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Old January 01, 2019, 08:26   #1
hydrotx
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Thinking of building up a target rifle and can use some input

Iím interested in getting into a rifle for the sole purpose of punching holes in paper and seeing how small I can make the groups and thought I could throw this out to the hive mind for input from people with more experience than I.

Some background regarding limitations and guidelines:
  • Not an autoloader (although the 6x45 seems intriguing)
  • Not in .308, as I already have something in this size for this purpose
  • Lower recoil energy as I hope to get my wife interested in shooting it and I want to be able to spend enjoyable time at the range
  • Iím set up for reloading so that isnít a hindrance
  • Will be used solely for target shooting and either from bench or prone.
  • Currently limited at my regular range to 100 yards, but have access on occasion to get out to 300 meters
  • Have a spare Savage 112 action barreled in .308 which could be a donor
  • Iím good with glass, so not part of this discussion yet.

Budget Ė Ideally, less than 1.5k and Iím pretty sure I can do what I want for under 1k

From my initial thoughts, a few different routes for the platform:
  • Start with a TC encore frame and then get a custom barrel
  • Take the Savage 112 action and then get a custom barrel
  • Look for a new/used R700 in .223, see how it shoots and if lucky with the barrel, done. If not, gunsmith time. Looking at Brownells, buying the action only doesnít make much sense financially.
  • I was looking at the Bergara rifles, but I'm limited in choice in .223 from what I can see and the one available is just outside the 1.5k pricing
  • Try a TC Compass or one of those other types that have a sub-MOA guarantee and hope for the best
  • Something else?
Caliber
Initially I was thinking .223, but then started going down a rabbit hole into the 6mm world as well.
Any thoughts from actual experience out there?
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Old January 01, 2019, 08:44   #2
VALMET
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I’d take your spare Savage 308 action and rebarrel it to 243. Truly a fantastic cartridge that is low-recoil, flat shooting, and can be tweaked as a load. Aside from reloading and it’s capabilifies, many excellent 243 loads exist that won’t break the bank.
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Old January 01, 2019, 11:09   #3
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Well, with in your parameters I think getting a Savage rifle and swapping barrels are to a caliber you want is going to be the best option for you.

While I havenít Ďshot oneí look at the Ruger America line. They are many reports of people getting great results with them. Also I the Ruger RPR action is based around the Ruger America bolt.

As for caliber, look at a PPC/ BR case round. Havenít shot any of these but they are used an awful lot in benchrest shooting where the name of the game is small/ one hole groups. The 6mm & 6.5 creedmore are both showing great results for shooting small groups too.

Iím not sure if your $1.5K budget includes money for your scope but if that is the case look at spending close to half your budget on a good quality scope. Think Leupold VX3, Vortex, Nikon Monarch, Zeiss, Khales, etc.
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Old January 01, 2019, 11:11   #4
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Ruger Precision in 223, 6mm or 6.5
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Old January 02, 2019, 02:23   #5
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Unless your dead set on building something, Id personally look for a good used 6ppc bench rest rifle from an active BR competitor, somebody moving on or BR gunsmith/shop.
Benchrestcentral had a marketplace section last I checked.
Theres a big difference between sub moa and shooting bug holes,,,,just saying..
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Old January 02, 2019, 09:08   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VALMET View Post
Iíd take your spare Savage 308 action and rebarrel it to 243. Truly a fantastic cartridge that is low-recoil, flat shooting, and can be tweaked as a load. Aside from reloading and itís capabilifies, many excellent 243 loads exist that wonít break the bank.
hydrotx,

My dad is currently shooting in monthly F-Class competitions using a Savage bolt rifle in 6.5 Creedmore. For the money, I'd hang a 6.5 Creedmore barrel on your Savage, tune the trigger, and spend most of your money on good glass. Handloading helps also and if you're really interested in long range shooting, handloading is something I would urge you to look into in the near future as well.
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Old January 02, 2019, 17:12   #7
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In my experience, the Savage actions are wonderful (I used a 110 Tactical that I modded for completion)
Whatever you choose, make it heavy! Since you are gonna be shooting from bench or prone, all that weight will help with recoil, and no downside. (I'd go for 15 lbs without scope) (I used Lead Shot and Auto Body Epoxy in the Butt and Forearm, for 13 lbs)
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Old January 02, 2019, 17:29   #8
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Thanks, Iíll take a look over at Benchrestcentral.

