Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Selecting a Rifle:

I would appreciate some advice on the selection of a rifle and accessories. I'd appreciate any assistance you folks can provide.

In general, I'm looking for a very accurate rifle that I can hunt with as well as practice long-range marksmanship. I've budgeted something in the range of $1,000 to $1,500 dollars, but have no qualms about spending less (or a bit more, if justified). I've been leaning towards bolt-actions since I can fire-form the brass for more accuracy, but I also like being able to follow up quickly, so the jury is still out. The calibers I've been looking at are 300 Win Mag, 7mm Remington Magnum, and good old 7.62 NATO (if I go semiauto). I don't know from optics. I assume Leupold is good since Jane's lists several national sniper weapons as carrying the scopes (and usually chambered in 300 Win Mag, if not 7.62).

What I'd like to know is where I could get educated advice on these matters, and (time permitting) some pointers on some of the general issues such as action, caliber, scope factors and rifle construction someone should look at before buying a rifle for sniper use.

Brian Bascom <>
Texas USA - Wednesday, October 21, 1998 at 00:38:13 (EDT) 

Brian: You've asked the most difficult question we face here at Sniper Country, what rifle to buy. At $1,000 to $1,500, you can get a good rifle, optics, rings and mounts and maybe even some gunsmithing. I won't recommend one rifle manufacturer over another, Remington, Ruger, Savage, and Winchester all have their pluses and minuses. Think about where you want to go with the rifle in the future. Will you bed? Rebarrel? Etc. .308 is probably better than .300 Win Mag for two reasons: Newer shooters are likely to develop a flinch when shooting the .300 (more kick); .300 Win Mag barrels have a shorter life. I like the .300 Win Mag (and not just because Bob Hodge, Cory Wilson, and Dave Whidden shoot them!), but if you are starting out, it's probably not the caliber for you.

7mm is also a good, flat cartridge, but I wouldn't recommend it, at least for someone starting out. There is far more gear and data available for the .308 shooter than there is for the 7mm shooter. Yes, you can find it or calculate it (as the case may be), but it's going to be harder. Spend your time shooting and learning the rifle.

I will recommend that you buy very good glass and a durable mount and rings combo. Tasco's Tactical scopes and Leupold's Vari-X III lines are good and these scopes go for $400 to $550 (rough guess). B&L has dropped the price of their tactical to $750, roughly, and that's a great scope. I will admit to a preference for a scope with a 30mm tube, and the best-priced scope so equipped is probably the Tasco.

That's enough for now on this subject.


Mr. Bain <>
Anytime, Anywhere USA - Wednesday, October 21, 1998 at 01:42:24 (EDT) 

Brian: I'll dive right in on this as your budget is realistic and allows you some nice options. First on optics. If you want a great tactical scope that can double as a hunting scope, there is but one choice. The Vari-X III 3.5-10x Long Range M3. Why? This scope can be had for $675 with mil-dots ($520 without) and it is an ideal size for both a tactical rifle and a hunting rig. At 19.5 ounces it is not burdensome and the variable option will make it ideal for hunting. It comes with elevation turrets for the .223, .308, 30-06 and the .300 Win mag. It also has click marks for MOA so you can tailer the turret for your load.

I'd go with a redfield scope mount to stay with in your budget as these can be had, rings and bases, for about $35. The Leupold dual Dove tail system is very nice too.

If you want more strength by all means move right up to the Leupold Mk4 mount system or look into some of the higher end ring/base systems from Badger Ordanance. These will cost you anywhere from $185 for a complete Mk4 system to $250 for the specialty systems.

As far as a rifle? Depends on what you really want to do. If hunting is the primary goal but you still want to retain a moderate weight, the Rem 700 VS is a fair choice as the H.S. Precision stock is not of a super heavy contour. This rifle will perform right with the 700P and is usually priced around $450 to $500. If you end up only using the rig as a deer rifle there is little need for the heavy barrel on the VS and you could settle on any number of traditional hunting rifles like the 700 ADL or Winshester line.

Caliber choice? Again, for hunting it doesn't really matter. They all are effective on deer and most American game. If for some reason you do not want a .308 I'd research the 7mm-08, or one of the other medium 7mm calibers. Magnums are not ideal for new shooters and are not all that efficient in terms of cost and practice. Nobody likes to practice all day with a .300 WM! For hunting you'd be better served with a moderately recoiling cartridge that will allow you to shoot consistently and accurately. The .308 is a good all around choice but you may want to move up to some of the .280s in terms of power. These will shoot well with out an undue beating to the shooter. Heck, the 30-06 ain't a bad choice by any means! Me? I'd go with the .308 as there is so much data for it, it performs well on most American game, it is inherently accurate and is a good tactical round. But jsut to confuse you the 7mm's are also very desirable as they have high BC's and are very efficient burners. Of course, if you move up to a long action you'll have to purchase a Sendaro or equivelent form another manufacturer. The idea here is to buy a rifle that will need little modification out of the box. Avoid wood stocks unless you just love the look. If you have to have one, get a laminate.

Wow. I think I just beat Rick B. at long answers! Good luck!
Scott <>
USA - Wednesday, October 21, 1998 at 18:07:14 (EDT) 

Brian: Gas guns. I love mine, a Springfield Super Match M21, but you can't get one for $1,500. About the only worthwhile .308 semi-auto sniper-quality rifle available is the AR-10 by Armalite. Unfortunately, you might not have much left for a scope and rings!


Mr. Bain <>
Anytime, Anywhere USA - Wednesday, October 21, 1998 at 18:40:49 (EDT) 

Brian - Ignore Mr. Bain, he may look young but he has an old appetite that matches Gramps and they both like those M21s. No, seriously, if you are going to do just paper shooting, the M21 would work well, but that would bust your budget! Those suckers run for more than 1500 on a good day. The AR 10 is another good choice for semi, but why go there. The rapid follow on shot with a semi has a tendency to miss the same amount as the first shot, while a bolt forces you to re-aquire the target. You may be slower, however you can operate a bolt as fast as you like while you must wait for the gas to operate a semi :-), but the tendency to shoot too fast is not there. I would put my money into the .308 bolt gun as mentioned by Scott. This gives you a lower inital outlay, with the ability to add on as your money becomes available. Also, since you will have gun time with the rifle you will know what you want. I would stay away from long action rounds, 7mm and .300 Mag, unless you are going to become a world class long range shooter right off the bat. The barrels burn out between 500 and 1500 rounds. This means that you would be changeing, and buying, barrels whenyou could be buying some neat new scope, trigger, stock, or whatever. On the scope I would opt for the new M3 LR by leupold or the B&L Tactical. I do not have any experience with the Tasco, but they do have good glass and if that other guy Mr. Bain recommends it, then it must be good. Honestly, you need to decide how many rounds you are going to shoot a year, what type of shooting, the range of most of your shots, and how recoil sensitive you are, before you can really decide what you want. This is a case where bigger is not necessarily better! Good Luck with your choices and have fun shooting!

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Wednesday, October 21, 1998 at 21:43:43 (EDT) 

Brian, might I make a sugesstion. Budget some money for cleaning supplies as well as decent optics, Tasco TS 6x24 is a good one for $200. It has a 1/8 target dot in the center of rectical that seems to naturaly draw ones eye to it. Its not a high price scope but it works well enough on small varmints a loonngg way out there.

Get a Rem 700 if only for the addons and accessories are more attainable. A Vs is basically the same as a PSS. The rifle is reviewed on this site under product reviews (I think).As far as caliber. Stick to the common calibers .223,.308 or 7.62,30-06 for cheap military ammo to burn up at the range. For about $500-$550 your getting a good action,heavy barrel,great stock.

For short range shooting 0-300 yards a .223 might be something to look at. Espeacialy if your target is paper or no bigger than a coyote.

Don't get me wrong here, but a lot of people want to run before learning to walk. Having a rifle capable of shooting 1000 yards and accually doing it are to separate things. My advise to the newcommer is to start small (closer) then work your way out.

click here <>
Somewhere, ny USA - Thursday, October 22, 1998 at 01:03:36 (EDT) 

You've all ready got some of the best advice you'll get on weapon and caliber selection and I agree with what they said but I will throw out one more option for you. I would recommend that you also consider the new 260 Remington. You get the best of all worlds with this round, great tactical round, great hunting round, balistics of a 300wm with the recoil of a 243, great bullet selection and short action. I have done a lot of research on theis round and its going to be a winner!! I was a hard sell until or friend Torf made me do some research and he was right!!!
Pat <>
USA - Thursday, October 22, 1998 at 08:39:19 (EDT) 
Brian: One more thing to condiser on claiber choice: If you do plan on eventually punching paper at 1000 yards, the .308 is actually pretty good at this. You needn't jump up to a magnum to be successful. This is traditionally accomplished by careful selection the projectile as well as good handloading techniques, but with the introduction of the federal Gold Medal GM2 (175 gr HPBT) you needn't even do that.

