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Old January 29, 2013, 03:46 PM   #1
TK0218
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Marksmanship Training Rifle

I currently own a Ruger M77 .338, a Remi 700 .300wm, a Ruger Mini 14, a Ruger 10/22, a Sig M400, and my most recent purchase, a Ruger American .30-06. I am in no way a experienced marksman, the most I shoot is to zero my rifles, go out for the hunt and then only shoot them once or twice, if that. Anyways I enjoy the Ruger American because it is perfect for that and with the smaller, non-magum, caliber I can take my kids with me when they get old enough.

I recently wanted to make shooting a hobby though so I bought a bunch of Korean Surplus .30-06 for 25 cents a round and took to the range to practice. To my dismay I found that the barrel became hot very quickly after about 4 or 5 shots (these were very evenly spaced shots) and my American with it's adjustable trigger and all sucked as a marksman training rifle.

Anyways I am wondering what kind of rifle to get for marksman training. My choices are a Remi 700 .223 for $417 with a cheap Remi scope from WM, a Ruger M77 Hawkeye .223 with a ancient Leupold scope for $440 from a local pawn shop, the Tikka T3 Lite .223 for $699 from Cabela's with whatever scope I put on it, or...because I know I am going to get a suggestion on aftermarket mods for the Remi 700...I can put a custom bolt and barrel on my Sig M4 or Mini and use that. More so on the Sig M4 because my 7yo daughter is expressing interest in competition marksmanship and she handles the M4 very well with the adjustable stock accomidating her shorter arms.

Anyways...what I am looking for is just a good target shooting rifle, I really like the bolt and action on the Ruger M77, very clean and crisp; but the Tikka offers a very smooth action as well and it has a fluted barrel, I am not sure if that will maintain a cool barrel any better than any of the others. I just need some experienced shooters' advice on what rifle and caliber to buy. I am not trying to become a scout sniper or anything so, although it is a very good rifle, I don't want to get the Remi and spend 1200 modifying it to be a target rifle; unless that is the most reasonable choice. I just want to be a hobby target shooter and maybe pass it to my daughter or her younger brother who are both expressing interest in rifle marksmanship.

Oh I was also told that a bolt action would be the best choice but I need someone to chime in on that as well, that way I can know if just modding the Sig or Mini is the best choice. If I do go with a .223 bolt it will most likely not be used for hunting because I believe that I shouldn't kill anything I don't intend to eat and I don't don't have a taste for priarie dog or any of the smaller game; it will be for strictly target shooting. Oh, and I know I am getting long winded at this point but the rifles I've stated are just the ones that I have had the chance to shoot or just generally handle. If you know of a better rifle feel free to suggest it.

Last edited by TK0218; January 29, 2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Old January 29, 2013, 04:01 PM   #2
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Paragraphs are your friend.

I gave up trying to read what to these old eyes looked like one big blob of text...
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Old January 29, 2013, 04:38 PM   #3
TK0218
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There you go Joe I edited it. See I am changing with peoples advice already, now I just need advice on a rifle.
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Old January 29, 2013, 04:46 PM   #4
Willie Sutton
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^^^ Get yourself a quality .22 and have at it.

You can never shoot enough centerfire to get REALLY good unless someone else is footing the bills. Work on position, breathing, sights, and "breaking the glass rod" with your trigger finger (surprise trigger break) on a .22 and it'll all transfer...


Willie

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Old January 29, 2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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You have the 10/22. That and range time will be all you need to practice the fundamentals. Try to find an Appleseed clinic and take a weekend.

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Old January 29, 2013, 05:27 PM   #6
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Id go with a .17HMR. It shoots flat and you can get consistent groups at ranges much longer than a .22LR. It isnt as cheap to shoot as a .22lr but it beats centerfire, especially the magnums. Plus you wont develop a flinch. And a good shooting rifle in HMR can be had for around 200 dollars leaving room for a decent piece of glass on the top.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:16 PM   #7
Strafer Gott
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I vote with Willie on this one. Uncle Sam paid most of our tuition. Get a .22 bolt with an aperture sight. Start at fifty feet. Master the irons. Then put on a decent scope. Practice the steady hold, breath control, and trigger break. A decent scope will let you see your breathing, even your pulse. Then master yourself. That will get you rolling.
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:12 AM   #8
kraigwy
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I vote for getting a bunch of 22s and practicing with your 10-22.

