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Old July 3, 2012, 12:37 AM   #1
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223 Load

I need a good load for my 223. im going to be deer hunting with it..... Any suggestions?
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Old July 3, 2012, 01:24 AM   #2
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Bamaboy took 3 whitetails w/ the Federal tactical load that features a bonded bullet. One w/ a 62 gr and the others with 55's.

Additionally, I think Federal loads a .223 with the 60 gr Nosler Partition, which would be good too.

Seems like Barnes or somebody makes an alloy/all copper slug in .223 as well but not sure of details.

The .223 is not a lot of deer rifle, but will suffice if the right slug is picked and the shooter picks the right shots. I moved the boy on to a heavier caliber as soon as he was big enough to shoot one.
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Old July 3, 2012, 06:25 AM   #3
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Not the best cartridge for the task, but that said, try the Barnes 53 gain triple shock or a nosler partition and shot placement is king
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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The 223 is legal for deer here in Texas. And even though I'm not a deer hunter, I've had conversations with lots of guys who use the 223 for that purpose. The round that keeps coming up as good deer medicine is the Winchester 64gr Powerpoint.
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Old July 3, 2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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.223 is a caliber that comes in a super-wide range of bullet weights. Because the range is so wide, rifles come barreled with twist rates to handle only a portion of that range. If your barrel is one of the ones that came with 1/10 to 1/12 twist you can probably forget about using it for deer because it just won't stabalize any of the heavier bullets that you really need.
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Old July 3, 2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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I like to shoot the 65gr Sierra Game King,or the 70gr Speer Soft Points in my 223's for hogs or deer.These bullets work great in guns that have 1-9 or 1-8 twist rates.
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Old July 3, 2012, 04:23 PM   #7
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Over the years I've taken more than a few deer with a .223. For that matter I took them with an AR in .223 with a 20" barrel, a 16" barrel and with a Norinco AK chambered in .223 with a 16" barrel.

All of those times I used commercially loaded Federal Powershok 64gr. SP ammo.

All deer taken with a .223 however were within 50 yards and shots were all placed either in the vitals or the neck. The furthest I can recall any of those deer running after being shot was no more than another MAYBE 50 yards... and that bugger fell into 4 ft of water in the swamp I shot him in... and I nearly lost him till I brought out the dogs to track him. I had walked past that spot several times and never saw him because the water was dark and he was completely covered.

I wouldn't say that the .223 isn't a good cartridge for the job. I'd say you just have to pick your shots and be sure of your shot placement. If you decide to go with commercially loaded ammo try what I mentioned - Federal Powershok 64gr. SP. Otherwise load the heaviest SP bonded bullet you can find for maximum penetration before the bullet separates.
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Old July 3, 2012, 06:52 PM   #8
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I heard that Fusion rifle ammo has a 62 gr load that works very well on deer size game with good shot placement ! That would be my choice along with the Nosler partition and Barnes bullet loads already mentioned !
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Old July 3, 2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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I'm not a hunter so this question is mostly academic. Would Hornady #2266 bullet -- 55 grain, flat base, small lead tip -- be OK for deer, or do you need something more controlled in its expansion? (2266 might be a varmint bullet) The deer grow pretty big up here.

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Old July 3, 2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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It would probably work, though if it's classified as a varmint bullet I'd suggest that you use something else. TXhillbilly suggested that 65 grain Sierra GK and I really like that bullet, though I haven't shot more than a couple deer with it. The 64 grain Winchester PP would be a good choice, as would the Nosler 60 gr Partition. The Partition doesn't group that well in my 223, but the Sierra shoots terrific.

I don't purposely hunt deer with the 223, but it'll do if you're careful with the shot.
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Old July 3, 2012, 10:53 PM   #11
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Moving this to The Hunt forum, to spread the info around a bit.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old July 4, 2012, 01:06 AM   #12
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60gr-69gr works pretty good around here. the heavier the better if the barrel twist will work.Shoot the spot not the deer.
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Old July 5, 2012, 07:31 AM   #13
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60 grain Nosler Partition and 64 grain Winchester Power Point are genuine deer toppling bullets.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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Old July 5, 2012, 04:35 PM   #14
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I just bought some 62gr fusion just to give them a try. The price is right inline with or slightly less than other hunting ammo. I don't hunt deer but they should work.

The box is littered with hype and marketing, but technically savy persons can decipher it to mean; that a lead pellet, shaped like a capsule, has been electroplated with copper then compressed to the shape of a bullet. The the tip was slightly ground off exposing the lead a little. ..... That's my translation of the mumbo-jumbo, others may get a different interpretation. the box and web sight, you'll see what I mean.
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:46 PM   #15
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Any 60+ gr softpoint that shoots well in your rifle will handle any deer at reasonable ranges. On smaller deer I'd put a hard limit at 200 yards, closer on bigger deer.

The Barnes bullets would improve performance even more if they shoot well for you.
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Old July 5, 2012, 10:15 PM   #16
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Whats your barrels twist rate? __ governs which weight bullet shoots most accurately out of your rifle. If you don't know its twist rate? Tell us what brand and model rifle you have? Knowing its twist rate sure would help us provide you with the appropriate answer your looking to us for.
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Old July 6, 2012, 04:06 PM   #17
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Yep, twist rate then bullet selection.
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