223 deer suitable bullets

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
#1
Folks, I have a Sako 75 stainless 223 with factory 1 in 8 barrel. It's useable with factory 55gr softpoints (Sako), but it's apparent it could do better if I started reloading for it. So, what heavier, deer suitable bullets are readily available and in use by those of you in amongst the 223.
Cheers and Merry Crimbo
Malx
 

sikadog

Well-Known Member
#4
I cannot see a problem with 55grn bullets I have shot an awfull lot of Roe using a 22-250 and 55grn bullets, I have never had one go more than 50yds after being shot.
And before that I used a 222 shooting 50grn bullets
 

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
#7
I have no problem with the 55 grain stuff, it's the rifle I think that could perform better with heavier bullets, it being of the fast twist 1 in 8 variety. If there's not much in the way of good expanding bullets in heavier weights, I'd be better off selling it to someone more interested in targets, or re-barreling it into a slower twist.
 
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nick.308

Well-Known Member
#8
ive struggled to find heavier bullet heads for .223 that would group in my rifle.
69gr sierra MK aren't suitable for hunting but group well

I have recently tried 60gr Nosler ballistic tips and they group well so will be trying them now
 

bewsher500

Well-Known Member
#11
Hornady 60gr sp
all I will shoot through my .222 at deer
usually on the shelves as they are neither popular or premium

you don't say where you are
no point asking us really, ring round your local rfds and see what they have and then come back for opinion if they are new to you.

scierra gameking also good and readily available

don't discount weights just on your current barrel twist
i am shooting 60 through a 1:14" which on paper shouldn't happen.
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
#12
Yes Barnes - like other premium bullets like Nosler Partitions & Ballistic tips are expensive - But as I'll just use them for the roe & won't be blatting loads of foxes or targets with them it won't be so bad.
The Sierras are cheap enough as long as I can get them to shoot in the new barrel I'll be happy enough.

Ian
 

Paul at Fechan

Account Suspended
#13
stay away from barnes or lead free mono metals for deer in my opinion, far to hard at normal velocity especially in flatter environments. I've only been really disappointed with bullets zipping through and from a safety point of view if you have 95+% of a bullet exiting at upwards with half it's entry energy that greatly increases risk.

I shot a roe with my 308 and it ran like i missed it but left a blood trail and i found it but I was aware of a ricochet going off up the hill even though the backstop was good. I shot a red stag twice with bullets from the same batch which just shuddered and hopped on a bit before shopping on each hit but the third shot was a nosler that flattened it with authority. I have no confidence in lead free bullets at all, only fired 3 at deer and never again.
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
#14
Barnes bullets do expand if you shoot them fast enough. I get good expansion in 308 with 130 grain TTSX at 2950 Ft/sec
I'd certainly run the 224 bullets as fast as possible to ensure expansion. Chronographing before trying them on deer.

Paul did you chronograph your loads? If so what was the velocity? - I suspect you weren't driving them fast enough.
Also if you got riccochets your backstop was inadequate. You must always assume that a bullet will still be going full tilt beyond the quary - end of! You can't rely on a bullet not doing that by its construction. Even with varmint bullets -- never mind ones that are designed to retain their weight like the Barnes.

Ian
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
#15
stay away from barnes or lead free mono metals for deer in my opinion, far to hard at normal velocity especially in flatter environments. I've only been really disappointed with bullets zipping through and from a safety point of view if you have 95+% of a bullet exiting at upwards with half it's entry energy that greatly increases risk.

I shot a roe with my 308 and it ran like i missed it but left a blood trail and i found it but I was aware of a ricochet going off up the hill even though the backstop was good. I shot a red stag twice with bullets from the same batch which just shuddered and hopped on a bit before shopping on each hit but the third shot was a nosler that flattened it with authority. I have no confidence in lead free bullets at all, only fired 3 at deer and never again.
Which were you using specifically?
 

Paul at Fechan

Account Suspended
#16
Barnes bullets do expand if you shoot them fast enough. I get good expansion in 308 with 130 grain TTSX at 2950 Ft/sec
I'd certainly run the 224 bullets as fast as possible to ensure expansion. Chronographing before trying them on deer.

Paul did you chronograph your loads? If so what was the velocity? - I suspect you weren't driving them fast enough.
Also if you got riccochets your backstop was inadequate. You must always assume that a bullet will still be going full tilt beyond the quary - end of! You can't rely on a bullet not doing that by its construction. Even with varmint bullets -- never mind ones that are designed to retain their weight like the Barnes.

Ian
Ian, there's two really big issues with what you said defending such a bullet. Firstly in that a bullet has a minimum practical velocity or is doesn't perform as intended which non-magnum calibers can't make? The worst thing about that hunting bullets have lost about 400 fps compared to muzzle at 200m!!!! So long range shooting with them is out of the question in any caliber!!!!

And secondly that my backstop was in anyway inadequate, really? because you were there and could see under the grass mat?!

Let me explain, the bullets I used were GMX in 150gr and driven as fast as I dare my 308 could push them. The roe deer was under 70m and I was shooting into a hill with 4-6 inches of peaty soil before aggregates. The bullet simply did not expand as the pluck clearly showed and where a soft point would have shed a chunk of weight and energy going through the deer and if it made the aggregate would have been shredded. The gmx went clean through with no signs of good expansion and struck the aggregate of the hill after burrowing down through the peat layer and went back up off something fairly solid.

