Considering a 6.5mm Creedmoor target rifle for distance -- suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by G66enigma, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

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    6.5mm Creedmoor (aka, 6.5x48mm) -- Seeking a decent target rifle platform for 200-1000yd target shooting.

    Open to any and all suggestions. On specific rifles to consider, or things to avoid, or decisions to make in order to get the "right" one for me.

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    Purpose: Target only; won't ever use it for hunting; need not be a dedicated benchrest format. (Though, I suppose target-but-never-hunting essentially makes it a "benchrest" purpose.) Not considering competition, though I might occasionally do a minor local "challenge" match.

    Distances: Out to 1000yds, but typically 200-600yds.

    Custom: Not necessary; and probably not possible, given my price range for this rifle.

    Blueprinted: Very much prefer a "blueprinted" (squared, trued, etc) action, perhaps from the factory or if necessary done by a quality gunsmith.

    Action: Should be buttery smooth. (I despise jerky, jittery actions.)

    Accuracy: Should be stellar, particularly in the 500-1000yd range.

    Caliber: Prefer the 6.5 Creedmoor caliber, over the other similar choices that could work.

    Reloading (ammo): I'll be getting into reloading, with this rifle, and I'll probably start with a batch of new Lapua brass cases, Sierra MatchKing 150gr HPBT bullets (.307 SD, .713 BC), and suitable primers and powder for distance accuracy.

    Price range: Sub-$1K ideally, but sub-$1500 if absolutely necessary. Plus a scope, beyond that.

    Scope: Undecided, as yet, but considering something like the Night Force ATACR 7-35x56mm with a decent reticle (in mils). Need power that great because of my eyes; distance focus has never been their best feature.

    Have shot many thousands of rounds on mostly .223 and .243, though I've done a bit of longer-range 7x57 Mauser and .30-06. It's been about 10 years since I've regularly shot rifles at distance. Was often getting 5/8" to 1" groups at 300yds, with a Rem 700 .243, and occasionally had fist-sized groups at 500yds (though I sucked at that distance, back then). So, I can do reasonable accuracy, with the right platform, scope, and if I work at it.


    Am taking a look at the Savage 12 LRP (long range precision; 1:8" twist; heavy 26" bbl; an adjustable trigger [6oz - 2.5lbs]; on a fiberglass stock by HS Precision). Haven't yet fully evaluated it, nor have I looked at others that might suit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  2. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    G66

    After shooting one I might suggest the Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoore.
    Fantastic performer and in an excellent caliber. They also make it in the 308 but shooting longer distances the 6.5 stands out.
    Obviously a good scope to go with it.

    03
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020

  3. austin92

    austin92 Well-Known Member

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    My local gun shop got some bergara’s in a while back and I started to read about them. I guess they used to make barrels but stopped offering them so they could build complete rifles. They have a place over in Montana(?) where they take one of their rifles out of the box and teach you to shoot at like 1400 yards. For 900-1000$ I’m pretty well sold on them, worth looking into.
     
  4. BullMoose429

    BullMoose429 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tikka has fantastic actions.
     
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  5. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    I've been shooting the 6.5 Creedmoor for over 10 years, it's a fun cartridge to shoot and can be extremely accurate at long ranges.
    While most factory rifles will shoot pretty good, for the best accuracy a custom barrel shooting hand loaded ammo with premium Match grade bullets will really shrink the groups.

    By far the smoothest factory action's will be a Sako or Tikka.
    Unless you already have a Remington 700 donor action, I wouldn't waste the money getting one Trued & Blueprinted. You will never get the money back out of them if you try to sell it.
    There are several Custom actions that don't cost much more than a Trued & Blueprinted Remington 700 action, but your $1k-$1500 budget won't cut it.

    I assemble all of my rifles using either Savage or Custom actions.
    Using a new Savage varmint action, I can build a complete semi-custom rifle in the $1000 - $1500 range before optics.
    Using a Custom action, my rifles cost me from $2200 - $3500 depending on the Action, Barrel, Trigger, and Stock or Chassis chosen before optics.

    Savage varmint action, E.R.Shaw 26" varmint contour barrel (6.5 CM), Choate tactical stock.

    [​IMG]

    ARC Nucleus Action, Trigger Tech Diamond trigger, X-caliber 20" varmint contour (22 CM), KRG Bravo chassis.

    [​IMG]

    Shilen DGR action, Trigger Tech Special trigger, Shilen Select Match 26" varmint contour (6.5 CM), KRG Whiskey 3 chassis.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I’ll second the recommendation of the Ruger Precision Rifle. If you want to move into competition the Precision Rifle Series has a production class, so you won’t have to compete with guys who are spending more on their action than you will have in your rifle and scope.

    The Ruger Precision was designed to shoot in that class. But, I’m not sure that I’d buy a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor for precision shooting. Most of the guys shooting in the Precision Rifle Series, are predominantly shooting a 6-mm of some type. The 6-mm have less recoil and are easier to shoot the number of rounds you need to shoot to be competitive. Plus they take a bit less powder, which doesn’t sound like much, but when you are shooting high volume, those little bits add up.

