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Which caliber rifle would be better for target shooting and hunting?

  • .223 rem

    Votes: 29 49.2%
  • .308 win

    Votes: 30 50.8%
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have a little bit of $$$ to play with, and after alot of thought I have decided to get a Remington 700 SPS Varmint. I have always wanted a "precision" type rifle that can be built upon. The one question I am really struggling with: do I get a .223 or a .308 win? I enjoy shooting at paper, but I want a rifle I can hunt with too.

I already have a Remington 710 and a 7400, both in 30-06. So, I don't really need a .308. (Although I'm sure they aren't as accurate as the 700 would be.)

Also, my wife recently said that she wants to start hunting with me,:D so I am planning to get a rifle in .243 later this year. So, at that point I will have a varmint caliber to add to my collection.

The bottom line: I don't need either cartridge, but I want one of them. The .223 will be much cheaper to shoot, but the hunting I can do with it would be limited. The .308 is more expensive to shoot, and I already have hunting rifles in a very similar caliber, but it is more stable in the wind, and I can hunt larger game with it if I so choose.

Please help me decide!
 

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A .223 is an essential in my tiny mind. It's adequate for coyotes with a 60-63gr bullet, kills groundhogs and prairie dogs quite a ways out, and loaded with Trail Boss, duplicates the accuracy and noise of a .22 Magnum. Very versatile.
 

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I bought a Titka T3 light a wile back for target and deer hunting in .243 Win.,very good compromize
Well, of course, a .243 is as essential as a .223, maybe even more so :)
 

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A .223 is an essential in my tiny mind. It's adequate for coyotes with a 60-63gr bullet, kills groundhogs and prairie dogs quite a ways out, and loaded with Trail Boss, duplicates the accuracy and noise of a .22 Magnum. Very versatile.
+1 the .223 is also more efficient in the varmit weight bullets. I like them both so was looking for the both button! Ha
 

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IMO, the .308 offers more versatility. You can load down to the 110 grn Varmint bullets or up to the heavier 175grn or better for bigger game. The .223 is a fine round and cheap to shoot but not as versatile overall.

As for choice, I handled a SPS when I was looking at the .308, to me they felt cheap and had aharsh trigger compared to the Savage 10 series. Again, its just my opinion but you get a better rifle out of the box from Savage at this time. Before you lay the cash out for that SPS, do yourself a favor and try to put your hands on a Savage Model 10 Precision Carbine, they are sweet little guns.
 

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If you're just going to punch paper, non-competitive, go with the .223 and use the .243 and .30-06 for hunting. If you're going to do some competitive paper punching, go with the .308 as the heavier projectiles will resist the wind better at the longer distances.
 

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Guess it depends on what you are hunting. Varmints and preditors a .223 would be the ticket. Deer, antelope, sheep, goats, hogs and elk I'd pick the .308. Of course you already have those bases covered with the -06's. You can punch paper with anything you choose.

I don't have high regards for the SPS's based on experience and I'm a former Remington fan. For the same money Savages are the better rifle accuracy wise.

Just my two cents
 

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Most of the hunting with that type of gun would be varmints so I would go with a .223, its definatly not a carry gun.
 

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A .223 is an essential in my tiny mind. It's adequate for coyotes with a 60-63gr bullet, kills groundhogs and prairie dogs quite a ways out, and loaded with Trail Boss, duplicates the accuracy and noise of a .22 Magnum. Very versatile.

What is a good load w/ Trail Boss?? Bullet(s)?

In Norseman/Mrs Norseman case-the 223 since they already has the -o6.. Your wife can use the 223 for confidence/practice and the 243 for everything else. 308 not needed since no mention of competative shooting was made, that I recall.
 

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223 or 308

No brainer here. You have two .30 calibers. Go with 223.:)
 

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What is a good load w/ Trail Boss?? Bullet(s)?
The best one I've ried so far is the Hornady 45gr Bee, over 7-8gr of TB. I haven't run it over my Krony yet, but judging from drop, it's probably in the 1600-1700fps range. The Bee was designed to open at low velocity, and on close shots at ground hogs, it leaves a 1/4" exit hole.

Another good combination used the Sierra 40gr HP, which also opens up pretty easy.

Both loads produce < MOA 5 shot groups in my CZ 527.
 

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I don't even like the 223 Remington, but in your situation, it's the obvious choice. It will give you more versatility in your arsenal, less expensive shooting and a great way to get your wife used to shooting high-power so that when you get her the 243 Winchester, it won't be too much noise and recoil for her.

As others have pointed out, the Remington line of rifles ain't what it used to be, but with that being said, the odds are still good you'll get a solid rifle with plenty of options to tune it.
 

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Look into the Savage 12 BVSS , as far as 223 or 308 I wouldnt wan't to pack it around hunting except maybe for speedgoats .the Savage in 308 would make a fine castbullet rifle , to shoot cheaper ?????? & target rifle.
for a varmit rifle go 223
If you get a Savage you can get a extra bolt face to fit the other & an extra barrel & have both in the future.
 

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Recomend you NEED at least two of each, but if money is a consideration, Savage Weather Warrior with Accutrigger and Accustock would be an excellent choice in a .223. Properly loaded this firearm is capable of truly amazing accuracy!
 

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If you are like me, you'll probably do more paper punching than hunting. So I'd go with the .223 just because ammo is cheaper and more available in places like wally world. Of course if you reload the point is mute.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the input guys! In reallity I will probably do far more paper punching than actual hunting, but I want the option. Right now I am leaning toward the .223.

I am set on the Remington 700 SPS Varmint as opposed to other rifles. The other rifles suggested seem very nice, but more expensive. Right now I have a dealer that will sell me the 700 for $575, and there is a $75 rebate through the end of this month. That means when it's all said and done, I can have a heavy barrel 700 for $500. That just seems like a screamin' deal.

Keep the comments coming!
 

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As was mentioned before if you were looking at getting a .243 you might want to consider a Tikka T3, one of my Tikka T3's is a .243, I also have a SPS Varmint in .308. Both shoot very good about 3/4 MOA- the Tikka is absolutly stock not even the trigger has been adjusted, my Remington needed a stock replacement (H&S Precision $350.00) and some trigger work to get to 3/4 MOA.
 

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I would get the 223 in a faster twist so you can shoot the longer bullets. You should be able to launch an 80 grain bullet at about 2900 fps. That load will preform with just about anything a 308 can shoot even in the wind and after a long day of shooting you wont be beat up at all from a 223.
 

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Between the .308 and the .223... you already have a .30-06 for hunting so a .308 seems redundant for that purpose. But you're not going to want a 26" heavy barrel for hunting anyway...

I guess I'm fairly recoil sensitive and I can only shoot about 20-30 rounds from the bench/prone through my 10.5 pound heavy barrel .308 before I'm done. Recoil in a similar weight .223 is very mild. So of the two I would probably go with the .223.

But since you are thinking of a .243 for your wife then a .243 for yourself means one less thing to load for/keep in stock, and the .243 is a great long distace cartridge for paper punching.

As for your wife, a .260 Rem (6.5mm vs 6mm bullets) seems more capable/versatile as her "only" hunting rifle... alas Remington doesn't chamber it in the 700 SPS Varmint.
 
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