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View Full Version : Help me find the most accurate rifle/caliber combination.


Uncle Billy
May 26, 2012, 05:51 PM
I'm sure this question has been asked in some form and answered here many times in the past, so I hope I'm not wasting bandwidth and your time by asking it again:

What caliber in what rifle would provide the best accuracy at 100 yards, with these conditions:

Rifle and sight to cost not more than $1500 altogether bought new. Custom rifles are okay if they meet the rest of these requirements (I don't think there's any custom guns available for $1500 but I thought I'd include this part anyway).

Any action is okay, single shots included.

It ought to be a "field" rifle - no bull barrels or weight that would make carrying it more than from the car to the firing position burdensome. I'm not very interested in bench rest shooting if that means a rifle that's very specialized for that sort of sport, I'd like it to be shootable and accurate from offhand, sitting and kneeling positions too.

Since I intend to handload the ammunition and go to whatever lengths are necessary to make it as consistent and compatible with the gun as is possible with the handloading tools available to a serious but amateur shooter, components like brass and bullets and loading tools like dies and such need to be available; commercially loaded ammo does not. I'd rather not have to cast the bullets unless that's the way to extreme accuracy. I have all the tools necessary to reload ammo and will purchase whatever else is needed to maximize accuracy beyond what's on the bench now. Recommendations as to brands of dies, scales, etc. would be appreciated. Most of the dies I currently use are by Redding but if there are any others or any special purpose dies that are particularly precise, I'd like to know of them. These costs are not a part of the $1500, that's the limit - more or less - for the rifle and the scope only.

Maximum bore ought not exceed about .40 caliber, negotiable, but not so big or powerful that shooting 10 or 15 rounds at one session will require medical attention. I don't intend to hunt with this gun so downrange energy isn't important, only accuracy is.

No wildcats that would require rechambering, the caliber ought to be one that the original manufacturer made available.

Thanks in advance to any who choose to answer this.

robertsig
May 26, 2012, 06:10 PM
A .22LR can have outstanding accuracy to 100 yards, so I'd say any centerfire can handle that too.

I'll throw 6.5x55 into the hat, although almost anything will do.

Brian Pfleuger
May 26, 2012, 06:31 PM
I doubt there are many shooters who can shoot better than carefully assembled ammo in a good gun in any cartridge.

If I were going to make an argument that this or that cartridge was inherently more accurate than others, I guess I'd go with 6PPC. That's just from what I've read, no experience with the cartridge whatsoever. Truly though, I doubt any normal shooter will ever know the difference.

Most cartridges will outshoot the gun they're in unless it's been bedded correctly, the bolt faced trued, lugs lapped.... Etc, etc.

My Ruger M77 MkII in .204 shoots 1/3-1/2 MOA all day long, as bad as 3/4 at 400 yards if it's my fault. There's certainly nothing special about the 204 or Ruger M77s, and certainly not my shooting.

oneounceload
May 26, 2012, 08:05 PM
If you don't like the 6PPC, then look at the 6MMBR, built on the XP-100 action with a 16-18" barrel, medium stiffness - it will be light enough for coyote hunting yet can put all shots in one hole at 200 yards

old roper
May 26, 2012, 08:40 PM
Well if your serious about BR here is place to look for 6ppc varies price levels

http://benchrest.com/shooterscorner/thelist.pdf
http://www.benchrest.com/shooterscorner/

You can talk to Bob about rechambering the 6ppc to a no turn neck if you don't want to turn necks or their places to get new laupa brass with turned necks.

I have two 6ppc great calibers.

Buzzcook
May 27, 2012, 12:50 AM
Savage has an off the rack target rifle in 6.5-284. Might be a bit barrel heavy for you.

The problem with a standard sporter barrel on a target rifle is that heat can change the point of impact in relatively few shots. That's why target rifles tend to have heavier barrels, not because their inherently more accurate.

