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I am sure you are all tired of reading these posts and just want to tell most of them to go to the FAQ and stop inundating your forums with simpleton garbage, but my situation has a lot of unique variables so I do hope that some of you take time to offer your input.

Having started firing rifles at 10 when I got my first .22 and spending hours shooting a Mauser in college as a way to relax after being in books all day I am an experienced rifle shooter. That said I have only fired a few rounds looking through glass and nothing over 300 yards. Setting out to get my first long range rifle should be simple, but I have a few bumps in the road. I want to ultimately challenge myself and shoot at extreme ranges. As a humble man, I know that this isn't something I will be able to go out and do in a couple of days. Ordinarily I would just say lets get this party started and grab a Remington 700 in .308 and start building those skills knowing I could just upgrade down the road. The biggest issue is that my wife has a major issue with this mindset and wants me to get one rifle to last several years. If I even hint at wanting something new I will need more than a rifle to save me.

Right now I am thinking it would be best to stay with the Remington 700 idea. There are so many after market parts you can hardly trip without landing on one and there isn't a gunsmith out there who wont work on one. Having said that I am more than open to other ideas that I could pick up in the same price range as the SPS if you think it is a viable option. The biggest dilemma that I face is coming to terms with a caliber. While .308 is tempting for the starter, I am inclined to pick up something with a bit more umph so I wont be found with that itch later. Most people have pointed me to a .300 win mag and my research of the round along with the 7mm rem mag have me spinning in circles. I am a bigger guy (280 pounds) and the recoil doesn't really scare me from the rounds.

I have a great knack for picking up the knowledge to things like this rather quickly. I have a HUGE thirst for knowledge too. I have sat through hours and hours of tutorial videos and I am already practicing calculating simulated firing solutions. Would you still suggest a .308 for me knowing ultimately I want to shoot well beyond the ballistic capabilities of this round assuming it would take me more than 2 years to attain such a goal or would you go for the larger caliber assuming I could exceed the range capabilities of the .308 in less than the 2 years time. I struggle with contentment so I know I would not be happy with my decision if I felt the need to push myself further than my equipment would allow me. I just don't know if it is being cocky thinking I could start shooting that far in less than 2 years.

Save me from myself PLEASE!
 

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First off, I'm not here to tell anyone how to handle their wife, but if spending large amounts of money on something you enjoy is going to cause you problems this sport my not be for you. This isn't a cheap sport, and it doesn't end with just the rifle.

Now, while you may be a quick learner and on paper you may understand what you need to do, the only way to truly learn this sport is by putting rounds down range. 300WM or 7mmMag are not rounds that allow for lots of practice. Nor are they helpful in learning proper shooting. Most new shooters that start with a large caliber end up developing horrible habits. Not to mention the cost of ammo to feed those rifles. Guys that own large rifles like those also own smaller calibers to practice with.

A .308 is a great round to learn on. Enough recoil to learn how to drive the rifle, but not so bad where you can't shoot 100 rounds in a day. If you want a rifle with better ballistics than .308 but still want .308 cost, look into a 6.5 Creedmoor. Both the Ruger Precision Rifle and/or a Howa barreled action are fine choices that come in that caliber.
 
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How far can you shoot at facilities that are within a reasonable drive?

Will you be shooting 600-1000+ on a regular basis?

I just got started with a 223 that I will shoot to 600 with.
Have a lot of room to grow with it and ammo will be less expensive especially with reloading.
 

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A simple (but pricy) solution is get a DTA SRS in .308 for now.
That gets you a very good precision rifle with a "cheap" caliber to practice/learn with.
Then when you start to outgrow it you can keep the same rifle and get a caliber change kit to something bigger.
 

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The 300WM and the 7mm are pretty stout calibers for just getting back into shooting. Not that you cannot do well with either one, but if you are just getting back into shooting, I think that you will have an easier time with gaining proficiency and enjoying the process with a different caliber.

