PDA

View Full Version : ar 15 for deer hunting


zachkuby87
December 20, 2010, 05:48 PM
Hey guys so I went to the range with a friend the other day he has a few ar 15's and I really loved em I was wondering if there was a configuration that would work well for deer hunting I really shot the one with the collapseable stock and foregrip really well I liked it a lot other than that I'm pretty open to other options I'm more looking for a rifle I can just purchase as I can't afford a custom rifle and don't know how to build my own. The type of hunting I do is basic minnesota hunting mostly in thick wooded areas I think the longest shot I've taken so far was about 200 yds I was looking at dpms rifles and I really liked them anything else I should check out? Or is there anyone that uses an ar 15 for deer? Feel free to post pictures list websites.

thesheepdog
December 20, 2010, 05:54 PM
I have used the .223 for deer. I do have an AR-15 that I use for LR shooting/SD etc.

If you use the right round, and don't try to push the shot past 100-150 yards, you should be good.

I would suggest a 60+ round and preferably a solid copper round or soft point.

Don't use the Ball surplus ammo.

shanzlik
December 20, 2010, 05:54 PM
Be sure your state allows .223/5.56mm for deer first. If it doesn't, and you want an AR, look into 6.8spc or one o those calibers. You could also look at AR-10s, which are generally .308/7.62mm but can sometimes be had in 7mm-08, .243, .338federal, etc.

If it does allow .223 and you're comfortable hitting vitals and putting them down quickly with that caliber, go ahead. DPMS is not bad. What is your budget for rifle + scope?

If were hunting deer with .223, I'd use my S&W MP15 MOE with Leupold Mark AR 3-9x40 scope. For anything bigger than small deer, and if I weren't using a bolt rifle, I'd use my AR-10 with Falcon Menance 1.5-5x30 scope and I'd swap back to the A2 stock to save weight.

http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n634/G27RR/IMG_1053-1.jpg

http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n634/G27RR/IMG_1034.jpg

zachkuby87
December 20, 2010, 06:03 PM
I would say as far as budget I'm willing to spend 800 to maybe 11 1200 depending on if I really like it if I find one I just have to have it can be pushed even higher but id like to stay in that range just cause I've used my 350 dollar 30/30 for 10 years now and its never failed me once so I don't think I could justify spending 2-3 grand on a custom rifle unless my financial situation were to change considerably. I really like the mp 15 you have there what did that cost ya maybe if it wouldn't be too much trouble could ya shoot me some specs and where I might be able to find one. Oh and .223 is legal here I have a cousin and my friends uncle both shoot .223 for deer and I understand it has to be a well placed shot in .223 to take a deer I witnessed my cousin shoot a deer 4 times before it went down with his .223 its only happened the one time he normally takes em in one shot after we cleaned the deer and got back to camp we re sighted his gun and it was off by almost 10 inches which explains why he had to shoot 4 times

shanzlik
December 20, 2010, 06:30 PM
I think the Smith MOE model was about $1,100 + $350 for the scope. You can get the OR (optics ready) model for about $200 less. Check with CDNN as they have been having the Smiths on sale lately and may still be.

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/

The Falcon Menace is about $200, and for the ranges you're talking about the 1.5-5x magnification range is nice for a hunting rifle. I would't hesitate to throw it on my OR model and hunt with it. That would make it about $1,100 including scope.

I got my MP15 OR at Academy Sports & Outdoors for $899. The OR comes with a collapsible stock, flat top rail for optics, and no iron sights which saves some money.

The nice thing with the Smith rifles is that they have milspec components and have all the features on "the chart" that are likely to matter in real world use outside of combat or vry high round counts each year.

shanzlik
December 20, 2010, 06:38 PM
Here's a link to "the chart." Just use it for guidelines and not as gospel as you don't necessarily need everything the chart considers important.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

CDNN does list a Smith flat top in their catalog for $849, so that's one way to go. Add optics and you're in the $1,050 - $1,200 range depending upon your scope choice, taxes, and FFL fees as applicable.

billnourse
December 20, 2010, 06:43 PM
Look to the 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmor, 308 or even 338 Federal. .223 is just to light, even for little deer.

Just an opinion.

Bill

bedlamite
December 20, 2010, 06:56 PM
I hunt in MN section 169. They recently changed the laws in MN, 223 is now legal. But IMO, it's not enough for deer. I use a 6.8spc built on a Cav Mk2 lower, Cardinal ultralight 16" barrel, Clark carbon handguard, and Weaver 1-3x20 scope.

If I were to get one now, it would be from http://www.ar15performance.com/

Abel
December 20, 2010, 07:15 PM
A 6.8SPC would be a great choice.

556Isdeadly
December 20, 2010, 07:48 PM
Get a Doublestar 6.8 Or look on gunbroker for assembled 6.8' under 900 might be a hard find. 6.8 one-shots deer, Nicknamed the Deer Killer

Volucris
December 20, 2010, 09:32 PM
For average sized whitetail here in Missouri and under 200 yards (pretty bushy around here) I use this round that I load myself:
http://i.imgur.com/rLLVF.jpg


24.5 gr Reloader 15 under a Barnes TSX 70gr in a 223 Remington case with CCI #400 primer

It works just fine. Just know your range. It'll penetrate over 15" in most cases and does not deform unintentionally. Very very good bullet. There is NO SUCH THING AS THE ONE-SHOT CALIBER. If you hit the vital organs of a deer with a .22 Hornet you will kill the deer in one shot. I've watched more than one case of some jack ass with a .50 BMG rifle hunting whitetail and the thing still ran hundreds of yards because the shooter sucked at shooting.


.223 Remington not being enough for deer-sized game is MYTH propagated by fudds and fools.



Of course if you want a .223 Remington AR-15 for hunting I suggest a 20" rifle length gas system with a 1:7" twist. Slower twists do not like heavier bullets. Skip out on crappy brands like DPMS, RRA, and Stag. Go with a BCM upper and build your own lower.
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-M16-Government-20-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-gov-20.htm
Combine with their M16 BCG and CH, that's the best upper you're going to buy for $500. Get a stripped lower from Aimsurplus for cheap and then get a lower build kit from Palmetto State Armory for $90 or so. Then just pick up a rear carry handle iron sight at a gun show for $30 or so. Highly tested upper and bcg with a lifetime warranty you'll likely never need to use.


Honestly if you're doing under 200 yards and haven't bought the gun yet, just get an SKS with an unmolested barrel. They're rather accurate and you can get good soft point ammunition for them. Or if you want to get something even nicer, go for an Arsenal SGL-21 in 7.62x39 and use this ammo:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=641174



Or if you're interested in 6.8SPC, try Spike's Tactical:
http://www.spikestactical.com/new/z/spikes-tactical-16-midlength-lw-upper-68-spc-p-393.html

More expensive than a BCM AR15 or an Arsenal SGL-21, but 6.8 SPC is a very good cartridge and has far more loading options than 7.62x39mm and is better in game than 5.56mm by far.



REALLY IT DEPENDS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO

cashmore1985
December 20, 2010, 09:46 PM
I would really look into a spikes tactical AR regardless of the caliber you are looking for. They really are great products for a great price.

Volucris
December 20, 2010, 10:26 PM
Spike's still refuses to validate their claims of being mil-spec whereas BCM has and happens to still be cheaper. Spike's is good stuff but how they won't show that they're actually doing the testing they claim to do makes me go elsewhere. Too shady.

Ricky
December 20, 2010, 10:47 PM
I don't want to throw a wet blanket on ya'll but here is my take on the idea;
The animal you are attempting to kill deserves no less than as quick and humane a death as possible. That means an adequate round properly placed. I'm not saying that the AR platform isn't accurate, I will say that sometimes the mentality of shooting a fast handling semi auto might be to take a chance on the 1st shot not being carefully aimed because the shooter knows that he/she has more bullets on tap. The reality of it is that if you flub the 1st shot and continue to shoot it's probably only going to get worse. Add the fact that the .223 is an adequate but not optimal round and you have a recipe for a dear dying a slow,painful and meaningless death after it runs away and is not found.
IMHO a MINIMUM of .243 and preferably a nice light and accurate bolt action makes a more suitable deer rifle.

