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Old September 30, 2012, 01:32 PM   #1
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Distance .223 Bolt-Action Rifle?


I was asking elsehwere for suggestions for a good all-around long-distance capable varmint/target gun. Mostly target and some pest control on my country property. I like the long-barrel types and don't mind weight cause I shoot off the ground or back of my ATV. I don't want to spend more than $1,000 area unless you think it's really worth it. These were some that were mentioned to me:

Remington 700 VT
CZ-527 VT
Tikka T3 Varmint
Ruger M77 Mark II

Also an affordable long-distance ammo and an all-around mid-range .223 ammo.

And mid-range ($) scope for up to 400 yards about?

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Old September 30, 2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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Why not an ar? I see your only looking for bolt guns, is there a specific reason your not interested in an AR? For the reasons you've stated I believe an AR would be ideal. I have a RRA standard model with 20' barrel, I've shot out to 500 yards with a scope, I tried 600 but couldn't hit anything, I didn't know what the bullet drop was at that distance, but at 500 it wasent to hard to keep the steal ringing. The model I have sell for around $850-$900 .
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Old September 30, 2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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You're right. Doesn't have to be bolt-action.
I was told they are the most accurate/true.
I'm not sure if the AR is legal in Canada though?

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Old September 30, 2012, 02:50 PM   #4
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Remington 700 or the CZ. With either a Nikon Monarch scope with BDC reticle. Or a vortex viper with dead-hold BDC reticle. The combination of rifle and scope should fit your budget and perform well. Link. I would not get larger than a 4-12x40 for that set up.
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Old September 30, 2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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Will check it out. Much appreciated.
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:34 PM   #6
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A nice all around bullet for the 223 is the 68 grain or 75. However, this requires a 1/9 twist or tighter. Many rifles carry a 1/12 twist but lately makers are offering barrels that can handle heavier bullets. When you chose the rifle be sure the twist rate will stabilize your bullet of choice.
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Old September 30, 2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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I'd go for either the Tikka T3 varmint or a RRA AR15.
The Tikka has a 1:8 barrel twist and the RRA varmint models come with a 1:9 I think.
I have a Tikka T3 and its a beautiful gun, great trigger great action and accurate. I've shot 40gr bullets up to 69gr bullets and both worked good.
I'm loading up some 53gr Hornadys at the moment and should be able to get well under half inch at 100yards.

I've just brought a 4-16x42 Nikon Monarch for $408 from 4scopes who were very good to deal with.
I haven't mounted it yet but from playing with it, it seems excellent.
Clear optics, very positive clicks and the parrallax(side focus) seems to work very good.
It'l be a lot better than my 3-9x40 Burris I have now.
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Old September 30, 2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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For pest control why heavy bullets? I wouldn't be concerned with getting a fast twist. A 55 gr bullet would be PLENTY. That being said, If I wanted a new rifle, get the CZ 527. Or, go used. 99.99 % of my gun purchases are used. Remington 700, Ruger 77 would be choice.
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Old September 30, 2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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I have a Savage 110 in .223 and I hit targets out to 1000 yds all the time. I use 75 grain A-max bullets that I roll myself.
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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Another thing you should consider is fit. I personally don't fit well on a AR. Not my cup of tea. So usually stick with bolt guns because they feel more natural. I will always be more of a bolt guy because in the back of my mind, "this shot has to count" approach. For a bolt rifle, its hard to make a suggestion without knowing what fits and doesn't fit. A good baseline could be a Savage 110 or Remington 700. Both are excellent in quality and very customizable.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:25 AM   #11
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A Savage 10/12,Remington,Tikka,CZ,or an AR15 will serve you well.

I have a Savage 12 and a RRA Varminter,both rifles shoot great and have no problem shooting accurate out to 600 yards.The Savage has a 1-9 twist,the RRA a 1-8 twist.I shoot bullet weights from 55gr-75gr out of both.
The Savage has a small edge on accuracy over the RRA AR15,but not by much,but it also has faster velocities since it has a 26" barrel over the RRA's 20" barrel.Usually the Savage shoots around 200fps faster with the same load over the RRA.
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Old October 1, 2012, 02:11 AM   #12
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I have both the CZ 527 Varmint (laminate stock) and the American versions- and I highly recommend them. They are described as Mini-Mausers with the control round feed/claw extractor type actions. I seldom carry my Varmint model anymore because the Amercian model does everything the Varmint does as far as fantastic accuracy, durability, and reliability- plus it's just a little bit handier for a truck gun.

