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Old December 7, 2017, 04:50 PM   #1
Wendyj
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Combination bench and Hunting rifle dilemma

After hunting some this year and doing a lot of bench rest shooting I am finding out my most accurate rifles are too high power scoped and weight is an issue. Cutting back and have sold off most rifles. I am looking for a rifle I can hunt with and shoot some longer 1000 yards at the range. I am hoping to use a Nightforce SHV 2.5x10x56 scope on it. Made the mistake of a 4x12 and 6.5x20 hunting under a hundred yards this year. Couldn't begin to find the deer quick enough. I'm reloading and my favorite caliber is the 260 with a 1-8 twist and the 300 short mag with a 1-10 twist. Tikka has served me well but I'm not interested in the weight of the CTR and long tactical magazine anymore. Held a few Tikkas in 260 synthetic pencil barrels. Gave up on Remington but kind of like the Sagage 16 weather ss in the 300 wsm. I know I'll never shoot competition so barrel cooling at bench will be my biggest downfall but weight is my biggest hunting issue. Also considering wester mule and elk hunts. Any ideas even if another caliber. Just not the 30-06. Nothing wrong with it but it has sharp recoil for me with heavy bullets.
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Old December 7, 2017, 06:04 PM   #2
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Keep the rifles you like and want to shoot from a bench and swap out the scope rings for a GOOD quality quick detachable set of eungs, then get a second scopemore suited for hunting, zero them both for the appropriate loads, target scope and target loads for the bench wood and a hunting scope and hunting loads for hunting. I did that with my R15, worked great. As for calibers most of the target rounds when loaded with hunting type bullets work well for deer.
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Old December 7, 2017, 06:59 PM   #3
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I wouldn't know anything about a 1,000 yard target rifle and I don't much care for bench rests; but I kind of expect that a rifle so suited is a completely different rig than a Deer/Elk rifle. For the first, you probably should ask the folks that do that game how the 6.5 Creedmoor is working out for them. As to the hunting rifle, I would recommend the model 70 Winchester, in 270 Winchester, of course. If you would be shooting it a lot and carrying a little, then get the full size Sporter version. On the other hand, if you will be carrying it a lot, perhaps even in a saddle scabbard, and shooting some, but not a lot; then get the model 70 Featherweight. Put a plastic stock on your target rifle, if you must; but, for heaven's sake, insist on Walnut for the Winchester. Also, put as big and powerful scope as you want on the target rifle; but on the hunting rifle, mount a scope that is reasonably trim. I wouldn't have anything bigger than a Leupold 3-9x40. Maybe even a steel-tube Weaver K-4, especially if it's going on a trail ride horseback. Big, gaudy, scopes with over-sized turrets and such are ridiculous on a hunting rifle. I use leather, military-pattern, rifle-slings, like the one commonly used on the 1903 Springfield rifle.
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Old December 8, 2017, 05:26 AM   #4
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Wendy,
Your answer may very well lie with Proof Research, or New Ultra Light Arms (NULA).

Proof makes barrels with a stainless liner, then carbon fibre wrapped. Almost same diameter as heavy barrel, 1/2 the weight. They have been building rifles for just your delema. And are known to be extremely accurate during long strings in desert heat.

Melvin Forbes owns NULA, in WV. His rifles are known to carry like 22's bou capable of shooting "mountain to mountain". He was really the pioneer of the light rifle.

Neither would be what i consider cheap. North of $3k. But either would prove to be cherished.

Oh. Add Christensen Arms to the list. Carbon fibre barrel rifles that would save you some money over Proof.
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Old December 8, 2017, 05:59 AM   #5
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7 mag. I think you nailed it.
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Old December 8, 2017, 01:17 PM   #6
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I don’t think that a lighter hunting rifle and a 1000 yard bench rifle mix very well. I think you’ll need 2 separate rifles.

