Entry build options...

grendel2000

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Aug 30, 2022
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I'm a long time handgun shooter trying to get into shooting precision rifles on a budget. I'd like to put something together to start working on fundamentals in a higher caliber than my current .22 (I own a Savage FV SR .22 in a Boyds Pro Varmint that I've been using to get started in shooting rifles). I think I'd like to go .308 and have been looking at a few options. Ideal budget for the action, barrel, stock/chassis and scope is ~$1500 total. I can upgrade some things later.

My local range currently only goes out to 100yards but is expanding in the next year or so to go out to 400, or perhaps a little more.

OPTION 1: Tikka T3x lite compact (~$700) put into a KRG X-Ray chassis (~$550). Scope TBD...
- Downside: this doesn't have a "heavy" barrel. Is that much of an issue?

OPTION 2: Savage 110 Magpul Hunter (~$900). Scope TBD
- This is an "easy button" option, but I'm not sure how much fall off there is in terms of quality & accuracy from the Tikka to the Savage 110?

OPTION 3: Howa 1500 barreled action (~$450) in a KRG X-Ray chassis (~$550) or Magpul Hunter (~$250).

OPTION 5: Remington 700 Magpul Hunter factory build (~$1k). Scope TBD.

Any thoughts on the relative merits of these options? I don't really want to get into major gunsmithing and I'm hoping getting the action/barrel into a chassis is doable for a novice. I also have lots more research to do on optics (Vortex options vs. Leupold, etc. for my application).

Suggestions?
 

Schütze

Gunny Sergeant
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Different cal, I know… but a steal
 
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CMW-GHOST

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To be honest I would keep saving and buy things as you can. Don’t cheap out on a scope. I would go cheaper on the rifle before cheaper on the scope.

I wanted to be low budget on my last build. Then I found a KRG whiskey. It went all out the window at that point.
 

grendel2000

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Aug 30, 2022
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To be honest I would keep saving and buy things as you can. Don’t cheap out on a scope. I would go cheaper on the rifle before cheaper on the scope.

I wanted to be low budget on my last build. Then I found a KRG whiskey. It went all out the window at that point.
How about this:

Seems like a good deal...
 

CMW-GHOST

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Different cal, I know… but a steal
This is pretty good deal, as far as I heard it’s legit.
 

CMW-GHOST

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grendel2000

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Aug 30, 2022
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I think vortex pst’s are a good deal for what your getting. I have a 5-25 model on one of my guns and it does a good job.
With that sale on the Vortex I could make any of the rifle options I listed work pretty close to budget. I'm hoping for some input on the merits of the rifle options I listed.

Thanks!
 

CMW-GHOST

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Honestly all of them have a 1 moa guarantee….. for what that’s worth.

I won’t buy a Remington 700 unless it’s an incredible deal. They have their pros and cons. I would true it and re-barrel it and then be more happy, but just my opinion. Well out of your price range at that point.

I have a Howa it’s a tack driver (6.5) Others can chime in on there opinions. Some people love the tikkas and ect….

Are you intending straight target shooting out to possibly 100yds?
 

mheimer_45

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Of the rifles you have listed I personally would go with the Howa. Maybe I’m biased but I do have 4 of them. Maybe look into the HCR.

Also I’d skip the .308 at this time. .223 is plenty enough for 400 yards. And ammo is a lot cheaper.
 

Lightning8

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  • Feb 10, 2019
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    Went down this path a few tears (years) ago, the items on your list will not be satisfying to you - especially if you wish to compete. Some options I will offer:
    1) Get Tikka Varmint or CTR in 6.5 Creedmoor add Vortex Venom or Strike Eagle in MIL - later add KRG Bravo chassis
    2) Buy a used PRS rig from a known shooter - assume your will need to replace barrel
    3) Buy a PRS "Production" rifle for $2500 and add $1000 to $1500 quality used optic
     

    mheimer_45

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    Went down this path a few tears ago, the items on your list will not be satisfying to you - especially if you wish to compete. Some options I will offer:
    1) Get Tikka Varmint or CTR in 6.5 Creedmoor add Vortex Venom or Strike Eagle in MIL - later add KRG Bravo chassis
    2) Buy a used PRS rig from a known shooter - assume your will need to replace barrel
    3) Buy a PRS "Production" rifle for $2500 and add $1000 to $1500 quality used optic

    So you want him to spend $3500-$4000 on a production setup that will only be shot to 100 yards for a while?
     

    grendel2000

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    Honestly all of them have a 1 moa guarantee….. for what that’s worth.

