help with entry to long range shooting

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by BIG HAIRY GORILLA, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. BIG HAIRY GORILLA

    BIG HAIRY GORILLA Member

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    i have been browsing this site for the last couple of weeks now and have found it very helpful and encouraging, and thus decided to join! i am completely new to this sport(dont even know exactly what an action is?) anyway, i want to get started somewhere and i think 100-300 yards is a reasonable entry point. for this, i have chosen a remington 700 sps tac in .308 with a 20" HB. i am going to replace the stock with a bell and carlson medalist(i think). and i will top it with a leupold vx2 3-9x50. not the fanciest setup but i think it will get me started and it is definately more capable than me at this point. so here is question # 1: what would be ideal scope rings and bases for this rifle/scope combo? and #2: is this a good starter setup for developing my skills? any tips, or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    thanks in advance,

    BHG
     
  2. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    The .308 is a great caliber and will deliver a reasonable payload with enough authority to drop an elk at 700-800 yds. Obviously, there are other calibers that will do so much more, but the venerable .308 will serve you well. Should you decide to move into the magnums down the road (as most of us do), the .308 will still be an excellent, cost-effective practice rifle.

    The only thing I might tweak is scope selection. Leupold makes a great scope for the $$ spent. I would go with a higher magnification, because once you get the hang of LR shooting - you will not want to stay at 300 yards. For most shooters, the 3-9x just won't cut it at 800 yds. I would choose the 4.5-14x line - as the magnification will allow for better reading of the wind down range, as well as more precise shot placement on the target. I don't have any drop tables for .308 loads, but I'm sure some .308 shooters will chime in soon enough with that info. Just be sure your scope will have enough MOA travel to dial all the way out to 800-1000 yds. At a minimum, you may want to get a 20 MOA rail if you stick with a 1" scope tube. Or better still, move up to the 30mm tube.

    I will say that the one thing I learned from this site was to listen to those who had gone before me. They have made the mistakes and are will to share their learning experiences with you. Sometimes, you end up spending more by taking the "less expensive" route. You eventually recognize that what you bought does not work well, so you sell it and then buy something a little better. After several upgrades, you have spent more than just biting the bullet and buying what you ultimately ended up with anyway. The moral here is: you can do things on a budget and still get quality, if you listen to others.

    As far as rings go, I prefer rings that only mount to a picatinny rail and have 2 or 3 screws per side (the bigger - the better). I like the Leupold Mark IV and those made by Seekins. There are others (Badger, etc.), as well. For lighter recoiling rifles, an inexpensive alternative are the Dednutz combination one-piece base and ring system. It may serve you well with your .308, if your budget is tight.

    Good luck to you - and welcome to LRH!
     

  3. BIG HAIRY GORILLA

    BIG HAIRY GORILLA Member

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    thanks for the welcome and taking the time to give me some advice. would a 4-16X50 be a better option? i dont intend to hunt anything with this rifle. i hunt, but mainly wimpy florida deer, and the occasional hog. both of which i do with a different set up and at a max distance of about 75 yards(for now). i intend to take all the advice i can get. im one of those people wants to do something right(or as close to right) the first time around. you seem very educated in this sport, as do most of the people on this forum. i chose the .308 for the light recoil, choice of quality ammo, and the barrel life. however, i have not bought the rifle yet and i am more than open to other suggestions on rifles, scopes, accessories, techniques, and pretty much anything else to do with LRS. after all i am a complete newbie and i want to learn from people who have experience and enjoy the hobby(addiction?)

    again, thank you for all of your help.
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Yep, I too suggest that you tweak the scope idea.

    Your short barrel 308 will be fun to shoot plus give you good experience at long distances. The trajectory will require fairly large elevation adjustments at distance. This, I think, is a good thing for a beginner. Good experience.

    Thus for the scope I'd suggest one with good turrets. The scope is a piece of the equipment that should be a 'one time' investment. There isn't much sense in making several scope purchases to upgrade as you learn. Think long term on the scope. Rifle barrels can be replaced when the time comes reasonably up grading the whole system.

    A scope with at least a 44mm objective will pass enough light for dawn to dark shooting, if the glass is good.

    At least 60 moa of adjustment would be good as well. With a 20 MOA cant on the mount will give about 50 MOA of up adjustment which should be sufficient for your cartridge.

    Just some more things to think about.

