Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Forney, TX, USA
You can hunt deer with any center fire rifle in Texas. Now that .17 and .20 caliber center fire are common, I wonder if that will change.
A .223 or 5.56x45 will do quite well on Texas deer. Important thing is you have to have a good shot. Someone posted on this site a deer taken by his boy with a 22 Hornet. 22 Hornet is same caliber, .224, but lower velocity than a .223. .22-250 is .224 caliber but lot faster.
The bigger hole you make, the more meat is damaged. After freezing my butt off and waking up 2 hours before daybreak, I don't want to lose any.
From what I read and what I see, you can shoot .223 ammo in 5.56x45, but not recommended vice versa. The metric cartridge is military, and as such, a higher pressure round. Same idea with .308 Winchester and 7.62x51 NATO. I don't recommend shooting anything but what the rifle/pistol says to shoot.
My dad got a buck last year with a .22-250. Dropped it dead in it tracks with heart/lung shot at 90 yards.
.22LR rimfire is nice gun to learn on. Relatively cheap on ammo and rifle, and a bolt action or single shot is pretty easy to learn. Semi-auto is more complicated and requires more maintenance.
NEF makes a nice Handi-Rifle that comes in lots of calibers. It is cheap and accurate. Great rifle to learn with.
Hogs are a lot tougher. I am sure a well placed .224 caliber bullet can take them down. But a .25 - .30 caliber would be better. Some folks like to hunt them with semi-auto carbine like an SKS or pistol.
Any of the .223 Rem, .243 Win, .25-06 Rem, .260 Rem, .270 Win, or 7mm-08 Rem would be rifles to start with. Anything more powerful than that, and a bad hold can result in a broken finger, magnum forehead cut, or worse.
I shoot a Remington 7mm Mag bolt action. But am contemplating something that shoots softer. After 20 rounds at the range, my shoulder is sore. Especially with my handload. ;P
.270 Win and Remington 7mm Magnum are very common for Texas hunting. Out of 8 people in our hunting party, all had one or the other, except for my Dad with his .22-250.
"Don't taze me, bro."