10mmAuto
December 20, 2010, 11:02 PM
The most avid deer hunter I know uses and swears by his Mini-14 for deer hunting. He's also a sniper, though, so I'm guessing he's not hurting for shot placement.

radom
December 20, 2010, 11:10 PM
Don' think it really makes much diff. when you flub a shot .223 or 30-06. A poor hit is a poor hit.

Catfishman
December 20, 2010, 11:18 PM
Any recommendations on a specific .223 bullet? And where to buy them?

Volucris
December 21, 2010, 12:50 AM
The 64 gr fed fusions, barnes all copper, etc.

tirod
December 21, 2010, 10:54 AM
Saying one type of gun is morally superior to another is BS. I've hunted public land for 35 years, and the bolt and lever gunners are the majority in every parking lot and trail conversation I've been in.

Opening day you can track the movement of a running deer by the continuous fire of all the bolt and lever gunners emptying the magazine. Frankly, it's sheer snobbery they think they get their first shot right. I think it's compensation knowing they won't get the second - loss of sight picture and coordinated movement on a 28* morning in heavy clothing is a reality. One that keeps them missing time after time.

If a manual gun hunter isn't going to need the ammo, then load one and put the rest in your pocket.

BUT - bad shots do happen, and a semi auto won't force you to lose the sight picture or hang up a round short stroking the action. You track the animal with it still in your sights and can shoot it again quicker and more accurately in the time allowed - if needed.

It's the hunter who DOES want to put down game humanely that won't limit their ability and make things worse by handicapping themselves. A gun in whatever action has nothing to do with a hunter's ethics, he either does it right or not.

The first deer I saw shot was with a .22-250, gut shot and still on it's legs. The bolt gun hunter walked away, it was a doe and not legal at the time. All the deer I've shot were taken home with a HK91, and the one that got away, with Rem 700. It came down minutes later by SKS.

Glad he was there. Bolt guns haven't impressed me much.

Abel
December 21, 2010, 12:37 PM
The 6.8SPC is .270 caliber. It fits into an AR-15. Why would anyone choose a 223 over the 6.8SPC for deer?? :confused:

thesheepdog
December 21, 2010, 12:52 PM
The 6.8SPC is .270 caliber. It fits into an AR-15. Why would anyone choose a 223 over the 6.8SPC for deer??

Because not all hunters are a horrible shot.

jimbob86
December 21, 2010, 12:56 PM
Don' think it really makes much diff. when you flub a shot .223 or 30-06. A poor hit is a poor hit.

Aye, but if you hunt with a marginal caliber like .223 and something unforseen happens, like you hit the leg bone just in front of the animal's heart, deflecting your bullet, or the bullet comes apart (as conventional soft pointed light for caliber bullets driven at 3,000 f/sec have a propensity to do) or a 250 lb. monster buck of a lifetime steps out of the trees at 250 yards and saunters across the beanfield in front of you..... you'll wish you had picked an honest to God deer rifle instead of your M-4gery. Not enough retained energy at range, too much energy for conventional soft points at close range..... unless your deer are small, and the shots are short, .223 ain't optimum, or even adequate, in my book. YMMV.

Abel
December 21, 2010, 01:05 PM
or a 250 lb. monster buck of a lifetime steps out of the trees at 250 yards and saunters across the beanfield in front of you..... you'll wish you had picked an honest to God deer rifle instead of your M-4gery.

That sounds about right.

thesheepdog
December 21, 2010, 01:09 PM
Jimbob86,

As always, you're bashing the .223 and adding a bunch of irrelevant scenarios so you can continue the bashing.

No where did the OP say he was shooting monster bucks at 250 yards; nor did the OP state he was making leg shots.

There are many, many, many scenarios that you could throw out there to bash a certain caliber to praise and worship your "30old6" God.

The OP appears to be an experienced hunter, so back off! You making statements as if you're talking to a kid who's never hunted before.

The .223 is a fine round. I have killed a deer with it at 185 yards and it dropped dead (spine shot).

Not enough retained energy at range, too much energy for conventional soft points at close range

The first part of your statement is somewhat true. I doubt you have ever shot a deer with a .223 before, so you can't really say how effective it is.
Too much energy for soft points? Give me a break! There's nothing better than a soft point in a deer's heart at close range.

Unless you have actually had real life experiences with your statements, I would suggest you let THOSE that HAVE killed deer with the .223 do the talking and you can sit back and listen.

Abel
December 21, 2010, 01:30 PM
There's nothing better than a soft point in a deer's heart at close range.

Close range is relative to one's skill level. I get excited when I see a deer! My heart is beating and I am not to be counted on to make a heart shot at 200 paces. I can put one in the lungs though; out to 300 if the deer will stand still and broadside. My point is that the 223 is not for the average deer shooter. It may be a great choice for an AR15 enthusiast who enjoys taking deer with his/her favorite rifle.

nathaniel
December 21, 2010, 02:06 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b2/awender/100_2126.jpg

This deer was shot at 250 yards with an Armalite AR-15 shooting 55 grain JHP. One shot, 5 yards and down. 200 pounds dressed the bullet went through a rib, heart/lung, and out the other side. My dad borrowed my AR-15 for deer hunting this year because I bought a new 308 so I wasnt using it. He shot 3 deer with it one at 75 yards, one at 125, and one at 155. He said none of them went further than 25 yards. He lives in Minnesota so he was hunting the same conditions you will be.You dont need a super magnum elephent killer to hunt deer. Me and my brothers have used 22-250's and 223's for almost 7 years and we have never lost a deer because of these rounds. Most of our shots are over 200 yards, most of the time we use 55 grain bullets in either JHP or V-max and the bullet always performs flawlessly. Just because the 223 doesnt knock the deer off its feet doesnt mean it wont work.

As for a rifle both my brother and I have a DPMS AP4 in 223. I have mine set up with a solid stock and factory handgaurd, topped with a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40. My brother has a collapsible stock and a Tapco Fusion handgaurd and he uses the open sights. In the end you have to look for the features you want and find a rifle that has those features. DPMS and Armalite are the only ones I have experiance with so I will say I like the DPMS over the Armalite but thats just personal preference.

Volucris
December 21, 2010, 02:10 PM
It makes no sense to say the 223 Remington is not for the average deer shooter but larger calibers are. If the bullet placement of a 223 Remington round on a deer does not kill the deer then you can for damned sure say a larger caliber wouldn't have done it either. A bad shot is a bad shot. If you're incapable of putting a bullet into the vital zone of a deer at the range it's at you should never take the shot.


When I reloaded those 70 gr TSX bullets for my rifle to go hunting I made sure to chronograph them, make a drop chart, and zero them at 25 m so I could know the hold off out to about 200 m. At 200 m that load packs about 756 Ft/Lbs of energy which is equivalent to a very hot 357 Magnum load at point blank. But with the reduction of bullet diameter from .357" to .224". That's with a solid copper bullet which will not deform upon hitting bone and flowers open in about 2" of flesh into twice its normal size of cutting.


If you don't reload, buy a couple boxes of any of these and make sure you can make accurate shots with them.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=171151
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=467277
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=564348
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=891153
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=915179
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=319773
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=402682


Those will all work well and just read the reviews for all the testimonials of people taking deer with them no problem.







