For all of you who decide to bitch because I shot a deer with a .223, BACK OF THE BUS and shut up.
For the record, Georgia allows the use of .223 for hunting deer. I used a heavy for caliber bullet. I purchased two 5 round magazines to make my AR legal for hunting in GA. I had a 3×9 scope mounted as well as a 2×4 bolted into the wall of my blind for a rest.
Aside from wanting to shoot a deer with an AR, I also wanted to do a lethality test of the Berger 77gr OTM bullet. I hit the deer just below the spine, just above and behind the front right shoulder blade. The deer did not take another step. It dropped like a watermelon off the tailgate, no bounce, no kick, no nothing. So much nothing, there wasn’t even any blood. Yes, you heard me right, there was no blood on the entry side and no exit wound. If I had not stone dropped the deer, it would have been near impossible to track.
From a lethality perspective, these bullets rock. From a blood trail sense, these bullets suck. So from my data point of one (which is somewhat equal to an anecdote), these are not the best hunting bullets. In the home defense or anti-zombie role, I would not hesitate for a second.
The White Oaks Armament upper worked like a champ. I did some quick load testing using AA 2520 powder. Max load is 25.5gr. I backed that down to a max of 25.4 and dropped 0.1 gr each for 6 test loads. Beginning with 24.9gr and checking for accuracy and overpressure at each level. Both 25.2 and 25.4 tested at roughly the same accuracy with no signs of over pressure. The 25.2 load had 5 rounds in 3/4″ with the 25.4 load in just under 1″ at 100 yds. I went with the 25.2gr load both for better accuracy and lower pressure / safety margin. This was with zero effort into adjusting bullet length etc. I went with magazine length minus .01″ for reliable feeding. I was really happy to have that degree of accuracy with such little load testing. The deer was not so happy.
For those of you who are not aware of the drill. My scale, my gun, my brass, my powder are all different than yours. Do not use my powder amount or anything else without working up to them using the proper manner. You have been warned and I take no responsibility for your silliness.