Newbie needs advice....

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by DoubleGobble00, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. DoubleGobble00

    DoubleGobble00 Well-Known Member

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    Hello fellas... I have been reading alot of different posts on this forum and finally decided to post. I have the longdistance bug! This was mainly caused by another forum member Eddybo which brought me to my first F class shoot. Since then I have been ruined.

    Anyway, I am thinking about buying a new rifle for long range shooting. What type of rifle would you buy for under $1000 for a beginner. I don't have reloading equipment so I will be using factory ammo right now. Hopefully I will be reloading in a few years.

    Right now I shoot a Ruger MKII .280 with 3-9x40 Nikon Buckmaster. I can't decide if I am going to buy new gun or upgrade my Ruger with Trigger and better optics.

    I have looked at the Savage 12FVSS in 308 and 300wsm and they look good also. I just wanted to know yals opinions on beginner long range guns for under $1000 and caliber of choice. Thanks,

    DoubleG
     
  2. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    First we need to know what we are after with it. Targets, Big game, the range at which you want to shoot, what type of big game, is 1k$ not including optics?

    Also, how well does your .280 shoot?
     

  3. DoubleGobble00

    DoubleGobble00 Well-Known Member

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    Oops... I will be hunting deer with it and target shooting. I don't plan to hunt elk or any real big game just whitetails. Yes the $1k is total with optics. I read about the SS 10x or 20x for $300 or the Bushnell 3200 10x for $175 sounds fine to me.

    I have been looking at the Savage FVSS 308 and 300wsm.... Since I don't reload (yet) the 308 might be best since there is a wide variety of ammo and it is cheaper so I can shoot more... I really haven't research them enough just yet so I am looking for some more ideas.

    I think I can shoot 1 inch groups at 100 yards with the 280 if I get a trigger job. I think the trigger is about 7-8 lbs right now (factory trigger). My groups were much larger than this last weekend. My best group last weekend was a 4 inch group at 250 yards which aint that great but okay I guess.

    DoubleG
     
  4. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    Ok, for a rifle I would look at the savage rifles, I have had a few and they all shot well. There fit and finish is not great but we care about performance more than looks. I dont know if I got a fluke or what, but I bought a stevens 200 in a 243 and it is accurate enough with handloads that I would harvest white tails up to 500yrds then past that I want something with more horsies. I've always had good luck with remmies, getting them to shoot sub moa with the exception of an lss in a 300rum. I dont know what you can get on the old senderos around where you live or if you can even find one but they shoot awesome for a factory rifle.

    For cartridge, a 308 is fine for 6-700 yrds on deer. wait, before anybody starts yelling that it can be used further, remember that DoubleGobble is new to the game. No slam to DoubleGobble. I was in the same situation not to many years ago. Along with the 308, the 25-06, 7-08, 243, 260, 30-06 and any of your magnums will do. Tell you the truth, the .280 is an awesome deer cartridge but it has to be accurate. I normally say 1moa is fine to 600yrds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  5. mikebob

    mikebob Well-Known Member

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    maybe you could re-barrel and trigger job, or you could get reloading equipment instead. If it shoots 1moa @ 100 with factory ammo you should be able to reduce that to 1/2 with handloads. But you have to be careful with that bug too, it will get you everytime.
     
  6. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    +1 MikeBob

    Check the bedding on the .280, lighten the trigger and get some reloading gear. Spend 1/2 the money and have an investment that will save you money as long as you shoot.

    The 280 is a great round. If you decide to upgrade, it might be as easy as having that barrel improved to a 280AI, which is an awesome round.

    I'd first try to wring every ounce of accuracy out of the 280 and learn a lot in the process. If the 280 ends up being a dud, you could use it as collateral on the next one.

    Regardless, its tough to do anything long range without reloading.

    AJ
     
  7. mikebob

    mikebob Well-Known Member

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    If you decided to reload you can find a wealth of info on here to get you started, even buy the equipment. When i started in long range the first thing I did was learn how to reload, bed my rifle. I am really glad I started with my old gun first as I would have been really pissed screwing up my new one. Just reloading and bedding alone I found my older guns to be way more accurate than shooting factory ammo.
     
