Short range shooting

LuvToGoFast

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I’m thinking of purchasing a rifle for short range shooting. I’m a member of MRA so I’m limited to a 200 yard range. Aside from .22, I’ve never really shot rifles so I’m looking to get something entry level but accurate for the range I’m using.
I think for this distance I can get away with .223, and a scope that won’t break the bank.
I began and then stopped researching scopes, I had info overload. I know I’ll have to invest in a quality scope, but how much quality do I need for 200 yards?
I was looking at the savage axis in .223
Inexpensive and accurate, according to the reviews I’ve seen.

Michael
 

HorizontalHunter

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I have the Savage Axis in 30-06. I like it and it is accurate; now.

Out of the box it borders on unusable:

The scope is bottom of the barrel but I was planning on upgrading to a Nikon anyway and using the scope on a .22 anyway.

The trigger out of the box is brutal and destroys the accuracy of the rifle. IIRC it was a touch over eight pounds. I upgraded to a Timmey trigger. The Timney trigger is an awesome trigger and was a great upgrade. The trigger alone, with the right ammo, shrunk my groups from fist size quarter size at 100 yards.

I'm very happy with the rifle now and it is a good shooter with the upgrades I have made. If I were to do it again I would step up to a savage rifle with theAccutrigger. BTW, the Accutrigger will not fit in the Axis.

Bob
 
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Scope - Vortex Gets my vote, PST if you can afford it, otherwise anything less is of excellent quality glass for what you get.

Triggers - Standard Savage non-AccuTriggers can be tuned really well. I have the ‘cheap’ left-handed 308 Savage Axis, without the Accu-Trigger, and I got that down to a safe, crisp < 3-pound trigger pull all day long.

I shoot at the Reading Club and for practicing ‘accuracy’, I tell ya’, we’re shooting 22 Long Rifle at 200-yards.
 

Arto

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I had great luck with the Savage Axis in 30-06 out-of-the-box. Just 98 clicks up on their scope to be on for 600yds & watch for "scope bite" in the prone position - hurts, but the scar looks cool ;)

the light barrel is good for hunting (1-3 shots) - it'll heat up for target shooting
 

76Too

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cut the nonsense and sign up for the CMP and get yourself an M1 Garand before the price goes up. they're still around the $750 mark and worth their weight in gold for what you want to do.

don't START with a scope. START with basic fundamentals of marksmanship...sight alignment, sight picture, point of aim v point of impact, etc.

if you really want to understand the basics...ask a Marine to break it down 'Barney-Style' for you...they'll know exactly what to do.

the only other platform that might be better to learn on is an 03a3 Springfield. Same idea with the sights, but no gas system to worry about.

if you have any questions about anything i'm talking about...please feel free to reach out to me directly. i'm a little far for you to travel to, but could definitely give you a good crash course in about an hour at the range if you're ever interested.

p.s. Garands shoot a lot softer than you might think...so don't let recoil get in your head.
 

northny

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If you don’t already have an AR, get an AR.

A .223 is a good choice to step up. If you can swing the extra $$$, do the AR rather than the bolt gun.

I did the garand thing, but I was a younger man, and the civilian AR was not yet available. As soon as a HBAR AR15 became available, I sold the garand, bought a colt HBAR A2, and never looked back and never had any regrets about it. A Garand is still fun, but I would not recommend it as a first center fire rifle in collection.

With a flat top AR you can do iron sights, scope, or combat optics. Buy the AR, and work with iron sights you'll surprise yourself what you can do. You can save $$ to upgrade to scope later.

If you are interested in punching groups on paper at 200 yards or less , 3 - 9 power anything will do. The Nikon buck master has good clarity. More magnification will get you smaller paper groups. 4 - 12 X will shrink goups a little more. For range queens, I put cheap Tasco variable up to 24X or 36X, and run them at 20X for load development

If you want to do a bolt action, Savage with accutrigge is a good choice.

But also consider a Remington 700. In the last 18 months (so recent data points) between my brother and I we have five Remington 700's that are shooting sub MOA, after some easy modifications. Buy the one with cheap plastic stock. Toss stock and put it on Boyds laminate ($120 to $130 delivered) and add a Timney trigger. ($120)

My heavy barrel .308 is shooting 1/2 MOA in a pillared not bedded laminate stock. It has a Vortex on it. I bought this rifle to build a 6.5 creedmore on, but the .308 shot so will it has stayed as my 1000 yd rifle.

My light barrel 308 is shooting about 1 MOA with Laminate stock, and the tuned factory trigger.

