223 Bolt Gun (current climate)

adamtheis

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Oct 22, 2020
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I am surprised to see no mention of the Savage Model 12 rifles, heavy, singe shot tack drivers, best value out there for out of the box accuracy. The model 12 F/TR and the 12 LRPV are both available in .223, maybe more.
I couldn't agree more with this post. I have 3 savage axis II precision rifles. 308, 6.5 CM, and 223 Rem. I load for all 3 and I wouldn't trade for these rifles. I shoot my 223 (77gn) to 1000yds frequently.
 

Hondo23

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Dec 12, 2020
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Have you considered or looked at the Remy 5R option? Not super expensive and shoots good. As others have mentioned you get more options and availability with a custom like a Ruckus and the many other that have pre-fit options. Can always call Bad Rock and ask them to make you a 223 set up or for that matter a few others if you want. They offer B/A or complete rifles.

 

Sagesniffer

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Dec 3, 2020
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Carson city, nevada
I have a Tikka 223 heavy varmint, love this rifle...it shoots lights out all day with 77gr smk and vit n140 21.1gr. Thought about changing to a custom stock,but decide that was just a waste of money that could be better spent on reloading components. Stick with the tikka,their shooters.
 

Bunkin

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I would really think hard about going with a BigHorn action and your choice of prefit. You can go high end or economical on the trigger. Stock of your choice and you'll be in it 2000-2500 depending on your selections. You'll likely be more happy in the end and if you decide to change things up its a easy re-barrel.
 
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Ridgeraider

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Dec 28, 2020
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Just curious. What does a PRS style match involve? For instance, targets (steel I assume). Size of targets? PRS rules or homegrown club rules? Different classes based on rifle/type? 10 round tasks etc. is choice of 223 based on cost and availability of factory ammo?

What’s your total budget for gun/scope/bipod etc. Scope: FFP or SFP reticle. assuming MOA .250” or .125” clicks? What do you consider an accurate group at 700yds?

I know there’s a big 223 crowd here but does it fit the game you want to get into. A 68g 224 bullet at 2900fps and BC of .260 will drift 39” at 700 yds with a 5mph wind perpendicular to bullet path and drop 170” (~25MOA) which may exceed the capability of scope w/o a 20MOA scope base etc. etc. the above are rough numbers

A long time ago I tried getting into the long range discipline only to find out my first choice soon made it difficult to be at the competitive level I wanted and I ended up rethinking my choices.

I’ll end with this playful comment; although we all sight in on paper, at the end of day a hit anywhere on steel is a hit, a hit on paper is a score of 1-10
 

b6graham

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    Just curious. What does a PRS style match involve? For instance, targets (steel I assume). Size of targets? PRS rules or homegrown club rules? Different classes based on rifle/type? 10 round tasks etc. is choice of 223 based on cost and availability of factory ammo?

    What’s your total budget for gun/scope/bipod etc. Scope: FFP or SFP reticle. assuming MOA .250” or .125” clicks? What do you consider an accurate group at 700yds?

    I know there’s a big 223 crowd here but does it fit the game you want to get into. A 68g 224 bullet at 2900fps and BC of .260 will drift 39” at 700 yds with a 5mph wind perpendicular to bullet path and drop 170” (~25MOA) which may exceed the capability of scope w/o a 20MOA scope base etc. etc. the above are rough numbers

    A long time ago I tried getting into the long range discipline only to find out my first choice soon made it difficult to be at the competitive level I wanted and I ended up rethinking my choices.

    I’ll end with this playful comment; although we all sight in on paper, at the end of day a hit anywhere on steel is a hit, a hit on paper is a score of 1-10
    1-2 moa targets out to 1200+ yards. 8-15 round strings of fire from prone and an array of stable/unstable positions (roof, stump, barricade, barrels, car)

    open (any gun). tactical (223 with 77gr up to 3k fps or 308 with 178gr up to 2800fps). production (waste of time)

    FFP and MIL unless you want to have a bad time. PRS type scopes arent even offered in .125 clicks anyways, very different than a NF Comp or Golden Eagle. 7-10" group would be more than acceptable for PRS

    75eldm/77gr berger/75 TAC solids rule PRS TAC class

    any modern tactical/precision scope Strike Eagle, Razor Gen 2, Bushnell/Burris/Leopold/NF can easily make it to around a mile with just dialing
     

    Jeff'sAO

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    Sep 9, 2021
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    Hello: Simply a suggestion, which is probably far below your level and expertise. I have a Mossberg MVP in .223/5.56x45, with a medium weight barrel which once the barrel was broken-in, I was able to achieve a 1.75" group at 200Y, using Hornady .223 V-Max rounds. Perhaps if I hand loaded .223 ammo, this group could be shot tighter. As I said, this is imply a suggestion, something to consider.
    Be well.
     

    rdsii64

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    I have a Howa 1500 Varmint in a GRS stock that's about to get rebarreled when I have the money saved.
    As much as I love my AR's, a bolt gun in 223 just makes sense to me. I don't need a "trainer". I just like accurate guns that shoot
    cheap ammo.
     

