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#6374278 - 07/19/16 07:42 AM LR Rifle
DLALLDER Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 2855
Loc: Pittsburg, Texas
In your opinion what constitutes a long range rifle for hunting or competition? What would be your first choice of caliber? Thanks
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#6374367 - 07/19/16 08:30 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
-Shoots one MOA or better, hand loads are often needed.
-Wears a scope built to make the two necessary corrections; gravity and wind, using Mils or MOA.
-Is set up for the shooter to be very comfortable behind the rifle, easily achieving natural point of aim, scope eye relief is set perfectly for the shooter.

Heavy barrels are not necessary for consistency for low round count. They are necessary for consistency for high round count, in a short time. There are many disciplines of "long range shooting" bench rest, you wouldn't need a repeater, F-Class you could get away without a repeater as well. Some guys don't even use an ejector. P.R.S. style shooting you will need a detachable Mag in 5 round, and 10 round, and some stages dictate two 10 round mags. So the rifle has to be built to fit the task it will be performing. You can build a long range rifle that is also a stalking hunting gun, with an internal box, and sporter barrel.

Short action cartridges will reach very far, into the 1400 yard range, and are low on recoil, and cheap to feed. In the short action chamberings there is a long list of good choices. .22-250 fast twist, .220 Swift fast twist, 6 X 47 Lapua, 6mm Creedmoor, 6 SLR, 243, 6.5 X 47 Lapua, 260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 SAUM, 7mm-08, 7mm-08 A.I., 7 SAUM, .308 Winchester, 300 WSM

Long action opens many more choices, but they produce more recoil, can have a lower barrel life, and use more powder, but can fly supersonic a longer distance, and wind drift less due to more muzzle velocity. 6.5-06, 6.5-284, 284 Win, 280 Rem, 280 A.I. .30-06, 7 Rem Mag, 7 STW, 7-300, 28 Nosler, 30-06, .300 Win Mag, 300 RUM, 30-378 (I'm sure I left some out).

Then you can get into the big boys. 338 LM, 338 Norma Mag, 375 Chey Tac, 408 Chey Tac, 50 BMG.

Picking from the list above is only preference. I use a 1:8 twist .22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7-08, .308, and 7 Rem Mag. Of the ones I have, if I had to get down to one rifle only, it would be the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Lots of options in barrel contour, length, stock design, magazine systems, bases, rigs, optics. A million combinations will get the job done.
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#6374442 - 07/19/16 09:17 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
blackcoal Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 7563
Loc: 60 Mi North of DFW
Maybe the answer lies in how big a bankroll a person has and how serious they are about the game.
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#6374463 - 07/19/16 09:39 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: blackcoal]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9397
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Most rifles have the ability to shoot long range with the right glass. Sure, a decent 308 Win with some 175 BTHP loads will get you out to 1K yards. Each caliber and rifle will have their advantages and disadvantages. Most competition rifles will have a thicker barrel. Thicker barrels heat up slower and maintain better accuracy during multiple shots fired. The barrel is also more stiff, which has less harmonics to allow it to be more consistent with accurate groups. Thinner sporter barrels found on most hunting guns will heat up quicker and start to walk around with your shots. But they are good for light weight and walking around- i.e. hunting.

I think what constitutes a LR hunting gun compared to a competition gun are 2 different things. For a LR hunting gun, I'd say the ability to make a first round hit at the distance you are shooting is what makes it a short or long range rifle. Some shooters struggle to get 150 to 200 yard hits. With a good rest and the right rifle, scope and ammo, some shooters find a 400 yard shot very easy in favorable conditions. I've had customers bring me a factory, thin barrel, Rem 700 rifle to dial in a load for (one particular was a 7 Mag and 168 Berger VLD). I'll work up a load and have the gun shooting about 1/2 moa with ammunition that has very tight tolerances that is tuned to that rifle. Several shooters have made 600+ yard kills by dialing their Leupold scope to get on target and learning the wind to make the shot. They never would have been able to be that consistent with factory ammo (mainly with their sloppy powder charges and low BC bullets) to make those kind of shots. But I don't think this thin barreled Rem 700 in 7 Mag would be close to a competition rifle. But a good hunting rifle should easily be able to make those first few rounds very accurate.

Caliber choice, that's always a debate, and a little reading on that and anyone can come up with their own opinions on what works for them. JG covered it pretty well. The main thing is selecting a caliber that works for you (recoil, ammo cost, shootability, bullet velocity, barrel heat, etc).



