Gun Digest

Ammo Brief: .223 Remington For Deer

At GunDigest, we independently review products. However, we may earn a commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More

Does the small and speedy .223 Remington have what it takes to put meat on the table? With the right bullet, you bet.

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.

Remington’s new HTP Copper load for the .223 Remington should prove to be ideal for smallish big game because of its velocity. Mono-metal bullets like the Triple Shock are very lethal and effective when pushed fast.

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.

Mono-metal bullets such as the Triple Shock work very well at high speeds like this because their energy dump is increased. The downside to the .223 Remington is that these bullets have low ballistic coefficients, so they slow down quickly, limiting the effective range of the cartridge.

As far as legality, a few years back I took the time to research the hunting regulations for all 50 states in order to determine the minimum caliber allowed for big-game hunting. I found 35 states that permitted its use. That’s 70 percent, which qualifies as most in my book.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

Next Step: Get your FREE Printable Target Pack

Enhance your shooting precision with our 62 MOA Targets, perfect for rifles and handguns. Crafted in collaboration with Storm Tactical for accuracy and versatility.

Subscribe to the Gun Digest email newsletter and get your downloadable target pack sent straight to your inbox. Stay updated with the latest firearms info in the industry.

Get Free Targets

Exit mobile version