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G'day to you all :D

(First of all: I wrote 'sharpshooter/sniper' because its either one of both that I mean. Among the connoisseurs there seems to be a clear understanding about the difference between the two. I lack such understanding so in my ignorance I just refer to it as 'sharpshooter/sniper', with it meaning: 'a serious rifle for long distance shooting').

My situation is this: both my wife and I have been a member of a sports shooting club. One year has passed, and so we are now allowed to legally buy our own guns.

It has become clear not only to my wife and I but also to the others members of the club that my wife has a talent for shooting long distance with rifles (she has no interest in hand guns, as opposed to me). In the year that she has been shooting (.22), she has consistently been hitting 8,9 and 10 on a distance of 25-50 meters, all this while holding the rifle in her hand (so the rifle not being supported by some helping tool or something).

That being said, after one year of shooting with .22 she wants to 'move up': both in distance and in caliber. For now, her next step would be 100 meters, but I already know after that she wants to move on to 200 meters, 300 meters, and so on until even up to 1 kilometer. To my 'noobish' understanding this means she would need something more professional, like army snipers / sharp shooters use.

Now, for noobs like we are, there is an overwhelming number of brands and types of guns. I understand that in the end she will have to pick the rifle that she likes most, in terms of comfort, but: if somebody could 'kick us into the right direction' in terms of 'forget about looking at these brands/types of rifles, what you are looking for you will find in this corner, namely the following brands/types of rifles'.

This would mean a big help in terms of efficiency :)

Thank you in advance for any replies,

Bye,
 

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I'm not sure what brands you have available but the first three that pop in my mind are the Tikka, Savage and Remington.

If target shooting is your main objective the get one with a Varmint or Tactical barrel.

Be sure it has an adjustable trigger. Most all over the counter rifles are going to have a 3 1/2 - 4 pound trigger pull and that's a little heavy for target shooting, you need to drop it to 2 - 2 1/2 pounds

My number one choice in calibers would be the 260 Rem. Second would be the 6.5x55. Both of these are super accurate rounds and easy on the shoulder. A 223 makes a very nice target round and has almost no recoil but wind is going to push it around a whole lot more.

Now, like everything else, everyone has their pet round and favorite rifle, that's why there are so many to choice from.

I have recently bought two Tikka's, a T3 Lite 243 and a T3 Varmint 22-250. Both of these rifles are extremely accurate with good loads in them.

The Savage Varmint and Tacticals have great reputations for being extremely accurate also, but I've never owned one so can't speak from personal experience.

The Remington 700 actions in a Tactical and Varmint do extremely well and while 95% of my rifles are 700's, they are all custom barreled. The factory barrels do fantastic but I feel you are more likely to get a Remington that's not an outstanding shooter. However, every brand on the market is subject to have one that's not that good of a shooter. Even the custom barrel makers have a bad barrel sometimes.

I think with either of these three rifles in the calibers mentioned will give your'e wife a great target rifle.
 

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I'll second the notion of choosing a 6.5mm/.264" diameter cartridge and will throw the 6.5x47 Lapua and 6.5 Creedmoor into the mix. I'm not sure what the availability is in your area, but those four cartridges are noted for long-range accuracy without undue recoil...something your wife will surely appreciate.

If you can get Savage rifles where you're at, one of those will probably be your least costly option and, at the same time, most likely to deliver out-of-the-box accuracy. That crown used to belong to the Remington M700, but their quality has slipped in the last 10-15 years. In addition to the Tikka, you might consider the Sako 85 Classic or Hunter, which is available in both 260 Remington and 6.5x55. Generally speaking, the Sako 85 is going to be a more refined rifle than its off-spring, the Tikka, but that does not mean it will be more accurate.

I would also suggest, if it's legal, to have your wife shoot one of these larger caliber rifles from a bench rest position, before you buy one for her. While you can shoot 25-50 meters off-hand, with a light-weight rifle, you need to shoot from a bench for the 200 and 300 meter ranges with the heavier rifle. It's important to note: The difference in felt recoil between a 22 long-rifle and a high-power centerfire rifle, off the bench, is substantial! She might shoot 3 or 4 of the bigger rounds and decide she'd be much happier sticking with the rimfire. ;)
 

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6.5 cal has the higher S.D match bullets than any caliber below it, and many above it. Best option in my mind is probably a .260 remington. Not that i have any experience doing what your talking about.
 

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Do some checking on your own. Since you said your from Europe, we here in the US do not know what is available to you. Some very good answers/suggestions posted.
 

