Questions regarding scope/rifle combo

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by USMC30, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. USMC30

    USMC30 Active Member

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    I am new to long range hunting and am happy to discover this site. My question is as follows. I have recently purchased a Savage model 10 .308 WIN and a Leupold Mark 4 8.5-25X50 30mm scope. This combination was recommended to me by a friend. It's too bad I did not know about this site before I made the purchase. I have not mounted the scope yet and am still looking for a bi-pod. What can I expect out of this combination with regards to long distance accuracy assuming the fundamentals are in place? What is the best round to use? Any recommendations on a bi-pod? Thank you very much for your help.
     
  2. USMC30

    USMC30 Active Member

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    Feb 25, 2010
    I am new to long range hunting and am happy to discover this site. My question is as follows. I have recently purchased a Savage model 10 .308 WIN and a Leupold Mark 4 8.5-25X50 30mm scope. This combination was recommended to me by a friend. It's too bad I did not know about this site before I made the purchase. I have not mounted the scope yet and am still looking for a bi-pod. What can I expect out of this combination with regards to long distance accuracy assuming the fundamentals are in place? What is the best round to use? Any recommendations on a bi-pod? Thank you very much for your help.
     

  3. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    Welcome USMC30. As I am not one of the most experienced members on this site, I will try to start things off in the right direction for you, but I am sure you will get some great advice from some of the senior members shortly. Since you already have the rifle and caliber purchased, all I will say here is that your friend didn't lead you astray. I have owned 2 Savage rifles up to this point as well as Remingtons, Winchesters, Rugers, Sakos, Brownings etc. and in my experience the 2 Savages have been one, two, for the most accurate out of the box rifles I have ever owned. They haven't been the best quality, but for long range work, in my opinion, accuracy is more important than all other aspects. The 308 seems to be the go to caliber for the beginner. Cheap to shoot, accurate, lots of ammo info and choices. It will get you out to 1000 yards but by the time it gets there it will be all out of gas. What I mean is that the 308 is fine for paper but as far as hunting goes, know the calibers limitations. Being that you didn't mention hunting, I would say, good to go.

    A lot of long range equipment is personal preference, quality wise one brand may be just as good as another but it is up to what you prefer, that makes it right for you. So for me the scope that you have, although in the upper end of quality, is what I would call over gunned. I come from a Rocky Mountain hunting back ground and for that a 3-9x42 was the standard, so just take this with a grain of salt. If I had come from a target shooting back ground I would be more familiar with the extra magnification, but I never seem to zoom more than 10 to 12 power on my scopes, this is just where I am the most comfortable. I must say though that I did love every one of my Leupold scopes that I have ever owned.

    As far as what round to use, I have to say, tuned hand loads!!!!!!!!!!! I am probably the biggest advocates of reloading out here. If you don't hand load you will just have to try several different loads in your rifle to see what it likes. I would suggest match grade ammo if you want to be serious, and if that is the route you go it will be expensive. If you do reload then try the Sierra 175 gn Matchkings, or Hornady 168 gn A-Max, I have had good luck with both of these bullets.

    Accuracy, well here there are so many variables that there is no telling what you may end up with. I have ended up with as many lemons, as I have found good ones. Just for an example, one of my lemons was a Remington Sendero in a 300wm caliber. Remington is a great brand of rifle. The go to for long range work, but the one I got had so much free bore that I could not get 180 gn bullets anywhere near the lands. This rifle would only shoot 3 inch groups at best. Would I recommend this exact rifle for someone, heck yeah, I just got a lemon. All I can say is that with my Savages, I was getting .25-.75 inch groupings. I would not hesitate to say I would expect a MOA or better shooter.

    Bi-pod, my only recommendation here would be a Harris. Again this is a personal choice but I have never had a bad Harris, in my opinion they are tanks. I would suggest the S-BRM 6to9 inch. If you are shooting prone you want to try and stay as low as you can and off of a bench you won't need much height. The swivel, notched legs are the Cadillac model, not needed but since the bi-pod will last so long and be used so much why not get the best. Midway USA has them on say right now for $88.99 well worth the money.

    Post some pictures for us of your rig. Once again welcome, and enjoy your new set up.
     
  4. USMC30

    USMC30 Active Member

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    Thank you very much for the informative response. I really appreciate it. It is nice to know that I am starting off with a decent rig. I come from a hunting background. I have found that I always would try to find a tree stand in a field or food plot in an attempt to get a long shot (which I considered to be 200 yards) with my Browning 30-06.

    I later was introduced to the M-16 A2 service rifle in the Marine Corps where I was trained to use iron sights. It was on Parris Island where I was bit with the long range shooting bug. I had no idea that there were enthusiast in this field. I also had no idea that there were resources such as this web site.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to thoroughly answer my questions. I hope that I am one day able to encourage others in a way that you have encouraged me.
     
