The "We All Started Somewhere" thread...

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
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So last weekend while hanging out at Precision Rifle Expo and drinking some adult beverages and eating boiled peanuts... the conversation turned to Harris Bipods (go figger...) and Tasco scopes. And to all the 'laughable' gear that everyone here... laughs at.

Naturally... I could not help but point out that when I built my first 'precision' rifle in 1988... the choice of stuff available was, well, not as simple as it is today. First, there was no Internet with great Snipers Hide threads full of Gear Reviews, Stuff for sale and compare/contrast info. We had Shotgun News and the Gun List... and maybe small ads in the back of Shooting Times or The American Rifleman. Maybe, if you were really 'in the know' you had a photocopied catalog from Choate Machine and Tool (who remembers them?) Oh and ordering was by phone with a credit card, or in some cases, mailing off a check and waiting for your gear to come back a couple of weeks later. Maybe also find stuff at a big gun show. If there was one in your area.

Plus, as a group/hobby, precision shooting was pretty limited. You had your varmint shooters. And you had your benchrest shooters. And you had your military snipers... but those folks were all secret squirrel and stuff and nothing was 'posted' for all to see. So there was no 'community' sharing info, etc.

Sooooooo... when you wanted to start precision rifle shooting, you were in a vacuum.

Anyhoo... this led me to point out that 'where it all began for me' was a Remington 700 Varmint in .223... Which cost a ton of $$ in 1988 in BDL format. IIRC over $800! And it was beautiful. Put on a Harris Bipod ordered from a catalog. And a scope that I can't remember what it was... It Shot dime-size groups. But would NEVER hold a zero. Because in Eastern NC... the humidity was appalling. So you could shoot nice dime-size groups at 100 and the next day, not even be on paper. FUCK...

So.... from Choate, a Plaster "Ultimate Sniper" stock... which is really neither. Moved the Harris bipod over. Now the rifle is heavy, ugly and clunky. But damn if it does not hold a zero! But scope is still a bit inadequate.

Find a Tasco 6 - 24 Varmint c. 1991 or so at a gun show that, IIRC cost me a boatload of $ at the time. Like $250. For a used scope. Rings? Whatever. They fit. That was in 1989 dollars when $250 bought a lot!

And that's it! Still have it. It's shot a ton of coyotes. Varmint Grenade Boolits... it loves them! Scope feels like it's full of marbles. I took the Harris Bipod off to use in the restoration of my IDF Mauser sniper rifle. Didn't replace it.

2
AFE05230-1E3D-43DD-88F3-116409BB3B40.jpeg



By today's standards... it's a laugh a minute. As I was describing it.. it's like a running gag... but here it is! In all its glory. And as I was getting ribbed for Harris, Tasco and Choate on the same gun, I said I'd post it here and let everyone have a go! Because while it may not look like much today, back almost 35 years ago it was the 'nads and I was pretty proud of it. And how it shot.

Also, as you chuckle under your breath, hear this: It still shoots! I haven't touched the zero in at least 20 years. It still holds minute of woodchuck. Though I need to buy a new Harris bipod for it. Uneven legs and all. Just 'sayin.

So.... where are your roots? What 'precision' gun 'Got it all started for you" and might just be sort of... dated... at best. Cringe-worthy, even? At worst, Laughable. Are you even willing to admit it? Or share it?

We all started somewhere... where was it for you?

Sirhr
 
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Rerun7

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  • Feb 18, 2017
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    Shoot…. You were high rollin with that 700. My first one was a Savage 110 tactical with a Tasco 10-40 varmint scope. Because, well, magnification makes you more accurate, right?

    Slapped a no name bipod on it, bought John Plasters ultimate sniper book, a couple boxes of federal GMM and thought I was freakin Carlos Hathcock reborn.

    I was literally trying to file “burrs” off my bullets like Tom Beringer in Sniper. 😂
     

    fdkay

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  • Nov 27, 2009
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    Those Choate stocks are ugly as sin, but I'll be goddamned if they didn't work. I had one a later Savage build and one of their "tactical" stocks on my Rem 700 SPS tac in .223.
    My first "precision" rifle was a Remington Sendero in 7mm Mag, because I had a thing for 7mm (still do), and they didn't make anything in 7-08.
    The HS Precision stock was pretty decent. This was probably 1993 or so, when the Sendero was first released.
    My scope of choice was a B&L Elite 3000 in, if memory serves, 4-12x.
    I remember looking through the Midway catalogs, lusting for the Vari-X III tactical, with the 1" tube and capped turrets. damn things were just north of 500 bucks at the time. No way I could afford that.
     