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I think the poster may be from Australia :) As others have said, cartridges with 6.5mm bullets are common in long range shooting and they generally have the advantages of high BC bullets and relatively mild recoil. 6.5x55SE, .260 Remington, 6.5x47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.5x284 are all good examples.

As far as production type rifles, the various larger companies make 'tactical' rifles that may be good to start with (at least, in the USA they usually market such rifles under the 'tactical' description). If you really want to be competitive at 1000m, though, you'll probably be either doing a fair amount of custom work to such a rifle or buying a custom rifle (read: as with most things... costs more money).
 

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long range

for mild recoil,i would choose a 260 or 7/08 and then maybe look at a 6.5/06,284. these are my personal likes.i would be happy with savage,ruger,marlin or a sako at the dear end of scale for commercial rifles.--there are heaps of other calibers probably far better,but rather specialized.i sure other members can give you some of there pet calibers.-good shooting.-merry xmas all.
 

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For mild recoil and volume of shooting a fast twist 223 is hard to beat. Sierra as well as others makes an aray of heavy for caliber high BC bullets for the 223.

THe next step up the ladder is the 243, this is the caliber tht David Tubbs now shoots in competition and good quality high BC bullets are also availible for thee .243 bore as well. Tubbs as well as other are shooting the 243 XC a slightly shorter 243 Win

Here is more info on the 243 XC; http://www.davidtubb.com/6mmxc.html
 

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PZ,

Good on you for getting your wife into the shooting sports. Or maybe it was her that got you into it... It always makes it a lot more enjoyable when you share this hobby with your spouse. It also makes it easier to get your gear when you don't have to justify the existence of the hobby :) One of your questions was about the difference between "sniper" and "sharp shooter" rifles. The primary difference will be weight. Military snipers are concerned to a certain extent about the weight of their rifles since they have to carry them in the field, police snipers have this concern as well but to a lesser extent since they typically don't travel as far to a shooting position and also demand more accuracy from their shots. This pushes the sniper toward achieving acceptable accuracy in the lightest possible package.

The bench-rest/target crowd is less concerned with weight so you are more likely to see very heavy contoured barrels and weighted stocks on target rifles than on true sniper guns. Most of the other differences are going to be cosmetic until you get to the optics. Snipers usually seek out optics with reticles that can be used for ranging using mil dots or some other substantion marked on the reticle. Target optics often use a simple fine crosshair since they are intended to be used primarily at known distances. At any rate don't neglect to consider purchasing a very high quality optical system for your target rifle. there are many brands to consider and even some that can be had at a considerable value. Vortex optics being my top pick for value. I won't go into too much detail on that topic because it really could become a whole other thread and I'm sure these gents have a host of opinions on the matter.
 

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I would go with a .223 for strictly range / target shooting. Low recoil, cheapest centerfire ammo around, accurate beyond any distance most of us will shoot, etc.
 

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unless you are building a custom I would steer clear of the .223's. Not the best choice IMO for long range shooting. Like said before something in the 6.5mm range might be best, and unless you want to spend money building a custom rifle, Savage has a line of "out of the box" target rifles made especially for what you are talking about.
 

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Might be good to know what is commonly available to you, and if any particular cartridges are restricted?
 

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Seems in Belgium you would have a great choice of quality firearms available. Some countries restrict citizens from owning military (whatever that is!) cartridge chambered guns. If not so restricted, the 7.62 Nato (.308 Win) should be a good match for what you're wanting to do.
 

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.308 (7.62X51) would be a great round. I would suggest the Remington model 700 line for accurate rifles. Specifically the tactical version. The gun has a tendancy to shoot extremely accurate and can reach out to 1000 meters with the right optics. It is a standard NATO round so it should be available to you in Europe. Many people that shoot 1000 yard competitions use this round and the US marine snipers have been using it for years. If you want to see what US snipers use just type M40 into google and pull up the wikipedia page. You can read all about it.
 

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Granted the .223 is not best for the 600 meter and beyond category, that would still be my choice for a woman who has not moved beyond .22 rimfires as of yet. Moving from a .22 to a .308 or even a .243 is a pretty big jump for a beginner. A .223 offers recoil as low as you will find for a centerfire and accuracy well out to 200, 300 meters and beyond. It will take a long time to get to the 1000 meter distance (if ever), and by that time I would suspect they will want to upgrade from the first rifle anyway.
 

