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#6021588 - 11/10/15 01:53 PM 223 ammo for deer...
destroyer4570 Offline

Registered: 09/02/12
Posts: 149
on opening day I had on the afternoon hunt i had a deer get away from me wounded, I was using my ar with some Hornady full boar 50gr gmx bullet. The shot was at about 120yrs. The deer, a spike buck was standing at the feeder slightly quartering away from me when I shot it, I placed the bullet right behind the shoulder, the buck then fell to the ground behind some brush and didn't move for about five to ten minutes or so, so me and my hunting buddy thought it was dead, the shot looked good and the deer dropped on impact. However a few minutes later a group of does walked up to the feeder when just then the spike jumped up and ran into the brush. We thought we would give it some time to expire we went to go look for it and had expected to find it a few yards in the brush, but when we finally gave it enough time we went to go look for it and tracked it for over two hours with only to find a little drop of blood here and there and small amounts smeared on the grass and brush. we tracked the deer to the edge of our property where he went into the neighboring ranch we had lost this deer. I begin to say how sickening I felt to have lost this deer. I don't know if it was shot placement or the ammo but the shot felt good and the deer dropped at the shot so now I question the ammo, should I try another brand of ammo? I know it happens sometimes in hunting, I guess it's something you never get used to. I will try the ammo one more time since it was the first time I had ever used this ammo on game....who knows but if for the some reason the ammo fails agin or I get similar results I will go with another brand and weight of ammo for the .223. Just wanted to you alls input on this matter and get you all insight.

#6021603 - 11/10/15 01:58 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
8pointdrop Online   sleepy
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 4965
Loc: My favorite place TEXAS
Better bullet and high shoulder shot will anchor them in their tracks and break bone so they can't leave. Behind the shoulder shots save meat and are lethal, but still allow mobility.

Don't dwell on it, bad things happen. First one I've lost in a very long time was last year with a .243 and even if I was using my .270 it wouldn't have helped. I was shook up and pulled the shot plain and simple, I messed up.

#6021626 - 11/10/15 02:10 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
jsplinter Offline

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 845
Loc: Copperas Cove
I dropped one this weekend with my 223. I was using Hornady 55 grain

#6021659 - 11/10/15 02:25 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
TexFlip Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 10722
Loc: Chambers County
62gr TSX.

#6021668 - 11/10/15 02:28 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
QuitShootinYoungBucks Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 8789
Loc: Lubbock, TX
I bought a box of Federal Fusion 62 gr to shoot deer with, but I also have a 6.8 SPC upper and so far I haven't used the 5.56. I think the Fusion is a better version of the Remington Corelokt and should work well. Sorry you lost your deer, I shot at one Saturday with my 7mm-08 and thought I had him. I watched the doe for 5 minutes, and when she ran off he busted out of the brush and ran off with her, none the worse for wear. It's a bad feeling.

#6021715 - 11/10/15 03:03 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
oldoak2000 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/16/07
Posts: 2548
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: destroyer4570
.. i had a deer get away from me wounded, I was using my ar with some Hornady full boar 50gr gmx bullet..

prolly a pretty poor BULLET choice for .223 caliber for shooting deer in heart/lungs; COPPER bullets are NICE in bigger calibers to punch all way thru , but not for tiny calibers - deer can easily clot up a little .223 hole, and run off, as yours did.

Better to use a lead core bullet in .223 (soft or ballistic tip bonded - not fmj) which will fragment ALL it's energy on the vitals INSIDE on a shot like that - .223 is NOT a caliber to be trying to punch all way thru for tracking, unless you like tracking all the way into the next county.

FWIW, I shot a 80gr TTSX .243 on my last spike, shot exactly like yours; quartering away; it punched all the way thru, but managed to take out ONLY the very bottom of the heart; deer ran a huge circle (fortunately) before collapsing; almost NO internal organ damage (any lead bullet I would have used would have pureed the heart, etc... 4/5 of the heart was in Perfect Condition, not bloodshot at all ) needless to say, I WONT be using copper bullets on any caliber less than 30cal in the future for deer!!

Sorry you lost yours; I got lucky that mine ran a circle, otherwise it could have been gone.

