A request to long range shooters (Bolt gun)


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119er
February 2, 2013, 04:13 PM
I will be having a long action Rem. 700 gone through and rebarreled for .284 Win. soon. It will be done by a local gunsmith that I see at the range frequently testing his customers' rifles. My goal is to use the rifle in 600-1000 yard shooting at a local range and is what this gunsmith specializes in.

My questions, and please answer based on experience:

What is your opinion on "action jobs" aside from facing?

Are detachable magazines worth the cost for the convenience?

I would like to use a bipod now and then, are there stocks to be avoided? Looking at McMillan, Bell and Carlson, etc.

Any other advice you can think of that a new long range shooter might use to avoid expensive mistakes.

Also, I will be handloading for this rifle.

Thanks

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allaroundhunter
February 2, 2013, 04:23 PM
What is going to be your budget and what optics will you be using? What are the specifications on the barrel?

As far as stocks go, the McMillan is a better stock than a B&C, no question about it. And a bipod would not be a problem. However, it will have to be bedded because it does not come that way from the factory.

In my opinion, detachable mags "look" cool, but unless you are going to get into "tactical" precision matches they are not necessary.

To avoid expensive mistakes, buy the right thing the first time (even if it is a little more expensive). By that I mean, don't go buy a $400 scope as a substitute for a $900 scope. You will quickly realize that the extra $500 is worth it, and then you will have spent $1,300 after buying two scopes instead of just $900 getting the right scope the first time.

Where near Houston will you be shooting out to 1,000 yards?

TurtlePhish
February 2, 2013, 04:25 PM
Getting the action blueprinted is really only of noticeable benefit for people shooting serious benchrest. For the average shooter, the money is better spent on ammo, optics, etc.

Detachable magazines are your choice. Are you going to be doing any type of shooting that requires reloading faster than you can top-feed an internal magazine?

Any of the high-end stocks will have been designed with bipod use as a consideration. The more important thing is finding a bipod that works well, especially in terms of "bounce".

119er
February 2, 2013, 04:58 PM
All around, I will be shooting at Bayou Rifles. That is the range the Gunsmith shoots at for competition. The range I see him at is closer to his shop. So I guess he tests and gets them on paper at 300 before making a trip to Bayou Rifles?

http://www.bayourifles.org/

I'll probably spend around $3000 depending on optic. I am really at the beginning of my research. The 'smith says he has all kinds of 7mm barrels on hand to choose from.

I'm not "tactical" but I absolutely hate loading from the top. I'm sure I could get used to it though. I guess I am trying to visualize what it is that I want.

And TurtlePhish, what is "bounce"?

c.latrans
February 2, 2013, 05:53 PM
Lots of thoughts here, but first ask yourself honestly...."at what level do I expect to shoot?". If you intend to compete with the best, $$$ are going to be necessary. Nothing, repeat NOTHING replaces trigger time and experience, but you CAN get to the point where your equipment is holding you back, and you CAN buy a lot of accuracy. Detachable mags....not needed for most applications. Bipod/stock...depends on exactly what you have in mind. Are you thinking full on F class type shooting? B&C stocks....not so much for your purposes, McMillan or HS in my opinion, or good laminate. You may be shooting against guys with 7K worth of Surgeon, GA, or a whole host of lesser known but equally talented rifle builders, topped with another 3K plus of S&B/ Nightforce quality glass. Define your parameters and spend the money right the first time. I tried to "ease" into long range, had my butt handed to me for years, and wasted a bunch of money trying to build a silk purse out of various sows ears. When I reached the point that I was out shooting my equipment, I sold 3 rifles to pay for one that was up to the task. Be ready to "up" your hand loading skills as well. At that level, full on BR loading is the rule, and at that level, I would reconsider the choice of caliber.

If, on the other hand you are expecting to ring the most out of a sporter rifle that you might hunt with, you can get by with less, and still have a bunch of fun in the process. If this were my plan, I would start with McMillan, the best glass I could afford, an aftermarket trigger, upscale hand loading, and a TON of trigger time. JMHO. Remember, it is supposed to be fun!

USSR
February 2, 2013, 06:34 PM
What is your opinion on "action jobs" aside from facing?


Would not build a precision rifle without one, and I have built two.

Are detachable magazines worth the cost for the convenience?


Not for me. I converted one of my precision rifles from a DM to a floorplate.

I would like to use a bipod now and then, are there stocks to be avoided? Looking at McMillan, Bell and Carlson, etc.

While mine are all McMillans, Manners also has a good reputation.

Any other advice you can think of that a new long range shooter might use to avoid expensive mistakes.

Personally, I wouldn't let a local gunsmith do the work. Well known smiths Jack Krieger, Terry Cross, and George Gardner have done all my work.

Don

allaroundhunter
February 2, 2013, 07:15 PM
I'll probably spend around $3000 depending on optic. I am really at the beginning of my research. The 'smith says he has all kinds of 7mm barrels on hand to choose from.

If you are spending that on an optic, then don't cheap out on the stock with a B&C. For hunting or some informal target shooting, sure, they're good. But if you want to compete in F-Class, be willing to go for a McMillan, Manners, or other high-end stock.

119er
February 2, 2013, 07:18 PM
At that level, full on BR loading is the rule, and at that level, I would reconsider the choice of caliber.


What would be a better caliber choice with a long action and .30-06 case head dimensions? I like the reports on the 6.5x284 and I like heavier bullets so the straight .284 seemed like a good option.

With the amount of rifles I've seen this gunsmith build over several years, I figure he has done something right. His advertisement is word of mouth.

I am a full time student trying to wring as much as I can out of what I've got and what my budget allows. I don't expect to knock the socks off of, or impress anybody. I don't plan on doing competition or if I do it will be for fun. Just like racing, it gets real expensive real quick to run with the big dogs.

