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Lilly

Bolt Action Sniper Rifle

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I am thinking of purchasing a bolt action rifle for use in Sniper-type and bolt action competitions. I am a gal and a little recoil sensitive. I cannot handle a very heavy gun. I would like on that has a detachable magazine for quicker reloading. What caliber and brand would you guys recommend?

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Tubb 2000 in 6mm X (1st choice) or .260 Rem (2d choice). You would be the queen of sniper rifles.

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Lilly:

Wow this is a big question.

A couple of calibers that come to mind would be a 223 or 22-250. Both do nicely out to 3 or 400 yards. Past that the little pills get blown around by the wind.

Next choice might be a 25-06 a little more range with out tons of recoil.

Next you get into .308.

Think about this (and I don't know too much about sniper competions). If you don't have to lug the gun around much (or shoot off-hand) you might think about a 308 rifle in a heavy barrel config and a good muzzle break. This would give you good recoil managment and range.

If you need good mobility, you probably have to look at the lighter calibers (223, 22-250) because of the lighter gun.

All 3 calibers have lots of factory ammo choices, though the 223 and 308 probably have the most.

As far as manufacturer, well, you're going to have a religious war there, but I'll give you my opinion (you asked). For an out-of-the box rifle you can't beat a Savage. I have and love a couple of them and I can regularly compete with guys who's guns cost 2 or 3 x what mine did. My calibers are 22-250 and 300WSM. The 300WSM is a legit 750yd gun out of the box. My total deal, including a Burris Fullfield II 6.5x24 scope was $950 out the door. I also really like the accutrigger. I know some people say it is a bit gimmicky, but where else you gonna get a clean breaking 1.5lb trigger on a factory rifle? If you are going to go custom, break out the checkbook and wait for someone else to give you details.

Hope this helps!

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For bargains, in addition to the Savage, you might also consider CZ and Tikka. Both can be had with detachable magazines and offer outstanding accuracy and reliabilty for a very reasonable price.

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Lilly, Remington makes a synthetic stock 700, you can get the gun in either 223 ,22-250 or 308. They have the full size Polcie sniper model or Varmit model..I believe they also make a short barrel version, which I feel would be ideal for you. As fa r as caliber, obvioulsy 223 or 22-250 are easier on the shoulder, but the bullet will be affected more by the elements. Remington guns are priced right and are relieble. Remember, when you mention the words sniper and rifle together, you are generally speaking of a heavy barrel, and a thicker stock, which equates to greater weight. Also, look at Gunsite (Jeff Copper) scout rifle.

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Lilly,

You might also look at that Remington 700 with a long action in 300 Win Mag. We were hitting a 12-inch plate at 900 yards in a serious wind with it. Currently, it will put two rounds through a nearly perfect round hole at 200 yards. Here is a picture of it.

700pss.jpg

Liota

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You might also look at that Remington 700 with a long action in 300 Win Mag.

She says she's recoil sensitive and you're suggesting a 300 Win Mag??

:wacko:

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I think the .223 with heavier loads (like the 75gr Black Hills) would be the best bet given the dual limitations of wanting a lighter gun at the same time as being recoil sensitive. It's going to be a lot more fun to shoot (i.e. practice) than even a .308 unless the .308 has a super good muzzle brake.

I have a box stock compact Ruger M77 MkII in .308 and it punishes you even with Winchester USA White Box ammo, much less heavier loads. But, it's very light! Ask BigDave how much fun it is to shoot! ;)

It's not easy to balance weight limitations, recoil limitations, and external ballistic limitations at the same time!

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Thanks for all your input so far. What about the 243 and 260? One person mentioned the 260 but no one said anything about the 243.

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.243s are great but 1) they're barrel burners and 2) you need a custom fast twist barrel to shoot the good bullets like a Sierra 107 Matchking. That's why I recommnded a 6X which is like a .243 short with nearly the same velocity but better barrel life.

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I have a 6MM Rem... of course I think it's a better cartridge than the old .243 (haven't seen the WSM's).

Shoots flatter, same bullet selection. Dead on accurate for me with Sierra 85 HBPT and H335.. Never shot past 300Yds though.

