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Thread: .223, fox and range ?

  1. #1

    .223, fox and range ?

    Simple question(s), would the .223 be the ideal rifle/caliber for foxing and for use on the range?
    I currently don't home load, so factory ammo availability and relative cost.
    Would a varmint type barrel be better for range work, and what would be an ideal twist rate from your experiences ?

  2. #2
    I am in the same boat at the moment. Plan to get a 223 Rem 700 tactical wich has a 1-9" twist. They should be fine up to 70 grain, as I have been told. For field use I would get a sporter barrel ( weight !!) but on the range a heavier barrel is just better. I use a browning A bolt UK stalker ( 223) , from a friend, at the moment but the barrel heats up very quickly. In sunny weather it gets warm after 5/7 shots. If you only have one rifle at the range, it's practical if you can fire a good number of shots before the barrel gets to warm.
    As most of my foxing will be from the high seat, weight won't be an issue. If I ever get into reloading, a 1-9" should be O.K to fire 69/70 grain Sierra Match King or Lapua Scenar. The A bolt firing military Barnaul ammo is not very accurate. I can immagine that you need to get into reloading quickly if you want some accuracy on the range. It's very embarrassing if the man next to you shoots tighter groups with his 6mm BR at 400 metres than you do at 100 metres. Reloading is the next step.

  3. #3
    i would get a 1 in 8 twist min for range work so you can shoot the heavy 75s and 80s with good bc.i would also think about loading .

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by triggersqueezer View Post
    i would get a 1 in 8 twist min for range work so you can shoot the heavy 75s and 80s with good bc.i would also think about loading .
    +1, I have a 1 in 8 inch twist barrel, 77g reloads for range shooting out to 600y (national civilian service rifle comps), 60g vmax for the foxes with a moderator, shots out to 300y, hardly any recoil and observing the strike and reaction are superb. If you don't home load match and good quality army surp are available, Hornady vmax available through your dealer too. "Foxing with lamp and rifle" by Robert Bucknell a welth of information on the subject.
    Last edited by Arbshot; 09-09-2013 at 17:05.

  5. #5
    This is encouraging. I'd initially been looking at .222, but I'm kind of reading from what folk say that the .223 is a better option these days. After todays discussion with my FEO, a very sensible and reasonable chap, a .223 is no problem as I already have .243 for fox and roe.
    One reason I don't just use my .243 is as already mentioned, it's a hunting rifle and the barrel heats up very quick, so I'd prefer to keep it setup just for stalking.
    Thanks for the info on barrel twist as well, I thought I'd best check with people who are using this caliber on the range.
    I will eventually get into reloading, but for the moment it has to be factory ammo.
    Last edited by Malxwal; 09-09-2013 at 17:59.

  6. #6
    Interesting reading, as I'm adding a .223 for range work and this all backs up what I'd hoped was clear thinking on my part!

    I'm looking for a Sako 75 with 1/8" twist in Laminate Stainless, but they are like rocking horse p** at the moment. The twist will manage 75gr A-Max, so I can settle on the one round for both range and Charlie - at least that's the plan!
    Sako 75 6.5x55mm-Z6i 3-18x50. MauserM12 .308-SIII 6-24x50. Beretta 690 III Field 12b.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Malxwal View Post
    Simple question(s), would the .223 be the ideal rifle/caliber for foxing and for use on the range?
    I currently don't home load, so factory ammo availability and relative cost.
    you don't say what kind of range work?
    Competition range work or just you and some mates perforating paper?

    I think the only advantages the .223 has over the .222 are:
    1) ability to throw heavier bullets (whether you need that is up to you, and a fast twist barrel with see the .222 use heavier bullets anyway)
    2) plentiful milsurp or cheap factory ammo (however PPU do a FMJ 50gr .222 load that is very reasonable)
    3) there are shed loads of them out there for sale due to a bigger market

    however, the .222 out there are often cheaper, they just aren't as "cool"....so thats a plus in my book!
    one is no more accurate than the other
    .222 uses less powder
    is idiot proof to reload for

    the big one for me is the long, high BC .223 loads in the 75-90gr range
    they do look interesting....but then I have a 243.....

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Bewsher, to be honest I am unsure of just what my involvement will be in range shooting just yet. My intentions were to join the local full bore club and go along and see how it and I progress, but I wanted to use the range to improve my shooting technique and check the performance of my rifles in a more controlled and hopefully less windy environment, taking advantage of others experience at the same time.

    I do like a .222, lovely, but just from reading threads got the impression that .223 would be a better option. The rifle will also be used for foxes and vermin, and perhaps in conjunction with NV, so a variable mag scope will be fitted (I have fixed on the .243.My .243 is not as well suited to target work as perhaps a heavy barreled rifle would be in terms of heating up quickly, so I'd prefer to keep that solely for stalking.

    JCS, unfortunately the internet Nazis deny me access to that link, I'll have to come back to that once I'm back in the real world !

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    .222 uses less powder
    is idiot proof to reload for
    .
    I may have to put this to the test

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