I will however, save until I can afford a very nice scope, mount and rings. I'll push it to $3500 if needs be. I hope to be able to "outgrow" this rifle.

119er
February 2, 2013, 07:20 PM
I meant $3000-$3500 for the whole deal.

allaroundhunter
February 2, 2013, 07:25 PM
I meant $3000-$3500 for the whole deal.

What is your gunsmith charging you for action work and the re-barreling?

c.latrans
February 2, 2013, 07:59 PM
Personally, I would prefer the 6.5x284, and I currently shoot a 6.5XC for this game, but I understand your long action dilemma. So you are saying you will be all in and shooting this rifle for 3K or a little better? Exactly what action work is he doing for you? You have it nailed comparing it to racing, but if you can have what satisfies your needs for that price good on you! Have you decided on a bbl make yet? Start pricing Badger Ord. pieces, etc. and it adds up in a hurry. Like one of my shooting buddies says about the long range game..."It's an addiction, and there outta be a facility!"

119er
February 2, 2013, 08:46 PM
I'm not really sure about the specific work, last time we spoke he was arriving as I was leaving. I will be calling him soon to talk more details. I am trying to be well informed before the conversation so I can have a somewhat informed opinion as to what I need vs. what I can afford.

I like the 6.5x284 too and had thought about the plain .284 as well but he suggested the .284. I will have to check the barrel makers he has. What is your suggestion? I've heard of Hart, Kreiger, Lilja, and a few others I can't drag up right now.

My obsession for reloading has spurred the desire for long range shooting. I get to test two sets of skills against one another. That's the real joy for me. I don't need to beat others as long as I'm improving myself.

BCRider
February 2, 2013, 09:22 PM
You might want to search on You Tube for "sniper 101". It's a series of videos done by a guy that seems to have spent some considerable time learning to shoot out to 800 yards and more. A LOT more in some cases.

Part of the series is some time spent on considering the round and the bullet to be used to get the desired distance. It goes on to look at these rounds in terms of wind deviation, hitting power vs distance for those that would want to use the rifle for hunting as well as LR target shooting and other factors. He also includes consideration of recoil and other factors that can greatly aid to enjoying the rifle and shooting it over the course of a long day.

The neat thing is that he doesn't come across with "Buy and use THIS combo because it's what I use and it is the best". Instead he presents the methodology to let you build up a table of charactaristics for bullets, cartridges and guns and pick one that is right for YOU.

The neat part is that in the later videos he also goes into the record keeping and how to analyse the day's conditions and put it all together for a firing solution that will put you more in tune with a first shot hit solution for the immediate conditions. And that would be pretty cool. Mind you seeing the notebooks rangeing binos and other stuff you might need to set some money aside for the support gear... :D

In any event it seemed like a pretty good set of videos for someone like you to view and ponder over. Like I say he's really good about not pushing any one setup over another. Instead he seems to do a decent job of helping you to analyze what is important to you so you can then move ahead with building up a package to suit your needs and abilities.

For example he recognizes that not everone will do well with a full day of shooting high recoil ammo. So some options for non Magnum cartridges are considered and the numbers viewed

Oddly enough the .284/7mm bullets and non magnum cartridge loadings come out of this study looking pretty good for a budget shooter that doesn't have a high tolerance for recoil (me :D ). 7mm bullets are available in a range of weights which overlaps the classic .308 round. And generally the 7mm options have a better BC for the sort of bullets that would be best used for longer distance shooting. This makes the 7mm a pretty good looking option if it can be stuck into the right casing to suit your own shooting style and preferences.

I see that you're asking about a detachable mag. From the Sniper videos it appears that if you're doing this all right and looking to have even your first shot hit on or pretty close to the target that a considerable amount of time is going to be spent getting set up before the first shot. Temperature and air density needs to be considered and factored into the solution even if it's a target you have shot before. As such I think a fella would need to work hard to expend even 50 rounds over the course of a full day. I would suggest that top loading a floor plate action or even a dedicated single shot action isn't that bad an option for this style of shooting and for this amount of ammo. It also allows you to get more serious about how you load your ammo. I understand that one trick of the bench rest guys is to align the casing in the loader the same way each time and to load the rounds in the rifle the same. That way any even slight variation in case forming or bullet seating is set up to be in the same orientation in the rifle each time. Using a top load would allow you to more easily ensure that it loads up that way. Just another factor to consider.

Jim Watson
February 3, 2013, 12:21 AM
If shooting an NRA event at Mid or Long Range all firing will be single loading.
You would be better off with a solid bottom single shot.

If something to local rules that calls for sustained fire, watch and talk before you pick a magazine.

There is some use of .284 in F class, trading a little on ballistics for longer barrel life.

TurtlePhish
February 3, 2013, 12:32 AM
And TurtlePhish, what is "bounce"?


Bounce is what happens with some cheaper bipods when you shoot- the whole gun jumps in the air a little bit. I'm not entirely sure what causes it, though.

119er
February 3, 2013, 10:19 AM
Good points BCRider. Sounds right up my alley and thank you. I am a fan of the 7mm and will probably go that route. Barrel life will be important b/c it will need to last for 4-5 years of shooting.

I don't expect to be great right off the bat and if I can reach the point that I can outperform what I have built, that will be success in my book. I'll build a better rifle and master that one too. I look at it as a journey, not instant gratification. Once I begin to attend the events I can make it to I'm sure I'll meet some great people.

c.latrans
February 3, 2013, 12:24 PM
Sounds like you have very decent rifle planned to break into the game. Welcome to the dark side, LOL, hope we have the chance to shoot together one day. Keep your checkbook handy, its a slippery slope!:evil:

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