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12/26/2015 7:29 PM
 

So I know if I was in the market for totally new rifle the answer around here would probably be Ruger GSR with a composite stock. That's a bit out of the budget for for the foreseeable future unfortunately. As much because I want to get my current setups a bit more dialed but also want to invest in some more instruction next year. That leaves me with modifying my current rifle to fit the bill.

I've got a Savage Axis .308 right now and overall I've been really happy with it, especially for having less than $800 into the setup. For glass I'm running a Redfield 3-9 that's done it's job so far. It's had a basic trigger job done to it, still a bit heavy but really crisp and predictable. There's a gunsmith down in Pueblo I've talked to about shortening and threading the barrel, for about $100 which sounds like a good deal. Scott has had some work done and speaks highly so I know he's good. The barrel is 22" now and I'd get it chopped down to 16". It's a pretty lightweight barrel so I need to double check that there's enough material to turn down for threads. 

My other question is what would be the top 3-4 things that people consider "mandatory" on a practical/ scout rifle setup. Not sure if there's any iron sights on the market that I could get fitted to it at this point. A way to run DBM's would also be nice but I think that might require a new stock. Sling studs I can probably mount myself, as long as I can find a solid way to keep them in the synthetic stock.

Or am I just better off waiting until I can afford a new rifle and start from scratch. I do have some sentimental attachment to this particular rifle, dropped my first deer with it. But I'm not bothered by making changes to it. I also got my hands on one of the new Magpul stocks which has given me all kinds of other ideas, but that's a topic for another day...

Thanks again for all the useful advice everyone!


"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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12/26/2015 8:31 PM
 
I'm all about going to a Cain Rifle class, but I strongly urge you to prioritize getting a GSR FIRST.  Part of going to the class is getting gun-handling skills with your primary rifle.  As for Savages, there is a reason the COL referred to their forward-scopes version as the "abortion scout".  Mainly because they broke so often in his classes.  I let mine go pretty cheap.  The mags were quite problematic but I understand they've changed, for about the third time.
 
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12/27/2015 11:26 AM
 
Ned, give us the requirements and goals of the rifle.

If the Savage shoots and you like it…run with it. They are about as refined as bathtub gin but they do shoot.

Cut the barrel to 16-18” and recrown.

Get 5 to 10 snap caps and wear them out practicing bolt manipulation and loading. I am still not sold on the DBM idea on a hard use rifle, and I have one on the "Meat Plow."

Check your cold bore zero for a box of ammo (20 rounds) and see if it wonders. Twenty rounds over a period of several range visits. If something in the system is causing the zero to drift sell it to someone you don’t like. The weak link will be the rings first, then the scope and base. 90% of your headaches will come from either the rings, base, or scope.

Without belaboring the point… If the rifle shoots into 2moa day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out, rain or shine, hot or cold, from 0-300yds you should be fine. Most guys will say their pet rifle will do it...I would wager $$$ they won’t.

Slings? Run what you got.

Spend any extra $$$ on practice ammo shooting in the field!!!!

My 3-4 requirements for a hard use GP rifle:

1. Holds zero. It doesn’t need to shoot dime sized groups when all the planets and mojo lines up. It just needs to shoot ~1moa without fail. Day in day out, hot, cold, raining, snow, dirty or clean.

2. Reliable. Most don’t shoot enough in the field to know how fragile their system is. 

3. External and terminal ballistics that “carry the mail.” I have never got behind the scope and wished I had worse ballistics.

4. HOLDS ZERO! Did I already mention that?

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
 
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12/30/2015 11:38 PM
 
Some excellent advice Strow. Goals for the rifle would be...... ability to attach a suppressor, a sling setup similar to how my AR is, a bit lighter weight. I guess those would be the big three from where it is now.

That's a good way to think about what it really means to have a rifle zeroed. Talking with Scot and the other guys at the SAC this year really got me thinking about it a lot as well. Scot's standard of "minute of torso" is another good measure of practical accuracy. Obviously you want the best accuracy possible, but if you can bring down what you're aiming at that's all that matters. Unfortunately here in Denver good outdoor spots to go shoot are a bit more sparse than in the 'Boat. But now I'm just making excuses.

