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The System #7845320 05/20/20 11:05 AM
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Before we begin, this is not a one upper thread, this about people going half the distance to the goal.

We’ve all heard Garvey reference “the system” and I 100% agree with his theory. The rifle, optics, mounts, ammo, and the driver. Your ability to perform is only as good as the weakest part of the system.

My thoughts on “the system”

I have saw people spend $1500 on glass, then shop around to save $20-30 on rings or bases. I’m not talking about on sale, but a cheaper brand. One guy I know owns several NF scopes, but will not spend the money on an EGW rail. Now to be clear he has a ATAC sitting on a cheaper rail be the $40 EGW is too much. Rings fall into the same category.

What about the people who buy $4-700 rifles to hunt with, then put a blister pack scope on it for sub $100?

My favorite, spend a ton of money on a rig, then buy ammo based on price.

Do you practice enough with your fancy rig to do the job? Or is it for looks?

Im not saying spend a ton of money, it will make you better. It absolutely will not. I am saying don’t put used tires on your Ferrari.

I probably missed a lot and need some corrections, but the principal is clear if you’re paying attention.

I might add that I have two different scoped Marlin levers. One is mounted in EGW, the other in Talley.

Last edited by wp75169; 05/20/20 11:07 AM.
Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845349 05/20/20 11:52 AM
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Are you talking about long distance shooting?


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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845372 05/20/20 12:07 PM
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Nope, that’s why I added the comment about the lever actions being properly mounted. 45 Colts and 35 Remingtons are not known for their long range capabilities. It doesn’t matter how cheap or expensive the rifle, if the scope is wallowing around on the action it won’t shoot well. I’m a big fan of the H&R single shot with a fixed power or 3-9 scope and I’ve killed many animals with weaver rings from Walmart. I’ve also had scopes come loose, reticles turn while shooting, green and yellow boxes make me think I have a shotgun, etc, etc.

Scott I guess I’m saying if you’re going to spend a lot of money don’t cut any corners to make it a waste. The post and my random thinking is definitely open to interpretation.

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845397 05/20/20 12:29 PM
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Got it. I think it's relative when it comes to budget. I'm likely never going to buy the most expensive models of anything. I just want reliability. I've found most rings I've used to be reliable. I use mostly DNZ and Leupold Ringmounts (Ruger 77s). Picatinny or AR, I use mostly SWFA. SWFA rings aren't expensive but I've never had an issues with them.

For scopes, I'm usually looking for origin of manufacturer now and picking something made in Japan. I mainly hunt so I've migrated back to capped turrets, lighter weight and mil reticle if I can find it. I'd rather hold for a shot than twist. I've said it before, I like the Trijicon Accupowers with a Mil Square Reticle. Haven't had issues with them, Japanese made Weavers or SWFA scopes.

For Rifles, I'm never going to buy or build a $3000 rifle when factory rifles shoot so well now.

In summary, I just want reliability and consistency. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I learned long ago, no matter what you buy, something new and better will come along and that will be the next cool thing.


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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845399 05/20/20 12:33 PM
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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845429 05/20/20 01:10 PM
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It's the same thing with duck hunting. People spend thousands on guns, camo, their gun, the lease, the guided hunt, then they go buy the cheapest steel off the shelf at the local store.
With better ammo than steel out there, it's crazy for people to use steel. Why spend all that money to skimp on the most important thing.


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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845442 05/20/20 01:26 PM
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This is so spot on. Nothing bigs me more than when I have a customer who buys a $2,000+ rifle, then puts a $400 Burris or Vortex op it. Or a similar rifle with Razor AMG, then wants $29.99 base and rings. Or actually spends money on the whole setup, then buys Remington Corelokt in the wrong grain weight. Why spend a lot of money in one area when you are going to handicap the overall capability anyways by refusing to spend money in another area?

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845475 05/20/20 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wp75169
Before we begin, this is not a one upper thread, this about people going half the distance to the goal.

We’ve all heard Garvey reference “the system” and I 100% agree with his theory. The rifle, optics, mounts, ammo, and the driver. Your ability to perform is only as good as the weakest part of the system.

