Give me advice on a long range beginners rifle and scope!


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Dtmoss14
August 13, 2007, 06:25 PM
I was thinking maybe a Sako, Savage or Remington in .308 but as far as specific models I am lost. Feel free to advise other makers as well.

I also have almost no knowledge of optics.

Thank You!

Edit: I would also like to add that I will be shooting for purely recreational purpose and I do not hunt.

Just so everyone knows: What i mean by long range is 700 yards and up.

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GunTech
August 13, 2007, 06:48 PM
Depends on your budget.

$1000:

Savage tactical ~ $500
Warne Picatinny base ~ 75
TPS steel 30mm rings ~ 75
SWFA SuperSnipe 10x ~ $300

$2500
FN SPR ~ $1300
TPS 30MM rings ~75
USO ST-10S / Leupold MkIV 3.5x10/Nikon Monarch X 2.5-10x ~ $1000

Goes up from there

CommanderPoopyduX
August 13, 2007, 07:17 PM
Firstly, what do you consider to be long range. You may find that your definition of long range doesn't meet the need to step up to a FN. I just bought a Remington 700 SPS - Varmint in .223 because I am going to be shooting 300 to 400 yards. To me that is long range (as I am a beginner). I went with .223 because it is cheaper to shoot, doesn't recoil so I can shoot it all day, and is easy to find commercial ammo for. I also have a 30-06 hunting rifle though, and thus only need this gun to punch holes in paper from far away. Tell us what you are imagining you will do with this rifle and you will get much more specific answers.

The Annoyed Man
August 13, 2007, 08:06 PM
About a month and a half ago, I bought a Remington 700 VSF Left-Hand (http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/left-hand/model_700_VSF.asp) (yes, I shoot from the sinister side). I've only been able to get to the range twice since buying it, and due to local range restrictions, I have only shot it out to 100 yards so far, but at that distance, it easily shoots under 1 MOA, even getting down to .5 MOA a few times. The rifle lists for $1,185.00, but I "only" paid $831.00 at a local dealer. I've mounted a Leopold 4.5-14x50mm scope, and I've had the trigger lightened to 3.5 lbs. The overall impression is of a refined rifle that shoots very accurately. Details like the tan stock, the fluted barrel, and the jeweled bolt body add to that impression. Here is a picture of mine (http://www.annoyedman.com/images/fampics/Remington700VSF_SideView.jpg).

However, if I had to club somebody to death with a rifle, I would pick my son's brand new, never been shot yet, Savage 10FP HS Precision (http://savagearms.com/10fphsprecision.htm) ($799.00 from a local dealer). It is a beast. A tank. A battle-axe. A broad sword. It ought to shoot very nicely when we get a chance to get it to the range. But it does not give the same impression of refinement as does the Remington. The Savage is tight, very well put together, and has a wonderful trigger, but it is all black, and appears thick and brutish. My son has topped it with a Bushnell 4200 Elite 6-24x40mm scope. I have to say, at 17 years old, he has better taste in rifles than I did at his age. Here is a picture of his rifle (http://www.annoyedman.com/images/fampics/Savage10FP_SideView.gif)

Since a measeley $32 separates the price of the two rifles, I would say that price should not be much of a factor in making your choice. Also, don't let looks be a determinant. It's cool when a rifle looks like it will do what it alleges to do, but the most important thing is how tiny your groups are going to be, not what the rifle looks like. Pick ugly and accurate over beautiful but useless. Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in any really good design, form always follows function. The Savage AccuTrigger is Pure D Awesome for a right out of the box rifle. I had to spend an additional $50 or so at my local gunsmith's to get my Remington trigger lightened to 3.5 lbs - which makes it feel like the OEM AccuTrigger setup. Scope selection will have a huge impact on the price of the total package, since you should be prepared to spend a significant percentage of your rifle's price on a decent scope for it.

If I had to do it over again, I would give a long hard look at the Savage rifle for myself, even though I am very satisfied with the Remington. I chose the Remington simply because it was left handed, and available on the shelf at the time I was ready to buy. (Trust me, being left handed is like that, and it gets even worse - and more expensive - when you are talking about fine guitars). In short, either rifle would be a good choice for a beginning long range shooter.

I wish I could tell you more about shooting technique, but I'm new to this long distance game myself, having only shot out to 750 yards once in my life, and it was almost comical. So I'll defer to more experienced and wiser heads in that area.

