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Old July 13, 2017, 12:00 PM   #26
Lohman446
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I'm not slamming your reasoning it just seems kind of like as pointless as using a 300 magnum for deer with the other side of the argument.
I have intentionally hunted "Russian boar" with a .375 Holland and Holland. In my defense I may have been oversold on how tough they were. After dropping my .270 I was pressed into use the same rifle on a whitetail hunt and passed on the shots because I realized how ridiculous it was. This year I will hunt deer with a .243 because that is as small as I am comfortable going (I realize we are discussing slightly smaller). I get both sides of the argument and the lengths they go to.

Part of it I think has been the desire to "own just one gun" by people who primarly hunt whitetail. They buy a big enough gun to hunt Moose and as time passes the 30/06 becomes a "whitetail" gun with things like the .338 (and more) "needed" for larger game.

I think its kind of like a pendulum and it has been, in recent years, swung too far to the "too much power" side. It will swing back and we will likely have those hunting with too little power as a result. The problem is we cannot seem to agree on where "just right" is. I guess its a bit like Goldilocks.
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Old July 13, 2017, 08:12 PM   #27
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I've killed deer with cartridges from .223 to 300 Win mag with the majority taken with 30/06, 7x57, and the 25's( 257 Rob and 25/06). I used to tote my "buck buster" 30/06 until I'd filled my buck tag then move to the lighter recoiling rifles for my "meat gun". The 30/06 will make a kill from any angle.
With most decent game bullets, the 30 cals will put a deer down rapidly even with a less than optimum hit(not a gutshot). The 7x57 is basically equal in this respect. The 25's are on the edge of handling certain angle shots and often would require premium bullets to handle those severe quartering shots.
For those proponents of the "little gun" theory, I can only say that sooner or later you WILL lose an animal or kick yourself for having to pass a shot you could have made with a more powerful round.
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Old July 13, 2017, 10:49 PM   #28
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Its possible to use both cartridges for the taking of deer at those distances. But of the two choices I think the 223 is more appropriate for the purpose..
22-250 is a really fast bullet which more than likely will fragment upon contact. If you ever encounter a deer shot with a ultra high velocity varmint bullet that fragmented on the animals ribs or front shoulder. > Its a horrible thing to do to a Big Game animal. Without a doubt a bloody site I guarantee most fellows won't forget anytime soon.
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Old July 14, 2017, 10:29 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Sure Shot Mc Gee
22-250 is a really fast bullet which more than likely will fragment upon contact. If you ever encounter a deer shot with a ultra high velocity varmint bullet that fragmented on the animals ribs or front shoulder.
There are plenty of bullets that will hold together at .22-250 velocities like Barnes TSX/TTSX, Nosler Bonded Perfomance, E-Tip, and Partitions, and Cutting Edge Raptors. You'll not have a bullet leave the kind of damage on a deer that you're talking about. Bullet selection is the most important thing when using smaller calibers.
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Old July 15, 2017, 12:00 AM   #30
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There are plenty of bullets that will hold together at .22-250 velocities like Barnes TSX/TTSX, Nosler Bonded Perfomance, E-Tip, and Partitions, and Cutting Edge Raptors.
Quote:
You'll not have a bullet leave the kind of damage on a deer that you're talking about. Bullet selection is the most important thing when using smaller calibers.
I totally agree bullet selection is important as is bullet placement. No worst shot can a hunter make on thin skin big game than one accidentally aimed at the front leg ball & socket. Hit squarely. Meat destruction beyond anticipated is assured. ~~Hopefullly you agree?
The few varmint shooters I know wouldn't shoot {any} rodent with such spendy all copper or Noslers best.
More likely those fellers I know would buy the cheapest HP or plastic tipped bullet seconds sold.
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Old July 15, 2017, 06:57 AM   #31
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I've killed a few deer with the .22-250, but none over 150 yards. Back then (55+ yrs. ago) the only bullet that I used was a Nosler solid-based 55 grain Zipedo (no longer made).

