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Thread: Which .223 loads for small game?

  1. #11
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    If all you own is an AR in 223, spend some money and look for one of the drop in 22lr set ups, I have one of the old colt models, and its only used in a 67 AR with the slow twist, but they may work in the newer models, I still use the standard "Game Getters" from CCi and it does fine on rabbits, for squirrels I still use the Marlin 39 and shorts
    "A shot never fired is always a miss"

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsllc View Post
    Have you killed much small game with a 5.56?


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    Lol.

    I’ve shot exactly one squirrel with a .223 using 64gr GDHP. Couldn’t find any hogs so I figured I’d roast a squirrel on the fire.

    There was no more squirrel.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurodriver View Post
    Lol.

    I’ve shot exactly one squirrel with a .223 using 64gr GDHP. Couldn’t find any hogs so I figured I’d roast a squirrel on the fire.

    There was no more squirrel.
    There are two methods to kill squirrels with centerfire rifles. The first is to cleanly take off their head.

    The other method is called “barking” in which you shoot the tree from under or above them. Bullet fragments will act like a shotgun and kill the tree-rat. The bark they are standing on breaks off the tree and they fall straight down. This was a method of mountain men in the days of 50 caliber rifles. Believe it or not, it does work. I was on a trip hunting and wanted some fresh meat and killed one with a .35 Whelen with this method.


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  4. #14
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    ^^^

    My MAN! End of thread. #NewSport
    "Just throw Krylon on it"

  5. #15
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    One thing you may want to check is hunting regulations for your state. This is from Kentucky, but I don't think it has always been on the books here this way. Several years back I had an FR-8 that I was playing around with C. E."Ed" Harris heavily reduced cast lead loading info with one of the intended uses being small game hunting, but for various reasons never got beyond the range plinking stage.

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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsllc View Post
    .223 is not a small game round and will destroy things like rabbits, squirrel, etc with any load.


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    Thanks for beating me to it and I'm not even a hunter. I was thinking a 55-77gr ~2700FPS bullet hitting a squirrel would absolutely obliterate it leaving wet squirrel dust in the air to settle.

  7. #17
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    For the last 4-5 years I've been doing some small game hunting with .223, as long as you can take head shots and/or neck shots popping their heads clean off there's plenty of recoverable meat.
    All my life previously I wouldn't dream of trying to take small game with anything other then a 22lr or shot but after we left the rural life and my hunting became mostly public land based I wanted to carry a rifle that could take small game as well as hogs & coyote so I started loading my mags with a round or two of 55gn FMJ first (followed by more potent varmint loads) so I could take a rabbit or squirrel if I saw one but still be adequately prepared for larger game with a follow up shot if needed.

    Were lucky here, no caliber restrictions or number of rounds loaded restrictions other then deer season.

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