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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Good starting platform??

Good starting platform??

13 Apr 2011
@ 08:13 am (GMT)

Mike Brill

Hi Guys,
Im looking in to building up a "long range" hunting & target practice rifle,
I dont want to spend a fortune but do want the best starting point. Il be buying a second hand rifle (to try keep costs down) but its the calibre im unsure of. I have access to alot of 243 reloading gear (basicly free) and info, but after sifting through the info here I feel this is not the best option for what I want. 308 or 7mm 08 maybe a beter starting point??

What calibre offers the beginer the best "value for money"??

And while im here

Im looking in to a howa M1500 at the moment, any opionions welcomed

Thanks

Mike Brill

Replies

13 Apr 2011
@ 08:35 am (GMT)

Mike Brill

Re: Good starting platform??
Sory was ment to type 270 or 308 as options
13 Apr 2011
@ 06:07 pm (GMT)

Murray McGehan

Re: Good starting platform??
Quote:
Sory was ment to type 270 or 308 as options

A lot depends on the type of shooting you do, for most North Island bush the 308 would be more than adequate. For longer shots I would lean more towards the 270, I have always believed you cant go wrong with anything based on the 06 case, thats not to say there are not some just as good or even better. I have never owned a Howa action so couldn't comment. Murray
14 Apr 2011
@ 09:38 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Good starting platform??
Hi Mike, great to have you on board.

You are wanting to do this long range rifle project on a limited budget so there is a mixture of both ideal caliber and ideal rifle within these parameters. My favorite budget LR set up at the moment, is the M700 Varmint in .308 Win. These are retailing at Reloaders Supplies (I have asked them to stock this rifle) for around $1100- thats a dirt cheap LR rifle. This model has a heavy 26" barrel beaver tail stock which can be stabilized and bedded easily. Accuracy with these rifles is usually outstanding. The main advantage you would have with this rifle, is the heavy barrel for practice (you won't burn it out in a hurry), along with the famous M700 action.

The further you want to shoot, the more power you need- if the goal is fast killing including minimal error of wind drift. The .308 is somewhat difficult for most hunters to use past 650 yards. Thats roughly what I call its all around useful range. Beyond 650 yards, you need to be well practiced and also, shoot within favourable environmental conditions as much as possible. The strength of the .308, is that it is cheap enough to allow for practice so that you can learn these things. It takes time and practice to make good shots at long range regardless of caliber and I don't mean your ability to aim, I am talking about reading the wind, timing, decision making. Maximum range for the .308 is around 1400fps which is the limit at which the A-Max can be expected to produce wide, free bleeding wounds. A Magnum powered cartridge will get you further but it won't fit your budget needs so you have to weigh these things up.

Anyway, since when did we have to start out with the most powerful of rifles and the latest kit. I started LR hunting with a bloody old Lee Enfield and open sights! You would learn a lot from the M700 Varmint and you will not regret it- providing you understand the limitations of the cartridge before you start out. What we do regret, is buying junk kit and having to pay for it twice.

Nathan.
16 Apr 2011
@ 06:30 pm (GMT)

Mike Brill

Re: Good starting platform??
Quote:
My favorite budget LR set up at the moment, is the M700 Varmint in .308 Win.


Thanks guys,
Nathan, went and looked at one of these at Reloaders today,not a bad feeling rifle, and the price is right on. Also priced up a set of .308 dies for the reloading gear I have access to.

So I recon for around $1600-1800 I can get a good basic package.
Havent decided on a scope yet, But was looking at a tasco target/varmint that I think will fit the bill, Will keep ya informed as the build starts.

Thanks
Mike Brill
16 Apr 2011
@ 10:40 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Good starting platform??
Ok, regarding the Tasco. I have been accurising rifles for a number of years and the one thing I try to do, is keep in touch with clients. This helps ensure a few things- that I have done my job properly, that my clients are happy with their kit and generally, I do like to hear from everyone. If there is one thing I have learned, its that Chinese Optics last between a few hours, to a few weeks or if you are lucky,up to a year- regarding LR work which requires working the dials. Buying a Chinese scope is flushing money down the toilet, its as simple as that. Its not even a short term fix. Even if you could find one that magically lasted a few years, the dial calibration would be in-accurate.

