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Old November 30, 2019, 10:08 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Cheapest 1,000yd bolt-action set up?

What’s the cheapest bolt-action rifle setup (rifle, scope, sling and any other necessities like bipod or stock modifications) that can reliably hit a 10” target at 1,000yds with factory ammo?

Retail prices only (i.e. not interested in the “I traded a drill I got for $10 in a garage sale for this $900 scope, so the scope only cost me $10” stories).

I’m thinking a Ruger American, some type of Vortex scope, and a Magpul bipod may be the winner?
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Old November 30, 2019, 11:10 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Beats me. 10" at 1000 y is near enough 1 MOA and is the size of the ten ring on the NRA F class target. When I was shooting it ca 10 years ago, 200x200 was darned scarce. Gear and technique are better now, maybe Bart can tell you where to start.
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Old November 30, 2019, 12:10 PM   #3
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I doubt there is a commercial rifle available. If "reliably" means 90% of the time shot by a top ranked competitive shooter in good conditions. There's no factory ammo I know of that'll do that in a custom made match rifle.

Will you shoot benchrest? Or slung up in prone?

A couple of Savage's target rifles could likely do that well with quality handloads with bullets weighing no more than 160 grains.

It'll take a rifle and ammo testing under 1/3rd inch at 100 yards to shoot under 11 inches at 1000. 90% of the shots would shoot inside 10 inches at 1K yards; conditions permitting. The record shooting prone with a custom made match rifle and handloads at 1000 is 95% went into 10 inches, 200-19X score on a 10 inch X ring.

Last edited by Bart B.; November 30, 2019 at 05:16 PM.
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Old November 30, 2019, 05:43 PM   #4
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^^^ What Bart said!!!

10 ring is 10" at 1,000 yards. But the "X" ring is now 5".
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Old November 30, 2019, 06:27 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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Well, I doubt we’ll be getting any 1/3 of an inch rifles at any kind of budget price.

The Ruger American Predator series has put out a few rifles doing 0.68 MOA at 100 and 1.21 MOA at 300 with M118LR. If that is, say, 3.5 MOA at 1,000, that’s what? 20-30% at a 10” target assuming proper ranging, wind, etc?
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Old November 30, 2019, 09:46 PM   #6
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I think that the Ruger Predator in 6.5 CM will probably give you the best odds for the most hits at that range in a budget rifle. I don't know what hit percentage you define as reliably.

I don't shoot that far, but I've seen one of the Rugers shoot a 4" group at 600 yards with factory ammo. So 10" is a realistic possibility if the shooter and ammo is good.

Hornady makes some very accurate ammo in 6.5 that will get you to 1000 if the rifle and shooter are up to it.

These scopes are highly regarded for the money. For a few more days you can get the fixed powers for $199, regular price is $299. They make 6X, 10X, 12X, 16X and 20X. I have the 6X and have looked through a 10X and 20X. My advice is to avoid anything above 12X. I've shot out to 600 yards with my 6X and so has my brother. I'd rather have one of these than anything else in the under $500 range.

https://www.swfa.com/optics/riflesco...rand=SWFA%20SS

I ordered the 3-9X42 on Friday for $450, it is usually $600. It is supposed to be a better scope with better glass. I'll just have to wait for it to come in.

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Well, I doubt we’ll be getting any 1/3 of an inch rifles at any kind of budget price.
Maybe. I have Predators in 308, 6.5 and 223. I don't do it every time, but I've done so pretty often. I put 5 shots into 1/2" at 200 yards a few weeks ago with the 223.
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Old November 30, 2019, 11:08 PM   #7
Bart B.
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Originally Posted by std7mag View Post
^^^ What Bart said!!!

10 ring is 10" at 1,000 yards. But the "X" ring is now 5".
That's the F class long range target shot with artificial support. Aim point area is small fractions of an inch.

High power long range target 10 ring is 20", X is 10", hand held prone position without artificial support. Aim point area is 4 to 6 inches across.

Last edited by Bart B.; November 30, 2019 at 11:58 PM.
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Old December 1, 2019, 12:20 AM   #8
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Thanks, Bart!
I just knew i was gonna end up incorrect somewhere in my statement.

Sorry, JMR40.
I'm gonna have to wholeheartedly disagree with you.
Predator is still a hunting rifle.
To reliably hit 1,000 yards is gonna need to be heavier and more stable.
Cheapest thing i can think of is a Savage 11VT from Dicks. Or 11 FV from Cabelas.
24" heavy barrel, flat/wide forestock, Accu-Trigger, 20 MOA EGW base. (That's what they were coming with, not sure this year)

Replace the stock, Warne rings, scope of choice, (myself, i'm partial to Sightron) front rest, rear bag.
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Old December 1, 2019, 12:31 AM   #9
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Well, since the OP is talking about a 10" plate and a brand of bipod, it seems F class is the natural comparison from standardized shooting.
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Old December 1, 2019, 11:44 PM   #10
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gong rifle

My performance while briefly dabbling in F-T/R (.308) was pretty dismal, but the only 1000 yd shooting I've done. Wind was the biggest problem, combined with my lack of ability to dope it.

