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Old December 9, 2008, 11:34 AM   #1
bryceh12321
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Suggestions for Long Range

I'm looking for something that can pack a punch, but still make it out to distances up to 400 yds. or so (if possible more). I've looked at several rounds, and just don't have the experience or expertise to make a decision. I don't want any thing too fancy (or rare). Don't have reloading gear, and don't want to drop 40$/box. Looking to shoot coyote, coon, fox, (maybe even deer with this), as well as target shooting here in the Central U.S.
The main reason I'm having trouble making a decision, is I don't know if I want to get something with a lower velocity. Want to keep a flat trajectory.

Looked into 22-250, 308, even 30-06. I just don't know.



Any tips/advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old December 9, 2008, 11:44 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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.22-250 and .204 ruger will be VERY flat shooting and more than capable of 400+ yard shots. If you intend to shoot that distance at deer size targets you'll need something bigger. The 30 caliber guns are pretty severe overkill on those smaller animals. Something like a .25-06 might make a good compromise.
If it's a "Gee, maybe someday I might shoot a deer, maybe." then I'd just say "No, I won't." and get the .204ruger. The balllistics are incredible and it'll be easy one shot kills on most anything coyote and smaller (explosive type kills on the praire dog size).
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Old December 9, 2008, 11:53 AM   #3
hamr56
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Have you thought of a .243, or a .260 Rem? These rounds would both be able to get down wind pretty quick. Recoil would also be very manageable so that it would not affect sight acquisition after firing.
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Old December 9, 2008, 12:11 PM   #4
popeyespappy
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IMHO the do it all rifle is kind of like the Joint Strike Fighter. Sure you can build an aircraft that is capable of doing it all but it is going to be full of compromises and doesn’t excel at any one thing. Having said that, people have been using the 308 with success for everything you mentioned since before I was born and there are many rifles available from all the manufacturers in 308 that would work for you. I’ve got 2 Remington 700’s in 308 that work for me. Just pick one you like in your price range and run with it.
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Old December 9, 2008, 12:44 PM   #5
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peetzakilla, In my IMHO, there is no such thing as overkill, as has been said a hundred times. Dead is dead!. What is importand IMOH is accuracy. I read an article years ago regarding the .243 as a deer getter, and you as a shooter. My .243, Sako L-579 Forester, shoots 105 grn Hornady bullets at .5 and less groups all day long. Not 10 shot groups, but who cares. It is a whip barrel and you don't force shots one after one down the tube. 1ST shot is all I care about, cold bore. " With deer from the shoulder shoot forward straight inline with neck 4 inches". It goes down ! There is enough energy in a .243 at yardage to snap the neck even with a near shot. You must shoot accurately. I have not shot a deer, other than in the head or neck in years from various yardges! Fact.

I have rifles in .30 cal that I shoot everything with, and don't hesitate in using them. This is a broad forum with folks from different states. My Texas Hill Country deer, on average can be taken with a sling shot. Deer in Michigan where my buddy is are huge! Take heart shots, fine, take shoulder shots and they can't move with no front legs, fine. Marksmanship is IMHO the key to what you are doing and not the necessarily cal. bullet you are using.

I had Eye surgery several years ago after coming back from across the pond. The doctor said NO shooting for one month. He was a shooter and I said that I had a .22-250 that had no recoil at all and would that be OK. He said yes. Savage 12BVSS. I shot one of the biggest bucks I have ever shot two days later. Shot placement at 135 yds. Directly in the neck spinal column. 20x scope and could count the hairs. I was accurate and comfortable with the shot and the rifle did it's part. Jbryceh12321 Just my 02. Don't get hung up with the cal thing or it will drive you crazy, being a neophite in this sport. Recommendation for a start, a rifle that has commercial loads from about 100 grns to 150 grains. Send PM and I will advise more.
Ken
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Old December 9, 2008, 12:50 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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peetzakilla, In my IMHO, there is no such thing as overkill, as has been said a hundred times.
Overkill means different things to different people. For instance, I consider over penetration, and the dangers that go with it, to be part of overkill. A good varmint round limits the ricochet danger. I also consider excessive recoil for the job to be a part of it. Why take the abuse of a .30-06 when your shooting groundhogs or coon when a recoilless (essentially) .204 will kill them just as dead?
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Old December 9, 2008, 12:55 PM   #7
Smokey Joe
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Being GOOD out to 400 yd...

takes PRACTICE.

Practice takes ammo. Lots of ammo. If you are serious about shooting at living things out to 400 yards, you owe it to the game, to your rifle, and to yourself, to get good enough to humanely kill them. Competitive target shooting will require you to be even better than that, and that requires more practice yet.

