How does a .223 do out to 400-500 yds?


November 18, 2008, 11:28 AM
I'm lookin for a coyote rifle/ tack driver. Need some help chooing the caliber. I'm hoping to make it a 223 for the super cheap ammo. Right now leaning to cz varmint/kevlar stock. Other options are welcome. My experience shooting out to 500 yds has been with larger calibers(30-06 and 270 win).

How does this caliber behave past 200 yds?

Why does this rifle come in 1/12 twist rather than 1/7 or 1/9 like the ar's?

Would a 204 or a 22-250 be much better? I figured the extra cheap ammo will make up the difference in practice, but maybe not?

If you enjoyed reading about "How does a .223 do out to 400-500 yds?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 18, 2008, 11:42 AM
Out to 400yd i am sure that the .223 will do whay you want. The .22-250 is longer range, but more expensive. .204 is good too, not sure if it is nessicary.

November 18, 2008, 11:48 AM
Umm. Don't know much about .204 or .22-250. I can answer your question about twist rate though. 1/12 was the original twist rate for the M16 way back in Vietnam. They used .55 grain FMJs, and with that, the round was pretty unstabilized. 1/12 is better suited to bullets lighter than .55 grains if I am not mistaken. The Black Hills Varmint Grenade is an example of this.

Rounds of that weight would be pretty incapable at longer ranges for coyote. Those rounds are exclusive for prairie dogs or other similar sized animals. Coyote would need a round like .55 grain or above, so I would stick with 1/9 or 1/7. 1/9 is usually not very suited to rounds above 75 grains. 1/7 will handle those heavy rounds. I'm trying not to sound confusing, but some manufacturers offer 1/8 twist barrels, which is a good middle ground between the two, and can stabilized a wider range of bullet weights.

Deer Hunter
November 18, 2008, 11:50 AM

So 55 grain bullets can't be stabalized with a 1x12 twist? I'd like to see some citations.

November 18, 2008, 11:51 AM
1/14 was the original twist

November 18, 2008, 11:53 AM
I didn't say that they can be stabilized, I said that they are pretty unstabilized. M16s weren't designed to shoot .55 grain bullets through 1/12 twists, although I may be wrong. A rifle with 1/9 twist can probably be more accurate using .55 grain bullets.

November 18, 2008, 11:55 AM
Oh, sorry, you are right. My mistake.

Deer Hunter
November 18, 2008, 12:00 PM
Again there's that "probably" bit.

Until I see hard evidence telling me otherwise, I'd say that the original twist was just fine for the original M193 load.

My 1x9 AR shoots 77 grainers no problem, even though I was told by numerous "experts" that I would need a 1x7 rate to stabalize the longer bullets.

November 18, 2008, 12:03 PM
OK, so who makes a faster twist bolt rifle?

Also will a faster twist barrel still shoot lighter(cheaper) bullets well?

November 18, 2008, 12:30 PM
i'd expect the rem700 223 police models to have a faster twist, but i don't know.

November 18, 2008, 12:30 PM
Savage - 1:9 twist generally

As far as range- some ballistic info on Federal BTHP

You will drop about 21-46 inches at 400/500 yds
Drift about 21-36 inch
And lose a lot of punch------stick to <300 yds to be effective.

500 will be fun to say you did it----but it will take work

November 18, 2008, 12:30 PM
Yeah, sorry that was a definate mistake on my part. I've never tried anything heavier than .62 grains in my Bushmaster. I've just heard from numerous that people got poor accuracy from .75 grains, but better from .77 grains due to bullet length, with a 1/9.

I don't know who makes anything faster than 1/7.

November 18, 2008, 12:33 PM
This might help.

November 18, 2008, 12:44 PM
A bolt action rifle in .223 should serve you well, although you might consider .308 instead as a better all-around caliber. It's better suited to those ranges.

November 18, 2008, 12:54 PM
Yeah, thought about a 308, but already have 30-06, pretty much the same, and expensive to shoot much. 500yds is just practice, not shots on yotes. Drops faster than I expected, atleast drop is the same every time. Wind drift is much better than I expected with a bullet that light!

November 18, 2008, 12:55 PM
Well, a .308 is a much more accurate round than the 30-06. The 30-06 is more brute force, but the .308 is more precise.

November 18, 2008, 01:05 PM
Trust me!
If you want a 400 yard coyote rifle, you want a 22-250, 220 Swift, .243, or 25-06.

BTDT for 50 of my 65 years now!

The .223 is at best a 250 - 300 yard coyote gun, because it runs out of steam by then to give the explosive bullet performance necessary to kill them DRT (dead right there) every time.

1/12 is perfect for 50-55 grain bullets, and 50-55 grain bullets are perfect for coyote hunting!

The long heavy .223 bullets do not have the explosive performance needed to cleanly kill a coyote at long range. They just shoot a hole through them, and they run off and die somewhere else.


