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Old March 20, 2013, 07:10 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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How about .223?

I recently posted an email asking people's views on my next rifle purchase, including all my preferences. All options were in .308 as I have reloading dies and it is a round that seems capable of reaching my dream of 1km!

One model was the CZ 550 Varmint. It ticks almost all the boxes. It is also the most expensive.

However, a new option has arisen: a used CZ 527 Varmint in .223. The best bit is it is WAAAAY cheaper than the new options I have been looking at

What would a .308 do that a .223 could not?
By this I mean, people say that a .308 is an 800-1000m round, tops. Beyond that it ceases to maintain decent energy and velocity.

So, what would be the equivalent figures for .223 whilst still being in its own efficacy range?

If .308 can be used on Elk, for example, as the biggest kind of game it can comfortably handle, what sort of game would .223 limit me to, if I chose to hunt?
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Old March 20, 2013, 07:44 AM   #2
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Pond, James Pond

I have a CZ 550 in .30-06 and a CZ 527 Varmint in .223 with the Kevlar Stock.

My 527 Varmint is incredibly accurate and the Varmint models have a 1:9 twist so they can accurately shoot heavier bullets. The regular 527s have a 1:12 twist so they are most accurate up to 55 grains or so.

My 527 with a 1:9 twist has averaged in the 0.3s and 0.4s at 100 yards with at least one hand load with each weight bullet from 40 grains to 69 grains (that turns out to be 64 loads out out 187 tested). Actually, its top 25 hand loads average 0.385 for almost 300 measured groups. It also averages under 0.7 with 75 grain bullets.

The Varmint's 1:9 twist would give you a lot of hunting options.
The Varmint version isn't too heavy so you could hunt with it without noticing it, especially if you already hunt with a CZ 550. My 550 American with the Kevlar stock (even with a hunting barrel) is much heavier than the 527 Varmint with the Kevlar stock.

The .223 is supposed to be accurate out to about 600 yards, although I haven't shot mine over 250 because we don't have a range longer than that. I can attest that the .223 holds its accuracy out to 250 yards, at least.

The 527 would be a good choice as far as I am concerned. My CZ 527 Varmint is one of my most accurate rifles and is a joy to shoot.

The .308 is supposed to be accurate out to 1000 yards if you load for the right velocity and use a 175 grain or 180 grain bullet. I can't comment on that either for the same reasons - no chance to prove it. However, at 100 yards my .308 (a Savage, not a CZ)shoots 168 grain bullets more accuately but at 200+ yards the 175 grain Sierra Match Kings and Nosler Custom Competition bullets seem to be more accurate.
I was told by an ex-sniper that was because the 175 bullets don't stabilize until after 100 yards but I have no way to verify that.

I also like my CZ 550 but mine is in .30-06 and is a good hunting rifle that averages under 0.6 at 100 yards with 175-178 grain bullets.
I recently found a few loads that shoot in the 0.5s so there is accuracy there if you wait for the barrel to cool.
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Old March 20, 2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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The 223 is also good for 1000 yards. It's used in that distance in Service Rifle 1000 yard matches.

However you need a fast twist, 1:7, and 80 - 90 gr bullets. Those long pencil bullets need to be loaded long, they wont fit in the magazine, but in those matches you single load anyway.

They can be used in the deer/antelope class animals but you should us 60+ gr bullets and keep your hunting under 300 yards.
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:46 AM   #4
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go with the .308, yes its possible to shoot good groups with a 223 on the 1000yard range but its very tricky and can only be done with a rifle with 1in10 twist or even faster because you need heavy bullets.

I use my anschuetz 1770D (1in9 twist) on the 1000yard range a lot, but it took me months of trying different loads to get good accuracy at this distance.
With my 308 i got it done in 2 weeks...
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Old March 20, 2013, 11:00 AM   #5
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Jame, you may remember from your other post that I said I love my CZ 527 Heavy Varmint in .223. With the right load it's a tack driver.

The others have pretty well covered the range end and bullet usage. So here's a little different twist on your inquiry. You had mentioned hunting in your other post.

The difference between .223 and .308. .223 will take anything from squirrel and rabbet (head shots if want to eat them) up to "small" deer and pig. I shy away using it from deer and larger pigs. That's where the .308 comes in. .308 is good for wolf size animals to "probably" close range, 100 yards or less Moos. I may get corrected on the moos size animal. That's where the 30/06 comes into it's own. Wolf, deer, elk, moos, bear 30-06. There are overlaps between all the calibers and people will argue what should be used for what. .223 shines for varmints.

