Hunting with a 5.56

This is a discussion on Hunting with a 5.56 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'd like to hear opinions about hunting hogs, coyotes and possibly deer with the 5.56. What ammo would be the most appropriate on hogs up ...

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Thread: Hunting with a 5.56

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Hunting with a 5.56

    I'd like to hear opinions about hunting hogs, coyotes and possibly deer with the 5.56. What ammo would be the most appropriate on hogs up to maybe 350 lbs? There's a topic on another forum about hunting deer with 223 and there's arguments on both sides about this. I've hunted hogs and coyotes with both my ARs in 5.56 and my SCAR H which is 308. I've seen 300 lb hogs dropped on the spot with 855 but they were perfect shots within 200 meters.

    I'm not asking what caliber people think should be the minimum or what type of rifle should be used, I'm curious about what ammo those that hunt with 5.56 and 7.62 and their success rates. I'm also curious to hear about what you guys think about hunting deer with 5.56. I'll hold my opinions till later but I'm not completely opposed to it.

    Just do me one favor here, try to base comments on fact and experience. If you tell me you'll be searching for two days for the deer you shoot with a 5.56, at least tell me this happened to you or a hunt you were on, not that you think it's what would happen.

    Thanks for any comments. I'm really interested in the right ammo for the job for these two calibers.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    .223 just became deer legal here in MN a couple years ago, and has caught on quite well.

    I have a buddy that has taken several whitetails with an AR shooting a handloaded 52gr Barnes TTSX. He swears by it; boiler room shots drop 'em quickly and cleanly, and the round will fully penetrate. Another buddy has taken deer with a 14" barreled Contender .223 using 55gr Barnes. He is also very pleased with results.

    I'd be interested in it's efficacy on hogs as well; I may have a chance to go after hogs this spring, and I've been considering one of my AR's.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Regarding 'yotes, and a couple of hogs: SIG 556 Nails Another 'Yote - M4Carbine.net Forums
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Member Array yankeeman's Avatar
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    Never really thought about hunting deer with it as it isnt deer legal where I've done all my deer hunting. I have been looking at getting into coyote hunting so I will be interested to see others experience with loadings.

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    Member Array Aiko's Avatar
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    I plan on doing my first hog hunt in the spring with my AR's so I also am interested in hear from folks here.

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    Hornady 75 gr. TAP out of a Stag # 1 with Burris 3X9 does well on Florida deer most being under 150 lbs.

    For me the 5.56 is light for hogs but I know some boys who have used it with success.

    The Stream Light is off the weapon during hunting time.

    P28091423.jpg
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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    The closest I come to a 223 ia a 243win, It dose a fine job on deer& hogs with a 90gr pill ; )
    H/D
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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Its funny you asked about this because I found this to be interesting myself. I was watching "Pigman the Series" about a week or two ago. Pgiman was helping some children do a charity hunt. The meat from the hunt was going to be used to help some people in need - I've only watched a couple of episodes so I believe they do this with all of their hunts. The thing that was special about this hunt had to do with act of helping children, etc.

    I digress.

    Pigman was helping a little boy (maybe 8 yrs old?). They found a spot and put up a blind. Finally, a hog showed up during their wait. I'm not sure about the weight of the pig but he was considerably larger than the others that they had been seeing. Pigman said that he didn't want the boy to make the shot. He said it was 100 yards and he called the pig a "hoss" (or something or the other) and acted as if he would pretty much have to have a perfect shot to put the pig down at that distance with a .223. He didn't go into a caliber bashing session but he talked like the .223 wasn't enough gun to put a pig of that size down at 100 yds. Now, he didn't say if you would have any trouble putting it down at 20 yrds or anything like that but he was very adamant about trying to do it at 100 yds. From the way he was acting, I got the impression that if you shot a pig of that size from 100 yds, that he might charge you before you could get off a fatal round. I'm not sure about pigs but I've been watching clips on Youtube and some aggressive animals do charge when you shoot them if its not a fatal shot. Big cats, Elephants & Rhinos will do this but I don't know about a pig. Wild Boars are rather agressive though so it wouldn't surprise me if he would charge if you shot him and didn't put him down, etc.

