223 bolt guns


March 20, 2014, 12:14 AM
Looking for a 223 bolt gun. Don't have anything special in mind. Maybe a Savage 16 to match the 7/08....thinking maybe and after market heavy barrel.

I'm so out of the loop on all things Remington these days. They have a wide array but I'm not sure what to make of the various models.

I'm not much of a custom fixer upper guy so chances are it'll stay stock, barring a possible barrel change to a heavy barrel on the Savage and or potential stock change....if that.

Don't have a set price range, but trying to stay above axis/770/Mossberg kind of range but I'm no bench rest shooter either. Just a good solid practical gun out nod the box that will most likely just be relegated to range duty and truck duty.

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March 20, 2014, 12:19 AM
I've been very happy with my T/C Venture in .223 Rem. (blued fluted barrel, synthetic stock). It's fun to shoot, and more fun to load for!

March 20, 2014, 12:27 AM
I bought a Savage model 11 BGTH a few years back and could not be happier. No fixing up needed, just add scope and have fun! She is a tack driver.


March 20, 2014, 01:27 AM
Check out the CZ527.

March 20, 2014, 01:35 AM
I've got an older 788 Remington thats a tack driver! I got it at a GS, gave $175 for it, the original trigger sucks, but I had a Timney put in it, 30oz.'s now, smooth as glass. 5 rds, into less than dime size @ 100 yards, handloads. Look around, they're out there.

1911 guy
March 20, 2014, 01:39 AM
Savage makes a great inexpensive bolt gun with a standard 1:9 twist on all models that I'm aware of.

Remington has 1:12 on some models and 1:9 on others. They're not hiding anything, twist rate is advertized on each model. Different twist rates for different weight bullets.

I have no personal experience with CZ, but they have an excellent reputation according to anyone who has owned them.

March 20, 2014, 01:41 AM
Before you pick out a rifle, decide upon a range of bullet weights and styles you want to fire. There are so many in the .224 diameter, you will want to match your intended style of shooting with a twist rate. The 223 has been made in twists ranging from 1:14 to 1:8 and sometimes tighter in a custom application. Not all rifles will be available in the twist of your choice. The long traditional twist is 1:12, but 1:9 and even 1:8 are becoming more prevelant.

March 20, 2014, 02:01 AM
Check out the CZ527.

I second that suggestion!

March 20, 2014, 03:24 AM
love my savage 12 with the laminated stock and stainless barrel. it's a varmint gun though and quite heavy. very accurate.

March 20, 2014, 03:37 AM
If you have a Dicks sporting goods near by they have a dealer exclusive Savage rifle called the Savage 11 VT. It comes with a 24in heavy barrel, accutrigger and a pretty nice stock. Not too flimsy for a bipod. Twist rate is 1/9. Overall a great rifle and it produces groups well under MOA. Best of all it was $550 bucks out the door.196333

March 20, 2014, 05:53 AM
I like the Savages - for the price.

If you have the couple of extra bucks - take a long look at the CZ527 Varmint. I think it's worth it.

CZ527 Varmint w/ Nikon Buckmaster 6-18x40SF
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/P8070005.jpg (http://s48.photobucket.com/user/ch47gunner/media/P8070005.jpg.html)

March 20, 2014, 08:40 AM
That CZ looks great. Take a look at the Sako Stainless Varmint in 1:10 twist, it's a ground hog's nightmare.:scrutiny:

March 20, 2014, 08:52 AM
I just bought a CZ527 Varmint and just put a Nikon Buckmaster 6-18x40SF on it. Just like the one in the picture above. I just got the scope on it on Sunday. Have not shot it yet, but the fit and finish is great. Great wood too. I don't like the exposed magazine, but I got a 1 shot insert to fix that. I look forward to shooting it soon.

I have a couple savages and those are nice too.

I agree regarding the bullet weight, and then barrel twist, to help select the rifle. And use so you can pick the right weight. Some heavy barrels are just, well, heavy. Also, get one that has a good trigger.

