Best 223 for Deer Hunting Ammunition: Design Features & Top 6 Reviews

Choosing the right hunting ammunition for shooting deer is like shooting an apple off a tree. There isn’t a perfect formula for scoring a perfect shot, and there isn’t a single caliber that’ll make you successful in every hunting situation. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you find the best hunting ammunition for your next deer hunt.

Ammunition is the subject of endless debate. Some deer hunters will prefer a bullet weighing 50 grains while others will prefer one that weighs 70 grains. Hand loaders have some very convinced parameters, and those who buy factory loads at the store are less discriminating.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the right rifle and ammo for your hunting trip, but we’re here to help with our best 223 for deer hunting ammunition buying guide. With all of the information that’s available on our site, we’re sure that you’ll enjoy your hunt with an impressive score!

Enjoy your next hunting trip and score a perfect shot with this 223 for deer hunting ammunition buying guide!

Where to Buy 223 ammunition – These are all good options

1. (Check Availability and prices)

2. Palmetto State Armory (Check Availability and prices)

3. Sportsman’s Guide (Check Availability and prices)

4. Sportsman’s Wharehouse (Check Availability and prices)


Best 223 Ammunition for Hunting, Target Shooting

Federal Fusion Ammunition 223 Remington

Caliber: 223 Remington

Bullet Weight: 62 Grains

Design Features: Spitzer boat trail bullet; brass case; 3000 FPS muzzle velocity; 1239 ft. lbs. muzzle energy; 20 round; boxer primer; and reloaded.

Best Use: Deer Hunting, Target Shooting, & Practice/ Training

Description: This Federal Fusion Ammunition 223 Remington is filled with specialized bullets, which are designed specifically for deer hunting. The likelihood of a jacket/core separation is significantly eliminated by the integration of electronically bonded lead core.

The ammunition is 223 Remington with a capacity of 20 rounds. The 62-grain bullet structure provides you with the perfect solution for shooting deer.

These shots have a muzzle velocity of 3000 FPS along with muzzle energy of 1239 foot pounds, which is more than sufficient for big game hunting.

They feature a trivial depression in the nose that offer extraordinary accuracy along with a shattering terminal enactment, which provides an impact that delivers a strong shock throughout the body of the deer. The shells have brass casing, they are non-corrosive, and they are reloaded.

You might argue that .223-caliber is too small for a big game hunt, but the experts have proven it to be one of the best. You do not have to be limited to this size because of the weapon you use.

You can use these 62-grain bullets with your rifle to shoot 1 MOA unswervingly at a hundred yards, which is much better when compared to what you will get with a 64-grain shot. The Federal Fusion Ammo will penetrate as well as expand in your target’s body accordingly. They are indeed powerful.

Sportsmans Guide

Winchester Super-x Ammunition 223 Super Short


Caliber: 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum

Bullet Weight: 64 Grains

Design Features: Brass case type; pointed soft point bullet style; 3600 FPS muzzle velocity; 1841 foot pounds muzzle energy; Winchester power point bullet brand & model; brass case; boxer primer; non-lead & non-corrosive; reloaded; .233 ballistic coefficient; .182 sectional density.

Best Use: Deer Hunting, Target Shooting, & Practice/ Training

Description: If you are in search of ammo that has established repute for being hard-hitting, effective, and reliable, then you should settle for Winchester Super-X.

This ammo comprises of Winchester power point, pointed soft point bullets, which are incorporated with visible soft nose jacketed structure that delivers a muzzle speed of 3600 FPS with 1841 foot pounds muzzle energy.

The shots’ upset and uniform expansion for maximum energy on impact is attributed to the strategically positioned notches on the jacket mouth.

Close observation reveals that the case structure is profoundly different when compared to the traditional shells. However, the performance of these shots is similar to other ultra-velocities, such as .22-243, and .220 swift.

The Winchester Super-X is non-corrosive, boxer primer, and reloaded. With 64-grain projectiles, these bullets deliver optimum performance when loaded with the appropriate powder.

You should know that 64-grain projectiles deliver outstanding outcomes with medium slow burning powders. The 3600 FPS and 1841 foot pounds are absolutely safe to work with. The 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum shots are certainly made up of a radical structure.

