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martin_b

General purpose target rifle.

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Hi all I'm now in a position to get my first big boys target rifle, however i also want to be a bit realistic in what in going to be able to achieve so I don't want to spend loads of money of gear I'll never be able to get the best out of ( it's taken me 40 years to be a reasonably competent clay shooter) so a bit of advice on calibre, rifle and scope would be appreciated.  Salient details are..

I shoot .22lr benchrest and enjoy it, but i'm really not that competitive.

I live about 40 mins from Bisley.. and I'll be retiring soon  so lots of shooting time available.

when i was younger i invested in beer and sports cars rather than my pension fund, (but boy did i have a good time) so cost is a consideration

I don't have the patience or manual dexterity  to reload, ( it would end badly!)

If i was in the USA Id be happy shooting steel targets all day.

current thinking is a Savage or a Ruger precision in .233  give's me the option of F/TR and cheapish Ammo.

 

Edited by martin_b
Cant spell

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223 will limit your range potential significantly (600 yards) .......the ammo will be cheapish.

6mm or 6.5mm will be far more versatile and good for 1000+......  ammo a bit more spendy.

600 yards may seem far out at present BUT  once you have your drops sorted I assure you that you wll raise your eyes to the horizon!😀

 

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Personally I agree with the above.

.223 will limit your range unless you buy factory ammunition loaded with heavy bullets (eg 77g, 80g +)...but you’ll need a rifle with an appropriate twist (1-8”, 1-7”) to properly accommodate and stabilise the heavy bullets...likely meaning a custom barrel = spendy.

A good off the shelf rifle should suit your needs, one in one of the following calibers will do you well out to 1000m. All these calibres have suitable factory and/or military surplus ammunition available, suitable to get you out to those ranges. In no particular order;

6mmBR, 6.5x55 Swede, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308/7.62 NATO

There are plenty of other suitable calibres out there but the above will be easily available to buy ammunition for. Personally I’d look at a .308w/7.62 NATO for hitting steel with, or entering F class, particularly if on a budget...ammunition will be a bit cheaper compared to the others. 

My 2 pennies worth.

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Plus 243 win, 260 rem

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Not sure on factory ammo for those two.

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Be mindful of the fact that if you decide to venture into F TR, as you intimated, you are limited to .223 and .308. Not many shoot the former these days, so you need a good 308 rig.

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Thanks for all this guys, i bit of information i didn't mention is I've had a couple of serious neck injuries. Once playing rugby, once motor racing, so I'm conscious of recoil.  Now I can and do happily shoot 200+ 24g clay cartridges in couple of hours in competitions with absolutely no problems, but i have heard stories of  one shot with a rifle causing months of pain and  grief.

I have to say after a day's contemplation I am thinking a 6.5 creedmoor is the way to go, "Buy once Cry once" i believe is the expression. from what i understand it's  pretty low recoil, good to 1000 yards, and using Man maths, ammo isn't that much more expensive than .233 over a year.

If i could ask a supplementary questions how much ammo is it usual to shoot in a session?  I guess I average between 50-100 .22lr  so I assume full bore is less.

 

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The calibres mentioned will not cause recoil problems.

Adding a moderator might be a good idea if recoil concerns you as it reduces the effect to a worthwhile degree.

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So that didnt take very long! As  was predicted I need to go further..

What happened is I've managed to pick up and old Tikka M55 target rifle in .233 with Scope Moderator and Bipod for what I think was a good price. Its a good practice gun but ts not going to work over 600m, so time to fill the 6.5 creedmoor slot i have.

Now for he controversial bit, the more time i spend at Bilsey the colder I'm feeling towards all the tactical  rifle options , Im sure they are all incredibly accurate but they are hardly elegent.. so is there such a thing as a resonably  priced target rifle, ( single shot is fine) , must have an adjustable comb ( neck issues) a nice walnut stock, or wood laminate, but not lego or plastic !   If im going to miss, lets miss with a bit of style.

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This place has a couple of likely candidates  https://gtshooting.wixsite.com/gt-shooting/rifles

My first 7.62/308 target rifle was an old Mauser from here. I paid around £175 for it, shot it at Bisley for a year or two, then traded up to a Swing Mk4.

Pete

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as a club gun we bought a howa in 6.5 creedmore with a heavy 26inch barel  a dpt moderator  a atlas style bipod and the big hawke eld scope  all in under 2 grand . put in a grs stock it would be adjustable and good looking

Ammo bought at Bisley  S&B 140grain at £19 a box ( nay have been 17) and it was in the bull at 1200 last sat in the rain .