March 20, 2014, 09:03 AM
Weatherby Vanguard S2. Match grade 2-stage trigger and sub-MOA guarantee right out of the box. I have a 1:12 one, and it easy surpasses their accuracy guarantee. For 2014, they now only offer them with 1:9 twist.

March 20, 2014, 09:27 AM
Just bought a Reminton 700 SPS Tactical in 223. Came with a 1/9" twist for heavier bullets, a hogue overmold stock, and 20" bull barrel. Sighted it in, and the next 4 groups of 5 shots were all under an inch @ 100 with my handloads. Below is a pic of the best one. Used 69gr Nosler Custom Competition bullets. The rifle is compact, but a little beefy. The hogue stock feels nice, but has quite a bit of flex to it that could be an issue if not addressed. Overall I like it a lot... only a month and 25 rounds on it though.

March 20, 2014, 09:36 AM
Definitely gives me something to think about. How does the faster twist handle the lighter end of the spectrum, if I wasnt using say 60-80gr bullets all the time?

Now, do I want a pretty gun or something that can get banged around if need be?

March 20, 2014, 09:46 AM
For the love of all things that are decent in the world, get wood.

Even if it gets banged around, it still looks better, and each scratch is a good shooting memory that you can embellish, like when you were hunting lions in Africa, it was a scratch from a lion claw :)

March 20, 2014, 09:57 AM
For the love of all things that are decent in the world, get wood.

Even if it gets banged around, it still looks better, and each scratch is a good shooting memory that you can embellish, like when you were hunting lions in Africa, it was a scratch from a lion claw

I love wood too, but my dings, I mean memories, generally consist of turning around and slamming it into the truck door while slung across my back, or leaning it up against something, and it falling over :D

March 20, 2014, 11:46 AM
You can't beat the value & accuracy of the Savage line. My model 11 is an older model is still a tack driver even though it doesn't have the greatest trigger.The newer models with the improved trigger must be awsome. I have had 3 different Savage bolt guns and they have all been tack drivers.

March 20, 2014, 12:02 PM
I've been kicking around getting a .223 bolt rifle, and right now, the top runners are the Tikka T3 Sporter (http://www.tikka.fi/t3models.php?sporter), Tikka T3 TAC (http://www.tikka.fi/t3models.php?tac) or the FN TSR USA (http://www.fnhusa.com/l/products/rifles/tsr-series/tsr-xp-usa/). 'Course, a plain ol' Savage might end up getting the nod. ;)

March 20, 2014, 12:53 PM
I really like the ruger target and varmit lines...as far as looks.

March 20, 2014, 01:01 PM
I have a Tikka that I really like. It has a 1:8 twist for the heavier bullets.

March 20, 2014, 02:15 PM
First hand experience with fast twist and light bullets?

March 20, 2014, 02:24 PM
Savage 10 Predator

March 20, 2014, 02:32 PM
First hand experience with fast twist and light bullets?

Not sure yet. Just loaded some 55's to try. Also ordered some 53's to load and try. Probably not going to try anything lighter than that.

March 20, 2014, 02:35 PM
My Savage is a 1/9 twist and I shoot the same 50gr vmax out of it as I do with my 1/12 twist Remington 700. Here is a picture of a 5 shot group with the savage shooting the 50gr load.


March 20, 2014, 03:28 PM
i own several bolt action .223 rifles including two Remingtons, a Sako, a Marlin branded Sako with micro-groove rifling, an Ithaca LSA-55 and a CZ 527. The CZ 527 is easily my favorite. It's as accurate as my heavy barreled Remington 700 despite being much lighter.

Ky Larry
March 20, 2014, 08:03 PM
Ruger is offering it's American in .223. I have no personal experience with this rifle. I hit the CZ wood lottery with my Model 527.The stock is a piece of Turkish walnut that would make Roy Weatherby turn green. You'll always get a good shooter from CZ but the wood quality is "variable."

March 21, 2014, 11:35 PM
I am a Savage nut so I guess it will be no surprise I would recommend one. I only own two so I am not as bad as some, but they are both sub 1/2" MOA. One is a 22WMR 93 and the other is a 6.5 CM 12 LRP. They cover all the bases.
Easily the best value in a rifle there is. Great price and great guns.

