.223 vs 6.8mm

familyosmallfamilyosmall Posts: 18 Greenhorn
Looking to join the AR world and want the one gun to do it all (reality is I can afford one).

Will be shooting coyotes at longer range (at least trying) and pigs at closer range.

I like the 6.8 performance but the .223 ammo cost is nice.

Also want the perfect optics that allow long range accuracy as well as quick on moving targets up close.

Thanks for the suggestions

Replies

  • kemster99kemster99 Posts: 45 Deckhand
    I have 2 ARs both in .223 / 5.56 . Shoot federal fusions in both and they both group awesome. Have made several shots over 150 yds on hogs and coyotes and haven't had any problems. Shot placement is key with the .223 . 6.8 does have alittle more energy, but the cost of ammo would make it too expensive for my situation. As far as optics go, i have a scope mounted on my daytime rifle then i off set a red-dot on it. works very well.
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  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,261 Officer
    I would go .223 for price and availability of ammo. If your a good shot that will take down anything you want to shoot. The way I see it if the military uses it, then it must be effective. I belive they rely on 5.56 out to 400 yards if I remember correctly. I know I have taken a few pigs with a .223 and they have all dropped faster than the few taken with a 12 gauge. Shot placement is key. I used to deer hunt with a 30-06 and now carry a .223, becuase I know when I squeeze the trigger exactly where the bullet is going. The 30-06 was not alot of fun to shoot (and gets pricey) so I didnt' shoot it nearly as much, making me less effective with it.
  • BeckBeck Posts: 2,321 Officer
    I have a Mini 14 not an AR, but I would go with the .223. Ammo is fairly cheap and easily obtained. It has enough for coyote and hogs at any reasonable range.

    I keep two optics......a Vortex red dot and a Weaver Super Slam dangerous game 1x5. Each is mounted with Warne QD rings and can be swapped in just a few seconds.
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  • RedBaronRedBaron Posts: 6,781 Officer
    I've read several articles that say the 6.8 performance is not better than the .223

    Definitely go with the .223
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  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 4,652 Captain
    Lot,s of 223 Guys here.
    Me , I,m a 6.8 guy. You notice how many Folks say Shot Placment is the Key / thats with any Round... But My 6.8 is a DRT Round.Got 5 Hogs and 2 Bucks last Year. All DRT. If Your not burning Rounds , The Cost of the 6.8 is about a Buck each. How much Shootin You gonna do ? Are You Hunting or Target Shooting ?
    6.8 was developed by the 5 th Army Guys BECAUSE it has more Knockdown Power and the 223 wasen,t cutting it . Plus it preforms real well out of a SRB Platform .
    I,m sticking with Mine

    This Shot was a 2 fer Total paas thru on the bigger Hog and a little Snacker also
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • ShineShine Posts: 801 Officer
    6.8 SPC is one of the more advanced cartridges available today. As mentioned, its a fairly recent design – it packs a lot more lethality then .223 (search the specs and have a look for yourself). It is a good bit more expensive, but you are putting how much in an AR? I like the 6.8 and its got fantastic stats.

    Another option all together is the M1A (civilian version of the M14). M1A and the SOCOM variants pack macking takedown power - .308 Winchester. These rifles are gaining in popularity for those who want an AR feel with abundant power. It’s a common firearm among the survivalist clan as it is a “one rife does it all” and it only has to hit it "once." M1A, not for little girls, a personal favorite. Check the stats and give it a hard look. Its a hard hitter.
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 119 Deckhand
    In a conventional war the army doesn't necessarily want to kill someone, sometimes its better to wound them badly. I have a .223 and its great on bobcats and yotes. I have killed plenty of pigs with it, but wounded plenty more(which is just as good for my fields). A 6.8 or a 6.5 is a much better hunting platform for an AR than the .223, but ammo is $1+ compared to .25 cents. If ammo was free I'd shoot an AR in .243 WSM. for long range or .300 blackout for rapid semi auto fire.

    For deer .24 caliber is the smallest I would go. It would be irresponsible to hunt deer with a .223, It is illegal in some states.
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 119 Deckhand
    In a conventional war the army doesn't necessarily want to kill someone, sometimes its better to wound them badly. I have a .223 and its great on bobcats and yotes. I have killed plenty of pigs with it, but wounded plenty more(which is just as good for my fields). A 6.8 or a 6.5 is a much better hunting platform for an AR than the .223, but ammo is $1+ compared to .25 cents. If ammo was free I'd shoot an AR in .243 WSM. for long range or .300 blackout for rapid semi auto fire.

