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Where to Shoot a deer with a 223 AR-15 Rifle

The best place to shoot a deer with a .223 is the same as any other rifle—close to your truck!

AR-15 Rifles are becoming more common and many hunters and gun owners who have one may wonder if its possible to use the rifle to hunt deer. Since .223 and .556 ammo are not common calibers to use when hunting bigger game, it can be hard to find good information about where to shoot a deer with one. Most people just wing it and hope for the best, but that’s not always the best strategy. 

In this article, we’re going to give you some expert tips on where to shoot a deer with a .223 so that you can put that animal down quickly and humanely.

Best Place to Shoot a Deer with 223

The best place to shoot a deer with a .223 is in the chest right behind the shoulder. This will provide a large target for your bullet, and it will also ensure that the deer’s heart and lungs are destroyed. This will lead to a quick and humane kill. 

Where to shoot a deer with a 223

There are two ways to shoot a deer in the chest. The first is to aim for the center of the chest, just behind the front leg. This will ensure that your bullet hits the heart and lungs. 

The second way is to aim for a spot just below the neckline. This will ensure that your bullet hits the heart, but it will also take out the deer’s spinal cord. This will lead to a quicker and more humane kill compared to hitting the spinal cord alone.

Deer illustration with vital organs in the chest such as lungs and heart
Side view of deer illustration showing where to hit vital organs when hunting

The neck is not a good place to shoot a deer with a .223. The reason for this is that the neck is relatively small, and the bones in the neck can deflect a bullet. 

If you do hit the spine, then the deer will likely die, but it will take a long time and will be quite a bit of suffering.

So we recommend always sticking with the deer’s heart and lungs by shooting them in the chest.

What Type of 223 Bullet to Use for Deer Hunting

Now that you know where to shoot a deer with a .223, let’s talk about what type of bullet to use. 

The most important thing is to use a bullet that will expand when it hits the deer. This will create a larger wound channel and lead to a quicker kill. 

There are many different types of bullets available on the market, but a popular choice for deer hunting is the Federal Premium Vital-Shok Nosler Partition, which comes in a variety of calibers. 

Federal Premium Nosler 223 Ammo Box on wood shelf

These bullets are designed to expand at a wide range of velocities, and will both provide good penetration. 

As for the grain amount, the majority of deer hunters use either a 55 or a 60-grain bullet. These bullets are light enough to provide good expansion, but they are also heavy enough to provide good penetration. 

If you are shooting a deer at long range, then you may want to consider using a heavier bullet. This will help to prevent the bullet from fragmenting when it hits the deer.

When it comes to choosing the right .223 bullets for deer hunting, there are many different factors that you need to consider. The most important factor is the deer’s vitals. The second most important factor is the range at which you will be shooting the deer. 

There are many different types of .223 bullets on the market, so it is important to do your research and choose the one that is best for your needs. If you are shooting at a deer that is close range, then you will want to choose a bullet that has a high velocity. If you are shooting at a deer that is further away, then you will want to choose a bullet with a lower velocity. 

It is also important to consider the type of rifle you will be using. If you are using a bolt action rifle, then you will want to choose a bullet that is specifically designed for that type of rifle. If you are using an AR-15, then you will want to choose a bullet that is specifically designed for that type of rifle. 

What Distance Should You Hunt Deer with 223?

It is recommended to be less than 400 yards from the deer when hunting with .223.

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, such as the type of rifle you are using, the type of bullets you are using, and the deer’s size.

If you are using a varmint rifle or a .223 Remington 700P with heavy bullets, then you should be able to take down a deer at 400 yards. However, if you are using a lighter bullet, such as a 55-grain, then you should limit your shots to 300 yards or less.

The size of the deer also plays a role in how far away you can shoot it. A small deer, such as a doe, can be taken down at longer distances than a large buck.

In general, you should only take shots at deer that are within your comfortable shooting range. This will help ensure that you make a clean kill and do not wound the animal.

FAQ

Will a 223 kill a deer?

Yes, a .223 is powerful enough to kill a deer. The exact minimum caliber required to humanely kill a deer is not precisely known, but the .223 meets or exceeds this requirement. In fact, many hunters use .223 rifles to successfully harvest deer every year. 

Is it illegal to shoot a deer with 223 caliber?

There is no federal law that outright prohibits the use of a .223 to shoot a deer, but individual states may have their own regulations. It is always best to check with your local game warden or wildlife department to be sure. 

States like Ohio, West Virginia, Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, and New Jersey may require you to use a bigger caliber.

Conclusion

Now that you know the basics of where to shoot a deer with a .223, get out there and give it a try. Remember to be patient, take your time, and aim for a spot just behind the shoulder. With practice, you’ll be taking down deer like a pro in no time. Happy hunting!

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