My wife took a doe @ 55 yards with a .223 60 gr NP in the boiler room. It ran 50 yards, piled up and died within a minute.
Why do you think there is a minimum? I've nicked ribs and had 7mm ballistic tip do obscene things. I sure ain't gonna try that with a 223. I think there are a bunch of apologists steppin' up to the plate on this one.
No apologies here. You're right, there is a mimum for a reason. But the 223 is above that minimum until around 150 - 200 yards depending on the load. And what you're describing is bullet failure, not cartidge failure. Ballistic tips are made to expand fast and have been known to over-expand and fail to penetrate.
dbgun - I'd strongly recommend you go with a premuim hunting bullet like a Nosler partition or Barnes X. That hollow point design might over-expand or fragment if you take a shot at close range. IMHO it's the premium bullet that allows the .223 to be an acceptable deer cartridge within its range.