    Simon55

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    Hey Folks,

    I’ve been looking at picking up a 223 bolt gun for local PRS styles matches , we have 0-700 yards.
    Clearly it’s not a popular caliber in terms of off the shelf rifles.

    - My first choice was Tikka CTR, back ordered like 9 months since it’s a “sako select” now.

    - Bergara doesn’t make anything for it

    - Ruger American ranch? 16 inch barrel and weak stock options make me think twice about this.

    Are people basically going custom actions to shoot .223? Pricing that out it seems like it’s going to be 3X the cost of a Tikka.

    You are allowed to use gas guns but I really wanted to stick to bolt action for simplicity and effectiveness when suppressed.

    Any guidance would be appreciated
    Have you ,considered the 6.5 Grendel, I'm not sure if ammo costs are a lot higher in the States as I live in New Zealand , a Howa barreled action in 6.5 Grendal gives good barrel life , a performance lift from 223 , and plenty of stock options are avaible . Regards .
     

    russmass

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    Apr 24, 2021
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    Cary, NC
    Hey Folks,

    I’ve been looking at picking up a 223 bolt gun for local PRS styles matches , we have 0-700 yards.
    Clearly it’s not a popular caliber in terms of off the shelf rifles.

    - My first choice was Tikka CTR, back ordered like 9 months since it’s a “sako select” now.

    - Bergara doesn’t make anything for it

    - Ruger American ranch? 16 inch barrel and weak stock options make me think twice about this.

    Are people basically going custom actions to shoot .223? Pricing that out it seems like it’s going to be 3X the cost of a Tikka.

    You are allowed to use gas guns but I really wanted to stick to bolt action for simplicity and effectiveness when suppressed.

    Any guidance would be appreciated
    I love my Savage 110 Elite Precision in .223 Rem. Comes standard with 26" barrel, 1:7 twist, blueprinted action, MDT ACC chassis, muzzle brake, MDT vertical grip, one polymer AICS mag (MDT). Very reasonably priced now - got mine last Black Friday.
     

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    Deflagration

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    go easy on me, I know we discussed the pre fit barrel with origin action ~ $2500+ plus set up all said and done.

    What about the Ruger American Ranch/Predator ?

    I know there are levels to this but even in NRL 22 where we shoot out to 400, there are people with $6,000 voodoo set ups and there are dudes with $400 Tikkas that still somewhat keep up or at least stay relevant.

    Has anyone had experience with the ruger offerings ? I know the stock is garbage and the magpul offering is pretty much the only alternative.
    They seem to be the only other model that’s kept in stock as of late.

    For the folks that mentioned Savage, I’ve had pretty crap luck with them and even worse customer service so I’m staying far away from that.
     

    fdkay

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    go easy on me, I know we discussed the pre fit barrel with origin action ~ $2500+ plus set up all said and done.

    What about the Ruger American Ranch/Predator ?

    I know there are levels to this but even in NRL 22 where we shoot out to 400, there are people with $6,000 voodoo set ups and there are dudes with $400 Tikkas that still somewhat keep up or at least stay relevant.

    Has anyone had experience with the ruger offerings ? I know the stock is garbage and the magpul offering is pretty much the only alternative.
    They seem to be the only other model that’s kept in stock as of late.

    For the folks that mentioned Savage, I’ve had pretty crap luck with them and even worse customer service so I’m staying far away from that.
    MDT makes an LSS chassis for it as well.
     

    spooledup

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    I hear ya. Mine is an ackley, and the first trip out with a load I picked out of the blue with 69g rmr bullets, I was easily running a makeshift kyl rack at 400 off a barricade. I can’t wait to see what it does once I actually develop a load for it
    What’s your 69g RMR load data?
     

    NewsShooter

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    I am surprised to see no mention of the Savage Model 12 rifles, heavy, singe shot tack drivers, best value out there for out of the box accuracy. The model 12 F/TR and the 12 LRPV are both available in .223, maybe more.
    I've got an F class takeoff barrel on a Savage LRP action. It's probably my most accurate inside of 600 yards shooting black hills 77 smk. That action started out as a 6.5, then I turned it into a 7 saum then .223. :D These days I'd probably get an aftermarket action that I can change the bolt head on like the savage.
     

