hunt Master »
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Re: 223 for deer?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 11:00:33 AM »
One of God's greatest gifts to us is
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