All-Around .223 Bullet

Well the Federal 62gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claws were easy to find a node for using varget and WSR primers as three 5 shot groups were between .345-.554" at 100 yds. Going to go in the middle of the node which will give 2966 fps.

I seen that thread and it didn't change my mind. To me energy is a thing. SD is a thing.
You have people in that thread thinking it's a good idea to shoot deer at 400 yards with a .223.

Deer are one thing. They aren't hard to kill and aren't going to try to kill you if you wound it. But why anybody would hunt bear with a .223 or recommending other people use one is beyond me.

You also have people in that thread comparing them to arrows. If you read it they obviously don't understand arrows kill in a different way so it makes you wonder how much they really understand ballistics and bullet construction.

Most people aren't gun people and think bullets are bullets. They don't understand what a big game bullet is suppose to do and how they work and why they are constructed like they are. But the mil uses the MK262 so it's the same amaright?

My biggest thing with .223 is you don't have much of a blood trail. They rarely exit. If you hunt in the wide open it may be ok. If you hunt somewhere close to cover there is a good chance you'll lose them if they run.

Sierra themselves say they don't recommend them for hunting. They are not made to reliably expand or fragment.
You can shoot 2 bullets at the same Target and get 2 different results.
For some reason people think they know more than the company who actually makes the bullets.

People use to swear that SMKs were the greatest hunting bullet and I've seen them both not fragment at all or splash. Now that this bullet is getting popular, the same people who use to swear by the SMK are saying the SMKs were never very consistent and Sierra put the tip on them to make the more consistent

I seen people write that Sierra put the plastic tip on them to make them fragment more reliably which there isnt any proof for. I think it was just for the BC when shooting targets.

You'll see threads where people brag how good they fragment then other people swear they had exits. That should tell you they aren't consistent and weren't made to be consistent.

To each their own. I'll never understand why you would want to use a bullet like that on big game when there are so many great bullets made for big game hunting.
So, you are discounting the elk and moose kills in that thread?

Pigs have always been a tough animal for some people to kill reliably, I have literally piled them up with 55gr TSX, 62gr SPs. I killed so many of them in the 90s, I can no longer stand to eat one, with everything from 22lr to 450 Marlins. I shoot them now and haul them out to the pasture for the buzzards and worms. 5-10 a month, weapon of choice is a 7 twist 223 Wylde AR and whatever 55gr - 70gr bullet is on sale and available.

I think 10+yrs ago, you would be undergunned with the 224 offerings of the day, today bullet construction has advanced to the point it's hard to find a badly constructed bullet.

I don't know that I would take a 223 after elk or moose if I drew a tag, but I will definitely take it after deer. I usually head shoot them, so they are easy to track.

Because the 223 wouldn't be my first choice for elk or moose, doesn't mean that the thread didn't change my perception of the round.
One of the deer I've shot with 223, 69gr SMK in wisconsin. I wanted to take my favorite AR which I shot and reloaded for enough I figured I could send the 69gr through a deers ear but I was invited to the area and I didnt want to take risky shots so i said I would wait for a double lung shot.

I was filling a doe tag late in the WS season and watched and a doe slowly walk up broadside. Through and through double lung shot only left a few drops of blood through a wisconsin field FULL of deer tracks, she went nearly 300 yards and I finally found her in the neighbor's swamp well after dark. If I remember correct the only blood I saw was a few drops in the first 40 or 50 yards then nothing until I saw blood smeared on grass 10 yards from where she lay.

The bleeding was bizarre, on the exit side under the skin was full of blood. The bullet exited over 6 inches away from the off shoulder, I wanted to save the heart for dinner, but the whole leg was swollen, bruised and full of blood. I saved the shanks for Aso bucko and the rest of the leg I had to throw out.

That single 69smk perfectly placed ruined more meat than any of my 30-06 deer.....? It was like the wounds sealed up right away but all the bleeding got forced under the skin and down the frantically running leg and into the meat for some reason. There isnt much meat on the front legs to begin with and I tried digging around to save some but the whole leg was seriously bruised with fresh blood everywhere. Most of the rib cage on the far side was completely saturated in blood also, the lungs were destroyed but she ran a ways and somehow the lack of exit wound forced blood into the meat.

This must be a fluke but over all I would say get a bigger gun, some people know their guns, ammo and skills well enough to make a 223 work no problem. I normally bow hunt but when I rifle hunt I want to hit them hard and 223 has never been known for knockdown force. .223 was too small of caliber to even legally hunt deer with here in MN until a few years ago.

If I was going to hunt with 223 I would bring 65gr sierra game kings, they expand and frag a lot more than 69smk but still penetrate unlike varmint bullets. Maybe the 53 tsx I'm shooting at 3330fps but I think the 65gr might hit harder and drop more energy. Theres other good bullets I havent tried but varmint bullets arent worth anything more than hunting paper and rabbits.

If you shoot a lot and have a good rest culling does with head and neck shots from 223 works great but then there isnt any reason to discuss bullet selection. Heart and liver are my favorite parts, I love field dressing head shot deer. But for the average hunter around here who MIGHT check their scope zero with factory ammo once a year taking head shots in hunting conditions with your heart pounding doesnt work.

P.S. I've seen a deer dropped with 300mag that skimmed off the top of the head straight between the ears. Not even a drop of blood, just missing tiny strip of fur.
Get a bigger gun? Your .223 just wrecked and ruined half a deer! I'm gonna drag out the .22 Magnum, now that's perfection. J/K... I don't know what happened with your Wisconsin doe but that's odd and uncommon performance from a .223.
I didnt like the idea of the 69SMK in the first place but I heard they did about as good as any hollow point and the rest of my loads were 50-53gr stuff I had made for coyotes and plinking.

It was cold and snowy also, it probably hung for a day or two before being skinned... that's likely where the marination of the meat came from.
The best bullet for a deer in 223 is .243

Leave the 223 in the closet for deer
Get a Tikka 243 for the youngun and never look back
Originally Posted By: Tf282The best bullet for a deer in 223 is .243

Leave the 223 in the closet for deer
Get a Tikka 243 for the youngun and never look back

in this day an age, get them an arc or a Grendel.

they dont need all that extra muzzle flash - even though the recoil is relatively mild, at least compared to its bigger brothers.

either of those calibers will get the job done, with less felt recoil, and less flash than a 243 will.

likewise going with a 350L.

im not saying theres anything wrong with the trusty ole 243 - its a proven deer anchor - just that there's way more options these days for youth hunters to start with on a small frame low recoil deer rifle that they could also conceivably hunt their whole lives with.