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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:55 AM
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Default Best 223 5.56 Ammo for Deer

I'm going to take a deer hunting trip with a buddy and I wanted some thoughts on ammo. I will be using an AR with a 1 in 9 16" barrel. Midway has 19 pages of 223 ammo so the options are overwhelming. It seems like the 64 grain softpoint Federal has good reviews from people who've actually used the stuff to hunt deer.

I know many of you will say i should be using something larger....that's not what this thread is about. It's what I have and what I'm using. I've seen cows dropped with a .22LR so I'm pretty sure if I do my part the 223 is up to the task. We will be hunting close range.

Anyone have any experience with an effective round for hunting in this caliber?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:01 AM
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Are you certain you can use a .223 to hunt deer where you're going? Alot of states/jurisdictions don't allow it.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:03 AM
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The best .223/5.56 for deer is a 30-06...
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:07 AM
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It's legal in CA....
The 30-06 just won't chamber......
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:12 AM
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It's legal in CA....
The 30-06 just won't chamber......
Try hitting your forward assist a few times with a mallet. The proper amount of force can overcome anything.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:14 AM
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Ive killed 10 or more with 22-250, 65 grain sierra game kings

Shot clean through a big muley at 400 yds, popped both lungs and came out far shoulder. Wont expect that from your gun, but you can expect the bullet to hold up and dig in.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:21 AM
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I believe 223 is not enough for deer, that being said the only factory loaded bullets I would use would be the Nosler Partition...

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=891153



or the Barnes Triple Shock TSX expanding all copper bullet....

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=467277
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:23 AM
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I didn't know you could use a 5.56 for deer hunting in Ca. I always thought there was a minimum .240 caliber requirement. Does anyone a have a link to Ca DFG that states what you can or cannot use?

Thanks,

-Pat
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:26 AM
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It is called 6.8 SPC. Beg, borrow or steal one if you have to. .223 ain't a deer cartridge. You don't hunt that much. You are more likely to wound a deer and end up with a lost wounded animal or an inhumane kill. Geez, you have got to know somebody that has a freakin deer rifle you can borrow. Seriously. Your post is along the same lines as "I know robbing a bank is illegal and wrong, but which gun should I use to do it?" You are going to get flak for it. Real hunters get fairly annoyed by people coming in and saying things like "I want to use the wrong caliber, don't tell me I am wrong, and tell me what I should use to make it work." Here in California it is legal to use a .25 ACP for deer. That doesn't make it a good idea. You have several months until deer season anyway. Get a real hunting rifle. You still have time to save up. As a hunter, it is YOUR responability to do everything you can to make a clean and humane kill. Slob hunting like that gives us all a black eye, and gives the antis more ammo to use against us. If you aren't going to show us or our sport, or the game animals the proper respect by at least trying to do it right, don't waste our time by coming in and posting drivel like this. Seriously. I mean, this is the perfect excuse for you to get a new upper or new rifle. Why waste it?


Edit

Pat, the rules are basically any centerfire cartridge with expanding bullets. Some areas have lead free bullet requirements. A few have minimum caliber/barrel length for hunting elk with pistols. But for most of the state, it is whatever centerfire you want to use, provided you have the right bullets. You can legally go after deer aith a .22 Hornet necked down to .14 caliber if you want. There are no minimum energy or caliber restrictions for the most part.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:31 AM
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Isnt there also a magazine rule in CA too? (5 rds. or less?) I remember hunting with a guy years ago who used a garand with special 3 or 5 round clips he modded from the GI 8 rounders...
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:35 AM
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Ive probably killed more game animals than most guys my age. Mt is very generous with tags. Its funny to me to see people get all fired up about a 22 cal rifle on deer, but that 6mm diameter bullet is so much bigger that it is perfectly ethical.

I'll take sectional density over diameter all day when it comes to killing. Regardless of the round, shot placement is most important of all.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:35 AM
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Isnt there also a magazine rule in CA too? (5 rds. or less?) I remember hunting with a guy years ago who used a garand with special 3 or 5 round clips he modded from the GI 8 rounders...
No. There is NO magazine limit, except for shotguns during some seasons (birds, mostly) If you have a pre 2000 or magazine kit 75-100 round AK drum, and want to pop it in your Saiga to go chase babmi, it is kosher.
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He_Shoot_Me View Post
I didn't know you could use a 5.56 for deer hunting in Ca. I always thought there was a minimum .240 caliber requirement. Does anyone a have a link to Ca DFG that states what you can or cannot use?

Thanks,

-Pat


http://www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/cu...alregs.asp#353


In the non-condor regions this is it...

" may only be taken by rifles using centerfire cartridges with softnose or expanding projectiles "




In condor regions it just adds non-lead and certified...there is a list of certified projectiles...

http://www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/cu...alregs.asp#355
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Bigjfb View Post
Ive probably killed more game animals than most guys my age. Mt is very generous with tags. Its funny to me to see people get all fired up about a 22 cal rifle on deer, but that 6mm diameter bullet is so much bigger that it is perfectly ethical.

