New Member Needing Guidance On My Next Rifle

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by JW74, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. JW74

    JW74 Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am looking to get back into some recreational bench rest/long range shooting. A little about myself, I am an avid sporting clays shooter and compete nationally at the Master Class level and really enjoy the clays game! I did a little bench rest shooting when I was younger with a rem 700 varmint riffle in 7mm-08. With hand loads it was a tack driver if I did my part. I didn't shoot much over 300 yards as that was as far as I could go at my local range. Lately I have wanted to start shooting riffles again to take a break from shooting clays from time to time.

    My goal it to have a set up that is good out to 1000 yards and possibly one day make a 1 mile shot, but that is a longer term goal for down the road. I have narrowed my riffle search to two riffles that are affordable to me. I am thinking of a 300 WSM as it is non belted and has a large bullet selection for re-loading. The 7mm WSM is also on the list. The two rifles I am looking at that are in my price range are:

    1) Savage 111 Long Range Hunter

    2) Sako A7 Long-Range Hunter - exclusive to Cabela's

    I was hoping the gang here could give some pros and cons for each or comment on which is clearly the better riffle in terms of accuracy ect. I like the muzzle brake option and trigger on the Savage. I think with the 300 WSM the muzzle brake would be good for higher volume shooting. Also like the adjustable comb on the Savage. I feel like the stock is better on the Sako though and the barrel appears to be heavier but has no muzzle brake. As for an optic, I have been looking at the Vortex Viper PST riffle scope.

    Thanks for any feedback as it is greatly appreciated.
    Joe
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  2. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    Will this be a hunting rifle or a target rifle. If a hunting rifle, what game will you choose to hunt?
     

  3. JW74

    JW74 Well-Known Member

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    This will be a target rifle and used to shoot steel at long ranges as well.
     
  4. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    I'd go for the Sako, throw away the stock and mount it on a McMillan A5 and have muzzle brake fitted by a good gunsmith.
    Marry all that to a Viper PST 6-24x50 with MOA reticle with a Harris HBLMS[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] - [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Adjustable leg [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] 9" to 13" bipod with Leg Notches and Swivel ... [/FONT] and go shoot.
     
  5. mountainman56

    mountainman56 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you have it figured out. The Savage has more options that you like and will most likely deliver right out of the box.
     
  6. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    I too prefer the Savage. I have the 300WSM in the LRH and it shoots much better than my capabilities. It will shoot 3/4 to 1 inch groups at 300 yards all day long. This is from a out of the box gun with nothing done to it.
     
  7. JW74

    JW74 Well-Known Member

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    Rick how is the recoil on your rifle with the muzzle brake? What would you compare it to? Thanks!
     
  8. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    JW74

    Good choice on chamberings. The last time I checked, 7mm WSM held the British 1000 yard record and the 300 WSM held the USA record.

    I'd go with the Savage for several reasons. I have 3 Sakos and they are very nice rifles but I also have 3 Savages and they have some added features that are worth considering.

    The Savages have center feed blind, hinged or box magazines that all use interchangeable parts and they all work great.

    Comes with a muzzle brake which you will want in the 300 WSM which can bite you otherwise.

    Has a 26 inch barrel - useful if you will be loading your own ammo.

    The barrels are held on with a barrel nut which means that it is easy to change barrels in about 10 minutes if you have a barrel nut wrench, go and no-go gauges and a barrel vice which together cost about $150.

    The bolt heads float and are thus self aligning to the bore AND it takes about 5 minutes to swap from standard to magnum bolt face if need be to accommodate another barrel/chambering.

    Accutrigger works very well and is easy to adjust.

    More shooters on this sight than for any other rifle brand say Savage is the most accurate right out of the box. (You don't need to mess with it.)
     
  9. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    +1 Totally agree with everything Engineering101 said. I am also a big fan of out of the box Savage rifles for their accuracy and some very intelligent engineering. Also a big fan of all of the WSM based cartridges. And for a dedicated target rifle, I think you will really enjoy the muzzle brake.
     
  10. JW74

    JW74 Well-Known Member

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    Today I went into one of my local gun shops and they had a Savage 10FPSR .308 on the shelf for $599. It looks like a solid gun and I have read that it is very accurate out of the box. I am considering this as it is cheaper than the others and a good caliber for target shooting. Has anyone here has any experience with the Savage 10FPSR?
     
  11. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    JW74

    Checking out the gun shops hey? Since you don't seem stuck on the WSM family let me throw another idea out to you.

    I have a Savage LRP in 260 Rem. This rifle has the HS Precision stock, full length aluminum bedding block, 26 inch fluted no taper target barrel, target action, target accutrigger (can be set way low), center feed detachable box mag. It is a HEAVY rifle and it shoots.

    A friend of mine has the identical rifle. After we got bored with 600 yards we took to shooting golf balls at 800 yards. That is a challenge but the rifle is up to it. The reason I mention this rifle is you can shoot it constantly and it won't overheat. You also will get 3,000 plus rounds of barrel life. You won't get anywhere near that with the 300 WSM and the 260 Rem is very pleasant to shoot with no muzzle break - especially in this heavy rifle. With no brake the gun also has no bark which those on the next bench over will appreciate if not yourself.
     
  12. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    JW- welcome. i have several sako rifles they are lighter versions from 1967 . i compete mainly with a remington 6.5-284 with a heavy krieger barrel. weighs about 16.5 lbs. i have used my senderos (8.5 lbs) in 300 win mag , 7mm mag, and 6.5-284. For targets only weight is an advantage ( your friend). I do not have a savage but i have shot against them. i reccomend a heavier one like the lrp or the f-class. not sure what calibers it comes in. I believe the savge you mentioned weighs less than a sendero and the sako about the same. check out what the f-class shooters use 18 lbs(?) ( just like shotguns in sporting clays) ; the further you depart from what they use the more challenging it is, and/or less capable the rifle is. the calibers you picked are good, the rifle is more important than the caliber.
     
  13. JW74

    JW74 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot for the responses everyone! They are helping a lot and yet leading me to more questions, haha. As with the recommendations here I am leaning towards a Savage but likely away from a magnum cartridge for now. In my searching through the gun shops and from help I have received here and other forums online I am thinking I may end up starting out with a 308 or the 6.5 Creedmoor. I like the idea of the 308 for all of the loading data available and I really like the 6.5 for its bullet selection and ballistic attributes. An old gunsmith I knew growing up swore by his sporterized 6.5x55 Swedish and I an see why.

    The Savage 10FPSR .308 I saw earlier today had a decent stock and heavy barrel. The Savage 111 LRH I am looking at has a thinner barrel for sure but also comes with an adjustable cheek piece and muzzle break. Price in about $200 more. My question is will I loose much accuracy with the thinner 26" barrel on the Savage 111 LRH over that of the Savage 10FPSR?

    Also, I now have the Savage model 12 LRP in 6.5 on my radar!

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  14. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    This is good advise. I shoot and have loaded for several box Savage F-Class rifles to include the 223, 308, and 6.5X284. For a box gun even the little ol 223 can keep them in the 10" ring at 1000 much more often than not with good wind calls. At my altitude (4000') the 223 using Berber bullets starts to go transonic at 1200 yards. The 308 around 1200 to 1500 yards depending on bullet and MV. That leaves the 6.5X284 for the consistent mile shots. With your reloading experience you will find you can load these F-Class Savage rifles to the same level as many custom guns. 1K shots should not be a problem with any of them. You could also look for the lighter version M12 in 243, 260 and 6.5 Creedmore. These guns can shoot and have competed right alongside many custom rifles winning an occasional match or two.