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Old May 31, 2011, 11:23 PM   #1
DavidColville
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223 Rem help needed

Greetings!
I am from New Zealand and use a Tikka 223 to shoot fallow deer (Dama dama) which we get on farm fringe country.
Range is usually sub 150 yards and where possible head/neck shots are taken.
I have been using Hornady 55 grain soft points but havent been getting reliable knock down when shoulder shooting and I want to move up in projectile weight.
Can you guys help with what is out there either as store brought ammo or projectiles to load?
I dont have dies for 223 but do reload other ammo so wont be a problem to get going on that.
The reason I want to keep using the 223 is that I have had a supressor made for it and had it shortened (3 1/2 inches) so its great in the steep valleys without too much echo.
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Old May 31, 2011, 11:47 PM   #2
Ridge_Runner_5
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.223 is pretty much pushing the bottom level of reliable caliber for game hunting. Perhaps a heavier bullet, even a hollow point round?

like these?
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Old June 1, 2011, 12:02 AM   #3
Wyosmith
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You should check to see what twist your barrel has. If it's a turn in 14 inches you should probably stay at 55 grains.
If you have a 1-12" twist you can go to about 60 and maybe 70 grains if the bullet is a bit rounded. Speer's 70 grain semi-spitzer will stabilize in most 1-12" twist barrels.
If you want to go between 65 to 77 grains with spitzer bullets you'd be better off having a 1-9" twist
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Old June 1, 2011, 01:30 AM   #4
trg42wraglefragle
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Your Tikka will probably be a 1 in 8 twist like mine, you should be able to stabilize up to 80 gr rounds, theres plenty of factory amo in the 60 to 70 gr range, but its usualy not the cheap stuff.
I know your pain on ammo prices, you should getreloading if you can.
Cheers from Morrinsville.
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Old June 1, 2011, 01:44 AM   #5
Bamashooter
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If its a 1:9 twist try 65gr. sierra gameking. I have killed deer with that bullet. If you have a 1:8 twist 70-80gr. bullets. Do you know the twist of your barrel?
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Old June 1, 2011, 05:37 AM   #6
Picher
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Tikka T3s are 1:8, but the older 595 is 1:12. The 1:12 will usually stabilize a 60 grain bullet, but no heavier (longer).

Bullet composition is more important than weight. Varmint bullets have thin jackets and don't tend to penetrate adequately on larger game. You need to look for relatively tough bullets, but not FMJs.

If you have a 595, you may want to try solid copper Barnes 55 grain TSX bullets. They open fairly fast, but hold together for maximum impact and penetration. Traces of gilding metal in the bore can cause the Barnes to foul, so bores must be meticulously cleaned before using them.

Non-fouling game bullets include: Sierra Game King in 55 and 60 grains, which may be good and they're not as expensive as others. Nosler 55 grain partitions are great killers.
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Old June 1, 2011, 06:24 AM   #7
NWPilgrim
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Nosler 60 gr Partition would be another good one. If you have the 1:8 rifling twist rate then even the Swift 77 gr Sirocco (bonded).

On the cheaper end, Winchester has a 64 gr PowperPoint in both factory ammo and as bullet component. And as mentioned above, Sierra makes a 65 gr Gameking SP. Federal has a bonded bullet 62 gr in their Fusion brand of ammo (see ableammo.com or midwayusa.com).
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Old June 1, 2011, 06:47 AM   #8
Bartholomew Roberts
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Do you need a heavier bullet (bullet is intact but too shallow penetration) or a tougher bullet (bullet is fragmented and too shallow penetration)?

The Barnes 50gr TSX and 55gr TSX are very tough but perform well at a wide range of velocities. If you need the heavier bullet, you can give a look at the 62gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw from Federal or the 64gr PowerPoint. There is also the Barnes 77gr TSX but you'll need a 1:8 or faster twist.
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Old June 1, 2011, 08:18 AM   #9
Jim243
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In a bolt gun I use Hornady 75 grain BT A-Max #22792 in a 1:9 twist rifle, extreemly accurate.


Jim
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Old June 1, 2011, 04:24 PM   #10
DavidColville
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my 223 tikka

Its a 1:8 twist so I can do heavy/long gear I just cant find out what to buy!

I would prefer to just buy ammo as I dont use a lot on deer (maybe 5 rounds a month!) so what I really want is something in the 70 - 80 grain range that is made for game and not a sniper/target round
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Old June 1, 2011, 04:28 PM   #11
ndking1126
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5 deer a month? I'm moving to NZ.. and I'll bring a suitcase full of whatever .223 bullets you want so long as you get me set up with that kind of hunting!

I would try the 60 grain Nosler partitions like these if I was hunting deer with my .223 and was only using commercially available ammo.
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Last edited by ndking1126; June 1, 2011 at 05:59 PM. Reason: didn't include when using only commercially available ammo
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Old June 1, 2011, 05:05 PM   #12
Volucris
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A Barnes TSX 70 gr bullet is the best hunting round you will get for 223 Remington. It may be hard to find a commercial load for it.
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Old June 1, 2011, 05:47 PM   #13
DavidColville
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Thanks.

Ndking... no season here.. just go when you have time and take as you need.
I give a lot of meat away and the fallow deer is fantastic eating.
There are places where you can see dozens of deer and would get sick of pulling the trigger (let alone carrying them back to the car!)

Volucris.. yes I am hearing that the 70 grn's are what I should be looking at . I am gonna buy a box of bullets and get a loader to set me up some to see how they fly.

Are you using these? do you have a recipie for me?
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Old June 1, 2011, 06:29 PM   #14
Lawyer Daggit
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I pro cullers used 222's in NZ in the forestry service, but used on deer it is very much a specialists round for shooting for example deer at short range under a spot light.

I would suggest, if you can afford it that you get a 6mm or larger to shoot this game.

Even when behaving like a pest, a dignified creature like a Fallow deer deserves a cleaner death.
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Old June 1, 2011, 08:24 PM   #15
Volucris
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223 Rem is not too small.



If you have a bigger caliber rifle available it would make sense to use it as you will get greater penetration. Although on that small of an animal you shouldn't see any problem. Under 200 yards you'll get well over a foot of penetration through solid tissue and expansion to about .70".
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Old June 1, 2011, 10:19 PM   #16
trg42wraglefragle
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Hunting and fishing usually have Federal in a 60ish grain soft point, i think i might have even seen a 70 grain load there once
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