    You’re headed into an expensive hobby. The pennys may start mattering.
     
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  7. BullMoose429

    BullMoose429 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    And- at least in Maine- I’ve seen 6mm around
     
  8. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No competition, here. No real interest in going the expensive route of custom action, "serious" scope and many thousands of rounds per year. Just a great basic rifle, a solid mid-range scope, and enough range time to make the tinkering with reloading accuracy to make it fun. Beyond that isn't really my thing.


    I appreciate that. The 6.5's have a bit more weight, tending to hold better against wind at greater distances. True, a bit more powder and recoil than a 6mm. I'm okay with that. Won't be shooting enough rounds to make a serious difference in powder costs to concern me.

    20rds here. 50rds there. All the tinkering needed to work up the best load for the gun, being a relatively newbie reloader. With twenty shoots a year, tops, plus the occasional local low-end challenge (competition) at the range just for kicks.

    The folks with the exotic calibers, custom builds, high-end scopes, and thousands of rounds a year ... they can have it. Love to watch them do what they do, and chat with them about how they got such accuracy. But I'm just a "tinkerer" by comparison, just for the joy of attempting the aspects needed to improve. I'll get better at reloading, at sighting/scope mechanics at distance, at the technique. And I'll have some fun range time with buddies. Good enough for me.
     
  9. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ^ That's my approach. I'll accept the factory setup (and barrel) until the barrel needs a swap, then do a decent custom barrel based on what I know of the caliber and the rifle at that time.


    Have shot a couple of Sako. Don't recall having fired a Tikka rifle before.

    Looking at a Tikka T3X. In their "varmint" format, it can be found for ~$900 +/-. A heavy 24" bbl, a sufficient stock, and comes in a LH version. Interesting. (Won't likely win any competitions, which I won't be pursuing, but it might suffice for my level of shooting.)


    Yeah, I know.

    Here and there, some actions come from the factory as "blueprinted." Some of the Savages do. The Rem 40x does, though that's at triple the price I'm considering.

    Have looked at the ARC Nucleus and other, similar, purpose-built actions. That'd be nice. But, again triple (or more) the price I'll pay for the end product.

    Just needs to be fairly accurate; would love it to be smooth, but won't break the bank to get smooth via "custom"; but, while I'll certainly do a great barrel when the factory one shoots out, beyond that it's not important to me that all the custom features be part of the package.

    Heck, a decade ago I had a 1/3 - 1/2 MOA capable rifle in a basic Rem 700 SPS Varmint, where I'd swapped in a decent Jewell trigger and a fitted stock. Surprised me, but it often approached half-inch groups @ 300yds. Had modest glass, but with a great scope I wouldn't have been surprised to find 1-1.5" 600yd groups possible, with that gun. Particularly if I'd been reloading for it. That sort of accuracy's more than plenty, for me.


    Nice rifles, there. (Again, though, far beyond the class of rifle I'm looking to do.)

    An ARC Nucleus with a 26-28" heavy palma profile barrel, decent trigger, and a stock fitted to me ... Yum.


    One thing I've noticed is that the 6.5-284 often appears with 27-29" barrels, but the 6.5 Creedmoor seems to usually be 24-26" barrels. No idea what the "big boys" for 1000yd competitions do, using 6.5x48 Creedmoor. (No interest in doing the larger 6.5-284.)
     
  10. AgedWarrior

    AgedWarrior Well-Known Member

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    I would think the Savage 12 you initially spoke of in your first post would probably serve you well with a good optic on it.
    A few years ago I decided I wanted a long range gun at a price I could work with, and I bought a Savage 10-FCP in 6.5 Creedmore and gave it a Vortex Viper 6.5-20 and added a muzzle brake so I could ride the scope all the way to impact (that was the objective). I have since changed the scope to an Athlon 6-24 ffp optic and I will add a 20 moa rail next month. Objectively, I have very little money in this rig, but with my own loads it shoots one jagged hole groups at 100 and is boring at 400. On the opportunities I have had to shoot a little further, the rifle made me look good at 750 (I am an average rifleman). I have had a lot of fun working up loads in this gun. I will never get into serious competition, but I enjoy testing my ability to produce quality ammo and shoot precisely with this rifle. From reading your posts, I suspect the Savage 12 with good optics would be just the ticket. But, whatever you decide, enjoy!
     
  11. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Just for information SAKO makes excellent rifles and they also produce TIKKA Rifles. And TIKKA makes some fantastic rifles as well. I have a TIKKA hunting rifle in 270 and it is a fine rifle.

