View Full Version : .223 for deer?

July 27, 1999, 01:21 AM
What is this group's opinion of the new loads from Federal and Winchester in .223 that is rated for deer. 68 grain @ 2900 fps muzzle velocity. I'm a new AR owner but am concerned if this is an ethical load for deer.

"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future."
Adolph Hitler, 1935

4V50 Gary
July 27, 1999, 01:07 PM
Not relevant to your inquiry about those new bullets, but rather to the use of .223 for deerhunting.

The last deer my brother harvested (1998) was with his Remington .223 Varminter. He used a Barnes X bullet and took his buck with a chestshot. The bullet travelled through the body, losing a petal along the way, and finally came to rest near the hindquarters. Mind you, it was smaller buck than what my brother wanted, but he also wanted to test the bullet with a chest shot to learn more about its penetration and expansion - so he took it.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

Art Eatman
July 27, 1999, 02:48 PM
Not in my deer camp.

My reason is simple: A shot which does not really hit a major vital area is likely to allow the critter to get away. Big no-no.

Now, from a stand where neck shots are quite possible, or for smaller deer at closer ranges, I might not be so hostile. But in open country where running shots are the norm, No Way. Trailing gutshot deer is a miserable deal, and finding a deer by the buzzards means no edible meat.

Now, my first deer was shot with a .222 Rem. It was a neck shot at about 20 yards on a very patient 80-lb doe...I wouldn't do that on a "real" deer at the more likely ranges commonly found.


4V50 Gary
July 27, 1999, 03:14 PM
My first deer was with a .22 Hornet. Head shot. Super accurate Thompson Contender pistol which was rested when fired. With handloaded ammunition, it would get a 1" group at 100 yards. Next time, I'd like to try a blackpowder rifle.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

Al Thompson
July 27, 1999, 07:05 PM
I think the problem is "what's a deer?".

Here in SC your lucky to have one push 120 lbs. Up north that would be a fawn.

In the Hill Country of Texas, 120 lbs. is a huge deer.

We have used the .223 for deer, but it requires a lot of discipline and precise shot placement. Art is dead on the money and so is Gary. Different hunting methods, different criteria. The quantity of tissue damage is much less with a .223 than even a .30-30.

Personally, I would, but I would have the pre-set notion that unless I had a perfect shot, the deer walks.


"Shoot low boys, they're riding Shetland ponies..." LG, RIP

David Schmidbauer
July 27, 1999, 08:22 PM

What part of SC ya from. Anywhere near Spartenburg?

Art ;

> A shot which does not really hit a major vital area is likely to allow the critter to get away. Big no-no. <

I couldn't agree with you more. Hence the reason I keep hounding Fernando Coelho and Tom Burczynski to come out with a .223 Quik-Shok. That and a .308 QS.

If you don't know the technology of the Quik-Shok check out Tritron Ammos Web Page. Basically it is a pre-fragmented bullet that breaks into three pieces after about 1" - 3". These three pieces then angle off of the original wound track.

IMO these would be perfect pill of using a .223 on deer.

Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

Long Path
July 27, 1999, 09:17 PM
David: No way. If there's one thing the .223 doesn't need when you're hunting medium game like deer, it's pre-fragmented bullets. One of the main issues with hunting deer, and one of the main shortcomings of many of the existing .223 bullets, is penetration. Super expansion and total energy transfer sometimes makes for some spectacular kills, but if you hit a rib wrong or hit the shoulder just so, you've got one running. I've seen this on an almost tragic occasion where a friend of one of the owners of the ranch I was hunting on shot a north Texas doe (120 lb) with a .220 Swift with 45g varminter bullet moving at about 4000 fps. An *enormous* hole opened on her shoulder, and she took off, hell-bent-for leather. My friend ended up making a very lucky shot at 200yards (offhand) with his '06 to solve the problem.

With a heavily-constructed bullet, at reasonable ranges (sub-150), with a very accurate rifle and by a shooter who knows he pulling a bit of a stunt, I'd say, sure, the .223 will do it. But with all the other rifles out there that will do it better, why would you want to?

Also keep in mind that there are shots that you simply must not take with a .223 on any deer that you would or could do with even a .243. You mustn't take ANY running shots, nor even moving shots. You mustn't take any quartering shots (penetration!). You mustn't take any shots from behind, unless you have a very close (sub-85 yd) head/neck shot (which I don't advocate, but that's another thread... :) ). And remember that, although you're in an are where a 125 lb deer is big, sure as you take out that little .223, you're going to spy the local record-holder MONSTER 175 lb 150pt B&C at 175 yards. And you're going to wonder if your rifle is enough.

