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Plenty of debate potentially here. Topic has been broached on many occasions. Personally I wouldn't but plenty of dissenters of my opinion I am quite confident will emerge. Not a "responsible" big game round in my book. JMHOYMMV
 

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If your state allows that caliber and your comfortable with the .223 ballistics on deer, then go ahead.
I prefer a larger cartridge for a larger wound channel, for example my .35 Remington.
Good luck,
Andrew
 

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.35 rem or .30 06 are my normal deer rifles. Just thought of mixing it up 1 day this season if the .223*is up to the task
Very subjective as to "up to the task" means to you? Your normal deer rifles are two of the quintessential deer rounds by all measures. To me using the .223 compared to those other two is like trying to play a full round of golf with nothing but a putter. You can do it, but why? There are endless responses to how capable the .223 can be and pretty much the same as the ones how incapable it can be. I personally don't wish to hunt with a toss of the coin round when what you have available can't get any better.
 

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One thing to keep in mind when using a .223 out of an AR....if you are using a cartridge that is designed for a "semi-auto" rifle, it will more than likely be "less" powerful i.e. lighter bullet and in general limited to the fps it is loaded to...the reason? Well, if you feed your semi-auto a .223 designed for hunting again heavier bullet and more powerful charge to go faster..these are usually meant for "bolt guns" or any other type that is not going to break your receiver due to excessive recoil.
But, can it be done? Sure, shot placement is always the most important thing, if you can put the round where it needs to go, you should be fine. My AR is a 458SOCOM, so I do hunt with it.
 

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Ive shot two deer with my AR.

77 grain TMK 2750 fps - 75 yard high lung shot. She ran about another 75 yards and layed down. She wouldnt get up but took five or so minutes to die. No blood trail but it was a high lung shot. When field dressing a lung was destroyed the other just peppered. Wasnt a great shot but a larger caliber would of worked better by getting both lungs

62 grain TBBC 3000 fps - 75 yard neck shot. I was not meaning to do a neck shot. Really bad job on my shooting but he dropped on the spot

Overall it works but wasn't impressed. My 300 blackout works better on lung shots even with a 10.5" barrel. My experimenting with the 5.56 on deer wont continue
 

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I think it is capable of taking down deer with the right bullet and correct shot placement, but I have larger calibers that I use/prefer. 30 30, 30 06, 7RM, 308, 444 just to name a few. I still have other calibers. If I did decide to hunt with one, it would be more for testing the capabilities of a bullet, and not the rifle itself. And I would only do so if I had enough acres to track a deer if I had to, and not worry about having to cross another property line. And yes I am very good a tracking deer.
 

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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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.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.
 

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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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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.
 

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I’ll bite. I have not personally used a 223 for deer but know several that do. My nephew uses an AR with a 20” 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(don’t know what kind) and he has lost multiple deer, but he doesn’t really believe in sighting his guns in every year. So not sure if it’s 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 won’t use anything else for deer hunting. I have gotten back to my lever action roots and don’t 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 it’s a tack driver. Good luck.
 
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