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ro2
March 14, 2008, 12:12 PM
Is the 223 enough for deer with good shoplacement? my deer huntig is done with a 25-06, 30-06,or .338 being new to the 223, and an avid handloader I know I can get a bullet to do the job but is the round just too light to deliver the energy needed to create a mortal wound?

buck-hunter
March 14, 2008, 12:20 PM
Im a deer hunter. I live in indiana and hunt with shotgun,muzzleloader & bow. High powered rifles are illegal to hunt with here.I dont know for sure but i think .223 is to small for hunting deer.

hogdogs
March 14, 2008, 01:02 PM
.223 is somewhat common here on our little florida deer but the .243 is much more often used. Given ideal situations and premium .223 hand loads it would be pretty substantial.
Brent

Smokey Joe
March 14, 2008, 01:09 PM
Ro2--A .223 can be used to hunt deer (where legal.) It will kill deer. However (there is always that darn "however!") you will have to be man enough to pass up "iffy" shots that would be easy kills for a slightly larger cartridge.

Should the deer be standing broadside to you, unhindered by brush, and > than, say, 75 yd, you could kill it humanely with a .223--always given that you are a good enough shot, of course, but since that proviso applies no matter what the caliber, it is not part of this equasion.

Now, if the deer is in a more usual situation, sneaking through the brush, running, distant, hiding among trees, etc, etc--all the usual Murphy factors--then you want more insurance than the .223 provides.

You will get posts from people who say they routinely kill truckloads of deer with .223's. I wonder how many deer escape from these people, wounded, to die in agony later and be wasted. All I can say about that is, I wouldn't.

The .243 Win is usually considered to be the MINIMUM humane deer hunting cartridge, and even with that, there are "iffy" shots to pass on.

tyrajam
March 14, 2008, 01:12 PM
OK, I guess we have to argue about this every few months so lets get it started:D I bowhunt, and I think a 223 with a premium bullet would be just as deadly as an arrow. It won't break bones and drop an animal from bullet energy, but it will slip between the ribs and poke a hole through the lungs from the side. So what this means to me is yes, a 223 is enough for a perfect broadside close range shot. If its a shot I would take with a bow, then I would take it with a 223. If I would pass with a bow, I woud pass with a 223. Fair enough?

Hawg
March 14, 2008, 02:15 PM
Not in my opinion.

Ifishsum
March 15, 2008, 12:54 AM
I pretty much 100% agree with Tyrajam. If you have the control to pass up on iffy shots and just take the ideal ones, it should work fine. There's just not much margin for error - are you willing to possibly pass on the buck of a lifetime because you're using a less than ideal caliber?

mustang66maniac
March 15, 2008, 01:33 AM
well...223's track record on humans isn't all that great

Fremmer
March 15, 2008, 09:26 AM
The .223's "track record" on humans is excellent.

But deer are a lot tougher than humans. Use a .243 or greater caliber. Remember, if you wound it, you have to track it. And that can get really tiring really fast.

BIGR
March 15, 2008, 10:22 AM
With proper shot placement yea it will kill them, but there's not alot of room for error. Use a bigger caliber to get the job done.

skydiver3346
March 15, 2008, 10:46 AM
I notice that some people set their kids up with a .223 to start out hunting deer. It might be better to wait till they are old enough to at least handle a
.243 (in my opinion).
With that said, I have killed three out of three whitetails with my bolt action
.223 (64 gr.s.p.) while hunting coyote's. But I gotta be honest, (never really felt that comfortable) but the deer gave me perfect shots so I took them. Dropped one in its tracks from a neck shot and found the others without any problem.
But since you are hunting deer with your .30-06 and 25-06 already, why change? As others have mentioned, not all hunting situations call for a perfect hunting shot on a deer sized animal. Iffy shots can occur with any round but a .223 could make it tougher for you and the deer.........
At any rate, I quit hunting deer with my .223 while I was ahead of the game, (use a 7x57 now). Just my opinion and good luck to you no matter what you choose.

Tommy Vercetti
March 15, 2008, 10:53 AM
one of my best friends uses the .223 on deer

but he only takes does with head shots

elkman06
March 15, 2008, 11:11 AM
I personally would hesitate to use the .223 but we shoot them western muleys...a little bigger than whitetails. Actually given a close range well placed shot, it should kill just fine. Not legal where I hunt though.
elkman

hunter06
March 15, 2008, 11:22 AM
i have also been looking around for an answer to this question. im going to try it the upcoming deer season using the 60 gr. nosler partition loaded by federal. on their website it is set for medium game. i also came across a site where they did a test with this bullet to see if it could penetrate a deer shoulder. they imbedded a deer humerus into ballistic gelatin and shot it. Suprisingly the bullet broke the bone and penetrated a total of 13 inches.

If youre gonna try it on deer, i would use this bullet, use careful shot placement, and pass on iffy shots like the others have said.

Heres the website if you would like to read about it:
http://www.gunsandhunting.com/Bullethitsbone.html

W. C. Quantrill
March 15, 2008, 11:31 AM
In most states, the .223 is not considered a legal cartridge for deer.

Will it do it? Yes.
Can I kill one with it? Yes.
Can you? That is the question.
Is it legal? No.
Is it sufficient? No.

Is it recommended? No


Use the cartridges that you have already proven to be successful and leave the .223 to coyotes. Why experiment with the .223 just to see if YOU can do it after all the advice here recommends not to?

mustang66maniac
March 15, 2008, 01:40 PM
The .223's "track record" on humans is excellent.

Hmm, well what's your definition of excellent? If you mean one shot one kill, like say a 30-06 on a deer, then yes. But if you mean, after a few shots, they eventually die, that is not exactly excellent.

