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.300 Win Mag Rifles

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.300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby crowell33 » Sun, 15 May 2011 17:45:56

What's everyone's favorite? I'm looking at getting one in the next month or so, and I'd like someone opinions. I understand they should probably be broken out into two groups: 1) hunting rifles, and 2) precision rifles. I'm probably looking at more of a precision-type rifle, but I'm also open to buying a lower cost rifle and building it from there (i.e. new stock, etc).

Thoughts? Opinions? hate the round? :)


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 16 May 2011 06:43:35

crowell33 wrote: I'm probably looking at more of a precision-type rifle.


2 very important questions.

Whats the budget?
What distances do you intend to shoot?


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby crowell33 » Mon, 16 May 2011 08:11:04

jdonovan wrote:
crowell33 wrote: I'm probably looking at more of a precision-type rifle.


2 very important questions.

Whats the budget?
What distances do you intend to shoot?



Ah, yes, thank you. Forgot to include those.

1. 500 yards plus
2. $2500-$3500 (including scope. i'm planning roughly $1K for a scope)

Now, obviously I'd prefer NOT to go this high, but I can if I have to, and if I think it's a good deal (i.e. value to me).


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 16 May 2011 09:27:50

crowell33 wrote:Ah, yes, thank you. Forgot to include those.
1. 500 yards plus
2. $2500-$3500 (including scope. i'm planning roughly $1K for a scope)
Now, obviously I'd prefer NOT to go this high, but I can if I have to, and if I think it's a good deal (i.e. value to me).


There is a notable difference in 600yd and 1000yd work with regard to caliber. I would find both .223 and .308 fine and serviceable at 600, but the .223 would be a really lousy 1000 choice.

Are you hand loading?
The availably of match ammo may sway you to other caliber choices.

With a $2500-$3500 budget you are into the semi-custom, or higher end factory 'system' type rifles. At the low end of your range you could be into a trg-42 .308.

I am starting to see with the rise of the .338 the .30 magnums are starting to get a bit less popular.

I recently decided to get into some longer range work, and was looking at the .30 magnums, but decided to pass and move to the .338. I've got a rem 700p .338 Lapua that is far more accurate than I am capable of.

I don't know your skill/experience but 700p is a real value in a long range rifle, and until you are spending quite a bit more cash its hard to beat the value.


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby crowell33 » Mon, 16 May 2011 11:57:30

Although I don't hand load yet, I do plan on learning and doing it at some point very soon.

The .338 Lapua wasn't on my radar initially, but I may took a look at it when I'm searching around. I've had my eye on the Savage 110 BA, which is offered in both calibers, but I'd like to find a dealer who happens to have one in stock so I can put my hands on it for a few minutes.

I've also been looking at the Armalite AR-30 (which, again, is offered in both calibers).

Thanks for the advice.


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 16 May 2011 12:17:26

crowell33 wrote:Although I don't hand load yet, I do plan on learning and doing it at some point very soon.


IMO when you are getting into the 2-3k rifle, hand loading becomes a valuable tool to get the last few mm of accuracy out of the setup.

Take a look at the cost of the .338 ammo before you go down the path, they are $3 + each.

.300 winnie are running 2.25- 2.50
.308 are $1 - $1.50 each

I've had my eye on the Savage 110 BA, which is offered in both calibers, but I'd like to find a dealer who happens to have one in stock so I can put my hands on it for a few minutes.


hands on is a good thing, but I've found very few dealers stocking match quality rifles.

I've also been looking at the Armalite AR-30 (which, again, is offered in both calibers).


The AR-30 is the same price as the Savage 110 BA, both in the $1500-1800 range. Which is 1/2 the budget you initially stated. These are all in the budget, entry level rifle class.... as is the $1000 scope.

I'd really suggest staying on the .308 chambering. You can do all the long range work you want with it. It won't kill your shoulder to shoot, itsn't _that_ expensive to get good quality match ammo.

Don't forget to leave budget to feed your new pet.

If you go with the bigger calibers you'll find the rifle is the same cost as 600-700 rounds of ammo. A few months of practice and a few matches later you'll have more $$$ down the barrel than in the gun case.


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby crowell33 » Mon, 16 May 2011 15:06:45

So, that's actually something else I'm considering. I have a 700 ADL .308 I bought a few months ago - primarily for hunting - that I'm looking at turning into a more accurate tack driver (i.e. new B&C stock, etc.).
Image


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.300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby gunderwood » Mon, 16 May 2011 15:09:08

It sounds like you want to learn precision shooting and 500 yards is just getting started. It really depends on what you want to do with it.

If you want to compete you'll find a lot of .243, .260, etc. They are popular because paper doesn't take much to punch (steel may be an issue if it has to move, but usually isn't a problem), BCs are usually slightly better, generally you can push them faster and less recoil is a good thing. For example, take a look at a .243win loaded with a 115gr DTAC moly at 3100+ fps.

If you want to learn, than .308win is the way to go. It doesn't eat barrels like the magnums do (feel like a new barrel every 2k rounds?), it has less recoil, it is much cheaper, and it is a good 1000-1200 yard cartridge...although it's possible to stretch it a bit further. IIRC the longest .308win confirmed kill was set in Iraq at 1400+ yards.

