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Thread: Good .223 load for hunting deer

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    Good .223 load for hunting deer

    I am wondering what some of the better .223 loads for hunting deer are. I like the look of the federal fusion 62 gr or the barns triple shock x bullet 55 gr. Note that I have never hunted and am only curious, though I may try hunting at some point. Also note that my only rifle is in a .223 type platform and I am not able to get another rifle anytime soon. When hunting deer with .223, should the bullet be on the heavier side say 60-77 gr, or in the middle range? Are the loads above good loads? Any other load suggestions?

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    I was in your shoes not long ago. A friend took me hunting and I killed my second deer. The first one I bagged with a Honda Civic many years ago(I dont think that counts). But my AR dropped a button buck in his tracks. My buddy directed me to aim for the head unless I wanted to track him through the thick brush. And of course the head shot dropped him dead in his tracks at 250 yards. It was a VERY exciting experience! (first shot missedgot lucky and he just looked at us waiting for shot number 2) I was using Winchester Ballistic Silvertip ammo. I think it was 55gr, got the job done, and delivered some damn good eatn' Im sure there are much better ammo choices out there for deer though.
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    The .223 round I use for deer in my neck of the woods are Fiocchi Extrema Rifle Hunting they are loaded with a 50 gr V-max and can make a kill shot out to 150 yards. I haven't shot a deer at a longer distance then that with these. I probably wouldn't take a shot if it was farther then that. These are kinda on the lighter side of what you would need for deer hunting. I also use handloaded 55 gr SP SX Hornady with 24.5 grs of AA2230. I hunt Blacktails and they work great for me on them. If your hunting muley's or whitetail I would go with a heavier grain bullet. But this is what works for me. Hope this helps you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonRat View Post
    The .223 round I use for deer in my neck of the woods are Fiocchi Extrema Rifle Hunting they are loaded with a 50 gr V-max and can make a kill shot out to 150 yards. I haven't shot a deer at a longer distance then that with these. I probably wouldn't take a shot if it was farther then that. These are kinda on the lighter side of what you would need for deer hunting. I also use handloaded 55 gr SP SX Hornady with 24.5 grs of AA2230. I hunt Blacktails and they work great for me on them. If your hunting muley's or whitetail I would go with a heavier grain bullet. But this is what works for me. Hope this helps you.
    V-MAX are varmint bullets. They fragment far too fast and do not penetrate far enough imo. Glad they've worked for you but I wouldn't use them myself.


    Personally the 70 gr Barnes TSX loaded to max 5.56 NATO published by Barnes at 2866 FPS from a 20" barrel is imo, the best hunting round for deer, hogs, and similar sized game. Deep penetration and wonderful expansion in living things.

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    Search terms: deer hunting .223

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=51598
    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=22047

    And others.

    Sum: Go heavy. Get close.
    Last edited by Skintop911; 01-13-12 at 23:26.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Plissken View Post
    Personally the 70 gr Barnes TSX loaded to max 5.56 NATO published by Barnes at 2866 FPS from a 20" barrel is imo, the best hunting round for deer, hogs, and similar sized game. Deep penetration and wonderful expansion in living things.
    Any personal experience with these? I picked up a box but havent used them yet. I will be trying them out next time I go hunting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Colt 6920 View Post
    Any personal experience with these? I picked up a box but havent used them yet. I will be trying them out next time I go hunting.
    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=94628

    Bin Laden would tell you how effective they are to if he could talk

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    70g Barnes ttsx or the 60g nosler partition higher weight and higher BC equal more energry on target
    "After I shot myself, my training took over and I called my parents..." Texas Grebner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Colt 6920 View Post
    Any personal experience with these? I picked up a box but havent used them yet. I will be trying them out next time I go hunting.
    http://www.barnesbullets.com/wp-cont.../5.56-Nato.pdf
    http://www.barnesbullets.com/wp-cont...mingtonWeb.pdf

    There is Barnes's data. I tried hunting deer twice with this bullet but didn't get any shot opportunities. Although I have found various people using it with great success at TOS (not a member there so can't search) in their hunting section.


    Check this:
    http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?p=1169232

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    Borrow a ****ing deer rifle.

    Unless your deer are really scrawny.

    (every day this place gets more like TOS)
    Last edited by markm; 01-14-12 at 09:03.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    300 blk or an SR25 ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Borrow a ****ing deer rifle.

    Unless your deer are really scrawny.

    (every day this place gets more like TOS)
    I thought about posting something like this earlier but moved on instead. I wouldn't shoot a deer with a .223 unless it was all I had left and I was starving.

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    With good shot placement any of the quality barrier rounds work well. I have personally seen one large Michigan deer shot with the 62 gr TBBC and the damage was impressive. Best as I could tell the bullet path was close the heart and the heart split in four pieces.

    Not ideal but serviceable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Borrow a ****ing deer rifle.

    Unless your deer are really scrawny.

    (every day this place gets more like TOS)
    Uh huh. Even though it's been shown time after time that .223 Remington is quite adequate for deer and similar-sized game, you dismiss it as being detrimental to this website to believe that.

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Ballist...70gr_TAC-X.pdf

    Care to tell me what's wrong with that for deer? Compared to:
    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Ballist...68gr_TAC-X.pdf

    That's data published by Barnes. I've loaded Barnes TSX 70 gr bullets to 2800 fps which according to the Barnes info, it won't hit their recorded impact velocity until around 130 yards. For them it gave 20" of penetration. The 6.8 SPC data from them had their TSX penetrating to 24" and yet the 6.8 SPC is regarded as a deer caliber unanimously.

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    The 3 best deer l've ever taken were with a bow, dropped 2 of them almost instantly, the other was my fault. But my point is, if a 125grn broadhead going maybe 300fps from my bow can easily drop a big southern ohio buck, a 70 grn tsx at 2800fps would be like cheating in comparison. Shot placement is the biggest part with any reasonable centerfire caliber.

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    I handload 55gr TSXs, they work great n deer. Several ammo compaies load these bullets.

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    I've shot an awful lot of deer with a .223/5.56, with various rounds. Soft points, Nosler partitions, OTMs, VMAXs, M193, and I have a mag of the Barnes TSXs waiting for the next one. These are/were what I had at the time.

    When I plan to harvest a white tail or mule deer, I take a heftier caliber, usually a .308. Usually a ~150gr SP.

    it's been shown time after time that .223 Remington is quite adequate for deer and similar-sized game
    "Adequate"? Yes. Ideal, no. Like I said before, if you use a .223/5.56, for best results go heavy and get close. Heavy soft points or the new Barnes offerings look like your best options.
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