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Old 11-15-2017, 09:59 AM   #26
Eight Point
RifleBowPistol's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Bastrop Co.
Hunt In: Any where I can

Well what I can tell you, is with the short little 16" barrel, it looses a lot of velocity. I did not have a working chronograph for many years, after I first started using that bullet and loading for that gun. I had a chronograph, I got back in the early 90s. But sometime in the late 90s it broke. Then I got the Bushmaster around 2003. I have shot about 50 or so coyotes with it, that has been the main job for that rifle. It has worked great. Where we lived, there are houses in just about every direction, within a 1/2 mile some directions there are other houses out around a mile. I have seen what my 7 mm Rem Mag would do out at 1700 yards. Decided I wound never fire that rifle around where we lived, packs way too much power at 1700 yard, we had one house that was within 800 yards of our house and at times I hunted within 300 yards of that house. So the 7 mm Mag was not an option. I used the 223 for deer for a few years, I felt much better about using it.
I shot one buck at 185 yards in the neck, dropped him dead on the spot. Then later shot a 250 lb. boar at my mother's place, that was a head shot. Yes, I agree, I have no plans to ever use it for a chest shot on a deer. But I have to say, I shot a coyote up the rear, out in front of the house one day. About a 75 yard shot, to my surprise the coyote dropped where it was and did not move. I skinned the coyote later that day, found the bullet had gone up it's rear, traveled the full length of the coyote and wound up in the coyote's skull. I was shocked that a varmint bullet penetrated that deep, they are supposed to explode, within 8" or so. But that one did not.

A couple of years later, I was having problems with accuracy on another rifle of mine and bought a chronograph to help with the loads. I shot some of my old 223 loads through the chronograph, if I remember correctly, they were only producing about 2450 fps. That was why the little varmint bullet penetrated so deep, the velocity was too low for it to expand like it was designed to.

I killed coyotes out to 400 yards multiple times with that little round. I have shot coons, possums, probably 50 coyotes, one buck and one hog with that round. Work very well, but I would still be very skeptical about a chest shot on a deer with it. I know it is plenty accurate to put a round right through the heart, which will put them down in a short distance, but I would expect very little blood trail.

Once I found that bullet, that is all I have used in my rifle since, the only way I will use a 223 for deer, would be neck shots. But then I will only take a neck shot, when I know I am going to hit the exact spot I want to hit. I have been out in the pasture, when some strong northerns blew in and seen some very good sized bucks, out at 200 to 300 yards. I would not shoot, I knew the bullet would get blown the direction the wind was blowing, but not sure how much it would get blown off, so I did not chance those shots.
There was a big buck, that I would usually find, when I was out in the pasture in front of the house, late in the afternoon, typically when a northern would blow in. I finally switched to carrying my T/C carbine in 30-30, but never saw the buck when I had that rifle, with me. Had I seen that buck on a calm day, I might have tried a 200 to 300 yard neck shot.
I have thought about building another rifle and getting a 223 Wylde barrel for it. So I could have more bullet options for a 223. I am going to leave the stock barrel on the Bushmaster and keep using the same little 52 gr. bullets, they have never let me down. The whole combo has been a very good little rifle, cheap Simmons scope is always dead on. My expensive stuff, I have one problem after another with. In recent times, I have discovered the 22 Nosler and the 224 Valkyrie, they both look interesting. They should produce velocities half way between a 223 and a 22-250. The 22 Nosler seems to be more of a varmint or all around 22 caliber cartridge. where the 224 Valkyrie, seems to be more of a small bore, medium long range deer round. The 22 Nosler is designed to shoot common weight 22 caliber bullets, as where the 224 Valkyrie is designed to shoot 90 or 100 gr. 22 caliber bullets. If I build another 22 caliber AR, it will likely be for one of those last two calibers.

Last edited by RifleBowPistol; 11-15-2017 at 10:02 AM.
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