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Old December 23, 2008, 11:49 PM   #1
pacerdude
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What is the best .223 rifle for under $625?

I have recently decided to purchase a rifle in the .223 remington caliber. Because I am in college, I am on a bit of a budget. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old December 23, 2008, 11:54 PM   #2
sholling
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You didn't say what for and that makes a huge difference. For general use I'd probably look at a Savage Model 25 classic. For a varmint rifle probably a Model 25 Varmint. For a budget target rifle a Model 10FP but I'd plan on saving for a better stock for the FP. There are lots of good rifles but those are in your price range and quite good.
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Old December 24, 2008, 12:09 AM   #3
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For target/bench shooting I've had outstanding accuracy results with a Rem. 700 SPS Varmint. The 700 SPS Tactical is another , 20" barrel 1 in 9" twist and can usually be had for less than your price ceiling.

The Savage 10FP and 12FV would be good .223 choices too.
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Old December 24, 2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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Tikka T3 Lite. It has a 1 in 8 twist so it will shoot up thru the 77 grain HP's.
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Old December 24, 2008, 12:31 AM   #5
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Off hand, I would say...

Go for a Ruger mini -14 Ranch Rifle. The Ranch is just a mini made to be crowned with a scope...so mounting rings fit precisely and snugly on the piece. Mine is a blued #188xxxx; 1/9 rifling; doesn't misfire and digest any ammo 5.56 or 223, good bad and ugly, that I have thrown through it. The iron sites are **** poor on the Ranch and if I wanted to use them I'd get ghost rings and winged front site as the front blade is much too big. Any low optics will do...but I have a cheap Bushnell 3x9 that has stood, so far, the test of time and slam and still holds its zero. A 4x would be more than enough, really.

2nd only to a well made AK for durability...the rolling block (the old Grand M1) system is almost fail proof. I am not sure about the 2nd place rating, as having both AK's and the mini, I have never had problems, but neither do I shoot them weekly or run over them with my pickup.

I have had no real problems with after market mags with the mini...even no-name mags have worked well for me...except one 40 rounder, which really only allows me to load 30...but I haven't taken it apart and examined it...it might be something easily fixed. But old age creeps along and projects get put further on the back burners.

Like Ruger products in general, rugged build, few polished points, either you like them or you do not.

Mini's can be made into tack drivers...but at cost, and probably a heavier barrel...but for just 'popping up and taking shots,' why bother? They are on the whole, probably as accurate as most AK's...maybe better...which i tend to think...as my prime AK is over 19" of barrel and in a hunting rifle configuration...rather than the short aim of the pistol grip type.

All in all...give them some thought, rather than trying to score a low priced and cheap AR-15 system.

With either the Ranch and its optics or the Norenco self loading hunting rifle which takes 30 round mags...anything out to 300 meters is or will be badly hurting. After that I go with the 308...

Last edited by Jacks; December 24, 2008 at 12:48 AM. Reason: additions
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Old December 24, 2008, 12:33 AM   #6
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New: Savage, Stevens (a cheaper savage but very accurate), Tikka, or Howa 1500 Varmint (my choice for new in your price range) if you have a Joe's sporting goods sometimes they run a Howa special for $399 with scope. I think the Howa is just a touch more rifle for the money than the Tikka. Handle one.

Used may be a good option. Interarms made a mini Mauser in .223.. You could afford one and a good scope for that price. Another would be the Remington 700 which is available in heavy bench models or light carry models.
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Old December 24, 2008, 02:51 AM   #7
sholling
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Howas (and Weatherby Vanguards) are fine rifles in larger calibers but their .223 is a 1:12 twist which limiting bullet choices.
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Last edited by sholling; December 24, 2008 at 09:32 PM.
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Old December 24, 2008, 04:47 AM   #8
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I would go for the $399 Weatherby Vanguard. It's pretty much a 1500 Howa with a Weatherby style synthetic stock and a 1.5 MOA guarantee. If you don't like the trigger or it will not shoot to 1.5 MOA they will fix it on their dime.

