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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to purchase a rifle for tactical/sniper competition.

I really am a newby to this kind of thing but I have heavy experience/training in handgun, shotgun, carbine etc. but not much in precision shooting or sniper fieldcraft, so it will be a new experience for me.

Anyway I am looking for something that is tough, accurate, and field servicable. I have looked at Chandler, Tac-Ops, GA Precision etc.

I guess I am looking for opinions on which of these systems would be best for these type of competitions.

Also does anyone have any opinions on various schools etc?

Thanks, Todd
 

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Any of the rifles you listed will serve you well. However I would seriously consider the SC1 as a better option, you'll save money and get just as good a rifle. Check em out on this site.
 

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You have to ask yourself a number of questions before that can be seriously answered.
What price range and why? the rifles you list are all a pretty penny. Even the SC1 is still up there. You can buy an off the shelf that will serve you well while you learn. However, if you want to spend the cash, by all means go for it. Mel builds a hell of a rifle, and this is his site, but I would do some serious research before you plop down any cash. Not that you would make a mistake, all the above mentioned are quality sticks, but each has it's own idiosyncracies.
What type of "tactical" shooting are you going to do? Mid range, long range, unknown distances? Are you going to hunt or only shoot paper?
Are you going to carry it or only haul it from your trunk to the bench. These, and many other questions, need to be answered before you can jump into a rifle. Or if you have money to burn, buy whatever and learn as you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In general a lot of the schools that I am looking at teach marksman ship and fieldcraft to one degree or the other, thats my first stop on this journey, but not the last stop.

My partner, who is actively pursuing training for deployment purposes had his rifle custom built for his specific needs by his agency. I on the other hand need something a little more all around and for some reason they don't want me to build one for me, even though I pay taxes, well go figure.

The contests/excercies that I will be training for/in (have been talked into really, but I admit it didnt take much talking since the whole thing fascinates me) require participation in both static marksman excercises at short, medium and long range distances, probably more so in the medium range I would suppose (300-700 meters) and more also in more robust field excercises. Move, Hide, approach, aquire, etc. That means sometimes I can "Haul it from the truck to the bench" but other times I will need to hump it through the courses of fire etc.

Yes I could buy a beginners rifle, but I prefer to get something that I can grow into as I progress, when I get there I don't want to trade out and start learning a new system all over.

As to doing research, yeah thats what this post is about in part since there seem to be a lot of knowledgeable people about, as always I will make my own decisions and am getting as much as possible from as many sources as possible including active duty types that I have trained with in other areas.

My general question was not were those weapon systems good, I know they are, but specifically if the Tac-Op and GA systems could stand up to heavy field use as experienced by say a marine scount or army sniper, I may not put them through the same paces, or I may it just depends on how far I go with this.

I believe I have heard from enough people in the various communities that the Chandler systems hold up exceptionally well outside of the range, the tac-op community seems to be more oriented (though I could be wrong) towards the police role where conditions are arguably better (though obvioulsy no less serious).

I know little about mel's rifles, what he builds them for (other than accurarcy) where they have been used etc. and I hope he chimes in here as well.

Anyway all opinons are appreciated, Thanks

Todd
 

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Todd,

As I said in my previous post, all the rifles you named are great rifles. I agree with your desire to get the best you can and grow into it. I never understood the point in starting with a beginners rifle if you can afford better, your needs/wants are the same as everybody rugged, dependable, accurate etc. whichever you choose you will be happy with. And by the way get the best optics you can afford also, this is as or more important than the rifle itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes I agree the optics will be the best I can get/like I am also looking at other pices of kit (packs, drags, binocs, spotter scope blah blah blah)

One of the issues there is subjectivity. I have heard "Gotta get a..." fill in the blank (nightforce, Leuopold, etc. etc.) from a lot of people I respect, why vs. what no one has articulated as of yet, maybe they can't.

Again I guess all of the good ones are really good, and I have tried some of these out, but not under the conditions I will be using them, catch 22 there I am afraid since I must buy before I can really apply.

I will eventually buy all of the kit and after the fact (1 year of training) probably trade 1/2 of it in for something else if history is any indication.

I went through the same learning curve with my M4 kit when training in CQB etc. Had a lot of "Must have" do-dads that I eventually just stripped off (rifle, gear and otherwise) since they mostly got in the way, and I put a few others on that I found really helped vs. theory but mostly back to stock or a lighter version thereof.

