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Posted: 9/17/2004 5:12:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:47:15 AM EDT
I thought about hunting deer with mine also............

In Oklahoma you must have least a 55gr bullet, soft nosed and no more than a mag of 7 rounds.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:52:35 AM EDT
Sierra 55 gr. HPBT Gameking. I don't take body shots, but these work excellent with head/neck shots. Of course about anything does when the bullet goes in that area. I take accuracy over anything, try different bullets till you find one that is accurate out of your gun and place the shots where they need to go.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:53:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 5:56:37 AM EDT by gotm4]
I don't recommend a .223 for deer. Winchesters 64gr PowerPoint was made for deer though IMHO a .223 isn't humane enough. I use a .308 or a .30-06
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:54:22 AM EDT
I would definitely go heavy... 68 or 69 gr as available. If they make a partition in 223 that would be my choice.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:24:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
This winter, I may get my first deer hunting experience, in Alabama. All centerfire rifles are
legal for hunting in Alabama, and many deer have been taken with .223. I'm the sort who won't take anything but a very good shot anyway.

If you want to argue if .223 is big enough for deer, please don't bother. I don't have any other centerfire rifle calibers and am not about to go out and buy one as of this time.

I'm looking for recommendations for the best deer load I can work up. Bullet weight, type, brand, part number, etc.

I'm a reloader, of course.

The rifle I'll be taking has a 1:9 twist barrel. Bushmaster National Match HBAR


I have been getting good accuracy from Nosler partition 60gr, varget, and lake city brass (with CCI mil primers). Some people are going 26.5 (crazy) grains. I consider this to be way too high and I stick with an absolute max of 26 grains with mil brass. I actually have gotten better groups with 25.5grs of varget.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:31:11 AM EDT
I have had good accuracy with the 64 gr. Winchester Power Point over 26 grs. Varget in LC brass with CCI 400 primer. 2700 fps from a 16" barrel. The PP is designed to mushroom, rather than fragment, and the 64 grainers are quite inexpensive to boot.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:33:27 AM EDT
6.5 Grendal
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:36:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 6:37:11 AM EDT by 96Ag]
I have had good luck with 55gr. soft points.

+1 on neck shots, I have shot 2 deer with my AR and both have been good neck shots. Neither took a step, they dropped right in their tracks.

Accuracy is paramount when hunting with an AR, I am tired of hearing the "humane" argument . I have seen many deer shot with .30 and up caliber rifles take off and run for 100+ yards. Between a .22-250 and my .223 AR I have never had a deer make more than thirty yards before collapsing.

Practice, don't take an "iffy" shot, and have fun showing up those hunting whitetails with Ultramags.

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:27:50 AM EDT
There is the whole issue of 5.56 is/is not sufficient. You already asked us not to engage in that debate, so I will not belabor it...

There is a certain amount of "wiggle room" or margin for error with a larger caliber. If you are using a .308, the deer will not care if it's whacked with a cheapo 150 Rem PSP, a 165 Nosler Ballistic Tip, or a 180 Swift AFrame. Any decent hit will do the job. (A .308 caliber Nosler Ballistic Tip at 2640 FPS will completely vaporize a catalope sized mass of flesh...... steak tartare)

The 5.56 does not have the luxury of having that sort of margin for error. You need appropriate bullet placement, appropriate shot angle and an appropriate bullet. I have no problem with 5.56 on whitetails, including some of the big bodied North Eastern bucks we get up here. However, I will not consider using a cheapo 55 soft point on a whitetail - These are designed to expand appropriately on woodchucks, foxes and the like. Various hollow points are designed for hunting paper or little critters. FMJ bullets are also not designed for big game. They will take whitetails, but the chance of a bullet failure is significantly higher than I would like to accept.

Some will argue the above points. Yes. FMJ/HP/and 50-55 SP bullets have taken deer. They have worked but they are not appropriate. Think of it this way: Nealry everything can be fixed with duct tape and a big hammer, but there are better tools for many jobs.

There are a few .224 bullets that are designed for larger game. Please use these! They are of a heavier construction, and are less likely to completely fragment. Fragmentation is good in a number of situations, but it is not appropriate for hunting deer. Do you really want lead-flavored venison sausage? The heavier bullets are also driven at somewhat lower velocities, which also translates to more modest, less violent expansion and deeper penetration. These are all good in a white tail bullet.

You options, in no particular order, are the Winchester 64grn powerpoint, The Speer 70 Grn SMP, the Nosler 60 grn Partition, and the Trohpy Bonded Core.

My own particular choice would be the Nosler. They are marginally more expensive than the cheaper Win and Speer. However, they are, by design, a bigger game bullet. Since these will likely be used in faster guns (22-250, Swift, WSSM, etc) they have been constructed to hod together. At .223 velocities you should have no penetration failure issues with the Nosler.

Please note: The little 223 sometimes drops deer dramatically. However, there simply is not the same bullet mass, energy, and massive internal damage that a larger cartridge can inflict so you have far less room for error. A simple double lung shot will collect your deer, but you are likely to have a tracking job before you start cutting venison. Other opt for the neck shot. It's all or nothing: A complete instant success, or miserable complete failure. A buddy took a deer last year that someone had attempted a head shot. It was missing half a lower jaw, and was in rough shape. These are not appropriate hunting strategies.

