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Thread: Bolt action in 223 Remington - which one?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    Bolt action in 223 Remington - which one?

    Long story short - I'm "older" and recently had a young fellow show and let me shoot his ARs in 223 - not a big fan of that platform but really got bitten by the 223 Rem cartridge. I posted a thread under lever guns as i was looking for info on the Henry Long Ranger in that cartridge but after consideration, I'm really leaning towards a bolt action - will need to scope it due to eyesight issues - will be reloading and probably be using cast and jacketed out of it for plinking, punching paper, killing cans.etc. primarily a "fun gun" to play with both cast and jacketed - maybe out to 300 yards just to see if I could hit steel with my eyesight.

    I have pretty much eliminated the Henry Long Ranger (even though I like lever guns) and for the cost of them, I think the $$ are better spent on one of the popular bolt actions out there.

    I have been watching some videos. looking at the catalogs. etc. and so far, I'm thinking ,maybe one of the following.

    Ruger American Ranch Rifle (
    Ruger American Predator
    Savage AxisII XE Hardwood (I'm old and like wood stocks)

    While I would like a wood stock, I can live with synthetic as it will strictly be a range toy. I would probably put a bi-pod on it for bench use when possible.

    I know everyone has their "preferences" - I know that the magazine capacity of the Ruger is more than the Savage but that's really not an issue to me. I would also consider a CZ, even though they are a bit more pricey but in looking around, they seem to be a bit scarce so a rifle in the above price range wold work just fine for may needs. I like the looks/length of the Ruger American Ranch as it would be handy to carry in the car in a case over the longer barrel models' F

    From what I'm seeing, the Savages and the Ruger both have a 1:8 twist. The Savage mentions button rifling - not sure what the Ruger have. Not sure on how the barrel size compares between them as well - as in one heavier over the other? Quality comparison?

    So I guess my questions are, is there a good reason to pick one brand/model over the other for shooting 223 in cast and jacketed?

    Are there other makes I should be taking a look at too?

    These seem to be in the same general price range and look like they would do the job for plinking and playing at various ranges using a scope. Input on how to decide would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    CastingFool's Avatar
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    I have the Axis, w/o the accutrigger, and like it just fine. I do have a 3x9 bushnell on it, but haven't not fired for groups. I do know I have shot woodchucks with it at 50 yds. Haven't had an opportunity to try longer shots. It has a plastic stock and the forend does flex a little, but not enough to make a difference to me. I did get it for a very good price.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Tikka T3 Lite.(or T3X). A bit more money than the Ruger or Savage but about the same cost as the Henry.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I have two Savage rifles in 223 but neither are the Axis. I don't really think that will make much difference however, as far as accuracy is concerned.
    Both will hold under MOA at 200 yards. On calm days, I have fired under one inch groups with both rifles at 200 yards with ammunition they like.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Mini-mauser from Manchester England in .223 that will shoot 1/2 to 1 inch at 100 yards with about any bullet from 50 grains to 55 grains on a regular basis. I can use H322, with a Winchester 55 grain JSP flat base bullet. That combination will run 1/2" and sometimes better. I really like the little Mark X and it will be with me as long as I am alive. james

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    savage 12 bvss meets what your looking for. have to edit this. actually looked at how much they want for one now after i posted. its not worth that kind of money. LOL

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a CZ I really like. The single set trigger is a cool feature. The rifle is very accurate! Lots of varmints dispatched with it.

    If a CZ isn't an option, then I'd go for a Savage, but a slightly higher end model than the Axis.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    I have a Browning A-bolt that shoots cast very well, using a gas checked RCBS 55gn mould! Have tried these cast boolits in a Ruger Ranch and a Savage but no real accuracy yet.



    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    probably gonna get a recommended list of every model made. but as they say accuracy is cheap nowadays, at least with jacketed. if you plan for much cast shooting that will probably narrow it down by twist rate, but ive never done small bore cast so someone else would have to advise that part. if you want mainly jacketed use you can mostly just decide by looks then check reviews for what they say about the trigger and stuff like that. also im seeing the savage at 1-9 twist and ruger at 1-8 not both 1-8. so id pick that savage from what you listed. I think the ruger only has 8 twist to cover long 5.56 projectiles and id think slower would be more friendly for this scenario

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Hard to find and out of production but the Tikka 595's in .223 are incredible
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I would recommend handling several different models and see what you like and what fits you best.