Dmitri Popov
March 21, 2014, 11:48 PM
Absolutly the Savage 11VT. Superb rifle. My wife got hers on (really good) sale at Dick's for $400.

March 22, 2014, 12:52 AM
Absolutely the Savage 11VT. Superb rifle. My wife got hers on (really good) sale at Dick's for $400.

That is a great deal, I felt like I was making out like a bandit when I paid $500 for mine.

March 22, 2014, 10:38 AM
Two rifles come to mine. The Remington 700 SPS Tactical and Savage 12 VLP. My 700 is dead nuts accurate. I have the 12 VLP in .308 and can only imagine how great it would be in .223.

smithman 10
March 22, 2014, 02:37 PM
I bought a 20" barrel Mossberg MVP a year or so ago for about $550. Chambered in 5.56 not .223. Uses any AR-15 style mag - came with its own 10 round magazine. It's got a user adjustable trigger which I lightened just a tad.

Here's a link:


Right now I have a used 4 power Tasco scope I paid $20 for at a gunshow on it. Got a 3 round 1 inch group at 100 yards out of it with Russian made Colt 62 grain steel cased ammo. I called that good and stopped there. Haven't shot it for awhile.

I don't know why these rifles are not more popular. They are fairly inexpensive and have the advantage of using either 5.56 or .223 rounds in the most common type rifle magazine available in the U.S.

March 23, 2014, 03:49 PM
Nothing wrong with the Howa 1500 and the price ain't bad either.

March 23, 2014, 06:34 PM
I'll also vote for the CZ 527. I'm very happy with mine. I got the carbine version that also has iron sights. Unfortunately, I didn't win the "wood lottery", my stock is "nice", but it's not rippled with gorgeous flame like some I've seen.
Another plus with this one, that I don't t think anyone's mentioned yet, is that the CZ is ok to fire both .223's and 5.56's.
Most other bolt guns ,but for that Mossy mentioned above, are not (and I'd still go with the CZ).

March 24, 2014, 07:12 AM
so many great .223 bolt guns nowadays to choose from, and what ever you choose for sure will serve you well. i have the mossberg predator 18" flutted barrel and was surprised how nice the rifle is from the barrel/stock/trigger/accepts ar15 magazines, and pretty darn accurate. since you mentioned might be your designated truck gun, the mvp patrol might be nice as it has a shorter 16" barrel/irons sights/rails to mount scope or reddot/threaded for muzzle.
first day out with the mossberg, sighting in the millet dms1 scope and tryin out some of my reloads

March 25, 2014, 04:23 AM
I shoot 55-75 grain bullets in my 1/7 twist AR, all weights shoot very well.

March 25, 2014, 11:44 AM

March 25, 2014, 07:24 PM
I'd vote for a Tikka T3 Sporter. I bought one recently and sent it to CDI Precision to have a new bottom metal put on it allowing me to use AI 5- and 10-round mags on it. They are tough as heck and can handle longer bullet lengths (although I really just wanted the 10 round mag option). It is a superb piece of kit. The barrel is a 1:10 which requires somewhat lighter bullets but I typically shoot 55-62 gr in my Tavor and it works out fine. I bought some Fiocchi 40 gr recently and am interested in trying something that far on the end of the range.
FWIW I have a Nikon 2-8x M-223 BDC optic on it which has also worked out really well.
The Tikka is just an easy to shoot, smooth operating, super accurate gun. Synthetic stock saves about $100 over the wooden stocked Hunter model.

May 31, 2014, 05:39 PM
I love the Tikka T3 Lite. Inexpensive, lightweight, slick and very accurate. 1:8" twist. Expensive magazines and little aftermarket support.