I'll take sectional density over diameter all day when it comes to killing. Regardless of the round, shot placement is most important of all.
Don't look at me Kemosabe. I think the .243 is marginal at best for deer. And not all .22s are poor killers on deer. Just the 5.56/.223 lacks the power generally needed to launch a heavy enough bullet fast enough to do the job. I know several (very experienced) hunters that use .223 to good effect every year. I also know several people who use .22-250 or .220 Swift. But that doesn't make any of them ideal deer cartridges, especially in the hands of a novice hunter.
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:42 AM
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Not a good caliber for deer. Try something 7mm and up.
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For California they will be shipped non-destuctively blocked to 10 rounds to comply with the stupid and hateful decrees of our stupid and hateful insane clown Marxist moron bandit overlords in that festering moral and intellectual dung heap known as Sacramento.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:47 AM
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California DFG Regulations section 353:

353. Methods Authorized for Taking Big Game.
(a) Except for the provisions of subsections 353(b) through (h), Title 14, CCR, big game (as defined by Section 350, Title 14, CCR) may only be taken by rifles using centerfire cartridges with softnose or expanding projectiles; bow and arrow (see Section 354, Title 14, CCR, for archery equipment regulations); or wheellock, matchlock, flintlock or percussion type, including “in-line” muzzleloading rifles using black powder or equivalent black powder substitute, including pellets, with a single projectile loaded from the muzzle and at least .40 caliber in designation. For purposes of Section 353, a “projectile” is defined as any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot or other device which is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force.

For rifles, there is no caliber limitation, only that it must be a centerfire cartridge.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:47 AM
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I wonder how my forefathers managed to survive at all not having access to 7mags or 30-06s. Deer must have been much smaller back then.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
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I wonder how my forefathers managed to survive at all not having access to 7mags or 30-06s. Deer must have been much smaller back then.
Using a black powder musket launching a half-inch diameter musketball?
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:56 AM
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you can use 5.56, my dad used to go hunting all the time with his ar-15 and he always came back with something.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:04 PM
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Who the hell is shooting cows with a .22LR?
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For California they will be shipped non-destuctively blocked to 10 rounds to comply with the stupid and hateful decrees of our stupid and hateful insane clown Marxist moron bandit overlords in that festering moral and intellectual dung heap known as Sacramento.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:09 PM
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Who the hell is shooting cows with a .22LR?
We have a butcher come out to clean our sheep and take them to a shop to be processed. He uses a .22 LR on just about everything. Cows, pigs, sheep, even horses that are due to be put down and taken to the local wolf preserve for food. One shot and they drop like a sack of rocks. Point blank or half way across the field. But again, HE does it every day. How often do you shoot at animals?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:14 PM
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Who the hell is shooting cows with a .22LR?
my grandpa used to work in a small cow slaughterhouse. he would take a .22lr right betwen the eyes and drop the cow in its tracks from point blank range.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:20 PM
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So whats the perfect size bullet to hunt deer with in cali
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:21 PM
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If in CA, check to see if you're hunting in a condor zone.
You'll need lead-free rounds.

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So whats the perfect size bullet to hunt deer with in cali
There is no perfect round. Some will say 7mm Rem Mag, some 30-06, some .308... Pretty subjective when you are talking about these heavier calibers (heavier than .223), all of which have a huge range of readily available ammo options.
Personally, for deer, I'm a 30-06 guy. Nosler Partions. 150grn.
Why? Because my first hunting rifle was a sportered M1917.
And it works for me.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:22 PM
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Buy a Mosin-Nagant at big 5 for $100 and a 20 box of nice 7.62x54r ammo for another $30 and you got yourself a suitable deer set up.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:23 PM
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I love how fired up everybody gets around here If my hours hadn't been partially reduced for months I would have completed my 308 build. Sadly I don't see myself having the bucks for a new upper and optics by the end of September. I'll use a rifle I know well and shoot decently. If I have any doubts about making the shot I won't pull the trigger (been in that situation before, nice Buck, borrowed rifle, long shot down hill so I skipped it)

Interestingly only one poster has actually named a specific ammo.

Not in Condor country

Have battle rifles already, they are heavy and hard to find suitable (expanding) ammo for. If I had to bring a battle rifle it would be my K31, but we're hunting in hilly brushy terrain and that thing is long and heavy. I can find 7.5 x 55 in FMJ easy but soft point is another matter. Besides if we come across cartel pot farmers I'd rather have my AR.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:27 PM
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So whats the perfect size bullet to hunt deer with in cali
The one you shoot best
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:28 PM
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Dude, that is because most of us are telling you it is a very bad idea. If you are that hard up for cash, ask around and see if anybody has a rifle you can borrow.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:31 PM
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Interestingly only one poster has actually named a specific ammo.
Condor Zone
Elsewhere

(Ah! My 3,000th post!)
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:37 PM
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im not much for hunting but can you use .50 beowulf or is it to much?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:41 PM
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I'm sure the .50 Beo would do the job nicely.....hopefully there would be a little meat left.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Interestingly only one poster has actually named a specific ammo.
And there is probably a good reason why.