    502Chevelle

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    Ruger 77V in 308 for me. She got that for me our first Christmas in 1985. Won a bet with her that got me a Leupold 6-20 target dot with target turrets. I was in high cotton! That rifle still shoots 175smk and varget into little groups. Even though it doesn’t really do what I want now, I’ll never sell it. It will kill the heck out of some deer as long as you don’t mind lugging it around, and you know the reticl is going to disappear before shooting light is gone.
    0AEA52CE-991B-4B27-8653-2B118309726A.jpeg
     

    Hobo Hilton

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    Mine was probably one of my Dad's guns.... I can't remember that far back....
    But, something never changes = If it ain't broke... don't fix it.
     

    6.5SH

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    A Remington PSS in .308 about the same year as Sirh, followed shortly after with a Savage 110 Police model .308.
    I too went for the Choate Ultimate Sniper stock but on the Savage first since the factory stock was such crap.

    My PSS being an early model had just the aluminum block under the action not the longer fore end stiffening version. Honestly the HS Precision stock on it was kind of crap and I had issues with it warping and contacting the barrel. I was going to get another Choate but ran into Ted Yost at a gun show. I purchased from him what was a prototype AI AW style chassis for the 700.

    My later understanding was there were a lot of AI rifles showing up at Gunsite then and they were looking to have something similar to offer. The project didn't work out. It's pretty crude compared to what exists now but it was better than the HS stock I had.
     

    Jgunner

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  • Jul 29, 2019
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    Well, i came late to the game. R700 308 20”blueprinted, timney, leupold mk4 10x with cds turret that was surprisingly accurate. Bought a pile of surplus M118lr ammo and let it eat. It was in a hs precision stock.

    Its the gun i took my first deer with too, but with a 24x mk4 with moa turrets and mil reticle. I decked the thing out with fancier parts and chassis, i shot worse. Shoulda just stuck with the way it was. Lol.

    Now i have a custom tikka in 6.5cm with 17” barrel and do well. Course i have not done a match since covid, but thats another story.
     

    roostercogburn98

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    My first rifle was a pawn shop find. A sporterized Mauser in 7mm. I paid 75 bucks for it, well my dad paid the man with my cash full knowing it was mine and all mine. A few weeks later I bought a milsurp sks in cosmoline for 85 bucks. That was close to 25 years ago. I still have both of them in my dads closet. They are in Arkansas, but will come home to me when the time is right.
     

    308Gunner

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    Mine was a Winchester 70 varmint in 308 a Nikon 3-12 with mildot. That damn gun would shoot, the action is on its 4th barrel and the scope is on a red butt 77 in 257 roberts
     
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    mcameron

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  • Nov 17, 2011
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    Baikal IZH 61

    proxy-image (1).jpeg


    Bought it my senior year of HS and taught myself the fundamentals of shooting....

    My first year of college I tried out for the varsity rifle team....made the team.

    I was made captain in my second year.

    Built myself a shitty match rifle from a Savage MK2 and shot that my college career.

    After college I upgraded to an Anschutz 2011 and shot that at Nationals for a while until they moved Nationals from camp perry to Indiana....that caused me to switch from smallbore to more "dynamic" shooting
     

    10ring'r

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  • Apr 9, 2019
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    My first REAL gun (besides a couple of .22's), was in 1973. It was a .308 Win. Model 88, lever action. Hand me down from the ol' man and it was equipped with a 4x Weaver. Shot quite a few deer, couple of elk, and plenty of Neutria with that gun.
    Had a 300yd. range on the property, and on a good day, could produce a group, or two, that could be covered with a fifty-cent piece. That's how it all started for me. Mac:cool:
    ETA: Bi-pod? What were those? Did they even have those back then?
     
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    quietmike

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    First deer rifle was a stock 03 Springfield, never shot groups with it, but it was super accurate.

    Later bought a Ruger 77 308 heavy barrel with a Redfield scope and Harris bipod, shot decent but nothing to brag on.
     
