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Bolt gun advice please!

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Kevatc, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    A few weeks back I had the great fortune to get to shoot a $5500+ police sniper rifle topped with a $2200 Nightforce scope. Now I have the bug to get a bolt gun to get me started on learning how to "reach out and touch something." I am thinking something like a Remington 700. I'm not a hunter nor am I interested in competition shooting. I'd just like to be able to punch holes in cardboard or pumpkins at ranges of 300-500 yards or so.

    Any thoughts on .308 vs. .270? 25-06, 22-250, .243?

    Any thoughts on Savage Arms or Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle? Other brands?

    Thanks.
     
  2. nubus

    nubus Guest

    Remington 700 SPS in .308.
    Most bang for your buck.
    .308 will get you better groups at 500 yds.
     
  3. OR4X4

    OR4X4 Hour south of portland Member

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    a stock savage or stock sps varmint will hit paper and pumpkins at 300yds all day.
    .260 and 6.5 are some you should look at if you get into longer ranges.

    If you (rather WHEN you) get addicted to long ranges and wnat to step it up, this comes more into play -

    savage model 10 and 12 are awesome. remington 700 is the long range "standard" (realistically the ar15 equal of the bolt world - in both mall ninja and rational/great aftermarket parts).
    There are lots to other actions, from custom ones like surgeon, down to howa and mauser 98.

    So think either stock rifle or action $100-1,000+

    You're gonna need to get the action trued, and get the barrel set back on pretty much any factory rifle - remington 700's in particular, savages are mostly within much tighter specs and sometimes dont need the work. $250-500+

    You will need a new stock - manners, mcmillan, ect. $500-1000+

    bottom metal conversion like a badger m5, CDI precision, surgeon - $350+

    Optics $600-2,000+

    Harris or similar bipod - $75+


    That's not getting into trigger either drop in or tuning, new precision recoil lug, bedding, recrowning of the barrel, and the hours and hours of quality gunsmith time.

    There are many many companies out there with good or better reputations that offer a "base" tactical precision rifle for a couple grand on up to $5k+ decked out versions.

    All I'm trying to say is this is about the least healthy hobby for your bank account :D
     
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Any basic heavy barrel version of the AR. At ranges under 600 why go bigger unless you just really want to.

    I have a Remington 700p LTR (20" police model) in .308 and is a great gun.

    DSC06247.jpg

    My Bushmaster Varminiter.

    DSC_0044.jpg

    I have a "loaded" version M1A that is also a great gun.

    DSC_0032.jpg

    All 3 are fun to shoot. All have their good and bad but by far the AR gets shot the most. My AR is more accurate then the other 2. It is also cheeper to shoot (I hand load for all).

    Base price on the bolt gun is about $800, the AR about $1000 (for a good target one) and about $1500 for the M1A. I have an inexpensive scope on the 700p cause it gets shot little. The other 2 have the same IOR 4-14x50 which at the time were $1000 each but worth every penny.

    Last time I did a "range" day we were out at a friends place that has a 600 yard range. We had been shooting the AR so I knew where my holdover was on the scope. We switched to the M1A (again same scope) I lined up my same holdover and came in about 2 feet lower.

    Of course the .308 will carry more energy at that range having a bullet ~3x the weight for fun shooting I will take my AR every time.
     
    jayleno and (deleted member) like this.
  5. justplainroy

    justplainroy Washington County New Member

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    A buddy has this (with 20" barrel) and it's great at 600...

    Remington 700 Milspec 5R - Sniper Central

    That and his Leupold mark 4 put him into the rifle for about $2,000 - .308 is the F-150 of the rifle world - does a lot of stuff really well. Specialized applications may take a more specialized round. I'd stick with the .308 myself. Good luck!
     
  6. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    Good after market support and price.
     
  7. joken

    joken Corvallis Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Get the Savage 10FP in 308. I have one and it is scary accurate.
     
  8. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    The two things that will make the biggest difference in accuracy right off the bat are the optics and a good trigger/trigger job. Put your money there first.
     
  9. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Kevatac, do you already own a bolt action rifle? Will it shoot 1" groups at 100yds? If yes, what caliber is it?
     
  10. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Oregon - Wet Side Member

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    CZ-USA -> CZ 550 Varmint

    Get the .308 with Kevlar Stock. I think you could get one for about $800 NIB. You don't need to ever have trigger upgrades done and it's a top of the line stock. All you need is the optics.
     
  11. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    just to tease you a wee bit. I got this, this summer a Savage Model 12 VLP DBM in .243 I haven't had it out past 100 yards yet but just goofing around with factory Winchester 100gr spire points I got 10 shot 1MOA groups. This is as the rifle came from the box and with a $219.00 Mueller 4-16X-50mm Mil-Dot scope mounted with Leupold rings.

    Savagemodel12wscope.jpg

    My cost was $750.00 for the rifle about $55.00 for the mounts and $219.00 for the scope.

    I have no doubt that with handloads and a little tuning on the rifle (stuff I can do myself) that I will be shooting 1/2MOA Thats 1.5" at 300 yards and 2.5" at 500yards

    Current Street on the rifle is up to about $850.00 now.
     
  12. nubus

    nubus Guest

    Look at THIS.
    Very fair price and has a factory fiberglass stock.
     
  13. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a bolt gun at the moment. I do have an AR with an EoTech which I will shoot out to 100 yards on a torso target or a pumpkin. Mostly I work on defensive tactics with it which for me is 25 yards and closer.

    The guy I was with when I shot his duty rifle had me do drills that he has to do as part of a SWAT team and I had an absolute ball! Of course, my accuracy sucked with stress and follow up shots that mattered were non-existant. Just the same I had fun and I came away having a very healthy respect for real life snipers.

