Hunting with .223

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Spray-n-pray, Feb 20, 2009.

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Should .223 be a legal round for hunting "large" game?

  1. Yes, absolutely

    21 vote(s)
    26.9%
  2. No, it's inhumane

    29 vote(s)
    37.2%
  3. Depends on load/projectile used

    28 vote(s)
    35.9%
  1. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    In the great state of Washington, it is not legal to hunt big game with anything smaller than .24 caliber centerfire. I may be wrong, but I believe that in Oregon, 223 is a legal caliber. Is a .223 enough knock down a whitetail, especially if you pump him full of 30 rounds? Does it depend on the round/load to determine if it is ethical? Or is the law good, and should a larger projectile be used? Energy from a 223 beats a 44 mag, and nobody bats an eye about shooting Bambi with that. What if he is coming right for you, should you wait until you see the whites of his eyes before using your bayonet on him? Maybe you should just make it truly sporting, and rassle him down and hog-tie him. Let's hear what you think...........:deadhorse:
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  2. Yester

    Yester Member

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    Would you really want to put 30 rounds in something you are wanting to cure and eat at some point? And doesn't that somewhat ruin the point of the game? I think that is like getting 30 free throw shots when your fouled.... Or maybe 30 pitches when your up to bat... Or maybe 30 downs before you have to punt it to the other team.....


    I dont know, just my opinion but I think if you have to result in that you should get a better gun/scope and certainly go shooting a bit more often to tune up your shot....

    Again, just my thoughts.... What does everyone else think?
  3. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Resident Science Nut

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    Its not too hard to take down a deer with .223 in one shot.
  4. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    My goodness, people! I hope you realize that some of these ideas were a bit tongue-in-cheek.........
  5. yotehunter

    yotehunter Active Member

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    .223 is legal but when hunting with one you cant have more then a 5 shot magazine
  6. stitchclimber

    stitchclimber Active Member

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    .223 is an acceptable round for deer, however, there are many rounds that would be much better suited for the job.
  7. Bend

    Bend Member

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    A 22 cal centerfire is legal for deer on down in OR. 5 round mag (or less) required for game (not varmint). A Barnes TTSX or TSX all copper bullet will go through the shoulders of a deer easily within 200 yards.
  8. miles

    miles New Member

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    I have taken at least ten whitetail deer in Texas with a .223. All were head shots at 100yards or less.

    Is the .223 cartridge lethal? Of course it is. Our military uses it and it's ability to put down a man-sized target is well documented. Personally, I don't have the confidence in it's knock-down power to trust it on large game (70 lbs and up) with anything other than a head shot. Again, personally, I feel I have an obligation to my game to knock it down quickly, as painlessly as possible, and not subject it to undo suffering. Therefore, if I am not confident of a head shot, I will not take the shot on "big" game with a .223. I only hunt deer with a ,223 from a stand with an assured solid rest to aim on. Otherwise I use a more substantial caliber (.270 Remington, 7mm-08, or .30-06) that gives me the confidence of knock down power with a body shot.

    Having said that, I have seen many occasions where a hunter with a 6mm or larger rifle has not made a quick kill on game animals. There are some things you cannot control. Many times, events after you pull the trigger can result in a "messed" kill. A single step by the target, or simply raising it's head, can put a well placed shot out of the quick kill zone. On the other hand, I've seen where hunters use what I call the scatter gun effect when hunting with semi-automatic weapons. Point and pull the trigger repeatedly until somehting falls down. In all cases, it is the hunter's ethics and abilities, not the laws, that determine the effectivity of the bullet caliber used for hunting.

    To me, the question is ethical, and must be answered by each individual hunter. Of course, once the state rules on a specific caliber selection for hunting, the hunter must abide by that rule.

    My $0.02 on this subject.

    Miles
  9. miles

    miles New Member

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    One thing I meant to add, but got wrapped up in my diatribe and forgot.

