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Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

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Unread 12-19-2012, 12:15 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bismarck, ND
Posts: 54
Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

Hello everyone!

First post from a pistol guy that has been bitten by the long range bug! While LR shooting is very different from the pistol shooting Iím used to, I have really started to develop the same passion for it that I had/still have for pistols. I did a broad search, but couldnít find exactly what Iím looking for so I thought Iíd make this post.

I'm starting to get some ideas for my first LR gun, and want to make sure I'm headed down the right path. What Iím looking for from you guys with FAR more experience than I have, is some recommendations, or points to consider, based on the following criteria.

Intended Use:
Strictly a range gun. I'm not a hunter, and pretty sure I'll never turn into one!

Basic Criteria:
  • Looking for the best out of the box LR TARGET (ONLY) rifle Ė this will not be used for hunting.
  • We have 2 main ranges here, so distance is up to 1K yards. I would say about 60% of my range time will be at 100 yards (as that range is much closer to me), with the other 40% at distances up to 1K yards.
  • The 2 calibers Iím most familiar with are .223 (AR-15) and 300 WM.
  • I have some small children, and am working on a second business, so reloading is something I donít really have the time for right now. Thatís why Iím looking for the best out of the box Target caliber with factory loads. I *may* get into reloading at a later date, but weíre talking at least a year or two down the road.

Develop proficiency out to 1K yards, with the ability to *consistently* group .25 to .5 at 100 yards.

$2K to $3K range, trying to stay closer to the $2K, of course. I also have the mindset that the glass is going to cost about 2x what the rifle does to get the kind of accuracy Iím looking for.

Thanks again for your help, and please let me know if there is any other info you need, or criteria for me to consider

*Note: Sorry for the double post. I posted this in the other forum by mistake, but think it's a better fit here.
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  •   #2  
    Unread 12-19-2012, 12:52 AM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: Libby, MT
    Posts: 237
    Re: Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

    I started with a rem sendero in a 300 rum with a leupold VX-3 6.5x20 with target turrets and could consistantly hit a 12 x 14 inch plate at 1300 yards. I would say if you are familar with the 300 win go with that chambering in a sendero and get a leupold or even the Vortex Viper PST 6-24 and you have a great start under 2000 bucks.
    You should also look at a savage, not sure which model but I would go with a heavy barreled model. others on here will chime in, some will have good suggestions and others will confuse you with rifle and cartridge chamberings.

    you cannot go wrong with the 300 win mag, but since you don't reload they may be pricey to buy off the shelf. A smaller cartridge like the 6.5 creedmore or even the 260 rem may fit your bill also. My next lr rifle will be in one of the two. I would watch the guns for sale in the forums here for a couple of weeks and chances are you will probably see something you cant live without.
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    Unread 12-19-2012, 06:00 AM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Sep 2010
    Location: PA
    Posts: 326
    Re: Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

    6.5/284 maybe?
    Savage Arms
    Or a 300?
    Savage Arms
    I'm not a huge Savage fan,but I have had a few. Great out of the box accuracy. Berrels can be changed buy the owner with a couple tools and some common sense. Should you decide you want to cross over from say the 300 Win to the 338 Lapua or whatever catches your eye. When I was active in BR,we had a factory rifle class. Savage ruled the roost at least at our club.
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    Unread 12-19-2012, 06:44 AM
    Junior Member
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: wyoming
    Posts: 16
    Re: Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

    Although the 7 mag seems to have lost popularity recently i can say it is a great LR gun
    IMHO. The ammo is reasonable and readily available and because of the number of people opting for short mags you can find them used at good prices and use the money you save towards optics. Also keep recoil in mind as you are going to spend a lot of time
    practicing to be proficient at those ranges so a muzzle brake is a good option.
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    Unread 12-19-2012, 07:28 AM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Dec 2010
    Location: Alabama
    Posts: 108
    Re: Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

    300WM or 7 Mag, +1 on the sendero, also remington now makes the new XCR long range in 300wm and the sps long range in 300wm and 7 mag, the Vortex pst, hst, and leupold mark 4 lr/t, all great scopes.

