Best Vehicle for Precision Rifle Guys?

arm017

Sergeant
Jun 5, 2017
425
110
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Texas
#1
In the market for a new vehicle. Precision rifle is my thing, I don't do anything else besides shoot, occasional hunting. You'd be amazed what I can do with a hyundai sonata, but she's on the way out.

In your opinion, what is the best type of vehicle tailored to our sport? Only caveat is I need to lean toward the fuel efficiency side with my healthy commute. I have seen some pretty awesome truck vault type setups and similar but I am starting from scratch and don't really have much of an opinion right now on my next vehicle.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
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#5
I've had truck vaults for years, and I have to say, I'm not super enamored of them. Regardless, I highly suggest you look at Diamondback if you get a truck and need a cover for your bed. Nothing out there like it.
 

DevilDoc27

New Hide Member
May 16, 2018
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11
3
#6
I have best of both worlds a 7.3 F250 and a prius. I grew up in the sticks so we just drove whatever and made it work. now that I'm older I just leave my options open that if the weather is nice ( the roads aren't going to be sticky clay soup) majority of the time I will take the prius to all my matches. If things look rough and might need 4wd or might need to help someone without 4wd then I have my truck. personally I would get another gas getter commuter car with plenty of room that you could use for your fair weather and daily commuter. Buy a used Tacoma, or similar small/half ton truck to use for the hunting, and muddy matches. If you want in between, try an AWD mid size crossover or SUV, like a CRV, Crosstek, 4runner, Tacoma, ridgeline, things of that nature.
 

Fig

Janitor of the Hide
Mar 15, 2018
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The Most Dangerous City in the USA
#8
DevilDoc27 don't care rolling up to a match full of pickups sporting III stickers in his Prius. Haters gona hate!

That's actually what I was going to suggest if you don't give a wit what anyone else thinks. I have to say it would save me some bucks driving to matches if I had a Prius. Worth it for me too.

I don't leave my guns unattended in the truck for more than two minutes, and then I lock it and it has a car alarm. I take them in the motel room with me.
 

arm017

Sergeant
Jun 5, 2017
425
110
43
Texas
#10
I've had truck vaults for years, and I have to say, I'm not super enamored of them. Regardless, I highly suggest you look at Diamondback if you get a truck and need a cover for your bed. Nothing out there like it.
What's up with the truck vault?
 

CavScout85

Online Training Member
Jan 22, 2018
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213
43
WNC
#11
I drive an older F250 Super Duty, not for any gun-related reasons, just what I like to drive and have to tow stuff. I've got a cross bed toolbox in back that I throw all my stuff in when I go to the range, works well for me.
 
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DevilDoc27

New Hide Member
May 16, 2018
12
11
3
#12
DevilDoc27 don't care rolling up to a match full of pickups sporting III stickers in his Prius. Haters gona hate!

That's actually what I was going to suggest if you don't give a wit what anyone else thinks. I have to say it would save me some bucks driving to matches if I had a Prius. Worth it for me too.

I don't leave my guns unattended in the truck for more than two minutes, and then I lock it and it has a car alarm. I take them in the motel room with me.
That's what I am saying I drove from florida up to Alabama precision, getting 47mpg +/-2 mpg and it cost me all of about $25-$30 round trip for a 650 mile trip. I have ALOT of space enough to haul at least 2 full sets of gear and still have room for 1-2 people to ride with.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
930
326
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#16
What's up with the truck vault?
They are heavy, bulky, remove most of the usable bed space, and really aren't very hard to cut into. They are fine for many applications, I'm just not crazy about them in my personal cars.

I prefer a good pelican case, chained to the bed, with a Diamondback cover on top. Much more versatile and at least as secure. There is no way to really secure a firearm in a vehicle, that is a delusion. Most of the time a good vault will do the job, but it is just playing the odds, like most things. For the drawbacks, I prefer to skip the vault.
 

GGK

Private
Oct 6, 2013
315
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Toledo, OH
#17
They are heavy, bulky, remove most of the usable bed space, and really aren't very hard to cut into. They are fine for many applications, I'm just not crazy about them in my personal cars.

I prefer a good pelican case, chained to the bed, with a Diamondback cover on top. Much more versatile and at least as secure. There is no way to really secure a firearm in a vehicle, that is a delusion. Most of the time a good vault will do the job, but it is just playing the odds, like most things. For the drawbacks, I prefer to skip the vault.
Locks are just there to keep honest people honest.
 
