Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

c1steve

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I am trying to determine what would work as an excellent practice rifle, in .223. Something that will shoot 1/2 moa.

Initially I was thinking Savage or Tikka T3, but am thinking something more high end would be better. I will buy a quality scope, so the rifle may as well match.

What I would like is a TRG-22, but converting it to .223 sounds like too a little too much to take on. Any recommendations?
 

desertHK

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

Don't know about 1/2 MOA on a Tikka T3, but mine shoots very well. Definitely sub MOA.
 

madd0c

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

Tikka has a sub MOA guarantee and they test each gun before it leaves the factory to meet the guarantee. My .223 Tika T3 tactical must have just squeaked by. It shot 1 MOA with multiple handloads in multiple bullet weights to try to shrink groups. I finally sent it off to get a custom shop to work on it, and it should be back sometime within the next couple of months. New barrel, new stock, bedded. It better shoot sub MOA after the work (and with who is doing it, I am sure it will)

I have a T3 tactical in 308 that is 3/4 MOA to 1/2 MOA with a properly worked up handload. I love it and am afraid to touch it with a new barrel or stock until it is time to rebarrel.

You might get lucky on the Tikka and get a real shooter, but if its 1/2 MOA you want, then you are most likely looking at a custom build. And of course, most will not GUARANTEE 1/2 MOA because alot depends on what's behind the gun and just not what's in the gun.

Les Baer has a new line of bolt action that they do guarantee 1/2 MOA with match grade ammo, but I have absolutely zero experience with them and have not even seen one in person. For the price they list, you can have one of the fine custom shops build you the rifle you want made.

Hope that helps,
madd0c
 

Alderleet

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

Howa barrel action
Bartlien/Rock Creek/Krieger barrel
B&C/Manners/RCS/Mcmillan Stock
EGW rail

whatever glass/rings you want.

I chose howa for my 223 build, because hte action is a hell of alot closer to true than the competition, the recoil lug is integral, instead of a stamped sandwich, and the extractor is a beefy m16 style.

It will be slightly cheaper from the get go, and will shoot better than it should.
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: madd0c</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Tikka has a sub MOA guarantee and they test each gun before it leaves the factory to meet the guarantee. My .223 Tika T3 tactical must have just squeaked by. It shot 1 MOA with multiple handloads in multiple bullet weights to try to shrink groups. I finally sent it off to get a custom shop to work on it, and it should be back sometime within the next couple of months. New barrel, new stock, bedded. It better shoot sub MOA after the work (and with who is doing it, I am sure it will)

I have a T3 tactical in 308 that is 3/4 MOA to 1/2 MOA with a properly worked up handload. I love it and am afraid to touch it with a new barrel or stock until it is time to rebarrel.

You might get lucky on the Tikka and get a real shooter, but if its 1/2 MOA you want, then you are most likely looking at a custom build. And of course, most will not GUARANTEE 1/2 MOA because alot depends on what's behind the gun and just not what's in the gun.

Les Baer has a new line of bolt action that they do guarantee 1/2 MOA with match grade ammo, but I have absolutely zero experience with them and have not even seen one in person. For the price they list, you can have one of the fine custom shops build you the rifle you want made.

Hope that helps,
madd0c </div></div>
That is quite interesting, and about what I was thinking would happen to me. I read reports on the hide that the aluminum recoil lug was too small and too soft. McMillian is installing in their stocks a larger steel recoil lug which should help accuracy.
What barrel are you installing?
-Steve
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Alderleet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Howa barrel action
Bartlien/Rock Creek/Krieger barrel
B&C/Manners/RCS/Mcmillan Stock
EGW rail

whatever glass/rings you want.

I chose howa for my 223 build, because hte action is a hell of alot closer to true than the competition, the recoil lug is integral, instead of a stamped sandwich, and the extractor is a beefy m16 style.


It will be slightly cheaper from the get go, and will shoot better than it should. </div></div>

I never thought about a Howa. Just did some research on the Hide, and indeed it looks excellent. Where did you buy your Howa action?
 

Alderleet

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

I bought mine on base (lol tax free..)

