Cheap Long range Rig

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by JP100, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. JP100

    JP100 Well-Known Member

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    Hey All,
    Just wanted to share the wee project I have been working on. I think alot of younger guys(like me) might find this helpful. I dont have much money and wanted to make cheap rig that I could shoot out to 700-800yards(maximun to a 1000) to shoot paper and feral goats. My plan was to do this under $1000NZD including gun,scope and dies. In New Zealand you cant get much for $1000(a standard Rem700sps blued is about $990)

    First i decided on the caliber. I chose the good ol .308 win. The reason I chose this is because its cheap,easy to load for,popular,heaps of data around and its proven over years of use to be effictive. Also the .308 has low recoil(in a heavy gun) and barrel life is good.
    I know that there are hundreds of other calibers that have better balistic performance but I just decided to stick the old basics and learn to shoot before spending up big on gear that I dont really need and with cash that i dont have.

    Next the rifle. I decided wieght was not really a issue as I allready have a walk about gun. I was not too worried about having a magizine as I would just be using it for longer range work and will have time to load a single shot no worries(hopefully) My main issue was price.
    After abit of thought I settled on an Omark .308 fullbore rifle.
    These are also branded as a Sportco44. These are a single shot bolt action made in Australia. These have been used for Fullbore shooting for years and are still used today. very few originals are around as most have had new barrels and stock work done.
    After searching tradeMe(NZs Ebay) I found a old Omark with the open sights taken off and drilled for mounts,a 28" barrel and nice wooden stock with a big cheek piece. best part it was $400!! with 200 155gnFMJ to practice with!
    Hit the buy now and had it in no time.

    My Next big issue was the Scope. This was the hardest part. To get a budget long range scope that is reliable is a big ask. I wanted something in the 5-24 range with a reticle I could use for wind doping.
    After alot of hmmmming and harring I settled on a Nikko Stirling 6-24X56 Targetmaster with Extended MilDot. This was a hard choice as these arnt the most reliable or liked scopes out there.
    But it cost me $400 so it was the only thing in my budget really that I could find.
    I knew I could allways upgrade when I got some extra Cash.

    So keeping with my $1000 budget I still had $200 up my sleeve for dies,cases and projectiles. I quicky got some Hornady .308 dies for $90 and then 100 Lapua cases for $125. The Lapua brass is pretty much the same price as anything else here so why not get it.(winchester .308 brass is $54 for 50)

    So my total budget so far was $1015. I was pretty pleased with rig so far(scope wasnt that great) the rig weighd in at about 5kg with scope and my harris bipod fitted(allready had the bipod).
     
  2. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    Your smarter than most of us!
     

  3. JP100

    JP100 Well-Known Member

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    Now onto the fun Part,some shooting and load work.

    So I got loading with the 155gn FMJ I got with the gun. these were easy to load and my first sighting in groups were all inside 1/2MOA. Not bad for a $400 30year old rifle.
    After abit of work at 100yards I decided I needed a re usuable target so I found some old 10mm plate steel lying around and cut out a 10" square. Attached some legs and it was ready to test. Below is a pic of the master piece.(note the holes punched by the FMJ at 300yards. the .308 still has abit of sting,its 10mm steel!)

    After some shooting at 300 and 600yrds I decided I need a new projectile as the wind was playing havic past 300yards.

    After some research I settled on the 168gn A-Max. With a BC of .475 it was no record breaker but was miles ahead of the 155gn FMJs. And with the 28" barrel on the Omark I could still keep the velocity up.

    Abit of load work and I Now have the 168gn A-Maxes running at 2850fps and they shoot well inside 10mm@100yards(thats under 0.4") not bad i didnt think.
    So off to the farm air strip to test at 600yards. I took both the 155gn FMJs and the 168gn A-Maxes to test them both at the same time. I fired 12 rounds of the FMJs using my MilDot as Hold over and only had about 50% sucess as there was a slight breeze blowing back and forth and was hard to read.
    I found with the A-Maxes my success went upto 80% plus if I did my bit.
    Heres a Vid of testing the Amaxes after the FMJs.
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrqHZEId1Uc]Long range shooting 600yrds - YouTube[/ame]
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Yep! What ishootkittens said: "Your smarter than most of us!+" :):)
     
  5. JP100

    JP100 Well-Known Member

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    heres the pics of the target. target is red dot in last pic. Still geting a hang of this computer stuff
     

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  6. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    The Omark can be a good accurate gun for sure . Getting one with a good barrel is the hard part but yours seems ok.
    The drawback to the Omark 44 is the way the barrel connects to the receiver .
    If it is still standard , no adaptor , then if and when you need a new barrel you have to find an original Omark barrel in good condition or have a Nielson adaptor fitted . Not always easy I am afraid . The drawback to the adaptor is they are quite thin in metal cross section and are prone to crack .
    They don't allow for any diameter case larger than a 7.62 Nato . However even with the 7.62 they are still quite thin and have still been known to break .
    I did the same as you , built a cheap gun and seriously considered the Omark as they are a great action in other ways . I could get a really nice one but in the end I went with a Mauser 98 action to simplify barrel renewal .
    It comes down to , you have to work with what is on offer at the time and it seems you have got yours shooting very well .
    Congrats on a job well done.
     