.300wm is a great round and 1800+ yards (just over a mile) can be done if you're good. .338lm can go beyond that! I have a .338lm and love it but I don't shoot it as much as I would like because even 1000 yards is a bit of a waste. A .308 easily does that. Sure wind is easier to call, but are you trying impress the Internets or actually learn how to read the wind?

In you're price range there are a lot of good options.
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.300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby gunderwood » Mon, 16 May 2011 16:23:22

crowell33 wrote:So, that's actually something else I'm considering. I have a 700 ADL .308 I bought a few months ago - primarily for hunting - that I'm looking at turning into a more accurate tack driver (i.e. new B&C stock, etc.).
Image

Building a long range gun takes more than that. An ADL is a good hunting gun, but IMHO you'd be better off with a different donor gun.
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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 16 May 2011 16:37:19

gunderwood wrote:Building a long range gun takes more than that. An ADL is a good hunting gun, but IMHO you'd be better off with a different donor gun.


+1 you could work it, but you would fairly quickly hit the diminishing returns limit, where a bit more accuracy takes a lot more bucks.


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby gunderwood » Mon, 16 May 2011 19:30:17

jdonovan wrote:
gunderwood wrote:Building a long range gun takes more than that. An ADL is a good hunting gun, but IMHO you'd be better off with a different donor gun.


+1 you could work it, but you would fairly quickly hit the diminishing returns limit, where a bit more accuracy takes a lot more bucks.

Sort of.

If you wanted to build up a rifle, the 700P or 5R military variants are much better. Mostly because you get a decent stock, barrel and action to work with. All you really need to do to have a nice shooter would be to true/blueprint the action and bed it. The current triggers are pretty bad, so that would be high on the list too. The problem with the cheaper hunting 700s is you get none of that but the action to work with. All things considered it's not that much more, but you do get a lot more rifle to work with.

The Savage 110s are good rifles too. Probably better out of the box than the 700s, but your upgrade path is better on the 700.
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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 16 May 2011 20:13:37

gunderwood wrote:If you wanted to build up a rifle, the 700P or 5R military variants are much better. Mostly because you get a decent stock, barrel and action to work with. All you really need to do to have a nice shooter would be to true/blueprint the action and bed it. The current triggers are pretty bad, so that would be high on the list too. The problem with the cheaper hunting 700s is you get none of that but the action to work with. All things considered it's not that much more, but you do get a lot more rifle to work with.


I guess we kinda were on the same path.... about all you 'get' out of starting from the ADL is the action, and you are going to eventually want to replace most of the parts, if not all of them. Then I think I would leave a nice hunting rifle alone, and if I wanted to go custom from the action up, I'd start with a 700 action from Brownells or the like, and probably only have $350 into an action.

Once I had the action, I'd just Pick my favorite gunsmith, send him the action and my visa card and wait. :clap:


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby gunderwood » Mon, 16 May 2011 20:59:31

jdonovan wrote:
gunderwood wrote:If you wanted to build up a rifle, the 700P or 5R military variants are much better. Mostly because you get a decent stock, barrel and action to work with. All you really need to do to have a nice shooter would be to true/blueprint the action and bed it. The current triggers are pretty bad, so that would be high on the list too. The problem with the cheaper hunting 700s is you get none of that but the action to work with. All things considered it's not that much more, but you do get a lot more rifle to work with.


I guess we kinda were on the same path.... about all you 'get' out of starting from the ADL is the action, and you are going to eventually want to replace most of the parts, if not all of them. Then I think I would leave a nice hunting rifle alone, and if I wanted to go custom from the action up, I'd start with a 700 action from Brownells or the like, and probably only have $350 into an action.

Once I had the action, I'd just Pick my favorite gunsmith, send him the action and my visa card and wait. :clap:

Exactly. You get good hunting parts, but they really aren't good long range parts. There are also plenty of "700 style" actions which are custom made to very high tolerances. People will argue about which is better, but I prefer an action that was built from the get go to be awesome. Add a couple hundred for a good smith to work over your action and you're not far off of a entry level custom one. Just my two cents.

It stretches the budget a bit, but if you want a really good 700 in that budget window, this is probably as good as it gets IMHO: http://www.gaprecision.net/ga-precision ... rifle.html Of course, anything custom means you better be willing to wait. Personally, I'd do a 20" .308Win and never look back. Taggure just bought a 20" SPS and that thing is handy. Mine is 22", but it's a bullpup so it's actually shorter than a M4.
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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby crowell33 » Tue, 17 May 2011 14:54:07

I can't tell you guys enough how much I appreciate the info. Like I said, I haven't ruled out another .308 by any means. I'll make a decision here in the next month or so.


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby gunderwood » Tue, 17 May 2011 15:22:43

crowell33 wrote:I can't tell you guys enough how much I appreciate the info. Like I said, I haven't ruled out another .308 by any means. I'll make a decision here in the next month or so.

