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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 03-29-2020, 12:17 PM
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Default Medium range light recoiling rifle.

Good afternoon CG. Im looking to buy the lightest recoiling gun for use out to 600 yards max. It’ll be for pest control, mainly for rabbits. So rabbit sized targets out to 600. Really not interested in 300 win mag, 7mm, or anything with lots for recoil.

Not looking to spend more than $700 on the rifle. My budget is $600 for the optic. At this point ill more than likely go with a fixed power optics as it seems that sub $1000 variable powered optics have spotty QC as far as the turrets tracking properly and image distortion when the magnification is turned to max.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:18 PM
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22-250 or maybe a .243? Love the fixed power optics idea.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:19 PM
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.223
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:28 PM
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I like a .243. If you’d be willing to keep it to something like 300 yards, which seems more reasonable for rabbits, you could go .17 hornet. Heck, .223 would work even better.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jarhead714 View Post
22-250 or maybe a .243? Love the fixed power optics idea.
Yeah I figure since it'll have one purpose I don't have any reason for a variable, but its always nice to have options. I have no experience with either of those cartridges. From looking at ammo prices I'd probably go with the .243. Right now I doing the YT binge watch research.

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.223
For 600 yards?
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:30 PM
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You gotta be darn good at calling your wind with .223, even the heavier loads.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:30 PM
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I like a .243. If you’d be willing to keep it to something like 300 yards, which seems more reasonable for rabbits, you could go .17 hornet. Heck, .223 would work even better.
What kind of setup do you recommend given my criteria?
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2020, 12:32 PM
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Take a look at Savage Model 110 or Model 10; .223, 22-250, .243.

I have a Model 10 in .223 that is very accurate with a 22" barrel and 1:9 twist. It's also not to heavy, even with its wood stock.

It would be a good idea to research ballistics on various calibers/ammo before making a decision on caliber, since some will do better at longer ranges than others.

There are some real nice variable power scopes from Leupold, Athlon, and others that will fit your budget. I have 4.5-14 Leupold VX3 that is crisp, and distortion-free. Don't forget to add scope mounts and rings into your budget.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Preston-CLB View Post
Take a look at Savage Model 110 or Model 10; .223, 22-250, .243.

I have a Model 10 in .223 that is very accurate with a 22" barrel and 1:9 twist. It's also not to heavy, even with its wood stock.

It would be a good idea to research ballistics on various calibers/ammo before making a decision on caliber, since some will do better at longer ranges than others.

There are some real nice variable power scopes from Leupold, Athlon, and others that will fit your budget. I have 4.5-14 Leupold VX3 that is crisp, and distortion-free. Don't forget to add scope mounts and rings into your budget.
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How does your leupold track?
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:45 PM
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You better be one heck of a shot for rabbits at 600 yards.

Rabbits a 300 yards from a bench would be excellent for most people.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd joe View Post
You better be one heck of a shot for rabbits at 600 yards.

Rabbits a 300 yards from a bench would be excellent for most people.
So what pill is fairly heavy and can reach close to 4,000 feet per second out of the barrel to score such difficult hits?
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:57 PM
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243 or 22.250 both will have lot of drop at that range so you will need a good way to get the range .
I've hit ground squirrels out to about 400 yards hold over with a 22.250 was about 45 to fifty inches I was able to walk the rounds into the targets because of the dust from the bullets.
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarhead714 View Post
You gotta be darn good at calling your wind with .223, even the heavier loads.
90 grn vld, fast twist.
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:09 PM
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Will you be hunting in California? Do you handload? Will you be hunting cottontails or jackrabbits?
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drair View Post
How does your leupold track?
Honestly, I have not tested it myself, but the gent I bought the scope from is an honest guy, and had no complaints.
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:18 PM
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Amazingly 7.62x39 in a bolt action or cut off gas ,a good scope and practice will work on bunny sized targets. Might not be a headshot but you’ll hit it. Other than that 308 is about your only close choice
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:26 PM
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Are we talking Jack rabbits which are about twice the size of cotton tails ? A fast breed of dog can chase down cotton tails and have fun doing it. Ask me how I know.
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:28 PM
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6.5 creedmoor Ruger makes a gun for it in the 600 dollar range
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  #19  
Old 03-29-2020, 1:42 PM
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243 no question. Has the advantage for heavy lead varmint, and light lead varmint, and lead free. Cuts wind better than a 223 and shoots flat.

