Bolt action rifle in 5.56?


Kentucky Rifle
October 31, 2003, 11:04 AM
Last night I started thinking about a bolt action rifle in .223/5.56. I don't intend to hunt, I do intend to shoot things (targets) at ~200 to ~300 yards. Maybe put a nice Leopold on top too. Should be a lot of fun to shoot, very reliable, and easy to clean.
Anybody have something like that?


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October 31, 2003, 11:11 AM
There are all kinds of them. All 'varmint' rifles come chambered in .223. Every manufacturer makes one. Pick the make and slap down your money.

October 31, 2003, 12:16 PM
Yes! by all means - do it!

I have exactly what you described and use it for 100-to-300 range targets and plinking. It's a sporter-weight rig, 20" bbl with a Leupold. It's also good as a trainer and a good next step up from a .22lr.

Good fun, cheap ammo - and accurate!

Sleeping Dog
October 31, 2003, 02:42 PM
Does anyone have something like that? Yeah, my wife has a Remington 700 in .223. We looked at a Savage and a Remington, she just liked the looks of the 700BDL. It shoots nice after "tweaking" the trigger adjustment a little.

I think the barrel has a 1:12 twist or something. It shoots light bullets great (40-55gr). It doesn't shoot the heavier (69-80gr) bullets that well.


Art Eatman
October 31, 2003, 03:27 PM
I've been quite pleased with my Ruger 77 MK II in .223. I did install a Timney trigger, rather than fight with the factory jobberdo. With an old Leupold VariX II 3x9, I have no trouble getting three-shot 1/2 MOA groups with almost any old ammo I've used. It hasn't been at all sensitive about brands or bullet weights from 50 grains to 70.


Kentucky Rifle
October 31, 2003, 04:44 PM
Yeah--I think about a 700 a lot. It's probably my best choice even though it's got a few, not so great, memories attached. You older guys know what I mean. I do everything I can, but sometimes...well sometimes weird things cause you (me) to sorta flash back. Sometimes, sparks from a campfire (especially greenish sparks) make me think of those green tracers. Anybody else ever think about it? Just don't reply if it's going to be bad for you.
Don't mean nothin'.


October 31, 2003, 06:04 PM
With the Remington 700, there are two sythetic stocked Rem 700s that are available in 223Remington. The VS is offered with a 1:12 twist barrel and is geared more towards the lighter weight varmint bullets while the PSS version is a 1:9 twist and will shoot bullets that are a bit heavier.

The 1:9 twist barrel will shoot a diverse selection of bullets from 40grns to around 75grns in weight(69grn bullet for sure) while still doing it with decent accuracy.

October 31, 2003, 07:48 PM
For something light and handy, try the CZ 527 carbine ( - picture below. It's a sweet-shootin', light-packin' long gun! :D

October 31, 2003, 08:35 PM

Does this with varmint loads:

Here is a photo of mine, chambered in .223, and topped with a Leupold VX-II 6-18x40 AO scope with Target Dot reticle:

November 1, 2003, 10:53 PM
Yes, the .223/5.56 round is fun and accurate.

But you should be aware of loading a military 5.56 NATO round into a firearm chambered only for .223. There are pressure differences and the one is not meant for the other.

There are some that will tell you there is no difference, but not according to the folks at SAAMI. (

Just something to keep in mind because I'm not aware of any bolt action that's actually chambered for the 5.56 round.

November 1, 2003, 11:18 PM
Here's another vote for the little CZ carbine. A great fun, handy little rifle. Recommended.

November 2, 2003, 12:19 AM
In a semiauto, the 223Rem versus 5.56x45mm chambering issue becomes more problematic because reliability usually suffers if excess pressures are encountered.

The actual pressure level of a 5.56x45mm as opposed to the 223Rem isn't so much the problem(doesn't help) but the greater issue is how the bullet is seating into the rifling. Generally the 223Rem chambers are going to have a freebore in the throat area that is closer towards the bullet while the 5.56x45mm chambers allow for a little more freebore.

That's where some of the problems might arise, especially in semiautos, where a 223Rem chamber with a shorter throat causes a bit of a bump in chamber pressures if a round loaded to 5.56x45mm spec winds up putting the bullet too close to the lands of the rifling.

If it was a bolt action with typical Remington "mondo freebore" throat where a bullet can be seated out a surprisingly long distance before contacting the rifling, I wouldn't be too concerned if I used 5.56x45mm nato. Would be something I'd want to check out first, usually that's one of the first things I investigate on one of my firearms while developing a handload is to find correct seating depth.

The whole not using 5.56x45mm in a 223Rem chamber is a bit overblown in my opinion. Simply stated I recognize that some chambers will give a person fits if 5.56x45mm is used in a 223Rem chamber, in semiautos especially. But other 223Rem chambers out there have shown that it will reliably tolerate 5.56x45mm nato, my JP Enterprises accurized AR15 being one of the rifles I've run into that will run some kinds of 5.56x45mm reliably.

I've come to take it as the "your mileage may vary" sort of thing.

