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Old 10-30-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default .223 Deer Hunting Loads?

When I purchased my first AR-15, my uncle's first question was if I could deer hunt with it. I looked into the topic a little bit, and discovered that those who did loaded their own rounds. I have always been interested in reloading, and now that I am putting together a second AR I decided to get the equipment and start.

I have some other weapons that I eventually want to reload for, but .223 is definitely where I spend the most money. My new AR is going to have a 20" 1/9" barrel.

I am not building the gun specifically for any purpose (I have a deer rifle), but I would like to hear from others who might be hunting deer with .223. Ideas for bullets and loads would be great just to get an idea. Thanks for the help!

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Old 10-30-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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I'm sorry, I have to say that I don't think a 223 is enough for deer. Will it do the job? Probably but if you have a deer rifle why not use that and save the AR for something else? I personally wouldn't go any smaller then a 243, but that's me.

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Old 10-30-2010, 05:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spittinfire View Post
I'm sorry, I have to say that I don't think a 223 is enough for deer. Will it do the job? Probably but if you have a deer rifle why not use that and save the AR for something else? I personally wouldn't go any smaller then a 243, but that's me.
No need to apologize, I should have mentioned that I also am looking for opinions of whether or not this is an adequate round for deer. My main hunting with my AR will probably be coyote hunting this winter. Favorite loads for coyotes would be helpful too.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:12 PM   #4
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Not legal here...but if that was what I were going to use I'd load that round with a 55 gr. Barnes TSX.

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Old 10-30-2010, 09:46 PM   #5
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My opinion is a 223 is not heavy enough for Whitetail deer. You could go for a head or neck shot. I have zapped one deer with a Mini-14 and I shot it in the heart. There was no blood at all so I could not have tracked it. I believe a 223 is a varmit round. Past all that, I also believe the 223 makes a horrible combat round. People do kill with it but they also wound a lot.

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Old 10-30-2010, 10:34 PM   #6
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I think I will stick with my 7mm08 for deer, and use the AR for coyote hunting. Thanks for the input.

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Old 10-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #7
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Sure a lot of deer are being killed with heavily constructed bullets in .223/5.56 but I personally feel it's a bit light on deer in general. The small bodied far south deer like in Fl would be better hunted with the .223 than northern bigger bodied deer. I'd still prefer something bigger.

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Old 10-30-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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Ok lets get two things straight.

1. the 556 is a great combat round. In combat it is meant to wound a wounded person takes 2 to 3 people to move him off the battle field. He then causes a drain on the supply chain. Taking 4 people out of the fight vs 1 is much better.

2. If a 556 can kill 150+# people why can't it kill deer that size too? SHOT PLACEMENT IS KEY.

Me if your going to use a 223 for deer arm yourself with 75gr Swift Scirocco II bullet. I would run it as close to a max load as I could get and still get good accuracy. I would also limit shots to no more than 200 yards.

You can wound a deer just as easy with a 556 as you can with a 300 RUM. If you shoot a magnum and are a poor shot you are more unethical than taking a light recoiling round and placing your shot carefully. You also have to wait for the perfect broad side shot.

At the least I would load a 65gr Sierra GameKing. I would also run this load near max and limit shots to under 200 yards with a good broad side shot or a neck shot.

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Old 10-30-2010, 11:18 PM   #9
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you can use a .223 and kill a deer but I guarantee it's runnin even with a perfect shot,plus it's easy to get sloppy with a semi auto.It always bugs me when I hear 5-10 shots in sequence on opening day,I prefer one round from my .444,no tracking.

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Old 10-30-2010, 11:26 PM   #10
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Default .224 Varmint loads??

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTsouthpaw View Post
No need to apologize, I should have mentioned that I also am looking for opinions of whether or not this is an adequate round for deer. My main hunting with my AR will probably be coyote hunting this winter. Favorite loads for coyotes would be helpful too.
I like Hornady V-Max bullets for my varmint loads.
.222 Rem. works good with 50gr. V-Max
.22-250 Rem. works good with 55gr. V-Max.
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