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Old January 18, 2015, 06:39 AM   #1
wkillette
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Long range shooting system

I am starting to research to start a new system for long range shooting. I am not planning to drop a huge amount into the system but I do not want junk either. I have read some at bangsteel.com and like the concept presented there. I am at the point of rifle purchase and wanted to get some opinions and lessons learned from here first. I would like this setup to reach 1k yards, but will not often shoot at that range.

My goals are get a rifle to use in some classes to learn more about long range shooting. The classes are mainly just for learning not prepping for competitions. I will use this also as a hunting rifle for white tail. I am not set on caliber as of yet, but do not want an exotic caliber. I also reload, so that opens another avenue of activities.

What would be some good out of the box rifle recommendation?

What would be some caliber suggestions? I hear 308 is not an accurate round for this, not sure I understand this stance and wish to learn more.

Thanks in advance
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Old January 18, 2015, 07:45 AM   #2
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I dont know who you are listening too but they are wrong with respect to the .308 so I have to wonder about the rest of what they are telling you.

The first thing that you have to decide is how much money you want to part with to shoot long range. After you decide that then maybe we can come up with some alternatives. It also will depend on what state you live in as hunting regulations vary all over the country.
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Old January 18, 2015, 07:55 AM   #3
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There are a lot of matches and match grade rifles in .308 and plenty of wins with that caliber. Due to the case dimensions it is a much better round than say the .30-06.

Depending on your tolerance for recoil, class you are interested in shooting, even if casual shooting (F Class, F-TR, Light Varmint, Heavy Varmint, Light or unlimited Bench Rest) range etc., will dictate required specifications.

What do you consider Long Range? For hunting are you looking at wide variations in range where a flatter shooting caliber would be better? Shoot 100 yards with your scope and mounts set up normally, but went needing a 20 or 30" hold over for 1,000 yards you are going to need 20 MOA rail or rings.

Remington has a long range model 700 in .308 as well as other calibers.

You can get a Remington 40XB Rangemaster Thumbhole from the Remington Custom Shop with the Laminated Stock in a variety of long range calibers. S/S Blueprinted 40XB action, 27 1/2" Heavy Barrel, a variety of twists available and the 40X Trigger or an optional Jewel Bench Rest Trigger.

You can get a Savage Model 12 in one of two target models. Bench Rest or F Class. There is a different in stock configuration. There are a number of chamberings available.

The 6mmBR Norma is a great highly accurate cartridge. With a 1:8 twist you can stabilize and shoot 105 grain projectiles very accurately to 600 yards and a number of competitors have won registered 1,000 yard matches with this cartridge. The Remington and Savage are both available in that caliber. For shorter range shooting, out to 300 yards the trend is a slower twist barrel, 1:10 - 1:14 with lighter projectiles, which you probably would not want (nor the 2-3 ounce Jewel Bench Rest Trigger) for hunting. This is the Go-To European Caliber for Short Bench Rest - 100 -300 yards and in the US, the the 6mm PPC is the only cartridge considered to be more accurate, but then you will have to fire form brass for the old Russian brass (available new from Lapua).

6.5x47 Laupa is a great long range cartridge.

The 6.5x284 Lapua is available in the Savage. Unlike the two listed above, that cartridge tends to be a barrel burner though.

Lapua makes great brass for all three of those cartridges as well as loaded factory ammo.

Buds has great prices on the Savage.

Shooters Corner in New Jersey has a great variety of used Bench Rest and Long Range Rifles. Give Bob White a call if you are interested in something used to get started with.

Now if you want to spend a lot of money, since you are in North Carolina, go see the boys at Percision Rifle and Tool. Not sure where you are in NC, but when I am visiting my daughter and granddaughter in Chapel Him it is about a 30 minute drive to the North West from there.

You will find dozens of long range rifle builders out there.

Good luck with your search.