    I won’t buy a Remington 700 unless it’s an incredible deal. They have their pros and cons. I would true it and re-barrel it and then be more happy, but just my opinion. Well out of your price range at that point.

    I have a Howa it’s a tack driver (6.5) Others can chime in on there opinions. Some people love the tikkas and ect….

    Are you intending straight target shooting out to possibly 100yds?
    My range only goes to 100yds at the moment but they bought new land that will allow 300+ in the next year or two.

    I don't really know where I'll end up. My main interest at the moment is learning to be a competent rifleman & likely trying "longer range" shooting. I'v never been a hunter but wouldn't mind keeping a rifle in a reasonable SHTF configuration. I feel like I'm exploring the options available to me - I've never been into riflery before now.
     
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    CMW-GHOST

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    I’m a big fan of heavier barrels. People always say oh it sucks when you have to get moving (hunting and what not).

    Well you can’t add more steel to your barrel but you can go to the gym and get bigger.

    I would get a heavier barrel. You don’t know what you are gonna end up liking in years to come.
     

    Hickswr

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    Buy a Tikka CTR and put a SWFA MIL-Quad 10x scope on it. All in under budget and that rig will hold its own against most anything inside of 300 yards.

    If you really want to splurge, spend $15 on a trigger spring and have a 1# trigger.

    I’d suggest a smaller caliber than a 308 though.
     

    grendel2000

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    Buy a Tikka CTR and put a SWFA MIL-Quad 10x scope on it. That rig will hold its own against most anything inside of 300 yards.

    If you really want to splurge, spend $15 on a trigger spring and have a 1# trigger.

    I’d suggest a smaller caliber than a 308 though.
    Can you expand on the caliber suggestion please?
     

    CMW-GHOST

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    Everyone is gonna try to get you to buy a .223. They have their place not in my bolt actions. Cheap sure, plenty of options sure, but limited in some things in my opinion.
     
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    stello1001

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    I'd go Howa as well. I currently have 2 and just purchased one more a few hours ago. Hopefully it'll be at my dealer soon.

    These rifles shoot very accurate and flat out work!
     
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    grendel2000

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    I'd go Howa as well. I currently have 2 and just purchased one more a few hours ago. Hopefully it'll be at my dealer soon.

    These rifles shoot very accurate and flat out work!
    The Howa barreled action would need a rail. I'm unfamiliar with adding those - is that difficult/expensive? Any recommended brands?
     

    CMW-GHOST

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    No not difficult most are under $100, I put a Nightforce 20moa for like $60 I believe.

    EGW, Nightforce, Ken Farrell, I’m sure others make them also.

    Clean everything, loctite screws, torque them down. Takes a couple of minutes.
     

    grendel2000

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    No not difficult most are under $100, I put a Nightforce 20moa for like $60 I believe.

    EGW, Nightforce, Ken Farrell, I’m sure others make them also.

    Clean everything, loctite screws, torque them down. Takes a couple of minutes.
    So the receiver typically comes already drilled/threaded for that?
     

    CMW-GHOST

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    Yes 100% they are tapped and drilled already from Howa.

    You buying from Brownells or? Also do some reading on .308 vs other calibers out there before pulling the trigger on a .308. It may be totally for you. I don’t mind it, not my favorite.
     

    grendel2000

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    Yeah, I was looking at Brownells. I figure 308 is a good place to start. I can learn what I like/dislike and adjust from there.

    Another question: since I’m starting fresh any strong feelings about MOA vs MRAD?
     

