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Terra,

If you want to get into long range shooting and don't want to spend a fortune at the start, try this combination:

Tika T3 Varmint in .308 with a Millett TRS or the new LRS scope.

My wife bought a Tikka in .223 for messing about and I figured what the heck as it lets me practice shooting skills while using relatively cheap .308 loads rather than my .338 Lapua match gun.

The Tikka I have has shot a 0.25" group from a sandbag at 100 yards. And the whole combination cost me less than $1000. It's a good smooth action, fantastic trigger and guaranteed 1" accurate out of the box. I reload RA military brass, 168g SMK tips with 45 grains of AA2520 pushed by a Winchester Large Rifle primer. six out of ten rounds went out of the barrell at 2754fps. The combination is cheap, accurate and consistent.

If you get into it later you can always drop a few grand on a top class rifle but I can use the Tika to 1000 yards and hit nice tight groups.

Just my :2cents:

 

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Bravo I know where you're at. Advice is only good if it is from experience.

I have a 700 long action with a custom bolt sitting on an AI chassis that shoots 1/2 inch .338 Lapua groups all day long from a 27" LW tube. Best group so far is a 0.7" at 200 yards. I don't group beyond 300 because I tend to shoot steel for silouett hits.

I went the 700 route because I had used the old PM series in the British Army and like the chassis but wasn't so loving of the action. The AW is a much improved verion of that action but unless I'm going to be trapsing through mud all day long offers no benefits over a 700 action. One benefit of the 700 action is the parts availability and easy acces to gunsmiths who know it. The other is the cost difference which lets me spend a couple of grand having a gunsmith do a lot of work to improve accuracy.

But, you can't beat Tikka for quality and accuracy at their price point. I was skeptical until my wife got one, all on her own I might add. She is now shooting 1/2-3/4 inch groups of a sandbag with no trouble at all. (77 SMK over H335 from military brass.)

I've used the Pre-64 Winchester action and it's not bad but the safety is a POS. I have a friends shoting 0.6" groups from a 46 year old rifle. Nice but shite safety.

From my experience I can't see a better way to start chucking accurate 30 cal downrange without having to spend a mint, than the Tikka. Minimal investment and maximum fun. If this is still fun after a few months or whtever then you'll feel better about dropping 5k on a custom rifle or maybe even decide that you don't need more. $670 for a Tikka that does what a $3500 cutsom rifle does....hmmmmm.... decisions, decisions. the other benefit with the Tikka is the magazine loading. you can carry different rounds in magazines and change them very quickly. So for example if you are shooting long range and can't test the wind. Drop in a tracer, see the bullet path and adjust accordingly.

The only other advice is don't buy used unless you can test it first or you already plan on a new tube. You don't know if it's been broken in properly, abused, shot out or whatever. Breaking is a big deal because a small variance at 100 yards has a big effect at range. And finally, quit drinking caffene.
 

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Experience is individual.

I know people who love a 9mm because the recoil is light, others who like .40 becasue .45 has too much kick. I prefer .45 because it's less snappy. Go figure!

Nothing beats personal experience.....and good conversation.
 
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