223 for FTR - Win 70 or Savage 12 FTR

TreeGuy201

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Jan 18, 2020
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I'm new here on SH, but have been lurking for a long time, so greetings everyone. Since this is my first post, I will give you my background. I have been shooting for 47 years, but just found the time 2 years ago to start shooting A LOT. Probably got 50,000+ rounds downrange since spring 2018. Joined a good club, shoot all the time, etc. I know quite a bit about the equipment and have no problem working on my stuff as long as it's within my realm. I spend of lot of time with 22LR and 9mm in rifle and pistol have gotten pretty good with those, and am very accurate with a few. I shoot Bullseye, silhouette, and airgun competitions out at my club, as well as spending an inordinate amount of time with a 22LR filling 1.5" circles at 100 yd, and shooting steel rams at 200. I feel it's time to go ahead take the plunge into long range centerfire rifle. Honestly, I've been patiently waiting for the better part of 25 years to do this. I am most definitely one of those tunnel-vision OCD types that has a hard time multi-tasking, so I had to get the other stuff squared away first, lol. I know when I finally do this, I will be sucked in for good.

So, I've been mulling .223 options for a looooong time now and I think I finally know what my intentions are with the rifle. I have decided that I want to go ahead a get something I can shoot FTR up to 600 yards with at my club. I currently do not see myself having the time commitment to be an elite shooter anytime soon, but if I ever did, I would have no problem building another rifle. I have two rifle options that I could buy right now: 1) a Win 70 '89 very good condition, prone style fiber/comp stock (McMillan?), heavy barrel in very good condition (unknown barrel specs at this moment), other gunsmithing also unknown at this time; or 2) a mint Savage 12 FTR in factory condition. I like the savage because I know what I'm getting, that it will be pretty accurate as-is or with minor tweaking, and switching barrels won't be hard if I had to. I've had the Savage in mind for a long time. But, I like the Winchester because it's a long time proven gun, and this gun appears to have been a competition gun, which means I might get lucky and get some accurizing work already included. Right now, good 223 pickings in my area are slim to none, so I'm having to look online. Nothing under $1200 is really jumping out at me screaming "buy me" except for these two. I would love to hear your opinions with these two being the options. Thanks in advance.
 

ajv35XX

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Third option:
Buy a Zermatt/Bighorn Origin with a 223 bolt head and have Keystone stick on a 223 barrel
Add trigger off choice
Drop it into a chassis/stock of choice

Do it right, you could easily be under $1500 without optic, and have the ability later on for a different bolt head to jump to a different caliber
 

TreeGuy201

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Jan 18, 2020
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What twist on the savage? I have a win 70 my only complaint is aftermarket availability, so its factory stock.
Yes, 1:7. And that is also my concern with the Win. I keep thinking with the Win that I'm gonna show up at the club and all the gurus are gonna call me a genius for buying an old, used, hard to work on rifle, with scarce parts availability, lol,
 

Kevins750

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I like savages, got quite a few. Out of the box for a factory rifle they are hard to beat.
I don't compete, so I can't comment on that. I have custom rifles also, can't say I liked
Waiting for them to be "built".
 
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Gatorshark

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Why are you limited to Win 70 or Savage?
Win 70 is great, but it is what it is. Usually a safe queen for shooters with your purposes.

Buy yourself a reciever and and install remage match barrel. Now you have versatility and something you be proud of.

Pure custom barrels can take up to 6 months to get turned. Have one on order while you shoot a CRiterion remage if you want?

Nothing wrong with Savage though.
 
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Eadle

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Mar 30, 2018
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Is this going to be a dedicated rifle? F Class is shot by single loading each round. Not a huge deal to do with adapters or sleds but the savage is already designed for it. The savage is capable of getting you to master class all its own. Nothing wrong with the Winchester but you might have to do some things to get it ready. The stock should be set up for prone shooting. You. Want it to track straight as possible. Now if you just want to go out with something you already have and get in the game then that's fine too.
 
