The AR-15 platform has become extremely popular in the past two decades. With it, the .223 Rem rose to one of the most popular rifle cartridges of all time.
In the hunting realm, the .223 has been very popular with varmint hunters. However, many people have felt the .223 cartridge is too small for hunting deer-sized game.
Remington is trying to change people’s minds.
To help influence the debate, Remington introduced a .223 cartridge in their Core Lokt Ultra Bonded line of hunting ammunition.
According to Remington, the Core Lokt Bonded bullet “…offers the unique combination of excellent accuracy, superb weight retention, and expansion with overall superior terminal results.”
Remington says the bullets retain up to 95% of their original bullet weight, and by using a progressively tapered jacket, the bullets expand reliably at “all practical” velocities. Expansion of up to twice the original bullet diameter is typical with this bullet design.
The obvious goal is improved penetration with the relatively light bullet. A bonded bullet enables the projectile to hold itself together when hitting bone and other tissue.
Whether deer hunters will embrace this round remains to be seen. However, Remington’s introduction of their Core Lokt Ultra Bonded bullet in a .223 loading expands the possibilities with this already versatile rifle cartridge.
|Bullet Weight||62 grains|
|Bullet Type||Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded|
|Muzzle Velocity||3,100 fps|
|Muzzle Energy||1,323 ft-lbs|
|MSRP (2021)||$38.99/box of 20|
The Core Lokt Ultra Bonded line is fairly extensive and covers many of the other popular calibers in both short- and long-action.
Additionally, the company offers these bullets loaded in the 6.8 SPC cartridge, which is another caliber that is very popular with AR-15 shooters. For deer-sized game, I would much rather have the 6.8 SPC cartridge than the .223. It definitely gives the hunter a lot more power for anchoring an animal.
While you could hunt whitetail with a .22 LR, I still believe in clean, humane kills. Bigger bullets tend to improve the likelihood of this happening.
Another excellent hunting cartridge for the AR-15 platform is the more recent 300 BLK (aka the 300 AAC BLACKOUT) cartridge. This uses a .30 caliber bullet in the same size envelope as a 5.56 cartridge. They even use the same magazines and can be had in subsonic versions for suppressor use. I’ve seen these used on hogs and they are very effective.
Do you hunt deer with the .223? If so, what ammo are you running? Anyone want to offer their review of the Core Lokt ammo in .223?
Last update: June 3, 2021