223 Remington for Whitetail Deer?

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223 Remington for Whitetail Deer?

Postby fenton_3 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:21 am

Ok, I have been thinking about this the last couple of weeks and I am considering using my .223 rem for deer season this year. My plan is to load some 60 gr Nosler Partitions that will exit the barrel at 3,000 ft/sec. As long as I wait for a good shot; which I always do "I cannot tell you how many deer I have let walk due to lack of a good shot" I know this will kill a deer. My shoots are always less than 100yrds, and I am very accurate with this round. I have better rounds to shoot, but I just want to try somthing different, and with the right bullet selections I know this would be a lethal combination. What do you guys think?
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Postby Ruger2506 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:56 am

I'm a fan of "enough" bullet. .223 and .243 do NOT have "enough" bullet IMO. I like to hit them high in the shoulder and get the high double lung and shock the spine all in one. Drops them there and they are dead when you get to them. The .223 and .243 just don't provide enough foot pounds for that.

just my .02
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Postby Minnesota » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:39 am

I will probably be enough - with a quality bullet that will hold together upon impact. This will be a touchy subject in Minnesota this year. Our DNR changed the minimum cartridge requirements for deer to anything large than a .220 center-fire cartridge. I believe the previous requirements basically made the .243 the smallest legal option.
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Postby fenton_3 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:43 pm

Shooting through the shoulder will not be an issue. I either shoot low in the chest "heart lung area" or a neck shot. The reason I bring this up is alot of younger hunters in Missouri use the .223 or .243 very effectivly on deer. I know the .243 is a very effect deer round, but the .223 will lack the sectional density to penetrate to deeply. the Nosler Partition will help with penetration, but I know the key will be waiting for a clean shot. I personally think we have become hunters who feel we need too much gun to kill deer! My grandfather and father killed all their deer with a 30-30 win. Now it seem like people my age "I am 26" deer hunt in Missouri with 7mm Mags, 300 WM, and so on. I personally feel the 30-06 is to much gun for deer. Last year I neck shot a deer with the 06 and it nearly disconnected the head. Do I really need 2,500 ft/lbs of "knock down" power to kill a 150 lbs animal. Now to the other side of the argument; am I being an ethical hunter by reducing my fire power to the minimum? That really is my question here. Is this responsible?
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Postby bgoldhunter » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:43 pm

I wouldn't sweat it much. .223 with the proper bullet and placement will do the job just fine. You know as well as I that you aren't gonna stretch this one out all that far, so no problems.

A .243 has plenty of ass for deer. Wouldn't hesitate a bit.
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Postby Kurt » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:16 am

Ruger2506 wrote:I'm a fan of "enough" bullet. .223 and .243 do NOT have "enough" bullet IMO. I like to hit them high in the shoulder and get the high double lung and shock the spine all in one. Drops them there and they are dead when you get to them. The .223 and .243 just don't provide enough foot pounds for that.

just my .02

The .243 is not enough for deer? That is crazy what kind of deer are you shooting. I shoot a 6mm and many a mule deer have droped in their tracks. 85 grn TSX through both front shoulders and not another step and that has been out to 300 yards. Caliber is a moot point if you use proper bullets and precise shot placement, that is half the problem with every one shooting the big cals not enough practice.

To answer you question if you can shoot the round acurate and wait for a shot like you said you will. You will have a dead deer.
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Postby grunter » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:15 pm

it all comes down to shot placement. you can drop a deer with a .22 is you shoot it right. and a .223 has more than enough power to go through a deer. i dont care what gun you use, if you punch a hole in both lungs, it's gonna go down
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Postby doggintheyoters » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:02 pm


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:56 am Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm a fan of "enough" bullet. .223 and .243 do NOT have "enough" bullet IMO. I like to hit them high in the shoulder and get the high double lung and shock the spine all in one. Drops them there and they are dead when you get to them. The .223 and .243 just don't provide enough foot pounds for that.

just my .02

I find that untrue my friend. Your point that soft point or nosler partition type bullet will not penetrate both shoulders and beat up the inside of a whitetail is completely untrue. I for one have done it several times, not a one that didn't drop in their tracks ran more that 20yds from impact...my .223 AR custom platform,16" bull was purpous built for calling coyotes in Colorado, since then I have moved to Houston, and hunt deer and pigs in East Texas with my AR, have never once had an animal not drop within 20yds, and several shots on deer that went THRU both shoulders never took a step...The fact of the matter IMHO is when CHOOSING to hunt bigger game with the .223, my advice is to stick to a softnose of at least 55gr, 60gr nosler partitions have been my all around bullet, the .223 has more that enough energy, and speed to beat some meat to the ground.
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Postby don taylor » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:13 pm

I've dropped many deer with a .22 hornet. No problem.

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Postby GroundSwatter » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:15 am

My AR-15 has killed a deer. I wasn't the one pulling the trigger, but it definitely has killed a deer with 55gr SP.

I promise, that if I can kill them with a bow and arrow, a .223 and .243 with the right bullet and shot placement can do it too.

I just put a scope on my AR and was going to sight it in for my wife. She is definitely smaller and feels really comfortable with it so I would rather her shoot a smaller caliber she feels comfortable with over a larger caliber that she doesn't.

I'm still going to use my 30-06, but I just put a new scope on it, so I need an excuse to play with it.
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Postby justduckingaround » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:32 am

In missouri you can use any center fire. I know guys who shoot 22 hornet every year and have killed some big bucks. I shot 243 and with right bullet and bullet placement I fell it plenty gun for whitetail. My 11 yr. old son has killed 5 deer with 223 and all fell in there tracks but one. He went about 20 yards. I think its more about bullet placement.
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Postby cuppedup50 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:52 pm

the 243 is an all around great gun. but i love my 270.
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Postby MissedAgain » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:09 pm

Amazing how it went from .223 to .243. I've been in many debates over the ability of the .243 - we've taken a step into a smaller caliber.