As far as the rifle, I would suggest either a used Tikka, or a new Ruger American.
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wooger View Post
90 grn vld, fast twist.
That sounds like a Valkyrie.
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarhead714 View Post
So what pill is fairly heavy and can reach close to 4,000 feet per second out of the barrel to score such difficult hits?
.204 Ruger? 40 gr V-max is 3900 fps. Not really "fairly heavy" though. Savage used to make the 12FV in it msrp $419, but I think it's discontinued. You might be able to find old stock. Ruger still makes the American in it and I've seen the CZ 527 for like $660, plus other Savages.

6mm Creedmoor has heavier bullets, around 3000 fps.

SWFA 10x is well under $600.

Last edited by sigstroker; 03-29-2020 at 2:04 PM..
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Old 03-29-2020, 2:39 PM
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I guess I'll be a bit of a contrarian.

Unless you're either an outstanding shot or will be shooting from a bench, hitting a rabbit at more than 300 yards with any of the calibers that were mentioned seems to be pretty ambitious. I suppose you could walk rounds in but you'll end up wasting ammunition that's probably going to run 50 cents per round if you hand load and more if you don't.

I have a Tikka in .243 and another one in .223. They're both light, they both shoot well and you can probably find a used one in your price range. I'd probably choose the .243 and load 70 grain ballistic tipped bullets for what you plan to do.
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Old 03-29-2020, 2:40 PM
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.223 or 6.5 Grendel.
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Old 03-29-2020, 3:04 PM
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223 with 77gr bullet,or heavier.My 20" barrel has a muzzle velocity of 2800 with 75/77.
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Old 03-29-2020, 3:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JackEllis View Post
I guess I'll be a bit of a contrarian.

Unless you're either an outstanding shot or will be shooting from a bench, hitting a rabbit at more than 300 yards with any of the calibers that were mentioned seems to be pretty ambitious. I suppose you could walk rounds in but you'll end up wasting ammunition that's probably going to run 50 cents per round if you hand load and more if you don't.
Why is that? Seems to me a rabbit would be around 3 moa at 300 yards. Some people could hit that offhand. PRS shooters do that all day long with a bipod and a small bag.
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Old 03-29-2020, 3:40 PM
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I was thinking the same thing. MOA is MOA. A 22-250 that shoots sub MOA at 100 yards is sub 3" at 300, and sub 6" at 600 yards. Yes, wind etc factor in, but from a solid rest or prone, it should be doable.

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Why is that? Seems to me a rabbit would be around 3 moa at 300 yards. Some people could hit that offhand. PRS shooters do that all day long with a bipod and a small bag.
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Old 03-29-2020, 3:46 PM
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My first choice would be 22-250; there's a reason it is a classic. I would look at the used racks at the LGS. Find something like a Rem700V; might find a Varmint barrel rifle with a scope for reasonable price..

My hesitation would be how lead free works in barrels that may have rifle twist for older style lead core varmint bullets...
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Old 03-29-2020, 3:55 PM
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Seriously, 600 yards?
The .224 guns may not have the juice you’re looking for - my vote is also with .243 or 6mm Creedmore.
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Old 03-29-2020, 3:56 PM
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How many PRS shooters are competing with Ca approved lead free ammo? And if you don’t reload, good luck finding a rifle that shoots factory lead free ammo at 1/2 moa at 600 yards
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:00 PM
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Seriously, 600 yards?
The .224 guns may not have the juice you’re looking for - my vote is also with .243 or 6mm Creedmore.
You dont shoot highpower do you?
With 600yds being classified as mid range,223 is more than capable.Some shoot the 223 to 1k,easily.
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:01 PM
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I would go with a .243 or 6mm. They are deadly accurate. Nothing wrong with .223, but it is more susceptible to wind at further ranges. Very little recoil with .243 or 6mm. No recoil with the .223.

Consider a used rifle too. I just saw a calguns ad go up yesterday with two used .243's meant for varmint shooting.
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:03 PM
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Here ya go.

