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buffybr's picture
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
223 on deer

Target_Practice wrote:
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.

Hornady, for example, makes a variety of .22 caliber bullets weighing from 40 grains to 80 grains. The problem is, not all of these bullets may stabilize in the same rifle. They won't all stabilize in my .22-250. My Barnes manual states that a 1:12" twist or faster is required to stabilize their 45 and 53 grain bullets, but that twist will not stabilize their 62 and 70 grain bullets.

Many bullet manufacturers make hollow point bullets in a variety of weights for most of their calibers. Barnes even makes a 647 gr TSX (HP) bullet for the .50 BMG.

dpmule wrote:
... and for future reference, .223 is illegal for use on big and trophy game in Wyoming.

The 2013 Wyoming Big Game Hunting Regulations state: “When hunting antelope, deer, mountain lion, or grey wolf where designated as a trophy game animal, a hunter shall use any center-fire firearm of at least .22 caliber and having a bullet weight of at least sixty (60) grains and firing a cartridge of at least two (2) inches in overall length.”
The SAAMI specifications for the overall length of the .223 Rem is 2.165-2.26 inches. The .223 Rem is legal for deer in Wyoming.

buffybr's picture
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
223 on deer

Notso wrote:

Okay, here's the deal: FMJ's are the only rifle round legal in war. Da guy who came up wid da .223 got around that by making a cartridge so hyper fast that the bullet does something that seems quite unbelievable. When the bullet hits a solid the front end slows down but the back end of the bullet is still going unbelievably fast and the result is the same as a car skidding on ice. The bullet starts to skew or tumble creating a much larger wound than its diameter. It acts like a dum-dum or soft-point, both of which are illegal to use in war. There is no reason to shoot a soft-point .223 under the mistaken belief that it will mushroom. It doesn't need to mushroom to do the incredible damage that it inflicts. It's a little weak at longer ranges (250+ yards) because as it slows down it loses the ability to tumble. Incredible round. In Arizona, we can use a 30 round clip for hunting big game if we want. Only use that if you want venison hamburger.


The Hague Convention of 1899 prohibited the use of expanding bullets in war. Not all countries signed that treaty. Big game hunting is not war.

Ethical big game hunters want a quick, humane kill. Expanding bullets make a larger wound channel and transfer more of the bullet's energy to the animal which causes greater tissue damage and trauma than a FMJ bullet which may just pencil through the animal. Soft point, plastic tipped, and hollow point bullets are designed to quickly open up or mushroom, even at lower velocities.

Any caliber FMJ bullet might yaw if it enters soft tissue at velocities above 2300 fps. Then it may or may not tumble and may or may not break up. Below 2300 fps it will probably just pencil through unless it hits something solid, like bone.

The 62 grain FMJ ball military version of the .223 Remington at 3100 fps is not quite what I would consider a "hyper fast" cartridge. That velocity has been attainable with 130 gr bullets in the .270 Win for over 75 years and almost attainable with 150 gr bullets in the .30-06 for over 100 yrs. There are a number of other .22 centerfire cartridges that easily shoot 36-45 grain bullets at over 4,000 fps.

And finally, anyone that needs a 30 round clip to hunt big game needs to first learn how to shoot, and second learn how to hunt close.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
I agree with you buffy.

I agree with you buffy.

There's a reason that the .223 is too small in Colorado for big game.

Good for coyotes though.

CRaTXn's picture
Joined: 04/16/2014
Posts: 1

g hunter is reaching out on BGH for guidance and buffy very politely took his time to steer him in the right direction. As fully as buffy formulated the situation, It does not sound like you get it g hunter. If your daughter gets to hunt with you, yes that is wonderful BUT, letting her loose in the field with a weapon that requires precision bullet placement by an advanced hunter...is NOT sound conservation nor hunting ethics. Remember, your example of how you respect game will be the icon for her to follow. We all must learn BUT not at the expense of a game animal's pain. Her hitting the deer in the hind leg at 150 yards demonstrates insufficient marksmanship training to be in the field. This first hit sounds to be approx 24" off target or at 150 yards 18MOA accuracy. Her 3" group off the bench is NOT what you should be using as a yard stick for determining what shot you should allow her to take. What size group can she shoot from field positions ? Answer we know it to be approx 18 MOA. Sounds to me she needs about (500) .22LR rounds and (100+) .223 rounds from field conditions before she is given a hunter qualification test [ Yes the artifical stress. I would gladly help you bring her marksmanship in line with this minimalist caliber hunting rifle. PM me...I know you are a loving father and commend you for including her in your life.

Topgun 30-06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 693
Just two quick comments on

Just two quick comments on this old thread that was resurrected. First, is to use a big enough caliber for the animal and the .223 was not designed for deer or bigger game. It was designed for varmints. Second, is the FMJ is not even allowed as a hunting bullet in most jurisdictions for big game hunting, regardless of what caliber we're talking about.

With that out of the way I'd like to welcome our newest member who made his first post today on this thread. Keep up the good work, as those were some excellent comments and you'll fit in well with the guys here!

Joined: 08/20/2014
Posts: 2
Doing my research

I'd like to talk to you about your San Juan experience. Could you contact me. 435.340.0232

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
Nebsy, if you would like to

Nebsy, if you would like to talk to hunter g I would suggest that you send him a PM.  I don't believe that he has been on the forums here in a while but if you send a PM there will be a notice for him on his email account that he has listed here on the forums. 

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
.223 Rem

Well consider that there are a number of reports of grizzlies and polars being taken down in self-defense with AR-15 type rifles chambered in .223 rem (5.56mm) in regions where those bears live. Believe me, if you've ever seen the damage that this little cartridge can inflict you'd have a hard time explaining why it can't cleanly take down certain biggame in North America.  Are there better cartridges suited for biggame hunting...Absolutley by far!!  But then again I often wonder about folks who think they need anything larger than a .270 Win on something like most White Tail Deer. 

As for the high velocity and expanding bullet argument, that's all based on current laws, but as you know, sometimes the law isn't always based on facts or truth, but soley on control. People have had it drilled into their minds for so long that only expanding bullets of .24 cal or larger will cleanly take game, that they refuse to believe anything else because that's what's been pounded into their heads. Who set that standard?  What was it based on?  Was real research done?  Or, was the standard set by some bureaucrat who knew little about hutning or what is all involved in cleanly taking  biggame?  Now today we see the government starting to slowly and sytematically sow the seed in our brains that lead projectiles are all wrong for hunting.  Hmmm...makes me wonder what type of debates hunters 2-3 generation from now will be pondering about.....the dangers and usefulness of lead projectiles??? 

Being a history buff I'm always amazed how todays standards and technology among society vary (or are precieved as superior) compared to those of yesteryear, and how we tend to judge every aspect of life and ability based soley on todays modern standards and technology.  Consider all the biggame animals that were routinely taken in the days prior to smokeless powder and exotic expanding spritzer bullets.  Yes, the days when a simple solid lead projectile traveling at relatively slower speeds was the norm.  How on earth we all those Grizzlies decimated on this continent prior to the 1920's with unjacketed lead or basic surplus FMJ ammo.  How were all those buffalo herds anialated by the late 19th century with those relatively slow moving simple solid lead projectiles?? Just some food for thought gentlemen.