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

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' 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

    *Note: Sorry for the double post. I posted this in the other forum by mistake, but think it's a better fit here.
     
  2. bassin93

    bassin93 Well-Known Member

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    I started with a rem sendero in a 300 rum with a leupold VX-3 6.5x20 with target turrets and could consistantly hit a 12 x 14 inch plate at 1300 yards. I would say if you are familar with the 300 win go with that chambering in a sendero and get a leupold or even the Vortex Viper PST 6-24 and you have a great start under 2000 bucks.
    You should also look at a savage, not sure which model but I would go with a heavy barreled model. others on here will chime in, some will have good suggestions and others will confuse you with rifle and cartridge chamberings.

    you cannot go wrong with the 300 win mag, but since you don't reload they may be pricey to buy off the shelf. A smaller cartridge like the 6.5 creedmore or even the 260 rem may fit your bill also. My next lr rifle will be in one of the two. I would watch the guns for sale in the forums here for a couple of weeks and chances are you will probably see something you cant live without.
     

  3. 25 Otter

    25 Otter Well-Known Member

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    6.5/284 maybe?
    Savage Arms
    Or a 300?
    Savage Arms
    I'm not a huge Savage fan,but I have had a few. Great out of the box accuracy. Berrels can be changed buy the owner with a couple tools and some common sense. Should you decide you want to cross over from say the 300 Win to the 338 Lapua or whatever catches your eye. When I was active in BR,we had a factory rifle class. Savage ruled the roost at least at our club.
     
  4. bornlucky

    bornlucky Member

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    Although the 7 mag seems to have lost popularity recently i can say it is a great LR gun
    IMHO. The ammo is reasonable and readily available and because of the number of people opting for short mags you can find them used at good prices and use the money you save towards optics. Also keep recoil in mind as you are going to spend a lot of time
    practicing to be proficient at those ranges so a muzzle brake is a good option.
     
  5. OneShot0351

    OneShot0351 Well-Known Member

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    300WM or 7 Mag, +1 on the sendero, also remington now makes the new XCR long range in 300wm and the sps long range in 300wm and 7 mag, the Vortex pst, hst, and leupold mark 4 lr/t, all great scopes.

    buying a factory rifle and expecting 1/2 or 1/4 moa from factory ammo could be hit or miss, you can buy a box or hornady, federal gold medal, or HSM match ammo, and the first brand and first box could shoot lights out 1/4 moa, or not then your off to try a new brand/bullet. and the 2nd choice shoot great, or 3rd, or 4th.... or all of it, or none at all. Every gun is different and if the first one dont shoot right your throwing $40-$60 a box trying to find one that will shoot in your rifle.

    an option to that, preciserifleammo.com, you can select your caliber, select your bullet, and brass and its still going to cost you about the same as a box of match ammo, and you can select to receive a sample pack of 40rnds that are 10rnds of 4 different loads i believe... test those and get them to load the recipe they send you that shoots the best. the ammo may cost a little more but its cheaper in the long run than buying 20rnd box after 20rnd box trying ammo. of course with so many choices it can be dangerous to, just have t make sure you select a bullet that is a known shooter and not a "picky" bullet that will work well with the twist rate of your barrel. there are other custom ammo manufacturers out there that do the same i seen one a while back that send you a test pacl 1(different charge weight in each round) you select the charge weight you want thenn they send you test pack 2 that adjust the seating depth for that that charge weight and you choose what shoots best and have a custom recipe for your rifle without touching a reloading bench and they contine to send you the custom ammo when you need it and have your recipe for when you start pressing out your own one day.

    imo its just dangerous to throw that money into a rifle and expect a 1/2 or 1/4 moa gun from factory ammo. from personal experience i have bought rem sps tac and savage fcp-sr both .308 and federal gold medal match 168gr and both rifles would not shoot over a 1/2 moa... but i have also spent 3,800 on a custom build that sprayed factory ammo like a Woodmaster 742. I then investe din reloading equipment and that the best money ever spent(esp for this sport)
     
  6. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    This
    Savage Arms

    +this
    Vortex Viper PST Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 6-24x 50mm Side Focus First

    with one of these, most any make will do ya
    Harris S-BRM Bipod Leg Notch Sling Swivel Stud Mount 6 to 9 Black

    and a whole lot of this
    HSM Trophy Gold Ammo 6.5mm-284 Norma 140 Grain Berger Hunting VLD

    and run with it gun)

    EDIT: If you know somebody that lives near you that s a long range shooter, bench rester that handloads you can always hit them up to load for you, then you get custom loads for your rifle at a minimum price
     
  7. DakotaGlockGuy

    DakotaGlockGuy Well-Known Member

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Guys,

    Thanks so much for the responses. 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?
     
