If you’ve been following this year’s Virginia General Assembly — and, with important proposals on topics such as background checks at gun shows youth life jacket laws, and hunting license fees out there, you should be — you probably know there was a bill to legalize the .223 and .22-250 calibers for deer hunting.
The key word there is “was.” The bill was tabled in a House committee today. (FYI, the Senate also killed the gun show background check effort.)
The debate on the .223/.22-250 issue is pretty simple: Is a .22 centerfire cartridge enough to consistently and humanely take deer?
I’ve heard passionate arguments from both sides.
Clearly, in the right hands and right situation, a .223 or .22-250 is plenty good. Me, I’m pretty conservative with shot selection and I’m a pretty good shot. (I credit my years of shooting at sparrows and starlings with my air rifle and not my stint on my ROTC rifle team with the good shot thing.) I’m pretty sure I would do as well with a .223 or .22-250 as I do with my .280 Rem on the whitetails around here.
On the other hand, there is no doubt less room for error with those tiny (55 – 65 gr.) bullets. And those little projectiles often don’t exit, which can lead to poor (if any) blood trail. So the deer may die, but you may not find it. (I saw a hunter hit a deer with a .243 WSSM this fall and we could not find an entry hole or exit hole until we field-dressed the deer. There was no exit hole becuase the fragments lodged in the off shoulder.)
Maybe because I don’t currently own one of these guns (would love a .22-250, though) I don’t have strong feelings either way on this. I’m wondering what others think.
Are you disappointed this fell through? Or did that committee make the right call?