The last thought through your mind as you squeeze the trigger should not be a question of confidence in your gear. This does not contribute to success.

Last year, I was in the Hill country on a high butte, and wanted some range, so I had my Sendero in .300 Win Mag, clearly too much for anything that walks in Texas. My alternative could have been a .243, or a .223, for that matter, for the two doe I'd already shot. Then, right at dusk, just as I was about to quit for the evening, out steps a humongous 200 lb buck at 150 yards. Of course, there was no doubt in my mind that the buck was mine as soon as he cleared the brush. Yes, I was overgunned, but at dusk, when tracking is going to be difficult, you don't want to be marginal.

July 28, 1999, 12:14 AM
Thanks to all on this subject. I believe that I have come to the conclusion that I will use my AR on selected hunts from a stand in my area (NC/SC). The deer are smallish and I have the patience to take a sure shot of the shorter variety.
Best Regards,

"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future."
Adolph Hitler, 1935

November 19, 2008, 08:59 PM
Good information ont he subject matter at hand Long dead post but thought I would show it.


I personally use the .223 for Whitetail in Wi and now in MN since I can as of this year. However I am mostly an archery hunter and utilize those same tactics during rifle season when and if I go with a boom stick.

Brian Pfleuger
November 19, 2008, 09:15 PM
The last thought through your mind as you squeeze the trigger should not be a question of confidence in your gear. This does not contribute to success.

Ding Ding Ding! I strongly prefer "Is this too much gun for ..."

Generally, if you have to ask if it's enough, it's not.

November 19, 2008, 09:21 PM
Sure it can. I never would unless I had nothing better and limited myself to CNS shots with a darn good rest. Trailing a wounded deer is no fun. Loosing a deer is miserable.

The Terminator
November 19, 2008, 10:09 PM
A .223 will kill a deer. It will kill an elephant. If pressed for food, I'd use it on a deer. For the life of me, I can't figure out why someone would use it as a first choice for deer, or hog. Why? Just about anything out there in a larger caliber will do the job much better.:)

Usually, it is someone who just got an AR and wants to hunt with it. If someone can afford an AR, then what is $250 more for a decent 30/30? My .223 is the last thing I'd ever use to hunt deer with. I acknowledge that my niece killed 8 deer with one, before she was 10 years old. A .223 NEF at that. :D

.223, 22-250, 222, did I miss any? They are all maimers and cripplers on deer. I acknowledge a friend who has killed probably a hundred with the 22-250, but again, why? Why do folks get hung up on a borderline caliber? :confused:

If you are going to go on a nice deer hunt, why not just take a well known deer caliber, capable, rifle, and not have to keep wondering about which shot you can take, and which you cannot. I'd bet that there are many hunters who just wouldn't be able to pass up a shot at a trophy buck, if they only were hunting with a 223, and the shot was risky at best.

This is only my humble opinion. ;) Also, Jack O'Connor observed that the 223 was a maimer and a crippler way back when, I haven't found reason to disagree with his words. Best - Ted

November 19, 2008, 10:21 PM
but again, why? Why do folks get hung up on a borderline caliber?

i know one person who hunts with either a 22-250 or .223 for the simple reason that it allows him to not wear hearing protection and not suffer the consequences of a larger caliber

silly reasoning to some.... but it gets the job done every time he takes a shot, and he still has very good hearing.

more power to him imo

November 19, 2008, 10:30 PM
Lots of variables there. Florida wher deer are overgrown dogs (right hogdogs?:D) a .223 would be OK. Bigger deer like the ones I've hunted in WA state or mulies, could be done, but whether or not it would be considered OK would be based on individual ability and discretion in the shot.

I wouldn't recommend it for the baseline hunter.

November 19, 2008, 10:38 PM
dam so many posts that dont make a bit of sense..

shoot the deer behind the shoulder thru the lungs, NEVER IN THE NECK OR ASS OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE CHEST CAVITY That goes for ALL calibers, all you deer wounders keep shootn em in the neck and ass and keep giving hunters a bad name..

I havent shot a deer with a gun since 1988, just use archery equipment, and if you use the same philosophy for your rifle and any ETHICAL hunter does with a bow and should with a gun, then the .223 is fine, but you want ballistic tips, of PSP, hollow points in my opinion will blow up on a rib.

