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Long range target shooting rifle

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I am looking to buy or have a rifle built for long range target shooting. The ranges I have easy access to have a maximum distance of 1200 yards. I am a left hander so this limits factory built options a bit. I have had an initial chat with Baldie who was very helpful and gave me a few things to think about. I was wondering whether anyone else could offer any advice.

In terms of calibre I was thinking about .308 or 6.5 creedmoor.  I will initially be shooting factory ammo but would like to start loading my own in the future. I do have a Lee turret press and some reloading gear that I bought secondhand some time ago but am a bit time constrained. I would prefer to go with the 6.5 CM but the cost of the factory ammo is a factor. 

In terms of rifle options I have a Remington 700 in .270 that I use for stalking and I like the Remington action. I was thinking about getting a semi custom made up using a Remington action, aftermarket stock and probably barrel. I like the Accuracy International AT and the ability to change the barrel is attractive. The AT would be at the top end of my budget for the rifle. Any other options I should be considering?

I have a Schmidt and Bender 8 x 56 on my stalking rifle and I like the glass. I know the PM2 is a popular scope but it would be at the very top end of my budget for the scope. Other options I was considering were something by Sightron, Nightforce or Vortex.

All suggestions gratefully received.


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I think we need to know if you will be plinking or competing.  If it's the latter, we need to know the type of competition.

But, think twice about building a custom rig on a Remmy action - the work won't be any cheaper and, when you come to sell it, it'll just be a clunky old Remington.

Advice?  Sell your 270 and invest in a custom action.

Also - keep your eye on the UKV Sales section - there are some very good 'dream rifle' bargains to be had.

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these are just my personal comments:

would not really choose a 308 for ‘long range’ if this is your desired use for this rifle.

I would consider reloading from the get go, yes start with a couple of hundred good factory rounds but reload from there onwards.

6.5 Creedmore would probably work?

really ‘think’ on what you want from this rifle 

listen to what your chosen Smith advises (please!) 

brgds Terry

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From what you've said so far an AT rebarrelled to 6.5 creedmoor or 6.5x47 would suit your needs.  Baldie, excellent smith and will give you good advise.

Having said that a T3 in a decent stock and rebarrelled in the same calibres will give you excellent service, a lower residual value but cheaper to start with.

308 is an excellent and versatile calibre but there's no getting away from the fact that it starts to loose out in ballistic terms beyond 700yds to the 6.5 and 7mm calibres.

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It will be for plinking only, not planning to get into competition at the moment.

I think the advice to start with a few hundred factory rounds and move to reloading is a a good idea. I think I am leaning towards 6.5 as a calibre.

The reservation about building a semi custom around a Remington action was also a concern I shared. The costs are still quite considerable but it will always be "just a Remington"

I will keep hold of the Remington 700 .270 for deer stalking. It is nice and light and does what I need it to do. I am looking to build up something completely new for target shooting.  

Any thoughts on the pros and cons of the AI AT to a custom? Or is it like comparing apples and oranges?

Thanks guys

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A Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 CM.

I’m an AI guy and would highly recommend them if your budget allows but not if it comes at the expense of not being able to afford good glass. I also have a custom rifle being built and both are good but expensive options. The RPR is a solid entrance rifle and is in a different league to a out of the box Remington. 

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If it were me, I'd consider looking at custom/semi-custom 2nd hand rifles. Usually you can find excellent setups, with everything you need for a fraction of the price new. And they'll be better than most 'off the shelf' rifles.

For example, there's a good sounding 6.5x55 custom rifle in the for sale section, complete with scope, dies, brass etc...everything you need to get going.


i have no affiliation with the seller and I don't know how it shoots, but the equipment on it seems to be of very good spec. The RPA action is excellent, and we all know Krieger barrels are one of the best around. The 1-8" twist is ideal for shooting anything from 120g to 142g bullets - the 140s being perfect for long distance. Round count is said to be low. Something like that would, I think, achieve what you're looking to do at a fraction of the cost of an AI or full custom from new route.

The 6.5x55 Swede may not be the latest, most shiny 6.5mm on the market, but the Swede is still right on up there and is an excellent choice. Really, there's very little between most of the 6.5mm's (excluding the larger 6.5-284). With the newer powders, the Swede will give higher velocities than the Creedmoor with heavier bullets. It's a proven, very accurate, easy to tune and mild recoiling round. Excellent Lapua brass is available, so too is a wide variety of factory target & hunting ammunition. 

Just my 2 cents. Good luck. 

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I would like to go down the second hand route. Most of my other rifles have been purchased second hand. Being a left handed limits things a bit. I want a left handed bolt and stock. 

I have used an RPA rilfe at Bisey before and liked it.

One of the guys at our club recently bought a Ruger Precision in 6.5 CM. He seems to be getting on very well with it. I don't think they do a left handed version.

I'll keep my eyes on the classifieds. 

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.

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I gave up on looking for used guns since the offerings for lefties is extremely scant and you'd be looking forever if you have a particular spec in mind.

Unfortunately practically nobody does much more exotic in LH than the cooking wood-stocked / light barrelled models. 

If you're open to a more off-the-shelf option Tikka do a lot of their T3x rifles in left-hand - including (but not limited to) the Tac A1, CTR (Compact Tactical Rifle), the Sporter (lovely adjustable laminate stock) and the more basic Varmint models. 

I'm new to all this and recently got a LH 20" Varmint Stainless in .223.. a few teething problems aside so far I'm very happy with it.

If you want to do fairly measured and sedate stuff at range I'd think the 24" barrelled versions of the Sporter (if you're old school) or TAC A1 (if you like "tactical" stuff) would be more appropriate. Both are available in .260 and .308; the sporter also in 6.5x55 and the TAC A1 in 6.5CM. 

Of course none of these might appeal and budget depending you may wish to go the semi / full custom route.. however from the research I did before buying mine I reckon these are pretty much your only off-the-shelf choices for true-LH rifles.

Good luck ;)

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