.223 Rifles


May 13, 2008, 09:53 PM
I have been wanting a .223 rifle for a while now and have decided to get myself to start saving for it. I have a couple in mind already, there is the Remington SPS, I know there are a few differant models and I am not sure what the difference in accuracy is between the Tactical, the regular SPS and there is a new model that has a triangular barrel and built in muzzle brake. I was also wondering what other brands and models I should consider....



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May 13, 2008, 10:03 PM
What do you want the gun for?

700's are good but you may want to look at savage since they are relatively inexpensive.

May 13, 2008, 10:12 PM
I have had some great accuracy results with my .223 SPS Varmint. I installed mine in a HS Precision stock. The .223 SPS Varmint has a 1 in 12" twist 26" barrel and plastic stock where the current SPS Tacticals have a 1 in 9" twist 20" barrel and Hogue stock. With the 1 in 9" twist you can go up to 69 grains or little heavier.

Also have a laminated stock Savage 12BVSS with a 1 in 9" twist which has shown good potential even with a rough barrel and bedding issues.

Also have a 700LTR .223 which is sort of like a SPS Tactical except in a HS stock and barrel flutes and a lot more expensive but it is the best shooting of my .223s.

May 13, 2008, 10:12 PM
I am going to be shooting at 100-250 yards just for fun. No hunting right now but if I ever decide to, I would like to be able to take it and go varmint hunting as well. But for now I would like it to be a target gun for the range. I wish I could get .22-250 or .243 but I would like to shoot alot for less money. How much is .243 ammo going for these days?

May 13, 2008, 10:20 PM
Ruger 77 MKII in all weather barrel/action configuration.

May 13, 2008, 10:48 PM
Get a faster twist, you'll be glad later.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 13, 2008, 11:27 PM
Like the man said, decide what twist rate you want: whether you want a 1 in 12 (many), 1 in 9 (Rem, Savage, new Handis, some others), 1 in 8 (Tikka), or 1 in 7 (*certain* Savage Long Range Precision Varminters). I recommend 1 in 9 or faster, in case you decide you want to run heavies.

Some guns I would look at if getting a new .223 for precision work: CZ 527, Remington XR-100 Rangemaster, Savage Long Range Precision Varminter, Weatherby Vanguard Sub-MOA guaranteed rifle, Remington 700 LTR, and the Tikka T3.

May 13, 2008, 11:41 PM
AR-15 before all others.

May 14, 2008, 03:19 PM
I only have about $650-$750 to spend on this rifle, I don't think that will get me a nice AR.....I was looking at Mini-14's but I don't know about longer ranges with semi's

May 14, 2008, 03:30 PM
you can build a really decent AR for $750

May 14, 2008, 03:34 PM
What do you want to do with the gun?

You can scoop up a saiga .223 for $270 bucks and convert it to AK style for another 200.

You could build a decent AR15 for $700.00

What is the expected usage of the gun?

May 14, 2008, 03:47 PM
Have you looked at any of those Savage rifles with the Accutrigger?
for a while i was looking at those. here are a few links:





I dont know..., that Remington with the triangular barrel is a good looking gun and you know it will be dead accurate.

Also, on the mini-14, they are fun to shoot but not nearly as accurate as a bolt. AR rifles are typically more accurate. are you wanting one for target shooting, varmint hunting, or just fun shooting around? I have a mini-14 target model but it cost me around 750 and it has no iron sights so you would need an optic. I love my Mini and its pretty darn accurate. i shoot about one and three quarter groups using black hills but i don't have that harmonic dampener thing adjusted as good as i could. ...and thats me shooting bench on a really good day. anyway, i am a Ruger fan but i wouldn't get a regular mini-14 if you want accuracy. There is also a NRA mini-14 out now that i heard gets better accuracy than the regular model but i cant give you any more info on that one...

May 14, 2008, 06:59 PM
well since everyone keeps asking me I will post my previous post again,

I am going to be shooting at 100-250 yards just for fun. No hunting right now but if I ever decide to, I would like to be able to take it and go varmint hunting as well. But for now I would like it to be a target gun for the range.