If you want long range range rifle go .308.

527 Heavy Varmint.


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Old March 20, 2013, 12:02 PM   #6
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You will get a bit more effective range and downrange energy out of the .308.

i would use it on smaller-medium sized game. I wouldn't trust it on elk, but I believe I could take a small-medium deer. Not sure what type of deer you have over there. I have seen some hunting shows about Roe Deer, those would be a very acceptable sized deer for .223.

For deer that are over 200lbs adult weight, I would want the .308. From the 150-200lb deer, shot placement is going to be important, but a good shot will do the job. Some species of deer get so large that I would want something bigger than .308 to hunt.

What species might you be going after if you decide to go hunting?
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Old March 20, 2013, 12:18 PM   #7
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Three factors make this 527 a viable option.

None of them I am overly happy about. ...

The first is financial . I'd love to have the money to buy what I want and shoot it as much as I want, but at €1 per cheapest .308 (from a reputable brand) shooting my rifle is not cheap and about twice the price of decent .223s

So not only would the rifle be cheaper to buy but also much cheaper to run with factory rounds or reloads.

Secondly, there is the fact that I am not sure I am a good enough shot to reach out to 1000m . Considering I've been shooting now for about 18mths , I think I'm doing OK, occassionally getting "full houses" in the pistol and rifle matches in IPSC, but that is all short range. But I'm no Quigley, or if I am, this hasn't shone through just yet.
I am competent. I think it comes to me relatively easily, but that doesn't make me evolution's gift to sharpshooting!!

Thirdly, and probably the easiest to address is that I am relatively recoil shy on my .308 . The stock can kick but as members have pointed out, a good butt on my stock can resolve that.

Yes, I'd still like to be good with and afford a .308, but wanting doesn't make it fact. Perhaps this is my pragmatic side coming through...

Quote:
What species might you be going after if you decide to go hunting?
Absolutley no idea... Really, I don't know, but I would choose game that my rifle can take effectively. I guess though that boar, deer or smaller would be on the "menu". For boar, I do have a 12ga if .223 were too light which I imagine it would be...
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Old March 20, 2013, 01:00 PM   #8
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I don't know how big the boar are where you are (boar are pretty tough skinned/muscled) or how open an area you would be shooting at them in but I wouldn't want to try to take a big one from the ground in the woods with a .223. 100, 125 Lbs. with a 69 gr. bullet "maybe". Anything bigger give me a tree or the .308. I've seen pig take with HMR .17. But they only weighed about 75 Lbs. and were shot at night over an open field.
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Old March 20, 2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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I'm with Jerry45, in that the 308 is better if you are going after game. It's actually more than enough for most critters, like the 223 is a bit less than enough for most critters. For instance, I shoot pigs when and where I can and the distance can be 400 yards or more. A lot of folks will say to shoot em behind the ear, but that isn't realistic at 400 yards on a moving pig. Go with the 308, which is good for most all ranges and all critters of reasonable size.
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Old March 20, 2013, 02:45 PM   #10
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the smaller the rifle, less the muzzle energy, the closer the range required and the more accurate the shot needed to bring down an animal. Not to mention how far a wounded animal is likely to run before expiring, adding to your hunting efforts.

On the farm, we killed pigs with a 22 short--but at point blank range. I would recommend at least a .308 for pigs--tough animals.

For longer range big anaimal, at least a 30-06. I know you can kill them with less but anything worth shooting is worth shooting well.

I have a .338 lapua magnum which is good for 1000 yd shots at elk....not sure when that's gonna happen.

--Jerry
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Old March 20, 2013, 04:36 PM   #11
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I've followed your posts and think a target grade 223 might be your best choice. You've posted in the past about 308 recoil being a bit much. From a heavy target rifle a 223's recoil will be almost non-existant. At least here ammo is much cheaper. The 308 is a better choice for hunting game larger than deer. I'm not sure what you would hunt in Europe, but on animals under 200-250 lbs. a 223 is quite good as long as proper bullets are used.
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Old March 20, 2013, 06:38 PM   #12
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jmr40, not to be contrary or argumentative, but if you shot a 200 Lb. pig with a .223 it will either laugh at you or eat you. If you shoot a 200 Lb. deer with a .223 good luck finding it when it finally does die. Unless your a very, very good shot and have a prefect shot.