Edit*
Thumbs up to the above poster. About time someone posted a picture of their takings.:D



Zach, if you haven't bought a rifle yet, post up what your total budget is for the rifle, ammo, and optics are. Building an AR isn't really building an AR. It's just assembling some major parts and it's very easy. You can get a completed upper or make an upper if you have a torque wrench and an AR-15 armorer's tool. Either way it's pretty easy even for someone with little to no mechanical knowledge. Gunsmiths in your area shouldn't charge more than $50 if you don't wnat to do it yourself. The majority of things you deal with when building an AR are things you'll want to know if you do a detailed cleaning for storage or such. This is the rifle I use:
http://i.imgur.com/QKnfe.jpg
I just found a local guy selling a completed A2 lower assembly for $250, then bought the upper for about $550 off of Bravo Company USA. By making the rifle yourself you're actually avoiding the very expensive Firearm and Ammunition Excise tax which for a rifle is 11%. You DO save considerable amounts of money just by buying an upper separately. Everything but the stripped lower receiver of an AR15 can be shipped to you door from any state. Just make sure you're up to Minnesota's laws on semi-auto rifles.

Buzzcook
December 21, 2010, 02:12 PM
Make sure of the minimum caliber allowed in your state.
Practice a lot and have fun.


ps Buy from Olympic Arms and help support the Washington State economy.

Volucris
December 21, 2010, 02:21 PM
Olympic Arms is one of the worst AR15 manufacturers in existence. So I suggest not doing that.

thesheepdog
December 21, 2010, 02:22 PM
Nathaniel,

Nice kill there!

Just more proof that the .223 is very potent and optimal, not marginal.

For all of you who bash hunters that use the .223, get out of your "Internet Office Chair Ninja" positions and look at some real facts.
I know that there are many a Hog killed instantly with .17 HMR's here in Texas, and my coworker is one of those people that have tried it.

A .223 is not a special purpose hunting round because there isn't anything special about it that makes it a round "not for the average hunter".

The fact of the matter is that most Texas kids start with a .223 or 22-250 to hunt deer-at least from dads I have spoken with.

The .223 is more than optimal for hunters. It's cheap, it's deadly, it kills deer on the spot.

If you reload, use some Barnes TTSX rounds and see how much MORE potent the .223 gets.

When I shot my deer I used a Silver Bear 62gr out of a Mini-14. The deer dropped dead. Now most guys will bash the .223 because they hear bad data on the 5.56mm FMJ rounds from internet monkey's.
The fact is, a good 90% of hunters will go out an buy a box of actual hunting ammo in .223. I doubt many will use that cheap NATO stuff-though some have made some very clean kills with it. I think the rest will either load their own or just refer to mil-spec ammo.

Ricky
December 21, 2010, 02:24 PM
"The most avid deer hunter I know uses and swears by his Mini-14 for deer hunting. He's also a sniper, though, so I'm guessing he's not hurting for shot placement."

The mini 14 is notoriously un-accurate ( I had one, sold it) I can't imagine any self respecting "Sniper" using a mini 14.

"Don't think it really makes much diff. when you flub a shot .223 or 30-06. A poor hit is a poor hit."


Then I guess we should all just throw away all of those useless larger caliber rifles then?

jimbob86
December 21, 2010, 02:36 PM
As always, you're bashing the .223 and adding a bunch of irrelevant scenarios so you can continue the bashing.

No where did the OP say he was shooting monster bucks at 250 yards; nor did the OP state he was making leg shots.



I don't see how any of the possible scenarios I mentioned are irrelavant: Those things can and do happen.

You have never passed on a shot that you felt your equipment was not up to? Really?

....and nobody plans on hitting a deer in the leg (or a rib).... some aim for the shoulder (I think that is a foolish idea, too, but that is for another thread) ..... bottom line is that plans are what happens before the hunt. The .223 needs every bit of energy it has when everything goes right. Things don't always go right, in the real world. Even shooting from a bench, with a super accurate rifle, and NO ERROR on the shooter's part, you have a 2 1/2" group at 250 yards .... add in real field conditions, and it would be nice to know that your bullet has enough gas to do the job with a less than perfect shot.

And a .223 soft point that fragments upon striking the outside of a deer's chest cavity (hit the shoulder or leg bone) = lost animal, in all likelyhood. One that damages only one lung = a slow death and a possible lost animal.


I have a friend that used a Ruger mini-14 "Ranch Rifle" to hunt Blacktail in Oregon once, years ago. He put 11 (eleven!) 55 gr soft points in a deer's chest before it died. He saw he animal 50 yards away, uphill from him, and put one in his chest. It knocked the deer down, and he rolled down the hill a few yards and then got back up. Repeat until the gun is empty and the animal is at his feet struggling to get up. He put another 5 round magazine in and emptied it into the animal's chest at point blank range. Not a single one of those bullets exited. True, the animal probably would have died just as fast with out the last five, or seven..... but with an appropriate cartridge and bullet, it should have taken only one.

"Use enough gun." ...... Indeed. I don't think the .223 is enough gun for deer hunting, and will not fail to say so when someone mentions it. That is not "bashing" it: The .223 is a fine cartidge for punching paper, shooting enemy soldiers in short range engagements, or hunting varmints under 50 lbs. It is what it is. It just ain't enough for deer hunting.

PRONE2
December 21, 2010, 02:39 PM
In the past 2 years we have taken 8 deer and 2 hogs with AR 15 using the winchester 64gr PP. Bang, flop, DEAD! I am also finding the silver bear 62gr soft point to be a good deer dropper. Got to admit it is fun to listen to people retype things they read on the web as their "own thougts" about the 5.56 round
65432
The Mrs. doe this year, normaly we shoot the neck but wanted to show that heart/lung shot was good with the .223 also.

jimbob86
December 21, 2010, 02:55 PM
Got to admit it is fun to listen to people retype things they read on the web as their "own thougts" about the 5.56 round


Those thoughts are my own..... a little research into external ballistics, some personal experience with larger calibers, and fellow hunters' personal experiences all had a bearing on my conclusions.

The .223 out of these short barrelled M-4geries is barely legal (900 ft/lbs @100 yards) in my state when driven to the highest possible velocities with the heaviest possible bullets: thus my "marginal" remark. Using longer barrels improves things a bit, but it still does not hold a candle to even a .243WIN.

thesheepdog
December 21, 2010, 02:57 PM
I have a friend that used a Ruger mini-14 "Ranch Rifle" to hunt Blacktail in Oregon once, years ago. He put 11 (eleven!) 55 gr soft points in a deer's chest before it died. He saw he animal 50 yards away, uphill from him, and put one in his chest. It knocked the deer down, and he rolled down the hill a few yards and then got back up. Repeat until the gun is empty and the animal is at his feet struggling to get up. He put another 5 round magazine in and emptied it into the animal's chest at point blank range. Not a single one of those bullets exited. True, the animal probably would have died just as fast with out the last five, or seven..... but with an appropriate cartridge and bullet, it should have taken only one.


Jimbob86,

Despite the unfortunate slow death of your friend's deer, you're taking one scenario and applying it universally to all .223 hunter's scenarios.

If you read my post, you will notice that I too took a deer with a mini-14, but at a much farther distance than your friend, using a 20 cent Silver Bear 62gr bullet.

Now let me add to that, I decided to go bigger on my next deer, the following year with my .308 Rem 700.
Found a nice sized doe 200 yards away, squeezed off a round-aiming for the vitals in the chest-and BOOM......deer is now on the ground and looks dead. Success right?? Wrong....I drive over to my deer and see an exit wound about 6 inches in diameter, right through the heart. As I turn to open the tail gate on my truck, the deer gets up and runs off. Sadly, it was able to run about 350 meters before I found it.

Crap happens during hunting. And even larger bore calibers don't get the job done-as I have witnessed.
Now with that said, have I lost faith in my .308? No! Crap happened that day and an unfortunate deer suffered, but I can't prevent that every time.
99% of shots will do the job.

