opinions on a .223 target rifle


March 10, 2011, 09:27 PM
I have tons of weapons but now wanting a super long range target rifle using .223 ( a price per round thing). So it can be a bolt or what ever. Want to put a nice scope on good rifle to hit long range dead nuts with the .223 55gr. round. Opinions please!
PS (I have an armalite ar15 but not sure about the long range dead nuts thing with this weapon?)

If you enjoyed reading about "opinions on a .223 target rifle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 10, 2011, 10:02 PM
A lot of good choices out there, mine would be a Savage, but others might disagree.

Here are just two of mine.



March 10, 2011, 10:09 PM
I'd be looking at Sako or Tikka in varmint configuration or LE tactical (they make both). Excellent rep and tight groups out of the box.

I just checked to be sure - Tikka in 223 is 1:8" twist :)

March 10, 2011, 10:12 PM
700 vssf II is good.

March 10, 2011, 10:27 PM
thanks, please post more info. My wish is to hit at 5-600 meters. Scope opinions are welcome along with mounts.

March 10, 2011, 10:30 PM
My two choices for long range .223 were these two; both are super accurate.
The Savage is a super nice target rifle. This was my first venture with the accu-trigger but I like it.

My AR long range choice was the Stag model VI in 1:8 barrel but I am runninf 77 grain bullets out of it.

March 10, 2011, 10:50 PM
This must be contagious or something :)

This very thing is next up on my list and I've narrowed my choice down to either:
CZ 527 Varmint with Kevlar Stock (http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-527-varmint/)
Tikka T3 Varmint (either stainless or blued) (http://www.tikka.fi/t3models.php?varmintss)

I have read fantastic things about both rifles.

Enjoy whatever rifle you end up with. I'm very much looking forward to mine.

Larry E
March 10, 2011, 11:29 PM
If you want to shoot a .223 at 500-600 meters you're going to need a rifle with at least a 7" or 8" twist so that you can use at least 75 to 77 gr bullets and more like 80 gr bullets. I'm not sure of any factory rifles that are made that fill those requirements. A 55 gr bullet isn't likely to do too well at 500-600 meters or yards. The NRA across the course match shooters are using at least 80 gr bullets in the prone 600 yard course of fire, and most of them are shooting custom AR's.

March 10, 2011, 11:40 PM
yea imho 600meter shooting with a .223 ....the heavy bullets will perform better. and as posted above you'll need a 1/7 or 1/8 twist rate for those heavy bullets.you could just buy a White Oak Armament target upper put it on your Armalite lower and you'll be in business. as far as the scope goes i like a Nikon monarch,now if you want to spend allot of cash u could get a Night Force or something like that. i think a new upper would work great you already have the lower receiver and it takes all of 1min 2 swap uppers

March 10, 2011, 11:49 PM
I believe all of you . my buddy in the military was shooting 600m with open sights in shooting compition @600 meters with open sights! I cant do that but a good weapon/scope I should be able to pull it off.

March 10, 2011, 11:54 PM
First, how set are you on 55gr bullets? I am guessing you are buying bulk 55gr FMJ in large quantity to get the cheapest .223 round possible. If this is the case, I suggest you think twice if long range shooting is the goal. They typically aren't match quality bullets. You will see inconsistencies in weight and shape, both which hurt accuracy. Even if you have top tier 55gr bullets, they are far from an ideal long range pill. Something with a better SD and BC would be a wiser choice, such as a 77gr and up bullet. You are more than welcome to shoot 55gr at the edge of .223 limits, but I think you will see much better results if you use a more correct bullet design.

If a semiauto is at all a consideration I second the White Oak upper on your lower of choice with trigger and stock of choice. White Oak makes great shooting uppers for their price. I wouldn't be surprised to see 1/2"-3/4" groups at 100 yards with one.

If a bolt rifle is more your speed, well, there are tons that are made well today. Savage has a following as being one of the most accurate. Probably true though many other companies have been putting out great shooters as well. I would go to a local store that has a wide selection and find the one that fits best and feels like it would do the job best (probably something with a big heavy barrel if target shooting is the goal). Go from there and enjoy.

Really, today, not many companies are putting out a line of rifles that won't shoot. Some have more reputation to shoot than others, but all have their fans with targets to go with their claims. I would go with the one that felt best when I handled it.

March 11, 2011, 12:03 AM
Most of the factory bolt guns have no faster than a 1:9" barrel which wont stabilize the bullets you really need to shoot 600 meters. A 1:8" or faster (I prefer 1:7" or 1:6.5") is necessary. If you single load, there are a number of heavy bullets in the 80 gr range that do really well. If you want to shoot out of a magazine, you will be limited to the 75 - 77gr bullets which is not bad out to around 600 yards.

The White Oak match upper is the way to go. My service rifle regularly shoots 10 shot groups at 100 yards in the .5" to .6" range.

Steve in PA
March 11, 2011, 12:59 AM
I have a Savage 12FV in .223 and while I've only shot it as far as 100 yds last year, that rifle is dead on accurate!!

