.223 Varmint gun. Indecision may or may not be my problem.


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12 Volt Man
March 11, 2005, 12:36 PM
I have thought about setting up a somewhat affordable .223 Varmint gun for some time. My plans have been to get a CZ 527 with the heavy barrel and regular walnut stock. Top it with a Mueller scope. Then I certianly would need Harris Bi-pod. I think this would be a good setup for me. Sure it wouldn't be all tactical looking, but I bet it would shoot with the best of them. Total cost for that setup would be somewhere around $800.00, when you include scope, rings, and bi-pod. The Savage 10FP is also a strong candidate if I go this route.

But then there is the more expensive evil option which I have been considering over the last few days. The AR15 varmint setup. :evil: I do not have a ton of knowlege in this area yet. My limited research so far has let me to the RRA upper. The A4 RRA has a stainless barrel, is chambered in .223 rather than 5.56. It comes in lengths of 16, 18, 20, and 24 inches. I hoped someone could help with with which is the optimum barrel length. They have a 1in 8 twist in the rifling.I found a 20 inch upper for $489.00. There are many options for the lower, including buying a stripped lower and building one from parts. I don't have the tools for building so I have looked at compete lowers. Looks like I can get a complete RRA lower with 2 stage trigger and A2 stock for around $300.00. Then it looks like I would top it with a Super Sniper scope to keep the cost down and still get a fairly decent scope. Those run about $300.00. I assume I would need the RRA Hi Rise Base with Rings for about $40.00. Then ofcoarse the Harris bi-pod for $80.00 or so. Grand total for the RRA AR Varmint $1209.00. This seems like a very expensive rifle to me. I know that much more can be spent. I have never spent that much on a rifle yet. The fun it would generate I'm sure would be worth it. It is possible that I would sell a couple of handguns to finance this if I go this route.

Opinions or suggestions????

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jrobb45
March 11, 2005, 01:04 PM
I have been similarly conflicted for the past few months. The AR's with the stainless barrels and float tubes look nice, but get pricey with the add ons. Neighbor has one; has about $2000 in it and it will shoot sub moa. I don't have that kind of loot laying around. I think the bolt guns are the sensible wat to go; CZ, Tikka and Savage are all good; just choose your price range.

jrobb

Kramer Krazy
March 11, 2005, 01:16 PM
I bought my Ruger M77 MKII in .223 back in 1993 for about $450, but you can still get them through Walmart for about $560. I threw on a Harris bipod and a close-out Simmons 6-24x50mm scope ($69), recently. You can have less than $800 in a similar set-up and have just as much fun........The problem I have with my ARs is that I tend to go through 3-4 times as much ammo in the same amount of time at the range. :D

Lennyjoe
March 11, 2005, 02:04 PM
I was also conteplating putting a Varmit upper on my AR-15 but decided to get another rifle instead. Besides, I would want a Jewell trigger as well as heavy 24" barrel, pod ect........By the time I did all that, the upper and trigger would of cost over $500 easy.

I finally came to the decision to get a Savage 12 series Varmit rifle. It comes with the heavy barrel and accu-trigger and can be had for around $450 for us left handed folks. I decided to get it in 22-250 instead of .223.

I'd rather have another rifle anyway, so thats the coures I decided on.
http://www.savagearms.com/images/centerfire/varmint/12fv_sa.jpg

mustanger98
March 11, 2005, 03:13 PM
I'd get a Savage Model 11 (hunter series) and change the rear sight for a Williams FP with target knobs.

Coltdriver
March 11, 2005, 03:59 PM
What kind of varmints you gonna shoot???

An AR is a great coyote shooter. And they are plenty accurate, even with a 16 inch barrel out to a couple hundred yards. Second shots are quick and easy.

The higher twist rate is only if you want to shoot bullets heavier than 55 grains.

I like to get my varmint rounds up around 3200 to 3400 fps with a hornady or sierra bullet. I have only shot those from a 1/12 Ruger. I have wondered if at very high velocity the quicker twist might not vaporize the bullet.

In any case, for pure varmint fun I'd get an AR. You can get a starter and then build yourself a varmint barrelled upper. But carrying around a 6 pound rifle that shoots well to begin with is kind of habit forming :D

Black Snowman
March 11, 2005, 04:18 PM
I'm continously impressed with Kamicosmos' Bushmaster Varminter. Very very accurate and can be routinely found for under $900 new.

12 Volt Man
March 11, 2005, 05:55 PM
I am going to shoot prairie dogs, jack rabbits and the occasional coyote or fox. Probably punch a fair amount of paper too. I would also like to test out the max distance 500 yard shots would be cool. Majority of shots would be 50 to 200 yards.

