Originally Posted by spacemonkey
no way would i hunt anything but paper @ those ranges. i am not in the "i took a elk @ 400yd last week" crowd. i know it is possible, i just have ethics. i forgot to mention that i was on a budget. also would you recommend Remington or savage?
Since it is your intent to shoot paper at longer ranges, it makes sense to get what will work best for the purpose; within your budget. Before I get to what that would be, I'd like to mention a couple of points. First, ballistic tables are of less importance than one might think. Balistic co-efficients and velocities are part of the picture but only a small part. Second, any rifle/cartridge combination works best when the shooter has spent some time at the range with it. Consequently, a cartridge which is economical and pleasant to shoot is a real plus.
The 270, while a great hunting round, is not now and never has been a great target round. Barrel life is poor, it burns too much powder, and match bullets are rare.
The 243 has some followers and works reasonably well when the rifle is set up to use thew long, VLD-type bullets. The only drawback to the 243 is the relatively short barrel life and the fact that some other cartridges are capable of better accuracy.
Probably the best cartridge for use out to 600 yards for sure and possibly even to 1000 yards is, in my opinion, the 6MM BR using 105 to 107 grain bullets. A good rifle will shoot well under 1/2 minute of angle and what's more, the cartridge is so pleasant to shoot, it is more likely the shooter will be able to shoot it to this level of accuracy. Most loadings use right around 30 grains of powder so a pound goes a long way. The BC of the 107 grain bullets is very respectable and muzzle velocities are in the 2800- 2900 fps range. In general, the cartridge performs slightly better than a 308 using 155 grain Palma bullets and does so with less fuss.
My second choice for the purpose described would be a 308. It has the benefit of ammunition availability which is nearly unmatched. It's accuracy potential approaches that of the 6BR but the much greater recoil makes it more difficult to shoot.
My third choice (and it might be the second choice under some circumstances) would be one of the medium 6.5 mm chamberings. My personal favorite is the 6.5x55 with the 260 Remington a close second.
The Savage "F" class rifle is a capable, affordable, and practical target rifle. Accuracy is excellent for an off-the-shelf rifle. It is available in a number of suitable chamberings including those I have mentioned. It would be a great choice for your planned usage.
You might want to look into shooting "F" class. This shooting discipline, named for it's originator, George Farquharson, is essentially any rifle, any sight, fired prone from a rest or bipod. It is a great way to learn the capabilities of your rifle and yourself. GD