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.223 for Beginners

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by g_one, Jun 18, 2014.

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  1. ZGunner

    ZGunner Member

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    ^^^ Yup, that's the Model 6. Very good gun. It's does get heavy though, so a bipod is a must unless you use sand bags.
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator Emeritus

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    But the Bud-gun is $855. Plus scope. What's the going price on, say, a Savage? The consensus on them is for very good accuracy.
     
  3. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Member

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    I'm only into my AR for about $1k and I get .5" 5-shot groups at 100yds pretty routinely with a 75gr AMAX at ~2600fps from an 18" Rainier Arms barrel.

    That Stag looks like a great deal! In WA I'd have to pay sales tax and transfer fee on it but still, $995 for an AR with a .5 MOA guarantee is fantastic.

    Cee zee, I'm not sure about it being 3-1 for cost. Can you really get a brand-new .5 MOA bolt gun for ~$330? Actually, now that I think about it, one could probably get a Ruger American for about that and get close to .5MOA if they got lucky on the barrel. Hmmm...
     
  4. g_one

    g_one Member

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    While reading up on the 527 I've seen reports of scope clearance issues that make many scopes difficult if not impossible to use with the factory bolt. Can anyone speak to whether or not this is still the case?
     
  5. brainwake

    brainwake Member

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    I am also a fan of Savage rifles for value and accuracy. But make sure you get their higher end line with the accu-trigger. I hunt with a 116 in .270 and love it. It's nice enough that I feel like it will shoot better than I will and that I don't have to worry about scratching it up as if it was a Browning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  6. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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  7. g_one

    g_one Member

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    Also, I called around a few places today and 22 is every bit as hard to come by as people here have said it is, but 223 is all over the place. Time to start researching CZ, Savage, and Marlin bolt action 223s...
     
  8. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    I will make this easy for you. CZ 527 in .204 Ruger. My first shots, numbers 16 - 20 were in one enlarged hole. Good on paper out to several hundred yards. About 4100 fps down the barrel. Oh, no recoil and when you reload, powder goes a long, long way.

    Nikon Monarch with high rings no problem. Has become about all I take to the range. Just because folks don't know about it, only means they haven't learned yet. Oh, mine is a varmint, heavy, but not bull barrel. You will be showing up your brother from day one. Forget that AR mess.

    My wife even called the 32 grn bullet "cute."
     
  9. g_one

    g_one Member

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    How hard is 204 ruger to get ahold of before I invest in reloading?
     
  10. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Fortunately for me I have all the rifles mentioned, however, with the exception of my AR-15 with the 20" SS Bull Barrel, and the Timney trigger, which cost me, to put it together, well over $1000.00. (.333" groups) My .22LR with a SS bull barrel and a laminated stock in the Savage model FG, with adjustable trigger (right off hand I don't recall the brand) will on a very calm day will put 5 rounds within a 1" cluster, using the ammo it prefers, but cost me well over $600.00.

    Now to mention the most accurate rifle of all the 3 is my Howa AKA Weatherby Vanguard .223 with a 24" heavy barrel, 1/10" twist will shoot 5 rounds into a ragged one hole group all day long with 52-55grn pills all day long shooting it from a bench. It is devastating on praire dogs too btw.

    Note I do have quite a few other rifles in various calibers that I also reload for but the one rifle I would recommend for paper punching is by far the .223 bolt action rifle, light recoil and extremely accurate.
     
  11. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    First I would never recommend buying a cheap AR to be your first target rifle. It will never be good enough to see what you can do and will soon need to be replaced. Go ahead and start with a decent bolt gun, of a really good AR. The CZ is ok, or a Savage 12, something along those lines will really let you test yourself. Or a top notch AR, but you are looking at quite a bit more money to get an AR shooting 1/2 moa consistently.

    And for ammo you can get Black Hills reloads in 52 - 75 gr. for around $30-35 per box of 50, which isn't bad for the quality.
     
  12. whatever

    whatever Member

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    If you "get into" ARs at some point you will probably dump the sportical (or any other budget AR) in favor of something a bit higher end. IMO there is no real "pride of ownership" with one of those. That CZ will be a fine rifle that could become a family heirloom someday.

    Also - getting the bolt now will allow you to slowly learn about ars and build what you want piece by piece over time.

    I have a budget ar (the m&p sport). It is a fun gun without a doubt. But when I want to have a really good time I break out my bolts and single shots.
     
