Remington 700 Varmit Rifle


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Dynasty
November 18, 2012, 10:52 PM
Dick's Sporting Goods has a good deal on the Remington 700 Varmit rifle going on at the moment. I'm thinking about picking up this rifle as my first bolt action rifle for the the sole purpose of punching hole through paper up to 500 yards. That leads me to the question of which caliber to go with. I'm torn between the .223 round and the .308 round. I have an AR15 so I always have .223 on hand and I like the price per round cost of the .223 compared to the .308.

For up to 500 yard shots, will the .223 be the better choice for my application?

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floorit76
November 18, 2012, 11:02 PM
The Hornady 62gr TAP vmax load I'm using drops 72" at 500 yards. Are you comfortable with compensating for that much elevation? The SPS varmint isn't pillar bedded, or free floated. I was just holding one at Dicks yesterday. Probably going to pick one up myself, but be prepared to change or modify the stock to get better accuracy.

JDMorris
November 18, 2012, 11:52 PM
I have an SPS Tactical in .223 and an SPS Varmint in .308

The .308 is the better shooter, I handload for both.

I would reccomend the .223 for a newer shooter, but .308 is a performer and I'm confident I can drop just about anything with it.

Detritus
November 19, 2012, 02:08 AM
I voted for .223 because it's easier to deal with as a new shooter, and If a rifle in .223 has a twist-rate of at least 1in9, with a preference for a 1in8 or 1in7 if available, and you stick with quality, twist rate appropriate, ammo (most cheap AR fodder won't shoot well enough regardless of bullet weight, and a 1in8 usually won't stabilise anything heavier than a 65-69gr), then .223 will do just fine out to 500-600 yards.

I used to shoot the local 600yrd F-class style matches with a .223, I lucked out with mine and it shot the Black Hills 69gr SMK load exceptionally well. i didn't even have to hunt down my old handload recipe when I unpacked the rifle after moving to Texas.


All of that said, when i decided I wanted to start shooting prone matches again, after having sold my Savage .223, I bought a .308. but that's because we have a local range that hosts 1,000 yard prone matches. And while a properly set-up .223 is capable of shooting that far, it's an uphill struggle to do so. Heck it's a right royal nightmare to shoot 1K with .308 compared to 600.

Reloadron
November 19, 2012, 05:34 AM
Dick's Sporting Goods has a good deal on the Remington 700 Varmit rifle going on at the moment. I'm thinking about picking up this rifle as my first bolt action rifle for the the sole purpose of punching hole through paper up to 500 yards. That leads me to the question of which caliber to go with. I'm torn between the .223 round and the .308 round. I have an AR15 so I always have .223 on hand and I like the price per round cost of the .223 compared to the .308.

For up to 500 yard shots, will the .223 be the better choice for my application?
I voted for the .308 chambering. I have an old Remington 725 action originally a .222 that I re-barreled in .223 as well as an older Remington 700 BDL action I set up in .308. I love the .223 inside 300 yards and don't misunderstand in that it shoots 500 yards just fine. However, at the 500 yard line I prefer the .308. Just my choice having both to choose from. Based on ballistics for beyond paper punching, I just see the .308 as a better choice and again just my thinking and opinion.

I also believe to really get the most from either rifle you may want to think about getting into loading your own. The way to achieve good accuracy is not running the cheapest military surplus ammunition through the rifle in my opinion.

Finally, I liked floorit76's post in that to get the most out of either rifle the stock should be changed or at least modified down the road. The store bought rifle out of the box amounts to a good start.

Ron

Dynasty
November 19, 2012, 06:43 AM
I would not be using hand load ammunition. I would only use factory rounds for either caliber. I will not competing in matches or tournaments, but rather plinking at the range with some friends and seeing who is the better shot.

Inebriated
November 19, 2012, 06:53 AM
.308 out of the two.

But for your purposes, also look at .243 Win. Same price as .308, but will shoot flatter over distance.

hentown
November 19, 2012, 08:44 AM
.223s (5.56) beat .308s consistently @ 600 yds @ Camp Perry. I own a two older Remmy 700 Varmint rifles, one with the VS (HS Precision) stock and the other with the VLS stock. I use Timney triggers in both. One's a .223, the other .243.

Since "graduating" to ARs a few years back, I've lost interest in the bolts and should sell them.

Detritus
November 19, 2012, 11:49 AM
I would not be using hand load ammunition. I would only use factory rounds for either caliber.

Then be aware that if you're wanting decent accuracy, and decide to go with .223, you'll need to avoid the cheap surplus 5.56 ammo and move over to more premium loadings (Black Hills, hornady [steel match is good IME], Fed GM, etc). and that narrows the price gap between .308 and .223.

Shooting el-cheapo 55 or 62gr FMJ bulk/surplus ammo through a varmint rifle, and expecting "varmint/target rifle" results, is pretty much a waste of powder. mil-spec ammo regardless of caliber is loaded to be within tolerence and for bulk use, not consistency of any component, and this WILL have an adverse effect on accuracy.

I've never had "surplus"(overrun) ammo grop better than 1-1/2" at 100yrds out of any rifle i've owned.
But move up to even the Black Hills Remanufactured .223 fodder (being sure to get the "Match" loads) and group sizes (for me) were cut in half or better.

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