I am not new to hunting, hunted since i was 12. My dad has always bought me Rem 700 .270's and I've shot out to 200 or so yards.
I really want to start shooting some serious long range. And by long range i am willing to practice as much as it takes to shoot further and further; 1500 yds and beyond.
So, what i would like is advice on gun makers, calibers, optics, hand-loading, custom components like barrels,triggers, etc. Pros and Cons for each. maybe there is a section on this website where this is already detailed but i haven't seen it.
On a side note, this will be both for hunting big to small-game and for target shooting. I don't mind heavy guns at all as a matter of fact i prefer them. Just so much more stable at long distances. So a well rounded firearm.
The lack of match quality low drag bullets for the 270 leaves this one out. The 25-06 has only one vld bullet available Berger 115gr with a BC of.522.In my Ruger KM77VT it will shoot 3300fps with a stout load of vhit N165 Fed.GM215.It works for me for any thing out to 12 to 1300yds.Elevation here 5000 ,and have shot it at 11000 in the high country. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: need EVERYone\'s advice on gear
Ric summed it up very nice.
I too jumped in head first with a wild cat (at the time) It was the 30-378 Wby mag. That was a really bad idea. I never hunted with it and then sold it. I went to the 308 win and to this day its my favorate case. 1500 yards is way out there even for seasoned shooters. I would recomend the goal of 1500 yards to be a few years off. Start at 300 or 400 and gradualy work up from there. The 300 RUM and 338 LM and wild cats along the same lines as those factory rounds can handle 1500 yards nicley
As far as gear, for a beginner there is nothing wrong with a factory rifle. The 700's are a favoraite of many LR shooters. The Savages are also popular. When you cant shoot any farther than your factory 308 can, then go with a custom rifle in a bigger class of your well researched choice. It is very possible to shoot 1K with a factory 308.
Bi-pods make a huge differance as well as a rear stabilizer. DO NOT underestimate the value of quality scopes.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
I tend to follow the opinions of the previous posters, with a couple of exceptions.
If you don't handload, or aren't going to for a while, the 308 is a great choice. you might also consider the 260 Rem or the 7mm08. Both of these cases will drive bullets with high BCs very fast. I believe that they are ballistically superior to the 308.
That being said, my first longrange gun was a (and my primary gun remains to be) a 300WM. I might get flamed for this, but I have long maintained that the 300WM is the most versitle cartridges ever created***disclaimer*** if you handload. With the 220SMK, the 300WM will do 1500 and more, but is easy to load down to 308Win velocities with the same bullet weight. Just because your Ferrari will do 260mph, don't mean you have to drive it that fast. The load that I did my "learning" on was a 175SMK driven to 2670 (basically duplicating 308 velocity.) Not long after that, my 300WM started edging into my 22lr's job too. The varmit hunting that was once done with my mossberg 22 rifle, is now done by a 90gr Hornady xtp pistol bullet over a reduced load of SR 4759 at 1860fps.
I like to get all the use I can out of that expensive scope, trigger, stock ect...
There are many claimed drawbacks to the 300wm.
Barrel life is less than the 308, but not by a lot if you don't open the throttle all the time. My current barrel has 1412rds of full power ammo, 370rds of "308" class ammo, and 720rds of my 90gr loads fired through it. My last LR group, a few days ago was 3shots in 8.5" at 1350yds.
Recoil is also heavier than 308, even when using loads generating 308 velocities, but the differance is only really on paper with heavy rifles. Ive never notticed the diferance.
One final thought, decide what you are going to do with the gun, and make some realistic predictions about what purpose it will serve. I know people with $6000 custom rifles that set in the safe 364 days out of the year because they are too specialized to use or practice with regularly. Its possible to build or buy a no compromise 100-1500yd rifle, it just won't be chambered for the .338thermonuclearnitroloudenboomer.
Be conservative, and start handloading asap.