Bob
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Old January 18, 2015, 08:05 AM   #4
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Many cartridges will reach 1000 yards but at varying levels of accuracy and cost. More information about the parameters of your desires will narrow the wide field of rifle/ammo combinations. In other words what would the minimum acceptable accuracy be, what is the budget for the rifle/sights combination and how often will the system be used.
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Old January 18, 2015, 08:38 AM   #5
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For a long time 1000 yard bench rest was dominated by 7mm Cartridges, so there is that option too, though the belted magnums are not that popular anymore.

There are plenty of match grade projectiles in 6mm, 6.5mm and .308

Bob
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Old January 18, 2015, 09:21 AM   #6
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What are you considering long range? Ultimately the maximum range of a cartridge is how long it will stay super sonic. Last spring a buddy and I were playing with a 1moa steel plate at 1920 with my 300 win mag and was able to hit 50% while the 308 next to me wasn't able to get close since they were going subsonic way before the plate. So at under 1000 yards a 308 is a great round but it is true that at "long range" it isn't the best round. I would strongly consider something in the 338 edge or lapua for shots over 1200. If nothing else the splash will be MUCH easier to see for your spotter.
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Old January 18, 2015, 09:24 AM   #7
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I must be either lazy or candy to recoil, or both.
If a rifle is heavy enough to be steady on target from a prone, bipod, or bench position and heavy enough to soak up some recoil in a long match, class, or practice, it is heavier than I want to hump in the woods.

I don't think the combination target-hunting rifle is a reasonable project.


And remember, the higher the velocity, the flatter the trajectory, the shorter the barrel life. Even the small 6.5s like Lapua, Hornady, and Remington will not last as long as a dull old .308.
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Old January 18, 2015, 10:13 AM   #8
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300win. mag or 338 Lapua for cal. Sako TRG or Sako Long range hunter for rifle. Nightforce NXS 5.5-22X56 for scope. Not cheap but if you try to go with inferior equipment you will just frustrate yourself.
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Old January 18, 2015, 10:16 AM   #9
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I hear 308 is not an accurate round for this
First thing is to stop listening to the dude who told you that. For what your asking, I believe that would be an excellent choice.

As mentioned just about any good off the shelf bolt gun will do what you ask. I prefer Model 70 Winchesters but that's not to say the other's wont do the job.

Glass is important but don't get the idea you need to spend a couple grand for a scope. Check out Vortex. Great optics and reasonable prices and you'll be hard pressed to find a better warrantee.

There is no reason you cant get an excellent set up for less then $1000.

The 308 is relatively easy to load for, excellent components out there and it would serve your long range whitetail needs.

Plenty of commercial match ammo out there also if you chose to go that route.

A spotting scope and wind meter should be on your list. Learn to read wind and mirage.

Best thing you can do, regardless of what gun/ammo you choose it to lay out with a spotting scope, look at the mirage, make an estimate of the wind and use the wind meter to confirm or correct you estimate.

Carry your wind meter with you constantly in your daily walks. Look at flags, trees, grass, dust, smoke, etc., make an estimate, and take you wind meter out of your pocket and see what is really happening.

Take your rifle, get a good zero, mark down the temp and humidity, then when it gets hot or colder, shoot again and see what the temp, humidity changes do to your zero. Write it down. Ballistic programs are good guides, but they are just that Guides. They may or may not tell you what is actually happening to your bullet. Only actual shooting will do that.

The most critical tool, and cheapest, for long range shooting is a data book. It doesn't have to be a fancy tactical date book, it can be a simple note book. What is important is to write EVERYTHING down. If you change anything, write it down and write down the effect of that change.