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    Thumper580

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    A Savage 110 PS in 308 with a 24 power Tasco. Crap trigger and stock, but almost reached 5000 rounds and accuracy never dropped off.. It was super Tacticool :)
     
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    theLBC

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    for precision rifle shooting? after shooting mostly handguns and shotguns for the last 40 years...
    i started out a couple years ago with an expensive gas gun, or exactly what almost everyone says we shouldn't do. :p
     
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    BAMAboy18

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    Don't have pics, but mine was a shotgun news No 7 SMLE jungle carbine in 308. Jeff Cooper was writing about his "Scout" rifle concept. Bought a Choat stock & bedded it. Used a SKS scope mount that I drilled and tapped to mount it on the rear sight block, topped with a Tasco red dot. All my friends laughed their asses off. Killed my 1st deer, 150yd running shot dropped it dead, and many more! Turned out to be a pretty formidable hunting gun for around $300
     
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    Lange Carabine

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    An early Remington 700 varmint in 6mm Rem. Never knew what year it was made but it had an aluminum buttplate.
    IIRC the scope was a Japanese made bushnell 4-12 with range finding reticle and BDC range drum.
    Didnt have it long( maybe 3 months) before it was destroyed by a defective factory round. After a bit of a hullabaloo
    Remington finally replaced it with a 700 VL in .260 that shot like a pig.
     
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    Maggot

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    I was into handguns. Then I saw documentary on snipers in the war in Kosovo and this guy was showing a Barrett M82-1 and saying "Yeah if youre an American citizen you can trot right out and buy one of these." It was one of those "Holy Shit I can have one of those!!!" moments. So I trotted right out and bought one. Came with a Leupold 4X14X50 mil dot. Took the Barrett Armorers course out at the NRA Whittington Center and shot it out to 1000 yds.


    Then I got a Remington 700 308 with 5R barrel that can shoot better than I can.
     
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    Dingodog

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    First set up was a Tikka master sporter in 22-250 with a Springfield Armory 6x20 scope that was picked up at the Cabelas bargin bin Back in 2000. Harris bi-pods. Worked wonders on prairie dogs. Light enough to hike with and super accurate. Still have the rifle but the barrel is near shot out. Many many prairie dogs have been taken with this rifle
     
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    akmike47

    Rumpleforeskin King of the Poors
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  • Feb 23, 2013
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    Savage 10 308 with a Burris.

    I was going to build my 110, but got a deal.
     

    jmp1

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    So last weekend while hanging out at Precision Rifle Expo and drinking some adult beverages and eating boiled peanuts... the conversation turned to Harris Bipods (go figger...) and Tasco scopes. And to all the 'laughable' gear that everyone here... laughs at.

    Naturally... I could not help but point out that when I built my first 'precision' rifle in 1988... the choice of stuff available was, well, not as simple as it is today. First, there was no Internet with great Snipers Hide threads full of Gear Reviews, Stuff for sale and compare/contrast info. We had Shotgun News and the Gun List... and maybe small ads in the back of Shooting Times or The American Rifleman. Maybe, if you were really 'in the know' you had a photocopied catalog from Choate Machine and Tool (who remembers them?) Oh and ordering was by phone with a credit card, or in some cases, mailing off a check and waiting for your gear to come back a couple of weeks later. Maybe also find stuff at a big gun show. If there was one in your area.

    Plus, as a group/hobby, precision shooting was pretty limited. You had your varmint shooters. And you had your benchrest shooters. And you had your military snipers... but those folks were all secret squirrel and stuff and nothing was 'posted' for all to see. So there was no 'community' sharing info, etc.

    Sooooooo... when you wanted to start precision rifle shooting, you were in a vacuum.

    Anyhoo... this led me to point out that 'where it all began for me' was a Remington 700 Varmint in .223... Which cost a ton of $$ in 1988 in BDL format. IIRC over $800! And it was beautiful. Put on a Harris Bipod ordered from a catalog. And a scope that I can't remember what it was... It Shot dime-size groups. But would NEVER hold a zero. Because in Eastern NC... the humidity was appalling. So you could shoot nice dime-size groups at 100 and the next day, not even be on paper. FUCK...

    So.... from Choate, a Plaster "Ultimate Sniper" stock... which is really neither. Moved the Harris bipod over. Now the rifle is heavy, ugly and clunky. But damn if it does not hold a zero! But scope is still a bit inadequate.

