@ 08:39 pm (GMT)
Nathan FosterThe question becomes a bit more difficult when we want to shoot long. This is the crux of the matter. Once we reach out, we find that smaller things make a big difference. For example, a light rifle that recoils heavily will produce fliers in the field if technique is not exact and identical with each shot, regardless of what the rifle is capable of at the bench. Such a rifle will not perform so well with a bipod either, shifting around 1 MOA from shot to shot with changes in terrain / ground hardness. Then there are the magazine issues and so forth.
As a person dishing out advice, I try to take on board all of these potential problems.
Expecations are a key factor here. We have to ask, is it realistic to expect a budget built rifle to achieve X result. We want to pay a low price for premium, long range performance and this is where we can come unstuck and have to start making sacrifices.
You can take a Tikka 7mm Mag with its short magazine, make up hand loads with neck dies and so long as runnout is kept down to 2 thou or less, you can set yourself up with an accurate rifle. You will have to seat ammo short and there is no room for seating depth experimentation- the only gamble with this rifle. The next challenge is actually shooting the rifle. This rifle cannot be shot crossed arm, the forend has to be held tight and it will always try to leave your grip. So you have to control it and really put time into practice. Such a rifle can teach a person how to shoot which is a good thing).
Finally, you need to able to make all of this happen under field conditions.
And we have to ask, what are our accuracy expectations? For me, under .5 MOA because I want to achieve a clean kill. Can I do this with a Tikka T3- yes I can, I have these down pat. Lucky me, how cool, how smug, aren't I just the ducks nuts expert. Does that help folk- not really. Not when I see the difficulty clients have getting up to speed with the lightweights versus the time it takes to get up to speed with heavier rifles. Still, the light rifles are good teachers and the long route can make for a solid foundation- if the client stays the course and keeps up with practice after finishing up with me.
We can add suppressors to our pencil thin barrels and give them a right old cooking, we can add brakes to deafen our friends and pets. Neither are my preferred course of action when using ultra lights with very little meat for muzzle threading.
One of the major troubles we face today is that we see rifles in the extreme- either too light or too heavy. Its hard to find something super accurate off the shelf that is right in between. I do not have an easy answer for this.
And again, this is why I wrote the book series, to help work through all of these issues. Ideally, the books should help save the reader money and headaches while fortuitously providing Steph, Riley and I with income in lieu of the years worth of research presented freely on the site.
Does that help at all? I suppose not.