One of the lessons learned was wieght. It was nice to have the billeted aluminum rails to mount lights, lasers and what not, and you could hang a truck off the thing (it was built well) it also free floated the barrel etc.

Trouble was it all wieghed a ton, I never shot past 50yds and although at the training range it was fine when you carried it for 12 hours a day it got heavy fast.

So about 6 mo. later it was off in favor of a really lite weight mounts etc. because non of the stuff I though was important really was, trying to avoid those issues again.

So tough, accurate and as lite as practical would be my list of haves for the rifle from past experience, thats all relative too of course.

Hey does anyone know what the difference between the X-Ray from Tac-Ops is other than the stock?

Mel?

Todd
 

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Todd,
The GA rifles are built to give you everything you can dish and then some . They are made SPECIFICALLY for field use. One of George's 'smiths is/was a USMC 2112. Read the review of GA's "the rock" at snipercountry.com. These are sniper rifles tested by persons under "field" conditions, not off of a sterile bench.
As far as glass goes durability and quality is what you want US Optics is where you should start. Are there other great scopes out there? yes, but I challenge anyone of them to hold up to a USO from a durability standpoint. And currently USO is the "official" producer and repair shop for the USMC M40A3, not unertl.
 

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id go for a Remington 700P
its truley a great rifle for its price
if you want to go top of the line give the Sniper Central SC1 a good look
i think its just as good as the other rifles out there without the price tag though
 

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you want to go top of the line give the Sniper Central SC1 a good look
i think its just as good as the other rifles out there without the price tag though
I think the SC1 is a great rifle, and I would personally purchase one. But no offense to Mel, it is not one of the top of the line.

It is a great rifle, the price makes it an outstanding rifle, it is not top of the line.
 

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well i like the SC1 and it comes w/ a 1/2 moa guarentee with the factory match ammo that id likely be using
only other thing id care about besides the accuracy is the stock and the looks
it looks great and the only complaint about McMillian stocks is that its hard to choose... M40A1 or A4 or MH???
 

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I think we'd have to define top of the line. Hows the SC1 any less of a rifle than the GA Precision rifles, or the Chandlers? The SC1 is built on a Remington action as are the other two, It is trued up which is a Very basic procedure that is the same with any compitent and knowledgable smith. The SC1 uses Mcmillan stocks which are without a doubt some of the best stocks out there. The only area I can see the SC1 would be behind the other two would be the lack of pillar bedding and a little cheaper barrel. So why would the SC1 not be considered a top of the line rifle? A rifle doesn't have to be built by one of the "big names" in the tactical buisiness to be top of the line, heck why pay that much extra cash for a name.
 

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Boisedarc,
You make some good points. The first thing I want to point out is, as my post stated, that this is not a knock on the SC1 by any means. It is a question of whether or not the SC1 is a top of the line rifle.
Let's examine the SC1 vs. a GA Precision "rock".
SC1 = $1750 (w/A-5 stock)
Rock = $2800 (A-5 stock is an option)
They both have a 700 action
both have the bolt face squared and trued, which, like you said, is a fairly easy maneuver for a competent smith.
However, that is where the similarities end.
The barrel used by the SC1 is by Montana Rifleman. (chrome moly)
The rock uses a choice of many well established and respected barrel makers, i.e. mike rock, obermeyer, schneider, et al, with barrels made from stainless steel. These barrel makers already have a well known reputation in the tactical community.
The rock is bedded in Marine Tex, the SC1 is not.
The rock comes with badger floorplate, rings, base, and titanium recoil lug.
The rock has the bolt configured with a steyr bolt knob not a steyr imitation.
Also, the rock has a bolt stop modification to prevent bolt stop failure, which everyone who has shot 700's for any length of time has experienced.
Finally, besides George, GA has Eric Ried, a Marine Corps 2112 and one of the developers of the M40A3. These are the professionals who have been trained in sniper rifle gunsmithing by the best in the world. That is what you are paying for. The extra items and the experience in putting them together.
I will say again that the SC1 is a good rifle, and for the price it's a great rifle. But there is no way you can throw a decent stock and barrel on a stock rifle and call it the top of the line.
My next door neighbor is good at working on cars but I don't think he would qualify to build a nascar.
 

