.223 Roe Load


Well-Known Member
Last year I shot a small roe doe with my .223,I don't think using nosler ballistic tips in this calibre is advisable,so I have bought some nosler partition's in 60gr.
Whilst I am not advocating using a relatively small calibre like the .223 for roe stalking,there are situations where It may occur in my circumstances.
Firstly when out primarily for foxes,& having a deer load in reserve,set to the same zero,if opportunity presents its self.
Secondly when noise constraints arise,due to using the same ground as pheasant shooters,who're obviously most active over the doe season.
My query is this,when using a "premium" bullet,should the velocity be kept lower than average to allow for the controlled expansion needed for deer.
I typically shoot the .223 at around 3000fps,so would loading the partitions down to around 2800fps offer better performance on the does?
I should add that I live & hunt in Scotland,so am on the right side of the law!


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Can't help you on the bullet front, but I shoot in scotland as well, and there have been times when I have come across a deer in close woodland) no more than 20 feet away) and wondered whether a 223 would the more appropriate tool for the job than the 243 I would normally use - although I use a lighter 87gr bullet in that.

What do you find the reaction and meat damage is like with a 223?

I may try out a 223 next year.



Well-Known Member
The damage wasn't as bad as It could have been,but still I won't be doing it again like this. I used a 50gr nosler balistic tip at <50m.I think this bullet is designed for foxing,so wont be using it in future on roe.
The deer did run about 6-8m after the shot,& there was a reasonably big exit wound,considering the small size of bullet.
Like I say though,I don't want to leave anything to chance,so will only be using beefier bullets in future.
I take it it's only nosler who make a deer hunting .223 bullet? Or do RWS/barnes/swift make something similar that anyone's used?


Well-Known Member
Ever tried the sako 55gr sp ? a designated roe cartridge.
I never shot a roe with it but many many foxes. From 10yds to 330yds.
Good penetration, no blow up.
It was also the most accurate factory round in my CZ (6mm 3-shot group).


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With the factory ammo,I used some 55gn Federal powershok for shooting rabbits & crows,it expanded pretty quickly,as did remington.
I'm not sure about winchester,as I used it to re-zero.
What I think is pretty common with factory ammo in this calibre is for it to have quite a thin copper jacket,which is why I'm willing to spend a bit more to get something harder hitting.
Edi, I haven't tried sako in .223,but struggle to get a good range of products locally,or even to catch the RFD when he's in!
What he did tell me though,was that he knew a guy who had bought .222 sako 55gn & because it was 5gns heavier than the normal load,his group sizes went all over the place! Not so much a problem for the .223 as I get the impression this calibre is a bit more flexible.
Yes,why not have the varminting debate again,it's been a good one from long before I joined this forum! :lol:


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Any 55 grain SP would probably do the trick. I had a good friend many years ago who shot deer with .223 and 22-250 in South Dakota and used 55 grain SP's exclusively. HE shot whitetail and mule deer alike. He was a superb shot which I'm sure added to his success.~Muir

Dennis H

You can email Nosler on what speed range there is best for the Partition
they are very helpful if you ask them a question, but when it comes to that bullit i dont think you will get a different result with more or less speed.



Well-Known Member
partition delivery speed

on the nosler web pages it does not give an upper limit for the partition. it does for the ballistic tips however the partition is quite different. I would say load to your most accurate near max load. don't try to reduce your load to below the min given in the manuals.

In my opinion (others will disagree of course.....) the 60 gr partition is an excellant bullet and is ideally suited to your use requirements. the gameking is a bit lighter constructed and might fragment at the velocities achievable with a .223. they are designed for longer range shooting where the velocity is lower when they hit the target.



Well-Known Member
Try the Sako 55gn soft points. I've shot about a dozen or so Roe with them and found them very good. They would probably be good for charlie as well but i found that they shot so close to my normall 55gn v max load that i can swap between the 2 bullet types without bothering with the Zero.
I love the 223 but beware pushing a premium bullet slowly to preserve meat, the small exit wound could make a follow up very hard work.

I load both the V max and the Sako sp with 26.5 gns Varget and as a bonus they shoot the same POI as the factory 55gn SAKO SP


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I use a Remington 700 in .223 for roe and foxes and have tried Sako, Winchester, Remington and Federal factory loads.
Have standardised on a hand load using a 55 grain soft point Hornady bullet and 24.4 grains of N133 powder which the tables say gives you 2892FPS and 1021Ft/Lbs of energy at 100yds. This is a slightly better performance than the 55 grain Sako soft points which do kill foxes but don't do much meat damage to roe either.