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moosemeat

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Edited my post to say either rifle is fine. 223 is also fine at your ranges. Past 600 and the 308 starts to do better.
Win m70s are not hard to work on and have almost everything available that a remington or savage does. I shoot a fn SPR and do really well locally at midrange. Average score last season was 198 13x. Best was a 200 14x. Dont get paralysis by analysis.
 
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EM92wx

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Yes, 1:7. And that is also my concern with the Win. I keep thinking with the Win that I'm gonna show up at the club and all the gurus are gonna call me a genius for buying an old, used, hard to work on rifle, with scarce parts availability, lol,
Everybody starts somewhere. Money only goes so far then talent kicks in.
 
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Kevins750

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Edited my post to say either rifle is fine. 223 is also fine at your ranges. Past 600 and the 308 starts to do better.
Win m70s are not hard to work on and have almost everything available that a remington or savage does. I shoot a fn SPR and do really well locally at midrange. Average score last season was 198 13x. Best was a 200 14x. Dont get paralysis by analysis.
I am going to have to respectfully disagree with the Winchester availability statement. They do have stocks and triggers
BUT not near R700's or savage have. Specially when referencing tactical items.
 
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moosemeat

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But this isn't about tactical stuff. It's about F T/R. Everything for that is available. Dont need 6 flavors of DBM or stocks. Any stock that works for F T/R on a remington can be inlet for a m70. I'm not saying it's the best action for F T/R, that's the panda, but it's still viable for this sport.
 
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delinquent pleb

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@TreeGuy201 I shoot .223 out to 600m frequently from a factory Tikka T3x and you will be shocked at what a factory rifle can do with skill and good ammunition. Shoot it, learn it and enjoy it.

You won’t regret the calibre choice.
 
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Greg Langelius *

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My pair of F-T/R's are Savage 11VT's (Dick's -before they went Commie- and apparently off the market), with Choate Tactical Stocks.

The only differences between the two is the chambering, .223 and .308; plus the scopes' BDC, Bushnell AR Drop Zone BDC 308 or 223. The 223 did compete in 600yd F-T/R at the SW LR Nationals in 2017.

Greg
 
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TreeGuy201

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What scope and bipod you going to run?
Stop, you're making my brain hurt.

But seriously ...

SCOPE
I'm looking at scopes now. Anything that has low out of the box problems (unless the price is really worth it and they're one-off type failures), tracks well, has accurate parallax, FFP (I hate doing conversions to 10x or whatever the scope is setup for), goes to at least 16X, has good customer service that will send me a pre-paid without threatening violence, and has an abundance of hash marks in moa or mil. I have never had a christmas tree, but I would probably like it when I need to use it. Reliability - I've been shooting springer airguns for a long time and I have have destroyed more scopes in the last 7 years than probably anybody at my club will in their lifetime, so I've had my fill of tracking down scope issues. BUT, I don't know that I can sleep with a couple of grand sunk into a scope right now, knowing it's likely never going to see another rifle. So, with that said, here's some thoughts:

1) Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 - is gen 1 really that bad for $500?
2) Sightron S3
3) NF SHV - N series might be more than I feel good about for this rifle
4) Sig Tango 4
5) Sig Tango 6
5) Burris Xtreme Tac

BIPOD
I heard go wide and life will be easier. But I also heard Harris is just fine to start out with. How much do you think the bipod will affect the harmonics and hold sensitivity of this rifle?

REAR BAG
Thinking about grabbing an empty cordura or two off Amazon and filling it with fine walnut. I have 15 pounds sitting here. I love walnut in my regular bags, and I've tried a bunch of stuff. But, I may make a light bag too with airsoft just to see which one I like better. I know from dealing with hold sensitivities of springers and sporter 22LR's, the rear bag fill and bag position can be a big deal. Just not sure how sensitive this rifle will be to it.

So that's where I'm at.