Originally Posted By: blackcoal
Maybe the answer lies in how big a bankroll a person has and how serious they are about the game.


That makes no sense. I've shot some factory rifles that were hammers, that were $500 new. I've also shot an $8000 338 Lapua I wouldn't give you $100 for. You don't have to bank roll a rifle to shoot long range.
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#6374502 - 07/19/16 10:20 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
Dalee7892 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 05/04/15
Posts: 974
Loc: Denton County
Lots of good comments from JG and Chad.

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#6374534 - 07/19/16 10:46 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
cxjcherokec Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 2345
Loc: Azle, TX
Regardless of the barreled action, the most important things shooting LR are a comfortable (well fitted) stock and glass I can sit behind for hours with minimal eye strain. If the stock doesn't fit you and the glass isn't on par, you'll have a hard time being repeatable.

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#6374541 - 07/19/16 10:47 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
ZK-315 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 1558
Loc: Temple...Hunt in Freestone Co.
Fireman, other than the shortage of available brass, is there a reason you didn't include the 7 WSM in your list? Just curious.

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#6374564 - 07/19/16 10:57 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: ZK-315]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
No real reason, just forgot. But yes, due to the brass problem I wouldn't build one.
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#6374604 - 07/19/16 11:17 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
ZK-315 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 1558
Loc: Temple...Hunt in Freestone Co.
Makes sense. A forum member here sent me 30 pieces of brass and then I picked up a few boxes of ammo to shoot through. Brass is definitely hard to come by, but I guess off the shelf ammo works for just plinking around until a stash is built up.

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#6374687 - 07/19/16 12:21 PM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9397
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Also, one of the biggest mistakes I see shooters make is thinking that they MUST have a 338 Lapua or a 300 RUM, or some new wiz bang magnum to shoot long range. Sure, these rounds will get out there. But the LAST caliber I would select to shoot at distance would be a 7 or 300 RUM. The lack of good brass in the RUM and the fact that the RUM is a picky son of a gun and often does not shoot that well are 2 huge draw backs. Think of a little Honda Civic with a huge V8 motor with a blower sticking out the top. That's a RUM.
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#6374782 - 07/19/16 01:28 PM Re: LR Rifle [Re: ChadTRG42]
blackcoal Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 7563
Loc: 60 Mi North of DFW
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42


Originally Posted By: blackcoal
Maybe the answer lies in how big a bankroll a person has and how serious they are about the game.


That makes no sense. I've shot some factory rifles that were hammers, that were $500 new. I've also shot an $8000 338 Lapua I wouldn't give you $100 for. You don't have to bank roll a rifle to shoot long range.


Actually it makes all the sense in the world. Depending on how serious a shooter is will depend on the money he can put into a scope, or pay you to make ammo for him, or rent range space. Money will also allow him to buy X number of rifles and cartridges to perfect what he wants, to develop loads etc. Money and serious attitude will also allow him to take a course in long range shooting. Money will also determine the time he has to practice and develop his skills.
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The Greatest Enemy of knowledge is not ignorance,
it is the illusion of knowledge.--Stephen Hawking

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#6375203 - 07/19/16 07:42 PM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
DLALLDER Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 2855
Loc: Pittsburg, Texas
Chad & Fireman JG, Is there a factory gun on the shelves that you would recommend? Savage, Rem., Ruger or other brand. I am partial to 30-06.
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#6375529 - 07/20/16 12:50 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
Chunky Dunk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 1033
Loc: Rockport
Originally Posted By: DLALLDER
Chad & Fireman JG, Is there a factory gun on the shelves that you would recommend? Savage, Rem., Ruger or other brand. I am partial to 30-06.


As much as I love high end expensive rifles, it is awfully hard to beat a savage for out of the box accuracy!
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#6375686 - 07/20/16 08:28 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: DLALLDER
Chad & Fireman JG, Is there a factory gun on the shelves that you would recommend? Savage, Rem., Ruger or other brand. I am partial to 30-06.



Tikka. Barrel quality of it, and all those you listed are going to be very close together, therefore will produce almost the same consistentcy. But he Tikka does not need the trigger replaced like the Rem 700 does, it does actually eject spent brass unlike the Savage, and the extractor design is far superior to both the Rem and the Savage. I have two Tikkas and love them.
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#6375799 - 07/20/16 09:48 AM Re: LR Rifle [Re: DLALLDER]
poisonivie Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 7053
Loc: Bridgeport, Tx
More money is always better than less money.
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