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well if im not mistaken the Rock from GA Precision and the SC1 have the same guarnetee... 1/2 moa
all i care about is performance a nice stock and good looking gun
both meet all 3 of my simple requirements just the SC1 is $1000 less
better deal we can agree yes
in my opinion just as good of a rifle? why not?
 

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We can agree that if all you care about is a nice stock and a good looking gun then by all means, purchase the SC1.
.5 MOA guarantee is like a safety net. I can buy a stock rifle and it will shoot .5 more often than not.
The bottom line is you must buy what you want and what you like.
If you think it is just as good of a rifle, great, go for it. But I hope I never see you on this site wanting to upgrade the trigger, bottom metal, base, rings, any of that because I want to remind you that you think the SC1 is fine just the way it is and doesn't need any improvement.
 

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heh
im happy with my Remington 700P
meets all 3 requiremnt i had listed before
performance- just as good as most of the rifles for more... i coulda gotten one that couldnt hold 1 moa but that wasnt the case mine shoots well below 1/2 moa with Black Hills and Federal match
stock- HS Precision Remington 700P stock, very nice, fits my shoulder just as good as any other... its comforatable... wish it came with a McMillian A4 but it didnt and ive thought about getting one but have held back... now i have more sense and am not tempted
looks: i like the looks of the Remington 700P, maybe some people dont like the looks of those tactcal matte black guns but i do

if the trigger was at 10 lbs on a precision rifle i might consider ajusting it then but i think thats justifaiable
 

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1st question answered:

The tac-ops X-Ray is the same as an echo, or the others, except for the stock.


Now, to address the SC1 vs. GA Precision, or other high end rifles. I will not claim that the SC1 is in the same league, its not designed to be. There is enough competition for limited amount of buyers in that price range. GA Precision, Tac-Ops, Chandler (Iron Brigade), TBA, even AI can be considered. But, there are not very many custom rifle builders in the lower mid range, that 1200-1800 area. That was the target price range. I could have easily used a Krieger, Shilen or other barrel, combined with pillar bedding, new recoil log, badger floor plates, etc etc... but the price would be right up there at $2800 or there abouts, and thats not a smart business move, there are plenty of players there. So, I made a target price where I thought many people were being left behind, and then "shot" for that range. The MT Rifleman barrels are good, and getting even better. I can use Stanless Steel, but it just adds more money. Anyway, the comparison isn't exactly apples to apples, and the sc1 rifles are not intended to be compared with the high end. GA makes an excellent rifle, as does chandler, Tac-Ops, TBA, and other others. I've shot most all of them and love them all.

MEL
 

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Mel,
That is exactly my point. You can make an excellent rifle in the $1300. -$1800. range. If this was my budget, I would talk to you hands down. No offense was ever meant. I believe that if anyone is looking for a "stock" rifle, i.e. Stealth II, 700P, PSS, et al, they would be better off paying a little more and getting one of your rifles.
As far as Montana Rifleman goes, I believe in there quality and will put my money where my mouth is buy building a .30-06 later this year with one of their barreled actions.
My issue was with the "top of the line" comparison.

I think we're all in agreement and can let this lie now.
 

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Heheh... roger that!

Now, I guess to address the original question:

I personally like the Tac-Ops rifles (probably why I bought a bravo-51). Their attention to detail is exceptional, and I love the textured finish they put on their stocks. Not to mention they are amazingly accurate. All of the mentioned rifles are extremely accurate. It becomes a matter of personaly preference and the little things you want.

MEL
 

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Todd,

If you are unfamiliar with the tools you mentioned, and are planning on attending some form of sniper training, some of the schools are sponsored by the makers of those upper-end systems you can tryout during the course. Might be a good opportunity to try a few different guns in the environment you intend to operate in.

TOPO
 

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Discussion Starter #20
T&E at the range is a good idea that I will probably do regardless of whether I have my own system at the time.

I am also a scuba instructor and I love to try other guys gear that I have never used, also as an instructor I always cringe at certain purchases some of the new guys buy, you know, they look good on paper but...hoping to avoid any of those.

Having said that I do like the idea of the shorter barrel on the Tac-Op's especially with what I have been reading about the re-thinking of barrel lengths etc. I believe they also offer their 1/4 MOA guarantee past 100 yards, some of the rifles I have looked at wont do that MOA or that Guar.

Anyway the search continues.

Thanks guys I think I will go over to the optics section and post a couple.

Todd
 
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