Need some guidance

Dec 14, 2009
12
2
3
30
North Dakota
#1
Now that my health issues are under control, I figure it's time for me to continue my research to get into this hobby of precision shooting. I think it will be easier to list what I want to accomplish right now instead of writing a wall of text. Hopefully from there, you fine folks can steer me to other resources or give me suggestions. I currently shoot a 30-06, but am retiring this rifle as it is insanely heavy (custom built by my grandfather 15+ years ago; by no means was saving weight on his agenda - this guy is heavy!)

What I want to accomplish right now:
- Consistent accuracy up to about 600 yards
- Hunting (I'd love to do large game hunting; currently just deer hunt)

What I've been looking at:
.308
6.5 Creedmoor (Very brief research)
.270
.243

Also note: Budget is not of huge concern, but for a first project, I don't want to have to dig real deep. I am open to spending some cash to get quality though.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm even trying to ask of you folks other than maybe some guidance of what's not worth looking at, what fits my goals better, personal recommendations, etc. I'm just looking to start out and get my feet wet. I'm not overly sure what I'm doing to be honest... lol
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,745
1,003
113
Arizona, good place for me...
#2
For the target application, any of the mentioned chamberings would be fine. For hunting, start at the heavy bullet end of the selections first.

For off-the-shelf distance and accuracy, I like the Savage Predator. My own preference is for the .260, but the 6.5CM has become more popular of late. Hunting needs suggest a 3-9x scope, and a 50mm Objective lens for lower light conditions. I also have a liking for the Weaver V-16 Classic or V-24 Classic where longer range and/or precision is a must.

Despite a shorter, lighter barrel, I have had excellent accuracy out of the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .30-'06. I prefer the 30-'06 for bigger game. Maybe not the best chambering for long range sessions, the .30-'06 does come factory loaded in 125gr lower recoil loads. Mine actually placed 4th in an NJ State Sniper Championship, and also won local Deer Rifle club matches. It was a fine marriage with Federal 168gr Gold Medal Match, and Winchester 165gr Super-X Power Point.

If you handload, I have a Fed GMM close-equivalent 30-06 load: Win Brass, CCI BR-2 (or CCI-200), 168SMK (or 165SGK), and 48.1gr of IMR-4064. This is a relatively mild load and will also work successfully in the M-1 Garand without creating excessive stress in the rifle. The 165gr load is excellent for whitetails. For target, not long range (I.e., not over 500-600yd or so), 150SMK (or 150SBT) and 50.0gr of IMR-4064, also appropriate for the Garand (150FMJBT).

For what you're suggesting, a custom rifle would not be my choice, and the Savage line is completely revamped for this season. While others will favor other brands, I've been completely satisfied with my Savage (and Winchester, and Remington, etc.,) rifles for several decades now. My only actual custom rifle is a 260 built on a 2001 Savage 10FP action, and began 1000yd F Open competition in 2002, continuing on until about 2006, when family health concerns became a more dominant part of my life. I still shoot it at 300yd with handloads and love doing it (it is an absolute laser with 95gr Hornady V-Max's at 3200fps - 41.0gr of IMR-4064).

While I call it a custom, it's not that heavily worked over. Blueprinted, with a Lothar-Walther 28" 1:8" barrel with a 260 Rem SAAMI spec chamber, and the bolt lift force reduction modification, it resides in a factory pillar bedded 2002 McMillan A3 Tactical stock, has an EGW 20MOA Base, and a Mueller 8-32x44 Target Dot Scope in Vortex 30mm medium height six-screw rings. The L-W barrel has been on since around 2003, and has held up quite well over the years.

Greg
 
Last edited:

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
4,445
1,403
113
Central TX
#3
Whats large game to you? Mule deer or elk or elephant?

For targets I would go 6.5 or 308. 270 would be the best all around hunting I think but its not so much fun for target so I wold leave that behind in 3rd place. 243 is fine but a bit of a barrel burner if you intend to shoot it a lot and I wouldnt trust it on any truly large game.

Budget? For some 500 is a lot, for some 1,500 isnt much at all. Do you reload? How much are you wanting to shot? An hour a month or four hours every weekend or every day?
 

ShtrRdy

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2011
1,527
138
63
64
High Plains
#4
It sounds like you would like to specify a hunting rifle to allow you to reliably shoot out to 600 yds. You mentioned Deer as the large game to go after. Are you also thinking about Elk , Carabou, or Moosein the Future?

Are you wanting a custom built or would you consider a factory build with the possibility you might have to have work done to get it where you want?
 
Dec 14, 2009
12
2
3
30
North Dakota
#5
For the target application, any of the mentioned chamberings would be fine. For hunting, start at the heavy bullet end of the selections first.

For off-the-shelf distance and accuracy, I like the Savage Predator. My own preference is for the .260, but the 6.5CM has become more popular of late. Hunting needs suggest a 3-9x scope, and a 50mm Objective lens for lower light conditions. I also have a liking for the Weaver V-16 Classic or V-24 Classic where longer range and/or precision is a must.