Dec 20, 2017
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#19
Love my supercharged Tacoma. I can average as low a 14 to as high as near 18. More power to weight than a Tundra or the early version turbo 150s. MPGs are NOT the Tacoma's strong point. Before that I had a 2012 Sonata 2.0T. That would get me 34 MPGs if I stayed out of the turbo and it would smoke an Audi A4 when needed. I really liked the engine in that car. The car itself was so so. Not terrible and I would consider one again but I didn't love it. I DO love my Tacoma. But nobody makes a supercharger for the newest gen. I also really like my wife's 4Runner. Again, the mileage isn't great but it's a fantastic vehicle. Enough that I sometimes consider one for myself. Especially now that a supercharger is available w/ some serious increase in HP. But, the MPGs are gonna suffer.

When it came down to it, the cost of gas wasn't so great that I needed to double my mileage. It would be nice, but not necessary.
 
Feb 14, 2017
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#20
If gas mileage is a big concern but you still need to be able yo haul gear and possibly drive offroad a little....I'd say some sort of subaru wagon. AWD, better mpg than any truck/suv, and can haul a decent amount of junk, especially if you can fold the back seat down.
 

Arc Light

NRA Lifer/GOA Member
Aug 13, 2012
459
315
63
God's Country, Montana
#22
I love my Toyota Tundra as it has all the room I could want for my shit. My Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, though half the size, can go just about anywhere.

Leave the Subarus and Prius's to the gender challenged.
 

bab029

Hammer Mechanic
May 16, 2011
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Louisiana
#27
I think the four-door half ton truck is about as versatile as it gets these days.

That new 2.7 Ecoboost that ford is putting in the F150s is pretty impressive both in power (400hp) and fuel mileage (25?). There is a new diesel option that claims 30 mpg, but you'd have to do the math on payoff based on higher initial investment and fuel costs. Throw a bed cover or shell on it and you have dry, lockable storage and seating for 5-6. Pop of the bed cover and haul stuff. How much more American does it get?

But yeah, if your ego is delicate, you need a lifted, straight piped, diesel one-ton of your choice.
 

rockmyglock

Online Training Member
Apr 3, 2011
122
16
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Idaho
#29
I bartered a MSR water filter for a 99 Passat Wagon. Replaced the brakes and I have a pretty fuel efficient vehicle that fits a full size pelican case and can be used as hard shelter with the seats folded down.

~$400 into it and it's a dedicated vehicle for travelling to matches.
 
Likes: DevilDoc27
Jun 8, 2009
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Lexington, KY
#32
I would love a big ass four door truck, however I really can’t complain about the versatility and gas mileage I get from my Subaru Forester. It has decent ground clearance and the AWD is great. It can hold plenty of gear and handles like a car, which is great for small makeshift parking areas at some matches.
 
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CavScout85

Online Training Member
Jan 22, 2018
268
213
43
WNC
#33
I would love a big ass four door truck, however I really can’t complain about the versatility and gas mileage I get from my Subaru Forester. It has decent ground clearance and the AWD is great. It can hold plenty of gear and handles like a car, which is great for small makeshift parking areas at some matches.
Meh, make your own parking. :)

download.jpg
 
#34
I vote f150. The f250 costs as much as a small homes. I can vouch for the gas mileage the same is the Tacoma. I traded the Tacoma in on an f150. MUCH more room and the same gas mileage. The new Echo boost engines are great. The new diesel that came out this year gets even better mpg. And with the 32 gal tank. You can drive three weeks on a single fill up depending on how much you drive.
 
May 12, 2013
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#35
I'm on my second Ford Raptor.

I don't get terrific gas mileage but to be honest I'm not doing much worse then a Tacoma or old F-250 and I'm on 37's (35's stock)

Best vehicle I've owned and perfect for pretty much everything you throw at it
 
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W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
3,004
2,765
113
Dallas, TX
#36
Not what you want to do, but I drive an accord hybrid & get 50+ mpg on my daily commute & it's comfortable and plush.
I can put a Barrett in the factory pelican case in the back seat (the rifle comes in two to fit into the case).

If your rifle is one of the AI rifles with a folding stock & you have the right case, you can carry it easily in most cars.
 
Jul 13, 2012
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Birmingham, AL
#40
Truck, every single time but I also have to haul a tractor a lot. I can use work trucks for hauling so I bought a car for a while for lower costs because I put so many miles on my vehicles. I missed having a truck every single day 😂.

I bought one of the Sierra’s with the 6.2L’s in it back when they were doing 20% off but I think I’d go with a Ford with the 5.0 now because the 10 speeds they have in the fords now are excellent. I agree the Raptor is probably the most fun but $$$ and I’ve had an F250 diesel before and they drive amazing these days but $60k for a basic 4 door 4x4 is crazy unless you’re using it for work and have a way it makes sense for taxes haha.

ETA: if you don’t have to haul anything too heavy and don’t care about impressing the ladies too much haha, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawks with the 5.7 drive a lot better than a truck and are way better off road and You don’t see too many of them on the road which is nice but they cost about the same.
 
