Let's say I want to get started in target shooting. I have several criteria.
1. I am not interested in hunting. Just hitting the gong at XXX yards. Not to knock hunting, but I just want to set some criteria for the gun.
2. I want a good out-of-the-box gun. If I had a choice between getting a $1000 gun and getting $1000 of work on it, or getting a $2000 gun and shooting it out of the box, I rather get the $2000 gun. I am considering the Sig rifles (3000, LRS2), Sako, but will consider others. Again, no custom work, just out-of-the-box. Is this doable?
3. I want all top-of-the-line equipment. I hate trying to sell equipment once I grow out of it.
4. Do I NEED to reload? How far will over-the-counter ammo get me? If so, will a Dillon 650 do, or I hear rifle guys talking about RCBS loaders, is one better than the other?
5. I am interested in the Leupy 4-14x50 scope but will consider others. I hear US Optics and Swarovski are good. Your thoughts?
6. The shooting itself--should I teach myself, or get an instructor?
7. What caliber is the best starter caliber? I would like to work up to .338. SHould i start with .308 and work up to .300 Win Mag?
8. I have an M1A SCOUT (shorty) that I barely know...should i learn to shoot 100, 200, 300, 600 with iron sights before I move up to a scoped bolt rifle? How about getting the aforementioned massive scope for the M1A and learning to do it there before I move up to a $3000 bolt gun?
Here's a place to start www.nrahq.org/safety/education/basictraining.asp
I do "Service Match" which is a blast, although there have been times where it has been very humbling.
Yes, you have to reload!
I am NO expert in reloading but I do have some experience. You have a good attitude about getting the best equiptment the first time out.
here is a list of some stuff you might need to get started.
$800 Kowa 82mm spotting scope.
$400 Oehler 35p chronograph
$200+ Hart or good quality rest and rear/sand bags
$200 Harrells powder measure or RCBS elecric measure
$200 RCBS electronic scale
$400 RCBS single stage press, dies, bullet puller, loading trays and other $#!+
$200 Misc Powder and bullets
$200 A good, solid reloading bench. with a bore cleaning station.
$100+ Good stock of copper cleaning supplies, rods, jags, Sweets, patches, brushes and lubes.
Forget about the scout for target shooting. Get a Remington 700 with a heavy/varmint barrel. There are TONS of accessories and gunsmiths experienced with the Rem. If you dont like the way it shoots you can get it rebarreled or rechambered. I started loading .223 but you could start with .308 for your M1A and get the Rem or you other rifle in .308 too. Then move up to .300 win mag. Try not to get too exotic with your rifles and calibers, there is lots of load data for 308 and 300 win mag out there, enough to last our whole lifetime of testing.
Post this over on the Competition board. There are some national champions over there...
This is just a thought but
Why not send your M1A into fulton armory and have them turn it into a 1000 yard match gun for about 2k
dump the scout setup its not the way to go for long range shooting.
That M1A can be one hell of a tack driver if your willing put some TLC into it.
A good M1A properly equipped is more than capable of punching paper or gong shooting at 600 yards or better.
If you have your hart set on a dead nuts bolt gun id recommend something from Mc millan or accuracy international. Just be prepaired to drop about 4k
Yes, its a must, or at least it will be eventually. If you want anal retentive accuracy Rollin your own is the only way.
If somebody made top notch sub MOA ammo he would be richer than bill gates from selling it to the bench rest and palma shooters.
dillon all the way (unless your purely a bench rest shooter) you will kick your self if you don't.
practice, practice, practice and more practice
but thats the fun remember?
1-2-3: Get yourself a Bushmaster/Armalite/RockRiver DCM match AR15 and start shooting NRA Highpower. That is a sport that will teach you to be an all-around rifleman. One of the guns above will last you until you are good enough to tell a difference. Then have a name smith rebuild it.
If you are really only interested in hitting a gong, just get a Savage and a Leupold 3-9x40 Vari X-2. It will kill gongs all day.
4: Yes. Surplus ammo may get you through your first season, if the wind doesn't blow. A Dillon 550 will do quite well. Many have gotten by on much less.
5: Leup is excellant, and so are US and Swarovski. But with Highpower you won't need the extra expense of the last 2. You will only need a scope to test loads with.
6: Coaching is always a plus.
7: Why 223 of course!
8: The M1A is a fine rifle! Save it for deer hunting just the way it is. An AR will get you in the winner's circle faster. If you can shoot irons, you can shoot anything. As far as waiting to buy a $3000 bolt gun - why wait if you can afford it now? More guns = Better!
Thanks for all your recommendations.
1. I didn't post in the competition forum, because I'm not sure if I want to compete...maybe, maybe not..just long range plinking.
2. I prefer not to have a smith build it. I am more of an expensive-over-the-counter mentality, (let's say, expensive Wilson Combat, instead of building up on a Kimber frame). It's just my personality.
3. Garmentless, no ARs for me, because like you, I live in CA. My M1A is my AR, an overpowered carbine. It stays with me.
I should have made that clearer...but keep 'em coming.
Really, is getting a smith built Rem 700 the way to go? I prefer over the counter Euroguns. Let me know if this is a Bad Thing. If both the 700 and the Blasers and Sakos are more accurate than me, what is the case for the custom guns? I don't know if I will ever be that good, as I have other commitments (pistol, banjo, guitar, etc.). Thanks.
Try a 700 PSS in .308 or .223. These are standard rounds in most shooting sports and good match ammo is available if you dont reload. The are accurate and people shoot booth to 1000 meters. 300 win mag is not going to do anything for you under 600 meters except make it more difficult to master the new tecniques you'll need to learn in any new shooting discipline. .223 or .308 can be used as an NRA match rifle, tactical shoots, silhouette, benchrest,,,etc. 300 win mag shows up at 1000m matches but it is not being used for new guns lately as the 300 short mags give similar velocity with long recoil and better accuracy and other rounds like 6.5x284, 6mm rem , 300 rum are showing up. The Euro bolts are all very neat and some shoot well, but many don't offer the versatility of the 700. Accesories can be a pain, replacing shot out barrels etc. Many are designed as sniper rifles in the European mindsind and their traditional roles for a sniper can be very different than ours. The Steyr PSS is the only one I would call an all arounder. Most 700's or PSS's will shoot sub moa out of the box with match ammo. When you are at the point where you need to upgrade, you'll know what you want.