The only budget brand worth anything is Nikko Stirling but even then, you need to drill and tap the scope tube at 38 degrees to the turrets, put a bolt in there, screw it up and leave it set. In other words, you cant use the dials for LR work but it is a fix for an ordinary hunting rifle. I did manage to view a client using a new high end Nikko with proper target turrets a few months back. That one lasted (it was brand new when it arrived here), approximately 2 hours if I recall, before the elevation wandered and would not maintain zero.

The best value for money scopes are made in Japan (and they need the business right now). Sightron are unbeatable regarding value for money. Two models that might suit your budget include the 4.5-14-42 and 4-16x42, both of which I have tested extensively- and not just one of each, we have had many through here now.

Sorry to burst your bubble but I cannot stand seeing a guy get ripped off. Its not a case of 'if' the scope wanders, its a case of when.

Nathan.
16 Apr 2011
@ 10:40 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Good starting platform??
Ok, regarding the Tasco. I have been accurising rifles for a number of years and the one thing I try to do, is keep in touch with clients. This helps ensure a few things- that I have done my job properly, that my clients are happy with their kit and generally, I do like to hear from everyone. If there is one thing I have learned, its that Chinese Optics last between a few hours, to a few weeks or if you are lucky,up to a year- regarding LR work which requires working the dials. Buying a Chinese scope is flushing money down the toilet, its as simple as that. Its not even a short term fix. Even if you could find one that magically lasted a few years, the dial calibration would be in-accurate.

The only budget brand worth anything is Nikko Stirling but even then, you need to drill and tap the scope tube at 38 degrees to the turrets, put a bolt in there, screw it up and leave it set. In other words, you cant use the dials for LR work but it is a fix for an ordinary hunting rifle. I did manage to view a client using a new high end Nikko with proper target turrets a few months back. That one lasted (it was brand new when it arrived here), approximately 2 hours if I recall, before the elevation wandered and would not maintain zero.

The best value for money scopes are made in Japan (and they need the business right now). Sightron are unbeatable regarding value for money. Two models that might suit your budget include the 4.5-14-42 and 4-16x42, both of which I have tested extensively- and not just one of each, we have had many through here now.

Sorry to burst your bubble but I cannot stand seeing a guy get ripped off. Its not a case of 'if' the scope wanders, its a case of when.

Nathan.
17 Apr 2011
@ 02:34 am (GMT)

Murray McGehan

Re: Good starting platform??
Nathan, I agree on your comments about Tasco scopes, there optics are just plain crap and not up to it. I had a new world class scope let me down after only twelve months on an SKS and I guess if it had of been on a magnum calibre it wouldn't have lasted that long. The glass was very murky and not even up to the standard of easrlier Bushnells. I struck the same thing with a Tasco 15-45 x 60mm spotting scope. It wasn't as clear as my old fixed 40x Bisley. I probably am a slow learner but now only buy Leupold or Burris but wish I could buy a Swarovski.
24 Apr 2011
@ 07:31 pm (GMT)

jonathan scott

Re: Good starting platform??
Another newbie.

I'm from the South Island. My target species will be red deer, with the odd pig, goat or chamois thrown in. I'm not a handloader and don't intend to be, with young kids in a modern home I don't have space safe enough for it. My hunting buddies mostly use 270win which I'll probably go with too, to cover a lot of bases.

So as a newbie I don't have any experience but I get plenty from reading the knowledgable people on forums. However, there are plenty of opinions around and as we know opinions are like assholes - everyone has one :)

Knowing my target species and my caliber choice, I like the Remington platform for it's cost effectiveness and proven history even though a lot of people are lured to the Tikka T3. My buddy uses a ruger ultra-light simply because he's one of those who tramps 25kms in a day. I will also have to carry my rifle over the big country that the SI is famous for. So what's the trade-off? Accurate for 100-400yd shots or something to be a practical rifle that is easy carrying?

The M700 have quite a few variations - SPS, SSPS, VTR, LTR, SPS tactical and XCR.

All that and not an unlimited budget.

I'm confused.

