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200 yd target bolt rifle (.223 Savage 12 Varmint Low Profile / Nikon Black X1000) Login/Join 
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I'm looking to buy a rifle as a graduation gift for my 18 year old son. Unfortunately, I don't know much about rifles, so I need advice. We only have a pair of Ruger 10/22s. This present will be a surprise, so doing the research with him is not an option (though it would be enjoyable).

My son is interested in distance target shooting. He talks about it occasionally, especially when we go to gun shows. Recent discussions have revealed the following... He thinks a bolt rifle in .223 would be perfect for our range, which maxes out at 200 yards. He also believes a Remington 700 would be great because of aftermarket support. One thing is clear - he's not interested in the AR platforms.

I want to buy new because, again, I don't know much about rifles. Researching the model 700 has been somewhat overwhelming because there are so many offerings in .223.

So let's try to narrow this down a bit by starting with the following question... Is .223 (or 5.56) a reasonable chambering for 200 yard target shooting? I prefer a centerfire cartridge rather than rimfire since it opens the opportunity of reloading someday. We currently do not do any reloading.

Edit to add budget:
$1k is a hard max for the rifle itself, but the goal really is $800.
Sorry, I thought about including budget info, but forgot to type it in.

5/5/2019 - Rifle was ordered yesterday: https://www.savagearms.com/con...duct_summary&s=18464. Now it's time to select optics.

5/11/2019 - Rifle has arrived. Still working on the optics.

5/15/2019 - Picked up the scope on Monday. http://www.nikonsportoptics.co...d-x-moa-reticle.html

This message has been edited. Last edited by: safespot,



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Posts: 510 | Location: NC | Registered: March 05, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
PopeDaddy
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Weatherby Vanguard is a good value in rifles and they make a chambering in .223 as does CZ.


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Posts: 3330 | Location: ALABAMA | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Remington 700, sqvage 10, and 110, tikka. Cz in 223


Hell my ruger american predator in 308 has beem fantastic at 100yds.

Ruger american in 223, ruger m77 in 223, ruger number 1 in 223. Browning xbolt,



Is this going to be a range gun only shot on bags, or is it going to be carried? That will tell you what kind of barrel profile. Does he want a chassis system, wood, or synthetic stock?


I have been dreaming about sako rifles for a while now. That would probably be where i start and stop.
 
Posts: 5434 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by DSgrouse:
Is this going to be a range gun only shot on bags, or is it going to be carried? That will tell you what kind of barrel profile. Does he want a chassis system, wood, or synthetic stock?

Thanks for the input from both of you. To answer the question above... Range gun only. I'm thinking longer, heavier barrel. Is that the correct direction to take?

He hasn't indicated a preference to synthetic vs. wood stock. Not sure what he's thinking along those line, but I could pose some probing questions to learn more. What is a "chassis system"?



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Posts: 510 | Location: NC | Registered: March 05, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just did a duckduckgo search on "chassis system" rifles. No, I don't think that is what he's interested in.

At the gun show on Saturday he seemed quite interested in a CZ 455 in .223. Beautiful rifle, no doubt. However, I don't think my son is hell-bent on a wooden stock. FWIW, the new Remington 700s are not available with a solid wooden stock chambered in .223.



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Posts: 510 | Location: NC | Registered: March 05, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i am not a fan of .223 in a bolt action.
I would go .243 or 7mm-08
Both wonderful calibers and will do 200 yds nicely.
I would also steer away from the 700 Rem.
So much better out there.

Tikka, Howa, Weatherby, Ruger come to mind. I am not of fan of Savage, many like though. Good luck.




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Posts: 13735 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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.223 would do perfectly fine at 200 yards.
I have a buddy who consistently shoots his rem700 in .223 out to 400 yards easily.

The beauty of the rem700 (as stated) is the WEALTH of aftermarket support.
It's the glock of the bolt gun world.

Things to consider:
Will there be a suppressor in the future for this? If so... threaded barrel would be good to have.
What barrel length? As you said, this will be for range use only - so weight would not be a factor (so heavy/long barrel is an option).
Budget is of course a factor. How much are you willing to drop into this thing?
Optic - you'll need one. What budget are you looking for here?

One thing you could think about - if you and he are tool savvy - simply buy an action.
Then you could have a whole adventure while the two of you build it up from scratch.


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Posts: 983 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: June 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you want casual shooting with a centerfire the 223 makes sense. May not be any need to go larger just starting out. Can’t imagine a gun person without at least one 223 rifle, at any age.

I’m not big on current production Remmy rifles, but haven’t used any lately either. The CZ may be an option.

My bolt 223 rifles are a medium/heavy Win Model 70 and a Browning A-Bolt.

Intended use down the road & budget factor in. I would leave some $$ room for bases/rings & a midlevel+ scope.
 
