LR competitions vary widely and with the type and caliber of gun for each.
600 yard BR- 6 dasher, 6BRX, or 6 BR are the calibers
1k BR you can use the Dasher, but mainly 6, 6.5 and 30 calibers and some 7mm.
F class Open- 7mm (280 AI or similar) and 6.5-284
F Class FTR is limited to 308 and 223 only.
Tactical matches- 308, 6.5x47 or 260 are go to rounds mainly. scope will need mil dots
As for costs you can buy a decent savage Palma (308) , BR (6mm BR) or F class (6.5-284) for right at $1000 and used for around $750 or so.
You will want a variable power scope that goes to 20X at least. Used can be found for $500 or so. (used Millet 6-25x, 6-20x Leupold, 6-26 Sightron etc )10x will not cut it in any of the LR matches. You will need a 20 MOA base or better yet a double dovetail base with burris signature rings with the 20 MOA inserts. Best option for the money.
Reloading is a must. $300-500 for press, scales, dies, calipers and other misc. Too expensive to shoot and not reload!
Now here comes the big expense- travel and match fees. Depending on what is available is not uncommon to drive 300 miles or more to a 2 day match with fees in the $80-100 range, not counting gas, meals and hotel. Many take a tent and sleep at the site. Your costs will vary depending on what is local.
I would look at what matches are local (driving distance) and see first before making a decision to buy.
depending on which comp, you would have front and rear rests, bipods and other misc equipment.
IMO the best learning tool is F class FTR with a 308 shooting the 185 Berger or one of the 175s. relatively inexpensive compared to other comps and most shooting in the wind. Plus put the 125 Btip for varmints.
Looks like the 260 will give the best option for loaded accurate ammo, but your paying for it. You may as well put forth the money you would spend on loaded ammo and get reloading equipment. You will be able to see the potential of your rifles much better that way.
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