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First of all sniper rifles aren't light - almost by definition. Most run 12-18 pounds.

.223 won't cut it in sniper matches. Just not enough ummph at 500 yards and beyond.

.243 same deal as above.

6x won't take down Larues after about 600-700 yards unless it is a head shot.

6.5 x 284 seems to be the smallest diameter that is minimally effective. Barrel life is short, generally 1200-1800 rounds before significant degradation.

.308 is the standard works to 1000 but is really running out of gas there. 175 grain black hills match ammo or the Lapua Scenar match ammo are the cool set ups.

Some new contenders that could be pretty interesting:

6.5 Grendel - 123 grain Lapua going about 2800+ Fits in an AR magazine - good to about 1200 yds

6.8 Remington possible Specs ops replacement round for the .223 - fits 28 in an AR Magazine

.300 SAUM - fits in a Rem 700 chassis also available in a semi from Armalite and DPMS

Get a good muzzle brake and you will be surprised at how low the recoil is.

The AICS chassis system rocks. 10 round mags are only $60's! Burkett Video Click the sniper rifle link on the left to take a look at it.

BTW save some money for a good scope and don't scrimp on the rings or base.

Will be putting out an article on LRR here in the next week.

Have you joined my tips list? If you have, great, you will be notified of new articles and shooting tips. If you haven't, too bad. :blink:

:) If I can help you get going in the right direction, please give me a call or email me.

Take care,

Matt

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BTW save some money for a good scope and don't scrimp on the rings or base.

That's a good point. I think it's better to have good glass and a mediocre rifle/caliber than the other way around.

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I'd like to second the CZ 527 Varmint. It seems to fit your parameters nicely. 223 with 1 in 9 twist detachable mag. light weight with a fairly heavy barrel conture, HS precision stock has neat set trigger system. I just got mine about a month ago and love it, very quick, reasonable price and with the specials on the discontinued Vari-X III scopes ( put the 3.5 x 10 mil dot with target knobs on mine ) whole deal with 5 mags around $1100.00. Have shot out to 600 yds. in 10 to 15 mph winds ( In Kansas you shoot in the wind or you don't shoot ) with good results. If your budget allows higher end equipment the Tubb 2000 is a good choice on the other hand those Savage Rifles are hard to beat for the money, every one I've been around does a good job.

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As you can see picking a caliber is difficult and lots of factors play into it: cost, recoil, trajectory, barrel life, bullet selection, wind bucking ability.

I would steer you away from the hard kickers like .300 Mag and barrel burners like the .243, 6.5/06 Improved or 6.5/284 and focus on the low recoiling relatively flat shooting "intermediate" rounds which are something of a compromise. The .260 Remington fits this bill. You get high BC (ballistic coefficient) bullets, decent but not too much powder capacity which equals longer barrel life, low recoil, and cases are easy to obtain. If you're not afraid of buying barrels, then get a 6.5/284 although I'm not sure how well they feed out of a magazine with that fat body.

There is nothing wrong with the old standby the .308. It is certainly an accurate cartridge and good factory ammo is available but when a .260 shoots flatter, bucks wind better, and kicks less why would anybody use one?

Matt make a point about the 6mms. They don't have the bullet mass that a 6.5 does but they're so pleasant to shoot. I still think 6X is a good way to go.

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There is nothing wrong with the old standby the .308. It is certainly an accurate cartridge and good factory ammo is available but when a .260 shoots flatter, bucks wind better, and kicks less why would anybody use one?

I would go with the .308 primarily because of the wide selection of factory ammo. That's another strength of the .223.

I just wish Black Hills did .308 in the Blue Box!

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OK, my .02. Remington makes a 700 LTR. It has a 20" fluted heavy barrel and comes in .223 and 308. .223 would have little to no recoil and mine in .308 is very light on recoil. The rifle weighs about 9 pounds. Mine will regularly shoot 1/2" @ 100yds. The new ones have floor plates the older(2yrs ago) had the Remington detachable mags. Another cartridge to consider is the 7mm-08. Light on recoil, big on performance. The Savage Scout format is a reasonable gun that will shoot with the best of them. Good luck. TXAG

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The AICS chassis system rocks. 10 round mags are only $60's!

