Newbie with some questions

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by chris0615, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. chris0615

    chris0615 Member

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    Hi everyone! My name is Chris and I'm joining this forum in hope to get some of my questions answered, and answer some for those in the future when I become more knowledgeable.
    So long story short, I'm getting into tactical rifles and long range shooting, and after three months of hardcore research and looking at various rifles, I would like some advice on which rifle to go with. The rifle will be used for target practice, and long range hunting (mainly 500 yards, with occasionally longer yardage), and will be used during all seasons including winter (primarily in the winter). The ammo used will only be match grade ammunition.
    The ones that I'm considering are a Savage 10FCP with a Choate stock, Ruger M77 Mark II Target, and a 700P.

    The Savage is a 300 WSM and is in fair condition for being used (I believe this was a Cabela's Exclusive rifle?). I believe it has a fluted 24" barrel with a 1/10 twist and comes with a detachable mag. I don't know a lot about the rifle itself, but reviews on other forums said it's a good rifle (two reviews only though, so not sure if that even matters). The bolt cycles really rough.

    The Ruger is NIB and in a .223 caliber and 20" barrel (all stainless steel). There seems to have mixed reviews with some saying they're good, and others not so good; there's not a lot of reviews on the 'target' model though which is the one I'm looking at. I love the mauser solid one-piece action and I've heard that though the barrels were once poor quality, they're now very well made. I'll change out the stock eventually to an HS Precision one, but for now the one that comes on it will do.

    The 700P is used in good condition and is a .308 with a 26" barrel. I love the HS Precision stock, but 26" is really long for hunting through our overly congested land up North.

    The Savage is $650, the Ruger is $750 and the 700P is $800. The Savage and 700P seem very over-priced, but that may be the cheapness inside of me saying that...

    On a side note, I've put away the money for a Leupold Mark 4 LR/T scope, and as much as I want to buy an M700, the cost is just too much for me. I also know that 300 WSM ammo is hard to find, and I'm limited on distance with the .223, and the .308 is the best for long range (obviously the 700P will be better for longer distance). MOA is important to me, and I know all three can do .5 MOA at 100 yards.

    Just to let all of you know... I'm much more biased towards the Ruger as I love the mauser style action, stainless steel action and barrel, and it's one piece bolt design (grew up using Ruger M77s).

    Any knowledgeable advice is greatly appreciated! Three months of research is enough for me... now it's time to ask you guys :)

    Thank you!!!
     
  2. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how much target versus long range hunting you do, game you expect to hunt, and even if handloading is in your future. If I were going to be taking long shots at deer, elk, etc. and use for hunting more than target, I would get the 300 WSM. Savage rifles are hard to beat.
     
  3. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Of those three I personally would go with the Remington. For a used Savage the price seems a little high. I am not a big fan of the Ruger's. The two that I have owned have not been all that accurate. But in the end it ends up being what feels the best to you. I am not a fan of any certain company. I find what feels the best to me and try it out. Recently Tikka has been my go to brand. I have three of them and have been very happy. For a factory rifle that is.
     
  4. chris0615

    chris0615 Member

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    Why the 300 WSM for long range on game? Does it shoot faster and flatter compared to the .308?
    The 700P seems like it would be a long range rifle with enough power for deer and other game, while I wouldn't have to worry too much about accuracy.
     
  5. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    The biggest advantages of the .300 wsm is the downrange energy and the fact that it is a flatter shooting round. The .308 with a 180gr Accubond has a muzzle velocity of around 2500-2600 fps with a muzzle energy around 2500-2800ft/lbs. Where as the my .300 wsm gets a muzzle velocity of 3050fps which should put my muzzle energy around 3700ft/lbs. When you start stretching the distance out, say to 500 yards. Just for an example. The .308 is traveling approximately 1800 fps with an energy of 1400ft/lbs. The .300 wsm will be traveling approx. 2200fps with a left over energy over 2000ft/lbs. When you look at the bullets effective range Nosler states that the Accubond will effectively expand out to 1800fps. With the .308 you are right at the edge. Now if you are shooting targets only and not hunting. This really does not matter. But on game I go off of a rule of at least 1000ft/lbs of energy for deer and 1500ft/lbs for elk. Basically the .300wsm will expand your effective range.
     
  6. chris0615

    chris0615 Member

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    That makes perfect sense. Especially when shooting game long range.

    So if the 300 WSM is the best way to go, what should I look for when checking out the used Savage 10FCP? The gun itself looks like it's in rough condition cosmetically, and the bolt when pushed back in (like you're putting a bullet in the chamber) goes down only with force. Is this normal?
     
  7. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Another way to look at it. The 300 WSM with 180 gr bullet versus 308 with 180 gr at 600 yards has:

    Is over 250 FPS faster
    Has 370 Ft. Lbs. more energy
    Shoots 22" flatter
    Has 5" less wind drift.

    So, yes it does shoot a LOT faster and flatter. Plus the 300 WSM is know for accuracy, just like the 308. I have a semi-custom Savage 300 WSM that shoots 1/2" 3 shot groups at 300 yards.
     
