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Old October 11, 2001, 12:00 AM   #1
IMtheNRA
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Rem 700 vs. AR-10 accuracy difference?

I'm looking for a .308 rifle to make the smallest possible groups with at 300+ yards. Assuming I use the same optics and ammunition on each and can do my part, which of these two options would be the most inherently accurate rifle? If one is better than the other, what difference in group size can I expect?
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Old October 11, 2001, 11:51 AM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
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Answer is going to vary from rifle to rifle.

In theory, the bolt gun.

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Old October 11, 2001, 02:05 PM   #3
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My money would be on the bolt gun.
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Old October 11, 2001, 04:14 PM   #4
Dave R
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I read good things about the accuracy of the AR-10....but I read better things about the accuracy of bolt guns.

My Remington 700 ADL (the cheap model) shoots MOA (1" at 100yds) consistently right out of the box. I have shot several "cloverleafs" well under an inch, but can't do that on demand.

A good bolt gun should be able to do MOA. That would be 3" at 300 yards, if you can hold steady enough.

For a casual shooter like me, though, it seems much easier to shoot 1" at 100 yards than 3" at 300 yards. I seem to always wind up at 4-5" at 250 yards, which is as far as I've tried.
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Old October 11, 2001, 05:25 PM   #5
El Rojo
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I would get the bolt gun.

As a practical matter, I think you would be best off getting a bolt gun. Here is why.

1. Cost. You can buy a nice tactical bolt gun for about $600-$800. I bought a Remington 700 VS (varmint synthetic) which is the exact same gun as the Remington 700 PSS (police) with a non-tactical stock. The AR-10 is going to range from $1400-$2100. If you chose the bolt gun, this will leave you the perfect amount of money in price difference to get a quality scope that will enable you to reach out and touch targets at 300+ yards. I bought a Leupold 6.5-20x50mm Long Range Target scope for my 700.

2. Magazines. From the Armalite website; 5 round magazine $35.00, 10 round magazine $30.00, and 20 round magazines $85.00!. Ask yourself if that extra 15 rounds is worth all that money? It might be.

3. Theory. In most cases a good bolt gun is going to shoot better than a good semi-auto. You can get semi-autos that shoot more accurately than bolt guns, but it costs lots of money. I mean lots. If all you want to do is shoot the best groups as possible at 300 yards, I would go with the bolt gun. My Remington 700 shoots great. I consistantly get sub-moa accuracy out of it with the only modification to the actual gun coming from adjusting the trigger myself.

Whatever you decide, I think you would be happy either way. I just think you are going to get more satisfaction out of a bolt gun with less money spent. The key is to buy the bolt gun and then save up and eventually buy the semi-auto too. And in that case, consider Springfield Armory's M1A. That is the rifle combination I have and I am really happy with it.
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Old October 12, 2001, 03:58 PM   #6
uglygun
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El Rojo, I'll be sendin ya an email here soon or possibly giving you a call here one of these days. I tried getting a hold of you about a week ago but didn't have any luck, the weather is nice and I'm lookin to head out shooting again one of these days soon. We need to team up and bust some more squirrels.



Seems I might have found myself a gal who likes to shoot! Heck if she ain't half bad looking either!





IMtheNRA, if you were gonna go the precision AR10 route you'd be spending a LOT of money that is certain. Figure 1400 dollars for an A4 variant where it allows you to easily scope it, add to that the price of whatever scope you want, and figure around 200-300 dollars for just a couple 10 and 20 round magazines, in my experience and from various other reports I've read the A4 typically will average around 1MOA for 5 shots which is pretty darned good for a factory semiauto rifle but for my own AR10 A4 I had to really sort through a lot of factory loads and handloads before I found what the rifle was happy with. Compare that though to most of the Remington 700VS or PSS bolt actions which will typically get down to the 1/2-3/4MOA group sizes without much fuss and do it for a fraction of the money and then you've got to ask yourself if a semiauto is really worth it to you or not. For even more accuracy/precision the AR10 T very frequently gets down to 3/4MOA or less for 5 shots but now you're talking about a 2100 dollar rifle instead of a 1400 dollar rifle. Reminton 700s are usually pretty consistent in their accuracy ability and rarely does a "lemon" get out there but it has happened on occasion.



Accurate semiautos are pretty much a money pit though, you're gonna throw a lot of money into them before you see the type of accuracy that a less expensive bolt action is capable of.





