Range Report 223 Bolt vs 223 Semi-Auto

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ru4real, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Brand new Thompson Center Venture II bolt versus proven older Colt Match Semi-Auto

    All groups 10 rounds or more, as noted. All groups at 100 yards. 71 deg F. 5100 feet elev. 5-15 mph breeze. Mixed range pick up brass & CCI-400 primers for all hand loads. I traced around a quarter to make target.

    All groups for T/C bolt shot sitting, sand bags front and back, slow fire, bench rest style, red targets.

    All groups for Colt Match shot sitting, bipod and elbows, rapid fire, 10 round groups in 30 seconds, blue targets.

    I learned a few things during the comparison.
    1. The T/C will make a fine coyote gun with the Athlon Illuminated Reticle.
    2. I will have to clean the T/C bore about every 100 shots because accuracy drops off.
    3. The T/C magazine needs some work.
    4. I can use factory ammo for coyote hunting with the T/C out to 300 yards.
    5. A well set up AR is tough to beat, even when the rules are slanted.

    Going forward, I plan to use CFE 223 exclusively, because I have a bunch. I will miss Varget, BL-c(2), IMR-3031 and LT-32.

    88DD7C94-A4F9-4DD7-8312-30B507A356F6.jpeg

    9ADB5218-5E29-4A60-A970-F44E9C64B8B9.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  2. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    On #2 above you must mean every 100 shots?
     
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  3. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Yes, thank you for the catch, fixed. :)
     
  4. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    So these were just a random mix of handloads and factory loads?
     
  5. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Yes. Targets 1 thru 12 various handloads, targets 13 thru 22 various factory loads.
     
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  6. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    You should be able to send the TC back. They have a sub MOA guarantee. That’s the worst I’ve ever seen a Venture shoot. Is the Venture 2 a 1:12 twist like the original Venture?
     
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  7. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    The Venture II in 223 is 1 in 9 twist. Tell me more about the sub MOA guarantee.

    The groups above are 10 rounds each. If a rifle shoots sub MOA for three rounds, what would you expect MOA to be for 10 rounds?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
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  8. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    They’ve improved then. I didn’t realize you were shooting IMI FMJ. That was something I never put through mine. Their guarantee is with “premium” ammunition. I looked at that target ALL wrong. The one quality factory ammo you used (77gr Match) the rifle responded pretty well for 10. I would really like to see what you got if you tried something other than IMI FMJ. But you had what you had.

    Edit to add: I still don’t think it would have changed which rifle produced better groups. But I do believe the groups would have been smaller.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
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  9. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Agree, the IMI 193 isn’t the most accurate. And it’s super hot 556 - about 3400 fps. But it’s darn fun to plink with, and I have lots of it.

    The IMI 855 steel core shot ok. The IMI 77 gr HPBT-Match shot ok too, and will be my coyote round, because I have a bunch of it and I won’t worry about picking up my cases.
     
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  10. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    So what are your impressions of the rifle overall? Or have you done a review and I didn’t see it? I love my Venture. But I can’t figure out why they didn’t make it a 1:8 to start. Mine is the 1:12.
     
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  11. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    The rifle will serve my purpose. Hunting. Work it hard and won’t worry about it, scratches, dents, etc. Snow, mud, dirt, rain. Something I wouldn’t do with a wood stocked Ruger, Winchester or CZ. I’ll put a can on it and have fun!
     
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  12. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    That's an interesting gas block and hand guard on the Colt. Is the match series barrel still 1:7 twist ? Is the gas block stock?
     
  13. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    The gas block, gas tube and barrel are all Krieger supplied. I sent the gun to Krieger a few years ago and the original H-bar barrel was replaced with a Krieger heavy.
     
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  14. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Unfortunately the Nosler 64 grain protected tip bullets with IMR-4166 powder didn’t do well in the Venture II.

    That is a good coyote bullet.
     
  15. entropy

    entropy Member

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    We have a winner! #10.

    #17 is a great group for factory ammo.

    I'd say either will work for field use, and like you say, you don't have to worry about the T/C's finish then.

    I use 55 gr. V-max for coyotes, as well as deer. I loaded some 60 gr. Partitions for deer, haven't got out to see how they shoot yet, maybe Thursday.
     
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  16. Shootinator

    Shootinator member

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    They both shoot just fine.

    Offhand at a running coyote you won't be able to tell.
     
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  17. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    I agree. Should be a fine hunting rifle.
     
  18. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Update. Hand lapped the T/C barrel. Disassembled the box Mag and reconfigured the flat spring to fix a magazine feeing issue. Shortened and strengthened the magazine latch mechanism.

    Result. Now shoots factory round IMI Razor Core 77 gain HPBT-Match 10 rounds into 1 inch group at 100 yards. No more magazine feeding issues. No more “bumping” the Mag out of battery.

    Time to take it hunting.

    A858C446-4826-4C34-99FD-77653571FBEC.jpeg
     
  19. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    Progress!
    Good work.
     
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  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    370F88F2-5A5B-4A8D-BEBA-A14E9AD7CFD4.jpeg


    3 shots in an inch or less looks like yours might be capable of that with every load except #21.
     
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  21. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    @Ru4real

    How did you arrive at those charge weights?
     
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  22. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Good question, and it’s pretty obvious you see my “error” - neither gun has really been “tested”.

    Years ago I did ladder testing with the Colt match when it had the factory barrel. A particular load used 25.7 grains of Varget. When I got the Krieger barrel, I shot those 25.7 gain Varget loads up and upped the charge to 26 grains because just about everything shot well (sub MOA) out of the Krieger barrel with Wylde chamber. Same “switch to whole number powder charges” for the BL-c(2), LT-32, IMR-3031, etc. charges.

    So, my handloads are not custom to either gun in this thread. Just what I’ve had on hand to shoot through the T/C. And none are up to the standard you set for your 6BR. I handloaded thousands of 223 about 3 years ago and I should be in a spot to have to handload more in about 2 years.

    I will probably ladder test the T/C then, and just shoot the results in the Colt, because like I said, it shoots just about everything well.
     
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  23. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    @Ru4real Those targets look familiar ;)

    My experience with CFE223 has been decent. It seems like it wants to be loaded on the hotter side, similar to 8208XBR.

    Benchmark and H322 don't always give the highest velocity but my experience is they can be very very accurate in the 222 and 223.
     
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  24. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Now that I look a little closer at your avatar, it looks like you are shooting off the mechanical rest at Wasatch. True?

    My limited experience in a couple calibers is similar to yours regarding CFE223.

    Fill the case up, brush off the excess, tap the case on the bench a couple times to settle CFE223 and seat the bullet, LOL. (I’m kidding, but not far off)
     
  25. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    Good guess. I'm shooting offhand over on Bay 3 :cool:

    [email protected] case fill to the top.

    Have you tried the 53 Vmax on coyotes? I have a coyote out by my place right now and am working on a good load for my 223 AI with 8208.
     
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