Keep me from getting too tacticool!


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Zane
October 14, 2008, 10:10 PM
I'm looking at buying my first real rifle. I'm looking for something that would likely be covered under an (expected) AWB. I've looking for something duel use, ie home and hunting (fun to shoot would be a plus too). I've handled a few and I think I want an AR-10 like platform. I'm looking at a DPMS LR-308B.

Here is the problem. I've never hunted (though I'd like to start) and am looking for guidance on what is useful and what looks cool. The gun is already heavy enough, so extra stuff, even if aluminum had better be useful.

So, with that preamble, is a bipod particularly useful for hunting. That option ends up adding $250+ to the price, when you include a quadrail, bipod and mount. I figure that $250 is probably better dumped into a scope. I am planning on going for the adjustable stock and adjustable trigger. The gun seems heavy to lug around, so a bipod makes sense in my mind. Then again, I can see why it might just be dead weight.

Please guide me...

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Jimmie
October 14, 2008, 10:13 PM
Don't bother with the bipod, at least for starters. (Get shooting sticks if you want something like that.) Make sure you have sling swivels and call it good.

OOOXOOO
October 14, 2008, 10:55 PM
I would also skip the bi-pod. I live in AZ so I do a lot of hiking while hunting. If your hunting in open country I would keep it as light as possible. I too find shooting sticks more versitile.

chriso
October 14, 2008, 11:12 PM
A good ruck sack will do GREAT spend as much as you can on optics it makes a world of difference!

benEzra
October 14, 2008, 11:16 PM
If you don't like the weight, you can also hunt with an AR-15 in 6.8mm Remington, and Remington is coming out with a .30 Remington shortly that will supposedly give near-.308 ballistics out of an AR-15 length action.

H2O MAN
October 14, 2008, 11:27 PM
Zane I'm looking at buying my first real rifle.
I'm looking for something that would likely be covered under an (expected) AWB.

Scope it with a SAGE Detachable Cantilevered Sight Base P/N M14DCSB (http://ebrstocks.com/SIGHTBASE.PDF) and you are good to go :evil:
Sub MOA accuracy with a M14/M21A5 C-IED 4.5 lb 2-stage trigger.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/NightFighter.jpg

The Deer Hunter
October 14, 2008, 11:49 PM
If you want to use if for hunting just get a flat top and put a scope on it. Don't bother with that other stuff. Also, I don't really know what you need the adjustable stock for, it might be a PITA when your hunting.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 14, 2008, 11:56 PM
is a bipod particularly useful for hunting.

No, it most certainly is not! It's much more of a hindrance - dead weight, as you say. A collapsible shooting stick style bipod, on the other hand, is quite useful. They're around $30.

http://www.stoneypoint.com/


You may also find that if you use a so-called "EBR" to hunt with in certain traditional circles/areas, you will get razzed to no end and possibly even ridiculed and ostracized by the "traditional" mindset hunters, even if perfectly legal to use the EBR. If this does not bother you, then go for it. :)

elmerfudd
October 15, 2008, 12:06 AM
I've used bipods for hunting before and to be useful you have to be in an area without too much vegetation. Bipods are fantastic for providing stability. They're almost as good as a benchrest. The problem with them for hunting is that there are relatively few times that you can use them. There's usually just too much undergrowth present for you to be able to see your target when you get down low enough to use one.

$250 is awfully steep for a bipod too. You should be able to get a Harris for around $70. They're great bipods and there's also a company that makes a very similar one for less. I've forgotten the name though.

JWarren
October 15, 2008, 08:54 AM
Hiya. I have a few observations from the point of view of a person that:

1) has been hunting for 30 years, and
2) deer hunts with a LR-308 w/24" bull barrel.



Here is the problem. I've never hunted (though I'd like to start) and am looking for guidance on what is useful and what looks cool. The gun is already heavy enough, so extra stuff, even if aluminum had better be useful.

A couple things here....