  8. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    This does not sound right. You should not have to force the bolt closed. Are these the only rifles that you are considering? Or have available? I have owned a couple of Savages also. The bolt has never been like that. I would be very cautious. For the kind of money you are talking about spending on a rifle you can get a brand new in the box factory rifle. Don't take my last post wrong. If you are going to stay under 500 yards for deer the .308 would be a great round. I have shot a lot of deer with a .308. The recoil difference between the two calibers is pretty significant. The .308 is definitely more comfortable to shoot regularly unless you plan to put on a muzzle brake on the .300wsm. Also if you do not reload the cost of ammo is cheaper for a .308. Just some stuff to think about or confuse you more. Which it did for me when I was starting out.
     
  9. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    Setting the "Ford vs Chevy" argument for now, for me it comes down to target vs hunting or 308 vs 300 WSM.

    The 308 is a great target round and will have a very long barrel life but comes up short in long range hunting power as compared to the 300 WSM. The 308 can serve hunting needs very well and has for many people but the 300 WSM is a step above at the cost of barrel life.

    Since I would prefer a larger case for hunting I would opt for the 308 to have a rifle to shoot the heck out of until funds became available for a 300 RUM or WinMag at least. The practice with the 308 is cheaper than most and will pay big dividends in the end.

    308 is large enough for hunting for the time being.

    My $0.02

    KB
     
  10. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Chris, are you sure it is a Savage 10 FCP. Savage does not currently list that model in 300 WSM, only the 300 Win Mag. The MSRP for the 10 FCP is 1,277.00 and price would be lower is the rifle does not have a McMillan stock.

    As others have said $650 could be a lot for a used Savage. Especially if it is not really a 10 FCP. Plus you don't want to buy a beat up and broken down rifle anyway unless you just want the action for a build or something. It might be best to take the rifle to a smith to verify function.

    If you are going to be target shooting more than hunting at longer ranges, the 308 would be best. Ammo is much less expensive and also cheaper to reload for.

    Would be really cool to have both. :D
     
  11. chris0615

    chris0615 Member

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    I'm almost positive it's a Savage 10FCP. It comes with a Choate stock and is in 300 WSM caliber. After a significant amount of research, I've found that the only ones that came in this configuration were a Cabela's Exclusive model. The bolt on it is what turned me away so much because I had to "jam" it down shut which doesn't seem right. My M77 Mark II .243 cycles perfectly and I really thought this one would too considering the money.

    To answer the other comment, no these aren't the only rifles I'm considering, and my budget can go up to $1200, but my main concern is that I can use it dependably in all weather situations and that it'll be good for any range (under 1000 yards) that I need it for. I'm really leaning more towards the 300 WSM, but it seems like I'm limited on the types of ammo I can get compared to .308.
     
  12. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Is that jamming when trying to close the bolt handle on an actual cartridge or does it occur when just cycling the bolt?
     
  13. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    If you would fill out a bit of info on your profile, like your location, you may get offers to help you look over the rifle from members close to you.

    I have several Savage rifles and they will never subjectively feel like a Remington or a custom action, but all of mine have worked just fine and they are the least expensive to re-barrel and have a pretty decent trigger. Those 2 items will typically run you close to $1000 to improve on a Remington. Rugers and Browning rifles have far fewer aftermarket parts available and once you depend on the factory, it is possible that they will refuse to sell you a part, like a bolt that you need for a different cartridge if you rebarrel.

    It sounds like you are planning to sink a lot of money into your scope, which is not a bad thing, but only if it does not leave you lacking for other essential items as follows:

    1) Quality rangefinder ($650+)
    2) Reloading equipment and supplies - no long range rifle can live on factory ammo. ($500+ add supplies)
    3) a Bipod and rear bag for shooting off ($80+ for bipod $50+ for bag)
    4) Decent rifle case
    5) good quality cleaning rod, bore guide and supplies and knowing how to avoid damaging your throat and crown

    May I suggest that you look at a Vortex Viper PST scope or even the HS-T 4-16x50 which for your suggested 500 yard range will be fine. Even out to 1000 yards will be fine. $550-$800

    You will need a good quality scope base and rings = $150+ I use Warne Maxima steel 20MOA scope base and steel Maxima rings. Some aluminium rings and bases may be OK, but I no longer trust any of them.

    Have you looked at the price of new rifles at Buds or Wideners ? Typical new Savage long action rifles are about $735 for a brand new 6.5x284 which is a highly competitive rifle. No issues, full warranty.
     
  14. chris0615

    chris0615 Member

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    Just when I cycle the bolt it jams. I can't put any type of cartridge in it at the store to find out if it would then.

    I filled out a bit on my profile for my location. I never even thought about someone coming with to look at it, but if they could then that would be really appreciated.

    I think in my beginning post I said I had a Leupold Mark 4 scope, but I just meant that I budgeted for it. Sorry... I haven't checked out any of the Vortex, but I think I might now. The last scope I checked out was a Bushnell Elite 3200 on Midway's site and it seemed really good for it's price.

    I have looked into and budgeted for a Leupold rangefinder, but not the other items you listed, so I need to consider that. Thank you for reminding me of those things!

    I've checked out a lot of guns off of buds website, and the Savage 10PC really appealed to me (especially the one with the 5R rifling), but I'm just not sure of the accustock; plus I don't know a lot about the 6.5 cartridge ballistics, is it a better cartridge than even the 300 WSM? Is the Savage 10PC pretty good for the ~$800 price new?

    One thing I think I've realized is that all of these rifles can pretty much "outshoot me" though since I'm just starting out...