6.5mm is one of the most popular calibers lately. It comes in a variety of flavors from 6.5 Swede to .260.

At 100yds you might be better off trying 6mm or even 5.56mm.

With .204 Ruger or .17 Remington the relatively light cartridge will take a bit longer to over heat the barrel.

Trying to make a field rifle shoot as good as a bench rest target gun is going to be nothing but frustrating.

Dave P
May 27, 2012, 05:05 AM
"what rifle would provide the best accuracy"

I think you need to provide more details. Do you want to hit flies at 100 yards? Or is a quarter-size group best?

Scorch
May 27, 2012, 05:06 AM
I hate to sound boring, but since it is not intended for hunting or target work, just accurate field shooting, I will just throw this out there. Remington 700 in 223 Remington. The cartridge has plenty of accuracy potential, and normal accuracy for Remington 700s is sub-MOA. Mount a good scope on it and go shoot little teeny groups. A 204 as suggested above would also work well. Recoil from either one will not require medical attention, ever.

The suggestion of a 22 LR rifle might also work for you, depending on your preferences (I certainly love mine). Remington 504 22 LR repeater is about as accurate a 22 LR as has ever been made, but a CZ would be a very good rifle as well.

rebs
May 27, 2012, 06:04 AM
I love my Remington 541-s custom sporter 22 lr. Groups under 1" @ 100 yds all day long.

btmj
May 27, 2012, 11:32 PM
Yeah, what scorch said. Also consider 22-250 as a caliber choice.

bedlamite
May 28, 2012, 12:38 AM
Savage 114 (http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/14AMERICANCLASSIC) in 223, 243, or 308 with a Weaver 2-10x42 Super Slam (http://www.natchezss.com/Optics.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=WE&prodID=WE800315&prodTitle=Weaver%202-10X42%20Super%20Slam%20Riflescope%20BDC%20Reticle%20Matte)

Without going to a specialized bull barrel benchrest rifle, that's the best you're going to get. Remingtons quality has fallen off since Cerberus bought them. Straight out of the box Savage is better.

Uncle Billy
May 29, 2012, 07:41 AM
Thanks to all of you who contributed to this, I appreciate your help and can go ahead now with finalizing the choices.

tobnpr
May 29, 2012, 08:39 AM
Good luck.
At only 100 yards, it's the hardware (rifle, ammunition) and the shooter's skills more than the caliber. External ballistics play a relatively small role at such a short distance.

bailey bud
May 29, 2012, 10:08 AM
For 100 yards (relatively short distance)

CZ 527 American in 223

Love the trigger.

Larger cartridges out-perform the 223 for energy and velocity
(and therefore - arguably accuracy).

I think it's a nicely balanced option.


(I do not own a 223, but have shot them a few times - and would fall into the CZ fan category).

hooligan1
May 29, 2012, 10:14 AM
Savage Long Range Hunter in 7mm rem mag, just in case one of those pesky targets run out to 300 500 yds!;)

MrBorland
May 29, 2012, 01:58 PM
A Tikka T3 Lite (http://www.impactguns.com/tikka-t3-lite-7mm-08-jrte352.aspx) or T3 Lite Stainless (http://www.impactguns.com/tikka-t3-lite-ss-7mm-08-jrtb352.aspx) in .223, .243, or 7mm-08. Put a Zeiss Conquest (http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/20220) scope and Turner sling (http://prostores3.megawebservers.com/turnersling_com/-strse-1/M1907-Military-Rifle-Sling/Detail.bok) on it, and you'd have a very nice (and accurate) field rifle for under $1500.

mapsjanhere
May 29, 2012, 02:27 PM
With your restrictions, I like the Tikka T3 suggestions, good value for the money.
But really, if you're into precision target shooting 6 mm PPC is the gold standard. You probably have to spend your $1500 on just a gun and the rebarrel, or go used like this one (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=288217059). But if you're serious about covering an afternoon's worth of shooting with a dime, that's the way to go.