W. C. Quantrill
March 15, 2008, 03:04 PM
Excellent!!!

dtalley
March 15, 2008, 05:04 PM
I think it depends on the size of deer and shot placement. In Central Texas with an average deer weight of 100 pounds it will work fine. I hunted with a 222rem for about 20 years. My father is 80 and has never hunted with anything other than a 222rem. So in my opinion 223 is doable.

tyrajam
March 15, 2008, 08:51 PM
dtalley, that reminds me, I have some farmer friends in North Dakota with several nice mounts on their wall, and all of them fell to a 222.

jrothWA
March 15, 2008, 10:25 PM
article in the late 80's.
He indicated that it was acceptable for first timer that were not used to recoil, he used the Winchester 64gr PP load.
I set up my 15 for deer hunting with my daughter, weighs 100lbs (dripping wet)
she was able to group nicely @ 100yds with a scope. Didn't connect though.

Kreyzhorse
March 16, 2008, 07:31 AM
Ro2--A .223 can be used to hunt deer (where legal.) It will kill deer. However (there is always that darn "however!") you will have to be man enough to pass up "iffy" shots that would be easy kills for a slightly larger cartridge.

Smokey Joe makes a great point and his advice should be taken to heart.

stevelyn
March 16, 2008, 08:43 AM
A .223 will work fine on deer as long as you use a good bullet and put it where it needs to go.

Bushkins up here take caribou all the time with them. A neighbor lady popped one a couple years ago with a 200 yrd broadside shot using a .223.

Colorado Redneck
March 16, 2008, 01:02 PM
My family owned a 25-35 model 94. One of my brothers and I combined killed 7 mulies, and one of mine was a nice big robust 4 X 4. That shot was over 200 yards across an alfalfa field at dusk. The 117 gr. round nose hit him high in the shoulders, and went clear through. He dropped where he stood. Neither my brother or I wounded an animal and had to track it.

Larger guns make for bigger bangs, and are fun to talk about, but IMHO too much emphasis is put on the caliber and energy of guns for hunting deer. I read with amusment the ads about "So and So from Texas killed this white tail buck with his 300 winchester mag at 90 yards." Why put up with all of the recoil and muzzle blast to kill a 150 pound animal, when a 243 or 25-06 will do it just fine? If you are elk hunting, then the larger guns may be worth the effort.

taylorce1
March 16, 2008, 01:09 PM
My family owned a 25-35 model 94. One of my brothers and I combined killed 7 mulies, and one of mine was a nice big robust 4 X 4. That shot was over 200 yards across an alfalfa field at dusk. The 117 gr. round nose hit him high in the shoulders, and went clear through. He dropped where he stood. Neither my brother or I wounded an animal and had to track it.


While I agree with a lot of your post I wouldn't go around shooting deer with a .25-35 either. I don't know how long you have been hunting in CO but I know the ft lb requirement has been in place for rifles for at least 18 years. Even though both rifles will kill deer of that I have no doubt, but I'd hate to explain that to an DOW officals that catch you hunting with that rifle.

With the .223 for hunting deer where legal it all boils down to proper bullet selection. Stick with the premium stuff and in most cases you will get your deer. Just don't expect a varmint bullet to bring one down.

Lavid2002
March 16, 2008, 01:10 PM
one of my best friends uses the .223 on deer

but he only takes does with head shots
So what happens when you hit it in the jaw and it dies of starvation?

223nut
March 16, 2008, 01:17 PM
Sure you can kill a deer with a 223. 60gr Nosler Partition will do the trick. I would say 100yds or less.

Colorado Redneck
March 16, 2008, 01:22 PM
Taylorce--
You are correct about the ballisic requirements for hunting rifles in Colorado. That regulation was in effect when we were hunting with the gun. We lived out in the hills in western Colorado, and were never approached by a game warden. The hardware store sold more 25-35 ammo than any other caliber. It was a great little gun. My brother sold the gun in 1970....that was dumb...it was a pre-64 model in great condition. The statute of limitations has expired. :-) I can't brag about being a "straight arrow" but eventually all of us grew up, and left those times behind.

CamoCop
March 16, 2008, 02:58 PM
truth be told, more deer have been taken with .22's by poachers than any other caliber. i, as a kid, learned to hunt with a .223 and never had a problem downing deer. it's all about shot placement. you can shoot a deer with a .338 in the guts or hind quarters and never find it.

Loaded4yote
March 16, 2008, 03:18 PM
I would have to agree with CamoCop.

In my area firearms must be .22 caliber centerfire in order to take a deer. That means .22 hornet is legal. Granted I doubt I would use my Hornet as a deer rifle, but both my granfathers shot many, many deer with a .22 long rifle.

Last year I took my only buck with my .22-250. The deer never knew he was hit.

Shot placement is important. So is the design of the bullet.

For example: If you reload .22-250 in the 32 gr Barnes Varmint Grenade. Don't expect a deer to drop in it's tracks.

At the same time with a round in .223 or .22-250 loaded with Remington's 55 gr Soft Point. The expansion is controled, the wound cavity would be more along the lines of the type of bullet you would hunt with.


Basicly it boils down to the bullet. Not the rifle.

22-rimfire
March 16, 2008, 05:50 PM
I personally feel that the 223, 222, 22-250, 218 Bee, and 22 Hornet are all too small for an effective deer caliber on normal sized whitetail deer. Sure, you can do it, but a lot depends on you. My rule of thumb is 243/6mm or larger for whitetail and I prefer something in the 270 thru 30-06 range. But I know, if it is legal in your state, you'll use your 223. So, I don't know why you bothered asking. It is a fairly common thread topic here and the AR fans all want to hunt deer with their AR's in 223.

Boris Bush
March 16, 2008, 06:37 PM
I have relatives that were alive when a 22 rimfire was legal to use (in my home state) and more deer fell to that caliber than I have ever shot with shotguns pistols and rifles combined. A larger caliber will not magicaly "kill" better. I have watched a deer get shot by a .375 H&H only to run into the nastiest tangle of underbrush I ever did see. The shooter claimed He missed and was ready to giveup. I heard the bullet impact and went into that tangle despite the experts proclimation of a miss. It was soooo thick I left my rifle benind and got on hands and knees to get into it. The deer was shot too far back with a bullet too heavily built for deer and went through with little damage done inside. It was also still alive and was finished with a pistol round to the head.

