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Old 10-13-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default 223 enough gun for deer

I'm taking my brother in-laws son youth hunting. He's not a very big guy he might weigh 75 to 85 pounds. The smallest rifle I have is a 223. I was thinking a good solid 55 grain bullet would do the trick. But i was told by a different feller to use a hollow point. He'll be using my single shot handi-rifle. What do you guy's suggest?
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
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Is that a LEGAL caliber where you live\hunt?

Otherwise at a shorter range it should be adequate. If you have a 243, that would be better, or a 20ga. shotgun with slugs. Just my .02.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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I agree with sconnyhunter a 243 is a better choice for deer than 223, unless he is a good shot and dont get jumppy when a deer shows.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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I've seen deer shot in the neck with 223's and they went straight down. Never tried it personally but would be confident to do so. Shot placement is everything, especially with a smaller bullet. If the kid can shoot and if it's a legal caliber in your state, go for it. Missouri allows any centerfire cartridge, so it's not at all uncommon here.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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If hes a good shot go for it!!!!!Hit um in the heart/lungs though or you'll be doin some trackin!!!!
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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The .223 and 22-250 are fine for deer...The problem through the years has been that the bullets avaliable are for varmints, not deer ...Back in the 70s I killed a few dozen deer with a 22-250 and the 55gr Remington PSP bullets...

Both Federal and Winchester now load bullets in the .22 calibers that are suitable for deer...In the .223 Federal loads the 60gr Nosler Partition and the 55gr Barnes Triple Shock while Winchester offers a 64gr PowerPoint...All of these are suitable for deer...

My niece has killed 9-10 deer with the 60gr Nosler Partition...She gets nice holes on the off side and no deer have run further than 50 yards...
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:27 PM   #7
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While a .223 is certainly capable of killing deer I would hesitate to put one in a childs hands that is inexperienced.

If you do go with the .223 the 55 grain bullet would not be my first choice unless it were head and neck shots ONLY. The ammo companies load bullets that are specifically designed for deer.

Federal loads the 60 grain Nosler partition and 55 grain Barnes TSX.
Winchester loads a 64 grain power point.
Corbon loads a 53 and 62 grain DPX bullet.

Any of these bullets would be a good choice and far better than the typical 55 grain soft point.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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Heart/lung shots are what the ideal shots are and if you hit there with the .223, ANY buck in the North American continent is going down.

Teach them to wait for the right shot and execute it.

No worries.

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Old 10-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #9
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I have had much experience tracking deer from youth shooters using .223 and even some using .243.YES,they are capable of killing deer and I have killed them myself with a .223 with hollowpoints just to check the effectiveness of them and I killed a doe and it went down quickly.The issue I saw was the blood was non existant and tracking is tough.My daughter shot a nice buck and caught bone and the hollow point expanded and we got plenty of blood but the we pushed the deer and lost it.

In short,if you decide to go with it,trweat it like a bow.Even on your wait time in stand.

BUT,imo,I would recommend going with a .308 ,yes I know what it sounds like but after my experience tracking deer for 4 different youths using the .223 I advise the .308 with light loads like a 125 grain or 150 grain bullet.

My son started using his when he was 8 and we have yet to have a deer run off.Rossi makes a youth model and is an excellent choice combined with a red dot scope,the child will have a blast.

This is the gun he used for these 2 kills and both dropped in their tracks.
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Last edited by TFOX; 10-13-2009 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:19 PM   #10
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defiantly, shot placement is everything
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