If I was searching for an affordable, recreational 1000 yd gong rifle that was not going to be in competition, I would consider one chambered in 6.5CM due to the CM reported ability to slip the wind. Not certain about what rifle, but the Ruger American Predator might get the nod as they are about the cheapest way into the CM business. Bamaboy just bought one from Academy, out the door, for a song. I'm not sure about the scope I'd suggest yet either. On the few days I shot 1000, my Burris 6-24X50 was cranked to 20X , anything more gave me fits with mirage. However, it was not uncommon to see F and F-T/R shooters running more magnification in conditions that would allow it. Perhaps a 4-16x(?) at the minimum. I shot my first couple of 600 yd matches with a vintage fixed 12x, but shot better when I got more X power (and better glass). If your target at 1000 is JUST a 10" plate, (and not the big F-class or high power target) you will likely need some X power to see it.

Bipod? A Harris would be the affordable way, with a simple rabbit ear rear bag. The early, basic Sinclair bipods are more stable but bulky, appearing more like something intended for a LMG. New, the Sinclair's cost about 4X what a Harris cost when I got mine.
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Old December 2, 2019, 06:12 AM   #11
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Well other members posted, you're not going to get 1000 yard shots with "off the shelf" ammo, to do that you need to "roll your own" ammo, preferably just sizing the neck only. Threads like this remind me of stories of guys whom by custom $2K precision rifles then complain about crappy accuracy because they bought the cheapest/crappiest "off the shelf" ammo.
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Old December 2, 2019, 06:20 AM   #12
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Savage 12FV in 6.5 CM (26” heavy barrel): the added length will yield a little free velocity. The weight will help manage recoil which is already mild with the cartridge. It can be shot as is just make sure you do a little stock maintenance to sand out barrel channels, degrease the larger pools of factory oil and to ensure all rail and screws are properly torqued. Changing out the stock later will be your first “ upgrade” after you shoot a bit. Cost : $349.99 and on sale often and currently for $299 and add in rebates but let’s just argue it’s 350 for this.

Scope: Athlon Ares 6x24x50( these are awesome scopes for the money and just dropped massively in price ). Reticles can be Mil or MOA and the Xmas tree style is easy to work with if your not dialing in. Turrets require a little wipe down internally cause they use a serious amount of grease to get a more tactile feel when your dialing in adjustments. Glass is solid and will surprise most enthusiasts. Shop around but I seen them as low as 400 if not lower but a quick search on midway and cameraman’s. Doug at camera land is awesome ( I think he still works there)
Rings: too many to list that will serve you well but good rings 150

So 350+400+150 leaves you 100 for a Harris bipod.

Obviously a little shopping and patience and timing will yield better results but that is 1k for 1k in 10minutes it took to type and google.

Many will argue and discredit or whatever. I understand all the shortcomings of the above and also have done this very build and my father is currently using while he is learning long range shooting and reloading. This Xmas I bought him a new stock from Boyd’s and will show him how to bed it which will make it even more viable. Currently he has achieved a consistent 3/4 MOA up to 600 yds with the stash of S&B ball Ammo he bought for practice and the brass( which is a pleasantly surprising quality for cheap ball Ammo). Handloads will obviously improve this and so will practice.
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Old December 2, 2019, 10:59 AM   #13
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"...reliably hit a 10” target at 1,000yds with factory ammo?..." Whatever Mack Bolan uses in the latest book. Your operative words are "reliably" and "factory ammo". That rarely, if ever, comes with factory kit or ammo.
"...a Ruger American..." Is a hunting rifle that is not intended to be used at 1,000 yards. A 22" 'Hunter' with an MSRP of $842.00 might do though. You will have to try a box of as many brands of match ammo as you can to find the ammo it shoots best too. And you'd have to be able to read the wind and mirage. The brand of bipod doesn't matter as much as knowing how to use one.
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Old December 2, 2019, 08:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
A couple of Savage's target rifles could likely do that well with quality handloads with bullets weighing no more than 160 grains.
What Bart says. You can get a serious barrel for those as well though the
Savage barrels are generally pretty good if they are the almost bull Varmint type (my opinion). I hate the pencil barrels.
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Old December 2, 2019, 10:14 PM   #15
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Savage 110 Desert Tactical (6.5 Crd); Vortex Viper 6-24x50; Caldwell bipod (just as good as Harris for 1/2 the price. Factory ammo? Not hardly.

I have a Savage 10 FCP which is an earlier version of the Desert Tactical 110. Superb accuracy for a factory rifle. Never had the privilege to shoot it at 1000, but it shoots 5 shot groups you can cover with a dime at 100, and is remarkably accurate out to 750, but not with any factory fodder.
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Old December 3, 2019, 08:27 AM   #16
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Don't overlook the Ruger American Predator.