PRONE2
December 21, 2010, 03:17 PM
It was no personal attack on you, my brother, sorry if you felt that way. What I guess I should say is that people who do not shoot the .223 and test the expansion and pen of the bullet, maybe should not act as experts on it. Again that is not a direct insult to ANYONE on this thread.
65436
We shoot alot, we shoot for 1 shot FLOP. And get about 1247 ft-lbs @ 100yards.

556Isdeadly
December 21, 2010, 03:28 PM
when using 308 you need to use less powerful, lighter loads. Do not use a load meant to kill @ 600 yrds

I think 77 grn SP 556 is adequate, Do not use military rounds, they are garbage.

thesheepdog
December 21, 2010, 03:34 PM
1245 ft/lbs @100? My ballistics software shows about 1055 for the 64gr PP; unless you're using considerably higher velocity than about 3,020fps?

Therealkoop
December 21, 2010, 04:21 PM
I was supporting the .223 crowd until they started saying its the "optimal" round.

I wouldnt go that far.

thesheepdog
December 21, 2010, 04:23 PM
its the "optimal" round.


Big difference in statements between "THE optimal round" and "AN optimal round".

I don't see where the .223 was referred to as "THE optimal round".

gew98
December 21, 2010, 04:43 PM
I have used 5,56 M193 ball on deer in the past. It will bring them down with a head shot of course or as noted under 150 yards with a solid heart shot. All bets are off attempting longer ranges and or shooting through any brush/leaves etc. A good rain or wind could muck it up too. I have an old timer that uses his 220 swift bolt or his 22-250 bolt rifle on deer... he's one helluva shot and always nails them in the base of the neck. Pretty explosive effect those SCHV rounds have at the base of the deer's head... and he has told me they always go down dead. But at the same token for his advanced age he's a great stalker and makes his shots count. If you had to go with an AR platform the 6,8 , 6,5 or 7,62's would be great choices. The 5,56 is more of a wounding round on such game unless you make killer shots perfectly everytime.

CPTMurdoc30
December 21, 2010, 05:23 PM
I am of the 223 is too small for deer. It doesn't matter if you are a good shot or not. As a hunter you should strive to quickly and cleanly take your pray. Sure you can kill a deer with a 223 just like you can kill a taliban with one too.

Like one said when you can get calibers like the 6.5 credmore, 6.8 spc, 243wssm, 25wssm why would you handicap yourself.

the AR is a viable rifle for deer hunting but I say get a slightly bigger round.

Who the hell shoots at legs anyways?

schnarrgj
December 21, 2010, 05:29 PM
Both my brother and I use the 223 for deer. Because of health reasons my brother cannot take any more recoil than the 223. I like mine in that it works and works well with the right bullet. We have taken quite a few deer from yearlings to large over 200lb bucks. I am reminded of the statement that it is not the arrow that kills the deer but the Indian. We are both in our 60s and have hunted for many years and find it a very effective deer round.

Volucris
December 21, 2010, 06:11 PM
I have used 5,56 M193 ball on deer in the past. It will bring them down with a head shot of course or as noted under 150 yards with a solid heart shot. All bets are off attempting longer ranges and or shooting through any brush/leaves etc. A good rain or wind could muck it up too. I have an old timer that uses his 220 swift bolt or his 22-250 bolt rifle on deer... he's one helluva shot and always nails them in the base of the neck. Pretty explosive effect those SCHV rounds have at the base of the deer's head... and he has told me they always go down dead. But at the same token for his advanced age he's a great stalker and makes his shots count. If you had to go with an AR platform the 6,8 , 6,5 or 7,62's would be great choices. The 5,56 is more of a wounding round on such game unless you make killer shots perfectly everytime.


You shouldn't be allowed to hunt. Using FMJ ammunition on animals is wrong.


It's not a wounding round. Stop talking.

GeauxTide
December 21, 2010, 06:19 PM
No, no, and no. I don't care what pics you have or ballistics you can quote. A 55 grain 22 leaves no room for error. I consider the floor for deer at 243 Winchester with 100gr bullets.

Volucris
December 21, 2010, 06:28 PM
Cool. You don't like facts or testimonials and the only calibers that are ok are ones you "think" are ok.

billnourse
December 21, 2010, 07:21 PM
A lot of states doen't even allow the .223 to be used for deer from what I've heard. Guess those game departments are old fudds and fools like me. I guess that out to 100 yards they are alright. Beyond that, marginal at best.

Just an opinion.

Bill

GeauxTide
December 21, 2010, 07:44 PM
Opinions are like rear ends, everybody has one. You are certainly welcome to yours. I own a M788, 223 bolt and a Kel-Tec SU-16 for 2 and 4 legged vermin. I said 243 because I saw my BIL kill many deer with his M88. My own minimum is 260 Remington. BTW, the clubs I belonged to in LA and AL did not allow it's members to use any 22 on deer.

Volucris
December 21, 2010, 09:11 PM
You say opinions are just opinions and that's true to a point. Although yours are based on baseless conjecture and arbitrary rulings. We, the proponents of 223 Remington for use on deer, have evidence including ballistic information and testimonials of people who've used 223 Remington to hunt medium game including deer and they all have said it worked just as well as other cartridges in the situations. All you're doing is just saying we're wrong and that's it. It's like a childhood playground skirmish.


Substantiate claims you make on the internet or don't make them at all. I visit here to provide information and correct falsehoods within the relatively limited scope of knowledge I have.

SFW
December 21, 2010, 09:18 PM
I will say this. The longest shot I have harvested a deer at was just over 300 yards. I took said deer with a Mini 14, shooting .223. The shot went exactly where I placed it in the scope. The deer dropped like a sack of rocks and never got back up. My bullet hit a rib bone in front of the heart and turned a projectile the size of a .22 bullet in to that of a golf ball. The heart was instantly liquefied. With proper shot placement, the .223 is an adequate deer round. I do emphasized PROPER SHOT PLACEMENT.

With that said my normal deer rifle is a Rem 700 in .270. If you can confidently know you’re limits on yourself and your weapon- then hunt with what makes your comfortable. Just be sure that you can put the animal down quickly. Otherwise, you’re just another ass in the woods with a gun.

jimbob86
December 21, 2010, 09:33 PM
Substantiate claims you make on the internet or don't make them at all.

Pretty much any ballistic table in the back of any handloading manual will tell you that you have to push a .223 bullet pretty fast to get more than 1,000 ft/lbs @ 100 yards...... with 900 ft/lbs being the legal minimum in my state (Nebraska) I say again: It's margininal, at best.

We, the proponents of 223 Remington for use on deer......

...... You (collective) are a fine bunch..... especially this guy:

I have used 5,56 M193 ball on deer in the past......

You stick together, y'all ....... birds of feather, and all that.......

mlong
December 21, 2010, 09:37 PM
just go with the r 25

Abel
December 21, 2010, 09:54 PM
You stick together, y'all ....... birds of feather, and all that.......

:D

Therealkoop
December 21, 2010, 09:57 PM
I read optimal and "more than" optimal. No matter, the correct meaning of words is often lost.

A few stories of people that use it and take game means nothing. I have a few stories of my own that I will spare everyone of the round failing to work. Whats the first thing you will claim? Shot placement? Maybe, maybe not. Cant tell when the animal escapes. The real question is that in all these cases of the .223 dropping a game animal, is there ever a time when a larger/faster caliber would NOT have worked? I doubt it.

So in any case where the .223 worked, a 30-06 fudd cannon would have dropped the animal as well. While at the same time having a better BC, greater resistance to deflection, whether it be bone, branches, leaves, or wind.

Wolfeye
December 21, 2010, 10:52 PM
My dad told me his story of using .223 on one deer hunt. I believe he was using a mini-14 ranch rifle.

When he saw the deer, all the conditions were there: range was right, wind was in his face, sun at his back. With the first shot, the deer didn't even look up; Dad missed, right? He took a followup shot; nothing. Dang, still missing! What gives? Two shots later, the thing fell over on its side & didn't get back up. Upon dressing the deer, Dad found four bullet holes in the lungs.

