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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lets talk about the long range precision rifle. I see to many people here buying rifles and regretting there decision once they either start shooting it or post it up here on the forums.

Lets clear something up right from the start, these are not cheap rifles. I understand most try and construct these rifles on a budget, and I get that, but for a good .50 MOA rifle, your going to have to lay down some $ to get it right. But why not do it right the first time?

I want to give everyone a good comprehensive look into what makes a decent sniper rifle that you will use for the rest of your life with ease, at the best possible cost to you. I will try and make this brief but if you have specific questions about what’s here please post it and I will go more in depth. I will try and keep this budget oriented; most of us don’t care to put 6 grand down on a devoted long range rig.

Let us look at the best budget rifle you can own. Two choices come to mind that are well known within the shooting community.

The Remington 700 being the most popular and for good reason. If at some point you want to accessorize or accurize your rifle this one is the one you want. Almost any heavy barrel, free floating version will do. I prefer the PSS or PSP versions chambered in .308 or if you really want to get a little extra distance out of your gun the .300WM.

Next is the Savage 110FP, which you can get for cheaper. I believe the last one I priced on Gunbroker was about $500.00 when it sold. However these guns do have a few shortcomings. If you get a version with the accu-trigger than please disregard this next part. If you get a none accu-trigger model then you should replace the trigger with an adjustable one such as the Timney adjustable trigger. The next shortfall is the stock, however replacement stocks made for these heavy barreled guns are available.

For distances up to 600yds, your shorter barreled guns will do just fine, for getting out to 1000yds or further, you need the 26” barrel. This allows the powder to burn longer, increasing your velocity, pushing the bullet with more energy down range.

Now let’s talk about the scope. Allot of people tend to scrimp on scopes, this is totally unacceptable. Good sniper scopes have easy to read target turrets, at minimum 10X power, and have good glass with good reviews. If I wanted a new scope on a budget that would well suit my needs I would get a SWFA super sniper. They range from 300 to 800 dollars and retain there value well. You want something that has ¼ MOA adjustments and should have a mil dot reticle for range estimation.

Rings: should be high quality steel. Badger makes great rings and have a great following. However TPS as well as other manufacturers make a great product. At minimum you should be looking at paying about 100 for quality rings. Should be attached by means of a picatiny rail.

Base: should be again made from steel, one piece for proper alignment and again picatiny.

Last but not least are the sling and bipod.

There are many different slings on the market; in my opinion the best that I have used are the Turner leather slings and or the TAB sling sold by Rifles only. For anything other than prone you’re going to want a real good quality sling. Again look to spend around 100 for a good sling.

Bipods are the same way. Harris being the leader in bipod design. You want to get one with the swivel function and notched leg. The 6-9” version is known as the BMRS (used to get as low to the ground as possible but is hard to use when shooting up hill) version and it designation of the 9-13” version is known as the LM (used when you have high grass but is hard to get into downhill shooting positions because the shooter so far off the ground).

I hope this helps most of you in setting up your quality long range rifle.
 

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I purchased a FN Patrol rifle in 308 and added a Zeiss scope. It's the most accurate rifle I've ever owned and I've owned plenty! Consistently shoots .50 MOA. If you're looking for a ready made rifle I don't hesitate to recommend it. Not cheap but not ridiculous and it does the job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Both very nice, very accurate rifles made by reputable rifle builders. Good choices if you have the coin.
 

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The lead in was "Building a precision rifle" you are just laying down the cash & accessorizing the bought weapon.
I agree with fx77 it has been done.
But if you are talking about getting the accessories to work together to make the rifle more accurate that is a different story all together.

Just recently I purchased an AR upper & lower, hooked a scope to it, took it to the range to get the scope zeroed with it mounted on a craddle type rest the target out at 50yds I took the first three shots.:eek: What! only one hole.....DID I get took on this barrel or what!
I pulled the target back to 30yds. (I'm sure I can get three rounds on paper at 30yds) I took three more shots at the target....ONE HOLE:mad:..boy I was P!$$ed (feeling like I got took) I took two more shots.....ONE HOLE :eek: :mad:......I walked out to the target sure enough, one hole......with five little radius around it about the size of a 30cal round :eek: then I realized all the rounds were going through one hole. :D:
After that I finished up zeroing by moving the target out to 100yds....then 200yds....now that I have a gun that shoots that good. It is time that I work on my shooting skills so I can get the same results off the rest.
Now I see it is not how good of a barrel you have, it is how good you can get the accessories to work together.:thumb:
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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The lead in was "Building a precision rifle" you are just laying down the cash & accessorizing the bought weapon.
I agree with fx77 it has been done.
But if you are talking about getting the accessories to work together to make the rifle more accurate that is a different story all together.

