Greenday

5.56 bolt actions?

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So, I want to add a bigger caliber rifle for longer distance precision shooting and I'm thinking a bolt action would be a lot of fun. Not that I have brand loyalty yet but S&W doesn't have any in 5.56. I like 5.56 over 7.62 because they are lighter and you can carry a lot more easier. Just more practical.

 

I was thinking maybe a Remington but they only do .223 not 5.56. And you shan't load a 5.56 in a .223. Any suggestions on makes/models of bolt actions that are 5.56?

 

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You're probably looking at a custom build using a .223 Wylde barrel on a Ruger Precision type chassis. This will allow you the use of match ammo in either .223 or 5.56. Most rifles that use a 223 Wylde barrel are usually semi autos. I'm sure someone will come along with better knowledge about this.

Regards,

TokenEntry

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Let me start with this.... I am in no way a great shot.

I bought a used Mossberg MVP Predator rifle with the cheapo 3-9x scope that came with it.

My first outing with the rifle at Range 14 had me ringing a 6" steel plate at 200 yards. Round after round after round. It got almost boring after awhile.

Range 14 is limited to 200 yards, but I was very pleased with the rifle.

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Your best bet is to do a custom build with a .223 Wylde chamber or purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle in .223 since they (Ruger) state that the chamber can handle 5.56 rounds. You could also do a Ruger scout in 223 as well

I went the RPR path originally but ended up selling it to fund a custom build using a Bartlein barrel that was chambered for 223 Wylde. 

The big question to ask yourself is why choose the Wylde chambering because its really a compromise chambering between 223 and 5.56. If you're wanting to do straight precision work, then I'd go 223. If you want to build a "practical" gun that can shoot both, then consider the Wylde

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Is there a reason it has to be 5.56 instead of .223?  Both have the same advantages you list over 7.62.  Bolt action’s in 223 are a lot easier to find. 

Yea, I've noticed finding a suitable .223 would be easy. But I was under the impression that 5.56 should not be used in a .223 due to the slight difference in size. And in an emergency where ammo is severely limited, being able to use both would be ideal.

 

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2 minutes ago, Greenday said:

Yea, I've noticed finding a suitable .223 would be easy. But I was under the impression that 5.56 should not be used in a .223 due to the slight difference in size. And in an emergency where ammo is severely limited, being able to use both would be ideal.

Correct. You “shouldn’t” shoot 556 from a 223 since there are slight differences.  That being said you should look at the purpose of the rifle. Is it to practice longer-range / precision or could it be a SHTF rifle?   If it is the first I’d maybe consider a 223 bolt action. If the second, go semi-auto in 556.  A custom bolt action that can shoot both may end up costing more then you’re willing to spend. 

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Just keep in mind that a lot of .223 bolt action rifles have rifling twist-rates to stabilize lighter, varmint-type bullets. If you want cross-over ammo, for use in an AR platform, then your bolt gun should be a faster twist rate to stabilize the heavier bullets.

Varmint bullets: 40 - 50 grains use 11 or 12 to 1 twist rate

AR bullets 55 - 77 grains use 7, 8 or 9 to 1 twist rate

Adios,

Pizza Bob

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10 hours ago, Greenday said:

 

So, I want to add a bigger caliber rifle for longer distance precision shooting and I'm thinking a bolt action would be a lot of fun. Not that I have brand loyalty yet but S&W doesn't have any in 5.56. I like 5.56 over 7.62 because they are lighter and you can carry a lot more easier. Just more practical.

 

I was thinking maybe a Remington but they only do .223 not 5.56. And you shan't load a 5.56 in a .223. Any suggestions on makes/models of bolt actions that are 5.56?

 

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

I've been looking at a Ruger American Ranch in 5.56.  1 in 8 twist will stabilize heavier bullets, 1 to 2" accuracy at 100 yd, takes AR magazines, and available for about $400 are all plus factors AFAIC.  Add a half way decent scope and it's pretty hard to beat the value.

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If you get serious about shooting precision you will start reloading.

If you start Reloading you won’t be shooting 5.56. It will be 223. I have not seen very many recipes for 5.56 ammo. 

