The .223 cartridge is a popular choice amongst hunters and target shooters alike. Both affordable, capable taking on most small to midrange hunting targets and good ballistic properties mean that a rifle chambered in .223 can take on most tasks.
On long shooting days, you can carry more ammunition, as the weight is comparatively lower. It is also a good idea for beginner hunters to start shooting with this calibre.
As the model is useful for hunting and target shooting, there are lots of available rifles for this calibre. I’ve made my selection of the best .223 rifles in the market.
The 5 Best .223 Rifles
Here is our carefully curated list of the best .223 rifles on the market:
- Browning A-Bolt II
- Sako 75 Varmint
- Remington M700 LTR
- Weatherby Mk V Super Varmint Master
- Ruger American
Browning A-Bolt II
The unmatched performance and shooting experience that the Browning A-Bolt rifles provide will have you hard-pressed to find a better rifle.
The optional BOSS, or Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System, increases the accuracy of your shots when included. An adjustable muzzle brake is a part of this system that reduces recoil. The BOSS system is adjustable and works as promised.
The A-Bolt II is precise when it comes to long-range shooting. Most of the components of this rifle are hand-crafted. Browning combines a precision barrel with a smooth trigger to guarantee you with a clean shot every time you fire.
The feeding system of this gun is high-performing and the effortless feeding enhances the shooting experience considerably. The cartridge depressor is unique, as it stays in place when the bolts slide over the rifle cartridge.
New Price: from $1,049
Used Price: from $550
Sako 75 Varmint
The Sako 75 Varmint is a long-distance bolt rifle that allows you to get an accurate shot each time. It has a heavy barrel that reduces the recoil and allows for a smooth experience. Another reason why this gun performs so smoothly is its feeding system.
The Sako 75 comes in four different action lengths for the available cartridge options. This perfect action match allows you to cycle bolts smoothly.
It also comes with a single-stage trigger with an adjustable unset pull weight. The stock is built with grade-A walnut with a beaver-tail fore-end.
Overall, this rifle provides a smooth action and tight grouping potential, making sure your shot and any future shots hit the mark when it’s most important.
New Price: N/A (discontinued, superseded by the Sako 85 range)
Used Price: from $1,500
Remington M700 LTR
The Remington M700 LTR is a light tactical rifle. This rifle is ideal for short to mid-range shooting.
The LTR comes with a heavy floated barrel and a fine black synthetic stock. The complete length of this rifle is 40 inches. This rifle is pretty handy and compact, but what separates it from other compact rifles is that it doesn’t feature a short butt.
This gun has a two-position safety. The twist rate of the rifle is one in 10 inches. The LTR feeds effortlessly from the magazine. The handling is easy.
If you are looking for a practical and handy rifle then this is the rifle for you. This entry-level bolt action rifle can serve as the rifle of choice small to mid-sized game hunting.
New Price: from $2,450
Used Price: from $1,400
Weatherby Mk V Super VarmintMaster
The Super VarmintMaster’s stock with a Monte Carlo-style composite and bedding block has a unique look.
This rifle features high-quality materials, which justifies the higher price tag. The trigger is adjustable, and the accuracy is as good as you would expect from a Weatherby rifle. It’s deadly to small game, and you can get your desired perfect shots with it.
This rifle is suited for situations where you are walking around a lot. When you have it all scoped up, it will weigh less than ten pounds.
The workmanship showcased on this rifle is worth admiring. The fluted barrel comes with an 11-degree target crown. The spider web pattern on the stock and its fitting sets it apart.
The Super VarmintMaster (SVM) is on the expensive side. It is up to you if you want the quality build it offers at that price.
New Price: from $3,400
Used Price: from $2,200
This model rifle was designed for the entry level market. But for the price you pay, you will get more than you’d expect.
This rifle is lightweight with a synthetic black matte stock. The action on the American is nice and smooth. The trigger is adjustable and comfortable.
The American is functional and will get the job done. There’s no point in comparing it with high-end rifles. The accuracy is better than you’d expect. The OSA Buffalo River 55gr Sierra Game King 223 ammo is particularly accurate with this rifle.
Overall, it’s a great bargain. If you are on a budget or like the option to stalk on foot and hunt game, this rifle is a good fit for you.
New Price: from $775
Used Price: from $375
Related: Also check out our list of the best .22 Magnum rifles in Australia
Most of these guns are meant for hunting small game, as that is what .223 calibre bullets are best for when hunting. The purpose for which you will mostly be using the rifle should be the primary deciding factor you consider before making a purchase.