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Old June 21, 2013, 07:52 PM   #1
DTHEWOLF1492
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1000 Yard Rifle

Hello all. I am currently looking into purchasing a rifle to do some long range shooting. ( For me anyway, no offense to the guys that can shoot a mile or more.) I would like to set my sets on efficiency at 1000 yards. I know, as with anything, my skill will be the biggest flaw in this equation. Nevertheless, I am searching for information on a good, affordable baseline set up for a bolt action rifle, scope, and bipod to start my journey. If, for instance, you had a budget of around 1000-1300 dollars, which equipment and caliber would you assemble for a strong baseline. I have been researching the Tikka T3 lite, and some Savage rifles but am not familiar with the quality of these weapons. The last factors are point of use. My use will be mainly recreational target shooting, but I would like the caliber chosen to be a good hunting choice if I decide or need to use it. My general philosophy on my gun purchases is to buy quality, not necessarily expensive, weapons and care for them in a way that may allow me to have them in great working condition for as long a possible without repair. I share this because I believe it may affect recommendations for equipment. Thank you in advance for your valued suggestions and opinions.


Darrell P
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Old June 21, 2013, 08:17 PM   #2
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Re: 1000 Yard Rifle

Savage FCP-K (.308 Win)... With a budget of $1,300 it will be difficult to get the equipment that you need. A good scope will run you at least $750, the rifle about $800 (maybe more), and then to be efficient at 1,000 yards, as you want to, you will need to get into handloading.
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Old June 21, 2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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I have some suggestions, but first I have questions.

Do you currently own a rifle?
How much shooting experience do you already have?
What caliber is your current rifle, if you have one?

Your answers will affect my suggestions.
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Old June 21, 2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Can't go wrong with the right Savage
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Old June 21, 2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Remington 7mm Sendero with 162 AMax bullets.
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Old June 21, 2013, 10:58 PM   #6
big al hunter
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Ok, I did some research and i see you have an AR-15 and your new to rifles.

I have 2 suggestions:
A. Get a Savage, your choice. My choice would be a heavy barrel chambered in 308 win. Search here http://m.savagearms.com/ Get a mid range scope. Start here http://www.vortexoptics.com/ The diamonback series will get you started under your budget. Then shoot at 100 yards for a year or so every weekend at least an hour at the range. When you consistently shoot groups around 1 inch move out to 200 yards. Continue moving farther out as your skills improve. When the scope no longer allows you to see at the distance you are shooting, upgrade to the Viper series. Spend close to 800 or 1000 for the new scope.

B. Spend $500 on a new scope for your AR-15. And the rest on ammo. Then spend the same range time and procedure outlined for the Savage rifle. An AR-15 in 223 will reach 1000 yards.

If you want a new rifle get it. If your budget is tight you can use what you already have to get practice and learn the ins and outs.
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Old June 21, 2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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Re: 1000 Yard Rifle

For the .223 round to be anywhere near consistent the OP will have to hand load very well and load longer than mag length. It is doable, but he needs to have at least a 20" barrel and 1:7" twist rate... It would be easier to get a .308 and practice a little.
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Old June 22, 2013, 12:12 AM   #8
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Speaking of Tikka, have you looked at the Tikka T3 TAC? It comes in .223 and .308.

There's a good artical about it at Sniper Central.
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Old June 22, 2013, 06:01 AM   #9
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Note the fact that the US Army Marksmanship Unit supporting thir Rifle Team finally quit using 5.56 NATO semiautos for 1000 yard competition. Folks using the 7.62 NATO round in Garands and M1A's shot better scores; the 30 caliber round was more accurate than the 22 caliber one.

They contacted the NRA and got them to change the rules to allow AR10's in 7.62 NATO to be classified as a "service rifle" and went on to win matches and set a record team score right off the bat in last year's National Matches.
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:09 AM   #10
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What type of 1000 yard matches will determine what way you want to go. You also didn't say if you had a rifle already. If you do have a fair center fire, hold off on a new one and shoot F-Class with what you have until you decide which way you want to go.

If you're going to shoot NRA LR matches you're going to need something with iron sights, preferably something that uses both iron's and glass.

They are normally 3 matches per event (4 if you shoot the team match), Any Rifle/Any Sight, Any rifle/Iron sights, and service rifle).

If that's the route then go with Bart's suggestion and go the AR route in 308.
If you go strictly F-Class then you have more options, they have several classes from standard hunting rifles to full blown tactical type rifles. In that case, like others said, look at the Savage line for something off the rack. Although there are other good options. Don't discount Winchester. That would be my first choice for a bolt gun target rifle but Savage will be cheaper and you can spend the rest on bullets down range.

