I am looking into purchasing a rifle so that I can learn how to accurately engage targets at longer ranges. I know the basics of shooting, however I know very little about equipment... Between the 300, 308, and 338, and the various brands/models I am lost on where to start. I know that at longer ranges Optics become a large part of being able to hit anything, I think, but right now I just want to get a rifle I can start to learn with. I have been looking into the Benelli R1 rifles, because I love my Benelli 12 gauge, but I dont know if there is something maybe cheaper, better, or more user friendly? Please Help!
I am probably the wrong person to respond, since I am primarily a deer/elk hunter simply looking to "stretch" my effective range. I have 3 rifles, of which only 1 has anything that it didn't come from the factory with. All three shoot sub-moa to 600-800 yards, but not necessarily 1/2 minute.
I mention this because what your "goal" is might help with the answer. For example, since I live in Idaho and hunt in some insane mountains, carrying a 12lb gun at 46 years of age is not that appealing to me.
So, are you mostly looking to learn to shoot or hunt long range? If your a hunter, will you be carrying the gun a lot and is weight likely an issue? If you hunt will you be hunting only deer, or will elk and other large game(bear, moose, etc) part of your plan? Do you reload or do you plan to? How recoil sensitive are you, you mentioned .30's and bigger, so I hope not much.
Here is some of the advice you are likely to hear:
If you plan to hunt, particularly anything larger than deer, at distances that exceed say 800 yards, then yes a .30 or a .338 would be a better choice, though since I am a die hard 7mm man I would argue that isn't the case.
I was a die hard anti-brake guy until I got my first gun with a brake and not I am a die hard brake fan. 2 reasons. First, the recoil reduction is very helpful for range time. Second, spotting shots at long distance is extremely helpful. But never forget your hearing protection.
Don't go get a big fast .30 or .338(or maybe 7mm) and put it on a 22" or 24" barrel, you just loose too much speed and negate the benefit it brings.
I know you asked about guns not all this other stuff, but this is what will help you make your decision.
Once you pick a caliber to fit what your needs are, you will decide on a factory available one or a Wildcat.
For factory calibers I would look for first tier options to include Savage, Tikka, Howa/Weatherby Vanguard, and Remington. I think the concensus is the first 3 are good values and all have reputation to shoot out of the box. Remington is simply the easiest to semi or full custom, followed by Savage. Savage also chambers a number of models is 6.5x284, a good LR option.
I think for about $1200-$1500 you could pick up a fairly LR ready Savage, add good Talley rings, and a Vortex HS series scope and be ready to go shoot as far as someone with your experience can realistically handle and expect with no more than a little experimenting with different factory loads or reloads to be sub moa.
You can make an argument for many manufacurers, for example I have and love my Sako, but I would start with the 4 above for simplicity.
For realistic 1/2 moa, especially at long distance or with minimal load development, you will need to look into custom barrel, stock, trigger, and likely an accurized action at about $2500 bucks. You will likely need a few months to a year to be able to get it all done. I think if you find this will be a true passion you will have wished you started here, with the best.
Squirrel- i would get a rem 700 adl varmint with a 4-12 , from dicks in either 308 or 243. i would start reloading. you can spend more, but you will get shooting and learning sooner. BKON- i carried a 700 sendero on my rocky mtn bighorn hunt it has a muzzle break . it weighs quite bit. it was a tough call because i have a 700 ti that is light, and a 700 mtn that is light. but they can't be reliably hit one at 759.
Savage fhss or rem 700 cal. will be dependent on weather you reload or not for example 308 270 30/06 very easy to find ammo were as WSMs weatherby mags less common rounds but what ever you decide keep the future in mind. good luck and happy hunting.
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Good Morning All,
Thank you all for your replies. It took me a bit to look up all the terms and try to get a better grip on your answers. I still have much to learn; however, I do have a better understanding of what I will need. I purchased a Benelli and I took your advice and went with the .300 as opposed to the .338. I wanted this rifle for deer hunting, and target shooting in up state NY.
bkondeff: I believe this system fits the parameters, as I understood them...
Lite Weight (7.3 lbs)
1 for 100 moa, I think?
A Break to dampen recoil
Ability to be customized
I stuck with Benelli strictly out of personal preference. I love the two shot guns I have by them too much!
But I stuck with the .3 over the 7mm because it seemed to be more common for ease of finding ammunition, magazines, and so on. I do have to say I don't fully understand the barrel lengths and how the effect the shot... this rifle has a 24" barrel.
Thank you all again for the help! Now I have to try and figure out a scope and ammunition, do you have any thoughts?
The best factory ammo for gun is determined by the rifle preference. the 190 matchking from federal should be reall good for targets. for deer maybe some of the berger from hsm. for a scope i like leup and i like the higher power ( 6.5-20) and i like a turret/ kenton knobb matched to my load. a 4.5-14 for a scope or higher
My rem 700 XCR Long Range Tactical in .308 is amazingly accurate. With good consistent handloads I shoot 1/4-1/2 MoA all day long. This rifle sells for 1050-1100 street price, if you can swing it I highly recommend for an intro rifle.
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