Best .223 under $1200


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52grain
August 2, 2009, 08:45 PM
I recently found out about a 600 range sort of nearby, though I don't plan to shoot past 200 yards for the time being. I want to practice with something that has widely available, relatively cheap ammo and have settled on .223. I will look into a .308 at some point in the future, if I decide that I want to shoot 600 yards and get good enough.

Budget including scope is $1200 max, would like to keep it under $1000 if I can. I would like a varmint barrel, preferably stainless steel, and laminated stock without a thumbhole, preferably Monte Carlo I am looking at a few models:
1) Savage 12BVSS (no Monte Carlo stock)
2) Savage 12 varminter low profile (no Monte Carlo stock)
3) Remington 700 VLS (no stainless steel barrel)
4) Howa Varminter Supreme
5) Thompson/Center Icon (no stainless steel barrel)

I've been looking for used rifles, but have not had any luck finding anything. I am looking for out of the box accuracy. The most comfortable gun that I have held was the Howa, followed closely by the Remington.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these models, particularly the Howa and Thompson/Center? Are there any other models that I should be looking at? I shoot right handed if anyone is wondering.

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52grain
August 2, 2009, 08:54 PM
I almost forgot the Ruger M77 Mark II Target Grey.

sjohn26
August 2, 2009, 10:35 PM
While .223 will reach 600 yds----what are you trying to accomplish? Punching paper - or an effective hit - 308 will serve you better at 600Y

Ditch-Tiger
August 2, 2009, 11:19 PM
My thoughts...
-Savage, very accurate and most everyone who owns one is happy with theirs although i personally think they are ugly. (i can't stand the barrel nut, but thats just me)
-Remington, great guns but if you don't buy the new ones with semi-decent triggers you will probably want to splurge on an aftermarket one. Check out the 700SPS-V they are cheeper than the VLS so you'll have extra change to spend on the scope.
-Ruger, love them and actually have the the older 77V in .243, no complaints.
-Howa, not impressed with them. Weatherby actually pays them to make their Vanguard barrels, and although the Vanguards are guarenteed to shoot 1MOA, they do this to ensure the Vanguards won't outshoot the Mark5's...not cool!
Icon, has not been out long enough to proove itself, plus i think T/C just recalled a bunch. I try to wait a few year before buying somthing to give the company time to work out the bugs.

Look into the Tikka T3 line and the C-Z 527V for affordable accurate rifles.
I have a 527V that is factory stock and shoots factory ammo sub 1/2 MOA all day long!!! It also has a single stage trigger that is user adjustable for travel, over-travel and poundage! Great gun and one of my favorites out of 38! that says somthing!

52grain
August 2, 2009, 11:20 PM
I don't plan on shooting past 200 yards at this point and it will only be punching paper- rifle won't be used for hunting.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 2, 2009, 11:28 PM
The answer to this question is, without a doubt, the Icon Precision Hunter:

http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/icon.php

Why WOULDN'T you get the one CERTIFIED to shoot sub-1 MOA (certified, not merely guaranteed), with ALL of the other features of the Icon? You'd be crazy not to get that fine rifle.

The answer would be completely different (Howa/Vanguard/Savage) if the QUESTION was different (i.e. best under $800).

ThePunisher'sArmory
August 2, 2009, 11:29 PM
remington 700:D

something vague
August 2, 2009, 11:32 PM
If you can find one I would highly recommend a Sako Model 75 Varmint stainless with laminate stock. It pretty much covers everything on your list on wants, monte carlo stock, varmint barrel, stainless, beautiful laminate stock, and is right in your price range. I just recently picked one up brand new at my local gun shop for $1025 after taxes which turns out to be a hell of a deal. But mine is chambered for the amazing 22-250, which sounds as though this caliber would fit your bill. Although they do chamber them for .223 as well. I reload for mine and can hit between 1/4-1/2MOA all day long out to around 300yds. Check 'em out, I know you wouldn't be dissapointed!

52grain
August 2, 2009, 11:34 PM
Anyone know how long the Icon has been out?

rangerruck
August 3, 2009, 05:49 AM
right now, out of the box, it seems no one can touch the Savage top end benchrest/varmint rifles. A team Savage dude, this year, pulled one out of the box, at a nationals competition, and won, with a very tiny group.
Now then, he was using the benchrest/thumbhole stock version, but I wouldn't hesitate to get the varmint version either. If you don't like the stock, put a Mcmillan or some other aftermarket stock on it.

After that, I am real curious on the T/c Icons, if they can do what they say.
And some 72 and 75 grainers can get you out to 600 yds , easy. 70's are a bit on the light side, and can move a bit more in the wind.
and the above can still be mag fed, or box fed. the 80's are a single load proposition.

rskent
August 3, 2009, 06:23 AM
If you want to have some fun, why donít you forget the scope and get a 20Ē AR15-A2 with a 1in7 twist barrel and a sling. Shooting service rifle is the most aggravating and the most satisfying shooting I have ever done. For 200 yards you just donít need a scope. Come to think of it you donít for 600.
Just a thought
Steve

finfanatic
August 3, 2009, 07:13 AM
Thompson Center Icons now have a $150 rebate on them.