March 11, 2011, 01:33 AM
Are you sure you want a .223 for extra long range? Wind plays with light bullets at long ranges. If I wanted to do that, I'd look into the .260 Remington or a good .308 Winchester. Maybe even a 7mm of some kind, such as a .270(it's not exactly a 7mm but it's close) are .280. But a .223 isn't what I would choose, I don't care how cheap it was to shoot. But if you're hell bent on a .223, the Stevens 200 is cheap. I picked one up at Wally World not long back for $347 including tax. I put a Nikon Side Focus 6-18x40mm scope with BDC Reticle which I recommend for long range work. Also, you can get a Remington 700 ADL Synthetic in .223 tax included for about $370 or so. The only problem with the Stevens 200 is that it doesn't come with an Accutrigger, but instead a Lawyer Trigger at about 7-8 pounds pull. The Model 700 is the same way too. unless they're putting those new adjustables on the ADLs now. My gun smith does great work on triggers and he'll charge me $35 to rework mine and get it down to 2-2.5 pounds. Or you can spend another $108 or so and get a Timney. But if you do either one you have a first class rifle and you still haven't burned a $500 bill, well not counting the scope and mounts.

March 11, 2011, 12:25 PM
thanks, please post more info. My wish is to hit at 5-600 meters. Scope opinions are welcome along with mounts.
What model is your Armalite? It MIGHT swing it with a 69+gr bullet. For optics at that range I would be with a good variable with a max power of between 18-24x.

For a bolt gun my best ever was a Howa, but I think the twist on it won't stabilize the bullet weight you will need out that far. In fact I think you might have a difficult time finding a bolt gun faster than 1/9 for this.

I would like to think you might swing it with a 1/9, but I am not sure on that. Since you are worried about price per round I would also think you are looking to succeed on a budget so here are my suggestions:

1. Handload you rounds. This way you can customize them to your rifle. You would be surprised at that range what a difference a little change in OAL will do for you. It will also keep ammo costs down.

2. Assuming you AR won't do it for you, consider a cheaper bolt gun with a good action. Several companies make such and any can be customized at your leisure. That way you can upgrade stock, barrel, trigger, and get any action work it MIGHT need done as your demands require.

3. Practice allot. I know my Howa claimed several 500yd+ kills, but that was because I was always at the range writing down notes and working on my form. Without that I would be the limitting factor.

4. Remember the law of diminishing returns. To explain in a clear way: a $250 1911 will shoot, a $450 one will be a huge step up, a $600 one another, but smaller, step up, a $900 one won't be noticable to the majority of shooters as better, and beyond that only a skilled shooter could tell improvements in them. My $250 Swift scope was as good as I ever needed and honestly I couldn't shoot any better with a $1000 scope.

Just a few inputs for you.

Steve in PA
March 11, 2011, 04:47 PM
My 12FV .223 has the 1:9 barrel and it shoots Hornday 75gr BTHP like a dream.

These are two targets shoot at 100yds. They are not zeroed, as all I was doing was checking the accuracy of the load. I believe the load is 22.0gr of H335.



March 11, 2011, 06:22 PM
OWG,If you are planning on shooting 5-600 yards/meters with a 223.you will need to have a rifle with a minimum of 1-8 twist,and I would get a 1-7 twist if I could.You will need to shoot heavier bullets to get out that far with accuracy.

My RRA AR15 has a 1-8 twist,and will shoot 80gr bullets very well but it shoots 75gr bullets better.The 80gr bullets have to be shot as a single shot rifle,the COAL is too long for the magazines.
My Savage 12 has a 1-9 twist and shoots 68-75gr bullets best.I have tried the 80gr in it and they shoot ok,but the rifle doesn't shoot them as good as the 68-75's.

Savage does offer a 1-7 twist in a model 12,but that is the only factory bolt action rifle that I know of.
AR 15's can be found with a 1-7 twist as well.

As far as optics go,buy the best that you can afford.
If you can't see it,you can't shoot it.

March 11, 2011, 06:24 PM
I've really liked both my SIG 556 and CZ 452. I'm going with CZ-527 Varmint (http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-527-varmint/) in Walnut to match my 452. It's a 1:9 twist. The 556 is a 1:7.

Both should feed 62-69gr PRVI match just fine. I've got about 1,000 cases of .223 now after today's range session, so I'll be rolling my own soon anyway. Opinions vary. There is a feel of craftsmanship to the CZ's that I really like. The fit, finish, and accuracy are all there. For punching holes in paper, I like all 3.

I'm a fan of CZ. Not fan-boy fan. I think they put out a quality product that lives up to my expectations. I have never heard anything 'in person' about a CZ. Not that there aren't bad apples in every bunch. I'm just saying that no one that I shoot with or talk guns with has had a bad thing to say about them. In fact, I rarely hear any of the 'bad interwebz rumorstories' in person.

See if you can find anyone you know that has a a .223 bolt that they will let you try out. Hang out at some gun clubs. Look around local.

Good luck. Hope you find something that you like. I think I'll be getting the 527 here in the next week or two, I'll let you know.

March 11, 2011, 07:11 PM
Fast twist and heavy bullets are the only way to go for distance in the 223.