    Spikediesel

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    go easy on me, I know we discussed the pre fit barrel with origin action ~ $2500+ plus set up all said and done.

    What about the Ruger American Ranch/Predator ?

    I know there are levels to this but even in NRL 22 where we shoot out to 400, there are people with $6,000 voodoo set ups and there are dudes with $400 Tikkas that still somewhat keep up or at least stay relevant.

    Has anyone had experience with the ruger offerings ? I know the stock is garbage and the magpul offering is pretty much the only alternative.
    They seem to be the only other model that’s kept in stock as of late.

    For the folks that mentioned Savage, I’ve had pretty crap luck with them and even worse customer service so I’m staying far away from that.
    I Have what started as a 5.56 Ruger American Ranch. It shot ok with the factory barrel, Moa or better with quality ammo. It now wears a custom fitted factory take off Ruger precision rifle barrel and it sits in a Magpul stock with a Timney trigger. I have it feeding good with the NEW metal MDT mags and it’ll shoot ragged holes with 77g sierras. If you go the Ruger route I recommend a MDT XRS stock and a barrel from PVA, I have this same setup in a 6 creed and it’s downright impressive. So with that said about the Rugers, don’t get me wrong they’re a lot of fun, I also have an Origin and it is absolutely so much better if you can swing it!
     

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    ITShooter

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    Hello Everyone!
    I picked up a Savage 110 Elite in .223 six month ago and have not taken it out yet. This was an impulse purchase because nothing was in stock at the time. My goal was to purchase a practice rifle and save on ammo at the same time. Has anyone used the 110 Elite in .223? If so how do you like it? Should I keep it or sell and look for a Tikka? I shoot a 110 Elite in 6.5 Creedmoor normally.
     

    DarinC

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    What’s your 69g RMR load data?
    Rws 1x brass
    24.5 of shooters world precision
    2.335 coal- bearing surface is right at the neck shoulder junction. Haven’t even done a jump test

    Running 2836 sd of 12

    Not a speed deamon, just wanted something hot enough to properly form brass.

    No group pics, just playing on steel as I’m fire forming. Good enough to hit 1 moa targets at 400 off a barricade when I do my job and don’t screw up the wind call 🤣
     

    Danrobberg

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    You could do something like a bighorn origin action and get the .223 and .308 bolt face for it. This way you only need 1 action, 1 scope, and 1 stock. All you would need is a separate barrel chambered in any other popular short action caliber and you could easily switch back and forth depending on your current needs.
     

    IndianaRem5r

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    Have you considered or looked at the Remy 5R option? Not super expensive and shoots good. As others have mentioned you get more options and availability with a custom like a Ruckus and the many other that have pre-fit options. Can always call Bad Rock and ask them to make you a 223 set up or for that matter a few others if you want. They offer B/A or complete rifles.

    Remington 5R .223 twist rate is 1:9". No good for any projectile over about 70 grains. So, no.
     
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    MarshallDodge

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    223 is a lot of cheap fun, 223AI is even more fun.

    I like shorter barrels but a 24-26" barrel really helps gets that little bullet moving.
     

    fdkay

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    Remington 5R .223 twist rate is 1:9". No good for any projectile over about 70 grains. So, no.
    Not entirely true.
    I had an sps tact 1-9 that would shoot the prvi 75's pretty good. It wasn't consistent with any bullets though even the 69's.
    But that was an sps not a 5r
     

    bunsen27

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    go easy on me, I know we discussed the pre fit barrel with origin action ~ $2500+ plus set up all said and done.
    I’m not sure where you got a price quote from but an Origin barreled action from Keystone Accuracy is ~$1600 or less depending on the barrel blank.

    I just had John spin me a 300 blackout barreled action, dropped it in a KRG, with a trigger tech for right at $2K. MDT polymer mags are $40 each and have 2.550” inside dimensions.

    I built my first 223 Remage in 2018. I’ve killed hundreds of prairie dogs with it since and send thousands of rounds downrang. It was the funnest boltgun I had to shoot prior to this 300 blackout build, which will be getting a prefit 23 Remington barrel for it soonish.
     

    IndianaRem5r

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    Not entirely true.
    I had an sps tact 1-9 that would shoot the prvi 75's pretty good. It wasn't consistent with any bullets though even the 69's.
    But that was an sps not a 5r
    Does not sound like an endorsement. 1:8" is good. 1:7" is bettter.
     

