Totally Over My Head

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Slafav, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Slafav

    Slafav Member

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    I live right outside San Antonio, Texas and am interested in long range shooting. I sometime hunt Whitetail Deer in Johnson city, so I am looking for something that can kill a deer at a decent distance, say 300 - 400 yards, but mainly just want to shoot for fun. I'm so lost in all of the rifle, caliber, optic jargon that I don't really know what I am looking at. Any help and suggestions on gear is really appreciated.

    Stephen
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the site.

    Your question is so open ended, almost any reasonable big-game chambering will accomplish your task. you could spend as little as $500 on a packaged Savage to several thousand dollars and be able to take deer at 500yds or so.

    PM me if you want someone to discuss this with over the phone, I have verizon cell phone and have free minutes after 9pm eastern time.

    AJ
     
  3. Slafav

    Slafav Member

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    I guess it is pretty open ended. I am looking to stay under $1000 - $1500 if possible and want something that will perform reliably for a while. I have heard good things about .300, .308, and 7mm mag, but don't really know the difference in ballistics, cost, availability, etc. I don't want to get in to reloading or anything of that nature, so I'd like to avoid calibers that require something like that. If there is more info that you guys need please ask and I will try and help you out as much as I can.
     
  4. Nape.270

    Nape.270 Well-Known Member

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    My first ? to you would be what have you shot or been shooting?
     
  5. Slafav

    Slafav Member

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    I used to own a small .22 rifle and now own a 12ga shotgun. Have used a 30-30 and a 30-06 as well. I have been doing a lot of shooting recently with my 12ga, and the recoil of all of these guns doesn't bother me. Don't know how some of the longer distance calibers stack up.
     
  6. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    If 400yds is your maximum distance and deer are the largest game you intend to hunt; a heavy barrelled .308win and a good 3x9 scope would easily do what you intend. Ammo for the 308Win is as available as about any cartridge. It is a proven performer and a modestly heavy barrel will reduce recoil to a very comfortable level for extended target practice. The barrel life on the 308 is about as good as it gets for rifles that would meet your requirements.

    AJ
     
  7. Slafav

    Slafav Member

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    What if I wanted to push the max distance out a bit? Say, 800 -900 yards, but not need it to be necessarily lethal? Would that be possible?
     
  8. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    Sure would. Lots of folks out there using a 308 for 1000yd matches all the time. I don't think anyone will advise you to shoot at big game at the above distances though.
     
  9. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    There is a .308 Rem 700 PSS for sale in the Classifieds on this site. I think they want $750 for it and have shot a sub 1/2moa group with it.

    AJ
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    If you want to shoot out to 800-900 yds with any sort of accuracy, you will need to handload. You will also need above average glass.

    For an out of the box accurate rifle and cartridge, I would recommend a Tikka in 270 WSM. It will have better ballistics and *possibly* better accuracy (can hear the .308 guys already :rolleyes:) Accuracy is really more of a rifle/load combination than cartridge. You might get a good or better shooting rifle off the rack and it may take some experimentation with different loads to find the good one for that rifle.

    Good shooting,

    -MR
     
  11. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily, I worked with a 300Win mag that was an absolute tack driver with factory ammo (we tried 4 different types and 2 shot real well and 2 were average). With all the different 308 ammo available, I wouldn't be surprised if sub 1moa results could be found off the shelf if you had a good rifle. I've found that good rifles shoot just about everything pretty well.

    I agree that for 800-900yd results, handloading is a more gauranteed approach but you still need a good rifle. I also agree, there are easier ways to shoot that far than with a 308, but with good barrel life and off the shelf ammo, the 308 is very tough to beat.

    AJ
     
  12. Slafav

    Slafav Member

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    Any suggestions on rifle makers, or do they all even out in some way? I may search the classifieds, but I'm thinking it may take a little time to get the money together for my rifle.
     
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    A few offer accuracy guarantees, but they can be very tough to collect on. I am currently having issues with my "guaranteed" Sako. I sent the rifle to them with 2-4 MOA bullet riddled targets and they "clean" the rifle and send it back with a computer generated target (no real bullet holes) supposidly showing a .9 MOA group and then say this rifle is fine :cool:

    I would say that Rem Senderos probably have the best out of the box accuracy rep, followed closely by Savage and Tikka. Howa's and Vanguards (made by Howa) are also usually very good. Sub MOA Vanguards actually come with a target with real bullet holes.

    Most factory rifles these days are good shooters, some maybe a little better than others, but you will occasionally run into a lemon. Also, the more powerful the cartridge, the more you want to look at the quality of stock the rifle comes with.

    Dont be in a hurry to get one. Do a lot of reading in this forum and others and you will get a good feel for what's out there. You can sometimes get a good deal on gunbroker.com, or right here, or in your local classifieds. I found a tack driving Sendero 300 RUM in my local classifieds.

    -MR