reply to post by cavscout
I'll admit there are rounds more accurate than the .223, and there are certainly rounds more powerful. But that old Mini-14 has served me well. I
have no trouble dropping a whitetail in a single shot; the small, fast bullet will bark a squirrel easily; the recoil is minor; rounds are cheap.
It's a good compromise all around, IMHO.
But the thing I really love about it is that it is lightweight and easy to carry, plus ammo is plentiful. When I bought that gun, I was able to pick
up 5 boxes of military ammo for it for a song, and that has been about all the ammo I ever bought for it. Military ammo can
be reloaded and I
have found that the brass is generally stronger than civilian brass. I have reloaded some of that original brass over 20 times, which is amazing
compared to those stronger rounds like the .308 or the .444.
If you want to reload military ammo, you need one additional tool: a small hand reamer. The primers are crimped in, and you'll need to hit the primer
socket once with the hand reamer before you reload the first time.
If you have a weapon that you can shoot cheaply, that means you are more able to practice, and the .223 is perfect than that. I use mine for two
reasons: hunting with a 5-round clip and scaring the mundanes with the 30-round clip and a twitchy finger.
Start mowing down targets behind your
house, and you will soon get a reputation as being the last
guy to mess with.
You will also learn the true meaning of gun control: being
able to hit your target first time, every time.
I have one real gripe with rimfire: it can't be reloaded. I was able to shoot when I got my first gun (S&W 66, .357, stainless w/6" barrel), but I
became a shooter when I got my old RCBS setup. Anyone who wants to become proficient at handling arms should consider a reloading bench. The only way
to practice is to burn powder, and ammo can become expensive.