.223 for bear, mountain goat, deer, elk, and moose.

PNWGATOR

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DON'T HAVE TIME TO READ 176 PAGES? HERE'S THE CHEAT SHEET.


“Bullets matter more than headstamps.”

“Spent primers offer the supreme tutorial”.

I’ve read it here and elsewhere online. It got my attention. I started digging and asking questions and listened.

The 77gr TMK delivered by a .223 is where I ended up after many discussions and objective data regarding bullet performance and numerous pics of field results.

Now for the delivery system. Accurate. Repeatable. Reliable. Reasonable weight to afford steady shot placement and the ability to spot my own impacts yet packable. Tikka T3x, vertical grip, Sportsmatch rings, SWFA 6x MQ in mills. Replaced the trigger spring with a yo Dave, adjusted to my liking, then degreased everything and locked all of the screws down with loctite and got started.

The package checks all of the boxes. Plus, it’s FUN! Time at the range is spent learning to call wind, trigger control, spotting your own impacts and figuring out why a shot did or did not end up where you wanted it. No brake. No flinch. Inexpensive to shoot. The fun factor plus the ability to be able to afford to shoot a lot goes a long way to learning and understanding shooting, accuracy and precision.

With all of that said, I’ve decided to use 77 TMK out of a .223 from this delivery system for bear, deer and elk this season.

Opportunity presented itself a couple of days ago. I killed a mature, dry sow with the 77 TMK. Bullet performance exceeded all expectations! The terminal performance is on par with anything I’ve seen in a .284 or .30. Unreal performance. The bullet is a BEAST!

Practice will continue throughout the summer in preparation for the upcoming deer and elk seasons.

Based on my sample of one, the 77 TMK out of a .223 is truly a lethal combination well suited to a dedicated lower 48 big game rifle.

Would love to hear about others experiences with this bullet or similar bulletts!
 

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Congrats on the bear, got any additional pictures of damage on the animal? Bound to be a fun shooting system no doubt.

This is sure to be a dandy of a thread.

Taglines: How much energy does it take for a bullet to expand, run enough gun, Elmer Keith, shot placement is key, etc.
 

dla

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Oregon & Idaho
“Bullets matter more than headstamps.”

“Spent primers offer the supreme tutorial”.

I’ve read it here and elsewhere online. It got my attention. I started digging and asking questions and listened.

The 77gr TMK delivered by a .223 is where I ended up after many discussions and objective data regarding bullet performance and numerous pics of field results.

Now for the delivery system. Accurate. Repeatable. Reliable. Reasonable weight to afford steady shot placement and the ability to spot my own impacts yet packable. Tikka T3x, vertical grip, Sportsmatch rings, SWFA 6x MQ in mills. Replaced the trigger spring with a yo Dave, adjusted to my liking, then degreased everything and locked all of the screws down with loctite and got started.

The package checks all of the boxes. Plus, it’s FUN! Time at the range is spent learning to call wind, trigger control, spotting your own impacts and figuring out why a shot did or did not end up where you wanted it. No brake. No flinch. Inexpensive to shoot. The fun factor plus the ability to be able to afford to shoot a lot goes a long way to learning and understanding shooting, accuracy and precision.

With all of that said, I’ve decided to use 77 TMK out of a .223 from this delivery system for bear, deer and elk this season.

Opportunity presented itself a couple of days ago. I killed a mature, dry sow with the 77 TMK. Bullet performance exceeded all expectations! The terminal performance is on par with anything I’ve seen in a .284 or .30. Unreal performance. The bullet is a BEAST!

Practice will continue throughout the summer in preparation for the upcoming deer and elk seasons.

Based on my sample of one, the 77 TMK out of a .223 is truly a lethal combination well suited to a dedicated lower 48 big game rifle.

Would love to hear about others experiences with this bullet or similar bulletts!
Not legal for big game in Oregon. Surprised that it is legal for Elk in Idaho.

Obviously Elk aren't armor-plated. And if you think like a bowhunter the 223 will put one down. But you don't have much leeway with a 223. You can end up with a hit to tag ratio greater than 1.

I am a little worried about this statement - "The terminal performance is on par with anything I’ve seen in a .284 or .30. Unreal performance. The bullet is a BEAST!"

No, it is not "on par" with 30cal fodder - not even a 30-30. It is a very marginal cartridge/bullet that CAN work if the shooter stays within its limitations. Sorry to burst your bubble, but better now than this fall when you post a sob-story about how you made a good hit and never found the elk.
 

Lawnboi

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I did the same as you basically, built up a cheap 223. But I did it mainly for practice. Have a very similar setup with the t3x lite and an swfa scope. It’s a very accurate gun, can put a box of ammo in one big hole at 100 yards. I don’t plan on hunting with it, but my wife has a 243 tikka similar setup that I can easily spot shots with, that we plan on hunting with for deer size game. Not sure if I wil ever shoot at an elk with it though.

Either way the 223 is getting my wife and I some affordable trigger time. My wife being a new shooter, this is just what we needed.

