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What Is the Best AR Caliber for Hunting?

Bassbob

Ronin
I know people that can’t get a clean kill with a 12ga slug; does that make the caliber unethical?

Or the hunter?
Obviously the hunter. An ethical hunter has a responsibility to be proficient with his weapon so as to assure a quick, clean, humane kill. It's not the best analogy though because a 12 gauge slug has a much better chance of dropping a deer regardless of shot placement.

In an ideal world where all hunters are somehow magically required to be ethical, I completely agree with you. If you have the skill, you should be able to harvest deer with whatever you see fit. I mean we are allowed to use an atlatl during the "Alternative methods" portion of the season and I have serious doubt that many people are proficient with one of those. So I suppose really I should rethink my position on either that law or the law that allows people to use atlatls. Hell, bow hunting for that matter. I spent/spend a lot of time practicing with a bow so that I can be sure to make clean shots. A lot more time than it takes to get accurate with an AR and a red dot.

So I guess I see your point.
 

Bassbob

Ronin
There are some folks that have no business being in the woods too, but that has not a damn thing to do with the caliber of the firearm they carry. Knowing what the hell you are doing with any firearm has everything to do with a successful shot and kill.
So you hunt whitetail with a .22 ?
 

Recusant

Professional
My first deer rifle was a Remington 742 in 6mm. I shot deer with it as well as groundhogs during the summer. For a stock semi-auto, it grouped fairly well. I found that the 6mm round was fine in a fairly open area, but in the brush the round was prone to being deflected. I would assume that the 5.56 would tend to do the same. Deflected rounds can lead to wounded deer that you never find. I also found that the 6mm round would usually fragment when it hit a bone and through and through shots were rare. Shoulder shots would disable a deer and I would have to shoot it again to kill it. Rib shots, unless I hit a lung didn't leave much of a blood trail. After hunting with the 6mm Remington for over 10 years, I moved up to the 30.06 and in 35 years I can only remember 2 wounded deer I could not find. The last several years I've hunted with the Victor in .308 and have not been disappointed. When I shoot at a deer, I want a round that will do its job as long as I've done mine. I'm not big on leaving a successful kill to chance.
 

HansGruber

Hellcat
My first deer rifle was a Remington 742 in 6mm. I shot deer with it as well as groundhogs during the summer. For a stock semi-auto, it grouped fairly well. I found that the 6mm round was fine in a fairly open area, but in the brush the round was prone to being deflected. I would assume that the 5.56 would tend to do the same. Deflected rounds can lead to wounded deer that you never find. I also found that the 6mm round would usually fragment when it hit a bone and through and through shots were rare. Shoulder shots would disable a deer and I would have to shoot it again to kill it. Rib shots, unless I hit a lung didn't leave much of a blood trail. After hunting with the 6mm Remington for over 10 years, I moved up to the 30.06 and in 35 years I can only remember 2 wounded deer I could not find. The last several years I've hunted with the Victor in .308 and have not been disappointed. When I shoot at a deer, I want a round that will do its job as long as I've done mine. I'm not big on leaving a successful kill to chance.
And that’s why I said earlier—bullet selection is important.

If you were using the thin-jacketed varmint rounds that you used on groundhogs, yes, you’re going to have shallow penetration and fragmentation issues. Moving to a more solidly constructed bullet would have likely given better results.

I know a number of people who use .243 with great results on deer, using the heavier, well constructed billets out there.
 

Recusant

Professional
And that’s why I said earlier—bullet selection is important.

If you were using the thin-jacketed varmint rounds that you used on groundhogs, yes, you’re going to have shallow penetration and fragmentation issues. Moving to a more solidly constructed bullet would have likely given better results.

I know a number of people who use .243 with great results on deer, using the heavier, well constructed billets out there.Re
Remington 6mm 100 grain Core-Lokt was about the only thing available back in the 70s and 80s. I doubt if many rifles chambered for the 6mm Remington are produced today. I have varmint model 700 in 6mm that I use on groundhogs that is a pleasure to shoot.

 

Bassbob

Ronin
I have always hunted with either a bow, a 30-30, a .308. a 30-06 or a .44 Magnum. I have never lost a deer and I have only ever had to track one and it was someone else's deer. When I shoot them they don't run far. Most don't run anywhere.
 

HansGruber

Hellcat
I have always hunted with either a bow, a 30-30, a .308. a 30-06 or a .44 Magnum. I have never lost a deer and I have only ever had to track one and it was someone else's deer. When I shoot them they don't run far. Most don't run anywhere.
Ditto.

I’ve used a .357, .41 and .44 magnum, 10mm, .45acp, .500 S&W, .223, .30-30, .257 Ackley, 12ga, 20ga, and a .50 Muzzleloader…with only the last 4 being long guns.

Most dropped where they were, or piled it up in under 100 yards. Only 1–with the 10mm—ran a memorable distance (about 1/4 mile), and that was with a double lung shot…that doe just didn’t want to die.

At the end of the day, it’s the shooter, not the caliber.
 
I don't hunt varmints or coyotes. If I'm not going to consume it, I'm not going to kill it. I have no objections to what other folks murder legitimately. Except for elephants, rhinos, giraffes, and other similar animals. You're a ****head if you murder an elephant for sport or money. Just my two cents.
I'm mostly a plinker, but no way I'd pass up a good quail on the dinner table! Try dealing with a hog infestation that ruins your crops, then you take a high dollar loss! Not fun! I do have plenty of deer and turkey too shoot, but no thanks!
 

papa

Professional
Founding Member
Back when I stopped hunting , here in Illinois , we were only allowed to use shotgun slugs , black powder rifle , or bow and arrow.

I killed quite a few Deer with 12 GA. rifled slug and never had a Deer move out of their tracks after being hit. A lot of hunters don't know Deer anatomy thus they don't know where to place their shot for best results.
 

Bassbob

Ronin
Back when I stopped hunting , here in Illinois , we were only allowed to use shotgun slugs , black powder rifle , or bow and arrow.

I killed quite a few Deer with 12 GA. rifled slug and never had a Deer move out of their tracks after being hit. A lot of hunters don't know Deer anatomy thus they don't know where to place their shot for best results.
My dad's shot was broadside, through both shoulders with a 30-06. They didn't all die immediately but they didn't run anywhere. He is the only person I ever hunted with who I can say ethically shot at a running deer. He got 'em every time. Well, until he got very old. He was a wingshooter his whole life and I guess it translated well for him to shooting rifles. Personally I never shoot at running deer.
 

SophusCA

Alpha
Hi everyone. I am looking for a second opinion. Does 223 Remington is good for deer hunting? The seller in a local gun shop recommended it.
 
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