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  • Long Range Precision Shooting

    I have decided I want to get into long range precision shooting, im well aware that this can be a costly venture and will take some time to procure the necessary equipment ( Rifle, million $ scope, shooting mat, etc) I haven't done alot of research and im not really sure on where to get started. Ive handled a few rifles such as the standard Remington 700 Police Sniper Special. I've also handled a savage BAS-K. Im thinking maybe a rifle from GA Precision, they seem to make pretty good bolt rifles.
    As far as Semi-automatic the only rifle I have looked at online has been an Armalite SASS. As far as Scopes go, im not really knowledgeable on them and was probably going to go with a Leupold Mark IV. I'll probably post more as responses come in.

  • #2
    GAP's Crusader Rifle ($3725) is usually in stock and ready to ship. Everything else they make has a 16 week lead/wait time. Great rifles though.
    If you want a semi-auto, get GAP's Precision AR-10 or else an Armalite Super SASS. Both are great quality rifles.
    If you're seriously interested in shooting, start out at the bottom with a basic and functional setup and work your way up. Get a Remington 700P or 700P LTR, or else find a 5R. Then, put on a decent set of optics, like the new Vortex Viper PST, the Nikon Monarch X tactical, a Leupold Mk4, Bushnell Elite 6500, or a Weaver Tactical series. All can be had for under $1k in one form or another. Don't drop $4k on a rifle and $2-3k on a scope until you know what you like and what you don't, and know how to use them. Just my opinion.

    I'll stand back now and let some of the other gurus here offer their wisdom.
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
    -John Adams


    Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

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    • #3
      Depends on what you want. Do you want a tactical style rifle or do you want a long range benchrest precision type of rifle? What is your intended distances to shoot? Again you need to decide if you want a semi or bolt. Your needs will also help to determine this. Will this be just for entertainment or will it someday see work use? Also what is your price range?
      The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

      Surfs Up on youtube!

      Specialized Services Group on Facebook!

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      • #4
        Psst, (whispering) Hey RS303, There is no need to listen to anyone else after this post. The 2 posts above are all you need to know/do. I just recently entered into the LE long range precision shooting arena, so I'm a FNG in regards to it also, just FYI.....the advice given above has been in lock step with some I've been getting from numerous, well known and respected "BeenThereDoneThat"(BTDT) guys.....Good luck to you.

        **swimming back into my lane**
        Last edited by ShantyIrish; 07-05-2010, 10:22 PM.
        Went to Get a Cold Pop

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        • #5
          SURF - more than likely a tactical style rifle, my intended distances are 600+ yards but I need to look and see what ranges in my area offer those kinds of distances. I've heard bolt guns are generally more accurate that semi-autos and probably would lean more towards a bolt action than a semi. As of right now it would be for just entertainment but eventually it may work its way into work use. Our Dept has a swat team but no sniper position(yet), I hope to talk to the admin about sending me to a police marksmanship school if I go through the more expensive part of buying the hardware but that will be awhile in the future. Reedo, i value not only your opinion, but everyones opinion as long as it carries some sort of substance to it

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          • #6
            How far do you shoot now? Just idle curiosity on my part. I shoot AKs and the occasional Mosin generally with irons, 1x optics and dots, so 200y is about all I'm comfortable with.
            **Not a LEO**

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RS303 View Post
              SURF - more than likely a tactical style rifle, my intended distances are 600+ yards but I need to look and see what ranges in my area offer those kinds of distances. I've heard bolt guns are generally more accurate that semi-autos and probably would lean more towards a bolt action than a semi. As of right now it would be for just entertainment but eventually it may work its way into work use. Our Dept has a swat team but no sniper position(yet), I hope to talk to the admin about sending me to a police marksmanship school if I go through the more expensive part of buying the hardware but that will be awhile in the future. Reedo, i value not only your opinion, but everyones opinion as long as it carries some sort of substance to it
              When you are talking about tactical rifles either a bolt gun or a semi-auto will get the job done. However the bolt gun will be easier to shoot to it's inherent accuracy potential than the semi-auto. There is also less to go wrong on the bolt gun.

