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I live in New Mexico and one of the few great things about being here is a lot of wide open spaces. I own a handgun for home defense and shoot it at least monthly and I've been shooting other people's guns for years so I'm very comfortable around the variation in options. I have always really enjoyed distance shooting and have pretty good aim at 600 meters on steel targets out at a local range. I'm finally ready to get something of my own and realize you get what you pay for. I've been looking at the Armalite AR-30 30M300 because it gets pretty good reviews and it comes standard with a match grade barrel (one less thing to upgrade). First question, does anyone have a better suggestion for a comparable gun that will shoot 500-1000 meters.

Second Q, I've been looking at scopes too and they can cost as much if not more than the gun. Can people give me recommendations for a good scope that will fit those distances and not break the bank. If I need to spend the money to truly enjoy shooting, I will. I just want to make sure whatever money I do spend will be the right investment. Thanks...
 

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Jxh, you're sure jumping into this thing with both feet! Hi, and welcome to the forum. When you get a chance stop by up in the "New Members" area and say Howdy. Folks'll say howdy back.

To get started answering both of your questions I'll say this; There are as many possibilities to do the things you want as there are going to be opinions as to what you should do. Without knowing much about your experience with firearms it'd be difficult to give you good advice about specific rifles or sights that you should use. I'd think the best thing you could do is approach the issue by reading all you can, asking questions (got a good start there), and trying out all the possibilities that you can get your hands on before you buy. Then after you buy, be ready to change or get more and more and more gun stuff.

Alan
 

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I do 600 yards with a Ruger M77 MkII in 30-06 and a cheap Leupold scope on it. Groups sizes are quite acceptable. I'm fairly confident that I could take it to 900 yards and maintain respect. 1,000 yards: maybe, but I'd need taller scope rings.

To shoot long distances, you MUST be a good shooter, first and foremost. You frequently hear of someone's grandaddy out in the boonies who can drop a dear at 1,000 yards with iron sights. My own grandaddy was a hillbilly from the Missouri Ozarks and could shoot like that. Amazing, actually.

Being a good shooter at distance requires practice and training with things like trigger control, breath control, sight picture perfection, etc. It requires that you understand the effects of wind. Requires that you understand ballistics and how bullets travel through the air and how distance becomes more and more of a factor, even with just the change from 900 yards to 1,000 yards. It's a completely different animal than shooting at 100 or even 300 yards where the ballistics is far less of an issue (but still important, obviously). After about 600 yards, you're really just lobbing the bullets into the target and you're just trying to discover how much it has to be lobbed!

AFTER you can get a good grip on these issues, you can shoot at distance with a less-than-perfect rifle and less-than-perfect scope and do very well. Personal experience here.

It's at that point, however, that you start wanting to bring your group sizes in and mo' betta equipment will actually start to help you. Remember, you can have the best equipment in the world and still be a crappy shooter and the equipment isn't going to help you one bit. If you're practiced up and you know what you're doing as a shooter, better equipment will help immensely. Better equipment includes the rifle and scope, as you've mentioned, but it can also include better ballistics tables/calculators, better bench rests, better reloading equipment (you WILL have to build your own ammo at some point), better components (especially bullets, especially the RIGHT bullets), etc. It will also include more training and more practice.

The point is, start with yourself (practice and training) and you can start with a much less costly setup. Mine originally cost right around $1,000 about 10 or 12 years ago (and it's no Cadillac setup, for sure) but your mileage may vary. That said, of course, if you don't want to have to go through the expense of upgrading a few months down the road, start big, as you've indicated. Nothing inherently wrong with that, either.

And let us know how you do. I love shooting long distance but I have issues not having anyone to help with resetting the targets!

As a disclaimer, I'm still no expert so some of what I posted up is academic. I have more work to do as a distance shooter.

--Wag--
 

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Alan, thanks, and yes, I am jumping right in because I figure I've done enough shooting at that distance with other people's guns that it's about time I picked up my own and controlled things a little more.

Wag, I've shot both the 30-06 and 308 at 600 yards pretty reliably but the longer I go I start to feel like I'm lobbing it but I also haven't shot good ammo at that range (never purchased any CNC manufactured ammo really). I've read the 300 is pretty good at and past 1000 and the 338 lapua does even better.

Back to the questions at hand, assuming I go with either the 300 or 338, the gun and options are pretty straight forward. What are my sight options without spending more than the gun? Anyone have any recommendations or should I just suck it up and pay the $1k+?

Thanks all...
 

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While not an AR 30 I can show you how my AR 10 is set up. Using a 20" barrel and floated hand guard the sights in the picture are Centra Sights available through Brownells/Sinclair a good rear open site will run you about $400 and about $100 for the front. The second image is the scope setup and a set of standard military sights.