I found something that might be interesting.
-A varmint upper with a 1 in 10 twist barrell. I guess I could shoot 40 to 60 grain bullets through that. What are the pros and cons of a 1 in 10 barrel???

g56
March 11, 2005, 06:25 PM
I built an AR15 with a 24" bull barrel with a 1-8 twist, works great, couldn't ask it to do any better, 1-8 is probably the most popular twist for the AR15 Varmint Rifles. I built this rifle for about $700 not counting the scope. RRA barrels are normally Wylde chambers, it's a compromise chambering between .223 and 5.56, my rifle is 5.56.

Here's the best group to date:

http://www.pbase.com/wingman26/image/40547989.jpg

12 Volt Man
March 11, 2005, 06:42 PM
Wylde chambers

So if the Wylde chamber is a compromise. Can you shoot both .223 and 5.56 through it?

g56
March 11, 2005, 06:46 PM
Yes

Mike Hull
March 12, 2005, 03:18 PM
My plans have been to get a CZ 527 with the heavy barrel and regular walnut stock. Top it with a Mueller scope. Then I certianly would need Harris Bi-pod. I think this would be a good setup for me. Sure it wouldn't be all tactical looking, but I bet it would shoot with the best of them.



If you get the CZ 527 Varmint Kevlar, you get the 1-9 twist rifling, the others are 1-12 twist.
The 1-9 is the best all around, IMO, and you can shoot from 50gr, to 77gr bullets with pretty good accuracy, although 69-75 grainers will probably shoot best. Heavier bullet=longer range. Just a thought.

http://www.cz-usa.com/01.detail.php?id=13

mustanger98
March 12, 2005, 04:02 PM
I can vouch for the difference (for the better) from 1:12 twist down to 1:9. I conducted a test with Hornady 68gr BTHPs running 2600fps in both twist rates. The 1:12 twist allowed the bullets to keyhole at 50yds (they were also spread out like a shot pattern) while the 1:9 stabilized them and grouped tighter than 55gr had in that same 1:9 twist barrel. That's my experience.

flip180
March 12, 2005, 05:19 PM
I bought a Remington 700 VLS in a .223 a couple of months ago topped off with a Leupold VX-II 4-12X40 AO scope with a harris bipod and couldn't be happier. Now, I am getting the barrel floated, action bedded and triger job performed. But out of the box it doesn't do too bad with .55gr. WWB at 50 yards. I'll start reloading soon and hope to shoot regular groops at 100 yards that look as good as this 50 yard target.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/flip180/rangereport002.jpg
Flip

P0832177
March 12, 2005, 06:45 PM
My vote is to get a Savage in 223 comes with 1-9 twist barrel, should run around 450 or so and as funds allow get the B&C Duramax stock or Sharp Shooter Stock to replace it. Then I would get a solid mount, ie Farrell. Then I would get some good glass buying the SWFA Super Sniper is okay, so is the Bushnell 10X 3200. I would suggest a Sightron 4-16 in Loopy PRW rings. This will get you set up under a grand.

Now, a person can get NM RRA lower and Varmint upper cheaper seperately then together. A person can put something together for right around a grand, too.

RRA A2 lower with stock trigger runs 260 plus transfer fee
RRA A4 upper 1-8 24 or 20 upper complete runs about 550.
RRA once pc scope mount 50 bucks.
Bushnell 10X 160 or gets you in business in short order under a grand.

You can upgrade things as funds allow.

I vote 223 as it can be had cheap if you do not reload! I would not get 1-10 upper

Kamicosmos
March 12, 2005, 07:33 PM
Bushmaster Varminter is my crazy accurate quarter bore rifle.

Mine has the factory 24" heavy free floated barrel, 1-9 twist. I have it on a Harris bi-pod and a BSA 6-24x50mm scope. I know I know, crappy scope. But so far, it has been great, and I haven't been able to justify shelling out the money for a better scope yet. Maybe once I move beyond 100 yards and start shooting at unknown ranges/moving varmints...

I am currently shooting 55 grain bullets through it, and I can shoot .5 MOA pretty much all day (Off the bipod, I haven't sandbagged the gun yet). I think the rifle is capable of even tighter groups. This spring I plan on experimenting with 68 grain bullets to see how they compare to the 55 grainers.

Art Eatman
March 12, 2005, 09:33 PM
If you're only gonna shoot few-shot groups at a slow pace, or if you're gonna shoot varmints on a "shot here, now, and a shot there, a bit later..." you can do just fine with a medium or light barrel.

Long strings of fairly rapid fire, or lots and lots of prairie dogs in a short period, you pretty much need the heavy barrel.

I bought a little Ruger 77 Mk II sporter in .223. 1/2 MOA for a three-shot group. I wouldn't expect it to keep that going at a prairie dog town, but it's great for coyote hunting.