I apologize for being long winded, but I hope this information was useful in helping you to make your rifle selection.

Regolith
August 13, 2007, 08:29 PM
If your on a budget, go with Savage. Their rifles can be had for around $400, and from what I've heard most will shoot sub-MOA right out of the box. They also have easily adjustable triggers, something the Remington doesn't have yet.

If you got a little more money, look into Remington. They are more easily customizable, and can be made to shoot extremely accurately if you put enough money into them. They are also a little bit more refined.

mgh
August 13, 2007, 08:45 PM
I wanted to shoot the long distance match at my gun club, but I didn't want to put too much money in it. So last week I got a Stevens Model 200 in .223 with a Bushnell Elite 3200 scope. The Stevens was two eighty, the scope three sixty. Along with the rings and tax my starter set up was about seven and a half.

I did some research on this. The Stevens is supposed to be pretty much a Savage without the Accu-trigger, and with an ugly polymer stock. I picked the .223 round because it's inexpensive to reload and there's plenty of relatively cheap factory ammo. Also, it was supposed to shoot pretty flat, and (supposedly) could reach out to 600 yards. Not much recoil. I don't know much about optics either, so I followed the recommendation of someone I trust at the gun store and went with the Bushnell.

On Saturday I went to the range to try it out. The scope is good - very clear and bright. I shot some Remington 55 grain rounds. Once sighted in I was able to shoot an approximately three inch group of five rounds at 100 yards. I'm happy with that, as it was my first time shooting a bolt action rifle from a bench rest. I liked the trigger - crisp and light. But I've been shooting double action revolvers for a long time, and anything less that eight pounds feels light.

Next I tried it on the 300 yard range. I was able to keep the first five or six rounds on the 8 inch target, but they were all over, no grouping. After that, it was hit and miss. I wasn't waiting too long between rounds at that point, and the barrel got hot - from what I've read, that will affect accuracy. Of course, a lot of the problem was with the shooter.

I'm very pleased with the rifle and scope. It's just about right to learn with. The price was right. After I learn to shoot it I might upgrade to a .308.

30Cal
August 13, 2007, 08:49 PM
Next I tried it on the 300 yard range. I was able to keep the first five or six rounds on the 8 inch target, but they were all over, no grouping. After that, it was hit and miss. I wasn't waiting too long between rounds at that point, and the barrel got hot - from what I've read, that will affect accuracy. Of course, a lot of the problem was with the shooter.

The wind starts to matter at 300yds, so if it's not calm, you'll probably want to shoot at a brisk pace. 10rds in a minute or so will tell you whether or not the rifle will act up as it heats up (and it won't hurt the rifle to check--we do it all the time in Highpower competition).

Ty

JTW Jr.
August 13, 2007, 09:05 PM
I had a $1000 budget , went with TIkka T3 Lite in .308 and a 10x Super Sniper , Harris Bipod , came in just under $900 total.

The Annoyed Man
August 13, 2007, 09:38 PM
Originally Quoted by Regolith
If your on a budget, go with Savage. Their rifles can be had for around $400, and from what I've heard most will shoot sub-MOA right out of the box. They also have easily adjustable triggers, something the Remington doesn't have yet.I have seen Savage rifles for around $400, but they have all been inexpensive "package" guns and the like, with light barrels, and cheap stocks. On the other hand, even the cheap ones have that great trigger, and at least one of the package guns I saw, a deer rifle in .30-06, had a fully floated barrel. However, I've never seen a new in the box heavy barreled Savage sniper rifle for that price. If you have a line on where one like that can be had for $400, I would sure appreciate it if you'd send me a PM. I'll buy one tomorrow.

Regolith
August 13, 2007, 09:56 PM
Annoyed....yeah, the heavy barreled sniper version isn't available at that price. But he didn't specify exactly what he means by "long range," and hence a heavy barrel might not be as necessary. If "long range" means 200-500 yards, the standard hunting setups should work fine.

Dtmoss14
August 14, 2007, 01:02 AM
I would like to shoot as far as I can accurately with a price point of around 600-700 for the rifle (alone). Thanks.

EDIT: I am willing to flunctuate in price a bit if it will make a difference.

Regolith
August 14, 2007, 01:29 AM
Dtmoss....I would say that the Savage 10FP would work then. Its about $600 or so, maybe a little less. It has a heavier barrel than the hunting rifles, but not as heavy as the 10FP HS Precision, and its within your price range, where as the 10FP HS Precision is a little outside of it.