If this hunter would have had a .223 it would be a great reason to not use a .223, but it wasn't a .223. Any caliber is inadequate if you place your shot wrong, not just a .223. While I have shot deer with a 22 Hornet and a couple with .223 I would not do it on purpose, if it was all I had I would make do. Just like any caliber you have to make sure you use the proper projectile...

Charles S
March 16, 2008, 07:52 PM
In most states, the .223 is not considered a legal cartridge for deer.

Will it do it? Yes.
Can I kill one with it? Yes.
Can you? That is the question.
Is it legal? No.
Is it sufficient? No.

Is it recommended? No


Use the cartridges that you have already proven to be successful and leave the .223 to coyotes. Why experiment with the .223 just to see if YOU can do it after all the advice here recommends not to?

Excellent post....

However if you use premium bullets and keep your shots to broadside and under 50-75 yards it is adequate....., but why when there are so many better choices?

sureshots
March 17, 2008, 10:35 AM
Yes, the 223 Cal. is enough gun for whitetail deer, in the right hands that is. Its all about shot placement and knowing your weapon and its limitations. You have got to realize you are not shooting A 30-06,7MM Mag. or another of the large cals. You will learn that the 223 Cal. will not be as forgiving as one of the big bangers. Choose your shots wisely and you will be OK. Hornady has A 75gr. soft point that works great on whitetails.

Loaded4yote
March 17, 2008, 06:09 PM
Hornady has A 75gr. soft point that works great on whitetails


Right, however, you should be sure your rifle will fire the bullet accuately enough. Hornady recommends rifles with a 1 in 9 or faster twist rate for bullets over 65 gr.

Most factory bolt action rifles will have 1 in 12 or slower twist for the lighter bullets.

IMHO Best bet is find a round that shoots well and isn't designed to fragment on impact and has good penetration.

And I'd have to agree shot placement is a huge factor with smaller caliber rifles.

sureshots
March 17, 2008, 08:32 PM
Loaded4yote, I agree with you one hundred percent. Sounds as if you know your stuff. Thanks for the imput.

TheNatureBoy
March 25, 2008, 04:55 PM
You CAN harvest deer with a .223 but.............. I wouldn't hunt deer with a .223 myself. I'd start with a .243. Thats just me : )

aerod1
March 31, 2008, 04:34 PM
In November 2001 I had heart surgery (4 way by pass) and I wanted to go deer hunting in December, after Christmas. My surgeon was not real pleased but told me to use nothing larger than a 223. I did so and Xeroxed an eight point buck and a doe. I was using a NEF Handi-Rifle with a 223 55 gr. V-max bullet. It is all about shot placement. My brother and my best friend did all of the field dressing and skinning which means it was a great year.:D

TheManHimself
March 31, 2008, 05:23 PM
I've heard that in Iraq and Afganistan, a 62gr .223 FMJ bullet is being used quite effectively on animals roughly the same mass as deer, which may or may not be so doped up on opium they don't even feel the pain of being shot, may or may not be wearing body armor, and in most cases are shooting back. Unless you consider the average Whitetail to be a tougher and more dangerous game animal than the above, I would say that if .223 is legal for deer where you live, then a .223 loaded with a 60-70gr bullet made for deep penetration (i.e. Nosler Partition, Barnes TSX) is perfectly adequate for deer as long as you're a good enough shot to place it in the vitals.

Fremmer
March 31, 2008, 06:02 PM
Unless you consider the average Whitetail to be a tougher and more dangerous game animal than the above

Deer are tougher than humans. If you disagree, wait for the next blizzard in your area, bed down underneath a tree all night, and then root around in the snow in the morning for breakfast. :D

Oh yeah, and then get gut shot by a .223, and run for miles. :eek:

Yellowfin
March 31, 2008, 06:40 PM
Using as small of a caliber on deer as you can get away with is like sleeping with the ugliest woman you can without throwing up. Sure you can do it, but why?

TheManHimself
March 31, 2008, 06:53 PM
A gut shot is poor shot placement, because puncturing the digestive tract doesn't immediately begin causing the brain to die. I wouldn't consider it ethical to take a shot that I can't guarantee is going to cause an immediately lethal wound. If that means not getting a shot at all, so be it. Taking a less than perfect shot and only wounding a game animal is unsportsmanlike behavior whether you're wielding a .22lr or a cannon. If your weapon isn't accurate enough, or if you aren't a good enough marksman to place your shot into the deer's vitals under whatever conditions, you wait for a better shot, one you know you can make, or you don't take the shot at all. You put a .223 TSX through a deer's heart and lungs, and it will kill it just as dead as any other bullet penetrating those organs. You make a bad shot and you can wound a deer even with a .300 Wby mag.

And we're talking about harvesting deer with bullets, not blizzards. A deer's flesh might keep out the cold better than an insurgent's unkempt beard, but it certainly isn't any more bulletproof than his. You really think humans aren't as tough as other members of the animal kingdom? You ought to see SEALs or Spetsnaz in training. The human body can take just as much punishment as any similar-sized animal, and any weapon that will reliably kill a man is quite adequate for the taking of medium-sized game animals.

RedneckFur
March 31, 2008, 06:56 PM
I think its a great deer cartridge if you know what youre doing. My uncle only hunts with a .223 and all his deer drop in their tracks. A good varmit bullet will absolutely destroy the heart and lungs where a heavier bullet just makes a wound channel. My father hunts with a .22mag, and He's never lost a deer either. I think marksmanship trumps caliber any day.

Nothing makes me chuckle like those guys that hunt eastern whitetails with a .300 win mag. Its too much gun.

Fremmer
March 31, 2008, 09:21 PM
You really think humans aren't as tough as other members of the animal kingdom?