              The Remington 700 is probably the most popular Sniper Rifle in the US. It is used by more police and military snipers than any other model. You would not be ill-equipped to learn with a 700P and a variable optic with a 3-4x low end. Nobody likes to hear this when they dump gobs of money on a custom rifle, but at most of the matches I have been at a 700P will produce enough accuracy to win. The reason you don't see box-stock rifles win more often is that the guys with the skills to win have tailored the rifle to their particular quirks. If you go the 700P route you can learn, compete and work with it.

              Now this is going to be the hard part to understand. If you want to SAVE money, buy a Accuracy International AE MkII.

              Why am I telling you that you will save money by buying a $3500 rifle instead of the $800 rifle? Because you will not have to do/add/fix/change anything on the AE for it's service life. About 10,000 rounds down the road you will need to call AI and order a replacement barrel, but it will screw right on without any extra gunsmithing. The trigger is fully adjustable as is the stock. You can get it with a 24" plain barrel or a 20" threaded and braked barrel that is ready for a suppressor. You can select a fixed stock, or a folding stock. They are crazy durable. Extremely accurate and very well made. AI's are used by many US and International Police Departments and lots of military units around the world. The AE was built from the bottom up as a Sniper Rifle. It was not a converted sporting rifle.

              I have shot 700's for most of my adult life and all of my professional career. Last year we selected new rifles fro our department's snipers. Unfortunately for us since money WAS a concern we couldn't equip the guys with the AE. We went with 700P LTR's. That doesn't make us poorly equipped. The LTR's are light and accurate. However I will have to stay on top of the maintenance for them. I know the "tricks" to keep them doing what they should be. When we need to rebarrel them or if a bolt handle breaks, then I have to send the rifle off. I can't just call AINA and get a replacement. Adding night vision to a AI chassis is also much easier than with a 700P.

              I am $800 away from a new AI AE MkII right now. It will be my competition and duty rifle. I decided to go the AI route instead of the custom Surgeon RSR I was was planning. I could have a GAP rifle for about the same as a AE, but I feel the AE is still the best choice.

              When considering optics for a duty rifle durability is first and foremost. I run a USO so I can take if off my rifle and use it as a improvised impact weapon if need be. Schmidt & Bender, Premier and Hensoldt will also provide that kind of durability. Nighforce is a great option but only if you go with the F1 model. Illuminated reticles are mandatory in this day and age.

              Since the S&B's are out of my price range I will probably be equipping my AE with a Nightforce F1 when it gets to tax return time.

              Be careful on some of the message boards. They can steer you towards a fun recreational setup. However I see quite a few of those setups go down when it rains, freezes or they get dropped. This is unacceptable in a working rifle.

              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
              8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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              • #8
                TimkK i mostly shoot at 50-100 yards because the range closest to my house is 30 mins away and even has their own police range for pistol , a 25-50 rifle range and a 100 yard range for rifles. i mostly just take my ar-15 and shoot quarter sized groups at 50 with my eotech. Blackdog - an AI was on my list as well for rifles to look at, i'll defintely ocnsider that.

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                • #9
                  Good advice here, but again I really need to know more about your budget. Keeping in mind that you might prefer a bolt rifle that may some day pull tactical use I will suggest the following....

                  On the budget end, I will say that one of my personally owned rifles I have started as simple a .308 Remington 700 SPS Tactical. Out of the box, mounted a Swarovski 10X scope and it shot in the .75 MOA range with 168gr Federal GMM ammo. Great budget platform to get into the long range precision game for little investment and as your learing curve / money / skill / personal desires develop it is easily upgradable to suit your needs / preferences.