Posts: 3724 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This would be my first choice. This would be a hand me down rifle. Top it off with zeiss conquest glass.
Sako Varmint stainless 85
https://www.eurooptic.com/sako...223-rem-jrs1g12.aspx

For a more traditional handi rifle
85 Bavarian
https://choose.sako.fi/global/...an?caliber=223%20REM

Another good choice Browning X bolt bench gun
https://www.browning.com/produ...ipse-varmint-18.html
for a handi rifle xbolt hunter
https://www.browning.com/produ...n/x-bolt-hunter.html



My Second Choice would be CZ For a handi Rifle I would go with cz 527 carbine.
https://cz-usa.com/product/cz-527-carbine-223-rem/

For a more bench gun i would go with cz's 527 Varmint MTR
https://cz-usa.com/product/cz-527-varmint-mtr/


For Tika, I would look along these lines for a bench gun
T3x sporter
https://choose.tikka.fi/global...er?caliber=223%20REM
for a handi gun
t3x hunter stainless
https://choose.tikka.fi/global...ss?caliber=223%20REM

Ruger hawkeye varmint for a bench gun
https://ruger.com/products/Haw...ntTarget/models.html
for a walk around
https://ruger.com/products/Haw...Standard/models.html
 
Posts: 5434 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A bolt action 223 is a valid option for 200 yard -- and much longer -- target shooting. Many of the top competitors in precision/tactical/steel matches use a 223 bolt gun for training. I am following their lead, and am building a 223 bolt action trainer that will be close to the size, weight, and feel of my competition rifle.

Some things to consider for a 223:
- Get a barrel twist rate that's fast enough to shoot 73-77 grain bullets. Something from 1/8 to 1/7 works. A 1/9 twist is fast enough for 69 grain bullets, but won't shoot all of the 73-77s all the time. Something in the 1/10 to 1/12 ballpark limits you to lighter varmint bullets.

- Don't go with a 5.56 barrel, although you may not even be able to find a 5.56 chamber in a bolt action rifle. You're looking for accuracy, and there are very few truly accurate factory loads made in 5.56.

- Get a barrel that's a least 20" long. Muzzle velocity continues to increase with longer barrels, but the gains per inch decrease noticeably. Something in the 22-24" would be a nice overall length, IMO.

- A heavier profile barrel reduces recoil and maintains accuracy longer as the barrel changes temperature. I don't recommend a thin profile (like many hunting rifles) but you won't need a barrel that has the profile of a truck axle, either.

- Consider your total budget and long-term goals for the rifle. Understand that a scope and its mount are an incredibly important part of the rifle system.
 
Posts: 6016 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by safespot:
Is .223 (or 5.56) a reasonable chambering for 200 yard target shooting?

Should you consider a larger cartridge than 223, consider factory ammo options.

6mm/.243 bore
Lots of rifles chambered in 243, but most use relatively slow twist barrels. This limits you to bullets weighing maybe 90-95 grains. There are varmint loads in this weight class, and some of them can be pretty accurate. I don't know if anyone still makes a reasonably priced match-quality 243 load.

6mm Creedmoor has a couple of good match loads from Hornady. I expect other ammo manufacturers will jump in down the road. I suspect there are very few factory bolt guns chambered in 6CM.

.257 bore
.25-06 comes to mind, and there may be others. IMO more of a hunting round for small-ish animals at longer distances.

.264 / 6.5mm bore
260 Remy is a decent option. Unfortunately the cartridge was designed for lighter bullets. Recently there have been a few match-grade loads on the market.

6.5 Creedmoor is a great target chambering. There are many rifle makers offering this chamber and the number of ammo manufacturers offering match-grade ammo continues to increase.

7mm bore
7-08 is your current option. It's a decent chambering, but has limited match-grade ammo options. IMO more of a hunting caliber.

308 bore
308 Win has been around for a long time. Tons of rifles offered in the chamber, and an amazing number of quality factory loads available.

Barrel life:
If you're shooting only a couple hundred rounds per year, don't get excited about barrel life comparisons among chamberings. If you're shooting 1,000 or 2,000 rounds per year, then barrel life is a consideration. Both 223 and 308 have long barrel lives. Of the calibers listed above, the 6mm bores have the shortest lives, 6.5mm bores a little more, and 7mm bores a little more still.

Recoil:
223 will produce the lightest recoil by far. Recoil will increase noticeably as one moves up to 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, and finally 308.
 
Posts: 6016 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This one looks like it ticks a lot of the boxes.
Not too expensive. Long barrel for velocity. .223. Threaded for a supressor. Plus, tons of magazine options.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/ca...24_tb_223_lam?cpath=

Bruce




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Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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https://www.budsgunshop.com/ca...oduct/60970/redirect

If you think he will be wanting to compete in something like F/TR in the future, you could go with something like this and he can go from your 200 yd range to competition with the same rifle.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
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Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First, I would pay close attention to whatever our long range shooters like fritz have to say about the subject.

I have a Tikka T3 in 223 and it serves my purposes as a trainer, but it hasn’t been a tack-driver with factory ammunition. I keep experimenting with different types, though, and one day I should start handloading again.