I think about a 60 gr .223 bullet and realize what a little piece of lead that is. I shoot 85 & 100 gr bullets out of my .243 and that's small...but lethal. Why shouldn't your bullet be just as deadly?

Place your shots well - I don't know if there is enough bullet for routine complete passthru's and a good blood trail. That's the only concern I would have. If you said you were head or neck shooting I would have no concerns.

The deer will die, you just want it to be where you can find it.

All that being said, post up your kill once you get it.
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Postby Sagebrush » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:34 pm

I had a 22-250 at 3480fps (reload) that I put into a mule deer's
"Boiler room" after missing the neck on three tries when trying to get away at 200 yards in Nevada.

It did not hit a rib and was found on the far side next to the hide.
All that remained was a "Mini-pill" about 1/16th inch long of the very back end of the nosler.

I also shot a deer at 175 yards with a 70 grain speer and it dropped to the ground ,got up and then fell over and died.

Note: Test the bullet at 100 and 200 yards!!
Some bullets look great at 100 yards....... 4 @ .81 and at
200 yards you get 4 @ 4.65 inches. (63gr sierra )

However, if you can a 6mm or bigger is best for deer.

I just ran into these deer, while after "Yotes".
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Postby OkieHunter » Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:17 pm

A 60 grain Nosler Partition in a 223 will drop a whitetail in his tracks but shot placement is critical, I prefer a neck shot :uhhaa:
Now don't get me wrong I don't really like the 223 for a deer round but under the right conditions it does a good job. I normally hunt big open prairies, wheat fields and bean fields an shoot a 7mm Rem Mag
Last edited by OkieHunter on Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Greg Wile » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:32 am

Minimum cal here is .243 in our rule book it states that any cal. over .22 center fire is legal for deer and I know that if you want to get technical about it the .223 is over .22 but I doubt if that would fly in a court room, but then again with the right lawyer and judge who knows? I personally use a 6.5x 55 with a 140 grain Nosler partition or the same in 120 grain. I also use a .303 Brit. with 180 grain bullets, but my favorite deer gun is still the tried and true .30-30 with 150-170 grain bullets. Dad used that same gun on Black tails in B.C. and white tails here in Nova Scotia.
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Postby cjg » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:36 am

A stated before, shot placement is key. Larger calibers with more knock down power give you a better chance on marginal shot placement or at walking/running game. Bullet selection is also a key lots of .22 cal bullets aren't constructed for deer sized game, you should be all set with the nosler partitions.

Myself I would never consider a .223 because I rarely have an opportunity for a "perfect" shot. Where I hunt there aren't many deer and if you waited for a "perfect" shot you would seldom get a chance. Running shots are the norm, I know, I know, unenethical blah, blah, blah, if you can't do it don't, I can. Mostly on the snow close range. I've never shot a deer at 300yds and probably wouldn't feel comfortable with it, but give me a running buck at 50yds and I'm on it. I've lost 2 deer in my 30+ years of hunting and neither was on a running deer and both were within 15yds.

I recently switched back to 30 06 from 7mm08 after shooting several deer and 2 bear with it because I felt the 7mm lacked knock down power.
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Postby bluelund79 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:35 pm

With the right bullet and the right shooter, it is feasible. However, on larger bodied deer, I always opt on the side of caution. My smallest deer caliber is 25.06 with 117 gr Hornady's. It comes down to shot placement, confidence in weapon, and the shooter. Would I use it in WI, NO. If it works for you, enjoy and post pics of your harvest!
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Postby cwbydavet » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:03 pm

if the 243 is too smallfor deer why have i dropped elk at 100 yards dead in there tracks with it? Shot placement is the key i would use a 223 anyday of the week for deer
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Postby alex is a DUCK hunter » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:59 pm

I'm a fan of "enough" bullet. .223 and .243 do NOT have "enough" bullet IMO. I like to hit them high in the shoulder and get the high double lung and shock the spine all in one. Drops them there and they are dead when you get to them. The .223 and .243 just don't provide enough foot pounds for that.

youre nuts! i have rolled deer with my 243 at like 80 yards.

iraqis are killed everyday with the 223. im not a fan of using an AR style rifle for deer hunting but w/e.
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Postby Cause-A-Boom » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:54 am

I agree with you boys on this one-the .243 is a great gun and plenty of power to knock em' dead in their tracks with the proper shot placement and range-That is all I use and havn't had too many difficult tracking jobs-
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Re: 223 Remington for Whitetail Deer?

Postby OrangeLake » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:34 am

While a .223 can handle a deer no problem with a well placed shot, having a larger caliber is better from a the standpoint of making sure the animal doesn't suffer needlessly if you do make a poor shot, which is just about guaranteed for everyone at least once. I hunt in Fl, and we have pretty small deer relative to the Northern and Western states (most are around 120lbs or less for bucks because people around here seem to shoot anything with antlers, but we wait till they get bigger and shoot them at about 150-170lbs avg) but I still use a 30.06 or a .35 Rem. I make good shots but with a larger caliber I don't have to worry as much about flinching or making a mistake and wounding a deer, not finding it, and causing needless suffering and waste. You can do what you want, but from the standpoint of being a responsible hunter I would say use a larger caliber.
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Re: 223 Remington for Whitetail Deer?

Postby REDGUN » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:58 pm

I have never shot a deer with them, but I have killed enough big hogs with the 223 loaded with Barnes X-Bullets that I would not hesitate to use them on deer.

"Ideal" no

Get the job done, you bet. :thumbsup:
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