But there are plenty of places to get them. Gun broker has good prices, but any sportsmans warehouse/ cabelas/ gun shop should be able to get them
 

hill billy

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Alderleet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Howa barrel action
Bartlien/Rock Creek/Krieger barrel
B&C/Manners/RCS/Mcmillan Stock
EGW rail

whatever glass/rings you want.

I chose howa for my 223 build, because hte action is a hell of alot closer to true than the competition, the recoil lug is integral, instead of a stamped sandwich, and the extractor is a beefy m16 style.

It will be slightly cheaper from the get go, and will shoot better than it should. </div></div>Most of the Tikka actions I have seen are very true already and they also have an M-16 style extractor. The recoil lugs leaves something to be desired for sure but if I had to choose, it would be the Tikka every time.
 

madd0c

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

c1steve,
Broughton barrel going on mine in a manners stock. The smith I sent it to said that generally Tikka actions are very true out of the box and mine didn't need any truing.


madd0c
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: madd0c</div><div class="ubbcode-body">c1steve,
Broughton barrel going on mine in a manners stock. The smith I sent it to said that generally Tikka actions are very true out of the box and mine didn't need any truing.


madd0c </div></div>

I am leaning toward the Tikka. The Howa action is only available with the barrel, and apparently it is very, very tough to remove. I have had good luck with Sako before, so hopefully will again. Probably will test the rifle before rebarreling. 1/2 moa is the goal, one way or the other.

-Steve
 

darrenk75b

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

Something to consider as it pertains to the Tikkas:
The factory magazines do not provide much in the way of cartride OAL being longer than factory ammo. If you plan on shooting a heavy bullet (like the 75gr AMAX), you'll likly have trouble fitting them in the mag. Also, the Tikka actions are a one-size fits all ordeal,and therefore longer than necessary for the 223 cartridges. Tikka's also have a number of plastic parts if that matters to you (bolt shroud and magazine)

Howa stainless actions are noted as not being as difficult to unbarrel as their blued counterparts. Howas are great actions, feed fantastically, and have robust metal bottom metals.

Aftermarket DBMs are available for both through CDI Precision.
 

Wicked Weapons

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

I looked at the Howa's in .223. The fit & finished is great and they are priced right. I did NOT want to re-barrel and the slow factory 1-12" twist killed it for me. Also, I'm a lefty, the factory stock didn't fit me and the selection of aftermarked stocks is slim. Loved the action though.
 

Alderleet

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

The thing i love about my howa so far is that the box well is easily extendable. There is a small piece of steel shaped in there that acts as a back stop for the 223 cartridge. You can slip that out, adjust it, and voila, your internal box mag is longer...


But yeah, the bad thing i cant get over from tikka was the detachable box mag. They are rarer then hens teeth to find, and made from plastic...


But yes, if you go Howa, get a stainless action. The blued is a bitch to get apart for a rebarrel. You have to cut a relief groove in the barrel, just ahead of the receiver, to get it out.
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: darrenk75b</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Something to consider as it pertains to the Tikkas:
The factory magazines do not provide much in the way of cartride OAL being longer than factory ammo. If you plan on shooting a heavy bullet (like the 75gr AMAX), you'll likly have trouble fitting them in the mag. Also, the Tikka actions are a one-size fits all ordeal,and therefore longer than necessary for the 223 cartridges. Tikka's also have a number of plastic parts if that matters to you (bolt shroud and magazine)

Howa stainless actions are noted as not being as difficult to unbarrel as their blued counterparts. Howas are great actions, feed fantastically, and have robust metal bottom metals.

Aftermarket DBMs are available for both through CDI Precision. </div></div>
I definitely plan on shooting heavy bullets. I will look some more at the stainless Howa.
 

ptd

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

If you like the Tikka, pick up CDI's DBM, and some of the new AI 223 mags. Have someone mod the action or the mags and you are done.

-pd
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

So what is there in aftermarket stocks for Howa? In McMillian I only have seen hunting stocks.

s
 

longebow

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

Remington 700 PSS in .223.

Mine is a hammer, and shoots in the .3's when I do my part. It now has a 9" twist barrel, so should handle everything from 40 to 77 grains.

If you need a detachable magazine, I've even seen some M16 magazine conversions. Also, AI makes a stock/magazine system for it.
 