Most all rifles are going to "walk" when the barrel gets hot (there are exceptions). What happens is, with heat, the barrel expands and starts hitting the stock in different places.

Think of the barrel as a water hose. Water comes out and the hose flips around quite a bit. Touch any part of the hose and it starts flipping different causing the water to hit a different area.

Something you might try is to float the barrel of you Ruger American. Meaning, just in front of the action, use sand paper to open the the barrel chamber to the point you can slide a dollar bill between the barrel and stock, from the front of the stock to the chamber.

Buy new rifles is fun, (heaven knows I buy enough of them) but I really don't see it changing your problem. It may, but you may have to buy a lot of rifles to find out.
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:37 AM   #9
Willie Sutton
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Get a .22 bolt with an aperture sight. Start at fifty feet. Master the irons. Then put on a decent scope. Practice the steady hold, breath control, and trigger break. A decent scope will let you see your breathing, even your pulse.


I second this. Not taking away from the 10/22, but.... it's not the right tool for this. Nor is a .17 HMR. They are great... but not for this.

Here's the real path, one that is tried and true:

I'd pick up a mid grade "target" .22. Look for an aperature rear, and interchangable blade (globe) front. Put on a reasonably small front aperature, one that is sized to exactly encircle the black of a 50 foot NRA smallbore target (the ones that have ten small black targets arranged around the edges so in a match you shoot one cartridge at each bull and then move on). Get a good sling. And then learn to shoot at 50 feet using this setup. Shoot prone to start. When you can control the trigger-break between heartbeats (when you are slung-in, you will see the sights bounce up/down... up/down... as your heart beats) you will be good enough to move on. You will find that the dual-aperature sights are very precise, and very good. I can have a 12 year old putting every shot into the black *with ease* the first session using this setup. The reason for a bolt action is to slow you down... and they are also easier to find with the correct sights. There are a load of old Remington and Mossberg "target" rifles floating around that are perfect for this. You do not need a high end target rifle. You just need a decent rifle with the correct sights.

After you master prone, work to sitting, then kneeling, and then to offhand. Position is EVERYTHING. Using a sling is MANDATORY. Learn how to build "a vertical column of bones" and the rifle will sit on top of it and only move when your skeleton moves. A GOOD sling on a fair rifle will produce better results than a crappy (or no) sling on the best rifle ever built.

When you are reliably good at 50 feet, scope the rifle and move out to 25 yards. Then 50. Then 100. If you are precise at 50 feet, you will be precise at 100 yards. If you can control position, sights, and trigger at 50 feet you can control them within an equal radius of error at 500 yards. Don't confuse the rifles ability to hit at 200 yards with YOUR ability to hit at 200 yards.



If you cannot hit the X (which is about the diameter of a .22 bullet) on a 50 foot NRA target 9 out of 10 times prone with a .22 using an aperature sight, you are wasting your time trying to shoot further. When you are dissapointed that you put a flier into the "10" and not the "X"... well... you'll be there.

If you cannot shoot a .22 well, you cannot shoot anything else. You are just wasting your time and money.



Sadly all too few are willing to actually put thew work into this. There are no quick shortcuts though.


Willie


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Old January 30, 2013, 10:11 AM   #10
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Take your 10/22, 4 or 5 mags, and two bricks of ammo and find yourself an Appleseed
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:31 PM   #11
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TK0218 my advice is the same as Willie. Learn to walk first, the 22 is not a toy and small bore shooting is not easy but once you master that it will carry over to your centerfire shooting. Bolt action, aperture sight, single shot or magazine fed your choice. Target barrel on the gun will reduce some of the climbing problem. Try a few different types of ammo to see which one your particular gun likes. 40 gr solids will give you the most consistent performance all the way out to 200 yards. You do not need Mr Hyper super uber velocity, standard velocity target ammo will do just fine. All you really need is to be able to shoot thumbnail size groups at 50' free style, thumbnail size groups from sitting or prone at 50 yards and under 2" at 100 yards from a rest and you will be good to go.

Per your M1 problems, yes the barrel will warm up, the 30-06 is a nice little heater but your climbing should be minimal. Get a good gunsmith familiar with the M1 Garand to go over it and correct any problems, ie gas port plugged, un even bedding, bad crown, bad ammo, improperly slung up, could be 30 different reasons.

