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Shooting Long-Range Rifles on a Budget

Rifles, scopes and ammunition for long-range shooting have come a long way in just a few years

The 6 and 6.5 Creedmoor loads have made long range hits easier, due to a flatter trajectory. (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV) The 6 and 6.5 Creedmoor loads have made long range hits easier, due to a flatter trajectory. (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV)

By: Ed Head

The price of admission keeps going down. What am I referring to? It’s long-range precision rifle shooting, once the domain of very high priced custom rifles and scopes. In recent years prices have plummeted with the availability of factory semi-custom rifles like the excellent Ruger Precision Rifle and telescopes from Vortex, Leupold and others that are affordable yet packed with features needed for long range shooting.

Ammunition is part of the equation as well. The introduction of loads like the 6 and 6.5 Creedmoor and improvements in other rifle ammunition have made getting hits at longer ranges easier due to better bullet design, flatter trajectories and increased long range accuracy. Demand for better long-range products is driving development throughout the firearms industry and today’s shooters are now able to make shots unheard of in years past.

My exposure to the 6.5 Creedmoor came about when Ruger chambered the Precision Rifle in this long range round. Shooting at FTW in Texas I was soon making hits out to 1400 yards with this combination and an excellent, though reasonably priced, Burris scope. All up, this rifle and scope combination came in at a retail price of about $2000, and, while not cheap, it proved a long-range setup could be had for several thousand dollars less than the usual price tag.

On the economy side of things we have the Ruger American Rifle series. These inexpensive rifles are usually available at retail in the $400 range and exhibit exceptional accuracy. With their cold hammer forged, free floated barrels, stiff actions and Ruger Marksman triggers these rifles out-shoot rifles costing many times more. In fact, I have tested a bunch of these rifles and they are unquestionably the most accurate factory rifles I’ve encountered; and I mean all of them regardless of caliber or barrel length. Two of the most accurate are the short, 16-inch barreled Ranch Rifles in .223 and 7.62x39. These little shooters were both capable of one hole, three shot groups at 100 yards during my testing.

Read the rest of “Shooting Long-Range Rifles on a Budget” at DownRange.tv.

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