Shooters Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I know this will open up a can of worms, but you never learn without listening to others so here we go. I have just joined a local sportsmans club at the invitation of my boss. They have ranges from 25 to 1000 yards. I need a caliber that will give me the most bang for my buck as far as accurate/fun/economical to reload/fast etc.... This weapon will be used almost exclusively for punching paper, and maybe a little varmint work. What are your thoughts as to the best caliber for this application?
Thanks,
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
.223 will be easy on your shoulder and wallet. Plenty of factory choices in ammunition for target or varmints. Won't be a lot of good at the 1,000 yard line though. I recommend a Savage model 16FSS.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,233 Posts
Good call!

If you plan on hunting with said gun, .308 is not a bad choice either (Kinda depends on your definition of "varmit" - here in TX wild pigs count as varmits and they get pretty big&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->.

I like the Remington Model 7 also - small, light, handy.

Don't worry about the 1,000 yard stuff.  It will take a while to work up to that.  That calls for pretty specialized equipment.



<!--EDIT|MikeG|Feb. 07 2002,21:17-->
 

·
Nawth East Moderatah
Joined
·
5,465 Posts
Boy, your not kidding this topic could open a can...
 I think that perhaps you also have to think about what you would be interested in spending.
 If this is your first long gun, you should think about how much you plan to shoot, and with any luck you'll be bit by the same bug the rest of us have. If you truly plan to shoot 1000, you can do it with .223, they do it at the National Matches every year. The ammo is plentiful, easy to reload, and there are ALOT of different weight bullets out there.  Just as important as caliber is the twist rate of your rifle, this determines how stable the projectile will be in flight.[due to the weight]
 I personally shoot the .308win, [hence the tag] from an M1a. I have only shot 1000 once, but it was lots of fun.  I do think that you have to crawl B4 ya run.  The .308 is a very accurate round, "plinking" ammo is relatively cheap, and there are LOTS of .30cal bullets to choose from.  The recoil is not quite as mild as the .223, but it's not an elephant gun either.  
 If you join this club why don't you step back and notice what the other shooter's are using.  There is nothing we like better than to talk about our guns!  Try a few different calibers B4 committing!   hope this rambling helps..???
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Woody,

My fellow M-1A shooter "m141a" provides an excellent suggestion in test driving a few different rifles to see what you like before investing hard-earned dollars on your own rig. I'm certain there will be plenty of folks happy to let you try a few rounds from their guns.

I wouldn't limit yourself to a strictly paper punching rifle. Once you get into it, I'm confident you'll want to try longer ranges and/or hunting. The .223 is a good choice from a cost standpoint, but in my opinion is wholely inadequate for hunting game larger than woodchucks and coyote. A .308 would serve you well for just about any big game short of the great bears and can easily be handloaded with lightweight bullets for varmints. It and several other cartridges such as the .260 Remington, 7mm-08 Remington, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington, and of course the greatest of all, the .30-06, should be high on your list of considerations.

Please don't hesitate to ask any and all questions you may have. Remember, the only dumb question is the one that wasn't asked. There is a wealth of information and experience at this site and it is feely provided to newcomers like yourself. Welcome to the shooting fraternity!
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
I think the most important thing you can choose is the rifle.  Personally, I think the rifle is the thing you have to concentrate on, the caliber usually falls into place afterwards.  25 - 1000 yards is a mighty big task for any rifle.  I am assuming all shooting will be done from the bench.  Of course we all know about assuming!!!  Any particular weight class?  Point is if you are shooting from the bench, an 11 pound rifle or a 20 pound rifle are all the same.  If you are dead set on shooting 1000 yard matches, the heavier the bullet and better sectional density, the better off you are, all other things being equal.  But getting back to the rifle, just punching paper and not toting it all over God's creation, a bull barrel, tuned and blue-printed action works.  Of course you want a fast lock time etc...  Too many variables, for this old hunter.  I'm not really a target guy, well, I was in a previous life...  I would think a heavy rifle like the Barrett 50 BMG would be a good choice.  Wouldn't be of much use for hunting, but ought to make a dandy 1,000 yard paper puncher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Been wrestling with the same question, which caliber?  I'm in TX and have done most my hunting with a .30-30 lever gun, but wanted something new/different.  Have narrowed it down to two: .308 or .270Win (although .243Win rattles in my head now and then).  But I agree that 25 -1000yds is alot to ask from one rifle ( and hunt varmits?)  So I have to agree that the .223 might be the best cost/performance compromise.  But if you really want to shoot the 1000yd better get the .308 or .300win mag.  Opinions: Like noses, everybody has one!
SnookerDog
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Let's remember before we make our suggestions that while Woody has a range up to 1000 yards long, he didn't indicate he would be trying that type of shooting any time soon. As any National Match shooter knows, 1k is a long way from the firing line.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
104 Posts
Hey Woody.
I am just putting in my 2 cents worth here also. I agree with checking out the other members of the range and trying several rifles before deciding. Another thought as to caliber would be to stick to something that is common in your area, both to target shoooters and hunters. In the future if you decide to change rifles or sports you would find it easier to sell and with a higher resale value. I speak from expirience as most of my "arsenal" consists of unusual and obsolete chamberings.

