Effective Range of .223??


PDA






itgoesboom
June 1, 2004, 12:55 AM
I know that .223 is being used at Camp Perry to shoot at 600+ yards, but what is the effective range of the round?

I have decided to purchase a 10fp or 12bvss, and I have been leaning towards the .308, but I am realizing how expensive it's going to be to shoot it, since I don't reload. So I am starting to look at the .223.

I know that in the beginning, .223 will be plenty, since I will be going to a public range with only a 100 yard line. But I would like to progress to longer ranges, and would probably like to go out and get a few coyotes out in east Oregon.

I.G.B.

If you enjoyed reading about "Effective Range of .223??" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Art Eatman
June 1, 2004, 08:38 AM
There's a lot of "surplus" .308 ammo around for practicing, and a lot of it is fairly inexpensive. Accuracy varies.

For coyotes, I'd call the .223 a 200-yard cartridge, given "clean kill". Farther out, some, if you can be reliably assured of a head or heart shot. It's not like the .22-250 or the Swift, though.

Regardless of what cartridge is used, doping the wind drift is all important. I've played around some at 500 yards with my '06. I have 22" plates hung at that distance. For what seemed like a "strong breeze", I've held two feet upwind from the target's center to get a center hit.

(In my younger daze I tried for a "way out there" buck. I held on his nose, to allow for the wind, and with what I thought was enough holdover. The bullet landed by his hind hoof. I was real optimistic about what I had thought would be a 400-yard shot. Wrong.)

Art

MrMurphy
June 1, 2004, 09:31 AM
Guys in Iraq and Afghanistan have made hits at 500-600m and put people down usually with multiple hits. On a coyote though, 200-300m would be max for a clean kill I think.

Mulliga
June 1, 2004, 09:33 AM
I'd say around 200 yards for coyotes, and ~300 yards for smaller varmints.

Jon Coppenbarger
June 1, 2004, 09:34 AM
If you are gettign a bolt gun the 308 would be my choice and you can get good ammo for it also out of the box, like black hills or gold medal match and others.

As far as the .223 round and its effective range, IF you custom load it will perform out to 1,000 yards but that is in a extremly fast twist and your bolt gun more than likely will have a slow twist.

As far as a .223 for hunting, Like are said for a few hundred for dogs and the such it would be very good and you should get long life out of it.

As far as competition like you said at camp perry its the caliber of choice as the with the ar15 platform being so shooter friendly and the advances in technology with the .223 round its a big advantage over the other service rifles, They still will place in the top 10 against the top shooters with bolt guns out to 600 yards but I think the top bolt guys would do well with gas guns also or most of them would.

Have you thought much about a flat top type of varmit or match ar15 platform as it might give you every thing you are looking for other than long range clean kills, but that s more up to your skill level and your shoot placement.
Jon

DMK
June 1, 2004, 10:00 AM
I know that .223 is being used at Camp Perry to shoot at 600+ yards, but what is the effective range of the round? ... I would like to progress to longer ranges, and would probably like to go out and get a few coyotes out in east Oregon. It really depends on the ammo.

Sure you may be able to get a hit and do some damage at those long ranges, but most .223 fragments from 2300fps(for the heavy 77gr. stuff) to 2700fps(55gr. M193). That will put you between 100-300 yards(optimistically) with a 20" barrel for optimal terminal effect.

There's some really good info here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=189353

Here:
http://ammo-oracle.com

And here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=3&f=16

444
June 1, 2004, 10:27 AM
As has been said many times before, most of the information about .223 bullet effectiveness/performance/range is based on military ball ammo. I am assuming you are not using military ball ammo for varmint hunting. Personally, I use the Hornady V-Max bullet. I shoot at coyotes as far as I can see them, which is definitely 300 yards or less. Actually I shoot 90% of my coyotes inside 25 yards, but you didn't ask about that.
300 yards is a long way in the field. You are shooting at an animal that is fairly low to the ground, exhibits natural camoflage and uses concealment (brush etc.). REAL shots at over 300 yards are rare.

Rabbit9
June 1, 2004, 10:43 AM
If your cocerned about the difference in the cost of quality ammunition, don't be. It's all expensive.:D

The ammo I shoot:

(.223) Black Hills 77grn SMK @ $220/500

(.223) Georgia Arms 55grn NBT @ $190/500

(.308) Georgia Arms 168grn BTHP Match @ $210/500

The price difference is negligible.

