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.223 Target Rifle on the Cheap?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by thelittlestchipmunk, Nov 26, 2011.

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  1. thelittlestchipmunk

    thelittlestchipmunk Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Well THR what do you guys think? I am planning to shoot out to 400 yards and would like a nice budget .223 target rifle.
  2. 10-96

    10-96 Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Texas Panhandle Territory
    I hate to see a member left hanging with an unanswered question, but it would help to know what kind of budget you are talking about.

    You can get any number of decent to good to great quality bsic rifles to use for shooting targets- but a true target rifle will be up there in price. Which is it that you're in the market for?
  3. TxBobS

    TxBobS Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Something like a stock AR15 A2. Can be had for under $700 and is fairly accurate.
  4. BigN

    BigN Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Adirondack Mountains, Waaay Upstate New York
    I bought a Savage Edge on the cheap and was pleasantly surprised at accuracy and grouping. Don't let price fool you.
  5. rskent

    rskent Member

    May 28, 2006
    The land of blue sky and sunshine
    Rock River Arms National Match A2 rifle

    This rifle has everything you need to start out with. Pick up a decent sling,
    load up a bunch of 77 grain Matchkings and hit the range.
    Good Shooting
  6. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

    Nov 20, 2011
    St. Joseph, MI
    I have to agree with the RRA national match suggestion. I use 69 grain matchkings because they fit in a magazine for rattle battle style matches.

    Edit for spelling.
  7. Stealth01

    Stealth01 Member

    Sep 9, 2010
    I set up a Thompson Center Encore, .223 with a 20" SS barrel (1:12 twist), a 3X9 scope, tactical rear stock and a bipod. With 55 grain HPBTs I can consistently takeout the center of 1" bulls eyes (read 1/2" groups) at a 100 yards. BUT, that 1:12 twist barrel is super sensitive to bullet weights... with 69 grain bullets I do better standing up and throwing them at the target! (Made the mistake one day of grabbing the wrong box of ammo... Took a little while to figure out what was wrong...)
  8. TrafficMan

    TrafficMan Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Stevens makes a nice bolt rifle that's under 400 dollars. I considered one before I built this 223 monstrosity...



  9. LAL357

    LAL357 Member

    Apr 5, 2009
    whats your budget? standing ,bench,prone ? i picked a savage mod 12 lrpv in 223 at a pawnshop for 750.00 and it shot lights out from 100-300(300 is as far as i can shoot) avg group were .2-.4 @ 100yds and .7-1.3@ 300yrds rebarreled it to 308 this year(i shoot f class @ 300 and built another 223 with a mcgowen barrel to shoot f open with again 300yds. right now its grouping in the .8-2.0 with not much load developement (69gr smk )
  10. ROGER4314

    ROGER4314 Member

    Oct 11, 2009
    I was bitten by the black rifle bug rather badly so I bought, traded and sold a large number of them. That experience may be of some help.

    I prefer A2 configuration and shoot only iron sights. I've fired 7 years worth of 200 and 600 yard matches with an AR-15 and even shot a large number of 600 yard matches with A2's using Winchester White Box (WWB) 55 grain bullets in a 1:9 twist barrel. That is some cheap ammo but it performed very well at 600 and great at 200 from 1:9 twist barrels!

    My best results at 600 prone matches came from a 1:8 twist using 69 grain Sierra Match Kings. Barrel twist rate is crucial on an AR and your barrel choice will determine what ammo you can use.

    The 1:9 twist barrel is the best overall and you can use the cheapest ammo (55 grain) in it. I did poorly in a 600 yard match using a 1:8 twist and the 55 grain bullets. They may be OK at 200 but at 600, that barrel/bullet combination won't cut it.

    SO.....my suggestion? AR-15, 20" bull barrel A2 configuration with 1:9 twist. Get the solid butt stock if you intend to shoot at distance. People swear by certain brand names. I've had about all of them and just don't have a preference. All are made on CNC machines, now and quality is very high.

    The AR that I shot the most matches with is an Olympic that I picked up at a gun show. The rifle was a bit homely and had a fake suppressor on the barrel. I planned to use it just for dry firing................until I fired it. That rifle shot great and I grew to like it so much that I preferred it over the others. It is a veteran of countless 200 yard matches!

    From my experience, the only truly unique AR's are built on "Plum Crazy" plastic lowers and "Sun Devil" billet lowers. Plum Crazies may not be appropriate for distance shooting but I have never owned one. My "Sun Devil" billet lower is a winner. It is VERY different from the pack and is very high quality.

    I have never owned a lower housing from any source that I consider substandard or junk.

    Have fun!

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  11. SGW42

    SGW42 Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    Just bought a Stevens 200 in .223 for a smidge over $300. You could get them much cheaper than that a few years ago, and I imagine you'll be able to find them on sale or clearance for much cheaper now.

    You can customize this gun to your heart's content, or your wallet's content, whichever gives out first. That's what I plan to do with mine.
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