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Tikka T3 with any ammo?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JonB, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. JonB

    JonB Well-Known Member

    Hi all - going to be buying a Tikka T3 in 223. I have read that there is a difference between 5.56 NATO and 223 rem ammo. (www.ammo-oracle.com).

    But in searching for the best prices on .223 ammo (cheaperthandirt.com, sportsmansguide.com, natchezss.com, etc, etc) all websites seem to list it as .223.

    Is there ammo that shouldn't be used in a .223 bolt? Or is anything marked .223 fair game? I am mostly looking at something like

    Thoughts or experiences?
  2. JonB

    JonB Well-Known Member

    ".223 Remington/5.56 NATO/5.56x45 is one cartridge. While the military has different ways of measuring pressure than industry, physics does not change. If a 55 grain projectile from a .223 Remington cartridge leaves a given barrel at 2800fps and a 5.56 NATO cartridge dispenses its 55 grain projectile at the same velocity, then the mean pressure for both cartridges is roughly the same. Fortunately, for military rifle shooters this is true. The main difference between .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO is the chamber dimension specification. Military chambers are cut larger than commercial chambers in order to remain functional in the presence of the dirty environment of combat."

    Found this little nugget out on the web. Seems to contradict the ammo-oracle boys....
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    There are some little tricks in the military chamber to accomodate tracers and wartime Slobbovian Lend Lease bullets with non-standard ogive shapes.
    Other than that, I am not much concerned over the difference in pressure between military and commercial ammunition. However, I am not going to buy a high-grade bolt action rifle like the Tikka and shoot crap surplus or imitation surplus ammunition in it. I normally shoot bolt action rifles only at targets where scores are kept or groups are measured. Econo-ball is of little interest to me. I keep some to fight off the North Korean invasion with my AR and that is about it.
  4. JonB

    JonB Well-Known Member

    So what is a good balanced ammo in 223 that shoots reliably, good predictable accuracy, but won't break the bank for plinking, prairie dogs, etc?

    thinking I get some high quality stuff for zeroing the scope, and then try some of the other stuff just to see how far off it is. I don't plan on shooting the really cheap stuff like Wolf, but was looking at Lake City, American Eagle (which is Federal I believe), or Remington in the green box (around 4 bucks for 20). I've used UltraMax in both my Glock 10mm and Springfield XD-9 and that seems to work well too - although that's an apples to oranges comparison in terms of long range accuracy.
  5. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Well-Known Member

    There IS a difference in case length .223 vs 5.56. Bought 2500 once fired 5.56, resized them and found them all to be over length...for .223.

    Lots and lots of trimming to load them to .223 specs. Would it really make a difference if they were .020-.030 too long? Probably not in most chambers, but you COULD have a problem in a tightly cut one. The case might jam in the throat and not release the bullet correctly..which could lead to excessive pressure.
  6. rust collector

    rust collector Well-Known Member

    Black Hills blue box remanufactured .223

    is inexpensive and accurate in both my Ruger ultralight and Rock River Varmint rifle. A cut or two above Ultramax, in my experience.
  7. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Well-Known Member

    Plinking ammo and P-dog ammo are 2 different things in my book. Don't feed your very accurate T3 cheap ammo for P-dog shooting. Accuracy is king out in the field (plus you'll want a V-Max or Sierra BlitzKing bullet for maximum carnage). As rust collector alluded to, the blue box (remanufactured using once fired brass) from Black Hills is a great selection.

    My Tikka T3 will do this all day long with the Black Hills stuff. I once shot a 0.154" group at 100 yards wth it!!

  8. hessy

    hessy Well-Known Member

    I use Remington 55-gr green box from Walmart for plinking and have been getting sub-MOA groups. Note that Tikka .223 comes in 1:8 twist and you can use 77-80 gr bullets w/it. BTW, I shot 10 rds of 5.56 NATO ammo from Tikka with good results. People say that 5.56 and .223 are not the same, in terms of pressure. I would not fire 5.56 regularly.
    Pick a good scope, and Tikka will be excellent choice for plinking and hunting. I also shoot it in informal matches up to 600 yards.
  9. JonB

    JonB Well-Known Member

    Nice shooting BrainOnSigs ;-)

    So I may be changing here. I went to pick up the Tikka today for an early xmas present and the guy at the store shows me a Savage 12bVSS for $580! Heavy varmint barrel, accutrigger, etc. Not sure I can pass that up. They want 520 for the Tikka T3 Lite in blued and 550 or 560 for the T3 in stainless.

    From all the reading I have done the Savage and the Tikka are both great shooting guns out of the box. Add a decent scope and you can't go wrong.

    So do I stick with the original plan or go for the Savage? I won't be doing much walking with either and was planning a bi-pod no matter what. So the weight of the Savage isn't going to be much of a factor. Besides If I do walk, I have a Savage 99E lever in .243.
  10. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Well-Known Member

    To add to my confusion, I just primed 500 Guatamalan 5.56 (new) cases and they measured 1.757 ave. OAL. Spec for .223 is 1.760 max so these are great. The Lake City US Military cases that I have dealt with were all much longer.

    Maybe the answer is 'It Depends'. As long as the 5.56 isn't overlenght it will be fine in a .223 chamber.
  11. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that you will be happy with either. FWIW.....my Tikka T3 Varminter has a barrel on it that is incredible. It is as accurate as my Coopers.

  12. mons meg

    mons meg Well-Known Member

    Owes me a keyboard.

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