According to the American Association of Butchers and Slaughterhouses, .22LR can drop livestock like it is no big deal. Why not get one of those .22LR conversions for your AR and have at it?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:59 PM
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.223 is fine if you know what you're doing (experienced) and place your shots well. Especially for our small Blacktail.

If your accuracy isn't what it should be or you're a newbie, a bigger caliber will be better (more humane if your accuracy is a little off). Buck fever is alive and well.

Just by asking the question I suspect you're a newbie. I would choose a larger caliber like .308, .30-06, 6.8 SPC-II, 6.5 Grendel, or .30-30. You get the idea. You can buy a new upper for your AR in 6.8 or 6.5.

If you absolutely have to use your current AR, I would go with 5.56 in a heavier bullet (69 to 75 gr if a 1:9 twist, or 75 to 82 gr if a 1:7 twist). I would probably choose a softpoint with good expansion data.

If I was an old pro, I wouldn't hesitate to use a .223. But I know I'm not good enough, so I personally would go bigger.
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Old 08-04-2010, 1:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cpl_dan View Post
im not much for hunting but can you use .50 beowulf or is it to much?
damn... you beat me to it! haha i think thats what i'd use, you never know what if you come across a bear? you'll be running like a little girl with the 5.56 ar
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Old 08-04-2010, 1:09 PM
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I plan on using a hand loaded partition myself. If I shoot it will be close and the deer will be standing, not balls out through the brush. The older I get the less I care about actually pulling the trigger.
It's funny that you here people giving a guy grief about using the rifle he wants (granted, there are better choices) yet every year I here guys brag about the 800 yard shot they make. Yada, yada, yada.
I can pretty much bet there are more deer wounded by some clown that thinks he's a world class shot with an 06 than the few who hunt with 223's.
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Old 08-04-2010, 1:29 PM
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If anyone has an upper to loan me in .50 Beo or otherwise holler.....otherwise it's 5.56. I have a Saiga in 7.62x39 but the optics mount I have for it sucks and you get no decent cheek weld. I'm planning on the AR I have because I shoot it well. I won't take a shot on a running buck. I doubt I'll see anything beyond 60 yards as that's the biggest clearing out there. If I have a clean kill shot I'll take it otherwise I'm old enough to wait until I do.
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Old 08-04-2010, 1:40 PM
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OP, I'm sure you aren't looking for a lecture. Pick a bullet that has the most weight that your barrel can stabilize 60-63 grains. And pick a quality expanding bullet IE: nosler partition, barnes tax, Sierra gameking.

.223 is legal for a reason...unlike bank robbery
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  #38  
Old 08-04-2010, 3:18 PM
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mif_slim mif_slim is offline
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okay a bunch of people here speculating. I'll name a brand I used and bagged 10+ deer.

I used wolf 55gr hp. neck shot drops em, should blade hits and it's possible to pass thru both blades. from testing the hp tumbles and cuts like a knife as it tumbles. all were clean kills. longest to track was about 40 yards. most drop where they were (I do neck shot mostly).

like many said before, placement is key. if you don't feel like you have a good shot, pass on it.

good luck hunting and just have fun.
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  #39  
Old 08-04-2010, 3:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He_Shoot_Me View Post
I didn't know you could use a 5.56 for deer hunting in Ca. I always thought there was a minimum .240 caliber requirement. Does anyone a have a link to Ca DFG that states what you can or cannot use?

Thanks,

-Pat
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/
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  #40  
Old 08-04-2010, 5:28 PM
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Rob454 Rob454 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjfb View Post
I wonder how my forefathers managed to survive at all not having access to 7mags or 30-06s. Deer must have been much smaller back then.
No they had muskets that would be like comparing a 30-06 to a 50 cal. They were simply better shots IMO


Quote:
Originally Posted by jokat989 View Post
my grandpa used to work in a small cow slaughterhouse. he would take a .22lr right betwen the eyes and drop the cow in its tracks from point blank range.
Ok so are you gonna sneak up on a deer and point blank drop it?



IMO IF you are not a experienced hunter go with a bigger caliber If you can place a round where you aim and know how to take a deer and drop it in its tracks by all means go for it. Problem is most people CANT do that. its one thing to shoot at a range where you are calm, siting in a chair comfortable in the shade. its another thing to climb over a few hills, through a bunch of brush and cold creek and now you huffed and puffed up the hill and the deer is on the other hill and you got maybe 5 seconds to nail it. . Either way EVERYBODY should have a deer rifle. its just damn unamerican IMO.

OP if you feel comfortable enough to use your 223 AR to hunt deer use it. BUT if you simply wound the deer PREPARE yourself to go track find and kill that deer and take it back to camp. Please don't be liek some other people Ive personally seen shoot and simply wound and walk away cause it was too hard to track and kill it. DONT be that guy
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