What can't .223 kill?

Discussion in 'Hog Hunting' started by jdouglasj, May 13, 2010.

  1. jdouglasj

    jdouglasj Member

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    I had a conversation with some guides on Sunday and the upshot was this: the guides love hunting with their .223s, everything from hogs to buffalo.

    I was on a long trip and had six rifles with me. I was there to hunt razorbacks and I had intended on using my new Marlin .44 1894, but I was shooting Hornady Leverevolution for the first time and I just wasn't satisfied with my accuracy.

    I had a Browning .308, a 1873 .357, and a Steyr .223. When I said .223, all the guides smiled and said "use the .223!" I had thought that .223 didn't have the stopping power for a big hog, but these fellows say they have hunted buffalo with them and they only use .223 on hogs.

    I was shooting 150 yards on the range. I shot my .44 into some steel plates that were 1/4-inch thick. the .44 put a serious dent in the plates, but did not penetrate (same at 75 yards). The .223 didn't dent the plates at all, but just put clean holes through it.

    I understand the stopping power of bigger caliber bullets. I understand that the bullet will do a lot more damage to the animal when it deforms. But that said, the .223 is going to penetrate anything, and when I examined the hole on my 400 lbs razorback...I mean cripes, it was a big hole with an exit wound.

    And yet .223 is called a varmit round. What am I missing? Does anyone have examples of shooting .223 and failing to drop an animal? Any animal?
     
  2. Russ Hatch

    Russ Hatch Well-Known Member

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    Viet Cong hopped up on drugs. Just Kidding
     

  3. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    What bullet were you using? Sounds like a FMJ on the steel plate but that wouldn't leave a big hole on a pig. I'd be interested in finding a bullet to use on crop damage whitetails out of a .223 but always considered a .223 too small.
     
  4. jdouglasj

    jdouglasj Member

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    I was just using 5.56 x 45 55 gr FMJ. I suppose "big hole" is a judgement call, but when me, the guide and the butcher were examining the hog as the butcher skinned it, we all thought it was a big hole.
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    A 223 will probably kill anything on earth if shot in the right place and given enough
    time and distance. But the right place and time are the problem.

    We have plenty of hogs and if you want to kill one but don't wan't to bother with them
    Gut shoot them and they will run off and die somewhere else.

    If you want to harvest them for the meat then it becomes Iffy at best.

    Hogs are tough cookies and need more cartrige than the 223 for quick one shot kills.

    If you can head shoot them you will normally put them down but if you can't then be ready
    to track and be careful when you find them because they can be real pissed of and want
    to take it out on you.

    The 223 is a good cartrige and has its strong points but it does have it's weaknesses and
    large dangerous game is not its strong point.

    It's like going to a gun fight with only a knife.(NOT A GOOD IDEA).

    They are one of the most fun rifles you can shoot and maybe the cheapest but don't ask to
    much of the 223 and you will never be dissapointed.

    Just my opinion.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    I have hunted hogs many times with a 223/AR15.They work great on the smaller pigs-say 100lbs or less,the good eating size.

    Bigger pigs are some very tough animals,and most people don't know the vital region of hogs,and shoot them like they were hunting deer. Then they wonder why the hog they shot,just runs off after being hit.

    Shot placement is very important on a hog,unless you can headshot,then most just hit the ground.

    I load 70gr soft point bullets for 223,smaller just doesn't work very well on them.

    We usually have 2-3 hunters when we go,and shoot with different calibers-223,243,25/06,and 308. The 223 and 243 will take the smaller hogs,and the 25/06 and 308 shoot the bigger ones.
     
  7. The Warrior

    The Warrior Member

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    Ive shot many deer with a .223. All of died inside of 20 yards with good blood trails. However I had plenty of time to make a good heart shot. Sometimes I used 50 grain Vmax, but it made to much of a mess. As far as hogs we've used some 64 grain speer gold dot bonded soft points . They dropped within 10 yards or so with good lung shots at under 100yds. But if I am hunting a trophy and time, recovery, distance are important i'll use something bigger.
     