Regardless of what rifle, ammo, scope, spotting scope or other gadgets you have the simple notebook (if used correctly) will be your best tool.
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Old January 18, 2015, 10:31 AM   #10
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Not sure what you consider long range but . If you want to combine a target / hunting rifle you want a flat shooting cartrige so 100 to 400 yards I would go with a common high velocity round like a 25-06 or even .243 the .308 Win would be a good choice as well you need to practice at diferent ranges to know your holds . A standard weight rifle will work at these ranges but will take a lot of practice for target shooting at the longer range. I prefer the heavier varmit/target barrels . If you are talking long range 500 plus and it is a target / hunting rifle in my opinion its a heavy hitter in a heavy rifle . Like a .300 Win Mag or .264 Win mag . I like the Remington 700 with heavy tactical or bull barrel . You need flatter shooting round because as a hunting rifle you cant always pick your distance . Yes there are hundreds of cartriges that will work these are just ideas with lots of others around them to pick from . Bench rest target shooting and long range hunting are both fun sports and lots of fun and are interchangeable with the same rifle . You dont have to lug that big rifle around you set up and watch the tree line at the end of a field or what ever the land scape is where you hunt its fun to just sit and watch the wild life and nature if you dont get bored easy . I also like shooting long range tactical rifles aka sniper rifles its all about knowing where your rounds hit at verious distance .
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Old January 18, 2015, 11:18 AM   #11
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If you've went to Bangsteel's web site then you know of Dan Newberry. Dan posts on here from time to time, so just look him up in the search function. I think you'll see an interesting set up that he was working with another shooter on the cheap and taking it long range with factory ammunition.

In my quest for better long range marksmanship I've found my results have little to do with my rifles/scopes and more to do with my consistency behind the trigger. A good consistent load helps as well regardless if you reload or buy factory ammunition. Have fun and don't get discouraged sometimes things won't go your way, but when they do you'll have a blast.
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Old January 18, 2015, 03:19 PM   #12
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I don't think the combination target-hunting rifle is a reasonable project.
That depends largely on your style of hunting, and the terrain.

While a 12 lb heavy barreled rifle would be a poor choice to carry in dense woods or up and down a mountain, it's perfect for shooting from blinds in more open areas

Look up "beanfield rifle" sometime

The OP is in NC, where there can be huge crop fields to hunt
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Old January 18, 2015, 04:20 PM   #13
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You can have a reasonably light rifle and still have a target quality rifle.

You also don't need to blow tons of money to have an quality target rifle.

If you aren't afraid of used rifles you can really double down on accuracy and low price.

But you have to careful and patient. Look at the CMP Auction site. Every now and then a real winner pops up.

I got this Model 70 Target rifle from the CMP for $600. The CMP gets their guns from the Army. This was built by the Army Marksmanship Unit in 308. Heck of a shooter. I doubt you can find anything comparable for $2 grand.

Toss a good Vortex or Weaver scope and you have an excellent target/hunting rifle. Being 308 it doesn't need to be that heavy. Unless you're mountain hunting for sheep or goats the weight is not unreasonable.

You don't need a magnum for 1000 yards and certainly not for white tails in NC. You also don't need the cost in weight and ammo that goes with the magnums.

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Old January 18, 2015, 09:03 PM   #14
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Long range for me would be 1000 yards for steel. Hunting in fields back home (where I grew up). in eastern NC would be from blinds in fields up to 400 yards. I'm currently living around Charlotte area. Hunting here longest shot would be 200 yards.

I am thinking up to 500 for the rifle. There has been a lot of helpful responses. Thanks for the input.

Thanks.
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Old January 18, 2015, 09:18 PM   #15
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I hunt with an Armalite AR10 .308
I can hit clays (4.3") at 300 yards.
I can ring 8" steel plates all day at 425 yards.
I'm told the rifles effective longest range is 1000 yards.

I am still learning to reach out that far. I shoot Remington match grade HPBT.
I am also new to reloading and told at farther ranges working up a load would be best. I'm a fan of the .308

Whoever told you it's not an accurate round is incorrect. Most Police snipers use this caliber.
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Old January 19, 2015, 07:55 AM   #16
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I would like this setup to reach 1k yards, but will not often shoot at that range.
Quote:
I will use this also as a hunting rifle for white tail. I am not set on caliber as of yet, but do not want an exotic caliber. I also reload, so that opens another avenue of activities.
Those are my take-away's....

