Intro and ?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by adam.WI, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. adam.WI

    adam.WI Member

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    Just wanted to start out by saying Hello and tell you a little about myself. I'm from WI and grew up hunting just about everything. I joined the military and served my first 5 years at 2/75 in Ft lewis and am now stationed down in Central UT where I have found out that long range hunting and shooting is a way of life. I've spent a great deal of time behind a rifle so I'm not a complete newbie but as far as building a rifle from the ground up I may have some short comings.

    So the questions will be asked with a statement of what I want. I would like a rifle to hunt elk sized game and smaller, the cheaper the ammo the better (I don't reload yet) Hunting ranges is a problem due to right now I wouldn't be comfortable with that far of a shot 300-400 yards, but would like the potential to grow in to something further. I shoot vortex optics and have a viper that will be on top of this rifle. Where would you guys start with out breaking the bank $700 for rifle alone. With upgrades to follow.
    Thanks for any advice
    Adam
     
  2. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    First, welcome to the addiction and LRH.com. A lot of people here with a lot of knowledge. You are going to be given many suggestions in rifle, but for the price and accuracy, I am and will always suggest a Savage. 300Win Mag will git'er done for ya out to 900+, so for starting out to the ranges you want to start, this would be perfect. The 300WM has many different loads available and some companies (Black Hills, Cor-Bon, HSM, and Hornady) provide premium loads that will give you great bullet selections for your long range hunting needs. Here a few to consider. Don't pay attention to the prices on the website, they are suggested retail, but can be found at lower prices.

    Savage Arms Firearms > 116 FHSAK

    Savage Arms Firearms > 116 Bear Hunter Brand new to the line up.

    Savage Arms Firearms > 111 Long Range Hunter

    My second suggestion would be anything from HOWA, and then the Weatherby Vangaurd (Same action as a HOWA).

    Tank
     

  3. texan79

    texan79 Well-Known Member

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    I would look for a used remington sendero or winchester laredo. With elk on the menu i would go 7mag on the minimum, with the a big 30 falling into the ideal category. Both are upgradable and should shoot fine at the distance specified.
     
  4. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The good and bad news is that there are a lot of options.

    Savage and Rem 700 Sendero are very poular in these forums.

    Rem - because there are plenty of smiths capable/willing to work on them. You can't say that about all makes/models, even the good ones.

    Savage - because you can actually do work such as rebarrel the rifle yourself with excellent results.

    Aftermarket parts are widely available for both and good deals are often available on used rifles.

    Get you a one-piece 20 MOA picatinny base and a Harris Bipod and you're all set. The only limitation past about 500 yds is going to be the consistency of factory ammo vs handloads. Superformance or one of the others Tank mentioned may give you the consistency needed to reach out farther.

    Welcome aboard and happy hunting!
    Richard
     
  5. Good

    Good Well-Known Member

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    I second liltank's suggestions. I think for the money, the 300 Win Mag is hard to beat for your situation. It will kill big stuff way out there, but won't necessarily break the bank on ammo and the ammo is readily available. I also think the Savage is the way to go. If you compare what you get in the Savage vs the other companies, the Savage is the best bang for the buck. There is only one caliber that I would pick a Remmy over a Savage and that's the factory 338 Lapua Magnums. (will kill WAY out, but ammo is EXPENSIVE!!!)

    Some specifics that benefit Savage are the floating bolt head which lends to accuracy, layman changeable bolt head, Accutrigger, the ability to change barrels yourself if you like to tinker in that fashion... Plus, I like the look of the barrel nut. If you throw a picatinny rail on the gun, the nut adds a "tacticool" look and matches the barrel well if your barrel is fluted. I like it, but some don't.

    On that note, my brother in law just purchased a 112 BVSS in 300 Win Mag for a good price. The only problem with this gun is it is 10lbs without scope! But, that makes for a more stable platform. PM me for location if you're interested and you can talk to the dealer yourself. He can also get you any of those listed by tank I'm pretty sure.

    The only problem with the 111s and 116s is they have the "heavy" Accutrigger. There is the target accutrigger from like 6 oz-6lbs or something like that, the varmint from 1.5-6lbs and the hunting from 2.5-6lbs. But, even at 2.5lbs, that should be good for a hunting rig. Most of my triggers are set to around 3lbs. I have a Remington set a little lower, and a Winchester a little higher, but I wish both were the varmint Accutrigger that the 112 has.
     
  6. Jeff H.

    Jeff H. Member

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    Hi Adam,
    I'm from Wi. also, plus new to this site, but if anybody can get you on the right track, these guys here will. I bought a used 300 Win. mag. for use on the critters your describing, and have far less than $700 in it, it's a model 70 Win., since you have the scope already, their should be several options available, the Savage idea on previous reply is a great choice.
     
  7. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    Hi Adam,
    Agree with all the above. But, ask yourself “what is MAX bullet wt. I will ever need in North America”. If it is 185 to 225+ you may want to get a plain old 338WM. I can load down to 160gr and up to 300+gr.
    With my limb saver I don't use a break, and mine is only 6.44Lbs.
    I have streachability and can learn how to “reach out and touch something” out to 800 < 1000 yds. with plenty of Speed and Takedown power. And, Without buying anything extra, also, ammo is not a $$ problem. Just a thought.
    Good luck.
     
