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Thread: Hunting with a .223

  1. #1
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default Hunting with a .223

    I recently picked up a .223 along with another gun for a good price and was wondering to what extent people use them. I have had people tell me every thing all the way up to moose. I don't think I would take it for moose but I might consider deer or possibly caribou. I thought of .223's as primarily varmit guns and got it primarily because they are fun and fairly cheap to shoot.

  2. #2

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    i think your better off taking your own advice than the people you've talked to

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    I shot a Caribou with a .220 swift last year and it did an amazing job. More internal damage than with a 30-06. I haven't taken my .223 out yet but I plan to. The .220 swift is mostly the same bullet with more speed. It will also depend on your bullet. Find something with a soft point or tipped bullet. I know a lot of people that use them for deer as well. If you don't have bears around they would be a good deer gun. I would not use them for anything bigger than caribou though. I ve seen moose take a lot of big bullets before going down and cant imagine they would even feel a .223 bullet especially bulls in the rut.

    Carl

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I know a guy that has shot several moose with th .223 I believe the shots were at pretty close range and he shot them in the neck. However I don't agree with this choice of caliber for moose, or any big game in alaska, even deer. I would still like to get one though, just for target shooting purposes

  5. #5
    Member goaty's Avatar
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    Default great for wolves

    I lived in the bush for 6 years and the people loved .223's because bullets are cheap and you can pump a lot of lead into an animal quickly. They killed even large brown bears with them. "shot after shot after shot" Personally, I think they are light even for caribou. They are an awesome wolf gun though.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    My daughter took a 5.5 foot blackie this year using 223 hornady 55 grain ballistic tips... dead square in the chest at 45 yards entry hole was silver dollar size and bullet was located on the rear thigh area. the bear dove in to the brush about 8 yards and had a blood trail like you wont believe.

    i have in the past used it on moose taking behind the ear shots only... and had great success with it.. out to 100 yards .. but i know mine will put 3 outa 5 in the same hole at that range. the natives use the heck out of the 223 because of the low recoil in it.. i let my kids shoot caribou with it. but wont let them shoot a moose or large bear until i am sure they have it solid on where and when..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Aparently it works on polar bear as well...
    http://www.newsminer.com/news/2008/m...ed-fort-yukon/

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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Shot placement is key, and having the confidence to hit your target also. Too light for anything? Heck no. Lotsa guys on here shoot and shoot at paper targets trying to get to subMOA and still can't shoot without ruining meat.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  9. #9

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    Have one. Don't consider it a deer rifle but it can be a great coyote rifle. Although shot placement is important what the bullet does after it hits is at least as important.
    My preferred shot is the lungs, doesn't ruin much if any meat but I feal does require a larger bullet than the 223 packs.

  10. #10
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Got rid of mine don't miss it, wouldn't recommend hunting anything bigger than a deer with one, don't really like the round. If your not a kid or a very small woman why not use a gun with adequate fire power?
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    I know guys that use 222 and 223 for deer in the lower 48. As long as the shot placement is perfect they work, but I also have helped them track wounded deer, where the light bullets (55gr SPs) basically "exploded" on the shoudler blade. All deer were recovered, after a lengthy tracking jobs and finishing shot(s). They work, but for my advice use a bigger rifle.

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    Default 223

    I have a lot of experience with a 223 and caribou. My wife used one exclusively for 10 years and to 150 yards it's ok. Past this it loses a lot of pop. Bullet choice isn't as critical as it is with the bigger 22's though I still have some favourites. I tend to use the 60 grain Nosler Partition or 64 WIN PP to be on the safe side and the killing power we find similar to the 30-30.

    In fact I did a bullet study in wet newsprint a while ago...30-30 bullets from a Stevens 325B are around the outside and the 223 bullets in the middle. The copper colored slug is a 60 Partition. Next to it is a 64 Win PP. The 30-30 bullets around the outside include 3, 170 Grain slugs, a 150 Horn Interlock Bonded, and several 130-125 grain bullets. All work quite well at 30-30 speeds. Penetration of the 223 was in the 30-30 range and wound channels were nearly as big.

    The bullet with the shed jacket was from a 358 Norma. The 225 Nosler BT is a bullet I had poor results on game with and now I know why. Penetration was in the 223 range. So bullet construction does matter, maybe even more than caliber!





    Despite our fairly good results we now have a Rem 600 in 6mm and it's a lot better rig. I'll likely sell the 223 soon.

    By the way, my favourite bullet in 30-30 is the 170 Hornady Interlock. It's a very nice performer. For caribou the 125 Sierra Spitz is also quite a bullet, in a bolt gun.

  13. #13

    Default Probably not.......

    I think the .223 has killed lots of animals. Probably a bunch of those caribou recently slaughtered on the slope were killed by the .223. It is not for big game. My kids started out with the .308 Win. and the 30-06. The grandkids will start out with a .243. The animals deserve the "one shot, one quick kill" deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I think the .223 has killed lots of animals. Probably a bunch of those caribou recently slaughtered on the slope were killed by the .223. It is not for big game. My kids started out with the .308 Win. and the 30-06. The grandkids will start out with a .243. The animals deserve the "one shot, one quick kill" deal.
    For a beginning hunter I agree the 223 is not the best choice. However, for a careful hunter like my wife and used North of the tree line with discipline and good bullets it's not so bad. A .223 used within 150 yards by a careful shooter is a lot better than a 243 used at 300 yards by most of the guys I come across at the range.

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    I shot a bou with one just recently. Here's the thread.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=37597

    Anyway the heavy bullets like the 70 TSX with a fast twist works fine.

  16. #16
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Good bullets properly placed kill animials. The .223 will certainly kill as well as a bow, or most handguns. How is it that it's ok to hunt moose and grizzly's with a bow or a 44 mag shooting cast bullets, but the .223 is woefully inadequate?

    I don't understand the mindset that it's ok to shoot wildly at running game etc with more powerful rounds. If you can't properly place the shot, don't take it. If you can, a .223 will do the job.

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