My .22-250 was not accurate with 60 grain bullets, due to rifling (twist 1-14"?). In any case I wouldn't shoot another deer with less than a .243 Win, using tough bullets like the Hornady GMX.

A newbie hunter should use a cartridge that will give greater room for error, like the 7mm-08, IMHO. Recoil isn't bad and it will kill a deer at angles that would only cause painful wounds with lighter bullets.

One thing we need to consider is that the .223 was developed as a war round, and, as such, wounding the enemy is considered better than killing quickly, since it takes more people out of fight.

Hunting, on the other hand requires quick kills or blood trails to be able to find game that may have crawled off to tight cover before dying. (We've found too many deer that people have shot, but never recovered.)
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Old July 15, 2017, 11:53 AM   #32
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Basic training

Yup, the .223 / 5.56 MILITARY bullets are indeed designed to wound.

I remember our drill sergeant telling us that you could shoot em in the left elbow and the bullet could come out their right knee or some such BS. That was early 1970's BMTS in the USAF.

We got a grand total of one day on the range with the M16. It was the best day of basic however. There's a dubious distinction if ever I hear one.
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Old July 17, 2017, 09:32 AM   #33
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The .223 was developed as a HUNTING round for varmints. The changes in the past decade of bullet technology make it useful as a deer cartridge. Would it be my "across the farm" caliber? No but I think most of us harvest white tail under 150 yards. In that range the .223 will do the deed if you put it where it needs to go. It's a cheaper round to practice with aswell. Nothing trumps shot placement, so practice all you can.
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Old July 17, 2017, 11:53 AM   #34
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.243 or .264 for me. If you want a low recoil game cartridge, get a 6.5 Grendel. You'll be set for 300 yards.
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Old July 17, 2017, 12:08 PM   #35
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The .223 was not designed as a varmint hunting cartridge. It owes it's heritage directly from the military desire for a lightweight combat rifle. Remington introduced a commercial .223 that could reach 3200+ fps a few years after military testing. It became popular because it fit the need of two previously popular calibers, the .222 and the .222 magnum. That was mainly in the US because other countries wouldn't allow the sale of military caliber weapons. It just so happens it's best use is in the varmint hunting category.
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Old July 17, 2017, 02:12 PM   #36
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zipspyder, does the original intent for a particular cartridge matter? The .223 is basically a .222 Magnum, so it's basically in the general category of "varmint cartridge". Bullet-maker R&D during these recent 15 or 20 years has produced bullets which are now known to work well on deer--for all that there are caveats for appropriate types of shots, as to angles and distances.
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Old July 17, 2017, 02:44 PM   #37
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@ Art, not at all. Shoot what you want with it. Just correcting another poster that said is was "designed" as a varmint hunting cartridge. Don't want misinformation or half truths floating around do we? Does it matter so much that I corrected the post for clarification?
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Old July 17, 2017, 04:12 PM   #38
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Yup, the .223 / 5.56 MILITARY bullets are indeed designed to wound.
I was under the impression that the so called Geneva convention mandated full metal patch bullets. Therefore, full metal jacket .223/5.56 bullets are designed in regard to the rules of war and whether or not they kill or wound is a moot point.
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Old July 17, 2017, 05:12 PM   #39
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The .223 was offered in the Remington 760 in 1963, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old July 17, 2017, 05:57 PM   #40
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Sorry, zipspyder; I had not recalled the earlier post.

dahermit, I don't recall that the US signed the Geneva deal, but we've gone along with it. Irrelevant to hunting, though.
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Old August 9, 2017, 09:10 AM   #41
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Different angle

I’m coming in a little late, but…

The way I see it, from the Original post and the majority of the debate, in this post and every other conversation in which it has come up, are coming from the wrong angle. Are the .223 and 22-250 capable? Sure, under the right conditions in the hands of the right shooter.

But why are we choosing them? We can debate the origins of their respective intentions, but it safe to say that neither cartridge was conceived with deer in mind. And sure, bullet technology has come light years, but that is only compensation, not optimization. Even in the hands of the best shooter who makes no mistakes, a larger bullet has a better chance of ending the life quickly.