If you can, opt for a quartering off shot (favorite). Take it behind the shoulder passing through a lung, the top of the heart with the major blood vessels, and the other lung. If the deer does not drop instantly it will drop within sight. Quartering on works just as well.

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:36:06 AM EDT
Hornady makes a TAP (supposedly LE only, but civilians can purchase it) round that uses their 55 grain, or 60 grain, VMax polymer tip bullet that should make an excellent round for thin-skinned animals like whitetail. They also make a 75 grain AMax bullet (if you reload) with a polymer tip. In regards to how humane it is to hunt with a .223, I have seen plenty of jackasses with .270's and 30.06's that can't shoot worth a damn wound a lot more animals than a skilled marksmen with a .223 will ever do. However, head or neck shots are a must, I think, if you want a quick, clean kill.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:37:20 AM EDT
I use the 64gr powerpoint, works great for me.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 8:25:01 AM EDT
I also use 64 grn win power point. Shot placement is the key. You got to make good shots through both lungs and or the heart. Never had any trouble with them going over 30 yards.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 8:57:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GaryM:
I use the 64gr powerpoint, works great for me.

This ctg. is suppose to be designed for deer so if I were to use a 5.56mm this would be the ctg. that I'd use. That being said, here in Tennessee we've got a .24cal or larger reg. for deer hunting so I'll be using my CAR in .300 Fireball with a 150gr Hornady SST at about 1950fps. That should take out a deer at 200 yrds. or less and since most shots here are under 50 yrds. I should be good to go with that load.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:06:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 9:07:22 AM EDT by cmjohnson]
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:07:43 AM EDT
A buddy of mine, down on his luck, fed his family a whole winter on deer taken off his farn with my priarrie dog loads. These were 55 grain Nosler ballistic tips going 3200 FPS with a variety of powders...BLC2, some gov't surplus, H335...you name it.

He told me he never had a deer go more that 10 feet after he shot. He was a very good shot though.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:38:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Thanks for the input and various suggestions.

But...unless I buy another rifle, which I don't plan to do, other calibers are out of the question.
We all know that .223 is adequate for whitetail anyway, provided the shooter does his job right. That's enough about that.

I would REALLY love to use my father's pre-'64 Winchester Model 70 in .308, but unfortunately he sold that to a distant relative some time in the 80's. It was mint, too! Even my mother hit the roof over that one, eventually, and now he's not allowed to sell ANY of his guns unless ALL of his sons give approval! And we're not giving it! He will never be forgiven for that sin, and he knows it.

Actually, the guy I'll be hunting with (assuming this happens) is a relative and he's into big game hunting, African style. He recently went to Africa and got himself a potential record Wildebeest and his buddy got a Cape Buffalo. So he DOES have a rifle I could use for deer. Does a Model 70 in .375 H&H Magnum sound adequate? If not, he DOES have a rifle in .458 Lott...


well both of those rifles are over kill. you will loose a lot of meat. the .375 H&H mag will do you the best. IMHO since you are on a tight budget go out and get a Remmingto 710. its MSRP is $426. you can get it for a lot cheaper than that.

Remmington web site

We didn't set out to raise the standards for value-priced rifles, we set out to blow them away. And this is the result: The all-new Remington‚ Model 710. The most affordable, high-performance centerfire rifle ever built. The breakthrough design of the Model 710 begins with good genetics. Make that the best genetics. After all, it was born in design from none other than the legendary Remington Model 700 — unquestionably the most popular, most accurate factory-built centerfire in hunting arms history. As such, the new Model 710 shares many of the same hallmark features as the famous Model 700: The same unequaled out-of-the-box accuracy. The same time-honored reliability. The same crisp, single-stage trigger design. The same ultra-fast lock time. And the same famous "three-rings-of-steel" for superior action strength.

Built in America's newest firearms plant using state-of-the-art manufacturing systems, the Model 710 not only breaks new ground for value-priced rifles, but for firearms engineering and production as a whole. Principal among its many remarkable features is a first-ever bolt-to-barrel lock-up design. The rear of the Model 710 barrel is machined specifically to mate with three unique locking lugs on the bolt face. When the bolt is fully engaged in the forward position, it locks directly and securely inside the barrel — rather than the receiver — for unprecedented strength. Additionally, the fiberglass-reinforced nylon receiver insert is blended with Teflon® and silicon before molding for continual self-lubrication and ultimately smooth operation.

A shorter, 60-degree bolt throw (versus 90-degrees on most competitive rifles) makes for more convenient loading and unloading, as well as faster follow-up shots. Rounding out the impressive list of features are: a pre-mounted, bore-sighted Bushnell® Sharpshooter® 3-9x40 scope; a detachable, dual-stack steel magazine box; a key-operated Integrated Security System; and a button-rifled barrel that's hydraulically pressed to the receiver. The stock is also quite a feat of design — constructed of weather-defying gray synthetic with a uniquely textured finish and raised cheekpiece.

it comes in your choice of 4 calibers .270, 7mm rem mag, 30-06, 300 win mag. you cant go wrong.

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