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Thread: AR for deer???



  1. #11
    Contributing Member
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    Coyote, Ground Hog, Small pigs...heck even larger pigs...pretty much any small varmint or even large varmint actually!
    Lots of Marlins!

  2. #12
    Tinhorn
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    May have to look into that.
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  3. #13
    "Opinionated Texan" Super Moderator
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    The funny thing about this topic is any time a thread like this gets going,
    a few will predictably post that a centerfire 22 cal is fine for deer and works great...
    But every time a thread about what cal is best for deer it will almost always
    wind up being a toss-up between 308 and 30-06.
    And I recall a few threads where the topic was 6mm for deer and the general
    consensus was a 30 cal was better.
    All I know for sure is what works best for me...and it's not an AR in 223.
    If someone gave me one I'd cash it out.
    But as they say, "different strokes"... I do not be-grudge anybody for owning
    one or favoring them.
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  5. #14
    Gun Wizard
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    I did take a deer in Texas some years back using a Colt Sporter in 7.62x39.
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    I'm not as good as I once was but I'm better ONCE than I ever was.

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  6. #15
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    .223 does not have enough stopping power for deer.If you want to use an AR platform for deer,try the 300 blackout.125 gn bullet,within 150yrds,it should do the job.I still prefer 308 or 30 06,because I don’t want to track wounded game.

  7. #16
    Tenderfoot
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    Are we talking about deer, as in roe? These long legged tasty rats which measure around 15kg/33pound when dressed?
    Then yes, by all means - the .223 Remington is an adequate cartridge. Of course, there's always a bigger caliber but the minimum allowed round here in Germany for deer is the weaker .222 Remington and it was quite popular for deer in the past decades - as was the .22 Savage (5,6x52R) which is a popular calibre in double rifles and "Drillings".

    Personaly I would say that most .223 loads are quite fast for deer and may destroy more meat than necessary but apart from that: why not?
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  8. #17
    Tinhorn
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    tiredweasel you live in Germany? I have always wanted to go to Germany and hunt in the Alps but for that hunt I think I would have to use my 7x57 Mauser just because nostalgia
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  9. #18
    Deadeye
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    It is not my recommended caliber but I have killed a couple deer with the .223 one was right at 300 yards.
    It dropped in its tracks.
    Then again they were Coues Whitetail which are no bigger than a German Shepherd with longer legs.

  10. #19
    Marlin Marksman
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    I have never shot a deer with a .223. However, there is extensive evidence of success by those doing so. I also have heard from close and reliable friends who, combined, have shot several deer with the .223. But only a fool would recommend the .223 as the best choice for dedicated deer hunting, culling captive animals aside. We all know there are better calibers but, yes, it can and has been done and probably done much more often than most people realize.

    If one MUST use a .223 I can only caution against the use of light, fast opening bullets. My closest experience was many years ago when I shot a North Carolina whitetail with a .22-250 and it disappeared into the woods without a trace. The shot was well placed but, apparently, the deer didn't know that. Afterwards, I became curious about the bullet's performance. So, I shot at a 2x4 nailed to a 6x6 post to see just how deep the 52gr bullet would penetrate. I was dumbfounded when I saw that the bullet blew up and never even penetrated the 2x4. I surmised the deer must have been hit in a rib and bullet damage ended then and there. Long, heavy .224" bullets weren't around back then. Things probably would have ended differently if I had been shooting bullets like 65gr Gameking, 70gr TSX, or Speer's 70gr Semi-spitzer. I think that's what it boils down to. That is, using a proper hunting bullet and not varmint, match, or military bullets.

    I chose not to use a .223 AR for hunting. Instead, I bought a .450 Bushmaster upper that I ended up giving to one of my sons. I replaced it with an AR in 6.8 SPCII. The beauty of the AR15 is that you can change out the uppers like that. You can still use the same lower.

    Bottom line, you would be much better off getting an upper more suitable for deer hunting than your current .223 upper.
    Last edited by Grenadier; 08-01-2018 at 04:30 PM.

  11. #20
    Gun Wizard
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    Iíll bite. I have not personally used a 223 for deer but know several that do. My nephew uses an AR with a 20Ē barrel and has killed multiple deer out to 200 yards with it and has never lost a deer with it. On the other hand, one of the guys I hunt with has a 223 bolt action that his son uses(donít know what kind) and he has lost multiple deer, but he doesnít really believe in sighting his guns in every year. So not sure if itís the round or the shooter. With the right bullet, in the right hands, it is capable of getting the job done.

    After all that, I would not use a 223 for deer hunting. I do have an AR in 6.8 that does the job very well on deer. It is a great round for deer or hogs. I know several people that use the 6.8 and they wonít use anything else for deer hunting. I have gotten back to my lever action roots and donít use the 6.8 anymore, but would have no problem hunting with it again. As stated earlier, you can get a 6.8 upper and use it on a 223/556 lower with a 6.8 mag of course. That is how mine is set up and itís a tack driver. Good luck.
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