Don't know what you would consider "exotic", but there are dozens of very capable options that fit your criteria that only require standard dies, and brass.

Most any 1000 yards capable chambering will have enough energy at shorter ranges for whitetail.

I think the information that's missing is what is the longest range you WILL shoot at, regularly? Out to about 600, drop and drift have negligible differences with anything that's capable to 1K. It's beyond that, that the differences start to emerge.

The .308 is certainly capable- but 1K is at or very near it's supersonic limits.

I could give you a short answer- which would be the .260 Remington...a very popular 1K yard and whitetail choice ( shot from a Savage )
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Old January 20, 2015, 08:40 AM   #17
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I think the information that's missing is what is the longest range you WILL shoot at, regularly? Out to about 600, drop and drift have negligible differences with anything that's capable to 1K. It's beyond that, that the differences start to emerge.
The longest range of the bulk of the shooting will be around 500 yards. For the caliber, something that is easy to reload and find components.
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Old January 20, 2015, 12:18 PM   #18
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For that range, I'd go .308, hands down...
Best selection, and easiest availability of components- and not enough difference between it, and the 6's, 6.5's, and 7's for you to be able to tell the difference behind the rifle.

JMO, YMMV...
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Old January 20, 2015, 04:10 PM   #19
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I guess I am going to be the oddball here, but I fully agree that the .308 Win. is far from ideal for 1000 yard competition. Does it win some? Sure. Does it win often? No.
6.5 Creedmoor and the proprietary 6 Creedmoor are probably going to be the go to round in 1000 yard in the near future. They are making inroads at a vicious pace.
.284 Winchester seems to be top of the heap at the present. 6.5X284 is always a contender to be reckoned with though it is losing its popularity to the 6.5 Creed.
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Old January 20, 2015, 09:37 PM   #20
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I have both watched and shot .308's in 1000 yard matches shooting better scores than other cartridges including magnums and standard ones in 24 through 30. A good wind doper that shoots well with a .308 easily outscores the others.

.308's have produced better scores at 1000 when service rifles are required. Their longer barrel lives and ease of reloading accurate ammo make one an excellent choice. A .308 can be used in more types of long range competition than any other cartridge.

There's no difference in attainable accuracy across all popular cartridges at long range; including the .308 Winchester. The best of them will shoot between 5/8 and zero MOA at 1000 yards with 10-shot strings. That's as good as it gets.
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Old January 20, 2015, 11:44 PM   #21
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I have both watched and shot .308's in 1000 yard matches shooting better scores than other cartridges including magnums and standard ones in 24 through 30.
A good wind doper that shoots well with a .308 easily outscores the others.
That doesn't make it the better cartridge.

That says more about the shooter's ability, or even more about the other shooter's LACK of ability on that day.
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Old January 21, 2015, 07:24 AM   #22
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IMO Whitetail at 5-600yrds = 7rem. mag. over 308.
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Old January 21, 2015, 07:37 AM   #23
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IMO Whitetail at 5-600yrds = 7rem. mag. over 308.
There does need to be consideration as to the longest anticipated distance for taking game.
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Old January 21, 2015, 08:16 AM   #24
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Snyper, have you ever put 15 or 20 consecutive shots in 2/3rds as many minutes inside 1/2 MOA at 800 to 1000 yards with any rifle held against your shoulder?

Or inside 1 MOA; I think you've claimed to have several such rifles.
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Old January 21, 2015, 09:04 AM   #25
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Bart,
Most people shooting the 6mm do not let the rifle touch their shoulder. That is much of the point of shooting the 6mm. The recoil is so light that you can easily manage shooting the rifle in free recoil. Some people shoot .308 free recoil, but it is honestly more than I can manage, unless we are talking about unlimited weight rifles.
It is tough to beat a flat bottom 6BR Norma sitting on mechanical rests that are baby powdered down.
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