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/....php?t=1599474
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:08 PM
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To me the issue isn’t as much about finding a $700 rifle that is capable of grouping at 600 yards as it is about hitting with lead free. This takes slow twist .22 centerfire rifles out of the equation, 6mm and 6.5 caliber rifles would give you a better chance of connecting. Try the 127lrx in a 6.5 or 95gr LRX in a 6mm
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
How many PRS shooters are competing with Ca approved lead free ammo? And if you don’t reload, good luck finding a rifle that shoots factory lead free ammo at 1/2 moa at 600 yards
Interesting. How does the accuracy of lead free ammo compare to match ammo?
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:25 PM
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Barnes bullets are capable of excellent accuracy but copper being less dense than lead, it takes a much longer bullet to achieve the BC needed to shoot your goal of a 3” rabbit at 600 yards. These longer bullets require a faster twist to stabilize.
I’m shooting a 1:8 twist 6.5 Creedmoor, it’s easily under half moa at 100 yards but it’s a light rifle and I’d have a difficult time holding that level of accuracy out to 600yds.
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:39 PM
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i must have been bored. here ya go! your best chance at hitting mr rabbit at 600. gun is 500 and scope is 600. left over cash can get someone to put a brake on it so you can skip the recoil part. its in the best cartridge metrosexuals ever created 6.5 man bunn so its good to 6 or 7 miles and everyone i know with one can shoot .150" groups all day long.

https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Optics.../dp/B004MUAXHY

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/remi...t-action-rifle

if you get lucky and get a good barrel you might hit a few at 600. rabbits are hard to whack at that range but fun to miss and fire and miss and fire then hit and its like winning the big game. That scope will track just fine. you are not going to win mid range match with it anyways so just have fun

crazy that whole gun is less then the cost to spin up a new tube on my f-open rig lol
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:49 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I've decided to go with the 6.5 creedmoor. Now Im looking at barrel twists and what type of rifle. I don't plan on reloading but just buying factory match grade ammo, any suggestions?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sd joe View Post
You better be one heck of a shot for rabbits at 600 yards.

Rabbits a 300 yards from a bench would be excellent for most people.
I plan on getting a bi pod for it so I think ill be g2g.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
Will you be hunting in California? Do you handload? Will you be hunting cottontails or jackrabbits?
Yeah it's going to be in CA and Im not sure on the type of rabbit. I'll be going to a private property belonging to a friend of my brother. No I don't handload.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpgnr24k View Post
Amazingly 7.62x39 in a bolt action or cut off gas ,a good scope and practice will work on bunny sized targets. Might not be a headshot but you’ll hit it. Other than that 308 is about your only close choice
Im sure its doable, but I rather take as much guess work out of it. I don't plan on practicing much with this rifle. Im partial to my ARs for 90% of my range trips.

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Originally Posted by 93chipper View Post
6.5 creedmoor Ruger makes a gun for it in the 600 dollar range
The american?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Toast View Post
I would go with a .243 or 6mm. They are deadly accurate. Nothing wrong with .223, but it is more susceptible to wind at further ranges. Very little recoil with .243 or 6mm. No recoil with the .223.

Consider a used rifle too. I just saw a calguns ad go up yesterday with two used .243's meant for varmint shooting.
Thank you. I've decided to go with the 6.5 cm .
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeonstar View Post
i must have been bored. here ya go! your best chance at hitting mr rabbit at 600. gun is 500 and scope is 600. left over cash can get someone to put a brake on it so you can skip the recoil part. its in the best cartridge metrosexuals ever created 6.5 man bunn so its good to 6 or 7 miles and everyone i know with one can shoot .150" groups all day long.

https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Optics.../dp/B004MUAXHY

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/remi...t-action-rifle

if you get lucky and get a good barrel you might hit a few at 600. rabbits are hard to whack at that range but fun to miss and fire and miss and fire then hit and its like winning the big game. That scope will track just fine. you are not going to win mid range match with it anyways so just have fun

crazy that whole gun is less then the cost to spin up a new tube on my f-open rig lol
Thanks. Checking it out.
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:55 PM
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Do you need to shoot lead free for rabbits?

.243 is great- I don’t k ow about lead free
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Old 03-29-2020, 4:57 PM
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well this changes everything(Im partial to my ARs for 90% of my range trips.)... you already have ar15 lowers so why not get this

http://www.dtechuppers.com/ar-15-upper-receivers.html

a dtech upper will shoot inside any of the bargain basement complete guns you can get. 224 Valkyrie will shoot fine out to the 600 yards. you can make sure you get a fast twist to shoot copper

not even kidding by the way and recoil will be zero problem and ammo is easy to find. the Valkyrie is going to stick around. no brake needed and its a step up energy wise from a 556/223
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