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Lefty1960
05-05-2011, 04:14 PM
I am looking at getting into more seriuos benchrest shooting. I started reloading for high power rifle about a year ago. My main goal is to perfect my reloads to shoot as tiny of groups as I possibly can. I am mainly interested in target shooting for fun but would also like to participate in some benchrest competition at club level.

The 223 Rem appeals to me because brass is readily available and inexpansive to reload. My question is, can I be competitive in benchrest competitions with the 223 Rem?

I appreciate your input.

KEITH MYERS
05-05-2011, 04:24 PM
If you want to be competitive then the 223 would not be a wise choice. Looking for cheap brass will not provide the level of accuracy needed for short range benchrest. Lapua does make 223 brass but you will still be chasing those shooting the PPC or BR.

virg
05-05-2011, 05:14 PM
I am looking at getting into more seriuos benchrest shooting. I started reloading for high power rifle about a year ago. My main goal is to perfect my reloads to shoot as tiny of groups as I possibly can. I am mainly interested in target shooting for fun but would also like to participate in some benchrest competition at club level.

The 223 Rem appeals to me because brass is readily available and inexpansive to reload. My question is, can I be competitive in benchrest competitions with the 223 Rem?

I appreciate your input.

If I read Lefty right, he is more interested in using his 223 in benchrest competition at a club level to learn more accurate reloading methods and to learn how to tune his present rifle for its best accuracy potential rather than competing head to head with the normal benchrest rifles at any particular match. If he is able to shoot in a few benchrest matches with his present High Power rifle, he'll learn more in a few outings that he ever will by reading shooting forums or books.

Hey...he might be so amazed at what can be achieved with a good benchrest rifle that he may switch disciplines.

To answer your question directly; in all probability you will never be competitive with your present setup no matter how fine you develop your reloading techniques or tune your rifle. But...you will be able to get all you can get from your present setup. And...you may have a lot of fun doing it.:D

Good luck Lefty,
Virg

Centerfire
05-05-2011, 05:27 PM
Lefty, You should consider the Rifle in regards to the accuracy you are seeking.
The .223 is a good cartridge but what rifle will it be teamed with?
You might consider coming from this in a different way.
Go to a BR match and see what is being shot , then consider your options.
Centerfire

max.burgess
05-05-2011, 06:21 PM
Ive got a 223 in a bolt gun and I had it in the shop getting it blue printed and talking to Speedie about bench rest. He told me to start shooting score matches until I could get a bench gun going. I should have listened. That was several years ago and with the economy and health problems I still haven't shot got a bench rest gun going.
Good Luck Max

gpoldblue
05-05-2011, 08:46 PM
Lefty1960....You said "serious" benchrest.......there is a "serious" reason why the 6PPC is the chambering of choice for benchrest. The .223 is a very good and accurate cartridge,but where it really comes up a little bit short is at 200yds....too wind sensitive(due to bullet weight/ballistic coefficient) as compared to the 6PPC....speeds are about the the same,but the extra 16gns of bullet/B.C. go along way. The .223 in a real BR rifle would be a lot of fun but even the .22PPC,.22BR,etc seem to eventually concede to the 6PPC. The cost of the primers,bullets,powder,and the rifles are about the same for either chambering....the cost of brass is a moot point in benchrest. It;s ALL about performance!!
Good luck....gpoldblue

Charles E
05-05-2011, 09:26 PM
My main goal is to perfect my reloads to shoot as tiny of groups as I possibly can. Sadly, everything interrelates. The capabilities of your rifle, and your wind-reading & shooting capabilities will to some extent determine what "matters" in reloading. In the beginning, you'll find things suggested that don't seem make a difference. So the question is, if something didn't improve your group, it is one of those old wives tales that really doesn't hold up, or does it only show up when .020 over 100 rounds makes a difference, and you/your rifle isn't capable of holding that?

Can you learn & have fun with a .223? Absolutely. I have one I use when I shoot in a Factory Class at out local club. It will win if some of the more exotic factory guns don't show up. When they do, it tends not to win. And you know what? When I or even one of those exotics win in Factory class, the finish, it's position, if it were shot in the BR class, would be dead last.

You will slow your learning curve down if you start with a .223. You will learn faster with a used 6PPC with a worn out barrel. Not as fast as with a 6PPC with a fresh barrel, but faster than a .223.

Yes, brass costs more. The difference in cost for match bullets and powder is minimal. You can make brass last longer if you back the pressure down. But you know what? Most likely, if you do that, the rifle won't shoot quite as good. As someone wise once said, everything is a compromise. The hard thing to learn at first is just what those compromises entail.

