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Base Practical Long Range Rifle System

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ojibweindian, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Well-Known Member


    I'd like to get into some long range practical rifle shooting. Mostly for grins, but there is the possibility to expand my horizons should I discover that I've a knack for it.

    I've not a whole lot of cash; about $2,000 for the rifle, scope, rings, and bases, is all I can afford. I was thinking I could get into this by buying a Savage 12BVSS in .308 Winchester, and a Leupold 4-12x40 Mark 2. I was thinking of Talley rings and bases, mostly because the company seems to get good endorsments and reviews here on THR.

    I'm not sure what powders generally lend themselves to good performance in the .308; I've had much success with Alliant powders in my 7mm Rem. Magnum, and Hodgdon in .30-06. I assume that Alliant and Hodgdon would be good for use in developing a sub-moa load. As far as projectiles go, Hornady and Sierra have always performed, and am considering using a Sierra 168 grain HPBT for load development.

    I'd appreciate any feedback concerning my choice of rifle, scope, rings, and chosen components.

  2. gvnwst

    gvnwst Well-Known Member

    Well, the savage 12 FT/R is in .308, and set up for F-class, prone off a bipod. A very, very accurate rifle. A leupold scope on ______ rings should be within your budget. Don't know about the powders...
  3. feets

    feets Well-Known Member

    Your 7mm should get the job done and the 30-06 is simply a longer 308. Do you really need a new rifle?

    The 308 is nice but some loads are subsonic at 1000 yards.

    I use a Sendero in 300 WinMag with Leupy base and rings holding a budget-oriented scope.
    It's hit steel silhouettes at 1000 yards using 190 gr SMKs just under 3100 fps.

    The muzzle brake from the Remington Custom Shop makes it a real pussycat. I've run over 300 rounds through the tube in one weekend without the slightest bit of discomfort.

    I'd rather spend extended time with that than my muzzle brake equipped M1A.
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

  5. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Well-Known Member

    Do I need a new rifle? Well, no. But the Weatherby and Marlin are both hunting rifles, with relatively slim barrels. This next rifle will be set up soley for long range target shooting. Don't really want a muzzle break as they're simply too noisey, and recoil's not much of an issue for me.
  6. crebralfix

    crebralfix member

    Start small and build your skill. Upgrade once you're shooting up to the level that the rifle can do...but not before then. Don't focus on ballistic performance in the wrong way...getting all wrapped up in this or that stat in an effort to maximize everything...you don't need that. Remember, you're just starting out.

    I attended Long Range International's [thread=371830]"Long Range Hunting" course[/thread]. Any hunting gun was fine...the objective was to shoot up to the maximum capability of the gun...if that was 400 yards, so be it (other guns were available for use). Use what you have.

    Almost any hunting rifle in 308 Winchester or 30-06 can hit steel at 1,000 yards. Get decent optics--one with some sort of hash marks in the reticle. Mil-Dot reticles seem to jack up the price a bit. I went with a Pride-Fowler RR800-1. It did just fine in Wyoming's variable and windy conditions. It worked well at night and handled rain and mud without a hitch.

    Here's my setup:

    Savage 10FP in 308 Winchester (synthetic stock)
    PFI RR800-1
    Harris bipod
    Pic rail with 20 MOA offset (was expensive: $250--not really needed)
    Rings ($150...but those were overkill...$50 rings are fine)
    Duct taped foam pad for cheekrest

    This gun, out of the box, does 3/4" at 100 yards. It can probably get 1/2" out of a rest.

    The point is, a decent rifle will do 1 MOA easily. I just chose the Savage because of the adjustable trigger. The only disadvantage is the lack of a floor plate. This is actually important for clearing jams and showing an empty gun.

    Quality ammo is essential. My gun does 3/4" MOA in my hands at 100 yards with Federal match 308. It does 3" at 100 yards with Magtech 150 grain FMJ ammo. Obviously, custom reloads will yield the best results.

    I really recommend that you learn to shoot the rifle you have to its maximum range. Mount some decent glass on it--even a $300 scope will be fine. The PFI sales rep was at the course, so I borrowed that RR800-1. I liked it so much that I bought it. The trick, though, is to get something with hash marks in it so you can measure objects with the reticle to determine range.

    Good luck and have fun.


    BTW, a cheapie 17 HMR bolt action and a $100 scope is good for hitting prairie dogs out to 300-350 yards with 20 grain match ammo. It's a great challenge that improves your shooting. I recommend 'dog hunting highly...and with the 17 HMR, it doesn't hurt financially.