                  Right out of the box, quality base and rings and just a decent mid level optic you could get a sub MOA rifle for right around $1100-$1200. Less optics and with a simple stock swap and bedding you can easily have a .5 MOA capable rifle for right around or just under $1500 or so. It would perform well as a fun long range rifle or pulling working duties. Of course Optics is where you are going to place a large investment and you can easily spend more on your optic than on the rifle itself, but you can get away with a more budget oriented set up to get yourself started.

                  I have rifles that range from mild to wild and quite honestly I would put my Rem700 SPS Tactical against many rifles costing much much more coin.
                  Last edited by Surf; 07-06-2010, 03:36 PM.
                  The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

                  Surfs Up on youtube!

                  Specialized Services Group on Facebook!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Something to think about. If you want a benchrest class gun, the tolerances will be tighter than they will be on a tactical rifle.
                    The bolt is a very tight fit to the reciever and the locking lugs, so much so that in just a few shots, the action will become fouled. Its the very reason that many bench rest guns have the helical flutes on the bolts, to help wipe off the carbon fouling an unburned powder residue. A tactical rifle does not need to be or want to be that tight. It needs to be able to operate in less than ideal conditions without locking up. The bench rest doesent care so much if you swab out the barrel and wipe off the bolt every few shots,because its no big deal if it locks up.

                    You can have a tactical rifle that shoot pretty well out to the long ranges but they usually wont compete with a benchrest rifle thats been built from the ground up.

                    Something else to consider. You can buy a Remington that shoot great out of the box. If you want to make it better, you blueprint the action, put a premium hand lapped barrel on it ,maybe change out the trigger and put a decent stock on it, something like a McMillian or a HS Precision. Thing is, by the time you do that with the parts and labor you've spent almost as much on it as having a tactical rifle built from the ground up.

                    I am personally a fan of http://www.surgeonrifles.com/ Having built a few from the ground up and using hand lapped Shilen Premium barrels I have had some great success using them. They are a bit pricey, but a complete rifle that will hang with any other made can be had for around 3 grand.
                    "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

                    Norman Thomas

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                    • #11
                      Oh, come on now. "Tight, match" rifles are a blast to watch at competitions when the wind starts blowing dirt around or it rains. Nothing like seeing guys beating the bolts open on high dollar rifles, when their scarred and battle proven brothers are ticking along.

                      Don't buy into the "tighter is more accurate" theory. It ain't always true. There has to be room for dirt. There is a lot of it on this planet.
                      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                      8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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                      • #12
                        While I don't doubt you can get more accuracy out of the weapons described above, have you considered putting some mid-range glass on your AR15 and seeing what you can do at 300-400 yards? For the cost of a $400 SWFA 10x Super Sniper scope (don't be deterred by the name) you can still learn a lot with the firearm you already own. Plenty of untapped potential there if you only shoot it at 100 today.
                        **Not a LEO**

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                        • #13
                          I've considered putting a scope on my AR15 but i know i won't be getting great accuracy past 400 yards with a 16 inch barrel. Finding a range that goes past 100 out in my area is still an issue but like i said i just started getting into this idea and i'd rather put that 400$ towards a leupold or towards a precision rifle or even that remington 700 since you guys said it would be a good starting platform.

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                          • #14
                            Barrel length is not going to give you more accuracy. A better barrel may give you better accuracy, but the length itself is primarily going to give you velocity. Leupolds are good scopes too. Any long-range rifle you buy is going to need a quality piece of glass. I'd suggest you buy that glass first and put it on your AR-15, then find a range to take it beyond 100y. Test yourself to the limit of the AR-15. It still has plenty of headroom for you to learn on.
                            **Not a LEO**

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                            • #15
                              Depends.

                              If it's a free-floated AR with a decent barrel then you could have a whole lot of fun and learn quite a bit with it.

                              However if it's just your garden variety minute of chest carbine, then you will have some issues when learning the finer points of precision marksmanship.

                              You can learn the basics on damn near anything, but after the basics you need a platform that removes equipment errors from the equation.
                              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                              8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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