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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a wild idea, and it's more a matter of curiosity than any intent of actually trying to do this, but curious how doable this is. Now, I am not looking for anyone to say to go for it and test it on live game, because I don't think that is responsible, but I also don't want anyone telling me it can't be done, because enough deer and hogs are taken with various .223s that we all know better, but weather we like it or not may be a different story. Now please feel free to blow holes in my theories, or maybe send me off on some rabbit trail of testing, because I am hoping to learn from this, and maybe even get several of us experimenting and seeing what can be done. Now as I said, this is more of an academic discussion than any intent to do this since I have .357 Mag and .44 Mag barrels for my Contender that are much better suited to deer and hog hunting, so please lets keep this to facts you know or at least educated guesses rather than a discussion of ethics or any other form of accusations. Now this is just brainstorming here and there are several ways I can think of to approach this. First off, I live in Texas, and my caliber limitations are that it has to be a center-fire, not a rimfire, so the .223 is legal. State law also says that my bullet can not be drugged/poisoned or explosive--so there is no legal prohibition against full metal jacket, armor piercing, tracer, hollow point, soft point, etc bullet types, so the field of options is wide open to whatever we want to discuss here.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, the factory TC Contender barrel has a 1:12" twist, so that is a limitation on how heavy, or I should say how long, a bullet can be and still stabilize. I figure there are three ways to go about this. First is to find a bullet that is made tough enough to act like a big game bullet and not a varmint bullet like many .223/.224" bullets are. Second is to follow the lead of what the subsonic .300 BO hunters do and get a bullet that is stable in flight but will tumble on impact and count on that tumbling to do the job. Third is to use a varmint bullet but slow it down to the point where it acts like a big game bullet. This is along the same line of thought as, for example, if you were to use a 150gr bullet that works great with controlled expansion in a .308 Win and then load the same bullet into a .300 WM and have it blow up on impact like a varmint bullet. Keep it at the slower velocity and it works great, so I am thinking the same thing may be possible with a varmint bullet intended for the .223 Rem. And all this is dependent on the twist stabilizing our chosen bullet at the velocity needed to make the bullet perform the way we need it to, and probably other variables I am forgetting, but hoping you all will catch.

For what it's worth, I have .223s in both the tapered 10" bull barrel with iron sights and the Super-14 which wears a fixed 4x Simmons scope, but both have the same 1:12" twist, so probably not much difference in them for these experiments.
 

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I shot Remington 55 grain soft points into saturated newspaper some years back from my 10" 223. they were perfect mushrooms and penetrated almost twice as deep as 130 sst's from a 270 win.


Elwood
 

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I would not do it, it takes exact shot placement for a kill with a .223/5.56, it's legal where I live , but a lot of guys end up tracking a blood trail into the swamp. We shoot coyotes with 223 but depending on the terrain, chasing a wounded hog after they have been shot with a 223 is not much fun. We kill a lot of them with 44 mag or 357 mag, anything less and they are going to run unless it's a kill shot.
Just my opinion, but we have been doing it for a while. Bullet composition has a lot to do with it, I use a 357 max or a 44 mag on hogs.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't intend on actually doing it, but appreciate you repeating the warning and sharing your experience. I have taken quite a few hogs with .22LR pistols, and like you said, it requires EXACT placement and I end up seeing a lot more than I take a shot at. I haven't had a chance to hunt much for the last 3-4 months, but trying to remedy that. Anyway, this is more as a "what would it take?" kinda idea. I was thinking that everything would have to fall in place just right for this to work, I mean, exact placement, the proper bullet loaded to the proper velocity for the desired performance ( which doesn't necessarily mean maximum velocity like some think ), proper range (as close as possible), etc. You get the idea. I may try this on a hog at bow ranges, and I know the .223 works great on varmints like coyote and smaller, but I have no intent on testing this on a deer. Just trying to learn where the limits are.
 

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Last time I checked, there was a restriction against using FMJ, explosive, and other non-hunting type bullets for hunting in Texas.

But controlled expansion bullets in the 55 to 64 grain range should do the trick at ranges similar to what you'd use the 357 at, and maybe a touch further depending on size and structure of the game animal.
 

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Huh...that must've been a reg on some G-land I was hunting on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes,-land has all kinds of goofy regs. For example, at my local lake (controlled by Corps of Engineers), it is archery or shotguns only. If using a shotgun, I can use #4 shot or smaller, or slugs, but everything between #4 birdshot and up (except for slugs) is considered buckshot and banned by their regs because it is too dangerous to use, but slugs are perfectly safe. They don't allow any kind of rifles or handguns for hunting, but I am allowed a handgun due to having a CHL. It really is goofy the way they make up rules, and makes me think they are made by some pencil pusher instead of someone who actually knows anything about hunting or weapons and what is or isn't safe. I'm just thankful that I have access to private land (even though it isn't MY private land) where I am restricted by the game laws and my conscience instead of some fantasy rules. Which also vary from lake to lake, so you need to study up on each area as a separate entity to stay out of hot water.

Try this one, my dog loves going for long walks/hikes at the lake, and up until this last year, I could take my dog and a shotgun during their "small game season" (which includes rabbit, squirrel, and hogs--yeah, no comment on that logic either). They passed a new reg that says I can not be in possession of a shotgun while accompanied by a dog except during dove or waterfowl season. I can carry a handgun, in an area where I am not allowed to hunt with a handgun, and have my dog with me, and be perfectly legal, but if I have a shotgun with me while with the dog, in an area that is just plain infested with poisonous snakes, I am in violation of their regs and "poaching on govt land". I see lots of hogs, and always wish I could take more of them, but 9 times out of ten, I would rather spend time with my dog than bring home porkchops, so the shotgun stays home and the dog is getting more and more convinced that I have lost any shooting skill I may have had cause he keeps loking at the hogs, at me, and then at the gun on my belt, and you just know what he's thinking.
 

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Winchester makes a 64gr 223 load that is specific for deer. A friend of mine has a young daughter that has been VERY successful with a handi rifle and this ammo. She only shoots at the small "football" behind the shoulder, limits her shots to under 100 yards, and deer never go very far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Funny you mention those 64gr loads. I saw those at Acaemy the other day and almost picked up a box to try out and see if they stabilize. My only concern is that the TC uses a 1:12" twist and usually doesn't do well with anything over 55grs, but a lot of the H&Rs, ARs, etc have 1:9" twist, and allow heavier bullets. My AR has 1:9" ROT for example and I use 77gr loads for my duty ammo, but the Contender has them sideways before they get to 25yds when I tried a few just to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I want to say I have read that the 788 had either a 1:12" or 1:14" twist, so should get a bit more velocity (and therefore possibly a bit more stability) than my 14" long 1:12" twist Contender, but not a whole lot, so that is good to know. Thank you!
 

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I would do it in a heartbeat and I'd use a neck shot. They ALL collapse in their tracks with a neck shot, regardless of what anyone says.
 
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