November 20, 2008, 01:14 AM
Personally I think the .223 is a little light for deer, but I have used it for Caribou with success. Sound like a contradiction ? Caribou are a lot bigger than deer, no doubt, but the habitat is vastly different. Both caribou and deer (as well as any other animal) will expire with a .223 bullet through lungs. However caribou are usually in open country where if they do not drop immediately or leave a blood trail it is no big deal, you can watch them fall. With deer, it can be a real problem with recovery if they do not go down quickly or leave a blood trail. I use the AR-15 for caribou in wintertime hunting because I do not mind subjecting it to the abuse of hunting on a snowmachine which can really take a toll on rifles. Also,the high mounted scope on carry handle allows use without removing face masks and hoods unlike rifles with low mounted optics. That being said, if you must use the .223 for deer that sounds like a pretty good load for the purpose.

November 20, 2008, 01:56 AM
Short answer-

Don't do it, unless you absolutely know for certain that you can make ONE shot drop the animal.

phil mcwilliam
November 20, 2008, 05:14 AM
Many tens of thousands of red deer(similar in size to white tail) have been culled from New Zealand by profesional shooters, with the 222 being the favoured cartridge for many years. As the meat is harvested comercially, with helicopters flying multiple carcasses out, all deer are head/neck shot to achieve maximum return. Most hunters, however, will aim for a heart/lung shot if it presents itself, in which case your 223 with 68 grain bullets should be ok, with an unobstructed path, but forget angle shots or rear facing shots with a 22 centrefire. A 243 (minimum) works better for body shots on deer.

November 20, 2008, 08:48 AM
I'm going to open A new can of worms. One PROBLEM with the 68gr. deer loads is that most 223cal. rifles will not stabilize the heavier grain bullets. The standard twist in almost all of the 223 cal. rifles is designed for the lighter grain bullets(40gr to 55gr.) after that the accuracy falls off rapidly.

November 20, 2008, 10:10 AM
There are bullets that are constructed for use on deer for the .223 caliber rifles. Let me start by saying that it would not be my first choice. With that out of the way I would not feel undergunned with a .223 that I could shoot it well. As mentioned by sureshots, make sure that you can get good accuracy out of the heavier bullets. I have read many posts that advocate the use of a 25-06 or 7mm08 for use on elk. If these cartridges will be OK for elk, that heavier constructed and extra weight bullet in 223 will work on deer. The key is to NOT TAKE BAD SHOTS and use properly constructed bullets. I'd much rather see someone with a 223 and the right bullets, that can shoot, takes good shots, rather than someone with a 30-06 with poorly selected bullets that can't shoot worth a darn and takes risky shots. A gut shot deer is just as gutshot with 30-06 as it is with a 223. A deer with a broken leg is just as broken with a 270 as it is with a 223. All things being equal I would rather see someone with a 270/280/7mm-08/308/30-06 with the properly constructed bullets, that can shoot, and only takes good, ethical shots. The guy pulling the trigger is far more important than the rifle he is shooting. IMHO

November 23, 2008, 09:14 PM
I use my 30-06 with 150 grn Ballistic tips and I have never had to track a wounded deer in ND. I grew up in Michigan and the 150 grn round nose that my dad used left a lot to be desired.

November 24, 2008, 09:09 AM
Really super-short answer: No

Art Eatman
November 24, 2008, 09:20 AM
Now, now, submoa, relax. I've always found that if you shoot Bambi in the white spot, you don't have to track him at all. He instantly says, "I quit!" It's even better if he's standing in the jeep trail when you bust his neck. Makes it easy to load him up and haul him back to camp.

I'm lazy...

November 24, 2008, 03:27 PM
.223 is questionable with the small deer in Fla, etc. The bigger northern and midwest deer I think are out of the question. If you love an AR, as I do. Get a 6.8SPC, they will knock it straight down. But the most important part of this is SHOT PLACEMENT. Like other shave said only take good shots, and don't maim or wound the animal, kill it.

I love the AR, but just recently switched to a Savage 30'06 bolt action with the accutrigger and 3x9. The rifle will hit right where I point it and the tracking is down to a minimum.

