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223 for deer?

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223 for deer?

Old 11-25-2012, 07:08 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default 223 for deer?

In the recent months I have read on many forums people critizing the 223 as a effective deer round, (they are supposedly only effective on small deer at close range), so I made it a point to shoot my deer this year with My Ruger 77 MKII 223 to show people that they are indeed a effective deer cartridge when using the right bullet and making good shot judgement.

The rifle.


The buck.


I used a Nosler 60gr. Partition, I ranged and shot the deer at 186 yards, I took out the top of the heart and both lungs, the deer went 25 yards and dropped. I would say the 223 did its job, now this isnt a little southern deer, the buck weighed well over 200lbs. Notice it didnt ruin alot of meat, that is what is nice about the 223, had I shot it with my 280 it would have bloodshot a ton of meat, I would have probably lost both shoulders and beleive it or not, the 280 would not have killed it any deader or quicker.

Last edited by fritz1; 11-25-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:12 AM
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agreed. i used a 22-250 to deer hunt and couldnt be happier. thanks for posting.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:08 AM
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While I favor of 25 cal. and up for deer hunting rounds, your comments are on spot, regardless of caliber or bullet weight. Need to be using the proper style of bullet (no varmint rounds) and place the shot in the engine room. The way I look at it, for certain using the smaller diameter, lighter weight bullets shot placement is at a premium!
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:17 AM
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I guess I'm one of those ones who still feel the 223/5.56NATO is a marginal man killer, and still less than ideal for big game. Obviously you are a decent marksman, but alot of hunters lack the skill needed to use a 223 for deer. I fail to see what there is to prove in using a varmint rifle with a heavier bullet in taking big game. People poach deer, and other big game with 22 rimfires, so a 22 caliber can kill animals, but the margin of error with any of the 22 calibers is small. Hit one bone wrong, and it just deflected and wounded an animal. These creatures deserve the same respect as you do, and should be put down quickly, with adequate firepower. There have been some well known hunters who used the 7x57 on african game in the past, and plenty of elephants have dropped to them, however, things go wrong, and when they do, that little gun is not going to cut it. The 223 IMO is the same situation, and asking plenty of servicemen who fought in the last 10 years alone, will back up the notion that the cartridge may work great in perfect conditions on humans, but when the chips are down, you are putting multiple bullets in the same somalian as he is charging you. Keep in mind, us humans are relatively soft, and roll over and die easily. Big game animals can take alot more and keep trucking, even with expanding bullets. No insult is intended to the OP, but I fail to see the justification in using a pea shooter on deer to prove something. To me, if you really want to prove something, take a 458Lott out, and shoot it accurately and take it hunting. That takes some nads.lol

Flame on.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:44 PM
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Not again !

I will still contend that you can bang a nail into a board with a wrench; however I prefer to use a hammer.

Right tool for the right job - that's all.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:37 PM
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An easy argument for me. The .223 doesn't meet minimum requirements in Wyoming to hunt deer, so I haven't tried it and won't attempt it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:17 PM
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the statement you use that the 280 would of ruined a lot more meat just means you need to use the right bullet and make the same shot as you did with the 223. If the 223 is legal for you to use in the areas you hunt and you want to use it, then use it by all means. I like bullets with a much bigger frontal area but that's just me
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:22 AM
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fritz1,

That's a good looking rifle you got there! I have always liked the contrast of the wood and stainless on those M77's.

As to using the .223 for deer, if it's legal where you hunt then use it if you want to. However, it would be way down the list of my preferred choices even though it can and does work. Too many better options available, IMO.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by streetglideok View Post
I guess I'm one of those ones who still feel the 223/5.56NATO is a marginal man killer, and still less than ideal for big game. Obviously you are a decent marksman, but alot of hunters lack the skill needed to use a 223 for deer. I fail to see what there is to prove in using a varmint rifle with a heavier bullet in taking big game. People poach deer, and other big game with 22 rimfires, so a 22 caliber can kill animals, but the margin of error with any of the 22 calibers is small. Hit one bone wrong, and it just deflected and wounded an animal. These creatures deserve the same respect as you do, and should be put down quickly, with adequate firepower. There have been some well known hunters who used the 7x57 on african game in the past, and plenty of elephants have dropped to them, however, things go wrong, and when they do, that little gun is not going to cut it. The 223 IMO is the same situation, and asking plenty of servicemen who fought in the last 10 years alone, will back up the notion that the cartridge may work great in perfect conditions on humans, but when the chips are down, you are putting multiple bullets in the same somalian as he is charging you. Keep in mind, us humans are relatively soft, and roll over and die easily. Big game animals can take alot more and keep trucking, even with expanding bullets. No insult is intended to the OP, but I fail to see the justification in using a pea shooter on deer to prove something. To me, if you really want to prove something, take a 458Lott out, and shoot it accurately and take it hunting. That takes some nads.lol

Flame on.
The 223 is a marginal man killer in the military because of the use of FMJ bullets, with actual hunting bullets that are designed to kill it is a whole different animal. The 223 is legal here in the state of Idaho for ANY big game, including deer, elk, bear, and moose. The 223 is more than capable of efficently taking deer, this is one of many that I have killed with a 223, the results have all been the same. Quick kills with little meat damage. I have never had one run over 40 yards. You guys might not like it, but it is legal and VERY effective, to someone that knows how to shoot. Beleive it or not, you dont have to have a wazzu super mag to kill a deer, they are not hard to kill, you put any projectile in the boiler room and they are dead.

Sheridan, it does appear to me that this was the right tool for the job, it is hanging in my garage aint it?
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by streetglideok View Post
I guess I'm one of those ones who still feel the 223/5.56NATO is a marginal man killer, and still less than ideal for big game. Obviously you are a decent marksman, but alot of hunters lack the skill needed to use a 223 for deer. I fail to see what there is to prove in using a varmint rifle with a heavier bullet in taking big game. People poach deer, and other big game with 22 rimfires, so a 22 caliber can kill animals, but the margin of error with any of the 22 calibers is small. Hit one bone wrong, and it just deflected and wounded an animal. These creatures deserve the same respect as you do, and should be put down quickly, with adequate firepower. There have been some well known hunters who used the 7x57 on african game in the past, and plenty of elephants have dropped to them, however, things go wrong, and when they do, that little gun is not going to cut it. The 223 IMO is the same situation, and asking plenty of servicemen who fought in the last 10 years alone, will back up the notion that the cartridge may work great in perfect conditions on humans, but when the chips are down, you are putting multiple bullets in the same somalian as he is charging you. Keep in mind, us humans are relatively soft, and roll over and die easily. Big game animals can take alot more and keep trucking, even with expanding bullets. No insult is intended to the OP, but I fail to see the justification in using a pea shooter on deer to prove something. To me, if you really want to prove something, take a 458Lott out, and shoot it accurately and take it hunting. That takes some nads.lol

Flame on.
puuuh leeze. the 556 is designed to hurt humans, cause it takes another man outta the fight, because they have to have someone carry the wounded.
as far as experience..here is a pic of my 9 y/o who just shot her 1st deer and fox this youth season. all she has shot before is paper.

223 for deer?-kaden-hunting-051.jpg

pro? not yet anyways, but her deer did a 20 yard death leap and landed to never move again, except to where we dragged it. a lil practice and you too can shoot like her.
btw, this isn't a freak accident..my 14y/o has been hunting since she was 9 too, all animals taking by a 223. until a year or 2 ago when i got her a 7mm-08...maybe you shouldn't hunt with a 223, but that doesn't mean everyone can't shoot!
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