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opinions on a .223 target rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by oldwheelieguy, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. oldwheelieguy

    oldwheelieguy Well-Known Member

    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?)
  2. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    A lot of good choices out there, mine would be a Savage, but others might disagree.

    Here are just two of mine.


  3. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    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 :)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  4. Horsemany

    Horsemany Well-Known Member

    700 vssf II is good.
  5. oldwheelieguy

    oldwheelieguy Well-Known Member

    thanks, please post more info. My wish is to hit at 5-600 meters. Scope opinions are welcome along with mounts.
  6. TIMC

    TIMC Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. cthulhufan

    cthulhufan Well-Known Member

  8. Larry E

    Larry E Well-Known Member

    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.

    HOLY DIVER Well-Known Member

    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
  10. oldwheelieguy

    oldwheelieguy Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. benzy2

    benzy2 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. dzelenka

    dzelenka Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    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!!
  14. snake284

    snake284 Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  15. gdcpony

    gdcpony Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    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.


  17. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Dulvarian

    Dulvarian Well-Known Member

    I've really liked both my SIG 556 and CZ 452. I'm going with 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.
  19. dubbleA

    dubbleA Well-Known Member

    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"


  20. Jaybird78

    Jaybird78 Well-Known Member

    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. :eek:

    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.
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