If you don’t like .30-06 recoil, you won’t like 7mm mag recoil. And the.270 recoil isn’t much less. Try a good recoil pad, at least for your hunting rifle, because while the .30-06/.270/.308 do have recoil, they are all very good hunting calibers. Or try the 7mm-08 or the.25-06.
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Old December 8, 2017, 01:22 PM   #7
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I’m with Mr. Hill. Bench & Hunting are somewhat diametrically opposed.
Likely the closest you’re going to come is a 6.5 Creedmoor which is good to 1000 yards, but not optimum.
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Old December 8, 2017, 02:21 PM   #8
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I would buy a sporter barrel hunting rifle in a practical caliber for what you plan to hunt. With a practical scope for the distances. Keep the other rifles for the reach out and ring the steel fun.
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Old December 8, 2017, 05:12 PM   #9
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I would disagree to some extent. The 300 wsm has rang steel for me out to 1200 yards. Might take 2-3 minuted between shots to do it right. Original post may be misleading. I sold all rifles off. Got one 30-30 lever and a muzzle loader left. Bills came up I didn’t expect and at least I had guns to sell. Am saving for one new rifle. I did keep Nightforce scope.
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Old December 8, 2017, 05:28 PM   #10
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Wendy didn't say she was competing in 1000 yard bench competitions.
She just likes to target shoot, and likes to go long distance.
Doing 3 strings of 20 rounds each is totally different.

That and her reloading is for 260 Rem.

And i just knew someone would throw the 6.5 Manbun out there. If she were shooting an AR i'd say go for it. Out of a bolt gun, no practal reason to choose it over 260 Rem.

As for hunting mulies and elk, 260 Rem will get the job done.

Glad you kept yout Night Force scope. I'm saving up for a Sightron STAC.

Last edited by std7mag; December 8, 2017 at 05:35 PM.
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Old December 8, 2017, 09:24 PM   #11
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The Sightrons are nice scopes. My husband has one on a 7 mm mag Sendero he takes to New Mexico. Or used to I should say. The 260 is really easy to load for and loves almost any 140 grain bullet. I loaded up a good lot of 130 accubonds and they would stay around 3/4 inch but 140s are pretty much one ragged hole. I was reloading for 9 different rifle calibers but at this time a bunch of hand guns. Cabelas carries Chritensen arms here so I will have to go and handle a few of them.
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Old December 9, 2017, 10:55 AM   #12
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First if you don't like recoil then the 7mm is out, the 270 is so close to the same as 30-06 as to be out and you don't like 30-06 recoil.

Good butt pads like the Kickeese (my current preferred) Limbsaver etc are huge help.

You might look at a Cabeleaa only Savage 10T. Not light but it does have a 24 inch bareel in a Vraming contour that is maybe doable.

Caliber wise it seems to me 308 or 6.5 Creed.

You really have that in the 260 though. The 6.5s are going gout past 1000 as their projectiles are better for it than 308 even (or d0-06). Much lower recoil.

Its not the bullets size, its the slender profile with good BC that does it for the 6.5.

Keep in mind, they shoot Moose in Scandinavia with 6.5 rifles. Those can get as big as an Alaskan moose so its no small animal.

A quick datable scope setup would solve your scope problems (as has been mentioned) would solve the scope dilemma.

While not required for 1000 yard dongs, 32 to 42 X is better for long shots.
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Old December 9, 2017, 01:08 PM   #13
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Not afraid of recoil and only reason I ruled out 30-06 is it’s snappy jump verses the heavy shove of the 7 mag and 300 wsm which both I had were Tikka T3 Hunters. All said I like the 7 mag with 150 grain ballistic silver tips. Good limbsaver on the Tikkas make a world of difference. The Remington 0-6 I owned wouldn’t shoot decent groups for me with anything but 198 gr long range accubonds. Just me I guess. I was reading a lot in last few days on the 26 and 28 Nosler. Don’t know anyone that owns one but ballistics look good.
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Old December 9, 2017, 02:26 PM   #14
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"...with heavy bullets..." No need for anything heavier than 165 grains out of a .30-06. However, felt recoil depends a lot of the weight of the rifle. A 7mm Mag with 150 grain bullet might as well be a .30-06.
"...Couldn't begin to find the deer..." The higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view. A 12X can be roughly 8 feet at 100 yards. A deer usually runs 4 feet at the shoulder and about 7 long for a really big deer. And they hide.
You won't find 26 or 28 Nosler in small places.
"...Scandinavia with 6.5 rifles..." It's 6.5 x 55 Swedish ONLY. Not 6.5 Creedmoor or any other 6.5 cartridge.
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Old December 10, 2017, 10:19 AM   #15
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I looked at the 7mm Dakota, then the 28 Nosler when it came out.
For me the improvment wasn't worth the extra cost in casings or powder over the Rem Mag.