    CMW-GHOST

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    NO lol not gonna start that argument…. I like Mils some like moa. The biggest thing I’ve read is that most prs stuff is done in mils therefore when at the range it will be more universal language between shooters.
     
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    mheimer_45

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    Yeah, I was looking at Brownells. I figure 308 is a good place to start. I can learn what I like/dislike and adjust from there.

    Another question: since I’m starting fresh any strong feelings about MOA vs MRAD?

    Another one not getting into mil vs moa. I will say whatever you do make sure the turrets match.l the reticle. Some of the cheaper options come with a mil reticle and moa turrets.
     

    Jordan03

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    Feb 3, 2022
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    I would
    I'm a long time handgun shooter trying to get into shooting precision rifles on a budget. I'd like to put something together to start working on fundamentals in a higher caliber than my current .22 (I own a Savage FV SR .22 in a Boyds Pro Varmint that I've been using to get started in shooting rifles). I think I'd like to go .308 and have been looking at a few options. Ideal budget for the action, barrel, stock/chassis and scope is ~$1500 total. I can upgrade some things later.

    My local range currently only goes out to 100yards but is expanding in the next year or so to go out to 400, or perhaps a little more.

    OPTION 1: Tikka T3x lite compact (~$700) put into a KRG X-Ray chassis (~$550). Scope TBD...
    - Downside: this doesn't have a "heavy" barrel. Is that much of an issue?

    OPTION 2: Savage 110 Magpul Hunter (~$900). Scope TBD
    - This is an "easy button" option, but I'm not sure how much fall off there is in terms of quality & accuracy from the Tikka to the Savage 110?

    OPTION 3: Howa 1500 barreled action (~$450) in a KRG X-Ray chassis (~$550) or Magpul Hunter (~$250).

    OPTION 5: Remington 700 Magpul Hunter factory build (~$1k). Scope TBD.

    Any thoughts on the relative merits of these options? I don't really want to get into major gunsmithing and I'm hoping getting the action/barrel into a chassis is doable for a novice. I also have lots more research to do on optics (Vortex options vs. Leupold, etc. for my application).

    Suggestions?
    I would go with the tikka being that it's very upgradable. You can buy pre fits and several different chassis for it when your ready to upgrade. As far as scope I have a pst gen 2 ffp and it's been a good scope for me. I would try and up your budget and get a nice scope.
     

    fdkay

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    There are several options available to you.
    If you can change a tire, you can build your own for just over 1500.
    Keep in mind, you may have to wait on some products. You can source eveything from Northland shooters supply except the action
    Mack Bros EVO II 675.00
    triggertech primary trigger 160.00
    Remage barrel 325
    barrel nut 28
    KRG Bravo 360

    After shipping, your talking less than 1700 bucks.

     
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    grendel2000

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    NO lol not gonna start that argument…. I like Mils some like moa. The biggest thing I’ve read is that most prs stuff is done in mils therefore when at the range it will be more universal language between shooters.
    I had no idea it was even a contentious question! lol. Holy moly!
     

    CMW-GHOST

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    It’s a very long drawn out argument. Just get matching everything. I could argue it’s probably hard to find a quality scope that isn’t matching these days.
     

    grendel2000

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    Aug 30, 2022
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    There are several options available to you.
    If you can change a tire, you can build your own for just over 1500.
    Keep in mind, you may have to wait on some products. You can source eveything from Northland shooters supply except the action
    Mack Bros EVO II 675.00
    triggertech primary trigger 160.00
    Remage barrel 325
    barrel nut 28
    KRG Bravo 360

    After shipping, your talking less than 1700 bucks.

    Would that be a significant upgrade over the Tikka?
     

    grendel2000

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    Keep in mind, you would have to buy a couple of tools, it can be done with an action wrench, barrel nut wrench and a go gage.
    Is this something where my lack of experience/skill would potentially degrade accuracy? Or put me in mortal peril (lol)?
     

    mheimer_45

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    Is this something where my lack of experience/skill would potentially degrade accuracy? Or put me in mortal peril (lol)?

    Absolutely not. Do you take apart and clean your own handguns? Just pretend you took it apart before you put it back together. But if you do this you absolutely need a set of go, no go gauges.