If you really are not going to be shooting much at those kind of ranges, some of the other medium caliber choices are equally good and may even exceed the ability ot the .308 win. In fact that .260 mentioned above is a good one. So to are some of the 6.5mm's and a plethora of 7mm's. Choices, Choices.... ;-)
Scott <>
USA - Thursday, October 22, 1998 at 08:56:29 (EDT) 

Many thanks to the fine folks who posted answers on this site as well as responding offline to my question about rifle selection. Now I'm going to stir the pot a bit, given the sophistication of the advice I've received, and mention a couple of other details. If they make a difference on what you'd advise, please let me know. If not, well, thanks to SniperCountry for letting me hog another 600 bytes...

I just returned from a tour in Bosnia, and know my way around an M-16 as well as a number of the 7.62mm rifles of our little NATO buddies. I have a Dillon reloader and a PACT chrono, and use them both for my pistols. The hunting applications of the rifle I want will mainly be deer; however, I want it to handle elk and maybe moose (meese?). My budget of $1,000-1,500 includes the rifle, optics, and any coatings or treatments (anyone?), but spotting scopes, cleaning gear, drag bags and the like don't have to fit in that budget window - my wife isn't as diligent about checking the workshop for unfamiliar extras as she is about checking the safe for new guns...

Again, thanks.
Brian Bascom <>
Texas USA - Friday, October 23, 1998 at 01:20:53 (EDT) 

You like making things tough. The caliber wouldn't be so tough but the different application's are. You don't want a heavy hunting rifle and you don't want a light target rifle. It's like trying to drive a race car to work, it just doesn't work!! You will have to decide which kind of shooting you will be doing the most of and lean that way. Some light barrel rifles will really shoot but not long, in other words once they start to heat up you accuracy will start to deterioate. If your going to do both and intend on shooting elk go with the 308. Just my thoughts for what there worth.
Pat <>
USA - Friday, October 23, 1998 at 08:41:39 (EDT) 
Stumbled across this site, got excited about long range shooting, read and studied, now I am more confused about rifles, calibers and optics then I was before I started.

1. What are the 3 main calibers for long range and sniping and why? From what I have read it is the .308, but with better long range ballistics from a 300 mag or 7mm I don't understand why.
2. What is the best optical combination? From what I have read, most people do not like the 50 objective due to it's height off the barrel. Most people think that a 1" tube is best because of weight. Most people like fixed rather than variable. If these observations are so, why the preponderance of 50mm lenses with 30mm tubes for "tactical purposes"?
3. Are mildots better than a duplex if you have a range finder?
4. In the magazine Precision Shooter, I rarely read about standard calibers and cartridges being used for long range shooting. Would not a calber such a a .257 be just as good, lighter to carry and have less recoil than the calibers in No.1?

I think it would be great for sniper country to come up with a simple questionaire addressing the equipment, calibers, etc. your readership uses on a daily basis. It might help rookies like me get a better start. Any help from this audience would be appreciated.

Mike Bolt <>
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Sunday, November 01, 1998 at 22:23:09 (EST) 

MIke regarding your Sniper Country post and questions.
They are very legitimate questions based upon what you have seen there.
When you say long range shooting you are needing to specify a few things.
I hate to answer questions with questions but are you talking long range target shooting where a hole in the paper center is the end result or a tight group is a winner?
Are you talking about Sniper work in a Military Sense where concealment and survival is as important as the ability to mark a hit and where a hit of any kind will stop an enemy requiring his comrades to come to his aid thus slowing their ability to wage war.
Or are you talking about counter-sniper work or counter insurgency where you may be called upon to operate in Urban or Airport environment to take out a perp before he can trigger a bomb or snuff a hostage?
Are you talking about Sniper Activity such as the common usage of the term once was. You find the target creep up on him and turn out his lights for love of government or money?
You see all these things are related to very accurate and/or long range shooting and all are served with different equipment at times and the ultimate choice depends somewhat on what the purpose will be.
Or are you as many of the sniper country buffs are part time hunters of Varmints or Big Game animals and just like the idea of a good portable hard shooting multipurpose rifle and want one rifle to handle all your operations including a survival rifle if things go to hell in a hand bag?
Not a simple question you ask!
If the first option "Targets" is the cause you may be served better with large heavy barreled rifles with stiff actions, customized to the N'th degree by master gun smiths and sporting wildcat caliber's that burn out barrels quickly (rarely including the common belted magnums) big bucks and heavy weight maximum cost to optics and hardware is the order of the day. Ammo is customized and loaded under lab conditions with particular attention to all details.
If its Military you probably want rugged and camoed guns with minimumprofile (smaller objectives). The weapon would require that many shots be fired without accuracy going to pot. Ammunition would be factory loaded or military issue and it should be capable of operating in any kind of environment. One could hardly be expected to beat the Marine Sniper rifle in .308 for this purpose with a scope probably 1" tube with 40mm objective being about maximum without special precautions for visibility presuming the enemy will be looking back. The M3-30mm Leupold with the side parallax control and 1" clicks would be a very fine scope for this application. A weight of less than 11 pounds overall would be about maximum if retreat becomes the order of the day.
If it's law enforcement/counter sniper operations the requirements could vary but keeping the fact you specified long range. We could use any kind of intimidating weapon up to .50 caliber except for the fact that the agency would not allow it (overkill they would/might say). I would probably prefer a .300 win magnum or one of the good 7's with enforced design and accuracy that would allow a 1moa accuracy under allconditions and might weigh in a little heavy. .223 in enhanced accuracy AR-15's is a very good choice for close range hostage situations or in perp encounters with terrorists up to about 300 yards. I would not
rule out the Police Model 700 remington topped with the M-3 30mm Leupold side focus scope for any of these applications. It seems there is a tendency for police agencies to use a large intimidating scope tube even with some night capability on occasion to put the fear in the target where hostages are concerned.
If It's the Varmint/ Game Hunter, sometimes target shooter not necessarily competitive at all cost, might need for sniper or survival work application we are probably or at least likely talking most of the readers here I'd bet it would go something like this.
.308 Sendero Remington VS (varmint synthetic) or VSS Varmint synthetic stainless topped with a MIl dot (just in case the gem dandy laser thing fails) Leupold of about 4-14X and 40mm objective. I would not rule out the M-3 Leupold for this either but it is pricey. For things that shoot back you can camo tape the barrel and otherwise enjoy the stainless feature as I did yesterday in a 5 mile walk in the rain. Careful not to tape the stock to the barrel and negate the free float feature. Without going into each specific case this rifle will meet (barely) every application I will mentioned here. It can be achieved decked out and tested for about $1000.00 and be competitive in any situation given a good shooter behind the 8 ball. Reloaded ammunition is the order of the day here (except for the legal arguement in LE counter sniper apps The better the load the tighter the group.
And last and probably least in case if you are a CIA spook or SOF hit man there is the ambush gun. The usual operation or scenerio here is slip into a hostile situation or enemy territory and launch a single shot into the target quietly as possible with extreme prejudice. It matters very little about the 4th or 5th shot and most often not about the second. It should be a special weapon and may have to be taken down and/or destroyed on site. It could be a Thompson contender in .223 or .308 using expanding or body armor penetrators even depending onthe requirements. The barrel need not be heavy or particularly long unless the shot is very long. Above all it would have to be transportable and not too obvious in a urban environment. Ammo is whatever you need for the task. Best to retain the cases if possible and dump the same caliber case at the site if the shooting site can be located from another guns of the same caliber to avoid any tracing. The case should be recently fired or the plot will be quickly uncovered. Enough about that one.
ONE MORE consideration is the stock. IT should be chosen to give maximum access to the scope and comfort when in all shooting positions. A free rifle stock does not belong on a Marine's rifle he must drag through the bush and I might add there is not much better than the 700 remington VS/s out of the box stock to meet all conditions above. Customized rifles are fine and may add a small or larger benefit but for most of us it is a waste to try to obtain every little bit of bench accuracy through expenditures of dollars. Unless it's a very lucrative agency that is providing your rifle you would be better off to spend the money on practice ammo and new barrels as opposed to fancy scope and stocks unless a specific need dictates it.
I'm afraid this has become a very loose term here.
Since this might be of benefit to others kind of getting broken in
I will post it I guess praying doesn't draw too much flak.

B. Rogers <>
USA - Monday, November 02, 1998 at 16:05:07 (EST) 


The main calibers for "Snipeing" are probably the 308 the 300WM and the 50cal or the 338 Lupua for the real long range or against equiptment. I think the biggest reason for the 308 is that it's a Nato caliber and also very accurate. The main reason they don't use the other calibers is because of the availability of ammunithion. Now if your talking long range civilian "Tactial" shooting you can use what ever trips your trigger but the 308 is the most popular because of the accuracy and the availability of good match ammo. I don't know how much you shoot but if you shoot a couple of thousand rounds through a .257 or a 7mm or even a 300WM it will be ready for a new barrel not so with the 308 you could shoot 3 times that many rounds and still do respectiable shooting.
On scope's most use what the military use's, straight 10 power but with the new 3.5x10LR you will see this scope give it a run for the money. You also need the bigger tube(30mm) for the additional elevation for shooting out to 1000yds plus I feel they are brighter scopes than the 1" tubes. As far as the 50mm objective unless your shooting in very low light condition's I feel its a waste of time, even then I'am not sure it makes that much difference. I don't know if this help's or not and it's just my opinion. I'am sure other's can add to it or argue against it. (Scott where are you??)