Yes, I do. The average deer is much tougher than the average human. Deer jump higher, run faster, run for farther distances, have far keener perception, don't require houses for shelter, and live in blizzards, rainstorms, and other conditions that humans simply can't endure. And they do it day after day. Without doctors, television, and fast food. I've seen deer run for miles after being gut shot. I seriously doubt that the average human could run for miles after being gut shot. Heck, the average exceptional human (like a SEAL) probably couldn't do it, either. Humans just are not built for that kind of endurance. They sure can type well, though. :D

Look, if you want to hunt deer with a .223, do it. That may be OK in your state. But with larger deer in the northern states, the .223 is great until the shooter screws up and pulls a gut shot. A larger caliber gives the shooter a little more killing power after pulling a gut shot; the deer may still run, but hopefully not as far as it would with a smaller caliber. Likewise, a larger caliber smashes through bone and penetrates better than a smaller caliber. Which is the rationale for state laws requiring minimum calibers and/or minimum foot pounds of energy for deer hunting.

I understand the .223 may be fine for small-sized deer in certain areas of the country. But it is not fine for larger deer in other areas of the country, Which is why it is illegal to shoot deer with a .223 in many states. JMHO.

karen429
April 1, 2008, 08:13 AM
Just because a cartridge will kill a dear doesn’t’ mean it’s an appropriate cartridge to use. The .223 is not a deer cartridge.

sureshots
April 1, 2008, 09:44 AM
Driving A bigger Car doesn't make you A better Driver. That said you could also apply this thought to our discussion. SHOT PLACEMENT,SHOT PLACEMENT,SHOT PLACMENT.

Fremmer
April 1, 2008, 11:03 AM
Yup, everyone who hunts knows about shot placement. And being sportsmanlike. And about waiting to take a perfect shot. And about taking the perfect shot.

But stuff still happens. Maybe the deer moves at the exact moment that you pull the trigger. Or your scope is a little off. Or the unthinkable -- you pull the shot just a little! :eek: I know, I know, that would never happen, all of your shots are always perfectly placed. Even though your heart is pounding, you are breathing hard, you are excited, it is windy, and the deer doesn't stand perfectly still like it is supposed to. :D

sureshots
April 1, 2008, 11:28 AM
If A 7mm Mag. or A 300win are perfect for moose, than don,t you think they are much too much for A whitetail deer? Really, A 243 cal. is about all anyone should need for whitetail. I agree that the 223 and the 22-250 are A little lite for whitetail but in the right hands they can do the job. I have A 223 and to be honest I never shoot deer with it. I perfer to use something that shoots at least A 100gr. bullet. The main thing is to use A gun that will do the job and that you love to shoot whatever the CAL.

taylorce1
April 1, 2008, 11:50 AM
Nothing makes me chuckle like those guys that hunt eastern whitetails with a .300 win mag. Its too much gun.

There is no such thing as too much gun. Dead is dead as far as I'm concerned, if you want to hunt deer with a .300 Magnum or a .375 H&H it is the hunters choice. Just like hunting with the .223 is the hunters choice, do I think there are better calibers? Yes, but I will not fault a guy for using one where it is legal to do so. If it is the only rifle you have go ahead and use it but if you have a better choice of rifle in the safe then I have to ask, Why?

The argument if it will kill a human why not a deer? That doesn't work to well for me because the Military dictates what rounds our soldiers (and I'm one)will use. As hunters we don't get told what to use but are generally given some suggestions in our States hunting regulations, and they will tell us as well what isn't legal. As far as I know the only rifle that is too much gun in some States to hunt with is the .50 BMG, and they are more worried about the bullet not stopping more than anything.

Loaded4yote
April 1, 2008, 04:00 PM
There is no such thing as too much gun.


.500 Nitro Express 3" on a deer would be a bit much unless you're really into deer burgers. :D

taylorce1
April 1, 2008, 07:36 PM
.500 Nitro Express 3" on a deer would be a bit much unless you're really into deer burgers. :D

That is a lot of gun, but it would probably do less meat damage than you think. Probably less damage than what a .223 with an improperly selected bullet or any of the standard magnums commonly used would do to a deer. Slow moving bullets really don't tear things up too bad.

nemoaz
April 1, 2008, 08:05 PM
I suspect these 300 Magnum users are compensating for some less than magnum item in their life. Last deer I saw hit with a 300 magnum (300 Ultramag at about 30 yards) had the front shoulder, neck and head blown off. Only a fricking moron thinks you need something like that for a 140 lb whitetail.

222 is commonly used in Europe. Of course, they are apparently better shots than the average "just shoot it in the ass and eventually it will die" US redneck I see in the woods swilling a MGD and toting large game rifles in the US.

A 223 has many times the energy of the rifles that our grandfathers used to hunt... and certainly more than the muzzle loading rifle or bow that so many of these rednecks use a few weeks prior to breaking out the bambi slaying high powered rifle.

I wouldn't hesitate to use a centerfire 22 with appropriate bullet at normal ranges--which means 100 yards are less in probably 95% of whitetail deer hunting. I may miss the opportunity to take a longer shot, but I'm willing to live with it.

Loaded4yote
April 2, 2008, 04:00 PM
That is a lot of gun, but it would probably do less meat damage than you think. Probably less damage than what a .223 with an improperly selected bullet or any of the standard magnums commonly used would do to a deer. Slow moving bullets really don't tear things up too bad.

True, But at 2100 fps and 5583 ft. lbs. energy at the muzzle I'd wager it would make the deer in question agree that a dirt nap would be in his immediate future... that is if he had time to think. But then you ask

If it is the only rifle you have go ahead and use it but if you have a better choice of rifle in the safe then I have to ask, Why?

I'd have to agree, Why?

The only reason I carry my .22-250 or .223 while deer hunting is the possibility of a fox, bobcat, or coyote passing by.

Otherwise I'd carry my .45-70. Either rifle will do. But both have disadvantages. Guess I'll have to buy a .243 :D Wife might not like it tho.

