View Full Version : In a quandry on a bolt action (rambling)

09-26-2013, 2:23 PM
I currently have my LE6920 outfitted the way I want it and have been fairly happy with it; when loaded correctly, I'm able to obtain the 2MOA of my Aimpoint P.R.O.

With a little more effort, and perhaps a scope, I can see 1MOA if not better (that red dot just FILLS the black on a target).

But for the better part of this year, I've been wanting a bolt action rifle. Something about the sleekness of a regular rifle without a flash hider/comp., nor a long magazine, and all the action going on in a conventional AR (BCG, Buffer Tube, gas components), just seems like it would be nice to shoot and take my time shooting it for the sake of accuracy. Not that an AR platform isn't challenging, but things going at a slower pace seems to be appealing to me... OK, maybe it's because I'm getting old (55).

So the quandry: I've been thinking about where I can shoot (Bay Area in general) which has much to do about distance of the range and most of my target shooting is 100 yards. Chabot has 200 from what I'm told, and only Sacto has somethng further. I couldn't mind trying to start going for 200 yards and beyond. The only kind of animal hunting I can see myself doing is prarie-dog pest control type of shooting, otherwise, it's pretty much target.

I'm deciding on either sticking with .223, or go 22-250 or 270 Rem. as alternatives. The 270 Rem. is close to a .308W from what I gather, but with a little less recoil. Whatever it is I end up with, I will handload it. With that in mind, going to a 22-250, I can use the same bullets and primers as my handload .223's; brass and possibly powder may change (however, I think some of the powder crosses over to both) which makes 22-250 a viable alternative to the .223. There are pros and cons to both as I've been reading these past months on the cartridge itself. The general theme: .223 is "cheaper" than the 22-250, and there appears to be plenty of both. .223 is fine all the way out to 500-600 yards. 22-250 uses more powder so per-cartridge load, it is a bit more expensive than loading .223, but it shoots flatter because it has a higher velocity, and with that, hits harder at the longer ranges (one person observed that on a rifle zero'd in at 200 yards, a .223 drops 22" at 400 yards, but a 22-250 drops 14" at 400 yards - and both would shoot 1" high at 100 yards.)

This would be great if I could shoot 400 or 500 yards every weekend, but I don't. But should I ever make it out to Sacto or anyplace with something further than 200 yards, I'd seriously think about the 22-250.

Has anyone else had this problem to digest? I'm in no big hurry to purchase; I'm "still" researching. The rifles in this category are well represented but I've narrowed my manufacturers to Tikka, CZ and Savage, all in their Varmint series.

09-26-2013, 2:41 PM
Sounds like a Savage in 222 Remington if you want something different would be good. Otherwise just get one in 223.

09-26-2013, 2:53 PM
Oddly, I tried a different route last year, using my Thompson Contender; I got a SS 21" barrel, 1:14 twist in a .223, added syn. stock and forend.

It shot pretty well, however, you need to use the trigger guard to break open the action. This got old really quick by the 10th round. I reverted it back to the 10" 44 magnum barrel.

It was that point I decided to start looking at a bolt action.

09-26-2013, 3:03 PM
I have an old Savage 340 222 Remington its a cool little round and super accurate. I just got a Mossberg MVP Varmint but I haven't shot it yet. Maybe this weekend. MVP is 5.56/223 caliber.

09-26-2013, 3:07 PM
Go with 223. Just because you have an AR, you might as well reload the brass to cook up a load that works best out at 200 yards.

I have both an AR, and Rem 700 in 223. I can use 223 ammo in both, then reload for long range shots with the bolt action.

09-26-2013, 3:12 PM
Most calibers can be tuned to shoot smoa,
if cost and availabilty is chief concern you can't go wrong with the .223, most available components and low cost,
I believe the 22-250 will edge out .223 in accuracy and range, my 22-250 is one of my go to guns, but ammo/components are pricier,
to me it would come down to what was available in a gun when I bought it,
fyi most guns may just not be available to buy if you wait very long

ADD Just re-reading your post-if you don't own a large caliber rifle your choice among the three is easily the 270-one of the most accurate rounds, ammo is cheap and available,
you have a .223 to cover close/med distances tactical and a game round fit up to small deer,
the 270 covers the other side of the picture with full power, accuracy and any game on the planet with judicious bullet placement:)
Of course you know you need to buy all three calibers, like yesterday:)

09-26-2013, 3:31 PM
I really like the 22-250, its a fantastic round. The only draw back to it vs the .223 is barrel life. But that may not be an issue if you don't shoot a ton.

09-26-2013, 3:52 PM
Even if you buy a 223 bolt gun you'll need to separate the brass to get the maximum accuracy from the bolt gun. The semi auto brass will need to be full length resized to insure reliable cycling in the AR while you need to adjust the dies for your bolt gun to get a tight fit in your bolt gun's chamber for accuracy.

So, buying a bolt gun to have common components doesn't really gain you anything. I'd say variety is the spice of life so get the 22.250 and gain the extra range and accuracy of a dedicated, higher power cartridge.

