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Old May 20, 2016, 04:37 AM   #1
rebs
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I want a 223 bolt rifle

I need some recommendations on buying a bolt action rifle in 223 cal. I am looking for reliability and excellent accuracy right out of the box. It will primarily be a range rifle and a little varmint hunting. I am thinking Remington or Savage. I do reload so I can try different loads.
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Old May 20, 2016, 04:43 AM   #2
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I have a CZ 527 in 7.62x39, and I love this rifle. They chamber it in .223 as well, and I think you owe to yourself to check it out.
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Old May 20, 2016, 06:37 AM   #3
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I have a CZ-527 American and a Remington 700 SPS. Both can do about 3/4" at 100 yard with the 55 grain V-max and Varget.
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Old May 20, 2016, 06:48 AM   #4
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" a bolt action rifle in 223 cal. it will primarily be a range rifle and a little varmint hunting."

You're looking at the WRONG cartridge.
Besides the actual inadequacy of the cartridge, the rifle selection is limited by the requirement for a fast twist barrel to handle a "long range" type bullet in this cartridge.
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Old May 20, 2016, 07:15 AM   #5
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I have a Savage 10/110 bolt action 223, Accu-Trigger, 20 inch heavy contour barrel, 1 in 9 twist with my handloads shooting 55 gr bullets it will place 5 shots in a nice little 3/8 inch group and do so consistently.

However I do not consider my rifle a long range rifle, long range to me is past 600 yards.
For target work on a calm day I would consider my Savage with my current handloads to be a 400 yard rifle, for hunting coyotes 350 would be max.

At one time I was a confirmed Remington shooter but Savage has changed that, however I'm not completely sold on their Accu-Trigger.
There is some Savage rifles that come with a faster twist like 1 in 7, to me they would be a better choice for longer range shooting in 223 (past 400 yards).

Best Regards
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Old May 20, 2016, 08:33 AM   #6
overthere
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Quote:
You're looking at the WRONG cartridge.
Besides the actual inadequacy of the cartridge, the rifle selection is limited by the requirement for a fast twist barrel to handle a "long range" type bullet in this cartridge
I disagree, Savage have several rifles with 1-9 twists which will do great with 69gr projectiles out to 400-500 yards. You want to go further, get the 1-7 twist version of the Savage 12 Light Varminter and you can shoot 80 grain projectiles out to 600-700 yards or beyond.

Another great option would be the Tikka T3 in 223, they are available in 1-8 twists which also do fine with up to 80gr projectiles.

If you do not load your own ammunition and do want to go further than 300 then yes, a different cartridge might be preferable but otherwise a 223 should do well for what you describe.

Last edited by overthere; May 20, 2016 at 08:44 AM.
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Old May 20, 2016, 08:46 AM   #7
kraigwy
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Quote:
" a bolt action rifle in 223 cal. it will primarily be a range rifle and a little varmint hunting."

You're looking at the WRONG cartridge.
Besides the actual inadequacy of the cartridge, the rifle selection is limited by the requirement for a fast twist barrel to handle a "long range" type bullet in this cartridge
You're kidding of course, or at least I hope you are.

OP wants a Range/Varmint Rifle.

The 223 would be an excellent choice for his needs. I've shot some good 1000 yard scores with the AR Service Rifle AR, it KING in across the course HP Service Rifle (200, 300 & 600 yards). Bullet selection from 52 to 80 grns. makes it an excellent ACCURATE, varmint rifle, and with proper bullets its good for antelope/deer size animals.

Tons of cheap ammo and components.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To the OP:

Take a look at the Ruger American Predator Rifle.

http://www.ruger.com/products/americ...eets/6944.html

Don't let the price scare you, you can normally find it $100-150 cheaper then the MSRP.

But don't let the price fool you either. It has most of the features the Ruger Precision Rifle has, including Barrel and Trigger.

The 223 version comes with 1:8 twist, meaning its good for bullets from the 52 gr Match to the 80 SMKs.

The barrel is pre-threaded for instillation of a Brake or Suppressor.