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4 hours ago, martin_b said:

 

So that didnt take very long! As  was predicted I need to go further..

What happened is I've managed to pick up and old Tikka M55 target rifle in .233 with Scope Moderator and Bipod for what I think was a good price. Its a good practice gun but ts not going to work over 600m, so time to fill the 6.5 creedmoor slot i have.

Now for he controversial bit, the more time i spend at Bilsey the colder I'm feeling towards all the tactical  rifle options , Im sure they are all incredibly accurate but they are hardly elegent.. so is there such a thing as a resonably  priced target rifle, ( single shot is fine) , must have an adjustable comb ( neck issues) a nice walnut stock, or wood laminate, but not lego or plastic !   If im going to miss, lets miss with a bit of style.

As I mentioned in my previous post, if you think you might venture in to F Class, FTR you need to be thinking of 308. Again, if you are going to shoot on Stickledown you need to be thinking of a 30” barrel.

You mentioned a preference for a wood laminate stock. I know of something that might shake your rocks. If you’re interested PM me you email address and I’ll send you further details.

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This looks nice, https://www.thamesvalleyguns.co.uk/page54.html

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On 10/18/2019 at 9:48 AM, Dellboy said:

as a club gun we bought a howa in 6.5 creedmore with a heavy 26inch barel  a dpt moderator  a atlas style bipod and the big hawke eld scope  all in under 2 grand . put in a grs stock it would be adjustable and good looking

Ammo bought at Bisley  S&B 140grain at £19 a box ( nay have been 17) and it was in the bull at 1200 last sat in the rain .

Im currently thinking along the above lines.. 1500 action in a GRS stock, (Laminated Hybrid maybe) . thanks for all the advice.

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The GRS hybrid stock is brilliant (I have one on my 6.5x47)...........but for F/TR, I'd go for a proper single shot target action.

Pete

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Im not overly focused on F/TR, if i fancy entering a comp Ive got my .223.   I have no aspirations of winning so it will be fine.

I just fancy setting some personal goals, hit a target at 1000m for instance, but I also like to be able to take the rifle out of the safe and admire it as a minor work of art. Like a nice S/S shotgun.

cheers

Martin

 

 

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A few thoughts you may or may not be aware of...

If you want to shoot TR you'll be looking at a rifle in .308 only with aperture sights and a sling. If you want to shoot F-TR you'll want a scoped sporter / target rifle in .223 or .308 with a bipod. As others have said the smaller is realistically limited to 600yd and suffers far more wind drift than the .308 so won't be competitive; although you will get cheaper ammo and less recoil. 

If you want to shoot F-class with any calibre other than .223 or .308 you're into F-Open territory where it all gets very exotic and expensive. So, while the external ballistics of a 6.5CM will knock spots off a .308 in isolation; with a .308 you'll be competing on a reasonably level playing field against other guns of the same calibre in F-TR, while going 6.5CM will put you up against rifles chambered for hotter, more long-distance-capable cartridges in F-Open.

Take this as coming from a self-confessed Tikka nut, but this seems like a strong case for a used T3 (or the later T3x if you can find one) Sporter in .308. This will give you excellent build and a nice trigger out of the box, plus a nice traditional-ish laminate stock with adjustable cheek piece and butt pad.

The Finns apparently use these for target shooting with iron sights (as illustrated on this site) so it appears using these rifles with such sights is possible.

Countryway in Kent apparently have a new one in at £1520 (image is of a LH one, although nowt in the text suggest it's LH), while I reckon you'd get a used one for ballpark a grand if you bide your time...

Also, I believe the case head diameter of the .308 and 6.5CM are the same, so I think you could conceivably re-barrel the rifle from .308 to 6.5CM (or vice-versa) in the future if desired. 

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Clover,

Just one correction is that .223 can be used in TR although it's generally only a few hard core individuals that use it and mostly at club level and regional comps, that allow handloads, the ammunition offered in most national events, being issued is not conducive to high scores!

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2 hours ago, Leeman said:

Clover,

Just one correction is that .223 can be used in TR although it's generally only a few hard core individuals that use it and mostly at club level and regional comps, that allow handloads, the ammunition offered in most national events, being issued is not conducive to high scores!

Thanks - wasn't aware of that!

On the subject of the OP's needs, IMO this looks like a nice buy (note that it's the earlier T3 not the current T3x as implied, but the differences are fairly minimal).

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Thanks Guys.. Club and regional level is more than enough for me.   That Tikka does look nice.

On a similar subject does anyone know the UK imported of Sabatti?  I'd like to have a look at the TLD.

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