Just recently I purchased an AR upper & lower, hooked a scope to it, took it to the range to get the scope zeroed with it mounted on a craddle type rest the target out at 50yds I took the first three shots.:eek: What! only one hole.....DID I get took on this barrel or what!
I pulled the target back to 30yds. (I'm sure I can get three rounds on paper at 30yds) I took three more shots at the target....ONE HOLE:mad:..boy I was P!$$ed (feeling like I got took) I took two more shots.....ONE HOLE :eek: :mad:......I walked out to the target sure enough, one hole......with five little radius around it about the size of a 30cal round :eek: then I realized all the rounds were going through one hole. :D:
After that I finished up zeroing by moving the target out to 100yds....then 200yds....now that I have a gun that shoots that good. It is time that I work on my shooting skills so I can get the same results off the rest.
Now I see it is not how good of a barrel you have, it is how good you can get the accessories to work together.:thumb:
Once you own a gun at shoots clover leaves, you may loose all interest in guns that group like shotgun.

A precision rifle should shoot 1.5 inch groups at 300 yds, not 100 yds.

Your new AR should shoot out to the limits of the cartridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The lead in was "Building a precision rifle" you are just laying down the cash & accessorizing the bought weapon.
I agree with fx77 it has been done.
But if you are talking about getting the accessories to work together to make the rifle more accurate that is a different story all together.
Well I see your point, however I disagree. You take a gun like the FN mentioned above, never put a base on it, never put rings on the base, never put a scope in the rings, guess what: you never have a precision rifle. Without these "accessories" as you call them you do not have a complete rifle.

You have a basic M16/M4 style AR, and want to put a scope and rings on it then your accessorizing it, because it will come you to with basic sights to shoot it, still a useable rifle without buying the "accessories".

Plus if you do have to upgrade the trigger, stock and all of the above, you have essentially built up a precision rig from a basic firearm.

Sorry I didn't get into changing barrels, lapping lugs, crowning the bore, floating the barrel, bedding the action and truing the action. But allot of that work requires tool that the common garage gunsmith doesn't have, and I don't expect anyone here to have. Not to mention the skill level required to do the work, entire books have been written on the subject, I think you came into this thread expecting to much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Why waste time reinventing the wheel..it has been done
U would have to be a hellof a machinist/shooter to better these products

Here is a rifle of incredible capability and value

http://www.gaprecision.net/
Gap has some incredible rifles, but what I was trying to do is provide an less expensive option to the shooters of this site. Not everyone has $2800.00 to put down on a rifle before optics.

At most the whole kit i am suggesting will run these members $1,200.00-$1,600.00. Substantially less $. And you can do it yourself.

I have gotten the same .5 MOA accuracy out of these two rigs as I have my Terry Cross gun, the same .5 MOA that is advertised out of the GAP rifles advertised. So why pay more for the same performance?
 

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space samurai
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how do you feel about having a gunsmith attach a barrel of your chooseing to an action of your chooseing, and then adding a stock and trigger?
ive heard the term trueing an action before and would assume if you had the above done one would just go ahead and have that done at the same time.

where im going is, would that be more cost effective, or get you a more accurate weapon.

i also see the allure of buying a complete rifle, and working on it over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That would all depend on the components your using, the smith your using and the time it takes.

This is what custom gun builders like GAP, Iron Brigade Armory, Terry Cross (KMW), McMillan, Texas Brigade Armory, CheyTAC and a whole host of other manufacturers do. They take components of your choosing and machine them down to very fine tolerances, polish everything up and assemble a tack driver on a bedded stock. The only thing you can do to cut your cost is provide the smith of your choosing with an action, stock and whatever other components you can purchase for maybe cheaper then (if you can find them on sale) and have the smooth just true everything up and assemble it. Even then your talking a nice bit of $. Custom guns will always be more $ then pre-assembled weapons.
 