#6021722 - 11/10/15 03:10 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
Toxarch Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 1910
Loc: Parker County
Only 2 deer I've ever lost were shot with .223.
One was a spike using 55g Hornady (I think). Shot him in the vitals at 50 yards and he moved left out of sight. I gave him 30-40 minutes and then went to look for him. Got to where I shot him and looked over and there he was through the trees bedded up 60 yards away. I dropped to a knee and pulled my rifle up to shoot him again. He spotted me and bolted. No blood trail at all.
The other, a couple years later, was a doe shot at 75 yards with Winchester Ranger 62g. Went for vitals and she ran. Saw hair fly, found a piece of skin and meat from the exit, but only 2 drops of blood and then nothing. Looked all over and couldn't find any sign of blood.
After those 2 lost deer, I decided I was done with shooting deer with a .223. I have larger calibers that I know do the job.
It is far more important to be able to hit the target than it is to haggle over who makes a weapon or who pulls a trigger.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

#6021724 - 11/10/15 03:11 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
scalebuster Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 3058
Next time whistle at him and when he looks at you shoot him in the center of the neck. I like the 65 grain gameking.

#6021919 - 11/10/15 04:52 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
603Country Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 6160
Loc: Central Texas
I have a bunch of the 65 gr Sierra GKs loaded up for pigs, but don't plan to shoot a deer with them. If I was gonna deer hunt with my 223, I think I'd go for the Nosler 60 gr Partition. If a 223 was all I had, I guess I'd use it, but I have better options.

A buddy that's been hunting for a couple of years with his AR in 223 just emailed to say he was gonna buy a Ruger American in a larger caliber. He's new to hunting and thought that the AR in 223 was, since the military uses it, all that a fellow would need. I tried gently to explain reality versus his expectations, but he wasn't really listening. But now he knows.

I've come to think that, in general terms, a 100 gr bullet at about 3000 fps MV is enough for deer. A 243, 250 Savage, 260, 6mm, 257 Roberts and others will do that. I've shot deer and pigs with my 223 and 220 Swift over the years, and they will do the job most of the time. But, like I said, I have better options.

And, you don't have to have 3000 fps to be successful if you have more bullet. I hunted for years with a 35 Remington, and that old punkin ball really put them down.

#6022085 - 11/10/15 06:26 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
Wilhunt Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 3658
Loc: New Braunfels, San Saba county
223 is too small for deer.

#6023546 - 11/11/15 12:47 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: oldoak2000]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 27799
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: oldoak2000
Better to use a lead core bullet in .223 (soft or ballistic tip bonded - not fmj) which will fragment ALL it's energy on the vitals INSIDE on a shot like that - .223 is NOT a caliber to be trying to punch all way thru for tracking, unless you like tracking all the way into the next county.

Ive killed a lot of deer with a 223 and from my experience that is wrong. Most people have no clue what a 223 will do because they wont spend the tiny bit more to feed it good ammo. I shoot 223 with 60 grain nosler partitions and have shot everything from rabbits to south texas bucks and hogs up to 200 lbs and never recovered a single bullet or lost a deer or had one not leave a good blood trail.
It's hell eatin em live

#6024511 - 11/11/15 08:45 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: Wilhunt]
rexmitchell Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/11/13
Posts: 2463
Originally Posted By: wilhunt
223 is too small for deer.

Not for head or neck shots but for the body you are 100% correct.

#6024539 - 11/11/15 08:55 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
cmorsch Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/16/11
Posts: 1604
Loc: Midlothian, TX
Personally I think that a 223 is to light for deer especially past 100 yards, but I do think that if you are going to be using one that you need to be using a heavier bullet, something like the 62gr partition or a 65gr spirepoint to allow you to get the most out of the cartridge.

#6024564 - 11/11/15 09:08 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
Catch Dog Offline

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 766
Loc: Texas
55 grain soft point. My son has filled out deep freeze every year for the last 5 yrs with that bullet!!!! Keep shots under 200 and shoot them in the neck where it meets the shoulder.

Edited by Catch Dog (11/11/15 09:08 PM)

#6026272 - 11/12/15 05:19 PM Re: 223 ammo for deer... [Re: destroyer4570]
huntandfish Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 1706
Loc: Seclusion, tx
.223 is great on texas deer, it isnt like your shooting 400 lb muscled up thick body bruins! I think you may have fugged your shot and didnt hit where you thought you did! Thru the lungs and or heart would of been a dead deer with that little 50 gmx! Little hide, few ribs and dead deer!

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