As to a scope. I suggest spending the bucks and getting a good Leupold that will handle the shock of shooting large calibers. When working on rifles like that you want and need quality parts so things hold together.





Again, while not the rifle you have in mind, this may help with some ideas. You may also want to talk to a competent gunsmith about the project, one who is familiar with this type of setup. Also, please keep in mind this is just but a single possible suggestion. I suggest you look at a number of possibilities and consider each, then make a decision. That includes talking to as many shooters as possible using the rifle you plan to get.

Just My Take
Ron
 

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Depending on your budget for this endeavor there is quite an array of rifle, round, scope combinations. Without knowing what you've shot, how much you shot it and how you did, it is difficult to give good advice. What you've gotten so far is as good advice as you're likely to get. If you have shot your friend's rifles and have done well, they might be the ones to ask about their setups.

Alan
 

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Alan, thanks, and yes, I am jumping right in because I figure I've done enough shooting at that distance with other people's guns that it's about time I picked up my own and controlled things a little more.

Wag, I've shot both the 30-06 and 308 at 600 yards pretty reliably but the longer I go I start to feel like I'm lobbing it but I also haven't shot good ammo at that range (never purchased any CNC manufactured ammo really). I've read the 300 is pretty good at and past 1000 and the 338 lapua does even better.

Back to the questions at hand, assuming I go with either the 300 or 338, the gun and options are pretty straight forward. What are my sight options without spending more than the gun? Anyone have any recommendations or should I just suck it up and pay the $1k+?

Thanks all...
Hi pardner and welcome.

You have been given some good advice and I am glad to hear you want to do
some "distance" shooting....and, that you live where you "can" in fact do this...:thumbsup::lol:


I have "some" experience in long range firing. And I am sure you do also...

"One" thing I would like to offer you ( or any others ! ) is to take a look here....

Long Range Shooting Simulation Demo


It is a multiple shot placement demo...but from a "very" good software program. If you
like it, then you can look into the vendor further....etc...

Do NOT get discouraged....look at "EVERY" instruction....and practice, but "learn" some things
from it.....have Windows calculator open on desktop...or have one at your PC for calculating etc...

And if you (or anyone else) likes it...I have a link to a downloadable software program
with similar "accurate" ballistics software programming....that includes many set ups
with "3" rifles, one of which is the 50 BMG, and...a great learning/instructions graphic
tutorial as to mil, windage , MOA, etc....


regards to you and good luck....


1shot1k
 

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When I got the scope for my long range rifle I spent a lot more money than I did on the original cost of my rifle. I also have a hunting rifle that I mounted a K6 weaver on and it shoots about as well at 300 yds. as the rifle I topped with a Springfield Armory Gov. model tactical that cost more than 5 times as much as the Weaver. Past 400 meters is where the more expensive setup shines. That is all with my own reloads I've developed for each rifle.
 

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I`m more of a 100-200 yard shooter myself so I will not weigh in. Just wanted to say Howdy to ya .
 

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If you can bump your budget a little look at Accuracy International and Aurora Tactical. I recommend the 338, check out the Savage 110 or 111 in 338. Buds Guns has the AR30 for a good price and they also have the Savages. Ballistics chart- {LINK DELETED PER FORUM RULES}


I use a $160 Redfield for new rifles until I get the rifle/ammo combo dialed in, then I upgrade to a better optic. That can at least buy you some time between expenditures.

I am a dealer but I cannot compete with volume dealers for the rifles you are looking. I may be able to help you with an optic. Figure out what you want then PM me. If I can help you out I will, if not, no big deal.
 

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Lotsa good info here in this thread.

I quit shooting modern weapons at long range long ago but I still shoot a Sharps Model 1874 rifle, chambered in .45-120, in 1000 yard competitions. Black powder only. No scopes are allowed. Ya wanna talk about 'lobbing in' rounds?

I do know a bit about optics. Rule of thumb: Purchase the best scope you can afford. Remember, you are buying glass and coatings. Do not be distracted by whistles, buzzers and bells. Optical quality becomes blatantly obvious at about 700 yards. High optical quality costs big bucks. They start at around $2000.00 retail and go up from there.

High quality rifle scope makers (remember, glass and coatings) include, and in no particular order

Schmidt-Bender
Zeiss (their highest quality/most expensive lines. Hensoldt, Diavari, etc)
US Optics
Kahles
Docter Optik (if you can find them)
Trijicon
NightForce
Swarovski is once again in the rifle scope business. (their Z6i line is very nice)

Leupold's best scopes are upper mid range optics, as are Nikon's, etc., etc.

Sightron's SightronIII line is the best budget line of long range scopes I have found
 
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