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Thread: 223 for varminting?

  1. #1
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    223 for varminting?

    Hi everyone, is anyone using 223 for rabbits and hares?

    I had a 22 but now Jacinda has it (I'm sure she's getting plenty of use out of it). So although I have a couple of larger caliber rifles for medium to large game, I'd better fill the empty space in the safe .

    So, I've been tossing up a few options for a small game rifle and really like the idea of a 17 or even 22 hornet, but these rifles are like rocking horse poo.

    I'd like to stick with a mainstream caliber for obvious reasons but want a bit more whack than a 22 lr and the 22 mag would cost about the same to shoot as a 223 as I will be reloading for it.

    Thoughts and or experiences?

  2. #2
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    There's a .17 Hornet for sale now on here.

    If I wanted a specific rifle to shoot only shooting rabbits, hares and corvids, I'd go with either a .17 Hornet or .17 Remington, or a .204 Ruger. I had a .204 Ruger in Aus for a while and liked it a lot, but it was a T3 and that's unnecessarily big for the cartridge I'd want a mini/micro action next time round.

    I'd also be thinking about where I was shooting it, the terrain, range and the likely wind effects, that would determine whether I went for a .17 or a .22.

    The .223 I use is a fantastic varmint rifle. I also use it a lot on goats and for head & neck shooting deer and pigs. For me the .223 is more of an all-rounder, rather than a specialist varmint cartridge.

    If you go .223, you won't be sorry, but if you want a real varmint rifle, there are some more specialist options to consider.
    Rated M for Magnum likes this.
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  3. #3
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    The .223 is a lot like a .308 in the sense it's boring/ somewhat unfashionable but it plain works. It's also cheap to reload as you can get bulk projectiles for very little.

    Having seen a decent .204 in action, I wouldn't hesitate to get one for varminting if you decided against a .223.
    headcase likes this.

  4. #4
    Bos
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    222 or 223 will take care of all the small stuff out to............as far as you can hit them. And the bigger stuff closer in. Cheap to run, and fit a suppressor if you want a bit of quiet.

  5. #5
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    Yeah man 223 is the ducks nutz heaps of cheap ammo kicking around too i run belmont black through mine and shoots fantastic

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    Rated M for Magnum likes this.
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  6. #6
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
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    223 is very versatile

    Something to consider with the .17 hornet etc is that DOC hunting permits say nothing smaller than .222 - so technically you aren't allowed to use them in DOC administered hunting areas. If you only plan to use it on private land it may not be an issue for you, but worth thinking about.
    xtightg likes this.

  7. #7
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    223 i is a varmit round. great for small deer, goats, hares etc
    also legal to shoot deer (dont do it unless its definate kill) goats, hare and small game, unlike 204 ruger
    if you ait worried about meat retrieval get a 7mmRM

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyblown View Post
    There's a .17 Hornet for sale now on here.

    If I wanted a specific rifle to shoot only shooting rabbits, hares and corvids, I'd go with either a .17 Hornet or .17 Remington, or a .204 Ruger. I had a .204 Ruger in Aus for a while and liked it a lot, but it was a T3 and that's unnecessarily big for the cartridge I'd want a mini/micro action next time round.

    I'd also be thinking about where I was shooting it, the terrain, range and the likely wind effects, that would determine whether I went for a .17 or a .22.

    The .223 I use is a fantastic varmint rifle. I also use it a lot on goats and for head & neck shooting deer and pigs. For me the .223 is more of an all-rounder, rather than a specialist varmint cartridge.

    If you go .223, you won't be sorry, but if you want a real varmint rifle, there are some more specialist options to consider.
    Oh yeah a 17 rem would be amazing, but I think 223 will be the go. Plenty of reasonably priced rifles to choose from and plenty of projectiles to choose from too.

    As for terrain, most of its shooting would be on flat to rolling farm land. I live in the manawatu so wind is almost always around haha what is the 223 you are using if you don't mind me asking?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6x47 View Post
    The .223 is a lot like a .308 in the sense it's boring/ somewhat unfashionable but it plain works. It's also cheap to reload as you can get bulk projectiles for very little.

    Having seen a decent .204 in action, I wouldn't hesitate to get one for varminting if you decided against a .223.
    I hear what you're saying, boring is often quite good. Unsurprisingly I have a 308 as well haha

    I think the 223 will be a good choice for this job.

  10. #10
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    Good point @GravelBen, I don't intend take this rifle hunting on public land as I have 308 and 7RM for the bigger beasties haha so I'm only looking at smaller cal primarily for rabbits, hares maybe a turkey here and there.

    It might get a chance on a goat or wallaby but that's about as big as it will need to go.

  11. #11
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    I have 22lr, 22mag and 223, for long range varminting there's is no comparison, 223 all the way.
    That said, for my situation the 22lr with subs is the best fit (pest control and homekill on a lifestyle block), and I have put the 22mag and 223 up for sale as they get very little use.
    headcase likes this.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonetropo View Post
    223 i is a varmit round. great for small deer, goats, hares etc
    also legal to shoot deer (dont do it unless its definate kill) goats, hare and small game, unlike 204 ruger
    if you ait worried about meat retrieval get a 7mmRM
    Fair call on the deer, I only intend to use 223 for small game at sensible distances a bit pricey dealing to rabbits and hares with the 7RM haha

  13. #13
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    Hey thank you all for the advice and information, I really appreciate it. You've helped me climb back out of the rabbit hole a bit so to speak

  14. #14
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    I only use calibres smaller than 223 on rabbits if Im shooting close to housing or more restricted areas. all my other rabbiting is with my 223 Savage 12
    Rated M for Magnum likes this.

  15. #15
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    What is your budget? A Howa 223 is what I use. most now have the faster twist, but min has the 1:12 which is a laser with the 40gr or 35gr projectiles.....downside is that it is not as accurate with anything over 55gr and even some of the 55 dont go well. (Talking 35-40gr will be inside 15mm at 100m and 55gr will be closer to 60mm groups...) I know where there is a new Howa Ranchland still in the box, no scope and I am pretty sure its 223. Might even be a 204 there too. About $900 for it. The Howa Minis are good too, but the ranchland has the steel floor plate internal magazine.

    Check the twist on what 223 you look at. The slower twists work really well with the varmint projectiles but are usually not so great with the bigger ones, but the faster twist 1:7 etc generally work better with heavier bullets. With rabbits it wont matter which hits them as they will be demolished anyway, but lighter faster projectiles have less fall at the ranges you are able to use them at.
    WillB likes this.

 

 

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