  5. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard and thanks for your service! Harris makes a great bipod. Do you handload your own ammo? If so, get Lapua brass, you won't regret it. For 1000 yards, I'd suggest at least 175 grain Matchking bullets...or the 155 grain palma's.
    Good luck!
     
  6. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    straightshooter pretty much hit the nail on the head. You've got a good rifle and a great scope. The conventional wisdom says you should spend almost as much in the scope as you do in the rifle.

    Next steps....

    Rifle Stock - odds are the stock you have is not a great one. It if is not-great, consider a good replacement like an HS Precision or Bell & Carlson. Even if it is a good stock and you keep it or buy a quality replacement, your action will generally benefit from having the stock skim-coat bedded. This will allow your action to be rock-solid, stress free and your barrel free-floating.

    Trigger - does your rifle have the accu-trigger? if so, you can probably adjust it yourself down to 3lbs or less. If you're unsure, a gunsmith can do the work for you (not expensive). Light, crisp trigger pull is one of the keys to accuracy.

    Bipod...easy...buy a Harris with the swivel head and notched legs. Might cost a little more than others, but you won't have to buy it again unless you lose it.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. USMC30

    USMC30 Active Member

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    Thank you for the kind welcome. I do not currently load my own ammo, but plan to get set up with a rig in the near future. I have a friend that hand loads ammo for me so I will be sure to pass the info regarding the 175 grain Matchking bullets / 155 grain palma's. Thanks again.
     
  8. USMC30

    USMC30 Active Member

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    It's nice to know that I am starting off with a good combo. I almost had to take out a second mortgage on my house to buy them! I was suprised to discover that the scope was almost as expensive as the rifle.

    I will certainly look into a good replacement stock. I think the stock that I currently have is good, it is the law enforcement (model 10) but it is not skim-coated. I have not put any rounds down range yet, so I will make stock adjustments after I see how the rifle does "out of the box". It's always fun to see how individual changes effect performance.

    My rifle does have accu-trigger. I do not have a gauge so I will have my local gunsmith make the adjustment. Again, this will be fun to persue after I get some rounds down range.

    Thanks for the information. You guy's are getting me motivated!
     
  9. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Message to take away here is bullets with a BC of .500 or better. Berger makes a 175grain VLD that works well in the 308. Also look at the Hornady 208grain Amax (BC = .648) pushed by 48grains RL17 powder. A buddy of mine shoots this combination and it is fantastic!

    The combination of low velocity and low BC is a bad combination for the 308. Low BC bullets won't go 1k yards. They will generally start to tumble around 800 and the wind will push them around.
     
  10. USMC30

    USMC30 Active Member

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    Thanks for the bi-pod recommendation. My Harris S-BRM 6to9 inch is on it's way. I have not mounted my scope yet. What rings would you recommend for my setup? Thanks in advance.
     
  11. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    While there are many ring/base combinations out there, I like the Burris Signature Rings with double dovetail bases. They have a very clean look. They're also fairly inexpensive and they come with inserts so that you can achieve the result of a canted base without the expense.

    Optics Planet has good prices and free shipping

    Burris Signature 30mm Double Dovetail Riflescope Mount Rings FREE S&H 420583, 420584, 420586. Burris Double Dovetail Riflescope Mounts, Rings & Bases, Burris Riflescope Mounts, Rings & Bases.

    Burris Rifle Scope DD Two & One Piece Bases (Double Dovetail). 410520, 410521, 410546, 410547, 410590, 410592, 410593, 410595, 410596. Burris Double Dovetail Riflescope Mounts, Rings & Bases, Burris

    I have two rifles now and my new custom build will wear the same Burris Signature Rings and bases....

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f53/my-280-updated-32771/


    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f53/my-308-1k-rifle-evolution-continues-43510/

    Be sure to read all the way to the end of the write-up on my 308. You will see that I upgraded from the Bushnell 10x to a Leupold MK4 and mounted it in the Burris Signatures rings and bases
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  12. USMC30

    USMC30 Active Member

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    Thank you very much for the information. I really appreciate you including the links. I also have a Leupold Leupold MK4 ER/T. Will the incerts take care of the diameter? I guess a better way to ask the question is are these mounts made specifically for the MK 4 or do i need to ascertain the outside diameter?
     
  13. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

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    You will need 30mm rings, since your scope has a 30mm tube.
     
  14. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

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    Also, you may want to consider a good bore guide to protect the throat on your new rifle. I like the ones that Mike Lucas makes, You can send him an email and he'll fix you up for $39.95; it's a very good investment.

    Mike Lucas [lucasmjb@windstream.net]

    Good luck!
    Steve