Out of the Box: Best Long Range Target Rifle/Caliber/Ammo Combo?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by DakotaGlockGuy, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. DakotaGlockGuy

    DakotaGlockGuy Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone!

    First post from a pistol guy that has been bitten by the long range bug! While LR shooting is very different from the pistol shooting I’m used to, I have really started to develop the same passion for it that I had/still have for pistols. I did a broad search, but couldn’t find exactly what I’m looking for so I thought I’d make this post.


    I'm starting to get some ideas for my first LR gun, and want to make sure I'm headed down the right path. What I’m looking for from you guys with FAR more experience than I have, is some recommendations, or points to consider, based on the following criteria.


    Intended Use:
    Strictly a range gun. I'm not a hunter, and pretty sure I'll never turn into one!




    Basic Criteria:
    • Looking for the best out of the box LR TARGET (ONLY) rifle – this will not be used for hunting.
    • We have 2 main ranges here, so distance is up to 1K yards. I would say about 60% of my range time will be at 100 yards (as that range is much closer to me), with the other 40% at distances up to 1K yards.
    • The 2 calibers I’m most familiar with are .223 (AR-15) and 300 WM.
    • I have some small children, and am working on a second business, so reloading is something I don’t really have the time for right now. That’s why I’m looking for the best out of the box Target caliber with factory loads. I *may* get into reloading at a later date, but we’re talking at least a year or two down the road.
    Goals:
    Develop proficiency out to 1K yards, with the ability to *consistently* group .25 to .5 at 100 yards.


    Budget:
    $2K to $3K range, trying to stay closer to the $2K, of course. I also have the mindset that the glass is going to cost about 2x what the rifle does to get the kind of accuracy I’m looking for.


    Thanks again for your help, and please let me know if there is any other info you need, or criteria for me to consider!
     
  2. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    .25MOA at 100? Learn to reload. If not you can choose the 223 or 308. Or the 223 or 308 lol. Not a lotta choice. And .25MOA? Well if ya buy a 308 or 223 and it CONSISTENTLY does .25 moa please post MEGA MILLIONS lottery #s for us poor folk lol. Cuz you just blasted the jackpot baby!
    Reloading isnt that tuff nor does it take up much time. I consider it impossible to do LR without a press. Course Im a snob too. A savage f class in 223 or 308 comes to mind and spend the 1-2k you save one even better glass and a reloading press. I cant stress enough how much the 1000yd game requires it. And yes michele gallagher would paste me with factory 308 stuff....but not by much.
     

  3. DakotaGlockGuy

    DakotaGlockGuy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the response. I really appreciate it.

    After thinking this over, and talking to a friend of mine that is a reloader about the actual process, time and expense of reloading, I was really surprised to hear it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. The biggest thing with me is the lack of time, but after talking to my friend, it doesn't sound like the press is something you need to set up and tear down every time you use it. In fact, he mentioned that once it's set up, you can just knock some rounds out each night and stock yourself up for the next trip out to the range. That doesn't sound too bad. Plus the fact that I'm severely OCD, so having control over that part of the equation makes it even better!

    As far as the .25-.5 MOA stuff, I've heard of at least one manufacturer that has the .5 guarantee. I thought that meant just in stock trim, or with whatever glass they provided. I was thinking that spending some real $ on a great optic would make .5 the low end of the range, but it sounds like that might be a more realistic goal to shoot for once I have everything tuned for that gun.

    Speaking of which, that's what I'm looking to have happen, and I appreciate the info on that preciserifleammo.com sight! Once I have the load(s) set up, I think I'm just going to really focus on working on my skills and not messing with a gun that is far more accurate than I am.

    So after this new info, here's another question for you guys.

    If I take on the reloading part, does that make the .25 MOA a lot more realistic, or is it still a high bar?
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    If you are going to range shoot only, the 308 is the way to go. The 223 won't cut it to 1k compared to the 308. This is only my opinion but its correct.:D

    0.25 to 0.50 MOA is gonna be a pot shot with and out of the box factory rifle. Not to say that it can't happen.

    If that factory out of the box is your only option, before its ever fired, do the bedding thing, pillar and skim. Threads on here to show how those things are done. Not hard to do well, the first time by someone with your experience.

    Do some trigger work if necessary.

    Your thinking on glass is proper.

    Next step would be to break in the barrel. Go to Lilja's web site for a way to do that.