Don't forget the CZ Heavy Varmint has a 1 in 9 twist, you won't be getting a 78 or 90 gr. bullet to stabilize very well. It's call Varmint for a reason.
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Old March 20, 2013, 08:52 PM   #13
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I'd lean towards the .308 also if hunting is indeed in your future. The .223 is a great cartridge and capable of taking medium game although I personally wouldn't hunt deer with one it can be done. A lot of people pick the .223 for beginner whitetail hunters due to the low recoil thus allowing them to place their bullets where they need to be without flinching. Anything bigger than a whitetail deer and you're going to want the .308. Also when it comes to long range shooting, and believe me I'm no expert, I think the heavier bullets fired from the .308 will help a little with wind drift. I suspect a 150-168gr .30 caliber bullet will drift less than a 90gr .22 caliber bullet. If I'm wrong in that assumption someone please correct me as I have no experience beyond about 250yds.

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Old March 20, 2013, 11:23 PM   #14
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James,

In regards to recoil, you need to get a limb save or one of the like products.

My brother put one on his 7mm Rem Mag and tamed it down dramatically (and in my opinion, thats the nastiest shooting rifle out there and I am not recoil shy).

You may still want a 223 for all the good reasons, but there is no reason 308 should be an issue if thats your choice in the end.

Not something we had 35 years ago, great options now in that regard.
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Old March 21, 2013, 01:42 AM   #15
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I have a CZ527, but I do not like it much. I have blown it up twice, it is on the third bolt. I have made and bought scope mounts to fit that weird standard.
I might like it better in 223.
I have a custom .223 reamer and a lot of 223 rifles.
My favorite .223 is Ruger #1V.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CZ527 with Pac Nor 19 Badger barrel 3-20-2013.jpg (40.6 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg CZ527withboltaction.jpg (89.9 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg CZ527Weaverfronttiny.jpg (25.5 KB, 21 views)
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Old March 21, 2013, 08:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
jmr40, not to be contrary or argumentative, but if you shot a 200 Lb. pig with a .223 it will either laugh at you or eat you. If you shoot a 200 Lb. deer with a .223 good luck finding it when it finally does die. Unless your a very, very good shot and have a prefect shot.
We have shot pigs over the 200 lb mark several times each year with ARs, and one shot does them in. A shot in the neck or behind the ear will anchor them on the spot.

We also had a friend take a 220 lb Texas buck this past season with a .223 Barnes TTSX.... The deer went all of 10 yards before piling up. My brother shot a slightly smaller whitetail with a Nosler Partition that ran about 30 yards.

None of the aforementioned animals laughed at us... And none required any extra energy to find. And all tasted just fine afterwards.

Bullet construction has come a long way in the past 10-15 years. The .223 is a good performer with a premium hunting bullet; don't dog it if you haven't had any experience with it.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:36 AM   #17
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I grew up using .22lr single shot to kill hogs on up to 300lbs and larger. It's all about shot placement. Of course these were hogs that were being held by good catch dogs and shot in the brain but .223 is plenty of gun for hog hunting if you have a clue what you are doing. 300 Win Mag is not enough if you don't.

As for deer, my brother in law killed two last year with his AR in .223 with 55gr Vmax varmint loads and both didn't run far enough to have a problem finding them. Would have been rough if you had to blood trail them since there was no exit wound but shot placement is always more important than caliber.

My uncle in Alaska used to shoot Caribou with a .22lr pistol and never had a problem taking one down by shooting it right in the ear and this was running alongside it on a snow machine.

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Old March 21, 2013, 12:13 PM   #18
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I vote with Jerry45 in that the 223 just isn't the right stuff for all applications. I shot hogs with mine, using 55 gr Ballistic Tips, and now I know that it isn't enough gun. Like I said earlier, sure it'll do if you shoot em behind the ear, but when I'm 250 to 400 yards away from a moving pig on bumpy ground, shootin em behind the ear is a hope and not a sure thing. So I moved up to my 220 Swift (same bullet) and that didn't work too well. I collected most all of the pigs, but I had to do some tracking. So then I went to the 260 Remington and tracking is now something I used to do. As for what caliber for the OP to use, I'd recommend something in between the 223 and the 308, if he doesn't want the 308. So get it in 243, or 260, or 6.5 Creedmore.

We wouldn't even be having conversations like this about the 223 if it wasn't for the AR15. Looked cool, so folks wanted one and bought one. Now..what am I gonna do with it. Well, I'll punch paper. That got boring, so now what do I do with it. I'll shoot coyotes. That was fun, and wait...there's a pig. Well that worked Ok, so I'll try it on deer. I really don't remember conversations like this about the 222. It was a target round or a varmint round and everyone was Ok with that. But then the Black Gun showed up. And you spent a fortune on it getting it all dressed up. All dressed up and no place to go...Gotta shoot somethin with it. Oooo, and let's hang some lights on it.

