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Howa 1500 in .223
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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radar
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:30 pm    Post subject: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

I'm after a little advise on this set up.
I want it for long range 500+ rabbits, magpies Rooks and a scenario shooting competition here out to 1000 m. I know its light calibre wise etc but I really can't afford the higher ammo costs etc
The writeups seem to be favourable but I'm wondering if the twist rate 1:12 is suitable for long range shooting the larger pills 65 -70g or do I sacrifice bullet weight for wind compensation.
I'm looking at making my own stock but buying a barrelled action then hand loading from day 1. The barrelled action is heavy varmint at 26inch with the ability to shorten and recrown later if required.

All assistance/advice greatly appreciated

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

maybe 22-250 might be better?
have you spotted the build it 1...2...3 deal in the reloaders supply catalogue.
the other guys will have a better idea than me about the long range stuff but I wouldnt think that wee pill would have much go at that range.up to 500yrds yip all good but passed that ???maybe not.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

1-12 inch twist is a mite slow for anything much over 60 grains. Switching to the .22-250 isn't any help if you are looking at a standard barrel (usually 1-14" twist). As good a round as the .223 is it still has a limited powder capacity and I think the yardages you are talking about are stretching the barrel even if you can get it in the 1-8" twist rates that are becoming more popular for the .223.

I have often thought about re-barreling one of my rifles to .22-250 AI or another "improved" version with a 1-8" twist solely for 70 to 80 grain bullets for extended range. Just haven't gotten there yet. Even the standard .22-250 might be an option if you can get a fast twist rate barrel.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

+1 on above. To go long range with a .223 you need 75 or 80gr A-Max, 80gr SMK or Berger, etc. 1-8 twist is a minimum. I easily go 500+ yards with my AR set-up. .22-250 is a plus. However, I think some of the longer 6mm bullets and especially the 6.5mm cartridges would serve you better without driving up your reloading costs. Unless there are caliber restricstions, e.g., .223 only, for 1000 yard competitions, you are not going to be competitive with .223. 6.5mm is the better way to go.

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radar
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

Thanks for the options.
Best bet is to get an action then get fast twist barrel 1:8 or similar (Trueflight barrells in NZ have even got them in 6:1) and use larger pill; I have had it suggested the A Max 70g is the way to go in that department.

As much as I like the 6.5 I still want a .223 for the rabbits etc. Not so much damage for getting dog food.
As far as 1000m meters I'm only looking at punching holes in paper or smacking steel plates, popping balloons etc so even out that far I should be right.

Thanks for the advice

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

you could always use your regular hunting rifle for the looooong shots and have the .223 for bunnies etc.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

radar wrote:
Trueflight barrells in NZ have even got them in 6:1

watch out for twist rates greater than 7:1! the 6:1 and 6.5:1 twist are made for the 90 gr "pills". One of the top shooters in our area has (had) one and found it very finicky. He has dumped it. Hornady does not list a 70gr A-Max in the US. I use the 75gr and their COAL is 2.390" - longer than the 2.26 magazine length typical of .223. Make sure your magazine/action can handle the longer length. That is why I like the Tikka .223 Varmit which have a 8:1 and a longer action that can accept the longer length so you don't have to always a single shot.

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dan1dad
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

this isn't exactly what you talking about , but its a great sight and a great program for bullets and twist. makes graphs and charts and printable optioins. all the bells and whistles.

www.border-barrels.com..._twist.htm
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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:07 am    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

Two things to bear in mind with the faster twist rates:
Fast twists and velocity make it critical to choose bullets that have jackets that can withstand them. Typical "varmint" bullets (Hornady SX for example) tend to come apart in mid-air when pushed above 3,400 fps or so with fast twist barrels.
Fast twists and lighter (shorter) bullets can create problems too. Supposedly, the lighter bullets can be over-stabilized causing them to fly with a slightly nose-up characteristic which, when coupled with the spin induced by the rifling not being centered around line-of-flight, can cause unpredictable yaw. I've never experience this phenomenon myself since I've never played with fast twist/light bullet combinations, but it is a thought.

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radar
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

Slim,
Thanks for that, My 7mm08 is a Tikka and its bloody good and surprise surprise one of our local gunshops is trying to flick off Tikka t3 Varmint in .223 with an 8:1 twist barrel.....now all I gotta do is convince SWMBO...its gonna cost me my shotgun and .223 plus some but I think its gonna be worth it

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

Mate that sure sounds good. have you thought about doing a long range 7mm08 load and using that for your 1000yrd match? check in the varmit forum there is a thread about 1000+yrd that could be worth a look. my mate in Dunas has a t3 in .two for free that is a real tack driver.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:15 am    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

radar wrote:
our local gunshops is trying to flick off Tikka t3 Varmint in .223 with an 8:1 twist barrel.....now all I gotta do is convince SWMBO...

One of my buddies asked me help him with the purchase of a bolt action .223. We looked at many guns. The Tikka T3 Varmint with 8:1 twist was what he got. The action is smooth as silk and it has been a tack driver. It handled the Hornady 40gr V-max just fine. As long as light bullet jackets can can handle the fast twist/maintain integrity, being over-stabilized doesn't become until the bullet trajectory really starts to drop, typically after 500 yards. My AR .223 with 8:1 shoots the 40gr V-max at 3650 and under 1 MOA. If you want to feed the 80gr bullets through the magizine, it will have to be modified.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

Elvis wrote:
have you thought about doing a long range 7mm08 load and using that for your 1000yrd match?

The standard barrel Tikka T3's are very accurate. However, my .270 T3 barrel heats up enough after two shoots to start walking the POI. So I could shoot it out to 1000yds but it would not be able to sustain the rate of fire even in a slow fire match and maintain accuracy. The Tikka Varmint with its heavy barrel should do just fine.

Elvis, can you provide a link to the 1000+ .223 forum. I've heard several shooter say with the newer 80gr VLD bullets and 24" barrels with 8:1 twist they are making 1000 yards. I haven't got to that distance yet with my .223.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

.223 and 1000 yds in the same sentence just don't sound right to me...although I just know I am about to be "educated".

Radar...I like Elvis's suggestion/idea of a .243 for both rabbits and the long range shooting. I have head shot rabbits with my Weatherby .243 and it does a brilliant job, and although I've never tried it, the .243 has quite a reputation for being a fairly tidy long range shooter as well. Best part about a .243 is the multitude of 6mm projectiles that are available.

Cheers, Vince

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Reply with quote

Check the chamber too. A Wylde .223 will be better for heavy (75-80+gr) bullets than a SAAMI .223. more generous lead for the longer low drag bullets seated long in the case.(more powder capacity too)

Definitely need a 1:8 or 1:7 for 80 grain bullets.

I only shoot .223 to 600yards now and do very well with 75 and 80 Amax and 80 Sierra Match kings loaded to about .015" off of the lands in my AR.

Other have had good results with the Berger 80 and 82 gr loads too.

Reloader 15, Varget and IMR 8208XBR powders will get you good loads to 600 for sure but you may have to go outside the listed maxes to get the velocity you need to stay supersonic at 1000 yards.

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