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Thread: Utility of a 223 Bolt Action

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Va. mnts
    Remington still uses a 12T in their 223's..... if that's important to you? Most everyone else has climbed on the "heavier must be better" bus and gone with faster twist barrels. I have an older CZ 527 with a slow twist,and will never part with it. Loading cast in a slow twist isn't going to be an "easy button" comparitively but it is entirely doable. My '19 ADL shoots 55g with starting JB loads.... and in at least one loading am darn near book "max". But once velocity gets up that far,I'll grab one of the 22-250's.... just sayin. I don't really "like" punching holes in paper or,sitting at a bench..... and have ALL the bells N whistles WRT to BR. Would rather be varmint blasting..... with highly frangible CB's running wide open. Being old and lazy,prefer skinny barrels. Being too dumb to come in out of the rain,prefer stainless and plastic bolt guns..... although cerakote is growing on me. Good luck with your project.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Southwest, Wisconsin
    If you want more of a heavy barrel target rifle cabelas/bass pro just sent me a flier with a savage 12v for $349 and a Remington heavey barrel varmint for 399.00

    IMO the Remington has always been my go to but w/o an adjustable trigger or bedding blocks I’d grab the savage for $50 cheaper and all you need is an optic.

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy spfd1903's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    N. Central Illinois
    Came into possession of thousands of pieces of .223 and 5.56 brass 8 years ago. Also bought a lot of Sierra and Hornady 52 grain to 55 grain ammo in various nose configurations because they were good prices then. Also got a Lee 55 grain Bator mold and started casting some boolits from 50/50, Lino/ lead. Eventually found a new Howa Ranchland for $400 and a scope for $350. Spent a lot of time developing loads for the variety of bullets and was able to get 3/4 to 1" groups . The Bator boolit performed well with Acc 5744 and Alox lube, achieving 1" groups regularly. Love the bolt action in this caliber. After acquiring all the brass, I never considered using it in a semi auto.
    "Semper quaerendo plumbum"

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2011
    NC Montana
    I've got 3 bolt action .223s. A Remington heavy barrel, a Tikka and a Savage (which stays in the farm pickup year round). I went to the .223 from the 22-250 decades ago, mainly for Prairie Dogs. With a .223 you can see your hits. Soon I was using the .223s for Coyotes, also, and they worked just as well as heavier calibers. I call in the Winter and even though it's mainly open prairie, the less rifle noise, the better.

    I handload for all the bolt actions. Years ago, I bought Black Hills 55 grain soft point by the thousand, as it was pretty cheap thru our trap club's FFL, but BH stopped doing that. I have no use for FMJ ammo, and a lot of the cheap stuff is that. However, the soft point/hollow point/tipped ammo is certainly cheaper than most other calibers.

    If I didn't handload and wanted a "plinking" caliber I'd look hard at the .17 Super Mag (non-reloadable and relatively inexpensive) but a 20 grain bullet @ 3000 fps doesn't get everything done I need to get done.

    Here's my old Savage and a recent Coyote.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Northern MN
    I played with a 22-250 once and was not impressed. I would still go 243 instead. As far as varmint long range use, I felt that at the target sizes I was shooting at the 223 had about all the range I could hit with. Many years ago I had a 222 that I took lots of game with, especially the Jack rabbits that changed to white in the winter. Shot quite a few with it. That was fun and I did make some very long shots with it. That hunting is not as available anymore but was fun while it lasted. Do most of my shooting more towards spring as winter gets a bit harsh here at times. I am either going to keep the 243 and stuff or sell it. Kind of leaning both ways but still think a 223 might be nice to play with. Takes about half the powder charge.


  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy Markopolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Remote island in SE Alaska
    I have one of these savages.. like it well enough... but the whole motivation is to have an alternative to a 22lr. Cheaper to shoot, once you get the cast part worked out. Especially is you load them with Red dot. Just a few grains of powder and you got the equivalent to 22lr and 22mag with something you can reload for. There is always some trigger happy youngster with an AR leaving brass all over the place for you to gather... what’s not to like?

    I also have the 22-250 Axis. I don’t shoot it near as much as the brass is harder to find laying around. It is the one single gun in my heard that I allow myself to shoot hi velocity non Cast store bought bullets. It does what I want it to do, nothing fancy though, and accuracy out of the box is adequate. I am sure a good stock would make it more, but I don’t use it enough to justify. Most of the time, I can do anything I really want to do with the 223 version.

    Trigger was super easy to do on Both versions and makes it a better shooter right off the git go

    Last edited by Markopolo; 01-10-2019 at 03:20 PM.
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2016
    If you do only have 200 yards to play with for range, don't think twice in terms of choosing a cartridge for target work.
    Within that range .223 dominates, it'll be half as expensive to load/buy as the 6.5 (with jacketed) and any benefit to ballistics certainly won't be appreciable at that range. It's very pleasant to shot, at those ranges hits pretty hard, and the component selection is unrivaled. Need I go on?

    Really I wouldn't even consider anything else in your position.
    The only real downside is it's so ubiquitous as to be a little boring, but it didn't become popular for no reason. Don't overthink this, if only all choices were so easy.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Phenix City, Alabama
    I considered it once, but really prefer a single shot....
    μολὼν λαβέ

    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    for substitute 22lr that you can reload, always look at the 22 hornet.

    really CAN be dropped to 22lr level with a lot less hassle im told. And just feels better because you can still bust a rabbit at 150 yards if you have the gun set up right with a scope. But can still take on something bigger like a coyote. And its small enough that most normal people aren't going to try to go moose hunting with it.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monticello, KY
    Our local Wal Mart has the Axis Hvy barrel with camo stock and scope with acu trigger for $358! I line one up the other day for a guy, with the cheap scope it came with, and it shot cheap stuff ammo about 3/4" for 5 shot group. I shot some of my 55sp hand loads along with some 68BTHPs, both grouped in 1/2" at 100 yds! You cant beat them for the money!!

  11. #31
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Here in North Texas, I could get by just fine with a 223 bolt action. I would want one like an older Remington 700 ADL with a wood stock and a 24-inch Barrel.
    If you can shoot well, it is plenty of gun for deer and Hogs.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  12. #32
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    In The Hardwoods
    You can take a 223 bolt gun, a bunch of cheap 55 gr. FMJ, LC brass, & H335 or even IMR 4895 & have all kinds of fun.
    Joshua 1:9

  13. #33
    I broke down and bought a 223 bolt gun a few years ago. With brass literally everywhere very cheap it is very inexpensive to keep shooting one. I bought one of the new Weatherby Vanguard S2. Much higher quality than the Ruger American or Savage Axis for an extra $100-$150. The extra you spend makes up for having to replace the stock on the other cheaper rifles. The Vanguard is the real deal for $500-$550 check one out!

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Monterey Tennessee
    I keep a bolt action CZ .223 close to the back door in case I see a coyote on the other side of our pond which is about a 80-95 yard shot. The load I use in it is a 55 grain bullet and 12 grains of Blue Dot. Way more power than a 22 mag but much less noise than a .223.
    So yea, plenty of need for a bolt action .223
    East Tennessee

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check