My thoughts on “the system”

I have saw people spend $1500 on glass, then shop around to save $20-30 on rings or bases. I’m not talking about on sale, but a cheaper brand. One guy I know owns several NF scopes, but will not spend the money on an EGW rail. Now to be clear he has a ATAC sitting on a cheaper rail be the $40 EGW is too much. Rings fall into the same category.

What about the people who buy $4-700 rifles to hunt with, then put a blister pack scope on it for sub $100?

My favorite, spend a ton of money on a rig, then buy ammo based on price.

Do you practice enough with your fancy rig to do the job? Or is it for looks?

Im not saying spend a ton of money, it will make you better. It absolutely will not. I am saying don’t put used tires on your Ferrari.

I probably missed a lot and need some corrections, but the principal is clear if you’re paying attention.

I might add that I have two different scoped Marlin levers. One is mounted in EGW, the other in Talley.


Somewhat ironic, EGW is one of the cheapest rails out there-why aren't you using NF, Badger, or similar? Talleys are very affordable as well. You may not have put used tires on your Ferrari but new garden-variety Michelins aren't the same as Pilot Sport Cups or Goodyear F1s, right? laugh


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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845494 05/20/20 02:07 PM
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That's a lot of angst over what other folks choose... and who the heck is Garvey?

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845543 05/20/20 02:36 PM
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This seem like a good prelude to a thread on what scopes, rings, bases etc. that give you more than your money's worth. I just buy everything Leupold & I guess I don't know what I'm missing. Don't mean to stir the pot here, just my opinion.


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Re: The System [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #7845566 05/20/20 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by wp75169
Before we begin, this is not a one upper thread, this about people going half the distance to the goal.

We’ve all heard Garvey reference “the system” and I 100% agree with his theory. The rifle, optics, mounts, ammo, and the driver. Your ability to perform is only as good as the weakest part of the system.

My thoughts on “the system”

I have saw people spend $1500 on glass, then shop around to save $20-30 on rings or bases. I’m not talking about on sale, but a cheaper brand. One guy I know owns several NF scopes, but will not spend the money on an EGW rail. Now to be clear he has a ATAC sitting on a cheaper rail be the $40 EGW is too much. Rings fall into the same category.

What about the people who buy $4-700 rifles to hunt with, then put a blister pack scope on it for sub $100?

My favorite, spend a ton of money on a rig, then buy ammo based on price.

Do you practice enough with your fancy rig to do the job? Or is it for looks?

Im not saying spend a ton of money, it will make you better. It absolutely will not. I am saying don’t put used tires on your Ferrari.

I probably missed a lot and need some corrections, but the principal is clear if you’re paying attention.

I might add that I have two different scoped Marlin levers. One is mounted in EGW, the other in Talley.


Somewhat ironic, EGW is one of the cheapest rails out there-why aren't you using NF, Badger, or similar? Talleys are very affordable as well. You may not have put used tires on your Ferrari but new garden-variety Michelins aren't the same as Pilot Sport Cups or Goodyear F1s, right? laugh




You’re absolutely right. EGW is the cheapest quality rail out there. It has proven true time and again. I used it for an example as to NOT say everyone had to buy NF.

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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845597 05/20/20 03:49 PM
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Lot's of "systems" out there that work and are very reliable. For instance, I was at Todd Hodnett's prarie dog hunting fields a few weeks ago shooting stell and dogs. He wasn't there, but one of his protege's was. HIs "system", price be damned would be custom Stiller action based gun with detachable LaRue's. His other "system", tried and true thousands of times over, is a Tikka tactical/CTR, Bushy Elite tactical scope, LaRue mounts. Lots of $$$ difference in the two, but both are proven to work.

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845607 05/20/20 04:03 PM
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I don't know of anyone that deep in the rabbit hole using cheap rings and bases. You might know a guy but I would bet it is not common.


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Re: The System [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7845668 05/20/20 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. Heimann
I don't know of anyone that deep in the rabbit hole using cheap rings and bases. You might know a guy but I would bet it is not common.
I think you'll find it more common in the "new to the sport" types. Those folks probably don't realize how important small things can be, whether that small thing be a rifle component, ammo choice, or shooting technique. Then you have the experienced types who place more emphasis on one characteristic over another. For example I don't like aluminum rings, but the guy chasing goats in the high country might faint if you said steel is better than aluminum. Or people shooting timed events may not like a stock Savage action because of the extraction issues, while the guy who loads singles and has as much time as he needs loves his Savage. Lots of variables in play.