:), Art

bad LT
March 12, 2005, 09:44 PM
Definitely the AR15,

You never know when you might come across waves of attacking gophers (gopher wave attack?)

CB900F
March 13, 2005, 08:32 PM
12 Volt;

A couple of considerations that I thought of; If you don't reload, you're gonna buy a lot of cheap ammo with a semi. Trouble is, cheap ammo is just that, cheap. Maybe some will work just fine as far as functioning & accuracy go. But how much do you want to test to find it? And how accurate is 'good enough' for you? How long till the smaller hole syndrome strikes? In other words, better factor in a Dillon in the foreseeable future.

Another possible option is the Daly (Zastava) mini-Mauser currently being imported again. Should be well under $500.00 retail.

900F

12 Volt Man
March 14, 2005, 07:01 PM
Well, I found a deal too good to pass on. Even though you folks great advice has led me to believe I should get a 1-8 or 1-9 twist in the barrel, I went another route.
This one has a 1-12 twist. I am sure it will be fine to play with for this summer. Maybe I can explode some varmints like in those Dog Be Gone videos.

Anyway..... It is a CZ 527 Laminate. Topped with a Bushnell Elite 3200 5-15x50. The current owner has only 200 rounds through it. All for under $600.00. :)

Here is a picture of my new rifle..... Should have it in a week or so. I even get a bi pod with it.

http://www.geocities.com/anthony_polselli/CZ_527_Varmint.jpg

Lennyjoe
March 14, 2005, 07:09 PM
Sweet set up. Now you need to reload some rounds with different powders and bullets and bring the pattern down to dime size. ;)

12 Volt Man
March 14, 2005, 08:40 PM
I should get into reloading. Problem is, everytime I save up enough money for some reloading equipment, I find out it is also enough money for another gun.

standingbear
March 14, 2005, 08:43 PM
what loads are you using in your M77 Art?



Im using the blackhills ballistic tip 51 grain vmax.shoots pretty good,fairly flatter than the standard hp ammo I was using as a test and makes an audible sound when it hits a groundhog.those loads made a chipmonk dissappear at 40 yards that was setting on an ol tree stump.I cant wait to try them on a coyote. :)

Lennyjoe
March 14, 2005, 09:10 PM
I shopped around and purchased items a little at a time. Took me about 3 months to get everything up for reloading.

Its well worth the wait. I cant seem to stay out of the reloading area and my yard is suffering because of it. ;)

CZguy
March 14, 2005, 11:53 PM
12 Volt Man,

This one has a 1-12 twist. I am sure it will be fine to play with for this summer.

The rifle you have pictured is a CZ 527 Varmint with a laminated stock. This rifle has a 1 in 9 twist. The 1 in 12 twist you refer to is the 527 American.

The one you have is excellent for what you want to use it for. :)

12 Volt Man
March 15, 2005, 09:18 AM
I hope you are right CZguy. According to some other threads that I read, and a call to Jason at CZ-USA, the Varmint Kevlar is the only one with a 1-9 twist. CZ-USA could be wrong. You would hope that they know their own products though.

CZguy
March 15, 2005, 10:27 AM
12 Volt Man,

I talked to "Eric" at CZ-USA about this two months ago, and he told me "the Varmint rifles both Kevlar and laminate stocked were 1 in 9. The American including the new heavy barreled American were 1 in 12."

I guess you'll know soon enough when you shoot some heavy bullets. I have the HS Precision stocked one and it really likes heavy bullets.

Jayhawker
March 15, 2005, 12:36 PM
Hello CZguy:

Now its me who just got off the phone with CZ since I also have the 527 laminate. The person I talked to was very firm in saying the the kevlar is the only 1-9 twist in the 527/.223. I guess the bottom line here will be to run a tight-fitting patch down the bore and measure the twist. Can't do it to mine because its at the shop getting the action bedded. If you do it, let us know because I've seen this discussion before and it has some serious implications for bullet choice.

By the way, I thought you also had the laminate. Did you add a new horse to the stable or do some trading?

Pete

Master Blaster
March 15, 2005, 01:04 PM
Until you start loading you may want to try the Winchester white box 40 round .223 varmint load with the 45 gr JHP bullet. A number of folks at my range have shot sub .5 moa 5 shot groups with this ammo out of both bolt guns and Ar's. Its abou $11 per box of 40 at Natchez shooters supply.

I have heard that wally world may also carry it.

Jayhawker
March 15, 2005, 01:12 PM
MasterBlaster:
That was my experience as well. Almost kind of discouraging to find WWB that outshoots some of my reloads. However, I recently bought a box at Wal-Mart (I use it for borefouling shots) and this particular box was terrible. Hopefully, it was just an oddball lot and won't characterize this ammo in the future.

Pete

Shalako
March 15, 2005, 03:22 PM
Jayhawker, was your bad box of WWB the FMJ or Varmint 45gr JHP?