May 14, 2008, 07:06 PM
Anthony, check out the Tikka T3. It's a top notch bolt action. It's very light, very accurate out of the box (after scope zero, of course) and will serve you well. You can find some pretty good prices compared to the Remington 700 Varmint, and the stock on the T3 is superior to the Remy's.

Also, the T3 can be had in either 1/12" or 1/8" twist and holds 6+1 shots as opposed to the Remy 700's 5+1.

May 14, 2008, 07:17 PM
Here's another Tikka vote. Mine is a 1/8" twist 24" heavy-barrel (aka Varmint). Outstanding out of the box trigger, and good to excellent synthetic stock. It loves Black Hills 77 gr. SMK's. With a bipod in the field (i.e., in the dirt and scrub), if I don't shoot under an inch for 5 shots anywhere under 200 yards, I know full well it's my fault.

May 14, 2008, 07:17 PM
I am not sure what all of this twist stuff means, is 1/12" mean the bullet twists once in every 12 inches? and 1/8" in every 8 inches? and what should I look for? 1/12 or 1/8 or is there also 1/9? light bullet in fast twist=more accurate or heavier bullet in faster twist=more accurate?

May 14, 2008, 07:18 PM
I like my CZ 527 LUX. Great rifle, accurate, light weight, great trigger, nice wood stock. I'd get another, and so I recommend one to you.

May 14, 2008, 07:20 PM
just looked at tikkas, and the Tikka T3 Hunter with wood stock caught my eye, Its a beautiful gun.:rolleyes:

May 14, 2008, 07:27 PM
here is something....
got some info on rifling, but then i am kind of a newbie...


anyway, i think its some good stuff....

May 14, 2008, 07:30 PM
Bullet weight is limited by twist rate. Heavier bullets have to be spun faster to stabilize in flight. Heavier bullets hold groups farther downrange and resist winddrift better. Here's the way I understand it (but stand open to correction):

1/12 will prefer lightweight bullets; probly won't like anything over 60 grs

1/9 will probly shoot 69 gr. match bullets okay. Maybe Hornady's 75 gr. bullet--it's a sometimes thing.

1/8 should shoot up to 80 grain bullets (though once you get over 77 grs., it's unlikely you can mag feed them; they're too long).

1/7 will shoot 90 grs. This is for guys who insist that the .223 is a thousand-yard gun. ;)

Mostly these heavier bullets evolved as a response to the 600-yard phase of Hi-power rifle competition. If you just wanna shoot varmints out to 300 yards, a 1/12 will probly do you fine.

May 15, 2008, 09:45 PM
So what about .223 ammo? Wolf? Ultramax? Federal bulk pack from walmart? silver bear? no 5.56? What should I shoot? I am only going to shoot about 100 rounds a week, but if I could shoot wolf, I would shoot ALOT more than that.

1911 guy
May 16, 2008, 08:20 AM
Here's the best .223 advice I can give you for the money: Buy a Stevens Model 200 and shoot Black Hills 68gr ammo in it. Spend the rest of the money on good mounts, rings and scope, the rifle will take full advantage of it. I handload for my .223, a Stevens, and it turned in .66 MOA for ten rounds yesterday morning. Winchester small rifle primer, Winchester case, 23.2gr Varget powder and a Hornady 68gr HPBT bullet. From the bench of course, I'm not nearly good enough to do that offhand.

The Remington rifles will severely limit your bullet selection, they have a much slower twist, 1:12. Savage/Stevens uses a 1:9

May 16, 2008, 08:37 AM
Look at the CZ 527 American. Mine makes consistent <.5" three shot groups at 100 yards.

May 16, 2008, 08:51 AM
If you want to get in for cheap, the H&R Handi-rifle is hard to beat.

I've got the one with the 22" bull barrel (not the "varmint" version) and it's more accurate than I am. I can pop a coyote through the head quite easily at 200 yards with mine.

Just make sure you shoot .223 Remington in it and not 5.56 NATO. Considering how much "meat" there is around the .223 chamber on a Handi-rifle, I don't think there's any real concern of blowing it up, but whenever I've shot 5.56 in mine the brass gets stuck and won't eject when I unbreech it. I have to knock it out with a light tap from a cleaning rod.