I still day dream about having a rifle one day with a bolt that worked as smooth as the one on my dads old Mk-IV 1941 Enfield .303, that thing was buttery in the best way possible. I've heard tales that once guys got good operating them they could walk down a street shooting from the hip running the bolt with just the thumb on their trigger hand. Not the most accurate way to shoot obviously.

I picked up some of the Hornaday steel match ammo the other day, I'm really curious how it shoots. I've heard mixed reviews about them having "hard primers" but that was on 5.56 not .308 so we'll see how it goes.

So far the only time I've had an ethical shot on something I've been hunting it did it's job, so +1 there.

A bit off topic, but My dream with the Magpul stock would be a "practical precision" build. They're Rem 700 action only but that's not a real problem. 16" threaded barrel, with the secret sauce from the guys Rocky was working for to keep it light, as well as the new hotness coming from Archer on the inside. Would be an awesome project to put together. Even if I never get around to it I hope someone put something like that together!

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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12/31/2015 9:33 AM
 
I don't think I have ever argued for a minute of torso, and in fact argue often that minute of torso is not nearly good enough especially during practice. I can see cutting down your barrel and threading it. Much more than that, and I think you would be better off just getting a RGS. I know of two companies developing rifles on the Magpul stock and the guys behind them. I have also seen mockups of another practical rifle from one of the big makers. I don't know what will actually the market, and when, and what the costs will be, but at this point other than minor modifications I think I prefer to just buy as close to what I want stock.

Does your AR have an optic yet? If not spend money there first, and then think about the barrel on your Savage vs upgrading optics on the Savage. Or just start saving your pennies and leave the Savage as is.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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12/31/2015 11:54 AM
 
It's likely I misheard what you were referencing when I heard that, my bad. I agree that practice should always be as accurate as possible, because in the heat of the moment that quarter size group will expand quickly. That's why I ask these questions here, always sound advice! I'll definitely be interested to see what comes out with the Magpul, that thing felt really nice in hand. I've gotten used to thinking about going custom just from my experience with bikes and having worked in the industry for so long. That being said I don't have the same connections in the firearms industry as I do in the bike industry so maybe buying off the shelf is the way to go.

I did finally get glass on the AR, Vortex Viper PST 1-4 in an ADM Recon mount. I really liked the reticle on it in store, at the range.... not as sure now. But I've only got about 100 rounds through it at an indoor range getting a 50yd zero. But I've since then moved it a bit forward on the rail so need to recheck. I'm sure it'll be good once I get some more time with it, maybe had my hopes too high. When I get some real time with it I'll do a more thoughtful review. I am really happy with the mount so far, solid feeling and very nice finish/ attention to detail.

Upgrading glass on the Savage has been a thought too. And might be the better idea because it can always transfer to a new rifle. Any recommendations on a good mid-range optic would be good, the 3-9 seems good but something that went up to about 15 on the high end I can see being pretty sweet. Possibly in another thread.

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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12/31/2015 12:05 PM
 
I have connections in the industry, kind of, and still prefer to buy stock. Going custom, as you know, can screw of design and tolerance stacks. Then you have to address the next issue, which may kick off another one. There is a lot to be said for running something as designed and making minor modifications (stem, bars, seat) to make yourself happy.

What reticle did you go with? I haven't heard much feedback on that scope, but haven't been looking.

Optics boil down to what are you planned uses and how much do you want to spend. It is easy to make a nice rifle to heavy and unwieldy with to big a scope. Also I have trouble making use out of over 12x because I just don't shoot that far that often. In fact, my highest magnification is on my Steyr and is 10x.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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12/31/2015 12:48 PM
 
Good point. Bikes are a bit different too, standards change nearly constantly as of late, but mostly as long as you double check that you've ordered the right part tab A usually fits slot B, usually... They're also typically larger parts that are more forgiving of tolerances, and with a few very rare exceptions everyone is using metric hardware which simplifies things.

They call it their TMCQ reticle, in Mil with Mil adjustments on the dials. It has an illuminated .3 mil center dot with some Eotech style "crescent moon" shaped outer ring, that's split round the horizontal and vertical hash marks. I've been looking at it for a while, reviews are generally very positive, and sounds like they really stand behind their product if anything does go wrong.

