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.223 deer ammo choices

3493 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  andy
I'm thinking about using my CAR-15 for deer this year, for two reasons. First, I really like the gun, and it's the one I carry on duty. Secondly, I've got a suppressor on order for it, and in my state (Arkansas), it's legal to use a suppressor when hunting.

My question is regarding preferred ammo. Our deer aren't big; small-to-medium whitetail. With the gun's 1/9 twist, combined with its short barrel, I stick with 55- or 60-grain bullets almost always. For deer, the initial temptation is to jump up to a substantially heavier bullet, but due to barrel length and twist, I'm leaning toward either the 55-grain Federal Ballistic Tip (I carry that in the gun now), or the Remington 55-grain SP (I carry that now in spare mags).

Any ideas/opinions would be welcome.
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Either the 60 gr Hornady V Max,or the 60

gr Nosler Partiition will do fine, on broadside shots. I prefer the Nosler, and AA2520, 25-27 grs, whereever you feel the "max" is for your gun, 2600-2800 fps. Hackathorn says that 60 gr TAP ammo does great on deer, and they use the V max bullet (I'm almost dead certain)
I've taken a few whitetails with my Bushmaster carbine using different loads and this is what I've seen so far.

Medium sized doe hit through the lungs at est 25 yards with a single Black Hills 68 grain OTM. Doe ran 15 yards into a tree and was down and dead. Small exit wound (fragment?). Both lungs were totally destroyed - pink scrambled eggs looking. Heart was torn into finger sized petals. Amazing destruction. I like to think the 77 grain OTM Black Hills loads our SpecOps are using is treating terrorists similiarly.

Big (for GA) 8 point buck hit once at about 20 feet through both lungs with a single Federal 55 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. He ran about 20 yards and was down. Perfectly expanded slug recovered under opposite skin. Inch to inch and a half wound channel bored neatly through both lungs. TWO ribs broken at entrance wound.

Medium sized 7 point buck hit in the neck at about 100 yards with a single 64 gain Winchester Power Point. Buck was down at the shot and thrashed about until I got to him and administered finishing shots (another Power Point to back/chest but autopsy suggested it past over lungs along spine and didn't do much of anything. Then finished with .45 auto 230 grain Ranger through chest and then the head.
Oddly the neck hit that took him down hit right over the spinal column but didn't penetrate it or even break it. Creates large two inch wound with small 3/8" wound next to two inch wound. Totally expanded Jacket only was recovered in the large shallow two inch wound. No lead was recovered.
The impact on his neck spine dropped him but I wasn't all that impressed although its only a sample of one which isn't a lot to go on.

This Fall, I think I want to use the 60 grain Nosler load from Black Hills or the Federal load again. Or maybe go back to the 68 grain BH. That would be my all around pick.
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I wouldn't trust a match hp to expand

especially at longer ranges. The Nosler Partition sp has a tremendous rep for penetration and expansion. I doubt Nosler would risk that rep on a non performer, and they ARE 30c apiece. You oughta get SOMETHING for a bullet that costs 3x as much, don't ya think?
I'm probably over-thinking it. As short as our shots here are, and the size our deer are, probably any "decent" factory SP or HP load would suffice just fine.

My main concern was related to the short barrel issue, leaning me toward the lighter bullets (which are what I carry regularly), but, again, load choice is probably not "that" important when all is said & done.

I'll likely stick with a 55-62 grain jsp or ballistic-tip load or some old Black Hills (65 or 68-grain?) jsp I've still got laying around here. Bambi's not likely to know the difference.
I know for a FACT u don't want to use

the 40 gr "blitz" hp, or the 50 gr Hornady "SX" sp, cause all they do is blow1-2" wide, 1-2" deep "craters' in bigger animals. They are intended to blow up completely in a prairie dog or a crow.
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