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Recommendations: $1200 Hunting/Precision Setup

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing, Outdoors' started by PokealypseNow, May 17, 2012.

  1. PokealypseNow

    PokealypseNow Territorial Marshal

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    I'm tired of my mall ninja aspirations and magnum-only Bubba ways. I didn't grow up around guns and have spent my first couple of years in this hobby focusing on handguns and wasting time dreaming of tacticool FALs, big-bore AR-15s, and elaborate wildcat cartridges in Mannlicher-stocked custom rifles.

    It's time to get my shit together and learn some real (basic) marksmanship.

    My eventual budget will be $1200, absolute tops.

    I'm leaning hard towards .280 Remington (I like the .284 bullets and the '06 based case capacity is nice) in a Remington 700 action (ubiquity rules) with a 4-14/16x scope. Cartridge questions aren't what I'm looking to address here; the tools I use to send the bullet to the target are.

    I know that a quality, basic rifle & scope will outshoot my skill level at this point, but I'd like to be setup as my skills develop. I can't afford everything, so need to know this: what's the best use of my money?
    • Rifle
    • Glass (brand?)
    • Scope rings/mount/level?
    • Better Barrel?
    • Better Stock (B&C / Manners / Macmillian)?
    • Trigger (Timney / Jewel)?
    • Bipod?
     
  2. OSU Sig

    OSU Sig Federal Marshal

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    I'll not attempt to talk you out of the 280 but you should look at the 7MM-08 ballistics before you buy yours. It's a short action cartridge and will have less recoil than the 280, while shooting the same diameter bullet. In comparison to the 280, it would be like comparing the 308 to the 30-06.

    I'm not a big fan of 16X scopes on rifles of larger calibers unless you have specific eye sight issues that call for it. Anything above 12X normally gets really difficult to see through as the field of view is very small.

    Talk to us about what you would like to do with this rifle. Are you going to hunt big game? If so, what species? Target shooting? What distance target? Shooting competition?

    I really enjoy talking about optics and rifles so if you can give me some direction above we'll settle in for a great discussion.
     
  3. jp20798

    jp20798 Deputy

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    Start with a single shot .22 and open sights.
     
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  4. Erick

    Erick Master in the art of Gem├╝tlichkeit

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    For that budget, I can build you a nice rifle. Any reason you don't want a .308?
     
  5. pokefun

    pokefun gooner hater extraordinaire

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    Plus one on the 7mm-08! I bought one for my kid and I like it so well he doesn't get to use it as much as he would like.
     
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  6. OSU Sig

    OSU Sig Federal Marshal

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    I own 3 rifles in that caliber.
     
  7. pokefun

    pokefun gooner hater extraordinaire

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    I will own a second when I find a Savage with tha accutrigger.
     
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  8. PokealypseNow

    PokealypseNow Territorial Marshal

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    I know there's no such thing as a do-everything rifle/cartridge, but I'm looking for something that will get me most of the way there and isn't so obscure a cartridge as to be a handload-only proposition (haven't jumped into that yet - not sure how committed I'd be to handloading, frankly).

    As it stands, I'd look to most immediately put something like this to use hunting-wise for elk and black bear. Possibly take it to the other side of the Cascades for mule dear and pronghorn, but the majority of the time would be on target shooting/practice where I'd eventually like to learn how to push it out as far as I can (when I find a place with a long enough range).

    But as I won't be using it on paper exclusively, a 28" varmint barrel isn't in the cards.

    As I explained, I like the high BC & SD of the .284 bullets (the 162gr Hornady A-Max and 168gr Burger VLD Hunting, in particular) and I like the relatively larger case size of the '06. Should give the rifle a good push without the recoil of the 7mm Rem. Mag. If I was more committed and was/planned on reloading exclusively, I'd probably go with the .280 Ackley Improved (you can get brass from Norma now).

    Seen numerous different suggestions on bolt actions, but I need specific suggestions on what's the best use of my budget. General idea at this point is a used Remington with a moderately priced new barrel (hard to find in 280) and the rest on optics...

    Part of the plan. Going to an Appleseed this summer to get some more-or-less formalized guidance.

    Well, share the wealth, if you don't mind. What should my purchases be? That's why I posted this thread.
     
  9. OSU Sig

    OSU Sig Federal Marshal

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    Savage has a very good reputation for accuracy. The accutrigger has receivved mostly great reviews and it is pretty economical.

    Look at the website for ER Shaw rifles. you can have any caliber your choose and the Shaw barrels are known as high quality. Shaw uses Savage actions and their builds allow you to purchase and switch different caliber barrels. A very nice feature and one that normally costs much more.