25 Apr 2011
@ 02:48 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Good starting platform??
Hi Jonathan. Of the rifles you have mentioned, the T3 and Rem SSPS are both good light weight rifles for the Alps. It really is up to you, which features you find the most desirable.

As for the .270Win cartridge, most readily available factory loads in NZ feature a 130 grain bullet, many are very good. If you want to step things up further, for Thar and reds, a hand loaded 150 grain bullet is very emphatic for both close range and longer range work.

Many people are currently facing tough financial times at the moment and in such cases, we really need to work together. If you have a hunting buddy with reloading kit, I do suggest that you try and come to some arrangement where you take the time out to sit down and make your own ammunition.

Range wise, providing you adopt good technique with your light weight rifle, there really isn't any trade off. This thread was started in regard to dedicated LR shooting and practice. The heavy barreled .308 allows for a lot of practice and a lot of learning. A light weight .270 heats up a lot faster so there is an obvious difference right there- the heavy barrel .308 allows for a lot more plinking during an LR session. 400 yards is not a long shot for a .270 Win, 650 is to a larger extent, a long shot but still, does not require barrel sizzling practice.

A good accurate rifle that won't bog you down when climbing high, suitable bullets and good optics are the base of your hunting platform. Beyond this, technique is everything. No amount of kit or muzzle brakes or other add odds will make you any better so to this extent, you have to understand that being on a limited budget is a good thing and should never be viewed as a limitation. I am all about procedures, its one thing to learn good technique but is it is something entirely different to implement methods in the field where distractions abound, regardless of how many aids or how much power we have in our favor.


25 Apr 2011
@ 04:24 pm (GMT)

jonathan scott

Re: Good starting platform??
I hear what you're saying Nathan.

I have to say though, I'm only a centrefire newbie. I used to shoot 22 a lot. I've done indoor smallbore target shooting quite a bit, even while at uni. And I really appreciate what you say about a good sling position. When 22 target shooting we used a proper jacket with single point sling - and if you've done it you'll know how rock solid that can be. When I was field shooting a Brno 22, I wrapped my arm 2 or 3 times through the leather sling to again achieve a really good field rest either kneeling or standing if required.

one other question - how come you don't include 30-06 or 338 Lap mag in your knowledge base?

25 Apr 2011
@ 07:42 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Good starting platform??
Hi, my wife and I have been gradually uploading my research into the knowledge base since its inception. There is an explanation in the intro to the knowledge base and I try to keep everyone in the loop via the blog. There is still some 40-50 cartridge research documents to go up online, each has to go through an edit and then formatting which takes me anywhere from a day to a week. The next two cartridges to go up are the 7.5 Swiss and the .30-06. The latter is a cartridge that I am quite fond of.

Throughout this process, we still have to literally put food on the table. A week of working on the .30-06 article, then putting it online for free, does not (as yet) generate income. We are still very much reliant on folk buying bedding compound, sending in rifles for accurizing or making donations and hopefully, optics sales now that we have a Sightron dealership. So, its a balancing act at this stage, paid jobs versus the longer term goals of the site and an eventual hard copy book. If we had started out based on some inheritance, as many modern businesses are, then sure, we would be bashing out articles and having a great time. But the other side of this would be a lack of substance as I would not have had to do the hard yards, would not have had the rifle accurizing experience, the long term friendships and work with hunting clients, all of which is invaluable experience.
25 Apr 2011
@ 09:01 pm (GMT)

jonathan scott

Re: Good starting platform??
If I get a stock Rem 700, I certainly look at you accurising it a bit. I can't go the whole hog but I'm sure your basic will make huge amount of difference to it.

With 2 young kids it'll take me a while to save up anyway.

Cheers.
25 Apr 2011
@ 11:00 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Good starting platform??
Well, you can save quite a bit of coin by learning to do the accurizing work yourself. I have recently posted vids on bedding the M700 (have a look at the rifle bedding tutorial in the knowledge base one day). If want to try your hand at bedding in the future, this resource will be available. Like I say, having budget constraints (putting your family first) does not have to be a negative limitation.


25 Apr 2011
@ 11:02 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Good starting platform??
 

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