Inexpensive .223 for Practice?

Formidilosus

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I just don't care for Tikkas. I've looked at and held a bunch of them and tried to like them and like a gunsmith recently said to me: "They just look and feel cheap even though they are not". I know they are nice shooting rifles, they are just not for me.

Thank you for answering.

A Savage Axis and Ruger American is good? But a T3 is “cheap” feeling?

Just conversation, and it’s because you asked for a “practice” rifle, yet are looking at rifles that are not optimum for the request.
Someone wants a Purdey to hang on the wall and stare at while drinking a toddy... sure. Not my thing, but ok. But if a person wants a rifle to actually use as a tool, use the correct tool. For actual use, I want a Sako TRG or similar, that is lightweight. The Tikka is literally that. It seems pretty obvious when I talk with people, that older guys do not like Tikkas because they have “no soul” or because “they’re plastic”, generally while they are holding a Savage or R700 extolling how good they are. Really it seems they don’t like them because there is no tinkering with them. Pull them out of the box and shoot.

Again, just talking. I can’t see “like” factoring into a practice tool.
 
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BCD

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Thank you for answering.


Just conversation-

A Savage Axis is good? But a T3 is “cheap” feeling?

No I'm not saying that at all. The Savage action feels sloppy but this is only for a plinker. I should have clarified that when I was looking at elk rifles for more money I did not care for the Tikkas at all. I realize the Tikkas are much better than the Axis.
 

Formidilosus

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No I'm not saying that at all. The Savage action feels sloppy but this is only for a plinker. I should have clarified that when I was looking at elk rifles for more money I did not care for the Tikkas at all. I realize the Tikkas are much better than the Axis.

👍🏻
 

Silas5150

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I think in terms of value the Axis is hard to beat. I'm very happy with what my Axis 308 can do. Inexpensive, shoots well, trigger can be improved easily, and relatively abundant parts. While not as refined as others, its still a fun rifle to mess around with and in 223 would make a great plinker / trainer.
 

Colby

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Another one to consider might be the howa mini.
They’re a little cheaper than the tikkas. I bought one for the kids and me to practice with and it honestly shoots better than I would have guessed it would. Stock forend feels a little flimsy to me but shoots lights out off the bipod.
Shoots very good with federal 77 grain smk.
 

SniperHunter

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XM193 and AE223 are generally the same thing, and are the overall best to use. Inexpensive, reliable, and easy to procure.

Steel case Russian type ammo is less expensive, but the reliability varies greatly by brand. The most common are popped primers, but there are other issues that often come about. Those types of ammo all have unique issues relating to faster chamber fouling as well. However, they work generally well as a budget option where you're just burning some ammo at the range and not actively conducting training.
 

zeroforhire

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Another one to consider might be the howa mini.
They’re a little cheaper than the tikkas. I bought one for the kids and me to practice with and it honestly shoots better than I would have guessed it would. Stock forend feels a little flimsy to me but shoots lights out off the bipod.
Shoots very good with federal 77 grain smk.
It is so much better in a chassis. My son loves his.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

desertcj

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I have yet to shoot it, but I picked up a Rem 783 in .223 a while back. 24" threaded barrel which is nice if you live in a state that allows cans. Trigger is OK, not great...but it doesn't suck. The price was right...lol
 

16Bore

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Too bad on the Tikka.....once you start hating you can’t come back.

T3, 1:8 223, SWFA, is quite simply the easiest way to a 600 yard rifle in 15 minutes or less...
 

kad11

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I found a like new Ruger American 223 with egw pic rail for $275 - too good to pass up or wait for a Tikka? Would just be used for practice and I don't mind spending a few hours working on the forend if need be...
 
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Formidilosus

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I found a like new Ruger American 223 with egw pic rail for $275 - too good to pass up or wait for a Tikka? Would just be used for practice and I don't mind spending a few hours working on the forend if need be...

I’d find a used T3 with 1-8” twist for $400’ish. You will end up putting a bunch of time and money into the American if you get at all serious about it. The Tikka is one and done.
 

Downeaster

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Im pretty tikka centric these days for hunting guns, but quite a few years back i bought a Savage 116 Fss or something i think (weather warrior?) In 223. Anyhow, accustock and accutrigger. That thing is one of the most accurate guns i own, and that includes bench guns. Silly accurate for a light/walking gun.
Since then ive been burned horribly (to the tune of 2 return trips back to the factory, and a pretty well respected benchrest smith scratching his head as to how things like that could leave the factory. After the last lemon I went all the way up the chain and flat out asked that if they couldnt produce something in spec I would like my money back. Without hesitation he said ill get you your money (which was great in and of itself). I just cant imagine a regional or whatever manager just throwing in the towel on their product. Maybe things have changed. Im all set with them though.
Just another option since when they shoot, they SHOOT. All sloppy tolerances aside.
Best of luck
 
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BCD

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I’d find a used T3 with 1-8” twist for $400’ish. You will end up putting a bunch of time and money into the American if you get at all serious about it. The Tikka is one and done.
In what areas do you feel the American is lacking that would require updates? Thank You!!
 

