I am hoping to get into some long range shooting this year.
this would be F Class out to 600 yards, from a bench.
I grew up on a farm, and used to shoot up to 1/4 mile away.
I never had paper targets, so cardboard boxes with a magic maker
circle on them had to suffice. Often as not, it was a spray can or used oil
can that I shot at.
Calibers were 22LR, 22 Magnum, 222, 22-250, 243, 270, 30-06, and 8mm Mauser.
I never did hit a can with the 22.s, but I worried them on occasion.
The 222 and 22-250 worked Ok early in the morning before the wind came up.
The 243 and 270 were the easiest to hit with.
The 30-06 was fun, but the drop was pretty high.
The 8mm was a straight WWII rifle with no alterations and iron sights.
I actually DID score with it, after I figured out the sights.
I have shot to 600 yards with my M1 Garand and my 1903 Springfields
at the local club. I can score, but I don't consider that level of accuracy
to be called shooting groups.
I SUCK at peep sights at long range.
I see pre-built, or custom guns for sale, but honestly, I cannot afford them.
I need to start as inexpensively as possible.
I already have an 8-32x Bushnell 4200 Elite for a scope, so that will suffice for optics.
I have a Harris Bi-Pod that may also work, if the height is right.
Gun, barrel, trigger, caliber, action, stock, etc.......all need to be hashed out.
My budget is as far under $1000 that I can get.
I do NOT want to go to 30 caliber.....
6mm, 6.5mm, or 7mm is preferred..... .284 Winchester may be the winner.
Would like recoil to be kept at 308 level or less possible.
Need LONG barrel life.
Willing to spend a bit more for good brass and at least mid quality bullets.
(I will be flexible) I am a lefty, so that is important. To shoot F Class of the bench, I need to fire 22 rounds in 20 minutes.
Some local guys are using 6.5x55 Swedish, some 308, others vary.......
some are shooting a round they call 7mm Dasher (no....not 6mm Dasher)
I am NOT trying to win matches!!! I DO want to test my shooting skills....and at least worry a few guys.
My skill level on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.....I would say I
am a solid 6, and once I get used to a gun, more like a 7 or an 8.
I feel to be a 9 or a 10 means spending a LOT more on the gun, ammo, etc.
I usually get outshot by superior equipment, or by the guys who have a LOT
more time and money to practice. I have beat them when I used their equipment.
Can you give me some solid suggestions, sources, etc ???????
Only so many people can afford to purchase F Class
competition ready rifles.
Think how many more people might get into the hobby
if they could buy an entry level gun priced more like.....
or just a little above an over-the-counter gun.
I am sorry to say, but in many areas there are NO good
gunsmiths to help people get what they need.
In most cases, no gunsmith means a potential new shooter
will never pursue their idea to build a gun to get into a new sport.
That increases the number of shooters, which helps keep
the hobby strong and growing.
A strong hobby is good when the gun grabbers are looking for
any weakness they can find to use against gun owners.
I will keep reading, but the lack of a local gunsmith that I
can trust, may mean I will not be able to pursue this new hobby.
I would appreciate any and all feedback you folks can offer.
6BR will shoot very well to 600 yards if there is less wind. 6.5x284 would be a better choice if there is usually windy in your area.
I also love straight 284. It is the best cartridge between 6.5cal and .308cal.
Lapua only offers 6.5x284 therefore you will need to neck up to .284
6BR is cheap to make and you can practice a lot for cheap. The cartridge looks tiny but shoot very good.
My son has shot F Class with a Rem 700 ADL in .223 Rem. I think I paid $300-$350 for this rifle back in 1999 or so. His skills are still growing, but I actually won the light rifle division of a long range precision rifle shoot a couple years ago (steel prairie dogs).
If I were buying a rifle on the cheap with F Class in mind, I think I'd go with a Savage in .260 Rem or .243 Win. Accuracy is good enough with higher BC bullets than the .223 and you've got a wide variety of price points to choose from. The 3-9x scopes on the package model are at the low end of the magnification you really want for F Class, but if your eyes are young, you can make it work.
If your shooting locations aren't very windy or if you're just very good at reading the wind, a .223 at a given price point probably has more inherent accuracy than a .243 due to being less overbore and having greater stiffness in the action and barrel relative to the cartridge energy.
If your < $1000 includes the rifle, scope, and accessories, you may find yourself limited. If your < $1000 is just the rifle, you can do a lot more, probably find a suitable Savage 12 LRP.
The .223 will not be enough at 600 yards.
I live in Nebraska, and it is usually windy.
A bigger caliber with a better ballistic coefficient is in order.
The .260 and .243 appear to wear out barrels too fast for me.
A Savage gun does seem like a good starting point.
Which model I still do not know.
I will check out the 12 LRP.
I already own a suitable scope. It is a Bushnell 4300 Elite 8-32X.
I have a bipod and a rest.
This gives me my "under $1000 budget" is all about the gun and a bit of
starting ammo and/or loading supplies.
Now that I'm done building a .284cal long-range rifle, I'm interested in seeing how well I can do at F class myself. But due to the caliber, my only option would be the "open" F class, which is 600+yd only, I think. As far as I know, only .22 and .30 cal is allowed for the shorter range F class. And if I'm not mistaken, you can't shoot F class off of a bench, either. To score "hits", you need to tag targets that are 1moa in size, like 5"@500yd, 10"@1000yd.
I'd like to find out more about the sport myself, and if there are any F class ranges within reasonable driving distance from me. It's mostly mountains and valleys where I live (Appalachia).