So - you want to hunt long range and you're drooling over all those cool custom rifles topped by big scopes... Cool. If you're like me - you make a decent income, but there's other thing that take a fair chunk of it - like putting a roof over the head and feeding my family. This leaves a relatively small chunk of money for the whole rifle/shooting/reloading/hunting hobby. How to get in without busting the bank - a few suggestions:
1. Realistic expectations. What do you really intend to hunt? At what range? Why build a rifle for grizzly at 1500 yards when you're really going to hunt whitetail at 600 yards?
2. Get one good rifle. It could well be a factory gun, like a Rem Sendero, a Winchester Coyote or a Savage. This is where I see a lot of guys go off the deep end and set up two, three or more precision rifles, each one with unique dies & loading components, each one topped by a fancy scope - then they tell me they don't have cash for a hunting trip. Weird priorities. Lots of guns in the safe and little hunting. Just something wrong with that.
3. When you select your rifle - consider one that won't bleed your shooting fund dry feeding it. A great reason to consider something like the .308, that's easy on barrels, and has high quality loading components avail at relatively reasonable prices. Work up one good load that will truly do it all for you - both target practice and hunting. Shoot a lot. That's what's fun right? Shooting and hunting!
4. Explore your scope options carefully. It's easy these days to fall in love with a $1500+ scope - but perhaps a $300 - $400 Super Sniper from SWFA will do just fine? Or perhaps a used Leupold?
Spend the cash on setting up one good rifle, with one good load. Practice with that thing and know it well. Save the rest of your cash for scouting trips and hunting trips! Just a few suggestions from a guy who started down the road of having waaaay too many toys in the gunsafe, and never had time or money to do much hunting. I've solved that little problem.
i did just what you said bought a savage 308 12 BVSS and topped it with a super sniper i did put in a joel russo A5L . but gave my son the laminate stock that the BVSS came with hes in the air force so his funds are limited
this rifle is a blast to shoot and wont kill the bank the scope was $300 and is teaching me to dial up and the 308 is good round for me to start reloading
i also use the 223 just to get alot of trigger time its really cheap to shoot another savage here with a nikon buckmaster 4.5x14x40 SF mildot in a choat UV stock with the 9 twist i can shoot the 69 gr. bullets . ok time for another cup of coffee
Thanks for a very well prepared discussion on getting into long range hunting. Your point about being over-geared is so true, there is always another gadget or upgrade we can decide we need, but the bottom line is pulling the trigger.
I would like to add the importance of finding a like-minded partner and a safe place to shoot. Those two things are essential for getting started and developing skills. Also we have to accept that data keeping and math become part of our shooting and hunting, simple as that. Besides marksmanship basics we need to understand where our bullet is flying, the influences on it after it leaves the bore. The more we shoot and learn the more confidence we develope.
Appreciate your excellent advice, that is what this site is all about.
Life is all about priorities , I tinker with guns alot I'm always getting a new one screwing with it till I'm board then selling it , I do a little work on them on the side , this is where I get the money to get new guns and other money for "toys" as the wife calls them. I also do a little personal training a few hrs a week. The wife said that I can use all the money that i make on the side that i want but it seems lately that my side money is getting dipped into more and more !!
i guess I'm gonna have to break down and build a shop just so I can make extra money and build my own guns !!
Guy, I think were in the same boat? at least on the same lake. I buy a gun work with it till it's shooting really good, kill somthing, then it sits in the safe while I tune up another one. Then I can't bring myself to sell it because I am attached to it's abillity to make little groups. Currently I use 3 guns for most of my hunting and they sit in the front of the safe, some of them in back haven't seen the sun in years.
I agree with the idea of having one good capable rifle, scoped with good glass, then go out and use it. My goal in the next year is to cut the inventory down by 2/3s.