Most shoot less than 1 MOA. I bought one in .243 and it shoots .960 groups (the included target had a .600 group) with my handloads. I expect it to get better as I work up other loads.
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Old December 24, 2008, 05:20 AM   #9
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You'd be pushing it price wise, but the CZ 527 in .223 is a great shooting rifle.
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Old December 24, 2008, 09:11 AM   #10
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If you're on a tight budget, get the Stevens 200. I don't care for the trigger since it isn't the accutrigger, but it can be lightened and this gun will typically outshoot the other more pricey guns.
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Old December 24, 2008, 09:20 AM   #11
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Go Stevens. $625 can buy you 2 brand new Stevens.
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Old December 24, 2008, 09:30 AM   #12
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If you aren't a yuppie buy used. Will save you some money and unless there is rust it is hard to damage a rifle in a way that affects it performance. You will get worn blue, stock dents, etc, but the gun will still shoot great.
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Old December 24, 2008, 09:37 AM   #13
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i read your post about you having the pacemaker and not wanting a lot of kick. i would definitely go with the ruger mini 14! the do not kick very hard because of being an auto loader. they are accurate and you can always asseserize. you can go to wal mart and get one in your price range. my walmart has them for $604.00 before tax. so that would be pretty close to your price range. they also are coming with free scope rings right now. if your wal mart does not have one in stock see if they can order one.

i dont like walmart but their gun prices are great. if they have the gun you want i would always buy from walmart because of their prices. they buy so many guns they can get them so much cheaper than other dealers
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Old December 24, 2008, 09:53 AM   #14
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This one

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/42069
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Old December 24, 2008, 07:25 PM   #15
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For that money, I'd get the Stevens 200 ($290 delivered to your FFL from Budsgunshop.com) and use the rest to put on a really good scope.
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Old December 24, 2008, 07:28 PM   #16
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weatherby vanguard
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Old December 24, 2008, 09:35 PM   #17
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Impossible to make an informed suggestion without knowing what you want to do with the rifle.
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Old December 26, 2008, 07:38 AM   #18
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Weatherby vanguard.
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Old December 26, 2008, 09:13 AM   #19
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I'd say a savage 10 or savage 11. Heck of a gun for the money. I have one in 30-06 and am very pleased with it.
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Old December 26, 2008, 09:24 AM   #20
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I've got a Howa 1500 and like it a lot. It is very accurate and a good rifle for the money. If I want to use larger bullets I use my 25-06 or 270.

I highly recomend the Howa.
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Old December 26, 2008, 11:11 AM   #21
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If you're looking for the best, the CZ or Tikka is the way to go.
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Old December 26, 2008, 11:52 AM   #22
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A family memeber of mine recently found a really good deal at a Gun shop on a NEW IN BOX "223 Bolt action" it had a Simmons scope on it. I for get which model it was but IIRC they paid less than 200 out the door. They even bought a few boxes of 223 ammo there too. The got home and figured out it is not a 223 Rem, but a 223 WSSM. OOOOPS. I guess they couldnt sell it being a bastard caliber. the "Sale" sticker was partially covering the "wssM: ha ha very very sneaky, Ammo is spensive for that critter, worse than 300 Win Mag. Dont fall into that trap
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Old December 26, 2008, 12:45 PM   #23
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Either buy a bolt action or buy an $80 AR lower from AIM Surplus and pair it with a complete upper from your favorite vendor.
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Old December 26, 2008, 12:56 PM   #24
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Give H&R a shot

I have a H&R Handi-Rifle in .204 with a bull and love it, you also cant beet the price. i got the bull .204 for $240. I know thay make a .223 with or with out the bull barrel.
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Old December 27, 2008, 12:13 AM   #25
pacerdude
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thanks for the info. i would basically be using it for target practice. I have been pleased with my Ruger rimfire pistol and all other Rugers that I have fired.So if I find a good deal on a Ruger I will probably go for it. But the Stevens seem to have a price that is really hard to beat.
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