I am looking to purchase my first .50, and as you can imagine I am a bit conflicted, so I am hoping for some input on rifle and optics selection...
RIFLE SELECTION QUESTIONS
While I am certainly no match shooter, I am not one to "trade up" later... I do want the best rifle with the most accuracy at the longest range, and am also concered about quality and reliability. Last, but still important comes price. I prefer to sacrifice a few extra thousand up front to get better quality and performance if needed, rather than try and move up the chain to higher quality later. However, after going back and forth on the trade off for what you get for what price, I think I have been pretty convinced that I do not need to get into the EDM Windrunner/McMillian TAC-50 price range, and after considering the Ferret50, Barret 99, and Serbu, I want to say I have more or less settled on AR-50 and think I can get everything I need out of that, being the best trade off of cost vs. accuracy, quality, etc, etc (and by ALL means, please correct me if anyone thinks otherwise). As an aside, I was also attracted to the idea that the AR-50 may have *slightly* less recoil than some others, if that is true.
So, if we are to accept the above premise (again, input is welcome) I then would like to know what people think between the standard AR-50 vs. the National Match model? Is the extra $1000 for the match chamber and barrel worth the added cost? Again, while I am not a match shooter, I am not a terrible shot, and I want to know the weapon is the most accurate it can be (and be assured that my poor skills are the reason I am not on target). Basically, I would not like the weapon to be the limiting factor should my skills ever advance to the point that I would want to participate in matches, especially if that happened before my budget grew enough to facilitate a higher dollar weapon. A related question... would the match chamber limit my ammo choices to only match ammo? I am not necessarily opposed to that as I do plan to budget for the dies to load my own as well, but I am curious to what kind of impact this choice will have on ammo options.
As far as optics, I have more or less decided on the Nightforce 12-42x56mm. I am debating between the benchrest model and the NXS. While I do not want to sacrifice precision, I certainly want rugged durability, leaning me more towards the NXS. That being said, it is unlikely that I will ever be "in the field" with my rifle, outside a SHTF scenario, of course, which I am certainly not coutning out. So, is the NXS worth the added cost (and is there really any sacrifice when it comes to accuracy?), or should I stick with the benchrest model? I also think I like the NP-R1, but any feedback there would also be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for reading, I know I can be a bit longwinded, but with such a high-dollar decision, I want as much help from experts like yourself in ensuring I make the right one
Thanks and all the best!