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Posted: 9/7/2010 11:52:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 11:54:11 AM EDT by MichigamaGunslinger]
I remember there being a thread somewhere on here about this, with pictures and everything. If someone has the link to it, I would greatly appreciate it.

Would a 16" barrel be a tad short compared to a 20" for deer hunting within 200 yards (strictly concerning ballistics)?

I understand that bullet selection is critical to hunting deer size game, but will the 20" give me that much more wiggle room in bullet selection compared to the 16"?
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 11:55:27 AM EDT
Can't hunt with anything less than a .243 in CT.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:01:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 12:03:20 PM EDT by mathecb]
Shot placement has more to do with it than barrel length, 16" is plenty long to get the required velocity to take a deer. I would not and dont hunt with a .223. I think there are too many better options out there.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:08:06 PM EDT
Outdoor Formum/Deer Hunting: here

I personally don't own a deer rifle, and want to hunt with my A2 clone, so I'm curious to read all the comments about using heavier rounds and most people saying that they're just as effective as many larger rounds out there. Where I hunt, there's no shot I would take that's over 50M, and I'm confident enough in my abilities that I'd put that round where I want it, but on the whole this issue is...

This:


Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:11:35 PM EDT
I probably wouldn't use a 223 for hunting deer either, but if I did I'd go with a projectile like the 75 grain Swift Scirocco II, but you'd have to handload if you wanted to use that one. If constrained to factory loaded ammo, I'd probably go with the Cor-Bon 62 grain DPX offering.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:20:07 PM EDT
Many deer have been shot and killed by hunters with .22lr rifles. It is shot placement and not taking a shot that is marginal based on your skills and ability. I do not hunt deer. However if I was in a situation where I only had a 16 inch barrel AR-15 I would have no reservations taking the shot if I could put the bullet where it needed to be.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:23:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 12:25:35 PM EDT by MichigamaGunslinger]
Thanks. I am trying to decide between building up an M16A4 clone or just buying a Colt 6920, chopping the FSB and installing a Daniel Defense /RIS II handguard with flip sights (I sold all of my AR's recently). With either option I would be hunting with a 4x fixed power scope. I have gotten the impression that some of the really nasty (varmint type) rounds tear up too much meat, and that the FMJ rounds are a BAD idea. I was thinking of a hollowpoint or softpoint in the 60gr range would work fine.

I agree with many other people that shot placement is crucial. I shot my first deer in 2008 with a 12 gauge hollowpoint slug @ 40yards (from the side). It ran about 50 yards and expired in some brush. When we gutted the deer, I observed that I had made a direct hit on the heart/lungs. The chest cavity was so filled with shredded guts that you could make a soup out of it (lol, no joke). The entry and exit holes were about the same size. BTW, this was on an 80lb deer.

At 40yards, I couldn't think of a harder hitting load than a 12 gauge hollowpoint slug. And the deer kept running until it hit the brush. Basically, I am not convinced that every hunter needs a cannon like that to hunt deer. Maybe if your a poor shot then it might provide more room for error, but for me deer hunting is about putting meat on the table, and I will feel more comfortable shooting a deer with an AR which I shoot a lot than a slug gun or 30 cal. rifle which I won't shoot very often.

So, basically my question is: If I am equally accurate with either out to 200 meters, will I notice a difference in effectiveness between a 16" or 20" barrel?
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:28:11 PM EDT
Quote:

Those who feel the .223-caliber Nosler Partition is not suitable for deer have to recognize it can penetrate on par with bullets weighing three times as much even if bone is hit. Too, those who have nothing but speculation to support their argument are more likely make the claim that a bullet this small cannot defeat bone.Also, this test illustrates why Triple-Shocks sometimes loose their petals, and this petal loss is of no consequence in terms of the damage the bullet will inflict. If anything, this shedding of petals may help achieve an exit wound that in most cases is not a bad thing.It has long been a commonly accepted hypothesis that if the core and jacket of a bullet separate, it means the bullet is bad. This may be true to an extent, but the separation is not as important as where in the animal the separation occurs. If core and jacket separate upon impact with bone or during initial expansion, penetration and tissue damage will be compromised. On the other hand, many core-and-jacket separations happen when the bullet is nearing the point of terminal penetration like with the Sierra ProHunter.The jacket stops first because of its larger diameter and lighter weight, while the core pulls itself free and continues on a short distance. That’s called Newton’s first law of motion: “…an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” On several occasions I have found bullet jackets and cores that have come to rest in an animal very near each other after necessary penetration was achieved.

