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Old March 14, 2014, 08:22 AM   #1
Snyperx
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.223 or .308 for Target Shooting?

So I have been shopping for a bolt action rifle and optics now for a week or so. I am looking at getting into rifle target shooting. I currently already have a .22LR, but would like to get something that would allow me to shoot up to say 500 yds (just guessing). I live in WI and can't see me shooting really long shots at say 1000 yds. I was ready to buy a .223, but started thinking about .308 in order to get more uses out of the rifle (i.e. hunting). While I am new to hunting and already have a 12 gauge shot, I thought it might be useful to have a good all-around affordable rifle caliber as well. The rifle will more than likely see basic 80% target use, non competition.

So my dilemma is .223 or .308? Thanks!!
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Old March 14, 2014, 08:51 AM   #2
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Both are very capable of 500 yard shots. 223 will be cheaper to load for,,but will limit your deer shots in yardage for sure. The 308 would be my choice for your 2 you have selected. I have one set up for FTR Class shooting. I don't want to be the one that throws other options at you ,but there are a few others that would serve your purpose better. The 308 is a smooth,accurate,easy to load for set up.
And if the chance comes by you can stretch it well past 500 yards for paper punching.
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Old March 14, 2014, 08:55 AM   #3
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I'm into beachrest target shooting, Rem 700 LTR 308 cal. If you go with a 308 for target use, go on the heavy side,weight makes it easier on recoil. Heavy barrel no longer than 24", good trigger & save your money for a good scope up to 24 power. Once you get into accuracy,then comes reloading, blueprinting the action but wait till you need a new barrel est. 3000 rounds. Ten years ago I was where you are now. It would have been cheaper if I went for a custom target rifle. It is a injoyable sport with great people,this forum will give you alot of help,you will see with the reply's to come. Read up on everything before you buy. Hope I helped. Chris
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Old March 14, 2014, 09:00 AM   #4
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If your deer hunting would be from a stand, Chris's idea would work. A heavy rifle is not the proper tool for walking-hunting. The only additional need would be a scope of lesser magnification, for a wider field of view. Re-sighting it would be no big deal.
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Old March 14, 2014, 09:46 AM   #5
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What kind of "target" shooting interests you? Bullseye, either in three shooting positions or just laying down on your belly? Group shooting from benches or laying down on your belly? Silhouette? Or just plain paper with a mark on it to aim at?
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Old March 14, 2014, 09:54 AM   #6
Snyperx
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Quote:
What kind of "target" shooting interests you? Bullseye, either in three shooting positions or just laying down on your belly? Group shooting from benches or laying down on your belly? Silhouette? Or just plain paper with a mark on it to aim at?
The current range I have access to has benches that you can shoot from. As for as the target type I would be doing group shooting.
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Old March 14, 2014, 10:55 AM   #7
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Informal target shooting just buy a Ruger American .223, it uses a 1 in 8" twist rate. That will let you stabalize heavier target bullets that will be better for 500 yards, than the standard 55-62 grain bullets. Plus since it'll be your first rifle larger than a .22 the recoil will be negligible and you can keep learning the mechanics/fundamentals better than with a .308 Win.

You can always buy a .308 later on to compliment your other rifles. The .223 will just allow you to range shoot much cheaper, and the more bullets you put down range the faster you can learn. If I were you I'd plan to eventually own both rifles.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:25 AM   #8
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6BR would be my choice...light "kicker", too. Otherwise, .308.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:30 AM   #9
Snyperx
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Quote:
6BR would be my choice...light "kicker", too. Otherwise, .308.
The problem with 6BR is it is not easy to find around here.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:36 AM   #10
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Try Savage. They make a nice one and their accuracy is superb. Plus, you don't have to turn the necks like you would in a custom rifle.

Model 12: LVPR in 6BR

http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/models/
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:41 AM   #11
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I totally agree with "taylorce1". Right now you are thinking 1 rifle will do the trick, trust me, it wont. The 223 is really enjoyable to shoot, light recoil, very accurate and fairly cheap to load for. Get something heavier later on. I bought a 7-08 2 years ago and started loading for it and mainly use it for deer hunting and target shooting, then came my Tikka 223 and the dies for it. Home from work yesterday due to the foul weather here in the northeast I got online and ordered a 243 Vanguard ( been wanting a 243 for a while). This shooting/reloading thing is very addictive!!!!
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:18 PM   #12
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I agree with the Savage recommendation above. I just picked up a 10p in 308 for shooting subsonic suppressed stuff. Yesterday shot a 3/4" group with a subsonic handload and a 208gn bullet.

Very accurate rifle. Wont break the bank. Some nice features built in.

If you reload you can make it as recoil tame as you want.

