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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to hear some opinions on using the .223 (or .222) for hunting deer in PA.

I have harvested at least 10 deer with that caliber, large and small, bucks and does. Never did I have to trail any of those animals, all dropped in their tracks. Let my girlfriend at the time use it and she had a large doe go about 150 yds before falling over - poor shot placement.

I think its a tremendous round, very accurate and more than capable of taking deer down when in the hands of proficient shooter. Thoughts?
 

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I was curious about using my 22-250 after i got it a few years ago so I carried it on the last day of rifle and dropped a big doe. I hit the deer in the shoulder with a 60 grain soft point and put a massive hole through the shoulder and made soup out of the heart and lungs. The bullet must have just exploded on impact because i found lots of small bullet fragments when i field dressed it. But to say the least I was impressed after seeing what that little bullet could do
 

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My daughter and several other kids in the family used the .223 to take their first few deer. More than an adequate round for deer if care is taken with shot placement and when shouldn't it be. As effective as any round if properly placed and also a nice round to shoot for a kid. I have personally taken many deer and even a mule deer over the last 25 years shooting a 87 grain bullet out of a 250 savage. Again, the small calibers are very accurate and fun to shot and with good shot placement kill as effectively as any of the big calibers.
 

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A 223 with a proper bullet is more than sufficient for a whitetail. With most 1-14" or 1-12" twist barrels you are limited to the lighter bullets. A 1-8" or 1-9" lets you use the 60 grain and up stuff, which are where the really good .224" bullets are. If you don't reload, look for some Federal factory Barnes Tripe Shocks (TSX), Partitions, or soft points.
 

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The 223 (all 22 calibers) is for varmints, IMO. Too many things can go wrong with a 55-60 gr bullet…deflection & core separation to name a few. Why take the chance of wounding and not recovering an animal. IMO, not a very good choice for deer size game. Stay with a 25cal & larger. FT
 

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I think that given the right situation a .22 caliber centerfire would be useful. For example hunting in a developed area with alot of houses around and using rifles is permited in that WMU. In these small woodlots I think that if you limit yourself to headshots or even shoulder shots with a properly constructed bullet would make alot less noise and attract less attention. Just my 2 cents.
 

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One of the guys I hunt with has taken several deer in the past few years with a 22-250, buck and doe. I know they will get the job done but it's not something I'm comfortable with. My bullets have always hit the right spot thankfully but I have too many other firearms that are more suited for deer sized game. I don't hold anything against those who are comfortable with it though.
 

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The 223 round is deadly accurate out past 500 yards. That is not my idea of a good cartridge for a populated area.
FishEagle3 said:
I think that given the right situation a .22 caliber centerfire would be useful. For example hunting in a developed area with alot of houses around and using rifles is permited in that WMU. In these small woodlots I think that if you limit yourself to headshots or even shoulder shots with a properly constructed bullet would make alot less noise and attract less attention. Just my 2 cents.
 
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