Well that was my first thought as I was sitting at the rifle range at boot camp, thinking the Drill Instructors were playing another joke on the recruits. "NO WAY you can shoot iron sights and actually hit something at 500 yards with iron sights" I kept telling myself. Two weeks later I was laughing to myself as I earned my first expert badge, and had scored perfect shots on all 10 at the 500 yard line.
Fast forward to today. With a few years in the USMC, I've got some great hunting buddies all over the country and some opportunities for everything from Antelope and Mule Deer in South Dakota, to Elk and who knows what else. Plus, I've got a great range nearby that has targets out to 800 meters.
However, (you knew the however+comma was coming) I'm in Georgia. It's a great place to hunt with my Marlins and between the 30-30 and 45-70 I've had some great hunting trips around here. But around here, 100yards is a long shot and that's how I've setup most of my gear: 45-70 with an Aimpoint micro, 30-30 with a ghost ring sight, etc. I've got a nice Winchester Model 70 lightweight in 300 WinMag with a Leupold 4.5x14 on it, but man does it have a thump to it after a few rounds. I'm accurate with it, but I'd like something a little softer in the recoil department.
I've been looking at something like an T/C Icon Precision Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor based on some of the good reviews on this very site
, or maybe following Jerry Teo's Budget Long range hunting rifle article
and building one myself. I'm drawn to the 6.5 Creedmoor due to the accuracy, soft recoil, and ease of picking up good factory ammo, as well as being easy to reload. I'm a new to this, so please don't hesitate with the advice.