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Old January 8, 2013, 07:02 PM   #1
Murauder
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Buying a new bolt action .223

I'm looking to buy a new .223 bolt action. I have narrowed it down to 2 rifles. The savage 11 trophy hunter xp with a nikon prostaff 3-9x40mm with BDC mounted and boresighted. Or the marlin xs7 varmint hunter model 70954.
Now the savage is a great package. I can find it locally for $459 plus tax. Comes with detachable box mag, accutrigger, the scope/rings, and a 22" sporter weight barrel with 1 in 9 twist.

The marlin i can only find online for around $350 plus transfer fees, etc. it has a 26" heavy weight barrel with 1 in 9 twist. And an adjustable trigger. I was going to throw the prostaff 4-12x40mm with bdc on a set of warne qd medium rings for a total price around $600.

I'm wondering what the experts here think is the better deal?
How much better is the heavy barrel and the 4 extra inches for range/accuracy?
Worth the extra $150 or so dollars for it plus 4-12 instead of 3-9 power scope?

New here. And new to bolt actions (shot them before. never owned one). And i love it
Thanks
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Old January 8, 2013, 07:11 PM   #2
kraigwy
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I don't know about either rifle. I've heard, but don't know, that Savage woud be the most accurate.

What I do know, is there is not advantage to the extra 4 in barrel on with a 223. The most accurate in that cal would be in the 18 - 20 range. That is unless you are planning on using iron sights. Then the extra sight radius would be an advantage.

The Mann accuracy device that the Army uses to test ammo for the 5.56/223 is right at 18 inches.
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Old January 8, 2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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I think a lot of it will come down to what you plan to do with the rifle.

Take a look at their weights and factor that in by how much walking you plan on doing with it. I find that I usually get a bit more accuracy out of a heavier barrel, but I don't want to walk through the woods with a rifle with a long heavy barrel.

I think 26 inches of barrel is more than a .223 really needs. Personally, I would find a shorter heavy barrel to be much more handy.
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Old January 8, 2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Have you been paying attention to the current .223 ammunition availability? Before you go out and buy a .223 you migh want to reconsider if you want to be able to shoot it anytime soon. It is almost impossible to find any .223 on a shelf at anywhere right now, the pickings are pretty slim with most ammunition but the .223 is almost non existant.

Reloading components are throught the roof as well you can't find any brass or primers in stock and the common bullets are pretty well picked over as well. 1K rounds of unprocessed 1X brass is selling for nearly $200 at auction, 5K primers will bring between $200-300+ depending on what type. Powder is getting pretty scarce most places as well.

I'd say right now isn't the time to get a .223 Rem. I'd look at a .204 Ruger, .22-250 Rem, or .243 Win as I can find ammunition on the shelf for these most places. However the choice and quantity is very limited on these as well, but they are at least sitting around longer than a few minutes when the stores get them in stock.
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Old January 8, 2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex0535
I think a lot of it will come down to what you plan to do with the rifle.
I concur. I'd also look at available twists, depending on what bullet weight you want to use.

If you're looking for a heavy barreled precision rifle, you could do a lot worse than the Model 10 Precision Carbine. It's got a 1:9 twist barrel, which will stabilize bullets up to 62-65 grains, and it comes with a 20" barrel. It weighs 8 lbs.

If you want a lighter walking rifle, that Model 11 Trophy Hunter might be just the ticket. It's got a 22" barrel and weighs 7.25 lbs. I can't tell the difference between the 11 Trophy Hunter and the 11 Hunter, but that might be my inattentiveness right now.

However, you're going to have to decide what you want to do with the rifle. If it's going to be a walking rifle, a precision rifle, or a target rifle. If you want a varmint rifle, that 12 FCV has a lot to recommend it.

Your rifle, your choice.
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:01 PM   #6
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Hey guy I just picked up the Trophy Hunter XP in a 22-250. Sweet little rifle for sure. Very mucha Tac driver. The scope is great,but of no use to me. It has been replaced already with a 8-32 x 44. You can't go wrong with a Savage. That's a good price to. They are a $700.00 rifle. I payed $499.00 for mine.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:53 PM   #7
Idashot1k
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I recently bought a Marlin xs7 26 inch bbl in 22-250.

My first handloads loads punched .72 inch groups at 200 yards.

The marlin will not disapoint, but its hard to argue against a savage....
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:01 PM   #8
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I know how hard it is to find ammo for about anything right now. 223 especially. But i can find some ammo online right now to hold me over till all this paranoia dies down.

The question for me really is. Spending all day at the range. At 100 to 200 yards. Will a 26" heavy barrel make a difference in accuracy? And is paying more for the same scope with 4-12 power over 3-9 power worth it?
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:24 PM   #9
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The 26 inch barrel should provide a higher velocity-- but not much higher. bbl's are thought to be more accurate than countoured barrels....eh thats a whole science i dont know enough to go out on a limb on.

The fact is, my savage edge 25-06 shoots a 115gr berger bullet out of its 22inch barrel at 3350 fps. It should be doing 2900. My "cheap" edge should shoot like crap, yet those pills are punching 1/2 inch groups. Im sorry but there is not definite way to pick between the two, there is much luck among all the voo-doo involved. It really depends on what money you are willing to spend. Granted savage has a better reputation for accuracy.

As for the scope...yes a higher power is a must. If you want to do longer range shooting, keep in mind the crosshairs will increase in width at the farther ranges. Your Cross hairs could be inches across at 300 yards-- Not good for groups. Also keep in mind the limited number of clicks for elevation adjustment, if they max out, then your magnification means nothing--aka you need a special scope.

