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AR style rifles can be chambered and come from the factories in a multitude of calibers. But to your point, .223 REM with a good billet is far plenty for any white tailed deer no mater what platform spits it out.

Was the proposed .24 restriction a backend way of keeping the “scary black rifles“ out of the woods if the commission ever votes to approve them?
 

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Terminal performance of the bullet matters more the smaller you go, especially on tougher game. Shot placement is important but selecting the right pill to do the most damage helps a great deal too.
 

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I was too tempted and tried my 204 on a doe a few years ago. I took a 60-70 yd shot at a doe looking at me. Aimed right at the top of the white patch and she didnt move an inch. The bullet did not exit, but spine was completely severed. When I skinned her, only a small piece of flesh was holding her head on.

I would never take a body shot on a deer with that round and probably wont ever use it again.
 

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Smallest possible round will kill a deer under ideal conditions. That's not all the time, though.

Since we have concurrent bear, I'm never thinking about what the lightest round I could use would be.
 

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Sure you " could" chamber a rifle in .25acp, but that's a very big stretch, on the other hand I dropped a 1200 pound steer with one shot from a .22 magnum, the indigenous people on the northern edge of the Hudson Bay routinely hunt Polar Bears with a .222, it always has been, and always will be bullet placement.

Yes I suppose you could chamber a rifle in 25acp but nobody is going to spend that kind of money to do that. The indigenous people who live on the north side of the Hudson Bay hunt Polar Bears with a .222, There is a hunter out there by the name of Vincent Dougherty who has killed everything from a groundhog to an African elephant with a .220 Swift, including lions, Elands and cape buffalo. It always has been, and always will be shot placement, shot placement, shot placement
Actually, some guy in Wisconsin just was trumpeting about the double rifle he had custom made, for hunting rabbits, chambered in .25 ACP. A Double Rifle to Hunt Dangerous Game in Wisconsin - The DoubleGun BBS @ doublegunshop.com I think it's a waste of money, but it did keep some skilled gunsmiths in work and therefore in business and that's good. And it;s his money, anyway. pictures: A Special Custom Double Rifle to Hunt Rare Dangerous Game in Wisconsin - Topic (accuratereloading.com)

On the minimum caliber, if one were to ask me I wouldn't go below .243 or any of the other 6mm, but good shot placement will allow taking a deer with smaller diameter bullets. There are many discussions, none ever definitively concluded one way or the other, about which cartridge is suitable for which game. A friend is of the "Big bullet, big hole, stop animal now" school. He thinks big game (deer) calibers start at 8mm but that's a little small. He prefers .35 and up. .45 is better.

Leaving the rules as they were was the right thing to do.
 
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I read an article about a guy who was wearing special steel reinforced body armour. They shot him with a .308, over 2000#'s of muzzle energy. It not only didn't knock him down, it barely moved him. The article concluded muzzle energy wasn't about "knock down" power but simply a way to guage a bullets potential to penetrate.
 

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Started my son deer hunting with a 70 gr hornady gmx at 3600 fps .223. Killed 4 deer with it. Usually no exit wound. Recovered all bullets under the hide on the exit side. I stress shot placement. He just got a 350 legend for Christmas because the lack of blood trail was making me nervous that we would not recover the deer. That being said, I prefer the 450 bushmaster with a well placed shot and no problem tracking them lol
 

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Started my son deer hunting with a 70 gr hornady gmx at 3600 fps .223. Killed 4 deer with it. Usually no exit wound. Recovered all bullets under the hide on the exit side. I stress shot placement. He just got a 350 legend for Christmas because the lack of blood trail was making me nervous that we would not recover the deer. That being said, I prefer the 450 bushmaster with a well placed shot and no problem tracking them lol
I hope you meant 243 and not 223. There is no way you are pushing a 70gr bullet out of a 223 at 3600fps.... maybe 3000 and that would be pushing it hard
 

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An older gentleman that I knew hunted the last few years of his life with a 22-250 and he put a hurting on the deer. He was a excellent marksman though and hand loaded with proper bullets. I have no interest personally but in the right hands .22 center fires are more than adequate on deer.
 

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I would hate to know how many deer have been killed by a 222, 22-250, 223 etc in Pa. Then there are others that also think a 243 is too small. These calibers are all very effective deer killers with proper shot placement. It would be a shame to take compact rifles in these calibers away from youth, women and small framed shooters as optioms to hunt with.
I know of one hunter that has killed a fair amount of does with a 22 Hornet, all head shots, and he waits for the right shot.
I killed my first buck with a 222.
I have killed one buck with a 22-250.
I have no idea how many deer I have killed with a 243, but it's in the double figures. Most were bang /flop, and those that weren't had a short well marked blood trails. I also know of a couple of bears that were harvested with a 243, but Personally, I want something in a 30 caliber for bears.
 
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A .243 is a great round. I shot my buck with my dad's this year. Went on a Quebec caribou hunt way back in 1995 and several members of our group shot their caribou with a .243. Caribou are not known for being especially tough, but they are fairly big. I recall being impressed with how well the .243 did on them. They were using 100 grain Remmy factory loads. Personally I load 100 grain Nosler Partitions in my dad's @ 3,050 fps. I've seen reports from various people about how the 100 grain bullets don't shoot well out of a .243, but my dad's rifle hasn't figured that out yet.
 
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