Reply with quote #9
If most of your shot are 300yds or less get the 223 sure the barrel will heat up but you get more shot off before that happens vs using a 243. I shot a 243 and 243AI and I'm not about to use those rifle for the close in shots.
It hard to find that perfect varmit rifle when you start wanting to shoot LR varmits. Depending on conditions pass 300/400 I'll go to a heavier caliber and some of my rifles have brakes so I can see the hits @ LR.
You also have to look at how many time during the year you get to shoot PD also wanting the same rifle for target shooting. Might want to look at 223 with twist for the heavier bullets. Well good luck
Reply with quote #10
I agree with the multi-caliber approach. When we shoot crows, I take three rifles:
I start with the .223 until the crows get a little smart, switch to the .22-250 until they get pretty smart and then get out the 6mm. When they catch on that I can hit them at 500 yards, and they move further, we take a break, have a soda and a sandwich until they get stupid again. Rinse, lather, repeat.
You should see the ball of feathers when you hit a crow with a 6mm 55g Nosler at 4010 muzzle velocity.
Reply with quote #11
The .223 will surprise you. In '08 I went PD with both the .243Win and the .223 (Mine is a CZ, with 1:9 twist). On the last day I uncased the .243 and set up on the furthest dogs I could find. With a little help from the guide I shot 44 out of 50 (all the ammo I had for that gun) at 525 to 560 yards. This was in SD and yes the wind was blowing, hard but steady enough that I could pick conditions.
Later that day I kept running out of "close" targets for my .223, so I would just move out to the next mound and shoot until all targets were still, and then move out further. Funny thing is, I ended back up on the mounds that I knew were in the 550 range and the .223 was still knocking them over. This was well past were I thought the .223 would be effective and I didn't intend to go there but was pleased with the result.
Reply with quote #12
My brother and I used to shoot exclusively .223 at prairie dogs. We handload for this task (and you will learn very early on in the game that if you intend to shoot 300 yard prairie dogs consistently, you will have to hand load, too, so I wouldn't really make the cartridge availability at mom & pop stores a factor). Anyway, we got into some BIG prairie dogs one summer (I mean BIG, these guys were the size of my boot, and I wear a 12.5). So we're shooting these big, fat slobs with 55 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets driving just under 3000 fps and, no kidding, the doggies were not doing the circus acrobatics that we had become accustomed to seeing. In fact, we have video of me shooting one of them at 228 yards - he absorbed the shot and just tipped over . . . on the video you can hear Kirk say "man, they are awful tough when they get that big". My point? We both went to 6mm bullets after that (Kirk in a custom built .243 and I went with a Savage 12 BVSS). Now we explode the doggies all the way out to 600+ yards. The recoil is not a consideration - I'm 185 pounds and Kirk is 160 pounds . . . we shoot all day with no recoil fatigue. And seeing the prairie dog explode in the scope isn't necessary with the .243 because you'll see it flipping thru the air easy enough without looking down the scope.
Don't get me wrong, the .223 is an awesome little pill and we still start out with it when we first open up on a doggie town. I use it on ground squirrels a lot - both of us have Savages in .223 . . . his is a 110-FP and mine is a 12-FV. His still puts 3 shots inside a dime, mine puts three shots almost in the same hole - Savage makes awesome rifles, don't they?! When I shoot the barrel out of my .243 I'll simply get a replacement . . . I'm of the opinion that a fella can shoot a rifle out and have fun, or he can shoot the rifle out and worry about it while he's doing it.
Go with both rifles, if you can. If not, I highly recommend the .243 - none of this matters if you don't put a good scope on top.
Well, good luck on your quest . . . it isn't a job if you love it, right?
Here's a look at a 95 yard target after 3 rounds through my Savage .223 - load was 55 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip with 25 gr Varget pushing it; COL is 2.332 (with comparator).
Reply with quote #13
Well I don't think that I am going to be much help here but,....
I like both, I have an older model Savage M12 in 223 that is a dead on laser at out too 250-300 yds, but in the Nevada wind that can be hard to do. so then I bring out the Rem700 243, which takes care of the long range issue. both are accurate rifles and In my OP about the same cost to reload If you find deals on 6mm bullets, which are out there and can be found, you just need to wait and watch and buy in bulk. I have an older Savage Model 99 in 243 that has had thousands of rounds threw it and still holds true to this day.
Another option which most people claim is less accurate, but I don't. is buying a TC Encore/Contender and getting both barrel's for it. they truly can shoot great once you get the load developed.
and I know several BR and GS that swear by TC Encore/Contenders and use them over and over. honestly though it really comes down to the amount of cash and what you really want to achieve
Reply with quote #14
Well, given your parameters, I would not get either. If you want to reach out and touch PDs, get a .22-250 and with 55 grain Nosler BTs you will be able to double your desired 300 yard range. I would get the Remington. Just be prepared to glass bed the action and have some trigger work done. Perhaps some day Remington will make one ready to shoot out of the box, but in the meantime it will take a bit of work to bring out its potential. After that, it is the rifleman's rifle.
Then put a decent scope on it and at 20x, just count the whiskers before you spread the red mist.
Remington 700VLS, .22-250
Leupold Vari-X III 6.5x20x40
Ruger #1V, .22-250
Leupold Vari-X III 6.5x20x40
Reply with quote #15
Out of the two I would get the .223 Rem. It will give you great barrel life and will not get as hot as fast.
This year has been slow for shooting PD. I have shot just over 2,000 rds mainly with two .223s. Most years I normaly shoot close to or over 5,000 rds a year. I do not know about you but it is a real pain to pay for that much reloading stuff just for the 223 now start dumping powder for a 243. Even with a easy load this year I would have shot out the tube on a 243.
I also have a 22-250 and a 6mmbr they do hit very hard and will make a PD fly nicely. The draw backs to them are the barrel gets hot fast and the cost per shot is more than the 223.
I guess your choice really depends on what you want to do with the rifle. If it is just PD then the 223 is the only way to go if you plan on shooting deer with it then the 243.
Reply with quote #16
Thanks to all for the great replies. I just found a great deal on a .270 so that covers the deer rifle. I'll go with a .223 for my pd gun. Thanks again, Matt.