    Find a Tasco 6 - 24 Varmint c. 1991 or so at a gun show that, IIRC cost me a boatload of $ at the time. Like $250. For a used scope. Rings? Whatever. They fit. That was in 1989 dollars when $250 bought a lot!

    And that's it! Still have it. It's shot a ton of coyotes. Varmint Grenade Boolits... it loves them! Scope feels like it's full of marbles. I took the Harris Bipod off to use in the restoration of my IDF Mauser sniper rifle. Didn't replace it.

    2



    By today's standards... it's a laugh a minute. As I was describing it.. it's like a running gag... but here it is! In all its glory. And as I was getting ribbed for Harris, Tasco and Choate on the same gun, I said I'd post it here and let everyone have a go! Because while it may not look like much today, back almost 35 years ago it was the 'nads and I was pretty proud of it. And how it shot.

    Also, as you chuckle under your breath, hear this: It still shoots! I haven't touched the zero in at least 20 years. It still holds minute of woodchuck. Though I need to buy a new Harris bipod for it. Uneven legs and all. Just 'sayin.

    So.... where are your roots? What 'precision' gun 'Got it all started for you" and might just be sort of... dated... at best. Cringe-worthy, even? At worst, Laughable. Are you even willing to admit it? Or share it?

    We all started somewhere... where was it for you?

    Sirhr
    This is that moment where you take pride in all that!! Sure....it wasn't pretty or top shelf but YOU figured it out. Tried, failed, learned and repeat. Today any schmuck can put cash in the "vending machine" and poof.....insert top of the line item here. Built not bought was the moto when I was wheeling alot. Anyone can buy....not anyone can build. So ......I guess thanks are in order! 🍻
     

    TXAZ

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  • Oct 3, 2020
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    Not including the AK purchased as investment when the AWB hit, I had a new job at a small startup, the pay was really good the first year and decided to go big with the M107A1 Barrett having shot one several years before.
    The wife was really happy as she spent similar $’s on a quilting machine.
    It’s been a blast to say the least.
    Not really practical but it’s the most fun you can have with clothes on.
     

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    unrepentant

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    Daayuumm.... old memories. I paid 'way more than I should have for a Ruger No.1 in .308. Mounted a used Weaver 3x-10x on it with Banner(?) rings it came with and had the requisite Harris bipod. Why Ruger No 1? Because as you said, there was no internet around yet, and I wanted to see if I really wanted to "target shoot" a long gun. Word of mouth touted the No 1 for its' stout build and I wanted stout "cheap" and it was 'way cheaper than a R700. which I bought next--scrounged a used Canjar trigger for that and "moved up in class" to a Burris 8x24(?) because of course, mo' is bettah. Hey, what'd I know? Still have the R700 BDL and its' Harris, but the scope and rings are gone in favor of better stuff. Ah, the good ol' days, when times were lean but I had to shoot every weekend... thanks for this, sirhr.
     
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    Snipe260

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    First rifle for me was weatherby vanguard in 7 rem mag. The scope was a tasco world class! I sold scope few months later and upgraded to Leopold. First shotgun was 870 wingmaster pump in 20 gauge.
     

    John Glidewell

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    Well, I got bit young but was slow to develope. I got my first gun at 12. It was a Crossman 22 magnum air rifle with Tasco scope. My Dad taught me to shoot. Got a Remington single shot 20 gauge shotgun and my Graddad gave my a Marlin over under 16 gauge for bird hunting. But it was many years later when I was shooting high power and had a custom M14 built for me by SARF. Traveling the Country shooting was an experience. But I got burned out and after leaving service in 2002 I quit shooting. But after back surgery in 2015 I was bored and needed something to do. Bought a Savage 12 LRP and a NF scope and started shooting again. Of course a lot had change. I got back into reloading and really got into long range stuff. Started doing local competitions last couple years. I like building them now. Nice thing is my Wife is into shooting long range too. Have a shop in the house. We like helping folks get into shooting long range and have a bunch of rifles. Few Savages for teaching and TL3s with ZCOs for our match rigs.. Life is good. My first love was the damn Crossman though. LOL
     

    GrumpyOleFart

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    The Remington 700 BDL was my first serious attempt.
    In the days Remington had standards.
    Had a Leupold gold ring scope.
    Took it down to the range and started plinking.
    I really enjoyed that rifle.
    Pulled off a lot of tinarse shots, much to my mates' disbelief.
    Good fun.
     