Cinch

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

The Remington XCR compact Tactical is a nice one as well. It comes with a 9 twist and can easily be punched out to an ackley.
 

recurry

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: c1steve</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am trying to determine what would work as an excellent practice rifle, in .223. Something that will shoot 1/2 moa.

Initially I was thinking Savage or Tikka T3, but am thinking something more high end would be better. I will buy a quality scope, so the rifle may as well match.

What I would like is a TRG-22, but converting it to .223 sounds like too a little too much to take on. Any recommendations?
</div></div>

Hi Steve,

If you can spend around $800 or so, you can't go wrong with a Remington 700 LTR or PSS - I bought an LTR last year (my first Remington) and it shoots like a laser. I'm reloading for it now, so I hope to do better than I was with factory ammunition, but it shoots the cheap 52gr HPs from Ultramax into .25 groups at 100 yards. They are not as nice looking as a Tikka or some of the other rifles, but from my experience, you just can't beat the bang for your buck with an LTR or PSS.

I know some folks have mentioned Howa, but I dunno - I bought a Weatherby Vanguard (Howa 1500 action) a year or so ago and the trigger was just plain nasty on it. If I could do that purchase over again, I would have gone with a Savage. That was in .22-250 though, so I can't speak from any experience with the .223 Howa models.

I do think you can't go wrong with Savage either - lots of people at our range here in WI shoot savages and they seem to get really good accuracy out of the heavy barrel / varmint models like the 10FP.

Cheers,

Russ
 

WTW

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

Howa's are almost identical to Weatherby vanguards. Any vanguard stock should work with a Howa action. I have a few friends that have made some fine tactical rifles out of Howa's and they used B&C medalist stocks with CDI bottom metal, the trigger may need replaced but Rifle basix makes a good aftermarket trigger. With the right load they will shoot great.
 

5Rsniper

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

I hate to say it but my brother’s Savage model 10 holds some of the best groups I’ve seen from a factory rifle. He is shooting 3/8 moa at 100, 250 and 375 yds. I can’t imagine that the majority of Savages will shoot like that, but I haven’t been around a lot of them. Anyone else have a Savage that will do that out of the box? I’ve got a .308 Remington 5R that will do ½ moa and I know they make a .223 5R, but don’t know how they shoot. If you’re leaving it stock and looking to save money I would go with the Savage but if you’re looking to build one up over time, I would go Rem 700.
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: darrenk75b</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Something to consider as it pertains to the Tikkas:
The factory magazines do not provide much in the way of cartride OAL being longer than factory ammo. If you plan on shooting a heavy bullet (like the 75gr AMAX), you'll likly have trouble fitting them in the mag. Also, the Tikka actions are a one-size fits all ordeal,and therefore longer than necessary for the 223 cartridges. Tikka's also have a number of plastic parts if that matters to you (bolt shroud and magazine)

</div></div>

www.m4store.net has Tikka mags in 308 and 243, $35 each. I wonder if using a longer mag would work. The internal width would have to be narrowed, not sure if it is possible to glue to the plastic Tikka uses for their mags.
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: recurry</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: c1steve</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am trying to determine what would work as an excellent practice rifle, in .223. Something that will shoot 1/2 moa.

Initially I was thinking Savage or Tikka T3, but am thinking something more high end would be better. I will buy a quality scope, so the rifle may as well match.

What I would like is a TRG-22, but converting it to .223 sounds like too a little too much to take on. Any recommendations?
</div></div>

Hi Steve,

If you can spend around $800 or so, you can't go wrong with a Remington 700 LTR or PSS - I bought an LTR last year (my first Remington) and it shoots like a laser. I'm reloading for it now, so I hope to do better than I was with factory ammunition, but it shoots the cheap 52gr HPs from Ultramax into .25 groups at 100 yards. They are not as nice looking as a Tikka or some of the other rifles, but from my experience, you just can't beat the bang for your buck with an LTR or PSS.