I have a Remington 700 BDL Varmint in 223. Heavy Barrel. At the recommendations of the AMU Sniper School it was set us AND I USED it, as a LE Sniper/Counter Rifle.

Its a super accurate rifle, but 1-12 twist (which was pretty much all that was available when I used it in the 70-80s in LE).

The Ruger American Predator I tried out shot my Remington and is cheaper then what I paid for the Remington in 1978.
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Last edited by kraigwy; May 20, 2016 at 08:51 AM.
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Old May 20, 2016, 08:51 AM   #8
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Based on rifles I have, and use, I'd buy a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless in 223, with the 20 inch barrel and the 1 in 8 twist rate. Light weight and great accuracy. Or, go with the Varmint model for a heavier barrel.

I have the rifle in 260, and for whatever reason, it's just very easy to shoot accurately. My 223 is a Ruger Hawkeye, with a Timney trigger, bedded action, and Benchmark barrel, and it is a great shooter. But it seems that I have to work harder to shoot tiny groups. The Tikka makes it easy. Why? Heck if I know.

I don't need another 223, but if I could find a valid reason to buy another one, it would be a Tikka - either the Lite Stainless or the Varmint model in stainless, with the 20 inch barrel. I wouldn't even look at anything else.
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Old May 20, 2016, 10:15 AM   #9
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FWIW my recent T3 Lite .223 came with a 1 in 10 twist.
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Old May 20, 2016, 11:17 AM   #10
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Funny how time flies, whether you're having fun or not. Almost 20 years back, I bought a like-new Ruger 77 Mk II Light Sporter in .223. Even with the tort-liability trigger, it was reliably half-MOA for five shots. So, Timney time.

Only good things to say about that little jewel. Pure poison for prairie poodles.
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Old May 20, 2016, 11:22 AM   #11
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I have a Howa-Weatherby with sub-moa guarantee in that caliber, and I'm very happy with it but for the magazine that can be odd to load with the small cartridge. They're now making a new version with a small receiver designed for the 223, might want to check it out.
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Old May 20, 2016, 11:33 AM   #12
David R
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Savage walking varminter. Model 25 Bull Barrel, Thumbhole stock.

Shoots great, I use it every week in the 100 yard offhand Rifle match.

David
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Old May 20, 2016, 11:39 AM   #13
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I have a 80's vintage 110E that I'm pretty sure has a 1:12 twist. It shoots everything from Federal 40gr Blitz to Win 64gr Power Point very well. It has been a great little rifle.
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Old May 20, 2016, 11:55 AM   #14
Kvon2
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I have a cz 527 in 7.62x39 like someone mentioned above. They chamber it in .223 and its a great gun. If you have a little more budget i have a browning x bolt in .223 and its my favorite gun to shoot. I have the white gold medallion version and its my pride and joy.
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Old May 20, 2016, 12:23 PM   #15
weblance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REBS
I want a 223 bolt rifle
Hey!! Me too. I've been seriously looking at the Ruger American Predator, and the Ruger American Ranch in 223. Both get excellent reviews, 1/2" MOA with favored ammo, crisp adjustable trigger, tang safety, 1-8 twist, and can be had in the mid to upper $300s. The two models I listed have a threaded barrel, and an installed pic rail for optics.
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Old May 20, 2016, 03:28 PM   #16
rebs
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Quote:
Take a look at the Ruger American Predator Rifle.

http://www.ruger.com/products/americ...eets/6944.html

Don't let the price scare you, you can normally find it $100-150 cheaper then the MSRP.

But don't let the price fool you either. It has most of the features the Ruger Precision Rifle has, including Barrel and Trigger.

The 223 version comes with 1:8 twist, meaning its good for bullets from the 52 gr Match to the 80 SMKs.

The barrel is pre-threaded for instillation of a Brake or Suppressor.

I have a Remington 700 BDL Varmint in 223. Heavy Barrel. At the recommendations of the AMU Sniper School it was set us AND I USED it, as a LE Sniper/Counter Rifle.

Its a super accurate rifle, but 1-12 twist (which was pretty much all that was available when I used it in the 70-80s in LE).

