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.223 for deer?

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Unread 12-14-2007, 04:55 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 130
.223 for deer?

Would you hunt whitetail (southeastern) deer using .223 Remington and if you would, what load would you use?...max. range approx. 350 yds...most shots 200-300 yds..

I'm considering it, but don't want to be a dumba$$. Yes, it's legal in my state of residence.
Tom Anderson
Wilson, NC
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Unread 12-14-2007, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,076
No. See my sig.

Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member

A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time
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Unread 12-14-2007, 06:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 668
Yes I would up to about 150 yards w/ good shot placement. Alot a guys shoot with .22 calibers. My buddy shot a 190 b&c mule deer last year .223
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Unread 12-14-2007, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 1,476
Uh-oh...never saw a short topic regarding small calibers for deer.
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Unread 12-14-2007, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,848
Take a 223 with a 60 gr Partition, load it up to a good max velocity, keep ranges under 200 yards and insure surgical shot placement, any whitetail hit will die very quickly.

Push the range out father, use fragile varmint bullets and make questionable hits, you will loose more then you take home. Oh wait, its that way with most any chambering.

Simply put, used within its limitations, it would work fine. The larger 22 cals are even better and a 243 would be a much better choice but that is not the question at hand.

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

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Unread 12-14-2007, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Yes I would.

I've shot a fair number of deer with the 223 Rem and a few with a 22-250, not sure of the total number, probably better that 50 and less than 100. I believe I used 69 SMKs, 55s of varmint varieties, and a few odds and ends.

Most deer aren't difficult to kill and a well placed shot certainly decreases the shot-to-dead time.

My off on a tangent thoughts (happens to me sometimes).

If being called a "dumba$$" is what's driving your cartridge decision you're gonna be very limited to who and how and with what you hunt. A 223 is fairly high on the list of cartridges that automatically draw a "dumba$$" remark from folks no matter the area of the country you're in.

Examine the following chart of what "local" hunters could call an adequate (normal) deer cartridge. The area in dark blue could be considered "normal' for any particular hunting cartridge (deer hunting cartridge in this case). The normal zone could include the 30-30, 308, 30-06, 300 Win mag and 7mm. As soon as your cartridge selection includes the likes of 45-70, 444 Marlin, 243, 6mm you are probably in the section scientifically labeled "possible dumba$$", but you can be sure that if you use a 223, 22-250, 25-20 Win, 458 Win mag, 460 Weatherby or 505 Gibbs your selection is in the "dumba$$" section.

Keep in mind that this distribution chart is based on nothing more scientific than what hunters are accustomed to hearing that other "successful" hunters are using as a cartridge. If a large number of hunters successfully bag deer with a 223, or a single very successful hunter bags deer with the 223, the 223 it will become a "normal" and acceptable cartridge (this may take several generations in some areas).

My simple 2 cents worth.

(No government money was spent conducting the presented 'study'.)

Last edited by Dave King; 12-14-2007 at 11:01 PM.
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Unread 12-14-2007, 08:52 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 13
I have shot a lot of deer with the .223. The first big surprise I found was that with most of my loads there was no exit hole!! I found that I had to slow the projectiles down in order to get a exit hole. But then you lose the "flat" trajectory.

I like a through and through shot, if tracking comes into play you should have a better blood trail. I moved on to another caliber before that came into play, though.

I don't think you will see the results you want at the ranges you speak of, I always limited my shots to under 150 yards. I did not trust it any further, as I did not want to lose any game.

Being able to precisely place your shot, may mean having to pass up shots depending on the deers position with a .223.

I second the .243, its flat shooting and range exceeds what you are looking for. But that wasn't the question was it??

Good Luck!
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