Reading many of the threads here I'm sure that for many of you wishing you could get started in long range hunting the dollars involved are intimidating.
Newsflash. It doesn't take 10 grand worth of technology, custom rifle
/glass, range finders, weather stations, ballistic calculators etc to not only get started but to be successful.
300 Rum. Bought from a fellow board member here Ready to go with quality glass, custom rifle
that shot under .600 MOA at 1000yds with factory ammo the day I got it in.
Figure one is the rifle (The one on the bipod), figure two is today's 250yds target. Six rounds/two three round groups. I shot two different kinds of factory ammo for those groups Federal Premium 180gr and Remington Premier with the 180gr Swift Scirocco. Both shoot very well in it.
Total price? Under 2,000.00. No it wasn't a beat up worn out piece of junk just a nice rifle the guy had built and then didn't shoot enough to justify keeping it. He needed money to pay bills and I had a good week.
The scope that's now on it is one I bought used from a guy over on sniper's hide. It's an IOR 6-24x50mm Tactical 35mm Tube. Retail on the scope is about 1,800.00. The rings are another 150.00. I bought it with the rings for about half what the rings and scope retail for. The scope rail mount is an EGW heavy duty and it ran about 70.00 from SWFA. The 6-20x50 Leupold that was on it when I bought the rig is a great scope, I just moved it to my 7mm STW.
Example 2. .220 swift, Remington VS SFII bought from a member here as well. 750.00 delivered. It's the one laying down on the shooting mat. It's wearing a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44 that I bought off of Ebay for 450.00. It's now on it's fourth rifle.
Figure three is the target I shot with it today, again at the same 250yds. I was shooting two types of factory ammo, Hornady 55gr V max and HSM 55gr btsp. Again, two three round groups totaling six shots. I added the blaze orange sticky for size reference. The one ragged hole group is where the original sticy was but it popped off on the third shot.
The last two pictures are my LR-260. It's a DPMS platform that I pieced together. Krieger 24" Bull Barrel, A2-upper with forward assist and shell deflector. The Lower was a barely used LR-308 that I put the target grip and JP Custom trigger in myself, along with the Magpul PRS stock.
The scope is an IOR 4-14x50 30mm Tube that I bought used for 750.00. In total I've got about 2,500.00 in it but it didnt' hurt too bad because I did it one piece at a time (found the complete new upper for sale at Sniper's Hide and did the finish work myself) over the course of a year and a half.
I also added an Apex Gator grip handguard today but that's not pictured.
The last target is from it and that's a full 20 round magazine from 250 yds and I fired the entire group in a little under 2 minutes. Again shooting factory ammo, Federal Fusion 120gr.
Oh the IOR that's on it now is not what I started with. The 4.5-14x44 Conquest that's now on the Swift was the scope I started with on it, and it was on the 7mm STW for four years before that.
You can get off to a good start for even less, than any of these three cost but I wanted to give you an idea of what you can get for a very moderate initial expenditure.
For most of you new guys once you get a rig together to shoot your biggest learning curve will be ranging targets. For 300.00 or so you can buy a decent used range finder on Ebay that will get you reliable ranges out to around 750-1,000yds if you shop wisely. The classified ads here are also a very good source for glass/range finders as well as rifles so don't be afraid to shop there if you are on a budget.
Once you have that you can use many free ballistic calculators on line including the one Len offers here that will give you good reliable drops for hundred yard increments and you can simply make yourself a range card to carry in the field vs worrying about buying a palm PC and paying for an expensive program.
Once you have all of that just get out and start shooting at known ranges and make adjustments to your range card as needed.
For wind as long as you know the approximate velocity and direction you can teach yourself how to adjust for windage and/or you can put windage adjustments on your range card.
Now doing it that way won't give you the exact precision that having the weather station and palm PC will, but it will certainly give you accurate enough data to shoot game with practice.
Again, as time goes on you can upgrade your glass, technology etc but you can most certainly succeed doing it "the poor man's way" as well.
Don't get hung up on the small stuff. Just put yourself together a good rig to start with and start shooting. Every time you get out and shoot you will learn more and if you are smart you'll keep detailed notes on conditions and results each time you go out. That will give you both the experience and knowledge base to build on in the future.
Ohh forgot to add. My fancy front rest/shooting pad is a campting mattress I picked up for three dollars at a garage sale and my fancy set of rear bags is an old beach towel rolled up with duct tape on it to keep it's roll/shape.