    Familydude

    Spending my kids’ paltry inheritance on hobbies
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    Crossman 760 pump, Tasco scope. All the boys in my neighborhood had one. From taking out small cans to having BB gun wars that started out with only 3 pumps allowed max, to full-on break the skin dig it out before your mom saw it so you wouldn’t get in trouble, that thing has the fondest memories for me.

    Several hand guns after that as an adult and a few ARs for fun. Only recently got into the long range thing. 308 Remington 700 Varmit, Timney Hunter, MPA Comp, Vortex Razor, Harris. Found Snipers Hide and also began talking with some very cool, accomplished, knowledgeable shooters. Here I am today, a few dollars in like so many on here, and obsessed.
     

    JAS-SH

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    My first one was a1978 or so Rem 700 BDL in .308 - price $457. I put a Leupold 2-7X scope on it. Shot bug holes at a 100.

    Did a lot of traveling all across the country with it doing some deer hunting - loved the WA Cascades the most. That went on until one day, up on a tree stand in North FL, the sun had gone down so I was ready to climb down. But first I had to safe the rifle so I started to disengage the safety to unload it and it went off! Luckily It was pointing almost straight up so the round went into a thick pine branch.

    Never trusted it again and so, it sat in my safe for a number of years until I traded it at a gun store, making sure the gunsmith knew about the incident. It was then that he told me about numerous incidents like mine with the 700. At least one resulting in a death. He said he would take care of it so I did the trade.
     

    TXAZ

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  • Oct 3, 2020
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    First rifle for me was weatherby vanguard in 7 rem mag. The scope was a tasco world class! I sold scope few months later and upgraded to Leopold. First shotgun was 870 wingmaster pump in 20 gauge.
    OMG my BIL has one and let me shoot it.
    Dammmm accurate at 200 yards.
    First shot was dead nuts center of the X. And kicked like a pissed off mule.
    I flinched so bad on the second shot I think it went into the next county. 😱
     
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    Maggot

    Better to die on your feet than live on your knees
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  • Jul 27, 2007
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    Not including the AK purchased as investment when the AWB hit, I had a new job at a small startup, the pay was really good the first year and decided to go big with the M107A1 Barrett having shot one several years before.
    The wife was really happy as she spent similar $’s on a quilting machine.
    It’s been a blast to say the least.
    Not really practical but it’s the most fun you can have with clothes on.
    Anything that will punch a hole in 5/8" plate steel at 200 mtrs is ok with me. I sold mine because there just arent enough places to shoot here in the east.
     
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    JimTN

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    I guess I started with a R700 in 223, laminated stock, internal mag (can't keep those 3 letter models straight), put a Loopy 6.5-20 x 40 scope on it and took it out to kill some pdogs outside of Billings, MT. Bought it at a GS in Billings, the shop mounted the scope, etc., and off I went with factory varmint ammo. Got it zero'd that evening, and the next day I had a blast making some red mist and pdogs putting on some air shows.

    I haven't changed a thing on it, but use handloads now with 50g Vmax's Still shoots groups that a quarter will hide at 100yds, the scope doesn't even have any holdover aids, just the fine CH's. LOL. Brings back some good memories every time I take it out to the range.
     

    Snipe260

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    Well, I got bit young but was slow to develope. I got my first gun at 12. It was a Crossman 22 magnum air rifle with Tasco scope. My Dad taught me to shoot. Got a Remington single shot 20 gauge shotgun and my Graddad gave my a Marlin over under 16 gauge for bird hunting. But it was many years later when I was shooting high power and had a custom M14 built for me by SARF. Traveling the Country shooting was an experience. But I got burned out and after leaving service in 2002 I quit shooting. But after back surgery in 2015 I was bored and needed something to do. Bought a Savage 12 LRP and a NF scope and started shooting again. Of course a lot had change. I got back into reloading and really got into long range stuff. Started doing local competitions last couple years. I like building them now. Nice thing is my Wife is into shooting long range too. Have a shop in the house. We like helping folks get into shooting long range and have a bunch of rifles. Few Savages for teaching and TL3s with ZCOs for our match rigs.. Life is good. My first love was the damn Crossman though. LOL
    I had a benjamin that shot 22 lead balls when I was 10 or so! Graduated to that from crosman and a daisy red rider😂 I only used iron sights on all my pellet rifles as a kid. Killed lots of dove and rabbit!
     