Not mentioned yet but have you considered building one? That's the only way to go to get exactly the way you want it. I just finished this one. Though it's a 223 Improved,it's twisted 1:8 and throated specifically for the Hornady 75gr Amax. Put together right and add a decent scope and you'll have a shooter.

5 shots into .150"



March 11, 2011, 08:19 PM
Savage 12 BVSS in .223

and a

Savage 10 in .308

Both are great fun. I have access to 600yards max. I usually only shoot my .308 at that distance and leave the .223 for 300 yards max. JMHO
I guess I could try farther but I have enough challenge with the .308 600 yard shots. :o

If yo buy the Savage you can change out your barrels DIY if you shoot enough to burn one up.

My model 12 likes 60 v-max and 68 HPBT (hornady/nosler)

Good luck on your choice.

March 11, 2011, 08:36 PM
had a cz 527 varmint kevlar in .223 allot of gun for the money. just to give you an idea on the accuracy. but never shot farther than 100, but should take into consideration others stated above shooting further distances with lighter bullets
this is my best 5 shot at 100 yards, and of course if you do your part

March 11, 2011, 10:16 PM

White Oak for me too! I love mine when I'm in the groove 1/2 moa for sure! and there is no sense in getting anything slower than a 1:7 I shoot 55's just fin and I can shoot the really heavy stuff too

March 11, 2011, 10:41 PM
Thanks for all the opinions. Again my want is to shoot the tons of .223 55gr. I have out of something and shoot as far as I could with consitency so if 400-450 yds. is all I can do than fine. I can hit all day out of a tree stand with my Rem.700 30-06 @ 300yds. Just want to plink without bustin my shoulder/wallet with a little more challenging distance. That all. Thanks again for the opinions.:D

March 11, 2011, 10:58 PM
I would certainly go with a 1:7 twist. It will let you shoot the heavy stuff. Just looking at a quick calculator, a 55gr bullet pushed at 3250 fps is going to be pushed 31" by a 5mph gust. A 80gr bullet pushed at 2700 fps is going to be pushed 17" by the same gust.

This shows you a few things.

First, at 600 yards, it takes great wind reading skill to make accurate hits with a .223. If you have a very protected range it won't be as big of a deal, but if your rifle is a 1/2 MOA rifle with you behind the trigger, you only have a 1/2 to 1 MPH buffer to be off on your wind call to still shoot MOA. Not easy.

Second, it shows how much difference there is between a 55gr and an 80 gr, and why the heavy bullets are preferred by the guys who do shoot long range.

While the 55gr bullets will certainly get to 600 yards, you better be on your absolute best game in a very calm range to shoot anything that resembles a group.


Just saw the most recent post. I would get a White Oak upper and a lower of your choice. Sounds like you want to shoot a lot, and not much can be had for more fun than an AR. You'll get yourself one heck of an accurate rifle. What's not to love?

March 12, 2011, 12:22 AM
Cooper makes the most accurate rifles that I've ever used. Picked up a used .223 Montana Varmiter and now have 2 more new Coopers in .243and 6.5X284. All are like laser beams.

March 12, 2011, 12:34 AM
Y'all don't listen to my out a date Crap! After looking at some of these beautiful rifles, I would shoot 5-6 hundred yards with em too! Dang you got some nice rifles on here. All have in .223 is the Stevens 200. But I think once I get the trigger lightened with the scope I put on it and I have a good load worked out for it I think it will do ok out at 3-5 hundred yards, on paper and varmints that is. Have any of you shot the 69 Grain Sierra Match King BTHPs at distance? Are they accurate? And how does the wind affect them?

March 12, 2011, 01:14 AM
the 69gr SMK is a good bullet. Not the best BC out there, but far from the worst. Sierra typically makes pretty good shooting bullets with the SMK line and the 69gr is one that shot very well out of my old 1:9" twist barrel. It was as heavy as I could get to still stabilize.

Running the SMK through the JBM calculator at 3000fps I get the following.

With a 100 yard zero, drop at 600 yards is 15.3", wind drift in a 5mph wind is 24.9". I use 5mph rather than the standard 10mph as I see more times where a condition will change by 5mph rather than 10mph. Double the windage for 10mph of wind.

March 12, 2011, 12:56 PM
I'd also like to direct your attention to this web page where you'll find this quote, "On the last day and final match of the 2010 NRA Highpower Rifle Championships I fired a score of 200-11X at 600 yards using the .223 AR-15 Service Rifle. It was my first 200/200 score at 600 yards..." So not only did this guy win the Highpower Rifle Championship with a .223 but he shot a perfect score 200/200 and this was done at 600 yards. And he used an AR-15, which will not shoot as far as a bolt action rifle with a longer barrel.

If this doesn't PROVE that a .223 will shoot accurately at 600 yards I don't know what will. Anyone who tells you otherwise is flat out wrong.