Good luck to you,

Charles

KEITH MYERS
05-05-2011, 09:54 PM
Lefty1960....You said "serious" benchrest.......there is a "serious" reason why the 6PPC is the chambering of choice for benchrest. The .223 is a very good and accurate cartridge,but where it really comes up a little bit short is at 200yds....too wind sensitive(due to bullet weight/ballistic coefficient) as compared to the 6PPC....speeds are about the the same,but the extra 16gns of bullet/B.C. go along way. The .223 in a real BR rifle would be a lot of fun but even the .22PPC,.22BR,etc seem to eventually concede to the 6PPC. The cost of the primers,bullets,powder,and the rifles are about the same for either chambering....the cost of brass is a moot point in benchrest. It;s ALL about performance!!
Good luck....gpoldblue

The .22PPC concedes to the 6PPC? Is that why Hall Of Fame shooters still shoot it AND has also won the Super Shoot?

zippy06
05-05-2011, 10:03 PM
I was shooting a M12 Savage .223 Rem. Local club rules and all.
Then a 6PPC walked my way. Took the guy 10 min. to talk me into it. "It was ready to go".
And he was right. It shoots great. After learning all about BR. It still shoots great.
"It will get your feet wet". And it is a very slippery slope. All down hill.

HovisKM
05-06-2011, 02:20 PM
The .22PPC concedes to the 6PPC? Is that why Hall Of Fame shooters still shoot it AND has also won the Super Shoot?

Nobody has shot their way into the Hall of Fame using the 22PPC by itself, and it has never won the supershoot. However, two people have won the supershoot with a modified short version (-.100) of the 22ppc. And no one has shot their way into the HOF using a short version exclusively (garnering 10pts). At least 5 of Bill's first ten points came with something other than a 22.

Thats the facts.

I love the short version of the 22ppc and think it's popularity would increase if it was not for the sporter class. However, how many sporter shoots are there outside of the Nationals? Also, how many shooters actually inspire (seriously) to make the HOF? Not that many if you look at attendance. So the excuse of the sporter class really doesn't have much of a basis.

Hovis

alinwa
05-09-2011, 03:07 AM
I am looking at getting into more seriuos benchrest shooting. I started reloading for high power rifle about a year ago. My main goal is to perfect my reloads to shoot as tiny of groups as I possibly can. I am mainly interested in target shooting for fun but would also like to participate in some benchrest competition at club level.

The 223 Rem appeals to me because brass is readily available and inexpansive to reload. My question is, can I be competitive in benchrest competitions with the 223 Rem?

I appreciate your input.

Let's add some perspective here....

You seem to feel that the 223 might be "cheaper" to shoot.

I strongly disagree.

#1, to shoot competitively takes 'WAYYY more than an accurate rifle. Accuracy, REAL accuracy, is a system. It's a whole bunch of stuff working together.


Let me make an analogy, let's say a 1200hp stroker moter fell off a passing truck and landed on your engine stand. Does this mean you can bolt that thang into the fam'bly wagon for the weekend and go race? I don' t'sink so vato.... if you're any bit of a gearhead you know that your problems just START with the horsepower....

((maybe that analogy doesn't work for you eh? but I tried)))

Anyways.... it takes more than just ambition and three chords on an old guitar. You need a SYSTEM. The easiest and by far the CHEAPEST way is to buy into "The System" of the 6PPC. This is not to say that the 223 couldn't be made to be competitive. I'd wager a large sum of cash that I could make a competitive rifle spec'd around the the 223 case. I'd probably end up with some sort of wildcat shortened about 30% from the parent case...... and peripheral tooling and dies would set me back about a grand JUST to make and maintain the cases but I _could_ make it competitive.

But WHY???

Certainly not to save money!

Which brings us to #2, those "cheap cases." WHAT cheap cases??? To shoot competitively you must start with a bunch of identical new cases and work/tweak/turn/mold/massage them into some semblance of uniformity before you even fire the first one. THEN you must fire them and start the culling process all over again. The initial cost of the case itself is fairly well moot. And, the real cost of the case must be amortized out over the life of the case. A "cheap" case that only lasts five firings is certainly no value over a "costly" case that can be reloaded 50 times! :)

The PPC works, it's the best value. You buy into the PPC system and you've got a 350 Chevy platform...... go learn to shoot. Then, after 10yrs of shooting you can go spend money on dreams and idea'rs. Except you probably WON'T, because you'll have learned the value of the 6PPC....

opinionsby





al

zippy06
05-09-2011, 06:25 AM
Nice Al.
I have found that most shooters, think, they can reinvent the wheel.
We are a stubborn bunch. :)

Tony C
05-09-2011, 09:41 AM
Has anyone actually had a full-blown BR rifle chambered in .223? If so, how did it do?

