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223 Rem. Bolt-Action Shootout: Savage’s New Model 25 Wins

Our shooters were taken with the Savage and CZ-USA’s 527 American field rifles—they shot great and wouldn’t break your back. The Ruger Hawkeye just wasn’t as good, testers said.

The 223 Remington is a practical cartridge with broad appeal and application. It has already been some 44 years since the U.S. Army adopted it, based on the 222 Remington that itself was quite a commercial success since its 1950 introduction. Like most cartridges or variants adopted by the military, its long-term popularity is virtually guaranteed. It is one of our favorite cartridges, with a variety of ammunition available at reasonable

Savage Model 25 Classic Sporter
For this test, we selected three bolt actions with sporter-profile barrels—call them ranch rifles, coyote rifles, or even whitetail rifles. They have tremendous utility and flexibility. From top, they are the the Savage Model 25 Classic Sporter, $616; the CZ USA 527 American 03022, $711; and Ruger’s HM77R Hawkeye 07103, $779. Our team said the Savage came supplied with Weaver bases installed (a nice touch), shot superbly, ejected brass well, and looked great. The CZ “Micro-Mauser” action featured a single set trigger, an addition our shooters loved. After being set, the trigger broke at 1.4 pounds. If we graded the Ruger Hawkeye by itself, it might have gotten a B+ or A rating. But we thought the Ruger was ponderous compared to the CZ or the Savage, had a trigger than did not compare well, and was not in the same league in accuracy.
prices. Unlike some of the older "burn a lot of powder in a small hole" rounds such as the 220 Swift, or perhaps the more recent 204 Ruger, the 223 Remington offers generally good barrel life and overall economy…

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