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Thread: .223 go-to guns?

  1. #1
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    .223 go-to guns?

    Curious - how many folk here use a .223 as their main deer rifle? I've used them to good effect before, but always feel I need to have something heftier in the locker too.

    I suppose there's a bit of trend towards longer range, but anyone hunting exclusively with .223 for regular stalking, bush etc? Ever felt like you needed more gun?

  2. #2
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    My Remington Model 7 is my go-to goat and fallow rifle , but not so for larger critturs
    Coelacanth likes this.
    Cats have nine lives-which makes them ideal for experimentation...

  3. #3
    Member Chur Bay's Avatar
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    I'm predominantly hunting bush. Have been using my AR in 223 in the last year or three. Mainly because it has a suppressor and I've been hunting with my dog but also because it's such a handy carry. Goes good. Especially with short bush ranges. Shot pigs, Sika and Red Stags with it.
    Coelacanth likes this.

  4. #4
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    Not any more but I’ve killed more more deer with a 223 than all the other gun I’ve had combined. Nothing wrong with a 223 with the right shot placement.
    Kiwi Greg, Coelacanth and rewa like this.

  5. #5
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    Shot a lot of deer with 222, 223 caliber but prefer bigger stuff these days.
    dogmatix, tetawa and Coelacanth like this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mooseman View Post
    Shot a lot of deer with 222, 223 caliber but prefer bigger stuff these days.
    Can you talk about why you prefer the bigger stuff these days? Extra range? More emphatic results? Thanks.

  7. #7
    Member Sideshow's Avatar
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    Year I’m with Mooseman, bigger bang
    I’ve gone up from .243 to 7x57 just because I felt the need for a little more punch and range.
    Like the .223 for paper but not had the chance to use it on game. Toyed with the idea of a .222
    But am now looking at buying another .243 for range work while I wait for the 7x57 to cool.
    Coelacanth likes this.
    It's all fun and games till Darthvader comes along
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  8. #8
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    I have 2 AR’s and a bolt action .223, they are good for me as I don’t shoot over 200m, I always aim for head/neck, not worried about knock down power would rather pinpoint accuracy, which I get
    Coelacanth likes this.

  9. #9
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    Like Tikka I've killed more deer with a .223 than all the other calibres that I've owned and absolutely love the .223 on Sika and Fallow and won't hesitate using it on trips but I also have other calibres in the safe that I use... guess it just depends on target species and country being hunted as to what I take these days with either a .222, .223, .243, 7mm-08, .284 Win
    Coelacanth likes this.

  10. #10
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    My mate has a sako vixen in 204 ruger(tf barrel)
    The 204 is his main gun
    Hes shot every Deer species in nz with it and probably shoots 20 goats a week also
    He takes head shots only even with bigger guns so no point the 204 dose everything

    If he can use a 20 cal as his main gun
    You can most certainly use a 223 if you’re Confident
    With a barns tripple shock or nosler partition
    You could probably even take sholder shots with no issues on some pretty big Animals
    Coelacanth likes this.

  11. #11
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Is there a projectile for malleting deer that the majority of you 223 guys use, or is it whatever soft point/ballistic tip you have to hand?
    RIP Larry S. 19/02/19

  12. #12
    Member rockland's Avatar
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    I often carry a .223 for work and recreation and end up shooting a few pigs & fallow deer. As the other guys said it's all about shot placement and having the discipline to pick your shots.
    A suitable projectile sure helps. @Max Headroom
    my fave affordable factory loads are
    Winchester Super X 64 gr Power Point
    Federal Power Shok 64 gr SP
    Speer Gold Dot 64 gr SP
    Hornady Frontier 5.56 62 gr Spire Point
    Coelacanth likes this.

  13. #13
    R93
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    I use a 223 exclusively during spring and summer.
    Mainly fringe, creek or alluvial river bed hunting.
    Change to a slightly heavier cal in fall winter.
    I use a 62 gr scirocco now but have shot a fair few with the cheap as chips hornady 55gr sp.
    Each to their own. Went to a light cal meat shooting where neck and head shots paid more money. Haven't changed since.
    I have easily taken more animals with a 22 cal than anything else.
    I have a 22 K Hornet that I use a lot nowadays. Starting to talley a few with that as well using a 45gr bullet at similar speeds to that I run a 223.

    I have missed shitloads but I know for a fact I have only ever wounded one animal and lost it with a 223 in 25 yrs of using one.
    I jaw shot it at around 10m thru some toi toi. Still bothers me to this day that I never caught up with that animal.
    But I have had way more mishaps with other calibers.


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  14. #14
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    @R93 that makes for some interesting reading. The deer I've shot with .223 were using the 55gr Hornady SP's, left-over goat loads, when I got stuck without a magazine for my .260. They worked fine with neck shots.

    I have a Hornet at the moment too, but I hadn't really considered it for deer. But hey, if a deer pig or goat popped up and I could get a clean shot, I'd take it.

    There is a lot to be said for low-recoiling cals, and I hear that message coming through in the answers above.
    R93 likes this.

  15. #15
    Member Beavis's Avatar
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    If I went out tomorrow and bought a .223 with the intention of using it mainly on pigs and deer, I think the 65gr Sierra Game King would be my bullet of choice.

    Realistically I currently own so many .223's, I can't even be bothered handloading anymore. Luckily, the Belmont 55gr SP bulk ammo works well as a do all load, and it is cheap.
    tikka and Coelacanth like this.

 

 

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