1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

OK...thinking of getting my first long range rifle...need advice.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by M&PVolk, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. M&PVolk

    M&PVolk Well-Known Member

    For years, I have owned a lever action 30-30 as my only centerfire rifle. It is an awesome gun out to about 100 yards or so, then it starts to suffer. I live in an area where long distance shots are the norm. It is not uncommon to have a 500 yard shot here. That said, I am looking for a good cartridge for all purpose use. I don't do a lot of hunting, although I may get into it down the road. Typical game for me would be elk.

    I realize there is no "one" perfect cartridge, but I want to be able to hit a good 500 yard shot, have enough terminal ballistics to bring down at least an elk, and yet be a cartridge I can afford to buy enough of to practice frequently.

    I will likely be taking down coyotes, doing range work, and really working on accuracy at distances.

    If you have a cartridge recommendation, please follow it up with a good rifle chambered in said cartridge.

    Thank you.
  2. M&PVolk

    M&PVolk Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, I am not looking to spend thousands here...I want something nice, but affordable :)
  3. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    Take a look at the Remington 700 in 30-06. I don't big game hunt but if 308 is enough for elk at 500 yards then the Remington VTR or SPS may suit your needs.
  4. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member


    308 comes to mind...as well as 30-06.

    Either one in a Savage would fit the bill for affordability, I think. They can be dolled up to your hearts content.

    Ammo is plentiful. I know some will come on here and start saying that the mags or some other round would be the BETTER choice and they would be right to a certain extent, but you want to keep it on a budget...and those would make an excellent first rifle/learning platform.


    darn..Marshall beat me by a second... :) lol
  5. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    I would also suggest .308 as an option. Ammo is fairly affordable for plinking and target shooting applications as well as having enough power for larger game. I've got a Savage 10fp .308 that I have stocked in a B&C Medalist stock that is an excellent performer. I can't say enough about the accutrigger. I also opted for the short 20" barrel, which is fine enough for shots under 500 yards.

    Shooting 500 yards is no easy task. I don't know of many folks who can do this accurately under field conditions. The .308 is extremely mild recoiling and won't beat you to death. Just learn your ballistic tables for your individual load and you will be just fine.

    A note...if you buy a Savage 10fp or similar, the factory synthetic stock is pure crap. Invest in a nicer stock.
  6. brooks

    brooks Well-Known Member

    Take a look at a CZ or Tikka T3 in 6.5mm Swede. You will not be making a mistake and it is affordable. It is a great caliber. They have modest recoil and a reputation for accuracy.
  7. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    If you are a reloader I'd say go with "Brook's" advice.

    If you don't reload, I'd say go with a Remington 700 in the 7mm/08 if you like short-action calibers or the .270 if you like long-action calibers. There are plenty of the 700s on the used market that can save you some $.

    Good luck !

  8. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

    30-06 with some good glass on it will get you out there. 500 yds is a long shot, if I was going to be making those kind of shots at elk I would move up to a magnum caliber. 7mm rem mag or 300 win mag would be a better choice. If you have a lot of experience with the 06 I think you could get it done.
    The 30-06 has an edge over the .308 at longer ranges and with heavier bullets.
  9. cbrgator

    cbrgator Well-Known Member

    .300 win mag if you can handle the recoil.
  10. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    500 yards, drop the elk, inexpensive, low recoil???

    When you find it, buy two--I'll take the other! We're talking the famous Holy Grail of North American hunting!

    I think this WILL cost you bucks (at least it would me), to get a set-up that will let you confidently drop (not wound) a big elk at 500!


    Cartridge: .300 Weatherby: starts fast, stays fast, and with a Barnes 180 MRX it will hit hard. If it "kicks too hard," consider brake, thicker recoil pad, and thicker skin.

    Rifle: some flexibility here for base-gun (Rem, Weatherby, Win--even Ruger No. 1), but unless it's thrillingly accurate at 100 yards out of the box--and that does happen--500 is not going to be pretty. Consider the cost of rebarreling, full bedding, etc. if it's not factory accurate (awful trigger will cost you, too) vs. the cost of going custom first-off.

    Scope: Hee, hee! Chance to save money here, but you get what you pay for. I'd personally need real power for that shot!

    Good luck and let me know. I'm here to learn.
  11. Bear2000

    Bear2000 Well-Known Member

    I don't see how you can go wrong with a Tikka. You might look into a Tikka T3 Varmint, which at 8 lbs is pretty light for a heavy barreled gun. I have one in .308 and it is very accurate. I shot a group less than 1" at 200 yard the other day (1/2 MOA), and in better hands than it's probably more accurate. The bolt is smooth as glass and the trigger is superb. With the heavy barrel, it's great off the bench, but is also light enough to tote around in the woods. Under $750 on Gunbroker.

Share This Page