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Best Long Range Target Rifle...?

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Unread 01-04-2008, 03:35 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Best Long Range Target Rifle...?

Afternoon all, I have been wanting to get a good, reliable, factory target rifle for awhile now. I have experience with weapons but I am looking for advise and suggestions on the best out of the box rifle and some good, consistent factory ammo. I have been thinking about the .204 for light recoil, high velocity, and flatter trajectory but if anyone has a reason why this wouldn't be good I am more than open to sugestions. I am not big into hunting so this is primarily going to be a paper puncher unless a stray groundhog would happen its way into my crosshairs. I am looking for something that would reach out to 5-600 yards. I was looking at a T/C Encore single shot the other day but here a lot of good things about Remington and Savage. I have a Savage 12 in .223 that I like but must not have found the right ammo for it as it is not as accurate as I would like. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated!!!
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Unread 01-04-2008, 04:15 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Billings, Montana
Posts: 149
I have a .204 in a remmy LVSF that consistantly shoots 1/2" or a little better with the factory Hornady 32 gr. V-max. It doesn't like the 40 gr. bullets at all (to slow of twist I think), but thats OK, its built to shoot those little bullets. Don't know about 5-600 yards but I know it does really bad things to ground squirrels at 350 yards.

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Unread 01-04-2008, 06:51 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,075
Csteiner, welcome to the site.

I don't trust any out of the box rifle to be accurate. Some are, most aren't. I would watch the for sale forum for rifles that are proven to be accurate. IMO, you get a known quantity from a member, usually at a good price.

I would look for 7mm cal minimum for a 500-600yd rifle. Also my opinion. See my signature.

Good luck, Tom
Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member

A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time
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Unread 01-04-2008, 07:10 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
A 22 long rifle will reach 600 yards, it will just take a while and not be very accurate. Even the fastest 22 cal will be very seseptible to wind at 600 yards. You might look at something like 243 or bigger/ faster, something that can handle the heavier bullets for range. Remington, tikka, Savage, winchester all have potential with bedding and trigger jobs. I know Tikka garantee's 1 inch - 3 shot group with premium ammo out of the box. I have mine shooting around half that with handloads. There are lots of variables, more power equals more recoil. more speed equals shorter barrel life.

I just noticed you specified factory ammo. You can ge lots of match grade ammo for 223 and 308.
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --

Last edited by britz; 01-04-2008 at 07:20 PM.
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Unread 01-05-2008, 08:44 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,777
You have just described the Savage FTR in 308 with 30" barrel if you do not reload. you can get it for around $950 on Savage Shooters

308 is great to 600 yards, quality reloads from Black Hills is available if you do not reload. Barrel with last 4000 rds plus.

Here is the real benefit. You can buy a $8 set of barrel vise blocks and $30 Barrel wrench from SharpShooter Supply and change your own barrels.

I just picked up a like new Shilen 26" heavy barrel already chambered and threaded in 6mm BR 1-8 twist for $225 and threaded it on by Savage model 12 BVSS this afternoon.

IMO the 6mm BR is the cheapest and easiest target round for 600 yds and even out to 1k with an 1-8 twist barrel. Death on ground hogs with 87 Vmax also.

The 308 and 6mm BR are both short action, so barrels will interchange on the savages.

Learn to reload and go with a 6mm BR though.

You will not regret it.

If you want to go with the 6mm BR now, then look on www.6mmbr.com and savageshooters.com at their classifieds and you can always pick one up for $800-1400. Watch the twist though. you want either the 1-8, 1-9, or no more than 1-10.. The 1-8 would be my choice.

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Unread 01-06-2008, 12:45 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chelan Co, Washington
Posts: 554
A second on the idea of buying a Savage for a factory-built target rifle. A strong second. Not only are they very owner-friendly, but they typically demonstrate excellent out-of-the-box accuracy. Only recently introduced, they've already made their mark on national level F-class competition.

If I was starting over in precision rifle shooting - I'd likely grab a Savage.

About cartridge choice: I don't know anyone using a .204 Ruger in competition, but I'm sure it's been done, somewhere by someone. First off - it's probably important to determine what kind of target shooting you want to do - then get the rifle to fit. A wide range of rifles can be used - earlier today we had a friendly little 600 yard practice/match. Several different rifles were used, from a little 6.5x47 on a Stiller action, to a .338 Lapua mag on a BAT action, with a couple of .308's between. Typically when I'm helping someone get started in precision rifle shooting, I recommend a .308 Win, for several reasons:

1. Accurate ammo is easy to buy, and easy to load. No real tricks to this one.
2. Barrel life is exceptional.
3. Recoil is modest, yet it performs fine out to 1000 yards.
4. Once the .308 barrel is toast, it's easy to swap to something else, should that strike your fancy.

The .223 is another great cartridge to start with, for many of the same reasons.

Regards, Guy
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Unread 01-06-2008, 09:58 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Best Long Range Target Rifle..

Thanks for the suggestions thus far. As mentioned in my initial question, I currently have a Savage Model 12VLP in .223. I love the rifle but was not getting very good groups out past 200yds. Doing more research on this site, I'm now wondering if I am just not using the right ammo??... What factory ammo and grain would anyone suggest?? I believe I have a 1:9 twist. I'm not really worried about a heavy bullet for hunting. I also have another thread about bedding the action. Is that something that is really worth the time? I figure it must be if it is being done but I'm curious as to what better performance I can expext by doing this and if a novice such as myself should attempt it..??? Thanks again and happy shooting!!
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