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Thread: .223 for caribou?

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    Default .223 for caribou?

    I have done very little caribou hunting, but I want to soon. I only have 2 gun to choose from a .338 win mag which I am sure would work, but might be to much gun, and a .223. Just wondering gathering opinions to see if the .223 is a viable option? Thanks in advance for the input.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    There are folks here who've successfully used a .223 on caribou- it can be done but in my mind it leaves you very little room for error.

    IMHO, your .338WM is a much better choice if you shoot it well. Load it up with flat shooting 210PT or 180ABs and go get one.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I'm sure some hunt bou with a .223, but I wouldn't

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    I've seen tons of caribou taken with .223, but most of those were subsistence hunts and they have a much different purpose than a sport hunt. If you want a quick, efficient, and humane kill on a trophy animal you should take the .338.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Take the .338, 223 would work but why not carry the bigger one, especially since bear seasons are open.

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    i agree with the others, use the 338, took a nice bull from north of fairbanks with my 338, and he didn't know what hit him, it gives the the peace of mind when you down the bull and happen to see a big brown fuzzy eyeing up your new trophy

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    Id go w/ the .338 for the energy on the long shots if you hunt the open areas. I use a 270 usually but have a .338 RUM for those longer shots. I like to have my animals go down fast. tThe running makes em tast lets say not as good!

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    Load that 338 up with some 200gr bullets and go get one! I'd stick with fur bearers for that 223. I would recomend that you try and not take a shot at a caribou inside 50yards with that 338 if possible. With the enery and velocity at that range some 200gr bullets have a tendancy to make a mess out of the meat on the exit side. That may have been an isolated incient however.

    Good Luck!
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    I think you need to go out and buy a new rifle in .375 H&H or Ruger. Those caribou are one tough critter and take a lot of foot lbs of energy to put down and keep down. You don't want to be running after a wounded one on the tundra. Better get some .300gr Barnes TSX for that 375 as well, that way you will get some decent penetration and bone crushing power.

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    You can never have "too much gun". It also depends on how you shoot your rifle. Bullet choices will be important I would imagine with the 223. The 338 will kill em with just about anything that shoots straight in your gun. Why have any doubts? Go with the gun that will absolutely kill the critter and that you have the most confidence in. That would be the 338 in my opinion.

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    Wow! From underkill to overkill!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Wow! From underkill to overkill!
    That's what I was thinking! If I got to er, it will be on the side of overkill though...it stills goes to the freezer!

    Better yet, he could sell them both and buy a .270 with a boat load of ammo and a great scope.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    I think you need to go out and buy a new rifle in .375 H&H or Ruger. Those caribou are one tough critter and take a lot of foot lbs of energy to put down and keep down. You don't want to be running after a wounded one on the tundra. Better get some .300gr Barnes TSX for that 375 as well, that way you will get some decent penetration and bone crushing power.
    While they are one tough critter, they are as equally fast, you want something that will get to them as quick as possible. You want something flat shooting that will cover a good distance in a hurry, and also to be able to reach out there and touch one at 800yds. The idea came to me while watching Antelope in SE Oregon near the Nevada border, now those suckers are fast!! So that being said I have developed a new round specifically for Caribou, its a .50 case necked down to accept a .223 bullet, I call it the 'Caribou Cruiser'. While I cant leak any details about it, still in the testing and patent phases, I can assure you it will be the ultimate Caribou round when all is said and done.
    "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Matt83, that new cartridge of yours sounds interesting and has a catchy name. Any idea on when you will have it available for the general public? Is there a waiting list I can get on? My kids have a caribou hunt coming up and I want to make sure they are fully rigged up for those sneaky caribou, don't want them to have any excuse for not getting one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    Matt83, that new cartridge of yours sounds interesting and has a catchy name. Any idea on when you will have it available for the general public? Is there a waiting list I can get on? My kids have a caribou hunt coming up and I want to make sure they are fully rigged up for those sneaky caribou, don't want them to have any excuse for not getting one.
    Well, I honestly dont know when it will be availabe for public use, still testing it and as of last week here at MattCorp we have had a couple of setbacks during the testing phase, something about pressures being too high and people missing entire hands and parts of their face now, a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that I let my lawyers deal with, not to worry however! I was assured by my chief engineer that all is not lost and we should have the new round out on the market NLT 1 Nov of this year! I can get you on the waiting list if you would like, actually since you expressed such an interest for this round I will send you a box of 20 rnds for half price!! If you want to get in on this offer just let me know!!
    "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    That's what I was thinking! If I got to er, it will be on the side of overkill though...it stills goes to the freezer!

    Better yet, he could sell them both and buy a .270 with a boat load of ammo and a great scope.
    "...still goes in the freezer..."... but how much of it goes in the freezer? Caribou aren't hard to kill. While I wouldn't hesitate to use a .375 on a moose, bison or brownie, I'd hate to waste meat on a caribou just for the sake of bring one down quick. A .270 or similar reaches out and still does the deed with minimal meat loss.

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    Larger calibers destroy less meat - - - period !!! They also kill quicker, usually. If you're set on making 800-yard shots, be prepared to go home empty handed many, many times, and leaving behind wounded animals in the bargain. It's almost always possible to call up a caribou to within fifty yards. Why not just do that and save yourself a lot of walking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    "...still goes in the freezer..."... but how much of it goes in the freezer? Caribou aren't hard to kill. While I wouldn't hesitate to use a .375 on a moose, bison or brownie, I'd hate to waste meat on a caribou just for the sake of bring one down quick. A .270 or similar reaches out and still does the deed with minimal meat loss.
    I've helped field dress a caribou shot with a .375 behind the ribs and the moderate velocity yielded a suprising lack of bloodshoot meat... I've heard people say "you can eat right up to the hole" and believe it to be nearly true. In this case it was a .375 hole in and a .375 hole out and one collapsed critter.

    With a light, fast bullet in a .338WM however- meat loss could certainly be very substatianal if you hit a bone. I guess I was trying to say that with a .223 the meat loss could be the entire animal.

    You nailed it though- neither is really the best medicine for caribou and given my druthers I'd prefer a .270 or .308 or similar. I've been hunting almost exclusively with a favorite .300WSM the last few years and you really have to shoot carefully or meat loss can be pretty horrific.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    On that Caribou Cruiser round...will it be available in both rifle and handguns? Along the lines of a 60 lb. rifle with a 60X scope and a 3 oz. CC handgun for backup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    On that Caribou Cruiser round...will it be available in both rifle and handguns? Along the lines of a 60 lb. rifle with a 60X scope and a 3 oz. CC handgun for backup.
    Im glad you asked! We are currently in the early stages of a 'Caribou MiniCruiser' handgun round, though it will be a .50 AE case necked down to .17 HMR. The beginning of the new year we will start work on our 'Antelope Annihilator' lineup!
    "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
    Thomas Jefferson

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