Andrewsky
August 14, 2007, 01:51 AM
Browning A-Bolt.

Good looking
Smooth Action
Very Accurate
Awesome Safety Placement
Reasonably Priced

I have one in .300 Win Mag with a 3.5-10x Leupold on it. It easily shoots less than 1moa. Both of the deer I shot with it were DRT.

oneeyesnipe
August 14, 2007, 07:25 AM
I Just Put A Savage Model 12 F/tr In Layaway 975.00 And I Did Alot Of Research Myself I Also Looked At The Remington 700 And A Buddy Of Mine Has A Cz Which Is Very Accurate Shooting Times 2007 Has A Big Article On The Savage You May Be Able To Get A Copy Off The Net At Their Website One Test Shows 0.88 Inches At 500 Yds There Is My 2 Cents Worth Good Luck

Expertowgunner
August 14, 2007, 08:21 AM
Get a Savage 10fp, you wont regret it at all. Put 4 rounds in the same hole at 200 yds with cheap remington ammo.

Bought mine for 500, and it came with the thumbhole stock (plus different cheekwelds), harris bipod, accutrigger, and weaver mounts. Had only 70 rounds put through it, and i topped it with a millet tactical 4-16x50 30mm scope (with illuminated mil-dot). overall cost for rings and rifle was under 900 for me and it is a hell of a shooter too.

Expertowgunner
August 14, 2007, 08:28 AM
BTW, a lot of people seem to hate the plaster thumbhole stock (it does look a little ugly) but where it shines is functionality. Its aluminum bedded, free floating, adjustable cheekpieces and stock spacers, and is TOUGH AS HELL. super accurate rifle which seems to be dogged by people who view it as a "peasent" rifle to their ultra expensive custom $3500+ rifles with $6000 dollar scopes on it. Great rifle if you wish to get a police/military sniper type rifle that is easy on the wallet. Remington 700s are always a great alternative and so are the fns but the savage really does shine for the price and quality.

Expertowgunner
August 14, 2007, 08:32 AM
Again BTW dont get the factory stock on the savage, ive heard bad stories about them (being weak and flimsy) so id go with the plaster stock or the hs precision stock. ive never had experience with the factory stocks but thats the general consense on them.

erict
August 14, 2007, 10:06 AM
I had one with the John Plaster stock and it was very comfortable. It did weigh in @ 18 pounds though with an aftermarket heavy barrel on it :eek:.

I have a 10fp in .223 that's an awesome shooter and VERY accurate. It still has the factory stock on it and the word "sucks" doesn't even describe it. I plan to replace the stock soon.

Either way, you won't be disappointed with a Savage rifle.

BigSoundRacing
August 14, 2007, 12:15 PM
This is the best I have found:

http://demigodllc.com/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-equipment/

There are three parts - great read!

Dtmoss14
August 14, 2007, 01:26 PM
Hey Andrewsky, just so I know what model of the A-bolt do you recommend? Also, hows the trigger?

Thanks!

How come the savage 10fp or 12f/tr isn't on their website?

Will the 12f/tr shoot quite a bit better than the 10fp? Higher quality?

Thanks

Dtmoss14
August 14, 2007, 05:15 PM
bump

GunTech
August 14, 2007, 05:30 PM
The FN SPR comes with a McMillin A3 stock and they guarantee 1 MOA or better, all for around $1300. It also includes a NEAR mfg 20MOA picatinny base.

No light barrel should be considered if you are planning on shooting more than a couple of rounds.

Where I hear long range, that means 1000 yards. 600 yards is service rifle range.

Savage is the definite pick in the under $1000 (wih scope) category.

The Tikka is a decent rifle, particularly the tactical model. But the lack of any after-market parts and the very expensive plastic mags move this rifle down the list AFAIC.

The Remington LTR is a very good base rifle, and there are all sorts or after-market options available.

Regolith
August 14, 2007, 05:50 PM
Dtmoss...the Savage 10FP is listed under the "Law enforcement" section. (P stands for Police).

Dtmoss14
August 14, 2007, 05:58 PM
So what about the 10fp vs. the 12 f/tr? Is the stock on the 10fp that bad?

Is the HS Precision 10fp widely available? I know the stock will be nice but to be honest it isn't the best looking to me. (Although I like it quite a bit more than the choate stocks.)