As much as most people will prefer 62-grain ammunition over 64-grain, you should never doubt the impact these projectiles can deliver.

Winchester Varmint-x Ammunition 223

$34.99  in stock
Sportsman's Guide
as of November 25, 2022 9:51 pm

Fiocchi Extrema Ammunition 223 Remington


Caliber: 223 Remington

Bullet Weight: 50 Grains

Design Features: Hornady V-Max bullet brand & model; polymer tip boat tail bullet style; 3300 feet per second muzzle velocity; 1208 foot pounds muzzle energy; brass case; non-lead & non-corrosive; reloaded; .242 ballistic coefficient; and .142 sectional density.

Best Use: Deer Hunting, Target Shooting, & Practice/ Training

Description: This ammo comprises of premium shots from well-known component companies. A broad spectrum of units is provided for law enforcement, hunters, and competition shooters.

This is a reloaded brass case, boxer primed, non-corrosive, and new production engineered with precision for improved game hunting. The Hornady V-Max shots are integrated with a polymer tip for improving accuracy as well as promote deadly expansion.

The tip is highly effective because it increases the ballistic coefficient, which significantly increases the muzzle velocity and at the same time help the bullet stabilize while in flight. In addition, the tip initiates bullet expansion.

The ammo is copper jacketed, thus providing you with the appropriate bearing surface for improved stability when exiting the barrel. You should also know that the jacket is designed to endure the fast twist rates of a number of advanced varmint rifles.

It is usually difficult to beat the practicality and reliability of these bullets as far as target shooting, hunting, and practice are concerned. These projectiles are loaded using top-notch gears along with powders to provide unfailing accuracy.

As a high volume deer hunter, you will appreciate the blend of affordability and performance of this ammunition. The shells shoot successfully under MOA. Moreover, the ammo will cycle conveniently in your AR15, and you will smoke your target without any problems.

Fiocchi Extrema Ammunition 223 Remington

$169.99  in stock
Sportsman's Guide
as of November 25, 2022 9:51 pm

Federal American Eagle Tactical Ammunition 223


Caliber: 223 Remington

Bullet Weight: 55 Grains

Design Features: FMJ bullet type; 100 rounds; 3240 feet per second muzzle velocity; 1282 foot pounds muzzle velocity; full metal jacket boat trail bullet style; brass case; boxer primer; non-corrosive; and reloaded.

Best Use: Deer Hunting, Target Shooting, & Practice/ Training

Description: Are you a big fan of deer hunting or target shooting? Well, if you are, then the Federal American Eagle is what you should look for. It is loaded with similar specs as those of Federal Premium loads.

However, this ammo is available at a more affordable price for practicing as well as target shooting. Unlike most projectiles you can find in the market, these ones are new productions in reloaded brass cases. The full metal jacket lead core projectiles are weighted at 55 grains.

They are primed boxer, non-corrosive, and non-magnetic. The brass casing can effectively be reloaded up to 7 times for your high volume ammunition.

They are among the most effective shells for the money. You will be surprised by what they can do when hunting deer. Amazingly, you will be able to shoot approximately 1000 rounds of the Federal American Eagle.

The shots accuracy is excellent at a hundred yards, but you must do your part as an expert shooter. The ammunition feeds conveniently; therefore, you will not experience any failures to fire or eject. You will not have any problems with miss-feed rounds or misfire.

The hundred round packs are very resourceful for a well-known manufacturer in the United States. Federal American Eagle is not only decent product but the most effective projectiles that you must fire from your gun.

Hornady Tap Personal Defense Ammunition 223


Caliber: 223 Remington

Bullet Weight: 75 Grains

Design Features: Boxer primer; jacketed hollow point flat base bullet style; nickel plated case; 2790 feet per second muzzle velocity; 1296 foot pounds muzzle energy; reloaded; .395 ballistic coefficient; .214 sectional density; and 24-inch test barrel length.

Best Use: Deer Hunting, Target Shooting, & Practice/ Training

Description: The Hornady TAP personal defense ammunition is specifically engineered for self-defense. However, field test has proven that this ammo is among the best for deer hunting.

The most rewarding selection that you can make as a big game hunter is Hornady ammo. The box comprises of Hornady shots that provide trusted terminal performance.