    buying a factory rifle and expecting 1/2 or 1/4 moa from factory ammo could be hit or miss, you can buy a box or hornady, federal gold medal, or HSM match ammo, and the first brand and first box could shoot lights out 1/4 moa, or not then your off to try a new brand/bullet. and the 2nd choice shoot great, or 3rd, or 4th.... or all of it, or none at all. Every gun is different and if the first one dont shoot right your throwing $40-$60 a box trying to find one that will shoot in your rifle.

    an option to that,, you can select your caliber, select your bullet, and brass and its still going to cost you about the same as a box of match ammo, and you can select to receive a sample pack of 40rnds that are 10rnds of 4 different loads i believe... test those and get them to load the recipe they send you that shoots the best. the ammo may cost a little more but its cheaper in the long run than buying 20rnd box after 20rnd box trying ammo. of course with so many choices it can be dangerous to, just have t make sure you select a bullet that is a known shooter and not a "picky" bullet that will work well with the twist rate of your barrel. there are other custom ammo manufacturers out there that do the same i seen one a while back that send you a test pacl 1(different charge weight in each round) you select the charge weight you want thenn they send you test pack 2 that adjust the seating depth for that that charge weight and you choose what shoots best and have a custom recipe for your rifle without touching a reloading bench and they contine to send you the custom ammo when you need it and have your recipe for when you start pressing out your own one day.

    imo its just dangerous to throw that money into a rifle and expect a 1/2 or 1/4 moa gun from factory ammo. from personal experience i have bought rem sps tac and savage fcp-sr both .308 and federal gold medal match 168gr and both rifles would not shoot over a 1/2 moa... but i have also spent 3,800 on a custom build that sprayed factory ammo like a Woodmaster 742. I then investe din reloading equipment and that the best money ever spent(esp for this sport)
    If I had to choose between taking a civilian or POG on a patrol, I'd happily take the civilian. At least he hasn't made the conscious decision of being a coward in the military yet!"
    -Carlos Hathcock SS Vietnam USMC
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    Unread 12-19-2012, 10:29 AM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Apr 2012
    Location: The cold part of Montana
    Posts: 1,391
    Re: Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

    Savage Arms

    Vortex Viper PST Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 6-24x 50mm Side Focus First

    with one of these, most any make will do ya
    Harris S-BRM Bipod Leg Notch Sling Swivel Stud Mount 6 to 9 Black

    and a whole lot of this
    HSM Trophy Gold Ammo 6.5mm-284 Norma 140 Grain Berger Hunting VLD

    and run with it

    EDIT: If you know somebody that lives near you that s a long range shooter, bench rester that handloads you can always hit them up to load for you, then you get custom loads for your rifle at a minimum price
    Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

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    Unread 12-19-2012, 11:18 AM
    Bronze Member
    Join Date: Dec 2012
    Location: Bismarck, ND
    Posts: 54
    Re: Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

    Originally Posted by OneShot0351 View Post
    I then invested in reloading equipment and that the best money ever spent(esp for this sport)

    Thanks so much for the responses. I really appreciate it.

    After thinking this over, and talking to a friend of mine that is a reloader about the actual process, time and expense of reloading, I was really surprised to hear it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. The biggest thing with me is the lack of time, but after talking to my friend, it doesn't sound like the press is something you need to set up and tear down every time you use it. In fact, he mentioned that once it's set up, you can just knock some rounds out each night and stock yourself up for the next trip out to the range. That doesn't sound too bad. Plus the fact that I'm severely OCD, so having control over that part of the equation makes it even better!

    As far as the .25-.5 MOA stuff, I've heard of at least one manufacturer that has the .5 guarantee. I thought that meant just in stock trim, or with whatever glass they provided. I was thinking that spending some real $ on a great optic would make .5 the low end of the range, but it sounds like that might be a more realistic goal to shoot for once I have everything tuned for that gun.

    Speaking of which, that's what I'm looking to have happen, and I appreciate the info on that sight! Once I have the load(s) set up, I think I'm just going to really focus on working on my skills and not messing with a gun that is far more accurate than I am.

    So after this new info, here's another question for you guys.

    If I take on the reloading part, does that make the .25 MOA a lot more realistic, or is it still a high bar?
    Tactical Texture and triggers
    ÖAnother Level Of Perfection
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