GUN Cheaper to build a long-range rifle or buy?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by CString, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. CString

    CString New Member

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    Since AR stuff is sold out and/or taking a ridiculously long time, I was thinking maybe I should get a bolt-action of some sort. I have no patience :o Probably based on a 700 or something similar. Build something custom or try to find something already done? What does OTWMD think?
     
  2. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    What kinda of AR do you want?
     
  3. CString

    CString New Member

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    i was just going to build an m4gery.
    edit: with just a R700 action and McMillan A3 i'm up to like $850
     
  4. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    You can still piece together the parts for an AR just not going to be an ultra precise shooter
     
  5. What is your level of skill and what are you looking to get out of the rifle?
     
  6. CString

    CString New Member

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    fairly good shooter. been shooting since i was ~5 thanks to a grandpa in the army. i know i can get a sub-MOA rifle out of the box for a decent price, but i would like consistancy at fairly long range. i have a place to shoot where i could possibly shoot 800yds. i also want something that's going to be comfortable to shoot. kinda picky...that's why i was thinking about building. if you have a suggestion of something out of the box that will be good then i'll check it out. that way i can spend more money on glass.
     
  7. The generic answer here would be to pick up a Remington 700. There are lots of aftermarket options that you can look at in the future. As far as building a rifle, by the time you get done selecting your parts, and having a competent gunsmith put it all together, you're looking at a hell of a lot of money. It's always possible to buy something used and save a lot of money, but there are a lot of variables that you don't know in that case related to the care the rifle's been given and how much life the barrel has left, etc... I know you mentioned an optic as well, for really accurate shooting at extended range, you're well out of the realm of the mid-priced stuff, and into the serious high-end optics. I'd budget at least $1000 for a scope if you're planning to shoot at real long range.

    800 yards is a pretty long range, you're getting out to the useful limit of cartridges like the .308 there. If you're serious about shooting real long range like that, you might be best served looking into something along the lines of a .300 Win Mag. Another caliber to consider for something like that would be the .300 WSM, which is ballistically similar to the .300 Win Mag, but will work with a short action. Keep in mind, I'm not saying that a specific caliber is necessarily better than another, but at the kind of ranges you're talking about, caliber choice definitely matters.

    Another issue is ammunition. While there is good factory ammo available, to get the most potential out of a rifle like you're describing at the range you're describing it's going to be mandatory to load your own cartridges. If you don't have the equipment/knowledge to load for this purpose, that's another thing to consider.
     
  8. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    If you want to build it, pick up a 700 SPS and build from there. If you want to go buy something, look into Tikka T3s or Savage rifles.
     
  9. CString

    CString New Member

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    Didn't really think about needing to do my own loading. Thanks for all the info. Looks like you've had a lot of experience with this. Maybe I should just pick up a 700 for now and splurge on optics. I can change out all the goodies over time and make into what I want it to be.
     
  10. I don't mean to be discouraging, there's really good commercial match ammo out there, but if you're looking to shoot really impressive groups at 800 yards, you really should be loading yourself. There's a ton of variables that go into ammo, and you can use them to your advantage for your specific rifle if you handload. Commercial ammo has to work in all rifles, so it's far from optimized for a specific chamber. Also, if you're considering a "serious" caliber up in the .300 Win Mag / .300 WSM range, you'll bankrupt yourself buying commercial ammo all the time.
     
  11. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I'm going to be brutally honest.

    First most people can't shoot with a damn and don't know enough to even guess at where to begin.

    First thing is to get a rifle that you can learn to shoot long range with. Now what one person considers long range maybe as short as 200 yards, while another does not consider anything long range until you get past 600 to 1000.

    Being able to shoot long range does not mean just having a rifle that is dialed in to shoot at a certain distance. A real rifleman can read wind and distance, knows his hold overs or adjustments to dope for various distances.

    My suggestion is to start with the most basic remington 700 in 308 and put the rest of your money into glass. The 308 is going to be the least expensive of the medium caliber cartridges. The life of the barrel is going to be greater also compared to the large caliber stuff such as 300 win mag, etc.

    Take this starter rifle and shoot the snot out of it. Learn to make wind calls, dope for distance, etc. When you shoot the barrel out you would of learned a bunch and you can rebarrel and build the rifle out in another caliber if you choose.