You know some of what I'm sayin is true. And I'm sayin all this with a smile, so don't all you AR guys send me hate mail.
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Old March 21, 2013, 01:27 PM   #19
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If the most popular cartridge for elk is 30-06, then the most popular cartridge for mule deer should be the 223.

But is it not, because despite all the contrived justification, we carry all the [power - accuracy - range ] product that we can..... then we justify it.

A boy's rifle is less than 5 pounds, and a man's hunting rifle is less than 10 pounds.

So I hunt Mule deer, elk, and antelope all with the same rifle. It weighs 10 pounds with scope, sling, bipod, rear bag, and ammo.
It is a 7mmRM for the ruminants.

I hunt ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and coyotes with the .223.
It is a single shot fat barrel for the rodents and an AR for the canidae.
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Old March 21, 2013, 04:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark
I have a CZ527, but I do not like it much. I have blown it up twice, it is on the third bolt. I have made and bought scope mounts to fit that weird standard.
I might like it better in 223.
I have a custom .223 reamer and a lot of 223 rifles.
My favorite .223 is Ruger #1V.
I'd like to know what your 527 is chambered in and how you've blown it up twice and gone through three bolts.

I knew I guy once that sheered the lugs off a Winchester Model 70 .270 bolt and blew the action out of Winchester 30-30 leaver action all in the same day. How he didn't blow his face off I don't know. I asked what he did to blow them up. He said, "I must have used too much powder".

I put one of these Model 527 16mm/Picatinny Rail Adapters (20 MOA) on my 527 and it works perfectly.

http://kinneysshootingsupply.com/cz5...022-p-965.html

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Old March 21, 2013, 10:39 PM   #21
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The 19 badger is based on the 30 carbine case.
The CZ527 22 hornet barrel is removed and surplussed.
I bought it, worked up loads, and the chamber support did not reach the web.
Before the primer pocket could get loose, the side of the case failed and the gas cutting destroyed the bolt face.

I have rebarreled a number of rifles myself, and so far I have always managed to get chamber support to the case web.

My Pac Nor CZ527 was given a d different feed ramp and the should set back [not by me]. I have not worked a load since and the rifle has gathered dust for years.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:01 AM   #22
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IMO a .223 is at best a marginal deer caliber and only makes sense on small deer, under 250 yards and with a heavy bullet. A .308 delivers significantly more energy and at longer ranges. If you're recoil sensitive to a .308 but want more energy and range than a .223, I think you should consider a .243 or better yet a 7mm-08. I've taken many large deer with the 7mm-08 and 2 elk at short range, and the 7mm-08 recoil is mild.
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Old March 22, 2013, 04:59 AM   #23
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perfect for roedeer which I assume you have, fox hunting.

you probably have laws/regulations concerning calibres and hunting
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Old March 22, 2013, 01:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark
The 19 badger is based on the 30 carbine case.
The CZ527 22 hornet barrel is removed and surplussed.
I bought it, worked up loads, and the chamber support did not reach the web.
Before the primer pocket could get loose, the side of the case failed and the gas cutting destroyed the bolt face.

I have rebarreled a number of rifles myself, and so far I have always managed to get chamber support to the case web.

My Pac Nor CZ527 was given a d different feed ramp and the should set back [not by me]. I have not worked a load since and the rifle has gathered dust for years.
Now I understand. I though you blew up factory rifles and ruined the bolts with the ammo the rifle was originally chamber for.

I had a bad batch of primers. Keep blowing holes and pitted the face of my 06 bolt. Still works though.

The only thing I really dislike about the CZ is the scope mount. But then you don't have to worry about bass screw coming loos with the right rings. I'd still rather have it cut for Picatinny/Weaver or screws.
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Old March 22, 2013, 02:05 PM   #25
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I have to say that I do like the .223 cartridge,having done my first rifle IPSC match the other day, using the RM's own AR15. That was FUN, but I think I've resolved the rifle problem.

The .223 Varmint was very nice, but I've just found a .308 CZ 550 Varmint secondhand for the same money, so I put down a deposit. It is a really good deal in my opinion, so my .223 needs will have to be met by some semi-auto for IPSC.....
Expect yet more questions about the CZ VZ58 in the near future...

(I'm sure I told myself that this bolt action would be my last gun purchase )
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