His group, when you look on that link, was right at 2 MOA (outside edge to outside edge of a 12" 10 ring). It is a feat few could accomplish, myself included. It was also done from prone with iron sights, making it all the more impressive. That said, I doubt it was done with 55gr bullets. It is also the best a National Champion did to win, not what an average Joe shot either. Once again, .223 will get to 600 yards, no doubt. But it is FAR from an ideal 600 yard combination to use a .223 with 55gr bullets. I would like to see anyone put a 55gr bullet into a 12" target at 600 yards on a day where the wind is inconsistent at all. Truth is, in those conditions, the rifle's absolute ability has far less to do with the group size than the ability of the shooter to read wind. A 10 mph wind will push a 55 gr bullet over 10 MOA at 600 yards (60"). That's 5 feet.

Also the military lists the "effective range" of the 5.56 (very similar balistically to the .223) as 550 "meters". That isn't about accuracy. It's about lethality. And 550 meters is 601 yards. You can check this info on this web page. You have to be able to hit a target to kill it. Some will say that a 5.56 is slightly more powerful. That's not really true. The difference between the rounds is in the shape of the cartridge. The 5.56 rifles are said to be able to withstand more pressure but if you look on down the same page linked above you'll find this quote, "...C.I.P. defines the maximum service and proof test pressures of the .223 Remington cartridge equal to the 5.56 mm NATO." And BTW the military generally issues M16's with a 1:12 twist. And just for the record most people will tell you that a 1:7 twist is too fast for a 55 gr. bullet. I can prove that also if you like.
The military issues 1:7 twist barrels to stabilize the long tracer rounds. They don't issue 1:12 twist and haven't for a while. I haven't seen much negative effect shooting a 55gr bullets out of a 1:7 twist. Lots of guys have done it for a long time. Maybe if you buy thin jacketed bullets you would have a problem of them coming apart. Some people believe in the idea of overstabilizing a bullet but few have shown accuracy to suffer, especially with 55gr bullets out of a 1:7 twist.

You should really do your own research. This one forum isn't the be all and end all of shooting knowledge. This is the only place I've ever seen say you can't shoot 600 yards with a .223 and I've been doing this a long time. The guy above won the Camp Perry highpower rifle championship with a .223 shooting at 600 yards. Surely you understand that's actual proof. There's a lot more of it around if you look. Again there are people shooting .223's at 1000 yards and doing very well at it. F class shooting limits rifle choices to .308 and .223. Most use a .308 but there are those who use a .223. And they shoot 1000 yards in those events. The information in this thread is just plain wrong. Don't take my word for it. Look for yourself. Look at this thread for example. People there are saying the .223 will come to dominate F/TR shooting as loads are developed for longer barrels as opposed to the AR-15 type rifles which are limited to 20". And again we're talking about shooting 1000 yards here. People are already doing it in F class. If they can shoot 1000 yards us mere mortals should be able to shoot 600 yards pretty easily.
Look at that thread. It's from 2006 where people are speculating that the .223 would have new longer bullets come out and then dominate the palma range. Palma is already pushing the .308 to its edge. Last I checked, nobody competitive shoots a .223 at the 1000 yard line. Sure it's legal, but it is far from a class leader in the Palma competitions. That was 4-5 years ago, still not many long barreled .223 rifles do much in the 1000 yard line. You can call it easy to shoot 600 yards, and certainly using the most appropriate bullets will make a big difference, but using a slow twist with 55gr bullets at 600 yards, well, good luck.

March 12, 2011, 01:26 PM
I concur that the heavier bullets are more forgiving of range estimation and windage readings than the lighter ones, but I have taken prairie dogs at 500 to 600 yards with 55 grain Hornady Vmax handloads. If you have your come ups and your windage down you can hit a target that size at least.

I'm using a CZ527 with a "soda straw" barrel.

Again, why limit yourself to lighter bullets if your rifle will shoot the 80s and you are target shooting at that distance, whether F class or otherwise.

There are guys shooting a 22-250 necked up to 6mm and doing quite well with them I guess. I think this is the 6mmXC round.

Years ago when I used to compete, I used an AR15 with 80 grain bullets and shot it in NRA long range matches, 800, 900 and 1000 yards. It would shoot that far just fine, but I always felt I could have done better with a dedicated long range rifle in a 6.5 caliber round.

Good luck and let us know how it works out for you. :)

March 12, 2011, 02:19 PM
I guess I'll throw my vote in for savage as well. I just got a model 12 BTCSS, and am impressed with the performance.
This is a group from 100 with, Black Hills 68gr. BTHP
Ill be heading back to the range tomorrow, to do a little more tweaking on the zero, and try my hand at the center fire match with it.

March 12, 2011, 02:30 PM
Fast twist and heavy bullets are the only way to go for distance in the 223.

Not mentioned yet but have you considered building one? That's the only way to go to get exactly the way you want it. I just finished this one. Though it's a 223 Improved,it's twisted 1:8 and throated specifically for the Hornady 75gr Amax. Put together right and add a decent scope and you'll have a shooter.

5 shots into .150"



More details about your rifle please!

March 12, 2011, 08:55 PM
Surely you realize that a scope would make a huge difference in the size of his group. Compare any iron sight target to a scope target and you'll see a distinct difference in group size. And this was shot at Camp Perry not by an adult but by someone in the Junior Division. You do realize the wind at Camp Perry is horrible, right? So clearly this was in a very inconsistent wind and it wasn't even shot by someone in the senior division and they used iron sights. Good grief will you never admit you're wrong because you clearly are. I'll tell you what. I'll bet $100 that I can shoot a group that size with 55 gr. bullets with my rifle at 600 yards. I've never even shot 600 yards but give me some practice time and I will do it. I don't think it will even take that much practice time.