I agree with NorCal's comments. I picked up Ruger Precision Rifle a few months ago in 6.5 CM. It is obscenely accurate and will reach out a long ways. It will also be much cheaper to shoot and will be much more enjoyable for me compared to a 300WM or a 7mm. With hand loads, a .308 can be pushed over 1,200 yards. I've not shot that far, but I read about it from others that have shot that far.

Your post reaffirms to me that there is no need for total honesty in a marriage. :p Does she really need to know how much you spend on guns? Do you really want to know how much she spends on manicures and purses? Buy yourself a safe, so when she sees a new gun, you can say, "it was in the back and I've had it for years." I'm on my second marriage, so take my advice with a grain of salt!
 

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If you want a rifle that you will not need to upgrade and will not outgrow then you need either an AI with change barrels or my preference a Desert Tech SRS. I ordered my SRS from primal rights with a custom barrel from the start and it shoots wonderful little holes.

Either of these rifles will be top notch shooters right out of the box. They don't need a new stock, trigger, barrel, or anything else for that matter. Just put a good scope on and shoot. Also...when you decide you want a larger caliber you are only out the cost of the barrel, bolt, and mag...not an entire rifle build. This allows you to have many different calibers and only one rifle...and only one scope which saves thousands in the long run. If you have the means to purchase a DTA, don't settle for less.
 

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I love my .308's, of course the 6.5 creed is inherently a more accurate round. But both are enjoyable in the recoil department which means more time behind the trigger. And you know what they say, perfect practice makes perfect. I had a 7mm mag for a while, and if not for the practice I had on technique with the .308, I doubt I would have enjoyed it as much. The issue I keep hearing about is " I can handle the recoil of a [insert larger caliber here]" which is true, many people can. But to manage it through the recoil pulse while keeping your reticle on target is what most on here mean by "handling recoil". I am looking to get a DT SRS next year as I want something capable of utilizing up to a .338 but in the same platform, I can shoot .308 or 6.5, makes practice a lot more afordable.
 

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1) those who suggest a .300 win mag to a new long range shooter have no business at all giving advise.

2) 6.5 or .308 should be your starting point.

3) My suggestion is the Ruger RPR in either 6.5 or 308

4) I am selling my SWFA SS HD 5-20x50 FFP mil/mil scope for $1000

The rifle and the scope will cost you just over $2000
 

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I'm a huge Remington fan so I'd recommend a varmint 700 in .308, bigger rounds can still cause bad habits such as flinching or anticipating recoil even if you can shoot it what seems to be comfortably. You're right about the availability of parts for them as they are everywhere and very varying in price and quality and they are very accurate guns. With my stock 30-06 700 ADL I can shoot sub-moa all day and I've gotten one group under one half inch at a hundred yards so accuracy is definitely there although the stock is really flimsy. A varmint 700 with a bell and Carlson or other aftermarket stock would be the way I'd go on a budget and then add a timney trigger and have a tack driver for under a thousand bucks. If you don't mind more expensive ammo or you reload then 6.5 creedmoor will offer better accuracy at longer ranges and savage makes great rifles chambered for 6.5 creedmoor. If money is no concern then a dta srs would be a better choice I bet (no personal experience with desert tech) just my two cents.
 

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Where I'm located you can find cheap 308 for quite a bit less than 6.5 and just getting trigger time is what I've been taught is the most important thing in getting better, it might not print the tightest groups but if you're practicing the fundamentals your shooting will improve. It has been my experience that savage makes a very accurate rifle that may not be of the highest quality but if you have a limited budget it will put rounds on paper accurately. If that is not your experience then you are entitled to your opinion but I personally don't see any problem using one as a stepping stone of sorts between a small caliber and a 300 wm or 7mm mag that could be purchased later on and built with better components.
 

