Got No Photos...
But I've taken two does this season with my AR chambered in 5.56 NATO. It is a Double Star upper, 16" stainless heavy barrel with 1-10" twist (match weight) on a Plumb Crazy lower. Both does were taken at about 35 yards. I used the same handload on both, 23 grains of IMR 3031 under a Winchester 64 grain Power Point lit by CCI small rifle primers, brass is unknown as it is from a mixed lot of milsurp, and I haven't recovered it yet.
The first doe I shot was standing facing me, had seen me and I believe was beginning to turn as I fired as I was aiming at the inside right shoulder (so as to take out her right lungs). The bullet struck dead on the knuckle of the upper left shoulder bone. It turned the bone into 1/4" fragments, like saw chips and blew them down the rib cage and into the lungs. The bullet apparently disintegrated there. The hit was obvious and unmistakeable,(you'd never see that with a heavy rifle) she completely lost her footing, regained it and ran stumbling back in the direction she came from about 50 yards and piled up. I immediately followed her after the shot, found no blood but was on her within 1 1/2 minutes of firing and she had already expired. This was in a wooded creek bottom, opening afternoon of centerfire rifle season, near dusk.
The second doe, was quartering toward me, the bullet slipped just over the upper shoulder knuckle, entered the rib cage breaking two ribs on entry, turned the top of the heart into a ragged mess, and exitied breaking two ribs. On being hit she literally stood up, did a 180 went 10 yards back toward the way she came and piled up DRT. This was some 300 yards up hill from from the creek bottom, in a large hardwood stand. 50 yards would be about as far as one could see a deer in ether location.
I'm a cast boolit fan, been casting for near 30 years and have shot many deer in my life. I've shot them with 30-06 w/jacketed bullets, 30-30 w/jacketed bullets, 20 and 12 guage slugs. I've shot them with 357 Maximum with cast, 44 Magnum with cast and jacketed (pistol and rifle) 45-70 with jacketed and cast, 38-55 with cast and with 243 jacketed. In all my experience I've not seen any reaction to being hit like I've seen with the 223 with the exception of the 38-55 with 270 grain cast boolits and 300 grain HP from the 45-70. To add some perspective, every deer I shot with a 44 Magnum ran at between 30 and 60 yards, and while the lungs had good clean holes in 'em and were well deflated, the damage was no more than I've seen on these two deer. And while I've had deer pile up from good lung shots with a 45-70 I've seen them run too. I've blown offside sholders to inedible peices with 30-06 and not killed the deer any cleaner or quicker than with the 223. Judging strictly from the wound tracks, and not knowing what they were shot with, I'd have said they were shot with a 30-30.
I'm impressed. More than impressed. I've spent a lifetime thinking that the "black rifle" had no real purpose other than target shooting and as a defensive arm or for varmits. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. For woods rifles, my AR will likely be the rifle I compare everything else against from this point forward. While I would consider it an experts rifle in the deer hunting world (like a 410 on a skeet feild is an experts gun) it is plain and obvious to me today that in hands that will wait for the right shot, and is willing to pass up an iffy shot (shouldn't we do that regardless of the firearm we are hunting with?) the 223 will reward with meat on the table. Many thanks to all of you who posted pictures and loads, I chose to use my AR because of that, and it made my deer season and changed how I see this rifle. It has moved from something I have to play with, to a foundation point in my battery.
Congratulations, and welcome to the site.
Welcome to the site. Great first post.
The AR15 makes a great hunting rifle. There are several cals that can be used besides the .223. I've taken game with the AR15 chambered in .223, 6.8SPC, .50 Beowulf, 6mmx45mm, and .30 HRT.
The AR15 IS my hunting rifle of choice.
Welcome to the site...