My buddy Richard Mann is testing DRT Ammo’s 60 grain .223 projectile on whitetail deer. I’m curious about DRT Ammo’s terminal performance, as I’m a big proponent of frangible ammunition being the way of the future. Richard’s three part series on DRT ammo is here – warning for one graphic pic in part 2:
It appears from the tests that the DRT .223 ammo was sufficiently lethal as a bambi-whacker. As usual, shot placement is king – shoot an animal in a non-lethal location and your damage won’t be as good, but shoot it somewhere important and it seems to die. I wonder if the 60 grain .223 would be sufficient for feral pigs, as I might be going on my very first hog hunt this year.
As to using them on pigs, my guess is, probably no. Whitetail are pretty small and the vitals are pretty easy to reach. If you’re hunting large porkers then penetration becomes an issue. Where we hunt boar we have taken 400lb animals frequently, and raking shots are somewhat common. I think you’ll find this ammo wanting.
I stick by the advice given me by Ashley Emerson, who took me on one of my first boar hunts in Texas, “Bring your favorite elk rifle, not your deer rifle.”
Yeah, I think I’d want more penetration for pig.
Apparently the new DRT loads have some kind of controlled expansion jacket that keeps them from fragmenting until they penetrate bone. I don’t know it actually works, but I figure “hey, I’ll shoot anything”.
Plus, pig murder! Someday I’ll be a Jedi like Frank.
I’m often amazed at folks who turn their noses up at the .223 cartridge for a hunting anything larger than a squirrel or maybe coyote but at the same time recommend a .44 magnum or even a bow for the same task. Almost every evidence I’ve seen, the .223 will out penetrate any pistol through hard materials like bone and tissue damage is often impressive.
With any rifle cartridge, shot placement will probably be far more important in obtaining a quick kill than what caliber you use in most hunting situations. Still the .223 does have it’s limitations but as several folks over at arfcom have shown frequently, it can be a viable hunting round for both deer and hogs. Unfortunately the caliber has been banned in many states mostly in an attempt to prevent hunters from using rimfires without making exception for centerfire.
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