For those of you who hunt, even occasionally with a 223 AR..

by rob @, Thursday, May 11, 2017, 22:23 (283 days ago)

Is there a particular bullet or factory load you like? The rifle I'll be using for this purpose is an 18" 223 Wylde with an 8" twist. I have another AR that works just fine for a defensive carbine. I'm sorta hoping to find one good hunting load, maybe in the 69-75 grain range (77 maybe?) that will be fine for ear/neck shots on hogs and for deer. That and maybe some varmint hunting is all I plan to use this rifle for so one factory load with a similar handload will suffice but my experience with terminal ballistics is weighted toward big bore handguns, and 270/30-06/45-70...those just work:)

For those of you who hunt, even occasionally with a 223 AR..

by Ray L, Thursday, May 11, 2017, 23:12 (283 days ago) @ rob

i've killed a few deer with both the Win. 64 gr. p.p. factory and hand loaded over a case full of 2520 (2900 fps.) and though the sample number is not too large, i've never had any m u c h higher power rifle cartridges match the speed of simply snatches the soul out of 150 lb. head or neck shots either.....broadside armpit shots or quartering-away rib i use a factory hornady solid copper load but i cannot remember the exact name.....haven't tried them yet as the refuse to cooperate......

That is the deer refuse to cooperate n.m.

by Ray L, Thursday, May 11, 2017, 23:14 (283 days ago) @ Ray L


I need to try the 64 grain power point load...

by rob @, Thursday, May 11, 2017, 23:37 (283 days ago) @ Ray L

In this rifle. My Stag AR doesn't care for it but I don't have any left to try in this upper. I can usually find them at Academy. I need to try the Black Hills 77 grain (VLD?)...not just in this rifle but a 1:7 upper I have as well.

Not the weight you asked for nor from an AR but...

by Hoot @, Diversityville, Liberal-sota, Friday, May 12, 2017, 07:37 (282 days ago) @ rob

my brother has been impressed with the 60gr. Nosler Partitions. They have been very accurate for him but he has not connected with a deer yet. Assuming I remember correctly, he shoots a Contender in that caliber but, knowing him, probably has others.


Not the weight you asked for nor from an AR but...

by rob @, Friday, May 12, 2017, 14:48 (282 days ago) @ Hoot

I wouldn't mind a 60 grain partition and it might even be consisten with my Hornady 60 grain Soft Point loads with 335 powder. The additional cost of the partition would be fine for hunting.

For those of you who hunt, even occasionally with a 223 AR..

by Jared, Friday, May 12, 2017, 09:21 (282 days ago) @ rob

I know it will kill but I have never been impressed with a .223 on animals. Last year I shot 3 or 4 hogs in the front yard using a 60gr partition. Every single one of them made it to the brush 10-65 yards away. Some left better trails than others but they all ran off. I switched you a 300 Blackout with 110gr Barnes Tac X and am 7 or 8 for as many shots and only one has made it out of his tracks. The one that did dropped then flopped around making it 5-10 yards to the creek bank and fell in. Last year along I shot around 17-18 hogs so I do know where to hit them.

There you go...

by Rob Leahy ⌂ @, Prescott, Arizona, Friday, May 12, 2017, 11:03 (282 days ago) @ Jared

After our brief hunts I wished I had brought my 300 aac... as light as my S&W M&P AR10 is, it is still a couple pounds more than my 300 AAC AR 15.

Of the Troops & For the Troops

For those of you who hunt, even occasionally with a 223 AR..

by rob @, Friday, May 12, 2017, 14:59 (282 days ago) @ Jared

I have considered popping a 300BO barrel on my PSA upper. I may just do it. Scott killed a big hog on the Reed Ranch last time we were out there using a 300 and it killed him lights out.


by Byron, Friday, May 12, 2017, 17:06 (282 days ago) @ rob

Over the years we have killed a bunch of big Kansas Whitetails on the farm with everything from a 9mm HiPower to a 12 bore express rifle. With solid hits all kill about the same. We have never shot deer with a .22 LR and personally consider it inappropriate for anything bigger than a cottontail.