W. C. Quantrill
November 25, 2008, 01:31 AM
I can kill a deer with a .22 LR, as far as killing one is concerned. Fortunately, the .223 is not legal for hunting big game in most states. I have no doubt that if I were slipping through the countryside and a shot presented itself that I am skilled enough to take it and kill the animal right there. You as a new hunter? If you have to ask, then I seriously doubt it.

Like everyone else has said, use the proper caliber and make an ethical and humane shot. If I caught you hunting on my property with an AR, you would loose it and never see it again. Depending on how my cousins the sheriff and district judge felt about it, you might not see your vehicle again either.

Our state law says .243 is the least that you will hunt with. Most of us hunt with more. .243 is usually a womans or kids gun. .270 and beyond is the preferred deer calibers.

redwing 40
November 25, 2008, 01:50 AM
The .223 Rem. is not legal here in Wyoming. Some of the states that border us allow the .223 Rem for big game. I think it would be OK in Texas where the deer are very small. I would not want to shoot big Mule Deer with .224 . That said, if its legal where you live its your choice.:)

November 25, 2008, 03:20 AM
A .223 will kill a deer. It will kill an elephant. If pressed for food, I'd use it on a deer. For the life of me, I can't figure out why someone would use it as a first choice for deer, or hog. Why?

How about the dang AR rifles are so expensive (especially after good glass) and someone wants it before the next gun-ban:rolleyes: they can't afford a name your large cartride bolt action so the AR is performing double duty.

It will take a deer and yes there is definatly better out there.

I think no matter what you choose to use, this is good advise.

Personally, I would, but I would have the pre-set notion that unless I had a perfect shot, the deer walks.

November 25, 2008, 08:29 PM
I'm a new AR owner but am concerned if this is an ethical load for deer. I don't think there's enough fudge factor in 68 grains. Now for coyote an expanding .223 works fine, but a coyote is a lot skinner and thinner than a deer. For deer my personal minimum is a .243 bullet weighing 100 grains and my preferred bullet is 6.5mm and 120 grains, both of which work for coyotes as well.:D

November 25, 2008, 10:02 PM
Just because you can kill it with a .223 doesn't mean you will.I've killed deer with a .223 Mini-14. Possible but don't recommend it, took a shoulder to shoulder heart shot to accomplish that and it still ran approx. 50 yards. Don't think less than a .243 or .270 is advisable. I use a Remington .30-06. and am thinking about another .30-06 Rem. or .270 Savage. Be humane, make sure your bullet puts the deer down. Just because you can kill it with a .223 doesn't mean you will.

November 28, 2008, 01:36 AM
I have a lot of experience at shooting deer with .223's. I'm a Deputy Sheriff in Michigan and frequently have to dispatch wounded deer that are hit by cars. I carry a Bushmaster M-4 with a 14.5" barrel. We are restricted to 55 gr bullets and we've carried SP's and now we carry ballistic tips.
We have really big deer here in southern Michigan, where I live. Deer over 200 lbs are not uncommon at all. If I can get really close to them, I just use my S&W M&P 45 and that does them in real quick as long as they're hit in the head. But what most often is the case is that the deer see you coming and they try to drag themselves away from you and I can't get any closer than 35-40 yds. In those cases I have to use the rifle. I'll just say that the .223 is lousy against deer, especially from the shorter barrel of my M-4. I've had rounds ricochet off of their heads and I've had to walk behind deer while continuously shooting them in the torso area as they continue to try and crawl away. It's hardly ever a one-shot affair.
When we carried Remington 870 12 gauges, I'd pop them with a slug or Buck Shot and it was over very quick.
If I could get away with it, I'd carry my Winchester model 94 Trapper in 30-30 for situations like that.

November 28, 2008, 02:19 AM
I have been hunting for 40 years and rarely do I use more than one bullet a year. I have loads I toss because of the years they have been on the shelf. So when I take exception, I do so because I see something a little different.

As for using an AR-15 or any semi automatic of any caliber for that matter, I am a purest. You wouldn't be allowed on my acreage or my neighbors. Doesn't matter how skilled you are. There should never be the need for that much over kill.

Now for my main concern for writing this piece. I own and have hunted with my 30-06 and 270 for the Columbian Blacktail here in Oregon. The blacktail is on average only slightly larger than the whitetail. But for all practical purposes they are comparable. I found both of these calibers to be far more than what I needed for a 100 to 200 yard shot. And since most of my shots fell between 50 to 100 yards, I went looking. I bought a 243 three years back and have found it to have the ideal power for deer of this size.

