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Newbie in search of first long range rifle

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Unread 12-27-2008, 11:45 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6
Newbie in search of first long range rifle

Hello, Looking for help in picking out a good first rifle to set up for long range.
Mostly would be used for deer and coyotes but i would like to keep the option open if i ever did get a chance to go hunt elk or a black bear i could use the same rifle with only having to up the bullet weight if needed.
I've been told to get a magnum as it holds up better beyond 400 yards.
I would like to keep the price less than 1000.00 in the entire setup.
Some of the ones I have been looking at are...

Savage with accura-trigger
Ruger M77 Hawkeye

As far as optics i dont even have a clue where to begin in looking for a long range scope. All I have ever used on my hunting rifles are tasco 3x9x40's.
As far as ammo I will be reloading my own so any information on this will be very helpful in regards to good bullets and powder combos.
I know there are probably a bunch of things i missed so let me know of anything else that would be helpful to you....Thanks

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Unread 12-28-2008, 07:50 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Potters Hill, NC
Posts: 1,726
Re: Newbie in search of first long range rifle

Hey Randy,
Welcome, those rifles you listed will, with the right scope and cartridge/loads, probably get you where you are trying to go with this. I don't have any experience with the Tikka's. I've heard a lot of good about them though. The Savage's I know and like, however I have only owned the heavy barrel (HB) models. They are stable and accurate. Savage has come a long way toward improving their rifles (triggers/stocks) and customer satisfaction in the last 5 yrs. I have owned 110FP's in .223 Rem and 7mmRM and currently own a 112 BVSS in .300WM. They all shot/shoot sub-1/2" with handloads.
I have owned, and currently own, the HB models in Remington (Sendero, PSS & VS) and Winchester (70SA HVB & Coyote) and am well pleased with their performance and accuracy. Everyone of them was purchased "used" for between $500-600 and all are capable of extreme accuracy (sub 1/2") with bullets/loads they prefer.
For scopes, I usually try to stick with Leupold. They aren't the best out there, but well within my grasp if I save. They are quality glass and have great warranties. For LR work the 3-9X40 "Thrash-co" budget scopes ain't gonna cut it. Not trying to offend anyone by that statement just my opinion. There are other scopes out there worth looking into; I've heard good about the Bushnell Elite series, Nikon Monarch's and the Super Sniper's.
As for caliber, that's a huge subject. For the animals you listed I wouldn't go below 7mmRemMag. Not sure how you are with recoil but get all the gun you can comfortably shoot and practice as much as you can. Good Luck. JohnnyK.
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Unread 12-28-2008, 09:34 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: sw georgia
Posts: 176
Re: Newbie in search of first long range rifle

i agree with johnny. i would go with the savage in a 7mm or .300 mag. thatll set you back about 550. as far as optics are concerned, tascos are fine on a 22 rf at 50 yds for a truck gun. there are many scopes that you can get for $450 that will keep you at the 1 grand mark. bushnell elite 3200 & 4200, super sniper, some leupys, burris, sightron sii and the list goes on. you dont want to try and save money on the optics. go with the best you can afford for what you intend to shoot. good luck, jason
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Unread 12-28-2008, 11:38 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6
Re: Newbie in search of first long range rifle

Thanks for the replies. after doin some talking to with some dealers today I think im prolly gonna go with the remington 700 stainless or the savage. I have a friend who has a savage with the accura-trigger and i like the way it shoots. Everybody talks about the model 700 and lots of custom builds are done using this action from what i have read. As far as a caliber goes im sorta leaning to the 300 Win Mag or the 300 WSM.
I was looking at the optics also today and man i tell you those Nightforce scopes are NICE....With a nice price tag to go along with it. Hopefully one day I might get one but it's kinda looking like Nikon or a Bushnell for starters. I cant really knock the Tascos too much for a general hunting scope tho...I've heard lots of bad things about them but they have served me well in what I have used them for...Just not willing to give them a go for the accuracy needed for a 400 + shot on a animal. Any thoughts on what power and lens diameter would be good? I was thinking of a 4 or 5 power min. and somewhere about a 16 to 20 max. with about a 44 or 50mm lens with an adjustable objective? Oh has anybody ever heard of a Leatherwood (I think) scope...it's supposed to have a cam sorta thingamajig that you use to adjust elevation instead of using the turret?
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Unread 12-29-2008, 02:10 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,375
Re: Newbie in search of first long range rifle

Couple things to bear in mind choosing a rifle:
1. quality stock. rigid and stable
This means a quality synthetic or a laminate. No flexible junk. Squeeze the barrel and forend together. If the forend flexes, it's junk. I know you're on a budget. But starting with a junk stock won't save any money.
Both Savage and Remington use quality HS precision stocks, quality laminates, and cheap plastic junk. The cheap ones are black. Tikka uses a very rigid synthetic stock.