The local farm boys tell us that the .22 Mag is all that is needed for neck shots on Whitetail inside 100 yards...I believe them as nobody around here goes hungry...

Regarding deer and 5.56mm we have shot them with 55 grain SPs, M193 hard ball, Green tip, 64 gr WW Power point and M262 Mod 1 spec reloads. When shot square in the chest within 100 yards we see no difference in the reaction to the shot whether to a 9mm or '30-06. The deer flinch at the shot run about 20 yards and fall over dead. Deer shot in the neck drop so hard that they bounce.

The only rounds that we see that drop them in their tracks with a chest shot every time is 180 gr bullet out of .44 mag rifles or those hit with the 12 bore. A friend hunts with a .22-250 and says that it is always instantly effective.

Back to the question, regarding shooting deer and pigs in the ear or neck, I think any 5.56mm round is more than enough. You would probably see no difference in performance in shooting deer in the neck between a .223 or .300 WM.

We shoot two 5.56mm loads out here. M193 spec 55 gr bulk soft points and M262 mod1 spec 77 gr boat tail hollow points.

It's all good and the deer can not tell the difference when shot hard in the chest with either.

If I was limited to one loading it would be the WW 64gr Power Point. The CHP has used this round for the past 30 years or so and sources tell me that is is statistically 100% effective on one shot stops on thin skinned finely boned creatures under 200 lbs...

Very interesting...

by rob @, Saturday, May 13, 2017, 09:02 (281 days ago) @ Byron

Thank you. Any particular 77 grain hp that you use or prefer? I know Sierra makes a Match King and maybe a Game King. Seems my boss buys 77 hp's in bulk too. I like the 55's for plinking and most of my rifles tend to prefer the Winchester XM193 version (also what I keep my Stag Arms carbine loaded with) over the brown boxed Federal for some reason, but with the two faster twist uppers I have (1:8/1:7) I'd like to see if I can find one good 77 grain handload that they both thrive on.

For those of you who hunt, even occasionally with a 223 AR..

by Bob Hatfield @, Friday, May 12, 2017, 18:56 (282 days ago) @ rob
edited by Bob Hatfield, Friday, May 12, 2017, 19:00

FWIW I've killed 3 deer with the Barnes TSX 55 grain hollow point flat base in a 16 inch AR with a 1/9 twist. One was a bang flop at 190 yards (measured with a laser) on a farm. The other two were at around 50 yards in the national forest. Those two humped up a the sound of the shot and ran about 20 yards real sickly like and dropped. The two closer ones were pass throughs. The one at 190 yards was stopped under the hide on the offside. In all three cases the insides were mush. That bullet with its four petals spinning at several hundred thousand RPMs is really deadly. I will try the 62 grainers next as I don't think the 1/9 will be good for the 70 grain TSX.


Illegitimi Non Carborundum


by rob @, Saturday, May 13, 2017, 09:07 (281 days ago) @ Bob Hatfield

My former Eagle Arms AR used to shoot that 55 grain Barnes TSX bullet into about 3/4" at 100 yards and many other loads. I let it go foolishly and out of all three of my AR's I own today, not a one likes it. I've even tried handloading it and I can't fine a load my rifles like. The Stag carbine thrives on the 64 grain Razorback though and I haven't had a chance to try it in the new Aero Precision yet.

I ordered a box of 65 grain GameKing bullets and...

by rob @, Saturday, May 13, 2017, 11:18 (281 days ago) @ rob

Some more Hornady 60 grain soft points. They both have tons of really good reviews for everything from varmints to deer and hogs, several with pictures. I've been loading the Hornady bullet already and it's extremely accurate in all three rifles...guess I just need to shoot something with it! The Sierra bullet may prove good as well and if so that would be two good handloads to do what I want. Both bullets are quite affordable as well.