So we’re using this round because we like it, then we want to apply that to our intended use. This is, for me, where the ethics come in. I have a lot of experience with both of these rifles, but I won’t use them for deer.

I generally hunt Virginia white tail, and I would classify them as medium on the white tail size scale. I know I can kill them with .223 of whatever bullet/cartridge combination has come out in the past decade with deer in mind. In the 150-200 yd range I have confidence in my shot placement. But I know I can kill them better, reduce fluke chances, and more ethically expedite their demise with a 6mm Rem, a .270, or a 30-06.

For me it is really important to handle it that way because I think the ethical hunt should trump gun preference. 22-250 and .223 are not ideal for deer hunting. Larger bullets are.

Of course, if it’s legal in your state to hunt with .224 center fire, you have to make the call for yourself when it comes to ethics. But I think it strains the argument to debate if these smaller cartridges are right for deer.
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Old August 22, 2017, 02:28 AM   #42
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AR's

I think what is driving the ".223 for deer" theme is the incredible popularity of the AR rifle. Twenty-30 years ago, few folks had an AR pattern rifle, the carbine was experimental, and Colt was the only game in town. Now.....

Folks have bought the things, now what do you do with it? Well I know, I'll take it deer hunting. And away we go.......... I've even heard adults state (or put in print) well I bought this AR for Junior to hunt deer. Sure ya did.

I posted earlier that my boy had killed deer with a .223 bolt rifle and that "it can be done". He was VERY prepared for those first kills, having spent time in the shooting houses, and much .22 and later .223 practice, and he did just fine when the time came. But we moved very quickly as he matured and gained size, to larger and more effective calibers. Now I have to wrestle him for the Hog .308. Much gun , but he likes it. The fast .22's fill a niche, but it is a very narrow one, with limited application. I'd encourage anybody that wants to hunt their AR on deer, to buy a second upper in a heavier cartridge.

Oh yeah, there is no " front ball & socket" joint on the front shoulder/leg of a whitetail (or mammalfor that matter) . The rear legs have such a joint. That's the end with the tail, no antlers. Up front, there is a shoulder blade, which I have shot through with a compound bow, errantly I might add, on more than one occassion, when the angles are right and the thinner portions are hit.
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Old August 22, 2017, 04:25 AM   #43
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Strange how nobody seems to post their failures with .22 caliber rounds on medium sized game. I have no doubt a lot of deer have been wounded and lost with those rounds, and telling everyone to become "expert" with it, I wouldn't consider the best approach. I would never even consider a .223 for deer hunting...and I doubt a lot of serious hunters wouldn't either.
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Old August 22, 2017, 06:55 AM   #44
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My oldest daughter killed three mule deer with three shots using my Savage heavy barrel .223 rifle. This took place 2001 - 2004. The shots were about 125 yards or so and taken from a steady rest. All three deer were taken with Winchester 64 grain ammo and the bullets penetrated all the way out the other side of the chest and were not recovered. Based upon these observations, I'll endorse the .223 as a good choice for 125 yards or less.

My daughter tired of my heavy barrel varmint outfit and claimed my Glenfield 30-30 carbine for her mule deer hunting in western South Dakota. She had good success with this carbine, too.

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Old August 22, 2017, 12:02 PM   #45
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I get so tired of seeing the ethics card played every time someone has an issue with this cartridge or that bullet being used, or shooting past a certain distance. There is a ethics standard for all in that we should try to kill the game cleanly within the limitations of our skill, accuracy of the rifle and ammunition, and limitations of the bullet. But that standard applies
differently to all of us, what is ethical for one may not be ethical for another.