My brother did a Remington light barrel .223, put in a Timney trigger and a boyds stock. Less than 1" groups. He did a second to see if the first one was a fluke. Same results. Then he build a third, (cause he lives in TX, and both his grand daughters are Texas born and go shooting with him, so he figured why not have three) All three will shoot sub MOA

Im currently building a .243 for grandson. It will be his first deer rifle, it has a boys AT-1 stock (fully adjustable), PTG bottom metal so it takes AI mags, so as the Timny trigger shows up I will take it to range, but I expect sub MOA with it

You'll spend $300 - 400 on light barrel ($400 to $500 on heavy barrel) on sale. Plan on adding $250 for stock and trigger, and you should have a real shooter.
 

greencobra

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mr. gofast, I understand what you want to do (I think). buy an inexpensive rifle to take to the range and maybe see it rifle shooting might be something you want to pursue. i'll tell you what I did. I went to my club, they had an active hi power group much like mra, sat around with the guys and started to ask questions. one of the rifle shooters knew of a local pd that was disbanding their sniper team and was selling off the equipment fairly cheap. I bought the rifle, case, scope, dies, tons of empty cases and a few hundred loaded rounds for cheap. this was a ruger 77 hb varmint in 25-06. it just happened to be the caliber of the rifle, i'm not recommending it. then some of these guys took me under their wing, invited me to shoot with them and gave me enough guidance and info so it wouldn't overwhelm me being a beginner. so basically, breathing and trigger control. the offer was always there from this group that if I wanted and was ready, they would help me with showing me what was available in my budget to upgrade and coaching. i'm glad I went the minimal investment route cause rifle shooting wasn't for me. just sharing my experience, something to consider before spending money.
 

dhuze

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.223/5.56 is plenty good enough at 200 yards. The Highpower matches shoot out to 600 yards with open sights, provided there is a range with that distance.

Savage makes a great inexpensive gun and will work well at 200 yards.

As far as scopes go the better the glass the better you can see your target. Cheap scopes get fuzzy at distances.

For a great scope for the money you can't beat Mueller. The glass is clear and the costs are relatively low. They save costs by using word of mouth instead of expensive advertising. Check them out.
All scopes – Mueller Rifle Scopes

If I was going to get an inexpensive setup I'd probably do the Savage/Mueller combo myself.
 

mac1911

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go with a nice target rifle 22lr and a decent target scope. 25-200 yards of fun.
honeslty no matter what you get you need a decent budget to have fun. a 200 rifle and 200 scope will be short lived if you stay with it. unless you get a good deal on some used stuff. My friends son scored a nice CZ 223 bolt action with a decent leupold scope for about 1/2 the money. Down side is the rifle has a 1/12 twist and was set up to shoot light fast 223 loads. This set up shoots 52 grain bullets like little laser beams.

I have a lot of fun with this 72 year old rifle and some higher end ammo
eHJoEGrh.jpg


I also have fun with a more modern 22lr ruger with 20" heavy barrel....which i use with the above guns match sights at 200 yards....
I need a 20moa rail for the ruger to scope it as im out of elevation with the mueller on the above rifle....thats the only down side of the mueller is lack of adjustment for long range with out the use of a canted rail or at least some hold over marks on the reticle
L9A7f6qh.jpg
 
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mac1911

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This was my thought too, purchase a rifle, shoot it, and then purchase a scope...
this is where you need to really think long and hard. If you buy a rifle thats set up for iron sights it maybe more difficult and costly to mount a scope later.
honeslty if your looking to build fundamental shooting skills try one of these... it will more than test your growing skills, you can shoot out to 200 yards with irons also. only down side at this price point is the stock sucks. IMHO. The comb is way to low for a good solid cheek weld. other than that some mid range ammo that it likes will test your skills for sure. you can also scope it later if you like. So for the cost of one of these its about as good as it gets for the price range. The sight set will run you about $100 if bought later.

Savage Arms - MARK II FVT
 
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fshalor

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My eyes suck. And my left is gooder then the right (dominant) so scopes are usually right out .

For 200, I'm comfy with an ancient Savage Sporter bolt action in .22lr. can do almost as good with one of my two ar15s with iron sights and slightly better with a 1-6x.

I enjoyed a Nikon 223 I had on another long range ar15 I built up, but it was heavy and cost twice what the bcm with the 1-6x. Considering I shot just as well on paper and for longer comfortable ly with the 1-6x and irons, I dumped the long range build.

For 200 and under. Irons all day until you are comfy with them.
 

mac1911

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My eyes suck. And my left is gooder then the right (dominant) so scopes are usually right out .