Wouldn't it be great if somebody came up with a way to use FAL mags in a bolt gun stock? $5 for usable 20 rounders and $10 for the new, premium ones.

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Wow - I am overwhelmed! I had another suggestion of a 270 Win. Based on the discussions, I have at least ruled out anything smaller than 260. And, yes, Matt, I do subscribe to your E-mails - thanks! It looks like I have a lot of learning to do before I can make a final decision. I have seen the bolt action side matches at many 3-gun competitions and they looked interesting. I also was looking into sniper competitions. I was thinking I could get one rifle that satisfied both, but now it looks like I might have been unrealistic. I was worried about weight because in the bolt action competitions they have off hand shots and I cannot hold a heavy rifle steady enough. But Matt has stated that a sniper rifle is, by default, heavy. Sigh. But this is part of the fun for me - learning as much as I can about a new discipline in shooting!

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You might also look at that Remington 700 with a long action in 300 Win Mag.

She says she's recoil sensitive and you're suggesting a 300 Win Mag??

:wacko:

The rifle weighs 13.5 pounds. It doesn't move much when I shoot it. The recoil pad, heavy barrel and its shear weight soak up most of the recoil.

If Lilly wants an even lighter recoiling long range rifle, she can try Armalite's AR-30 in .338 Lapua Magnum. Plenty of ummph at long distances with a tremendous weight and muzzle brake. Again, it barely moves.

Just for the record, I am somewhat recoil sensitive myself. It's probably due to my size. I'm not particularly big.

Liota

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I would suugest you take another look at the .243 . The Rem. 700 comes with a 1-9.125 twist and will shoot the 105 grain AMAX just fine . Mine shoots the above bullet into under 1 inch with a 5 shot group at 200 yards . It has less bullet drop, by about 80 inches , and less wind drift than a .308 168 or 175 grain bullet . As far as being a barrel burner I would simply suggest staying away from light bullets going really fast and you should be fine . The people I have spoke to , that are running a similar set up are getting 6-7000 rounds out of there rifles without a problem . Hell even David Tubb is shooting a .243 at a 1000 with success . If weight is a huge issue think about going with a shorter barrel , but not to short as you dont want to give up much velocity in a lighter caliber . Also learn how to use a loop sling to help support the weight of the rifle or just buy a quick cuff sling from Mike Miller at Tactical Intervention and learn how to use it .

If you get a stock rem. 700 lurk around on some of the sniper/tactical rifle websites and sooner or later a H.S. precision detachable magazine setup will show up in the classifieds for about 150 bucks .

If you just have to have a .260 talk to Fred Moreo at Sharpshooter Supply about building you one on a Savage action .

Sorry if this got long winded but this is one of my favorite subjects .

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The AICS chassis system rocks. 10 round mags are only $60's!

Wouldn't it be great if somebody came up with a way to use FAL mags in a bolt gun stock? $5 for usable 20 rounders and $10 for the new, premium ones.

KBear,

I've been thinking the same thing, especially after reading about an Aussie manually operated target rifle built on a L1A1 chassis during the 70's

They used a modified upper with no mag well, but I'm sure a regular SLR could be rebarreled without a gas port, dust cover modified and a bolt handle fitted.

I know Jake Kempton has done the same with the AR, but I think the FAF/L1A1 would be better still

P.D.

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Does anyone know if any of the manufacturers or custom shops make centerfire rifle actions that operate the same way as Biathlon rifles? I'm not sure if it would work for anything other than a .22LR, but it would be cool to have one of those straight pull actions for a .308 or the centerfire caliber of your choice.

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Rhino, the "pull" would be longer, considering the difference in case length of .22LR vs. 308 and such.

For OZ-philes, a Shot Show report on another forum reports an Aussie company making a No.4 type rifle in 308 which takes M14 magazines, and importing it to the USA. Not an L1A1 and not FAL mags, but interesting. Might not be better than the Savage/CZ/Tikka route, regarding cost vs. performance

Lee

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