That means either being rich, or getting into reloading, to afford the necessary practice ammo.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but my tip/advice/suggestion is to get a good .22 rifle with a 'scope, and get really good with that at the range, out to 100 yd. Buying .22 rimfire ammo won't kill your wallet as much. Make friends with every rifleman at the range you can, and pick their brains. By the time you are good with the .22 at 100 (say, making consistent 1/2" 5-shot groups) you will have a much clearer idea of how far you want to pursue these ideas, and what direction(s) you should take. You are you; I'm not you. I can't be presumptuous and tell you "buy X rifle, in X caliber, and you will kill every fox within 400 yards just like that." You have to find that sort of thing out for yourself.

BTW, welcome to the forum, Bryceh 12321. You will find lots and lots of information and ideas here.
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; December 9, 2008 at 01:00 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:08 PM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey Joe
Sorry to rain on your parade, but my tip/advice/suggestion is to get a good .22 rifle...

The venerable .22 bores me to tears... and I'm a gun guy. Yep, they're cheap. Yep, nice and quiet. Yep, no recoil. Yep, you will likely fall asleep shooting it. Sure, if money is really that much of an issue and you REALLY want to shoot SOMETHING, anything, get a .22. If you're engaging in competition, 400 yard shooting requires practice, practice, practice, practice. If your intention is "minute of groundhog", a few boxes of shells, a good gun and quality scope will get you on target and do so without putting you to sleep. No offense to Smokey Joe and everyone else that makes the recommendation, the .22 is not always the absolute must have first rifle for everyone.
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:20 PM   #9
Smokey Joe
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Not offended...

Peetzilla--no offense taken. However, every single serious shooter I know, practices with a .22. Bryceh wants to shoot at 400 yards--unless he's already a very good shot, he needs the practice. And more practice to maintain that skill.

What would you have him use instead?
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:22 PM   #10
texfar
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peetzakilla, Well taken sir. Don't have those problems where I am. Recoil is no problem and the gentleman stated on occasional,deer.

Smokey Joe, Excellent advice sir. Been there many years. Keep forgettin this is not about us. I am well after the .22 stage, and on to other things. Still rack out the .22 when I come home to get the oil moving again. I am not rich, but enjoy the fact that I shoot everything I want when I want. Yes, reload everything. Mulitiple presses. Problem with .22 for me where I am is knock down power +100 yds, night. Can do it but my thing is critters not paper and I kill them. Even Critters deserve a quick death. Advise checkin out http://www.appleseedinfo.org/. Learn how to shoot before worring about what rifle to shoot.
Ken
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:32 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
What would you have him use instead?
I suggested a .204 ruger if he stays with small game, a .25-06 for big(ger) game.
In my experience, a lone guy at a range practicing 100 yard shooting with a 22 either:

1) Becomes a very good 100 yard shooter with a 22. Which may or may not (more likely not in IMO) translate to effective long range shooting.

2) Gets to a certain point and gets no better because he doesn't know how to get better.


If he practices at 400 yards, even without instruction, he'll at least be learning something about shooting at 400 yards. Shooting at 100 yards can easily lead to ingrained bad habits with no practical, positive effect on long range skills. At least shooting at 400 yards get you 400 yard experience, even if you have those same bad habits.
If the OP is looking for comp level skills, he'll most likely need instruction, not, IMHO, a .22. (Although, I must acknowledge that said instructor may well start him out shooting with a .22)
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:49 PM   #12
texfar
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Yea, good advise. Only thing is to learn windage!!!!! Light means wild at times. Been there.
Ken
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:57 PM   #13
Pathfinder45
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.270 winchester
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:00 PM   #14
Pathfinder45
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.....adequate Coyote Rifle....

.270 Winchester.
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:13 PM   #15
Demaiter
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I would suggest a .22 centerfire of some sort for the varmints mentioned. 3-400 yards is plenty do able with the heavier bullets(55-65 grains). You do "not" need a flat shooting hyper velocity gun for these ranges however they help to correct for shooter misjudgment in wind/range

Just learn your drop and perhaps make a little table and laminate it and then hole punch a circle out and tie it to a scope ring so you always have it.

I'd suggest a .223 rem or a .22-250(I would choose a .22-250 if you think you'll be shooting a lot of coyotes at 250+, if not I'd stay with the .223 rem) - I think a .220 Swift is a little overboard and uses too many consumable's(larger brass/more powder/more money etc...)

However if you want to also be able to shoot deer, your going to need to step it up a notch - I'd say into the 6mm or 25 calibers. If you want to be able to shot deer then I'd suggest a .243 win or a .257 roberts or a .25-06.