Pat <mrbullet>
USA - Monday, November 02, 1998 at 16:30:49 (EST) 

Mike Bolt: I’ll take ‘em one at a time. You’ll have to reference your original questions.

1. Recoil and barrel longevity. The magnums eat barrels faster than a bureaucrat is willing to pay. Also training. Sitting behind a magnum gets real old when you get to the 20th round. If you plan on practicing, get something you can shoot ALL day comfortably. You’ll be a better marksman for it.

.223 - out to 400 yards. Minimizes over penetration when this is an issue.

.308 - out to 1000 yards. Good compromise between trajectory, wind ability, impact and moderate recoil. Moderate signature. Easy to practice with and economical when compared to larger caliber’s. The is little reaosn to go bigger if 1000 is your limit. Most of us can not even find ranges that long. Also, for only a little more performance in the magnum, you use almost twice the powder. Something to think about if you roll your own.

.300 wm - out to 1200 to 1400 yards? Punishes the average shooter and has serious muzzle blast. Harder to hide. Lots of advantages but they seldom outweigh the good old .308 until you need to reach way out there or shoot in bad wind. Hmmm…is any wind good?!

.50 cal. From here to eternity. Mostly used for destruction of equipment. Big. Expensive. Not a great choice for the average guy getting into tactical shooting for fun on a mediocre budget!

2. I doubt most long range shooters prefer a 1" tube. You generally can not get the elevation out of this diameter to reach 1000 yards. My belief is that a 40mm lens and a 30mm tube is ideal for most field condition. Good compromise. Why the preponderance of 50mm lenses with 30mm tubes for "tactical purposes"? can you spell HYPE? That is about it. A gimmick to suck in those who can be impressed by size. Sorry to everyone who owns them ,but they just do not give you that much performance when compared to the negatives. In short, if a 40mm with a 30mm tube works, why encumber yourself with a 50 or 56mm? We have gone into the reasons these are not as desirable before. You’ll have to look in the archives. But to sum it up, if you have to HUMP it all day long, you start thinking in terms of fighting trim!

3. Yes. If you learn to use them properly. I can range with both, but I can get a lot closer to the actual range with the mil-dot.

4. PS deals with civilian shooting, generally benchrest or varminting. These fun endeavors are not to be confused with sniping. They (PS) do not understand or need to understand what is required for the average tactical shooter. In fact this is why they have a separate magazine: Tactical Shooter. Lastly, a wild cat is next to useless if you can not be re-supplied with same.

You idea of a questionnaire is a good one. I will get right on it.

scott <xxxx>
USA - Tuesday, November 03, 1998 at 14:25:54 (EST) 

Thanks for all the opinions and info.

I believe that Bill hit it on the head with his questions. Sat down and catagorized the different uses for all the weapons and calibers that I currently have and what do I really want to do with them. I realize that this forum is for long range shooting, but it may be worth while for the rookies like me to take a look at what they have, the intended uses (or is it useful), cull what you really don't need and buy/trade for what you do need. I catagorized as follows:

1. In-home protection
2. On-the road protection
3. Hunting from 25 to 100 yards, 100 to 300 yards, the rare over 300 yard shot.
4. Target fun or competition shooting 25 to 300 yards at the local range
5. Target fun or competition shooting 600 or 1000 yards at another local range
6. Misc. stuff for "hockey hitting the fan" if it ever happens
7. Four legged varmit shooting

Items 3, 4, 5 and 6 are what Bill quizzed me on. After alot of pondering, here's what rattled out.
I think that a hunter using out-of-the box weapons and decent quality optics, can fairly well combine items 3 and 4 since target shooting accuracy is a prerequisite for hunting accuracy. A bolt-action .308 with a 3x9x40 will handle 90% of these tasks. The other 10 % can be handled with bolt 7mag, 7 STW or 300mag and a 4.5x14x40 optic.

If a shooter is concerned with surgical accuracy or competion in items 4, 5 and 7, he is going to have to pay the price for a weapon built or modifed for the intended use. The optics must be matched to the same use. Except for 1000 yard benchrest, I agree with Bill that 22-250, .223, .308 and 300mags will each have their special place and that it would be good to have quality weapons in each caliber.

I think item 6 is a combination of all the above, but with a special requirement for firepower in speed and quantity. QUALITY semi's in .223 and .308 get the nod.

Thanks again, I've got some culling and buying to do.

Mike Bolt <>
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Tuesday, November 03, 1998 at 20:23:06 (EST) 

Mike I believe you have it. I have never quite been able to get by with just one rifle for everything but there are those that would come close. Jeff Cooper used to say that his "Scout" rifle was designed to be the one that he would grab and run out the back door when the bad guys were at the front! I would probably die while trying to decide which one of mine to grab!Or while trying to keep them all out of the hands of my enemies.

B. Rogers <>
USA - Tuesday, November 03, 1998 at 23:56:38 (EST) 

Jeff, Not the one I posted about the "Scout" I presume but anyway be advised that I have no problem with the current Winchester line. I chose the Remington mainly for weight advantage in the hvy bbl models.
The current featherweight is very good for a mountain rifle and has
very good accuracy as a rule. I had one in 30-06 that would shoot
1/2 moa at 500 yards (that's 2.5")for 3 shots. I sold it to a good friend who still gets around good in the high country with tearful
reverent ceremony. He promised I can have it back if he tires of it.

B. Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, November 04, 1998 at 00:10:37 (EST) 

Mike - Stay away from the Magnums unless you have money to burn or you won't shoot much. The .308 will do fine out to 1000 yards and it is infinitly more fun to shoot. And cheaper! The 50mm objective lens is a waste of time because the light is reduced by the scope tube anyway. Stay with Scott's recommendation on scope body and objective diameters. Mil Dots are more accurate than laser range finders under alot of "sniper" type situations because the laser will range the folige and junk in front of you. The Mil Dots are more accurate for me than the Duplex, because you can break the mil dots down further for tighter ranging.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Wednesday, November 04, 1998 at 00:34:11 (EST) 

Hi, I'm a newbie, and I need some help.

As it stands, I have a Savage .300 I use for treestand hunting. This rifle has been passed down from my grandfather, and due to the age of the rifle (30+), I'd rather leave it locked away from the elements.

I'm now in the market for a rifle that can take down a deer from across a cornfield. I've come across a used Remington 700 Sendero stainless fluted in 7mm mag. with a 30" barrel for $575. It's in excelent condition, and looks to have been fired only a few times. If I buy one new in 7mm or .300WinMag, my best price came to $730 and it only has a 26" barrel. How much will this 4" effect accuracy?

Also, if I decide to go with a new 700 varmint stainless fluted in .308 for around the same price as the used Sendero, how good will this be for deer hunting since it's less powerfull than the other two? Taking into cosideration that I'm a student on a tight budget and will not be firing much more than 50-100 rounds a year to keep me happy, what do you think would be a good choice?
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Jason <>
Edinboro, PA USA - Sunday, November 08, 1998 at 23:31:22 (EST) 

I don't know how wide PA cornfields are; but any of those rifles will definitely do the job on a Whitetail. If you are just going to use the rifle for hunting and not long range shooting, I would go with either a Remington 700 ADL Synthetic with a factory mounted scope for around $400-$425, or a Savage 110GCXP3 "Package Gun" with a factory mounted scope for around the same price. As far as the barrel length goes, most factory magnums sport either 24" or 26" barrels. The 30" tube might give you a little more muzzle velocity: but it would sure be a pain to haul around. I wouldn't think the extra 4" would change accuracy at all. For strictly a deer rifle, the .308 will be easier on your ears, shoulder, and wallet plus it will do a fine job of putting down a deer.

Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO USA - Monday, November 09, 1998 at 01:05:58 (EST) 

About your rifle choice for deer, there isn't anything wrong with going with the 308win. if that's what you want. You stated that your only going to shoot it about 100 times a year, ( that's not even a weeks shooting for me ) and that you wanted something with some reach. The 308win. still has this covered. Your a student and on a tight budget, but the prices that your giving on your rifles sound a little bit on the high side. Better figure out what cartridge that will suit YOUR needs and then go looking for the rifle of YOUR choice at the best deal.
Good luck.