He doesn't use .223 any more for hunting, and neither will I.

700sage
December 21, 2010, 10:56 PM
Some states don't allow .223 as a deer hunting caliber and more don't allow the AR platform as a hunting rifle.

nathaniel
December 21, 2010, 11:05 PM
Some states don't allow .223 as a deer hunting caliber and more don't allow the AR platform as a hunting rifle.

Hes fine in Minnesota with both.

Bullet design isnt what it used to be 10 heck even 5 years ago. Back in the day all the 223 rounds were made for varmints, nowadays there are more options for taking deer sized game.


As a side note: This reminds me of the debate where everyone said you cant kill an intruder with anything other than buckshot or slugs. All hearsay and no proof or evidence.

James H
December 21, 2010, 11:24 PM
For all the proponents of .223, why won't a lot of states allow .22 centerfire for deer? Not saying it isn't enough...just curious.

gew98
December 21, 2010, 11:52 PM
Quote:
I have used 5,56 M193 ball on deer in the past.

.....

You stick together, y'all ....... birds of feather, and all that.......


Hey gaybob... you ever been on a large military post and have to go downrange after some heavy live fire... and often find deer mauled/wounded that had to be put down. I've had to do that with M193 ball as soft point is not an issue item , oh and the only 7,62's around then were M60's and using a 60 to hose down crippled critters downrange would not have flown with the powers that be , and no dang it 45 pistol ammo was not issued on any live fires excepting the pistol or M3 range times. It's so easy to prejudge from the armchair ain't it now.
I personally would not use such a small bullet on such an animal for hunting . I know people that do that are serious stalkers and it works for them. But you go right ahead and assume , tells me alot about you ..enough.

jimbob86
December 21, 2010, 11:57 PM
Hey gaybob...

Classy stuff, there, gew98..... but no, I never went "down range" on any of the large posts I trained at: I was in the field artillery, and Impact Areas at Graf, Ft. Sill, and even tiny Baumholder were not places anybody entered- wounded critters were not any concern of the Army's ......

gew98
December 22, 2010, 12:03 AM
For all the proponents of .223, why won't a lot of states allow .22 centerfire for deer? Not saying it isn't enough...just curious.


James ; PA has ... well it did when I hunted there for years .. a hunting reg of nothing smaller than 25 caliber... and for good reason.
Gone are the days when people were so poor all they had was a 22 short or 22 long single shot and could only afford to purchase a couple rounds at a time form the local general store and poach deer close up with one to the noggin. Alot of old timers I new groing up hunted like that out of necessity.... but they made their shots count , they new how and could not afford to miss literally. I see so many guys with high dollar rifles of all calibers kitted out wiht the most expensive optics , hunting gear and oodles of huntig accessories... and watch them time after time miss easy shots and or wound an animal and not have a lick of common sense on how to track it to properly finish the job. Newbs using SCHV type calibers tend to think these HV bullets are the cats pajamas.... it's bullet placement above all else. I've personally witnessed as a kid two other boys with a remington 22 autoloader spray a large buck over 300 yards away with 22 bullets..and the damn thing dropped dead. One little 22 rimfire - the golden BB if you will peirced it's heart from a steep angle downward. Never seen such again and would'nt care to. I've come upon more dead and or crippled deer with a damn arrow in them than I'd care to count...too many rambos with bows that can't learn to stalk or shoot within the limits of a bow.
But I digress.

gew98
December 22, 2010, 12:08 AM
Classy stuff, there, gew98.....




It only gets better the more you assume. As many fires I had to put out downrange at KNOX ,DRUM , HOOD and DIX , back in the day we were ORDERED to put down any wounded/crippled game we came across... especailly if range control spotted it flopping around. That was my Army as a grunt....but as a little service related joke redlegs always were in the rear shooting from afar and infantry cleaned up the mess.

James H
December 22, 2010, 12:12 AM
Is this thread really going south as fast as I think it is? Can't we just debate and discuss like adults??? Man...

10mmAuto
December 22, 2010, 12:26 AM
For all the proponents of .223, why won't a lot of states allow .22 centerfire for deer?
If we're using legislation as an indication of a weapon's lethality, then does that imply semi-automatics aren't very lethal because many states outlaw their use in big-game hunting?

ipscchef
December 22, 2010, 12:37 AM
I live and hunt in Pa.. It is legal to use .22 centerfire here, but not a semi-auto.
This last season one of my military freinds, who hunted with us on my land,only had access to a Rem. 799.(Great little Gun, too bad I hear that they are discontinued) in .223. It was loaded to near max vel. out of the Sierra manual with 55gr. softpoints. I can't give the specifics as another freind worked up the load for him. Anyway, He shot a 100lb. doe at 50yds. The deer was piled up about 60yds. from the shot. I broke it down. The Bullet went through both lungs and the heart, shredding the heart and doing substantial damage to both lungs. It left a 1.5" exit hole on the off side. this would seem to be adequate perfrormance to me. Having said that, I have never used a .223 for Deer hunting and probably won't. This is the only eyewitness example I can honestly say that I have seen, although I know my Father killed at least one eight point cleanly with a .222 Mod 788. I am neither vindicating nor condoning their use.
You kids please feel free to continue to spew flame and hate at each other, just leave me out if you cannot debate like grownups.

Bill Henderson

James H
December 22, 2010, 12:37 AM
I wasn't implying .223 wasn't sufficient for deer. I was asking a question that you didn't even attempt to answer, 10mmAuto. Your response doesn't even address the topic of the thread. Start a new one about semiautos and big game if you need to bring that up.

misterE
December 22, 2010, 02:11 AM
Wish I could figure out how to post a pic on this iPad. 2 weeks ago, I killed a limit of deer in probably less than a minute with a rem 700 in 300 win. I don't know how to quote other guys posts, but the one about the bolt action snobbery kind of irked me. Our limit here is 5 deer. I shot 5 does all in the neck. We have been trying to thin the does out on our property and once December got here and I still hadn't got a buck, I decided to use my tags on does. All were between 75 to 150 yards. Had a large group of 12 come into the food plot I was hunting. Filled my freezer up and gave the rest away. And for those of you who aren't bolt action snobs like me :), that rem 700 in 300 only holds 4 rounds, so yes I had to reload. I found out years ago that when you shoot a deer in the neck and it goes straight down, the other deer usually just look around like what happened? Except for bucks, they will usually run off. Whereas if you shoot one through hear and lungs, if it runs at all, the other deer run off too.
Anyways, I'm not about to get into the 223 debate. I wouldn't use it if I had a choice of more powerful cartridges, but then again, I've killed a lot of deer with arrows too. Like many have said it is all about shot placement. I shoot does in the neck because it allows me to kill multiples if I want and it ruins little meat. I shoot bucks behind the shoulder or in the shoulder. I know many of you will say I am way overkill on caliber for deer. Maybe, but they have never failed to die. Anyways I do have some stands with 300-400 yard shots and I wanted a round I could get comfortable with at that range and also take grizzly hunting in Alaska if I wanted.
The most critical choice to me is not the caliber, but the firearm that the shooter is most accurate with consistently. I love the rem 700 and I am very comfortable with my abilities with it. If a guy has the same confidence in his abilities with his 223 , then have at it. It will surely kill deer. Practice, practice, practice. Get a gun you are extremely comfortable with and know your limitations.

10mmAuto
December 22, 2010, 02:15 AM
I wasn't implying .223 wasn't sufficient for deer. I was asking a question that you didn't even attempt to answer, 10mmAuto. Your response doesn't even address the topic of the thread. Start a new one about semiautos and big game if you need to bring that up.

1)I'm not sure why it is you're invoking the law if it not to do so or at least to imply others think so.
2)The topic of the thread is "ar 15 for deer hunting", so I think I'm on topic.

James H
December 22, 2010, 02:35 AM
You're right 10mmAuto...the thread wasn't exactly about .223...my fault. I'm not trying to take sides.