    Another consideration will be stock style, a traditional hunting style, varmint,bench rest, or position style? Barrel weight light sporter varmint or heavy target? twist rate? A heavy barreled 223 with a well designed stock is real pussycat to shoot.

    Look for a Rem 700 varmint in 223 or f one turns up a 40X in 223. Mount the desired scope and have fun

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Savage Hog Hunter, wanted a cheap 223. It has an Accutrigger, cheap stock and a center feed mag. The rifle does what I want and is accurate enough but I don't like the center feed mag, it's hard for me to load.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
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    country gent gives some good advice, especially since there are .223 bolt guns from midget to giant size readily available.

    While there is nothing really wrong with a full sized rifle in .223, it seems ludicrous to me to use an action that is big enough for a .375 H&H to house a small .223 cartridge.

    I really like the little bolt actions such as the CZ 527 or the variously branded mini-Mausers for the smaller rounds. The older Sako actions, while hard to find now, did make very nice small rifles.

    Good luck,

    Robert

  14. #14
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    I have both the Ruger American Ranch Rifle and the T/C Compass. Both are inexpensive, with the nod for accuracy going to the T/C, and the fun to shoot factor going to the Ruger. The Ruger is able to take AR mags, if that’s a consideration for you. Bottom line, you really can’t go wrong with either one.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I have been seriously looking at the Howa mini action 223 rifles. They can come with a heavier profile barrel and decent glass for around 500. The action is perfectly scaled to the 223 with a short throw and is mag fed.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy McFred's Avatar
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    The Howa Mini's fine. And can probably be found on sale online for less than $400. The metal parts are quite nice, but the plastic parts leave a bit to be desired. The aftermarket is stepping up a bit to fix perceived issues with parts. I'd take the mini over a Ruger or Savage myself.

    I like the CZ, personally. It can be a little rough from the factory, however it will wear-in with time and be quite nice. I've had a couple accurate .223 examples.

    FWIW: Synthetic 527 for $461 (though I have not purchased through that vendor before).
    https://dahlonegaarmory.com/product/...lk-syn-carbine

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    FWIW, I do have the Axis II in .223 but with a heavy barrel (it was a Walmart special).

    It is a true 1/2MOA rifle. The 1:9 twist has been great for me. It handles the 77gn Sierra Match King bullets. I have one group of 10 rounds at 1000yds of 15". At 600yd I have a 4" group. Wind kinda tosses the little slugs around a bit at longer ranges. At 100yd I have quite a few groups under 1/2MOA. Most of the time I shoot at 300yd. The bullets I use the most are the 69gn Sierra, Nosler or Hornady match bullets.

    Right now it has well over 2500 rounds through it.

    It is also the first rifle I have owned that likes to be fired hot. Many days the best groups are at the end of 50-100rounds when the barrel is too hot to hold.

    Would I buy another? Probably not. It is too light of a rifle for my use (mostly range time from a bench rest or bipod). I added a Boyd's stock and a better scope so it is not a $350 rifle anymore. If I were to get another Savage it would probably be a 12FV from Cabela's.

    FYI, the scope that came with my Axis was not horrible, but, not great either. It held zero but the reticle adjustment had some 'slop' to it.

    The old Axis stock was a bit flexible, something they have changed this last year. I have heard that current Axis stocks come from the factory with pillars. That would be a huge plus in my book.
    Last edited by charlie b; 02-13-2020 at 11:33 PM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I would think a Remington 700 SPS($375at Academy Sports) would also work for what you want. No feeding or loading problems of the magazine and (IMO) a better trigger type than the bladed variety. The 700 was the original home of the .223 Remington, after all.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I have one of the first Rem 700 Vs in 223. It used to shoot 5/8" groups with most 50/55 gr bullets but after about 8000 rds it's tough to get it to hold under an inch. With it's 1/12 twist it still shoots cast fairly well. It's still one of my favorite rifles and with it's heavy barrel and light recoil the wife likes it as well.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    tikka t3 very accurate, super slick bolt and easy adjustable trigger

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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