First, none of us know anything about the hunting you will be doing. Obviously, you are talking about at least mid-sized game if we are talking about using a .308 for hunting.

However, we know nothing about your terrain, maxium and mininum realistic shot distances, what mode of hunting you do, etc.

Let me give you a "for instance."

The primary function of my LR-308 is to get dragged 18' up a tree where I "bench-rest" it on a rail around my deer stand. I can take a benchrest quality shot from there out to about 300 yards. The rifle and optics that I have can do better than that, but terrain limits the shots that I would take.

I was not overly concerned about weight because the distance I carry the rifle is from my 4 wheeler to the deer stand-- about 100 yards.

I would feel DRAMATICALLY different about the firearm if I were hiking with it. In addition, if I routinely went through thickets, I would have more issues with mine's 24" barrel.

I am half considering building a 18" barrel one with all the spare parts that I have left over from all of my tweeking of my LR-308 for that very reason.

I learned the hard way that magnified optics are NOT the cat's meow if you are hunting close in, in thickets, and with running game. I had a lot of trouble taking a 9 point using a fixed 4X optic at 35 yards using a Remington 700 30-06 a few years ago.

If you plan on using the firearm in thickets on occasion, you will want some kind of reflex sight or irons. This may mean a See-Through optics mount, or a peripherial reflex optic when we are talking about the LR-308.

Because I DO also use my LR-308 in thicker areas than my field stands-- such as my portable stands that I put on trails, I have been looking into adding a Burris Fastfire, JP JPoint, or Aimpoint T1 reflex sight mounted on the tube of my optic. My primary optic on the LR-308 is a 3.5-10x40, so that isn't the best for a 35 yard, running shot, in a thicket that I have had to take in the past.


So, with that preamble, is a bipod particularly useful for hunting.


Depends on the kind of hunting you do, the terrain, and the shot. As I've mentioned earlier, I've hunted 30 years and I have never used a bipod hunting. None that I do is conducive to one's use. I DO have a bipod for my LR-308, but I made sure that it is a quick-release design and I take it off for hunting season. For me, it is just added weight, bulk, and one more opportunity to snag on something.

That option ends up adding $250+ to the price, when you include a quadrail, bipod and mount.


Honestly, have you really thought about quad-rails on this rifle? I am not berating you. I've been down the same road, and still am. I've been looking at forearms for mine.

I like rails. When I built my AR, I HAD to have a Free-floated 4-rail forearm. I have one on it. I like it. It's neat. It looks cool, and it is handy to attach things to. But you know what? It is uncomfortable.

I was talking to my wife about the 4 rail forearm that I was going to put on my LR-308 and she brought a fresh perspective to my mine that was so obvious once I got out of thinking like a "gun person."

I explained to her that I'd add the forearm and then put rail covers on the parts that I didn't use. She then said to me...

"Let me get this straight. You HAVE a smooth tube, but you will add rails to it and then cover those up to make it a smooth tube again, but only it will weigh more, be thicker around, and cost more to get exactly what you had before."

I stood there dumbfounded. That was EXACTLY what I was going to do.

I came to this realization. The BEST rails are only in the places that you need them. The best tubes are the ones that DON'T have rails where you don't need them.

Therefore, the best rails are the ones can add where you need, and remove where you don't.

So, this starts a thought-process of deciding REALISTICALLY where you will need/want rails and realistically what you will want on your rifle.

For me, I will not EVER be adding a vertical grip to this rifle. That eliminates the need for a full-length 6 o'clock rail for me. I seriously doubt I would want a flashlight on this firearm. That eliminates the need for both 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock rails for me. I have a railed gas block so I COULD add iron sights to that. It makes less need for a 12 o'clock rail for me.

So what exactly WOULD I want railed forearms for? Well, I DO like the quick-release bipods that I could attach to a short 6 o'clock rail at the end of the forearm. I may add a short 2" or 4" rail there.

