Considering a .223 bolt action
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default Considering a .223 bolt action

I really really like my Remington 700 .308 but it is a bit much for my boys to shoot and well, it is an expensive rifle and not sure about putting it in their hands just yet. They handle the .22 semi auto fine, but maybe I'm just protective of my favorite rifle. I'd like them to step up a bit from the .22, and I have plenty of .223 and when the ammo situation gets back to normal it won't be quite as expensive to replace as the .308.

They make the 700 in .223 but again, the 700 blows the budget. Savage has an Axis model in .223 that fits my budget a little better. I'm looking for something that they, and I, could put a lot of rounds through at the range and improve their marksmanship in the beyond 100 meters, maybe out to 300.

So, am I barking up the wrong tree here? Am I too focused on being cheap and/or budget minded?

Thanks,
Joe

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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Not at all, I have a Tikka 595 Whitetail Hunter (older version of the current T3) in .223 that is a tack driver.

I only shoot at 100 yds as that is all the club I belong to has, but with the right handloads - or Blackhills factory reloads - it will drop them in the same hole all day long. With the 1:12 twist it doesn't like anything over 62 grains and settles in to the 52 grainers real nice.

Probably the best thing is a good glass - I splurged (actually the wife did) on a Leupold 6x20 VXIII which really brings out the best in the gun.

The Savage gets great reviews from the guys that shoot 'em and the Accutrigger is superb from what I hear. Also, best bang for the buck but I would encourage you to keep an eye out for the Tikka - especially if you can find a used 595/695. The older versions had both long and short bolts depending on caliber. The newer T3 is just the long bolt so for a short .223 cartridge you have to pull the long bolt. Not a big deal as the action is still glass smooth and accurate as all get out.

So, go for the .223 and start loading for it if you really want to shoot it - the boys will love it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JosephMD View Post
I really really like my Remington 700 .308 but it is a bit much for my boys to shoot and well, it is an expensive rifle and not sure about putting it in their hands just yet. They handle the .22 semi auto fine, but maybe I'm just protective of my favorite rifle. I'd like them to step up a bit from the .22, and I have plenty of .223 and when the ammo situation gets back to normal it won't be quite as expensive to replace as the .308.

They make the 700 in .223 but again, the 700 blows the budget. Savage has an Axis model in .223 that fits my budget a little better. I'm looking for something that they, and I, could put a lot of rounds through at the range and improve their marksmanship in the beyond 100 meters, maybe out to 300.

So, am I barking up the wrong tree here? Am I too focused on being cheap and/or budget minded?

Thanks,
Joe

Kind of, but I understand where you are coming from. My boys each have their own .22, one has a 20ga. When I was looking for a rifle so they could stretch the distance and go woodchuck hunting I bought them a Marlin 917V. The .17HMR kept cost down, but they could hit very small targets out to 120 yards easily. My youngest has a soft spot for my CZ527 in .223. It is not the type of rifle I would buy an 11 year old (that is how old he was when he starting shooting it), but he is pretty good w/ it out to 200 yards and his smile says it all. A .22WMR or .17HMR would be a great option, you could also get them use to using a scope.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:44 AM   #4
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As said, look for something with a faster twist barrel. 1/9 is acceptable for most anything out there. The 1/12 barrel of most bolt guns limits you to the lighter weight projectiles. 1/9 gives you more versitility

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:46 AM   #5
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Remington 700
Tikka
Savage
Weatherby Vanguard
Howa 1500

I think any of those are solid choices that you will not regret. Just choose one in your price range that feels good.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:30 AM   #6
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Hey Joe,

I recently bought a .223 bolt gun for the EXACT same reason (mines just turned 11 years old). If you need some extra justifications for the purchase, well there's a whole lot of varmint and predator hunting unworthy of your .308, and few things in life are as fun, as cheap, and as painless as plinking all day with a .223.

I set out looking for a bolt gun with very specific criteria, and I am thoroughly satisfied with my new Savage Model 25 Walking Varminter. She ain't much to look at, but check out Savage's website to see if the specs meet your criteria. Without much trigger time behind it, all I can vouch for is that: The medium/heavy barrel does well to maintain groups during extended shooing sessions, a mediocre rifleman like myself was capable of .63 MOA averages right out of the box, the AccuTrigger is well worth all the hype, and overall it is a very lightweight and compact package. My first thought after shouldering the rifle was to note how "petite" it was, perfect for a youngin', but not too small for an adult. If you do check out Savage's website, note that Cabela's had it marked over $100 down from Savage's suggested MSRP.