So is it the ft lbs that .22 centerfires don't generate that make them insufficient for deer hunting in a lot of states? Or are modern bullets better than they where when certain states passed legislation regarding this caliber for deer?

10mmAuto
December 22, 2010, 02:49 AM
So is it the ft lbs that .22 centerfires don't generate that make them insufficient for deer hunting in a lot of states?
I'd be willing to bet most of those laws predate .223's creation and adoption by the sporting community at large and were instead focused on preventing people from attempting to harvest deer with .22short/lr/magnum. Here in Idaho our deer are much larger than out east and we have no such law forbidding the use of .223.

NWCP
December 22, 2010, 04:47 AM
If deer hunting is the primary purpose of you AR you might consider getting it in 6.8 SPC, or cough up some more money and get an AR10. The 6.8 SPC, or the .308 would both be a good choice for deer. I don't feel that the .223 is enough gun to get the job done reliably.

darkgael
December 22, 2010, 07:46 AM
I'm late to this debate - 71 posts already. I hunt in PA and thus cannot use an AR or any semi-auto for hunting (except SGs for birds).
I know - having read many, many threads on different fora, that hunters will use all kinds of rifles and cartridges and pistols, etc, to hunt.
Many of these choices are not choices that I would make - a particular gun or cartridge just doesn't seem the best choice and I am a believer in using the best tool for the job. (You can open that can of paint with the edge of your pocket knife but there are better choices.) The .223 for deer is an example. Yes, as in this thread, there are plenty of examples of success (in this thread). I suspect, though, that hunters who have not had success aren't posting about their failure.
Read enough in these fora and you will come upon all kinds of choices for hunting deer: "My Grandma never owned anything but an old single shot .22 and she took a deer every season in her garden behind the house." Good ol' Grandma.
"I was hunting with my 1911 and took a deer at 50 yards. He dropped after two steps." A real deer stopper, that .45 ACP.
"I hunt every year with my Remington 1858 .44 BP revolver. Just stops those deer in their tracks" Yep, a 140 grain bullet at 770 fps will do it every time. Shot placement, of course. No problemo.

I remember distinctly - many years ago now - the first time I read about someone using a .223 for deer (the gun was a Mini-14) - I remember thinking "why would you want to do that?" I do not understand why someone would opt for the choice that, all other things being equal, leaves them with less margin for error.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Pete

billnourse
December 22, 2010, 08:11 AM
This old "Fudd and Fool" knows of people killing elk with a .243 or .250 Savage. Don't make it optimal or even a reasonable choice.

If we were talking self defense here, would the opinions be different about what was marginal, adaquate, or optimal? You would be sure that you were using enough gun if you life depended on it. A .22 LR most certainly has killed more people than any other caliber, but I would not depend on one for defense, would you? Same consideration should be given to the game you are hunting.

Bill

4runnerman
December 22, 2010, 08:33 AM
I don't hunt(so this means nothing) But i do have friends that do with a 223.They have no issues at all dropping a deer with it.Yes bullets are better than just 5 years ago(big difference).Post about 2 1/2 groups at 200 yards. If your groups are that bad at 200 yards you need to go back to the bench and shoot more. 223 being a very accurate rifle and all 1/2 groups at 200 yards is more realistic. Knock down power,if it is a vital organ and bullet expands like it should you don't need the knock down power as the damage will do the job for you. One does not need to buckle the deer or throw it 5 feet backward in air to have a good kill. I agree with other posts in here--Shot placement is the key. If you are not capable of that practice more or don't hunt.:)

thesheepdog
December 22, 2010, 09:21 AM
Pretty much any ballistic table in the back of any handloading manual will tell you that you have to push a .223 bullet pretty fast to get more than 1,000 ft/lbs @ 100 yards...... with 900 ft/lbs being the legal minimum in my state (Nebraska) I say again: It's margininal, at best.


Jimbob,

You're now basing the performance rating of the .223 based on what your state requires for a hunting round-marginal performance. First is was your friend who caused a slow death to a deer with FMJ NATO ammo, and now it's relative to what your state allows. Last I looked, the state has it's head up it's butt. You truly fail to realize all the facts that have come across that prove the .223 is more than marginal for killing deer, even out to 200 yards.

Why don't you just trust some other hunters real life hunting stories on here? Quit making yourself look all high and mighty because you don't use a .223 because of the slow unfortunate death of your friend's deer, and all the internet mall ninja crap about .223's being absolutely worthless for hunting deer.

Last I looked, the .223 carries almost 3 times the energy and velocity of any pistol caliber out there. It's right up there with the .44 Mag in ft/lb energy, and will carry that energy longer than a .44 mag. If you're worried about penetration, ammo manufacturers and the Army have come out with 70+ grain rounds to make longer range/higher penetration shots.

Do you know how much energy a .223 62gr Silver Bear carries at 185 yards?
Well according to my ballistics table is carries 785 ft/lbs, and that was plenty sufficient for dropping my deer dead. Yeah this is one story that I base my debate off of, but If a .308 isn't going to drop a deer-as I experienced-in my area, then Lord help us all.

You don't have much experience (if any) hunting with the .223-unless you just have refused to tell us because of partiality.

Bush Pirate
December 22, 2010, 10:16 AM
DPMS does have factory offerings in .243 win, .260 rem, .308 win. Along with some other calibers that would good for deer. Shop around find something you like.

GeauxTide
December 22, 2010, 12:19 PM
You say opinions are just opinions and that's true to a point. Although yours are based on baseless conjecture and arbitrary rulings

40 years of experience in the woods and loading for a dozen other hunters would not be classified as "baseless conjecture". What does "arbitrary rulings" mean?

jimbob86
December 22, 2010, 01:30 PM
Jimbob,

First is was your friend who caused a slow death to a deer with FMJ NATO ammo, and now it's relative to what your state allows. Last I looked, the state has it's head up it's butt. You truly fail to realize all the facts that have come across that prove the .223 is more than marginal for killing deer, even out to 200 yards.




Did you even read my post you were quoting? Or did you just see what you wanted to? MY post said 55 gr sp, not " FMJ NATO ammo". I see what you did there: lumping my friend in with the "5.56 M193 headshot" ....... um .... "individual". .........

You're now basing the performance rating of the .223 based on what your state requires for a hunting round-marginal performance.

Yep. That's my opinion. ....... Shared by most people who understand the meanigs of words like "marginal" and "adequate"..... Legally, the .223 can be both, in my state: Properly loaded, it canyield enough ft/lbs @ 100 yards .... but just barely: therefore it is "marginal" ...... look that word up, and you'll find it along way from "optimum".

You truly fail to realize all the facts that have come across that prove the .223 is more than marginal for killing deer, even out to 200 yards.



Just because someone managed to kill an animal with it does not mean it is the best tool for the job.

Last I looked, the .223 carries almost 3 times the energy and velocity of any pistol caliber out there. It's right up there with the .44 Mag in ft/lb energy, and will carry that energy longer than a .44 mag.

Damning with faint praise, there: Pistol calibers don't make good deer cartridges, either.

Why don't you just trust some other hunters real life hunting stories on here?


Because I don't know them, and value my friend's experience over anonymous postings on the internet.

Quit making yourself look all high and mighty because you don't use a .223 because of the slow unfortunate death of your friend's deer...

I'm high and mighty because I have an opinion? Or because I won't use a .223 on deer?

.......and all the internet mall ninja crap about .223's being absolutely worthless for hunting deer.



I did not say it was worthless..... just not a good choice. It's better than a pointy stick ....... slightly better than most pistol calibers fired from a carbine.

Do you know how much energy a .223 62gr Silver Bear carries at 185 yards?


Nope, but I'd guess it's not a lot, relative to an actual deer rifle cartridge....

