Expert Advice Request for New Shooter


New Member
Apr 8, 2015
Hi all,

I’ve been reading this forum for the past week or two to determine the best starter/budget package to get into the long range tactical/target scene. After reading numerous threads, I’d like to see if my research (mostly uneducated) has yielded proper results. I live in the PNW and the nearest range offers 100 to 300 yard targets. I will be shooting from prone or a bench not lugging a rifle around too much.

I will be only shooting paper with no intentions of hunting/varminting and hope to increase to further distances as my skill improves. The overall goal is to buy a decent stock gun now and when I’m able to shoot further, look into a semi-custom rifle down the road. My budget is about $2500 for rifle, scope, rail, bi-pod, rings, and case. I was looking at a nice semi-custom setup from a few builders but it pushes my budget too far. I won't be able to reload just yet so will purchasing ammo online or at local shops.

How’s this setup?

RifleSavage 10 Predator Hunter Max in 6.5 Creedmoor - Since I’m new to shooting rifles and don’t have access to longer targets, I figure this caliber will help with any recoil issues I will experience as a rookie. I was also looking at the Savage 12 LRP.

ScopeViper Vortex PST 6-24x50 FFP - I understand my scope is just as if not more important than the rifle itself.

MountEGW Savage Picatinny 20 MOA

RingsVortex Precision

BipodHarris 6” – 9”

Down the road, I may purchase a new stock and really like offerings from XLR Industries and Tactical Custom.

I went to a few gun shops and held the Sako A7, Tikka T3 Lite, Remingtion 700 5R, and Savage 11. The Sako A7 and Tikka T3 felt great. The Tikka, as expected, was so much lighter than the others but the Sako felt the best.

Now here's a possible wrench. I can get a used Cooper Model 54 in 7mm that's been fired a few times for $1500. However, I need to check to see if Cooper will still honor any type of warranty. Out of all the guns I picked up, nothing came as close to how the Cooper felt; the weight, the stock, and the bolt action was as good as the Sako. Even if the warranty isn't transferred over, would this be a smart purchase?

I’m open to other suggestions and nothing has been purchased yet. I’m super excited to make this my new hobby and can’t wait to start shooting.

Thank you for your time in helping out this newbie.

just browsing

Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2015
Save yourself some money and buy the Savage or a Remington. Both are going to outshoot you from the factory (no offense), and will give you great platforms to build off of later. No reason to spend another $500 on a rifle that's going to give you about the same accuracy as the Savage.

As for the scope, the Viper 6-24 FFP is hard to beat for the money as far as features and quality of glass go. I have one and have been extremely happy with it.

As far as mounting is concerned - take the money you save from buying the Savage and get some good rings at the very least. A scope can be a lifetime investment if taken care of properly. It helps that Vortex has a fantastic warranty but I wouldn't recommend leaving it to chance. Plenty of people will say that the EGW base is fine, but even then there are better quality bases available. I started using Ken Farrell rings and bases and have not looked back - yes, you're going to pay a lot for them but the quality is the best I've seen. Of course there are other good options as well (Nightforce, Seekins, etc.) so just do some shopping around. Even if you stay with the EGW base, don't cheap out on the rings.

Harris bipod will do the job fine.

Good luck and welcome to LRH!


Well-Known Member
May 22, 2012
Brookston, MN
Tikka sporter in 260, Bushnell 3.5-21x50, vortex rings, Talley 20moa base.

may go over a bit but that's life.

savage lrp action, shilen select match in 6.5 Creedmoor, sharp shooters supply trigger. Krg x ray chassis. Bushnell 3.5-21x50

Savage 110fcp 300wm, Bushnell 3.5-21x50, badger rings.


Well-Known Member
May 23, 2012
Lebanon County PA
As a confirmed barrelnut addict, I favor your Savage option, though I would tend toward a long action caliber choice to increase options for future rebarreling to longer range choices. Bases and rings for me are the EGW 20moa rail, and Burris Posilign Zee rings to allow zeroing without using up internal adjustments in the scope. I am not a fan of the accutrigger, and use RifleBasix triggers for my builds with good results. The Vortex is good, I run the HSLRs and am very pleased with them.


Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2008
Central Pennsylvania
I like all you have picked. The only change I would make is to look into the EGW HD base. Much better than the less expensive one. I have both and prefer the HD base. Also add the Karsten Cheek rest model A. Easy to install by yourself. Good cheek weld is a bonus when shooting for accuracy.