Although I stalk these threads religiously, I am a very inactive member, I've got no expert reputation, and any advice I give should most certainly be taken with a grain of salt. That said, and to echo Robocop, look for a 1:9 twist rate barrel! It never did make sense to me to limit the versatility of a .223 by choosing too fast or too slow of a twist rate. If your criteria includes budget-friendliness, weight-consciousness, a 1:9" twist rate, a free-floated heavy barrel and an adjustable trigger, then a quick look into the Model 25's might be worth it to you. Either way, good luck!

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:35 AM   #7
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Hey Joe,

I recently bought a .223 bolt gun for the EXACT same reason (mines just turned 11 years old). If you need some extra justifications for the purchase, well there's a whole lot of varmint and predator hunting unworthy of your .308, and few things in life are as fun, as cheap, and as painless as plinking all day with a .223.

I set out looking for a bolt gun with very specific criteria, and I am thoroughly satisfied with my new Savage Model 25 Walking Varminter. She ain't much to look at, but check out Savage's website to see if the specs meet your criteria. Without much trigger time behind it, all I can vouch for is that: The medium/heavy barrel does well to maintain groups during extended shooing sessions, a mediocre rifleman like myself was capable of .63 MOA averages right out of the box, the AccuTrigger is well worth all the hype, and overall it is a very lightweight and compact package. My first thought after shouldering the rifle was to note how "petite" it was, perfect for a youngin', but not too small for an adult. If you do check out Savage's website, note that Cabela's had it marked over $100 down from Savage's suggested MSRP.

Although I stalk these threads religiously, I am a very inactive member, I've got no expert reputation, and any advice I give should most certainly be taken with a grain of salt. That said, and to echo Robocop, look for a 1:9 twist rate barrel! It never did make sense to me to limit the versatility of a .223 by choosing too fast or too slow of a twist rate. If your criteria includes budget-friendliness, weight-consciousness, a 1:9" twist rate, a free-floated heavy barrel and an adjustable trigger, then a quick look into the Model 25's might be worth it to you. Either way, good luck!

When I was looking for a .223, The Savage 25 was $50.00 less then the CZ 527 Varminter. Again the Savage came w/ a 1:12 twist the CZ a 1:9. The CZ also has a CIP chamber so shooting mil-spec ammo is no issue. The CZ trigger has an adjustable double set and single set trigger. For single set mine breaks under 1lb. Because it is a micro Mauser, a Mauser action that has been reduced down in size it is fairly light for a 24" varmint/heavy barrel. The action was designed around the .223/5.56, and .204 cartridge. It is a dedicated varmint/target rifle.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:39 AM   #8
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What's the range of bullet weights you can feed a 1:9" barrel?

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:06 AM   #9
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What's the range of bullet weights you can feed a 1:9" barrel?
The stickies in the AR forum have a bunch of good info on that very question
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:26 AM   #10
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One of our .223's is a CZ...in fact bought it for my youngist's 12th B-day(10+ years ago).

It is a very nice looking rifle,but then I'm partial to skinny brrl/walking varminters.
The bolt handles "throw" radius sort of precludes low mounted scopes.But that just means the objective needs to be around 44mm and above,then its a non-issue.

I really like low,1-4x...no-objective scopes.That ain't happening on a CZ.Their excellent rings have very good return to zero when mount/dismount.So we just pop the scope/rings off his gun,which is how its been now for a year or so.......We've been shooting it with original irons.Which are some of the best on any factory gun,BTW.

Its been one of our "fun guns" when we get together at the range.Coke cans @100 with irons is very doable.And its funny because,although theres always a bunch of scoped rigs...everybody wants to shoot the CZ offhand with irons?

The gun,out of the bx with White label cheapo .223's is an honest 3/4" @100 gun.The claw feed system is very well laid out.....albeit a little "stiff".It'll teach you not to short stroke though....got to be very positive in its manipulation.

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