The best of those imo is the .243 win - it has excellent long range capabilities and is the most common so ammo availability will not be an issue.
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:17 PM   #16
taylorce1
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Quote:
Looking to shoot coyote, coon, fox, (maybe even deer with this),
Really you need at least two rifles for what you want to do. Since you included deer in your possible hunting exploits for commonly found ammunition you will be looking at .243 Win, .25-06 Rem, .270 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, and .308/.30-06 on the top end of what you will need. The .243 Win will be your best choice for a dual purpouse rifle with the .25-06 coming in second. Really don't expect to save much pelts with any of these calibers on your varmints.

Can't argue about the .22 rimfires for practice, or the .17's even they are still cheaper to shoot than most centerfire cartridges. Everyone needs to go back to the basics every now and then.
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:17 PM   #17
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270 win is your best bet... Punch like a train and cheap... Ammo in all the stores...

I know you said you don't but if you want to go a little more exotic then you might want to get a 257 Weatherby... That is the best round I have found for what you are trying to do...
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:20 PM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
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Boy, I don't know what ammo cost where you guys are but what you're calling cheap (.270, .243) is $25+ a box where I am. .22-250 and .204 can be had for $15-18. However, if the OP is serious about shooting deer size game, I agree, you must pay the price for those larger rounds.
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:51 PM   #19
kraigwy
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Your choices are endless. You said deer so I would exclude the 204 and 223 & such. Also dont know if you reload, but:

243, 257, 25-06, 65.55 270, 308, 30-06, and on and on. A whole new world opens if you reload.
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Old December 9, 2008, 07:40 PM   #20
River Rat 1969
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Suggestions for Long Range

If I had to get one "do everything" rifle, I'd pick the .308 Winchester. Big enough for big game, inherently accurate, and 30 caliber offers a huge selection of bullets, when you decide to reload. (You will, eventually, if you shoot very much.)

Not as flat shooting as a 22-250 or .204 Ruger, but loaded with 110 grain hollowpoints, flat enough. Once you start gaining shooting skill, you won't worry about a flat trajectory, but consistency, and being able to shoot a bullet heavy enough that the wind won't blow it around as much.

A rifle chambered in 6.5 Swedish Mauser or .260 Remington would two other calibers I would look at.
If you end up like most of us, you'll have a caliber for every use.
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Old December 9, 2008, 09:18 PM   #21
Rem308
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.308?

"If you end up like most of us, you'll have a caliber for every use."

Isn't that the truth! Because you've listed a few times that deer hunting would need to be an option, I'd say a .308,

but you may be happier to first start w/ a .223 or something similiar and not worry about the deer hunting. Then, down the road, pick up a deer rifle.
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Old December 9, 2008, 09:33 PM   #22
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This is what i would do, I it was for just the small game, with a small chance of a deer, id go with a 243 or 22-250, both i think great for longer ranges on small game, cheaper on the pocket book, easy on the shoulder. And plenty capable for deer hunting within reason. Now if i knew i want to hunt deer for sure, id lean into a 270 or 25-06, little more cost, and recoil, but not bad. will also give you more range over the first 2. I would also look into reloading, as this will allow you to adjust the calibers more acordingly for less $$. I will use 270 for example you can run 100 gr bullets for smaller game, then if you want to deer hunt, you can run 130-150 grain. I alway shoot 130gr ballistic tips out of mine. Last year i took 2 deer with it at 340 yards. A nice buck, and his girl freind about 15 seconds later. Dropped them both intheir tracks, and both had holes going out. I also shoot alot, to me this was a far shot, well past my norm for hunting, but i shoot alot, knew where to aim, and was comfertable with what i was shooting. Now if i had a 243 or 22-250, i pry wouldnt have done it, not to say it couldnt be done, but thats just me. I really dont think you will find 1 cal that we be a do all perficly, but several tweens that you could make work ok. my .02......
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Old December 9, 2008, 09:42 PM   #23
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+1 for .22

Got to agree with Joe here. Shooting more will lead to shooting better regardless of the caliber.
A .22 will ingrain the same proper shooting techniques as any thing else and CHEAPER.
Trigger pull, breathing, proper sight alignment, these things do not change they are constant with any shooting.
Why enter in other aspects of shooting the larger rounds. Recoil anticipation (flinch) is just one of many.
Trigger time is what makes you a good shooter.
I shoot 600yard matches, I am ok but not in the top 10.
But when I go to the range and see all the top shooters in the match there they are sitting at the bench with a 10/22 and 5 bricks of ammo.
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