In bolt guns I would look toward the .243 or 260 Rem.

223s will work, but take a lot more effort on your part, you'll need something that will shoot 80-90 gr bullets.

As to glass, I wouldn't go over 10-12 X, anything more and mirage will wash out your target. If you need more power then get a spotting scope to use with your scope.

Also you're gonna need a barrel band, the heat waves coming off the barrel is going to interfere with you mirage reading (another reason for the spotting scope).
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:32 AM   #11
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You will also need a 20MOA tapered scope base in order for your scope to be able to zero at 1000 yards.
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
As to glass, I wouldn't go over 10-12 X, anything more and mirage will wash out your target. If you need more power then get a spotting scope to use with your scope.
This is the best advice, so far, in this thread.

In my experience, anything over 12x for sights has diminishing utility for the vast majority of shooters except under the most ideal conditions.

Thanks for that nugget, Kraig.

Quote:
You will also need a 20MOA tapered scope base in order for your scope to be able to zero at 1000 yards.
I didn't. But then, I tend to buy scopes with enough vertical adjustment.
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Old June 22, 2013, 08:41 AM   #13
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Mirage might wash out your target at 1000 yards but if you're going to shoot less than 1000 and small targets, higher power is better.
I've never shot 1000 yards and don't know where the mirage becomes a factor but I've routinely shot out to 4-500 in summer heat in NY with scopes from 25-40x and never had a problem.
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Old June 22, 2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
I didn't. But then, I tend to buy scopes with enough vertical adjustment.
I'm "old school" and my old Leupold 10x Mil-Dot didn't have enough total adjustment to make up 38 to 42 MOA "up" without a 20 MOA head start
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Old June 22, 2013, 09:35 AM   #15
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Savage 12 LRP in .260 or 6.5 Creedmore.

Easy enough?

Scope power is subjective, and I believe depends on use and shortest range of engagement.
You can always dial down a variable, and there have been many times that I have not needed to dial down my 24X at 1000 yards.

The NF 12-42x is the most popular F-Class optic. Tell all those guys they don't need anything over 10x.
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Old June 22, 2013, 12:47 PM   #16
Bart B.
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In the decades of long range, prone position NRA any-rifle matches (ones where scopes are allowed), virtually all those won and records set with such sights, they're all 20X to 25X scopes. Here's why.

They magnify the target good enough for precise calling the shots which enables more accurate sight adjustment calculations. They're also bright enough in dim light to make aiming easy as well as watching the mirage. The lower power the scope is, the harder it is to call your shots and see small mirage/wind changes. Top ranked competitors hold their aiming point inside a 3/4 MOA oval shaped area on the target then try to break their shots inside a 1/2 MOA area. They can also call their shots within 1/4 MOA of where they go when the sights are on for the conditions.

When focused a bit short of the target, the mirage seen in them is your friend. It tells you when the wind's changed a bit and only 1/2 to a full MOA change is needed. You can hold off to the side to correct for it and stay in position which is the best thing to do. Or go out of position, adjust the sight then try to get back into position exactly the same way so your rifle shoots to zero. I've never seen too much mirage to make accurate shot placement on long range bullseye target. Even in really hot, humid weather, the targets' scoring rings are easily seen and there's no problem holding your aim in the middle of the smallest one. Mice, at 1000 yards, may be blurred out by even a slight mirage.

Fixed power scopes are more accurate and have better optical qualities producing sharper images. They don't have an extra set of metal tubes holding lenses that move back and forth inside another tube to change magnification. Few, of even the best variables, have zero slop in those parts and do change a tiny bit in position from shot to shot. Clamp your variable in a solid mount, then look throught it at a distant target and change power from limit to limit then back and forth a few times. Watch the reticule make letter "S" or figure "8" movements about the target. When it's way off, click the adjustments back to "zero" and see what the error is. If you must use a variable, set it hard into the maximum power stops, tape the adjustment in place and don't touch it. That may be good enough.

Some scopes have less windage adjustment range when at the maximum elevation setting. The tube that moves inside does so inside another one and when it's at the limits going up, there's less room sideways for windage. Get a 20 or 30 MOA rail and you'll never have this problem.
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Old June 22, 2013, 01:15 PM   #17
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Most winning F-Class using scope are Nightforce 12x42 BR

http://www.6mmbr.com/gunweek088.html


Benn using Nightforce scope long time plus others

http://www.6mmbr.com/gunweek028.html
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Old June 22, 2013, 03:00 PM   #18
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Good explanation, Bart.

Precise point of aim matters not if you're trying to hit center of mass on a chest-sized target.

It certainly does when you're trying to split hairs.

