View Full Version : My new special purpose/all purpose rifle

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09-15-2009, 10:40 PM
Some time ago I read an article by James Calhoun, about reduced loads for 223 using Blue Dot powder. This struck a cord with me, as I wanted a rifle that wouldn't tear gaping holes in fox pelts. I hunt mostly thick cover but occasionally need to reach out several hundred yards for coyotes. According to my wife, I couldn't afford a dedicated rifle for each.

I also wanted a rifle light and compact. I pack a 12 lb. Model 12 all deer season, I want to travel light for predator season. I picked up an older Model 11 action with a 3 screw trigger in it. A $40 order from Midway later, I had the bolt head and magazine box to convert it to 223. Devin at SinArms did an excellent job cutting a factory barrel down to 18" (forgive me Hammer for I have sinned) and recrowned it.

To reduce shine and to make the rig more weather resistant, I Cerama Coated the barreled action.

I figured that the tupperware stock would be about as light as I could find, so I sanded it down and started playing with camo patterns. I finally settled on a sponged on pattern that looks somewhat like army acupat.

Here's what I ended up with: Overall length 37 3/4" Weight 6 1/4 lb. with a Bushnell Legend 2 X 7 Scope.


I have been playing with the Blue Dot and 34-45gr. bullets and judging by recoil and noise I have loads that approximately equal 22LR, 22WMR, 22 Hornet and 221 Fireball. As soon as I can lay my hands on a chrony I will post more about the loads.

My plan is to use this rifle for squirrels, fox, bobcat, coyote and possibly use it for thinning some does this fall. The last two will be with full power 223 loads. 60 gr. VMAX's for the coyotes and 62 gr. TSX's on the does.

09-15-2009, 11:50 PM
Looks amazing! Camo job looks great and im in love with the 18 barrel. Great job

09-16-2009, 07:47 AM
I use 12.5gr. of Blue Dot in my .223AI with the Horn 35 gr. V Max. I get right at 3100fps and its very accurate and pleasant to shoot.
Obviously you need to be careful about double charging. I have a system where just b4 I charge any case, I turn it upside down and tap the open (bullet) end on my workbench and it immediatly gets charged. No chance for double charge.

09-16-2009, 08:13 AM
Obviously you need to be careful about double charging.

I loaded pistol rounds for years, so I have a similar routine.

09-16-2009, 08:27 AM
Very nice rig. Love the short barrel and the camo.

09-16-2009, 08:41 AM
I have another stock that I am going to paint. I could take pics of the steps and post if anyone is interested.

09-16-2009, 12:25 PM
i'd love to see some pics for a paint job

09-16-2009, 06:30 PM
I have another stock that I am going to paint. I could take pics of the steps and post if anyone is interested.

Please do!

09-16-2009, 06:37 PM
I'll start tonight it will take a couple of days, for drying between coats.

09-16-2009, 07:17 PM
Im interested in the blue dot loads.... Iv never played with "reduced loads" but may. 3100 fps dont sound all that reduced thou savageboy, do you have any idea how that charge of blue dot would cross over to a straight 223 load as in not 223AI ? Brentwin, I would like to hear about your loads and there fps when you get close to a chrony. I dont have one either but has always felt it should be on the list of crap to buy soon... Its a real long list thou. Bill

09-16-2009, 07:44 PM
looks great

09-16-2009, 07:58 PM
Great looking rifle really like the paint. Where do you get the cerama cote looks like the way to go on an action and barrel.

09-16-2009, 08:12 PM
...Nice looking OTW gun...lol ;).. blue-dot makes a nice quiet pop.. 8)

09-17-2009, 06:33 AM
I did a similar project a couple of years ago. My Model 16 in .223 is now a .221 Fireball. For a reduced load, I use 2.7 gr of Unique and a 45 gr. flat nose bullet. I get about 1100 fps. and noise is greatly reduced.

09-17-2009, 08:21 AM
Where do you get the cerama cote looks like the way to go on an action and barrel.

You can get it thru Midway


It's a little pricey, but one can is enough to do 2 barrelled actions. It doesn't require blasting of the metal. I just wiped down all of the parts with lacquer thinner to degrease and hung all of the parts from copper wire to paint.

When the second coat was dry, I place one rack as high as is would go in the over and took the other rack out. All of my parts were hung under the top rack and baked at 350 degrees for 1hr. There is very little smell during the baking (no complaints from management).

After everything cools down reassemble and you are good to go.

09-17-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks for the info. Will be interesting to see how you done the stock.

09-17-2009, 06:59 PM

I have not shot mine in a while, but my load was 12.5 gr of bluedot, normal 223 under a 52 gr amax or a 50 gr berger.

Shoots very tight. Be careful though. 12.5 is a max for that bullet in my gun, although I have read of people using up to 13-13.5.

For some reason 12-12.5 seems to be the magic number. Put a beaver to an early grave.

I forget the bluedot reduced load formula, but its on the internet somewhere. Works off case volume. Certain percent starting load, certain percent absolute max.

I can give you my start loads of you want. Its for a 1:14 twist though so you might want to back off for a 1:9.

As far as barnes bullets, I would suggest using a 45 or 52 gr TSX with bluedot.

09-17-2009, 08:28 PM
...Like tammons said..Mine likes 12.5grs with a 50gr Nosler...That powder will spike quick in a 1-9..I know first hand..lol..Play with seating depth & it'll shoot holes... ;)...


09-18-2009, 03:15 PM
Great. :) :) :)

09-18-2009, 05:09 PM
Well all my 223's are 1 in 9 so I'll back off the charge a bit. BrentWin set me up with a link that should give me a running start. Tammons, I would appreciate all the advise I can get. Have you or 1Shot ran the 50 gr. loads of blue dot thru a chronograph? It seems like 3100ish is common with 37 gr bullets and 14 gr. of blue dot, but Im sure this would be with a slower twist. 1Shot, sounds like there should be a story there "I know first hand" We get some a little hot??? Bill