  8. DoubleGobble00

    DoubleGobble00 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Thanks for all the great info fellas. Yal are right... The more I think about it, a new gun isn't going to do me much good with out reloading equipment. I think I will take yals advice and go that route. I am already looking into triggers for the .280. After I get a trigger job I will go back and check to see if I can shoot better with it. I already have a bipod and sand bags for a better rest.

    I checked to see if the barrel was floating on the .280 and it is except for a small portion near the end of the forearm. I assume this is a factory pressure point and I shouldn't mess with it.

    One other question... Does the reloading press have to bolt to a table? I'm in an apartment right now and don't have the best location to reload but if it attaches to the table with clamps I am good to go!

    DoubleG
     
  9. blackco

    blackco Well-Known Member

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    DoubleG, Welcome!!!

    It doesn't take much exposure to catch the bug. Good thing it is only dangerous to your wallet.

    On mounting your press...my first press was a Rockchucker (the one I still use) and I mounted it to a little $5 garage sale bed-side table. I only reloaded for a 300WinMag and resizing was a little interesting, but it worked.

    Lots of people here have mounted their presses to a board and then c-clamp the press to their bench. It is great for flexibility, all you need is a STURDY surface and you're in business.

    I agree with everything that has been said here so far. You have a gun that should be capable of good accuracy and is a caliber that will work fine for what you want. Put your $$$ into tweeking your gun and reloading equipment and you will learn SOOOOOO much more than if you just bought another gun...but another gun is fun also. I didn't see where you are from but one way to save money, or spread out the spending curve, is find some folks in your area who are already set up and share their equipment while you are getting set up. I don't know how many military dorm guys have used my set-up.

    Good luck on your recovery...I haven't found a cure for the bug...but that's a good thing.
     
  10. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    As Blackco stated, just mount the press to a piece of board and then use C-clamps to attach to a work surface. When I lived in an apartment, I bought one of those Black and Decker workmates and clamped my press to it, since nothing else I owned was sturdy enough.

    I just user a 2x6 cut about 2' long with the press mounted via bolts.

    Let us know as you move forward, we can probably save you from buying unnecessary stuff.

    AJ
     
  11. DoubleGobble00

    DoubleGobble00 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info fellas... That sounds like it would work great. I also saw a couple reloading stands at Midway but clamping it to the table or buying a small table should not be a problem.

    Now that I am around that issue and have my $$$ ready to spend what do yal recommend. I hear alot about the Lee Aniversary Kit or Deluxe Kit or do you recommend buying everything separate.

    I have a .280 and a 45 ACP that I would mainly like to reload for.

    Also, which manuel is good for me to start reading? Is any manuel fine or is some better than others. I hope to buy one soon (like this week) and start reading up on it.

    DoubleG
     
  12. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Since you asked ;-)

    Any of the manuals are good. I have a bunch of different ones and I like the Hornady manual. Having several is always good as a way to verify things. That being said, the internet has great resources for loads and info. Hodgdon.com is the one I use most. Depending on how computer oriented you are, the quickload program is a great program for simulating loads all the powders, bullets etc, but certainly not needed in the short term.

    Presses and other equipment can vary greatly in cost. Most of the presses are very good quality.

    Essentially you need to do 4 things when you reload.

    1) resize / deprime cases
    2) reprime cases
    3) Measure powder
    4) seat bullets.

    #1 and #4 are handled by the press/dies. #2 can be handled by the press, but I feel is done better/easier with a Lee HandPrime unit $12 MidwayUSA - Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool and the shell holder kit $13 MidwayUSA - Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool Shellholder Package of 11

    #3, measuring/dispensing powder requires at minimum a scale and a funnel.