Jon Coppenbarger
June 1, 2004, 10:51 AM
My loads out of my 20" ar15 are running like this:
77smk's a little over 2,700
at high temps high 2,700's

80 smk's I also run at 2,700 and they are hot at 80 degrees but will take back up rounds at around 2,650 if I start having blown primer problems at 600 yards.

I have alot of friends that us moly 75 hornady's or berger73's at over 2,800 and they shoot very well.

Not sure what they are running the 90's at maybe Steve knows?

If you are loading your own you can get the most out of your rounds to what fits your needs or rifle.

The ideal with a .223 for shooting in the wind is to push the bullet so it has less time against the wind. A 80 smk at over 2,700 will get there and stay inside of my calls at 600 in the wind.

DMK
June 1, 2004, 10:51 AM
As has been said many times before, most of the information about .223 bullet effectiveness/performance/range is based on military ball ammo. I am assuming you are not using military ball ammo for varmint hunting.

Black Hills Open Tip Match:

http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg483p/BallisticsB.gif

http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg483p/BallisticsC.gif

ocabj
June 1, 2004, 10:59 AM
I think most .223 bolt guns have a 1 in 9" twist. If so, this limits you to the 69gr or lower.

444
June 1, 2004, 01:10 PM
Ok, I thought we were talking about varmint hunting using a varmint rifle and varmint bullets.
I own several rifles in .223 that I consider to be varmint rifles: one is a Tikka, one is a Remington 788, one is a Bushmaster V-Match with a 24" barrel. I don't shoot match bullets or military ball ammo out of them. For varmint hunting I use bullets designed specifically to expand and fragment: bullets like the Nosler Ballistic Tip or the Hornady V-Max.
Yes, I have shot coyotes with all of them. And bobcats with one of them. And jackrabbits with all of them. Yes the bullets perform well. Yes every varmint I have shot with any of them resulted in a one shot pretty much instant kill (dead by the time I got to it). Yes they often exhibit horrendous trauma including blowing jackrabbits into mutilple pieces at whatever distance I shot them at.
YMMV

Of course maybe you need a .300 Win Mag to kill today's coyotes, I don't know I haven't shot one in a couple months.

DMK
June 1, 2004, 04:08 PM
My bad 444. I didn't realize those light little varmint rounds were effective on Coyotes.

SteelyDan
June 2, 2004, 12:35 AM
Just curious, how big is the average "desert coyote?"

444
June 2, 2004, 12:58 AM
:confused:
30-40 pounds I suppose. I don't know.
I know, yours are bigger, so let me add this: One of my best friends uses a T/C Encore in .223 for antelope and mule deer. He does this by choice: he owns a number of other rifles including a .300 Win Mag and a .338 Win Mag. He prefers the .223 and has never had to shoot an animal twice.
I work with a guy that is a legend around here as a hunter. I have never hunted with him, but have fished with him a lot. He hunts Nevada along with one or two guided out of state hunts every year. When he returns to work from his annual deer hunt, he always shows us video tapes he took of the deer he saw that he let go: he is a trophy hunter. His mule deer rifle of choice ? .223 Remington.
I personaly don't hunt big game with a .223. But this should illustrate that the .223 is more than capable as a varmint rifle.

itgoesboom
June 2, 2004, 01:06 AM
Thanks guys. I think you are right about the .308 being the right choice. I had seen some .223 Black Hill remanufactured ammo going for about $16 for 50, and was thinking that might be a better choice.

Also, since this is my first real, accurate rifle, I was tempted to get something in .223 so that I didn't get any bad habits or flinch or anything, but realisticaly, I am getting a 10lb rifle, so recoil won't be an issue.

Thanks guys.

I.G.B.

ShaiVong
June 2, 2004, 11:03 AM
Also, since this is my first real, accurate rifle, I was tempted to get something in .223 so that I didn't get any bad habits or flinch or anything, but realisticaly, I am getting a 10lb rifle, so recoil won't be an issue.

Double up on hearing protection. I find the muzzle blast from a HP centerfire makes me jump more than recoil.

Coltdriver
June 2, 2004, 11:33 PM
What is described as Point Blank Range for a .223 with a 40 or 50 grain bullet is about 235 yards. You go to a heavier bullet and you are not going to get it to shoot that flat.

Thats one inch high at 100 yards and 1 1/5 inches low at 235 yards.

Beyond that, just for the ballistics, go to a more powerful round like a .243

I get these results from a Ruger #3 carbine in .223 with a 1 in 12 twist and 40 or 50 grain vmax or sierra blitz king bullets loaded by me.

If you enjoyed reading about "Effective Range of .223??" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!