    While doing the break in shoot for groups to get an "idea" of how it shoots. If it breaks in quickly that will be good. If not, run a full dose of Tubbs Final Finish through it. and see how she shoots. Usually there will be an improvement.

    Except for the Tubbs process I am assuming factory loads. If the barrel excessively copper fouls after say 20 shots I'd do the Tubbs thing.

    With factory loads you are going to get what you are going to get.

    As stated in the above post a press and dies is almost a must to attempt to attain your accuracy goal. It isn't that much in $ when compared to factory ammo costs.

    By reloading, your bullet, power and primer selection will be greatly increased allowing you to "find" the combination of components and seating depth that works best in your rifle. Which will make you range shooting much more economical, efficient and enjoyable.

    I've learned over the years that rifle and load preparation is much more effective than throwing tons of lead down range.:)

    As for manufactures I suggest either Remington or Savage as they seem to me to be the easiest to work on. Plus with the Savage barrels and bolt faces can be changed to be able to also go the 223 route.


    Just some thoughts.
     
  5. IdahoCTD

    IdahoCTD Well-Known Member

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    This is what I would do.......I would buy a Remington 5R in .308 (substitute Sendero or AAC/SPS varmint plus a new stock). I would put a Jewell trigger in it and shoot it to see if it turns in acceptable results. If it does you got off cheap. If it doesn't I'd spend the rest of the money you were going to spend on rebarreling it with a good match quality barrel. Here is where you'll get your accuracy guarantee and where you can switch calibers if you want to.
     
  6. Armored Transport

    Armored Transport Well-Known Member

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    Roll on over to AccurateShooter.com and check out the 6BR caliber. It will do everything you are looking to do and be very cost effective doing it. 6mm bullits are cheap and lapua makes the brass. Good luck with your project...gun):)
     
  7. DakotaGlockGuy

    DakotaGlockGuy Well-Known Member

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    That is impressive, and after some more reading, the 6BR is now my first choice. I'm still in the research phase, but I'm getting it narrowed down!

    Thanks again everyone for your help. It is GREATLY appreciated!!!
     
  8. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    you may get acceptable accuracy from a savage. i would get a remington 700 action and put a krieger barrel on it and save your self some time and frustration. 6mmbr is an excellent choice.
     
  9. rinodods

    rinodods Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I'm gonna have to be the guy that suggests a 6.5. Take a hard look at the 6.5 creedmoor or 260 rem. It tops the 308 ballistically at the longer ranges you are talking about. Recoil is fairly mild and at least the creedmoor you'll find some good ammo from hornady over the counter. Also the hornady load recipe is no secret so you should be able to reproduce it after you start reloading. For a strictly range gun and caliber it would be hard to find better. I believe you can even find a factory Savage in the creedmoor these days.
     
  10. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    And send a gunsmith about $500 extra(on top of chambering and fitting costs) to straighten that rem up too. By the time you wait for him to straighten it up and send him those checks you will have saved a ton of time and money in a universe where 2+2=17. Hey einstein said its possible to have a universe where this makes sense, not me.
    Or you could do it yourself in 1/100 the time a smith needs and you can build the WHOLE GUN parts/labor for about half of what the smith will charge on a rem for labor. Sounds like a waste of money and time to me. Hmmmm.
     
  11. squirrelduster

    squirrelduster Well-Known Member

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    Pretty hard to beat Savage rifles for out of the box accuracy.

    6BR is amazing. The accuracy is scary but at 1k it starts to loose its edge. Look at the 6.5x.284 for 1k accuracy you are looking for.
    I have both and love my 6br for up to 500 or so yards but the 6.5 x284 is my long range deer and antelope rifle that is good for 1k.
    Either one will shoot dime sized groups at 100 yards.
     
  12. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i compete in target shooting f-class out to 1000 yards. i shoot against savage rifles all the time . it is a lot of fun . grin.
     
  13. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    Dakota- the 6mmbr is easy to load for , 29 or 30 grains of varget , crunch a bullet on it . i would get a remington action, krieger barrel, several stocks would would work , a davidson single shot ramp. . staying under 1500 for the gun . pick up a 6.5-20 leup 650 and some lapua brass. ....... or get a savage( 1000) and start shooting right away.
     
  14. squirrelduster

    squirrelduster Well-Known Member

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    I don't shoot competition but was wondering how the Savage rifles do in comparison to the custom stuff?