Realistically, on a tactical marksmanship/DMR- oriented firearm (which is what I have basically built my LR-308 into) 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock rails are not the best locations. I've considered that a 1:30 and 10:30 rail is of more uses than either a 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock rail.

There are some rail-adaptable forearms that allow for rails to be placed in more usable locations. Badger Ordanance makes the Stabalizer rail that I like, and I have been taking a hard look at the JP Enterprises Forearm for that use.

What I DO know is that I really don't want to constantly be wrapping my hands around knarled picatinny rails when I am out hunting. I want the areas that I have my hands to be smooth and with a good griping surface that has a reasonable diameter.

I'll save the typical railed forarms for my 16" AR M4-gery.


I figure that $250 is probably better dumped into a scope.

That is the starting point of decent optics. I have a $1,200 Leupold Mark 4 on my LR-308. My father has a $150 Nikon Prostaff on his Remington 700. I'm impressed by both for their intended uses. But I want to say this without sounding like an optics snob-- Dad's Nikon is the LOWEST I would ever go on an optic for anything. This includes my 22 rifle.

Don't worry about bells-and-whistles on optics-- especially in a hunting optic. What you want to get in a hunting optic is the absolute best light transmission and clarity that you can get out of the money you spend. Look for odd tints to the glass and distortion around the edges. "Tactical" optics with exposed knobs (Like my Leupold Mark 4) may not the the best choice where those exposed knobs can be bumped off during a hunting trip. I check my knobs before every shot I take to make sure I am still on the range that I want.

In budget minded hunting optics, I would look at:

Bushnell 3200
Nikon Prostaff or Buckmaster
Leupold Rifleman, VX-I, or VX-II (Rifleman and VX-I is pretty low by standards)
Burris (can't remember the name- Fullfield II, I think)

I won't even get into the higher priced optics. That is a seperate thread altogether.

DON'T skimp on MOUNTS! An optic is no better than the mounts that you put it in. Or should I say this... a GREAT optic can be terrible with poor mounts.

Am I saying spend $200 bucks on a LaRue SPR or ADM recon? No. That's on MY list, but they are that expensive for other reasons-- (primarily the remove-and-return to zero with excellent durabilty and customer service)

You CAN get a decent, solid one-piece mount that will hold zero for decent price. Armalite makes one, so does Model 1 Sales. JP Enterprises makes one, so does Rock River. A lot of people-- including me, have tried the CAA 30mm one piece mount that Aim Surplus sells. I wanted something to tide me over until I got through with some other projects. So far, I have no complaints. I have the Mark 4 in one, and I have a Millet DMS-1 in another. Both are rock-solid. Are they the best? Absolutely not. Will they make do for one season? I think so.

I am planning on going for the adjustable stock

Do you need it? That depends on you.

I have a Magpul PRS on order for mine. But I don't know if I need the adjustments. I have the A3 stock on mine at the moment. I get good cheek weld, and the Length of Pull is OK. I may like to have the adjustable comb more. I'll see.

I am at least honest with myself. I ordered the PRS because I like the look of it. I have never liked the A3 stock. I like the club-foot-ish design of the PRS better. But I don't know if it will actually make the rifle more shootable-- especially in a hunting rifle.

and adjustable trigger.


Best thing you've considered up to this point. The stock trigger on the LR-308 is horrible. I don't know if you need an adjustable trigger, but you will definately benefit from a better trigger.

I've looked into triggers for a while now. I wanted the Giselle DMR trigger, but I think they are hopelessly back-ordered while filling government contracts with the new SR-25 SASS.

I really don't want a SUPER light trigger. That is great for benchrest, but not so great for hunting. You want a moderate pull and a good, clean, crisp break. You don't want it so light that you will fire too easily or so light that it may have issues with some primers.

I have been going the direction of a 4-4.5 pound single or double stage trigger on mine. I have looked at JP Enterprises, Giselle, and Jard recently.

The gun seems heavy to lug around, so a bipod makes sense in my mind.