Thanks!

Cougfan2
August 14, 2007, 05:59 PM
You can't beat a Savage 10FP .308 in any of it's iterations. I got to try the new Accu-Trigger and it is awesome! Best bang for the buck IMO.

Dtmoss14
August 14, 2007, 06:25 PM
Man...I guess I need some more opinions...

I'm kinda stumped.

Dtmoss14
August 14, 2007, 07:23 PM
BTW, is there anything online that could give me an idea of how far certain distances are? (example 500 yards, 1000 yards etc...)

Thanks again you guys have been very helpful so far.

30Cal
August 14, 2007, 07:50 PM
Do a google for FM23-10. That should have some range estimation techniques.

I calibrate from time to time by picking out a point and pacing it off. 104 steps = 100yds.

SnakeEater
August 14, 2007, 09:22 PM
K31~$200
Scope mount~$60
Bushnell elite 3200, 3-9x40~$172
Total=$432

That'd be one heckuva beginners rifle. I'd wager it might shoot better than some of the much more expensive rifles listed.

The Annoyed Man
August 14, 2007, 10:48 PM
Originally Quoted by Dtmoss14
So what about the 10fp vs. the 12 f/tr? Is the stock on the 10fp that bad?

Is the HS Precision 10fp widely available? I know the stock will be nice but to be honest it isn't the best looking to me. (Although I like it quite a bit more than the choate stocks.)We found my son's at a local outdoorsman's store in the DFW area. They had 3 of them which they had recently sold, and just got the 4th one in, which we bought, that day that we were in there.

http://www.annoyedman.com/images/fampics/Savage10FP_SideView.gif

docgary
August 15, 2007, 12:11 AM
Yesterday, 08:45 PM #6
mgh
New Member

"... I picked the .223 round because it's inexpensive to reload and there's plenty of relatively cheap factory ammo.
Also, it was supposed to shoot pretty flat, and (supposedly) could reach out to 600 yards. Not much recoil.
...I shot some Remington 55 grain rounds. Once sighted in I was able to shoot an approximately
three inch group of five rounds at 100 yards.
_______________________

The .223 is a great round! And yes, it does shoot flat out to 500+ yds.
However, you havent seen what the caliber can really do!
Depending on the speed of your barrel, you may try different bullet weights.
I shot 55 gr for years - one day I used Black hills 69g Si erra MatchKing-
WOW!! I averaged 1 to 1.5 MOA with the 55g -
The BH 69g got me 5 shot groups consistantly to .75 MOA with 2 groups down to .545 MOA!

The Black Hills ammo is expensive - about 65 cents per round.
However, BH also offers reman with one shot only brass.
About 35 cents per with little difference in accuracy.

223 ammo is getting very expensive since most inventory goes to the sandbox.
The remaining stash for civilian use gets a premium mark up.
For example, last year Russian made Wolff (i hate it) .223 sold for ~10 cents per round. Now we are lookin' at 17-20 cents!

Good luck - Get some BH 69g Sierra Match King HP no moly!

docgary

SnakeEater
August 15, 2007, 12:50 AM
However, you havent seen what the caliber can really do!
I must say that you haven't really seen what the caliber can do until you reload your own.:neener:

Expertowgunner
August 15, 2007, 05:53 AM
Lets just say i outshot my friends SA-21 (M14 sniper) with my lowly savage at 650yds (open former cornfield). Difference... about 2500 dollars (rifle and scope included in price difference). My $950 dollar setup versus his 3500 setup. Helluva deal if you think about it.

Expertowgunner
August 15, 2007, 05:58 AM
Hey erict, where did you get that sidesaddle type ammo carrier for the stock at? Its the one on your plaster savage rifle. Ive been looking a long time to find one thats compatible for that stock. also, ive been looking for a quality sniper type sling (Prefferably one that has round slots built in). If you can answer this it would be much appreciated.

Dtmoss14
August 15, 2007, 04:04 PM
More choices/opinions on any part of my future setup are appreciated.

GunTech
August 15, 2007, 06:26 PM
Here's an old photo pf my 40x. I have a US Optics ST-10S on the way, replacing a Leupold MkIV M3 10X.