On another note, I almost regret buying the Aero Precision 18" 223 Wylde. I sorta thought I wanted a heavier barreled super accurate upper, but compared to my 16" carbines it feels cumbersome and long. It's strange considering it's only 2" longer but the barrel is a much heavier profile. Hopefully I warm up to it but I'm beginning to really like a plain ol' 16" carbine for the most part.

I ordered a box of 65 grain GameKing bullets and...

by Sarge ⌂ @, Central Misery, Sunday, May 14, 2017, 08:10 (280 days ago) @ rob

I killed a little 125 pound button buck a few years ago with my Mini 14 Ranch Rifle 580 Series. I used a handload with Winchester's bulk 55 grain softpoint running 2850 fps over H4895 powder in Lake City brass. I am happy with this velocity as it groups well at 200 yards, where the irons were zeroed and I felt it more likely to give adequate penetration on deer at that speed.

The button was just a meat deer and I shot him at 170 yards per the measuring tool on ‘Google Earth’. When I first saw the little booger he was laid up in tall grass and absent a rest, I shot a tad high when I tried to spine him. He then stood up and ran a little ways before showing his shoulder, where I sent the second shot. That one was good and he stumbled off 15 yards and dropped.

The bullet broke the near shoulder, blew a 2 ½”hole in his heart and exited the off-side ribs. Not bad for a poodle shooter.


That's pretty good performance...

by rob @, Sunday, May 14, 2017, 08:35 (280 days ago) @ Sarge

I sure would like to find an accurate Mini-14. I loved my last one but I tried everything I could to get rid of the crazy fliers and just couldn't do it. It would put three shots in an inch and a half and then throw one three inches out. You just never knew when it was gonna throw that flier but there was one in every three or four shot group. Frustrating because they are one of my favorite rifles for size, looks and feel.

Finally found a range report on my 65 grain Sierra load

by Sarge ⌂ @, Central Misery, Monday, May 15, 2017, 21:06 (279 days ago) @ rob

I must need some explanations

by bj @, Monday, May 15, 2017, 19:59 (279 days ago) @ rob

Apparently there is a lot of success here, which I don't question, but now I need to understand how it works. Maybe the old wisdom was just wrong.

All of this flies in the face of previous wisdom on bullet performance. To start with it was always said that any small non-expanding bullet wouldn't work. Then cartridges such as .223 were invented for varmint hunting so the bullets in the 50 grain weight were intended to fragment easily and basically not penetrate. And I've always read that 69 grain and higher bullets were made specifically for paper-punching and not made to expand properly for hunting. People have written for a long time that even the .243 Winchester was too small for deer, and the 130 grain bullet in the .270 was the minimum acceptable. And I've also read that you need heavy hard cast bullets in a .45-70 for hog hunting. The bullets that most people shoot out of a .300BO are lightweight bullets made for varmint hunting or use in single shot pistols. I've read forever that the M1 carbine with 110 grain bullet at 2000 fps was very inadequate for deer, but the .300BO with the same 110 grain bullet at 2200 fps is supposed to work like magic.

So now explain how the .223 manages to work for deer. Are there bullets heavier than 50 grains that do expand but hold together well enough to penetrate sufficiently for hunting? Is there enough velocity that non-expanding bullets still deliver sufficient shock?

Then how does the .300 work for hogs? Do you have to only take hits in sensitive areas, avoiding the harder to penetrate stuff surrounding the heart?

I must need some explanations

by Jared, Monday, May 15, 2017, 22:34 (279 days ago) @ bj

Varmint bullets in the Blackout are great for plinking but for hunting the 110gr Barnes TacTX is the way to go. I get 2400 with my 16" Carbine and the bullet hits way out of proportions to its paper ballistics. While I haven't shot a large hog with it every one has been a pass through with a large exit hole. I guarantee it will out penetrate any expanding 30 Carbine bullet on the market. Although a .30 Carbine with an expanding bullet is a decent performer.

