New to Long Range

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by rhill494, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. rhill494

    rhill494 New Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    Hey everyone, I'm new to the whole long range game and I'm looking for some advice. Just a couple weeks ago I picked up a new Savage model 11 in .308 with the Nikon bdc scope for a heck of a deal. I already know that I want a different scope for this gun, but I figured in the mean time I could use it to get a feel for the gun, also so I can get some reloads going and see what my gun likes.

    I picked up some of the Norma tac-308 bullets just so I could throw some lead out, and get some decent brass piled up; even with these rounds I can cover a 3 shot group at a 100 yds with a quarter.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is that I really don't want to throw a whole pile of money at this gun, since I'm using it as a beginning gun to learn shooting farther without wiping out my wallet.

    Anything you guys can suggest to me as far as a middle of the road scope, loads, or basic upgrades for my rifle to get me going?

  2. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    Welcome to the site!

    I'm sure you will get a bunch of different responses and ideas. Here is my thought:

    Your gun is shooting good. No sense messing with it (yet). Once you learn what you do and don't like when shooting LR you can start making changes.

    On to your scope. I am a little torn here, so I'll put two options out there:

    #1. Grab a spotter and go see how far out you can make MOA hits with your set-up exactly as-is. Use the BDC to the best of your ability. Determine if you want more mag, prefer dialing over holdover, if you might use variable power and would get value out of a FFP scope, etc. Basically, see how far out you can get on targets and see where and how you begin to fail, and let this lead into your decision on a scope (and a quality rail and rings!)

    #2. Do some research and buy a reputable LR scope. Decide if you are going to dial and hold MOA or MIL and buy accordingly. Check out the classifieds here - good used glass will save you a few bucks and will hold its value should you decide the price isn't worth the performance. I'll bet you won't - good optics are worth every penny. I have NF scopes for long range, and Swaro Z5's that I take out to 700yds with the BT. Vortex scopes also get good reviews. Buy once cry once. Get a high-end 20MOA rail and good rings, and go shoot.

    I lean toward #2 because I think a new scope is inevitable, and it will help you learn and catalogue the drops of your rifle better (relative to the limits of the BDC option). But, knowing the limits of your current equipment is also valuable in choosing new gear - plus it helps remove any buyers remorse when you take your new stuff in the field and see immediate benefit. :D

    Once you get through your new scope, you can again push your limits and assess what (if any) changes you want to make to your rifle/loads.

    Good luck and have fun!
  3. rhill494

    rhill494 New Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    I think I might do a bit of both! I plan on putting the Nikon on my 338 win, so testing out the BDC should give me a feel for how accurate it is and whether I'll keep it or not.

    As far as magnification goes, I want something that I can shoot targets at long range, yet also be able to shoot that big buck that ends up walking out 30 yds away from me come season!

    After doing some research, I think that an MOA setup would work for me best.

    Let me know what you think of these: EGW 1-Piece Picatinny-Style 20 MOA Elevated Base Savage 10 Through 16

    Vortex Viper HS-T Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 4-16x 44mm Side Focus VMR-1
  4. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    I think that you would be very happy with the Vortex Viper HS-T. I got one about 3 weeks ago and put in on my .300wsm. I haven't taken in out past 600 yards yet but so far it has worked flawlessly. Also, I have had good luck with the EGW bases. I use the TPS TSR rings with that base.
  5. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    In my opinion the scope is one of the most crucial elements to a long range rifle. I dont know exactly what your expectations are, or your skill level, but i wasted a lot of time and bullets shooting with crappy scopes. If your strapped for cash do what varminth8r recommended and practice with what you have til you save up some money and figure out what you want.
  6. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    You are doing quite well with what you have. That being the case the most sensible thing to do is stick with what you have for now and shoot it till your ability to shoot exceeds the capabilities of your set up.

    Set some money aside each month while you are doing so to save up for the best glass you can possibly afford.

    The longer you do this, the more you will be able to spend on that glass... .

    I would also say stick with the 50mm OBJ or larger. Sooner or later you will regret going smaller because there will come a time when you just don't have enough light gathering capability out of the smaller objective and won't be able to take the shot of a lifetime.