Cheers,

Russ </div></div>

The Remington website does not show either the LTR or PSS. PSS is the Police Sharp Shooter, I assume. Perhaps they changed the names. Any idea what models are comparable?
 

recurry

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: c1steve</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The Remington website does not show either the LTR or PSS. PSS is the Police Sharp Shooter, I assume. Perhaps they changed the names. Any idea what models are comparable? </div></div>

Hi Steve,

Try here:

http://www.remingtonle.com/rifles/700pltr.htm

They are listed on Remington's police equipment site, but they are sold to the general public - you just need to have your local dealer order one or you can usually find them for sale on any of the big internet gun sites.

Cheers,

Russ
 

GCMxVeGeTa

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

+1 on Savage, accuracy is excellent from factory and not much to change if you like the adjustable AccuTrigger.
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

I found the RemingtonLE website, interesting rifles. The 700SS R5 Mil-spec looks interesting, but I wonder if the barrel is any more accurate than the regular 700 rifles. It does come with the 9 twist, which would be a good start.

However if it only shot .7 moa, I still would be wanting to change the barrel, and perhaps would have been better off with a 700 Varmint SF and buying a new barrel.
 

c1steve

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

Right now I am narrowing it down to probably the Savage. Trued action, $550. Match barrel $300-$400. Stock, $600. McMillian A3 stock will fit, but if I changed to a DBM, McMillian tells me I would need the A5, HTG, or something else.

The Howa action sounds super, but right now the do-it-yourself Savage seems so much easier. Thanks so much for everyone's input. If it was not for the Hide and SWFA Optics Talk I would not have a clue about what really works.

-Steve
 

rwlewis

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Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

c1steve, Dont be afraid to go with the Tikka T-3. My lite blued model with a chopped 16" bbl will shoot circles around guns 3 times its cost. I can only imagine how the t-3 varmint would shoot if you wanted a heavier gun!
 

fdkay

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    Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: c1steve</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Right now I am narrowing it down to probably the Savage. Trued action, $550. Match barrel $300-$400. Stock, $600. McMillian A3 stock will fit, but if I changed to a DBM, McMillian tells me I would need the A5, HTG, or something else.

    The Howa action sounds super, but right now the do-it-yourself Savage seems so much easier. Thanks so much for everyone's input. If it was not for the Hide and SWFA Optics Talk I would not have a clue about what really works.

    -Steve

    </div></div>
    Wow, you are talking about alot of work on a rifle you haven't even shot yet.
    I have a Savage, but if I was going to just ditch the barrel and stock right away and have the action trued (not usually a big requirement for Savage), I would just get a Remington short action pencil barreled whatever from wally world, send it to a smith and have all the same work done on it.
    I like my savage, but I really prefer the "feel" of the 700 action.

    You could get a B&C varmint/tactical stock and send it to CDI for inletting and add the CDI botttom metal with a new magazine and be out just a little more than the Mcmillans stock alone.
     

    hill billy

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    Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: flyinrl</div><div class="ubbcode-body">c1steve, Dont be afraid to go with the Tikka T-3. My lite blued model with a chopped 16" bbl will shoot circles around guns 3 times its cost. I can only imagine how the t-3 varmint would shoot if you wanted a heavier gun! </div></div>The varmint's shoot very well. Not sure why some folks are so down on Tikkas.
     

    samnev

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    Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: longebow</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Remington 700 PSS in .223.

    Mine is a hammer, and shoots in the .3's when I do my part. It now has a 9" twist barrel, so should handle everything from 40 to 77 grains.

    If you need a detachable magazine, I've even seen some M16 magazine conversions. Also, AI makes a stock/magazine system for it. </div></div>

    I second the PSS in 223. Mine shoots close to or at 0.5" groups @ 100 yards.
     

    rth1800

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    Rem 700 VSSF. Some shoot VERY well out of the box and have a 26" barrel. Nice stock out of the box as well.
     

    JamieD

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    Depends what you would like to do for a stock. I like the 700P and 700LTR. Even an SPS Tactical with a fast twist and replace the stock. A little touching up and in stock of choice and your good to go. I put mine in my AICS to practice. A lot of fun.

    Good Luck,
    JamieD


    ______________________________
    Jamie Dodson
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    814-262-7994
     

    c1steve

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    Well I ordered the McMillan stock to fit Savage, as right now I have my hands full of projects. Of course, I am all ready thinking about the next gun...