D. West <>
Hunting season in, IL. USA - Monday, November 09, 1998 at 15:55:29 (EST) 

Jason: For hunting Get the 700VS Flutted in .308 if it turns your crank. But I’d look for a used ADL if money was tight. It is sufficiently accurate to take deer at several hunderds of yards. My cheapo $249 Model 78 Sportsman (an ADL with a junk birch stock, now discontinued) would shoot hunting handloads (165 grain Sierra GK) into about .75" @ 100. Plenty good for just about any game hunting! As far as the .308 goes, it is sufficient for all medium game found in the US. Use bullets heavy for caliber, which in this case would be the 165 grain Hunting loads. They fly better, flatter and farther than the lighter loads that leave the muzzle faster but peter out quicker. Use a Boat tail design for the longer ranges, but if you are only talking about 250 yards, go with a flat base. If the VSF is at a good price and you do not mind the weight, get it. They are very accurate, but they are not necessary for hunting deer. A magnum certainly isn’t.

Scott <>
USA - Wednesday, November 11, 1998 at 16:40:00 (EST) 

I've read Jason's post about a .308 hunting rifle. I understand his main purpose is for whitetail deer, but wouldn't he be better off with a .300 mag. He can load these done to 30-06 or .308 ballistics or in the furture when he has more opportunity to hunt other game or long range shooting, he can go back to full power. Lets face it, rifles (if well taken care of) will last a lifetime, and if he can only afford one, shouldn't he try to cover as many bases as possible.
Food for thought--let me now if anyone agrees/disagrees
---Dave C.

Dave C. <>
Central, FL USA - Wednesday, November 11, 1998 at 20:11:38 (EST) 

Dave C. (the other Dave )
For Jasons rifle choice, it would be hard to go wrong with any of the calibers mentioned. He stated that he was running tight on $ and that he was onle going to shoot this 50-100 a year. Does he reload? If so, a 300win.mag would be fine. If he didn't, the 300 would still be fine. Does he want a 300win-mag? That's my point. It all comes down to filling your own needs. All three (308, 30-06, 300win-mag.) would fit for his given needs. Russ Taylor said "to hell with it!" and got himself a 338/378. He uses zip-codes as a range finder.

D. West <>
O.P., IL. USA - Wednesday, November 11, 1998 at 22:11:50 (EST) 

Question: what is the popular barrel configuration for a good .308 bolt or falling block rifle? Don't care if the barrel is 25 inches or 35 inches, don't care if the rifle weighs 20 pounds. Would be used for good long range shooting - emphasis on consistent shots (have to get my sorry self back into 'shooting shape') - pro'lly Lake City'ish ammo or whatever the group here recommends.

Ken <>
Nokesville, Va USA - Thursday, November 12, 1998 at 00:28:51 (EST) 

A rifle For Jason: I would have to disagree on the 300 wm issue in this case. Having owned a few for hunting and having done a fair amount of hunting with a 308 I believe that the 300 WM is pretty unecessary for just about everything we have short of elk or large bear. The .308 will give Jason better accuracy in part do to it's friendlier shooting qualities. It will give him all the range needed to take deer in his locale, and it will do so for far less money than a 300WM. A box of premium .308 loads generally cost the same as a box or so-so 300WM loads. Reloading the 300WM takes almost twice the powder, 42 grains compared to 75 grains. The brass is tougher to come by in large amounts and it is more expensive to use as it only lasts for a few loadings before the neck splits. For these disadvantages, all Jason will net is a little more velocity, a little more windage ability, and a LOT more recoil, which usually translates into LESS practice for the average, non-dedicated shooter.
Loading the 300WM down is not a real good option either as all the dead space in the case wil play hobb with consistent ignition.

For what it is worth, my humble opinion would be for him to stick with the 308, enjoy its total versatility, benefit from its moderate recoil, practice a lot with it, and enjoy the terminal results it delivers on deer sized game at normal hunting ranges (which for most hunters is about 400 yards max). Looked at realistically, nobody is going to be plinking at deer at 1000 yards anyway, at least not here in PA. The 300WM and its disadvantages just isn't necessary. I recall what it was like in college when I had a major desire to practice but could seldom afford to. Surplus .308 came in real handy and kept my skill level up even if not ideal in terms of accuracy!
Scott <>
USA - Thursday, November 12, 1998 at 12:17:24 (EST) 

Scott - I agree with you on the 300 Win Mag. The .308 will do everything he wants to do for a lot less money, work and pain. Down loading a 300 would be erratic and possibly dangerous under some conditions due to low order detenation caused by the large empty case.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Thursday, November 12, 1998 at 23:59:00 (EST) 


I would like your advice on the best options/gunsmith services to do on a newly acquired Remington Sendero SF rifle in 300 Win mag. The primary use of the weapon will be hunting (expect 100-250yrds), but I would also plan on doing limited competition shooting to 600yds. The weapon shoots well .580-.750/100yds and 1-1.125"/200yds, so I am wondering about how well all the 'accurizing' services will be. These groupings were obtained using an old Weaver target model which I had for about 10yrs. I plan on replacing the scope since I do like the scope but is the best I have. My only complaint against the rifle itself is the overly heavy trigger which comes from the factory.


1. Since I am going to be using it for hunting how 'light' is to light for hunting but not overly heavy for competition use. I was thinking in the 3.5-4lb range.

2. Scope selection: I plan on getting a good quality scope $400-$800, but I was in a sporting goods store the other day and was presented with 40 different scopes which were in that price range. I would like to know a few brands/models to help narrow the search. Variable vs Fixed power, how much magnification? What are good scope base/rings?

3. I have seen alot written about wonder processes/services that will dramatically improve the accuracy of a weapon. What ones will actually improve the mechanical accuracy vs the ones which are just hype?

Thanks for your time,
Steve R. <>
Seattle, WA USA - Sunday, November 15, 1998 at 18:34:14 (EST) 

Steve - I wouldn't waste my money on anything but a trigger job to make the trigger the weight you want it to be. Your weapon is shooting well within acceptable tolerences for what you want it to do. My only concern is that it is a 300 Win Mag. You are going to have to keep an accurate round count as the barrel will burn out fairly quickly and you will start seeing flyers.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Monday, November 16, 1998 at 00:38:13 (EST) 

Steve R: Triggers: 3 pounds is the LOWEST you want on a hunting rifle. Under the stress of the shot, it will seem like a half pound. Less pull weight will only make the odds of an accidental discharge increase. If your rifle is shooting well, the trigger job is all that you need. Anything else is just for experimentation and fun. Base and rings for hunting: Good old Redfield base and ring set will do you just fine. Scope? If your primary use is game hunting, get a variable. A plain old Bushnell 3-9x40mm Trophy is a darn nice scope for practically nothing. it gets the job done fo minimal expense. It is as clear as some of the top flight tactical scopes I have. As you say you will only be hunting out to several hundred yards, there is little need for target turrets. In short, do not waste money on things you do not need. Buy the best you can afford, but do not go for gimmicks that do not fit your intended use. Mil-dots are great, but hardly needed for deer hunting! final note on glass, if you have the cash for the best, do not be in a hurry to buy any of them. Look through a lot before you decide. That is the only way to see what suits you eyes.

scott <>
USA - Monday, November 16, 1998 at 13:38:17 (EST) 

Rick,NC / USA
Totally agree with you view on .308W versus .300WM. I have never
seen any use for the 300 WM in the northern hunting country of
British Columbia. If you can't do it with a 308 or a 30-06, try
340 W'byMag or 375H&H. It works! I have tried them all on Grizzly Bears (some charging), and they have not disappointed me. The .308W
is one of the best rounds available for good precision shooting, and
it certainly will do fine for killing anything on four feet (or two).

British Columbia, Canada
Hans <>
B.C. CANADA - Wednesday, November 18, 1998 at 02:52:27 (EST) 

Bill - Never said there was no difference between 300 and 308 said that the difference isn't enough to warrant going to that round when there are better rounds out there. Anytime you want to shoot snaps with me let me know. You'll have three seconds to come on target and set the weapon after the target has come up anywhere over a seven meter front. You use your little light rifle and I'll stick with my heavier. As I've stated, been doing this for a little while and with a light gun you will never settle on target. The Grizze will get you!

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 00:55:59 (EST) 

More we talk deeper we get. Rick;There's always a faster gun.(something I learned long ago). I am not familiar with the drill
but it sounds interesting. Were it handy I would let you prove your point. I don't mean to stomp on Military tradition by advocating a little reduction in carry weight. Looks like we'd all still be using the M-14 and 300 round ammo belts if weight were not a factor. I just
hope that fella who switched from a VS to a P remembers to come back and thank you gorillas first time he has to pack that thing up a Mountain side. Serious again, That flutting has to be done right to be worthwhile of course. I've seen it so deep it's dangerous and so shallow it's worthless. I was a hard sell myself but I have come over.
Honestly guys there is a real worthwhile reduction in heat there if you don't consider the few ounces of weight an advantage. You'd have to talk to some real techies on that. I confess! All my rifles are hvy bbls except for a few choice high mountain hunting rifles. I just thought ole Gooch was getting a little off course there and needed to splain hisself to the boy scouts out there. Rick I was 99 percent sure you knew the 300 win was different than the .308 but you come accross with so much info if I prod you a little it's worth the ass
kickin I get. One more little thing about the weight though. I think there is sure a point of diminishing returns on rifle weight. Some where the piece becomes more unwieldy and harder to repoint (slower) to bear on target. What point is that? Is the strength and training of the shooter the determination of it? Or is there a length factor in the overall weapon. (Leverage affect). Is the application the variance target (which would seem to favor heavier) to "Let's get the hell out of here Sniper work" or Mountain sheep hunting? Scratch that last one as a factor on this page.