For 200, I'm comfy with an ancient Savage Sporter bolt action in .22lr. can do almost as good with one of my two ar15s with iron sights and slightly better with a 1-6x.

I enjoyed a Nikon 223 I had on another long range ar15 I built up, but it was heavy and cost twice what the bcm with the 1-6x. Considering I shot just as well on paper and for longer comfortable ly with the 1-6x and irons, I dumped the long range build.

For 200 and under. Irons all day until you are comfy with them.
eye sight is a consideration for any type of shooting. there are solutions though especially for target shooting. Corrective inserts for peep sights are a option for some vision problems.
 

mac1911

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so i was thinking and went out looking....hmm if i where to buy a rifle to shoot small groups at 200 yards most of the time what might i buy?
well my first thought was cost. OK so whats the cheapest cal to be able to squeeze sub MOA groups out of and potentially sub 1/2moa and maybe better....I say 223 rem.
ok thats that. Now the rifle? Well i see lots of remingtons but theu tend to be a $400ish platform that the owners went and spent another $1k on in stocks triggers and barrels, hmm ok best out of the box thinking now.
the CZ and tikka sporter come to mind?
 
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cut the nonsense and sign up for the CMP and get yourself an M1 Garand before the price goes up. they're still around the $750 mark and worth their weight in gold for what you want to do.

don't START with a scope. START with basic fundamentals of marksmanship...sight alignment, sight picture, point of aim v point of impact, etc.

if you really want to understand the basics...ask a Marine to break it down 'Barney-Style' for you...they'll know exactly what to do.

the only other platform that might be better to learn on is an 03a3 Springfield. Same idea with the sights, but no gas system to worry about.

if you have any questions about anything i'm talking about...please feel free to reach out to me directly. i'm a little far for you to travel to, but could definitely give you a good crash course in about an hour at the range if you're ever interested.

p.s. Garands shoot a lot softer than you might think...so don't let recoil get in your head.


To add to what Dakar said, my intro to rifles was a CMP event. It was a blast, people were extremely welcoming and helpful, and nice to have the sense of history. As someone who has shot rifles twice, and im looking to get into one, id recommend this route. Look at the OCSA pembroke events if its not too far, the people are awesome. I think there is an event not this sunday, but the next.
 
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I would evaluate what you think you'll use the rifle for first - and decide if you want a bolt action, semiautomatic, or possibly a lever-action.

If you think you might use it for home defense then I'd get a cheap AR-15. If you strictly want to punch paper then get a bolt .22. In any other case I'd recommend a semiautomatic .22. If you find you like punching paper with a .22 you can always buy a nice .22 bolt gun later. For now you can just as easily learn the fundamentals with a semiauto and still do mag dumps (because who doesn't enjoy mag dumping a .22?). Skip the optics and buy ammo until you feel comfortable splurging on a nice 1-4x or 1-5x optic for your second rifle.
 

mac1911

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To add to what Dakar said, my intro to rifles was a CMP event. It was a blast, people were extremely welcoming and helpful, and nice to have the sense of history. As someone who has shot rifles twice, and im looking to get into one, id recommend this route. Look at the OCSA pembroke events if its not too far, the people are awesome. I think there is an event not this sunday, but the next.
Just to add to this CMP Civillian Marksmenship Program and some NRA events often have loaner rifles be it M1s, ARs and other types depending on the events.
So if you have not purchased any rifles these events are very good. You have to search your area for whats offered. Some clubs have weekly or bi weekly cmp/highpower events but are not well anounced.
So for the price of ammo and small entry fee you can get some instruction and trigger time and while your thinking of what to get you can at least get some trigger time.
As for learning and building skills even just a redryder bb gun can get you going or up it to a daisy 853 this way all you need is 20 or so feet to practice.
 
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LuvToGoFast

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I like this advice, but if you leave any leads on a Cheap AR in Mass, feel free tobPM me!!!
[crying][crying]

If you think you might use it for home defense then I'd get a cheap AR-15. If you strictly want to punch paper then get a bolt .22. In any other case I'd recommend a semiautomatic .22. If you find you like punching paper with a .22 you can always buy a nice .22 bolt gun.
 

greencobra

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i'm all for learning to use iron sights...the basics, ya know. but why would someone forsake a scope for irons? i'd be like wanting a car without power steering and brakes. as always, just thinking aloud, not flaming any one persons ideas or suggestions. :)
 

mac1911

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i'm all for learning to use iron sights...the basics, ya know. but why would someone forsake a scope for irons? i'd be like wanting a car without power steering and brakes. as always, just thinking aloud, not flaming any one persons ideas or suggestions. :)
I think metalic sights and optics each have a place.
also depends on what type of sights or optics also.
Matters not because you still need basic fundementals with a scope. Head position has to be right with a scope.
you still should learn to focus on the reticle. Trigger and breathing are still needed.
you could hand some people a $10k 22lr Blieker and a $4k 50x 1\16th moa dot target scope and some $20/50rd match ammo and they would still shoot 4" groups at 25 yards
 
