SavageT makes a good point. Unless you reload or have the desire to hunt deer, the .223 is the way to go.
The .223 is probably the most widely used cartridge with the Eskimo population on the Bering Coast. Caribou, moose, wolfs, seals. Not many hunt grizz and no black bears. Funny though, the villages that I was in did not eat them. But a village 36 miles away, they liked eating grizz.
:wink: Problem with the NEF's in 223 is that they've been found ta be a trifle picky about what they'll eject when it comes to that cheap surplus stuff. One brand in particualar that comes to mind from what I've read at the various NEF forums is Wolf brand. I think who ever makes that stuff(Russian?) lacquer the cases or something like that. Anyway they just flat won't eject. Seem to recall other surplus
stuff mentioned that also gave either ejection problems or really crummy accuracy. The NEF's ejection system was built around rimmed cartridges and seems to handle rimless ones well only if everything is up to SAAMI specs. 243 is a lot better than the 223 anyway, if you're gonna go beyond varmints. Not too far beyond.
In Missouri, it is legal to hunt deer with the .223. My dad (he's 92) has killed his last two with my brother's Ruger .223, both were one shot kills that dropped virtually in their tracks. Dad owns a Savage BA in .223 but has trouble getting the safety back on with his arthritic thumb. His other rife is a .243 (Remington 7600).
I have a NEF .223 Handi Rifle that I use a lot and like. But I have a .30-30 for a little additional punch if I need it.
If you only have one gun and live anywhere south of I-70 (and who would want to live north of 70 ), you could probably convince me that the .243 is the best choice.
I live in Texas. But I use my .223 to hunt deer and hog here in Central Texas. I killed a nine-point buck that dressed out at 175 easy. Now, I will say this, I believe shot placement is important. Bullet choice for this caliber is important too. I grew up with an uncle who killed deer and hog with a .222 bolt-action. Yall can think what you want whoever reads this, makes me no difference because I ate good. My advice is take a look at where you live and think about it. In Texas, we have no indigenous elk or bear where I hunt 99.9 percent of the time. So I shoot my .223 every year. And my tummy stays full and so does my freezer. Also, I've seen dumb_ss hunters who couldn't hit the top of a lake if they were shootin from the bottom up with a .243, 30-06, .270, or an elephant gun. Bottomline is whatever you shoot with, practice a lot, and consider your region. Heck, if it's that big of a decision buy the .223 and order yourself a .243 barrel
I agree with you to a point. Most guys that practice alot could get their meat every year with a 22 long rifle in a short barreled revolver. The point is that most of the guys that just hunt only shoot once before hunting season, if at all, and then go out and bang around at running or long shots and wonder why they miss or when they do they have to track a wounded animal all day
I have a friend who is into shooting hi-power rifle compitition with an AR-15. He also shoots NRA Field Pistol silhouette with a handgun. I have seen him put all of his shots at 200 yards into one ragged hole and he has a Master rateing in the silhouette shoting. I took him hunting last year for his first deer hunt. He wondered what gun to use and I just told him to being his AR. It was one shot, in the eyeball, and the deer didn't go anywhere but down.
On the other hand, if I saw someone else out shooting an AR deer hunting I would want to go check them out. It isn't illegal to hunt deer with a 223 in this state but only two types do it. The ones that can and know it and the ones that need watching.
you may want to hold off on your decision until you check out winchesters new, .223wssm and .243wssm. the .223wssm is around 200 fps faster then the 22-250.and the .243 wssm is about the same compared to the current .243 win. (wssm) stands for winchester super short magnum!
see jan/feb issue of petersons rifle shooter-by jon r sundra page 36.
My son has a NEF 223 in the heavy barrel. He wanted a good starter varmint rifle for hunting fox and some coyotes. He bought this gun that came with a 6x18 tasco world class scope and a hard case for $259.00. I thought that was a pretty good deal for a 20 yr old buying his 1st varmint rifle. I have owned mant varmint rifle in many calibers and this one isn't to bad , It could use a little trigger work but it will shot 5 shot groups under 1" @100yds and the boy killed a coyote at 410 of his paces the other day with this gun (I figure about 350 yds!!) with a 55 grn soft point bullet. I skinned the yote and he hit him in the chest and the bullet exited his neck and it was a 22 cal exit hole, that is kinda hard to get with a 243 or 22-250 as they will blow coyote fur and burger into the next 2 or 3 zip codes. I use to think that the 223 was under powered but I now think there is a place for this caliber. Its also a nice fox gun as it don't tear them up nearly as bad as some of the hotter calibers. One point of interest with this NEF 223 is the slower twist it won't handle the heavier bullets very well , so if your wanting to shot the 60+'s better look elsewhere.....B.....
I have a friend here in Northern Ny that hunts deer with a 223 a lot. He ha skilled as many with it as he has his 30-06 and he has killed a lot. he sits on green fields with it and pops them at relatively long distances. I have a 243 and will hunt deer with it also, but, I respectfully have to disagree that a 223 is not a deer sized animal killer.
Hey Bandit, I'm gonna have to echo Joel on this one. You asked about the NEF .223 or .243 and we can debate caliber selection all day but in the NEF my .223 barrel sucks. Won't eject have the time even with premium ammo and its not very accurate which a .223 should be or those well placed shots necessary to kill a whitetail just won't happen reliably. I personnally think .223 is not a good choice for deer unless you have an accurate rifle and hunt where distance and target acquisition are optimum. :-D
I have a .223 handi rifle that is literally a tack driver out to about 300 yards. It's my coyote, groundhog, racoon, & opposum rifle, and it will get 'er done! The .223 is also a very affordable high power rifle cartridge and probably the most popular.
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