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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure this question has been asked several times before but I figured I'd give it a shot.

I've shot rifle before but not to a large degree probably only between 100-200 rounds total. I bought a M70 featherweight in 30-06 about 8 years ago and it is punishing to shoot for any long period of time.

I'm wanting to develop my marksmanship skills and start to scratch the surface of precision shooting. I've seen several people talk about shooting .22's and moving up from there. I agree with that but I would also like some sort of centerfire rifle to shoot as well. The local range where I shoot is limited to 350 yards but I do have a friend with a farm that I could stretch my legs to 500 yards.

So my question is what types of configurations do the members here suggest? I am trying to work withing a budget of $1000-1500 but could possibly splurge up to $2k. Although I would love a rifle from Mike I'm not looking for 1/4 moa groups. Optics quality are also important so I'm willing to spend much more on optics than a rifle because the optics can be swapped as new rifles or upgrades are added.

Thanks guys,
Brandon
 

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I got one of the Remington packages from Mel and even after adding a case, sling, and accessories, I've still got change left from my $2K
 

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If you want to put it together yourself I would suggest either a Remington 700 SPS or Savage. If you would rather have someone else put it together for you, Mel has some very nice packages here.
http://www.snipercentral.com/scriflepac ... ackageid=2

I would definitely get a .22, preferably a bolt action. Before reading these forums I was just going to jump into a Remington 700 and honestly am glad I bought my Savage Mark II first. I decided that until I am able to consistently hold 1 MOA groups at 100yds with it I'm not going to buy the long range rifle I want. Well unless I find a really awesome deal :lol:. I've had a lot of fun shooting my .22. It is cheap to shoot and will definitely give you a good platform to learn the basics such as breath control, scope alignment, etc.
 

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The actions to consider in the price range are Howa, Savage/Stevens, Remington and Tikka. Most come with garbage stocks so it's highly suggested to replace them with a quality inexpensive composite stock from any of a handful of manufacturers. All these brands come in Varmint/target configurations, which is what you're looking for. The thicker barrel is more resistant to heat causing point of impact shift, and to barrel whip. The heavier fore end also assists with keeping the rifle steady.

There are some models that come in decent stocks, like the 700 XCR and the Savage HS Precision and McMillan models, though they often charge more for these extra features than what the going street price is. Mele puts together beginner target packages with a good scope, mounts and stock already pieced together around the action. If you like the options offered in that kit, it's the most cost effective way to wrap your hands around a 100% quality rifle.

The place to start is gun shops. Take a list of the actions and stocks you are considering. Work the bolts to see which actions you find the nicest to operate. Try the triggers for consistency and pull. Try the stocks and see which you are more comfortable sitting behind for benchrest and lying prone behind. Then, take time weighing your options and shopping around to find all the features you want in an available package, or buy the bits and pieces aftermarket to build it up yourself. You should be able to find a nice rifle in a nice stock for 1000 dollars, and that leaves you plenty of room for shopping quality optics.

For .22's, there are many lines of thought and many options. I have a singleshot iron sights Remington 510, and a Savage Mark II BV in the construction process. Some guys swear by using the most basic no-frills iron sights, and some guys swear by using a scoped .22 that is as similar as possible to their centerfire rifles. That choice is up to you. Consider the Savage Mk II BV or TR and the CZ452 series.
 

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Don't overlook .223 as a place to start. The recoil makes it a lot easier to handle but you can still get decent accuracy out to 500yds with good ammo.
 

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Remington 700P LTR, .223 Remington, Scope to match distance and purpose...more than 9x magnification is strictly unnecessary for general purpose at your range.

Case of HSM .223 Match with the Sierra 69 SMK.

-Nate
 

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I third the 223 motion. I've got a savage 10 in 223 and it would be great for your range and virtually no recoil. Also savage is supposed to be very user friendly if you are a do it yourself type. Accuracy matches and exceeds remington out of the box. i haven't done much to it myself but change stock, rings, scope, bolt knob/handle. Shoots beautifully
 

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If you want another rifle, good suggestions have been made. However, you can get a heavy, 'tactical' stock for your current Model 70 long action. These have aluminum bedding blocks so you can swap from your current stock easily yourself. Just a thought. I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting another rifle, but if money is tight, this option will get you shooting your current rifle more comfortably.

http://www.brownells.com/1/1/24509-targ ... hoate.html

It could be your barrel is unsuitable, though, and a new rifle might still be in order, I just wanted to toss this out there.
 

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Remington also makes the 700P LTR in .308 and that will give you range out to 800. I have this very rifle and it is not punishing to shoot at all. And you can get Federal Gold Match, 168SMKs for a pretty good price right now if you shop around.
 

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Spooker, where are good deals on the fgmm 168s? I've been shopping the last couple days...cheapest I could find was $22/box post shipping. Is there anywhere cheaper (I bought from glens army navy).

Im getting shipment of one of mels howa rifles next week (from another member) and am in desperate need of some good ammo to shoot.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, they used to be around $32 a box. I found some for about $18 a while back and bought all I could, but I can't find them for that anymore. $22 is not bad though.
 

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Ok I guess I'll pick up a couple more boxes if that's a good price.
My bros SC rem700 is almost ready. Just waiting for bolt knob and barrel cap. So we will have two of mels rifles soon to play with.

Back to topic at hand: cz rifles come highly recommended for training. Good price and great shooters.
 

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I love shooting my Tikka T3 Varmint in 223.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the input everyone. I have looked at the .223 quiet a bit. I've thought about an AR platform .223. I have a built lower with a match trigger and an A2 stock I've been considering using for a precision style .223 build.

My plan was a flat top upper and a krieger service rifle barrel. My only rub with the AR is truing the face of the receiver to ensure the bore line is true the bolt face.

Also with the .223 it will teach me a lot about reading wind at longer ranges in case the I ever get bitten by the F-T/R bug.

Edit: I also want to keep the 30-06 light because I will probably use it as a hunting rifle once I get a good load for it.
 
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