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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally found a barely used Stevens 200 in .223 with an older Burris 3 x 9 on it for $200.00. A smokin' deal! It is the newer centerfeed magazine.I sold the scope for $100 so I have $100.00 into the rifle. For now I put a BSA 6-24 variable on it for load and accuracy testing.

Anyway..... I have tried several loads with the 50 gr V-Max and am getting 1" - 1 1/2" groups at 100 yrds. Not bad but not as good as my Stevens 200 in .243.

Gonna try 55 grain v-max next. Anybody been getting sub MOA in thier Stevens 200 .223's with these? Pet loads?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LaOtto222 said:
I have replaced my 2 with 1-14" twist barrels and they like 40 and 50 grain V-Maxes just fine. If I were shooting a 1-9" twist I would try the 55 or 60 grain V Max over Varget or H4895 with a Remington 7 1/2 primer (my favorite SR primer). Both the 55 and 60 grain V-Max are flat based bullets. Both the 40 and 50 grain are boat tailed bullets. If you can not get the 55 or 60 to shoot well you might try a boat tailed bullet. Generally, flat based bullets shoot better than boat tailed, but there are always exceptions. If you try all of that and still does not shoot well, try to touch up the crown or experiment with the Cartridge OAL. How confident are you with the BSA scope? Personally, I would have stuck with the Burris, but that is me. The barrel comes from the factory free floated; that is not always the best thing to do. Some rifles shoot better with a free floated barrel with up pressure at the end of the fore arm, especially thin barrels. There are lots of variables.

Good Luck and Good Shooting
I just loaded up some 55 gr vmax flat based ahead of several different charges of Varget and BLC-2 and CCI Benchrest primers last night. I have seated the bullets just off the lands a few thousands this time. I will shoot them this weekend and see if there is any improvement.

The BSA is temporary and used for load testing. It seems to work OK and hold it's zero. It could be a weak link however and I won't factor that out if things don't improve. It will be replaced this winter. The old burris was a fine scope but I want more of a varmint scope with a little higher power. I shot the inital loads I tested with the burris and had the same results, 1 - 1 1/2 groups.

I haven't looked at the crown so I will do that. How do you do your crowns? I have heard of guys using a brass counter- sink kinda screw and lapping compound/polish like JB bore paste or Flitz but I have never done it before.

Also the trigger could be better. I have replaced the spring with a lighter one but it is still a little rough. I may try polishing the surfaces or install a Timney.
 

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try and give the barrel a very, very good cleaning and make sure you get all the coppr and lead out of the barrel
Check the scope base and rings and make sure they are tight
 

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I would not do anything to bugger up that crown if it was me. Mine is a sub-moa shooter with the 50 gr Vmax. I did have to try a number of different load recipes to find it's "load". You may just have to diddle around with your loads more. I can tell you that mine will not shoot max pressure loads or any of the factory loads I tried.

It WILL shoot though:




That's 5 shots from a cold, clean barrel at 100 yds.

That's with the 50 gr Vmax, BL-C(2) the original milsurp stuff, not the commercial powder, Rem 7 1/2 primers. I left the seating depth "book" length, and only mods to the rifle are just stoning the trigger surfaces to get rid of the creep. I left the rest of the rifle alone.

My second best load was with H-380, and it was almost as tight. Once again, it is mot a max load, but backed off about a grain from max.

I'm more than willing to sacrifice a bit of speed for better accuracy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Slim, my Stevens .243 shoots like that with 70 gr SXSP and IMR 4064.

Well I am not to the point of trying barrel crowning the .223 just yet. Still in experimental mode trying different loads.

The main reason I bought the Stevens 200 in .223 is because I am so impressed with the way my Stevens 200 in .243 shoots with no mods except a shade tree trigger job. So far it has shot just about everything I put through it sub MOA if I do my part. I have had great results with 70 gr SXSP, 75 gr V-max, 80 gr speer spitzer, 87 gr interlock, 95 gr SST and Winchester 100 gr power point factory loads.

The .243 is the older staggered column magazine. The .223 is the newer center feed. It seems to be throated rather long, maybe to accomidate Mil-spec ammo and VLD type bullets. 55 gr V-max seated way out there clear the magagine just fine. Is yours staggered or centerfeed?

I have tried several loadings with the 50 gr v-max and the 1" - 1 1/2" groups are the norm. This one just might like a little heavier bullet. I have some New BLC-2 but I shot up the last of my old mil-spec stuff I had last year. It seems to be close to the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LaOtto, what hapened to your posts? They dissapeared!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I cleaned the bore really good with wipe-out to remove any copper fouling.