    For deer .24 caliber is the smallest I would go. It would be irresponsible to hunt deer with a .223, It is illegal in some states.

    You can buy a AR in .308 for about the same as .223. .308 ammo is relatively cheap, but the gun weighs more than a .223, 6.5, 6.8.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 4,652 Captain
    buckfever pretty much summed it up
    You looking to kill or Wound.
    I won,t take a 223 Deer Hunting. Cayotes and such sure, But I,m looking to take home some meat , Not Blood Trail all Day
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • BeckBeck Posts: 2,321 Officer
    Really? A .223/5.56 won't kill, but only wound?

    The caliber has a bad rap for wounding because of its military use where armed forces are required to use full metal jacket ammo. Exposed lead tip, hollow point, and expanding bullets are outlawed under the Geneva & Hague conventions. Full metal jacket or "ball ammo" tends to punch thru without much damage, especially in smaller calibers and longer ranges.

    There is a reason in most states you must use expanding ammo to hunt with. The irony is that we use FMJ on men to be humane, but expanding bullets on game to be humane.

    It is simply a myth that the .223/5.56 is not an effective round. In most cases, people don't do enough homework to match the bullet to the game. You won't have good luck hunting deer or hogs with a highly frangible varmint load, but use a heavy grain Barnes triple shock bullet and the results will be different.

    The .223/5.56 caliber is fine for CXP1 and many CXP2 game at reasonable distances.

    The key to a clean and humane kill is a well placed shot. I have never seen a deer take a step after being shot in the neck with a .223.......or the shoulder for that matter when using a good grade bullet.

    A .375 H&H magnum will wound with a poor placed shot.

    .......and buckfever, I am curious to know why you feel it's irresponsible to take a .223 deer hunting but it's fine to wound hogs with it. That's irresponsible!


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  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    How are you guys getting shots on coyotes? Been debating how to get them. I have been thinking lighted bait, chained up cat or chicken or something? I hear them often but never see them.
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  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 4,652 Captain
    223 will kill just fine...With perfect shot placment . So will a 22;
    How many Perfect , Broadside Deer shots do You get every Year ? It,s a Marginal Caliber for bigger Game .
    I don,t mind spending One Dollar per Round to see My Buck DRT. Shot one in the Chest last Season with the 6.8 DRT. With a 223 I,d be waiting for Buzzards to show up to find Him
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • kemster99kemster99 Posts: 45 Deckhand
    Shooting hogs, deer, yotes or zombies with a .223 does and will work, just fine. Right bullet and shot placement as with any caliber is important. When you compare .223 with the 6.8 there is not alot of difference, the 6.8 has alittle more energy. But, lets throw the 5.56 into the mix. Heavier bullet and more speed then the standard .223 load. And when comparing Hornady 6.8 loads to Hornady 5.56 loads, the 5.56 has the 6.8 beat out past 300 yds. in both speed and energy. The 6.5 Grendel is in a whole nother league, also the 300 blackout and the .308 arrow.

    Barnes TSX is a very good bullet, doesn't matter what caliber. I have had very good luck with the Federal Fusion 62 grn. in .223 . Very accurate and retains a very high percentage of its weight after impact. Neck shots and high shoulder shots on a big hog will bring them down every time.

    Hornady 6.8 SPC 110 gr
    Muzzle-- 2570 ft/sec 1613 ft/lbs -2.40
    100 yd -- 2332 / 1328 2.10
    200 yd -- 2100 / 1083 0.00
    300 yd -- 1893 / 875 -10.10
    400 yd -- 1695 / 702 -30.00
    500 yd -- 1514 / 560 - 62.40