If you are not comfortable using a particular cartridge or type of bullet for whatever game animal, that is fine. I respect your opinion and why you
believe that way. I happen to think that with certain bullets, the .223 is a very effective deer and hog killing cartridge, as evidenced by my experience and that of hundreds of other hunters.
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Old August 22, 2017, 12:42 PM   #46
Lohman446
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Strange how nobody seems to post their failures with .22 caliber rounds on medium sized game. I have no doubt a lot of deer have been wounded and lost with those rounds, and telling everyone to become "expert" with it, I wouldn't consider the best approach. I would never even consider a .223 for deer hunting...and I doubt a lot of serious hunters wouldn't either
There is a bit of fallacy implied here in that it implies that the larger caliber would overcome the circumstances of the failed or faulty recover.

In the vast majority of cases a bad shot is a bad shot and more power is not going to solve the issue. When I was young I wounded and failed to recover a large buck from about 30 yards with a 30-30 because I did not take the time to line up the shot. Before I learned I did the same with a .270. Yes they were errors in my judgement and ability to stay calm. In both cases a well placed shot with a .22 (probably even a rimfire) would have been far more effective.

If we are throwing out the theoretical as argument, such as medium game animals not cleanly dispatched with a certain cartridge that would have been cleanly dispatched with a larger / more powerful cartridge, can I conversely argue that poor shots that could result in a less than ideal dispatching of a game animal are increased by recoil sensitivity due to too large of a cartridge that prevents a shooter from being as comfortable with a rifle as he or she should be?

I mean if we are going with the "I wonder..." portion of it I could probably argue the later are just as common as the former.

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Old August 22, 2017, 04:12 PM   #47
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Sorry, but I never intended to imply fallacy in the caliber conversations. I imagine a lot of folks will find ways to justify their caliber choices, and find a lot of instances where others used small calibers to accomplish their hunting endeavors. I merely just don't consider using such small calibers as the best options, and think a lot more animals have probably been wounded and lost using calibers such as the .223 than other more suitable calibers.
I'm sure a lot of hunters can state instances where the .223 worked wonders for them....I just think there are probably a lot more instances where it didn't do the same for others.
I knew a man that lived in California that loved shooting deer with his 17 Remington caliber, doing only head shots....but that wouldn't lead to me recommending that caliber either.
I've shot many deer over the years (and I'm an old man)...but just wouldn't use less than a .243.
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Old August 22, 2017, 04:32 PM   #48
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Old Stoney said it pretty well. I've killed deer with my 223 and my 220 Swift, but I really don't consider them efficient cartridges for that purpose. If i shoot a deer or hog with either, they tend to run straight into the thickest briar patch around. They try to do that when I shoot them with the 260, but they don't get too far normally.

That said, I could feed my family by hunting with the 223 and being picky with my shots.
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Old August 22, 2017, 10:32 PM   #49
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There is nothing magic good or bad about calibers, smaller calibers (lighter bullets really) tend to deliver their energy shallower in the wound canal and penetrate less. A high power 22 caliber creates a wicked wide wound on impact but runs out of juice after only a few inches, and even with bonded/mono metal bullets that do achieve adequate penetration the wound tract after the initial shock cavity is tiny. Me personally I would not hesitate to use a centerfire 22 on a smallish Texas whitetail under ideal conditions; clean broadside, good shooting rest, close range, premium bullet, open pasture. Sadly in the real world we rarely get such ideal shots so I stick to 264 caliber and larger, they create significantly greater wound trauma at much longer ranges then any 22 caliber could ever dream of.
A 22 can certainly kill a deer, but recovering it afterward can be significantly more challenging.

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Old August 23, 2017, 06:33 AM   #50
Lohman446
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I've shot many deer over the years (and I'm an old man)...but just wouldn't use less than a .243.
This is the part that intrigues me - the cut off lines. For the record I happen to agree with you on this one in practice and my own personal cut-off is the .243 for Whitetail and what I will hunt with this year. Others have a different cut-off - be it "nothing less than 30 caliber, a .270, or whatever the case may be". I've even heard some go as far as arguing against the 30-30 as a proper deer rifle.

I wonder are these cut-off lines... well why are they valid? Is it personal anecdote which, as you note, tends to allow for cherry picking? Is it something deeper?
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