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Reply with quote  #1 
I've got the wants for a heavy barreled .308, mainly for distance shooting. I have a brother who's developed an interest in F-class shooting, and we've decided to set up a range on the family farm. We can shoot out to about 700yds there, so for now that is is my max distance.

In looking through the local funstores, there seems to be several models to look at. I'm kinda partial to Remington 700's so am focusing on them. Cheapest one found is a SPS tactical, with the hogue stocka and 20 inch heavy barrel. Then there were the SPS varmint (can't stand that stock, though), the VLS, and then the LTR, and finally a 5R stainless. The Stainless was the most expensive at $1050.

Price-wise, cheaper would be better for me, so I'm thinking hard on the SPS Tactical. Am concerned, though, how the short barrel will perform out to 600 yds. Was thinking that the money saved, though, could be used for an stock or scope upgrade.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Kaiser Norton
Reply with quote  #2 
If your main intention, as you stated, is to shoot long distance, then you are better off with a barrel longer than 20". You will be losing a significant amount of velocity compared to a 26" barrel. Buy what you really need at the start otherwise you will just end up replacing it later and spending more in the long run.
Reply with quote  #3 
I have a Rem SPS Varmint in .308 as a backup F Class gun. My main F Classer is a custom 6AI. The problem I have found with the SPS .308 is the incredible amount of freebore that Remington puts in their chambers. This has been discussed several times in this forum. Must be some sort of lawyer thing so that it is difficult to reload to extremely high pressures. The effect of this freebore is that Sierra 155 Palmas are barely held in the case. I had to take the expander ball out of my RCBS Competition sizing die to get adequate case neck tension on the bullet. I load the Palma to 2850 fps with RX15. The load is generally accurate out to 1000 yards but now and then I get a flyer that I suspect is due to the minimal neck retention. I don`t know if this freebore situation exists in the other Rem rifles you mentioned but a friend tells me he has the same freebore in a Rem pump .30-06 so it may be a general Remington policy. Anyway, it is something to consider when buying a Remington target rifle.
Reply with quote  #4 
I would suggest going with a Savage F class rifle or one of the variations. They are very accurate out of the box.
Reply with quote  #5 
I have a Rem 700 VS LH in 308 and they do have a very long freebore. I had to load all of my ammo very long. I was shooting some 168gr serbian bullets and they were only in the case about .1" if that. I dropped a box into my trunk and almost all of the bullets came out. I took it in to the gunsmith and he set the tube back far enough to recut it with a reamer he had and now it shoots those cheap bullets very well. My best group was just under three inches at 562yds. That was for 5 shots.

Now if I really want to spend a little more per shot and not get the ocasional odd flyer I will shoot the 175gr smk and shoot about 2.5 to 3.5 inch groups with regularity at 600yds. Granted all the smallest groups are all shot on days when the wind was very lite.

It hurts me to bash Rem but they do not have the consistant accuracy savage has.
Reply with quote  #6 
Well, this certainly doesn't instill me with confidence. I was hoping to go with the 700 as a starter rifle, and build off it at a later date. I have a couple of short 700's I could build off, but I don't really want to hack apart a .257 Roberts or a .260 Ti.

Kaiser Norton
Reply with quote  #7 
Have you thought about purchasing one of the new Savage Target Action, their Accu-Trigger will adjust down to a decent pull weight without the need of a smith, saving you the cost of a trigger job or having to purchase a after market trigger. You should be able build a dedicated "F" rifle with a new after market pre-chambered pre-fit barrel and head space it yourself. Put it into a laminated stock with a 3" wide forearm. If your willing to bed and finish the stock yourself this can all be done for about $1200. Sharp Shooter Supply sell everything you'll need and Fred's a dedicated Savage expert, and his pre-fit Douglas SS barrels are top self and their laminates stocks are very well made. They also can do any of the work that you don't fill comfortable doing yourself.

Good luck with your project
Reply with quote  #8 
First, always get the longer barrels as they give you more velocity with the same load which is much better for long range shooting.

I would strongly recommend looking at the Savage Rifles. I have a BUNCH and love every one.

The least expensive way to get a Savage and get into long range shooting is the Savage 10FP in 308. Price is right and they SHOOT WELL. I have two of these and they consistently shoot in the .6" group sizes at 100 yards and hold up well out to 1000 yards. Most people look down on the plastic stocks, but they are "OK" and get you shooting for less money initially (might consider changing the stock in the future after shooting it a while).

Another way is to look at the Savage 12BVSS as it has a much better stock for target use, is in stainless steel, and has a 2" longer barrel:

One real plus to Savages is the ease in changing barrels and calibers should you decide to do so in the future.

I shoot Savages and hold a HIGH MASTER long range NRA qualification.

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