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Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

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Unread 03-07-2013, 04:42 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

I'm looking for My first long range hunting and target shooting.
I don't plan on shooting much over 500 yards.
I plan on hunting Deer,elk,moose and antelope with it.

what caliber would work for that? I've only looked into 300 win mag and the 7mm rem mag. and like both of them.

For rifles I looked at the Tikka t3, Winchester model 70 (post 64 models) and Weatherby vanguard.
But i cant decide which one. or maybe i Should go with a different brand/model.
Weight doesn't really matter I'm used to carrying pretty heavy guns.
my budget for the rifle is $700.

I have no clue what to look for in scopes but my budget is $300.

Thanks for the help.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 07:40 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Central AZ
Posts: 1,150
Re: Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

Welcome to the LRH! Lots of good info along your line of questioning if you use the search function.

Either the 7 Mag or 300 Mag will be good on the animals mentioned to 500 yards (or for that matter: 800 yds for 7 mag and 100 yds for 300 Mag).

With $700 as a rifle budget, your best out-of-the-box accuracy will be a Savage, or possibly a Tikka. The Savage platform has more after-market offerings.

A $300 scope budget is a little more limiting than the rifle budget. Look for a used scope, rather than new, as you will get better quality and bang for your buck. If you plan on dialing up for your longer shots, then you need repeatability. This means Leupold VX3, Sightron SIII, Vortex Viper PST, etc. There was a thread here on LRH about lower end scopes that performed well. Use the search function and you will find it. Good luck. Let us know what you end up with.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 09:17 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 3,226
Re: Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

the tikka and a leup vx-3 in 3.5-10 ( used around 300) . 30-06 , 280 , 7mm mag or 300.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 09:21 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 3,226
Re: Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

for long range the answer is- a remington sendero and leup 6.5 to 20. i doubt a factory sporter weight gun will get you there. the tikka is a nice light carry gun. the sendero is better for targets and logn range.
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Unread 03-08-2013, 09:58 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pa.
Posts: 110
Re: Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

I would keep a eye on the used racks. I was at a gunshop just a couple of months ago and spotted a used Sendaro in 7mm for $700.

I like the Savage LRH for a factory long range rig. It's a little over your budget but worth saving a few more dollars for. Very accurate and almost the perfect weight for carrying without being too heavy.

As far as optics, put the money towards the optics. Quality glass pays for itself. The clarity and precise movement in the turrets make or break a long range shot.
A little bit of fire burns alot of wheat.

Hey now, one time i reached down to pet a little dog and it was a 5lbs squirrel - Si Robertson
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Unread 03-08-2013, 07:55 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise IDAHO
Posts: 838
Re: Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

You mentioned $700 on gun and $300 on scope =$1000 To shoot out to "not much over 500 yards" on targets as tough as elk and moose.
If that was my budget and my intension for this project: 300 win mag. New plain jane savage to be upgraded later or tikka to use as is= $500. That leaves $500 for the scope and bumps the capabilities of the whole system up a notch above your 7/3 split. If you can get it up to a 7/7 split you will be really well equipped.
The scope will make a bigger difference than the rifle will in overall repeatability of the system. A mediocre rifle with great optics would be better than a really nice rifle with mediocre optics, and for 500+/- either the savage or tikka should perform admirably and then some.
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Unread 03-09-2013, 01:46 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,132
Re: Gun,scope and Caliber for a newbie?

If thats your budget I would go with something very easy to find upgrades for (savage or remmy). Your scope should cost as much or more than your rifle. You can do a lot of things to a cheap gun to make it shoot, the same connot be said about scopes.

I put together a pretty wicked coyote rifle for a total of $1150 CAD, including dies and mounts. It was in a .243, but you could easily find a 300win or 7rem mag for the same price.

Local sports store was selling Remington SPS's for $515 (up here thats a good price), so I picked on up. I tore the stock apart, and using steel and fiberglass, turned that cheap stock into a decent feeling thumbhole. I bedded it with JB weld (ok for smal stuff but use devcon or similar for any magnum), and opened the barrrel channel WAY up. Injection moulded stocks move a ton, so I made it so there was 3/16" gap on both sides of the channel. **This seems a little extreme, but when I was hunting yotes in -32*C there wasnt even 1/16" on the one side and a big gap on the other.**
From there I bought some leupold mounts, simply because I couldnt get anything else in my location. I buy Warne or Talley for budget stuff if I have the choice. I mounted a Vortex viper PST 2.5-10x44 to that and started load development.

Using 95grian bergers and 4350 I have been able to hold 1MOA or better to 800 yards depending on wind (maybe a bit more if its gusty). I really like the PST's for an entry level scope, they have all the bells and whisles that a true LR tactical scope needs, you can even get them in FFP. And yes, 10x is great to 1K.

It is easy to upgrade from here with stocks, triggers, bolt knobs, muzzle breaks.... and it can all come in time once you have a good foundation. The first thing I would replace is the stock unless the trigger is brutal. laminates are very good for the money and most people can do the woodwork themselves.
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