You have sever issues with reading comprehension. I have never said a .223 wouldn't get to 600 yards. Ever. I also suggested first that the OP look at a WOA upper on an AR platform. I also said to shoot 55gr if that's really all you are looking to shoot. Not my first choice, but I understand the idea. I'm familiar with Camp Perry. Living in NW Ohio, I've been there more than once. You can bet me whatever you want, but I hope if you had all the time and ammo in the world to shoot that you could get a single 2MOA group once at 600 yards. I would expect even a blind squirrel to find a nut now and then. But please, by all means, go shoot at 600 yards and let us know how it goes, with ALL of your targets and not just one or two cherry picked. Good or bad I enjoy seeing what others shoot.

The fact remains that we have now proceeded from not being able to shoot 600 yards at all to not being "an ideal 600 yard combination to use a .223 with 55gr bullets." Good grief. Do I have to prove any average Joe can shoot a 1" group at 600 yards? Guess what. I can prove that. I've heard many people discuss doing just that. You really don't have a leg to stand on and now you're trying to move the point of the discussion from being able to shoot 600 yards at all to being the ideal setup. Who wanted to know that? The guy has a bunch of 55 gr. ammo he wants to shoot long distance and up to this point he's been told it was impossible to hit anything at all. I totally disprove that and now you expect me to prove it's the "ideal 600 yard combination". The ideal combination would involve a 6mbr rifle and years of experience with handloads and doping the wind. He doesn't have those things. He has a bunch of 55 gr. .223 ammo and he wants to shoot it as far as possible. And clearly, and I mean ridiculously clearly, it is possible to hit a target at 600 yards with an AR (far from ideal) and iron sights (really far from ideal). I really can't help wonder what's next after I prove that this target was shot by a kid with a rifle that is giant leaps below what he's looking for, a bolt action .223. You know. Scopes. Longer barrels. Bolt action. All those things that make a rifle shoot more accurate.

Go back and reread my posts. Again, never did I once say .223 couldn't get there or to not shoot at that range. You made that up in your mind and relay it as something I said. And yes, please prove that any average Joe can shoot 1" groups at 600 yards, because again, that is top tier shooting that will win most any 600 yard competition. And while not impossible to hit anything at 600 yards with a 55gr round, it takes an amazing ability to read wind to do so. Far much more work than with an 80-90gr bullet. Once the OP stated he had lots of 55gr ammo I quite suggesting something heavier. The post of mine right after his was started before he posted and as such most of it was thought out before I saw he had a bunch of ammo already. I think a WOA upper would be a great option, and have said so multiple times. I also highly doubt that the AR used to win that National Match was far below the standard mass produced bolt rifles made today. But whatever. So yeah, go take your Savage and shoot some 600 yard groups, with any bullets you feel like. I'd love to see your 1" groups with that scope, longer barrel, and better grade rifle.

You said it couldn't be done. When I proved it could that wasn't good enough. You're wrong. You've been proven wrong big time. I didn't say it couldn't be done, and actually suggested a similar setup to that which you used as proof it could happen. I've been proved that a longer bullet is a better choice. Thanks for backing up my suggestions.:D

March 13, 2011, 12:18 AM
No problem, I was a bit of a *male member* about it. I was shocked that I was being called on it. Not a big deal.

March 14, 2011, 12:37 AM
More details about your rifle please!

M700 action/bolt (trued)
APA recoil lug
Rock MTU 24" 1:8 Chambered in 223 Ackley Improved
Throat is cut for 75gr Amax, seated to 2.500"
Jewell trigger set @10oz
Badger 20moa base(bedded)
Badger Rings (lapped)
USO SN3 T-Pal 3.2x17
Uso level
AICS 2.0 Chassis (bedded)
Custom bolt knob/brake
Bipods, Harris 6-9S and Sinclair F Class

I'll say it, I doubt that with 55gr ammo which the OP has is is most likely crappy bulk FMJ fodder, not exactly match grade stuff and it's not going to do well at 600yds.

Jeff you sound as if you have little extended range shooting under your belt but then go on to say.I'll tell you what. I'll bet $100 that I can shoot a group that size with 55 gr. bullets with my rifle at 600 yards. I've never even shot 600 yards but give me some practice time and I will do it. I don't think it will even take that much practice time.

Believe it or not there are some here that have actual shooting experience, not from the internets but actually going out and shooting. I find your rants amusing to say the least.

March 17, 2011, 12:11 PM

Until you shoot a lot at 600+yards with a .223, your opinion concerning the sufficiency of a 1:9" barrel really carries no weight. The Junior service rifle champion you cite to was using a 1:7" barrel shooting either 80 Sierras of 82 gr Bergers. With fast twists and heavy bullets, the .223 is a good 600 yard gun. With the 1:9" you are limited in your bullet selection to a handful of bullets that are going to be greatly affected by the wind. If you move down to the 55s, your wind issues will be compounded.

