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

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

  1. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    900rds will fit in a .50cal can.
    Cast bullets by the lb... 7000grs/lb.
    Wonder about how many rds of brass a 5gallon bucket will hold.
     
  2. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    Push feed Remington 700s and Model 7s. I use an inexpensive bolt disassembly kit from Brownells that I bought years ago.

    ETA: Here's a link to the Sinclair version; it didn't cost as much when I bought it; I probably bought it on sale. I use it a lot for bolt maintenance, though, so worth it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  3. matto6

    matto6 Member

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    I'm still looking at tikkas. Inventory and availability is a bit wonky though. I wanted a stainless barrel but they don't seem to send the stainless varmint to the US.

    I'm seeing a more love for the CTR magazines than the varmint. And it comes with a pic rail and threaded. But there don't seem to be any for sale anywhere at the moment... Unless I go 6.5 creedmoor, then I can get the CTR stainless at some reasonable discounts. But that would double or triple the cost of my ammo.

    So for 223 the black varmint appears to be my only option (also available at about 20% discount).

    Or I could do Savage 110 storm for about the same price as the T3x varmint.
     
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  4. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Decisions, decisions...:)
    American made, available and accurate.
    Savage!

    (Unless it’s a rimfire, those are Canadian...:D)
     
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  5. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

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    Your reasons regards recoil and so forth have some merit particularly as you intend to spend most your time behind it at a bench or prone. I have seen guys get into their first centrefire choosing 308 because they read all about it, and its what everyone has and its accurate and yadda yadda- then find the rifle actually kicks pretty good :)The recoil is at a level you need a more serious platform to keep it enjoyable off the bench. 223 is at the level you can grab a cheap anything, bipod or not, even resting on a rolled up sweater or daypack and blast away until the barrel melts without it bugging your shoulder too much.
     
  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Which is a huge selling point IMHO!

    Did someone mention off a back-pack??

    Pictured is my "big game hunting practice rifle" which is a M7 in .223. It's an close clone to another M7 in .260 and a mini-me to a 700 in .300WM. It's far cheaper and easier to practice with than it's larger counterparts. My 55grn BT load has about the same drop at 300yds as my 165grn load in my .300. It makes a great walking varmint gun, but it makes a superb practice rifle for shooting under "field conditions".

    lplnIF2h.jpg

    Off tripod, Not much prone here in KS due to tall grass. Most of my deer shots end up being sitting:

    jzurbvsh.jpg

    It's big brother in .300WM (the family resemblance is remarkable :D):

    4UQhLFQh.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  7. jleyring

    jleyring Member

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    223 is an awesome caliber to learn on. Ive got a Remington 700 ADL. Got it on a steal of a deal from Cabelas. It has fast become my favorite rifle. Put a good scope on it. Just need to change out the stock with something more firm. Its sighted in out to 600yds. I got the varmint heavy barrel. I got it when I lived in North Dakota and had high hopes to take it out to the prairie dog towns. Its cheap the shoot. I can easily put 50 rounds through it at the range and never break the bank. Ive kept very detailed notes every time I got shooting. Ive put 780rds through it and only spend $152.92 with the help of reloading. .223 grouping.jpg
     
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  8. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Another one that is cross eye dominant. I use to shoot right hand bolts left handed then bought my first left hand bolt action and haven't looked back. If I were to get a custom made action, I might think about a left hand bolt/right side eject. But for now my Savage left hand bolts work just fine for me. I have three Savage left hand rifles, all with their heavy varmint barrels. I have a MkII GVL in 17m2, MkII BTVLSS in 22lr and a Model 12 FVL in 308. The main reasons that I have stuck with Savage rifles is that they are accurate and easier to find in left hand versus other brands.
     
  9. matto6

    matto6 Member

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    I literally just got back from my local gun shop and I concluded the same thing. Working the action with my right hand was awkward because I still needed to move my thumb on most of the guns to avoid the bolt hitting it. And using my left wasn't nearly as awkward as I expected it to be. I think it's a lefty for me.
     