Seems to me that it is additional weight. No bipod in the world is worth anything if it isn't what you will be using to take the shot. You may be using it. I don't know. In my case, I wouldn't be using one due to my circumstances.


Then again, I can see why it might just be dead weight.

It very well may be. The main thing is that however you take the shot, you have some method of supporting the firearm to make the cleanest, quickest, and most ethical kill that you can. You owe that much to the animal and to your own soul.

Please guide me...


I hope that this has helped in some way. You'll notice that I have been down the exact road you are walking while thinking about this build. You'll also notice that I have a lot of stuff on order that I don't have installed yet. I let deer season catch up to me before I was finished with the rifle. I was planning on sending off my upper for some work before the season started, but I ran out of time. There is no way I can get the things I wanted to do completed before the season starts now.

So what I am doing is ordering the parts that I am replacing out all winter. They day the season is over, I will be cleaning the rifle and breaking it down to start work on it. MAYBE I'll be done by NEXT deer season.


Good luck and let us know what you figure out! And DO post pics when you get it!


-- John

Vaarok
October 15, 2008, 05:34 PM
Here's the best way to keep from becoming excessively tacticool.

Sling the gun over your shoulder, put a loaded mag or two in your pockets, and start walking. Walk at least one mile, and preferably two or three.

Reconsider what's on the rifle according to how tired you are and how many times the whatever has stabbed you with a sharp edge or snagged on something.

Tarvis
October 15, 2008, 05:44 PM
Read Col. Cooper's "The Art of The Rifle." It has a lot of good information on proper technique to field shooting, including proper use of a sling. If you can operate a sling properly, there is theoretically no instance in which a bipod is necessary.

H2O MAN
October 15, 2008, 05:48 PM
I find that a bipod is necessary for taking pictures.

Install the bipod on the rifle, take pictures of the rifle and remove the bipod from the rifle.

Wes Janson
October 15, 2008, 07:13 PM
Nice advice, H20.

If you really, really, really have to have a bipod, don't bother with the rail. It will add cost, weight, bulk, and overall be a pain in the butt. A far more elegant and inexpensive solution is to mount a swivel stud onto the handguard, either by drilling or using a Harris adaptor, depending on the type of handguard. Weighs basically nothing, costs basically nothing, and is far, far more comfortable.

Zane
October 16, 2008, 12:19 AM
I hope that this has helped in some way.

Quite. You and the the others have been quite helpful. I am a relative neophyte when it comes to shooting. While reading FAQs is great, there is no substitution for talking to people that know.

Two other options: 1) Chrome carrier bolt? I've seen mention of chroming the inside of the upper for better reliability. Will a chrome bolt be more reliable? 2) Cryo-accuritization? I can't really figure out what this is. I suspect it really isn't going to do a whole heck of a lot, compared to spending that $85 on ammo and practice.

RonE
October 16, 2008, 12:31 AM
If you are going with the AR 10 or LR 308, get the basic rifle and a scope. Shoot it a while, look at what other guys have, decide if it is worth the money or just a gadget. Spend as much as you can afford for the scope but do some research, sometimes better scopes cost less than popular scopes.

Don't get the idea that you are tied to this rifle for the rest of your life, things change.

bgeddes
October 16, 2008, 12:37 AM
If you are not a 'shooter' get a cheap to shoot rifle and learn to shoot. Read that as buy something that shoots 550 rounds you can buy for $12 at any Walmart. Lots of good $200 .22LR guns can teach the art.

For the AR platform, I say go value priced first. Get (better yet build) a solid platform, and learn what you want to improve. I am personally in the Midst of this process. I built my AR and know what I dislike, and how to make those things better. In my state, I can not use it for hunting.

Jason_G
October 16, 2008, 12:52 AM
Scope it with a SAGE Detachable Cantilevered Sight Base P/N M14DCSB and you are good to go
Sub MOA accuracy with a M14/M21A5 C-IED 4.5 lb 2-stage trigger.