    Several good factory production rifles have been mentioned in this post. Before you buy go see some of them and work the actions if possible.
    To me it may sound weird to some, but "mentally" the rifle must fit the person in all areas..
    A lot of it depends on what you like and how much you want to spend. But keep in mind you must have a good quality scope. Especially, if you want to do any long range shooting. And if you get a Mil-Dot Scope for ranging you will need to get a First Focal Plain Scope. And by the way Night Force is a fantastic Scope. I have a Leupold Long Range Scope on my 40X Remington Rifle which I have shot for years. With the adjustments being 1 MOA per click Elevation and 1/2 MOA per click Windage. A little different than the normal Scope, but quick to adjust and return.
    As was mentioned, you can also build one up to fit your needs as I did below.

    I have a SAKO Forester action (glass bedded) w/ Bull Barrel made into a Sniper Rifle in 243 Winchester with McMillan Stock and Leupold 3X9 Tactical Scope.
    This was my first of what you would call a precision rifle.
    Here is a picture of the SAKO I built to first use at a Rifle event at Quantico. And also used while instructing LE Sniper Schools. "She is a Shooter" Normally always 1/2 MOA! So putting one together yourself is well within reason!:)
    82361 Sako Sniper.JPG
    Good luck and if we here can be of any assistance let us know!;)
    03
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  12. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    By the way, TX Fantastic Rifles!
    And Great Pictures!:D


    03
     
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  13. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Always do.

    Of course, this is the Age of Covid, so who knows whether a shop will tolerate busting the ziptie and allowing a simple evaluation of the thing. I will not acquire anything with a modicum of trying it out, short of actually shooting it. But, that's me.

    Agreed, that a gun needs to be a good "fit." I, too, look for the balance and feel aspects, above and beyond how the thing looks, operates, and the specifics of the mechanicals.

    Like, say, with CZ all-steel sidearms. Big pigs, most of them, given my scrawny hands. But they are so "right" in my hands, large as they are. The balance, feel, handling and operation is stellar in nearly all respects. And so, I can overlook the unsuitability of grip circumference, which can be somewhat corrected with the right grip panels (ie, 18 LPI checkered hardwood, shaped properly). Same with H&K P2000/P30 sidearms ... so ugly, but so "right" in my hands.

    Similar to how I look at a given rifle. It's got to feel right ... whatever aspects and features combine to make it feel that way.

    Didn't know that Sako makes Tikka. Good to know.



    Yup.

    Not definitely firm on the mil-dot (as opposed to MOA) reticle, but the initial scope I'm considering is a mil-dot, first-focal-plane one: the Night Force ATACR F1 7-35x56mm, with one of their long-range mil-dot reticles. Possibly with their Mil-XT mil-dot reticle.
     
  14. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    The Tikka would be my choice hands down between it , a Ruger PR, and a Savage 12 LRP.
    And, I'm a big Savage fan. The only reason that I don't own a Tikka rifle is because I have a big problem with Beretta USA that imports them.

    Optics choice will open up another can of worms. While your choice of Nightforce is a great choice, IMO, I wouldn't get a FFP scope with 7x magnification as the lowest #.
    Why? Because you will have a hard time seeing / using the reticle until you turn the magnification up to around 15x.
    You don't need really high magnification when it comes to seeing things, you need high quality lenses that give you great contrast and resolution at distance.
    All of my FFP long range scopes are either 4X or 5x on the bottom end and go up to 25x to 30x on the top end. I rarely ever get to use any scope at the maximum magnification because of environmental conditions, mainly mirage. It makes you turn the magnification down in order to see your target clearly.

    The choice of Reticle is another can of worms. Some of the newer style's of scope reticles give me a headache just looking at them. They work great for the PRS guy's that really use them, but to most shooter's that are shooting known distance targets, they aren't needed. And, If you're dialing the turret's for your target dope, the fancy reticle's aren't even needed. Most of mine are a Mil-Hash reticle and I have a few with a Christmas tree type reticle. I just don't care for the really busy reticles like the Horus style's and other's like them that clutter up the bottom half of the scope.
     
  15. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    I am with you on the Horus Scopes. I used one for a while after being there with the Horus Rep. at a long range school in Texas. But being use to the standard Mil-Dot all those years it drove me nuts! "TOO BUSY" for me! But to each his own!;) Give me the good old Mil-Dot Scopes.

    03
     
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  16. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the Mil-Hash reticle's over the old Mil-Dot reticle. They are more precise IMO, than looking at a big dot that grows in size with magnification.
    These are some of the reticle's that I use, and like.
    Steiner SCR reticle-



    [​IMG]

    S&B P4L reticle -

    [​IMG]

    IOR Valdada Xtreme X1 reticle-

    [​IMG]

    Athlon APLR reticle-

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. mrm14

    mrm14 Well-Known Member

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    Gen II XR is a good reticle too.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So do I.

    Should have said it's the mil-hash instead of the mil-dot I prefer. As you say, it's the one with hashes and the tiniest of illuminated dots at center that seem to be most visible and precise. Haven't done much 1000yd sighting or shooting, but I've been impressed with the mil-hash reticles I've seen.