http://www.shootingillustrated.com/Ammo/Rifle/Bullethitsbone.html
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:33:39 PM EDT
Hit the Outdoor -> Deer Hunting section and see this argument in its many forms. The bottom line is shot placement is king and with modern bullets you can drop a deer in its tracks with a 5.56/.223 without issue. Some will always doubt and say things like, "a bigger round is more reliable/humane/whatever," or, "just because you can doesn't mean you should," but its like the .45 vs 9mm debate or beans vs. no beans.

Do what works for you. FWIW, my little wife neck shoots deer with a .22 Hornet and they don't get back up. I bought that gun for her after this old fart I work with told me it's what he has used for years. He eats nothing but venison all year round.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:40:57 PM EDT
The difference between a 20 inch vs 16 inch is probably in the range of 50 yards. For hunting deer sized game with the 223 you should look to the Barnes TSX or TTSX line. They make a 62 and 70 gr bullet in the TSX line. If you have a 1:7 twist the 70 gr might be best for you. You'll likely not find a better hunting bullet. IMO! Although I will say in MI your deer are much bigger than our Whitetails in the south...generally.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:55:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Stegadeth:
Hit the Outdoor -> Deer Hunting section and see this argument in its many forms. The bottom line is shot placement is king and with modern bullets you can drop a deer in its tracks with a 5.56/.223 without issue. Some will always doubt and say things like, "a bigger round is more reliable/humane/whatever," or, "just because you can doesn't mean you should," but its like the .45 vs 9mm debate or beans vs. no beans.

Do what works for you. FWIW, my little wife neck shoots deer with a .22 Hornet and they don't get back up. I bought that gun for her after this old fart I work with told me it's what he has used for years. He eats nothing but venison all year round.



That's good advice, at least for the smallish deer we have in my neck of the woods{ 100 to 190 pounds} My "deer" load of choice is Winchester's 64GR powerpoint.
Serious medicine for the thin skinned, lightly boned whitetail deer, never had one run more than 50YDS.
Hogs can hurt ya back so I might use a bit more for them.

Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:59:29 PM EDT
A 16" will do fine if you do your job. I use mine for kulling every season. A quality bullet and knowing where to put it drops them in their tracks.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 1:25:04 PM EDT
I use a 20'' A3 style with just the irons. Most of my shots are within 100 yards.

I have used 55gr FMJ in the past but this season I'll be upping it to 75gr something or others. The 20'' barrel simply makes me more comfortable with the negligible "added" velocity. Not saying it's the way to go and know plenty of people who use a 16'' AR for the job.

Plus I feel kind of stupid using my 16'' AR with quad rail, VFG, flip up sights and an EOTech on deer.

My 20'' is wearing OD green furniture and it feels more like a "deer rifle" to me. Stupid reasons I know.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 1:31:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MichigamaGunslinger:
So, basically my question is: If I am equally accurate with either out to 200 meters, will I notice a difference in effectiveness between a 16" or 20" barrel?


Not if you're using a proper bullet.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 1:32:47 PM EDT
My wife will be using my "deer rifle" this year, so I'll be using my 14.5 AR.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 1:42:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MichigamaGunslinger:
I remember there being a thread somewhere on here about this, with pictures and everything. If someone has the link to it, I would greatly appreciate it.
I understand that bullet selection is critical to hunting deer size game, but will the 20" give me that much more wiggle room in bullet selection compared to the 16"?

There are tons of threads on deer hunting many even with pictures. It's a frequently discussed topic.
Win Power Point has been mentioned. Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, TBBC, is frequently thrown out as a good choice.
Stay away from the varmint rounds, the expand too quickly and may not penetrate far enough.

Originally Posted By 22mike:
Many deer have been shot and killed by hunters with .22lr rifles. It is shot placement and not taking a shot that is marginal based on your skills and ability. I do not hunt deer. However if I was in a situation where I only had a 16 inch barrel AR-15 I would have no reservations taking the shot if I could put the bullet where it needed to be.