Available in both .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor, it is probably one of the most out of the box accurate rifles I have seen.

Hornady ELD-X Match ammo for a factory load.
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Old December 3, 2019, 09:12 AM   #17
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The Savage F class or bench rest rifles will do 10" at 1k easily if you can do your part. Optics are up to you. The more you spend on glass, the easier it gets, but I shoot with people who shoot 8" groups pretty regularly with open sights. I personally shoot best in the winter shooting over 40 power. My summertime groups at low power are not nearly as good.
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Old December 3, 2019, 09:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SPEMack618 View Post
Don't overlook the Ruger American Predator.

Available in both .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor, it is probably one of the most out of the box accurate rifles I have seen.

Hornady ELD-X Match ammo for a factory load.
They cant stay accurate at the fire rate required for competition.
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Old December 3, 2019, 09:26 AM   #19
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Rem 700 .308, Fed GMM, Leupold 3.5-10, 1000 yards

Savage 6.5 CM, Hornady ELDM, Bushnell 1000 yards

Tikka T3 .243, Fed Fusion, SWFA SS, 1000 yards

Here are 3 guys doing some 1000 yard shooting with factory rifles and factory ammunition. Are they shooting to Bart B. standards, not in a million years. However, they are showing you can get there with factory rifles and ammunition, and without really expensive optics. If all a guy wants to do is bang some steel and isn't worried about competing in matches they can learn alot from the trigger time and a gong.

I think I'd look pretty hard at a Tikka CTR in 6.5 Creedmoor, it's closer to $1000 just for the rifle. However, I think it is one of the better designed rifles to get to 1000 yards from the factory. From the examples I've handled I also feel it has a more rigid stock than any sub $400 Savage and Ruger American Predator rifles. So it'll handle a bipod better than the Savage or Ruger as well.

Bipods, I think Harris still is a pretty good bang for the buck. I have the Champion knock off of the Harris, and it's okay but it has issues with recoil. The legs usually won't stay extended unless I lock them down with the twist nobs and anything that recoils more than my .25-06. I've used my Harris on my .375 Ruger without having to lock down the legs and have never had any issues.

Optics I'd probably go with the SWFA SS 10X if I wanted to try cheap. If you want a variable scope I'd spring for a FFP scope and 5-6X magnification so starting with 4X you get a top end power of 20-24X. Plus your reticle stays correct through all the power ranges.
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Old December 3, 2019, 12:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by silvermane_1 View Post
Well other members posted, you're not going to get 1000 yard shots with "off the shelf" ammo, to do that you need to "roll your own" ammo, preferably just sizing the neck only. Threads like this remind me of stories of guys whom by custom $2K precision rifles then complain about crappy accuracy because they bought the cheapest/crappiest "off the shelf" ammo.
Full length sizing has been the norm for best long range accuracy since the 1960's.
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Old December 3, 2019, 04:15 PM   #21
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Full length sizing has been the norm for best long range accuracy since the 1960's.
Yep, but not the same full length sizing the average reloader does. Were not returning the case to minimum saami spec unless thats where we have the chamber reamed to.

Last edited by reynolds357; December 3, 2019 at 04:34 PM.
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Old December 4, 2019, 02:32 AM   #22
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Yep, but not the same full length sizing the average reloader does. Were not returning the case to minimum saami spec unless thats where we have the chamber reamed to.
That's what I referring too there reynolds357.
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Old December 5, 2019, 08:30 AM   #23
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There's a guy in YouTube who goes by The Social Regressive who did two series, "1000 Yard Rifle for $500" and "1 Mile for $1000." He used a Savage Axis in .308 and Savage 12 FV (the Cabelas/Bass Pro exclusive) in 6.5 Creedmore respectively. Don't know what his actual group sizes were but he managed to do pretty well with those.
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Old December 5, 2019, 09:06 AM   #24
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Full length resized cases back to SAAMI minimum specs will test sub MOA at 1000 in good rifles. So will new cases. Bullets in all are well centered in the bore when fired.

Rebulleting 7,62 NATO M118 match ammo with Sierra 180 HPMK bullets tested MOA at 1000 in M1 and M14NM rebuilt rifles

Last edited by Bart B.; December 5, 2019 at 01:42 PM.
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Old December 5, 2019, 06:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bart B. View Post
Full length resized cases back to SAAMI minimum specs will test sub MOA at 1000 in good rifles. So will new cases. Bullets in all are well centered in the bore when fired.

Rebulleting 7,62 NATO M118 match ammo with Sierra 180 HPMK bullets tested MOA at 1000 in M1 and M14NM rebuilt rifles
Thats assuming a "good" rifle is cut to minimum SAAMI spec. Me personally being a "get all the case volume you can" kind of thinker usually ream my chambers dead Saami max (or over sometimes).
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