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Joined: 08/04/2009
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223 rem VS mule deer

i always have wondered if a 223 would take a deer down and when my little girl drew her deer tag i thought i will put it to the test. with a full metal jacket at 150 the first shot hit in the back leg and then the deer ran on an angle towards us and she shot it in the front shoulder at 100yds and it dropped like a ton, the shoulder was shattered and there was 2 exit holes on the other side behind the front shoulder 4" apart the bullet when it went threw the shoulder had split in two i was shocked with the damage that 223 FMJ did to that deer. the back leg was almost off, 6" down from the hip. so if anyone ever tells you a 223 will not kill a deer they dont know what they are talking about.

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Joined: 09/10/2009
Posts: 55
223 rem VS mule deer

My best friends dad does his deer hunting with a 22-250 and nothing else. At first I was sure that he was using an under powered rifle, but for the last 10 years I've been hunting with him I've seen him take down several deer with his rifle.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
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223 rem VS mule deer

Hunger G congrats to your daughter on her deer. Thumbs up

I have no doubt you can kill a deer with a 223, just like I have no doubt you can kill one with a 22 short under ideal conditions. Just a little too light of effective medicine for most folks. You know upping the odds of wounding instead of upping the odds on cleanly killing. Also, in most Western States (here in Colo. for sure) it's illegal. I do believe in Montana it's legal though. You might want to consider a quality expanding bullet as well if that's going to be used again like a Nosler or Barnes. With a full metal jacket you run the risk of a pencil hole wound and the animal getting far and away.

A 243 would be ideal for a youth on deer.

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Joined: 08/04/2009
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223 rem VS mule deer

your right on not using a fmj but i was nervous on using a hollow point I didnt think it would do much on a deer. I guess there is only one way to find out is to try it.

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Location: Minnesota
Joined: 10/29/2009
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223 rem VS mule deer

Hunter G: I do believe there is a 65gr. soft point available and I have heard of a 77 gr, also. I haven't actually seen any of those, but you are right about hollow points; too light (45 gr.) to be effective. The person that talked about the 77gr. round uses it for deer hunting in Tennessee and says to have bagged several deer with his .223.

I won't argue the merits for, or against, using one for deer hunting, because I have personally witnessed straight through shots with larger caliber rifles as well. It's a personal preference thing and if that's what you want her to hunt with, and it's legal, then that's your call.

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Location: Upper Snake River
Joined: 09/01/2006
Posts: 86
223 rem VS mule deer

[quote

I won't argue the merits for, or against, using one for deer hunting, because I have personally witnessed straight through shots with larger caliber rifles as well. It's a personal preference thing and if that's what you want her to hunt with, and it's legal, then that's your call.

+1, and for future reference, .223 is illegal for use on big and trophy game in Wyoming.

BleuBijou's picture
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Location: Loveland , Colorado
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.22 cal centerfire

dpmule wrote:
[quote

I won't argue the merits for, or against, using one for deer hunting, because I have personally witnessed straight through shots with larger caliber rifles as well. It's a personal preference thing and if that's what you want her to hunt with, and it's legal, then that's your call.

+1, and for future reference, .223 is illegal for use on big and trophy game in Wyoming.

Smack me if I am wrong, but I thought they approved center fire .22 cal for Antelope in 2013??

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
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223 rem VS mule deer

Regarding straight thru shots, yes, I suppose they can happen with the best of bullets, but c'mon were going with likely hood here. Or the the law of averages. If hunting mule deer with a 270 and a 130 FMJ I would feel much much less confident then if I was packing 130 gr Nosler Partitions. While the possibility that a blow thru could occur with that Partition it is far far less likely then with that FMJ. Don't mean to be a nit picker here but rather just want to state my belief in picking the right bullet for the job at hand to ensure a high percentage of fatal hits when the bullet is put where it's supposed to go.

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Joined: 11/12/2009
Posts: 9
223 rem VS mule deer

My 2 centson a .223. Shot placement. I have taken several animals with mine. But I shoot often. I know exactly where the bullet will go if I do my part. I use Hornady 75 grain BTHP when I hunt ANYTHING over a coyotes size. If the round is put in the boiler room...game over. The other side is a child that does not have the same ability with that gun as me. My own children 13 and 10 use my 7mm with a muzzle break and a reduced recoil round.Kicks like a .243 but thrown a 180 grain round down range with more "knock down power". A term I hate to use by the way, because what it really means is you didn't hit the animal where you were supposed to. But that is why the kids shoot it. Flinching,hammering the trigger,holding their breath and shear buck fever! That's alot for a young hunter to overcome with a smaller round.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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223 rem VS mule deer

.223 and FMJ is plenty capable of taking deer. I have a buddy who uses nothing but .22-250 for pronghorn in states where it's legal. Unfortunately in Colorado the CDOW is very clear about the use of any caliber less than .24 cal for biggame is illegal.

For years after the .30-06 became available to civilians, most hunters who used it only had FMJ available to them. It worked plenty good on deer and elk from what I've heard and read. Read the book entitled "100 years of Hunting", you'll see what I mean.

09Dreamseason's picture
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Location: Cascade, CO
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Posts: 73
Re: 223 rem VS mule deer
hunter g wrote:
i always have wondered if a 223 would take a deer down and when my little girl drew her deer tag i thought i will put it to the test. with a full metal jacket at 150 the first shot hit in the back leg and then the deer ran on an angle towards us and she shot it in the front shoulder at 100yds and it dropped like a ton, the shoulder was shattered and there was 2 exit holes on the other side behind the front shoulder 4" apart the bullet when it went threw the shoulder had split in two i was shocked with the damage that 223 FMJ did to that deer. the back leg was almost off, 6" down from the hip. so if anyone ever tells you a 223 will not kill a deer they dont know what they are talking about.

I sure hope you're not from Colorado! Rules have been put in place to ensure lethality at all levels which is why Colorado believes in the .24 cal minimum for ALL big game. I've even seen nearby states that make you use a minimum .26 cal for Elk for this very reason. I don't disagree that .223 will work, but you can never say that it works as well as some of the larger calibers! I think .223 is way too small as well as .243....just my 2 cents worth.

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