KEITH MYERS
05-09-2011, 10:14 AM
Tony, Would you be willing to spend the money to find out?

Tony C
05-09-2011, 12:21 PM
Surely someone has already...

SGJennings
05-09-2011, 01:16 PM
When I got interested, I took Jerry Sharrett's advice and bought a used 6PPC out of the classifieds here. I've never regretted that decision for even one instant. It's been a gift that has kept on giving.

About the only thing that I'd tell anyone is to get it their next barrel chambered for minimial neck turning. I just don't like the time required to do a good job of turning down to 262.

HovisKM
05-09-2011, 01:25 PM
Verisions of the .222 rem & .222 rem mag were the same capacity as the .223, thus would give a good comparision. They did well in there day but all fell victim to the 6PPC.

Hovis

SGJennings
05-09-2011, 02:05 PM
Just wanted to add one more thing for the OP and future new folks...

I thought I was a pretty fair rifle shot till I got the 6PPC. Then, I learned just how good a rifle could be, how limited my knowledge about ballistics was and how poor a judge of the wind that I was.

A good used benchrest rifle will teach you to shoot. That's one of the gifts. Of course, it comes at the price of becoming addicted to accurate rifles.

zippy06
05-09-2011, 04:48 PM
SG Got the same problem.
When I saw what a used 6PPC would do.........WOW...
I even had a bloody nose and didn't care. Wow.
My .223 Rem. is sitting in the safe. Quietly rusting.....Unless I go P-dog hunting......

JD Mock
05-14-2011, 08:56 AM
Red Cornielison (sp) used a .223 with a 40 degree shoulder and did quite well. There have been others, but why try to re-invent the wheel. If you are interested in experimentation and doing it another way, try the .223, but if you are interested in being competitive as soon as possible, use the 6PPC. James

CoyoteMoss
05-22-2011, 08:41 AM
I am just going to have to strongly recommend, if you want to shoot benchrest and be competitive and if you're serious about it, get a 6PPC rifle. Here is my little story. Didn't know anything about what benchrest shooting was. Knew you place a rifle on the rest and shoot from a bench. Read on line about a match only about 80 miles away, sent an email asking about entry, and was told come on, be glad to have you and you sign up when you get there. Grabbed my 223 remington and off to kick butt. Great rifle and could hold a 1" group at 100 or 200 yd. all day long. They let me shot and when the match was over - last place and you could have taken the next to last place over all score, doubled it and he still would have beat me. One shooter at the match had a 6PPC for sale, meet him the next week, made the purchase and have never looked back. Cost of brass is nothing, travel several 100 miles, pay for a hotel room for 2 nights and other expenses - brass cost will not be a factor.

Tony C
05-25-2011, 07:41 AM
This is not short range benchrest, but I noticed recently that a shooter with a .223 tied an F Class 1000 yard record in Great Britain. And this was with a Savage action! Even though it might not be the cartridge of choice for 100 -200 yard BR, it's certainly a versatile round. I have a hard time finding a load that won't shoot decently in my Savage varmint rifle. But now I am getting into apples and oranges.

So I'll answer the previously posed question. If I could have only one BR rifle for competiton (which I do not currently participate in) it would not be chambered in .223. If I had unlimited funds (i.e. RICH) I would have one built just to see what it could do. Though I might lean toward a .222 if that were the case.

In cases where recoil were an issue due to shoulder problems of some sort, then I think a 22 caliber (22PPC, 22PPC Short, 220 Beggs, .222, or .223) would be good choices to consider.

Tony Carpenter

johngarnett
05-25-2011, 07:53 AM
Lefty
A small input from across the pond.
If you check on AccurateShooter.com for an article re 'GB Shooter equals 1k yds record in UK with 223' you can see how Laurie Holland performed. Laurie has done a LOT of work and written articles on this calibre.
Might be worth a read if you're set on 223
Hope this helps
JohnG

I hope I haven't caused a problem with a link to a different site!

L. E. Hanson
05-26-2011, 10:41 PM
As an alternative thought, after installing new Hart barrels on my BenchRest rifle and my Savage 223 varmint rifle, I am amazed at how pathetic my BR rifle shoots.

Best Regards,

LE Hanson