There's a huge difference between sport hunting and survival/subsitence hunting.
I'd take a headshot with an FMJ at a deer if it was between that and dying.
I'd severely restrict my shots if I was using an AR-15 during deer season.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 1:55:58 PM EDT
I agree with what's been said regarding whitetail.

Stick with a heavy, quality bonded bullet, or even better one of the Barnes bullets.
With these, you won't have to think twice before making that a shot on an animal
that is quartering away.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 2:12:54 PM EDT
Your 80 pound baby deer ran 50 yards after a well placed lung/heart shot from a 12 gauge slug. How far do you think a 180+ pound buck will run from a well placed lung/heart shot from a .223? Don't shoot deer in the head. Don't hunt deer with a .223. Save up and buy a used rifle of appropriate caliber w/ scope for $350 and do it right.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 3:29:14 PM EDT
I was in Maine hunting for coyotes last fall with my SDM rifle loaded with Barnes 70gr TSX bullets during the last week of deer season when a 10pt. buck stepped out broadside into the field 75 yds away. He dropped at the shot and couldn't get up. He raised his head once and then was down for the count. The bullet passed completely thru the deer leaving a 3" exit wound. It dressed out at 196 lbs, just 4lbs shy of making it into Maine's Big Buck club.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 3:29:22 PM EDT
shot placement is everything i got my first buck with a .22lr though out of season. Got my tail thrashed for that one. it dont matter if you are using a .50 cal if you dont place the shot well you wont get to eat. both the 62 and 70gr. barnes tsx have served me and my son very well the last 2 seasons. never had 1 run more than 25 yds. and that was a dumb shot i made thu a bush.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 3:56:43 PM EDT
Shot Placement, Shot Placement! Yes just about any size round will kill an animal if you have the perfect shot placement. But in the real world animals don't always hold still for you or strike the perfect posse for you. I have used my AR-15 w/ 16" barrel in .223 for deer hunting in WI, I used 63 grain Sierra Soft point boat tails with 23 grains of H332. On smaller dear (yearling fawns) yes it will zip right threw giving you 2 nice holes. But on larger full grown deer..... it would stop just inside the hide on the exiting side. As for velocity I don't know what I was getting. A longer barrel I would have gotten more Velocity, would this mean more penetration? I don't know. Will it work for smaller game or varmints, Yes! As for this year I am using a 7.62x39 upper w/ hallow points, deer up in the Mid-West usually run a lot bigger than all the one I have seen down south from TN to GA.

At 50 meters to 200 meter if you are using open sights yes you would see a difference w/ shot grouping, from the use of open sights. As for penetration you will have more velocity out of a 20" vs 16".
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 4:19:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jimmy2spot:
Your 80 pound baby deer ran 50 yards after a well placed lung/heart shot from a 12 gauge slug. How far do you think a 180+ pound buck will run from a well placed lung/heart shot from a .223? Don't shoot deer in the head. Don't hunt deer with a .223. Save up and buy a used rifle of appropriate caliber w/ scope for $350 and do it right.


same deer? just bigger? 50 yds. Doesnt matter if its a 12ga or 3/4" hole(expanded .223 bullet), when you destroy a heart the animal goes down in about 15 seconds.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 4:35:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MichigamaGunslinger:
I remember there being a thread somewhere on here about this, with pictures and everything. If someone has the link to it, I would greatly appreciate it.

Would a 16" barrel be a tad short compared to a 20" for deer hunting within 200 yards (strictly concerning ballistics)?

I understand that bullet selection is critical to hunting deer size game, but will the 20" give me that much more wiggle room in bullet selection compared to the 16"?