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so the money is in the gunsmithing.
correct me if im wrong but it seems to me like what you first described was really just buying a barreled action that happened to have a trigger and stock, as the plan is to scrap the stock and trigger. which is why i thought it may be cheaper to say buy a kreiger barrel and 700 action, timney trigger and stock of your choice and have it put together.

thank you for answering my question. when the money is available for another gun project i was wanting to build a rifle for long range practical accuracy and you gave me much food for thought both in your OP and response.
 

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Unless the rifle is crap from the factory, ANY quality maker will outshoot the shooter everytime.

What I see is someone who wants a "sniper rifle" buying a really great, high class gun. And then they go to Wal Mart and spend $150 bucks on a scope, rings AND bases.....then wonders why it shoots minute of trashcan lid. A good 3x9 will get you to decent ranges with a 308. But if you don't have a sturdy base/rings....it will never happen.

There isn't any mystical kung fu mojo you have to have to be a great rifle shooter. What it takes is attention to detail AND doing the exact same thing the exact same way, everytime.

If your scope/mount/rings aren't sturdy enough to be repeatable...then you won't ever have the accuracy you want.
 

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Unfortunately from what I am seeing in rifles these days tend to fit the description I heard which is they give you enough parts so you can disassemble them, rework everything and make it run.
Hinnant's Book on Precision Rifle Barrel fitting is a good primer for folks to understand what goes into a rifle to convert it from a pattern maker to a group maker.
For instance when I was at the Fed Law Enf Tng Cntr the US Border Patrol wanted some sniper rifles and they got five 700 Remington Varmint rifles in 308 with wood stocks. Their gunsmith had just retired from the Army Marksmanship Unit where he built guns for the Army teams and first thing he did was go out and shoot each rifle with Fed Match ammo and kept the groups.

He came back and disassembled every rifle and starting at muzzle he recrowned all to 11 deg crown, he removed every barrel and cut off back end and moved shoulder forward one ring and rechambered them to tight headspace. He squared the actions, lapped the lugs, squared the bolt face, adjusted the triggers and bedded them and went back out and shot them. Of the five four delivered groups 1/2 the size of the factory set up and one reduced factory group about 1/4".

I have a friend who used to work for Mike Walker when he was over the Custom Shop there and he built the 40x rifles. He said all the 40x rifles go through the Custom Shop for rework and some actions have to be ground as they are banana shaped.

I was barreling up a 700 about 20 years ago and the barrel would not come loose. I gave another friend at Remington a call and told him what I had run into. He told me to heat the action with a torch to about 200F and it would come off. Sure enough it did. They used plumbers pipe dope on the threads to hold barrel in place ! ! ! ! !

Last new 700 I got I sent it to factory twice before I fired first round.
 

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just thought I'd add this.... my dad had a Win. model 70 on the wall for maybe 2 decades... none of us boys really ever gave it a shot... I read an article in field and stream that raved about the model 70... I asked my dad if I could have the rifle and he said "sure have at it".... well I have to say I'm quickly falling in love w/ this rifle... I'm really impressing myself w/ cheap optics and standard loads.... these riles are everywhere and not that expensive.... give me a couple more weeks and I'll post some specifics.... I'm impressing some veterans down at the range.... win. model 70 is a serious rifle... I haven't ever tried the short action but the long action is legit
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Win model 70 is a great gun, but the ones they make today is nothing like the pre-64 guns of yester year.
 

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The last 10 yrs I have been collecting AKs and have a pretty nice collection and alot of knowlege about them. I decided to try something different so bought this. It is a budget precision rifle and I am still working on it but here goes.
Remington 700 SPS Tac 308 $549
Nikon Monarch 5 X 20 ------ $419
HS stock 5r take off --------$200
Warne rings-----------------$ 60
Burris mount----------------$ 35
Harris bipod-----------------$ 65
Timney trigger--------------$120
Total----------------------$1448

 

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Here is my recent build:



Savage Axis
Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40 with Mil-dot reticule
Butler creek caps and Kill-Flash
EGW one piece mount - trimmed down by Smith
Burris Rings
Mount, Boresight, and Trigger smooth to 4 pounds by smith
Harris tilt bipod 6-9"
Eagle stock pack

All that was probably like $800

Have not shot it yet, but I expect good things.
 

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