    M700 would be excellent, so would the Howa but they do not sell the barreled action in WSM calibers, which I want.

    I plan to buy a lathe, and may wait until them before I tackle a traditional barreled action. I plan to buy a Clausing-Colchester, which can cut both inch and metric threads. So, maybe even a Tikka...

    The A3 I have coming will have GREAT colors, definitely non standard.

    -Steve
     

    Runamuk

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    +1 on the 5R in .223, I just purchased my first 5R .223 after shooting a friends and I can say with confidence they shoot, 1/2 MOA is there right out of the box. On the down side it comes from the factory with the crappy Remington trigger (X-Mark Pro) but a jewel fixed this. Another friend has the XCR compact tactical (.223), I haven't shot it yet but he seems to really like it and a plus is you get the 40x trigger, it's not a Jewel but its better than the X-Mark pro by a long way, down side is the stock isn't as comfortable to me. To confuse this even more my brother bought the SPS Tactical with plans to upgrade an inexpensive rifle to something more to his liking. Problem is after about 100rds and changing the stock and trigger, it shoots as good as my 5R or my friends XCR so now he doesn't want to screw it up. It seems 1/2 MOA is more the norm with any of these guns (sometimes better sometimes worse) with handloads (24.5gns Varget SMK 69grn .010 off), with factory ammo it's more like 3/4, not sure if you roll your own. Both the 5R and the XCR seem tighter and have smoother actions than the SPS, but they don't shoot any better on average, or maybe we can't shoot any better on average. My thought is the XCR is the better purchase out of the box if you don't want to upgrade anything....ever and you get a good price on it as it has a stainless action/barrel and good factory finish, decent stock and good trigger if your into upgrading than take your pick, they're all "close" to the same cost when finished.
     

    chrisj

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    The Kimber LPT is a very nice 223 rig for around 1k.
     

    doubs43

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    I can't complain about my box-stock 700 SPS-V that I put into a B&C Medalist stock. It went from an overall average at 104 yards (37 3-shot groups) of .662" in the factory stock to an average of .325" with my best hand load.
     

    MZ5

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    The Howa barrels are just loc-tited, like other rifles from Miroku, right? So, _careful_ application of heat would make it release just as well as anything else, right?
     

    neo223

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    My XCR tactical was good out of the box.
     

    jagged77

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    Big fan of Tikka's but couldn't get one with the fast twist only 1:12. Went with a Remington SPS Tactical 1:9 20" with suppressor and AICS stock and it's fantastic. Genuine 1/2 MOA with 69 gr SMK's out to 300 yards and when stretched to 800 shoots MOA. Using the AICS means you can load as long as you want - not an issue with this particular rifle as the throat is very short.
    Am going to shoot the crap out of it and then eventually re barrel to 1:8 or 1:7.
     

    usmcsniperone

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    upstate ny..boonies
    Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bosshoff</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am suprised no one has mentioned the Thompson Icon. They have a laminated stocked version called the Precision Hunter which I really like. Seems to already have a lot of goodies on it in stock form.

    http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/icon_precision_hunter.php
    </div></div>

    I have a TC Icon SS Weathershield in .243 and I love it!
    5R rifling. alum.bedding block, free floated barrel, adustable trigger, mag. fed, scope base machined into the reciever and you can even take apart the bolt for cleaning. It shot a .440 5 shot group at 100 yrds right out of the box. Its my new favorite hunting stick.
     

    Furtaker_.223

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 22, 2010
    2,265
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    55
    Columbia IL
    www.snipershide.com
    Re: Recommendations on quality .223 bolt gun

    Do not over look the CZ 527 varmint, with the HS precision kevlar stock. What a freakin shooter. I shot one over the weekend and up against my Savage model 12LRPV, it kept up with it. I came home, and bought one. it will be my varmint rifle now. It shot circles around the kimber. Granted the kimber is a great rifle, but the CZ shot lights out against it. The guy who had the kimber with us, says he is selling it to go either with the CZ or the Savage. If you are hunting with it IMO I would go CZ. you can find them at czusa.com and I am sure you can find them cheeper than there. i found mine here on the hide, like new, only 200 rounds down the barrel, with a hard case,clip and rifle for 625.00 shipped.