    Enjoy

    Oh, plus being a big hairy gorilla will save you a bunch of bucks on camo.:)
     
  5. BIG HAIRY GORILLA

    BIG HAIRY GORILLA Member

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    they wont suspect a thing. and can you imagine the look on there face when i primate whips out a .308? but, hopefully i will be nowhere near close enough for them to spot me.

    i was looking at a millett tactical in 4-16x50. the glass seems decent, at best. its relatively cheap in the high 300 to low 400 range. it seems to have decent turrets but then again im not experienced with scopes. would a fixed power be a good option for 100 yard shooting all the way out to 500?(as in should i look at ss?) or should i look at variable powers? i know eventually i am going to want to look into a night force if i get serious, even a used one if i can find it, but for the budget ive set for this project it seems unlikely for now. do you have any experience with the millett brand of scopes, and if so are they a decent investment for a starter setup?

    i cant thank you enough for your help and insight.

    BHG
     
  6. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    A 308 with the 175 SMK at 2650 will normally need around 38 MOA to get to a 1000. Berger 185 would be the other bullet to look at. So keep that in mind.

    What does that mean?

    1. You will need either a 20MOA base or burris signature rings with 20 MOA inserts.

    If you go with the burris buy, the double dovetail base and with the 20 MOA inserts they are as strong as any other set up around and under $100 all total. That setup is used all the time by 1K BR shooters and is totally reliable and sturdy.

    IMO stay away from the DeadNutz setup as it has zero MOA and you are going to need 20 MOA. Great normal hunting setup, but unless he has just come out with a 20 MOA setup, look elsewhere.

    2. Look at the Bobby Hart LR stock sold by Stockys Stocks here on this site. Comes clear coated and with recoil pad and sling swivels and aluminum bedding block, so drop in and shoot. Under $300 and better setup than the Bell and Carlson.

    3. Scope- You will need turrets with a 308 for sure. You will need a minimum of 60 MOA elevation. Keep those parameters in mind.

    4. Watch here or www.6mmbr.com, www.varminthunters.com , bench rest central classifieds or ebay for a good used, Leupold 4-14 or 6-20 either in a 1" or 30mm. 30mm is preferred but watch for bargains.

    Call Bob White at shooters corner (Shooters Corner is on BR central or google it). He has literally hundreds of used high quality BR and LR rigs and scopes for sale at good prices and is 110 % reliable. http://www.benchrest.com/shooterscorner/ click on "THE LIST" in upper right corner, but Bob has such a high volume it is never up to date, so call him except the weekends. He is shooting then normally.

    5. Find some local F Class matches to shoot in. See the long range target shooting forum for F class matches at www.usrifleteams.com/lrforums


    BH
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  7. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    Read the post, "Long range rifle on a budget". If I was to do this all over again I would follow the info and advice in that post to a tee. I would get a Savage accu-trigger long action and build on it over time. The 308 Winchester would be my caliber of choice to start. I would use weaver bases, and Burris signature Zee rings with the inserts. I have looked through the Millet scope and was impressed with the quality of glass, but can't speak to the quality of the mechanical aspect of that particular scope. Personally I want to give the Hawke Sidewinder 30 Tactical 4.5-16x42 a try. Seems like a good scope for the money, but I'm the type of guy who likes experimenting and taking a chance to learn something new. If I was to give scope advice, I would say save up and buy proven quality from the start, ie. Leupold vx3, Nikon Monark, Burris tactical, Weaver tactical, etc. Get yourself a good quality bipod (I like Harris S series), a good rear bag, a decent range finder really helps, and the best advice I can give is get into reloading, or at least get together with a buddy that reloads and help him work up a load for your rifle. This is an addicting hobby, and if you get serious you can up grade the Savage rifle a lot easier and cheaper than a Remington. The quality is about the same, and in my experience the Savage is more consistent for out of the box accuracy. Good luck and accurate shooting!
     
  8. BIG HAIRY GORILLA

    BIG HAIRY GORILLA Member

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    very helpful post BH. and i appreciate all the resources you provide. hopefully that magical 1k isnt too far off for me. for now i guess i should prepare for 1k and practice at my 'comfort zone'

    is there any particular leupold model i should prefer(ie: vx1, 2, etc)

    hopefully i will get everything figured out and ordered soon. this site makes me anxious :)
     
  9. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    BHG- i prefer the variX3 - 6.5-20 ; for a less expensive scope i use a bushnell 6-24 ( 400) or a votex 6.5-20X 44( 260). i would prefer one of the remington heavy barrel nodels with a 26 inch barrel. after the .222 the 308 is one of the most forgiving /easy to find a good load for . have fun.
     
