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223 Remington

Old 12-24-2014, 05:05 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default 223 Remington

not much I can add about it except what I have experienced with in through the years
My expierience with the 223 started in jan. of 1978, I purchased a new rem. 788 package rifle chambered in 223, the glass suk'd so I installed a Charles Daily 4x12x44 on it (back then good glass was impossible on my budget)
that rifle taught me more than I could ever learn reading books, I also sprung for a lyman reloading kit so my supply of ammo was pretty much unlimited long as I had work. that summer me and that rifle accounted for 193 groundhogs, back then I had it figured out and knew it all, late in the summer I started getting calls from farmers to help fill damage permits, I think I killed 58 deer for the various farmers I helped out, and was amazed that they would pay me for shooting deer.
through the years that rifle accounted for many, many deer, more than a few fall turkeys, and literaly thousands of groundhogs, crows, even blackbirds, that old ugly gal would shoot well.
As the years went on I put the old girl away and moved on to better longer range stuff, so I thought, used a 243 for years but thats another thread.
about 1985 I purchased a ruger mini 14, it was my doe season rifle, didn't take long to figure out the heavier bullets notably the 64 gr win power point would make short work of deer, I began to put togather the conclusion that you need the proper bullet in a 22 cal centerfire if you want to deer hunt, or wait for the perfect sunday morning broadside, onside front leg foreward shot.
I do and always will have a 223 in my safe, today I have 5, it was 8 till I sold one to a cousin, one to a friend, and gave one to a nephew for his high school graduation.
I reloaded for the 223 for years, its an easy cartridge to load, there is tons of data on the net, and components are fairly cheap and easy to find, let me just say the bulk of my loading was 55 gr stuff, with a bit of the heavier deer bullets thrown in, and my choice of powder was IMR 3031, H335, and IMR 4198.
for what its intended for the 223 has no peers, it will work on all game from squirrels to deer if you do your homework and use the proper components.
Today all I shoot in the 223 is Ultramax reman ammo, mostly 55 gr hornady sp's, it shoots well and performance is excellant. it does this in my factory RRA 8 twist varminter

folks either love or hate the 223, think those that hate it have never given it a fair chance
RR
in the 90's I bought my first AR chambered in 5.56, that's a completely different thread so will get to it later.

Last edited by Ridge Runner; 12-24-2014 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:58 PM
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Very nice write up for the members RR---Thanks!!!
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:56 PM
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I'm not sure why I've waited so long to post on this one, but I'm stuck on layover at the airport for a few hours, and the 223rem is far and away my favorite small game cartridge, so I'll try to put down a few thoughts.

As Ridge Runner mentioned, for what it's intended, the 223rem really has no peers.

As a kid, I grew up hunting small game and calling coyotes with a borrowed 22mag or 22 Hornet. Not surprisingly, I found them wanting for range and power on coyotes, so when I bought my first coyote rifle, I went with a Rem 700 in 22-250. It took about 4yrs after that before I bought a 223rem/5.56 in an AR, meant for 3gun, and at the time, it was a hard decision to use the 223rem since I was so caught up on the hype that the 22-250 was far superior. Once I finally committed to the AR-15 and the 223/5.56, I was hooked! Nothing against the 250 or the Hornet, but there's nothing that the 250 does in the field that I can't really do with the 223rem, and if I want a Hornet-like load in the 223 to be nicer to fox and cats, I can load it lighter - you can't load a Hornet hotter...

I'll admit that I'm looking forward to hearing Ridge elaborate on why he considers 223rem and 5.56 to be completely different animals, simply because I personally haven't taken interest in differentiating the two for myself. I've never owned a rifle chambered for a pure 223rem chamber, but alternatively, I haven't owned a piece of 5.56 ammo or brass in over a decade. All of my rifles are either 5.56 or 223 Wylde chambers, plus I only buy 223rem factory ammo and reload on 223rem brass. My reloads are set to my chamber's dimensions and I run my powder charge to get the best accuracy with the highest velocity that I can without producing pressure signs, even if it's a little over or a little under the book's recommendations. So I suppose take it with a grain of salt that I say "223rem" but I'm actually meaning to say some kind of compilation of 223rem factory ammo and 223rem brass loaded to fit 223 wylde and 5.56x45mm chambers with pressures that might be 5.56 level.