I won't name a particular brand or model, most will shoot better than you and you need to find one that fits you. Makes you grin when you pick it up and hold it in the offhand position. Look for something like a Savage, Remington, CZ, Kimber etc. with a heavy barrel. New or used it won't make much difference as long as its in good shape.
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Old January 30, 2013, 07:39 PM   #12
TK0218
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Alright I listened, I know I have the 10/22 but I wanted practice with a bolt. I went to a local gun shop and looked at the 77/22 but then I noticed the Marlin XT-22VR and noticed that the varmint rifle had a thick floated barrel and recessed crown, perfect for a target rifle. And it was 400 less than the 77/22. I took it to the range on my lunch break today and I love the thing. It keeps very tight groups at 25 and 50 yards. No sights on the Varmint model though so i picked up a cheap 30 dollar Tasco 3-9 (more like 3-6.5, because it starts to blur above 6) and it sufficed.

I couldn't find an Appleseed clinic in my area but I ran into a National Guardsman at the gun shop and he says that a contractor at our local Nat Guard base offers something similar that will teach the basics for 50 dollars a weekend. I have been hunting since I was a kid, and I killed my share of game, but I have never really been taught how to shoot; So I am going to do it.

Thank you for the advice on the Ruger American Kraig, a floated barrel was one of the marketing points on the American so maybe I will check out the bipod I installed on it. I suspect the lug mounting it to the stock went up too far and that is my culprit, so I will check it out and see if that's causing the problem. Even if that's not it, it's still a 1 to 2 MOA rifle before it gets hot and I'm excited to take it out on the hunt. It is an excellent rifle for only being 300 dollars.

Anyways...thanks for the advice everyone, I have a bunch of the cheap Remington bricks throughout the house so I think I will work on technique before fine tuning what ammo to use. I love the thick heavy barrel on the thing and broadened stock, it gives it the look and feel of a full sized centerfire rifle. I hate to admit it because I've grown up with the 10/22 and the 77, but I think this was a better buy than the 77/22. Can't wait to put a couple of bricks through this thing.
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Old January 30, 2013, 10:51 PM   #13
Old Grump
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The XT22 comes with iron sights so I bet you can get them retrofitted for your vr22.

At any rate don't worry about only having Remington, this target is a 50 yard 10 shot target with Remington Golden bullet but in the boxes of 100 not the valu pak. Shot from a 10/22 with Green Mountain target barrel from Caldwell sandbags. Not all my groups are like that, Winchester Super X and CCI mini mags work better.

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Old January 31, 2013, 10:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Take your 10/22, 4 or 5 mags, and two bricks of ammo and find yourself an Appleseed
THIS, times 1000.

The only tweak I'd suggest is to either scope the rifle with an inexpensive 4x, or if your eyes are young and strong, get the "Tek Sights" I think they're called. The stock 10/22 sights will probably hold you back or at least make it hard to shoot Rifleman at Appleseed. (The stock front sight bead is larger than little 400 yd silhouette). A magnifying scope won't help you shoot better, if you're not executing properly it will just magnify your errors, but it helped me be able to see the target with my aging eyes.

If possible, don't just go to one Appleseed, attend several. Something like only 2% of people can shoot a Rifleman score their first Appleseed (I didn't, it took me two Appleseeds and a lot of practice).
There's way more to know than the intensive stuff they cover at Appleseed, but you'll know the fundamentals and be able to correctly DO them if you can shoot a Rifleman score.
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Old February 2, 2013, 07:59 AM   #15
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I have a Tikka T3 and a Remington 700, both in .223.

The Tikka costs twice as much, but I'd say it's twice as nice as well. It's much smoother, much better balanced, and came with a threaded barrel so I put a muzzle brake on it :-)

Love that Tikka!
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Old February 2, 2013, 08:23 AM   #16
4V50 Gary
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I prefer bolt guns for training. I had the experience of trying to teach kids with a pistol. Spray n pray. So I slow them down with a bolt gun.
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Old February 5, 2013, 02:24 AM   #17
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You can't go wrong with a CZ-452 or one of the newer CZ-455's. The newer models have interchangeable barrels and stocks.

The Lux is a really nice looking gun, but I saw and Old Timer out at the range with a gorgeous CZ FS (Full Stock) Mannlicher. It was a thing of beauty. That old guy was driving tacks at 50 yards all day long.
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