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Re: The System [Re: Roughneck913] #7845705 05/20/20 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Roughneck913
This is so spot on. Nothing bigs me more than when I have a customer who buys a $2,000+ rifle, then puts a $400 Burris or Vortex op it. Or a similar rifle with Razor AMG, then wants $29.99 base and rings. Or actually spends money on the whole setup, then buys Remington Corelokt in the wrong grain weight. Why spend a lot of money in one area when you are going to handicap the overall capability anyways by refusing to spend money in another area?



I’ll probably never but a $2000+ rifle but I’d buy a $1000-$1200 rifle and absolutely put a $400 leupold on it and be just as happy as can be. And there will be someone who thinks if I’m going to spend 1200 on a rifle I might as well spend 2k. Or <500 dollar scopes are trash. Or whatever.
Maybe I have $1500 for a combo and not $2000. Maybe I don’t want a $300 rifle just so I can buy a $1200 Scope.
Maybe it’s no ones concern.

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845712 05/20/20 05:27 PM
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the most important piece of the shooting equation is the ammunition

I can take a cheap rifle with cheap scope but feed it top quality ammo
and it'll do better than high end rifle with cheap ammo

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845888 05/20/20 08:12 PM
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It’s all relative man. There are PLENTY of $200 scopes that hold zero perfectly well if you don’t dial for elevation on a regular basis. I’m aware a scope that tracks flawlessly costs lots of money. Thousands and thousands and thousands of $400 rifles kill deer, elk, moose, bear, and lots of other animals every year using $29 Leupold rifleman rings and a Nikon Prostaff scope.

Also nothing wrong with spending $1500 on a rifle and putting a $400 scope on it in $50 rings. Not every custom rifle is destined to be a long range rifle. In fact I Would hazard a guess that most custom rifles in Texas never shoot over 250 yards in their lifetime. that being said, a guy doing that doesn’t need a custom rifle, but neither do most long range shooters.

If you’re going to hold over or sight in for MPBR when hunting at ranges from 25-250 yards, there is very little a $1500 scope will do that a $400 scope won’t, except maybe give you an extra 180 seconds of shooting light as it’s getting dark. That ain’t worth $1100 to me.

My issue is when a guy thinks he can push the limits of his rifle with cheap equipment. No, that $100 NCStar 6-32x50 scope is not going to allow you to shoot at 1000 yards with any consistency. But a $400 12x SWFA scope will. A $150 vortex 3-9x40 will let you hunt at 250 yards and in with consistency 365 days a year.


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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7845905 05/20/20 08:41 PM
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The items in the "system" that I have talked about for years, the 2 most important items to me is the ammo and the optics. Most modern rifles are capable of decent accuracy, most sub moa with good ammo. A good optic is needed to see your target and have solid working turrets that holds zero. The ammo IS the most critical. Often times shooters associate better ammo being more expensive. They spend $80 on a box of factory Nosler or Weatherby ammo thinking it's the best. But what counts is what is on the INSIDE where you can not see. I've pulled enough bullets from factory ammo and weighed the powder charges to see what's on the inside. I've seen as high of spread as 2.5 grains. Most of the time I see about 1 to 1.5 grains variation. When I load to .02 grains, a 1 to 1.5 grain spread is a HUGE difference. And often times it's a basic extruded powder (temp sensitive) or a double based ball powder (very temp sensitive).

If you get good gear with solid mounts and use quality ammo, it will minimize your problems. But even then you still have to test that gear to know that it works well.



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Re: The System [Re: Tff caribou] #7845921 05/20/20 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tff caribou
It’s all relative man. There are PLENTY of $200 scopes that hold zero perfectly well if you don’t dial for elevation on a regular basis. I’m aware a scope that tracks flawlessly costs lots of money. Thousands and thousands and thousands of $400 rifles kill deer, elk, moose, bear, and lots of other animals every year using $29 Leupold rifleman rings and a Nikon Prostaff scope.

Also nothing wrong with spending $1500 on a rifle and putting a $400 scope on it in $50 rings. Not every custom rifle is destined to be a long range rifle. In fact I Would hazard a guess that most custom rifles in Texas never shoot over 250 yards in their lifetime. that being said, a guy doing that doesn’t need a custom rifle, but neither do most long range shooters.