I did not read any other posts, but I can tell you I have taken dear for 3 years with a 5.56 55gr Hornady TAP. 16' rifle. I have taken a 375lb russian boar with one as well. That one fell over like a truck hit it at 50 yards or so. That was with a LC 55gr FMJ. Yes, it is very effective for deer. Shot it behind the shoulder like you are supposed to do, and its dead fast!! Only people that cant seem to hit a 6" target with a rifle need 30 cal or higher because they shoot off limbs and get ass shots. Be sure in the faith of it... you can kill a deer easy with a .223/5.56
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 4:45:48 PM EDT
I thought one of the properties of the 5.56 was that it started to tumble though soft tissue/flesh on impact? I see this causing more damage to the animal and killing it without a problem. I just sold my Browning BAR 7mm Rem Mag which I hardly ever shot ($50 for a box for shells is crazy) so I considered taking my AR hunting with me this year, I am also staring at a red box of 75gr. 5.56mm Hornady TAP T2s.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 5:09:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 5:09:42 PM EDT by DernHumpus]
I shot a large buck with my 18" shooting 75 gr Hornady BTHP. The shot placement was poor (back quite a bit). The bullet came apart in three pieces and each piece went all of the way through to the inside of the opposite hide. The deer bedded up about 75 yards from where it was shot and was dead 15 minutes later. I would not hesitate to use .223 again, with this load of course.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 8:24:55 PM EDT
Shoot placement, Shoot placement, Shoot placement....
A quality barrel with a 1/9 twist will stabilize most 75gr bullets. My friend shot a deer last season with a SW-15, Aimpoint, with Win 64grSP at 150yds.
Stone
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 6:20:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bigjohn141ok:
I thought one of the properties of the 5.56 was that it started to tumble though soft tissue/flesh on impact? I see this causing more damage to the animal and killing it without a problem. I just sold my Browning BAR 7mm Rem Mag which I hardly ever shot ($50 for a box for shells is crazy) so I considered taking my AR hunting with me this year, I am also staring at a red box of 75gr. 5.56mm Hornady TAP T2s.


One of the properties is that at the right velocity, it might tumble.
Or, it might just shoot clean through the animal and put a tiny little hole through each lung which
could take a very long time to be effective.

IMO, the military is constrained to use FMJ ammo.
A conscientious hunter will use a modern, bonded core, expanding bullet design.
(Even though my cousin bubba once shot an elk in the eye with a pellet gun and
it went down like a ton of bricks, so obviously BB guns are GTG).
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:19:29 AM EDT
Why would you want to use a .223 unless you had no other choice. Yes. it will work if you do your part with the right bullet, but there are MUCH better choices.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:17:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By UBB:
Why would you want to use a .223 unless you had no other choice. Yes. it will work if you do your part with the right bullet, but there are MUCH better choices.


It has worked every time for me, and I use it because I already have it available. Plus, if going to state land, I don't trust anyone out there, and I will ensure that I have superior fire power ;)
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 10:09:26 AM EDT
great topic... I have an AR10 that I like to use but this year I plan to take my AR15 out and have been wondering about this...Great info on the Barnes round...Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 11:19:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By testedone:
great topic... I have an AR10 that I like to use but this year I plan to take my AR15 out and have been wondering about this...Great info on the Barnes round...Thanks!


Hornady TAP works great too
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 6:00:02 AM EDT
Killed my UP Michigan big fat deer with one shot last year. 16'inch RRA , federal 60-or 62g fusion. I have to look at the box. I k ow it was a nosler bullet. But that deer dropped. Boom. No movement.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 7:06:28 AM EDT
The right shot with some of the above mentioned ammo will do the trick. My advice though is to hunt with the appropriate rifle. I prefer my 270 when deer hunting. Great ballistics and it will drop the deer every time. If I really want to do the trick, I go 30-06. A classic load that NEVER fails. My boss prefers the 7mm, but I just assume have some deer left over to eat. I'll save the 7mm for the elk.

My point is to go with a different rifle than your AR. BUT if you do wan to hunt with an AR, go with Hornady V-Max 65gr+. 16" and 20" is 6 of one, half a dozen of the other at 200 yrds. 20" won't give much difference in MY opinion. If you shoot past 200 yrds, then consider a 20". I would even give some thought in a AR10 308 If you want big game at long distances.



Link Posted: 9/9/2010 1:49:53 PM EDT
As mentioned, it is all about shot placement. I have carried a .270, .30.30 (under 200yds), .243 & 30-06 and the past couple years my AR. I have had no issues dropping any buck with my AR, regardless of ammo choice. I decided to start carrying it in the field as I had tired of carrying two rifles in the truck, 1 for deer, and one for coyotes (AR). It was too much crap bouncing around. I slimmed down to just my AR, my coyote kill rate went up without any sacrifice in my deer harvesting.

I shoot on open range and target appear from from 25yds (Pop-up over a hill) to well past 500yds+. Shoot 'em up!
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 1:53:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tacso:
Plus, if going to state land, I don't trust anyone out there, and I will ensure that I have superior fire power ;)


With your 5 round magazine?
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