Cee Zee
May 31, 2014, 05:50 PM
From what the range master told me the Miami Valley Gun Club medium range shooting (600 yards) is dominated by Savage 12 LRPV rifles. I have one that I've shot at 500 yards quite a bit. It is very accurate. I probably averaged about a 5" group with some getting as small as an inch and this is at 500 yards. It comes as a complete package that's ready for accurate shooting right out of the box. It wasn't exactly cheap and it isn't light. It's a varmint rifle. But as long as you get one with the Target Action and AccuTrigger you should have a fine shooting rifle. I did shoot that rifle at 100 yards a week ago or so. I was shooting off an old blanket because I forgot my sand bags and I still managed a .6" group at 100 yards with one shot being off or it would have been a .3" group. I haven't really shot it at 100 yards that much to be honest. I shot it at 500 yards and it did very well IMO. Here's a photo of what I have going now. I have a Weaver T-36 scope attached which is great for target shooting but not so much for hunting.


June 1, 2014, 01:28 AM
Might look for the Interarms MarkX 'Mini-Mauser', also sold for several years by Remington under their brand. I think these were all made by Zastava, they may now be selling it under their own name. A light hunting rifle with 22" barrel, many owners report 1 MOA accuracy, out of a gun that can actually carried farther than from your truck to a shooting bench. All these 11 pound varminters and tacticals are fine if you just want to shoot groups at the range, but they suck to carry in the field.

Cee Zee
June 1, 2014, 01:55 AM
Varmint guns aren't meant to be carried around all day. That's what hunting rifles are for. The OP said he wanted a heavy barrel though. That means extra weight.

June 1, 2014, 12:59 PM

If you're thinking about a Sako, get a Tikka. They're made in the same factory on the same machines. I've got several Tikka's and am entirely satisfied. However, I also have several CZ's & have no problem in suggesting looking there also.

In the matter of twist vs bullet weight, that is a matter to decide on before plunking dollars down on the gun. CZ has two twist rates; 1:12 and 1:9. I'm told that all new production 527's will be made with 1:9 barrels. My older 527 American has a 1:12 twist but I'm happy, I want to shoot 50 grain bullets at higher velocities. Another thing that might be a factor in the decision is that the CZ527's come with a single-set trigger. I thoroughly enjoy using it with my gun.


June 1, 2014, 01:25 PM
I have 2 rifles in .223/5.56: a Weatherby Vanguard Varmint Special with 1-12 twist, and a Mossberg MVP in 5.56 with 1-9 twist. The Mossberg is accurate, but the Weatherby is head-and-shoulders above the Mossberg.

In terms of the Vanguard, I use reloads with form-fired Lapua brass, 28.5 grains of Varget, and a 55 grain Sierra ballistic-tip-type projectile. This load flies flat, and hits hard even at 300 yards. When you start looking for .223s, the world is your oyster...rifles in this cartridge made by at least a dozen companies, and good quality.

I'd suggest you determine purpose, distance at which you plan to use it, and base the selection on which twist would best suit your purposes. Then, look to which the offerings.


June 8, 2014, 01:48 PM
Ruger has just recently released the American bolt action rifle in the Predator series. These rifles have a green plastic stock and threaded muzzle. Also, Ruger is using a Weaver rail so mounting a scope is a bit easier.

I don't have a ton of rounds through mine yet but I'm pleased so far. Accuracy is good with an average of .750moa or so.
I'm running mine with a Redfield Battlezone 3-9x42mm scope. It isn't a bad little scope but is about what you'd expect from a $200 optic. It is pretty decent at 100 yards but loses some fine detail at 200. It isn't overly bright either.

Anyway, here's the rifle with my AAC suppressor.

Flatbush Harry
June 9, 2014, 12:16 AM
I had a B&C M40 stock left in my closet when I mounted my Rem 700 5R in an AICS AX chassis. I bought a Rem 700 SPS-V in .223 Rem and took its bottom metal and put it in the B&C stock with the barreled action. Also, I had a 3-9x40 Leupy VX3 sitting in the closet so I mounted that with Leupy bases and rings that I had taken off another rifle. Following the recall from Remington, I ordered appropriate Timney triggers from Timney for all of my Remmies...now I have terrific, well <1MOA rifles in .223, .308, my .308 5R and a .375 H&H R700 XCRII.

I have to recommend this approach for anyone looking to build a useful rifle.