I went out to the range sunday afternoon and shot some groups with the 55 grain test loads I loaded with BLC-2 and Varget. The results were the same with all groups in the 1 " to 1 1/2" range at 100 yrds.

I took the the BSA off last night and mounted a Nikon Prostaff 3 X 9 on it. I am going whitetail hunting this weekend so I will try some more test loads weekend after that and report back!
 

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Sorry for taking so long to reply, we've just completed our move from AZ to ND, and I've just today got my internet up.

My rifle is the new center feed version. Any of the full velocity loads I've tried, be it factory or handloads, have grouped 1 1/2" or bigger in mine. Some of the factory stuff went near 3". Each rifle is an individual, but mine really started coming on with the reduced charge loads I was running.

I always start my load testing for a new rifle at the powder charge mid point, and go up from there. Each new load I tried with mine, the best groups were at or just above that mid point. My barrel is pretty rough, has the typical Savage "train tracks" down the bore. I attribute that to this particular rifle preferring reduced loads.

All of my shop stuff is still buried in boxes, so it may take a while, but I can look up my specific powder charge if you like.
 

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I have the exact same rifle. I don't re-load .223 so I did go through some various brands and grains to finally satisfy myself. I put Federal Premium 69 grain Sierra MATCHKING BTHP Gold Medal Match and it shoots great groups. Off my shooting bench I can get 1/2 to 3/4 groups at 200 yards on a calm day. My scope is a 3x12x40 and some time back I installed the Rifle Basix trigger and that improved the groups greatly to what they are now as mentioned.
The coyote's in my area really don't like me ;)
J.D.Gillis
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Slowpoke said:
Sorry for taking so long to reply, we've just completed our move from AZ to ND, and I've just today got my internet up.

My rifle is the new center feed version. Any of the full velocity loads I've tried, be it factory or handloads, have grouped 1 1/2" or bigger in mine. Some of the factory stuff went near 3". Each rifle is an individual, but mine really started coming on with the reduced charge loads I was running.

I always start my load testing for a new rifle at the powder charge mid point, and go up from there. Each new load I tried with mine, the best groups were at or just above that mid point. My barrel is pretty rough, has the typical Savage "train tracks" down the bore. I attribute that to this particular rifle preferring reduced loads.

All of my shop stuff is still buried in boxes, so it may take a while, but I can look up my specific powder charge if you like.
Yeah
send me your load data.That would be great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dozernomore said:
23.5 gr of h335 works pretty good im my stevens 223
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
skinman said:
I have the exact same rifle. I don't re-load .223 so I did go through some various brands and grains to finally satisfy myself. I put Federal Premium 69 grain Sierra MATCHKING BTHP Gold Medal Match and it shoots great groups. Off my shooting bench I can get 1/2 to 3/4 groups at 200 yards on a calm day. My scope is a 3x12x40 and some time back I installed the Rifle Basix trigger and that improved the groups greatly to what they are now as mentioned.
The coyote's in my area really don't like me ;)
J.D.Gillis
Yeah I think a new trigger is in order. Was the Rifle basix trigger hard to install and adjust?
 

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4given, I have had a Stevens 200 in .223 for several years. What twist does yours have? Mine is 1 in 9 and it shoots 68-69 gr. Sierras and Hornadys just great. I have one 3 shot group that is 3/8ths of an inch. If yours is the 1 in 9 twist, I would suggest you try haviers bullets. good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DeckH said:
4given, I have had a Stevens 200 in .223 for several years. What twist does yours have? Mine is 1 in 9 and it shoots 68-69 gr. Sierras and Hornadys just great. I have one 3 shot group that is 3/8ths of an inch. If yours is the 1 in 9 twist, I would suggest you try haviers bullets. good Luck.
Mine is 1 in 9 also. I think they all are. I don't really want to shoot 69 grain bullets in this rifle if I don't have to. I have a Stevens 200 243 that loves 70gr Hornady SXSP flat base.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
DeckH said:
;D OOPS, I also installed a Timney trigger--makes a big difference.
Was your Timney hard to install?
 

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4given, Not at all. Easy to follow instructions from Timney. Got it on sale from Midway. Was $75 on sale. This is after I "adjusted" the factory trigger several times but no to my liking. Also installed one on my son's Weatherby Vanguard---big improvement. Good luck.
PS: Adjusting the factory trigger too much will render it unsafe, ie. the firing pin will drop on a live round when closing the bolt or when taking the safety off.
 
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