    But even at your current 100 yard range and potential to go 400 it’s a little overkill for a first rifle. I get the buy once cry once but this all new to you. You don’t know if you’ll like it or have time to shoot or go crazy going down the everlasting rabbit hole of things to change, tinker with.
     
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    grendel2000

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    Absolutely not. Do you take apart and clean your own handguns? Just pretend you took it apart before you put it back together. But if you do this you absolutely need a set of go, no go gauges.

    But even at your current 100 yard range and potential to go 400 it’s a little overkill for a first rifle. I get the buy once cry once but this all new to you. You don’t know if you’ll like it or have time to shoot or go crazy going down the everlasting rabbit hole of things to change, tinker with.
    Got it - thank you!

    I stumbled on some similar threads that mention Origin actions. Can anyone tell me how the Origin and the EVO II stack up in comparison to each other?
     

    mheimer_45

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    Got it - thank you!

    I stumbled on some similar threads that mention Origin actions. Can anyone tell me how the Origin and the EVO II stack up in comparison to each other?

    Lol you’ve found that rabbit hole haven’t you?

    Best advice. Get a rifle and go out and shoot. Find out what you do like, don’t like. A lightly used rifle is a good down payment on a newer better option.
     

    stanley_white

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    I get the buy once cry once but this all new to you. You don’t know if you’ll like it or have time to shoot or go crazy going down the everlasting rabbit hole of things to change, tinker with.
    I feel seen.

    :)

    I am slowly putting together my list of things I would need to figure out on my current rifle before moving onto something else. I suspect the list will be long and a newer / better rifle is years away — which is a good thing.

    -Stan
     

    mheimer_45

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    I feel seen.

    :)

    I am slowly putting together my list of things I would need to figure out on my current rifle before moving onto something else. I suspect the list will be long and a newer / better rifle is years away — which is a good thing.

    -Stan

    That rabbit hole is deep I’m warning you. I’ve probably got a dozen .223’s a couple of .243’s and 6mm’s, several 6.5’s and several 308’s. Yet I don’t compete just chase accuracy and hunt. Each one has a specific role to fill.
     

    grendel2000

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    That rabbit hole is deep I’m warning you. I’ve probably got a dozen .223’s a couple of .243’s and 6mm’s, several 6.5’s and several 308’s. Yet I don’t compete just chase accuracy and hunt. Each one has a specific role to fill.
    Oh, I'm sure it is!

    Like I mentioned, I recently became a member of our local range/club and I'm really looking forward to jumping into the sport. I pretty much don't even know what I don't know at this point, but yeah, I'm a nerd and I tend to really enjoy soaking in new things & going down the rabbit holes.

    About three years ago my son (who's now 15) and I started taking guitar lessons. We're still at it and it led me down a BIG rabbit hole trying to understand electric guitars & amps. It's been a TON of fun, even though I'm pretty bad still!

    On the gun front, as stated in the OP I've shot handguns for years. I shot competitively (just ROTC stuff) in college and have continued to shoot recreationally since then, but never much with rifles. Earlier this year I decided it was time to make the investment while I still could & for my son and I to learn to be proficient riflemen. I bought a Savage Mark II FV SR .22 to get the basics down. It's a fun little gun since I put it in a Boyds stock! I also picked up a few ARs: A DDM4v7 Pro & a DDM4v7 pistol. Lots of work still to do on those before I feel as comfortable with them as I do my Sig, but it's fun doing the "work".

    I've found shooting the Savage probably the most rewarding, which is what has led me to wanting to start shooting at longer ranges/needing something bigger than the .22. In the end the biggest barrier is cost since I'm buying for both of us to some degree. As an aside, I just received my Dad's hunting rifle from my brother to give to my son. Dad passed years ago and even though he was right handed he shot lefty due to being cross eye dominant. His company bought him a Browning A-Bolt II Gold Medallion in .270 as a retirement gift. Since my son is ALSO cross eye dominant he prefers to shoot lefty so it's a perfect fit for him! He'll use the browning (at least initially) as he steps up from the .22. I want a solid performing bolt gun (it obviously will be more accurate than I am probably for some time, if not forever...) so that we'll both have good options out to 500 yards or so when we shoot together. I look forward to our club getting the new property set up that has the longer ranges, and in the meantime I look forward to working hard to get better on the 100 yard range they have now.