Lawyer Daggit
April 2, 2008, 04:20 PM
If you have other firearms in your safe- Why?

The answer is simple- if you are out hunting something else- for example fox and varmints and a deer or wild pig becomes a target of opportunity.

I have hot far more deer or pig with a .222 than with my .30-30, 7x57, .35 Whelen or .350 Rem Mag put together.

I would not shoot a large deer species like a Sambar with a .222, but when the opportunity affords itself with Fallow or Wild Pig, and I can pick my shot- I will take it.

Under no circumstances will I make a long or difficult shot though with a .222 on game larger than varmints.

Wuchak
April 2, 2008, 04:29 PM
One round for varmits, yotes, and deer + long range accuracy + the power to get the job done + manageable recoil = .257 Roberts (even better the .257 Roberts Ackley Improved). The once and still most useful cartridge ever created. :)





Don't know why but I just had to say that. I don't even own the .257 Roberts but I've got this itch for one.

9mmkungfu
April 2, 2008, 05:09 PM
Of course you can hunt deer with .223 -- haven't any of you seen "I Am Legend" yet?? :)

Just kidding.

taylorce1
April 2, 2008, 05:59 PM
Loaded4yote and Lawyer Daggit, I don't live where the .22 caliber center fires are legal to hunt anything other than game animals classified as small game. In fact in Colorado it is illegal to hunt small game during any big game season with a firearm larger than a .22 cal unless you have a big game tag on you. In fact I've seen the Wardens ticket people for hunting varmints with their big game rifles after they filled their tags so that only leads me to believe that the reverse would be true. I wouldn't want to get caught carrying a .22 caliber rifle and an unfilled big game tag during season you might just get nailed for poaching.

To me I'd rather carry the bigger rifle and ruin a few pelts on varmints than have a bullet failure on a deer. I don't have the luxury of taking out targets of opportunity while hunting small game. While I know the .22 center fire rifles will work, I have no doubt in my mind that they are not ideal calibers for NA deer.

Loaded4yote
April 2, 2008, 06:53 PM
Sorry, taylorce1.

I wasn't taking a potshot at you or your oppinion. Please don't take it that way. I was simply making a jest about the comment of being to much gun for whitetails.

I realize that not every state allows .224 cal. rifles centerfire or otherwise to be used for larger game. And with good reason. As this thread shows just about everyone here agrees that .223 is on the lighter end of the caliber selection to use for whitetail. And again I agree with you when you ask "Why?"

My personal reason, as I stated before, was for the smaller critters that venture to close to my stand while I'm after Mr. thurdypointer. I choose to carry either the .223 or .22-250 because it cuts down on the sowing. And by doing so I can hopefully collect enough hides to sell and purchase a new rifle :D or possibly a niffty guided hunt to Colorado. Granted this definately limits my chances to bag Mr. Deer and put meat in the freezer because I have to be careful and pass up any shot I don't feel comfortable with.

And I belive that is the key. From .223 to M61A1 Vulcan Cannon, if it's legal and you feel comfortable with the shot. By all means use it.

Now, just need to get that M61A1 Legalized and Sporterized for us critter hunters :rolleyes:


Again please take no offence to my statement. It was just my oppinion. For what its worth.

sureshots
April 2, 2008, 06:53 PM
I have hunted whitetail deer for forty-five years,started with the 30-30 cal. and have killed deer with many different calibers including 223,22-250,243,30-06 and 7mm. mag.,even killed A few with my SKS. I learned years ago whatever Cal. you use the important think is take the good shot. If you can't get the right shot pass on it. If you make A bad shot what difference does it make what cal. you're using. At best you are in for A long tracking job. I find no satisfaction in draging A gut shot deer for A mile or two in the dark. Shot placment is what its about. Most legal centerfires will do the job if you do yours.

taylorce1
April 2, 2008, 07:00 PM
Sorry, taylorce1.

I wasn't taking a potshot at you or your oppinion. Please don't take it that way. I was simply making a jest about the comment of being to much gun for whitetails.

None taken, I was just explaining really how I don't get targets of opportunity like there are in some States and the rest of the world. One deer a year for most hunters where I'm at, no pigs either but plenty of coyotes and prairie dogs. I'd hate to loose any animal from using a marginal caliber, hasn't happend yet and hope it never does.

nate45
April 2, 2008, 07:28 PM
I have used the 60 gr Nosler Partition and the Speer 70 gr to kill deer, with the .223 and the .22-250. I have never had them fail. Despite the conventional wisdom of the .243 with a 90 gr and up these two .22 weights perform well. The 64gr Winchester may work as well, but I have never used it.

oneSoneK
April 2, 2008, 07:33 PM
Iv hunted with the same .223 ruger mini 14 for 15 years. With the right ammo 55 grain bullet will never let you down. Now depending on where you hunt my longest shot is 150yds but thats just my stand. my grandpa owned the gun befor me and neither of us has any complaints

22-rimfire
April 2, 2008, 07:50 PM
All I can say is "things happen" when you are deer hunting. Sometimes things are just about perfect and you can take a clean shot. But often things aren't so perfect which is why I suggest 243/6mm or larger for deer.

Deer burger? I have most of the deer ground into deer burger. :)

Lawyer Daggit
April 2, 2008, 09:32 PM
Taylorforce1- I do not live in the US- so legality issues in US states do not effect me. Of course if using a .224 projectile is illegal in your state I would not recommend it.

I realise there are so called multi purpose calibres out there- and I certainly consider the .257 Roberts to be a better choice than the .243 Winchester, because of the superior range of projectiles available for it, however in my respectful opinion these compromise calibres are too noisy (spooking game and making farmers and their families jittery) and recoil too much to be considered a serious contender as a varmint gun, which is likely to be fired many times during an outing.

The Deer I come across here are Fallow, not Whitetail (indeed I have never hunted Whitetail) and they tend to be about the size of a goat. I have found that with proper bullet placement I always quickly kill the animal with this calibre (.222).