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PatMcD

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i'm all for learning to use iron sights...the basics, ya know. but why would someone forsake a scope for irons? i'd be like wanting a car without power steering and brakes. as always, just thinking aloud, not flaming any one persons ideas or suggestions. :)
Fundamentals of marksmanship.
 

smokey-seven

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i'm all for learning to use iron sights...the basics, ya know. but why would someone forsake a scope for irons? i'd be like wanting a car without power steering and brakes. as always, just thinking aloud, not flaming any one persons ideas or suggestions. :)

Iron sights are usually quicker to the target. Think WWII. The telescopic sights were for the guys sitting still and pinpoint shooting. If you have moving targets and need to get on it quick, with a proper cheek weld, the rifle comes to the eye and the eye was already on the target.

I've hunted deer in New England for more than 50 years. Iron sights are my choice unless I am sitting still and the shot is well over 100 yards. A peep rear and single post with a fork front, ala standard military fare has worked for generations.

peep.png
 

mac1911

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Iron sights are usually quicker to the target. Think WWII. The telescopic sights were for the guys sitting still and pinpoint shooting. If you have moving targets and need to get on it quick, with a proper cheek weld, the rifle comes to the eye and the eye was already on the target.

I've hunted deer in New England for more than 50 years. Iron sights are my choice unless I am sitting still and the shot is well over 100 yards. A peep rear and single post with a fork front, ala standard military fare has worked for generations.
Seems like so many don’t want that old school tech.

View attachment 238611
Seems like so many don’t want that old school tech.
My 10/22 has 50 year old redfield Olympic sights on it.
I am also looking for a fatter front sight for my enfield No4 as my eyes are fading.

If I had my way all rifles would have at least provisions to mount aperture sights with windage and elevation knobs.

my daughter has vision issues and the match peep sights are great for her
uddXPehl.jpg

I put them on just about everything
model 60
HaKYQkcl.jpg

early design stages of my 10/22 "build"
I0ItnxKl.jpg
 
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i'm all for learning to use iron sights...the basics, ya know. but why would someone forsake a scope for irons? i'd be like wanting a car without power steering and brakes. as always, just thinking aloud, not flaming any one persons ideas or suggestions. :)

Because fundamentals are the building blocks necessary for proficiency. A shooter that starts with irons and fundamentals makes huge gains when adding an optic, but still has the skill and ability when only iron sights are available. A shooter that learns on a scope is at a major disadvantage should that that shooter be limited to iron sights.. and scopes do break.. had it happen on the range.

As for the car analogy, true story. One early morning on the way to work, and at "around the speed limit" on 495 north around Westford, the power-steering pump on my Jeep Cherokee disintegrated.. lost power, lost power steering, and brakes..all the lights went on smoke was pouring out from under the hood. Bet to others on the road I looked like a WWII bomber that just took a hit and was going down. NOTHING, and I do me NOTHING worked.. luckily my Jeep had a 5-speed manual transmission.. I was able to muscle the steering to get safely into the breakdown lane...and downshift using the engine as a brake to get the vehicle to eventually stop. All the fundamentals I learned driving lumber delivery trucks came into play at that moment.. basics.. when you got nothing you fall back to the basics.

If you don't have much rifle experience..a good .22 is a great start.. Ruger 10/22 ..and add Tech-sights.. it will be more accurate than you. .22 ammo is dirt cheap. Set a 1" square at 25M. Learn your basic positions and the basic steady-hold factors and practice, practice, practice.

When you can put 10 for 10 in that square and punch out it's center with boring regularity, you will be ready to move on to something heavier caliber and longer distances..

Inexpensive training is available locally through Appleseed or other venues. See the training section of the forum.
 
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i'm all for learning to use iron sights...the basics, ya know. but why would someone forsake a scope for irons? i'd be like wanting a car without power steering and brakes. as always, just thinking aloud, not flaming any one persons ideas or suggestions. :)

It's the difference between thinking you are good and actually being good. I've gotten lax shooting iron sights since my duty gun has an ACOG on it now. My scores through the ACOG have fallen off, I think due to the fact I'm not shooting irons any more and relying on the crutch. Basic marksmanship skills getting rusty.
 
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