Put a Nikon scope on it, and get a bigger rebate.

http://www.tcarms.com/offers/

LTR shooter
August 3, 2009, 05:13 PM
Does anyone have any experience with any of these models

1) Savage 12BVSS (no Monte Carlo stock)
2) Savage 12 varminter low profile (no Monte Carlo stock)
3) Remington 700 VLS (no stainless steel barrel)
4) Howa Varminter Supreme
5) Thompson/Center Icon (no stainless steel barrel)

Currently own a 12BVSS in .223 and it has fired some extremely good target groups for me but it is hard to get get consistent groups with this particular rifle. The barrel had a tendency to foul very quickly. The bedding on my 12BVSS will need some work too. Once I am finished with it I am sure it will provide a high level of accuracy consistently. The 12BVSS is a 1 in 9" twist and I have used up to 69 grains with grest results.

The Accu-Trigger is quite good right out of the box. Mine was right at 2.25lbs , very crisp. Although I went ahead and had a Sharp Shooter Supply trigger installed.

Used to own a 1 in 12" twist 700 VLS. Using my reloads with the 52 Berger match it was capable of excellent accuracy. I did need to free float the barrel to realize the accuracy potential. Have a VLS Thumbhole stainless that I have not yet fired.

The most accurate of all my .223s is my 700LTR. A similar rifle can be had for much less in the 700 SPS Tactical. A 1 in 9" twist will allow heavier bullets for to be used if you want to try target shooting past 200 yards.

duck911
August 3, 2009, 08:52 PM
If only that VLS came in a 1-9" twist! It would be the perfect choice, especially for 600 yard work. As it is, the VLS with a 1-12" twist (which is what they have coming from the factory) should do well at 200 yards if you keep your bullets under, say, 55 or 60 grains.

Of the rifles you have listed, I would go with the Savage 12 low. It has the faster twist, a decent out of the box (accu)trigger, GREAT accuracy, and looks decent for the money.

--Duck911

MJR007
August 3, 2009, 09:42 PM
Leave the rifles at home for a few weekends and help out at the range. Ask some questions. Doors and information will open. Buying the race team is different than driven the car. Good luck.

alemonkey
August 3, 2009, 09:57 PM
It's not the same gun as the ones you list, although it's the same action, but my Savage 12FV in .223 is the most accurate gun I own.

something vague
August 3, 2009, 10:30 PM
I was playing with a Savage 12BVSS at the gun shop the other day and was kind of bummed out by the way the bolt lock-up felt. Once I had the bolt rotated fully down I was able to easily wiggle it up and down as if there was no friction at all. I've never handled a bolt action of any make that felt that way. Has anyone else noticed this feature in any of their Savage bolts. Do you suppose there was some sort of manufaturing error on the one I played with (it was brand new)?

docsleepy
August 4, 2009, 05:11 AM
12FV stock is cheap enough that you won't feel bad learning how to bed the rifle on it. I suggest Devcon. There are plenty of tutorials available.

Once bedded, my groups got smaller and fliers were reduced. 12FV .223, 1:9 twist, I've been able to use up to the 75 grain A-max successfully. 5-shot groups now right at or under 0.5 inch much of the time. This is competitive at my local club's "factory" benchrest (which requires bipod for "factory").

Best results so far with me are are Hornady 68 grain bthp loaded .015 off where I measured the lands to be (and I may not be completely accurate on that latter measurement). Gun was $475, and I bet I have $250 in my basic reloading equipment. Spent another $300 on a RCBS automatic powder dispensing system (heaven!!).

Once comfortable with bedding the recoil lug, action, etc on a $15 stock, you can easily find a quality stock of any type that you desire, and bed it to that same action. You can have the action improved by Nat Lambeth or other gunsmiths who will true the edge of the receiver and nut, and possibly the lugs as well. There are also timing things / bushing to be done to the firing pin if desired. A replacement barrel $300 seems to get the accuracy down into the 0.25" 5 shot 100 yard group range, based on my reading.

Extremely CHEAP fun learning. Similar with the Remington, where the options are slightly more expensive for the future possibilities go all the way to replacing the action with a custom 700-style benchrest action ($750 or more) if you want to go that far.

jd46561
August 4, 2009, 08:19 AM
If your not going to hunt with it?, a K31 will hit a steel gong at 600+ yrds. or paper punch at 200. All for under 300 bucks. If you want .223?, well ,spend more money.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ-Lcvyrifw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF8KOJWsJq4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsomougcK6E

JonB
August 4, 2009, 01:09 PM
Of those you listed, I would opt for the Savage 12bvss. I really like those and have on more than one occasion almost bought it. Since I have all my needs covered, the 12bvss is my next 'want'.