Rifle details:

Remington 40x with Hart 1:12 bbl 308 ~ $2000
AICS 1.0 Stock ~ $750
Jewell trigger ~ $200
Tubb speedlock ~ 100
TPS base and rings ~ $150
Scope ~ $1300

I shoot 155gn Lapua Scenars with a BC of 0.508. Rifle will shoot reliably into 1/4 MOA, rain or shine with handloads.

http://www.guntech.com/40x/40x.jpg

Here's my hunting load at 100 yards - 5 rounds 168gn Branes TSX into 0.221 CTC

http://guntech.com/misc/tsx.jpg

Me shooting at a long range tactical match this summer. I'm just to the right of the flag with the above rifle.

http://www.precisionrifle.org/gallery/albums/userpics/P4210014.JPG

Welcome to long range shooting. Time of bullet flight was about twop second - which seem like forever. Those targets are way out there. You must know how to read wind at these distances.

http://www.precisionrifle.org/gallery/albums/userpics/P4210022composite.jpg

erict
August 15, 2007, 07:12 PM
Expertowgunner,

I bought that rifle pretty much the way it was. It was made by Kolpin and it was an elastic type just like I put on my other rifles. There was a hole popped through it so the cheekrest would attach to the stock. When the cheek rest was on you couldn't tell at all. I see them at Basspro all of the time for around $8-$10.

Texas Gunman
August 15, 2007, 07:26 PM
http://www.maskworld.com/pix/costumes/large/91069-scharfschuetzen-fat-suit-sniper-fat-suit.jpg



Get yourself a Savage 10FP in .308 and dont look back. :D

TG

ndolson
August 15, 2007, 08:31 PM
I just bought a Savage 10FP as my first precision rifle, and I LOVE it. Trigger is amazing. It breaks away so crisp, I barely have to pull it. Makes shooting accurately a breeze. It was hot and windy and I was shooting MOA or better with it @ 100m. I'd definately get one.

Dtmoss14
August 15, 2007, 10:09 PM
ndolson, did you get the standard stock version? Is it terrible?

Davo
August 16, 2007, 01:17 AM
There is alot of reading to be done here and on other places on the net.
For a long range chambering, I recommend the .308.
For an initial rifle, I picked the Savage 10fp and love it, heres my review...
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=275156

Dtmoss14
August 16, 2007, 11:42 AM
What about the action of the savages...I have heard that they are kinda rough?

Discuss

Davo
August 16, 2007, 05:42 PM
IMO they are not rough at all.

sansone
August 16, 2007, 05:49 PM
I had to change my thinking regarding savage rifles. the ones with that adjstbl trigger can shoot the balls off a squirrel. I noticed the new ones are actually quite pretty now and by no means should they be considered inferior to medium priced bolties of any brand // oh yeah: my vote for cal would be .243, 308, 270, or 30-06 depending on what you want to kill & how far away

Dtmoss14
August 17, 2007, 03:03 AM
bumperss

Dtmoss14
August 18, 2007, 11:58 AM
I'm still not sold on any one rifle so keep the opinions comin!

Zak Smith
August 18, 2007, 12:53 PM
PRACTICAL LONG-RANGE RIFLE SHOOTING - PART I: THE RIFLE & GEAR (http://demigod.org/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-equipment/)
PRACTICAL LONG-RANGE RIFLE SHOOTING - PART II: OPTICS (http://demigod.org/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-optics/)
PRACTICAL LONG-RANGE RIFLE SHOOTING - PART III: SHOOTING (http://demigod.org/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-shooting/)

ndolson
August 18, 2007, 02:10 PM
ndolson, did you get the standard stock version? Is it terrible?

It came with the standard stock, and I do plan on replacing it eventually. However, it's a very low priority to me because right now, "it works". It could be better, but we're talkinga bout a rifle that can be had new for sub $500 and if they added a better stock, it would drive that price up signifcantly.

IMO, the Savage 10FP is the best bang for the buck out there. It'll do sub MOA easy out of the box. The trigger is heavenly.

Here's a pic of my loot, all came with the rifle. 1500 rds, mostly handloads, and all the reloading supplies I could ask for to do another 1000 rds ;)

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa309/evo4620/DSC01620.jpg

jpwilly
August 18, 2007, 06:35 PM
The Savage 10FP is a bargin for what it will do and will meet your price requirements. Their lower priced rifles shoot very well too. A sub moa weatherby vanguard is also a good rifle for under $500 and finish stock ect are better than low end savages. My 2 Cents.

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