Formidilosus

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In what areas do you feel the American is lacking that would require updates? Thank You!!

Stock number 1. Magazine number 2. Scope mounting number 3.

Guys went wild when the RAR came out. In my little circle there were probably twenty bought within a couple months. Every single dude either replaced them with T3’s, or spent hundreds trying to make the RAR stable. In the end, all of them went T3 1-8” twist.

I like things that don’t have to be mucked with or thought about. A T3 in 223, with SWFA scope in Sportsmatch rings and good bullets, requires no thought. Load, shoot, things die.
 

kad11

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Stock number 1. Magazine number 2. Scope mounting number 3.

Guys went wild when the RAR came out. In my little circle there were probably twenty bought within a couple months. Every single dude either replaced them with T3’s, or spent hundreds trying to make the RAR stable. In the end, all of them went T3 1-8” twist.

I like things that don’t have to be mucked with or thought about. A T3 in 223, with SWFA scope in Sportsmatch rings and good bullets, requires no thought. Load, shoot, things die.
Sounds good - thanks for the input
 
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BCD

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I found a like new Ruger American 223 with egw pic rail for $275 - too good to pass up or wait for a Tikka? Would just be used for practice and I don't mind spending a few hours working on the forend if need be...
If you don’t buy this rifle I will if you’re ok with sharing where you found it.
 
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BCD

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Stock number 1. Magazine number 2. Scope mounting number 3.

Guys went wild when the RAR came out. In my little circle there were probably twenty bought within a couple months. Every single dude either replaced them with T3’s, or spent hundreds trying to make the RAR stable. In the end, all of them went T3 1-8” twist.

I like things that don’t have to be mucked with or thought about. A T3 in 223, with SWFA scope in Sportsmatch rings and good bullets, requires no thought. Load, shoot, things die.
Can you comment on what the issues were with the stock, magazine, and scope mounting?

Thank you!
 

Formidilosus

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Can you comment on what the issues were with the stock, magazine, and scope mounting?

Thank you!

Have you shot both?


Yes, the Americans can shoot decent groups. Yes, they are cheap. Yes, you can kill deer with them.


The RAR stock is quite possibly the flimsiest, POS stock on the market. Yep, you can kill a deer with it. It also flexes and contacts the barrel almost regardless of what you do to it. Leave it as stock, almost guaranteed to have contact causing “flyers”. Hog it out to free-float, and you just reduced rigidity even more, and it flexes even more. Take more out to stop it touching, even more flex.
You can add arrows, bedding compound, etc to the forend to stiffen it, but you just added weight, and the stock is so flimsy you just transferred the pressure back to the action area. Now it flexes under the action, again causing POI shifts. There’s no legitimate fix for the factory stock.


Magazines- if you go standard RAR magazine, it’s at least flush, but has COAL limitations, and it’s not uncommon to have feeding issues. Additionally I have seen multiple crack from being dropped. If you go AR mag, COAL limitations again, and now it’s not flush fit.

There’s nothing horrible about scope mounts for the RAR, however integral is always going to be stronger, more durable, and simpler.



Ok, so replace the stock with a Boyd’s. Now the $275 rifle is a $475 rifle, with compromised mags. Or go Magpul hunter, but AI mags are not flush, the forend is flimsy as well, and you just added weight..... and that $275 rifle is now $575.


The trigger is certianly better than a R700, but it isn’t a prize either, and the reliability and weather resistance isn’t near a T3 trigger. Each of the guys that tried to stick with the RAR “cause it’s cheap”, replaced the trigger. That $275 rifle is now $725 with a sub par action, barrel, trigger, and stock.


The RAR is like a savage with a bit better action feel. They are money pits if you care at all about consistent performance. Take them off the bench, shoot from field positions at awkward angles with time constraints, on realistic sized targets, and count hits and misses.... NO ONE stays happy with a RAR. They simply do not maintain static point of impact. And as a practice rifle, absolute knowledge of where that bullet is going is paramount.


If a dude wants the cheapest rifle made to throw in the cab of his tractor to shoot running pigs at 50 yards, sweet. Tape the barrel to the stock to at least help with that, and don’t expect anything more from it.
 

jolemons

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I found a like new Ruger American 223 with egw pic rail for $275 - too good to pass up or wait for a Tikka? Would just be used for practice and I don't mind spending a few hours working on the forend if need be...
My ruger American ranch in 5.56 shoots 62 gr vmax .5 moa factory loads

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
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BCD

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My ruger American ranch in 5.56 shoots 62 gr vmax .5 moa factory loads

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
Yes I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who like them.

Has anyone tried a TC Venture?
 
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