If you’re going to hold over or sight in for MPBR when hunting at ranges from 25-250 yards, there is very little a $1500 scope will do that a $400 scope won’t, except maybe give you an extra 180 seconds of shooting light as it’s getting dark. That ain’t worth $1100 to me.

My issue is when a guy thinks he can push the limits of his rifle with cheap equipment. No, that $100 NCStar 6-32x50 scope is not going to allow you to shoot at 1000 yards with any consistency. But a $400 12x SWFA scope will. A $150 vortex 3-9x40 will let you hunt at 250 yards and in with consistency 365 days a year.



Absolutely, I agree on all counts. I never suggested money makes it better, in fact I even alluded to cheap rifles with decent scopes bring a better choice than expensive rifles with cheap accessories. When the original Nikon Prostaff existed I recommended it to many who were putting a rifle together on a budget. Since it’s history I now say Burris FF. Was I familiar with the Burris I may have chose it all along. It’s a great hunting optic.

Re: The System [Re: cbump] #7846377 05/21/20 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cbump
Originally Posted by Roughneck913
This is so spot on. Nothing bigs me more than when I have a customer who buys a $2,000+ rifle, then puts a $400 Burris or Vortex op it. Or a similar rifle with Razor AMG, then wants $29.99 base and rings. Or actually spends money on the whole setup, then buys Remington Corelokt in the wrong grain weight. Why spend a lot of money in one area when you are going to handicap the overall capability anyways by refusing to spend money in another area?



I’ll probably never but a $2000+ rifle but I’d buy a $1000-$1200 rifle and absolutely put a $400 leupold on it and be just as happy as can be. And there will be someone who thinks if I’m going to spend 1200 on a rifle I might as well spend 2k. Or <500 dollar scopes are trash. Or whatever.
Maybe I have $1500 for a combo and not $2000. Maybe I don’t want a $300 rifle just so I can buy a $1200 Scope.
Maybe it’s no ones concern.


If its what you want, go for it, I don't have to agree, but I also don't have to think its smart. Excluding models where you pay a premium for cosmetics (maple stock, higher grade walnut high gloss barrel/action etc. etc...), If you buy a good value $1200 rifle, and put a $400 scope on it, you are likely wasting money on the rifle, because it will outperform what the scope is capable of. You may never notice because the scope does what you want, so you dont care that its holding back the capabilities of the rifle, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.
People do lots of stupid things that are "No ones concern." Doesnt mean its not stupid.

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7846383 05/21/20 04:04 AM
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Just gonna throw this out there... VX3 are what... $400-$500 scopes?

If you don't like illuminated reticles, $500 is close to the top price a scope commands without illuminated reticle and etc.

If you don't plan to dial elevation etc, and jst want a sleek good looking scope with clear glass, that holds zero, and very specifically don't want to carry an extra 2 pounds of scope, $500 will buy you ALOT of scope that compliments a lightweight hunting rifle with carbon fiber stock in the $2,000 price range very nicely.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 05/21/20 04:05 AM.

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Originally Posted by Roughneck913
Originally Posted by cbump
Originally Posted by Roughneck913
This is so spot on. Nothing bigs me more than when I have a customer who buys a $2,000+ rifle, then puts a $400 Burris or Vortex op it. Or a similar rifle with Razor AMG, then wants $29.99 base and rings. Or actually spends money on the whole setup, then buys Remington Corelokt in the wrong grain weight. Why spend a lot of money in one area when you are going to handicap the overall capability anyways by refusing to spend money in another area?



I’ll probably never but a $2000+ rifle but I’d buy a $1000-$1200 rifle and absolutely put a $400 leupold on it and be just as happy as can be. And there will be someone who thinks if I’m going to spend 1200 on a rifle I might as well spend 2k. Or <500 dollar scopes are trash. Or whatever.
Maybe I have $1500 for a combo and not $2000. Maybe I don’t want a $300 rifle just so I can buy a $1200 Scope.
Maybe it’s no ones concern.


