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help- just starting out

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Old 03-05-2011, 06:06 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 30
help- just starting out

I am trying to decide which way to go. I currently have 2 rifles that I could spend some money on and upgrade components or I could start over from scratch on a long range rifle.

Rifle #1 is a ruger m77 mkii .280 remington which I have already dropped a timney trigger into and it has a 3-9X40 nikon scope on it. Pretty accurate for my usual deer hunting distances. 300 and in. Shoots 1.5" at 100. This is my deer rifle that I use all the time and really like.

Rifle #2 is a remington m700 BDL .243 which I have had the stock trigger adjusted to an acceptable pull. It is topped with a 4.5-16 nikon scope. Again pretty accurate rifle shoots around 1.5" at 100 yards.

I have some funds to spend but not an unlimited budget. I know that both rifles are somewhat marginal accuracy wise if I try and stretch the distance further than 300. I have a couple places I deer hunt where I could shoot 500 yards if I had the confidence and equipment to do so. Also am planning on going out west for antelope and eventually Elk.

So my options would be to restock and/ or put an aftermarket barrel on one of these ( and bed the rifle). Which option would you think would be the best upgrade/ bang for the buck.

I thought about purchasing a stevens for a build but from what I can tell it appears that aftermarket stocks are somewhat scarce for a short action stevens. Unless one wants a laminate stock and I would prefer a synthetic one.

What would you do in my position?
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:43 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
Posts: 1,788
Re: help- just starting out

Are the 1.5" groups with good handloads or factory ammo? Do you handload?

If that's with factory ammo and you haven't tried some handloads, then the 280 could very well be enough gun for LR out to the 500 yds you mention with good accurate handloads. Personally, I'd put a higher powered scope on it, maybe swap the scopes you have? I consider 1 moa about the maximum for shooting beyond 300 on big game. I actually prefer 1/2-3/4 moa max and have been able to get a few factory rifles (slightly modified) to regularly shoot this and quite easily with good handloads.........I am talking about 3/4 moa at 300 and 400 yds too, not just at 100.

Just one guys opinion, but here's some other options too; if you don't want to spend the $$'s on a full blown custom LR rig.

First, you could take the remington and have a match grade or custom barrel threaded on and have it bedded. Could also have it blueprinted/accurized if you wanted to. Caliber options would be something like 7-08, 260, 6.5X47 Lapua, 308, 6.5-284 ect. Alot of gunsmiths will work on Remingtons, not necessarily so with Rugers. Stock doesn't necessarily need replaced, but you could if wanted. New stock or not, quality bedding job is very important IMO.

Second, and probably a little more $$'s in the long run; you could buy another factory rifle that is more tailored to long range. Rem Sendaro, Weatherby Sub MOA, Savage makes some too. I am sure there are others that I am not thinking of at the moment.

Third, and most expensive is do a full blown custom rig. Mine have cost $3K and above without optics.

Best O Luck,
Aim small = Miss small

Last edited by SBruce; 03-05-2011 at 06:46 PM. Reason: additions
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 2,233
Re: help- just starting out

i would sell number 1. keep number 2. get a remington sendero in the caliber of your choice. start reloadink. funds short put the 3-9 on the .243. put the higher power on the sendero.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 2,233
Re: help- just starting out

you could re barrel the 243 to 6.5-284 single shot.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:49 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,214
Re: help- just starting out

Since you like the Ruger, keep it and use it for your 'carry' gun.

Then take the Remington and have it rebarreled. Choose a short-action cartridge that you like. Since you say that you would eventually like to hunt elk with it, 300WSM comes to mind. You will also want to get yourself a decent stock for it and bed the action into it.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,028
Re: help- just starting out

The Stevens short action can be put into any stock that fit the Savage short action. There are a lot of options out there. I have the Bell and Carlson Medalist A2 for my Savage short action. It's a nice stock for the money, very rigid. You would want to put a better trigger on it as well. I'm a huge Savage fan and that is a direction I would want to go for an inexpensive build. I have the tools for putting on and taking off the barrels. It's a relatively easy process.

But since you have a Remington action, sinking the money in to that would be a great plan. Not sure what your money situation is like, but you could get the fully adjustable A5 Bell and Carlson from Stocky's stocks, true up the action, and rebarrel for probably around a $1000 or less depending on who does the work. Then looking into a good scope would be my next option for LR work. Anything in the 5-15 or 3.5-10 range will work. If you like Nikon's, the Buckmaster 4.5-14x40 with the side focus is a great scope. I have one and its been used hard. If you plan on going longer, then look into scopes with a minimum of 18x.

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Old 03-06-2011, 07:48 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 30
Re: help- just starting out

okay switched scopes out today and will try and find time to take them to the range and re-zero. I have been slowly acquiring reloading equipment and just need to build a work bench and can get started. Probably start with a B&C stock of somekind and bedding. See what that does for accuracy and then think about a new barrel as the next step.

Thanks for the ideas.
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