B. Rogers <>
USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 23:41:55 (EST) 

Bill - Man I thank you for not reaming me a new one after that post. It came out very blunt and harsh. That was not the intent. I think I took out a bad day on you and that was uncalled for. I think it would be fun and worth while to have a few cold ones and compare notes. You have knowledge in areas that I'm sorely lacking and I'd lke to pick you brain housing. On the weight of a sniper rifle, we prefer heavy due to the positions we have to shoot out of and the heavier weapon helps. The weight is based on the point of diminishing returns. Anything over 14 - 15 pounds gets my nod for dancing on the border. Yes that is the M24! I have walked with it in my arms during Just Cause in Panama, it is not a comfortable weapon and swinging the weapon onto target from the carry position is just plain slow. However, once in a position, and supported, the swing is easy and rapid. Added to this is the fact that with the weight, the weapon "settles" onto target very nicely without the normal "jiggle" that many weapons have after a rapid swing. One of the points for aiding in the swing is where you position your weapon on the support you are using. If a swing to target is expected then position the support more to the trigger guard ( about 1/2 way), if steady is needed, then position the support more to the end of the forestock. This means it takes more movement of the butt to effect the muzzle. While when the support is positioned towards the trigger guard the butt only has to swing alittle to effect a change in the direction of the muzzle. One of the problems in the military is that all weapons must be all things. Thus the M24 is the length required to permit it to be jumped in while fully assembled. I do not know what would be the best length, because, believe it or not, it was never considered in the equation due to the jumping requirement. On strength and training, I feel that the training has more to bear than the strength aspect. The human body is great at becoming strong enough to do what is necessary for the task and the training will make the body strong enough, and teach the body to economize movement.

Again Bill I apoligize for the shortness in that post and thank you for not flaming my butt. Going to bed and dream of a free several weeks without students. They graduated today and I'm off for a whole three days!

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 23:39:49 (EST) 

I am a begineer to long range shooting. I have some questions on what equipment I should start with. I was thinking about buying either the Remington 700 PSS or the Savage 110 tactical. Also I am trying to decide between .223 and .308. The range I live by has only 300 yards and I do not see myself shooting past that. My other question has to do with optics. I have seen several reviews...etc about different scoped, but nobody said what is best.

My three biggest questions are:

1. Is the Remington worth the extra money over the Savage?
2. What would be a good choice of optics in the $400 range? or should
I spend more?
3. Is .223 enough for shooting at 300 yard ranges?

Any other comments to help a FNG would really be great.


Whit <>
USA - Wednesday, November 25, 1998 at 13:06:30 (EST) 

Is the Remington worth the extra over the Savage?? Yes, "IF" you plan on doing modification's later on, if not and money is a question go with the Savage.
Best caliber 308, but if you stay under 500yds and go with a Savege
try the 1-9 twist and shoot the 69gr bullets. This round is capable of shooting out to 500yds with good accuracy.
Best scope,I would take the money I saved on buying a Savage(Ifyou do) and look real hard at the Tasco Sniper in the 30mm. I understand they are a great scope for the price(See SC Review section). If you go with the Remington and have to stay in the $400.00 range Leupold 3.5x10 or the B&L 4000 series for just a few, Weaver also makes a good scope in this range. Hope this helps, its only my opinion, for what it's worth.

Pat <>
USA - Wednesday, November 25, 1998 at 13:56:05 (EST) 

Thankes Doc,
The rifle is beutifly done, by a gunsmith. I was reading about tactical rifles and i have decided to buy myself a Savage 110FP, uars stock, redfield rings and leopold Vari-X III 3.5-10x Long Range M3, what do you think about that system.
Any other ideas?
Vhat would this system cost roughly?
I have about 1500$ to spend.

John from Iceland

John ST <>
Fellabaer, Iceland - Thursday, November 26, 1998 at 17:33:28 (EST) 

John from Iceland,
I'm not familiar with the uars stock; but everything else sounds fine to me for a good long range hunting rifle. From what I've read here in SC, you would probably want to upgrade the rings and base to something better for a tactical rifle. Not being a sniper myself, I really don't know what to recommend. Maybe some of the experts can give you a hand on that. The outfit you mentioned, other than the uars stock, would wholesale for around $1025 U.S. The dealer would probably add on around 10% to 20% for his profit.

Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO USA - Friday, November 27, 1998 at 00:46:12 (EST) 

Here's some thoughts that will get me some flack…
I've seen several posts lately about better actions for tactical, and benchrest guns, being available… and I wonder if that's where we (as tactical shooters) want to go. Most shooters love beautiful guns, and workmanship… And there is certainly pride of ownership in a rifle that is fitted like a watch, and is capable of shooting a 1/5th inch group… but I'm not so sure that all of is productive in light of the needs of a tactical rifle.
In a tactical rifle I would gladly give up the beautifully machined action and 1/5th inch groups for the following..

Bedding (Aluminum, or glass), that will let you take the action out , replace it, and be still on "Zero"!

No matter how cool, or ugly, the scope looks, adjustments without any backlash… ever!… and built like a brick.

A barrel finish that was smooth enough to resist fouling, clean easily, and put the first shot from a clean, dry bbl in the same group as all the rest…

Would not shoot the occasional 1/5th inch group of 3 rounds, but would shoot ¾" 10 shot groups
over and over, to the same point of impact, including foulers… all day long.

… and I wouldn't care if it was a R-700, a W-M70, or a M98, or (gasp) a Savage 110/112 series.

Paul "Pablito" Coburn <>
USA - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 21:46:50 (EST) 

1. Ideal sniper spotter's backup weapon. AR15, etc?

Bolt <>
USA - Sunday, January 03, 1999 at 13:03:42 (EST) 

You do not say if the Observer's Rifle is for a Law-Enforcement team or Military Sniper/Observer team.

In the Military the Sniper and Observer swap duties and rifles. With a Law Enforcement team there cxan be no swaping of rifles. The Liability factor is to great. The Law Enforcement Observer should have a rifle as capable as the primary sniper. This will allow the Observer to assume the roll of the sniper to releave the sniper if the situation starts to drag out. (Tests show the sniper's ability to exicute a precision shot after about 20 minutes of staring through the rifle scope begin to fall off.)

An AR-15 properly set up could fill in as an observer's rifle. The problems that can not be over come with a properly set-up AR-15 are the slinging of the brass, and the small caliber not being a very good glass penetrator.

Look at your needs and fit the equipment to that need.

Bruce G.Buell, NCDS
Senior Instructor, IDRC

Bruce <>
Jacksonville, FL USA - Monday, January 04, 1999 at 11:13:46 (EST) 

I enjoy this forum much, although I mainly lurk. My advice on the whole Savage / 700 / 70/ whatever debate is simply to find a gun that fits you, and then pour ammo through it under every cirmcumstance imaginable. Personally, don't give two good sh**s about what others think of my rigs. Can you hit with your gun? Seems the only relevant question.

Old Dog
Bruce <>
USA - Wednesday, January 13, 1999 at 11:51:41 (EST) 

Good post, I've shot the barrel out of two Remington VSs in 308. I now have a Schneider SS on one and it was rebarreled in May of 98 and before it went to Wyoming in August I put 1750 rounds through it. I love to shoot and the new SS barrel isn't anymore accurate than the old Remington barrel was and not as accurate as the other Remington barrel was but I hope to get a lot more rounds out of it!! So having a fancy custom gun does'nt make you a better shot, You need to shoot a lot in rain, wind and cold to be a good shot because it never works out that when you need to make a shot it's 70 degrees with no wind.

Pat <>
USA - Wednesday, January 13, 1999 at 12:25:27 (EST) 

I agree with Old Dog on subject of argument over the "fancyness" of several rigs/guns/etc.
To a normal mortal shooter it might be a bright idea of spending the money needed for most expensive and lust after rifle to practise A LOT instead of getting a gun that makes mates envious but is not goin' to be shot much at all.

What I've read it appears that some of the most succesfull WW-II snipers did use somewhat "Plain Jane" guns and did well.

Here are the top three that I've read of:

1. Simo "white death" Häyhä, Finnish, 500+? kills, 7.62X54R, Finnish Mosin-Nagant variant, Iron sights !!!!!!

2. Nikolai Yakolevich Ilyin, Russian, 496 kills, 7.62X54R, Mosin Nagant.(most likely 91/30)

3. Erwin König, German, 400+? kills, 8mm Mauser (8X57 IS), several german sniper rifles.

How this is possible, I'd like to hear bein' explained by the dudes who have van loads of laser range detectors, fancy guns showing minimal wear and certain knowledge that 7.62X54R isn't any good beyond 150 yards and thus Dragunov is nill threat ;)

Hitting ipsc paper targets at 1/2 mile with Finnish TAK-m/85 sniper rifle based on MN action convinced me that things made possible by more sophisticated equipment are beyond my not so great abilities.