  7. JP100

    JP100 Well-Known Member

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    I have heard of people having trouble with re fitting barrels but the guys Ive talked to at the local FullBore dont seem to have any issues and they re barrel pretty often. I was a bit sceptical of how worn the barrel would be when i bought it but its seems to be good and shoots better than me.
    Im pleased with how th rig worked out havnt had any major issues and the scope is surprisingly good. I dont dial in elavation(am not that trusting of Nikko Stirlings reliabity) just hold over with the MilDot. Takes a bit of practice but isnt too hard. So far Ive taken about 50 goats with the gun. The furthest being a lucky shot at 720yards.
    How did your rig work out?? the ol Mauser 98 actions are a pretty solid choice for a build.
    Cheers
     
  8. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    That sounds good maybe a new barrel is easier to get in NZ .
    Mine worked out good . Got a 30-06 barrel and a 243W barrel for it now .
    Like you the scope is the big killer for me . The price of a reasonable scope is as much as the gun cost me to build .
    I am running an old Leupold 3.5 to 10 at the moment but it does not have a suitable reticule . So that is holding the build up at the moment .
    The 243 barrel will shoot sub one inch easy and I have produced several .4 groups so far at 100 meters but average is around .75 at the moment .
    It will shoot a 3 to 4 inch inch group at 500 meters when there is no wind and the bullets are good but I thing a more powerful scope can improve on that and I will learn better how to steer it .
    I have not been able to knock over any game with it yet but it will be plenty accurate enough if and when I can . It has a solid alloy stock which I made myself but is heavy at 17 lbs. to use from a bi-pod , Can also be used in a lighter Butler creek composite stock if I wanted to stalk with it but I have another gun for that mainly.
    I might lighten it a bit more I have not decided where though.
    I am saving for a Vortex scope for it but the going is hard as living costs are going up so fast I can't keep up .
     
  9. JP100

    JP100 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds nice. what projectiles are you running??
    What are the vortex like? havnt heard much of them at all in NZ. I was thinking of getting a sightron when I get the cash( a 6.5-20x50 Big sky with mildot is $1200)
    How would the vortex compare to sightron??
    Cheers
     
  10. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    I am running my own home swaged bullets at the moment . 81 grain flat base 8 calibre Ogive , Moly coated . The jackets were also drawn down from short 6.5 jackets that I got cheap from another bullet maker.
    This is what the finished batch looks like . They don't handle wind as well as a heavier better BC bullet but upto 500 meters they do ok.
    Not the perfect long range design I know but rebated boat tail bullets are out of my financial reach at the moment as the die sets cost so much and there is other more important things I need .
    I am not an expert on scopes so my knowledge is limited to what I can afford to own. However I have done a lot of research and I personally feel that the Vortex Pst scope is a better scope in general to a Sightron and the Vortex Razor much better . I know many will disagree but I based my opinion on research , what others said and inspecting both scopes at my range . I like the mil radian reticule in the Vortex , the zero stop and the optics seemed better to my eyes than the Sightrons I have seen.
    The Vortex seems to tick all the boxes I need so thats all I can go on .
     

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  11. JP100

    JP100 Well-Known Member

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    Nice looking wee bullets. You should try get in contact with the guy from Targex in NZ. He makes alot of nice projectiles and might have some old gear/good deals for you???? He sells alot of stuff on trade me(15x .243/6mm" TARGEX SAMPLE PACKS | Trade Me) or you can email him at targex10.1@gmail.com.. His names Bryn Ive used his 95gn rebaited boat tails in my .243 and they were really nice.

    Thanks for the opnion on Vortex. Ive never really heard of them untill now. will try get hold of some at a shop and have a play with them.
    Cheers
     
  12. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thought mate. The problem with buying secondhand dies is they have usually lost the critical match between the core seater and the point former and that makes for hard ejecting dies . To the naked eye they look perfect though.
    If and when I decide to start making rebated boat tail bullets I will make the dies and punches I need as they are basically an add on to an existing set .
    Expensive to buy a whole new set but not so expensive to just make the two modified core seater's and a new rebated point forming punch.
    The work is not in the dies themselves it's in making the tooling to cut them and getting it precise . I only like to take on one disaster at a time .
    The Vortex scope is hard to come by at the moment as they are very popular .
    Postage from NZ might make those bullets a bit expensive . The batch I am using now cost me about $80 for a thousand because the 6.5 jackets were so cheap to start with.
     
  13. JP100

    JP100 Well-Known Member

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    Oh ok. I wouldnt have a clue about making bullets haha.
    Yea i havent seen or found a New Zealand dealer that has prices so might be abit hard to get over here.
    $80 for 1000!!!!!!! man thats awesome. wish I had bullets that cheap haha. most projectiles for .243-7mm are about 50-70 buks per 100.
     
  14. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    I only paid $50 per thousand for those short 6.5 mm jackets so add in lead and lubricant and wear and tear and $80 per thousand is about right.
    However it was a lot of work to draw down the jackets to .240 and a big risk that they may not shoot very well but luckily they shoot quite ok so far .
    Jacket thickness concentricity ( thickness runout) is a big issue for accuracy and you need to keep them as concentric as possible. Less than .0003 variation is good . This is what bullet makers never tell you. If the jackets are bad the bullets don't shoot as well as they should no matter how well you make them .
    However perfect jackets can be screwed up by poorly made bullets.
    most of the time new J4 jackets are about an average of 220 a thousand to land in Aust add to that lead cores and lubricant , cleaning and washing agents ,
    electricity etc and you can make a thousand flat bases for about $250
    It is a lot of work to save about $100 to $150 but the end product is very consistant and once you have the gear you can also make core bonded game bullets for little extra cost . The big savings are in finding cheap surplus jackets .
    This is my gun I built with the temporary day scope on a ARMS QD 20 MOA mount . It is a multi platform stock and can shoot from a combination of support systems. Bi-pod and rear canterlever Monopod . Bi-pod and Bald Eagle rear rest . Front BR rest and rear monopod. Front BR rest and bald eagle rear rest , Front sand bag and any of the rear rests mentioned or straight on the shoulder . This all achieved by adding and subtracting parts of the stock . Bi-pod is quick detachable and rear monopod is elevation adjustable .
     

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013