There's a lot more to discuss about your potential setup if you like. Although to continue on it would be useful to know what your thoughts are about what's been discussed so far. There are a lot of different ways to skin this particular cat, but it ultimately comes down to finding the best solution based on your desires. The .308win is the <1k sensible solution, but that alone doesn't make it the right solution. For example, we were just shooting a .50BMG at Bills...it was only at 100 or so yards, but we were busting up steel. Sensible? No. Practical? Nope. Bucket loads of fun? Yup.

Caliber is an important topic, but it isn't everything. Do you want to do mostly prone shooting or multi-position? Certainly a good shooter can make do, but there are stocks which are optimized for certain positions. Do you mind waiting a year for a custom build? Etc.

It's an on going discussion, give us some detailed feedback if you want to keep it going.
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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby crowell33 » Tue, 17 May 2011 16:08:52

So, a couple of things actually.

Number one, I truly enjoy long range, precision shooting (i refuse to say "sniper." i will not belittle what our real snipers do). I plan on taking a class in the next few months at a facility close to me in West Virginia (Storm Mountain). Shooting accurately at long ranges is not any easy thing to do, and to be able to master a skill like that is...well, fun.

Number two, I'm toying with the idea of getting into F-Class shooting (haven't decided F-T/R or F-Open yet).

Having said all that, I can be a bit...let's just say "frugal." :) I would love to have to have a gun that could be multipurpose. For example, a rifle that's versatile enough to use in F-Class competition, but then turn around and be able to hunt bear or elk (hence the .300WM).

And as you stated early, to me, it has to be fun. Is a .50 BMG impractical? Hell yes, but I love to shoot it, so I'm gonna get one!

On top of that, I'm notoriously picky. I don't mind dropping some coin, but it needs to hold value for me.

Am I making any sense? LOL


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby jdonovan » Tue, 17 May 2011 17:34:16

crowell33 wrote:Am I making any sense? LOL


Yes, but very conflicting on #2....

Number two, I'm toying with the idea of getting into F-Class shooting (haven't decided F-T/R or F-Open yet).


F t/r is limited to .223 and .308 rifles, so a .300 WM couldn't participate there. Therefore your going to be in F-open with your 300WM.

There is a weight limit of 22lbs on the rifle. Generally when there is a limit on things in the rules, its because the item being limited imparts some advantage to the contest. I'm not sure I want to be treking long distance with a 20+ LB rifle chasing elk.


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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby gunderwood » Tue, 17 May 2011 17:53:37

crowell33 wrote:So, a couple of things actually.

Number one, I truly enjoy long range, precision shooting (i refuse to say "sniper." i will not belittle what our real snipers do). I plan on taking a class in the next few months at a facility close to me in West Virginia (Storm Mountain). Shooting accurately at long ranges is not any easy thing to do, and to be able to master a skill like that is...well, fun.

Long range precision shooting is just one small aspect of what a sniper does. It's the most visible, public, and interesting aspect of their job so it gets all the attention. From what I understand most trainees don't wash out because of shooting skills, but rather everything else...particularly stalking. It's like fighter pilots. Your average person thinks it's all about Top Gun.

Precision rifle shooting has been an American tradition since before the founding of this country. It has been used for many purposes, both good and bad and including war. IMHO, it's a skill no American should have to make excuses or rationalize why they want to learn it. It's a skill like any other and the civilian shooting sports have a long history of making advancements and sustaining the skill as political and military will for their specific interest has waxed and waned. IMHO, you need no more justification than for why you own an AR15, 1911, or 10/22.


jdonovan wrote:
crowell33 wrote:Am I making any sense? LOL


Yes, but very conflicting on #2....

Number two, I'm toying with the idea of getting into F-Class shooting (haven't decided F-T/R or F-Open yet).


F t/r is limited to .223 and .308 rifles, so a .300 WM couldn't participate there. Therefore your going to be in F-open with your 300WM.

There is a weight limit of 22lbs on the rifle. Generally when there is a limit on things in the rules, its because the item being limited imparts some advantage to the contest. I'm not sure I want to be treking long distance with a 20+ LB rifle chasing elk.

+1

Offhand shooting with a 20lbs gun isn't much fun either. It can be done, but you'll almost always do better with a lighter gun. Also, match tolerance guns tends to be less than forgiving in the elements. A long range precision rifle isn't just about accuracy, it's a unique blend of many requirements. If you search some dedicated "sniper"/precision rifle forums you'll see that generally they can't match the groups that the benchrest guys put up, but then again, that's not really what precision rifle is all about. Being able to read the conditions and hit your target center of mass with the first shot is more inline with that sport. Benchrest guys get sighters.
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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby gunderwood » Tue, 17 May 2011 18:00:34

Speaking of field conditions, you should notice that the preferred hot cartridges for benchrest and precision rifle are not the same. There are reasons for that such as being able to feed from a mag, reliability, etc.
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Re: .300 Win Mag Rifles

Postby crowell33 » Wed, 18 May 2011 15:26:33

So...having said all that, any opinions on the Les Bauer .308 Ultimate Match?

http://www.lesbaer.com/AR308.html


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