At last count, I have fired over 25,000 rounds of .223 at ranges between 200 and 600 yards (about 1/2 at 600) and have seen probably 10 or 15 times that many fired. I can tell you from personal experience that advising someone who wants to shoot a .223 at longish range to get a rifle with a 1:9" twist is providing bad advice.

To the OP, get a rifle with at least a 1:8" twist barrel. If you like ARs, get and upper from White Oak. It will shoot rings around most everything else that is available.


March 17, 2011, 12:14 PM
Ah the omnipresent internet insult. I guess PROOF is too much for you to handle. You don't know what bullets that JUNIOR division shooter used. Yeah that web site with photos and a testimonial about shooting 600 yards with a .223 is the stuff of rants alright. Rants stuffed plumb full of good, good FACTS. Where's your facts troll?

I could spend my time trying to prove the obvious to a troll but what's the point when it will only be met with more insults. Go away troll.

Oh and about you guys that actually shoot 600 yards - do you mean these guys? (http://savageshooters.com/SavageForum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=31758.0) I bet they're all lying, right? Let's pick out a quote from that thread just to show those people who won't look for themselves (like you).

There are other quotes there. But I'm sure you want to look all those people up and tell them that you're rifle won't do that so their's won't either, right? Maybe it's just the shooter.

Here's another quote for you. Maybe those 55 gr. bullets won't get past 400 yards but these guys certainly got farther than that with something.

Before I go too far how about telling me just how many of these you'll need before you admit that my "entertaining" posts are far more accurate than your trolls? Because I can post thousands of quotes like this from around the net. But of course the world's greatest marksmen all assembled here in this thread and decided that 600 yards was impossible with those puny 55 gr. bullets out of a .223. The only thing wrong with that is it isn't true. Want more proof? Have another quote.

I'm getting tired of pointing out the obvious here. Yes you're right I haven't shot 600 yards. Congratulations. You can read. Guess what? So can I. And I've read a LOT of quotes from people shooting 55 gr. bullets 600 yards. That was the effective range listed by the military. Now if you were me would you believe you or the military? I don't give a crap about your trued Remington that isn't even shooting true .223's. I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut my Savage will shoot better anyway. But the point here is whether the OP can expect to shoot 600 yards or not with a bolt action .223 using 55 gr. bullets. I have no doubt he'll find out for himself that he can. I'd be shocked if my rifle failed to do well with 55 gr. bullets at that distance because it isn't that much farther than I've been shooting.

So you can toss a dollar in the hat for the entertainment and when I get my chance to shoot 600 yards (which will be soon) I'll drop back by and give you another lesson on ballistics.
I just re-read this post. You really don't know what you are talking about.


March 17, 2011, 12:29 PM
Jeff56 post 32 excellent! I have heard and seen the same thing.

The problem is even though I read I was not there to see with my own eyes! But Golly Gee some of these claims are awesome.

Quote: "On a calm day I shoot about 1"-1.5" groups at 300 yards, shooting caps off of juice containers. 600 yards it shoots about 1MOA or 6". The .223 is shot regularly out to 1000 yards and beyond. The 80grn .223 is almost identical to the 155grn 308 with the 90grn VLD beating anything a 308win can dish out".

March 17, 2011, 01:33 PM
I regularly shoot my 21.5in. 1:9 twist .223Rem/5.56NATO at 400yds with little old 55gr. (Hornady FMJ) bullets. As long as the wind isn't kicking up too bad I don't have much trouble hitting a 8x10in. steel plate at 500 either. Don't get me wrong a 1:8 twist and some 77gr. SMKs would be a definite improvement if I shot at such range more often (300yd is typically the range I shoot .223Rem.), but my bbl and bullets are good enough for me. FWIW I have a buddy that does the same at 400 with his 1:9 twist RRA, but I believe he uses 62gr. instead.


March 17, 2011, 01:34 PM
Is all this helping the OP figure out what he wants to do?

I love DammitBoy's rifle. Never wanted to own one, but that is a honey :)

Since the Tikka Varmint or Tactical is 1:8 - I think the OP could do quite well with his store of 223 ammo and have a lot of fun. Then if he got into some heavier bullet weights, it would be feasible for him to up his game :)

March 17, 2011, 03:14 PM
You were proven wrong and now you're still trying to get me to prove another point as if it was the initial point. Sorry pal. Won't work. You said a .223 couldn't shoot 600 yards accurately at all. I showed you clearly they could. Now it's they can't be shot without certain ammo. Make up your mind. Well stick to the subject is more like it. This discussion is over and you lost. Any further insults and I'll just kill filter you.

