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Bolt action .223 for me? Or......?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by matto6, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    If you're used to shooting lefty, that's what I'd go with just for uniformity. I am also cross dominant (left eye/right handed) but I shoot right handed with some adaptation when I shoot pistols and shotguns.
     
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  2. matto6

    matto6 Member

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    Oh I'm definitely shooting lefty. My right eye is terrible.

    The decision is whether to work the bolt with my weak hand (left) or strong hand.
     
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  3. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    https://www.cdnnsports.com/thompson-center-dimension-223-7mm-mag-left.html?___SID=U#.Xx4KGi01ihA

    A buddy bought the above. He likes it.

    Building on a lot (not quoting enough)...223 will be fun, go fast twist, I have a heavy, fast twist barreled Tikka. Do not load to the magazine (goofy design limits touching the lands). Enjoy.
     
  4. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Howdy matto6! Welcome to THR!:)
    If you get a 223 (or a 308), or for that matter any other centerfire, you’ll eventually be able to get into handloading for it - a whole other hobby that I personally enjoy more than shooting most of the time. You’ll be able to build cheaper than factory ammo that is specific for your gun in order to shoot the smallest groups your gun is capable of shooting.

    That said, we have a heavy-barreled, single-shot 17 HMR by the back door for pests in the garden. It has been the demise of many a starling in the currant bushes behind the garden too - 30 yards from the back door. However, starlings in the apple tree (about 100 yards from the back door) are pretty much safe anytime the wind is blowing - which is almost always in this part of Idaho.:uhoh:
     
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  5. matto6

    matto6 Member

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    Hey rabid wombat.. Could you expand on what that means?

    Thanks!

    I was thinking of avoiding hand loading, mostly to avoid ending up with a garage full of equipment before I'm sure how often I'll really use it. But I could totally see it happening :D
     
  6. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    I could easily see it happen too if you get bit by the accuracy bug and it’s easy to do with a .223 bolt action. They are fun to shoot, cheap to load for and rewarding when they print tiny groups.

    An accurate.223 bolt action is a gateway drug. Consider yourself warned ;)
     
  7. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    For target shooting at the bench get a right hand rifle.
    You can sit and shoot left while having every thing to drive the rifle on the same side you’re sitting, operating strong hand.

    I don’t know what I am, but I shoot both hands. (sides?shoulders?)

    It’s like a dual port for a righty, but lefty and not flinging your brass out the other side.:)
     
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  8. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    The throat on the Tikka is a long ways away compared to a traditional length 223. Typically, you get better accuracy with the bullet closer to the rifling. The action on a Tikka is long (literally, design for one action to cover many caliber), so Tikka makes an artificial limit in the mag to better feed commercial ammo. Commercial ammo will never allow the best accuracy from the Tikka. Hand loading to the correct length will preclude using standard (and expensive magazines) without modification. Or buy really stupid expensive magazines.....

    https://www.blackrifle.co.uk/Tikka-T3-10-round-magazine-p/dw-mag.htm

    https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbt...topics/4799827/Re_Tikka_T3_223_Magazine_Modif
     
  9. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    I really like this suggestion. I will say you'll almost certainly want to replace the stock so factor that in but even with that it's an impressive rifle for the money. I have a Savage 10 (same family of rifles) in 308 and it is boringly accurate. I dropped it in a Choate Tactical stock and mounted a Primary Arms 4-16x44 scope, so definitely didn't break the bank.
     
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  10. matto6

    matto6 Member

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    The .308 is $289 :what:

    They won't ship to me or I might have just impulse purchased it. :)

    But you guys are convincing me for a first gun, a cheaper model might be the say to go. Spend the money on glass, customization, and ammo.
     
  11. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Personally I would get 5.56 so I could have dual ammo capability.
     
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  12. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Loading to magazine length in some designs means not being able to load very close to where the rifling starts.
    Some magazine can hold rounds longer than chamber length, which allows for playing with the seating depth and also the sometimes risky technique of loading “into the lands”. A single shot has no mag, so there is only loading for the chamber. Very long Cartridge OverAll Lengths can be used.
    But that is an advanced handloading practice that shouldn’t be tried by novice loaders.
    Nobody likes blown out primers and having to hammer their bolt open with a mallet.


    I thought the 22-250 was the same price too. Not as inexpensive for ammunition as the others for sure, but a great price on neat round in a very good rifle.

    I was told to get glass equal to or better than the value of your rifle. I consistently get better than. I can’t hit what I can’t see.:)


    Why would you even want to shoot cheap 5.56 loading through a target rifle? You could.
    Why get a target rifle with a pre worn out lead?:)
     
  13. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    yeppers!
     
  14. KsSkaEnthusiast

    KsSkaEnthusiast Member

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    Just so happens I go the 12fv in 308 when it was on sale too so I can give first hand experience with it. It shoots better than I can even with the plasticy stock. But if I were to upgrade one thing it would be the stock, it is very front heavy with the thick barrel. I used to have an axis xp in 223 and fully stock that gun was sub moa 5 shots with most bulk 223 i fed it. It was astonishing but just felt cheap and I didnt have much use for it so i traded that and a maverick 88 12 guage to get a stoeger m3500. Anyways to take away I've had great luck with savages for accuracy and the 12fv has worked great for me at a good price. Also the equal or better glass is a real good idea at the 12fv price.
     