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I also feel the recoil of a 308 would be a bit much for most women just starting out in center fire. My 14 year old granddaughter weighs about 120 pounds and her 243 shooting 85 grain bullets, with a LimbSaver pad on the back has put tears in her eyes once when she didn't have it in her shoulder just right. Her prefer rifle is her 260 but with the 22 oz target scope, the weight of the rifle it self, recoil pad and a muzzle break, it kicks less than the 222 I started her on.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Good day to you all :D

First of all, my apologies for not responding sooner; the holidays and such. I wish you all the best wishes for 2011 and the years to come, and would once again like to thank you all for so helpfully making suggestions.

My temporary absence did not mean I didn't do anything at all; I am working on it, and I have grouped and sorted all the replies I've gotten. This is not to say that by grouping this everything is clear now :)p) but I will post here what I have sofar, if only so you see that what seems obvious to you all is rather overwhelming to me :eek: Some very kind members in my shooting club have offered to bring a shipload full of weapons to the stand so my wife can shoot with them. I will show these members all your inputs, and I will try compile the final verdicts of you all experts from it :D

From reading all the replies it seems criteria should be:
- Reliability
- Wind
- "Barrel burner"
- Recoil
- Cost of ammunition

Would you be adding other criteria to this list?

Finally (for now), I was thinking perhaps a Steyr Scout would be a nice gun for her? Or too heavy (or expensive, as in: there are other guns that can do the same for far less money?) I found some links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steyr_Scout
http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/06/10/steyr-scout-jeff-cooper-commemorative-edition/

Thanks again for all your help; it is appreciated ;)

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Leaving out of consideration the really old weapons (WW-I, WW-II) because I think my wife would want a new gun instead of a 'used one' (unless you all say that would be a mistake on her part), this is what I have sofar.

6mmBR (Long distance shooters in the U.S. are using 6 mm rifles for really long distance shooting;

6.5 Grendel. Some people have gone over to the 6.5 Grendel for shots that range from zero to 1,200 meters, research the 6.5 Grendel from Alexander Arms if I were you. That seems to be the upcoming rifle system and caliber of ammo to use for really good long range shooting. OK, The 6.5x55 has soooo many advantages over the 6.5 Grendel. **** the 6.5x.284 beats it hands down)

6.5 x 55 (6.5 Swedish Mauser), made by Sauer, Blaser CZ, Steyr, Mauser and Tikka (and probably by others). Moderate recoil (but more than a .22) and excellent accuracy. OK, The 6.5x55 has soooo many advantages over the 6.5 Grendel. **** the 6.5x.284 beats it hands down -- super accurate rounds and easy on the shoulder.

.17HMR the .17HMR is a low recoil, inexpensive round that you can use out to 200 yards. Great for target shooting at the club. An example of a rifle of this type. A Ruger Model 77/17.--I also recommend a .17 hmr. It has less recoil than a .22, but WAY more power and accuracy so it is accurate at much greater distances. If you go with a .17 for the next step, you will see how much talent she really has. If she is nailing quarters at 200 yards with it, then you can start thinking about a .223 or .308 for 3-400 yards or more.

6.5x47 Lapua and 6.5 Creedmoor.

.308/7.62 NATO (7.62 Nato (.308 Win)) (high quality M-1A rifles and AR-10 rifles). NATO is good for longer ranges without the short barrel life issue of the .243 Win. -- .308 (7.62X51) would be a great round. I would suggest the Remington model 700 line for accurate rifles. Specifically the tactical version. The gun has a tendancy to shoot extremely accurate and can reach out to 1000 meters with the right optics. It is a standard NATO round so it should be available to you in Europe. Many people that shoot 1000 yard competitions use this round and the US marine snipers have been using it for years.--I also feel the recoil of a 308 would be a bit much for most women just starting out in center fire. My 14 year old granddaughter weighs about 120 pounds and her 243 shooting 85 grain bullets, with a LimbSaver pad on the back has put tears in her eyes once when she didn't have it in her shoulder just right. Her prefer rifle is her 260 but with the 22 oz target scope, the weight of the rifle it self, recoil pad and a muzzle break, it kicks less than the 222 I started her on. --For basic recreational, accurate long range shooting, I would recommend a high quality bolt action in a readily available caliber such as .308 or 30-06 for intermediate ranges. --R700 in .308 would be another good choice. --http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-550-varmint/ This rifle is VERY accurate. In .308, it will handle targets out to 1000M. no problem.--308 and .300wsm may have far too much recoil for someone whose experience has been limited to .22LR...I would look at .223 for a long-term solution, as it's generally accepted to be good out to 600m or so.

30-06
For basic recreational, accurate long range shooting, I would recommend a high quality bolt action in a readily available caliber such as .308 or 30-06 for intermediate ranges.