Well according to my ballistics table is carries 785 ft/lbs, and that was plenty sufficient for dropping my deer dead. Yeah this is one story that I base my debate off of, but If a .308 isn't going to drop a deer-as I experienced-in my area, then Lord help us all.



:confused: ....... you lost me there ...... the .308 is going to be delivering on the order of 3 times the energy of your superdooper "62gr Silver Bear" ..... but then again, .308 WIN is an actual deer rifle caliber....

You don't have much experience (if any) hunting with the .223

Nope, and don't have much experience changing spark plugs with a Leatherman, either. There are better tools for the job. Can it be done? Sure. I'm sure there are Leatherman Fanboys out there that can do that and will advocate that the Leatherman is The. Best. Tool. EVAR. and that anybody that thinks you should use a socket and ratchet is a Leatherman Hater ........ but I'm not buying the spiel.

gb_in_ga
December 22, 2010, 01:47 PM
Ok, I'll chime in.

A> If you are talking about an AR-15 with its most common 5.56 chambering, well, yes it can be done, especially if you are going to use premium, heavy for caliber expanding (not FMJ!) bullets and have an upper that can stabilize such bullets. Naturally, shot placement is critical but then again that is true no matter what caliber. I, personally, would choose something with some more "oomph", but that's just me. That said, if it were a survival situation and that's what I had, then that's what I'd use.

B> But keep in mind that AR-15s are chambered in other rounds than just 5.56, and most of those are suitable for deer hunting, no qualms.

In any case (other than survival where it just doesn't matter, nothing does), you need to keep in mind the legal niceties. Some jurisdictions won't allow 5.56, some won't allow rifles of any sort, some have magazine restrictions, etc.

The type of hunting I do is basic minnesota hunting mostly in thick wooded areas I think the longest shot I've taken so far was about 200 yds
Heading OT...
Or, you could save yourself a lot of trouble and money, and look at this thing objectively. The conditions you describe would indicate that a no BS suitable hunting package would be a .30-30 lever action carbine. Like, say, a Marlin 336. You can get them (the lower end -W model) around here, NIB, for less than $400 any day of the week, you can get them used for considerably less. No question about whether it would get the job done, it will. That package has been getting the job done for over a century now. Then save up your money and get yourself a custom AR later.

thesheepdog
December 22, 2010, 04:37 PM
Did you even read my post you were quoting? Or did you just see what you wanted to? MY post said 55 gr sp, not " FMJ NATO ammo". I see what you did there: lumping my friend in with the "5.56 M193 headshot" ....... um .... "individual". .........

Okay, so 55gr SP's.....not much difference.

Yep. That's my opinion. ....... Shared by most people who understand the meanigs of words like "marginal" and "adequate"..... Legally, the .223 can be both, in my state: Properly loaded, it canyield enough ft/lbs @ 100 yards .... but just barely: therefore it is "marginal" ...... look that word up, and you'll find it along way from "optimum".


A 30 Carbine is marginal. A .223 more optimal and yields enough performance to make a clean kill out to 200 yards.

Just because someone managed to kill an animal with it does not mean it is the best tool for the job.



Just because everyone else uses larger rounds, doesn't mean you can't use a .223

Damning with faint praise, there: Pistol calibers don't make good deer cartridges, either.

Who said anything about using a pistol caliber to kill deer? It was just a reference that your sidearm is 3 times less powerful than a .223.

Because I don't know them, and value my friend's experience over anonymous postings on the internet.



Well, I am sure you listen to other info on here.

I did not say it was worthless..... just not a good choice. It's better than a pointy stick ....... slightly better than most pistol calibers fired from a carbine.


Slightly isn't 3 times better.
Yeah it's better than a pointy stick so quit complaining. You sound like someone who would give a deer a funeral after using a .50 to make sure it didn't suffer.
I wonder how many have suffered due to broadheads? Think about that ever?

Nope, but I'd guess it's not a lot, relative to an actual deer rifle cartridge....

You have no logical definition of a true deer cartridge. So tell everyone-according to Jimbob's book on REAL deer cartridges-which cartridges are exluded from being a deer cartridge.

....... you lost me there ...... the .308 is going to be delivering on the order of 3 times the energy of your superdooper "62gr Silver Bear" ..... but then again, .308 WIN is an actual deer rifle caliber....


I was saying that if my .308 can't kill deer then Lord help us all. That's what happened on my last hunt. Please explain why the deer was able to run 350+ meters without a heart in it's body?

Nope, and don't have much experience changing spark plugs with a Leatherman, either. There are better tools for the job. Can it be done? Sure. I'm sure there are Leatherman Fanboys out there that can do that and will advocate that the Leatherman is The. Best. Tool. EVAR. and that anybody that thinks you should use a socket and ratchet is a Leatherman Hater ........ but I'm not buying the spiel.


"Changing sparkplugs with a leatherman" isn't relevant to this debate. What would be more relevant is the comparison of using a pneumatic torque wrench (you deer cartridge) to change out your spark plugs vs using a basic ratchet wrench (.223) to do it.

Most deer rounds are over kill. Sometimes deer don't drop right away, no matter what you're using. Heck, Deer will run hundreds of yards after being hit by an 18 wheeler before succumbing to internal wounds.

So where do you draw the line bubba? If my .308 failed to kill my deer effectively-despite proper shot placement-should we ban it from "The Club Of Deer Cartridges"?

Show me a true definition of a true deer cartridge, and I'll hold my peace.
But I think you'll be wasting your time in doing so, because deer have been effectively killed with just about everything; and I'll add to that: Deer have suffered a slow death from even the most powerful cartridges out there.

It's not about velocity, ft/lbs or bore diameter for a cartridge to be considered a "Deer round". Track records and effectiveness are what make a deer round. Take the 30-06 for example: It's killed more deer than any other cartridge out there; why? I can't answer that 100% besides it's just popular and hunters learned to shoot well with; and they didn't make the excuse of
.30 caliber being the beef of the round.

For some, an average shot is made up with cartridge muscle; where as others make up for the lack of cartridge muscle by using accuracy and precision to make a perfect kill.
For some; a massive .300 WM is sufficient for mistakes in shots, or less than acceptable shot placement-this is due to the .300 WM having more than enough power to kill about anything.

jimbob86
December 22, 2010, 05:32 PM
A .223 more optimal and yields enough performance to make a clean kill out to 200 yards.



You keep using that word (optimal) ......I don't think it means what you think it means:

Optimal -most desirable, best

It's a superlative, no need to put "more" in front of it ..... it's like saying "more best" ..... and for hunting deer, that's not it. It is barely legal in my state, if loaded to it's utmost limits. It's not legal in many others. "Optimal" does not describe anything that barely makes the cut.

thesheepdog
December 22, 2010, 05:35 PM
I'ts barely legal in my state, if loaded to it's utmost limits. It's not legal in many others. "Optimal" does not describe anything thing that barely makes the cut.


And here's your fault Jimbob: You base optimal off of state laws. I wonder how many of your state Reps are hunters?
So what cuts it? I am very curious!

That "more" is a typo.

jimbob86
December 22, 2010, 05:44 PM
You said yourself that .30 Carbine does not. Why? Why stop there? Some idjit out there has probably killed deer with a .22 short. Why should that not be legal? Just because a few AR fanboys seem to think that their M4gery is the bee's knees, and they killed a deer with it, the .223 is now a Deer cartridge?

It has it's uses, and is really cheap to shoot. It is accurate and light weight (though light weight is a bug, not a feature for most deer hunting situations).

Use what you want to use, provided it is legal. Just refrain from telling all the newbs that .223 is the best cartridge for deer there is, because it just ain't so.

Volucris
December 22, 2010, 05:55 PM
No one is saying it's the best cartridge for deer. You're making things up. Also, you seem to be irrationally hostile towards people who like AR-15 rifles.