    I was actually in the Eugene Cabelas today and either handled or looked at a number of different makes and calibers of bolt guns. Must say that I have no idea which brand to go with. I am thinking that I would rather have a heavier barreled gun than what seems to be standard hunting barrels. Still not sure on caliber either. After looking at the ammo choices I think that .308 might be the cheapest over time to reload. Not sure though .....
     
  14. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    As far as what caliber is cheaper to reload. virtually all .30 cals will cost about the same for a given bullet. only slight variations in powder weight will be the difference. And in almost all cases more powder will mean more performance.

    as a general rule 100 .243/6mm diameter bullets is cheaper then the same bullet in .308 diameter (the diameter a .30cal uses)

    As an example using Midways regular pricing. I'm using 100 and 150 grain as both are typical for the respective calibers and have very close ballistic coefficents for their respective calibers (.243 •Ballistic Coefficient:0.381) (.308 •Ballistic Coefficient:0.338




    100 grain Hornady Spire point = $20.49

    150 grain Hornady Spire point = $23.49

    a .243 is going to use approx. 36-45 grains of powder average of 40.5gr or 172rds per lb of powder

    a .308 is going to use approx. 42-48 grains of powder average of 45.0 gr or 155rds per lb of powder

    Primers are exactly the same both use larger rifle

    cases now this is where .308 will have an advantage since you can get cheap surplus and military brass. But if you are going to making up serious long distance loads you will want to go with a good quality commercial brass. In which case

    .243 runs $46.99 (for Remington) to $103.99 (for Lapua) using Remington brass your ave. cost per rd. will be 0.811 (new brass) 0.341 (used brass or 1st reload)
    using Lapua brass your ave. cost per rd. will be 1.381(new brass) 0.341 (used brass or 1st reload)

    .308 runs $45.96 (for Remington) to $74.95 (for Lapua) using Remington brass your ave. cost per rd. will be 0.846 (new brass) 0.386 (used brass or 1st reload)
    using Lapua brass your ave. cost per rd. will be 1.136(new brass) 0.341 (used brass or 1st reload)

    So as you see .243 is cheaper to load except if your using very expensive brass and then once you reload that new brass it goes back to cheaper.


    with .243's lighter recoil a day of shooting will be more comfortable then a .308
     
  15. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Are you actually shooting with that camp out in front of your muzzle? NOT COOL
     
  16. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Its a camera perspective thing for part of it, it is not that close. Second it is my camp. Third you will get over it. Fourth there was no one in there.

    I didnt just pick up a gun and randomly start shooting by someones camp. Just cause it may not conform to your idea of safe shooting it was in fact safe, if not there would not have been any shooting.
     
  17. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Fifth, if you have any risk of getting THAT far off line you shouldn't own any weapon!!!! :laugh:
     
  18. das_napeth

    das_napeth Snohomish, WA Member

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    I am a huge Savage fan, very easy to change out parts (barrels, bolt faces and bolt handles) a little less in the way of aftermarket stock following though. Then again i've never been a fan of the Honda Civic. Here's a few of my Savages:

    Model 12 .223 on the right and baby brother Mark 2 .22lr on left:
    IMAG0074.jpg

    Model 10FCP .308:
    IMAG0077.jpg

    Model 110 turned into a custom .300WM:
    IMAG0076.jpg

    The .223 was $750 without optics, .308 was $570 cash as seen in pics(lots of good deal trading) and the .300WM was $750 as seen in pics.
     
  19. skywag

    skywag On the Columbia River Active Member

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    There is no finer long range custom rifle maker than Jim Cloward. Here! is your golden oportunity.
     
  20. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    well, here's my .02 cents...

    if you already have basic shooting skills, you're going to be adding a number of skills, possibly simultaneously.

    Range estimation in itself is tough and requires constant practice. Once you get the hang of coastal clear cuts, try ranging across broad farms and fields! Once you get the hang of flat ground, head over to easern oregon and dead reckon the distance across some of those chasms and valleys!
    Along the lines of range estimation, you'll probably learn a thing or two about laser rangefinders, mil-dot formulas, the mil-dot master, etc.

    You'll probably learn a whole bunch about internal and external ballistics. There is a ton of info in books and online about both.

    You may take up reloading. Whichever caliber you pick, you'll wish you had another. Reloading and handloading is a lifetime pursuit. It's a whole hobby unto itself, and you'll learn a lot from it, too. What's critical is to get a consistent, predictable, accurate load for whatever you're shooting so that you can develope a drop-chart as a basis for corrections.

    Buy a "sniper data book". You'll feel cool, you'll use all the stuff it comes with, and that's where the real eduacation begins.

    You'll start to learn how to read the wind, and the trees, and the grass, and discover that atmospheric differences have a big effect on point of impact. So does elevation!

    You'll also learn a lot about the hardware. Bolts, barrels, stocks, and how they work together.

    My point is, a $3k rifle and a $3k scope are nifty, but I'd hold off. There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before you make that kind of investment.

    A sporter .30-06 is a lot closer to a "sniper rifle" than many people would imagine. You know, since you already have an AR, you could pick up a .223 Weatherby Varminter and start with that. No, it's not ideal, but people do shoot F-Class (1000yd prone supported) with a .223!

    Personally I have a Howa .308 heavy barrel in a Bell and Carlson stock. I bought the components seperately for less that $1k, and then got a $200 bushnell fixed 10x with mil-dots and target turrets. The point is, this "starter set-up" is perfect for me to learn all the above stated stuff, without dumping a lot of money into a rifle that may not be my ideal rifle/caliber combo.

    I guess what I'm saying is that anybody can go spend a lot on a tough looking rifle, but if they don't take the time to build the skills to utilize it, it's wasted money. You could get a data-book and a scope and get started today with the AR you already have....