Excellent points and all true Sky. Don't expect it to make any difference here. Some people just have trouble admitting they're wrong.
Is your post in response to mine? If so, please show me where I said a .223 couldn't shoot accurately at 600 yards at all? I know what a .223 can do at 600 yards. For the last 10 years I have fired an average of about 100 rounds of .223 per month at 600 yards in practice and competition. During that time, I have managed to reach the classification of High Master in NRA Highpower and Mid-Range competition, a Distinguished Rifleman badge and two President's 100 medals all with a .223 service rifle. In my considerable experience with the .223 at 600 yards, I can say with certainty that the best route to take if you want to shoot that distance with that round is to find a rifle with a 1:8" or faster barrel and shoot heavy (75+ gr) bullets. Will a 1:9" barrel make it? Sure. 55 gr FMJs? Maybe (I believe that the Marines changed their qualification from 600 yards to 500 yards when they began using the M16 with 55s because of issues with the round at 600)

You and several other posters say you have used 55s at 400 yards without a problem. 400 yards is not 600 yards. You haven't shot that far so I will let you in on the fact that wind will affect you bullet 2.5 times as much at 600 as 400. It is a big difference.

Take your rig with 55s to an F-Class competition and shoot it at 600 yards. See how it does. Talk to the other .223 shooters and see what they use. I bet you will not find another 55gr bullet on the line.

The original poster is starting with a clean slate and wants a .223 rifle with which to shoot 600 yards. Why recommend something that is marginal at best when there are so many good choices out there which are specifically designed to fill his needs.


March 17, 2011, 03:31 PM
I love DammitBoy's rifle. Never wanted to own one, but that is a honey :)

Huh? I didn't know I had a squirrel in this hunt? I think you might be confusing me with dubbleA... I wish I had his rifle! :D

March 17, 2011, 09:58 PM
I shoot a 700 SPS Tac with 1-9 twist, 20" barrel in .223, It can shoot the 69 and 70 grain bullets, but not higher, I don't see taking it out past 300 yards anytime soon, but I'd bet it could.

March 17, 2011, 10:26 PM
Yeah, you're right, I missed the quote :( OK, that makes two of us who REALLY admire that rifle :)

March 17, 2011, 11:34 PM
You can. The 70 Berger VLD would be a good bullet for doing so. I know people who use them because they sre not in a position to replace barrel at the present time. However, if you were going to choose a rifle FOR SHOOTING 600 YARDS, a 1:9" is a bad choice.

March 18, 2011, 02:16 AM
I think you misunderstood what he was saying originally. I think the post reads that longer bullets are a MUCH better choice than 55gr absolutely can't make it to 600 yards. If you look at it from a competitive shooter, you need the longer bullets to be competitive. While the lighter stuff may get there, it doesn't hold a candle to the abilities of the longer stuff. Look at the phrase "the bullets you really need". I read that not to say the bullets you absolutely need to reach 600 meters but the bullets you will want to shoot 600 meters, but that's up to interpretation.

Let me say this, typically, especially to those who aren't national level shooters (myself included) there is a lot of disappointment when you look at a 600 yard target shot with 55gr bullets. You can suggest them, but it's a totally different ballgame when you shoot it from what you read online. And as said, 400 yards to 600 yards gets 2-3 times more difficult even though it's only a 50% increase in distance.

That isn't to say I wouldn't shoot what I had on hand at as far as I can see. If 55gr ammo is all that is available, shooting is shooting. Just know there are great limitations to hit even 400 yards on a consistently accurate basis, let alone 600 yards. And short of you sitting on 10k rounds of .223, I would buy a rifle with the future in mind as well as the current ammo. What happens you run out of your current stock? What if you really like shooting 600 yards and want to get more competitive than the 55gr bullets allow? Having a 1:8" or 1:7" twist will allow further growth without hurting 55gr performance. If distance shooting is anywhere near a consideration I would go 1:8" as a minimum, even if all you plan to shoot now are 55gr bullets.

March 18, 2011, 03:54 AM
Jeff, I am not an expert on this, but I have been told by many that yes you can hit targets to 600 yards, but it probably won't be accurate. Not enough BC for a .223 bullet at that distance. You need a heavy bullet with a large BC to accurately shoot at those distances with .224 bullets, the way it's been explained to me. I don't really have a dog in this hunt, just echoing what I've been told by some whom I trust their opinions. There's a guy on another forum that shoots F-Class and this is what he tells me about the .223

March 18, 2011, 08:09 AM
benzy2 +1 post 56

March 18, 2011, 11:18 AM
I agree that a 1:8 twist is the best compromise. In fact you might just want to look into purchasing a better barrel for your existing AR-15. FWIW I prefer Krieger barrels.


March 18, 2011, 11:49 AM
Damn. First time I have been called a troll.

The problem is that Jeff56 knows so little that he doesn't know what he doesn't know.

I cannot wait for him to get back to us after he shoots 600 yards with his rifle and 55gr bullets. Perhaps he will post a picture of his target. . . . Nah, probably not.

Some things you have to experience. You can't learn them from reading on the internet.


March 18, 2011, 11:54 AM
If he wants to hit the easy button, this is the way to go: http://www.whiteoakarmament.com/complete_uppers.htm The varmint upper with the 26" 1:8" barrel on his existing lower would be perfect. $630 It should shoot 1/2 MOA 10 shot groups if he does his part and handle up to 82 gr bullets. He would not be limited to 600 yards.

March 18, 2011, 06:08 PM
This is priceless:

Jeff56: "Here's another quote for you. Maybe those 55 gr. bullets won't get past 400 yards but these guys certainly got farther than that with something.