I don't know about the other models you listed, but the CZ Varmint has a very generous stock- especially so in the grip/wrist area. It has a very comfortable pronounced palm swell. The proprietary rings lock the scope down very solid, the only drawback is that the knuckle on the bolt wont clear the larger occular bell on some scopes. This however didn't rain on my parade, I took a fine needle file and relieved the area on the bolt handle knuckle to where it will clear the scope. I finished it up with a touch of cold blue. The metal took the blue very well.

If you reload, you'll enjoy that you can load the ammo a little long (for 55gr V-Max anyway). I seat my bullets to magazine length (which gets them closer to the lands), and that is a fantastic setup for this rifle in the accuracy department. I haven't tried any bullets other than the 55gr Hornady V-Max and the 55gr Midsouth Varmint Nightmares. With Privi Partizan brass, Varget powder, and Winchester SR primers, I still manage to get a solid 1/2" 5-shot group @ 100yds with the American and 'maybe' just a tad better with the Varmint model. And, just for general interest- CZ mag length is longer than mag length for any AR clips I have. Don't know the exact numbers, but that's the way it is at my bench.

Anyway, I hope to see you at least take a good look at the CZ. The single set trigger will seem like an immediate plus for your long shot interests.
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:38 AM   #13
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I'd get the Tikka Varmint in 22-250 if you are going to shoot 400yrds.
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:57 AM   #14
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To test for proper fit for your body: Mount the rifle to your shoulder with your eyes closed. Make sure you have a proper cheek weld. When you open your eyes, you should be looking through the sights or scope without moving your head, or if no sights, right along the axis of the barre.

Length of pull is an easy fix, if necessary. Drop at the comb of the rifle is not really easily fixable.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:11 PM   #15
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I've got a remington 700 ADL with a bull barrel. It would fit your needs perfectly. And - I got it new plus a Leupold 3-9 scope for under $1000.
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Old October 2, 2012, 12:14 PM   #16
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Plenty of stuff to sift through here.
Thanks to all who weighed in.

If I expanded the criteria to say a rifle that can do longer distance target and pest, but can also handle self-defense, and possible loss of law and order scenario, would you say an AR-15 could hande both pretty well?

What kind of AR-15?
I think someone suggested the RRA AR-15?

I get the sense that for just target and pest, the others are better suited - Rem 700, CZ-527, Tikka, etc?

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Old October 2, 2012, 03:23 PM   #17
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I have an RRA Varmitter A4, well made and very accurate. I have the 18" barrel, but them do make barrel up to 26" which I would have preferred but I couldn't find one. Mine is set up for target shooting (bipod, lead weight in the stock and match sights) but have used it on feral hogs...does well in that role. I handload, so I've never had an issue with range. While I haven't pushed it out to 1000 yards, I don't think I'd have too much trouble with the right load, look for something with a 1:7-1:8 twist. If I was looking to fill the SD role and taking out varmits from ground hogs up to feral pigs...I'd lean towards a semi-auto platform.
For bolt actions, I've really become a fan of CZ. They make a high quality rifle and my experience with them as made me a fan. I've used their .22 and 204 Ruger on feral hogs also and both performed well. I was amazed how good I could group with the 204, and the next time I'm in the market for a bolt action rifle I'm going with a CZ.
With the choices you've listed I can't see you going wrong, I like 'em all, it's just a matter of what fits you best.
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Old October 2, 2012, 03:25 PM   #18
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Does the RRA Varmint AR only come in stainless steel barrel?
Looks better all balck imo.

Thanks for the info.

Last edited by Microscope; October 2, 2012 at 03:42 PM.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:06 PM   #19
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I've sighted in two Savage rifles lately. One was a 22-250 and the other a .223.
The 22-250 shot five shots in less than .4" with factory loads. The .223 was just a tad larger but less than 1/2". Both had cheap 6-18x scopes. I doubt either guy had $800 in either rifle and ammo.

From shooting a lot of prairie dogs, in my opinion 400 yards is a stretch for a .223. Still The Varmint Hunter record for a .223 is 1023 yards. Special built rifle and scope.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:11 PM   #20
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Yah, 400 yds would be the max needed. Not a regular occurence.
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Old October 4, 2012, 05:17 PM   #21
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No need to spend a lot of money on a gun you might be treating fairly roughly while carrying on your 4 wheeler. A used Savage 110 in .223 can be had for $300 or so and is a very accurate gun.
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Old October 4, 2012, 06:06 PM   #22
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Howa Lightning .223 Remington Bolt-Action Rifle under $500 will do exactly what you want. 4 round magazine but 10 round kit is available. 22" barrel will give you all the range possible out of a .223 round. 60-64 grain bullets match up well with it's 1/12 twist.
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