Shot placement is key and anything can and will kill with the proper shot. I have had a .243 bullet blow up on a deers shoulder and not make it to the vitals. The second shot must have had the same results. The shoulder was obviously destroyed way it flopped around but there's wasn't enough penetration to kill. A better bullet would have meant a dead deer.

I am a huge believer in having two holes, even if the animal runs it it much easier to track them. Small calibers, marginally powerful for the task at hand calibers, and fast calibers say above 3000 FPS maybe 2800, really need a premium bullet if your shot is less than idea. The partition and Barnes are two of the best. Even then sometimes you will need more mass than the really small bores have to offer.

My neighbor shot several hogs with his .223 the only one recovered ran about 75 yards and ended up dead in my front yard. All of the ones I shot with a .223 made it to the thick Woods. I know two of my 3 shots were good, the 3rd might have been slightly far back but still would have been a kill shot with a bigger caliber.

More on hogs and stuff.

by Jared, Monday, May 15, 2017, 22:44 (279 days ago) @ Jared
edited by Jared, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 08:25

Hogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes from 50# or less to the truly big 250+. They are not bullet proof but can be hard to kill quickly. Their vitals are much further forward than a lot of other animals like white tails. So a lot of what you hear about hogs taking a lot of punishment is because people are shooting them behind the shoulder and the hog shrugs it off. I have seen it many times. Unless they are quartering away from you aiming behind the shoulder wil probably end up with a hog running off.

Anywhere from the ear to top of the shoulder is a good place to bring them down, I am not a fan of neckshooting deer because they are constantly moving their head and neck. A hog on the other hand Is built like a linebacker with no neck. So it is a fairly stationary target. If you hit too high they can drop then be back on their feet in a few seconds to minutes and too low they can run off. If you have a gun that can penetrate the shoulders it is a very effective shot. On a big hog it takes a lot of gun or a really good bullet to exit after punching both shoulders.

Another thing with hogs is often you will have a running shot after shooting your first. When they are running it is hard to precisely place your bullet and the extra power is nice to help break them down.

"Their vitals are much further forward..."

by Hoot @, Diversityville, Liberal-sota, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 06:33 (278 days ago) @ Jared

Yep. Learned the hard way on that. Three 30 caliber, 180gr RN in a nice, neat cloverleaf, in the wrong spot, will lead one on a merry 2-day chase. He became known as "The Bulletproof Pig". He probably would have died sooner or later but he sure wasn't slowing down none.

"Their vitals are much further forward..."

by Jared, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 08:23 (278 days ago) @ Hoot

That is about the only way to really learn. I have seen some hogs take an amazing amount of punishment and keep right on going. There just isn't much quit in them.

There was one a neighbor trapped that I went to dispatch for him. His trap was made of gravel screen so the holes were not very big. I ha de been hunting so all I had with me was a rifle and my .500 Linebaugh. As we approached the trap the 200# boar went nuts, so getting a easy hit though the small holes with a boar running around was difficult at best.

I hit him through the top of the head a little forward of the ear from above, the bullet exited his neck and broke his lower front leg. Remember this is a 450gr LFN at 1100 or so through the brain. He dropped at the shot. We gave him a minute and went into the trap to drag him out. As soon as the other guy with me touched the hogs back leg he started kicking and trying to get up. We drug the hog out and cut his throat. He payed there and flopped a minute and stopped moving. So we looped a chain around his back leg and we drug him the 25 or so yards to the truck.

We unhooked the chain and the hog stood up swaying like he was on a 3 day drunk, looked a the us and then started swaggering slowly to the woods. All this probably 5 minutes after being shot through the top of his head, and 2-3 minutes after having his throats cut. He was dead on his feet but determined to keep going. I put another round through his shoulder and that did it. I know Kathryn had a new found respect for their toughness after that, she was a little freaked out when he stood up that last time.