"People shoot service rifle matches with M16s and AR15s at Camp Perry out to 1,000 yards.

British and Australian shooters go out to 1,100 or 1,200 yards with .223 bolt guns with long (30") barrels."

Before I go too far how about telling me just how many of these you'll need before you admit that my "entertaining" posts are far more accurate than your trolls?"

The words within your quote are true. Unfortunately, you don't have the experience to recognize that all of the shooting described therein was done with fast twist barrels and heavy bullets. I can tell you that with certainty with respect to the US service rifle shooters because I know a lot of them. I am one of them.

You travel the internet quoting from god knows who, yet you won't believe someone with many years of experience and numerous nationally recognized accomplishments who uses the exact caliber at the exact distance being discussed. You can check my credentials. Just look on the CMP website for the list of the top 100 service rifle shooters, the results of recent President's and National Trophy Individual matches, the roster of Distinguished Riflemen (by the way, my badge number, 1827, indicates that I am only the 1827th civilian to earn the badge since 1923). I use my real name on here. I am easy to find.

Quit reading. Get your rifle. And bring your 55gr bullets to your nearest 600 yard F/TR match. Let us know how you do. I am certain it will be eye opening for you.


March 18, 2011, 07:30 PM
jeff- if a guys says I wanna buy a rifle and shoot 600 yds w/ 223 and 55 gr bullets.. logic would tell you that either he is not completely informed on the caliber or he wants it for a very special reason. it stands to reason to explain the very best set up since the item/s have not been purchased.. I do not have 600 yrd experience with my 223 what I can tell you is that at just 200 yrds the energy retained in a 75 grainer would blow through 1/4" mild steel and a 55gr wouldn't. there is a lot more than speed that go into being able to shoot effectively at 600 yrds... and at 350 the group size is very much tighter with a longer, higher bc bullet.. whether it CAN be done or not is irrelevant.. it ones duty to inform the op that all his criteria may not be best suited for his use..

plus you will not over spin a 55gr with a 1:7, but you will under spin a 70-75(depending on the bullet) sp why recommend anything slower?

dzelenka, benzy, and others are right... just cause something can be done, doesn't mean it can in wind or with regularity.. I'm all about taking up for 223/556 I think it it a well under rated cartridge, along with .243... but hunting/plinking at 600 with precision, really needs a heavier bullet.. and it's not even say some picky guns may not do it all..

March 18, 2011, 11:22 PM
I have tons of weapons but now wanting a super long range target rifle using .223 ( a price per round thing). So it can be a bolt or what ever. Want to put a nice scope on good rifle to hit long range dead nuts with the .223 55gr. round. Opinions please!
PS (I have an armalite ar15 but not sure about the long range dead nuts thing with this weapon?)

I have some questions so we can assist you in finding the information you are looking for:

1) By "super long range target rifle" do you mean a rifle that is capable of shooting 600 yards accurately? (600 yards is actually considered to be mid-range by target shooters)?

2) Is .223 a requirement?

3) Are 55 gr bullets a requirement? If so, what type?

4) Which requirement is more important, 55 gr or long range accuracy? i.e. will you compromise accuracy and/or range to shoot 55 gr bullets?

5) What is your accuracy requirement at 600 yards?

6) What is your experience shooting at distance?

I would like to get more insight into what you are looking for. It seems as though the experienced long range shooters responding to this thread are attempting to recommend a rifle based on your desire to shoot 600 yards. Others are trying to recommend a rifle based upon your statement that you want to shoot 55 gr bullets. If you have to compromise one requirement, would it be 55gr bullets or 600 yards?


March 18, 2011, 11:36 PM
Everyone I know trying to punch tight groups with a .223 shots 69g or heavier out of 1:8 ot 1:7.7 Those dang plastic black rifles are almost impossible to beat. Bolt guns (especially factory) have so many variables. I have a 700 (.308) with a chamber cut so deep there seems to be no bullet I can load mag length that will touch rifling. Barrel is rough and fouls quickly and bolt needed lapping. Somehow it still shoots well.

March 19, 2011, 12:09 AM
jeff- you cannot over spin a 55 with a 1:7 I shoot plenty of 1:7 barrels in 223...

a standard 55gr fmj does not over spin in a 1:7. I never said it can't be done. it will however be much easier with heavier bullets. if you have data proving over spin I'd love to see it. I have never experience this.

I shoot light varmint grenades and other frangible core bullets that would be highly more susceptible to over spin, and I have yet to experience it. and I'm getting pretty consistent 1/2 moa with my WOA barrel.

a 1:7 would allow the op to shoot all the 55 grain he wanted at whatever yards he wants, and would also allow him to load some very precision long range ammo in the 75gr range

March 19, 2011, 12:12 AM
If you want to know about shooting a .223 long range, sign into this forum and read this thread. Then surf the forum a bit. These are real long range and Palma competitors some of whom use the .223 at out to 1000 yards. http://www.usrifleteams.com/lrforum/index.php?showtopic=13074&pid=95975&st=0&#entry95975

Art Eatman
March 19, 2011, 12:29 AM
Excess snark. Enough.

If you enjoyed reading about "opinions on a .223 target rifle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!