Biggest downside to the 223 is that even shooting 77s the wind really pushes it around. Even at meager ranges Iv been shooting at lately.
 

270quest

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I’m not a big magnum guy, but the odds I took a .223 elk hunting (even with say 88grainers) is about zero percent...I elk hunt big roadless broken wilderness...have no interest in watching a big bull take its death run down to the bottom of a hell hole if a larger cartridge would improve my odds of putting him down right there.
 

541hunter

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Not legal for big game in Oregon. Surprised that it is legal for Elk in Idaho.

Obviously Elk aren't armor-plated. And if you think like a bowhunter the 223 will put one down. But you don't have much leeway with a 223. You can end up with a hit to tag ratio greater than 1.

I am a little worried about this statement - "The terminal performance is on par with anything I’ve seen in a .284 or .30. Unreal performance. The bullet is a BEAST!"

No, it is not "on par" with 30cal fodder - not even a 30-30. It is a very marginal cartridge/bullet that CAN work if the shooter stays within its limitations. Sorry to burst your bubble, but better now than this fall when you post a sob-story about how you made a good hit and never found the elk.

The setup would be legal for bear, deer, pronghorn, and cougar in Oregon according to the 2019 regs. Elk has to be .24 or larger.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

KHntr

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Biggest downside to the 223 is that even shooting 77s the wind really pushes it around. Even at meager ranges Iv been shooting at lately.

Pushes it around, compared to what? If you run the ballistics on it compared to say a 180gr Partition at 2850fps the 77 tmk would be pushed around less, or so close as to be negligible in wind drift.... Just sayin’...
 

Lawnboi

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Pushes it around, compared to what? If you run the ballistics on it compared to say a 180gr Partition at 2850fps the 77 tmk would be pushed around less, or so close as to be negligible in wind drift.... Just sayin’...

I’m definetly not comparing it to a 180g partition.

Also I’m shooting the 77g smk, I don’t know if there’s that much difference between it an the tmk
 
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KHntr

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I will say though, that I haven’t even seen a 77 tmk in person. I have however shot almost an ark load of deer and black bears with the 75 Amax.
My spouse shot a pretty good muley at 300 yards last fall over a crossed pair of hiking poles with the 75 Amax (which actually turned out to be the first time she’d shot that particular Montana, which I hadn’t realized) - hard quartering to us, she said to me “I have the shot if you think this popgun is capable” and when I replied that she should break his shoulder I wasn’t even finished the sentence before she triggered the shot. He reared up and leapt down the hill out of sight and that was it. Made it maybe 30 yards in 5 leaps and folded in the air from the look of the tracks in the snow.

Shoulder knuckle and leg broken, his heart about chopped in half and a black lung, exit just in front of the diaphragm. Not sure if my 300 Ultra with 180 TTSX’s would have made much difference.
 

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KHntr

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Nice work on the bear Chris.

This should be a great thread for open-minded people:)

Deer and bear are not an issue within reason. I would like to see some real-life data on elk though.

Not sure if Pat Sinclair hangs out here, but he definitely spends time on 24hourcampfire under the handle ‘scenarshooter’.... Pat has likely killed more mature deer, elk, and bears with his old Sako 220 swift and 55gr soft points than most guys have seen.


Pat probably shoots a tad better than most guys though, and probably doesn’t suffer much from buck fever if I had to guess. However, that doesn’t minimize the fact that he has killed a jag of big animals with a 22 centerfire.
 

Ryan Avery

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Not sure if Pat Sinclair hangs out here, but he definitely spends time on 24hourcampfire under the handle ‘scenarshooter’.... Pat has likely killed more mature deer, elk, and bears with his old Sako 220 swift and 55gr soft points than most guys have seen.


Pat probably shoots a tad better than most guys though, and probably doesn’t suffer much from buck fever if I had to guess. However, that doesn’t minimize the fact that he has killed a jag of big animals with a 22 centerfire.

Interesting, a swift with a 55grainer has to be smoking and not apples to apples with a .223. But I get your point. What is his average shot distances on elk?
 
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Interesting setup you’ve got there.

I built a 6X45 on a Sako L461 for my youngest son as there was about a 200 FPS gain by bumping up from .223 in 75-85 grain bullets with equivalent powder charge. Plus it meets the .24 cal minimum that some states have.

So far he’s only shot about a dozen Whitetail with it and all have been 1 shot kills. Most were DRT. One went 15 yards and another went almost 30 yards before dropping.
I’ve shot 2 WT and one Mt Lion with it and all 3 were DRT

All were with 85 grain Sierra Game King bullets at about 2720 FPS

I’ve got some Partitions on the bench ready to load when he’s ready to hunt bear or elk with it.

Ironic how many will insist that a .223 isn’t enough gun for deer, bear or elk but they have no problem with it being used on hogs.

Shot placement IS everything
 

JWP58

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Thank you for sharing. Please keep this thread up to date with your .223 kills. I'm pulling for you to get an elk with it, good luck!
 
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