Handi-rifles are cheap and more fun than a barrel of monkeys.


May 16, 2008, 09:58 AM

You might want to look at this http://www.classicarms.us/ There's an AR15 not far down from the top of the page.

Since I'm mentioning it, has anyone here bought one of these from Classic? Are they in as good condition and the picture shows? I don't hear them mentioned much, therefore, I haven't heard anything bad or good about them.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 16, 2008, 10:14 AM
Don't new Rems now come with 1 in 9" also? That was my understanding....

May 16, 2008, 11:30 AM
You can build an AR for around $600, possibly less. My first build cost $665 which had $40 in upgrades and a more expensive barrel configuration. $435 for a kit and $115 for a lower is not too hard to find.


May 16, 2008, 11:56 AM
Depending on what you intend to use the rifle for, if you are working with a limited budget, I would opt for one of the more inexpensive rifles, like one of the lower end Savages with the Accutrigger, and plan to spend more money on a good scope, rings, and bases.

Particulary for long range or varmint work, ponying up for a good scope will pay you dividends. Nikon, Burris, and Leupold would all be good choices. If you are really on a budget and want to spend less on a scope, the Simmons Aetecs are really good inexpensive scopes for the money. I have 3 of them and they are great.

May 16, 2008, 12:08 PM
I held an H&R heavy-barreled break-action, and I loved it! They are known to be surprisingly accurate, and for what you'll be using it for-non-competition target shooting, and occasional varmy hunting, it'll probably work well for you. I would like to get one in .243, though, so I can use it on a wider variety of prey. I've heard good things about the Stevens as well, and the police version of the Savage 10FP can be had for about $550. But then, you've got less money for a scope, etc.

May 16, 2008, 12:09 PM
If you're not sure what twist is, I'd suggest:

1. Hold off getting anything and do more general shooting research.
2. Or, just set a price point and decide bolt or semi and buy a Remmy 700 or AR or some sort.

ETA Either will make a fine "fun gun." Meeting up with a local at a range for some show and tell wouldn't hurt either.

May 16, 2008, 03:24 PM
I know what twist is, I just wasnt sure if i was getting the numbers right like, 1 spin in every 9 inches is 1/9"

I don't think that should stop me from buying a new rifle now since I know what the twists are for, the higher the twist rate the heavier the bullet.


May 16, 2008, 07:27 PM

May 16, 2008, 07:32 PM
So when I do start shooting my rifle, should I save the brass? I do not reload right now, but would it be worth it to save the brass from the once fired stuff or should I save the remanufactured stuff too?

Savage Shooter
May 16, 2008, 10:37 PM
If your lookin for a good target rifle get a savage 12fv .223 I have one and love it. I like shootin the heavyer bullets so i love the 1-9 twist It won't break the bank and leaves plenty of cash for some good glass.:evil:

1911 guy
May 17, 2008, 05:40 AM
For anything around 250 yards or less, I'd feel completely fine with a 45gr bullet in a 1:12 twist. The advantage of heavier bullets is retaining momentum and velocity (laymans terms, I'm a machinist, not a physicist) at longer ranges. If you're sure you'll have no desire to make it a 400 yard rifle, go with whatever trips your trigger. If you might want to stretch it out later, go with a faster twist.

The lighter bullets are still very effective at looong yardages, but the drop makes it hard to put them on target

Harley Quinn
May 17, 2008, 01:34 PM
Target rifles are easy on brass and most will save it if they reload. The semi's will throw it all over and ding it up some, depending on factors.
Your call.

Are you going a Bolt action? Seems the drift I see. Stay with your first thought .223 IMHO The others are heavier bullets and more money to shoot take longer to get back on target. If you are thinking hunting, go for a 1-9 twist.

May 17, 2008, 02:17 PM
You can't go wrong with a Savage. If you have to buy ammo, Black Hills is a good way to go. I have seven Savage model 12s, 5 BVSS's and 2 VLP's. ALL OF THEM will put 5 shots into 1/2" or less at 100 yards. My 204 is the most accurate but my 2, 223s aren't off by much. I don't like the tupperware stocked models. Cabels has some sporter models with laminated wood stocks that looked pretty nice.