    I appreciate very much all of the help and input - thanks!
     

    moosemeat

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    Howa barreled action. Krg bravo. A vortex or used something from the PX. Remember to save a few bucks for mags.
    If you really are going to hunt, for real, 6.5 creed.
    ETA- just read you have a few ARs. Go creed. Barrels last around 2000-2500 rounds. Ammo is available. It beats 308 at everything ballisticlly.
     

    mheimer_45

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    Oh, I'm sure it is!

    Like I mentioned, I recently became a member of our local range/club and I'm really looking forward to jumping into the sport. I pretty much don't even know what I don't know at this point, but yeah, I'm a nerd and I tend to really enjoy soaking in new things & going down the rabbit holes.

    About three years ago my son (who's now 15) and I started taking guitar lessons. We're still at it and it led me down a BIG rabbit hole trying to understand electric guitars & amps. It's been a TON of fun, even though I'm pretty bad still!

    On the gun front, as stated in the OP I've shot handguns for years. I shot competitively (just ROTC stuff) in college and have continued to shoot recreationally since then, but never much with rifles. Earlier this year I decided it was time to make the investment while I still could & for my son and I to learn to be proficient riflemen. I bought a Savage Mark II FV SR .22 to get the basics down. It's a fun little gun since I put it in a Boyds stock! I also picked up a few ARs: A DDM4v7 Pro & a DDM4v7 pistol. Lots of work still to do on those before I feel as comfortable with them as I do my Sig, but it's fun doing the "work".

    I've found shooting the Savage probably the most rewarding, which is what has led me to wanting to start shooting at longer ranges/needing something bigger than the .22. In the end the biggest barrier is cost since I'm buying for both of us to some degree. As an aside, I just received my Dad's hunting rifle from my brother to give to my son. Dad passed years ago and even though he was right handed he shot lefty due to being cross eye dominant. His company bought him a Browning A-Bolt II Gold Medallion in .270 as a retirement gift. Since my son is ALSO cross eye dominant he prefers to shoot lefty so it's a perfect fit for him! He'll use the browning (at least initially) as he steps up from the .22. I want a solid performing bolt gun (it obviously will be more accurate than I am probably for some time, if not forever...) so that we'll both have good options out to 500 yards or so when we shoot together. I look forward to our club getting the new property set up that has the longer ranges, and in the meantime I look forward to working hard to get better on the 100 yard range they have now.

    I appreciate very much all of the help and input - thanks!

    If you like pushing the .22 past it’s limits you’ll really like pushing a .223 past it’s limits. The one gun I grab I more often than not is a Mossberg patriot varmint model. AFAIK it’s been discontinued buts it’s handy with an A2 stock and 16” barrel. It’s my do all gun. Is it super expensive? No. Does it wear a super expensive scope? No. It’s 100% suppressed all the time and rarely gets cleaned. Accepts AR mags and the trigger is adjustable. I think I’m into the gun for less then $450 and it wears a Walmart special Bushnell that thrown around more than my expensive optics.

    And in SHTF scenario .223 will be laying around everywhere.

    One of my bosses daughters who is 11 takes that little mossberg out to 500 regularly.
     
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    Precision Underground

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  • You’ll get 1m opinions but my .02c- You’ll be a little over $2k but will be set and won’t “need” to upgrade until you want to and won’t lose anything by not saving for something nicer.
    Tikka CTR- maybe even a used one in good condition, I grabbed one for $900 a while back.
    KRG Bravo
    Swfa 3-15

    You can shoot along with any other rifle with this setup. Down the road you can rebarrel the CTR, upgrade the chassis and scope. The bravo and the 3-15 will hold value well and you can sell them for a small loss when you’re ready to upgrade.