p.s. I wonder how a .577 Snider would fair out at the 1000 yard mark?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
If you want my .02, i'd vote for a savage bolt-action in either .308 or 30-06. Reloading components are be readily available and though not as inexpensive as 223 stuff you'd have a serious big-game rifle for a great price [take the money you save by buying a savage and add it to your scope budget] and it would be usable for target shooting at any range you have available there.
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Slamhound,

While I'd agree with your cartridge choices, in my experience the Savage bolt actions are less than stellar performers with any significant use. A close friend has had problems with both a Model 10FCM "Scout" and Model 110FP. In fact the accuracy woes of the later were the reason for his recent sale of same. The Scout has had problems with the sights and a broken bolt handle screw.

Via private correspondence with Col. Jeff Cooper I have been told that the Savages do not hold up well under the rigors imposed by the Gunsite Basic Rifle Course. In a letter to me dated Aug. 28, 2000, Col. Cooper remarked in part...

We had four Savage scouts in the last rifle class here, and they all broke. On two the sight base broke off the rifle. On two the striker followed forward when the bolt was closed. On one other the bolt broke completely and had to be replaced as a unit.

To my way of thinking the Savage bolt action is only durable enough for the very casual shooter or once-a-year hunter. A shame too as in most cases they exhibit excellent accuracy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
bill lester
 It's amatter of the individual Savage 110. I have one anf have used it for many years in Cast Bullet Silhouette shooting once amonth and twice a month in practice plus I use it as a big game arm(deer,elk)  which amounts toto well over 1800 rounds per year. No problems.
  t....b...caster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Woody

You certinally can not go wrong with the good old .308, I sold my .22 Hornet and .243 win for a .308 and have'nt looked back since. As for recoil I do not notice any differnce to my old .243 win, yet my .308 can shoot further and handle game that the .243 really should not be used for.

A friend of mine has a similar dilema at present he wants a rifle for both range ,Deer and varmints but due to his young family only has the cash for one rifle at present, he has been looking at .223, .243,.25-06 and .308
For shear value and performance the .308 beats them all, im taking him up to the range for "hands-on" experience of the different calibres, then its upto him.

So thats my advice fire as many different rifles and calibres you can BEFORE you, splash the cash and regret it. Best of luck with your choice what ever you chose you will have a lot of fun !

Regards ENGLANDER
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,168 Posts
I've shot some 110 gr in .308 and they grouped well. The rifle will shoot little groups at 100 yds with 150 gr. .243 has a traditionsl appeal of coarse but the .308 is gaining an excellent following. The guys that hunt with .270 for deer will not give them up but they don't shoot small varmints with them.

In S.C. the DNR frowns on hunting anything with a center fire rifle or handgun out of deer season. The 22 is all we are suppose to carry. As the popularity of varmint hunting increases this will have to be tested in court. I wish it could be resolved another way but it is another headache for law enforcement so it will not have DNR support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Woody,
      Does your club have organized high power rifle competition?  If it does that is your best bet to try some different rifles and see what works for you and more importantly learn to do it the correct way.  You will learn more in one season of hanging around high power matches than in a lifetime of trying it hit or miss on your own,  and the people involved are almost always more than happy to help you out even let you borrow gear to get started.  Ask the average hunter at the range about shooting positions or wind effects and you won't get much help, but it is the basics in high power and should make you a good varmint shot too.  My vote would be an ar-15, Highly accurate, low recoil, varmint caliber, and you can upgrade it easily with better trigger barrel etc if you really get into it, or sell it for a good price if you don't.
                                            KevinNY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Why is everyone so intent on offering the .308? Why not a 30-06? The 30-06 can be loaded with light bullets for the range  and heavier for hunting -it´s just more versatile than the .308.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Why is everyone so intent on .308 or larger? The guy wants to punch paper and "maybe" shoot varmints. An accurate, low recoil, small bore that shoots cheap ammo with a gazillion factory choices is what's called for here.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top