if you could start all over knowing what you know now

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by cwhardee13, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. cwhardee13

    cwhardee13 Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Im not new to shooting at all. I am looking to extend my abilities to my limit, distance an precision wise. Knowing we all learn from mistakes and trial and error. iI would rather learn from others mistakes than my own. sSpecifically in the realm of gear an equipment. I already have my foot in the door with a Remington 5r 300win mag and a leupold vx3 low 4.5x14x56. im looking for any input that could be useful from bipods to ammo to range finders or anything else. I guess what Im really asking is what's your current setup and how you got there? So if you could start fresh knowing what you know now with what I have what would you do to achieve an all around long distance shooter. This rifle will see plenty of range time, hunting trips, and be another tool in the shed if the zombies ever attack.
    thanx for your needed input.
  2. BradArnett

    BradArnett Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2011
    If I was starting over....I'd start with a 1-8" 223/223AI and about 5000 75gr Amax's. It's about the cheapest long-range practice you can get. I'd save the bigger rifles for hunting but would spend most of the time shooting long range steel with the little rifle.....which is what I do now, but I didn't start there.:D

  3. bassin93

    bassin93 Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2009
    If I did it over, I would make sure the gunsmith you take your gun to is very reputable. The smith that I took mine to in Plains MT used to build nice stuff. After getting mine back and finding all the wrongs and cobble job he did with a subpar reamer and finding out I am not the only one, believe me, I learned that lesson.
  4. jeff 300

    jeff 300 Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    Don't try and go cheap on the range finder save if that's what it takes to get a good one the first time Swarovski 1500, leica 1600. Same for your weather station Kestrel3000,3500,4000,4500.
    there is not cheap replacement for good equipment.

    Like said above a 223 with a crap load of good ammo and lots of time behind it learning how to read the wind. Reading the wind is the fun part get that down and you will be way ahead of most.

    The more time you spend behind a rifle the better you'll be. but find some one that will shot with you and willing to do it right. If no one will just shot by your self. don't wast time with people that are not really into long range shooting. they will do you more harm than good by wasting your time money and ammo.
    I have one person i shot with the rest of my friend all talk a good game but that's it.
    they just don't want to put the time and money into it to get good.
    Good luck
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    What I did right when it came to learning LR...

    I read everything thing I could on this site.

    I asked questions.

    I got a Nightforce NXS

    I got a Sendero rifle (used and proved to sub .5 MOA)

    I got good reloading components.

    What I did wrong...

    Probably a ton of little things that may have slowed me down or distracted me, but all part of the learning curve.

    Rangefinder... I got a Leica 1200 to start then a 1600. The 1600 can replace your need for a weather station bit you'll need to learn to dope wind. If you have a sub MOA 1K rifle it's just a paperweight without an accurate range.

  6. snake

    snake Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    owning a 7mm rem mag to start off wasn't a good idea. a .223 or .308 would have been much better due to cost and recoil.

    i spent so much time and wear on a gun trying to get it right. I can tollerate alot of recoild and abuse for my size but it wasn't a good start for a rifle.

    I vote .223 or .308 bolt gun.

    I practice with .22lr now alot and shoot my .223 Ar more than anything for practice.
  7. Terry Scott

    Terry Scott Well-Known Member

    Aug 31, 2010
    Good Question, good answers, especially about optics, and rangefinders. Truly the events that have enabled me to shoot really long distance is due to 3 factors, Range estimation, Scopes that allow you to dial to distance and the advent of bullets to get high enough BCs and sectional densities to carry out to 1000 yds plus when launched from average velocities of around 3000fps+.
    To put all of this togeter in something fun to shoot, and still be capable of tipping over deer,antelope, or coyote, or even an elk, while being easy on your shoulder,and reasonable on your pocket book is a challenge.
    The best thing I ever did,was to send Pac nor a remington action and have them make me a 260 AI, with26 inches of fluted stainless steel barrel it will push the high BC 140 gr bullets over 3000fps. The gun does not really have much recoil (My 12 year old can smack the 1000 yd gong)and is very efficient, while shooting consistently in the .2s day in and day out. Topped with an un named scope that will consistenly dial a turret for distances, I can hit 12 to 18 inch steel plates on a decent day out to 1200 yds,and with the high sectional density of these bullets, it is a killer when you hit a game animal. (not to mention making a great sound when it hits the gong)
    Lots of fun is the most important thing though, and the equates to a lot of range time enjoying shooting.
    It was a long time coming but it is a thrill hitting long range targets, that before this technology, was almost daunting.
    Really 600 to 700 yds has become a chip shot.
    Lots of fun. Good luck with what ever you develope as half the fun is in the making.
  8. DZelenka