Now, my point is that the backstop was safe for normal hunting ammo, this stuff changes the rules and if velocity is a must for performance the longer shots are simply out of the question. Forget neck and head shots because there's not the expansion to give you a slight margin for error.

Other have had similar experience of poor reactions and in flatter areas they are a really poor choice regarding an increase to ricochet risk.
 

The tramp

Well-Known Member
#17
Bullets don't always go in a straight line, I've known of several exit at 90 degrees to entry, and even the best backstop in the world won't stop them, all we can do is minimise the risk by having a good backstop there ready for the 95% that do pass through straight.
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
#18
Paul, I speak of Barnes TTSX from personal experience - good quick kills each time - Dunno about the GMX as I have not shot them & can't comment on them - different beast although of fairly similar type.
However you shot 150 grainers from your 308.(At what velocity did you dare to drive them?) Barnes would recommend a 130 grain bullet in 308 to permit higher velocity for optimum performance. The TTSX is designed to expand quicker than the TSX - That is why I prefer them.
I admit that there have been some questionable kills with monometal bullets - they all do not perform identically. The same may be said for conventional jacketed bullets - they don't always give instant kills & I've seen lots of deer shot with multiple shots just because they didn't fall over immediately.
I believe that Barnes are the best of the monometal bunch - that's why I use them. My intention in using these bullets is to prepare for the possible stupid restrictions that may be forced upon us in the near future. I still have plenty of normal jacketed bullets that work well enough - Althought I could not say that they work either better or worse than the Barnes.
As far as head & neck shots - you cannot prove that there won't be adequate expansion unless you can recover the bullet. Any bullet missing the spine on a neck shot causes problems. If it passes through & the beast doesn't drop - you have missed, you can't blame the bullet for that if you haven't got it! --- I am very much averse to taking neck shots anyway & head shots need extra special care - nowt to do with bullet design when speaking of hunting bullets not varmint ones.
As far as shooting long distances - the ballistic coefficient determines rate of decelleration - The TTSX have good BC values when compared to conventional stuff & the velocity drop within my chosen shooting distances is acceptable.
You clearly had a couple of "bad" experiences & have decided to steer clear. Fine - But please don't condemn without the full truth. I will continue as I am certainly not convinced and have had no such reasons for doubt.

Ian

P.S. Apologies for taking this thread away from its original line.
 

v-max

Well-Known Member
#19
Hi I have used 64g Berger quite a bit there good & quite readily available. Also used 60g v-max there good too. I'm sure Sierra do 60-64g soft points bullet heads which I have used there 55g heads & liked them. All these all shot out my 22.250 with a 1-12 twist
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
#20
Paul, I speak of Barnes TTSX from personal experience - good quick kills each time - Dunno about the GMX as I have not shot them & can't comment on them - different beast although of fairly similar type.
However you shot 150 grainers from your 308.(At what velocity did you dare to drive them?) Barnes would recommend a 130 grain bullet in 308 to permit higher velocity for optimum performance. The TTSX is designed to expand quicker than the TSX - That is why I prefer them.
I admit that there have been some questionable kills with monometal bullets - they all do not perform identically. The same may be said for conventional jacketed bullets - they don't always give instant kills & I've seen lots of deer shot with multiple shots just because they didn't fall over immediately.
I believe that Barnes are the best of the monometal bunch - that's why I use them. My intention in using these bullets is to prepare for the possible stupid restrictions that may be forced upon us in the near future. I still have plenty of normal jacketed bullets that work well enough - Althought I could not say that they work either better or worse than the Barnes.
As far as head & neck shots - you cannot prove that there won't be adequate expansion unless you can recover the bullet. Any bullet missing the spine on a neck shot causes problems. If it passes through & the beast doesn't drop - you have missed, you can't blame the bullet for that if you haven't got it! --- I am very much averse to taking neck shots anyway & head shots need extra special care - nowt to do with bullet design when speaking of hunting bullets not varmint ones.
As far as shooting long distances - the ballistic coefficient determines rate of decelleration - The TTSX have good BC values when compared to conventional stuff & the velocity drop within my chosen shooting distances is acceptable.
You clearly had a couple of "bad" experiences & have decided to steer clear. Fine - But please don't condemn without the full truth. I will continue as I am certainly not convinced and have had no such reasons for doubt.

Ian

P.S. Apologies for taking this thread away from its original line.

I have shot perhaps 60 deer with various calibres of Barnes Ttsx and TSX bullets over the years. The ranges were between 10 and 220 yards, most deer were Roe with occasional Reds and most were chest shot. I have never had a bullet fail to expand and have never lost a beast or had an excessively long follow up. I have seen good expansion on foxes that I have shot whilst stalking. I can only describe the bullet performance as boringly reliable! I don't lose meat because of faulty bullet blow up even if I hit a rib on the way in, which I certainly do when I use ballistic tips (which incidentally I have had pencil through a Roe). In the 22/250 the Barnes 53g bullet has served me well, as have 100 grain in 6.5, 130g in 308 and 140g in 7mm RM. As with any bullet they do take a little getting used to to understand the performance envelope but if people stick with the oft quoted advice to use light for calibre bullets at high ish (not stupid) velocities then they are very efficient killers. To condemn mono metal bullets following one bad experience is nonsensical.
Just my 2p worth!!

ps regarding the heavier barnes bullets in 22 centre fires, I wouldn't bother. I would try the 50-55g ones first despite the fast twist barrel as the barnes bullets may be longer than equivalent weight cup and core bullets. This may suit the twist rate and allow greater velocity
 
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