The nickel plated cases prevent corrosion while improving feeding in all your guns. In fact, they are highly visible under low light.

They are the best propellants to use at night when hunting deer because they are particularly designed to reduce muzzle flash, thus protecting your night vision. You can buy this ammo in quantity of a hundred, which is equivalent to five boxes of 20 rounds each for the versatility of use.

Surprisingly, it is one of the cheapest ammunition in the market. These projectiles are just as good as any other projectiles, and they shoot clean.

You can stockpile all the boxes. However, you should take into consideration State laws before using them. You can shoot the propellants out of your AR15 that is chambered in 223 Remington.

Hornady Varmint Express Ammunition 223 Remington


Caliber: 223 Remington

Bullet Weight: 55 Grains

Design Features: 20 rounds; 3240 feet per second muzzle velocity; 1282 foot pounds muzzle energy; polymer tip flat base bullet style; Hornady V-Max bullet brand & model; brass case; boxer primer; non-corrosive; reloaded; .255 ballistic coefficient; .157 sectional density; and 24-inch test barrel length.

Best Use: Deer Hunting, Target Shooting, & Practice/ Training

Description: This is exactly what you should buy if you are a long-range shooter. It is particularly engineered to provide hard-hitting performance.

The ammo is loaded with polymer tip flat base styled bullets that are boxer primed, reloaded, non-corrosive, and brass cased. The shells have a muzzle velocity of 3240 feet per second along with muzzle energy of 1282 foot pounds.

The polymer tip improves accuracy and offers deadly expansion. In addition, it increases the ballistic coefficient as well as stabilizing the bullet when in flight.

Unlike most ammo in the market, this specific style has reloaded brass cases, boxer primed, non-corrosive, and it is a new production. The bullets are known to attain rapid fragmentation at the rated shooting speed. The projectiles in this ammo are hand inspected before they are released by the manufacturer.

Therefore, you should not expect any kind of imperfections or cosmetic flaws. The individual bullets are loaded to make sure there are lot-to-lot consistency, accuracy, velocity, and optimal pressure. Every primer is prudently matched to each load.

Hornady Varmint Express ammo has earned its reputation in long-range shooting for providing deer hunters with match grade bullets that are very reliable and consistent. Buy a few 20-round boxes of this high-quality ammunition and take the best shots of your life.

Hornady 223 55gr V-MAX Varmint Express Ammunition 20rds - 8327

Features to Consider When Buying Deer Hunting Ammo

The Caliber

We recommend the 223 caliber for deer hunting. You can best choose a caliber by looking at a number of 223 cartridges. You will observe several differences between them. This includes price per round, muzzle velocity, muzzle energy, and style among others.

.223 Caliber

Understand that the first rule in selecting ammunition for deer hunting is power and powder, which are required to get the job done. This simply means that you need to select a size that will push more bullets further with fewer drops at longer ranges. The best selections you can make are 223 Remington and 223 Winchester.

Bullet Weight Parameters

Weight is one of the most important features of 223 hunting ammo. The best weight is determined by the twist rate of your rifle barrel, which greatly affects the rifle accuracy. Normally, the manufacturer of ammunition splits the rifling to a twist rate that will effectively even out the projectile.

Therefore, the smaller the caliber, the more challenging it is to even out a bullet. Usually, heavy bullets will not fly at the same speed as the lighter ones in the same barrel. You should know that you are using the inappropriate rifle if you end up going for heavier bullets.

See also: Best Deer Rifle: Most Important Features & Top 10 Deer Rifle Reviews

The most recommended bullet weight ranges from 50 to 70 grains for deer hunting. The following factors are closely associated with the weight of a projectile: ballistic coefficient, sectional density, balance, bore surface, and style.

The aerodynamic of a shot is determined by the increasing level of the ballistic coefficient. Normally, higher calibers are considered to have the best ballistic coefficient. However, the .223 has just the perfect coefficient for hunting deer.

Bullet Weight Parameters

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Unlike most big game ammo, the 223 is not heavier in the air and they are not often unstable. The best stability is based on the weight. The next thing to consider is the bore surface, which refers to the length of the shell that dashes the bore.