I got some of the FMJ a while back with the annealed case necks and it wasn't as good as the previous stuff I'd seen.


<Sorry for the OT threadjack>

Jayhawker
March 15, 2005, 04:07 PM
The Varmit 45 grain. That other stuff patterns out of my CZ like a shotgun.

Pete

CZguy
March 15, 2005, 04:14 PM
Jayhawker,

By the way, I thought you also had the laminate. Did you add a new horse to the stable or do some trading?

I sold my 527 American, and bought a 527 Kevlar stocked Varmint, and couldn't be happier!

Master Blaster,

Until you start loading you may want to try the Winchester white box 40 round .223 varmint load with the 45 gr JHP bullet. A number of folks at my range have shot sub .5 moa 5 shot groups with this ammo out of both bolt guns and Ar's. Its abou $11 per box of 40 at Natchez shooters supply.

This ammo shoots half inch groups out of my rifle, I'll second your advice.

Jayhawker
March 15, 2005, 05:07 PM
CZGuy:

Were you having problems with the American or did you just want a change? I've been looking awfully hard at some full-on bench rest rifles but practially speaking also have my eye on a 6.5-284 for some really long range.

Pete

flip180
March 15, 2005, 11:08 PM
"This ammo shoots half inch groups out of my rifle, I'll second your advice"

Maybe I should try the .45gr. JHP WWB stuff also. After I get my rifle back from the gunsmith after getting the action bedded, barrel floated and triger jod done, I'll get 40 rds. of the 55gr. FMJ and 40 rds. of the 45gr. JHP's from wally world and compare.

Flip

CZguy
March 16, 2005, 02:31 AM
Jayhawker,

The American was a pleasure to carry, but for me it was too light to shoot accurately. Both it and the new Varmint model are in .223

12 Volt Man
March 25, 2005, 09:24 PM
I talked to "Eric" at CZ-USA about this two months ago, and he told me "the Varmint rifles both Kevlar and laminate stocked were 1 in 9. The American including the new heavy barreled American were 1 in 12."



Just an update. I recieved my 527 Varmint Laminate today. That gun is very nice. Fit and finish are beautiful. BIL and I decided to answer the twist rate question. We put a tight patch down the barrel and marked the cleaning rod so that we could see it make one full rotation. We did this three times and came out with one full twist in 9 inches. So it is definately a 1 in 9. A pleasant surprise. Only problem is that I just stocked up on a bunch of different types of ammo with lighter weight bullets. Can't wait to shoot it.

CZguy
March 25, 2005, 09:36 PM
Please post what weight bullets your rifle likes.

mustanger98
March 25, 2005, 09:49 PM
As I've said before and in other .223 threads, a 1:9 twist will stabilize 55grSPs, but it will also stabilize 68grainers very well. This may vary one rifle to the next, but this is my experience. 72gr bullets may also work real well too, but I haven't shot any of those through any twist rate to know.

standingbear
March 25, 2005, 10:17 PM
12 volt...Ruger makes just as good varmiters and they are very reasonable in cost. What Im getting at is that I bought a M77 in 223 that is boringly accurate. I didnt go the expensive route, I bought a tasco 6-24x scope and a harris biopod, got 90 in the scope new and 55 in the pod used at a show.I later put in a adjustable trigger at 35 bucks.I have 450 in the gun new plus the things Ive added and I cant complain about its accuracy nor reliabilty one bit. Ruger includes steel scope rings for this gun in the box as it had no irons on it. Ruger also makes some very accurate single shots that are somewhat more pricy than a M77 but as far as Im concerned, they are top of the line as well. Its all in what you want the gun to do and how it needs to look. but for varmits..its the one rifle that I know will do the job. I have a bushmaster in a heavy barrel also,but its strictly a fun gun though an accurate gun.I didnt want to spend alot of money on special mounts and optics for the bushmaster so I bought the M77 strictly for varmits.

varmiting is a great sport,pick your gun then optics if you want them then try different loads to see which is best for you.

sscoyote
March 26, 2005, 12:14 AM
Sounds like some good advice, and a # of options.

I'm also into varminting, and put together an ISSI upper (www.insightshootingsystemsinc.com) on a Bushy lower with a 9 twist 26" heavy Hart. I'd been working with the rig as a spot and stalk coyote rig/pr. dog rifle the last several yrs. and was trying to get the 70 JLK, and 75 A-max to work in it. 100 yd. gps. were .5 or so, but opened up too much @ 500-600, so i switched back to the 69 Nosler Comp., and have had some decent results with it to +/- 500 on coyotes and pr. dogs with decent terminal ballistics. Coupled with a 4.5-14X Burris FFII Ballistic Plex reticle, it has served the spot and stalk role well.

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