    Another interesting fact from this show was that after the boy got his pig, the next segment had to do with Pigman hunting another ranch so that he could test a new Leopold scope that he helped develop, etc. In this segment, Pigman used a .308 AR rifle. He dropped a pig that was as big as the one in the previous segment and did it with one shot. He must've had perfect shot placement because like I said, the hog dropped in one shot and blood was everywhere; made a horrible mess. Now, to be fair about the matter, nothing was said about the distance when he killed the pig with the .308 so for all I know a .223 would've done the same thing. Now I'm sure it probably had to do with product placement but he did mention after killing the pig that having the right equipment made all of the difference in the world. He then talked about the Leopold scope, the LMT rifle and Hornady ammo that he used, etc. As much as I'm sure that this was product placement, I also think that there is some truth in his statement. A good rifle that is really dialed in will make a difference as well as good quality ammo - I don't doubt that, etc.

    So from what I got from this is that given the .223 and 5.56 are equivalents, to have success with hunting medium to large size game with a 5.56 will be at least partially determined by distance. Given that Pigman gave the boy a .223 to kill a pig, I don't doubt that it can kill a pig but from his behavior I'm also led to believe that he's not confident that it will kill a large pig from a long distance, etc.

    I realize that this is anecdotal and has a lot of "what ifs" but it may help you piece some things together as you gather more information about this topic.

    I hope this helps.

    I hope for you to have success in your search and by all means please share what you find out on your own as well.

    God bless,
    DCG

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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    I should've put this in my last post. If you have the "Sportsman Channel", you might want to watch "Pigman: The Series" to get more tips about hunting hogs. I'm in KY and it comes on 10:00 P.M. Sunday night. I have Direcway so I don't know if you can get it on Dish as well as cable or not.

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    For a good hunter that is also a good shot a 5.56 would be fine.

    Michael

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    Just do me one favor here, try to base comments on fact and experience. If you tell me you'll be searching for two days for the deer you shoot with a 5.56, at least tell me this happened to you or a hunt you were on, not that you think it's what would happen.
    .223 for coyotes...fine.
    .223 for deer or hogs...not so good.

    .308 for all of the above...very good.

    The .223 is a varmint round. Thats all its ever been and that's all it'll ever be. Trying to turn it into a big game round is wishful thinking. Its the very reason that deer hunting with a .223 is not even legal in some states.

    Yes, I know that they have killed a gazillion deer, but how many have been lost? I know for a fact that 3 have, because I was assisting in the tracking. One we found a day later had what appeared to be a perfect shot...we found the deer over a half mile away. I begged and pleaded with one of my hunting buds not to use a .223 for deer. He got a sweet deal on a Ruger M77 and wanted to take it. After killing several deer and losing at least 3 that I know of he finally gave it up and went back to his old trusty '06.

    Yeah, I know that you can lose deer when shot with any caliber. It just seems to me that using a caliber that might kill em isnt good enough. I know its all about shot placement, but when the biggest buck you have ever seen is peering through the brush at you, I'd like to not have to wonder if the bullet is good enough or heavy enough to do the proper job and in the real world, the conditions arent always ideal.

    AS for hogs...no way would I even consider a .223. They are hard enough to kill with a serious caliber, never mind a varmint round.
    DefConGun, oneshot and bmcgilvray like this.
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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    I was surprised at how hard it was to kill a hog. I've seen many taken with 5.56 up to 350 lbs actually, but I think the 308 is definitely a better choice. Until i get my 7.62 Surefire Mini suppressor though, I'll most likely stick with 5.56.

    I know what we depend on a 5.56 to do is very different that how we depend on the 308 to perform. So, on hogs, for example, do we want a 75 grain TAP that fragments or do we want something like a 62 gr bonded that penetrates and stays together?
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    If it were me...if ALL I had was a .223, I go with the bonded.
    If a bullet fragments on that gristle plate, you'll never see that hog again.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    In Virginia it is illegal to hunt deer with .223!
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    If it were me...if ALL I had was a .223, I go with the bonded.
    It a bullet fragments on that gristle plate, you'll never see that hog again.
    That's what I thought as well. I know of many taken with 5.56 75gr TAP, and since that what I have a lot of at home I've been using it. The problem is that after less than 200 meters with the 5.56 load, you pass the fragmentation threshold. With my 10.5" it's less than 50. I don't have to worry about that with bonded and can reach out much farther.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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