Originally Posted by tobnpr
The "tools" do have a lot to do with success at longer ranges.
It really depends on how you define "success".
The X-10 rings of a 1000 yard LR target is ~20 inches across, so in theory a 2 MOA rifle should be capable of cleaning it. If someone just wants to get their feet wet, they can probably use the hunting rifle they already own. At worst, they would probably need to buy is a tapered scope base to get enough elevation to get on target. The Leupold version is under $30.
I shot a 800 yard match with a Mosin 91/30, and my buddy used my K98k, both with surplus ammo. We challenged ourselves, and had a lot of fun.
That is how I define success.
Originally Posted by 1stmar
Personally if I were going to compete or shoot at 1000 yards or long ranges I would buy once, I'd look for advice on the best action, caliber, gunsmith etc from this forum. My uninformed opinion would be a fast, heavy bullet would perform best. In most of the rags, that points to 338 lapua or maybe even 50 bmg.
Sure, but the primary advantage is that they are better in the wind, which means that they only benefit when you get the wind call wrong. I worked these numbers up for a different discussion, so pardon the copy/paste, but they do demonstrate the concept:
When you call the wind is 60º at 8mph, but it is really 90º at 12, how bad do you miss?
At 1000 yards:
.308 Win, 190 SMK @ 2500 FPS your wind will be off by 4.8 MOA or 50 inches.
6.5-06 140 SMK @ 2900 FPS, your wind will be off by 3.9 MOA, or 40 inches.
.30-378 WbyMag, 240gr SMK @ 2900 FPS your wind will be off by 2.6 MOA, or 27 inches.
50 BMG, 750 AMAX @ 2600 FPS, your wind will be off by 1.7 MOA, or 18 inches.
So yes, when you screw up the wind call, you won't be as far off target with the better LR rounds, but at the expense of punishing recoil, short barrel life, and fully 2X the powder charge for the .30-378 or 5X for the .50 (not to mention $2 per bullet).
When you get the wind right though, the result is the same if you are using a .308 or a 50 BMG, a hit. A .308 is just fine for 1000 yards, and capable of farther.
And I would argue that someone starting out with a .308 (or the hunting rifle they already own) will get better faster than the guy starting out with a .338 EargasplittinLoudenboomer simply because of trigger time.
My favorite thread (the source of my copy/paste above) about this was from earlier this year, when the OP said he had a Remington 700 SPS Tactical in .308 but wanted to buy a rifle to try out long range shooting, then argued with everyone who told him to use his .308 because it wasn't good enough.