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Where I'm located you can find cheap 308 for quite a bit less than 6.5 and just getting trigger time is what I've been taught is the most important thing in getting better, it might not print the tightest groups but if you're practicing the fundamentals your shooting will improve. It has been my experience that savage makes a very accurate rifle that may not be of the highest quality but if you have a limited budget it will put rounds on paper accurately. If that is not your experience then you are entitled to your opinion but I personally don't see any problem using one as a stepping stone of sorts between a small caliber and a 300 wm or 7mm mag that could be purchased later on and built with better components.
The problem with cheap ammo is you don't know if your making a mistake or if it's the ammo. If your rifle shoots a 1/2" group at 100 yards consistently and you have a flyer, it's more than likely operator error. The key is to remove as many mechanical variables as possible so the only error that is present is the shooter. Once you identify any problems you have, only then can you fix them.
 

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Unless your hunting big game at long range there's no reason to go 300 or 7 mag. 6.5 will almost equal 300wm in trajectory and drift. 6.5 creedmoore factory match is the same or close enough to 308 match in cost to be insignificant. I shoot 308 because I'm class limited. If I wasn't I'd be shooting one of the 6.5s. I did shoot 300 in F class. After 88 rounds you know you've been shooting. Barrel life is 1500ish rounds. That's something to consider as well. If you shoot every weekend you will burn up a 300 Wm barrel is a year or 2. And you need to be shooting every weekend. ELR shooting is expensive. You have to figure a lrf, kestrel, spotting scope, ammo, replacement barrels and reloading equipment. That's the next thing, you are going to pretty much need to reload. That last .2 moa is going to be needed at 1200 yards on a 24" plate. Plus who loaded berger bullets factory?
 

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Don't buy cheap ammo. You will thank me later. I started out with 147gr ball 308 ammo. It would not group at all and therefore it was not telling me anything about my rifle or my shooting skill. Go ahead and buy either some quality components or match grade loaded ammo. If you cannot afford quality ammo then you cannot afford precision shooting.

"trigger time" is good for practicing the fundamentals...and cheap ammo will accomplish that...but so will dry firing and dry firing is much cheaper.
 

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Where I'm located you can find cheap 308 for quite a bit less than 6.5 and just getting trigger time is what I've been taught is the most important thing in getting better, it might not print the tightest groups but if you're practicing the fundamentals your shooting will improve. It has been my experience that savage makes a very accurate rifle that may not be of the highest quality but if you have a limited budget it will put rounds on paper accurately. If that is not your experience then you are entitled to your opinion but I personally don't see any problem using one as a stepping stone of sorts between a small caliber and a 300 wm or 7mm mag that could be purchased later on and built with better components.
What do you consider to be a very accurate rifle?
My friend has a savage. 3/4 to 7/8 MOA is the best he or I can do with it with hand loads. I stopped shooting his rifle after the second light primer strike. Savages are junk and they are dangerous. I can't ask the op to refrain from taking your advise enough. First you say 6.5 is more expensive to shoot than .308, false. Then you say savage makes a good rifle, false. The final straw was you suggesting he buy cheap .308 ammo, wow seriously.
 

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I have found that federal power shock 150 gr. Groups very well and consistently in my gun between .75 and .5 moa with one grouping squeaking under half moa so far. It's cheap ammo and it's a soft point but I have found it to be very accurate. Seeing as my rifle has no modifications the ammo is probably shooting as accurate as I'll get out of my gun and it gives me lots of trigger time for about 2/3 as much as the cheapest 6.5 Creedmoor. I do intend to start reloading soon but for now I'm firing cheap ammo and getting good results. (Note that I shoot 30-06 but the same ammo is available in 308 for the same price with a minor velocity loss) we are all going to have different experiences with rifles and I have not had any bad experiences with savage, the one I have shot will put them just over a half moa with nothing but a "worked over" trigger and some reloads. So for me it's much cheaper to shoot 30-06 than 6.5 without reloading, I have had nothing to point me towards savage rifles being junk, and I use cheap ammo with pretty good results. It's all opinion and budget and I have found a way that works for me to practice for cheap.
 
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