Unlicensed Dremel
June 9, 2014, 11:07 AM
Well, you've got your work cut out for you, as there are a myriad of choices here. Why heavy barrel? Go light - just as accurate.

+1000 to the CZ 527 in its multiple variants. But there are MANY good ones. Decide general weight class first (light, med-light, med, med-heavy, or heavy), then go from there.

Cee Zee
June 9, 2014, 12:56 PM
Go light - just as accurate.

Not if you plan on shooting a lot at a time. If you want to shoot 50 rounds or more in a couple of hours then it's really good to have a heavy barrel. Otherwise the light barrels are as accurate. But varmint guns are made heavy for a reason. Like p-dog towns. You'll want to shoot a lot when you try to wipe out one of those. Actually it's probably true that the heavy barrels have less flex and are slightly more accurate as a result of that but it takes a serious shooter to notice the difference.

June 9, 2014, 01:06 PM

How much shift/what direction shift are you seeing with the suppressor attached vs not attached?

June 9, 2014, 01:48 PM
In the current market, Savage would be my first choice, then CZ.

If looking through the used market, if you can find a Remington 788 (mentioned in an earlier post), give it some serious consideration. Even with the factory trigger (something that can easily be fixed by Timney), it will make a tight group.

Here is a target that I shot during handload workups.....


My comments from my Remington 788 review (http://www.stu-offroad.com/firearms/remington788/remington788-1.htm) regarding the above target......

This target was quickly shot while working up hand loads primarily for my FNAR. I finished with the FNAR and had just 10 rounds (two different load weights of 5 rounds each) in my ammo box for the 788. I stuck a 1" diameter target on a piece of paper and used 6 rounds to get the newly mounted scope on paper @ 100 yds, leaving me 4 rounds to shoot for keeps. So I did....and this was the result.

June 9, 2014, 02:27 PM
My MVP Predator is a tack driver right out of the box (all I did was adjust the trigger) with anything up to 69gr. It does not like 75+gr match ammo (probably being only a 1:9 twist).


SC Shooter
June 9, 2014, 04:13 PM
I have been very happy with my Ruger M-77 Hawkeye

August 2, 2014, 08:18 PM
Tikka T3.

August 2, 2014, 09:24 PM
Lots of great options in this category. Like many others here, I suggest you look at the CZ 527 Varmint (or American if you if you don't want or need the heavy barrel, or FS or Lux if you want iron sights). Here's the Walnut Varmint with a Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44. Almost everyone reports them to be very accurate right out of the box (which has generally been the case with all of the CZs I've owned).

August 3, 2014, 11:52 AM
I own a Howa 1500. Older gun with slower twist than those made today. Does extremely well with 55 gr bullets but that's it. Heavier ones not very well at all.

Chuck R.
August 3, 2014, 02:16 PM
My .223 bolt gun is a Rem 700 "XCR Compact Tactical" with Leupold 6.5-20X MK4 Scope in Larue mounts. It's the older model with the 40X target trigger. Does very well with 69SMKs out to 600.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/DSC00907_zps8340b887.jpg (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/CFRHunter/media/Shooting/DSC00907_zps8340b887.jpg.html)


August 4, 2014, 01:45 AM
I couldn't ask for a more accurate rifle than this Savage 14 American Classic in .223:



August 4, 2014, 12:08 PM
The Savage all the way!

August 6, 2014, 12:16 AM
So for a 500 yard Pdog gun that might also double for short range piggys and deer would a 1/8 or 1/10 twist be better?

Cee Zee
August 6, 2014, 02:46 PM
So for a 500 yard Pdog gun that might also double for short range piggys and deer would a 1/8 or 1/10 twist be better?

I'd want the 1:8 twist so you could go with larger bullets. Savage sells a 1:7 twist and a 1:9. I have the 1:9 only because I couldn't find one with the 1:7 when I was buying. But to be honest I'd say you could do fine with a 1:10 twist.

BTW a p-dog is pretty tough shot at 500 yards but it can be done. I'm just not sure it can be done consistently. If I get the right loads for my Savage I can make that shot often but finding that really good load is tough for me since I don't reload. It may be a lot easier with a good home rolled round.

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