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Thunderhorse

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
219
75
28
Central MO
#42
New Tacoma have the same MPG as an F150/Tundra though, so whats the advantage (besides insurance costs)?
Tacomas get about the same mileage as an F150 or Ram/GM 1500 (assuming its a V6 Taco). Tundras will get about 4 MPG less, the rest of their line is pretty fuel efficient (prius/hybrids) so they don't really do anything to help their trucks' MPG like Ford/Ram/GM do.

I have to agree that a truck is the most useful vehicle you can own though. Other than hauling more than 6 people it will do anything an SUV will (with a camper shell), and the ability to add a trailer means you'll likely never be short on space.

Unless you are pulling a trailer that really needs the power though I'd recommend a gasser over a diesel. It sounds like a half ton will do it for you, but if you do go HD then maintenance and initial cost will never be outweighed by their fuel savings compared to a gasser. Aside from not having to worry about emissions equipment related issues, 3/4 ton diesels don't even make sense; they add about 1000 lbs to the truck's weight, so that gets cut out of payload capacity (which is GVWR-curb weight)-someof the higher trim 3/4 ton diesels have lower payloads than some half tons, like 1800-2200 lbs. If you are actually towing a trailer that you need a diesel to pull, then you realistically are going to need a 1 ton to handle the pin weight along with any passengers or cargo. IMHO most people who get 3/4 ton diesels just want a diesel and get the lowest class they can get one in, not because they need it.

Anyway, you probably would be best served by either an extended or crew cab 1/2 ton. Take your pick of brands, I don't want to start a pissing match, they're all pretty good anymore. Some offer a little more tech or a few more incentives.
 
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bobke

Sergeant
Sep 17, 2010
675
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Tx Hill Country
#44
I have a 2012 VW Touareg TDI that is chipped and still averages 26-27, depending on how you drive it. Has 160k miles from commuting to SA every day, but with a couple of vehicles sold has become the bride’s ride. Back seats don’t fold all the way down, but it’ll hold 4-5 rifles and their supporting gear, off-road capable, handles great and very comfortable long range rig.
So that migration reqd I get myself another vehicle and settled with low mileage ‘15 GMC 4x4 PU. Needs a trifold rear cover for some level of security and a few other bits, but will go most everywhere, do most everything. 19-21mpg so far.
 
Feb 10, 2017
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Tuscaloosa, AL
#45
ETA: if you don’t have to haul anything too heavy and don’t care about impressing the ladies too much haha, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawks with the 5.7 drive a lot better than a truck and are way better off road and You don’t see too many of them on the road which is nice but they cost about the same.

Those are nice looking, but I’ve heard mixed reviews of Jeep/Chrystler Group reliability and maintenence issues over time compared to Toyota/Ford. Any thoughts?
 

Thunderhorse

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
219
75
28
Central MO
#46
Those are nice looking, but I’ve heard mixed reviews of Jeep/Chrystler Group reliability and maintenence issues over time compared to Toyota/Ford. Any thoughts?
He means the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee is based off of a FWD platform. The Grand Cherokee (and Durango which is basically the 3 row version) is built on the same architecture as the Mercedes GL SUVs. The 8HP transmissions they are using are about as bulletproof as a stock auto comes, and the 5.7 is the same engine commonly found in their half tons and used in trucks as big as 1 ton duallies-albeit with a different tune
 
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CavScout85

Online Training Member
Jan 22, 2018
268
213
43
WNC
#49
Subaru Ouback or Forester , with a lockable box for firearms and valuables . With the back seats
down , you can sleep in the back if you have to . According to Doc Beech , I am actually a lesbian
for driving a Subaru , and I must buy a Jeep immediately : ) .

I had an outback for awhile, and an 06 LJ. I actually saw an article that ranked the Jeep as higher on the lesbian scale than the outback. :)

True story, I fit 4, 35" Jeep wheels and tires into the back of that outback. And there's no doubt they have about the best AWD system out there.
 
Feb 10, 2017
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Tuscaloosa, AL
#50
He means the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee is based off of a FWD platform. The Grand Cherokee (and Durango which is basically the 3 row version) is built on the same architecture as the Mercedes GL SUVs. The 8HP transmissions they are using are about as bulletproof as a stock auto comes, and the 5.7 is the same engine commonly found in their half tons and used in trucks as big as 1 ton duallies-albeit with a different tune
Yeah I knew he meant the Grand Cherokee. I did not know it had that pedigree with the Mercedes though. My wife wants a kitted out white 4-Runner, but I’m looking at an F-150, Tacoma, or MAYBE an SUV (4-Runner/Jeep Grand Cherrokee Trailhawk).

My first car was an 2002 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4. Loved it. Currently in a 2009 Camry v4. Trying to figure out if I want an SUV again or a truck with a camper.

Loving this thread.