  10. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I grew up being forced to use right hand bolt actions since I could not talk my dad into getting me a left hand bolt action. I mostly stuck with lever actions or semi-autos when I was younger. It wasn't until after I got out of the Army that I spoiled myself with buying a left hand bolt action. And I know others have answered your original question, but I'll answer too. A 223 will suit just fine out to 600 yards, especially with a 1-8 or 1-9 twist barrel and heavier bullets. Standard qualification in the Army with the M16A2 was 300 meters but we did shoot out to 500 meters quite a bit. The 1-7 twist and 62Gr M855 ammo did just fine for us.

    One other thing, I find that the heavy bull/varmint barrels DO shoot better than a skinny porter barrel. Most of my shooting now days is from a bench so the extra weight doesn't bother me.
     
  11. matto6

    matto6 Member

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    I noticed all the Savage and CZ are 1-9 twist. Everything I'm reading suggest 1-8 is better for what I'm looking for, but I'm not finding a lot of 1-8 lefty guns.
     
  12. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    You will be fine with a 1-9 twist. Like with any gun and caliber, try different brands and weights of ammo until you find what your gun shoots best. I have seen some 1-9 twist barrels love lighter 50-55 grain bullets while others preferred 62-69 grain bullets. You won't know which is better in your rifle until you try them.

    The 1-7 twist was originally developed to handle the military issue 64 grain tracer bullets since they were longer than the 55 and 62 grain FMJ bullets. It seems like the 1-8 twist became popular with the 223 Wylde chamber.
     
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  13. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    There's a lot of us who, regardless of firing hand, lay the thumb along the side of the wrist. Left thumb would be to the left side rather than across the wrist behind the bolt shroud. I think it's a matter of comfort and figuring what's smoother for each of us.
     
  14. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I've seen a couple of 1:9 barrels do well with anything from 55gr up to 75gr. We don't know for sure till we try stuff.
     
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  15. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    This thread's kinda divided as to who says you need a 1:8. Thing is, do you need a 1:8 or do you just think you do? 12Bravo20's telling you straight, too. Get a 1:9 and don't look back... you probably won't have to. Savage and CZ are both good.
     
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  16. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    The 1-9 twist is more of a universal twist rate for 223 barrels, it will work with a wide variety of bullet weights. Like I said in my earlier post, take the time to find out what your barrel shoots best.
     
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  17. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    I don't really have much further to contribute that hasn't been well-covered already. Many good responses here.

    Regarding ammo availability, .223/5.56 and 9mm has the highest retail volume and will be the first to be restocked -- the factories will produce more of this than other cartridges. Reloading .223 is fairly easy for a bolt action, much more so than for an autoloader. You can get by with neck resizing after the first firing in your rifle.

    I suggest that early on you invest in a primer pocket swager:
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012920663?pid=235832
    This will make using scrap military 5.56 brass much, much easier, and in times of scarcity, milsurp brass may be the most available. Also check GunBroker for deals on reconditioned Lake City brass.

    That said, ex-military brass isn't always the best choice -- especially if it was fired in a SAW with headspace issues. You don't really need many reloadable cases to feed a bolt action, 200 or 300 cases will last you for years. If you can still get some new factory brass, or new ammo, that is always the best source for brass. Midway still has some in stock:
    https://www.midwayusa.com/s?userSearchQuery=223+brass&userItemsPerPage=48

    As far a rifle choices go, after reading the above discussion I think I need to consider adding a midrange .233 target rifle to my safe! I currently have 3 rifles in .223/5.56: an NEF single shot, my CZ 527 full stock beauty (photo) and my Troy pump-action AR stand-in (because California) -- none of them are set up to shoot small groups much past 100 yards, though they are all good clean fun.

