223 at 600 yards

This is a discussion on 223 at 600 yards within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am planning to buy a rifle for long rang shooting. I had originally planned on getting a Remington with heavy barrel, something like the ...

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Thread: 223 at 600 yards

  1. #1
    Member Array dvickery's Avatar
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    223 at 600 yards

    I am planning to buy a rifle for long rang shooting. I had originally planned on getting a Remington with heavy barrel, something like the M24, in 308 but now I'm reconsidering.

    After seeing the Olympic K8, I'm going to do some research on the difficulty of hitting the bulls eye at 600 yards with a 223 round. In the Army, I was hitting targets in the 400 yard range with moderate difficulty - that was with iron sights though.. and not a bull barrel either.

    I can read all the ballistics charts until I'm blue in the face but do any of you have any experience with shooting 600 yard targets with a 223?

    Thanks in advance,

    dvick
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  3. #2
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Yep.

    Its a stretch for the .223 Yes it can be done, but that little bullet gets blown around by the smallest breeze.

    With a good solid rest and a good scope, once you are dialed in, it's not an issue....if its a calm day.
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    Member Array Rem700's Avatar
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    Guess it depends on the target, For me prarie dog size targets at 300yds 98-99%
    400yds 90% 500yds 50-60% 600yds 25-30% hits appx. So for me any way anything beyond 400yds means a bigger caliber.

  5. #4
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    For paper? I'd say with the right platform and excellent scope, 600yds no problem. I too qualified with the iron sights on the M-16, 200, 300, and 500 yds. Maybe enough energy to knock down a steel target. I'd bet that if you reload for the .223, you'll be able to make it very accurate depending on the elements of course. Have you seen this new one from Remington?
    Model 700™ VTR™

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    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Cool

    Have you thought about an AR-15 in 6.5 Grendel.



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  7. #6
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    I saw NRA competition shooters using AR's out to 600 yrds. As long as there wasn't a strong wind they didn't seem to have any problems. Once a strong wind started off the lake one competitor I watched didn't have enough windage clicks to get on paper (paper being a 4'X4' target.)
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  8. #7
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    As others have said - the round is capable of getting their accurately, but it will be strongly affected by environmental factors (not that other bullets won't, of course, this is a 600 yard shot you're talking about). Top quality match ammo or handloads will allow you to wring the most out of the round, as will (of course) a good rifle and good optics.

    For S's and G's, I would occasionally shoot my M4 along side my snipers shooting their M24s... With a Leupold VXII 2-7x mounted, I could keep up with them (mostly) to about 200m, then the gap started to widen. At 600, I could keep my shots on an upper-body silhouette as long as it wasn't too windy - using standard military ball ammo and a stock M4 - so it can be done. At 800 and 1000, it was still possible to get hits, but the consistency went way down...

    As long as you have the right set up (and don't need a lot of energy when the round gets there), you should be OK. Hone up your wind-reading skills!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    I can only relate this story. Some years ago I attended the Texas State High-Power Match at Camp Bullis in San Antonio with a group of fellow High-Power shooters. This was in the early days of the appearance of the .223 on the firing line. The competitor beside me had the latest and greatest trick AR 15 for the time. He was very proud of his rifle and additionally was a really good shot. All day long he blew our little group away with his good shooting while pontificating long and loud about the .223 and how much better it was and how you didn't need the .30 caliber.

    Next day however we shot 600 yard prone slow-fire and a stiff breeze came up out of the southwest, quartering across our north-facing range. The gusty wind and distance "ate his lunch" to his great constarnation, and much to the gratification of those .308 and .30-06 users around him who'd endured his mouthiness of the previous day. He couldn't stay on paper under the conditions. "The .30 caliber rifles should be banned from High-Power shooting" was his whine then. Personally I was so happy to hear him howl that I used my M1 stoked with good Sierra 180 grain Match Kings to shoot my personal best ever score on that stage, 192/200.

    Lest anyone think I'm an ace high-power shooter, I think there were 162 registered competitors that year and I finished 81st, right in the middle.