Therefore, the dampening effect of a bullet depends on the period the bullet touches the surface. This factor has a great effect on the accuracy. The style of the bullet also matters with respect to the weight.

Muzzle Energy, Velocity, and Knock-Down Power

Usually, you will need higher muzzle velocity when engaging a long-distance target. You must step up the speed when hunting deer to guarantee good routine. Hence, you cannot be successful with mediocre bullets, because velocity is what drives the shot.

The shot leaves the muzzle at a specific velocity and energy. Higher speed will allow you to utilize less hold-over, such as 223 Remington’s 3000 FPS. Basically, a shell that is three times heavier than a 55-grain will deliver more recoil.

The shot you deliver will develop a wound on the deer. Torque is in play at impact. The hole you insert on the deer does affect the pressurized system, causing the animal to bleed and fall. Complex wounds will exert greater damage and quicker takedown.

The energy exerted depends on the type of ammunition. A 308 caliber will develop a needle-like wound; the same cannot be said of a 223. Well, it is an entirely different story for a long-range shooter.

If you are shooting at 300 yards, your main challenge will be to maintain the transonic speed. Accuracy usually becomes difficult the moment the bullet drops into subsonic range. Gravity plays a significant role as far as speed is concerned.

223 for Deer Hunting

A faster bullet will have less time to be affected by gravity when compared to a slower one. However, a faster bullet is also susceptible to wind drift.

Bullet Style & Casing

Initially, all shells were made of lead. However, advancements in technology led to the use of alloys, because lead had a tendency of fouling the interior of the barrel. Nowadays, the most popular shots are fully jacketed and half jacketed.

The fully jacketed shells have a layer of brass, steel, or copper that completely bands the base. This hardens the shot but reduces the expansion upon firing. As far as half jacketed shots are concerned, the nose is exposed. Moreover, there are a number of variations, such as exploding, Teflon-coated, and hollow point bullets.

In Conclusion

The best 223 deer hunting ammunition should provide you with effective muzzle velocity & energy, energy-shedding expansion, better ballistic coefficient & sectional density, and deep penetration. You must also check your budget.

Bring your 223 Ammunition for Deer Hunting

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You do not have to spend a lot on ammo, because there are certain ammunitions that have a fair price, such as the American Eagle.

The 223 ammo is indeed a radical design. Both the bullets and the deer hunting rifles have gained some level of trust amongst hunters. In most cases, the .223 will work best with a barrel length of twenty-two inches or slightly higher.

The design features play a big role in the general performance of the bullets. Do you think we have missed any great ammo? If so, please let us know in comments. For the best tips on deer hunting that’s bound to be helpful, see our earlier link on this topic.


Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.


  • I still remember when I first shot a deer with a .223 in the heart area. It felt good and has the sense of achievement since it’s my first time and I got him in the heart area. This is different from bow hunting so it’s important that you distance yourself from bow hunting mentality. A 50-yd is much comfortable than a 100-yd. You’re screwed if you get off into the shoulder or lose too much energy over the range.

    • The mechanics and fundamentals of deer hunting with a rifle and a bow are quite different so some adjustments with the calculations should be taken into consideration. Successfully killing a game is the best moment ever, of course.

  • Great article, thanks, Shawn. When shooting deer I think you can easily achieve an ethical shot with almost any .223 ammunition, providing your shots are accurate enough to hit the vitals. For anyone who is relatively new or is concerned about their accuracy, I would always recommend .308 or higher as they’re more likely to offer you the range, power, and accuracy you need to make a quick clean kill. If, however, you’re dead set on a .223, my go-to is always Federal Fusion.

    • You’re welcome, Phil! Federal Fusion is a great suggestion. It fires accurately, very lethal and has enough power to hit the target each and every single time.

  • If you’re going to use .223 for deer hunting, the most important thing is the bullet selection. I prefer to use a bullet that is going to high weight retention. A quality bonded bullet does that in my case. Then you only need ideal shot placement and nothing else. Those who think that a larger caliber will make up for a faulty shot in the wrong spot, you can’t be more wrong.

    • The compatibility of an ideal shot placement and the bullet cannot be underestimated. There should be a sync, and without this, you might be in trouble with unsuccessful shots.