Off course it would be nice to have a Sako TRG-41 in .338LapuaMagnum but would I benefit from it's potential ? I don't think so.
So I rather spend me pennies on ammo, and pop away with my merry old shoota wich is a thing modified from ancient MN actioned UIT free rifle event gun.

This is an agenda that I feel many others that has to do other things than just practise all day long,like study or work, would benefit the most. IMHO.


Teppo Uotinen <>
Wilmanstrand, Finnland - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:46:02 (ZULU) 


I don't think many duty roster regulars would bash the Moisen- Nagant rifles they have established a most excellent reputation for their application in ITTAPDS (Individually Targeted Anti-Personnel Projectile Delivery Systems), Especially a UIT version, aren't they uh-tuned or blueprinted? The figures you give are World War II related right probably siege or city fighting, my euro-history is most poorly lacking?

Dragunov, uh-Ain't shot the "original", did the Chinese thang w "match ammo", rather have a "Rrr...", "Ruuuug","Ruuuggh" :-) in a dudely word "BOGUS!" Finnish Dragunov version; seen one, gnarly [most excellent} workmanship.

Like the most Finnish Dude says: It ain't what ya got dudes, its what you can do with it that counts" A MOST EXCELLENT REALITY CHECK

Smokin' Barrel City, bY-gAwD, USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 12:31:40 (ZULU) 

I hope you can answer many questions for me. I have had my eye on a Remington 700VS. It is a decent weapon for the price. But I don't know much about scopes, actually very little. I frequent sniper country and try to soak up all the information I can.

I am an admirer of the art of LR shooting and would like to get into it more than what the average Infantryman is tought. By this I mean the usual qualification range in the back 40. BRM and ARM.

These questions should be answered from the novice point of view. With reguards to my improvement as time goes by.

1. Should a scope be variable power?
2. Some scopes have adjustments "on the spot"
ie. Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10x40mm LR M3
and others have those caps you need to remove to adjust the windage and elevation. Which is better?
3. Which is the better reticle; duplex, target dot, or 3/4 Mil-Dot?
4. In dealing with adjustment resolution should I go with a 1/4 or 1/2 in min. for wind and elevation, or a combination?
5. Is price that important? I do realize you get what you pay for, but some companies are out to really make a buck.

If there is any info that I have missed, and I am sure there is please fill in the blanks for me

Thanks for the input
Ed <>
AZ, USA - Tuesday, January 26, 1999 at 22:45:56 (ZULU) 

1. Should a scope be variable power?
If all you are going to do is target shooting fixed is okay but in the field it helps to have the variable for the close shots.

2. Some scopes have adjustments "on the spot"
ie. Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10x40mm LR M3
and others have those caps you need to remove to adjust the windage and elevation. Which is better?
It doesn't really matter if the knobs are designed properly. The caps can be nice if you are afraid of something bumping into the knobs and throwing off the zero. Personally I do not think they are necessary.

3. Which is the better reticle; duplex, target dot, or 3/4 Mil-Dot?
Mil dot all the way.

4. In dealing with adjustment resolution should I go with a 1/4 or 1/2 in min. for wind and elevation, or a combination?
I know people are going to disagree with me but I don't think anybody can judge the wind to 1/4 min so if the scope you select is only available with 1/2 min I wouldn't worry about it.

5. Is price that important? I do realize you get what you pay for, but some companies are out to really make a buck.
Generally you get what you pay for and this really applies to scopes. Most people think of Tasco as a cheap scope but you will hear great reviews of their tactical scope, the price is $500, not much less than Leupold. You did not say what caliber your rifle is but if it is a standard cartidge that cams for the Leupold M3 I would recommend the M3LR, everybody here seems to love it.

If you have anymore questions feel free to email me, I wish someone had told me about this when I started into the long range game.
Shooter <>
College Station, Tx, USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 00:40:42 (ZULU) 

Shooter gave you good advice, I have the M3 LR and its great for tactical long range shooting. If you decide not to go with it when you get to engaging targets at different ranges its easy to forget how many turns you have made on the turret of the quarter minute scopes. I started off with a 4.5x14 and loved it but I found I could easlly forget where I was when shooting multiple targets at different ranges. Since I've got the M3 I haven't looked back and would love to get another for my 260. Just my thoughts.
Pat <>
USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 04:35:12 (ZULU) 
Greetings all,

I'm planning on getting myself an accurate (1 MOA or better), sniper-style rifle sometime in the near future and am wondering if anyone here could give me some advice. I am a newbie here, so if anything (or everything) I'm asking is a FAQ then I apologize, but everyone has to start somewhere. This message board seems to have a much better "signal-to-noise ratio" than the Usenet firearms groups, so there seems to be a much better chance of getting useful and informed answers here than elsewhere. As soon as I have a few free hours I'm definitely going to read through some of the articles in the Hot Tips and Cold Shots section too.

This rifle will be used primarily for varmint and target shooting, at least at first. If I decide to start hunting deer again, then I'm sure I'll use it for that too. Of course, in a TEOTWAWKI scenario it will be used for the defense of myself and my family also.

From everything I've read, .308 Winchester seems to be my best choice for a general purpose caliber. Does anyone think that a different caliber would be a better choice? As soon as finances allow I'm going to get a reloading rig, so the widespread availability of .308 match BTHP bullets, brass, and data is a big plus.

The biggest decision I'm left with is which exact rifle to buy. At this point, my first choice is the Sako Model 75 in Stainless Synthetic. Does anyone here have personal experience with this rifle or any opinions of it? I have heard and read a lot of good things about it but haven't had a chance to examine one personally. Most gun dealers I've talked to had only positive things to say about it but one I talked to earlier today said he thought they are cheaply built and he has had problems with the synthetic stocks cracking and breaking... not sure if I should take anything he said seriously or not. The standard barrel on the non-magnum Sako 75s is 22 inch, I don't know if it's possible to get one that's 24"... is a 22" barrel acceptable? Also, is the trigger suitable for good long range accuracy? According to the specs I have, it has a single-stage trigger and from what I've read, a double-stage is recommended... as long as the trigger mechanism is crisp and well made, does this matter?

The other two rifles on the top of my list are the Remington M700 VS and the Winchester M70 Sharpshooter. Both of them seem to be fairly similar... is one definitively better than the other? Is the VS version of the Remington the best choice or is there another model that's better? One plus of the Remington that I can see is the option of installing the new UARS stock. BTW -- Why does (nearly) everyone think this is an ugly stock, I think it looks pretty good myself. =)

If I could afford a more exotic rifle like a Sako TRG-21 or a H&K MSG-90 or even a custom rifle built on a commercial action, then I would probably go for it. I would also love to have a Steyr Scout but I don't know if it has the long range capabilities I'm looking for and it isn't exactly cheap either. Should I be considering a military M24 (I have no idea what they cost)? Are they commonly available to the public at all; I've never seen one for sale? Unless I want to wait a couple months to save up the money, then I'm limited to the $2000-$2500 neighborhood for the rifle plus the scope, bipod, and any other accessories I might want/need.

Speaking of the scope, so far I've been mainly considering Leupold's Tactical series but I'm keeping an open mind towards other options. I just heard of U.S. Optics today and looked over their Web site... they seem like a definite possibility also. They don't list prices on their Web site though, so I'm not sure if it would be possible to fit even their more modest scopes into my budget.

Well, this has ended up longer than I intended my first post to be, so I better wrap it up...

Thanks in advance for any advice given, I really appreciate it!

--Jim S.

Jim S. <>
USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 02:45:27 (ZULU) 

Jim S.
I'm a newbie at this stuff too. With your budget you can get some great stuff. I bought a Remington 700 VS in .308 last week and I'm going to mount a Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10x40mm LR M3 on it. From hanging around SC for a few months this seems to be a pretty fair way to get started. Unfortunately, Remington has discontinued the 700 VS so you may have to go with a 700 PS if you decide to go with Remington. You can go with hotter stuff such as 300 Win mag or 338 Lapua mag: but why beat up your shoulder and wallet at the same time. I strongly suggest that you take the time to read the "In Review" section and also "Hot Tips and Col Shots". Beaucoup good info in both. Good luck and enjoy.
Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO, USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 04:52:35 (ZULU) 
Jim S:

I'm a newbie myself to tactical rifle. First of all , you have come to the right place to learn. A lot of experience and expertise here. From the possibilities you mentioned, this is what I suggest.

1. Remington M700 Police rifle in 308 Winchester.

2. Leupold 4.5 x 14 x 40mm tactical w/ mildot reticle or Leupold 3.5 x 10 x 40mm LR M3. ( the 4.5 x 14 will need tapered bases for 1000yd elevation)

3, Tactical rings and base from Badger or MWG.