Oh, and El Rojo the AR10 went through a repaint not too long ago.
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Old January 3, 2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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I love the Ar platform but every bolt gun that I've fired has been more accurate.
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Old January 3, 2012, 10:15 AM   #8
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For the best groups you should put a custom (Hart, etc) barrel on a 700 action. Having said that, my 24", fluted DPMS .308 would hang with or beat nearly all factory bolt guns that I ever saw.
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Old January 3, 2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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A SR-25 or OBR would probably beat a standard Rem 700, but a Rem 700 R5 would probably beat the semi-auto.
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Old January 3, 2012, 10:56 AM   #10
Jim Watson
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"smallest possible groups"

You don't see even the finest autoloaders at real benchrest matches.
A good one will hammer a bullseye but the group shooters don't use them.

A further consideration is that for the best accuracy (and some economy) you must handload. The autos have the bad habit of throwing your prepped brass in the weeds. Sometimes with dents. But you can remove or shorten the ejector spring on a bolt action and keep them right at hand.

I have a very accurate AR15 but as said, it cost more than a comparably accurate bolt action and is more demanding to manage.
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Old January 3, 2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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Most of the snipers in the Military and Police agencys around the world use bolt actions. There may be a few semi snipers out there (Russian?), but the bolt gun has a strong following.
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Old January 3, 2012, 06:40 PM   #12
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My CMMG custom SASS .308 shoots .59 MOA with Fed GM 168 SMK or my hand loads . I also have a REM 700P that is no better ,I have swaped the same scope on them and used the same ammo . The 700P is a 26 inch barrel and the CMMG is an 18 inch barrel . Gas guns are prety accurate now a days . The are going to be very close on stock out of the box rifles. FYI the gas gun kicks less but it is a pain chaseing the brass. The CMMG takes $20.00 Magpul Pmags . If you step up to a custom GAP gas gun or a or a custom AI bolt gun you may see a even slighter differance . IMHO the bolt gun will have the edge ,but it is going to be small .
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Old January 3, 2012, 07:05 PM   #13
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I have seen some outstanding groups with match grade AR10's, and match rifles built around an AR10 action.


The really question is, how good of a shot are you and how will be you shooting?

If you are one of these bench slugs, the type who can only shoot off a 300 pound bench, rifle rest, butt supported with 40 lbs of sand bags, then I suspect the bolt rifle will have an edge.

If you get off the chair and shoot prone with a sling, the difference between the two will be very hard to tell.
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Old January 3, 2012, 07:16 PM   #14
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Heavy barreled "tactical" rifles aren't needed for excellent hunting accuracy. My standard-weight Rem 700 sporters shoot under 1/2 MOA in both .270 Win and .243 Win.

I shot a 3 1/2", 5-shot group at 450 yards with the .270 on the one and only try, with heavy mirage, but it shoots sub-1/2" groups regularly at 100 yards. The .243 Win 700 seems at least as accurate, but I haven't grouped it beyond 200 yards. (Pillar bedding makes good rifles become great ones.)

Standard-weight rifles are soooo much easier to lug around when hunting.
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Old January 3, 2012, 08:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Most of the snipers in the Military and Police agencys around the world use bolt actions. There may be a few semi snipers out there (Russian?), but the bolt gun has a strong following.
Didn't the US Army start fielding the M110 Semi-Auto Sniper System?
I thought I heard the Marines were considering too.

Would be nice to know how it's worked out for them.

For me my bolt .308 beats my Heavy barreled LR308 "bagged on a bench" not by much (but I can't rule out the operator variable).
Off bench without bagging and for Minute of Man/Animal applications I'm not a big enough variable to be able to tell or make a difference.
But it is nice not to need to take your eye from downrange and cycle a bolt when using the auto.
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Old January 3, 2012, 09:43 PM   #16
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The military uses the 700 for sniper rifles and not a AR-10. Nuff said.
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Old January 3, 2012, 10:16 PM   #17
Blackops_2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
Answer is going to vary from rifle to rifle.

In theory, the bolt gun.

Robert
Unless he's getting a GAP-10 (guarantees 3/4ths MOA @ 100yds) i would go as far to say the bolt gun is going to be more accurate almost all the time unless he gets a lemon out of the factory. Not that AR 10s aren't capable of micro accuracy but it's far more rare than bolt guns capable of it. Semi auto is also more finicky as to how the shooters fundamentals apply.

Quote:
Didn't the US Army start fielding the M110 Semi-Auto Sniper System?
I thought I heard the Marines were considering too.

Would be nice to know how it's worked out for them.

