Congrats GM4X.... It is always exciting bringing home a new rifle ready for the
range. The 223 is definitely a favorite of mine.
I just completed approx 4 months of (excellent) load testing results with my latest 223 and am now working on my (2nd) 22-250 and its newly replaced / installed custom barrel and action work. And so far it still cannot out shoot my off the shelf 223 (close but not quite). LOL
Thanks Frank! I'm definately excited about putting it into action
I'd done some research before buying, and decided the 223 best fit what I was looking for.
As far as ammo, I haven't advanced to handloading (yet), and may not, depending on how well the 52 gr HP's I picked-up shoot. Shelf ammo was a big reason for the 223 decision. I'd also researched prior to buying the Savage brand, hearing there pretty accurate out of the box. I hope my decisions were good ones.
(ps- looks as though I'm still having pic posting problems
As for factory ammo, one that is at least a definite must "try", is the Winchester White box of 40 or 50 rounds of 45gr hollow points. Advertised at 3600 fps. Chrono'd @ 3400 fps in a short 20" barrel in approx (?) 55 degree temp. Didn't chrono it in our 26" barrels though.
If you check this and other websites you will see they are the ones many folks go to due to their being the Cheapest, Most Accurate and Highest Velocity factory round available (around that bullet weight). That is a BIG statement / combination of ALL factors.
The only draw back might be how questionable they are on yotes. My partner killed one like lightning but was under ideal conditions. So not sure?!
10-4 on that White-Box ammo. I'd read alot of posts of guys that use it. I picked up 100 rounds of Black Hills ammo while at the gun shop. The owner reccommended it, and says it shoots well from his .223. I may make a trip to the local Wally-World & pick-up a box or two of the White-Box Winchesters for comparison. FYI my Savage is a 26" barrel. Ammo cost was a big factor that steered me toward this particular caliber. Initially I was looking for a .223WSSM, but shifted gears instead. I've read the 223's are pretty good 'yote-whackers, but everything has it's limitations. I don't plan on too many 300+ yard shots, so I should be fine.
GM4X, I personally do not believe you could have made a better choice than the 223. I have 2, 223's and am on my 3rd 22-250 and love them all, but the 223 is the one I would pick if forced to go with just one.
As you mention the ammo is cheap AND available, unlike many others including the 22-250. The 223 does not heat up like a 22-250, has much less muzzle blast, jump and recoil, making it a real pleasure to shoot. Barrel life is LONG on a 223 (approx 10,000 rounds) compared to 1 - 3 thousand on a 22-250. A real Value!
Also, the 223 is generally more accurate. None of my 22-250's, including my current custom barrelled 22-250 cannot beat my off the shelf 223....so far.
The Black Hills ammo does well. I used the 50 ballistic tips. Believe they are actually Hornady V Max's if I remember right?!
Hey GM4X, glad you made it out to the range with your new rifle. How was the accuracy? May not be a fair question, being the first time out with it?!
Anyway, I print my 223's at approx 1 1/4" high at 100 yards. This puts me close to dead on at 200 and around 6" low at 300. The 55-60 gr may be closer to 8" low at 300 and is why I like the higher velocity 50gr. However the 55 & 60 will definitely buck the wind better, but is seldom the problem where I hunt.
Ballistic charts like Smokin54 listed are excellent. Of course bullet design (bullet coefficients (b.c.) and velocity determine results. Hollow points have poor b.c. and drop much more and one reason I personally do not use them.
smokin54- thanks! I'll check out the link you posted
Frank- that's the good thing about living in the country, the range is as close as the hayfield next door
nothing behind that other than a rise full of beans.
Seemed like once I got it "dialed-in", it was fine, but I wasn't able to shoot much, because my shoulder started bothering me. Now that it's pretty close, I can take it back out soon & see if I'm consistant with it. What "difference can I expect between a cold/warm barrell? Anything significant?
So comparing my initial set-up to yours, I'm pretty close. Doubt if I'll be taking many 300 yarders for awhile, atleast until I get back in the groove of things. And I am sighting in with HP's currently, but will switch to SP's for hunting.
I went out for an hour last night, just before dark, to just get the "feel" of setting with the rifle on the sticks (though I wouldn't have passed on a kill). Did get to watch 2 doe & 2 fawn pass about 50' directly infront of me that had come out of the beanfield though. Pretty cool
As long as the barrel only gets warm, not much difference at all. If you cannot hold the rifle by the barrel, it is too hot. Let it cool. Take the bolt out so the breeze can flow through.
I go to great extremes to keep my barrels cool. In fact, I'm so anal about it, I take the bolt out after each shot and wait a minute or so. A really "HOT" barrel can be destroyed pronto. Cracks the throat etc. But a 223 is so user friendly I seriously doubt you will ever get to that degree.
Now this is IMPORTANT. IF you are changing bullets to hunt with, first make sure they are hitting in the same spot as the hollow points. There can be a HUGE difference. I've seen as much as 9" at 100 yards. Normally around 3" though. It is a fortunate shooter thas has more than one load hitting in the same spot. Although I always target shoot with what I hunt with. Just keeps it simple (for me).
Yeah, deer often respond to calls. Sometimes they scare the heck out of ya, (almost) wanting to shoot them for the near heart attack. LOL
We got close to 3700 FPS from the 26-inch barrel of my friend's rifle with the 45 gr "white box" ammo. He also likes the "yellow box" Remington-UMC that competes with the Winchester ammo - 40 round box at about the same price and also a 45 gr bullet.