2. Good trigger. All three companies offer good adjustable triggers. The Tikka trigger is a good one. The new Remington xmark isn't bad. And the accutrigger is great. Shy away from older remington and savage triggers, there's only so much you can do with them.

3. Accuracy. Tikka offers a 1moa guarantee. The Savage and Remington will likely shoot this well. However, they aren't offering any guarantees. All three have great reputations. Tikka is the only one I haven't seen the occasional "what the hell" on. Mabey 'cause I've seen far fewer Tikkas.

4. Platform for a custom. Simply put, if you want to build a custom off the action at a later date gunsmiths prefer Remington. Savage you can rebarrel yourself.

5. Weight. The traditional mindset is lightweight is best. This isn't so for long range. Weight equals stability. However, you still have to pack it. The synthetic stocked Tikka is rather light. You decide a comfortable weight for you. Just bear in mind long range is a bit different.

So, The Tikka in synthetic or laminate. A savage in an HS synthetic or laminate, with the accutrigger. Or, a Rem in laminate or an HS synthetic, with the new trigger. I've had very good luck with CZ also.

For optics you need:
1. nice knobs! well marked whole numbers, ending in whole numbers, ellevation hash marks
2. side focus or paralax
3. enough vertical adjustment (40 inches minimum)
4. accurate tracking

Frankly, this is a tall order for budget priced scopes. I have tried Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14, Nikon Monarch 4-12 & 4-16, and Bushnell elite in the lower price range. Of these, the Bushnell seemed the nicest. While I have never tried a Weaver, the accutrac system is reputed to be superb. I would check these out too. The leupold vx3's are a bit more expensive. They have better glass. In my experience, they don't track any better.

4-5 to 16 - 20 is perfect. 40-50mm is perfect. Vaguely remember Leatherwood. No details.

This is basically a trade off between muscle / range and recoil. This should play a role in rifle selection as you may want to pick a heavier rifle to help reduce recoil. I'll come right out and say I shoot pretty well. That said, the largest unbraked rifle I own is a 270win. As you are on a fairly tight budget, I'm assuming you want something you can shoot unbraked (at least for now).

I want to be able to shoot a rifle enough to become truly proficient with it. I also want to be able to spot my own shots. You can't do iether if you're getting pounded. Take my word for it.

As a mostly used for deer and coyotes with the occasional elk or black bear thrown in the 260rem would be a mild mannered, fun to shoot, and economical choice (those high bc high sd bullets make it a surprisingly effectice long range caliber). The next step would be a 6.5-284 (a real sweetheart). I seem to recall Savage is chambering a few? The ol' 270 would of course get 'er done. Bringing us to the threshold of comfortable shooting, the 7rem mag and 7 or 270 short mag.

Personally, if it's bigger than this, it needs a break or a lot of weight. Remember, this isn't typical hunting, the name of the game is accuracy. Comfort equals accuracy. I'll take a smaller lighter recoiling round I can shoot over a thumper every time. If you put the bullet through heart and lungs it will die, now!

For a mostly target / coyote / deer round I'd pick a 6.5. For an all around hunting round I'd go with a 7wsm. I wouldn't shoot any of the 30 mags without a brake. And you'd have to push a 30 cal 210 berger pretty hard (meaning recoil) to match the ballistics of a 7mm 168 berger with a lot less recoil.
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Unread 12-29-2008, 09:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,474
Re: Newbie in search of first long range rifle

+1 for grit's remarks.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Unread 12-29-2008, 01:28 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Newbie in search of first long range rifle


How about this?

As new, as in only fired during sight in session, Savage 300 Win Mag matte black, accu trigger, sniper/LE type model with the large bolt knob and heavy 24" barrel. Bushnell Elite 3200 10X40 target knobs, weaver base and rings.

Choate Ultimate Sniper stock with adjustable rear mono-pod and notched short bipod on the front end.

She's in top notch shape w/no dings etc.

It should fit well with your $1K limit leaving plenty of room for dies, brass, etc.

Make me and offer and we'll see how she flies. Do your searches and ask the fellas who have posted for price recommendations. I'm pretty easy to deal with. Shipping will be on the order of $40 + due to having to ship via an FFL dealer.

BTW, this rifle was purchased by a lunk head son-in-law who bit off more than he could chew. Also, I hope it doesn't sell as I have my eye on the action/trigger.
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