For me my bolt .308 beats my Heavy barreled LR308 "bagged on a bench" not by much (but I can't rule out the operator variable).
Off bench without bagging and for Minute of Man/Animal applications I'm not a big enough variable to be able to tell or make a difference.
But it is nice not to need to take your eye from downrange and cycle a bolt when using the auto.
There is a show called "Top Sniper 2" showing the international sniper competition at fort benning, there is a part of the episode "Urban Combat" which talks about the SASS. From that episode alone the soldier talking said they've fielded it with excellent results as the need for quick follow up shots and a semi auto system for places such as Iraq. One soldier does state that accuracy diminishes at or beyond 800m, which i could see depending on what load they're shooting. But each has it's purpose. I could tell you if i was a soldier in a urban environment and just so happened to be a sniper, i wouldn't mind a m110 at all.
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Old January 3, 2012, 10:39 PM   #18
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The physics behind gas guns make them inherently more inaccurate than bolt guns, but $$ and precise engineering minimizes the effects.

In a gas gun, the piston, or BCG, is actuated rearwards before the bullet has left the barrel.

I "less than precision" semi's, this introduces unwelcome vibrations and movement affecting the barrel harmonics-and thus the bullet which is still traveling down the barrel... this is why semi's are typically less accurate than their bolt counterparts.

The answer to your question, IMO, is that for the same dollars, a bolt will be inherently more accurate than a gas gun. Doesn't mean you can't get a sub minute gas gun like a KAC M110, but you're gonna pay...
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Old January 3, 2012, 11:03 PM   #19
deepcore
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Quote:
The military uses the 700 for sniper rifles and not a AR-10. Nuff said.
Check here (I know one link is to Wackypedia so it can't be taken as gospel... But then again you can't beleive everything on the Internet):

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M110_..._Sniper_System

http://www.knightarmco.com/m110.html


http://www.snipercentral.com/m110.phtml

I was checking to see if I was imagining things that the Army was going to the SASS and going to the 300 WM in their Remy 700s.And if anyone else heard about it since the discussion was open on bolt and/or/vs. Semi.
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Old January 4, 2012, 12:20 AM   #20
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I had just read something where they were keeping the 700 in a different stock (looks like something from outer space) and using .300 Win Mag. I thought they signed a contract for them. Here's the article...

http://kitup.military.com/2010/10/ne...explained.html

There's also this new AR-10 based sniper rifle..

http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,146717,00.html
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Old January 4, 2012, 12:46 AM   #21
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I've spent the last couple of years researching an affordable .308 and my choice is the new Savage. I found one LN with the AccuTrigger and AccuStock with a Nikon scope in a gunshop for $700. With some wheeling and dealing I'm sure that I could have reached the $500 mark.

My buddy wisely drug me out of there. I've had some medical problems and my wife would of killed me...and him...order optional.
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Old January 4, 2012, 02:34 PM   #22
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Why pay more....

You can get a .5" MOA bolt action off the shelf for under $800 that will shoot better than 95% of shooters are capable of.
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Old January 4, 2012, 04:22 PM   #23
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FYI the M24 the military uses is a far cry from a box stock 700 . Just trueing a 700 action and lapping the bolt lugs and custom fitting a match barrel will run you $1000.00 just for the barrel and the labor . The stock is around $700.00 .the raw action around $500.00 By the time your done the rifle without optics will cost you over $2200.00 and you will have a custom built match/sniper rifle. If you want you can get a SAKO TRG 22 for around $2300.00. Point is you can not compare a custom built rifle to a box stock rifle ,be it a gas gun or a bolt. In a combat situation a gas gun will get more kills/hits on target faster than a bolt gun . You will see more gas guns used in the future. I A'm building an AR gas gun in 260 Rem with a Walther Lother LW50 barrel now ,I expect it to be a very accurate rifle.
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Old January 4, 2012, 05:04 PM   #24
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Well TRGs have gone up, and technically you can compare any rifle to any rifle because accuracy does not change regardless the cost of the rifle. 1/2 MOA is 1/2 MOA no matter how you spin it. Sure the m24 and custom rifles of the same quality guarantee accuracy, but if you reload there really aren't many rifles that just wont shoot SUB-MOA or not in my experience anyway. Does that mean i'm going to keep my 5R and not finish it.. no as i favor custom rifles far more than factory unless it's a TRG or AI. There are very few semi autos that can carry accuracy that bolt guns average easily. We're not talking a combat situation simply accuracy difference. And in those regards on average it goes to the bolt gun.
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Old January 4, 2012, 05:27 PM   #25
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I was not the one who brought up the military useing a Rem 700. For a match/ bench rifle the bolt gun has the very slight edge as I have said in my first reply. The day is near that there will be a gas gun that is as accurate as a bolt gun.
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