  15. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I am left eye dominant and shoot rifles that are right handed no problem.
    I do have 1 left handed rifle in 308 being a left handed bolt is nice but I find trying to load it somewhat awkward.
     
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  16. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    So depending on your further goals I would recommend 2 totally different options
    1. Grab a short action savage with a factory heavy barrel. If you have any type of shop available you cand do barrel swaps on your own and changing the bolt face is easy and cheap as well. My completion steel siloette rifle is a 223 with a shilen barrel that started life as a 308. Still have that barrel and can swap back if I ever felt the need.

    2. The second good option is a lever gun. These are awsome guns that teach you a ton about fundamentals and also double as a hunting rifle should you ever feel that desire. Should you want to compete they have lever action siloette matches in rifle and pistol caliber. I enjoy all the discussion and fun of sharing when I take mine to the range. 2" groups at 200 are cool, 2 inch groups offhand from a lever gun is some real shooting skill.
     
  17. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I'm cross dominant, also. I can get away with shooting right-handed crankbolts, but generally, a left-handed bolt is real nice. You don't know the difference till you try running both.

    Another thing... most right-hand rifles eject to the right. That's fine if you're shooting from the right-hander's side of the bench. You'll eject your brass onto the bench. If you shoot a right-hand rifle from the left-hander's side, you'll throw your brass on the floor or into the next lane. You do plan to reload, right? Retain/recover/scavenge as much brass as possible because .223/5.56 reloading brass starts at $0.22 per piece and goes up near $1.50, which adds up.

    I saw some talk about twist rates and everybody has a preference. I've seen no problem with a 16" 1:9 twist barrel stabilizing up to 75gr Hornady match loaded to run 2500fps by the book. On one occasion, I had the chance to play with a 20" 1:7 twist and ran that same handload... for better or worse, I didn't notice any appreciable difference. I figure within 300yds it's all running similarly, assuming the rifle and load are accurate.

    A 1:12 will stabilize a 55gr bullet, but generally not much of anything heavier. MidwayUSA sells what they call "Dogtown" bullets... that's a good less expensive option to reload (you can shoot more for the money) and they're good in twist rates 1:7 through 1:12. See what twist rates are available, but I'm thinking a 1:9 won't disappoint you like some seem to figure.
     
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  18. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Just to reload .223/5.56 (if you're a handloader, the data's the same), you only really need a Ruckchucker, Lee Pacesetter dies, a powder measure and scale and a few other small items... it really doesn't take up that big of a space. There's plenty of guys who run into space issues when they start stacking ammo cans.
     
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  19. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I have my press on a rolling table in the garage. That's the only indication of reloading you can find. Dies and everything else is in the house for moisture control. Even if your a 500 round a month guy that's not much space. When you measure brass by the 5 gallon bucket and cast bullets by the pound then your talking a hobby that starts to take over your space.
     
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  20. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I've got a reloading bench in the garage, and a portable set up that's on a board I can clamp to any flat surface with an overhang. Often as not I'll take my stuff in the house and load on the dining room table. I've used it at the range quite a bit also.

    For pure blasting ammo, I just buy most of mine. I reload all my hunting and any other serious ammo tho.
     
  21. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I reload for my 223 I just run the bolt back slowly and catch the empties on the bench and if your smart lay a towel down to catch the cases so they don't roll off the bench.
     
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  22. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    My bolt action .223s are a joy to shoot. I'd look for something in a 9 twist for most purposes, especially if you don't reload. 7 twist will stabilize the heaviest bullets, but most factory loads don't need it. You'll be able to get to 600 yards with a 9 twist shooting 69 grain bullets. I'm not a southpaw, but if I were, I'd look for a left-handed rifle. My brother is a lefty and he can shoot right handed, but much prefers a rifle that "fits."

    FWIW, I pulled the ejectors out of my range guns. Since I don't need fast follow-up shots, its pretty nice just pulling the extracted shell from the action by hand. I was testing a new load a couple of months ago and another guy was watching. He noted that that I wasn't chasing brass. When I told him I had removed the ejector, he said, "Duh; why didn't I think of that?" Not hard to put the ejector back in should I need it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  23. tbob38
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    tbob38 Contributing Member

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    Well I think .223 will work fine. Looking forward to hearing how it all works out for you. I just bought a CZ 527 in 223, my first bolt gun for 223, should be here the end of the week. Am getting a small collection of CZ's now, to match my Czech blood. lol
     
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  24. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Are you talking push feed or CRF? Not having disassembled a push feed bolt, I'll have to look this up... just trying to picture it.
     
  25. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I just put my hand slightly above the action so the empty hits my hand and drops onto the bench. I learned to do that when I bought a rossi 92. That thing bounces them off the tin roof over the firing line, then they hit the concrete and go flying away if you don't. I use a brass catcher on the AR which catches some and usually drops the missed catches onto the bench.
     
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