CCCLVII
May 29, 2012, 05:20 PM
I think any thing that uses powder is great out to 100 yards so long as you practice with the gun. I would recommend a rim-fire or some think like a 5.56/223 so shooting will be cheaper and allow you more practice.

customaquatics
June 2, 2012, 09:27 PM
my Savage .17 HMR is pretty nasty at 100 yards with the Weaver 40/44 an the Harris bi-pod.

kilimanjaro
June 2, 2012, 11:54 PM
Ruger No. 1 in .22-250 with a 5-16x scope, you can get them in a Varminter package for about $700 at the gun shows. Tack driver.

Bart B.
June 5, 2012, 01:03 PM
oneounceload suggests: If you don't like the 6PPC, then look at the 6MMBR, built on the XP-100 action with a 16-18" barrel, medium stiffness - it will be light enough for coyote hunting yet can put all shots in one hole at 200 yardsHow big's the hole? Bullet diameter? 2 inches?

I've seen rifles put all their shots into one hole at 200 yards and the holes varied from bullet diameter to several inches. It depends on how many rounds are fired. 1 shot's guaranteed to make the hole bullet diameter.

smitherians
June 5, 2012, 02:34 PM
.22lr would be good at 100 yards. I dont have this rifle but I know cz's are VERY accurate (I have the trainer model). http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_63_972/products_id/79881/CZ-USA+CZ455+Bolt+22+Long+Rifle+20.5%22+Coyote+Tan+Composite

edit: this rifle is very heavy this would be a better .22lr option http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_63_972/products_id/21734/CZ+USA+CZ452+Lux+5+%2B+1+22lr+Bolt+Action+wBlue+Barrel+%26+W

warbirdlover
June 5, 2012, 09:01 PM
Rifles vary between themselves due to machining accuracy, inletting, etc etc. The caliber doesn't really have that much to do with it.

Nathan
June 7, 2012, 08:11 AM
Does $1500 include the scope price? Also, weight and accuracy are DIRECTLY related. The heavier the gun, the better the accuracy.

Snipers, accurate field shooters, carry a 13 - 15 rifle. Is that ok?

IMO, scope is the next most important factor. To keep from spending $1500 on the scope, I would look at the Super Sniper line. . . But the best for what you have written would be a Weaver 24x.

For rifles, I would look for a Savage in 6mm or 30 cal. Savage has some inherent design features which make it more accurate. Be careful of twist rate. Light, flat based bullets are usually most accurate in a slow for caliber twist like 1:12.

For an accurate caliber, I like 243 or 308. There are good flat based bullets available in each. Flat based bullets, light for caliber will give best 1,2,300 yd accuracy.

Once you eliminate benchrested fire, gun accuracy becomes so much less important to overall accuracy. Weight/balance, stock fit, trigger, scope match to target are the keys. All else is filler to a certain extent.

kraigwy
June 7, 2012, 08:32 AM
I'll bet that you can go to any major gun shop, pick any name brand rifle, (Winchester, Remington, Savage, etc, etc), off the rack, in any common caliber 223 - '06, and a good moderately prices scope and you'll find it will suit your purposes well with in your budget.

Cheeper ammo means more shooting, More shootign (assuming you apply the fundamentals) means a more accurate rifle.

WIN1886
June 13, 2012, 07:04 PM
My old Sako 308....but now the prices of these rifles have gone through the roof ! :(

Art Eatman
June 13, 2012, 08:26 PM
Overall, rolling your own for ammo, the .223 is about as inexpensive as can be used.

The rifle? Many will do just fine. I gave $400 for a nearly-new Ruger 77 Mk II light sporter and put a $75 Timney trigger in it. I use an old Leupold Vari-X II 3x9x40 for which I paid $150. Weaver bases and rings; pretty cheap

This rifle has been half-MOA from the git-go. Ruinacious on prairie dogs to 300 yards with no problems in having a high percentage of hits. Misses are my fault, not the rifle's.