When hunting with the intention of taking a Fallow deer I carry my 7x57.

Fremmer
April 2, 2008, 09:46 PM
Daggit, you just blew our image of the absolutely precise, sober, white-necked, gentlemanly European hunter who never misses and kills elephants with a .222! :D

Lawyer Daggit
April 3, 2008, 12:01 AM
Fremmer- I am limey by birth but Australian by adoption!

MaineColt
April 3, 2008, 12:59 PM
Here in Maine, it is OK, (legal) to use 22 rimfire mag for deer hunting.

Kev

KCabbage
April 3, 2008, 01:38 PM
Greetings all.
I'm not too experienced in the topic, but take a look at the Barnes 62gr. triple-shock.
Take care

mchgnmike
April 3, 2008, 04:20 PM
Yes, I believe the .223 is the minimum for hunting whitetail deer provided you have quality ammunition and proper shot placement.
He is the my daughters first deer she shot at about 70 yards with my AR using Hornady TAP 60 grain bullets. The deer ran about 30 yards after she was shot. Couldn't see the entrance wound and there wasn't an exit wound. She shot it in the heart and lungs, the bullet fragments even penetrated the bladder. Awesome ammunition.http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll5/mchgnmike/100_4852.jpg

KCabbage
April 3, 2008, 05:16 PM
I thought hitting the bladder was a no-no

oneounceload
April 18, 2008, 12:28 PM
use the heavier bullet weights and the.223 will kill deer....I personally prefer a 7-08, my 7 mag was too much on mulies....

jimbob86
April 18, 2008, 01:40 PM
Driving A bigger Car doesn't make you A better Driver.

Nope. But by driving a full-sized 4x4 Pick-up Truck, (as opposed to a Honda Civic) you expand your capabilities. As for the .gov choosing the "Civic", it is a question of economics for them. It is cheaper to feed a 1/2 million "Civics" and train 1/4 million new "Civic" drivers every year than it is to do the same with 4x4 pick-ups and drivers for them. It matters not, to them, if a few civic driver get squished on the freeway because their vehichle wasn't up to the task.

If you are hunting deer that weigh more than 100 lbs on average, and the buck of a lifetime steps out of a treeline 200 yards away while you are carrying your poodleshooter (which many here deem adequate provided the shot is short and conditions are ideal and the deer is small and and and...) one of 4 things will happen:


1) You will wisely realize that the shot is beyond the capabilities of your equipment, and pass on the shot, kicking yourself because you did not bring enough gun.

2) You let buck fever get the best of you and take the shot, wounding the deer, though not enough to recover it. The deer runs off, to die slowly as you kick yourself for not bringing enough gun.

3) You let buck fever get the best of you and take the shot, and through a COMBINATION of your skill and a lot of LUCK the bullet performs well enough to kill the animal quick enough that you can recover it. This is probably the worst outcome, as your tales of the deed will no doubt encourage others (perhaps less skilled or lucky) to try to surpass it with longer shots or smaller guns, resulting in MORE lost animals.

4) You let buck fever really get to you and you miss altogether, though it would be hard to tell as your popgun's round doesn't make for much of a kugelschlag......

Commute in a Civic if you MUST, but it sure is nice to be able to have the ability to do some hauling if the job calls for it.

jimbob86
April 18, 2008, 01:50 PM
She shot it in the heart and lungs, the bullet fragments even penetrated the bladder. Awesome

AWESOME Pic!!! :D
Awsome bullet placement.:) Is that little pink spot low on the deer's left side the entance wound?
Busted bladder.....:barf: That would be a "bullet failure" in my book. But then, the primary object in hunting for me is meat, and I am not fond of urine as a marinade.......

jimbob86
April 18, 2008, 01:54 PM
Is that "Michigan Mike or Machinegun Mike?

If it's Michigan, then I hope that is not the average size of those "Northern Monster Whitetails" I hear about. 'Round here, deer that small may still have spots in November.....

Smokey Joe
April 18, 2008, 03:12 PM
Jim Bob 86--What the (beep) is a "kugelschlag"??? :)

jimbob86
April 18, 2008, 03:28 PM
Jeff Cooper used that term (It is Dutch/Afrikaans or German- kugel means ball in both languages, IIRC. Schlag is "to hit" in Duetsche, also IIRC) in his writings. It is the sound of a bullet hitting an animal. It is plainest with big bullets, on big animals..... my granpa had a different word for it- "WHOP!"

jimbob86
April 18, 2008, 03:33 PM
By the way, I HIGHLY recommend Cooper's books if you are at all intereste in guns, hunting, or politics.....

Smokey Joe
April 18, 2008, 03:33 PM
Jim Bob 86--Thx for explaining. The Germans do come up with some truly delightful words!

jimbob86
April 18, 2008, 03:35 PM
Usually by smashing two (or More!) words together...... I like that about that language. The grammar, on the other hand, ........ not so much.

Boris Bush
April 18, 2008, 05:29 PM
jimbob86


If you are hunting deer that weigh more than 100 lbs on average, and the buck of a lifetime steps out of a treeline 200 yards away while you are carrying your poodleshooter (which many here deem adequate provided the shot is short and conditions are ideal and the deer is small and and and...) one of 4 things will happen:


Or we could go with #5

The longest kill I ever got on any deer was more than 700 yards away with a 12 gauge shotgun............... IMPOSSIBLE. Maybe someone who is good with a 12 gauge could do it, but not me with the opensights and Foster pill I was armed with. I chose option 5, what is option 5. Option 5 is to getup and hunt. I put my 155 pound butt into gear and closed in on him by more than 600 yards and made a killing shot at 88 yards.

Pressing the trigger is but .02% of hunting for me. I hunt first, then I kill the animal. Give me a gun and I will find a way to make it work, not complain I cann't kill with it at 200 yards............

