Gun and Game Forum banner

is the .223 enough for deer ?

  • yes

    Votes: 25 62.5%
  • no

    Votes: 15 37.5%
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
I have used mine for small dear say under 200lbs at ranges under 100 yards and have never had a problem. It's all about shot placement.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shot placement and bullet construction are the two critical factors in the efficiency of any cartridge used for game harvesting. Get it right, and you can humanely hunt polar bears with a .22 Hornet. Use a .50 BMG and do it wrong, and small whitetail deer will die a painful, lingering death. No true sportsman would tolerate that. W.D.M. Bell, the legendary ivory hunter early in the 20th century, used a 7X57 Mauser with FMJ ammunition to harvest elephants. He bragged that an expanding bullet never polluted the bore of his rifle. If you are a cool, careful hunter with complete knowledge of your cartridge's external ballistics and game anatomy, then use your .22 centerfire rifle. Not all states permit game hunting, other than varmints, with .22 centerfires. Most once a year hunters have sufficient difficulty connecting with game at any range. A rump or gut shot deer cannot often be tracked and finished. This is wasteful and unsportsmanlike behavior. For such unskilled hunters, anyone with lots of field experience would recommend nothing less than a cartridge in the .243 Win./6 mm Rem. league. Then, there's a better chance that a not-so-well placed bullet will do enough internal damage to the vital organs to effect a clean kill. Without proper shot placement and bullet design, again, no cartridge will kill with the hammer of Thor. Even these low recoiling cartridges are considered by many to be rounds for the experienced game shot, and .22 centerfires even more so. Young men and women, adult women of slight build as well, can learn through plenty of range practice to accurately fire a more potent round without flinching. A game animal is a noble creature and deserves to be taken quickly and humanely. Most hunters could not do this with a .22 centerfire. The pinpoint shot placement necessary would be beyond their ability to get the job done with such lightweight projectiles as those used in sub-6 mm hunting cartridges.

Sincerely,

R. Mermelstein
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,224 Posts
i guarantee you i can kill the biggest whitetail walking the face of the earth with a .223, but i absolutely believe that it is an inadequate choice for making clean humane kills every single time the trigger is pulled. it may be marginally adequate for the tiny southern whitetail, but i would still choose something better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Definately use at least a .243..I live in PA. and if im not mistaken it is illegal to use a .223 for deer..Bulletproof hit the nail on the head with the humanity issue..Im not saying they cant be taken cleanly sometimes with a .223 but there is too much left to chance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,340 Posts
I agree...

lefty o said:
i guarantee you i can kill the biggest whitetail walking the face of the earth with a .223, but i absolutely believe that it is an inadequate choice for making clean humane kills every single time the trigger is pulled. it may be marginally adequate for the tiny southern whitetail, but i would still choose something better.
:cool: Question: What would you consider the caliber of choice? :cool: I'm thinking 308 or 30-06....but, I'm considering surplus ammo (not for hunting) for my guns as I find surplus cheap and plentiful...so most of my arms are in those calibers. :lucky:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Presonally I don't think so, unless you can make a great shot everytime. Now they are legal in Texas, and I know a friend of mine has used them with great success, but I still don't like them as a deer rifle.

In MN they are not legal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
It's all shot placement !!!!!!!!!!!My last buck was with a 223. One shot but I could almost reach out and touch the Buck. All my Deer were taken at about 100 feet. I hunt with a firearm as I do with a Bow.

DANA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Depens how good a shot you are.If you are a crack shot like me than I guess you can use a .223.(I'd rather use a .30 cal. though.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
I voted Yes. I've personally taken a good share of Impala and even a Kudu with a .223 (that was a great shot and I was close enough to beat him to death with the rifle), but southern whitetail? Anytime - keep your shots under 100 yards and make sure there are no twigs/grass/spiderwebs in the way - .223 will deflect to !!!! and back if it hits even the smallest twig. With any sub .243 calibre, I prefer neck and head shots wherever possible - bodyshots can be made, and I've made a few, but the larger calibres are better for boiler room shots IMO.
I've read of some hunters taking elephant with .303 Brit at some time....behind the ear, everytime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Why does everyone assume a 30 cal ( or bigger) is perfect for deer (308, 30-06 or some crazy magnum).

My first deer was with a 222, and second was with a 243. Since then I've dropped several with my 223. And all these were in West Tx (ie longer shots).

Yes, shot placement is the key. Honestly, what is the difference between a 243 Win (.243 of an inch) and a 223 Rem (.224 of an inch)...very little. When one chooses one over the other it's more than likely the ballistics of the round. When the bullet actually impacts the animal do you think .019 of an inch is going to be all that much difference? You can argue speed or ft-lbs....I got it, great speed and little heavier bullet will penetrate deeper...etc


Not that I advocate or agree with it, but more deer are poached with 22LR than any other Caliber. That came from Texas Parks and Wildlife some years back.


Good thread fellas. Now, to totally contridict what I just said I'm actually gonna use my single shot 45-70 Gov't for one deer this season because I have yet to draw blood with it. Then back to my 222 or 223. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
.223 is not legal to use in most states.

No, Kansas is not a shotgun state.

Most states require a legal rifle to be one which shoots a bullet larger than .23.

The reason is, anything less is not adequate for deer in the hands of most hunters. There are some hunters who are experienced enough with their rifles and wildlife that it is possible to kill a deer with less, but most will end up only wounding the animal and then not tracking it down.

As a kid, we had poor neighbors who regularly killed deer with .22 long rifles. They were poachers of the highest degree, made head shots, and then fed their family with the venison. Everyone left them alone, as they considered that it was better than having them on welfare. This is just to say it is possible, but in my book, highly discouraged as poor judgement and hunting methods. Careless and slob hunters are responsible for the myriad of laws and attitudes of the Fish and Game thugs.

B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I voted yes but I would go hunting with a full mag of .223 . Why shoot once when I can unload awhole magazine . Its not the 1 shot 1 kill that settles my bloodlust its the blasting anything in site. If I had handgrenades I would throw them puppies to. I once shot a deer on the tank range at Fort Knox in the middle of the night with a 105 training round . Blew it to pieces only thing we found was a bit of antler. Now that was hunting with a big gun.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top