    CZ527FS.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Anecdote Alert: A friend was shooting his bolt action .223 - I assume the Remington with Hart barrel - last week and was showing some amazing targets. The darn thing was accurate to 600 yards with cheap Xtreme 55 gr FMJs. Not a breath of wind stirring, of course.
     
  19. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    ^ Excellant!

    This goes hand in hand with the primer pocket swager and has saved me a bunch of time that would have been wasted on brass with loose pockets and culls out the crimped for swaging later:

    https://ballistictools.com/store/small-and-large-primer-pocket-gauges

    I check primer pockets as part of my brass inspection, right after wet tumbling.
     
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  20. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    Sometimes you can find a decent used gun if you look around. I lucked into one that was actually a BNIB Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 some guy had won in a raffle, but didn't need. Price was right, so I snapped it up. I would have liked the faster 1/7 twist, but the 1/9 it had does seem to be the universal for .223 bolt guns, and I could live with that. I shortened the barrel to 16.25" and put a closed tine Warcomp on it, and a Leupold AR scope, so it's a nice little rifle I can use for almost anything. It's stainless, lightweight, plenty accurate, and does well with a variety of rounds. I mainly use Federal 62gr bonded, for it, though I also have a stash of Cor-Bon DPX leftover I use in it.

    qDYAebR.jpg
     
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  21. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Great thread folks. I am now in the same boat as the OP in regards to a first High Power bolt gun. I do have a 22LR Savage.

    My experience is a bit different. 3 months ago I started working at an outdoor range as a RO and since then have spent most of my time working the 300yd range. During this time I have seen all sorts of rifles in all sorts of chambering's at all different price points. Some of these folks are very serious! And yes the bug has struck.

    Being realistically thinking I understand that I too will be basically a paper puncher and my legs limit my mobility and this range I have avail to me is limited to a max of 300yards. So I see no need for an extremely long range rifle like a 6 Dasher or 6.5 Grendel, 308, 20/06 or even a 243WSSM. Even the 22/250 seems a bit excessive for just punchin holes.

    But with that said I have available locally 2 guns I am looking at. all used. A Savage Axis 223, a Savage 6.5 Creedmore. I have contacted the seller on the Creedmore but haven't gotten a response.

    Another gun I came across is a Savage Prairie Hunter 224 Valkyrie. But seems Savage has quickly disco'd them.
     
  22. rayatphonix

    rayatphonix Member

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    kmw, I have rifles in both Creedmoor and Grendel. If I didn’t expect to shoot paper over 300 yards I’d choose the Grendel every time. The Grendel is just as accurate but kicks considerably less as it uses about 1/3 less powder. The biggest advantage of the Creedmoor is ammo availability, but I reload so that’s not an issue for me. CZ and Howa make wonderful bolt action rifles fo the Grendel if you’re interested.
     
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  23. GoldieMI
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    GoldieMI Contributing Member

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    I did the 200.00 (actually it was 160.00 second hand) T/C Compass in 223/5.56. It's marked right on the barrel 5.56 and 1-7 Twist.
    it shoot decently in the stock chassis but I put it in a 400.00 Oryx Chassis.
    I single feed long 2.55" 80SMK to practice with. I reload them with H322 and it's capable of .6" at 100 yards without anything other than a cheap bipod.
    It's 2nd favorite is 50 grain VMAX - so it's not terribly picky at all.
    I'm sure if I wanted to bring the sinclair rest, bags, and more with me- I could get it dialed in even tighter...but for a morning practice rifle - it's a decent setup and comparable to my 6 Creed in a McRees Precision Chassis- enough that it's not a bother to switch back and forth. At least for me.
    Grab the bag, a box of ammo, and 2 targets- 10-5 shot groups ready to go on a morning's whim.
    IMG_9440.jpg Ballistic-X-Export-2020-07-04 22:05:23.565349.PNG
     
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  24. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    The .223 will do it and with less fuss on the parts that notice how many rounds you'll shoot over a couple of hours.
     
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