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Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
Re: 223 for deer
Quote:
The .223 was not really designed to kill humans but wound them instead. Takes more soldiers to care for a wounded person than a dead one.

Incorrect, urban legend and simply not true.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m16-history.htm

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: 223 for deer
expatriate wrote:
I hate to stir the pot, but I know a guy who grew up subsistence hunting in the villages up here who claims to have taken everything but Musk Ox in Alaska with a .223. He says he goes for the ear -- killed a lot of bears that way.

Of course, when he claimed to have taken a bison with an ear shot, I asked about the bit in Alaska's F&G laws imposing caliber and energy restrictions on bison hunts. He sort of chuckled and said he did some stupid stuff when he was younger. And when he talked about guiding hunters, I asked him if he took his .223 with him. "Oh, no," he said -- "I carried a .375."

There's always some guy out there that will claim to have taken down a moose with an airsoft gun. In some cases, they may be right -- natives in Alaska notoriously choose rounds that most people would consider underpowered. But like the guy that lands a shark on 6 lb test, there comes a point where you start to question the line between "can" and "should."

I think comparing taking a musk ox with a .223 or taking a moose with an airsoft is a pretty unfair comparison to taking a deer with a .223

I think taking deer with a .223 is much more do-able than any attempts to take moose with an airsoft.

But as you've already alluded to - It can be done, we've established that, but should you? That's the question that needs to be seriously evaluated by any hunter who may wonder. I hope nobody misunderstands because I'm not preaching it should be done. It can be done and done effectively, but I sure don't encourage it nor preach it at all. There are so many better options available for deer.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Re: 223 for deer

A .223 wouldn't be my first choice for deer, but I think it could be done. One other item to consider is that the term "deer" means a lot of different things to people on this forum. There's a big difference, for example, between a corn and alfalfa-fed midwestern whitetail and a deer living on Texas scrub. In some areas where deer run small, a .223 might be effective.

Another example to muddy the discussion is the fact that a little less than 2 years ago a 3 year old polar bear sow was shot outside of Ft Yukon, Alaska -- over 200 miles from the coast. She'd been on the outskirts of town raiding carcasses from trappers. People tracked the bear 3 miles outside of town. What was the weapon of choice the guy took with him to track down a polar bear? An AR-15. She charged him and he shot from the hip "7 or 8 times" and dropped the bear 10 feet from him.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Re: 223 for deer
remington wrote:
Quote:
The .223 was not really designed to kill humans but wound them instead. Takes more soldiers to care for a wounded person than a dead one.

Incorrect, urban legend and simply not true.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m16-history.htm

Too bad most soldiers are now offered the shorter barrelled M4 and don't see the same effects because of the decreased velocities. This issue/problem has spawned the 6.8mm and 6.5mm rounds.

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Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
Re: 223 for deer
ChesterGolf wrote:
remington wrote:
Quote:
The .223 was not really designed to kill humans but wound them instead. Takes more soldiers to care for a wounded person than a dead one.

Incorrect, urban legend and simply not true.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m16-history.htm

Too bad most soldiers are now offered the shorter barrelled M4 and don't see the same effects because of the decreased velocities. This issue/problem has spawned the 6.8mm and 6.5mm rounds.

Ah I like the M-4. Nice compact and easy to get in and out of the vehicles with. For the military (I'm not nor claim to ever have been) the 223/5.56 does what it was designed to do effectively for the ranges it was intended for. It sucks as barrier round with all types of bullets. From CQB to 300 (and then some) the M-4 shines. Much past that and the 20 inch barrels obviously are much better. The 6.8 and 6.5 are much superior but seem to have fizzled out do to politics and budgets. I was hoping they'd catch on and we could get the military surplus ammo and brass. I was going to switch my SWS and M-4 to all one caliber rather tnan 308/223 but the 6.8 is going bye bye.

For LE/Civilian HD uses there are ton of frangable and controled bullets on the market that are highly effective. I've carried an M-4 of one kind or another for 12 years on duty, ERT and a secondary Sniper Weapons System. I've used it for putting wounded deer down from 6 feet to 100 yards. All have died to a 60 grain Hornaday TAP behind the shoulder. The terminal ballistic were impressive. Not my ideal choice for deer but does the job.

Getting back to my original debate. I belive the 223 is capable. If I were to deer hunt with it I would hand load a 75/80/90 grain bullet (yes they make them that heavy) for it at maximum velocity, put the bullet in the bread basket and slow roast my deer backstraps on the grill.

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Location: Virginia
Joined: 12/01/2009
Posts: 12
Re: 223 for deer

I've killed a truckload of deer with a .223, all of them were inside of 100 yards, most of them within 50 yards, ALL of them either fell right at the shot, or only ran a very short distance (measured in feet). factory 55 gr remington corelokts through the ribs do great, handloaded 53 gr. Barnes TSX's will shoot completely through an average sized deer lengthwise ! I lost a nice buck that i shot behind the shoulder...with a .300 win mag and 165 gr. Nosler Ballistic tips, now im not going to say that my .223 is better than my .300 mag, im just saying that anything can happen, beginners really shouldnt be popping the small .22's at deer, but if you are careful, keep your shots close and put them where theyre supposed to go...the .223 works.

possum's picture
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Location: SK Canada
Joined: 03/31/2009
Posts: 213
Re: 223 for deer

Might be ok for the small bodied deer in the south, but it's not even a legal caliber for deer in saskatchewan. We have to use .24 cal or larger

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Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 383
Re: 223 for deer

Can't believe that you'd actually consider using a .223 for deer. It's obvious that a .222 mag or .222PMC is far superior. Personally, I'm lookimg into a magnum .22 air rifle for the ultimate in ethical sport hunting oportunities. Planning on center shots in the ear canal. The taxidermist will love me for it - no more nasty holes to stich up. The eco-nuts will love me - no more unsightly brass casses littering the hills. The people looking for good used guns will love me - I'll just get rid of those useless .243's, .260's, .270's, .30-06's & .45-70's, not to mention the .50, .52 & .54 smoke poles littering the safe. Why'd I buy them in the first place. What was I thinking?!!

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Location: Virginia
Joined: 12/01/2009
Posts: 12
Re: 223 for deer

The caliber is legal where i used it. I did make note of the parameters that I placed on that cartridge for myself, and within those parameters the .223 was 100% effective. Theres no real need for your sarcasm, but you do have the right to express yourself in any manner you choose. You have a good day...

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Posts: 2368
Re: 223 for deer
Hal Fast wrote:
Can't believe that you'd actually consider using a .223 for deer. It's obvious that a .222 mag or .222PMC is far superior. Personally, I'm lookimg into a magnum .22 air rifle for the ultimate in ethical sport hunting oportunities. Planning on center shots in the ear canal. The taxidermist will love me for it - no more nasty holes to stich up. The eco-nuts will love me - no more unsightly brass casses littering the hills. The people looking for good used guns will love me - I'll just get rid of those useless .243's, .260's, .270's, .30-06's & .45-70's, not to mention the .50, .52 & .54 smoke poles littering the safe. Why'd I buy them in the first place. What was I thinking?!!

Geeeess!!!!! I mean I see what you're getting at and I understand what you're trying to say, but just come out and say it.

The .223 would not be my first choice for deer as I've stated here before, but if it's all I had then I'd use it, but not in my own state because it's not legal, too small for biggame hunting according to the regs. I know it can be used effectively. But there are much better choices for biggame.

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