I dont think you can go wrong with a Savage and then spend the extra coin on some GOOD glass
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:21 PM   #13
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Yep, put a Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x scope on it and you can knock the knee caps off a fly at 100 yards.
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:36 PM   #14
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All else being equal, the .308 is obviously a superior cartridge for distance. I don't think I'd put much stock into the .223 past 300 yards or so, but I'm not an amazing shooter and I'm sure many will disagree with me. At around 500 yards, the .308 should be easier to keep on target if you do your part, but it CAN be done with the .223. If you plan on taking it hunting, I'd find out exactly what you can harvest animals with in your state. In Illinois where I live, deer can only be taken with a 12 gauge slug gun. Personally, I'd go for the .308 in a bolt gun.
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Old March 14, 2014, 01:01 PM   #15
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Sniperx, if your local range is 100 to 200 yards max, then a .223 will do just fine. Cheap and easy to shoot accurately.

Col Colt, if any scope's gonna allow a rifle to shoot the knee caps or even the big toes, off a fly, the rifle it's mounted on and the ammo in it needs to shot by someone no worse than caliber accuracy. If it's a 22 caliber rifle, all shots must fall inside .22 inches extreme spread. Scopes don't improve a rifle's accuracy; they only let the rifle be more precicely aimed on target.
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Old March 14, 2014, 01:07 PM   #16
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Bart- I just have to . True Bart,but you can't shoot the knee caps off a fly if you can't see them ha ha. Lets get away from the maiming flies-PETA will jump on us. Can't have a bunch of fly's buzzing around with no knee caps. I would still take the 308 over the 223,just because of the 500 yards he mentioned and for hunting. Pure target at 300--223 all the way only because of cost of reloading.
I have never found the kick of a 308 to be bothersome at all.
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Old March 14, 2014, 01:09 PM   #17
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Well, Bart-If you have a 20x scope on a decent 6BR rifle and can't hit them knee caps you need some shooting lessons.
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Old March 14, 2014, 03:32 PM   #18
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My next target gun will be 6BR... but between 223 and 308, for the uses you posted, id go with 308. It will be better at long range and better for hunting medium game, but it is a bit more expensive.
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Old March 14, 2014, 06:09 PM   #19
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Why not combine the best of both and go with a 243? Youll have the light recoil but also have the power to shoot deer. I think the 243 will do better than the 223 at the 500 yd range you talked about. From your 2 choices though, id go with the 308 for what you want to do. Youll get much more of a range of bullet weights for varmin all the way up to large game. I wanted a 308 for the same reasons as you, but i went with the 243 for the lower recoil because, like you, most of my shooting is at paper but also wanted something to knock down deer.
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Old March 14, 2014, 07:53 PM   #20
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The 69 and 77 grain .223 Federal GM match ammunition almost mirrors the the trajectory of the 175 grain .308 GM match ammunition to 500 yards. They both drift a little more than the .308 but not much in reality. So for paper punching performance there is little difference between the .308 and .223, just one is easier on the shoulder and pocketbook.

Hunting the edge definately goes to the .308 there is no arguing that. However, with the good premium bullets being offered today for the .223 it kills deer pretty well, just ask my 11 year old. The .223 is legal in the OP's state so he can hunt as well as target shoot with a .223 no problem.
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Old March 14, 2014, 08:28 PM   #21
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Well, ColColt, if any scope's gonna allow a rifle to shoot the knee caps or even the big toes, off a fly, the rifle it's mounted on and the ammo in it needs to shot by someone no worse than caliber accuracy. If it's a 22 caliber rifle, all shots must fall inside .22 inches extreme spread.

So a decent 6BR rifle like you mentioned according to the above (which is identical to what I said in post 15), it's accuracy would be 6mm extreme spread. Most 6BR rifles shoot all their shots inside .24 inches; that's caliber accuracy for 6mm bores.

Is this what you mean?
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Old March 15, 2014, 06:12 AM   #22
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I'm pitching my vote with DBC3- it seems a .243 could be a win/win for the OP. This post is giving me a big dose of the sads because I guess I'm going to have to throw away all of my Mueller scopes now.
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Old March 15, 2014, 06:20 AM   #23
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Hey 10-96 I was just thinking about getting a mueller scope, you have at least 1...how do you like it?
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Old March 15, 2014, 08:01 AM   #24
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NHSHOOTER-- Not to get off OP post here but, I have a 8-32 x 40 Muller. I love it. For $240.00 it was a great deal. Tracking is real good ( passed the box test ). Clarity on 32 power was still good. I am not a fan of the 40mm,but I am getting used to it. I like it enough that I am going to order another one for my 243 also.
Clicks are good and solid. I have it on my 308 right now and have well over 500 rounds with no issues. Holding zero since day one so far.
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Old March 15, 2014, 08:42 AM   #25
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4runnerman Thanks for the report on the mueller scope, I too would be putting it on a 243...rifle is due in next week, scope to come soon after. Checking all my options.
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