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Thread: .223 on caribou?

  1. #1
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default .223 on caribou?

    I'm going to try to get my two eldest daughters out on a caribou hunt next fall and am working through my gun selection...

    I have a really nice T/C Encore in .223 with a Burris 6-24x signature scope that I was thinking would work well if I outfitted it with a bipod. I've been shooting 55gr ballistic tips out of it so far and it shoots really well but I would want something a bit heavier for hunting 'bou with. Do any of you know of a quality heavier grain bullet that I should look for? I'm not even sure how heavy you can go with a .223...

    My other option is my old Savage 99 in .250-3000. The problem I'm having is that it is a take down model and the barrel lock key in the fore stock is worn and the barrel has an ever so slight knock when you twist it. I think this is why I can't get it to zero worth beans. So, if I go with this gun (the one I killed my first 'bou with when I was 13 BTW ), I will have to find a gunsmith that can tighten it up for me first.

    I would like to stick with the .223, but I'm not sure that would be a good option without a heavier bullet. I would be there backing them up with my .06 of course, but I'd rather not have to shoot.

    Any suggestions?
    AKmud
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  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Default

    The .223 probably has killed more caribou in Alaska than any other caliber A good heart/lung shot broadside with a good bullet will get the job done. I don't know what your finances are, but it might be time for a nice .243 for the girls...it's a big step up from a .223.
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  3. #3
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    +1 what doug said. 223 55 grainers will do fine within reasonable distance.
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  4. #4
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    +2 to what Doug said. Lord knows I have helped pack out plenty shot with that round as well as my 22-250.

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Depending on the twist rate of the barrel on the TC it may not stabilize a heavier bullet. That said I would use the heaviest boolets that it shot well and I am sure it will get the job done, besides better to hit them good w/ a sweet shooting 223 than bad with a crummy shooting 250-3000!
    My kids first bou gun will likely be AR15's in 223.

  6. #6

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    It sounds to me like you have a very good excuse to go shopping for a new rifle. You deserve it, and you need it, it's a safety issue, etc. I can think of all sorts of good reasons.

  7. #7

    Default .223

    Though not a direct comparison. MN allowed .223 last year on whitetails and my partner used 62 grain soft points very effectively on two of them.

  8. #8

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    My daughter shot a caribou in 2005 and 2006 with me .17/.223 varmint gun. I was backing her up with the .300 but it wasn't needed. The 25 grain bullet hit the mark at almost 4000 fps and gelled the lungs. Game over.

  9. #9
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I've killed tons of white tail with a .223, but frankly I'm not at all wild about the round. Shot placement is 99% of the equation but a little more uhmpf is nice, always figured a .270 would be just about perfect, good sheep round too. I would not use a weapon that "I cant get to zero worth beans" time to scrap that one!
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  10. #10

    Default

    My uncle hunted elk with a 243 until his son was old enough to hunt. He gave his son the 243 and started using a 223. Lots of one shot kills and I don't think he ever lost an animal. That being said he wouldn't take a long shot or one at a bad angle and typically shot cows and spikes. Not saying the 223 is a good big game rifle, but it has killed plenty.

  11. #11
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default Try Sierra

    I use the Sierra 65gr Gameking and have a few "extra", if you want to try some to see if your rifle likes them.

    Ed

  12. #12
    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    Sell or trade your .223 and get a .243 I have taken just about all big game with a .243 at some point, and your daughters will think its a dream to shoot. Just took my wife shooting for the first time ever, and she was hitting a target at 150 yards standing up!! After she got over the noise, she realized it didn't really have a kick and shot with confidence after 10 rounds. I know that this is not the answer you were looking for, just my opinion. I know my dad has taken caribou with a .222 before, so a .223 should do the trick.
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  13. #13
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    Default 223 loads

    My dad took his AR out 2 bou trips ago. He found some bullets that I think were 77 grain. He went back to his 30-06 on the next trip. Didn't like the light bullet in the high wind, and where we hunt bou it gets going pretty good.
    I say the .243 is the way to go for the kids. I have my mom's old 243 and my kids love to shoot it. Even the 8 year old. Straight shooter, and I think the bullets go up to 110 grain.

  14. #14
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    Ive used both, no problem.

    the .243W will help extend the range, for sure. I use 55's with .223R and 100's with the .243W


    Just hit the **** things right and theres little difference in their being dead.
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  15. #15
    Member Alaska Bush Hunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 223 tsx

    The 62gr Barnes TSX with Reloader 15 works great in the AR.

    I switched to the 6.8 SPC with 110gr Accubonds and Reloader 10 in the AR.

  16. #16
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    First things first,fix your 99.Send it to the factory if you have to but fix it as it has to much value to sit in the shape it is in. Five more grains in the 223 won't do that much more for you so just stick with whats working now.JMHO

  17. #17
    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default Here we go again

    In Africa, first the Martini .45 and then later the .303 Enfield killed a few, and wounded many more, Big Game animals.
    Maybe it's time for a .243 at least.
    A minority opinion I'm sure.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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