.243 Win (Yeah I know it's a barrel burner but a very fast FPS muzzel velocity round with relitively low recoil). The .243 Win. is much better for longer ranges however than the .308 Win (And they're both (.308 and .243) are short actions which for competitive timed target events is a given edge IMO. )
Also the .308 Win. or 7.62X51mm (And they're both (.308 and .243) are short actions which for competitive timed target events is a given edge IMO. )

.223 I didn't hear any mention of a .223 in either bolt action or AR style platform. With a slower twist barrel andd heavier weight bullets you can get pretty good accuracy at 500 meters and the recoil won't beat up her shoulder. Yeah a 223 would get out there pretty well. It's a pretty flat flier too. And decent target ammo is not all that expensive and that can be an issue with some other rounds. A 223 makes a very nice target round and has almost no recoil but wind is going to push it around a whole lot more. For mild recoil and volume of shooting a fast twist 223 is hard to beat. Sierra as well as others makes an aray of heavy for caliber high BC bullets for the 223. -- I would go with a .223 for strictly range / target shooting. Low recoil, cheapest centerfire ammo around, accurate beyond any distance most of us will shoot, etc..-- Unless you are building a custom I would steer clear of the .223's. Not the best choice IMO for long range shooting. Like said before something in the 6.5mm range might be best, and unless you want to spend money building a custom rifle, Savage has a line of "out of the box" target rifles made especially for what you are talking about.--Granted the .223 is not best for the 600 meter and beyond category, that would still be my choice for a woman who has not moved beyond .22 rimfires as of yet. Moving from a .22 to a .308 or even a .243 is a pretty big jump for a beginner. A .223 offers recoil as low as you will find for a centerfire and accuracy well out to 200, 300 meters and beyond. --One good beginner sharpshooting rifle would be a .223. Very light recoil and accurate. From there, it is easy to move up the .308 or .30-06.


.204 Ruger: Don't look past the smaller calibers. The .204 Ruger is extremely flat shooting, but the ligher bullets are bothered by windage more than gravity.

260 Remington. My number one choice in calibers would be the 260 Rem. super accurate rounds and easy on the shoulder. -- I also feel the recoil of a 308 would be a bit much for most women just starting out in center fire. My 14 year old granddaughter weighs about 120 pounds and her 243 shooting 85 grain bullets, with a LimbSaver pad on the back has put tears in her eyes once when she didn't have it in her shoulder just right. Her prefer rifle is her 260 but with the 22 oz target scope, the weight of the rifle it self, recoil pad and a muzzle break, it kicks less than the 222 I started her on --
For mild recoil,i would choose a 260 or 7/08 and then maybe look at a 6.5/06,284. these are my personal likes.i would be happy with savage,ruger,marlin or a sako at the dear end of scale for commercial rifles.

M40. I shoot In long range rifle competitions and before i got into the world of custom long range rifles I started off with a tactical rifles.net m40 rifle in .300 wsm and it is a great gun for ranges all the way up to 1000yds its a lil expensive but well worth it.

.300 Winmags. A great thing to see is what the military uses. .300 WinMags can easily drill a target at 1100 yards.

My hyper accurate rifle is a SSG 04. They are produced in Germany and make many types of rifles in many calibers. Mine is chamberd in .308 and I can hit Targets with out a problem out to 500 yards. The gun is more then capable of shooting farther thats just the range I have available to shoot at. Google Steyr Manlicher. This rifle is by far the most accurate rifle I have ever owned.

Interesting remarks to keep:

Tikka, Savage (If you can get Savage rifles where you're at, one of those will probably be your least costly option and, at the same time, most likely to deliver out-of-the-box accuracy) and Remington. If target shooting is your main objective the get one with a Varmint or Tactical barrel. Be sure it has an adjustable trigger ( Most all over the counter rifles are going to have a 3 1/2 - 4 pound trigger pull and that's a little heavy for target shooting, you need to drop it to 2 - 2 1/2 pounds).

Remington 700 actions (That crown used to belong to the Remington M700, but their quality has slipped in the last 10-15 years). I think she should start with either a Remington 700 or a higher end Savage with accu-trigger.

Sako 85 Classic or Hunter, which is available in both 260 Remington and 6.5x55

As others have said, cartridges with 6.5mm bullets are common in long range shooting and they generally have the advantages of high BC bullets and relatively mild recoil. 6.5x55SE, .260 Remington, 6.5x47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.5x284 are all good examples.