May 17, 2008, 03:52 PM
You've already decided what to spend, so now the other decisions.
If you want only to hit paper targets and little varmints, then light bullets will work for you. They generally go faster, which means a flatter trajectory.
For whatever it's worth, .224 bullets (the ones for .223 Rem) are available in 36 grain weight up to 90 grains. I'd use the light ones for woodchucks, gophers, prairie dogs, etc. I'd feel OK using the heavy ones, say 70 grains and up, for deer.
By deciding bullet weight, that will help you decide on the matching twist rate (read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifling)) for the barrel.

Alternatively, buy the gun and match the bullet weights to it. Keep in mind that the twist for heavier bullets will stabilize lighter ones, but maybe not as well

For the amount you've decided to spend, an AR-15 in that price point will be fun and almost certainly more accurate than a Mini14. However, it probably won't be as accurate as the bolt actions folks have suggested. Plus, you can get some decent optics for one of the bolt actions, have a darn nice target/varmint rifle and stay within your price.

I've shot the Tikka T3, Savage, and Cz527 in .223. All are very nice indeed. This Rock River (http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=228) is super nice, but above your price point.

At any rate, they're all still better than no .223 rifle at all.

May 17, 2008, 06:42 PM
Thanks for all of the info, you guys have really helped me out.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 17, 2008, 07:10 PM
So what's it gonna be? :)

May 17, 2008, 08:18 PM
I am not sure yet, I need to go handle the rifles some time, the closest place that has all of the rifles mentioned is GanderMtn and I don't think I would buy from there....I guess I could still go next weekend to handle the rifles.

It is looking like Tikka/Savage is on top right now, but Remington is not out yet.

May 17, 2008, 10:05 PM
You've started with a good choice - the Rem. SPS but the Savage is a very good rifle ,also, for less money and you save even more by not having to have the trigger worked on right away. Savage makes three totally separate and distinct Accu-Triggers. The hunting version is adjustable from 3 - 6 lbs and is very nice to shoot. The Predator version is adj from 1.5 - 6 lbs and the Target version is 6 ounces to 2.5 lbs.
These rifles are a joy to shoot (as is the SPS probably) and very accurate. As with any accurate rifle....... break it in properly.

May 17, 2008, 11:05 PM
Handle the Rem 700 SPS and the Tikka T3, see what you like. I picked up the Tikka, just a lighter rifle, barrel is 22.5" (bit shorter), and VERY nice action. No problems after breaking in either.

May 18, 2008, 12:01 AM
Tikka 3 ,worth every penny,I have the stainless lite,223,!-8 twist,
But you buy what You can afford,whats best for you.
Buy books and read up on all thats out thier,Look them all up in guns and ammo ,or shooting times.they have that on line,go to serch,and type in what your looking for,

May 18, 2008, 12:02 AM
I'll chime in if I may.

My latest 223 purchase was a CZ American. The CZ's come with a 'target' that shows how it performed at 50 yards. When I purchased the CZ I had a choice between the Varmint model and the American model. The American had the tightst group so I bought it. Besides, the Varmint with the synthic stock felt too heavy and not balanced well.

The first week I started developing a load for it. The second week I had it nailed: 24.6 gains of Varget using 55 grain VMax, 0.015 off the lands = 0.25" at 100 yards. And this was only my second pass of development... ocw method, love it.

Yes, the twist is slow and wind will affect that round at longer ranges. But, you do get an EXCELLENT single set trigger. I haven't even thought of making any modifications to this rifle. I like the billet manufactured action, dropped forged barrel, mouser action / extractor. For my money, CZ gets it. It was made in Kansas Todo.

If CZ weren't around, I wouldn't consider anything below a Cooper-grade firearm. I'd even go so far as to say CZ is Cooper quality for a Remington price. I'll see how that holds water when my CZ 308 comes in, it's a Varmint BTW for HP Silhouette matches. I expect it to out-shoot the PSS I had.

223 is a great round. Remington, Savage, Rock River will all serve you well. There are really no loosers here. Grab one of these and dive in!

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