    One last note. Learn to handload. It's very theraputic for me and allows me to load specifically for the weight bullet I want to use and lets me build a load specific to the rifle I'm shooting.

    You are pretty well versed in rifles so continue on with your questions. You know what you want to do with the rifle so that's a big plus. The 280 is a great caliber so if that's what you want, go for it. you can always have the chamber reamed out to the Ackley, should you want to.
     
  10. Erick

    Erick Master in the art of Gem├╝tlichkeit

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    I didn't mean to be so vague, I was at Hideway and about to order so I couldn't get into details then.

    I think it's most important to build a rifle around your glass budget. I had a pretty tight budget for my rifle too. If you don't have much wiggle room, you might look into a more affordable scope now and replace it if you need to later. Check here daily for demo deals. http://www.samplelist.com/Riflescopes-C3391.aspx#Leupold

    For your rifle I would look at a budget like this.
    Rifle: $600
    Scope: $350
    Rings/Base: $150
    Other dodads: $100

    On my Rifle I went with this:

    Scope: Vortex makes some pretty good optics, especially their top shelf glass. I went with with the Viper PST 6-24x50. It is considerably cheaper if you don't go with the FFP.

    Scope Mounts: I like the Leupold Quick Release mounts and Picatiny Base. It's all steel and solid as a rock.

    Bipod: Harris S-LM.

    This is over your budget but that's what expensive optics will do. Using a specialized cartridge will probably require a more expensive gun or buying another barrel busting the budget even more. Knowing what I know now, I would have went with the Tikka Scout or Varmint. You just can't match the quality of those rifles for the price. The Lite models are nice but have a lot of felt recoil.

    I like Remington 700s but I hate that it doesn't have a detachable mag.
     
  11. pokefun

    pokefun gooner hater extraordinaire

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    I am a HUGE Vortex fan! If you will watch the camera land website, they have Vortex sales all the time. I bought a 2-7x32 Viper for the 7mm-08 and only gave $132 for it. For "cheap" glass it is the best you can get IMHO.
     
  12. Travis

    Travis Deputy

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    You could put together a pretty damn nice setup with a Rem 700 .308 for that. The SPS Varmint with the 26" heavy barrel would be a solid base. I haven't shopped scopes in ages, so rings and scope setups would be out of my area of expertise. I'm about to roll out the door, so I am spitballing, but the last time I window shopped these, they could be had for under $600 online.
     
  13. OSU Sig

    OSU Sig Federal Marshal

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    There are lots of options that will allow you to build a nice package for under your $1,200 limit. I would still recommend higher quality optics rather than higher magnification optics. I'm not a fan of scopes of over 12X unless they are specific in purpose. Since this rifle is to be a general purpose solution, look at something in the 3.5-10 or 3-12 range. In the world of optics, the old saying of "you get what you pay for" is painfully true.

    Rings and bases are available for less than $100. I use Warne rings and bases on many of my rifles and am very pleased with the stability and strength of the steel components.
     
  14. pokefun

    pokefun gooner hater extraordinaire

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    Sig, have you looked at the Vortex Viper series scopes? I tend to agree that you get what you pay for on glass. But, I have a Meopta scope that I gave less than $200 for that now retails for over $800. I purchased it when Meopta was trying to break in to the US. I really think Vortex will be the same in a few years.
     
  15. OSU Sig

    OSU Sig Federal Marshal

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    I own some Vortex scopes. The last one I bought was the same one you did, from Cameraland. Got the mug and package of expresso as well.
    Those guys are really great guys to deal with. I have nothing against Vortex or Meopta or Minox either but believe there are some options that should be looked at before the decision is made. Have you looked into the Bushnell Elte 4200 series? It may well be some of the best buys in optics currently available, although I've not priced any in months so things could have changed.
    Bottom line for me is I'm for buying the very best optics I can possibly afford as the pain in momentary but the benefits are lifetime in length.
     
  16. pokefun

    pokefun gooner hater extraordinaire

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    I am not disagreeing with you in the least! I have some optics that it about made me ill to let go of the cash for. It is amazing the little things the eye can pick up through ED glass. The Elite 4200 is a fine scope, and a great buy, but I had one bad experience with a Bushnell scope and have yet to give them a second chance. My bad experience was not even Bushnell's fault entirely. I could not take a shot on a buck of a lifetime because when I looked through the scope all I could see was pink fuzz. Could have happened with any other brand of scope I imagine. The light was just wrong I guess. I know I should not hold it against Bushnell, but I can't very well hold it against me, lol.
     
  17. OSU Sig

    OSU Sig Federal Marshal

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    I understand.
     

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