Jack O'Conner
April 23, 2008, 08:17 AM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/KVL2ndmuley.jpg

This is my daughter. She toppled this mule deer with one shot the neck at about 80 yards or so. This was during the early Youth Season. She hunted from ground blind with my super accurate prairie dog rifle - Savage 112-V in 223 with Winchester 64 grain ammo.

When you shoot dogtowns all summer like we do, precision shots are not difficult at all.

She currently hunts with 30-30 or .243 rifle. Hunting buck during regular season is not the same as early Youth Season. The bucks tend to be a little more spooky and less inclined to stand and stare.

In summary, .223 is fine for IDEAL shooting conditions. But when distance is far or shot must be made from offhand, the heavy barreled .223 is a poor choice indeed.
Jack

jamaica
April 23, 2008, 09:37 AM
I have hunted mule deer for many years. I have used many different calibers, 22LR, 30-30, 30-06, 44Spl, 270, and 222 Rem.

I have killed deer with all of these and probably more with the 222 than any other cartridge. I do insist on a shot to the brain with the little 222. If you can do that the 223 or any of the centerfire 22 rounds will dispatch a deer reliably.

On body shots, it is not enough for deer I am sorry, it is just a poor choice of deer rifle. You will end up with too many wounded deer.

Get a 30-06 or 270 for a deer rifle. My favorite is the 270.

sureshots
April 23, 2008, 10:16 AM
It was the last time I shot one. Right bullet, Right shot placement ,reasonable range, thats all it takes. Works every time.

jimbob86
April 23, 2008, 04:57 PM
Or we could go with #5


Possibly. Spot and Stalk is possible if the animal is not going anywhere. We all hunt different conditions. Our (Nebraska) firearm deer season usually coincides with the rut in Nov., and bucks are geneally headed someplace, morning and evening. If he's on the move, and you don't know where he's headed (and drive there before he gets there! - thats the way the old timers hunted mulies, and now there are damn few of either.)) you won't likely catch up to him without being spotted. It's not like there is a lot of cover to mask your movements around here...... shots are not always long from a stand, but they CAN be. I am prepared to shoot from contact distance to 500 yards if necessary, as I have the equipment, skills and confidence to use them.

You hunt your way, and I'll hunt mine. Your way is probably better suited to your area. You try still-hunting where I hunt, and you'll be just that: still hunting on the last day of the season, while everyone else has filled their tags, checked their deer in, and started the cutting and wrapping.....

Jack O'Conner
April 24, 2008, 10:10 AM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/Kforkybuck-1.jpg

This is my daughter again but different year. It was a spot & stalk hunt in rough country. This heavy bodied muley fell to a 30-30 bullet shot through the chest organs. It would have been very difficult to haul my heavy barreled .223 around these steep canyons.

We are acquainted with a Mexican shepard who has but one rifle. Its a WW2 German mauser in 8mm. American made ammo is loaded down to 30-30 velocity but that has never been a handicap to this careful hunter. He has taken many elk with this old rifle. Shot placement is a factor which is often ignored by the shooting press.

The 64 grain Winchester bullet and 60 grain nosler Partition are genuine big game bullets. My friend loads the Nosler in his 220 Swift. I've witnessed instant death performed with broadside chest shots. Even big mulies are not armor plated.

Jack

publius
May 5, 2008, 03:08 AM
It will do work just fine if you do yor part as in a perfect shot. I would use some Barnes x bullets.

retrieverman
May 5, 2008, 07:04 AM
Is the 223 enough for deer with good shot placement?

There is a very simple answer to this question. YES.

mikenbarb
May 5, 2008, 07:32 AM
Theres alot of contraversy on the ft.lbs. of energy to kill a deer and after much research I have seen that it takes at least 1000 ft lbs of energy in a rifle cartridge to get a good clean kill on a whitetail up to 150 lbs and im sure theres alot dead from lesser but 1000ft.lbs. is the goal. A .223 with the right loads will kill a deer dead with some energy to spare. Im not saying I would use one with the better options out there but if thats all I had I would get some good ammo practice alot and limit my shots to 100yds max and standing broadside only. And remember that alot of states limit the size caliber you can use so check your local laws first.

betobeto
May 5, 2008, 07:36 AM
If a .223 can kill a SAND FLEE :D it should work great on a Deer.

thallub
May 5, 2008, 07:49 AM
Hogs are much harder to kill than deer. Have killed a lot of hogs with the .223and M193 military ball ammo: If hit right, they usually drop in their tracks.

retrieverman
May 5, 2008, 11:10 AM
Hogs are much harder to kill than deer.

How do you figure?:confused:

publius
May 5, 2008, 03:06 PM
It will do work just fine if you do yor part as in a perfect shot. i would some Barnes x bullets.

Art Eatman
May 5, 2008, 05:04 PM
retrieverman, any bullet's effectiveness is controlled in part by thickness of hide and size/density of bone. Hogs, generally, are more heavily built than deer. Penetration can easily be more difficult. What might be a kill-shot on a deer could be a bad-wound shot on a hog.

mikenbarb
May 5, 2008, 08:37 PM
What bullet and grain would one recommend for deer in a .223 cal.? I was thinking along the lines of a Hornady Interlock 60grain soft point or Hornady 75 grain TAP ammo. And another good one is the Barnes 70 grain TSX tripple shock. Im thinking the best would be the Barnes bacause they have reliable expansion and stay together even when hitting bone.

sureshots
May 5, 2008, 08:48 PM
The heavier bullets will not shoot very accurate in most 223 cal. rifles. You may shoot the 60gr. with some satisfaction but anything larger will probably require A different barrel twist. Most heavier bullets will require A 1 in 9 twist and the lighter bullets will require A 1 in 12 twist which is most common in todays 223 cal. rifles.

elkman06
May 5, 2008, 09:58 PM
Obviously this thread garners a lot of interest. One general suggestion to whoever might care. If you have plans to hunt outside of your home turf like say,,,Wyoming. Consider what any other states have as a minimum caliber to use. In Texas, Utah, anything that is not a rimfire is pretty much okay. Wyo has a minimum cal of .243..
Some people are early enough in their gun habit to only afford one or two rifles..Pick a caliber that will match wherever you might hunt.
elkman06

Fremmer
May 5, 2008, 10:48 PM
The old timers in Nebraska always talk about the giant beaver. It happened in 1902. A farmer shot a 172 pound, six foot long beaver right through the eye, bang-flop. Front teeth were 4" long fangs. The farmer used his rifle loaded with .22 short.