    To Spray-n-Pray - there was no question in my mind that your original posting and the points you put in it were a little tongue in cheek. I appreciate your sense of humor and the tone of your original question. I particularly like the bayonet and rassle him down and hog-tying options.

    One last point to my original post. It doesn't matter if you're using a .22LR or a .50 caliber. A misplaced shot results in an injured animal that will suffer a miserable death, or worse, live a miserable existance after that shot.

    Responsibility to our game and ourselves is what it's all about.

    Miles
  10. NWMoss

    NWMoss Member

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    I think the poll for "No" should also have a "No-it's inefficient."

    :twocents:

    I'm not out to inflict unecessary pain on the animal, but it will likely experience pain in some fashion.

    So, if I were to hunt large game, I would want the most effective caliber that would accomplish my objective: Bring down the animal with minimal expenditure of ammunition at maximum efficiently while not mutilating and destroying the foodsource.
  11. ZeroRing

    ZeroRing Active Member

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    FWIW... the actual limit in WA state is .24 caliber (6mm) or larger. Here's the text of the reg from page 67 of the "Washington's 2008 Big Game Hunting Seasons & Regulations" pamphlet. (http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/hunter/huntregs2008.pdf)

    "Modern Firearm Regulations rifles: Big game, except cougar, must be hunted with a minimum of 24 caliber (6mm) centerfire rifle. Cougar may be hunted with 22 caliber centerfire rifle. Rimfire rifles are not legal for big game."

    My only reason for pointing this out was for those folks (like me) who wondered if their .243 Win. was "legal" or not. :thumbup:
  12. torpedoman

    torpedoman Member

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    very capable round on deer sized game, with proper shot placement. more deer have been killed with the 22 or 22mag than many rounds (poachers prefer them) And if you are so inclined you can hunt deer in washington with your raven 25 auto pistol. very few of our elected official or the buddies they appoint know anything about firearms , ammunition,or their capability.
  13. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Well-Known Member

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    Miles, I appreciate your thoughtful posts. Good considerations, shows respect for the game and the sport.




  14. duster

    duster New Member

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    I voted for the load bullet option never shot a deer with a 22 centerfire but within 100yds.standing I'd feel confident. Started hunting years ago with a 243 win. But for the
    last 20 or so years it's been thirty cals for me. I have seen deer that were poached with semi auto 22 rimfires they were dead too.
  15. Bend

    Bend Member

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    And, here I thought you could use just about any firearm to hit them anywhere---------- in the eye. :eek:
  16. coyote223

    coyote223 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You gotta remember, Blacktails aren't as big as Whitetails or Mulies. I've shot Blacktails with a .223, it kills them. It's all about shot placement. Bigger bullets will work faster if you hit them right. A Bad shot with any caliber results in needless suffering.
  17. XD45

    XD45 Member

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    I have seen several deer taken with a .223. It all boils down to Shot Placement. It doesn't matter what you shoot them with if the shot isn't placed correctly. My buddy strictly hunts Blacktails with a .223 and always drops them with a good "Vitals" shot. Head shots work, but I have never been a fan of them. Also buy some good ammo, that will also make your .223 a much more aggressive round.

    Happy hunting.
  18. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    Some good feedback here. Keep it up! For example, some have said it depends on your ammo/loads to make hunting with this caliber effective and/or ethical. What would you recommend in a round to meet those criteria?
  19. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    I stand corrected.........
  20. The Cheese

    The Cheese Member

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    I have seen deer taken with a 223 before. All of them were using fairly hot handloads with good bullets. I just started hunting last year and have often thought about using my AR for deer, but I think i would need to get a few kills under my belt before I would consider using it. For now, in the woods I hunt it, its a 44mag lever gun or the '06. I have yet to bag a deer, but I know that I have about an 80-90% chance of getting one next year on the land that I hunt. Also, I suppose shot distance would be critical with the 223. I can't imagine it being very good past 200yds, but the woods I am in i can't get past 150 anyway. If I am going to ID to hunt its 30-06 all the way, as I can get into places where the shots could be 300 yds very easily.