I use my 30-30 or 270 when I hunted in Utah as the Mule deer are much larger. I liked the 30-30 over the 270 only for ease of movement in the brush. But for range, the 270 or -06 were better. My father used a 308 Savage.

Now when it comes to elk, the .270 is considered a light load. Especially at 200+ yards. But it will do the job if the shot is right. As will any caliber if you hit the right spot. But most of these blogs were stated because we don't always hit the perfect shot. So then you want the knockdown power of the larger caliber.

But my comment is I am secure enough in my manhood to hunt with a 243. My 92 year old mother-in-law hunts with a 257 Roberts. So we are about equal. ha ha

Okay, we stopped her from hunting four years ago. However, it is loaded and in the gun case should she ever want to use it again. I just wouldn't want to be the revenue man coming onto the property anytime she is out and about with a loaded anything.

P.S. I still have remaining cartridges from the first box I purchased when I bought the .243 three years ago.

November 28, 2008, 09:50 AM
shoot the deer behind the shoulder thru the lungs, NEVER IN THE NECK OR ASS OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE CHEST CAVITY That goes for ALL calibers, all you deer wounders keep shootn em in the neck and ass and keep giving hunters a bad name..

Really? 'Round here it's the hunters that trash the place, leave campfires burning after they leave and waste the carcass.

A neck shot is a check mate move. I've helped others trail deer from botched heart/lung shots. I remember on miserable trail with corn, grass and other rumen instead of blood. We never found that deer.

Tell you what; I'll refrain from telling you where to shoot if you'll return the favor.:)

November 30, 2008, 09:45 PM
Never personally heard of intentionally going for the neck shot. Always been taught, by dnr here in west virginia (hunter safety class when i was younger) to go for the heart/lung shot. Never had them go very far as long as you get them in the heart or lungs. My hunting buddies and i usually poke fun at the people that neck shoot them and junk the neck meat and make the whole mess look aweful. You could shoot it in the neck, not hit the spine or any vital blood vessels and cause the deer to live for days before dying.

November 30, 2008, 09:50 PM
You could shoot it in the neck, not hit the spine or any vital blood vessels and cause the deer to live for days before dying.

You can gut shoot a deer with the same results. Meat loss is minimal with the neck shot. Feel free to poke fun. Meanwhile, I'll poke deer in the neck.

Art Eatman
December 1, 2008, 10:36 AM
hillbillyshooter, check my post #23. Odds are, 3/4 of the deer I've killed were from neck shots. Tagged bucks, I'm guessing forty-some-odd. Plus some does and then a culling program I did on the old family ranch outside of Austin...

December 4, 2008, 12:27 PM
Just saying that i've never heard proponents of the neck shot before, thats all. Yeah, if you gut shoot it it can also live for days. I just consider the heart/lung to be a larger target. Obviously not many intentionally gut shoot deer either. As far as i know, too, there is more meat lost in the neck shot than in a well placed heart/lung. I can understand if you don't want to wait for the animal to quarter before you shoot, but i'm just more comfortable going with the heart/lung. To each there own, i'm not trying to act like my way is better, just my preference. Does i can understand shooting in the neck more, but wouldn't want to ruin the mount on a nice buck by going to far forward. My experiences also come from WV, were the usual shot is approx. 50 yards, almost never 100+ yards, so its a bit easier to make the heart/lung with precision.

December 4, 2008, 12:50 PM
I am more apt to make a heart/lung shot early in the day. If the shot is near last light I am more likely to consider the neck shot or just packing myself out of the woods without a prize. There is no tracking involved in a CNS shot. The animal drops dead. I favor the heart/lung shot 3 out of 4 times. I never shoot any shot unless I can call my shot. If I have a steady rest, capable rifle and the deer is giving me a long window when he/she is surveying the landscape I am happy to consider the neck. Meat loss is minimal compared to a shoulder (usually it's the opposite shoulder that's damaged); 7mm hole going in and a golf ball sized exit wound - 3-4 ounces of meat at the most. I've made several H/L shots where a ballistic tip has hit a rib and shattered the bullet. Even a perfectly launced H/L shot has ruptured the stomach. I don't use ballistic tips any more because of that.

December 4, 2008, 03:16 PM
I am curious where it is legal to hunt deer with a .223? I live in Colorado and I believe that the minimum is .243.

December 4, 2008, 03:56 PM
Topthis... in Texas, as long as it's centerfire, it's legal for deer...

