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Building Rifles On the Cheap

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting Forum' started by CanardNoir, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. CanardNoir

    CanardNoir Senior Refuge Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    During recent years, I've noticed how some of the figures on some of TV's big game hunting shows, try to entice us to spend more and more on a rifle, scope, and custom hand-loads.

    They do this by filming sniper-like shots at 500+ yards, complete with spotters, and range callers-n-wind-dopers, using what appears to be the best-available rifles, ammunition, optical equipment, weather-measurement devices, and after attending 5-day long-range shooting schools. So we're talking about $5-7-10,000 invested in a large-caliber custom tools capable of making these ultra-long shots.

    And I've got friends out West that don't take shots under 500 yards, while always filming even the more mundane 650-yard, one-shot take downs. And I've got nothing against spending large sums of money on a rifle - but retired, I don't have that much cash in reserve for expensive toys!

    A couple of years ago I started looking around for clearance and sale items that would, could, should make excellent hunting rifles out to 3-400 yards.

    Let's be perfectly clear here - I've taken both elk and ants at near 400 yards, but I've never taken a deer at more than 200 yards. So my premiss is that most practiced-hunters would do better if they took closer shot, leaving the theatrics to the outdoor-TV personalities - BUT they can have a reasonably-priced rifle that's fully capable of a 400-yard shot without taking out a second mortgage.

    So within that vein, here's the first, somewhat inspired by the TV series "Dropped" when they went after sheep in the Yukon wilderness.

    It's a 7mm STW I found in a Rem 700 platform (26" barrel) on for $525 NIB + shipping + $20 FFL fee. The 3-12X 44mm Weaver 30mm tactical scope that came off eBay for about $175 used, but packaged in the original box with all of the printed matter. The one-piece rings-n-bases are DNZs that also came off eBay for less than $45 + shipping. I also found plenty of reasonably-priced 140 gr. Rem (3,400 fps) factory ammo online, but please keep in mind some weird things have been happening with prices and our available ammo supplies.

    After a proper barrel break-in with about 40 rounds off the bench, this rifle shoots near half-inch groups at 100 yards (Please See: photos attached).

    I'm currently building up a $295 NIB, Ruger American in .308 Win with a 1-6X BSA 30mm tactical scope. Range results to follow in 30 days...

    Attached Files:


    ALMODUX Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 4, 2002
    I bought a Ruger American in .308 for my son at $311, out the door. Found a Burris FF2, 3-9x40 BDC, for SUPER cheap, and it shoots hornady 150gr American Whitetail loads into 3/4" @ 100, all day long. You can find beater Ruger 77s, Rem 700s, commercial mausers, and push feed Win 70s, all day long for under $350, and rebarrel them into tack drivers, and come out with near custom accuracy and features for under $1K.
  3. Vahunter

    Vahunter Senior Refuge Member

    Mar 14, 2013
    I'm with alomodux. You don't need to spend anywhere near "$5-7-10000" get a rifle accurate that far out.

    BTW, if'n you do want to take a 400-500-yd shot at game, practice with the rifle-ammo combo is the most important thing. Most hunters don't do enough of it.

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