10x on a two minute target at 1000 yards, (depending on the reticle) much or most of the target may be obscured.

I just don't get why there always seems to be an argument here for limiting power on variables...when you just turn them down if mirage is an issue.
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Old June 23, 2013, 03:10 PM   #19
DTHEWOLF1492
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This is a lot of information to absorb!

I see that I should probably expand my budget a bit for the purchase and possibly set my sights a bit lower than 1000 yards to begin. I see from Big Al Hunter, that I may need to practice with my AR for some valuable lessons to work my way up to greater distances. The information on the scopes and glass is particularly interesting from all. I see that my knowledge of the glass is horribly lacking. I will use the wisdom shared here and research a bit further before making a purchase. I find it uncommon to come across such a wealth of knowledge and experience, especially among people willing to share it. Thank you for your clear and comprehensive responses!



Darrell Putnam
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Old June 23, 2013, 10:11 PM   #20
Bart B.
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After re-reading some posts, I noticed one thing Kraig mentioned; a barrel band, sometimes called a mirage band.



It's a 1 to 1.5 inch wide elastic band that hooks onto the receiver ring and the front sight base. It's purpose is to deflect heat waves rising off a hot barrel that can distort the target image. Sometimes they're white, other times black or whatever color suits you.

They work pretty good in very low cross wind speeds; those under 2 mph. At higher wind speeds the wind blows the heat waves off the barrel enough that they are no longer in the line of sight with either scopes or metallic front and rear sights.

As crosswind speed picks up, that band starts to flutter vibrating the rifle it's on. In higher wind speeds, it acts like a sail; it moves the rifle around and your aiming area on the target gets bigger as the wind speed changes quickly. One's better off in high winds without the band and the barrel heat is blowing straight sideways anyway.
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Old June 23, 2013, 10:48 PM   #21
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Id say a Savage in 6.5 Creedmoor. You can take a wide variety of game with that round and it is very accurate. Ammo usually runs 25 a box of 20 for Hornady match grade, hunting loads start at about 27, online of course. You can convert a 308 to 6.5 and vise versa with only a barrel change too. Although i do not own a bolt action in 6.5CM a guy i shoot with frequently has the 11/111 long range hunter and its a tack driver. If you are not set on a bolt action mine is a DPMS LR6.5, and its every bit as accurate but it can be hard to come by and is a beast of a rifle at 14.5 lbs with scope and 19 round mag full.
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Old June 24, 2013, 12:15 AM   #22
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We really need a sticky for this subject, as it seems to pop up regularly.

Shooting to a 1000 yards is easy. Hitting what you are aiming at is a bit trickier. Lately I've been recommending 6.5 Creedmoor and 260 Rem to shooters getting into the long range game, simply because of the plethora of 139 to 142 gr match bullets that do so well from so many different manufacturers (Lapua, Sierra, Hornady, Nosler, Berger, etc).

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Old June 24, 2013, 07:24 AM   #23
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Black Hills 175 SMK works great at 1,000 yards as well. If you can find it!
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Old June 24, 2013, 08:06 AM   #24
Bart B.
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OK, Jimro, your suggestion about this thread's subject be made a sticky gets you awarded the "Best Thread Post" trophy. As soon as someone can find a box (crate?) big enough to pack it in, I'll ask the forum thread judges to send it to you.

Your reference to the 26 caliber rounds use in long range is worthwhile. When really good, accurate US made 26 caliber heavy bullets were finally made by Sierra in the late 1990's, the 6.5x.284 started taking all the marbles; thanks to Mid Tompkins and his family's immediate success with it. It also was pretty much the death knell for the belted magnums for long range prone matches. Too bad it's only got about 700 to 800 rounds of super accurate barrel life. But then winning and record setting race car engines don't last very long either.
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Old June 24, 2013, 06:07 PM   #25
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Bart B.

I didn't mention the 6.5x284, which I would not recommend to someone looking to get into the long range game. If you were going to deal with the issues of going overbore I'd stick with the 7 WSM or stock 284 Win and use 162 or heavier match bullets, but once again, I wouldn't recommend either to someone getting started.

I specifically mentioned the 6.5 Creedmoor and 260 Remington, both of which offer plenty of barrel life for somoeone serious about getting into 1000 yard shooting, both offered in rifles that are good to go from commercial sources (Savage, Rem, etc). Commercial match ammo is available (Hornady for the Creedmoor, Black Hills for the 260 Rem) for those who haven't started handloading (at prices very competitive to 308 GMM).

It seems like every month or so a new member has the same post, "Hi, I'm interested in shooting a thousand yards, what rifle should I get?" One of these days we should just pull all the best answers and make a sticky.

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