Re: Another Newbie needs help finding a rifle
I'll say this first, only because it's most important you approach this from a responsible dirrection from your begining into this most personally rewarding endevour. Out to 300-400 yards, maybe 500 or so, you might be close enough in judging range after some good experimentation with your rangefinder, but out there and beyond that it is way to tricky to accurately guess within 50 yards, sometimes even 150-200 yards even. After you study ballistics out there at those distances for a little while, one soon comes to the only logical conclusion possible; The range must be within 25 yards, better to be within 10-15 if you're gettin on near 1000 yards away, or you simply hit too high or low no matter what MV and BC you're running. Once you hit an animal, and you know it was just fool luck you did, either because you guessed close, walked the rounds in when you found out you were wrong on the first one... or two... or three, or you wound one and it runs off on you or just lays there and suffers makin you feel real bad about your decision to take the questionable shot... You will start to rethink your approach to long range hunting and what you really want to do the next time you're faced with that decision. Do I prepare more by buying better gear to increase my "effective" range, use a better rest to put it all together, determine my rifle and my capability at any range with enviromental conditions I plan on hunting in, or just do what any person with a rifle and ammo can do, nearly ignore the most important variable in long range by guessing, sprayin and prayin.
If you have any self respect, and pride yourself in placing a killing shot every time you pull the trigger, which I'm guessing you do, you'll never be satisfied with taking a shot with a rifle, load and range that you are not totally confident in.
Guys here will hunt with a proven rig, load, and range verification, all within the abilities they've proven to themself to be 100% successful at day in and day out.
If anyone didn't have a rangefinder and mentioned they were thinking they'd be OK guessing at 500-600 yard shots until they did, they'd get the same thoughtful replies, so at 1000 yards or a bit more is mentioned, it's more than necessary to point out the problems in detail.
I'd buy the Lieca 1200 Scan model, THEN either a B&L 3200 or 4200 Elite, new Leupold VX-3, then get a rifle you prefer. $1500 will easily buy all three, plus a Harris bipod I wouldn't be without.
I looked at the new Leupold VX-3 4.5-14 with the B&C reticle, it has finger adjustable turrets. It also has 70 MOA vertical adjustment from stop to stop, more than it was rated for.
I wouldn't sweat going with a Savage one bit, but a 300 mag would be my choice. The 300 Ultra with the brake, kicks less than an '06 but way more retained energy near 1000 yards, and MUCH less wind drift. And wind drift will be your range limiting factor.
One note - I get 600 yard readings from my Bushnell YP1000 LRF routinely, often out to 800 with a little patience. When it isn't too bright out, near dawn and dusk it will go past 1000 pretty easy, and in lower light it's went to 1400 yards on certain objects, 1200-1300 on many. A friend's Lieca 1200 was a bit better than mine when we compared them once during the day at 600-1000 yards.