    Steel head

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    Started with an AR15.
    Found out fast the eastern Washington winds really started to kick it’s ass after 700ish yards.
    Bought a savage in 260.
    Quickly got out to 1000 then 1400 yards and eventually a mile, I shot that savage for years wearing out a few barrels.
    Still have it and it’s still 260.

    It’s name is Buttercup because it’s so mild and pleasurable to shoot.
    F195007F-6567-477A-9D08-15E7AE194E3A.jpeg
     

    BoilerUP

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    The Savage 110 in 270 Win I got on my 11th birthday. After a decade of disuse through college and starting a career I couldn’t get it to shoot so I bought a Criterion barrel in 260 Rem, a 112BVSS stock and a Nikon Buckmaster 6-18x.

    That action is now a long action, AICS fed
    223 in a McM A5A.
     

    SQ54

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    My dad gave me his Remington 510 when I was 12, that my grandfather had bought new when dad was 12. I bought myself a Remington 700 Classic in .243 Winchester with a Leupold scope from the PX at MCAS New River in 1976. I don’t remember what I paid for the rifle, but the vari-x II scope was like $118.00.
     

    texastonk

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  • Sep 14, 2010
    841
    1,994
    Hen House,Texas
    Remington 700 PSS. Bought if off a Dallas SWAT guy who got it to match his duty rifle. That was 2008. I paid $800 for it. Came with log book and the gun that’s it. I put a Nikon Buckmark 4-14 with a mil-dot reticle. I still have the rifle though it looks nothing like it’s former self.
    Still my favorite gun. It’s pushing 6k rounds.
     
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    357Max

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  • Sep 11, 2019
    1,312
    1,605
    Marylandistan
    @sirhrmechanic - Great thread. Got me thinking about the progression and it's profound in the last 30 years.

    My first center-fire precision attempt was 1989 with this TC Super 14" 357 Maximum. I was 19 and had no mentors. Took it Deer hunting if it was raining. Otherwise used a borrowed surplus 303 British. The TC still puts 3 rounds under 1" of 30 year old Rem 158gr @100y/3x Lobo.
    62053261840__2621E959-1621-449B-9326-493D6A849E4C.jpg


    Thought my first center fire rife was the shit in 1990. Looking back it's laughable and was a stupid choice. Still have it & haven't shot the damn thing in over 20 years. Best group was probably around 4" @100y. I flinch just looking at it. Had a Harris on back then, but still has the same Redfield. I didn't even know what a rear bag was in 1990 & if someone had handed me one I'd have stuffed it between my collar bone and the but pad. Has a 8lb + god awe full trigger.

    Rem 700 Classic 1989 edition in 300 Weatherby 1/10T 8.5lb scoped.

    IMG_6631.jpg
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    IMG_6633.jpg


    Fast forward to 2021 and I'm shooting a 21lb
    Gay Tiger.jpg


    luckily I'm bald. Couldn't bare to look at myself in the mirror if I had a man bun.
     

    KnowNothing256

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  • Jan 9, 2020
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    Bought a CZ 527 in 7.62x39, thinking I could plink for cheap and still take deer inside 200 yds (I was living in the South at the time). Decided I'd get into reloading too, when the rifle informed me that I could shoot Wolf steel case if I wanted but 6" groups at 100 yds was all I was gonna get out of it. Loved Hornady Black though, MOA or better. Couldn't get the handloads to work, lots of F2F which gave me both heartbreak and the heeby-jeebies, so I threw it in a closet and gave it up as a bad job.

    Years later, got bored and decided to pick up reloading again, and discovered my Lee turret press was out of alignment when the sizing die came down on the rim of a 45 ACP case. Suddenly those bad 7.62x39 rounds had an explanation... Bought a new press and trashed the old one, verified alignment, and moved on, but had upgraded to a Bergara 6.5CM at that point so there was no great reason to dedicate time to the CZ anymore. Still, can't bring myself to let the thing go, and I do have all these V-Max bullets lying around...

    Maybe I'll take it to a local comp and run it just to run it, the mini Mauser action is such a joy to operate. I've got a Leupold 2-7x lying around that'd be great for some close-in fun!