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Eagle_view 10-04-2018 11:04 PM

75 gr .224 bullets for deer and antelope in 5.56
We are moving shortly to Wyoming and just got back from there. I found out that I can hunt Deer and Antelope with a .223 if I use at least a 60 grain bullet. I have a new AR that I put together that has a 1:7 twist 18" barrel with a 5.56 Nato chamber and a 24" 1:8 Twist Barrel on one of my Contenders. I have never been allowed to hunt medium game with a .224 cal bullet. What do you recommend? I normally shoot 55 grain soft nose Hornady's with the Contender and have not shot the AR enough to know what it will do. I am not a distance shooter, but sometimes it is quiet a ways from where you are and where they are with not much in between. What do you recommend?
Thanks, Lowell

varmintshooter 10-05-2018 12:05 AM

I use 65 gr sierra game kings in a AR and have had good luck on whitetails. I have also used 75 gr amax and have killed deer out to 380 yds (had a pass thru) with a 223AI first one had a great blood trail but the others not so much. I like the game kings.

TinMan 10-05-2018 12:37 AM

Sierra also makes a 63gr SP GameKing, and Winchester used to make a 64gr SP. They will work fine in 1:12 twist 223.

Bill K 10-05-2018 01:27 AM

75 gr .224 bullets for deer and Antelope in 5.56
I use the old tried and true Nosler 60 grain partition bullet for them. They shoot well and work great on game such as you are wanting them for. Bill K :)

squirrel_slayer 10-05-2018 01:31 AM

barnes has their 70gr tsx
A friend of mine set his daughter up with a .223 for her first hunt. she killed a nice 2x3 mulie at 340 yds with the federal fusion 62gr. he said he was very happy with the results. didn't get a pass through but did the job.

this is the same bullet used in the gold dot. rocky mountain reloading sells them as pulled bullets from time to time.

i've never heard anything bad about the tbbc offered by federal.

csterner 10-05-2018 02:44 AM

My boy was very recoil shy at 13. I loaded 63 gr sierra semi points for his 22-250 with a warm load of varget. He knocked the snot out of a big whitetail buck with it at about 175 yards. The 63 is listed as a varmint bullet and it did not exit. We did find the bullet in the off side, perfect little mushroom. Lost a little weight but mostly held together. The benefit of the semi point is its short and fat. It should fit the magazine better than a 75 gr bullet that you'd really have to seat deep to fit the mag. The drawback is the poor BC, but at normal huntimg ranges, say 300-350 yards, you won't l know the difference.

Always wanted to try the 60 partition on deer or even the 65 game king.

Eagle_view 10-05-2018 09:27 PM

Thank you all for your input. I value the advice and this gives me a selection of bullets to build loads around. I am excited, to say the least. Drove through the Black Hills to New Castle and was amazed at the game we saw. There were White Tails on the Port and Turkeys on the Starboard, Saw some Mule deer cross in front of us. And there always seem to be Antelope somewhere with in sight. Our Lab put up some Chuckers on the banks of the Powder River and we jumped some Mallards along there too.


17tbs 10-07-2018 12:20 AM

Deer with a .223
Tried it with lots of success with hunts in TX where it is legal to use ANY center-fire to hunt deer with. We use everything from 22 hornet and up, some even use a .144 caliber Walker. When you can place your shot accurately then pretty much everything with enough energy to get to the vitals and leave a good blood trail will work. If you can assure yourself of a really good shot placement then anything "could work", but most of what Wyoming is famous for will prevent you from getting those shots, this includes wind, distance and game that easily spooks leaving a trail of dust in your scope. USE a fast enough cartridge and rifle combination to ensure that you do not make errors in wind and end up wounding game.

That being said, a .223 is really a bare minimum in my opinion for shots up to 200yds. I would never shoot at something that I MIGHT miss by even 2 inches if using a .223 Rem or 5.56. Really there is no margin for error.

I hunt deer using an ambush technique and stalk them on a game trail. If I am not within range to hold dead on and dead steady within an inch, then I do not shoot. This means I stalk to within fifty or fewer yards, frequently as close as ten yards.

Wyoming topography probably will seldom present you with that sort of opportunity. In my opinion you should not be thinking about a good bullet for deer at 300 yards in a 5.56mm or a .223 Remington. Perhaps in a 22-250, but not the .223 Rem. There are just too many things that can go wrong at those ranges using that caliber. Yes you will kill a lot of deer, but you will loose a lot more if you shoot beyond 300 yards.

IF I were shooting at those ranges and had to choose a lead core bullet, I would use the 63gr Sierra Semi Spitzer, or the 65gr Sierra Gameking. I would only shoot from a rest, and only with wind either dead steady and under ten mph, or zero wind.

You should really consult a ballistics chart to let you know what is going to give you the most forgiving trajectory and fastest time of flight coupled with a bullet that you know will expand, but not fail to penetrate.

That leaves with the 65gr Game King, followed with the 63gr Sierra Semi-Spitzer.

Unless your rifle can produce north of 3300fps with these in my opinion 250 is a reasonable outside limit. So, unless you are hand loading then you should rationally keep it inside 150 if we are honest with ourselves.

I use a contender and with the 63 and 65gr I can get about 2680 from my 16.25" barrel. I will not huntwith it at anything over 100yards, not because of accuracy, but because the target MOVES unpredictably.

Eagle_view 10-07-2018 07:41 PM


Thank you for your advice that you and I agree on. I have hunted all over the west and been successful in many places.

I guess I am a little old fashioned but I consider a 200 yard shot to be long shot and for years I hunted with a 30-06 with 165 grain bullets in an A3 Springfield that I modified while in high school.

That rifle fed my family for years, it is on it's 3rd barrel. I am now a Contender (2) and Encore (1) shooter and have barrels from 5MM Craig, 17HH 204 Ruger on up to 6MM Dasher.

My bolt guns that go from 5MM to .338 Win. I love shooting them and that is why we are moving back to my home state of Wyoming.

I would consider the .223 with a 60-65 bullet to be a 150 yard rifle for me just like most of the rest of my rifles.

It is my ability and health that determine what range I can humanely shoot at. I generally start my hunts in the summer by watch and marking maps where cross over passes or other physical restricting focus game travel.

During hunting season, I then set up before daylight over looking these spots and plan on sitting there all day if I have too.

It has worked very well in every situation except here in Western Washington where I am now. The brush and timber hide many of the travel routes and over looks are hard to located.

Anyway thanks again for the info.


L.Sherm 10-09-2018 03:03 AM


Originally Posted by Bill K (Post 274600)
I use the old tried and true Nosler 60 grain partition bullet for them. They shoot well and work great on game such as you are wanting them for. Bill K :)

Bill has some great advice.

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