    Hornady .223 75 grn BTHP
    muzzle 2930 / 1430 -1.5
    100 2695 / 1209 1.6
    200 2471 / 1017 0
    300 2259 / 850 -7.3
    400 2057 / 704 -21.5
    500 1865 / 580 -43.9
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 4,652 Captain
    kemster.
    Thanks for providing the Charts. Thats what really counts.
    Now .. According to Your charts , Muzzle ( Don,t matter , never had a Deer stand at the muzzle ) The 6,8 is showing almost twice the F. Pounds . of the 223.
    100 Yards 223 is stiil faster, But unless Your shooting long range ..6.8 has almost twice the Ft. Pounds energy. Thats what kills DRT , Ft. Pounds Energy. Shock Value on Target .
    Having said that, If Your Round , Whatever it is don,t expend all that F. Pounds into the animal . It,s wasted energy. As in split the Pine Tree behind it energy.
    I,m shooting Hornady V-Max. A Light skinned Animal / Varmit Round. It explodes inside the Animal. All F. Pounds stay there inside .
    Works real Good ... : ) ....... Just Sayin .
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • kemster99kemster99 Posts: 45 Deckhand
    How are you guys getting shots on coyotes? Been debating how to get them. I have been thinking lighted bait, chained up cat or chicken or something? I hear them often but never see them.

    I use an AR equipted with a Nightvision scope.
  • kemster99kemster99 Posts: 45 Deckhand
    kemster.
    Thanks for providing the Charts. Thats what really counts.
    Now .. According to Your charts , Muzzle ( Don,t matter , never had a Deer stand at the muzzle ) The 6,8 is showing almost twice the F. Pounds . of the 223.
    100 Yards 223 is stiil faster, But unless Your shooting long range ..6.8 has almost twice the Ft. Pounds energy. Thats what kills DRT , Ft. Pounds Energy. Shock Value on Target .
    Having said that, If Your Round , Whatever it is don,t expend all that F. Pounds into the animal . It,s wasted energy. As in split the Pine Tree behind it energy.
    I,m shooting Hornady V-Max. A Light skinned Animal / Varmit Round. It explodes inside the Animal. All F. Pounds stay there inside .
    Works real Good ... : ) ....... Just Sayin .

    not sure about the twice the energy thing. the only difference i see is about 200 ft/lbs.

    With a good bullet, speed kills. The TSX or fusion will hold together and with my experience on 300 lb + hogs, you will not get a pass through, the animal is absorbing all of the energy. A high shoulder shot or neck shot , it is DRT.

    The 6.8 is a good caliber, don't see enough of a difference between the 2, to justify the higher ammo cost. ..... IMO
  • HellbillyHellbilly Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Or you reading that chart while wearing beer goggles? No where does it show almost double the ft. pds.Also Ive seen federal fusions 62g 223 put down a 350# hog DRT with one shot.Those Vmax bullets or some nasty rds for what they were intended for,Varmits,yotes,bobcats,etc.Deer on the other hand IMO is not what it was intended for.
    kemster.
    Thanks for providing the Charts. Thats what really counts.
    Now .. According to Your charts , Muzzle ( Don,t matter , never had a Deer stand at the muzzle ) The 6,8 is showing almost twice the F. Pounds . of the 223.
    100 Yards 223 is stiil faster, But unless Your shooting long range ..6.8 has almost twice the Ft. Pounds energy. Thats what kills DRT , Ft. Pounds Energy. Shock Value on Target .
    Having said that, If Your Round , Whatever it is don,t expend all that F. Pounds into the animal . It,s wasted energy. As in split the Pine Tree behind it energy.
    I,m shooting Hornady V-Max. A Light skinned Animal / Varmit Round. It explodes inside the Animal. All F. Pounds stay there inside .
    Works real Good ... : ) ....... Just Sayin .
    Boen on the mountain raised in a cave,hunting and fishing is all I crave>www.Southernsportsmansjournal.com
  • 72soa72soa Posts: 314 Officer
    Can you hunt large game in FL with a .223 round? I want a .223 rifle. I do not like the larger caliber firearms. They are too expensive to shoot.
  • ShineShine Posts: 801 Officer
    If you want among the lightest rifle platforms available, get a .223. If you don’t want a light rifle, don’t get one. I hunt. I would rather have more then I may need than find out it was too little.
  • familyosmallfamilyosmall Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    Thanks everyone. The debate is educational. I ended up ordering a .223 upper but still waiting on it. After a little time, I'll look at gettting a larger caliber upper but will put this one to good use for awhile. Afraid to ask about folks opinions on optics.

    Thanks

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