If you really want to be competitive at 1000m, though, you'll probably be either doing a fair amount of custom work to such a rifle or buying a custom rifle (read: as with most things... costs more money).

for mild recoil,i would choose a 260 or 7/08 and then maybe look at a 6.5/06,284. these are my personal likes.i would be happy with savage,ruger,marlin or a sako at the dear end of scale for commercial rifles


One of your questions was about the difference between "sniper" and "sharp shooter" rifles. The primary difference will be weight. Military snipers are concerned to a certain extent about the weight of their rifles since they have to carry them in the field, police snipers have this concern as well but to a lesser extent since they typically don't travel as far to a shooting position and also demand more accuracy from their shots. This pushes the sniper toward achieving acceptable accuracy in the lightest possible package. The bench-rest/target crowd is less concerned with weight so you are more likely to see very heavy contoured barrels and weighted stocks on target rifles than on true sniper guns. Most of the other differences are going to be cosmetic until you get to the optics. Snipers usually seek out optics with reticles that can be used for ranging using mil dots or some other substantion marked on the reticle. Target optics often use a simple fine crosshair since they are intended to be used primarily at known distances. At any rate don't neglect to consider purchasing a very high quality optical system for your target rifle. there are many brands to consider and even some that can be had at a considerable value. Vortex optics being my top pick for value. I won't go into too much detail on that topic because it really could become a whole other thread and I'm sure these gents have a host of opinions on the matter.

Factory ammo is pretty good considering. Most ammo shoots pretty well considering that they can't know all of the variables for the millions of rifles out there. Reloading one's ammo does a couple things:
First it saves a bunch of money. Decent ammo for centerfire rifles isn't cheap, match grade ammo even less so.
Second it allows a shooter to custom tailor a load to the particular firearm. Factory ammo is a compromise, and for the most part, they do a surprisingly good job with it. Reloading your ammo allows you to experiment with various components for best accuracy i.e. powder, bullet, seating depth, & so forth.
Reloading is sort of jumping into the deep end of the pool as far as the firearms hobby is concerned. If you decide to look into it, consider purchasing a book on the subject, I understand that "The ABC's of Reloading" is a good introduction to the subject. Talk to people in your club and get their insights as well.

I suggest something a little different: Let your wife try medium-range "position" shooting. That is, shooting from unsupported offhand at 100 and 200 meters, kneeling at 300, sitting at 300 or 400, and prone at 500 or 600. Believe me, that will present her with quite a challenge, yet it requires no particularly specialized equipment, and an ordinary hunting rifle, or even an ex-military rifle, will do the job. (I suggest that the rifle be a bolt action, not a semi-automatic, and that it be equipped with a good shooting sling.)
Maybe also see how she can do in the "Lord Roberts Match" course. Using an ex-military, .303 bolt action, one assumes prone and fires as many accurate shots as possible, reloading the magazine as necessary, all in one minute, at 300 meters. Score the hits numerically and keep a record. Task her with improving her score, each time she runs the match. (It isn't easy.)


Lesser caliber is probably best, but get the thicker barrel, usually called "Bull-Barrel."
Forget the highly accessorized "tacticool" models or the bells and whistles - for a serious target shooter, most of that stuff is useless trash. If she shows talent and interest after a couple more years, you can decide to go for a truly expensive purpose built target piece, after she has done enough shooting to know what her preferences are.
When it comes to glass, you can hardly spend enough, but there are a plethora of choices in optics and sights. That's the area of accessories that serious target shooters spend a lot of time and money on.


Going from a 22 lr to a 300 winchester magnum ,is ,IMO,risky. If your wife is a small person. The recoil of a magnum can be intimidating,even with a muzzle brake ,the blast can be severe. Starting her out with a smaller caliber centerfire,like a .222 or .223 in a lighter weight sporter class rifle ,or .260 Rem ,7mm08 in a medium weight rifle would help in determining her ability to adjust to recoil and still be able to hit accurately at 100-300+ yards/meters.
+1 on Remington and Savage rifles --I totally agree with this. Going from a .22 to a large caliber rifle is not the best idea. Especially since the shooter in question has only shot at 50 yards with a .22. I also recommend a .17 hmr. It has less recoil than a .22, but WAY more power and accuracy so it is accurate at much greater distances. If you go with a .17 for the next step, you will see how much talent she really has. If she is nailing quarters at 200 yards with it, then you can start thinking about a .223 or .308 for 3-400 yards or more. As an example, I dont find myself particularly "skilled" in shooting, but I am better than average and always getting better. With my savage .17hmr (which is my favorite gun out of many) I am able to consistantly hit asprin tablets at 75 yards. Almost every time. Go out to 200 yards and I hit golfballs sometimes, and clay birdies every time. Another reason why you should look into this gun, is cost. Its is WAY cheaper than any .223 or .308, which means much more shooting and practice for the cost.
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