  13. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Don't discount single shot rifles for target accuracy either. Obviously, one of the better single shot options comes in the Thompson Center Encore and Contender. No 'accuracy by volume' there.

    H&R and Rossi have single shot rifles that can also accept multiple barrels.

    Rossi being the least expensive, T/C being the most of the three I mentioned. H&R has the issue of having to send the gun to them to fit a new barrel.


    A bottom budget AR is fun, but you probably won't get the accuracy you're looking for. Not to say that AR rifles can't be accurate, they certainly can be, but not the entry level guns. Sub MOA ARs do exist, just not at $600.

    Bolt guns are generally more accurate, but just like with the AR, the bottom end bolt guns just aren't getting sub MOA groups. Perfect for a budget deer rifle, but if you are looking for a target gun, spending the extra $ to get something better suited to your needs is the wisest decision.
     
  14. brainwake

    brainwake Member

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    The TC Contenders have some interesting wildcat loads that will really peek your interest once you gain experience. The other cool thing about Contenders is that you can mix and match barrels between rifles and pistols. That is where my obsession lies at the moment.

    I just lost an ebay auction tonight by 5 dollars on a 14" 223 barrel with Leupold scope..it went for $275....doh...

    A new caliber load to work on for only 150-200 for a used barrel....not bad once you have the frame.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  15. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    It depends on which one you get. The one I have now sells for about $1100 new. It's a single shot varmint gun and not suitable for hunting. But it sure is suitable for target shooting. I've shot groups in the .3" range at 100 yards with it.

    Just the trigger and action alone, which is the Target AccuTrigger setup, sells for over $500. It's the same action they put on their F Class and F/TR rifles along with other target rifles. It adjusts down to 6 oz. as it comes from the factory. It also comes with an H-S Precision stock which is a good stock if you can get past the issues with the company (they have long been resolved but some people hold a grudge I guess).

    Of course the barrel makes the biggest difference in the accuracy of any rifle but a good trigger keeps you from pulling the rifle off target as you pull it. Even 1000th of an inch translates to a big difference at 500 yards or even 100 yards. Again I've shot groups under 1" at 500 yards with mine. Finding the right ammo is of course a big chore as with any rifle. I certainly can't do that kind of group all the time but it shoots a 4"-5" group pretty consistently at that distance depending on how bad the wind is of course. Where I used to shoot a lot it was surrounded by hills and wind wasn't a big problem. But where I live now it sure is. My neighbor has a 1000 yard range right across the road and I'll probably get to shoot there before too long. I'll probably never hit anything as windy as it is here though.

    That AR looks like a decent setup for accuracy but I'd like to hear about actual experience with it. Savage has a lot of people shooting their stuff and a lot of them report good things. That covers their varmint and target rifles and their hunting rifles too BTW.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  16. Georgiaboy61

    Georgiaboy61 Member

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    Lots of very well-informed advice by others already, but I'll throw in mine as well on the possibility it will benefit you.

    I am a late-comer and convert to the AR game; I am from an era when "serious" rifles had calibers that began with the number "3" as in .308, 30-06, 300WM, etc. However, even old dogs - and I am an old dog - can learn new tricks, and once I took a hard look at why the AR platform was so popular, I changed my mind. They are versatile, can be customized in just about any preference, and also are comfortable to use and ergonomically very well set-up. They are also, for a gas gun, relatively easy to learn to take down, clean, lubricate and reassemble. If you get an AR chambered to shoot both 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington, you have two potential sources of loads. I favor a 1:9 (or 1:8) twist rate as the best compromise between stabilizing light bullets and heavy ones - but your mileage may vary. Many folks who use ARs train and practice with 55-grain FMJ, while reserving lighter calibers for varminting and heavier loads for longer-range shots.

    A 16" barrel M4 carbine type of AR will be suitable at 100 yards (indeed well past that) but if you want to have the option of reaching out further, you might want to explore an 18 or 20" barrel - the latter being the government-issue or traditional AR-15/M-16 design. If you really want to get ambitious, and have the money, Rock River and some other manufacturers make match-grade rifles in 5.56/.223. A qualified gunsmith can also make one for you, or you could even do it yourself. Lots of folks these days build their own ARs.