09-26-2013, 3:54 PM
The 22-250 is a very fast but lightweight bullet round. It's near the fastest 22 caliber cartridge. Originally called the Varminter, it works great for the critters. However it can't shoot the heavy bullets due to the slow twist rate of the barrels.
So if you want to shoot at longer ranges, a fast twist 223 will shoot a bit farther but not near as fast as a 22-250.

09-26-2013, 4:01 PM
22-250 any day.

09-26-2013, 4:03 PM
Ninask: you're correct.... except I would like an M1A .308 too....

Fjold: yes, you're correct in that regards (finer tuning during the handloading.) In fact, I'm just learning about things I never thought of such as the measuring the ACTUAL cartridge length required by a specific firearm to obtain the most accurate size. I did a lookup on "rifle chamber anatomy" and found a very cool link that broke down each part of the battery area. The critical point, as I learned, is the "land" which I had no clue of until I read about it in depth. It may explain why one batch shot the expected MOA but the next batch, shot more like 4MOA (noting the cartridge was about .001 shorter than before). I'm putting in an order for a few things such as a cartridge length gauge, go/no-go headspace gauges.

09-27-2013, 5:48 AM
Two options.

Get a .223 1x8" twist upper 20" minimum barrel length preferably 24" and handload 77-80 grain bullets and shoot accurately out to 800-900 if needed. This combination can shoot right alongside a .308 loaded with 168 SMK's.

Or get a .243 std. barrel Remington/savage/Howa and shoot 95 grain Berger's/JLK's or standard 100 grain boat tail bullets out to 1000. You can also load lighter bullets for coyote/squirrel shooting.

09-27-2013, 10:54 AM
A proper fast tiwst match upper will do very well to 200 yards, but if you are married to a bolt gun then I think a .223 palma build would do very well for you. I've seen a stock savage .223 palma build floating around the stores, but I'd consider a 700 build. For staying inside of 200 yards I think there is a lot of benefit to staying with .223, it will be much cheaper for you than getting into a whole new caliber.

09-27-2013, 9:37 PM
After reading everyones post, a couple of things have come to light:

1) Having a good Colt for a platform, I'm going to put more effort into making it a very good 100 yard (and maybe 200 yard) shooter. I think once I have the overall length gauge setup from Hornandy, things should actually improve.

2) If I achieve satisfactory results from my .223, then my bolt action may actually be a .308 instead.

I went to a local gun store and looked at a very nice Remington 700 Police in .308. The weight of this things w/26" barrel, would take up quite a bit of the recoil I imagine. They wanted $1,250 for it though. I think they're about $1,000 but they're built to an LE standard with an aluminum V-block bedding and floating barrel. He mentioned inside the synthetic stock, there is also a block of aluminum to help with the recoil.

Might be more rifle than I would want if all I have is 100 yard fields around me. Still, it felt like a solid rifle.

Mr. Beretta
09-30-2013, 9:19 PM
Get a Mossberg model # 27716!

Get ready to be impressed!


5:56 mm

Accepts standard AR-style magazines.

16.25" medium bull barrel, 1:9, with 11 degree tapered crown.

Threaded, with removable A2 flash suppressor (thread protector included).

Picatinny Rail.

10 Round Magazine.

Patented Lightning Bolt Action adjustable trigger system.

I have 120 rds downrange with mine. Love it!

09-30-2013, 10:42 PM
Since you mentioned them, I'd consider getting a Savage Model 12 chambered in 6BR.
Stupidly easy to load for, with an 8 twist you can run 68gr flat-base bullets at the local 200yd ranges (USI in Concord has a nice one for club members) and 105/107s out to 1K at Sacramento. Great bench and prone gun.

They come up on Accurateshooter all the time, here's lightly used one with scope rings for $1K. http://forum.accurateshooter.com/index.php?topic=3826051.0

10-01-2013, 12:17 PM
wrong quote copied... meant for Mr. Beretta

Wow, I never knew! To be brutally honest, that was EXACTLY the kind of thing I was looking for: a bolt action that can use P-mag magazines!!! 1:9 twist covers everything. Adjustable trigger. I have a scope so that's not a factor. Pricing is good for something like this.

But I've resurrected my Thompson Contnder with the 22" 1:14 twist barrel this past weekend. I'm hoping to do some additional things such as measuring the COAL for that rifle and dropping the bullet weight down to like 52 or below and seeing what happens then. Still, the break-open type setup is something I really don't like so the Mossy isn't out of the picture by any stretch. :D
Thanks again for that recommendation. Still want a 308 though...

10-01-2013, 12:36 PM
why not go thompson dimension? then you get bolt action for every caliber :)

10-01-2013, 12:51 PM
I think Mossberg has or is coming out with The MVP 308 also. I haven't seen one yet though.

I kind of did the same thing except I have an NEF hand-rifle in 223. It has slow twist and is a break action.

I was thinking about getting Savages Walking Varminter but ended up getting the MVP because of the mags.

10-01-2013, 1:19 PM
why not go thompson dimension? then you get bolt action for every caliber :)

I thought about them since I own their Contender (10" 44, 14" 7mm TC/U and 22" .223). Want to chew on that one; want to have one in hand to check the bolt and trigger.