Can someone please explain stock bedding and free floating a barrel to me. I'm sorry if I sound dumb; just being honest.
Not really a dumb question - as I know a few poeple have asked.
Essentially what the idea behind a glass bed job it to remove the action from outside influences, by making a custom/hand-in-glove fit "bed" for the action to lie in and be strapped down.
In this case, every square inch of the lower part of the action is ( should be ) in 100% contact with the glass bed. This keeps the action solid, stable and consistent.
By doing this, you have added a small platform below the action, and if done correctly, this "free floats" the barrel. What this does, is it removes any outside influences from the stock/fore end on the barrel.
As an example, if you have a wood stocked weapon where the barrel is in contact with the wood through the fore end, and that wood stock swells, or splits, it can exert pressure on the barrel, which can influence accuracy.
If you add a very small distance between the two, even if you crank the hell out of the front of the stock by cinching your sling up super tight, the barrel is being supported by the front of the receiver, so your accuracy is not ( should not be ) effected when done properly.
Does that help clear up the issue? Or would some pictures help perhaps??
Thank you very much. That paints a clear picture for me. I am interested in learning how to shoot long distance; 400 yards plus. I was thinking of a .308 bolt action. What rifle would you personally suggest? I would want it as you described, glass bedded/free floated for around $1000. Also, what would be a good scope. I heard the Nikon Buck Master line is good. I don't need anything crazy, maybe around $400 mounted. Thanks for the help.
Well, let me ask you this. Do you want to shoot at 400 yards? Or do you want to work up to shooting 800 or 1000 yards?
Because a .308 is great at .400 yards.
Beyond about 600 yards, it's not even close to an ideal cartridge. And I am saying this as a guy who has a picture of a $4K tactical .308 right in my signature line.
It's just not a great LONG range cartridge. At 400 yards, I would have no problem recommending it however. So, I would first ask you to clarify your end goal.
Also, you want $1000 rifle and a $400 scope??
I like the rifle price, and I can suggest a couple, but you need to re-think your glass $$. On tactical rigs, or long range shooting rigs we build, it's not uncommon to spend more on your glass than on your action and your barrel combined. :eek:
The best rifle is only going to shoot what you can see. If you can't see it clearly, you can't hit it.
For your limited specs, I would recommend 800-900 for the rifle and a $600 scope. That would be a better overall package, but opinions do vary.
So, any restrictions? Made in the US only? External box mag? Internal mag is okay? You want a real well built action? Or are you more concerned about the looks? What about the stock? Wood? Composite?
Thank you again for the advice. I admit to not knowing much in the line of scopes. My family always hunted, and their scopes were just simple and inexpensive. The only other scope I have experience with would be a 4 power ACOG and a 3 power magnifier behind an Aimpoint. So, following your budget suggestion, what scope would you recommend? I am not concerned about where the rifle is manufactured. I own a Glock, 1940 Mauser K98 and an Arsenal SGL21-76 as well as a few American firearms. The mag issue isn't really an issue either. I'm not overly worried about how the rifle looks either, so long as it does it's job well. The stock isn't a big deal either. I would prefer synthetic, but I'm not picky. I would like a rifle that is newbie friendly, and has a fair array of aftermarket support for things like mounts, stocks ect. I also want the rifle to be able to be built to suit me as my skills progress. But as far as an out of the box rifle, that would shoot well at 400 yards, and with some cash and skill go out to 600 yards, what would be your suggestion? As far as caliber, given the limitations of the .308 round, do you think it would be a good choice for a first long-ish range rifle. Or is there a better round to start with? Thanks again for your help.
I'm going to stick with 30 calibers to make this easier for me. (That's all I have.)
I can shoot 400 yards with my 1917 Eddystone 30-06 peep sight and hit a 8 x 12" target 80% of the time. I can hit that same target with my scoped 30-30 about the same. Most any scoped rifle .308 and up that is free floated will do better than that, (assuming the shooter is competent.)
I bought a Howa 30-06 a month ago for long range shooting, ($450.) As far as I can remember, I've only missed that target at that range with 2 shots; the first shot and with a 220gr RN, (that is way too heavy for a 30-06.) I expect to get out to 600 yards on that target in a shortish period of time. I expect to be able to go a lot further than that in a longish time... As an out of the box rifle.