    My favorite value for the money is a Windham Weapons SRC - which is an extremely well-made carbine with a 16" barrel and 1:9 RH twist barrel capable of handling anything from 50-grain loads up to 69 or even 77-grain slugs. The local Cabela's has them on special now for $850 plus tax - which is a very good deal.

    Be advised that semi-automatic gas guns are harder on brass, so if you reload - you can't count on as many uses for the cartridge cases as you would be able to do with a bolt-action. Personally, I use 5.56/.223 cases three times in a gas gun before recycling them, whereas I can get 8-10 uses from the same case in a bolt-action. Something to think about if you plan to load your own ammunition. Invest in some training on how to reload before attempting it yourself; the NRA offers a great workshop. Lots that can go wrong if you don't know the pitfalls - but it can be very rewarding once you know how to do it properly.

    Far as a bolt-action rifle in .223, they've loads of fun, easy on your shoulder, and usually quite accurate. You can get a very good Savage or Ruger .223 for under $800. Some manufacturers are now offering competitively-priced rifle + scope combos, too.

    Many shooters enjoy and use rifles chambered in .223 because they are cheaper to "feed," around $0.40-0.50/shot for most factory ammo, versus around a buck a shot for .30 caliber rifle ammunition. That's something to consider in today's commercial environment. If you opt for 22 rimfire (22LR for example), it is worth nothing that rimfire can't be reloaded using commonly-available commercial reloading equipment. .22 caliber long rifle is great fun as a plinking round out to ~ 200 yards, but runs out of gas after that pretty quickly, whereas the .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO can reach out to 600 yards + in the right hands.

    Bolt-action rifles are mechanically simpler than semi-automatics - and are generally of more robust construction. The former are easier to clean and maintain and are also easier to get tight groups out of than semi-autos, in my view - although there are certainly people who do amazing things with ARs these days in matches and the like.

    Don't know if you are interesting in hunting or not, but most states allow varmint and small predator (such as coyotes) hunting with the .223 round, but not all allow deer hunting with it.

    Good luck - enjoy your new purchase...
     
  17. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I think you're selling both calibers short on the distance they can shoot accurately. It depends on what you call accuracy of course but people do use .223 rifles to compete at 1000 yards especially in youth divisions.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKG_jI7wc-A

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H-l5fq8oxs
     
  18. g_one

    g_one Member

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    Thanks a lot for your input everyone - this is why I love this place.

    Based on the information here, and additional research, I've decided I'm going to go with the CZ 527 Varmint.
    For a scope it will likely end up being either a Monarch, or a Weaver T36
     
  19. Simon_Edmondson

    Simon_Edmondson Member

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    If the OP wants accuracy, the ability to tailor ammo, reload cheaply and only put one hole in the target with multiple shots, why hasn't anyone suggested a .222 Remington!
     
  20. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I almost made that suggestion yesterday. Lot more neck on a .222 case....
     
  21. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Basically the availability, and naturally the cost, although I have one, and have had it for quite a few years. I do reload and have got excellent results with it. I do have a ample supply of the brass which is getting more and more difficult to get, unlike .223.
     
  22. Georgiaboy61

    Georgiaboy61 Member

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    Re: "I think you're selling both calibers short on the distance they can shoot accurately. It depends on what you call accuracy of course but people do use .223 rifles to compete at 1000 yards especially in youth divisions."

    Cee Zee, I do realize that I was being somewhat conservative on the distances, but confess that I didn't know there is a now a 1000-yard shooter's community for the .223. It isn't the easiest thing in the world to hit a small target at that distance with that round - especially when the wind is blowing hard. People are capable of amazing things, aren't they? Come to think of it, I might have to give that a try one of these days....
     
  23. Simon_Edmondson

    Simon_Edmondson Member

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    Lapua make brass for the .222R, you will never need more than a couple of hundred cases per barrel if you neck size only.

    In Oz, this is a beloved calibre, pretty much every farm would have had one in the past, and usually in Sako Vixen flavour (yes, that is the correct spelling ;) )

    .223 is very popular here, but if you mention it you get a 'meh!' reaction, say 'triple two' and it brings a crinkle to the eyes of many a Benchrester.
     
  24. batmann

    batmann Member

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    I will jump in and make my recommendation, a S&W M&P Sport. They are a great rifle for your intended purpose and they are backed with a lifetime warranty. A good, solid rifle and it can be 'upgraded' as you see fit.
     
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