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Posts: 39818 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The advantage to a .223 is the wide variety of ammo available.
The disadvantage of a .223 is the temptation to shoot econoball and not get the accuracy you want.
 
Posts: 2772 | Location: Florence, Alabama, USA | Registered: July 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Savage 12 FV in .223 could work well for you. it is a 1/9 twist, 26 " heavy barrel and goes on sale fairly often. Barrel and stock are easy to replace and or upgrade.
Same rifle is available in 6.5 Creedmoor, is usually very accurate and can also be used to hunt deer or antelope size game if you are not going to be carrying the rifle far. I find the 6.5 easy to shoot recoil wise.
 
Posts: 841 | Location: Moved to N.W. MT. | Registered: April 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Where to begin?

200 yards i not long distance and you can achieve that with any centerfire caliber. To learn the wind, use a .22 LR at 200 yards or more.

The Remington 700 is not the Glock of the rifle world,it's more like the 1911 of the rifle world, every one emulates the pattern and makes products for it, including complete pistol matching that exact pattern. It's the same with the 700, as lots of people make actions that can replace the 700 action and accepts all the same components. You can go wrong with a 700 and you can replace all parts as you wish.

The caliber is more difficult. The .223 wil work fine at 200 yards and will be as accurate as any other caliber available in the 700. The problem is twist rate. I only saw one 700 in .223 with a faster twist and that was a 1:9. A fritz already explained, that won't cut if for the longer bullets that perform better to 600 yards and beyond. Barrels are easily changed, however.

If you think beyond 200 yards (and I mean 500+ yards) will occur within 5 years, don't get a .223 with a slow twist. If competition is in the card within 5 years, get a 6.5 is PRS or .308 if F-class. Either one will have the same bolt diameter and you can change the caliber simply by changing the barrel. If you start with a .223, the bolt will not accept a .472 head diameter (6.5, 7mm and many .308s and others).

Do not go less than 20 inches, 24 or 26 is better, if you plan on going beyond 500 yards.

I would look at laminate or synthetic stocks.

Optics is a giant kettle of fish.
 
Posts: 2953 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Am avid prairie dog shooter. If you don't reload then your options are pretty much locked in to a popular caliber like the .223/.243/.308/6.5CR as ammo gets expensive fast. For short ranges out to 300 yards my shooting group have 3 favorite calibers: the .204 Ruger, the .223 and the .22-250. All produce excellent results with the .22-250 giving much longer distance performance. As stated earlier you might want to change out the barrel to a longer heavier with a faster twist. About all rifles mentioned along with the Savage will give excellent performance out of the box although about all the Savages we have used started having bolt problems around the 7500-8000 round point. We have put 10 of thousands of rounds down range over the last 15 years with the .223 in both stock and custom built 700s with great results. What ever you buy put good glass on it so he can maximize what ever you get.



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Posts: 621 | Location: Northern Alabama | Registered: June 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The CZ 557 American Synthetic (short action) in .308 looks good to me. Big Grin
 
Posts: 2333 | Registered: May 30, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I appreciate all of the input. This will be a good learning experience for both my son and me.

The original post has been updated with a rifle budget of $1k max (not including glass, etc). I'd like to come in around $800, but that may be a pipe dream. Sorry I forgot to include that info earlier. It really limits the options.

To address some of the other questions... This will be a bench gun, so the longer, heavier barrel sounds desirable. Future competition isn't a consideration at the moment, nor is shooting out beyond 200 yards. We'll deal with that if/when the time comes. I have to put some parameters on this thing or analysis paralysis or budget creep will set in.

My son did mention over the weekend that he is interested in being challenged, and didn't want to go with a 6.5 Creedmoor, .308, etc. because of the short distance at our range. We've shot a 10/22 at 200 yards on another range with crappy bulk ammo. Holdover was insane give the rifle was sighted at 50 yards. However, my son was able to break clays at that distance with surprising repeatability once I called out the shots and he dialed in the holdover. Still, he wants to step up from .22 LR.

Buying an action and building out a rifle would be fun, and I think we could pull it off, but I want to buy something my son can start using sooner.

Scope considerations will likely be a separate thread once the rifle has been selected.

Twist rate is something I had not considered, but certainly will now. Surprisingly, that eliminates the Remington 700 varmint models since they have slower rates at 1 in 12. I thought the varmint would be a contender given the 26" heavy barrel. Remington VTR models feature a faster rate of 1 in 9, but with a shorter barrel at 22". Maybe the VTR is still a contender since it falls in fritz's desired barrel length of 22-24".

I haven't had time to research some of the suggestions. I'll try to catch up by the weekend.

NikonUser, thanks for setting me straight on stock material. I like the classic look of a walnut stock, so I've been drawn to rifles with that "feature". I think I understand why you spec'd laminate or synthetic; they're both more stable than solid wood as far as moisture goes. Maybe they both flex less too.

Regarding ammo, I have an ulterior motive... I really do want to start reloading, and believe this will be a great segue to getting my son interested in the same. For this reason I have steered him away from rimfire such as .17 HMR.



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