The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering getting back into varmint and target shooting with a .223. Years ago (50+) I used a Winchester model 70 chambered in .220 Swift, but finally shot the barrel out and sold it to a guy that made a 25.06. I haven't shot a center fire rifle since, but I'm getting the urge again.

I wonder how accurate an AR style is compared to a bolt action at 200 - 300 yards. I don't plan to get in any competition, but would like to be able to do close groups at that range. I'm looking at .223 because it is so popular and normally there is a good supply of reasonably priced ammo and reloading components (I say normally because I know these are not normal times).

I've never shot an AR style rifle but they are everywhere and I wonder how accurate they are. What I really want is a well made, solid, and accurate rifle. I'm not hung up on semi-auto or bolt action. One thing about the AR that appeals to me is the adjustable stock. My model 70 never quite fit just right and the adjustable stock might be an advantage.

Anyone have experience with both?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,122 Posts
MY opinion, based on experience.
An AR platforn CAN be made into a very accurate system, but it's the same as with cars.
The old adage of "speed is a matter of money, how fast do you want to go?" applies here.
My cousin and I went to set up his AR as a varmint gun, but by the time he had the upper with heavier barrel and trigger work figured in, he could buy a well made bolt rifle and do more custom work and still come out saving money.
We ended up with a Savage that, believe it or not, turned out to be a tack driver right out of the box, for nearly $500 less.
And that was several years ago.
That's a LOT of ammo, or in this case, an upgraded scope and case and new spotting scope.
With the prices and availability today, as well as popularity driving up prices, the AR platform is at the upper end of monetary expenditure for the "bang for the buck" aspect of your venture.
Again, this is my opinion.
In addition, there are many manufactureres of replacement stocks for bolts that incorporate the adjustment features of the AR, and actually improve on them.
For me, the bolt stills holds it own when longer range and accuracy comes into play. Yes, I know many here could build one heck of an accurate AR platform, but I'm very pragmatic and more utilitarian with my money.
I once made an HK into a super accurate platform, but the money I laid out to only match what a Savage could do out of the box simply galled me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
If long range accuracy is your wish, then you can get a much better bolt gun (like a remington 700) than you can for the same money spent on an AR (you know, before everyone went crazy :p ). That and you can actually buy a bolt gun right now, where as good luck getting a AR15. AR15s can be plenty accurate, but usually you have to opt for a longer HBAR of some kind and then you need to get a nice trigger cause a stock one often isn't. A 700 comes ready setup with a crisp target trigger and just needs a scope.

Can you tell what I'm going to be looking for when the ammo market calms back down?
 

·
High Iron Roller
Joined
·
42 Posts
I've got a CZ .223 bolt action rifle - it's a superb piece, with the time-tested
Mauser-style action and traditional wood stock. Has the "set trigger" feature;
to give you a lighter pull right out of the box, with no mods needed. If you see
one of these on the rack at your local shops, at least have a look at it...they
make them in a huge variety of calibers from the .17s all the way to the tropical
stuff such as .375s/.458s. I would say it is close to minute-of-angle accuracy,
depending on the shooter's skill, ammo/scope combo, etc. Very good looking traditional RIFLE.

Most CZs are in the moderate price range, I would say...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
A buddy of mine built an AR from scratch starting with a new lower about eight years ago, and he has replaced and improved parts on his AR over the years. It is an all out tack driving machine. I asked him how much money he has invested in it, and he really can't say, or doesn't know, but guesses around 2,200 to 2,800 dollars (maybe more, maybe less) with the new parts, swapping and trading. He's had a lot of good times over the years building and Hot Rodding his AR. I think he's replaced, and re-replaced everything but the lower over the years, and I don't think the lower has the same parts in it either. But, it is a fine shooter, and he really loves that gun.

My wife bought a Savage Axis XP combo in .223 Rem. about a year ago, and I was taking it to the range last summer to sight it in for her. My buddy wanted to come along, and he would bring his AR since he didn't own any other .223's and thought it would be fun to play with his tack driving AR even though he thought it would out class my wife's rifle, and be an unfair advantage at the range, (his words as I remember) at least it would be the same caliber .

It wasn't as much fun for him, I think, as he had hoped for. Same distance, same bench, same ammo, and roughly same power optics, his AR would out group my wife's Axis (truth), but not by much, and certainly not by enough when he found out that my wife had paid less then $350.00 for it; and that was its first time out of the box except for pre-cleaning. :mad:

So, I guess what I'm saying is nowadays (if you have the money time and know how) you can build one sweet shooting AR, or you can pay someone else to do it for you like some of those special signature Varmint and Coyote AR's. Or, you can start with a middle of the road bolt action and do just about as well and with a little work maybe even better. But, as said above Good Luck finding an AR for sale right now anyway (that isn't triple normal price), so that may make your choice somewhat for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
A bolt action rifle that costs as much as an AR will be more accurate. My brother has $1,200 into his AR15 rig, and I find it more difficult to hold steady and keep on target than my Savage Axis (.223) that cost less than $300. The Axis IS more accurate. With the AR, I can't get as low and buried into the gun, to hold it perfectly still.

However there are plenty of sub-MOA AR15s out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,961 Posts
Like American Leader, I too have both and both are accurate.
If your going for longer distances out past 300 yards or so, Bolt action.
You can buy a good bolt action for alot cheaper than you can on an AR and these days,
more available.
I've got a few good Savage bolt rifles and have the model 12 in .223. Straight from
the factory it is one of the most accurate Bolt rifles I've shot and owned.
Savage makes some great shooters.
 
G

·
I have a Remington 700 VLS in 223 with a 6.5-20x42mm Nikon Monarch UCC and a RRA Predator Pursuit Rifle with a 6-24x50mm Nikon Monarch on it.

It all depends on the run the load and the shooter. I shoot 50 gr V-max loads in my 700 and 60gr V-Max in my AR. Both loads are deadly out to 450 yards on ground hogs. At 450 yards both produced red mist and sucked 90% of the guts out.

My AR is stock as it came from the factory. My 700 on the other hand is customized. I lapped the lugs, put in a Callahan firing pin and a timney trigger. To get that small of a group.

Smallest AR group.



Smallest 700 Group.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I've looked at several .223 bolt actions and liked all of them. The only problem now is I can't find any ammo or even reloading dies. So I guess I'll wait until all the madness is over. Can't see buying a rifle when I can't get ammo to shoot.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,857 Posts
purchase a savage model 25 lightweight varminter bolt action it has a bull barrel, laminated stock, accu trigger. no sights. they are very accurate, i have two of them.

id also suggest getting a high powered night force scope mounted on the rifle.
 
G

·
One good 3-round group doesn't show much to me, how does your AR do on average? Which are you more confident when taking ONE shot at a groundhog?
That is what they do every day.

I have killed ground hogs at 425 yards with the AR and 450 with the 700. So Either I am a friggen god at shooting or both rifles are really stinking accurate or both. I am going to say both.... Just because I like my head big. If you are within 500 yards I am rather confident that I am going to put a bullet right where I want it to go.

I don't one anything that is inaccurate. It's called Load development.

That was with the old Nikon 6-24x50mm Now she has a Sightron SIII 8-32x56mm on my AR. So I am sure she will be even more accurate. Also got some 85gr Bergers I need to load for the 600 yard match at Quantico.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top