  8. DakotaGlockGuy

    DakotaGlockGuy Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    Awesome advice, and I appreciate the links!
     
  9. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    1/4 moa is a pretty tough one to meet but it is absolutely doable, whats even tougher is you being able to realize it. With a good rifle and dedication on your part, backed up by handloads with good attention to detail, yup you can do it but your going to get humbled by distance and mostly wind, so your going to need to learn to like the taste of your own pride even when nobody else is around. For me though when you get it all right, and that gong way the hellngone out sends back a ding on the 1st round, it makes all the effort worth it. It gets addicting. :cool:

    Oh and if your really serious order these books, they are invaluable.
    AB for Long Range Shooting
    Accuracy & Precision Book
     
  10. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    .25 MOA is a very high bar. There may be factory rifles here and there that will shoot .25 MOA groups from time to time, but you are very unlikely to acquire a factory rifle that will do that at all, let alone consistently. If you go the custom route, your odds improve, but even a custom rifle will not guarantee that level of accuracy.

    That's the first issue. The second issue is shooter ability. Even from a bench, it takes pretty sound shooting fundamentals to get .25 MOA groups even as close as 100 yards.

    With a good rifle that has a quality barrel, good handloads, and decent optics, .5 MOA is doable on a consistent basis. You may be able to better that by a little bit. I have two rifles that will. Neither of them will do .25 MOA though.

    You don't need to go crazy with your scope just to shoot at the range. You need decent glass, reliably repeatable adjustments, adjustable parallax, and enough scope adjustment to get you to the 1000 yard mark. A 20 MOA base would also be helpful.

    If you are not hunting, I see no reason to go with anything larger than a 7mm. In 7mm, I wouldn't go with a case any larger than the .284 Winchester (but I don't know of any factory rifles so chambered).

    Something in the 6.5 or 6mm class would be a better bet. 6.5-284, 6.5x55, .260, 6.5 Creedmore, or 6.5x47 Lapua are all good options in a 6.5mm. The best performing 140g match bullets will require a 1:8 twist. I have a couple of rifles with 1:9 twists that handle 140 VLD's just fine, but that is kind a roll of the dice. 1:8 is a safer choice if you want to shoot the 140's.

    As for 6mm, there are many options. Most of the popular benchrest rounds are, to my knowledge, not offered in factory rifles. However, the .243 is a very good option in the 6mm class. Just make sure you pay close attention to twist rate. The best 6mm bullets will require a 1:8 or 1:9 twist.

    While you are in the research phase of your project, check out the cartridge guides on 6mmbr.com. There is a lot of useful information there.

    As you reach out to extended ranges, you will quickly find that wind and mirage will be the biggest enemy of .5 MOA or smaller groups. That is where the science of riflery transforms into an art.
     
  11. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    The rifle I was trying to link you to was the Model 12 F class:)

    And yes mirage space that one out. Mirage has been the bane of many a long range shooter.
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    there are a couple guys on here that shoot the F class rifles in competetion, so maybe they'll chime in here. Might also look at the Savage RBLP rifles that are setup for long range target shooting. That would be my rifle of choice without going with a custom action.

    You might also want to consider a 6BR with a fast twist barrel. They seem to get velocities of around 2800fps using bullets like the 105 grain Amax. Very, very efficient little round for what it is. Plus it won't beat you up after shooting a hundred rounds thru it in a single setting. Makes one heck of a varmit rig as well
    gary
     
  13. bornlucky

    bornlucky Member

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    i too like the 243 for bench especially under 600 yds and it is a gun you can shoot all day long but also don't under estimate the value of good bedding job which is cheap and key to consistency. If you think pistol shooting and long range is addictive, just wait until you start reloading:)
     
  14. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    Remington VLS model in .308 caliber
    Federal Target ammo is you dont care to reload..( but you should)
    Scope of your preference on a 20 MOA rail