I'll also echo Ridge's comments that the 1:8" twist is the most versatile for the 223rem/5.56. Whether you need or want that versatility is up to you. When I'm after deer, I tend to throw a larger caliber, so my 223rem's are really for coyotes and smaller game, plus hogs. As such, I almost exclusively shoot 50grn V-max's for coyotes, which run well in all of my 1:9" barrels from 16" to 26". My wife's 26" Savage 12 223rem shoots 75grn A-max's very well with a 1:9", but I can't get my velocity high enough in my 16" AR Carbines to stabilize them. I occasionally dabble with 53 and 55grn pills of various flavors and do well with them, and I've found that 60grn Nosler Partitions do very well in the 1:9" also. So I suppose my opinion and advice would be this: If you're ordering a custom barrel, get a 1:8", but if the rifle you want has a 1:9", I wouldn't let that stop me, unless I really needed to shoot 75-90grn bullets.

So I suppose that fast-forwarded through my bullet choice experiences. 50grn Hornady V-max's get my nod most of the time for coyotes, but I shoot 50, 53, and 55grn Vmax's, Ballistic Tips, Accubonds (rarely), and Ballistic Silver Tips pretty regularly through a year. For bulk shooting, Remington UMC 50grn JHP's shoot INCREDIBLY well in my wife's Savage and in my Bushy Varminter (in the 1's and 2's from her rifle) - hence my healthy supply of Remington R-P brass. I started making semi-regular trips to TX and OK in the last couple years again for piggies, and started playing with the 60grn Nosler Partition for that application. As far as I'm concerned, an AR-15 loaded with 60grn partitions is THE hog rifle and load combination for me!

I'll admit, I'm sure I sound hypocritical about the 223rem and deer vs. 223rem and hogs. I've shot rather large pigs with 50grn V-max's and 60grn Partitions, as big as any deer I could find, but the ranges are short and I exclusively shoot behind the ear on hogs, whereas I don't typically go to the neck shot on deer, and I can find myself reaching out farther. I'm sure the 60grn partition would kill deer very well with vitals shots out to 200yrds and beyond - and I've killed deer with 22-250 and 223rem plenty of times, but I just tend to take something else after deer. I gotta have an excuse to tell my wife that I need more than one rifle, right?

There are few things that I enjoy in life better than taking a 223rem to the range with a bucket full of ammo and coming back with a bucket full of brass.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:49 PM
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And it's pretty nice I'm sure after shooting that bucket full of ammo not to come back with a sore shoulder too aint it Mercy!
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:39 PM
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I'll admit that I'm looking forward to hearing Ridge elaborate on why he considers 223rem and 5.56 to be completely different animals, simply because I personally haven't taken interest in differentiating the two for myself. I've never owned a rifle chambered for a pure 223rem chamber, but alternatively, I haven't owned a piece of 5.56 ammo or brass in over a decade. All of my rifles are either 5.56 or 223 Wylde chambers, plus I only buy 223rem factory ammo and reload on 223rem brass.
its not the chambering, its the platform, you buy a bolt action 223, mout a scope and it sits around 1 1/2" off the axis of the barrel, but with an AR that's 3", that amounts to 15" of usable trajectory at 500 yards, then you have a faster 8 twist you use heavier bullets and boom, its a whole new cartridge. I hunted with that 788 remmy 223 for almost 20 years, then bought an RRA 8 twist varminter, though I killed thousands of groundhogs with it, the first year I had the RRA, I was averageing like 94 percent first round kills on groundhogs from 300 to 440 yards just using holdover. it was incredible. I managed 2 at 550 using 55 gr sp's when dialing, and busted rocks at 600 just to show folks what the lowly 223 firing 55 gr hunting ammo could do.
RR
an AR doesn't make a 223 what it ain't, but it makes it easier to use most of its potential.
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