Oh yeah - check on CZ as well. Very nice rifle with a single set trigger. Should be in the same ballpark for cost as the Savage

LTR shooter
August 4, 2009, 04:01 PM
I was playing with a Savage 12BVSS at the gun shop the other day and was kind of bummed out by the way the bolt lock-up felt. Once I had the bolt rotated fully down I was able to easily wiggle it up and down as if there was no friction at all. I've never handled a bolt action of any make that felt that way. Has anyone else noticed this feature in any of their Savage bolts. Do you suppose there was some sort of manufaturing error on the one I played with (it was brand new)?

The bolt on my Savage 12BVSS closes and opens very smoothly , I seriously doubt there was any defect in the one you handled.

Smith357
August 4, 2009, 06:07 PM
If I had $1200 to spend on a .223 bolt gun I would get the Kimber 84M Classic or the Cooper Model 21Classic. They are as accurate as anything else out there in that price range and to me they are buy far the best looking. My local shop has the Kimber for about $900 and the Cooper for $1100

http://www.kimberamerica.com/rifles/84m/classic.php

http://www.cooperfirearms.com/rifles.php?rifle_name=cl&cal=223-Rem

Barsto
September 26, 2009, 04:07 PM
Might consider the new TC Icon precision hunter in 223

DIM
September 26, 2009, 04:15 PM
Why .223? I got TC PH in .308 it makes 2" groups at 500 using 155 grain bullets, and 500 yards for .308 is lethal zone and those varmints with pointers are not safe no more :scrutiny:

ochadd
October 8, 2009, 05:48 PM
I was looking to the same setup a couple years ago for another pdog rifle. Went with Remington 700 sps tactical and a Bushnell elite 4200 6-24. Haven't regretted it for a second.

1" or less groups @ 200 paces with both 50gr Vmax and 75 gr HPBT.

spd1303
October 8, 2009, 07:38 PM
I have a ar-15 made by a company in missouri called cmmg. i paid $900 for it. and it came with 3 magpull mags a single point sling and a carring case. I can shoot 1" groups at 100 yards shooting at an 8" shoot and see target. i use hornady 55gr ammo

jbech123
October 8, 2009, 08:01 PM
Why .223? I got TC PH in .308 it makes 2" groups at 500 using 155 grain bullets...
a 223 at <600 can punch paper as well as a 308, with cheaper ammo and less recoil.
and do you mean you shot "a" 2" group at 500? There are very few stock massproduced hunting rifles that can do that consistently, and even fewer people that could exploit that accuracy if the rifle had it. Heck the TC PH is only certified for 5" groups at 500.

something vague
October 8, 2009, 08:57 PM
Heck the TC PH is only certified for 5" groups at 500.

I don't even think this rifle is close to being certified for 5" groups at 500 yards. They may claim 1MOA at 100 yards but when getting out to 5 x's that your extremely lucky to hold onto that 1 MOA accuracy claim with all the variables now introduced.

jbech123
October 9, 2009, 12:33 AM
I don't even think this rifle is close to being certified for 5" groups at 500 yards. They may claim 1MOA at 100 yards but when getting out to 5 x's that your extremely lucky to hold onto that 1 MOA accuracy claim with all the variables now introduced.
yeah I was being generous, but you got my drift...and this guy is claiming 2" at 500? right. The main problem I have with people is that they think if something happened once, they can make the claim. I shot a .25" 3 shot group with my pencil barrel rem 700 classic in 223 with a wood stock and no mods...once. Realistically it is a .75 rifle on a good day.

rundm
October 10, 2009, 10:02 PM
rem sps-tac for less than 600 bucks and get some good optics for it. they will do you right. I have heard alot of good stories about the savage 112 but have never shot one. I used to have one of the heavy barrel tactical models but did not like it. was not accurate and built kind of cheesy. didn't have it very long.

45crittergitter
October 11, 2009, 02:05 PM
It seems that many answering are not considering the scope in the price limit, and for LR shooting, the scope may well be more important than the rifle. It is either a tough challenge or good luck to get a combo for that price that shoots really well. My first inclination is a Tikka T3 and a Bushnell Elite 4200 (off ebay).

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 11, 2009, 02:32 PM
The "LRPV" Rifle from Savage:

http://www.savagearms.com/12PrecVarm.htm

Without a doubt. You mentioned the BVSS, but not this one - street price will come in well under $1,200. Can get it in single shot or repeater versions, and 1 in 9 or 1 in 7 twists.

Edit: Oops, with scope eh? Hmmm, lemme think on that one...

BushyGuy
October 11, 2009, 02:34 PM
most accurate .223 rem bolt action is a Tikka i seen one for 1 grand brand new not too long ago at a gun shop.

something vague
October 11, 2009, 09:02 PM
I agree that the best scope for a reasonable price will be without a dought the Bushnell 4200 elite series of scopes. I've had the opportunity to use a friends and was amazed at the quality when compared to much more expensive scopes of that magnification.

You are probably going to be more in the range of $1500 to get what you want, which really is not that far off your original budget. Might as well get what you want the first time around. I've spent insane amounts of money on guns and scopes only to find out that I really wanted something a little different.

blackops
October 11, 2009, 09:18 PM
Winchester Model 70

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