December 4, 2008, 05:12 PM
I am quite sure it is legal in Florida also.

December 4, 2008, 06:28 PM
Legal in NC and loads of fun to shoot.

December 4, 2008, 11:30 PM
As long as it is a centerfire rifle, it is legal here.

Dr. Strangelove
December 5, 2008, 12:08 AM
From the GA regulation book:

and Handguns: Centerfire Only, .22-cal. or larger
with expanding bullets.

Shotguns: 20-gauge or larger loaded with slugs
or buckshot. Buckshot is not allowed on WMAs,
unless otherwise specified.

Muzzleloaders: .44-cal. or larger, or
muzzleloading shotguns 20 gauge or larger.
Scopes are legal.

Primitive Weapons: Legal weapons during
primitive weapons season include crossbows,
bow and arrow, and muzzleloading firearm.
Scopes are legal.

TURKEY FIREARMS: Shotguns with No. 2 or
smaller shot and any muzzleloading firearm.

Interesting, as this technically means a Raven Arms .25acp is now a legal deer pistol as long as you use expanding bullets....I guess they're just hoping people will use good sense.:eek:

By the way, Topthis, .243 Win used to be the effective minimum here in GA. There was a formula of a certain amount foot pounds of energy at such & such a distance, but they did away with all that sometime while I was living out of state and now pretty much anything except rimfire is legal for deer. Crossbows used to be only for the handicapped but now are also legal. It makes things easier on everbody but the deer, I guess.

December 5, 2008, 12:31 AM
shoot the deer behind the shoulder thru the lungs, NEVER IN THE NECK OR ASS OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE CHEST CAVITY That goes for ALL calibers,

Yep, we all know that. And we all hunt in the real world, too. A deer often doesn't just stand there, perfectly still, perfectly broadside, with a perfect neon bullseye floating right between it's ribs, waiting for you to shoot right there, perfectly on the spot. Newsflash: sometimes the deer will be angled a little bit away or towards you, or facing you, or it'll have a big rib or shoulder bone that you just happen to hit, or it'll move right at the instant that you shoot, or you'll hiccup/cough right when you pull the trigger, or a gust of wind will suddenly blow when you take the shot and move your muzzle/treestand, or your trigger finger will be numb from the -20 degree temp that day, or, or, or, or...a million reasons that you might not take a perfect (or even excellent shot) at a deer. And when that happens, it is nice to shoot a caliber that propels a heavier bullet almost as fast as the .223. Like a .243, or a .270, or a .308 Winchester (which is what the really smart hunters use :D), or even a .30-'06. So that you can smash through bone, penetrate through a thick part, put a hurtin' on the non-vitals, almost every time.

Why does this question keep coming up? If you want an increased chance of wounding a deer, then use the .223. Have fun tracking it for miles, and good luck finding it. :rolleyes:

Art Eatman
December 5, 2008, 09:13 AM
But, Fremmer! If you shoot 'em in the white spot with a .223, you don't have to track! :D:D:D (My first deer, a patient old doe, was killed that way via a .222. I still recall my uncle's instruction as I aimed--and aimed--and aimed: "Dammit! Shoot the ol' bitch!")

December 5, 2008, 09:45 AM
Art, Are you talking about the "Texas Heart Shot"?

December 5, 2008, 12:22 PM
Art, don't you read the posts? Surely after killing all those deer with A 223 cal. you should realize that's not near enough gun, or is it? Seriously it is A thrill to drop them in their Tracks with A 222,223 or 22-250 cal. isn't it? I'm glad I finally learn to do that after all those years using the Big Bangers.

December 5, 2008, 05:09 PM
I use 65gr steel hollow points.

I shot a deer with one and it absolutely TORE IT APART. I could not believe the internal damage it did to the deer. The shot was in the ribs, SHATTERED them and oblitterated the lungs. It fell over and tried to get up, so I shot it 2 more times to put it out of its misery and it just croaked.

I shot it with an AR-15, 16" barrel. I have a fixed 6x scope. with open sights under the scope.

Every single shot was amazing...the exit wounds were over an inch wide.

It isnt my PRIMARY rifle, but it is all I had at the time and it worked.


December 5, 2008, 05:39 PM
You are fine shooting a .223 if you keep your shots under 100yds and shoot Noseler Partitions. Be certain your .223 has the barrel twist to handle a 68gr bullet as well.