4. Harris bipod 9" x 13" S series.

5. Sling: I plan to get one from Mike (un-dude) when I have the bucks.

I would also consider bedding over the alum. block w/ Devcon or Marinetex. Some folks would disagree w/ me on this .

Also, you might want to read an article Scott (xring) wrote a few months back for, I beleive, it was Tactical Shooter magazine. Very infomative article that delt specifically with the 700P if memory serves.

6. A good quality rifle case or drag bag.

7. Good basic cleaning equipment.

All the above could be had for under 2000.00 easily. If you have extra money still, I would look at buying and learning to use reloading equipment. You can save a fortune reloading your own, and you'll learn to craft ammo that will shoot better in your rifle than the best store bought.

Understand, I'm a newguy too. I've learned much from paying attention to the folks who are experienced, trained regulars that are willing to share their knowledge at SC. I'm not a gunsmith or anything, so if others have better suggestions, LISTEN to them. As far as I'm concerned, this is THE place.

Hope this helps some,

Jeff A.
Jeff A. <>
Smyrna, Ga, USA - Sunday, February 07, 1999 at 22:33:38 (ZULU) 

Hi everyone,

First, I would like to thank everyone who responded to my questions about which rifle to buy. I have tried to personally respond to as many people as possible, my apologies to anyone who I may have missed.

Several people have advised me to go with a higher end rifle than a Sako 75 or stock Remington 700 if I am serious about accuracy. I may have to wait a bit longer to make the purchase if I do that, but I agree that I will probably be happier with the results in the long run.

I found a Web page of a gun shop based in California called The Sniper Store ( They carry lots of really nice firearms, but the AWC Technologies rifles seem to be the best choice in the $2000 price range, which is the most I can possibly spend on the rifle itself. The only alternative to an AWC Tech rifle in that price range (that they carry) is the Steyr SSG or the Winchester Model 70 "Sharpshooter II". What other rifles in that price range should I be considering? Are there any other similar Web pages I should be checking out?

Does anyone here have any familiarity with AWC Technologies' firearms? I think they are all built on a tuned Remington 700 action. From what I've read, I would probably choose the M-92 "Elite" or the M-93 "Landlord" in .308. The M-40A2 "Leatherneck", a clone of the USMC sniper rifle, seems like a good choice also.

By the way, how does one go about buying a rifle mail order from an out of state gun shop these days? Can I just have them send it to a local gun shop and pick it up there?


Jim S. <>
, WA, USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 20:53:29 (ZULU) 

Jim S.,
You need to find a local gun dealer who is willing to handle the transaction. He will have to send a copy of his license to the place selling the rifle before they can legally ship it to him. Unless he's your buddy, expect to pay from $10 to 10% of the purchase price for his services. With the new BS FBI check routine, he may ask you to fill out a 4473 and run a check on you to make sure the sale will go through before he places the order. For a special order such as that, he may ask for the total purchase price before he order the rifle. A little bit of "Silver Tongue Talking" may help if he doesn't know you.

Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO, USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 21:25:41 (ZULU) 

Jim: Buying by mail is not a problem. Most places will simply take your money, and ship to a FFL or you give your money to the FFL, he sends it to the maker, and the gun gets shipped to FFL and then transferred to you.

Bruce <>
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 21:27:58 (ZULU) 

Jim S,
Just to throw out another option, buy a good 700PSS and shoot it for a year or two, learning how to shoot and then send it off and have a Hart or Schneider or other top name barrel installed on it. With all the action work and the Barrel it can be done for less than $600.00 and you will have the best of both worldsand a lot of shooting experience. When you get the rifle capable of under half minute or under you will be able to shoot with the rifle. Just a thought.
Pat <>
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 21:37:24 (ZULU) 
To Jim S: I own an AWC systems M92 in 308. It is a very accurate rifle (sub moa at 100 1" at 300 on best days). I was a little disappointed with some of the mechanics of the rifle, when I first started shooting the rifle, the remington extractor broke, it turned out to be a defect in the bolt face that remington would not repair because of the styer bolt handle that was installed. I had a sako extractor installed at additional cost. Also the action was made from a 243 which should be the same, however the magazine well is a hair shorter than other remington 308s I own. (about .040). This latter caused feeding problems with hand loads seated to touch the lands of the barrel. I had to shorten the OAL and rework a load that I was very happy with. I probably will have the mag well machined longer in the future. In my opinion I would take a used Rem 700 action and have a good gunsmith true and lap the action, fit a match barrel, do trigger work, install and bed a Mc Millian tactical stock and mill a good scope base to the reciever, and matte finish all hardware. This would probably run in the 2000 - 2500 range. The only drawback is you won't see the rifle for about a year. But then good things are worth waiting for. Tony Y.
Tony Y
Iselin, NJ, USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 00:10:00 (ZULU) 
I was reading the Tactical Rifle article on Guns & Ammo magazine and decided that I should get
Remington 700 bolt action rifle. My budget is about 1500 dollars for rifle, scope, scope mounts, bipod and sling. This will keep companies like Robar and AWC off my list. I'm a small built male. 5'7"
and about 147 lbs in average physical shape. I wonder if .300 Win Mag is too much for someone like me. Also, do you think .300 Win Mag produces too much recoil to have something like Harris bipod? I'm thinking about getting .300 WinMag Remington 700 P.S.S. as shown on Or should I get proven .308? Your input is greatly appreciated. My goal is self defense (guarding large wooded property from intruders),target shooting at the range. and maybe hunting deer or two.

Entry Level SniperB
Costa MesaCý¡?,?­, CACÀßl@, - Thursday, February 18, 1999 at 02:39:22 (ZULU) 

Entry Level:

Let's be realistic here, do you really plan on "sniping"
at long range? If so, what do you plan on sniping? I'd
recommend a PSS in .223 to keep your ammo consistent,
unless you've already got other guns in .308. The .223 is
cheaper to shoot with minimum recoil. Get yourself a
nice scope, rings/bases, case, bipod, 1,000 rds of Hirtenberg
55gr, and you'll still have a couple of bills in your hand
left over.


Lou S <>
S. Fla, USA - Thursday, February 18, 1999 at 03:38:19 (ZULU) 

Entry Level Sniper:

I recommend spending a lot of time with the AR and a good scope. This will help you develop good habits. The ammo is a lot cheaper as well.

If you must buy a new rifle then I will give you my suggestion. I understand the need to buy new guns occasionally (or frequently).
My idea of the perfect starting long range tactical rifle:
Remington 700 PSS .308 $650
Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10x40 M3LR $650
Badger Ordanance Rings $125
Badger Ordanance Tilted Scope Base $135
Harris Swivel Bipod S-L $70
Quality Military style sling $35

The Total is $1665 + Tax

$30 for a trigger job and you have a rig as good or better than most
police departments.

Do not get a 300 win mag until you have mastered the 308. The 308 will recoil enough to keep you entertained for a while. You will develop bad habits by starting out with too big a gun. You need lots of practice and the 300 costs too much too shoot. The recoil gets to everybody during a practice session with the big gun. You can shoot all day with the 308 without major recoil effects.

Good Luck.
The Shooter <>
College Station, TX, USA - Thursday, February 18, 1999 at 04:33:15 (ZULU) 

Hey Enrty Level Sniper ! Hold on there big fella.In case you didn't realize, shooting trespassers on your property with a sniper rifle at the ranges that weapon is intended for amounts to nothing more than MURDER.

Try using "NO TRESPASSING" and "NO HUNTING" signs on your property first to deter unwanted individuals on your property.Just because someone enters your property doesn't give you the right to take their life no matter what weapon you use.

If you want to hunt a few deer and do some target shooting along the way, isn't a full blown tactical rig a little on the excessive? That would be like using bear traps to catch mice.See my point.

Far be it from me to tell a man how to spend his money but I think you might be better off with a real nice hunting rifle or one of the popular varmint rifles on the market and go from there.

Jeff Babineau <>
Truro, N.S., Canada eh ! - Thursday, February 18, 1999 at 21:51:12 (ZULU) 

I'm an ex-army guy w/M-16 experience out to 300 meters. I'm currently getting ready to buy a rifle to take to the range & eventually get good enough to hit targets at 1000 yds.I also intend to use this rifle to hunt deer for meat while incorporating some marksmanship(500 yards or so)skills in the hunt.I narrowed my choice down to a Remington 700 .308 cal but I am not that knowledgable about rifle technology. Therfore I don't know which edition(varmint, sendero, police special) is best suited for my needs. I will mostly be using the rifle for target shooting. I have a couple of questions to ask.

1.Is this choice of rifle & caliber reasonably suitable to meet most of my needs?

2. I'd also like to add that I've never been hunting before. How realistic am I being about thinking of hitting a deer at 500 yards & will I drop it if I do hit him?

3. For 1000 yd. target shooting, how huch power(magnification) should I be looking for in a scope? Is mil-dot recommended? Any other features? What MM?

4. While inspecting a rifle in the store, is there anything specifically I should be looking for?

5. At 1000 yds., how much damage would a .308 do to a deer? human?

James Carter <>
USA - Sunday, February 21, 1999 at 08:56:50 (ZULU) 

James: You are liable to get lots of different answers on this, so I will get the ball rolling and give you mine.

