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Thread: 223 for deer hunting?

  1. #1
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    223 for deer hunting?

    hey all has anyone used a .223 for hunting deer? i use a large caliber and recently thought about going smaller. i dont do that long range shooting stuff, close range most of the time. any thoughts ta

  2. #2
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    Been using one for years as has my father. Bullet construction is an important choice and even more important is bullet placement otherwise the .223 is fine for deer. As you mention i wouldn't be taking long shots either as they tend to have an adverse effect on bullet placement and energy.
    Dougie likes this.

  3. #3
    Numzane Spudattack's Avatar
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    Hey Sakokid,

    being from Africa where it is illegal to hunt anything larger than a springbuck with a centrefire .22 I would personally regard a .243 (6mm) as a minimum on deer, especially when you consider it is the hunters responsibility to ensure a quick, clean kill and as little pain and suffering as possible.

    I do realise that others have been using .223s on deer successfully for years, just makes margin for error that much less. Shot placement (as always) and strongly constructed bullets like the Barnes tsx are crucial.
    "Here's the deal I'm the best there is. Plain and simple. I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence."

  4. #4
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Iv used one a bit, my father a lot.
    As Gillie said with the right pill and proper placement it is fine on deer.
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

  5. #5
    Terminator Products Kiwi Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tussock View Post
    Go to an NZDA range on a Saturday and see just how bad a lot of hunters are with a centerfire.

    Better a neck shot deer with a .223 than a gut shot deer with a bigger than .243 cal.

    Trouble starts when, like my brother and his mate did, young guys chest shoot a couple of deer on a 4x4 track and both drop like stones. Clearly the 223 will do it in the right spot. Now they go around telling everybody 223 is heaps for deer.

    It may not go as well next time as they are not careful.
    A mate told me about the same sort of thing recently with a few on lookers, young inexperienced guys, etc

    Red Deer, 200+ meters, waited until all was just nice, side on, good rest, very experienced shooter, good conditions, relaxed Deer, 223 suppressed Sako tack driver, neck shot, as expected tiny little bang, Deer goes straight down like a sack of spuds, all good.

    All the guys WOW, 223 is the shit gotta get me one of those........... Nek Minit.......Bugger

  6. #6
    LJP
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    I have always thought the .223 was a rat gun - well until I shot 50 odd goats & half a dozen pigs with a mates 223 loaded with 70gr Berger VLD's. Wow do these bullets perform well on this size game - It seemed as effective as my 243 that I had been using. In cool, calm hands I'd be happy with up to sika sized deer out to 200yds. For a beginner I'd still consider it a rat gun - but hey my views are somewhat distorted as my varmint rifle for magpies & bunnies is a 7mm
    Breyt likes this.

  7. #7
    By Popular Demand gimp's Avatar
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    Yeah using a real bullet helps, not some 55gr shit
    Kiwi Greg likes this.

  8. #8
    GSP Mad Munsey's Avatar
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    What if you got a standard twist ? 1in 12 ? Is that right ( howa ) can you still throw those bigger bullets ? .

  9. #9
    By Popular Demand gimp's Avatar
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    Nope, you're out of luck

  10. #10
    GSP Mad Munsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimp View Post
    Nope, you're out of luck
    Cool didn't buy it for deer , but had to ask .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimp View Post
    Yeah using a real bullet helps, not some 55gr shit
    My 14 y.o son has shot three red deer with a .223 using 55gr. Two spikers at 120ish metres and a hind at 180m. Worked OK for him.

  12. #12
    Numzane Spudattack's Avatar
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    Karamojo Bell shot over a thousand elephant with a 7x57 mauser, still wouldn't call it a great elephant calibre!
    highcountry and Toby like this.
    "Here's the deal I'm the best there is. Plain and simple. I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence."

  13. #13
    Member ARdave's Avatar
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    i reckon if u need to ask weather its big enough for you, its not .

  14. #14
    R93
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    The little .223 is my favorite cal for spring/summer hunting deer or the like. I have shot more animals with it than any other calibre. I have lost one, due to poor shot placement and to me, that is too many.
    I use a shitty little hornady 55gr sp but 99% of my shots are clean shots.
    I never attempt a body shot unless I need the meat and cant get a clean one. I like to know the ground and where the bugger is going to run as well.
    You never, ever want to be rushed using one. You need to be patient and deliberate especially in the bush.
    TBH and without trying to sound wanky I reckon you need to have shot a fair few animals before trying to use one exclusively, but you have to start somewhere eh.

  15. #15
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    Yep, i would agree with R93 on that. I started with a .303 before i graduated to a .223. Both my father and i use 63gr sierra SMPs and they work great.

    Shot while roaring in the bush. Straight in the chest and he dropped on the spot.
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