Your ONLY two defenses as to why you say 223 Remington is not enough for deer are:

1. The law says so (circular argument; fallacy)
2. You think it is (WELL GOOD FOR YOU)

nathaniel
December 22, 2010, 05:59 PM
Just refrain from telling all the newbs that .223 is the best cartridge for deer there is, because it just ain't so.

Or is there anyone that uses an ar 15 for deer? Feel free to post pictures list websites.

Pretty sure he asked if people use the AR-15, we told him we do YOU turned it into a debate with thesheepdog.

The type of hunting I do is basic minnesota hunting mostly in thick wooded areas I think the longest shot I've taken so far was about 200 yds

This tells me hes not a newb, and he knows how to shoot and obviously has access to larger calibers, if he wants to try the 223 let him! Its a free country! Quit your little school girl squabble and pay attention to the OP. Im honestly suprised this hasent been closed yet, it went from has anyone used an AR to personal bashing.

thesheepdog
December 22, 2010, 06:02 PM
You said yourself that .30 Carbine does not. Why? Why stop there? Some idjit out there has probably killed deer with a .22 short. Why should that not be legal? Just because a few AR fanboys seem to think that their M4gery is the bee's knees, and they killed a deer with it, the .223 is now a Deer cartridge?

Whoa now. Stop there hoss! I never said the .30 Carbine doesn't cut it. I said it's marginal. Why I say that? Because right now it doesn't have a very successful track record. It also doesn't have the loading components of many other deer rounds out there (bullets specifically).

I don't support the AR fanboys; some of which never shoot their AR's. I am specifically referring to successful and seasoned hunters who have made clean kills with the .223. I am one.

The problem is this Jimbob: 70% of hunters won't be able to kill a deer with a .22 short. We have too many hunters who rely of firepower and not accuracy to take deer. It also has a no go track record. It just doesn't work. Some experts have used it I am sure, but overall, it's 99% ineffective.

The .223 is a deer cartridge because it's proven to do the job effectively. If it didn't, you would probably never see hunters post such things.

It has it's uses, and is really cheap to shoot. It is accurate and light weight (though light weight is a bug, not a feature for most deer hunting situations).


It certainly does. Again, you statement is subjective of facts you haven't proved yet.

Use what you want to use, provided it is legal. Just refrain from telling all the newbs that .223 is the best cartridge for deer there is, because it just ain't so.


I will. And by the way Jimbob86, I haven't suggested that to anyone. So, don't assume I said something when all I have done is defended other hunters opinions on the proven performance of a .223 for deer hunting.

Now with that said; to all the newbs out there, don't try using the .223 if your state doesn't allow it. Yeah, our states know best right? :rolleyes: But hey, it's not worth losing your license and firearms too.

4runnerman
December 22, 2010, 06:11 PM
Please lets all be friends here. We all need each other for questions,comments and such at one point in time or another. I have relied on both of you two for many questions and feel like im inbetween two friends fighting. Both of you are right(and i mean that) It's not the best for the job,but it does the job. I ice fish a lot as do some of you here.We all remember what it was like before we got the power augers.Ya the hand thing works ,but now with the power auger you think any one using a hand auger is just plain old nuts in the head. Now shake hands and lets talk about real important things ,,,, Like when if ever am i going to have as many guns as you guys :D Ya important stuff like that...

jimbob86
December 22, 2010, 07:21 PM
Our state game laws are made on recomendations from the Game and Parks Commision, which takes input from hunters in open meetings around the state every year. If somebody does not like the laws, he is more than welcom e to get his buddies together and work to change it. Changing the law is ridiculously easy in this state: we have a Unicameral Legislature with just 49 Senators. You get a bill out of committee and 30 Senators behind it and it's a done deal.

I never met anyone personally that advocated hunting deer with an AR in .223 ..... and only a couple that use 6.8 SPC. Most guys use .243 WIN and larger. I hunt in the southwestern part of the state, and shots can be long, sometimes.... I still come down to the old axioms, "Use enough gun.", and "It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it." .... YMM(and apparently does)V.

MythBuster
December 22, 2010, 07:35 PM
"The mini 14 is notoriously un-accurate ( I had one, sold it) I can't imagine any self respecting "Sniper" using a mini 14"

First off a "sniper" is not you average sandbagger? What is a sandbagger you ask?

The vast majority of hunters are sandbaggers. You buy a deer rifle and head to the range and zero the rifle on a bench with sandbags.

You never shoot the rifle again until you have a deer in you scope. Because you lack real world shooting skills you sub MOA rifle puts a high dollar very powerful round in the wrong place and your deer runs away and dies two miles away and is not found until there is nothing left but bones.

The "sniper" learned long ago that one has to forget that a bench and sandbags exist before he can be a good real world shooter.

He can take his in-accurate Mini-14 and place a round in the kill zone on a deer anytime and anyplace that a reasonable sportsman should do so.

Unlike a sandbagger he can actually shoot the rifle to it's accuracy limit from field positions which in reality is MUCH better than a sandbagger shooting one hole groups.

Any NRA high power or smallbore shooter can do the same thing with a in-accurate Garand with iron sights because they spend time shooting where benches don't exist.

MythBuster
December 22, 2010, 07:41 PM
Now about the round in question. In my area the vast majority of deer are killed, or shot, at 100 yards or less.

If you are rifleman a .223 is all the gun you could ever need for my area.

Now if you hunt where the shots tend to be much longer ranges then you may want something more powerful.

I know what damage a good .223 soft point will do. One of these though the right spot is just as deadly as a .300 mag.

4runnerman
December 22, 2010, 09:43 PM
MythBuster,that is a very intresting hypothisis on a sniper you have.
Im wondering were it is that you got this info from?. To me a sniper is a proffessional sandbagger and would never in his life shoot an in-accurate gun period. They have the best of equipment ,mostly load there own rounds and shoot often.Are very highly trained and skilled. They are the best of the best. A sniper (could) but very seldom would if ever shoot freehanded. They find a place to hide,have a rest,bipod,window frame,ect,ect to rest their gun on and shoot.
They do not shoot a second time as they don't miss.:)

Qtiphky
December 23, 2010, 08:40 AM
Ok, the mini 14 has been bashed to death on other threads. Not all are inaccurate as claimed. First, define inaccurate. If you can hit a paper plate at 100 yards, you can hit the vitals/boiler room of an average whitetail deer. Mine can do this with no problem. Switching to handloads, I now get three to five shots in a one inch circle.

Would I use a 223 to hunt whitetail, yes, I do at times depending on which blind I will be sitting in. I use a Bushmaster and the shots are well under 100 yards, but I wouldn't hesitate to shoot out to 150 if possible. Would I prefer something bigger in a different siutation, yes, but again, how I am hunting today dictates which gun I will be carrying. I also use a 300 WSM, 308 and 270. I haven't shot a deer with the 223 or the 300 yet, but have with the other two, lots of them. I have seen devastating kill shots with both the 308 and 270 and I have also seen catastrophic bullet failures as well. My son hit a doe with the 270 at 80 yards. Perfect placement, however the bullet split into two segments and missed all vitals. Don't know how, but upon gutting and skinning we figured that out. Still had to put two .40 pistol rounds into the head to finish her.

My other son hit a four point with the 308 a year ago. He said perfect shot and judging by the amount of blood found I felt confident we would find it piled up dead in 50 yards. Tracked it for 400 yards through the swamp and the blood trail ran out. That deer showed up on the trail cam that night very much intact. Catastophic bullet failure is the only explanation.

Is the 308 or 270 not enough gun for whitetail? Should these incidents have happened? Just like the 11 shot kill with a 223, sometimes crap happens and there is no logical explanation. Will the 223 kill a deer, absolutely! Is it the best round, probably not. Would I feel comfortable shooting a deer with it, yes, because I am confident with my abilities and know my limits.

Art Eatman
December 23, 2010, 01:00 PM
Enough of this around and around and around on the umpteenth iteration of this issue. Don't worry; somebody will bring it up again...