    We could talk glass and ammo but that is a whole other novel to type in itself.
     
  12. I agree with pretty much everything above as practical advice. I do take issue with the barrel life point though. If you shoot in an controlled manner and don't get the barrel too hot, something like a .300 Win Mag has a 2000+ round life expectancy. By the time you've shot 2000 rounds, the price of the barrel is a fraction of the cost of the ammo. Hopefully by that time you'll have increased your skills enough that you'll really benefit from having a better barrel fitted. Additionally, unless you're a really serious shooter, you'll take a while to send 2000+ rounds downrange. Now, I'm not arguing for the .300 over the .308 here, just pointing out that barrel life shouldn't really be a determining factor here.
     
  13. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    Just like distance I guess round count is subjective. Even with a bolt gun if I did not shoot at least 100 rounds per range session I would not feel I made an effort. I would probably do many more than that. As much as I shoot I look for something I don't have to rebarrel more than once a year.
     
  14. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    Speaking of Barrel life whats the barrel life of a 4140 barrel vs stainless steel on 223?
     
  15. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    223 in general has a long barrel life as far as rifle calibers go. 10k +
     
  16. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    Do you think its worth $400 for a Stainless Steel Match Barrel 20" Fluted first 12" not sure what barrel prices were before the election.
     
  17. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    For what gun a remington 700 or AR?
     
  18. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    AR WOA 20" "SDR" Barrel
     
  19. phrozenlikwid

    phrozenlikwid New Member

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    In regards to the original stainless question: Nothing that you would notice. I doubt many people would shoot enough, or keep a rifle long enough to wear out a decent stainless tube under reasonably sane firing rates with a 223 boltgun. Stainless still trumps CM tubes, as they are generally better finished on the interior, and fend atmospheric abuses much better.


    As far as the bolt gun debate, it appears I'm late to the party. Yar and MG pretty much wrapped this shit up and stole my thunder.

    To reiterate: It doesn't sound from your post like you have much experience shooting that kind of range. That's not a slam, but I don't think you realize the skill set, or equipment involved. I don't care for a 308, but since you don't reload, a 308 is pretty much your only option by default. Look for a steal on a used 700 (Think 700P, 7005R, 700VS**, or likewise) and spend as much money on glass as you can, plus 1/3. Bad glass will fuck you hard, and only serve to piss you off in the longrun.

    Also, if you are seriously wanting to shoot out there, wrap your mind around the concept that the BULLET MEANS EVERYTHING, and read up on why this is so. Cliffs of that lesson will be to call up Cor-Bon/FederalGMM/etc and find rounds with these bullets: 168SMK(shit), 168AMAX (better by a bit), 175SMK(better), or 155Scenar(BEST). Save the 168's for shooting <500, and the 175's and 155's when you are shooting way out there.

    You didn't put a price tag, so I have no idea what you are planning on spending. There are multiple ways for a thrifty shopper to save money on various components, and even more money to be saved if you can do small tasks yourself. I always recommend and prefer to piece shit together myself for cheap, but I suppose not everyone is like that.
     
  20. phrozenlikwid

    phrozenlikwid New Member

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    I'd pay the extra $$, but I'm a stainless whore. Fuck your chrome-lining, and pass me the good shit for anything other than a ball-burper.

    That's gonna be a heavy fucker though, what are you planning on doing with the build?
     
  21. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    2lbs 8oz for the barrel. Wanna get into Match shooting with it. Although Ill be out for a good 6months come January and not sure if prices will have skyrocketed more by than or not
     
  22. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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  23. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    And I'd like to say don't be intimidated by reloading, especially with the relatively low volume shooting you'd be doing with something like this. If you're on a budget my ammo can reloading setup will you get you going cheap and you can easily turn out 100-200 rounds when you're bored.
     
  24. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I'm a JP rifle whore. They make the best barrel in my opinion. Check out www.jprifles.com

    Not really framilar with the NRA hipower stuff but I'm sure a JP 20" heavy barrel would be fine. Of course for 3 gun the 18" light weight and the 16" ultra light are what all the fast guys seem to be running.
     
  25. You're talking specifically about AR barrels, right?
     

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