Thank y'all for your feedback on HS Precision. From the mixed responses, I'm not sure what to think. Maybe y'all could futher clarify, or confuse me by telling me where to go for the most accurate out of the box, long range hunter under $5K. Thanks again! Tommy [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Jeff Hicks is the gunsmith and turns out an excellent product. None of the problems associated with mass produced guns will be found with his work. He also uses Lothar Walther stainless barrels which are tremendously accurate, as well as lasting longer than any other stainless.
The Remington Sendero. Get it in either a carbon steel (matte black) barrel w/carbon steel action, or in the VSSF (w/stainless action and stainless fluted barrel).
Wholesale price of about $650 - $700 (VSSF).
Comes with an H-S Precision stock. Torque the triggerguard screws to 65 INCH lbs.
This rifle, with proper (match grade) ammo should be capable of 3/4 moa (for five shot groups). Show me a custom riflemaker that will offer a guarantee to beat that, for less than $2,500!
Lothar Walther barrels last longer? Haven't seen ANY factual evidence of that. (And there are LOTS of variables that affect barrel life... it would need to be a carefully controlled experiment to prove anything...) But they do cost a good bit less than some other brands, so they are probably worth checking out if you need a custom barrel down the road.
If you buy a Sendero, don't let anybody talk you out of using it in the factory condition until you determine whether it meets your accuracy requirements. Adjust the trigger pull weight to about 2.25 lbs (easily and safely done), do the barrel break-in bit, and you will have yourself an excellent rifle (chances are) for an exceedingly good price.
it's not about need in the USA -- it's about WANT
I have strongly considered the Sendero. The HS Precison however does guarantee 1/2 MOA for $1850. Granted, this is for "select" match loads. But so much wisdom from this LRH site advocates SMKs for hunting. Then there are the increasing number of high BC plastic tips to be tried. If I purchased an HS, and it shot 1" groups with SMKs, I'd send it back. Is this a bad deal? Tommy
I have watched the test shooter at HS check each new rifle. He shoots in a 100 yard underground tunnel, electic target advance and also a video camera setup that enables him to move horizontal and vertical lines and determine group size very accurately without having to go down and remove the target.
Most shooting was with factory ammo although he has a dandy reloading setup right there. I think it would be correct to say that he shoots Federal Gold Medal .308's a lot - that is what he was shooting the times I was down in the range.
I am confident that he will NOT allow a rifle to leave until it passes the 3 shots into sub. half inch criteria - I think that he sends a printout of the target with the load with each rifle.
Excuse my candor, but three shot groups are not that big of a deal, and to put them into 1/2" at 100 yards is fairly common, esp. with Sierra Match King loads. :-)
I'm not impressed with any custom riflemaker that bases a guarantee on three shots, unless its applicable to a lightweight hunting rifle w/light contour barrel. For a long range setup, a Sendero will get it done, believe me, and with match loads, like SMKs, you will be delighted with the five shot groups you can achieve. For paper-target work (don't know how they perform on game animals) you should also consider the Hornady AMAX. Excellent, consistent sub-moa in my rifles.
My price info was a bit off on the Sendero -- the regular version is even a better deal: $550 wholesale for the basic Sendero, and add twenty bucks for the newer Remington Ultra Mag calibers. The stainless fluted version will cost $100 more, at wholesale.
If you want to further stretch your budget, contact MidSouth Shooters and get a Leupold 'LR' base (one piece type, compatible with Redfield style rings) for about $17.00. This base has a forward taper, to add about 15moa to your scope's own adjustment range. Then, get the Burris Signature rings, which can be had with offset inserts to further increase your scope's elevation capabilities (and windage even, depending on what you need).
These rings will cost you about $25 in the one-inch size, and $36 in the 30mm size.
Top it off, if you dare, with a Tasco SS16x42 or SS20x42 (an excellent, top quality scope built to meet/exceed military specs), which can be had from SWFA for about $300 new, or a bit less on the 'hardly used' market.
These scopes feature a 30mm one piece maintube, fully multicoated optics, etched glass mil-dot reticle (which can be used for holdover AND range estimation if you like), and parallax adjustable, with target knobs. Completely waterproof, and the best value in the optics world that I've yet seen (and used!). Bill Wylde (of 'Spacegun' fame) has used one of these (in 20x) for two years running to finish in the top group at the prestigious Canadian Fullbore Championships, and he knows his equipment. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
So, for 'Value', get a Sendero and the bits described above, and you will have less than $1,500 into the whole rig, with money left over for best quality ammo, bipod, and range time.
Lastly, Jacob Gottfredson, writer for Precision Shooting magazine and 'The Accurate Rifle', used a factory unmodified Sendero to place in the top four in the National 1,000 yard benchrest championships a few years back.
Think about it! I've got custom rifles too, but these Rem 700 heavier barreled rigs can really be surprisingly good. My VSSF (in .308) is a proven winner, and I wasn't shooting against guys using SKS rifles either. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Good luck, whatever you decide.
it's not about need in the USA -- it's about WANT
We at Wind River Precision build long range hunting systems. These include the rifle, scope, ammo, and custom Bullet Drop Compensator made for each system. The complete system is expensive ($4500 for base system) but delivers the best value anywhere. E-mail me if you want more info on specs, options, and or references. We also have some video tapes of hunts with our systems with kills over 1000 yds. We have been doing this for a while for a small client base but have decided to expand the rifle building side. email@example.com