Another was a 150# sow that I shot with a .35 Remington contender. I hit her in the neck just a hair high. It broke the top part of the spine and dropped her, it just didn't break the spinal chord. She layed there until I ha de time to walk up and then she got up very slowly and with much trouble. A 260 keith out of a USFA put her back down.

I have shot hogs with everything from .22LR to .45-70 and .500 Linebaugh. They can be tough to kill or just drop dead. The bigger calibers have a little extra slap and seem to anchor them in their tracks better. Even if it doesn't kill them they tend to stun better allowing more time for a second shot.

No 50 grain varmint bullets mentioned so far

by CJM @, Monday, May 15, 2017, 22:59 (279 days ago) @ bj

everyone has been talking about the 60 grain Hornady Interlock and Nosler Partition; 65 grain Sierra GameKing, 55 grain Barnes TSX and 64 grain Winchester PowerPoint. All bullets intended for animals from coyote to deer & hogs in size, not varmint bullets or target bullets.
All are hunting bullets going the designed for velocity and they do penetrate and kill the intended animals quickly.

Shooting hogs for real and in volume...

by Byron, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 15:05 (278 days ago) @ rob
edited by Byron, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 15:55

Have shot a bunch of whitetails and a couple of hogs I can state from personal experience that deer are easy to kill and pretty much anything from a .22 Mag out of a rifle on up will kill them cleanly when hit right. I see little difference in their reaction when hit with arrows or 9mm Silvertips from a P35 up to high powered rifles. IMO 5.56mm with good bullets is plenty for whitetails inside 150-200 yards if you can hit them right.

The hogs I have shot were hit with .72 caliber balls from a 12 bore express rifle and a .475 Linebaugh Bisley. They all did the predictable very quickly and it was clear that I was using plenty of medicine.

A thought to consider especially in that the OP was regarding the use of 5.56mm on hogs. If one spends any time watching the videos of hog hunting from helos it is clear that the standard rifle is a 16" AR15 and most of the time the pigs drop in a pile when hit. My sister lives in South Texas where the hogs are massively destructive to crops and this type of hog shooting is fairly common. These guys shoot thousands of hogs and Green Tip is the round of choice and based on the videos they are not out of line. I fulling understand that the concept of a clean one shot stop and "sportsmanship" does not apply here as the goal is that the pig will die sometime in the next couple of days.

Still, it seems Green Tip kills 'em pretty good.



i have killed a truckload...or three...of them and

by rob @, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 17:10 (278 days ago) @ Byron

I've only had three move out of their tracks. One was a twofer lined up behind another. The one on the off side had its shoulder in line with the ear of the closest. Should have been a perfect neck shot on one and shoulder on number two. They stepped forward as the trigger released dropping the round into the the shoulder of the first and just behind the shoulder of number two. Number one dropped in its tracks and went into the freezer. Number two spun in a circle and by the time I racked my bolt and found it in the scope it was in the trees carrying the base of a 270 Winchester 150 Partition. I never found it or so much as a drop of blood...but it squeezed for a mile:) The second hog that didn't drop on the spot went about 75 yards, shot a bit behind the shoulder...not intentional. Same 270 and 150 partition. That round as well as the 165 Interlocks I now shoot out of my 30-06 that replaced the 270 generally leaves a good 2" hole on the off side with bo e hanging out on shoulder shots and anchors them in their tracks. The 45-70 is even better. Number three was shot 6 times in all the right places from 25 yards for the first shot and a couple feet for the last couple shots...he was ticked...with a 44 magnum. Every shot anchored him immediately and he "came back to life" each time. The first shot dropped him from a creekbank into Cowhouse Creek, about a four foot drop, landing on his back, blood pouring out of his shoulder for a good thirty seconds into the water. I had my gun reholstered and he started shaking and grunting and flipped over and tried to climb the bank. Shot number two was between the shoulder blades and dropped him into the creek again. He recovered, turned around to stare at the thing that's was distressing him and decided to come over for a visit. Shot number three stopped him halfway in the middle of the creek. He came again and shot four turned him around changing his mind. Shots five and six were as he was trying to get back up the creek bank. He dropped at every shot, every one of then in the shoulders, neck and back of head. He barely made it up the bank and about 80 yards to a tree, circled it about five times and payed down. Scott Tschirhart and Shawn Purkey showed up about that time and we tracked that pig well over a mile following blood until it got so thick we couldn't go further. That was one tough boar, probably about 150 pounds. I was using 240 Sierra JHP's over a very stiff load of H110. I think the bullets were blowing up under the hide but his reaction to every shot was spectacular!