That rifle would be a PITA to hunt with. Heavy, and most of the weight is totally unecessary for that task. If it came down to an M1A/M14, it would be best to get it in the plain jane fiberglass stock or the wood stock if you want to hunt with it. All those rails, etc., are useless for hunting. The most you would need is the top rail, and that's only if you were dead-set on optics. Forget the wrap-around tri-rail set ups and bipods. K-I-S-S comes into play for a woods gun.

Just my 2% of a dollar.

Jason

Sam1911
October 16, 2008, 07:57 AM
"I've looking for something duel use"

Really? I thought that went out of fasion...and legality...centuries ago!

:p

Duel -- "A pre-arranged and formulaic fight or battle between two individuals, often to the death." Hence the term, "dueling pistols," which were matched pairs of ceremonial handguns used to fight these battles of honor.

Dual -- "Having two functions, purposes, or states." Dual-purpose guns might be used for hunting and home-defense.

Hey, I thought it was pretty funny!

USSR
October 16, 2008, 09:05 AM
"I've looking for something duel use"

Really? I thought that went out of fasion...and legality...centuries ago!



Duel -- "A pre-arranged and formulaic fight or battle between two individuals, often to the death." Hence the term, "dueling pistols," which were matched pairs of ceremonial handguns used to fight these battles of honor.

Dual -- "Having two functions, purposes, or states." Dual-purpose guns might be used for hunting and home-defense.

Hey, I thought it was pretty funny!

Fasion -- ???

Fashion -- "The current style"

If you're going to pick on someone for their spelling, at least use correct spelling yourself.

Don

Reid73
October 16, 2008, 10:03 AM
If you want to own an assault rifle just for kicks, or to look cool, that's fine.

It could be pressed into service for certain types of hunting, but I suspect that you will quickly find it to be bulky, heavy, and generally a poor choice. As JWarren says, we don't know what sort of game you plan on hunting, but virtually any bolt action rifle is going to be more suitable than a military-type weapon. The Ruger No. 1 would be a better choice for hunting applications, too.

If by "home use" you mean home defence, you'd be better off going with a handgun or shotgun. Just about any centerfire rifle is going to have too much penetration to be reasonably safe for that purpose, as well as being unwieldy.

Just my two cents.

Sam1911
October 16, 2008, 11:55 PM
Fasion -- ???

Fashion -- "The current style"

If you're going to pick on someone for their spelling, at least use correct spelling yourself.

Don

Oh, I wasn't picking on him for his spelling. That would be utterly pointless. I was pointing out a (to me) hilarious double-entendre that made the post a lot more interesting!

It's not every guy who steps up and announces that he wants a rifle for fighting contests of honor. Sort of a romantic notion from another age.

You see, Don, the humor is found in that the sentence makes logical sense with either spelling, though the meaning is quite different. But that doesn't work with your example of "fasion vs. fashion." That is obviously a typo which leaves the sentence nonsensical, and thus, it isn't funny.

But, maybe I've missed your intent. Was there an element of humor you were trying to convey, Don?

benzy2
October 21, 2008, 01:59 AM
I think a bipod is a great asset in the field. That said the bipod has to be tall enough to be used from the sitting position. The way I have used it is to use a military (ie supportive not just carry) sling in the sitting position. Then instead of using your off hand to support the rifle you use the bipod and load it (ie push forward into the legs which are locked). This gives an amazingly solid shooting position. It isn't for every hunting situation. You need vegetation to be below sitting height. I also walk with the bipod off the rifle and add it when I get in position. If I don't have time I will just use the sling alone. Still for a lot of hunting situations a proper sling with the correct bipod is VERY stable. I love the look of a low prone bipod but I can't think of more than one instance I have actually been able to hunt with mine. The bipod with legs long enough for me to use in the sitting position gets used about every hunting season, especially when I am the on the deer are being pushed to and I have all the time in the world to get setup before the game comes my way.

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