  8. Good

    Good Well-Known Member

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    VERY good points. I am not a 30 cal fan and the first thing that popped into my head was the 338 Win Mag, but, I recommended the 300Win Mag due to ammunition availability and the fact that it will kill elk out to the specified distance. Reloading, I would pick the 338, but store bought shells, my local Wal-Mart carries 1 brand of 338 Win Mag ammo, and it's $47 a box. They carry several different brands and types of 300 Win Mag ammo starting in the mid $20s. That was why I said 300. But all are good points so the OP can make an informed decision that will work best in his situation. gun)-
     
  9. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    If we bring hand loading into this equation, then options open up for a ton of calibers, that are even non-magnum. He says he doesn't reload yet, so that kind of limits other calibers. 7mmRM get my vote, but then we could look at 264WM too.

    Tank
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Howdy Adam, al ot of good advise IMO so far. I don't think you could go wrong with any of it. That being said, my first choice would be a Sub MOA Vanguard in a long action Mag. My first choice of cartridges would be 300 WSM, but unfortunately, I believe Vanguard (Howa) makes that in a short action. That being the case, I would recommend the 300 WM. Unfortunately again, the 300 WM will be too long to seat longer high BC bullets way out there and still fit in the mag box when you start reloading, and if you pursue LR, you will start reloading before long. But you should be able seat most bullets OK. After you burn your barrel up, which will probably be in about 1000 - 1500 rounds, I would recomend rebarreling to the 300 WSM to take advantage of the longer high BC bullets, or a wildcat like a 300-375 Ruger that I'm having built right now on a Sub MOA Vangurd.

    With RL17 my 300 WSM will out perform most 300 WM's, pushing a 180 bullet about 3190 fps. The 300-375 Ruger will get me a little more. If you decide you like one of the longer mags better, I would recommend a Sendero. I have two and they are both tack drivers. I just like the Howa action a little better, but it's about 1/2" shorter than the 700 action. That being said, the 700 is not long enough for the RUM cartridges seating long bullets without some mods to the mag box... and when unchambering an unfired round, you need to release the bolt to get the round out. Not a big deal, but.... If you want to end up with an Ultra or Lapua, you should really go to a Mark V or custom action IMO.

    The Sub MOA Vanguard has a sturdy aluminum bedded B&C stock and with the Howa action, make a great, inexpensive platform to build on in the future. And the Howa has a fairly good selection of after market parts available.

    After purchasing your rifle, your first investment should be a good single peice rail mount along with good tactical rings. I recommend the (relatively inexpensive) EGW heavy duty rail with maybe some Burris rings. then put your scope on. Next, get a good rangefinder (I recommend a Lieca 1600) because estimating diestances beyond 200 yds or so gets tricky and challanging and is critical past 300 yds with a 200 yd zero. With a little practice, it won't take you long to start making 500 yd shots. Next, start reloading and learn the finer points of it in this phase. Next, Get a real good LR scope, with accurate and relaible turrets, and now you are ready to step out past 500 yds.

    By now your rifle might need a new barrel... this is when you'll give the rifle to a good smith, and get it blue printed and mounted with a match grade barrel. when you get it back, life will be sweet :) This is the phase I'm in... the waiting phase :)


    Hope that helps,

    -Mark
     
  11. adam.WI

    adam.WI Member

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    Thanks guys. The advice I've seen so far is about what I've been thinking as for cal. What about starting with a basic 700 ADL and replacing the stock with a Bell and Carlson medalist. Will I likely be disappointed or should this get me SUB MOA. My thoughts are I can get a 300 win mag ADL for $400 and throw the stock on and still be in my budget. Then have room for upgrades
     
  12. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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  13. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    How about one of these: Savage Arms Firearms > Stevens 200 Long

    Then you put one of these on: Bell & Carlson ~Savage DuraMaxx or Choate Tactical Rifle Stock Savage 110 Long Action Staggered Feed Composite Black - MidwayUSA

    Then put one of these on: EGW Savage RB (Round Back) Picatinny Tactical Rail Scope Mount - $39.99 : Evolution Gun Works , World Class Precision Parts with a set of these: Burris Xtreme Tactical 30mm Ring

    Viola.... a complete rifle that can be easily modified at a later date into a fine shooting rig. This thing with the right factory load will shoot quite well. Once the barrel is fried, screw a high quality barrel on it. The other thing to consider, is that there are better stocks out there. Those Stocky's stocks are inexpensive replacements, but if you go to Stockade stocks, you could get a very nice one made to fit it like a glove.

    Tank
     
  14. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Adam -

    That, along with the others that have been suggested, should work fine. One thing I would definitely keep in mind is that a heavier barrel than your average sporter will typically give you better stability for long range and will allow you to shoot longer, more consistent strings without a bunch of cooling time.

    As to the latter comment, weight is one factor and stress relief is the other. But my point is that a hunting rifle that shoots a decent 3 shot group is fine in a hunting situation while a rifle with a good barrel that allows you to shoot a 20 shot string without any significant cooling is a huge advantage for long range practice.

    I am also a fan of muzzle brakes as I feel it allows me to practice more with less chance of developing soreness and/or a flinch.

    If you can consistently shoot MOA with good ammo, you should be able to hunt at increasing distances. Otherwise, it all comes down to personal preference.

    Happy hunting!
    Richard