So now you at least know that a .22 short through the eyeball will kill a giant beaver. And it should work just fine for a.....[fill in the blank].

:D

Deerhunter264
May 7, 2008, 03:40 PM
if you shoot them in the neck or head it will work like a charm

.300H&H
May 16, 2008, 04:48 PM
A .17 Rem. with proper shot placement will cleanly kill a Grizzly Bear.

A .22 Hornet has been known as a 'poacher's round' because it is relatively quiet - and with proper shot placement...will cleanly kill a deer.

If native americans had .17 Rems. and .22 Hornets 500 yrs. ago , they would have been used successfully as 'Big Game Weapons.'

However, there are cartridges that are far more practical and just better...
for hunting deer sized game.

The problem with the .223 is that it's a small bullet that can be easily deflected by bone...and when the .223 hits bone, it's likely to splinter the bone rather than break through it. A bigger bullet is more likely to shatter the bone and create a more immediatly disabling wound and blood trail.

A broadside shot at 75yds. with a .223 ought not be too problematic...but a less than perfect angle at 200yds.where a lot of penetration is needed - might be a big problem that results in a wounded deer that runs away...
A .243 outclasses a .223 and is just about as pleasant to shoot...

slick slidestop
May 16, 2008, 11:48 PM
223 can and is used with good results by kids in texas all the time. Usually at closer than 100 yards, and no brush.

My 10 year old female cousin shot her first whitetail at 75 yards right in the earhole LOL....It was DRT

But i will have to agree the 243 is a better choice.. I used one regularly out to 250 yds where my feeder was until I was about 30 years old before I decided I needed something "mas bruto" and more macho...:o

Swampghost
May 17, 2008, 12:59 AM
In FL a 223 is adequate at short range and with a clear shooting corridor. We learned a long time ago that a blade of sawgrass will deflect the light bullets.

It's not my choice for general hunting here.

guntotin_fool
May 17, 2008, 01:25 AM
.223 is too small for MOST northern deer, particularly when MOST of the ammo sold over the counter for it is loaded with bullets too light for adequate penetration, and too thinly constructed for big game. Sure you can kill a deer with a .22 hornet or a big bear with a .22 long, its been done, but a lot more run off and die slow than get recovered in my experience.

Why risk it, particularly when the platform of an AR is mentioned, that might be a decent battle rifle, but its a sucky deer gun. Now before people label me a Fudd, I have several EBR's including a couple set for Varmints, and I have no problem shooting prairie Dogs with 5.56 and 6x45 because that size round was made for that, Deer rifles should be compact light, east to carry, have enough punch for good clean one shot kills at any angle, not the bare minimum unless you completely promise to never take that bad angle shot, no matter what the size of the deer. Personally I do not want to miss that shot at the 16 point swamp monster because i do not have a gun strong enough to take a 3/4 away angle shot as it walks away. If I was shooting a 223, i could not in good conscience take that shot.

My personal favorite deer gun is a savage 99 Eg in 300 savage. Lyman peep sight, and simple leather sling. I can hit deer at 250 yards and in, and with 165 handloads, I can comfortable shoot through a deer from any angle that it provides me.

Swampghost
May 17, 2008, 02:16 AM
guntotin, we had a FL deer taken at camp this year with a .300 Savage. Down here most is up close and personal, we had doe tags and 100# minimum. The 105# doe was hit from about 50-75 feet. IMHO, the 300 Savage was more than enough, almost embarrassing.

guntotin_fool
May 17, 2008, 09:27 PM
A hundred pound deer in the north is a young of the year. 200 pound does are common, 300 pound live weight bucks are not uncommon. Field dressed bucks that run in the mid to upper 200's are pretty darn common.

Hence I added to my arguement that a Northern deer needed a bit more gun.

I run about 265 lb, the deer behind was at least that much, the two behind the boy are a doe and her young of the year, both shot with a 250 savage. The doe weighed 170 the young was just over 90, both shot at about 125 yards, The buck I shot running dead at me after the boy shot the doe, at about 80 yards

sureshots
May 21, 2008, 10:59 AM
I have A gut feeling that A good portion of the members who have replied to this thread have never attempted to kill A whitetail deer with A 223 cal.Rifle. I have, many times. A good hunter with the proper skills can easily do this if he follows A few simple common sense rules. One should stay away from the extremely long shots,running shots, shots where you do not have A clear view and it also helps to have A rest for your rifle and the right bullet. This may not be the best choice of Cal. for everyone but it can be very effective in the right hands. I am not saying that this cal. is not on the light side,it is. I'm just saying that you can kill deer on A regular basis with this Cal.. This is not just my opinion it is indeed A fact because I personally know others who have taken many deer with this Caliber. I am going to start A new thread on the art of the rifle section asking for members to provide info on kills with the 223 Cal.

Art Eatman
May 22, 2008, 07:57 AM
Again, remember that the odds are that folks like us who spend time at this sort of forum are likely to hunt and shoot more often than the average hunter. YOU may well pick a specific point on your deer. Ol' Joe might just aim somewhere in the brown.

sureshots
May 22, 2008, 08:23 AM
Art, I agree with you 100%. It would amaze everyone to know the number of hunters who just shoot at the whole deer. I think when one begins to pick A spot to shoot your animal it is A good sign one has started to mature as hunter. This is the factor that will result in one shot kills and will often eliminate the need for tracking A wounded animal. Its not always the gun or the caliber, its more the factor of the Man behind it. A bad shot is just that ,reguardless of the Caliber.