I just found your site and plan on spending some time here. I am impressed. I am a newbe and I am looking at buying my first gun for long range shooting. Mostly target shooting now, I live in southern Illinois and other than coyotes and the occasional ground hog but not much else to hunt with this gun were I live.
I have been researching this for a good while now and I have a lower end budget, probably 1000 dollars plus or minus. I wish I could buy a custom build but that would probably be a mistake until I gain some experience and find out what I like and don't like.
Anyways, I have been looking at a bolt gun in 308. mostly Remington and Savages. I figured i would start basic and make modifications as i can afford to. For the most part I have set my mind on the Remington SPS Varmint or Tactical AAC-SD. With my first modification being a new stock. My biggest problem is the varmint has a 26" barrel at 1:12 and the Tactical AAC has a 20" barrel at 1:10. I cannot decide on what is the better route. I get very mixed answers when I research. The most common thing I have found is that the 1:10 is better for heavier bullets but the 26" barrel will be better for down range. I was hoping you could help shed some light on this.
I am open to any suggestions that you might have. Or other rifles that you think I should look into.
My next problem will be picking some glass in my budget. The Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40 is what has been suggested as best bang for your buck in my price range. I'm not sure if I want to go with a fixed power though.
Welcome. I have a Remington LTR (20" 1/10) in .308. It is a great rifle and I shoot 168gr gold medal match out of it. It is accurate but at 600 yards this bullet starts to tumble. I can't reliably get any further with this barrel/bullet combo. Inside of 600 I am good to go. If I loaded for a 20" barrel I could likely get to 1000 yards. It just depends on how far you want to go; 600 yards is a long way. If you want to go past that I would suggest a 24" or 26" tube.
I would suggest a fixed 10X super sniper from SWFA.com. I have several of them and they are excellent. I hunt with the 10X and have no complaints with a fixed power.
If I were to purchase a new rifle today, it would definitely be a Savage over a Remington. I have a few of both but Savage will be (in my opinion) more accurate and need less tuning up. I have a stock savage predator in .260 and I have taken it over 1000 yards with 0 modifications.
If long range is your ultimate goal, then look beyond your needs for today. The 308 is no slouch, but it gives up a lot in terms of performance at longer distances. For now, 600 yds sounds like a long way off, but you may just be surprised at how quickly that becomes a "chip shot" on large game.
I'm a longtime Rem fan, but recent purchases (incl. new SPS and Sendero models) have left me very dissatisfied. I am now a recent convert to the Savage line. If it were me, I would go with a 7 Mag, 6.5x284, 260 Rem or maybe even a 300 WSM.
Final piece of advice: Don't settle. Stay within your budget, but get exactly what you want. If you can't find the right combo in 308 - then wait. A used stick in 308 with your specs will come up for sale soon enough. Shooting is very much a mind game and you don't need any "what if" or "I wish I had" thoughts nagging at you every time you squeeze the trigger.
From all my research now, I figure i wll want to start work with 175 gr bullets and from my research it is better suited for a 1:10. But I was wondering about the 155 gr, from what I have been reading 1:10 can possible over spin this round and fragment the bullet. So is this a case where you have to go with one setup or the other? If so, I believe I will have to go with the 10 twist and 175 gr bullets. What size do you guys typically try to work with?
Why pick a whitetail deer caliber when you can't deer hunt with it in southern Illinois. There are lots of better choices than the 308. If you're going to shoot varmints, pick a .223, 22-250 or 243. If you're going to shoot long range, pick a 7 Mag, 300 Mag, or 338. If you want to do both, buy a 260, 6.5 creed more, 6.5-284 or 7 Dakota. Do some more research. There are a lot of better calibers out there.
WHEN YOU HUNT LONG RANGE, SOME TIMES THE SHOT IS THE TROPHY.