    Cleaning and break-in. People tend to massively overclean: "60 passes out, 60 patches, then 60 more"...that's all nuts. Here's the USMC sniper way (pushing only from chamber out the bore): two wet patches, two copper brush, two dry patches. Wipe the gun down.

    That's it.

    Break-in was easy. For some reason, people turn to weird rituals involving goats and dancing around a fire. Fire 20-30 rounds. Clean as above, except using copper solvent before the two wet patches. Let it sit in there for up to one minute. Continue shooting.

    I fired an additional 290 rounds with no copper cleaning after the initial break-in. My groups didn't open up and I nailed a prairie dog somewhere past 400 yards on the last day.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  7. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    +1 for the Savage FT/R. The rifle is right at $1200, and you can get a decent Leupold scope for $800. (Maybe less, if you can find these on sale...)

    I put together a custom rifle for a lot more, and I kicked myself (a little) when I saw the FT/R... :)
  8. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Well-Known Member

    +2 for the FTR rifle. I have one with a Bushnell Ellite 4200 8x32x40. Shoots like no other rilfe I've ever had. Keep in mind it weights a ton.
  9. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    Here's a link to Zak Smiths web sight scroll about 3/4 down the page all your questions answered
  10. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    I agree with the above dude; since you allready shoot the 7mag, get you some long, heavy vld type bullets, 160 to 180 grain, handload them, and rock their world, In a savage f class rifle, or heavy varminter, and change the bbl if necessary. I think the 7mag is better at long distance, than either 308 or 30.06, personally. Some dude in England, at the beginning of this year, pulled off a 1000 yd shot group, of less than 3 inches I think, firing a rifle chambered for a 7mm/300wsm wildcat. a 300 wsm necked down to 7mm.
  11. gvnwst

    gvnwst Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it was 2.54", light benchrest. 6mmbr.com has more info on the guns of the week link.
  12. Lawnman380

    Lawnman380 Well-Known Member

  13. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Well-Known Member


    I suppose it does make sense to shoot a 7 Mag. I've got quite a bit of components for it. If I were to stick with a 7mm Rem Mag for a long range target rifle, I'd skip a Savage and go with a Remington Sendero, if the Sendero is worth the $1K street price.

    Is it?
  14. tango2echo

    tango2echo Well-Known Member

    I shoot the ft/r as well and have about $2500 in mine. I like the .308, but the comments about the other calibers you mentioned are valid. The Sendero is excellent as well, but I was not impressed with the trigger. Nothing a good smith could not resolve.

    I have had good success with the Sierra Match Kings in 168gr Hpbt.

    In the right hands <mine> my ft/r will shoot sub .3 inch groups at 100 yards on a zero wind day 29.92 and 52f.

    I am one of those "break-in nuts". Shoot 1 round, clean. Shoot 2 rounds, clean.........ect to 10 rounds allowing the barrel to cool to ambient temp after each round. Usually takes about 4 hours of range time, so bring something else to shoot.

    If you plan to do alot of shooting and alot of reloading, stick with the .308 or 30-06. The 30 cals are cheaper to reload for. The .300 win mag is probably alittle better for ranges of over 600 yards, but if your not shooting at a "live" target it makes no difference. Hitting steel or paper doesn't take a whole lot of energy to get the job done.

  15. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Well-Known Member

    I also use the SMK 168gr BTHP, what powder are you using? Sorry if this hi jacks the thread.
  16. tango2echo

    tango2echo Well-Known Member

    Best results with 44.1 grs of imr 4895
    new fed gold match brass
    cci primers
    168gr hpbt or btsp match kings
    varget is also excellent
  17. rrflyer

    rrflyer Well-Known Member

    A remington 700 tactical or VS is 500 bucks
    A falcon 4.5-14 mil/mil scope is 400
    EGW 15 moa base 40
    Decent set of rings 75

    Probably want
    Stock pack
    Mil Dot master
    Shooter Ready training program
    Limbsaver recoil pad
    rear bag.

    That setup will get you too 1,000 yards and leave you with enough cash to afford lots of ammo.

    I Load 45 gns varget, lapua brass, and 175 sierra match kings and have gotten some 1/2 inch groups at 200 with my rem 700. and some .3 inch groups at 100.

    I'm still new to this but i read a lot.

    Sniper central has an entry level package available for about 1,000 as well. http://www.snipercentral.com/entrypackage.htm

    for what its worth match ammo cost about 35 bucks a box of 20 rounds. I can reload 20 for about 8 bucks so its definatley worth it to reload.

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