AR 15- take down power
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:02 AM   #1
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Default AR 15- take down power

I'm interested how far is the limit of the .223 bullets take down power? Ultimately how far can you shoot a deer at knowing it will fall?

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Old 10-02-2012, 05:10 AM   #2
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I've been looking too. Most people seem to think keep it well placed and inside 150 yards. I think 65-100 yards and a clean shot. As our expert said the heaviest bullet the rifle shoots well.

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Old 10-02-2012, 05:29 AM   #3
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I'd say 100 yards. If your going deer hunting, I would borrow a gun that is bigger, but shot placement is the key if using a .223. I would use a 55-60 grain soft point for penetration.

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Old 10-02-2012, 06:00 AM   #4
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Bullet design and shot placement are of the utmost importance. With a good bullet and shot placement you should be fine. I haven't used .223 myself for deer though.

"Take down" is really a misnomer as the bullet will not do that. There is no such thing really. What you are looking for is a good balance of large expansion and high velocity for a small caliber which will basically cause a hydraulic pressure wave inside the deers internal organs (this is in addition to the damage the bullet itself causes as it passes through the tissues).

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Old 10-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreweB View Post
I'm interested how far is the limit of the .223 bullets take down power? Ultimately how far can you shoot a deer at knowing it will fall?
I'd say it could down a deer well past 200 yards if your aim and adjustments were on point. I probably couldn't hit anything past 200 yards if I tried. Long range shots are certainly easier with a heavier bullet, but the .223/5.56 should have enough energy to get into the heart at those distances. I'd just worry about wind conditions. Even the slightest discourse of such a light bullet would equal a miss or nonfatal hit at long range.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #6
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Think human , a deer is relatively no bigger than a human . and we all know that .223 is capable of taking human life out to 500 yards . Now I would suggest HP or soft point rounds with good expansion in that 68-72 gr range and they need to be put in the boiler room , Do not expect it to drop in its tracks its not going to happen even in the boiler room it wont have the shock value of a larger .30 cal bullet . You dont need to use a .30 cal to kill a deer so long as your shot placement is spot on . I had a 62gr FMJ go completely thru 6 treated 4X4s stacked together at 150 yards thats roughly 21" of treated soft wood . bones and muscle arent that tough

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #7
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Think human , a deer is relatively no bigger than a human . and we all know that .223 is capable of taking human life out to 500 yards . Now I would suggest HP or soft point rounds with good expansion in that 68-72 gr range and they need to be put in the boiler room , Do not expect it to drop in its tracks its not going to happen even in the boiler room it wont have the shock value of a larger .30 cal bullet . You dont need to use a .30 cal to kill a deer so long as your shot placement is spot on . I had a 62gr FMJ go completely thru 6 treated 4X4s stacked together at 150 yards thats roughly 21" of treated soft wood . bones and muscle arent that tough
That's what I'm thinking, too. Even the 22LR has killing power past 200 yards. The ultimate question is: can the shooter hit the target precisely enough to hit a vital organ? That would be on a per-shooter basis. My limit is 200. Anything past that I wouldn't risk injuring the deer.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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In combat the use of soft point or expanding bullets is strictly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. A hunting round will have more "take down" power due to expansion.

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Old 10-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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I've shot deer at 35yds with 30-06, 150gr CoreLoc gone through both lungs, took off top portion of heart and went out other side breaking 2 ribs---that big Buck just turned on his hind legs and ran back into brush. At least he did for about 10yds. Shot couldn't of been more perfect. Now as to a 223 doing all this damage-----NOPE. What you're gonna need for a perfect shot to drop animal in their tracks is a good HEAD or NECK shot with this small caliber. It can be done in the heart/lungs, but you'll need to follow right on their ass, as there won't be a large blood trail, but eventually that deer will go down. Keep range inside 250yds and you'll be ok for better velocity and knock-down, if you want to call it that. What the 223 does have is Shock Wave, and that's where you get lots of kills, just look what the 17HMR can do and it's even a smaller caliber.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:44 PM   #10
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Ok, my two cents.

I don't view the .223/5.56 as a reliable man stopper. And yes, I have experience with it. Others do too, and they love it. That's fine.

I simply wouldn't use a .223 on a deer unless I was damn sure of my shot. And I'd likely try for head shots.

MHO, YMMV.

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