  10. groper

    groper Well-Known Member

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    oh man, where to start...

    firstly, i will say i made alot of mistakes in the beginning when it came to rifle and supporting gear selection, which cost me alot more finacially and in wasted time during the long run replacing everything.

    Second, you realize after making the first mistake, that precision gear is absolutely MANDATORY for you be to be successful in this sport and save yourself from banging your head against the wall because you cant get good enough accuracy at long range.

    Third, within just a couple more days reading this forum even before you start shooting, you will realize that 300yds ISNT long range at all, and therfore your initial consideration of building to this will change very quickly if it hasnt already. You barely even need to consider drops or doping wind @ 300yds, its pretty much just point and shoot if you zero @ 200.

    Fourth, a 308win is a poor choice of caliber for someone looking to start LR shooting. Its not that it cant do it, its simply that there are better options. For instance, without even considering other cases, the 260rem or 7mm-08 (both use a 308win case necked down) shoot flatter and have better LR bullets with high BC available, cost less to shoot, are still common factory chamberings, and use the same actions. If you start to look at other cases, then there are a world of options and you really should search the forum to weigh up the cost vs performance arguments for what you plan on shooting. If i were to build an accurate yet low cost 1000yd target rifle or small game and varmint to 1000yds right now, i would pick a 260rem. if i wanted to take LARGE game and upto 1000yds, then you have no choice and simply must have a more powerful magnum caliber and the cost goes up.

    definatly get a 20MOA base for whatever scope you decide with good quality CNC rings... i like "Evolution gun works" and "tactical precision systems" for these, both have websites you can buy direct from... and i really would buy a decent scope first up. I know they're expensive, but the good scopes hold their value so if you want to sell it, you can almost get all your money back on it. nightforce scopes for sale on here dont last more than a few days when they come up before someone snaps them up. You need to realize that this is an expensive sport, no 2 ways about it. Theres is a whole lot more expensive gear to buy besides just your rifle and scope such as reloading gear and tools, laser rangefinder etc and without all this gear, you just cant be successful at long range.
     
  11. oscer

    oscer Member

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    You've gotten some good sugestions above to consider. I'd like to add my 2 cents. I'm abig fan of the 308 WIN It's my deer rifle of choice for so many reasons. Accuracy is the no. 1 reason. As far as scopes go, have you considered the sheperd?
    It has a duplex crosshair minus the lower leg that remains the same size throughout the power range. It also has a series of circles below the duplex that are magnified as you crank the power up. the circles subtend 18" at whatever distance they are marked at,and they have a crosshair inside out to 500 yds. so it's like a rudimentary range finder you find the circle that the deer's brisket to back bone best fills and when you've found it you are already aiming at the vitals with the crosshair that is calibrated for the 308. at that distance. (you need a no.2 for the 308). Man it is so much easier to use than to explain but their brochure does a much better job than I can. IMO this is a quality scope with good coatings they were made in Japan when I bought mine, not sure if they still are. I would rather get a range on game with a laser than with this method but the cross hairs out to 500yds. are a nice touch and the duplex adjusts separately from the circles which makes it easier to tweek for the various ranges. mine is a 3 to 10x40 but they come in 6 to 18 power also. I hope this isn't too confusing. Good luck in your new hobby.
    oscer
     
  12. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    308 is a fine caliber, easy to shoot easy to load, and plenty of info out there to pull in on. I've gotten into the 300win Mag, but I'd pickup a 308 in a heartbeat.
    Let's say I've been disappointed with Millet, maybe I didn't spend enough money.
     
  13. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Have not seen Vortex Optics mentioned in this thread. They have some very decent optics for good prices. They also have extremely good CS, and they are an american company (optics are made mostly in Japan however). Good people to deal with. Personally I would get something with 12 to 16x max power.

    Good Shooting,
    Gary
     
  14. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i would get a 26 inch barrel- sps varmint, vssf, or vs. or a 24 inch 5-r. just me. also i prefer a smaller objective lens on the scope than 50. for me a 6.5 -20X40 leup is ideal. the scope with a large objective has to be mounted high , then you have to install an adjustible cheek rest thing.