The Ruger American Predator I tried out shot my Remington and is cheaper then what I paid for the Remington in 1978.
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Kraig, That looks like what I am looking for, but that moss green stock, wish it was black.
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Old May 20, 2016, 07:12 PM   #17
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If you are shooting primarily from a bench, I would go with a Savage model 12. If it is going to be carried very much, I would look at a model 11 or a CZ527.
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Old May 20, 2016, 11:35 PM   #18
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Rebs,

I had the same desire recently. I wanted a rifle to shoot for fun and for cheap. I looked at all the options and I bought a Savage 11 Trophy Predator Hunter. It didn't disappoint me. Easy sub-MOA with factory ammo and I went out and shot milk-jugs at 600 yards no-problem. I put a 6-24x50mm Vortex Viper PST on it.



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Old May 21, 2016, 05:14 AM   #19
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I have a CZ 527 euro varmint that can hold 1/2 moa with fiocci polymer tip 50 gr factory ammo and is a beautiful gun. Mine has 1:12 twist for varmint weight bullets. Two guys at the club at shooting 527 in 223 with the new 1:9 twist and getting similar, excellent results with 55gr bullets. Infinitely nicer than Remington or Savage. The cz can be had in beautiful blue steel and walnut in an age of matt finish and plastic.

http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-527-euro-varmint-223-rem/

The carbine is a nice hunting gun, even if not asked for in this post:

http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-527-carbine-223-rem/

The savage is a long length action blocked off for 223. The Remington is a medium action blocked off for a 223. The tikka, cz and sako use true mini actions for the 223.

The sako, while in another class does offer choice of twist in 12, 10 or 8 per inch.I believe tikka offers choices as well.

Since the OP mentioned varmint hunting, I would suggest 9,10 or 12 twist over the 7 or 8 suggest by others. BTW, Mobuck has a valid point. I think the 1:9 compromise maybe working out.
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Old May 21, 2016, 06:56 PM   #20
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I'd get a Tikka .223. They may not be available in stainless, but the blued model is fine. I have a blued/synthetic .243 Tikka and it's a real tack-driver out of the box, but may buy the .223, despite owning an older Tikka 595 in .223, which shoots 1/4" groups at 100 yards with handloads.

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Old May 21, 2016, 07:16 PM   #21
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If you end up getting a Tikka just don't tell anyone what the twist rate is. It's not worth it.
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Old May 22, 2016, 05:10 AM   #22
fourbore
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Quote:
If you end up getting a Tikka just don't tell anyone what the twist rate is. It's not worth it.
The OP said VARMINT. The Tikka Varmint is offered in 223 1:8 and 223 1:12. Not many companies recognize the dual market/mindset and give such a choice.

http://www.tikka.fi/rifles/tikka-t3/t3-varmint

These guns are known to be highly accurate. They have some polymer, and I dont care for that. Then I dont care for 2x the price to get a Sako. It is a fair compromise and given a choice of remington or savage, this would be my choice. Fortunately, today we have cz. It seems to me CZ is filling the void for traditional rifles that Ruger filled in the 60's & 70's.

Last edited by fourbore; May 22, 2016 at 05:21 AM.
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Old May 22, 2016, 07:25 AM   #23
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The Mini 1500 Howa is one to look at .Barret is coming out with some light weight hunting rifles . I use a Kimber which is also light weight .
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Old May 22, 2016, 07:51 AM   #24
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Kimber makes an amazing 7mm-08 Adirondack. Light weight. These Adirondack are just so nice to hold. The looks is painted Kevlar or something. Not pretty in my eyes, nothing like real wood. But practical, all day long. Special scope rings are required. Talley only, right? It would be more versatile gun with a simple weaver style built in base.

I wish I could buy every gun I suggest for others.
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Old May 27, 2016, 07:03 AM   #25
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My Ruger Scout ( chambered for .223 ctg) is a rugged, heavy compact rifle that is great for pig hunting or light bench shooting, however it will not produce the groups the American predator. You indicated varmint shooting so placing the scope in the conventional location on my Scout it easily will serve both roles better.
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