Shooting hogs for real and in volume...

by Jared, Thursday, May 18, 2017, 09:15 (276 days ago) @ Byron

Shooting from a helicopter is totally different than hunting. From a helicopter you are shooting from above at a range of a few feet. The spinal chord is very exposed from that angle. They guys are trying to take slaughterhouse style shots right at the base of the neck. Since you are moving with the hogs repeat shots are possible if your hit is slightly off. Their main concern is low ammo cost and fast repeat shots because they are killing a ton of animals.

When you are hunting on foot if the shot is botched even slightly you have a hog running through the woods and a second shot may or may not be possible. Also the ranges for Hunting on foot can be much further and the angles not as forgiving.

Go shoot 100 hogs under varying circumstances with a .223 and see what your one shot stops will be. I guarantee the rate would be lower than a bigger more appropropiate cartridge.

It will kill without a doubt, but for the guy that gets a chance at a couple of hogs a year, or the guy paying for a hunt it would be wise to use enough gun to bring them down 98% or the time instead of 90 or whatever the .223 would be. From personal experience I bet it would be less that that.

The ranch we were hunting at...

by mcassill, Thursday, May 18, 2017, 09:45 (276 days ago) @ Jared

Finally told hunters to quit bringing .223s for hogs and other large game. They were saying entirely too many "adventures" involving that round.

I can believe it.

by Jared, Thursday, May 18, 2017, 11:15 (276 days ago) @ mcassill

When I went on that HHI pronghorn hunt with Roger they were STRONGLY against anyone using a .223 for them .

I don't understand why a person would want to take a marginal at best caliber, or bullet, on a paid hunt. I have the good fortune of being about to shoot a hog just about any time I want and can use anything. I tried the .223 to satisfy my curiosity but don't see myself purposely using it again. If I happen to have one in my hands when a see a hog I'll shoot, but since I don't generally grab one for anything. It is doubtful I'll use it again.

Scott T and I went on a hunt last year and...

by rob @, Thursday, May 18, 2017, 15:00 (276 days ago) @ mcassill

They kinda frowned on AR's saying it didn't have enough knock down power. But, the guy who was guiding the hunt and said that, when I asked him what he used, replied a 22-250. "Really," I asked, "what ammo do you use in it?" His response was whatever I can get cheap and he said he usually used 40 grain bullets and gets great results on deer and hogs. There was another group out there with a bunch of ARs too. I knew when they had a group of hogs because it sounded like machine guns going off. They wounded several causing a massive tracking expedition and one of them killed a doe by mistake on another night. I think it's that kinda folk that causes these ranches to dislike AR hunters. If I saw a group of hogs, I couldn't bring myself to let off a shot until I knew it was going to be surgically precise. I could care less if all the others run off. My marksmanship is more important to me. I definitely understand why a lot of these ranches feel the way they do. Personally, I prefer a serious hunting round over the 5.56 but I want to see for myself what I can do with it...or maybe better, what it can do, if for no other reason than to better understand my get off my lawn rifle:) For sure, my serious hunting rifles are 30-06 and 45-70.

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