It can't kill any big game animal in wyoming unless you don't mind breaking the law. I was dissappointed my first draw tag for antelope in wyoming, I had to take my smallest legal caliber @ the time a 30 06
Anyone that has shot for any length of time has learned that so many little things can go wrong when you squeeze the trigger. An inadvertant flinch; a last second drop in your sight picture due to an inadequate rest; that one round of ammo that becomes a flier; a sudden gust of wind; the unexpected movement of the target; yada-yada-yada. You name it - and if you shoot long enough - you will experience it for yourself. That's why we practice. We learn from our mistakes.
To me, there was little in this world more satisfying than taking large game with a small caliber. My prowess as a marksman was made manifest by the animals I took. Likewise, I learned there was nothing more sickening or heart-wrenching to me than shooting large game with a small caliber and hitting the quarry but missing the vitals. All the deer and other game that I have successfully shot with a small caliber cannot erase the memory of the one doe that I hit, but failed to kill. She ran into dense cover and balled and squeeled for the next 15 minutes. When I crossed the canyon to finish her off, she would struggle downhill and I could not get off another shot. This went on for another 10-15 minutes as she proclaimed loudly to the entire world what I had just done to her. While I was probably the only one in the forest that could hear her, I felt my shortcommings had been laid bare to the entire world. The good news is - I learned from that experience. I now take enough gun into the woods to humanely take down the animal I am hunting, even when things don't go right.
Well put Sir, I had a similar experience while bow hunting. It only takes one to spoil the memory of many. I'm here to eat them not torture them. Master your craft and take a weapon that enhances your skill and doesn't rely on it.
So.... what couldn't a .223 kill? Well I'm pretty sure it couldn't kill me; if I saw them first.
Time to lighten up, it's getting to philosophical
I think most everyone here knows what .223 might and might not kill. And understand under what circumstance. I watched an Inuit on a hunting video years ago kill a “very large polar bear” on the open ice... with only his dog's and a .222 Remington rifle...
He walked up to it, while the dogs kept the bear busy and killed it with one shot to the head; he was so close, it looked like he was shooting up hill. The cameraman looked like he was quite always back; I’m sure with a back up rifle. But never the less the .222 Remington put the bear away. I think we all know that the .222 and the .223 are pretty much in the same class in the power and performance curve. Is the .222 Remington a Polar Bear rifle? I don’t believe so. Can it kill a Polar Bear? Yep. So could a .223 kill a Polar Bear? Yep again. I don’t really think there’s anything living today a .223 can’t kill under the right circumstance and proper bullet martial, with the exception of a great gray whale; which I believe someone has already said; do to the amount of penetration you’d need to get to the brain.
So… what couldn’t the .223 kill, like I said; me if I see them first.