November 18, 2008, 02:09 PM
The .223 is at best a 250 - 300 yard

I agree.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 18, 2008, 03:00 PM
Pretty poorly, with most bullets. Get a .243 or bigger for anything past 300 yards - it will make you a lot happier with any wind.

fireman 9731
November 18, 2008, 03:24 PM
The remington VTR comes in a 1x9 twist for .223 I think. I have one in 22-250, it comes standard 1x14 twist. its a good multipurpose gun. I have taken a few coyotes with mine.
But like everybody else said, for the longer ranges go for the 22-250.

November 18, 2008, 03:45 PM
Get a .243 or bigger for anything past 300 yards - it will make you a lot happier with any wind.
I don't see that many coyotes in that much wind.
They go bed down all day when the wind gets that hard.

Anyway, the 22-250 has always made me pretty happy on coyotes, even in the wind.
And I built my first one before Remington "discovered" it and made it a commercial round in 1965!


November 18, 2008, 04:12 PM
CZ 527 Kevlar rifle in .223rem has a 1-9 twist rate barrel. The other CZ527s are 1-12. A .223rem. or 22-250 would be best calibers. But the 22-250 limits you to 50 and 55 grain bullets. Those are the only weights reliably accurate in a .22-250. The CZ 527 kevlar .223rem with 1-9 twist can accurately shoot bullets weighing 60 - 75 grains out to 600 yards and will handle wind better than a fast 55grain bullet from a .22-250. I would get the CZ 527 Kevlar in .223rem. Matter of fact that`s what I have. Warne riings and Weaver V24 varmint plex reticle. It also has a trigger system that is adjustable for pretravel, sear engagement, pull weight, over travel. Push the trigger forward and it becomes a set trigger. The set trigger has another separate sear engagement adjustment. The adjustments are easy.
Another varmint coyote caliber would a .270wsm heavy barrel. This comes from .404 Jeffries cartridge which is what the 300wsm is made from. .300wsm necked down to .270 with a 120 or 130 grain bullet is super for your stated purpose and also for a deer or antelope at those longer distances. .270wsm is about equal to the .270Weatherby. It is a powerful flat shooing cartridge.

November 18, 2008, 04:13 PM
Why does this rifle come in 1/12 twist rather than 1/7 or 1/9 like the ar's?

Because most American bolt action rifle companies are stuck in the 60s. I have a Savage Model 12 with a 1-7 twist, and it shoots Black Hills 77g SMKs and 80g Bergers really well @ 500. My 13 year old son shoots sub-MOA in F-Class with it @ 500, from a bipod. I have some 80g bullets I got from Swampworks I need to load. Never shot anything living at that distance, although I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a coyote if the opportunity arose.

November 18, 2008, 06:21 PM
Have you considered a heavy barrel Weatherby varmint rifle in .240 weatherby magnum? Get 100 brass cases and 120 grain boattail hp bullets and work up a load. You would be set for 400/600 yard coyotes deer antelope.

November 18, 2008, 06:54 PM
400-500 yards is a long shot on a coyote. I would (without looking it up) think the 223 would drop a good bit at 500 yards.
You must have a big open space to hunt. I would think most are taken at
100-200 yards. At that kind of range you will need to spend some good money on a scope if you do not already have one.

November 18, 2008, 07:33 PM
My longest shot is 450 yds in 4 spots and and 550 in the other (powerlines). I would'nt take a shot that long on a yote, probably 300yds is the MY practical max in the field(atleast from my experience deer hunting), and with a very solid rest I can do 400yds. Out to 500 was purely for paper punching. Most of the coyotes I've killed were under 150 yds from tree stands while deer hunting. But I do have a few open fields, and like to be able to reach them if I have to.

Thanks for the clarification robsc, not sure how the heck I missed that! 270wsm seem like overkill to me for yotes.

November 18, 2008, 08:21 PM
Well, a .308 is a much more accurate round than the 30-06. The 30-06 is more brute force, but the .308 is more precise.

I'm a .308 lover, but that is simply not true. They are ballistically very similar and shoot the exact same bullet. The '06 can push the same bullet a bit faster. .308 does nearly as well velocity wise, but in a short action which has a few advantages. More tactical rifle are built in .308. But the statement that the .308 is a much more accurate round is untrue. There is some talk of the shorter case burning the powder column better and producing better inherent accuracy. Maybe theoretically true, but only a very serious benchrest guy could honestly use the potential difference.

fireman 9731
November 18, 2008, 08:28 PM
1-14 twist barrels will shoot any bullet under 55 grains accurately, not just 50-55 gr bullets. my 22-250 VTR is most accurate with 36 gr varmint grenades.

and a 55 grain bullet will usually just drop about 14 inches at 500 yards with factory loads

November 18, 2008, 09:15 PM
I would say find a bolt action with a 1:9 twist or faster. The 1:12 and 1:14 are great with light varmint bullets, usually not so good with heavier coyote size bullets. I like shooting Black Hills 60 gr. SP's and they work well out to at least 300 yards on coyotes.

If you enjoyed reading about "How does a .223 do out to 400-500 yds?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!