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Deer Hunting

.223 Bushmaster

Uploaded on October 08, 2010

I just purchased a .223 Bushmaster and I am eager to get a chance to go hunt some coyotes and other varmint with it. I am wondering if anyone will give me advice as to whether this rifle will be suitable for hunting deer as well. I am currently without a deer rifle and was hoping to use my new toy to hunt deer this season. Can someone please help!!!

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from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I'd say step up to a .243 or bigger round for deer hunting. You will get varied answers on the viability of .223 for deer. I have used my Rock River Varmint for deer before, but I would rather have too much gun - I will stick to my 7 mag and my 270WSM.

If you are intent on going deer hunting with the AR, maybe think about another upper for it in 6.8 SPCII, 6.5 Grendel, or maybe .450 Bushmaster. Besides, a man always needs more toys.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I'd say that SGA gave you some very good advice. I'm not a .223 fan for deer either, but there are those that are. The FMJ ammo is definitely no good and illegal in many jurisdictions.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I don't use a .223 for deer but my Son does and he has great success with it. You have to pick your shots and be able to hit your spot. Last year he traveled to Tenn. and killed a nice buck at 176 ranged yards. I keep telling him to get something bigger, but he keeps killing deer with it and he keeps asking me why he should get something else. The key to using the .223 is what I said earlier, you have to be able to put your shot exactly where it needs to be. When checking hunters over the years I checked quite a few hunters using .223's to deer hunt with, and they had success with them.

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from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

You can use a .223 Rem for deer as long as your shots are not in thick cover. My niece shot one head on at 150 yards with a 55g spire point. It flattened the deer, penetrating the neck/chest , breaking three vertebreas in the spine and exiting ahead of the hind quarter. If you use it for deer, I highly recommend the Barnes 55g or 62g TSX bullets. Do not use varmint bullets and ballistic tips as they will tend to fragment too much and could even fail to penetrate a big buck's shoulder bone. As with all deer shots, you must shoot them in a vital area and not in the foot/leg. If you hit a vital area within 250 yards, they will be as dead as with a .375 H&H. Last week .223 bullets accounted for about 30 of the antelope we took in our camp. Mostly from 22-250s but six from .223 Rems. All were smacked as dead as they would be with a 30-06 but several of the varmint bullets did not penetrate completely. I suggest a larger cartridge if you can get it but if you are a proficient hunter, you will get deer.

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from lawman328 wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Check your game laws. Some states require .24cal or better Tennessee did up till a couple years ago, now it's any centerfire rifle cartridge.
Also some states have Mag/ammo restrictions.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I'd say that SGA gave you some very good advice. I'm not a .223 fan for deer either, but there are those that are. The FMJ ammo is definitely no good and illegal in many jurisdictions.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I don't use a .223 for deer but my Son does and he has great success with it. You have to pick your shots and be able to hit your spot. Last year he traveled to Tenn. and killed a nice buck at 176 ranged yards. I keep telling him to get something bigger, but he keeps killing deer with it and he keeps asking me why he should get something else. The key to using the .223 is what I said earlier, you have to be able to put your shot exactly where it needs to be. When checking hunters over the years I checked quite a few hunters using .223's to deer hunt with, and they had success with them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I'd say step up to a .243 or bigger round for deer hunting. You will get varied answers on the viability of .223 for deer. I have used my Rock River Varmint for deer before, but I would rather have too much gun - I will stick to my 7 mag and my 270WSM.

If you are intent on going deer hunting with the AR, maybe think about another upper for it in 6.8 SPCII, 6.5 Grendel, or maybe .450 Bushmaster. Besides, a man always needs more toys.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lawman328 wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Check your game laws. Some states require .24cal or better Tennessee did up till a couple years ago, now it's any centerfire rifle cartridge.
Also some states have Mag/ammo restrictions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

You can use a .223 Rem for deer as long as your shots are not in thick cover. My niece shot one head on at 150 yards with a 55g spire point. It flattened the deer, penetrating the neck/chest , breaking three vertebreas in the spine and exiting ahead of the hind quarter. If you use it for deer, I highly recommend the Barnes 55g or 62g TSX bullets. Do not use varmint bullets and ballistic tips as they will tend to fragment too much and could even fail to penetrate a big buck's shoulder bone. As with all deer shots, you must shoot them in a vital area and not in the foot/leg. If you hit a vital area within 250 yards, they will be as dead as with a .375 H&H. Last week .223 bullets accounted for about 30 of the antelope we took in our camp. Mostly from 22-250s but six from .223 Rems. All were smacked as dead as they would be with a 30-06 but several of the varmint bullets did not penetrate completely. I suggest a larger cartridge if you can get it but if you are a proficient hunter, you will get deer.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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