    BLJ

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    I have an Ruger American Ranch. It will shoot 5 shot MOA groups rather easily. ADI 69 SMK’s or 77 TMK’s.
    The stocks aren’t that good from the factory, but are definitely usable. I modified mine to work the way I wanted.
    I paid $450 for mine at sportsman warehouse. Cheap fun for sure.
    266BD1D2-C182-4EE0-A6E7-4E6C7D80D7D4.jpeg
     

    Thorbeast

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    223 makes a lot of sense. Plenty of cheap bullets that will shoot to 700 yards. You can routinely find 69-77 grain bullets for sub $.20. Even the 88 eldm can be found for .25-.26 without really searching, and that bullet will keep up with most 6 and 6.5 cartridges inside of 700 yards, if you can get it up to 2800 fps.

    Cheaper bullets, more reloads per pound of powder, less frequent barrel changes.

    Sure I can afford to shoot my 6.5s and 308, but why? If you are shooting 700 yards max, it's just wanted money in my opinion. It's like buying a 300 win mag to target shoot at 600 yards. It works, you can obviously do it, but to me, its a waste of finite resources.
     
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    346ci

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    Get on Euro Optics waiting list for the Tikka super varmint or CTR. I've had a few of the standard varmint's, sending them off for threading sucks but very nice factory rifles.

    If I could not get one of those, would call PVA and MPA and see what they could do. MPA has some nice custom rigs for great prices.
     

    PB&J.

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    Go custom, or semi custom if you can afford it. It is worth being able to spec exactly what you want, if you know what you want that is.

    .223AI shooting 75eldm's @ 3,050fps.
    Tikka T3x action/trigger, sterk bolt knob, 27" 1:8 twist heavy varmint profile.
    MDT LSS XL.
    PST Gen II.
    Kills things ded.
    IMG_2375.JPG
    IMG_2360.JPG
     

    nrspence

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    Go custom, or semi custom if you can afford it. It is worth being able to spec exactly what you want, if you know what you want that is.

    .223AI shooting 75eldm's @ 3,050fps.
    Tikka T3x action/trigger, sterk bolt knob, 27" 1:8 twist heavy varmint profile.
    MDT LSS XL.
    PST Gen II.
    Kills things ded.
    View attachment 7825441View attachment 7825443
    Good lookin setup.
     

    PB&J.

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    @PB&J. what is your COL/Load data?
    2.550" COAL
    Lapua brass
    Federal SRP
    I float between Varget and H4895, I am shooting Varget at the moment. (Sorry, I won't give my charge weights as there is no "standard" chamber, too many variables).

    The beauty of a custom is you can spec exactly what you want. I wanted an easy 3,000fps (opinions on realistic velocities varied) and this does it. There is more velocity in it, but it shoots extremely well at this speed and I don't need to push it to the ragged edge as I only shoot for fun.

    The headspace wasn't cut to a crush fit (-003 to -.005) like most. It shares the same neck/shoulder location as .223rem so the initial firing was done jammed into the lands to be safe.

    The neck length was also specced a bit longer than SAAMI because I wanted more neck support at that long COAL, but it will still hold on at the shorter neck length. I just let the cases grow over a few firing/sizings to get there.

    It was borderline fitting in my MDT poly mags at that COAL, but I knew that going in and modified them accordingly. I also modified the feed lips a bit and profiled the feed ramp in the action to optimise the feeding of this load.

    With such a small case, a few thou here and a few thou there yeilds bigger gains than it would in say a 300wm.

    I only ever intended to shoot handloads through this rifle and thought if I am optimising, then I might as well optimise. It works extremely well.
     

    Clark

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    I have built (3) 223 bolt actions.
    One on a Mosin action and two on Savage 110 actions.
     

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    MarshallDodge

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    ...
    What about 1:7.5 anyone tried one of those?
    I have barrels in 1:8, 1:7.5, and 1:7, and honestly can't tell much of a difference but I shoot at 4400' ASL. I've shot my 1:8 near sea level and struggled at 1000 but that is an 18" gun and I think I was just running out of velocity, DA was -700 that day 😆
    It has a Bartlein barrel and loves the 52 Nosler CC, making one little splatter mark on steel at 300.

    My favorite rifles, a 22" 223AI and a 24" 223, both have 1:7.5 Kriegers and they shoot really well. The AI will put five 75 Amax's into .3" consistently. I've played with the 80 ELD in that gun and haven't been all that impressed so far.
     

