.223 vs 5.56 which is better for hunting

richard33

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Tampa,FL
When we talk about .223 and 5.56 both are identical in shape. Infact we can load a .223 in a 5.56 chamber and both cartridges are widely used in AR guns. So the question is. Is it possible to hunt a Bear or Deer in any of these cartridges or .Is there any step by step AR 15 build guide for Hunting purpose.
 

BAKPAKR

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
25
Location
Appalachia
My daughter and I have shot a handful of whitetails with a 223 and a 556 using 62 gr Barnes TTSXs and 77 gr Sierra TMKs. Both bullets worked well. The farthest with the Barnes was a little over 100 yards. The farthest with the Sierra was a little over 230 yards. The longer shot was out of a 14.5” barrel and it was the only bullet that did not exit. With my daughter’s 22.4” Tikka, I would not hesitate to shoot a deer at 300 yards, or possibly a little farther. However, if you don’t get an exit, I don’t think you will see much blood — that entrance hole is small.
 

FEENIX

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
14,488
Location
Great Falls, MT

"I" have a .223 Wylde but "I" have better chamberings best suited for deer and bear hunting.
 

Mustang72

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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
487
Location
Texas
Is it possible,yes. Is it ideal? No. I have killed a lot of deer and pigs with my 223(bolt action). It is what I normally carry in the truck. Shot placement is the key. Eye,ear,and throat patch shots are all I take with it. It is far from the ideal game hunting round,but very effective if you know your limitations. That said when I go hunting I take something bigger. Personally if I was to build an ar for hunting it would probably be a 6.5 or 350 legend.
 

nmbarta

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2014
Messages
751
Location
billings mt
To answer your question, the difference between the two wont make any difference.
If that's all you got, its very possible.
I'd lean toward a 20" barrel for a dedicated hunting rifle. 7 or 8 twist for shooting heavier bullets. Dear inside 200 shouldn't be a problem.
Bears are another level of tough in my experience, I've seen them take magnum rounds with good shot placement and go what seems like an impossible distance.
I wouldn't shoot bears with a 556 unless I had a close behind the ear shot.
If that's all you got, go hunting.
 

brcfo_outdoors

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
172
Location
Left Coast
If you were looking to hunt between those two calibers with an AR, I think you would be better off with the .223 Wilde or 5.56 chambering to expand your selection of useable ammo. .223 ammo has more hunting specific loadings, but I wouldn't want to get a .223 specific rifle and risk loading a 5.56 and causing damage or personal injury.

As far as a guide to building a hunting specific AR, I think it really comes down to what you want out of it. I see you are in FL, and most of what I know about hunting there involves closer ranges, so I would want a handier rifle with a lower magnification optic. If you are sitting and waiting for something to come in, you probably want a different set up than if you are walking and stalking. Something like an 18" barrel gets you more velocity out of the smaller cartridge for deer sized game without being cumbersome. Otherwise the next concern for me would be weight, so selecting a handguard and furniture which is functional but not heavy or covered in rails that I don't need for that specific application. Any youtube channel could show you how to assemble an AR with ease, or you can save several steps if you just buy a complete upper.
 

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