I choose a 30-06 for the long action; I can upgrade to a substantial magnum chamber when I get a better barrel, (and when I find large rifle magnum primers.) But for now I am satisfied with it being 30-06; I just wanted to get well beyond what my scoped 30-30 could do accurately, and a scoped 30-06 fits the bill wonderfully.
afi1 - Well, let's see.
I think a .308 is a great cartridge to start learning to shoot at distance. It has limitations at longer ranges, but out to 400 or 500 yards, it's a great round.
The ammo is plentiful, won't break the bank, and you can buy Federal Gold Medal Match, which means you don't need to become a reloading mad scientist right away.
All of those are reasons I had my .308 built.
The .308 is a short action round, so you are buying a short action rifle. This means that upgrading in the future will pretty much rule out the real "magnum" calibers unless you go with some wildcat, bastardized round that wears out barrels for a living.
Nothing wrong with a short action rifle, most rifle actions in short are sturdier than their long action brothers.
As for specific rifles to look at?
HOWA 1500 is made in Japan and is a great rifle action. I actaully prefer it to many modern actions because of the benefits that come with it. It's very sturdy, it has a flat bottom for better bedding, an integral recoil lug and a top notch extractor. I have one myself in a long action that is a great shooter.
Weatherby Vanguard is the same HOWA action, but with a couple of little Weatherby only options. They have a regular model, an MOA guarantee and a SUB-MOA guarantee and those are both with factory ammo. The accuracy guaranteed rifles are much more expensive than the entry level weapon however.
You might want to take a look at both the FN-SPR and the Savage #10 FCP. Both have bull barrel packages and both are making a good factory stick these days. I am not sure of the going rates, but I remember them both being the in the realm of what you are looking to spend.
As for optics? That is a personal choice. I have Leupold scopes on a lot of my stuff. They are a great company with a fantastic lifetime warranty and I have never had a problem with them or their products.
Having said that, there are a LOT of good scopes out there in the $600 to $800 price range. The best advice would be to go and look through a few of them. Some will look clearer, to your eye, than others. What might be right for me, you might hate, so you really need to give them a view and see what you like.
For a 400 yard shooter, you can probably get away with an adjustable 12 or 16 power scope quite easily.
Purists will tell you that the Marines and the Army have fixed 10x scopes and they shoot 1,000 yards with their factory .308 rifles. Well, that is kind of true. One part of that statement is because they have to.
The military isn't stocking 10 different types of scopes and they aren't issuing magnum caliber rifles to every shooter when they can train a man hit a man sized target with better than 60%-70% accuracy at extreme distances. It's just a matter of money.
No one in the sandbox is running .308's unless they are over-watch in a town with urban fighting going on. Those long range hits/kills you hear about are not made with factory .308 Remington's I am afraid.
For target shooting, or seriously trying to get the most out of your gun, the better you can see, the better you can shoot.
Couple that with a good gun, some good ammo, a few mild modifications to a good factory stick, a lot of practice, and some patience and you will be shooting the "X" ring out of targets all day at 400 yards.
PM me if you need any help.
Thanks a lot. I'll be sure to look into those rifles when I get back home. I'll have to hit up the gun store and check out scopes in detail too. A member of my fire team carries a M21. He's made a few decent range shots. The longest being about 450 yards. I've done a tick over 300 with an M4. There are a few guys packing some 7.62 NATO chambered AR's too.
The AR-10, with the .308, is a great urban weapon. It has a lot more punch than the 5.56 and it has the potential to be able to stretch the battle field for you guys. I love that set up.
When the HK 417 civilian version hits the stores, I will definitely be checking it out and making arrangements. :D
One thing to keep in mind is that the military uses 175gr in their .308 - but the civilian equavilent is a BTHP in 168gr that is stocked just about everywhere. You can buy the 175gr stuff, but it's less common and more expensive.
I only mention this in case you get your hands on a range/dope card and expect to be able to duplicate the results back in the states.
How long before your tour is up?
I've got about 7 months left, or so I hope.
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