December 5, 2008, 08:07 PM
Every single shot was amazing...the exit wounds were over an inch wide.

I'm not sure I'd find that amazing when compared to more energetic rounds that leave 3-4" exit. I guess for a .223 that's much better than one that grenades in the first inch or so.

December 5, 2008, 08:41 PM
The 5.65/.223 round was originally designed to kill a man out to 400m with FMJ's. Men tend to be about the same weight as deer. With an expanding bullet that is allowed or required when hunting there is more energy absorbed.

The only problems that we had with it down here were that a blade of sawgrass would deflect the small projectile and the exit wounds/shocked tissue would ruin a lot of good eating meat. Head shots became the order of the day.

Buzzard Bait
December 9, 2008, 03:24 PM
tried to load picture didn't work

December 9, 2008, 06:53 PM
Must be deer season again. I can tell by the "is the .223 enough to kill a deer post". Yes it will, seen it myself. Did it last year and I will add that I have never seen as large of a blood trail in my life. No there is not as much margin for error but if we are talkin ethics, there sould be no margin. I am proud to say that I can hit quarters at 200 yards with mine consistantly. It took me a while to get a rifle like that. It is more the shooter than the round. Dont use something you are not comfortable with.

December 9, 2008, 07:09 PM
I always thought Ethics were for Doctors,Lawyers and such. After all we kill these animals. Why does it matter what caliber we use if it does the job in an orderly, humane fashion. I can kill deer with 223cal. and 22-250cal. just as dead as with my 30-06cal. If its legal where you hunt, than I consider it to also be ethical.

December 9, 2008, 07:19 PM
Have not killed a deer with a .223 in decades. Would not deer hunt with one now because the ammo I prefer to hunt with is not legal for use on deer in most states.

I hunt hogs with the .223 and the military 5.56mm M193 ball round. Have killed a few dozen of hogs with that round. Have seldom had to shoot a hog more than once and have never lost one. The bullet penetrates about 5-6" yaws and comes apart. It shreds the heart, lungs and, quite often, the diaphram. Sometimes the liver is also damaged by bullet fragments.

These are two boars that i killed earlier this year with the .223 using the 5.56mm M193 round. The red one ran about 50 yards after being hit. The black one bang flopped.

December 9, 2008, 07:20 PM
Ethics apply to all, by contract or not.

December 9, 2008, 10:25 PM
O.K. guys, I've thought about my last post for a few days now.

I'm just an average shot. And the deer in Nebraska can get to be fairly big (you Northerner/Canadian guys, pipe down!!! :D), so be kind and let me say....perhaps the .223 is fine for those who are good shots on the appropriate-sized deer, especially in the South where they don't get so big. Fair enough?!? :D

December 10, 2008, 01:35 PM
Ive killed lots of deer with my Ar15 using Vmaxs to the ear. The beauty of the AR is its accuracy. Havent had a runner yet. The deer always fall on the spot. I wont take a chest shot, cuz i know it wont do it. Wait until the deer turns away for you and clock him in the back of the head, or ear. Dont use FMJ or Match ammo. I killed a really nice 8 point.. over 160 pounds with one shot, to the ear. I usually limit myself to shots under 150 yards with the Ar 15 on deer. Pigs.. out to 300 no big deal. I have a 300 Win, and a 30-30, and numerous 30-06s and a 338 Federal. i prefer the 223. Cheaper ammo, Im handy with it, Its very durn accurate, and it doesnt destroy 8 pounds of meat. Oh, its also legal here.

December 10, 2008, 03:13 PM
If you shoot enough deer, sooner or later you will wind up loosing one or having to trail it for hours and that is regardless of the caliber. A .458 win mag will wound a 120 pound deer if you make a poor shot. Is a .223 enough gun? Yep, if you are enough of a hunter.

The most successful whitetail hunter I know, used a .223/20 ga. Savage Mod. 24 and took dozens of Georgia whitetails and rarely (if ever) lost one. In my own personal experience, I shot a nice 10 point eastern whitetail with a 165 gr. Sierra PH out of my .30-06 at 60 yards. I found pieces of bone 4 inches long along with a lot of blood at the site. I followed the blood trail for nearly 1/2 mile before finally loosing it. A week later my neighbor found the deer at his pond. It seems the round hit in the front shoulder joint and fragmented and did not penetrate. Bad, but hardly an indication that the old '06 is not adequate for the job.:o