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Field Rifle or Target Rifle?

 
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Old 02-05-2002, 09:03 AM
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Field Rifle or Target Rifle?

I'm curious how much distance a custom "field rifle" is good for as compared to the "target rifles" that the ultra long-range hunters are using. Without getting into a philosophical discussion let me say that personally I enjoy getting deep into the outdoors and I can't do that if my gear restricts me to a short distance from the 4x4. Since people have different ideas about what a field rifle is let's say 12 pounds maximum with optics. Of course, no bench or anything else that a hunter couldn't reasonably carry. I know the maximum distance really depends on the skill of the shooter, but I'm sure that after a certain distance it really becomes too difficult for the average good shooter without a heavy target rifle and all the associated gear. Also, I've learned from DC that without a spotter you're going to be limited even more. Thanks in advance for all the info. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-05-2002, 09:24 AM
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Re: Field Rifle or Target Rifle?

LRH

You can get quite a nice setup using factory configurations such as the Remington Sendaro, The Larado and others.
Bipods can be put on those and your total weight is cut back to about 12#--The 40X would be around 13 1/2lbs.

You can do quite well with these rifles out to 1000 yards. There are many 1000 yard matches where these rifle are being used in some classes.

If your going to be shooting from 100 to 700 or 800 yards you can practice and learn what your bullets do downrange and work up a click chart for them. You will be surprised what you can do with the above mentioned rifles.

I ALWAYS mention the spotter because, he is a VERY important part of the LR team. You will not ALWAYS be able to spot your own shot unless you have a muzzle break to tame some of the larger case recoil. Here is where the spotter comes into play.
You can do it without the spotter but, ONLY after you have practiced alot and know exactly what the rifle is capable of.

Without a spotter, your distance or yardage attempt should be reduced. You WILL know your limitations.

Without a spotter---Shorter distance
With a spotter------MUCH Longer distance

When we (Hunting partner and myself) back pack out on far ridges to set up, we go with lighter carry guns which have 30" tapered barrels of around 15# and bypods on them.

With the custom guns and longer barrels, you can get more velocity therefore your shooting and killing distance is increased. The added velocity will add to the energy downrange. A 26" factory barrel will not have
the velocity capabilities as say a 30" or 36" has.
So to sum up your question, the customs with longer barrels are capable of longer yardage kills over the factory configurations with 26" barrels. Not to mention, that most ALL custom barrels are more accurate then factory barrels to begin with. THIS is the major concern in LR hunting-----"Accuracy" plus RETAINED velocity downrange.

Darryl Cassel

[ 02-05-2002: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
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Old 02-05-2002, 09:51 AM
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Re: Field Rifle or Target Rifle?

LRH

There are a few options available so that you end up with a heavier and longer barrel and still a light rifle.

A bipod is not very heavy but you could learn to shoot over your daypack saving about .75 pounds.

I use very heavy tactical rings and bases, use lighter material and save some weight.

Find a light yet strong stock... as long as the foreend of the stock is strong enough to resist bending and touching the barrel you should be fine.

My heavier rifle is what most folks would call a target rifle (other's would call it a tactical rifle).

It's a 15 pound 338 RUM. It has a 27.5 inch fluted barrel. The muzzle diameter is .900 and the straight taper from 1.25 inch begins 3.35 inches in front of the recoil lug. This weight includes the bipod, Turner Saddlery Sling (military style), Eagle stock pack with notebook and pencil, scope (Leupold 3.5x10 Long Range M1), bases and rings. It's built on a H-S Precision PST05 stock, a heavy stock, and has a Dakota heavy steel floorplate. With the bipod and stock pack removed it weighs 13.75 pounds. With a little more weight skimping it could easily weigh 12 pounds.

This rifle setup can easily shoot to 1000 yards accurately.

[ 02-05-2002: Message edited by: Dave King ]
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Old 02-05-2002, 02:05 PM
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Re: Field Rifle or Target Rifle?

I think a key variable will be your caliber of choice. If you think you can do your business with a .308, then a Rem. 700 VSSF, scope, and bipod will total about 10lbs.

But if you want to bang with a .338, you will probably enjoy the heavier weight rifle to soften the recoil.

If you hunt from a benchtop overlooking an area, then you can expect to only have to carry your stuff there and back. If you hunt on foot, then you will carry it everyplace.
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Old 02-08-2002, 01:28 PM
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Re: Field Rifle or Target Rifle?

Thanks for all the great info. I appreciate how fortunate I am that I don't have to learn everything on my own through trial and error.

Darryl, Sounds like the factory HB rifles are much more capable then most of the people shooting them. About your 15# rifles. What kind of range are they good for? Are these realistically 1000 yard rifles or do you take shots way out there? I've heard that the lighter rifles can be as accurate as those 40+# monsters, but are extremely hard to shoot well past 1000 yards or so. ???

BTW: My starter rifle is a factory Sendero that I added a mcmillan stock and jewell trigger to. I'm sure it won't be long before I want an aftermarket barrel. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Dave, I was planning on upgrading to badger ord or night force bases and rings but I've heard they *are* heavy. I'm still using the factory floorplate is that bad?

Nate, thanks for the good info about recoil. At one time I was looking at the 300 ultra, but was scared away when I saw how much higher the recoil numbers, especially compared to the 300 win mags and 300 wea's. I don't mind shooting a 8# 300 wea, but a 300 RUM Sendero didn't sound like a lot of fun.

LRH (in training)

[ 02-08-2002: Message edited by: longrangehunter ]
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Old 02-08-2002, 01:56 PM
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Re: Field Rifle or Target Rifle?

LRH

I use the Badger rings and bases because they are dependable. I never worry about the scope being out of zero. They're heavier than many setups but worth it.

The factory floorplate is not a bad thing, I just use a Badger or Dakota cuz I'm pretty hard on my rifles. I broke a Rem floorplace at the trigger guard once and used duct tape to hold it together.

I really appreciate the "peace of mind" the extra durability offers.
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