The .223 Remington provides a compact and super quick cartridge rifle lovers know and love. But can it really stand up to the bulk and weight of a full-fledge deer on your next hunting trip?
Well, when you pair it with the right bullet for the job, the answer to this question becomes a big fat YES.
With the perfect bullet, the .223 Remington becomes more than capable of taking down any deer you come across. That’s because the bullet you use will be incredibly tough – especially since they’ll be traveling at such high speeds.
And, since the .223 is legal for use when big-game hunting in almost every state, it’s a clear winner for outings throughout the season.
According to Gun Digest:
Some hunters think the .223 Remington is too small of a caliber, without enough bullet weight, for deer. I’d classify those folks as fools. Some hunters think the .223 Remington is only legal for deer hunting in a few states. Those folks are just wrong. Dozens of deer I’ve taken or seen cleanly killed with a .223 Remington stand as evidence of its capabilities, and the hunting regulations of all 50 states prove its lawfulness.
When proper bullets are used, the .223 Remington is more than adequate for any whitetail or mule deer out to the other side of 100 yards. What type bullets are we talking about? With the .223 Remington, the tough bullets come into their own because the cartridge pushes them fast. Remington’s new HTP Copper load for the .223 Remington pushes a 62-grain Barnes Triple Shock bullet to 3,100 fps. Similarly, the Barnes VOR-TX 52-grain load can leave the muzzle 100 fps faster.
The Triple Shock, as well as other mono-metal bullets, also tend to work extremely well at high speeds. This is because of the sharp increase in their energy dump.
However, there is a downside to the .223 Remington cartridges. Because they have low ballistic coefficients, they tend to decrease their speed quickly, thus reducing the range the cartridge can be effective.
As of a few years ago, 35 states deem .223 Remington as legal for big-game hunting – that’s 70 percent of the nation. The number may be even higher now. So chances are good you can legally use these in your state on your next hunting trip.