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#6495232 - 10/14/16 12:01 PM 0.223 for deer hunting or not?
klp Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 74
Dear folks,

I am not trying to start a huge debate or anything, I would just like to understand some peoples reasoning for not using a .223 or .222 for deer (whitetail) hunting (100-200 yard range). (this was brought up by a friend (whos opinion I value) when I told him I would use .223 for hunting and he recommended something larger) (when I started hunting, I used a .222 that was used by previous family members and it always did the job just fine, I aim for the shoulder area to get the lungs).

Thanks

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#6495239 - 10/14/16 12:05 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
fouzman Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1003
Loc: Houston, TX
I've killed many a deer with my little .222. But I shoot them in the head, neck or throat patch if they're standing still and looking straight at me. I also killed a cow elk with it at about 180 yards, but I had to shoot her four times in the boiler room before she dropped.

I mainly hunt whitetails these days with a 7mm-08 and shoot all but culls and does in the shoulder. I think folks worry about .22 caliber centerfires having such small bullets, but IF you can put that bullet precisely where you want it from 200 yards or less, the .222 will get the job done every time. The .223 will have more downrange energy than the .222 so you can probably get away with a little further shot. IF you're up to the repeatable accuracy challenge.


Edited by fouzman (10/14/16 12:09 PM)

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#6495253 - 10/14/16 12:21 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
Creedmoor Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 610
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
This has been hashed out on 1,000 different sites in 10,000 different threads. You can Google "223 for deer" and read for 15 years.

Can you use it? Certainly. Will it kill a whitetail quickly? Absolutely. Is it a good idea? ........ Not really.

As has already been pointed out, shot location is everything. But that applies no matter what game animal is hunted with most any firearm. Shoot a whitetail in the gut with a 375 Ruger and they'll run for a long way. (don't ask me how I know this). It's all about shot placement. But keep in mind that the smaller the bullet the more critical this becomes.

Is it a good idea? No. On the other hand, more deer have probably been poached with a 22LR than any other cartridge.

If you decide to use the 223 or 222 just remember that you may have to pass up a shot if a clean kill isn't certain. This is what ethical hunters do.
_________________________
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There's a fine line between BRAVE ... and STUPID.


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#6495262 - 10/14/16 12:25 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
WBT Offline


Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 283
Loc: Dallas
I'm certain you can kill a deer with a .223, but it doesn't leave any room for error. I personally like using a caliber that provides a margin for error.

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#6495285 - 10/14/16 12:36 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
Pitchfork Predator Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10760
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
popcorn
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Retirement Planner

www.insured-wealth.com
469-323-8920

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#6495286 - 10/14/16 12:38 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
cameron00 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/08/09
Posts: 8196
Loc: Texas
Unfortunately, science has proven that a .223 cannot kill a deer.

Kinetic force and whatnot make it simply impossible. Trust me. It's science.

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#6495305 - 10/14/16 12:55 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: cameron00]
Txhuntr2 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 02/19/12
Posts: 229
Loc: Houston and Val Verde
Originally Posted By: cameron00
Unfortunately, science has proven that a .223 cannot kill a deer.

Kinetic force and whatnot make it simply impossible. Trust me. It's science.


Hahahahaha

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#6495321 - 10/14/16 01:05 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: Txhuntr2]
Simple Searcher Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 4143
Loc: Helotes, Hext
Originally Posted By: Txhuntr2
Originally Posted By: cameron00
Unfortunately, science has proven that a .223 cannot kill a deer.

Kinetic force and whatnot make it simply impossible. Trust me. It's science.


Hahahahaha


clap
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#6495323 - 10/14/16 01:06 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
unclebubba Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 1217
Loc: Collin County, TX
Yes, .223 can kill deer. I personally have killed one doe with my .223, and she was just a dead as any other deer that I have shot once she hit the grill. If someone were to tell me that they like their .223 is their favorite deer rifle, then I would not argue with them about it. However, if someone were to come to me asking advice, I would advise .243 or larger. Bigger, heavier bullet= bigger expansion, bigger hole, more wiggle room for error. I have a 45/70, and have made two really terrible shots on deer with it(yes, I have made perfect shots with it too, but I did make two bad ones). One fell over where she stood, one turned and walked off not even knowing he was dead. He made it about 20 yards. Big bullets give room for error.
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#6495324 - 10/14/16 01:07 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
Red Cloud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 1490
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
Yep, it will work. I would not use a .223 or any .22 calibre for deer if I had a larger calibre option available. I had a friend in Wyoming that would only use his Ruger #1 in .25-06 for elk, I don't feel that is ideal either but that guy could shoot! As far as I know that one shot was head or neck every time, DRT.
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#6495359 - 10/14/16 01:28 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
klp Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 74
I seem to be in the minority in thinking a .222/.223 is fine for a deer no problem. I seem to gather the thinking is a .222/.223 can kill a deer but larger lets you have room for error? What is this error? Is it missing your shot? Example shooting 6 inches to the right of where you aimed?

I disagree with the science of a .222/.223 can't kill a deer, lol. Ask the 10 or so I've killed with the .222 if it worked.

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#6495369 - 10/14/16 01:42 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
LandPirate Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 10889
Loc: Buda
Can you? Absolutely. Everything can go right 1000 times, and then that no good SOB Murphy and his law shows up to ruin everything. I hate that dude.
_________________________
Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer

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#6495391 - 10/14/16 02:04 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
Hoytman Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/06/06
Posts: 3621
Loc: hopkins co
If thats all you have then use it but would use a bigger caliber if you can. Have taken a few with a 223 but after hunting for about 40 yrs i think i would use a 243 or bigger. just my 2 cents worth.
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#6495395 - 10/14/16 02:09 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
fouzman Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1003
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: klp
I seem to be in the minority in thinking a .222/.223 is fine for a deer no problem. I seem to gather the thinking is a .222/.223 can kill a deer but larger lets you have room for error? What is this error? Is it missing your shot? Example shooting 6 inches to the right of where you aimed?

I disagree with the science of a .222/.223 can't kill a deer, lol. Ask the 10 or so I've killed with the .222 if it worked.



You are in the minority. As stated earlier, I've killed a ton of deer with my .222 and, with proper shot placement, it will get the job done. But it is not the BEST choice in a deer caliber. Most of the deer I shoot fall to a 7mm-08. When I'm shooting particularly large-bodied whitetails in or near heavy cover, I drop them where they stand with a 300RUM. I also shoot .257 and .270 WBY Mags, but the 7mm-08 is my go to about 95% of the time.


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#6495409 - 10/14/16 02:23 PM Re: 0.223 for deer hunting or not? [Re: klp]
Gwood88 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 292
I will echo what everyone else has been saying. I killed a deer when I got my first AR15. It will work. Just be ready for no blood trail to track and very little margin or error. After doing it I would rather borrow a rifle in .243 or larger if all I had was a .223

The last thing you want is to an amazing trophy to walk out and you lose it because you can't track it.
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