    Also, I received a proper whipping at that match by a 21-year-old woman. She was squadded with me on Saturday and I privately groused to myself about being squadded with a GIRL whom I figured couldn't manage herself on the firing line. She was short and slightly built but fired her M1A, hotloaded with some custom match concoction that her dad had created for her; 180 rounds over two days with never a bobble or whimper. At the end of it all she placed 4th overall and high woman. It was a most humiliating yet appropriate lesson to me.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    If you are going to shoot long range with 223 I'd suggest you buy one with
    barrel that has twist of 1-7 that works better than 1-9 for long range shooting.
    I would have you check with the experts over to AR 15 Forum as they know
    way more about 223 /556 round than I do.Good luck!

  11. #10
    Member Array Spenser's Avatar
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    Like others said... it can be done. One of my good friends who happens to be a CCW instructor and gun shop owner shoots 600 yard matches with a RRA .223.

    Could I do it? No. At least not with out a lot more practice, and something a tad more accurate than my mini-14.
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  12. #11
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    I look else where for that distance, unless you want or need to buy a 223 for whatever reason.
    A 223 can easily do those distances, but it would be my first choice.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Like many others have said the wind is evil on a little 55 or 62 or 75 grn bullet,one other question what are you shooting at 600 yards,paper,prairie dogs,coyotes,if you need to be consistent in all weather maybe a .308 platform, but if you can pick days to shoot and the winds not a big factor.

  14. #13
    Member Array Mercalf's Avatar
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    .223 will punch paper very easy at 600 yds. Punch anything else? Wouldn't bet my life on it. So I'd say it depends on what you plan on using it for. I went with the .300 Wby Mag for long range precision/zombie slaying. Yes it's expensive, but my life is worth $2-4 per round imo. Also, it's a GREAT elk gun.

    For reloading, plinking, or general target ONLY - I'd reconsider the .308. Bigger punch, cheaper ammo, easier to reload (.30 cal components are EVERYWHERE)
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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    I spent a glorious day in Panama engaging targets from 400 to 800 meters. We shot just under a thousand rounds per man and by the end of the day you were heckled if you missed a 600 meter target. Our worst shooters were hitting around 75%. Now at 800 meters, the best shooters were geting 1 hit every 5 rounds or so. Rifles were the M16A2, ammo was M855 ball and we used iron sights. Targets were E-type silhouettes.

    Fast forward to Afghanistan, shortly after 9/11. I saw more than one AQ/TB get popped at 600 meters (or close to it) with Mk262 from an SPR. Everyone was satisfied with the performance. In fact, I do not recall a miss. Keep in mind, not your average rifles, not your average ammo and definitely not your average shooters.

    I saw similar performance again during another deployment in 2004/2005.

    For me, personally, 600 meters is my outer limit for serious social work with 5.56mm given a proper rifle and proper ammunition. Beyond that I would prefer 7.62x51, .300 WinMag or .338 Lapua depending on the circumstances.

  16. #15
    Member Array dvickery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    For paper? I'd say with the right platform and excellent scope, 600yds no problem. I too qualified with the iron sights on the M-16, 200, 300, and 500 yds. Maybe enough energy to knock down a steel target. I'd bet that if you reload for the .223, you'll be able to make it very accurate depending on the elements of course. Have you seen this new one from Remington?
    Model 700™ VTR™
    Yes, I was actually looking at that very rifle yesterday (on line that is). Seems like a pretty sweet tack driver for the money..

    I'm not convinced that I'm going with a 223 just yet. The main reason for considering is that I will probably end up with an AR rifle one of these days and I also want to compete at our local range at 600 yards. So, If I could combine the two...

    Probably what I will end up doing is just going with a Remington bolt gun in the 308 for the hard to see targets and the AR for everything else.

    My savage 300 win mag hunting rifle is pretty good until the barrel heats up..

    Thanks to everybody for your opinions and stories!

    dv
    "A right unexercised is a right lost."

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