    RogueTanker

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    For all local matches, I'm running a 223ai. I can train on it extensively. With the little amount of powder burned I have more rounds before letting it cool down. Brass is cheap and abundant. No trimming either

    My load is 88s at 2896 and that is almost exactly the same as 6.5 creeds to 800. With almost no recoil it's easy to spot my shots. It's just such a great round.
     

    pineoak

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    I went down that .223 road a few years ago. Decided on the Tikka T3x Varmint and never looked back. I shoot Hornady 75 gr Match which turns out very nice groups. I'm just a recreational shooter and have successfully hit steel at 600yd. An accomplished shooter could do much better than that. I did sell the stock put on a KRG Bravo and had the barrel threaded for a 30 cal suppressor.
    T3x Varmint .223
    KRG Bravo
    .30 cal TBAC

    I went this route as well and it's my favorite rifle ever.

    skip the Ruger offerings

    Email Seekins Precision and ask what the timeline is expected to be on their .223 bolt head for their HIT rifle. Then consider if you're okay with double/triple that timeline.

    But your HIT if a good rifle might address .223 & .308/6.5/6 needs.

    Something to consider. Based on features, looks great. just waiting on reliability testing
     
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    z7.jled

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    I’ve gone off the deep end with a “kids gun”

    Krg X-ray (upgraded myself to xylo so the kids get the hand me down)

    Archimedes (Black Friday)
    PVA 26” prefit 223 rem throated for 75-80’s
    Trigger tech two stage
    Burris xtriii 3-18
    Thunder beast dominus
    OG ckyepod

    Just waiting on the vise (ups tomorrow) for assembly, Saturday for the test fire
     
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    FrozenMinnesotan

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    Bergara makes the ridge in 223wylde 18" 1:8t. Now availability is also another thing. Depending on which becomes available first (ctr or ridge) will dictate my choice
     

    michealj88

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    You absolutely can not go wrong with a 223 bolt gun, especially suppressed, and with a 1:7 twist barrel you’ll do just fine in PRS if 700 yards is your maximum range. I have had great luck with my handloads using 77gr. and 80gr. SMK and the 80 gr. Berger bullets out to 800 yards and if the conditions are good, ringing steel at 1000 yards is quite doable.


    172B730F-8D45-4C15-A62C-7A6B6A656108.jpeg


    AC09D864-2504-46DC-92C5-B3057BC4A8B4.jpeg
     

    nrspence

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    You absolutely can not go wrong with a 223 bolt gun, especially suppressed, and with a 1:7 twist barrel you’ll do just fine in PRS if 700 yards is your maximum range. I have had great luck with my handloads using 77gr. and 80gr. SMK and the 80 gr. Berger bullets out to 800 yards and if the conditions are good, ringing steel at 1000 yards is quite doable.


    View attachment 7842436

    View attachment 7842440
    Very cool lookin rifle.
     

    jLorenzo

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    For all local matches, I'm running a 223ai. I can train on it extensively. With the little amount of powder burned I have more rounds before letting it cool down. Brass is cheap and abundant. No trimming either

    My load is 88s at 2896 and that is almost exactly the same as 6.5 creeds to 800. With almost no recoil it's easy to spot my shots. It's just such a great round.
    How much freebore?
     

    6brshooter

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    1,215
    Illinois
    Go custom and buy on the sale section here. I snagged a nucleus 2.0 223wylde that was spun up by deep south with a proof steel. Giessele 2 stage, krg bravo, and Athlon midas HD. Literally everything was bought lightly used on here, I've got 2200 in. I forgot how fun and accurate a 223 can be.
     
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    ToKeepAndBear

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 2, 2011
    209
    56
    49
    Chattanooga, TN
    I picked up a Tikka CTR 223 with 20" barrel December 2021, I love it. It is great out to 800 yards. If I wanted to shoot a 223 out to 1000 yards, I would go with a 24-26 inch barrel. I have other guns for those distances. I wanted the Tikka 223 to be a handy rifle with a suppressor that could be used at the range to 800 yards by kids/new shooters and for varmint/coyote hunting. It excels in those roles. Not to mention that it is efficient with it's use of powder, quiet suppressed, and has great barrel life.

    The Tikka CTR is an awesome gun for $1000! The only things I have done to it are a Sterk precision bolt knob (sweet) and dropped it into a KRG Bravo. I feel like a Tikka CTR and KRG bravo are two of the nicest firearm products I own for the money! I have three Sako TRGs and feel like the Tikka is 90% of a TRG for about a 1/3rd of the price!

    It exceeds Tikka’s 1 moa 3 shot guarantee at 100 yards by a fair bit. The photo is a 3 shot group at 300 yards that measured 0.19 moa.
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    141BF258-17EC-4A34-AD76-194F992E3D35.jpeg
     
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