Bullet performance on deer

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northgeorgiasportsman

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I've been trying to come up with a solution for my two youngest to hunt deer. They are 6 and 7 and both small of stature and struggle with good form on even the shortest youth models. On a hunch, I collapsed the stock on an AR and low and behold, they both shoot it comfortably and very well with a red dot.

Problem is, as you all know, there are virtually no .223 rounds to be found anywhere in America. I've got an assortment of rounds ranging from 55 up to 62gr, none of which I feel confident shooting a deer with. However, I have a few boxes of 68gr Hornady BTHP that I can load up. Hornady doesn't recommend them for hunting, but they're the closest thing I've got in .223 to a lethal deer load.

Anybody got any experience with them on deer?
 

Stroker

Senior Member
If you can find the Hornady 55 grain soft points that come 50 to the box they have worked great for me. Shoot then right behind the shoulder. Killed a bunch with them with that shot placement. Very accurate in all my AR's.
 

COYOTE X

Senior Member
I built a flat-top AR-15 and put a rifle full length tube on a 16' barrel (so he could prop on the window of the shoot house), topped it with 2.5 X 10 X 50 when mine was seven. I had him practice often and get comfortable with the controls. (I have a 100 yard range at home)
I loaded the rifle with one round 62 gr. bonded bear claw, and kept a five round magazine in my pocket.
Shot placement was and always is key. Lungs. Like archery, large target, less obstructions.
Worked perfectly every time.
Good luck!

COYOTE X
 
Thread starter #5

northgeorgiasportsman

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transfixer

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All that being said, driven fast enough, I would say probably max load for that bullet weight, if it hits a bone, shoulder/rib/spine, I do believe the bullet will fragment, and do enough damage to be fatal, I use Hornady bthp bullets in my .243 driven to max velocity, and they are deadly on deer, but I am particular about shot placement, shooting high slightly behind the shoulder shots only.
 

Jester896

Senior Member
I don't see that bullet in their lineup anymore...might want to hang onto them :D it is a target bullet...we use the 75gr BTHP on hogs exclusively and it kills them pretty dead...I would do my best to stay away from heavy bone. It may fragment if it hits something real heavy. I have seen the 75gr go from front to back on an 80# hog and exit the ham with a fist sized hole at about 60-70 yards.

might work well if you limit the range and stay away from bone
 
Thread starter #11

northgeorgiasportsman

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I appreciate all the input. I realize it's not an ideal bullet, but it's what I've got. And it doesn't look like I'll be getting anything else anytime soon. Keep in mind, the whole exercise is for my children. If they were big enough to shoot their mother's .243, this wouldn't be an issue.
 

furtaker

Senior Member
I wouldn't deer hunt with a 68gr match bullet in a 223.

A 223 is marginal to begin with and I certainly wouldn't handicap it with a bullet that isn't intended for hunting.

Federal Fusions will work but I doubt there is a box anywhere in the United States for sale.
 

chuckdog

Senior Member
Have you considered reduced loads for the .243?

I've used IMR SR4759 for 125 gr .308 Win down to around 2200 fps. Very low recoil.

You can also use the 60% rule for H4895.

Say a 95 grain Ballistic Tip with 21 grains of H4895?
 
IF you can find them... I’d 100% recommend Barnes 55gr TSX copper bullets. I know I’ve said it many,many times on here...to the point I sound like a Barnes salesman..but they flat out work where you need a “light” caliber to work! I also have good luck out of 55-62gr GA Arms S.P. Ammo😉 I’d sell you a bag of 50,if we were closer. IF you can find 80gr 243 hunting ammo...it also has very light recoil👍
 
Thread starter #16

northgeorgiasportsman

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Have you considered reduced loads for the .243?

I've used IMR SR4759 for 125 gr .308 Win down to around 2200 fps. Very low recoil.

You can also use the 60% rule for H4895.

Say a 95 grain Ballistic Tip with 21 grains of H4895?
It's not a matter of recoil, it's a matter of small framed kids and length of pull. Collapsible stock on an AR solved that problem.
 
Barnes tsx or nosler partitions did the best when I was shooting 22 calibers. Alexander's usually has a good selection of either but they were low when I was up there a month or so ago. The bullets you have probably will be ok if good broadside lung shots are made. They don't bleed much when shot with those little calibers but they will do the job. both mine killed there first deer with 223.
 

dirtnap

Senior Member
My daughter has killed a pile with a 62 grain hp, never lost one but she killed 2 big bucks with it we had to put a dog on because of not getting an exit
 
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