More sound advice. Easy to get caught up on the high end, but I know I'd like to stay with a 2-3 range on the low end, just low enough that both eyes open shooting it still possible. Luckily there's plenty of options out there, the 2.5-10 ish range looks like just about everyone is making.

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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12/31/2015 1:02 PM
 
So why don't you like it at the range?

If you are hucking big air and need 12" of travel then you need 12" of travel, but most folks are just fine with 6" or even less. Before Strow jumps in, I think that something in the 2-12 would be about perfect for most choices, but content myself with either 2.5-10 or 2/2.5-7/8 for rifles I intend to use at longer range, or roughly 1-4 or 5 on something closer rifles (say my 30/30). I do have a 1.5-5 on the RGS but that was because Leupold doesn't make their scout scopes in higher magnification, and having ran a Burris 2-7 for awhile, I prefer the clarity of the Leupold

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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12/31/2015 1:51 PM
 
I think some of it was just having it mounted too close, which is why I moved it forward. Edges seemed blurry, and hard to get the eyepiece focused. Moving it that's already better, so I'm chalking it up to user error as much as any deficiency in the scope itself. And like I said I've got maybe 100 rounds through it, indoors. I'll save further judgment until I get it out for some field shooting to really see how it runs.

Exactly, and the things you can due an a well designed 6" travel bike will challenge what was only possible on the 12" travel steeds from just a few years ago. Good glass at 10X will likely trump what you'll get with mediocre glass at 15X. Burris has a 1.5-8 in their XTR line that looks like it might be a good choice on the RGS. Enough top end to make use of the .308, but good low end if things get frisky in a hurry.

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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1/3/2016 2:22 PM
 
I can see the sneers already but I'll ask anyway, does anyone here far hands on with the Mossberg MVP series? Specifically the .308 model in either the Scout or Patrol layouts, but any good feedback is appreciated.

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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1/3/2016 11:46 PM
 
I like the looks of the patrol model. It's surprisingly hard to find a bolt gun chambered for 5.56 vs. .223
 
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1/4/2016 8:23 AM
 
Not sure who is going to sneer. Evan and I have watched the MVP with great interest. The first year at Shot the bolts has a noticeable hitch in their throw. The second year they got that worked out. What gives me pause is the little flipper thingy that feeds the round in. I am leery of its longevity. Last time I did research it seemed they were about 50/50 when it comes to feeding too.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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1/4/2016 10:39 AM
 
Yeah I've noticed the 'flipper" too, and looks like something ripe for failure when running the bolt hard. But I also think that's only present on 5.56 models, the .308 looks to have something resembling a hybrid Mauser style blot face. I also like that they can run SR25 pattern mags, just less cost prohibitive than the AICS pattern mags. It is also about a half pond heavier than the RGS composite, which is not insignificant.

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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1/4/2016 10:39 AM
 
Not sure if this works out better economically, but the RAR Predator comes with a short, threaded barrel, and low capacity DBMs. Maybe you could sell your Savage and get into one of these for less than gunsmithing the Savage? I have not owned one, but they seem to generate good reports, including here. Adding sights will be expensive on any rifle that doesn't come with them, although the Remington 700 has some options that make it not too bad. I've looked into it for my Winchester 70 and by the time you buy sights and have it drilled and tapped, it's a chunk of change for something that is there just in case. I've seen Ruger GSRs' online for $650 to $700 - grabagun.com. At that price (add transfer and nominal shipping), you'd be way better off just getting one before messing with something else if you have to have the sights, especially given the better magazine options.

http://www.ruger.com/products/americanRiflePredator/models.html

 
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1/7/2016 7:18 AM
 
There's a Ruger on gunbroker, ending in a few hours that's currently at $650
 
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1/7/2016 8:20 AM
 
All of the aforementioned rifles are not nearly as robust as a Ruger 77.  I think it is false economy to start with anything less.  Not to mention the magazine issues.
 
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1/26/2016 9:34 PM
 
I am a huge proponent of the MVP series rifles. The .223 version (even with the flipper) is awesome. The flipper has never given me an issue. The .308 version is fandamtastic
 
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