Last edited by Idashot1k; January 8, 2013 at 11:40 PM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 06:16 AM   #10
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I second what idashot1k says- I also have a Axis in a 243. It is also a very accurate rifle. You can't go wrong with a Savage for sure. Your heavy barrel rifle will heat up slower,but take longer to cool. 6 of one half dozen of the other. You pick. As for your scope- I am on the more power side myself. I like to shoot tiny groups at a long distance. Like i said, The 9 power scope did me no good at all.
Check out Muller scopes-$240.00 gets you a 8-32 x 44. I am very impressed with mine so far. Crisp,Clear and passed the box test very well.

idashot1k- nice to hear about your 25-06. I have room for one more rifle in my safe and it has been a toss up between the Axis in a 25-06 or a 7MM-08. Looks like maybe 25-06 is the way to go.
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:44 PM   #11
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Thanks for the tip on mueller scopes the 4-16x50ao looks great. Wonder if the glass is at least up to par with nikons prostaff

Im leaning hard towards the heavy barreled marlin.
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:56 PM   #12
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I would without a doubt go with a Savage over the Marlin.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:47 PM   #13
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I just ordered up a vanguard varmint special in 223. it has the heavy barrel. the reason for its choice was two fold. I hate the poor excuse of stamped steel magazines that are used by other manufactures nowadays. also I wanted a 1 in 12 twist to use light weight thin jacketed varmint style bullets. years ago I had one when Smith and Wesson imported them. shot dime size groups. I will see what 30 years has done to my eyes. lol. bobn
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:02 AM   #14
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I considered a vangaurd also tikka and howa. But they're a bit out of my league. Heard good things about all of them including the savages and marlins.
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Old January 10, 2013, 06:20 AM   #15
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I went with the Marlin. Not a high dollar rifle but most say it will shoot with them. We will see.
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:46 PM   #16
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Which model marlin did you go for?
Let me know how it goes after you get a chance to take it out to the range?
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:01 PM   #17
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70954 X7VH Varmint Hunter Bolt 223 Rem



Waiting (im)patiently.
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Old January 10, 2013, 05:39 PM   #18
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The heavy barrel makes for more shots in a shorter time without the barrel getting so hot. Also it helps to keep the rifle level when shooting. The expense of it is that it is heavier to carry in the field if you have to carry it for a long way.

I have the Savage Model 12 FVSS Long Range in .223 Rem. It will drive tacks. At 100 yards it will put 5 in a dime with 9 cents to spare if I do my part correctly. I have a BSA 8-24x42 IR Mil Dot. With 1/8 correction increments. I bought one and liked the heck out of it. It still sits on my CZ 527 .221 Rem Fireball. My wife bought me one to put on my Savage 2 years ago on Christmas. I still use it every weekend.) When I bought price was around $150 at Acadamey.

Skip the BDC get a standard MIL Dot scope. BDC limits you to one bullet weight, and veloclity range. While a mil is mil. (3.6 inches at 100 yards at 1x magnification.)
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Old January 10, 2013, 05:44 PM   #19
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Went to range I'm a member today. Gent I shoot with occassionally showed up with the Marlin 223 Heavy barrel. Told me he'd bought it thru Buds Guns. Anyway, own a couple of the Marlin X rifles myself and quite happy with them. Gent with the .223 Heavy Varmit Barrel Marlin had only been to range 2 times with it, but so far, pleased with how well it shoots.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:19 PM   #20
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My Savage 16 WW is the most accurate OOB rifle that I've ever owned. Accustock and Trigger are the bomb.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:27 PM   #21
4runnerman
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m&p45-- What's your load you shoot?. Same rifle i have and we play tic tac toe with 9MM cases at 100 yards
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Old January 13, 2013, 09:55 PM   #22
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Savage tack driver

My savage 223 is literally a tack driver. You know those targets that are cross hatched making the whole page a bunch of little squares. At fifty yards I can shoot my way up and down the page putting a hole in each little box. It's possible to do it at 100 yards, but I'm still learning to shoot.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:57 PM   #23
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The accuracy will probably be about the same between the two rifles. From what I hear the long, heavy barrel on the Marlin makes it very front heavy with that hollow plastic stock. I have a SS Marlin XS7 and I love it. I also know that the Savage 10/110 based rifles are excellent. If you are going to lug the rifle around at all, just get the Savage. If you are going to sit at the bench or shoot prairie dogs, I would get the Marlin and immediately buy a Boyd's stock for it. Then of course there's the bedding to deal with. Some have filled the hollow butt-stock on the X7VH with plumbers-putty to balance out the rifle.

I, however, would be leary of buying either rifle sight-unseen and I am willing to bet you can find a Savage 11THXP on a rack somewhere. The Marlin may be very difficult to find and handle before purchasing.
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Old January 16, 2013, 03:16 AM   #24
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I purchased a Mossberg MVP without scope, I love this rifle, I see you have not looked at this option, but I would take a look at them for 500 USD it is a steal.

I took mine out and it shoots really good, I am a happy shooter
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:32 PM   #25
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Didn't want to start a new thread but I've decided on a 243 instead of 223 due to local ammo availability. I really like the tikka t3 lite but its just a bit out of my price range. Love the less than 90 degree bolts on a few selections out there. So here's what I've been thinking.

1. Ruger american in 243 (its around 360 locally) love the rotary mag and 70 degree bolt
2. Thompson center venture 243 (havent seen one locally yet) love everything about it other than the smaller bolt handle (wouldnt mind the dimension)
3. Tikka t3 lite 243 (if i can find a good deal on one)
Last choice would be a marlin xs7 (varmint or not) in 243
No dbm is the downside on that one. any body with one here that could tell me if the bolt is a 90 degree bolt?

really wanted a 223 for cheap and available ammo (or in the near future either). But that's not the case now. So 243 it
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