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 Post subject: .308 Bolt Rifle advice
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:25 am 
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For all you rifle shooters, I am looking to buy one .308 bolt rifle once up front and not replace down the road and would like some advice on which one to consider based on your first hand personal experiences. This will be shot up to 600 yards not much beyond that, except for school courses with some over 600yd shots.

Accuracy Internationl AE II series $3400 (not the high priced AW series) The AE is available in either 20 and 24 inch barrels, the folding stock option allows easy cleaning without removing the adjustable cheekpiece which needs to be done on the fixed stock version and is good for packing, transport etc. I have heard the folding is very sturdy and well built. AE offers a 20" barrel threaded option with brake or a non- threaded regular crown. The 24 is not available threaded. Would a brake cause accuracy degradation? is a 20" too short to get the most out of a .308 ie would 24 be a better all around choice? It might be nice to have a supressor or muzzle option. The AE line has a different safety than the AW and I hear it is awkard to disengage without removing finger from trigger area. It is supposed to be more cumbersome to operate than the AW?

Remington 700SS 5R – in factory format at $1000 with 24” barrel only and hinged floorplate. I believe they have HS Precision and are non-adjustable stocks. Most likely will need conversion to AICS magazines. Is this worth the effort and then still have a stock 700 action.

GA Precision - GAP rifles, most of the variants use 22" bartlein barrels, which is a compromise between the 20 or 24’s mentioned above. If I went a custom route should one opt for the Templar Action? This action however still has the scope base attached with screws just like the Remington 700 action would, the Surgeon option has an integral scope rail but is pricey. GAP tells me when built properly there is no need to test fire. I am a 1911 guy and know that all mechanical items especially pistols can have issues. If spending $3500 -$4000 plus on a rifle should it be a requirement that it is test fired for accuracy and function?

There are other custom makers also like Les Baer (recon and classic), HS Precision and Robar and I consider these rifles "custom" builds. I would consider a Remington as the only really production mentioned above. Thank you for your suggestions and acceptance of this post in the custom area.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:53 pm 
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All above choices are fine including the stock Remmy. If your only, pushing to 600M 20" is more than enough barrel. I have 2 custom 308s, a 24" and a 18". The 18"er gets far more use than the 24, and shoots lights out to 800. GAs Templar action will serve you just fine, A remmy with the barrel shortened, some new bottom metal and a bedding job will most likely shoot as well as you can. Lots of options out there. Remember to save some $$$$$ for glass. Lucky for you Stan Chen is loading 308 ammo I shot a 3/8" 5 shot group @100M off bipods with his ammo, is consistantly below 1MOA out to 600M for me out of both guns. Good stuff!

PS don't overlook the FN bolt guns, shot a couple and they are damn good factory sticks!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:29 pm 
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Location: Kalifornia
condition1, you've picked quite a few nice pieces to start. I'll throw in a couple more for consideration:

Surgeon Rifles
KMW Sentinel
Skunkworks
Louisana Precision
R&D Precision
TacOps
APA (formerly Patriot Arms)

Now, the hard part. How much are your REALLY wanting to spend? Gotta be an honest answer to yourself cause the disease can get outta hand quick. You may look into a $3500 or so invest in gun alone, then you have to consider the glass that goes with it. And if you jump into the top of the line stuff from S&B, USO, Premier and Nightforce you're gonna be pushing the dollars way up and really quick.

Finally, how much are you really going to be shooting? Are you going to reload? Again, more collateral costs incurred. Another consideration is factory match ammo, you have available offerings from ASYM, Black Hills, Federal Gold and CorBon to consider.

If you're truely going to keep shots down to the 600yd mark, get a Remington 5R then jam it into an AI stock, bolt on a 3.5-10 M1 Leupold with some Badger rings and bases and start slinging the lead. What the big names give you is the extra margin of confidence and absolute repeatability. Which frankly, IMO, matters at serious matches. And for that, you better be spending a lot of time on the trigger and have a healthy supply of ammo to boot.

As an aside, not to knock Les Baer, Nighthawk, or Ed Brown rifles. They are very well made pieces, however, I have yet to see anyone at the classes I've attended use any other their rifles. And I've seen many a GAP, KMW, APA, et al, if that's any measure.

If you wanted to bridge the cap between the 5R+AI stock, I'd look into the HS Precision rifles. I've shot quite a few and am pleasantly surprised with their repeatability although many dislike them for their own reasons. I'd feel comfortable taking one of their rifles to a class, no problem.

The rest are just in the details and personal preference. As you read through various forums, you'll see patterns develope, biases, and favorites played along. Ultimately you'll see familar names and themes repeatedly, if they fit what you're after then the decision is fairly easy.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:09 am 
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IMO If you decide to buy a custom w/ a 20" I would also suggest a 1:10 twist. If you go for a 24" either a 1:11.25 or 1:12 twist will work fine. I have had very good luck w/ a Lilja 3 groove bbl. Unfortunately I sold the rifle and have regretted it ever since. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:22 pm 
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A 20" .308 can get to a thousand but no .308 is ideal for that. I like them short--my brother asked me to have the barrel on his AW cut to 16" when he goes to Korea, and have a 28" .243 barrel made for playing at 1000.

AI really is the way to go. They are much tougher than anything else on your list, and require no custom work. You can order one tonight and have it in hand later next week.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:15 am 
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Location: South Carolina
Condition1,
Another option would be RBG Services in Augusta, Ga.. Robert Gradous is a top shelf rifle builder who builds rifles for a very diverse group of customers. He builds everything from Safari rifles to rifles for the guys with the little black strips over their eyes in photos. He had a big hand in getting Surgeon Rifle Co. up and running. He still helps them with some R&D from time to time.
His shop looks like a dentist office. He is very particular about his work, almost to a fault. I've seen him pick his own work apart and just start over. No one else would have ever seen what he was looking at with such scrutiny. Even his green and black "tactical" rifles look like a piece of art.
Robert also has a rifle building "class" where he lets the customer be a part of the build. I'm not sure what the cost of that is but it includes accomodations for 4 or 5 days and you get to be there to help with whatever parts your comfortable helping with, under his supervision. With your background, I'm sure you could be a major part of building the rifle.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:14 pm
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I've set up .308 varmint rifles from Savage and Winchester for precision rifle class, but most folks there were shooting Remington factory Remington Varmint .308 or Sendero .300WinMag.

In the field, in the mud, they shot right with the custom jobs (or close enough not to matter in the field - 3/4 moa vs. 1/3 moa). The custom jobs only took about 10 minutes to clean, but the factory-barrelled guns took more like an hour a day (and at the TIRED end of the day, at that).

I've had two (2) GAP rifles, a .308 and a .338 Lapua. Both were FAR more sturdy than the base Remingon or CZ they were based on, but that was mostly a matter of bedding into McMillan stocks (with Badger bottom metal, for the Remington). Construction was meticulous, and pricing was significantly below comparable competitors.

The comments about saving some cash for optics (and mounts!) and ammo are spot-on. This thing will be useless if you don't have optics with absolutely repeatable adjustments (which don't come cheap), and you'll have to put a butt-load of rounds down-range to learn the wind. If you don't, you're just whistling and posing.

The FN Patrol Rifle or Remington 5R appear to offer the most rifle for the money, so you can afford optics, SOLID mounts, and butt-loads of ammo. If money isn't a concern, then it's a matter of how much involvement you want in the selection, planning, and construction of your rifle. Do you want to participate in a project, or do you want to pluck one off the shelf? Either way might cost as much in the long run, but "off the shelf" will cost more up-front.


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