    The funnel I use and recommend is $17 and works great for this task MidwayUSA - Frankford Arsenal Powder Funnel with 16 Nozzles and 4" Drop Tube

    A powder measure makes the task easier/faster.
    There are manual and electronic/automatic measures. I like the electronic dispensers but the manuals work well but will require you to trickle the last little bit of powder into the scale to get the perfect amount.

    I used a small manual scale for a long time.MidwayUSA - Lee Safety Magnetic Powder Scale 100 Grain Capacity

    I then transitioned to a digital scale and automatic powder measure. I'd never go back. I used the Pact combo for a couple years and it worked great, but a little slow. I sold the pact and purchased the RCBS and it is an awesome package (albeit a little spendy at $300)
    MidwayUSA - RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Powder Scale and Dispenser Combo 110 Volt
    You could always just start with the scale ($160) and get the dispenser later?

    The other thing you will need is a set of calipers. I used a $5 plastic dial caliper for years and it was fine. You can get stainless dial calipers for $25 or nice digital calipers for $50-$100+. If you get a digital, make sure you get one that automatically turns off, as it will save you a lot of batteries.

    Along with the calipers, I recommend 2 stoney point kits that will enable you to measure everything you need to setup your dies/reloads perfectly.
    MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Gage 5 Bushing Set with Comparator
    and
    MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Comparator Basic Set with 6 Inserts
    or
    MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Comparator Complete Set with 14 Inserts

    Later you will need a case trimmer and I recommend the Forster kit
    MidwayUSA - Forster Original Case Trimmer Kit
    but for the time being, you can just reload and watch your length. There are also other brass prep tools, but they are overkill for starting out.

    You will need a set of dies and a shell holder for each cartridge. You can get die sets for $25-$200 depending on what type reloads you are making. For your 45acp, I'd recommend a Nitride sizing die, so you don't have to lubricate your cases (only works for straight wall cartridges). Something like this set would work
    MidwayUSA - Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension Nitride 3-Die Set 45 ACP, 45 Auto Rim, 45 Win Mag

    For your .280 you will need to lubricate, and the best thing I've found is Imperial sizing wax
    MidwayUSA - Imperial Case Sizing Wax 2 oz
    I've tried the spray stuff, the roll on stuff etc. and this wax is the best.

    A die set for your .280 should be a good quality set. I use the competition Redding dies, but the standard Redding dies are great as well.
    MidwayUSA - Redding 2-Die Set 280 Remington, 7mm Express
    Keep in mind that dies are like pickups, the old Ford vs. Chevy debate.
    Forster, Redding, Hornady, RCBS all have good dies in their lineups.

    Don't forget to get a shellholder for each cartridge you are reloading. They are only a couple dollars each.

    I've left the hardest choice for last. Which press?
    I used a Rock Chucker original for 3 decades and it is still as good as ever. My favorites right now are the Redding 700 Ultra, Rock Chucker supreme and Lee Classic Cast. Any of them will do a great job. If you want my old Rock Chucker, make me an offer and I'll replace it with the Redding ;-).MidwayUSA - Redding 700 Ultramag Single Stage Press

    MidwayUSA - Lee Classic Cast Single Stage Press

    MidwayUSA - RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press

    As far as the kits go, just look at the individual stuff you get and keep in mind the list above and the 4 things you need to do to safely reload shells and you will make good choices. A lot depends on what kind of $'s you have etc.

    At minimum you need a press, shell holder, dies, lubricant, scale, funnel, calipers. Everything else just makes things go faster, easier etc.


    AJ
     
  13. DoubleGobble00

    DoubleGobble00 Well-Known Member

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    Wow this is great... Man you put alot of time into that post. Thanks for the great help. Right now I got about $300 to invest. I want to use the $300 to get all the equipment and some brass, powder, primers, and bullets to get started with. The minimum amount of equipment cost might be best for me right now but of course I want to get the best bang for my buck. I will go check out all the equipment you listed and will go pick up a manuel today at the gun shop.

    Do you think I can get started on $300??? Looks like it is possible with the minimum stuff you listed.

    DoubleG