The differences between the two, are essentially the 5.56 is higher pressure. I believe there is a slight difference in the shoulder dimension on the case that would be difficult to see with the naked eye. The 5.56 chamber has a different angle or leade, at the start of the rifling. That’s about it. 

I don’t know any precision shooters using 5.56. 

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12 hours ago, voyager9 said:

Correct. You “shouldn’t” shoot 556 from a 223 since there are slight differences.  That being said you should look at the purpose of the rifle. Is it to practice longer-range / precision or could it be a SHTF rifle?   If it is the first I’d maybe consider a 223 bolt action. If the second, go semi-auto in 556.  A custom bolt action that can shoot both may end up costing more then you’re willing to spend. 

Well, I mean ideally I'd have a variety of SHTF guns. My .22s are good for general, cheap practice but not as practical. But eventually I want to have a semi-auto rifle, a precision rifle, and a handgun for the SHTF. Can't always be super picky about ammo when in emergencies.

9 hours ago, GRIZ said:

I've been looking at a Ruger American Ranch in 5.56.  1 in 8 twist will stabilize heavier bullets, 1 to 2" accuracy at 100 yd, takes AR magazines, and available for about $400 are all plus factors AFAIC.  Add a half way decent scope and it's pretty hard to beat the value.

$400? Where do I need to be looking to find these prices? Certainly not at the ranges. MSRP has it at like $530.

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12 minutes ago, Greenday said:

 

$400? Where do I need to be looking to find these prices? Certainly not at the ranges. MSRP has it at like $530.

Check Grab-a-Gun and TSS Warehouse. Grab-a-Gun has them as low as $359 with a 5 Rd magazine.  Don't know of that's the newer one that takes AR mags.  Call them and ask.

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A standard AR15 w/RDS should let you reach out to 500 - 600 yards at man size targets. If you want something with precision and long range you'll need to select another caliber that will less likely be affected by windage and elevation. This kind of rifle will not be cheap and will require good optics and match ammo to take advantage of it's intended purpose.

Regards,

TokenEntry

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IMO, forget about 5.56 in a bolt gun.  If and/or when you get serious about a precision bolt gun, you will be likely end up using special ammo for it.  I have a Savage 10 FCP-K .223 1:9 twist, and a couple AR platform rifles.  A decent .223 wylde AR may make more sense if you want something for SHTF and some precision work and only ever want one rifle.  I run cheap bulk .223 in one AR, and cheaper match grade .223 in my other, so I don't ever have to worry about mixing in 5.56.  Quality match grade food for the Savage is over $1 a shot, I'm way too cheap to run that quickly through an AR just to blast away at targets. 

I would say forget about 5.56 for a bolt gun and just go for a .223 bolt, find some good ammo for it, and take your time - and DON'T burn lots of crap ammo through a good gun.  My Savage loves Federal Gold Medal Match 69gr BTHP - my best 3 shot group has been ~3/8" edge to edge, at 100 yards; and I am sure someone more skilled could do better.  Same rifle, same range, with crap bulk .223 might be 2-4" groups.  Good ammo will make a difference, and feeding a rifle good ammo gets expensive.  Thankfully, you are also taking your time with a precision bolt gun; I might only go through 20 or 40 rounds in a range session with my Savage.

My model is discontinued, but if there are any other Savage .223 heavy barrel rifles in the law enforcement line, they are typically excellent shooters for a reasonable price.  If you want aftermarket support, go Remington 700, or possibly a Ruger Precision Rifle (dunno their aftermarket, but I'd imagine it is or will be well supported.)  I highly recommend a heavy barrel .223 with a 1:8 or 1:7 twist so you can use the 77gr match grade ammo out there.

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For those doubting 223’s viability as a long range caliber, a gentleman that I’ve competed with, just set a range record with his Savage 223 bolt gun. 

200-9x. That’s 20 rounds in a 1 MOA target at 600 yards and 9 of those in a half MOA Target. 

He runs 90’s at 28-and change out of a 28” barrel. 

He’s in his 70’s. 

 

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