  8. SAVAGE22-243AI

    SAVAGE22-243AI Well-Known Member

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    Well placed bullet out of the .223 for 200 yds max.
    For the expert shooter, there is no limit.
    After my second year shooting Prairie Dogs, I never worried about range when it came to deer hunting again.......If you can see it, you can hit it.
    (If you, rifle, ammo, scope, wind etc are good)

    We shoot every week.

    For the unusual caliber test.

    We put up 11" china dinner plates @ 900 yds, hanging them from tree limbs with duct tape.

    The .223 with 40 gr V-Max loaded to max would crumble the 11" plate with one shot.
    The 22-250 with 40 gr V-Max loaded to 4135fps would put 3-4 holes in plate before breaking plate completely.
    The 220 swift loaded with 40 V-Max loaded to 4300 fps would put 4-6 shots through plate before breaking completely.
    The 22-243 AI with 40 gr V-Max loaded to 5200 fps would not hit the plate, blowing up in flight or missing completely. Yes vapor trails every shot!

    I work at arsenal for year making ammo.
    The .223 would penatrate a helmet @ 1000 yds with the right ammo.
    Also snipers from all branches could shoot 100 rounds of .223 @ 1000 yds and put all of them in a 5"x 5" target with select saws ammo.
    Big deal right, Savage does it all the time with their new rifles.

    In one of my old Jack Oconnor books, Jacks friend was shooting Brown Bear in Alaska with Jack and using a 22-250, 42 gr bullets. First shot hit rib, second shot went between ribs and killed the Brown Bear, very large Bear.

    Bullet placement is what its all about.

    I have killed whitetail deer in Missouri out to 530 yds using 60 gr partition bullet with my 22-250, my neighbor shot a doe at 800 yds with his 22-250 and a 50 gr V-Max bullet. Why 800 yds, we have a 900 yds shooting area, the doe walked out at 800, I witnessed.

    I have killed a 135 lb doe at 175 yds with .223 and a 50 gr. sp bullet.
     
  9. jdouglasj

    jdouglasj Member

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    Savage 22-243,

    Fascinating post that prompts many amateur questions from me. I wish you shot at my range so that I could hit you with questions about that post for 15 minutes.
     
  10. SAVAGE22-243AI

    SAVAGE22-243AI Well-Known Member

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    Just ask no problem........come out this weekend, we shoot .22's @ 100 yds and try and drive thumb tacks in a board, if our aim is off then we use water ballons for fun.

    Just remember, in our group, a rifle that won't shoot 1/4" group and better @ 100 yds is just a hunting rifle, target rifles need to shoot 1/4" to 3/4" @ 300 yds.
    It takes a long time to tune a rifle sometimes to shoot for us, on our bugets we have all gone to Savage for the money and the one hole groups. We do have one Howa that will do it too. But it can still take days to tune a rifle well.
    The .223 kills hogs well but so does the .22 short at point blank range! both shots right behind the ear!

    Got a 5630 fps with the 22-243 A.I., using 30 gr V-Max and filled to the brim with Varget.........vapor trail to 75-80 yds and then poof, cloud of smoke and dust and no hit @ 100 yd target..........that is FAST!
     
  11. jdouglasj

    jdouglasj Member

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    I don't suppose you are in the Chicago, IL area?
     
  12. SAVAGE22-243AI

    SAVAGE22-243AI Well-Known Member

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    No, KCMO area, but will be in IL on the 11th................
     
  13. 94Winchester

    94Winchester Well-Known Member

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    "What can't .223 kill?"

    Gut shot terrorists. I have been hearing stories from soldiers that the .223 does not kill very well, and have read a article from a defense magazine that stated that soldiers are complaining that many times it takes two to three rounds to put a terrorist out of the fight.

    I am not familiar with the .223 other than hearing about it effectiveness from soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and experts on the Military Channel. Why is it that I hear that the .223 is great killing things on the one hand and that it is a completely inadequate round for any thing but varmints on the other? Which is correct?
     
  14. No man is still fighting after one near center mass hit. If it's taking two or three shots then they're not good hits. That's not the fault of the cartridge. Not even a magnum will provide quick kills on poorly placed shots.