    DZelenka Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2009
    The best thing I did for my long range shooting ability was to get into competitive shooting. My particular poison is across the course service rifle shooting with an AR-15 (out to 600 yards), but I also enjoy shooting bolt guns in prone matches at 600 and 1000 yards. I have probably averaged 3,000 rounds of centerfire rifle ammunition per year for the last 10 years on targets, most of which were at 300+ yards. By doing this you learn the importance of paying attention to all of the details required to execute a shot (position, natural point of aim, focus, trigger control, etc.) and you learn how to read the wind and adjust for conditions. We shoot a lot of no sighter matches where your first shot counts for score. Those are great practice. When I look at wind indicators on the range and in the field, my mind sees them in MOA. This has given me great confidence in my ability to make a first round hit.

    The second thing that I have done over the years is to buy quality equipment. A 1/2 MOA rifle and weekly shooting at 600 yards gives you what you need.


    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I read the question and I looked in my safe to see what i would change. First thing that jumped out was how much better I feel having a quality safe. Securing my guns and optics is something I should have done long ago. I feel better about big investments like my Swarovski spotting scope. I would have settled for something less before I had the safe.
    I'm missing a quality .223 bolt gun, and scope for cheaper practice, and keeping mileage off my principle big game rifle. I'm shopping for one now, although this may change as I'm finding more suitable rifles in .308.
  10. new shooter

    new shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2006
    I know what you mean we took a fifle to get a new barrel TO THE GUY IN PLAINS to put a barrel in 7mm long story but he started with one reamer then changed reamer in the middle. We got the rifle and we had a ring around the neck. Had to send it back then he said what he did. There are a lot of gun smith that are only parts guys take one off put one on.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  11. cwhardee13

    cwhardee13 Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    thanx guys good points already looking into a 556/223 bolt.
  12. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Good optics. If you can't see it, or accurately range it - you can't hit it. Period. Save your money and spend it first on the optics. Swaro or Leica for a rangfinder. Several good choices on scopes. Do your homework, but make sure the internal guts have repeatability when dialing up and then back down again. Even an average 1 MOA rifle will get you out to 800 yards or so with good optics. Once you have the glass, then start working on the rifle and upgrades to shrink your groups. I think the natural tendency for most of us is to focus on the rifle's accuracy first and then the optics. I know I did, but if I had to do it all over again - optics first.

    Secondly: learn to reload. If you already do you, you are a step ahead.
  13. gunaddict

    gunaddict Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    I think I would have built 5 custom guns.2 for varmints and 3 for deer,bear and elk hunting. Instead I have 25 plus Remington factorys sporters,LVSF's, VSSF's and Sendero's. Does a guy really need 5 ultramags? I put HS stocks on the sporters, and Vari-X111's on all my guns. I also have Swaro spotting scope and Swaro rangefinder. I have the equipment, just need to do it. I shoot with my friends longrange sometimes and really enjoy it.
    I 've been wanting to build a custom long range gun for over a year. But I just can't say no to a good deal. I need therapy.
  14. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    It all depends on if you want this rifle set up solely for shots beyond 600yds.

    As it is, it sounds like you have a great rig already for a hunting rifle.

    Add a quality range finder, and a harris bipod, and lots of practice and you should be able to get to 1000yds very easily with what you have.

    If you want to set up solely for 600+ then I'd add a 20MOA base to your scope.

    Before adding anything though you need to find a load that you can get to 1/2MOA consistently with using at least a 200gr bullet.