November 2, 2003, 12:54 AM
I've been on the brink of buying a Savage 10FP for varmits / targets for some time now, just haven't gotten around to doing it. It seems to be the best value for the money.

November 2, 2003, 08:50 AM
I have a Rem LTR in .223 and it is a fine rifle. It is the 1 in 9 twist, same as a Rem PSS. Very accurate and fun to shoot. The Rem VS is 1 in 12, so no heavy bullets.

Beauty of the .223 bolt is same loading gear as for the old AR. Slightly different loads, but no extra expense.

Also easy to shoot all day and never get tired..

Good Shooting!!!!

November 2, 2003, 04:52 PM
May i suggest the Tikka T3 Lite. wow i really enjoy the feel of that gun and can't wait for christmas to have the money to get it. i will be using it mainly for target to start on my sniper skills. then move on up to .308. but i really i like the way it shoulders. i haven't got to shoot one yet but have heard that it is very smooth.

Black Snowman
November 2, 2003, 05:08 PM
My Dad has a Remington 700 in .223 set up for target/varmit work. Very nice, .22 lr kinda recoil (weighs about 9.5 lbs). I like the CZ rifles for value and love the option of using the set trigger.

November 2, 2003, 06:06 PM
I just noticed that CDNN Investments has the Weatherby TRR in .223 for about $700. If you are looking for a precision type rilfe, this might be something to consider as this is an excellent price.

For general use, I'll stick with my agreement on the little CZ carbine being a good choice.

4v50 Gary
November 2, 2003, 06:10 PM
I think the CZ carbine is a nifty little gun. I've a .223 bolt action - Remington 700 VSS.

November 2, 2003, 11:59 PM
Actually, more than just the two...

I have the LTR in .223 with a Luepold Tactical 3-9x40 :D , but I've yet to shoot it... :mad:

November 3, 2003, 12:22 AM
The Savage 10FP & 12FV are both excellent choices - and offer something no other affordable brand do - an excellent adjustable trigger right out of the box.

My 12FV with the accutrigger cost less than $400, and it's half-MOA straight from the factory. Hard to top that.

Kentucky Rifle
November 3, 2003, 10:09 AM
I guess it better be the 700P LTR. "Go with what works for you."<shrug>


November 3, 2003, 10:02 PM
I got a chance to squeeze an AccuTrigger a couple of months ago. Sweet.
John Mc

Kentucky Rifle
November 4, 2003, 06:11 PM
Great fun! I found several in .223 and some in .22/250. All in 26 inch barrels. What would .22/250 be good for? I've never fired a .22/250. I thought I'd like the Remington synthetic stocks. However, they kinda remind me of the 1950's style boomarang pattern on bathroom counters. Not good. I did like the fluted stainless steel barrels though.


November 4, 2003, 06:57 PM
Will, .22-250 is based on the .250-3000, (.250 Savage) the first round to break 3,000 fps. It is a great long-range varmint load, and is about 400 fps faster with the same bullet weight than the .223. If you could find a sturdy enough bullet, some might feel justified using it on deer, as well. It is an extremely accurate round.


Kentucky Rifle
November 5, 2003, 10:43 AM
OK~~ .22/250 is "on my list" too. I need an accurate rifle to shoot holes in paper at fairly long ranges. I don't hunt anymore. It's difficult to tell you why. Let me just say that hunting transports me back to a time and place where I don't want to be. (Jeez, I'm nuts. Sorry guys. I take a pill every day that helps. I'm trying, but I'm a recluse. Anyone in the same boat? Does this make me weak?)


Dave R
November 5, 2003, 11:39 AM
Kentuck, I would steer you away from .22-250 since you are not planning to hunt. That extra 400 fps comes at the cost of shorter barrel life. IMHO it is generally considered that .22-250 gives shorter than normal barrel life, because you have so much powder pushing such a small bullet at such high velocities.

.223, OTOH, is considered to have normal barrel life.

What the extra velocity of the .22-250 gets you, is a flatter trajectory out to 300/400 yards. Useful if you're hunting varmits at long range, but not any more accurate at long range for punching paper. More long-range target shooters use .223 than .22-250.

Ammo cost is a factor, too. .223 will always be cheaper. Even if you reload, the -250 will burn noticebly more powder.

I'm not slamming the -250. That's what I'd use for long range varmiting. Just saying it sounds like overkill for what you want to do.

Kentucky Rifle
November 5, 2003, 02:24 PM
You're right. That, and the fact that I've got about a "bazillion" rounds for my AR-15 in the "ammo place". :)
Took me awhile, but I've began to ease back into military rifles. Got the AR, now I'll get the 700~~now, if I can "ease back" into the M-79, I'll be all set. :) Nothing makes them stop following you like a few well placed shots from an M-79.:D (Maybe an airstrike would do it too.)


November 5, 2003, 08:30 PM
Be sure to check out Sako and Cooper for their HB .223 bolt guns. Steyr use to make a Varmint version as well, it could be easily spotted because it had vent holes in the fore end. If you are going to drop money on a Leupold be sure to check out an IOR Valdada first. Zeiss coating, 30mm tubes, and Schott Glaswerke lenses.

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