As for the glass as others have mentioned, Iím GTG there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yovinny View Post
Unless your dead set on building something, Id personally look for a good used 6ppc bench rest rifle from an active BR competitor, somebody moving on or BR gunsmith/shop.
Benchrestcentral had a marketplace section last I checked.
Theres a big difference between sub moa and shooting bug holes,,,,just saying..
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Old January 02, 2019, 23:20   #9
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All depends what ya want,,,
I have lots of rifles I enjoy shooting,,a good bunch of those are what most would consider accurate sub moa rifles,,,and then I have a few bench guns.
Untill youve gotten behind the 2oz trigger and 36x glass of a custom BR rifle that shoots bug holes, you'll never truly know what repeatable accuracy really is.
You can sit a 30yr shooting, reloading, gun nut behind one and watch his eyes get saucer size when he fires his first group...and realizes he only thought he knew what accuracy was before that...
Just my .02
Cheers, yv
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Old January 04, 2019, 19:19   #10
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I have a Savage 110 LEO Tactical in 6.5 Creedmore. It is sub MOA all day long off my shooting sticks and bags when used. Used it as my deer rifle this year and was surprised on the effectiveness of the round on game.

Some of the guys are recommending you build a bench rest gun and you stated you wanted a target rifle. To build/use either, you must first know what you want to do with it. A target gun is portable and can be used with very little preparation and setup. A bench rest gun requires a sturdy support structure/bench and take a while to set it up and get it working correctly. A BR gun is not one you take from you truck, uncase it and then go shooting. You can do this with most target guns.
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Old January 04, 2019, 22:18   #11
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Should be able to locate one of these around your $$$ target.

https://www.steyr-arms.com/us/sm-12-sx.html

6.5 or 243 or about anything else that you'd like as for caliber.

This model is at least as accurate as my SSG69
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Old January 04, 2019, 22:49   #12
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Inexpensive 5.56 bolt gun for wife.

Almost ANY 5.56 from any manufacturer will be fine for your wife for casual benchrest shooting at 100 yards.

Don't make the gun part of it complicated.

If she really enjoys it, and can hold well enough that it becomes the gun that is holding her back, then you can start spending more money for a better gun. Spending big money early on this sort of thing will be a bad choice.
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Old January 05, 2019, 09:36   #13
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Couple of inexpensive options.

1. Take your Savage 112 and screw on a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel and drop it in an SLR Chassis.

2. Pick up a Savage Stealth in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Option 2 was my choice and I couldn't be happier. Less than 1/2 moa most of the time with either commercial or handloads. Doesn't seem to make any great difference. I did change out the buttstock, pistol grip and the muzzle device. Works like a charm.

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Old January 06, 2019, 10:58   #14
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6mm Remington or .223,make it heavy,E.R Shaw has barrels already to go.
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Old January 06, 2019, 20:38   #15
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I bought a Heavy Barrel 30.06 on a Springfield action from an internet add.Someone installed some kind of Winchester barrel take off something else .. Stripped the stock down and figured out there was Not enough wood left to do much with it so for fun I whipped up a batch of Body filler and proceeded to make the stock what I wanted ,,added some Butt pad I had lying around and bondo up the the pad, add a mauser sling swivel.bedded the stock in some auto body fiberglass corvette bondo . Router some cool looking useless cooling vents Fiz can some primer ,,green paint and camo away!! best of all I have about $750.00 all in including the scope,, It Loves SMK 180 gr Over AA 3100 and punches dime size holes at 100M all day.several people have shot it at 600Yds and anyone can ring the steel ...
It was fun building it too !! 15.8 Lbs kicks so soft any lady or kid could shoot it all day !



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Old January 09, 2019, 16:29   #16
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If you decide to build out a heavy-barreled Savage long action I've got an unfinished F-class/BR stock for sale. Finish and bed it however you like, including bolt side (left or right). Should make for a gorgeous piece of furniture.

To your Savage though there's no easier barrel swap. Bed it into a nice stock, get an aftermarket or even a factory Savage Accutrigger, and have at it. If you're looking to get the wife involved though something 6.5 or lower is what I'd recommend, be it CM, 6mm PPC, .243 Win, .224 Valkyrie, whatever. Something that plays nice with heavy-for-caliber projos under about 125gr.
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Old January 11, 2019, 12:54   #17
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I picked up a howa 1500 action in 6.5 cm from Brownells ($300 delivered) put a KRG bravo chassis on it ($440), and have a 1/2 MOA rifle for under $750.

Another option that is fun to shoot if you reload is 204 Ruger, I have a ruger M77 firing it and at 100 yards pretty much shoots one ragged hole.

My RPR in 6.5CM is 1/2 to 3/4 MOA with factory or reloads.

I highly recommend the 6.5 CM, lighter recoil than the 308, but case head is the same so you can just rebarrel your action.
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Old January 11, 2019, 19:33   #18
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Thanks for the input all. Current winds are blowing towards 6BR. But we shall see where things go.
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