1.Is this choice of rifle & caliber reasonably suitable to meet most of
my needs? Yes.

2. I'd also like to add that I've never been hunting before. How
realistic am I being about thinking of hitting a deer at 500 yards &
will I drop it if I do hit him?
When hunting, I would much prefer that you practice your fieldcraft skills and try to get as close as possible. Save those 500 yard shots for house cats. Personaly I feel that shooting a game animal at those kind of ranges with high-tech equipment violates the spirit of fair chase.

3. For 1000 yd. target shooting, how huch power(magnification) should I
be looking for in a scope? Is mil-dot recommended? Any other features?
What MM? For 1000 yard prone target shooting I have tried everthing from open sights to 24x and could not tell much difference in my scores. I prefer 8 to 12x power. For benchrest 1000 yard shooting something with a little more power is probably better. I like the old Unertls best for target shooting.

4. While inspecting a rifle in the store, is there anything specifically
I should be looking for? Yes, the side of the reciever should say Winchester :-) Buy the cheapest one you can find. you are going to be throwing the barrel and stock away.

5. At 1000 yds., how much damage would a .308 do to a deer? human?

At 1000 yards, a 308 bullet is traveling at 22 long rifle velocity. I have had bullets bounce of of sandbags at the top of the target pits and hit me in the head. I would not have wanted to be one of those sandbags though.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Sunday, February 21, 1999 at 13:58:04 (ZULU) 

Since I know this is not "hunting country" I will keep this short:

James, a 308 is a fine caliber for what you are wanting to do. But, you do not want to take a 1,000 yard shot at a deer with it. Chances are, if you hit it at that range, you will not be the one eating it... If you find you enjoy hunting deer, you will also find that the hunt is more enjoyable than the shot. Get close, then work on getting closer. 500 yards is no good, for deer, in my opinion. Work and you will get much closer. I agree with Steve's assessment of fair chase. With experience, you will too.

Old Dog
Bruce <>
USA - Sunday, February 21, 1999 at 15:10:15 (ZULU) 

It sounds like your on the right track by doing your research before you spend your money. Please make sure you do this with the hunting aspect as well. My two cents: get a good .22 and start hunting rabbits and such. Taking any life is something you must be prepared for. If you have just killed a deer and have a hard time dealing with it you're going to feel awful! That said, try to find someone who is patient that you can learn from. You will make mistakes just as we all have but you will learn from them. Best of luck and keep practicing!

Roy out
Roy Thomason <>
Co Spgs, CO, USA - Sunday, February 21, 1999 at 15:37:30 (ZULU) 

James; Having hunted deer many years with everything from bow to long range rifle I must admit that the longest shot I've ever taken was 150 yards. This is in plains country too. I would suggest a Sendero in .300 win mag or a 25-06 if you want to shoot game that far. I passed up a 400 yard shot at a trophy buck 2 years ago cause I was hunting with a .243 and wasn't sure it would deck him. He was too nice to risk a bad shot. I went back in the afternoon and stalked him to 100 yards and he is on my wall. The best of the best recommend 300 yards for game animals. Just an old man's opinion but it's yours for free.
B.Rogers <>
USA - Monday, February 22, 1999 at 01:53:38 (ZULU) 


Hey everyone! I've been reading here for a while but haven't made any noise here I go.

I'm about to set up my first "sniper" rig. I've been playing with deer guns and AK's for a long time now, but now I want to play a little more :)

I need some help guys...and as far as a rifle, I'm leaning towards a Rem. 700 VLS in 6mm or 308. I'd rather have the .308 but I know that 6mm is a lot flatter-shooting cartridge so I'm torn there as well. I just want to be able to shoot all ranges up to 1000 yards and hit whatever I want to.

Thanks for the help in advance!
jtnaylor <>
Little Rock, AR, USA - Thursday, August 03, 2000 at 00:15:57 (ZULU) (your host address:

JT Wrote. "I just want to be able to shoot all ranges up to 1000 yards and hit whatever I want to."

Damn dude. You aint asking for much are you?

Stick with .308 unless you are an avid handloader.

Gooch <>
USA - Thursday, August 03, 2000 at 04:26:50 (ZULU) (your host address:

JT; Repeat after me L-E-U-P-O-L-D FourX14 Tactical. ON .308 MODEL 700 Remington. PSS OR VS/VSS/VSSF . wid da 40MM tubeeeee! Now we are at 1000 yards and we hit "just about" everything we shoot at. 6mm will not cut it at that distance unless you put it in a wildcat case and burn yo barrel hot. USE the Mil dot model unless there is a compelling reason not too. Now Lito, you hold the gun on me so I can recite the TASCO recommendatation to this guy!
Bill Rogers <>
USA - Thursday, August 03, 2000 at 12:47:05 (ZULU) (your host address:
Listen to "Yote Bait" even though he's a died in the wool varmint hunter and a 6MM is a great varmint round its not a good 1000yd round unless you have a custom rifle built with the fast twist to shoot the 107grVLD bullets. The 308 is hard to beat. I am playing with the 6.5s but both my 260s are showing signs of being hard on barrels. If you want to do tactical shooting your barrels will get hot and heat kills the small bores twice as fast. The 308 is much more forgiving when you have to abuse it. Just my 2cents worth.
Pat <>
USA - Thursday, August 03, 2000 at 16:17:48 (ZULU) (your host address:
Yep, listen to the Bullet man on the 6mm. I'd have to agree you got to do the voo-doo to get the 6mm to 1000 or so but,, Mini Yars ago I had an old .244 (6mm for those in Rio Linda) Remington with a big long Unertl that I used to bruise ego's on a Military range bout 500 was all I think. But it was the scope that made em cringe (they didn't have any). the Bullets were only 85 grain. Bullet man is right, the standard 6mm loading won't get there and do the job. He's so right about the barrels too (thars worse than 6mms on barrels though).

Bill Rogers <>
USA - Friday, August 04, 2000 at 01:30:01 (ZULU) (your host address:

Hey guys,

Thanks lots for all the advice. It appears I do need to go with a fixed power scope, although there were some negative comments about the Tasco scopes (and some really good ones too).

I think I have actually decided to go with the Savage 12 series with the stainless fluted barrel and laminated stock just to be different. Everyone that shoots at my range is toting a Remington 700 (I know that there's a reason for that). Anyway our 600 yard range won't be complete for a few more monts and my NEW WIFE has told me I can't buy another gun/scope until I buy us new living room furniture. So anyway
it looks like it will be another month before I get this thing purchased.

Until then I'll just keep plowing down the 6" plates @300 yards with my little 16" barreled AK-47 with a 1x magnification Kobra holo sight.
1 shot...1 plate.

I'll let you know as soon as I start smacking new toys on my credit card.

Thanks again,

jtnaylor <>
Little Rock, AR, USA - Friday, August 04, 2000 at 04:34:35 (ZULU) (your host address:

6MM and long range

The post about the 6MM not being a long range round is incorrect.
I have a 6MM IMP with 8" twist and it pushes a 107 BTHP at 3200 fps. Wind drift for a 10 mph wind at 1000 is 69". THe 308 168 at the same range is 115". The trajectory is also quite a bit flatter. For the wind velocity challenged such as myself,it cuts my guessing in half!
Yes it is a custom barrel and chamber.But so are most barrels on a custom tactical rifle. THere are drawbacks (no commercial ammo). As for barrel life. My rifle has somewhere around 1000 rds down the pipe and it still shoots better than I can.
Just my opinion.
Bill B.
Bill Byford <>
IL, USA - Saturday, August 05, 2000 at 05:50:29 (ZULU) (your host address:

Bill Byford; I think someone mentioned that bullet as a long range thing (read back a few posts) and although most conventional rifles would have a little trouble getting bullet to 3200 I'm willing to buy that wildcat loadings (which I mentioned) will get you there as well as custom guns (Mr. Rice will give you a 6mm ride if you want one). Most people are talking conventional .243 Winchester rifles and that's what I responded too. There are those here who have taken .223 to the limits of physics and done some astounding things and although you can be praised for mentioning it, my post about he 6mm was in the conventional no aftermarket barrels or twists sense. There is always someone in the shooting game whether it's rifle or pistol or whatever that will push the limit of the science and amaze and astound. I pretty much live in the real world around here but you're all free to play as you wish, that makes the world go around.... I mainly shoot .308 and .223 12ga and .45 (cept for my .41m business gun) cause I have an Uncle who make the brass and makes it cheap for me once he shoots it. MY Uncle is just like me, he lives and trains his troops for the real world. In Mr. Rogers' neighorhood of today here and now, Coyotes are scoungy critters that don't care what they get shot with.... and up yours Wylie Coyote, just watch yore mangy ass come October!
Bill Rogers <>
USA - Saturday, August 05, 2000 at 13:26:27 (ZULU) (your host address:

Back to Hot Tips & Cold Shots