I've handled a few of the Christensen Arms rifles. Pretty nice quality. Just wish I could afford one.
Have taken to "building" my own now. Using Savage Axis actions, E.R. Shaw barrels.

My biggest investment now is glass.
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Old December 10, 2017, 05:02 PM   #16
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That savage axis action not a bad idea. Inexpensive firearm and accurate to boot. Barrels would make a difference.
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Old December 10, 2017, 05:49 PM   #17
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I already have 2 barrels from E.R. Shaw.
First one was an overstock special. 24" Savage barrel in 250 Savage. Polished, blued for $125

Second one i special ordered for my Mauser build. 284 Win. 24" Shaw 1.5 contour. Recessed target crown. Polished, blued.
Durring break in i tried the 162gr ELDX with a medium charge of RL19. 0.90" 5 shot group at 100 yards. That with just the frore stock resting on my pack. No sling or anything else to stabilize it. So, yeah i'm happy, and will continue to order from them.
Oh and cost was $272 shipped to the house.

Proof barrel starts at $900. And believe me if i could i would! Lol
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Old December 10, 2017, 06:51 PM   #18
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why not a 20" bbl 308? sure is not ideal for 1000yds but it will get the job done. Also very capable hunting rifle loaded properly. I use 180gr nosler ballistic tips for hunting and 178gr hornady for targets. 34 moa elevation from a 100yd zero to hit 1000yds. I use a 4-16x weaver and its works fine in the stand or from the bench. A 3-12x would be equally useful.
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Old December 10, 2017, 07:06 PM   #19
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You're not doing yourself any favors by trying to make rifles do multiple things. Want a rifle for bench shooting? Build one. But don't try to make that same rifle a hunting rifle.

I have 7 rifles in my safe, all meant to be used for different things. Each does its job well and I never try to use them for something they weren't intended for.
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Old December 10, 2017, 10:25 PM   #20
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You guys never saw the ad for Gunwerks, have you?
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Old Yesterday, 03:14 PM   #21
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What 7Mag said, Proof Research. No free lunch on conventional 4140 or 416 barrels with weight and ability to handle long target strings. If you end up selecting a "common" (read- no wildcat) chambering, you could go with one of their Savage prefits (about $850), instead of doing a full custom build off a blank. Depending on whether you end up LA or SA, get a lightweight stock and a Savage 10 or 110 action (even off a "donor rifle"), and it can be done on the cheap (relatively speaking, that is).

IMO, this really needs to be purpose-built given the intended hunting use. Most recommend about 1200 ft/lbs of energy on impact for Elk, and out west those shots can be at ranges limited only by your abilities, and capabilities of your hardware. The Creedmoor might be fine at 600 yards and less, but heavier hitting choices are needed beyond. 6.5-.284 Norma, .270 Win, .270 Weatherby mag, and of course the 7 mag among many others.

Don't overlook a suppressor if you go with a heavier hitting magnum. A lightweight titanium can will add about a pound, but provide substantial recoil reduction in addition to the main benefit of being able to shoot without hearing protection.
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Old Yesterday, 08:08 PM   #22
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Sounds like Savage Axis donor action, Proof barrel, Rifle Basix trigger, Bell & Carlson stock.

Ya got yourself one sweet rifle.
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