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beginner to long range precision shooting

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by collateral, Mar 21, 2008.

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  1. collateral

    collateral Member

    Mar 2, 2007
    I have my heart set on long range shooting (500+ meters), unfortunately none of my rifles are capible of great accuracy that far out.

    I have a bushmaster AR-15 with a 16 inch upper on it, I would like to buy a 22 or 24 inch heavy barrel upper for it, but I dont know if its a good idea to stick with 223.

    How far can one achieve match winning groups out of a 22 or 24 inch barrel with good ammunition? Truthfully I would like to buy a bigger caliber, but this is also going to be my first precision rifle. A guy at cabelas suggested .204 ruger, but I know very little about this round.

    I'm trying to keep the costs as low as I can while still being realistic about what I will need.

    I've accepted that theres no way I can keep this project under 1000 dollars for the gun, scope, spotting scope, and everything else I'll need, and thats fine, but I would still like to budget as much as I can while not sacrificing on quality.

    So what rifles/calibers do you guys suggest, and why? what rounds tend to have good BC? Also is there really much difference in performance between a good bolt action and a good semi-auto?
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Oct 23, 2004
    depends entirely on the type of match.

    for instance, if you shoot NRA Long Range in the Service Rifle category, you can win matches with an AR15 in 223 pretty easy. You can get a competitive upper from WOA for under $1000, and since everyone is using irons, no scope is required.

    .204 ruger is the sort of advice you'll get from cabelas. heh. ignore them. that's pretty much retarded.

    you could shoot the same competition in "match rifle" division or "F-class" with a different upper, which you could rebarrel to a much more effective long range caliber. do a google search on 6.5x47 lapua, 6.5 creedmore, and the 6mmXC
  3. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 24, 2002
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    article | Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Part I - Rifle & Equipment extwh3.png
  4. phrozenlikwid

    phrozenlikwid Member

    May 26, 2006
    Northern Kentucky
    Depending on what type of competitions you will be shooting, a 223 will either be standard (IE: service rifle) or handicapped (1000yd F-class). The build of the rifle will also largely be class specific, as the rules there will dictate what you are allowed to do.

    Taliv posted some good info above, but I'd like to add that unless you have a specific hankering for AR's, or they are required by match rules, a bolt gun would probably be better. Gas guns are generally harder to shoot well as bad form is generally magnified intensely, and you will have problems loading/getting any good high BC bullets to load out of the short OAL magazine.

    A good starter rifle would be a bolt gun in .308 (savage F/TR is supposedly good, Remmy PSS/40x/5R is popular) , and some good optics.

    From there, I'd first get into a reloading set-up (regardless of what platform/caliber/everything else, this should be your first step), and then once I burned out a barrel I'd modify the rifle accordingly.

    EDIT: Was looking for Zak's primer, but he beat me to it. Read everything he has written, as it's well done and pretty much describes most/all aspects of getting into LR. Zak is no joke, and he pretty much summed up what several days worth of searching boards will tell you all in one convienent location.
  5. Wild Deuce

    Wild Deuce Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Taliv has some good advice if you are looking for service rifle comp equipment.

    I received what turned out to be some good advice a while back. Keep in mind that this is class specific advice. Since I was starting out and on a budget, the gentleman told me to start out with a WOA upper and a RRA lower. The rifle is capable of sub-MOA groups even though I am not (I've seen others shoot it). That combo will put you right at $1000 but you can be assured that you will be getting your money's worth.

    WOA Service Rifle Upper

    Rock River Arms (AR0940X) NM Lower
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