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Old December 3, 2012, 07:26 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Central KY
Posts: 545
I too started with the SPS tactical. It wasn't a bad decision at all. I like the short 20" barrel, and the weight isn't that big of an issue for me. There is a documented loss of velocity in the shorter barrels, but let's get real: 50-100 fps less velocity in a rifle that shoots 2600-2900fps isn't anything to loose sleep about. Accuracy is king, and these are 1/2 minute rifles. For the rail, I'd recommend the EGW 20 minute rail. You won't hurt a thing by going with a 20 minute over a 0. You just never know; you may find yourself on a longer range one day and that extra 20 minutes of come up will come in handy. (I hope to make it over to Ft. Knox one of these days).

On the 700 action and heavy barrel contour, I've found that the Burris XTR low rings work very well. For 1" tubes and a 40mm Objective, this leaves about 1/4" between the bell and the barrel. I started with a Bushnell Elite 3200 fixed 10X40. For hunting, it's just plain too much scope. You'd be best served with a lower magnification for hunting as you've already eluded to. 4x. 6x. For target, you gotta have a decent amount of power unless the reticle is just extremely thin. Find a good compromise with your budget. You can never spend too much money on glass, but again, let's get real. Most of us don't have budgets.

I upgraded my glass to a Vortex PST FFP 4-16X50 recently. In the field for deer, I left it at 4X and drilled two does just fine. For target, I leave it at 16. For the larger 30mm tube, again, the Burris XTR low rings fit just right on the same rail.

For the OP with two virgin rifles, I'd be tempted to buy two rails, and a QD scope mount setup. Why buy two mediocre scopes when you can buy a really good one and hot swap? I don't have two rifles so I haven't crossed that bridge yet. Anywho... here's what my SPS has become over the last 18 months...

Then there was camo...

For factory hunting ammo, I had my best luck with Federal 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tip. But... every rifle is different. As has already been suggested, you're going to try several before you settle on one.

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