If its what you want, go for it, I don't have to agree, but I also don't have to think its smart. Excluding models where you pay a premium for cosmetics (maple stock, higher grade walnut high gloss barrel/action etc. etc...), If you buy a good value $1200 rifle, and put a $400 scope on it, you are likely wasting money on the rifle, because it will outperform what the scope is capable of. You may never notice because the scope does what you want, so you dont care that its holding back the capabilities of the rifle, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.
People do lots of stupid things that are "No ones concern." Doesnt mean its not stupid.


I don’t long range target shoot. I hunt at reasonable distances. I also like nice rifles and don’t care if they “could” shoot 800-1000 yards with a different scope. I don’t give two [censored] about adjusting windage and elevation turrets or being at the range all day. Not my hobby.
It blows my mind that we’re at a day and age where a $400 Scope is looked down on. Lol

Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7846448 05/21/20 11:02 AM
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We may have gotten off track, at least from my intent. My favorite scope is a FX-2 that retails for $299 I think. There are certainly better fixed power scopes out there that are definitely more expensive, but the FX meets my criteria as perfect for a lever gun of almost any caliber.

I guess I’m guilty of the error I’m speaking of as well. I bought 10/22s for some boys recently and put $60 BSA fixed 4x on them. I didn’t know how they were going to feel about them and figured if they embraced it They could upgrade them if They wanted to.

Re: The System [Re: Roughneck913] #7846480 05/21/20 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Roughneck913


If its what you want, go for it, I don't have to agree, but I also don't have to think its smart. Excluding models where you pay a premium for cosmetics (maple stock, higher grade walnut high gloss barrel/action etc. etc...), If you buy a good value $1200 rifle, and put a $400 scope on it, you are likely wasting money on the rifle, because it will outperform what the scope is capable of. You may never notice because the scope does what you want, so you dont care that its holding back the capabilities of the rifle, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.
People do lots of stupid things that are "No ones concern." Doesnt mean its not stupid.


This post is stupid.


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Re: The System [Re: wp75169] #7846631 05/21/20 02:04 PM
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I think it did get off track.

A good reliable system does not equate to money, necessarily. I've seen a $200 (used) Savage Axis hold 1 MOA, as far as we could shoot it down my range, so check the rifle box there.

Put a good pic rail, or 2 piece Weaver style mount on it, and low strength Lock-Tite it down, so check the bases box. Now, the Leupold one piece with the windage screws at the back are not trustworthy, so they would be the weak link in the system so far.

Rings, I like 4 screw. Not 2 screw, and have not needed 6 screw yet. And the few brands of rings I use, do not need lapping. They are straight on their mount, and they were built right at the factory. They all cost me over $130 a pair, but it's not a rule everyone must live by. But, a rule everyone should live by is reliable, immovable, stout rings and screws. Pick your flavor, as long as they are all those things, you're good to go.

Scope, it needs to be clear enough to do what you need it to do, in the lighting you need it to do it in. When it is getting zeroed, do the corrections, be turrets or knobs under caps do as they are told? If so, all is well. If they do not track (even tracking in knobs under caps) anyone is going to have fits getting one zeroed. And that's where we've all seen someone burn up a box of 20 rounds or more, just to get zeroed at 100 or 200 yards. If the scope tracks, it is a much faster and pleasant experience.

Ammo, bad ammo will make a good rifle shoot bad. I'm going to tell you top of the line ammo was made for that particular rifle. But, all of us have purchased ammo off the shelf, and it did what we asked of it, every time. We've all also seen ammo that just didn't agree with the rifle, that would be a weak link in the system, so cull it, and move to different ammo. If you need it to hold inside deer vitals to 300 yards, and your ammo does it, and your scope doesn't move, and your rifle keeps shooting that ammo consistently, then you have a good system.

When you do want to step into shooting tighter, and/or farther, you will probably need to change some parts of the system. The 3-9X Duplex (pick your brand) that was a fine 200 yard hunting scope, isn't as easy a tool to use at 500 plus. But if all you need the scope to do, is hunt to 200 yards, and the scope does that just fine, well then all is well.

There are scoped rifles out there, people have put together for less than $500 stem to stern. Then they found some factory ammo that does what they need it to do. And they fill their freezers every year with them. So, that says the equipment does not have a weak link. The only weak link is the loose nut behind the trigger. And then, some people recognize that, they practice with their rig, and they can do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. After that, there are no more weak links in the system, and success follows.


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