Despite a shorter, lighter barrel, I have had excellent accuracy out of the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .30-'06. I prefer the 30-'06 for bigger game. Maybe not the best chambering for long range sessions, the .30-'06 does come factory loaded in 125gr lower recoil loads. Mine actually placed 4th in an NJ State Sniper Championship, and also won local Deer Rifle club matches. It was a fine marriage with Federal 168gr Gold Medal Match, and Winchester 165gr Super-X Power Point.

If you handload, I have a Fed GMM close-equivalent 30-06 load: Win Brass, CCI BR-2 (or CCI-200), 168SMK (or 165SGK), and 48.1gr of IMR-4064. This is a relatively mild load and will also work successfully in the M-1 Garand without creating excessive stress in the rifle. The 165gr load is excellent for whitetails. For target, not long range (I.e., not over 500-600yd or so), 150SMK (or 150SBT) and 50.0gr of IMR-4064, also appropriate for the Garand (150FMJBT).

For what you're suggesting, a custom rifle would not be my choice, and the Savage line is completely revamped for this season. While others will favor other brands, I've been completely satisfied with my Savage (and Winchester, and Remington, etc.,) rifles for several decades now. My only actual custom rifle is a 260 built on a 2001 Savage 10FP action, and began 1000yd F Open competition in 2002, continuing on until about 2006, when family health concerns became a more dominant part of my life. I still shoot it at 300yd with handloads and love doing it (it is an absolute laser with 95gr Hornady V-Max's at 3200fps - 41.0gr of IMR-4064).

While I call it a custom, it's not that heavily worked over. Blueprinted, with a Lothar-Walther 28" 1:8" barrel with a 260 Rem SAAMI spec chamber, and the bolt lift force reduction modification, it resides in a factory pillar bedded 2002 McMillan A3 Tactical stock, has an EGW 20MOA Base, and a Mueller 8-32x44 Target Dot Scope in Vortex 30mm medium height six-screw rings. The L-W barrel has been on since around 2003, and has held up quite well over the years.

Greg
Thank you for the information!

Whats large game to you? Mule deer or elk or elephant?

For targets I would go 6.5 or 308. 270 would be the best all around hunting I think but its not so much fun for target so I wold leave that behind in 3rd place. 243 is fine but a bit of a barrel burner if you intend to shoot it a lot and I wouldnt trust it on any truly large game.

Budget? For some 500 is a lot, for some 1,500 isnt much at all. Do you reload? How much are you wanting to shot? An hour a month or four hours every weekend or every day?
I do not currently reload, but foresee myself getting into it once I get into this hobby more and more. I can see myself shooting 3-5 hours a month starting out and as I get more hooked, that will probably increase.

It sounds like you would like to specify a hunting rifle to allow you to reliably shoot out to 600 yds. You mentioned Deer as the large game to go after. Are you also thinking about Elk , Carabou, or Moosein the Future?

Are you wanting a custom built or would you consider a factory build with the possibility you might have to have work done to get it where you want?
I hunt deer currently. Large game would be moose, elk, bear, caribou. I'm leaning towards my first rifle to probably be mostly factory, but I would definitely like to get into the realm of custom in the near future.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,745
1,003
113
Arizona, good place for me...
#6
About handloading, one of the enticements (to me in the early 1990's) was the idea of saving cash, and at the time, I was shooting mainly handgun, and loading mainly 45ACP. Well that never happened. Then I started shooting rifle, and that's when my handloading took off to another level. My justification changed, to become accuracy and ammunition that best delivered accuracy in my rifles.

I went off the deep end learning and applying every tech trick and technique that had some reasonable chance of earning me points in comp. Soon, I was a handloader who actually got out to shoot sometimes. I had to draw a line; several in fact.

These days I see handloading as a necessary evil, and have lately been trying out some flavors of factory match-ish ammo. I'm becoming a believer in IMI and Frontier. To me, doing the more basic steps with good diligence, and investing in a decent automated powder dispenser (RCBS Chargemaster Lite), has delivered a good compromise between handloading excess, and minimal effort. I sacrifice some accuracy, but less than I'd thought, and I'm no longer a slave to the charging handle.

Also, at 72, one should only stock up on so much ammunition before it becomes a legacy to be left for the next generation.

Greg
 
Last edited:

ShtrRdy

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2011
1,527
138
63
64
High Plains
#7
I've been thinking more about your request and answers. If there is a good chance you would be hunting the larger game such as Elk, I would go with a 300 Win Mag. If you will be hunting Deer mostly i would go with your suggestions of .308 or .270. Then if somehow you got a chancee for Elk those would work but you would have to have a closer shot.

For Factory guns check out others experience with Tika, Sako, Christensen Arms, or Bergara. A Remington 5R would likely work nice too.
 
Feb 14, 2017
429
123
43
#9
Barrett Fieldcraft if you wanna go light.

or

Tikka CTR if you wanna go on the heavy side.

I'd do either in 6.5 Creedmoor, shoot the Hornady 147 eld-m factory ammo and go flatten some stuff.