Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Help with first rifle for F Open?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    4

    Help with first rifle for F Open?

    I been attending some matches locally for the last few months and talking to folks and I'm ready to jump in. I have a few rifles that would require heavy modification to work well enough so I've been looking for off the shelf (or close to it) solutions for now.

    I got 3 recommendations from most of the local guys - Ruger Precision Rifle, Savage 12F and Bergara BMP or HMR. The Savage and Bergaras are both really close in price but the stock difference and caliber difference have me hung up on those. The RPR seems like it would be more fitting for F T/R.

    Bergara only comes in 308 and 6.5CM. In that case I'm leaning towards the 6.5 CM. The Savage is 6 Norma BR and 6.5 x 284 Norma. I've never shot or reloaded for either of those. I am very experienced with reloading and I enjoy I a lot so I'm not worried about factory ammunition.

    The Bergara has adjustable cheek pads and LOP while the Savage has neither. From what I understand barrel changes on both are very easy. The barrel on the Bergara is only 24" which I'm not sure is enough for this.

    I also have a Remington 700 in .270 that I was looking at getting an F Class stock for but the BC of the .270 doesn't seem as good for the distance (I've only shot it out to 300 yards) and I frankly don't find the .270 very enjoyable to shoot.

    Any advice or guidance would be appreciated. I'm basically trying to find the best way into the game for $1200-$1300 that won't have me clamoring to make expensive changes immediately.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    147
    I will try to help.

    First, in case you haven't already found it, this website... http://www.accurateshooter.com/ is more orientated to F-Class interests.

    Are you wanting to shoot casually at a local range or are you wanting to pursue long-range competition shooting? Since you specifically referenced a F-Open rifle, I'm assuming you want to shoot competitively.

    If so, then I will frankly advise you that the F-Open game is not consistent with a budget of "...$1200-$1300 that won't have me clamoring to make expensive changes immediately". It's an expensive hobby.

    Rather than a factory rifle, I would steer you towards a used rifle built on a custom action and already mounted in a suitable stock. $2000 would be typical but you might find a deal around $1500 if you are patient. If you're lucky, the barrel may have some remaining life but more likely you'll need to re-barrel fairly soon at a cost of about $600. The rifle probably won't come with optics. If you're shooting long range, you need good glass. Figure $800 to $1200 to get started but $2300 to $3000 is not uncommon for the best glass.

    Then you need a front rest and a rear bag. Front rests run from a few hundred dollars to as much as $1200 for a SEB Neo. A rear bag will run $150.

    IMO, caliber is probably the least critical decision to make in getting started. So many good options. The Winchester .284s and their offspring currently rule in long range F-Class. But the 6 and 6.5mm variants can be competitive if conditions are not extreme. Many F-Open competitors are now exploring the heavy .308 bullets. And in the F-T/R class, the .308 Winchester is best option.

    You mention discomfort (I'm assuming recoil) with your .270. There's a big felt-recoil difference between firing a modest weight hunting-style rifle and a 22# F-Open rifle in a front rest and rear bag. Try your friend's guns before ruling something out. That said, there's nothing wrong in starting with something like a 6BR or a 6.5 CM/6.5X47 Lapua. Develop the solid fundamentals without the recoil complication.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    4
    Thank you! You are correct that I want to do competitive shooting. I don't expect to make any big splashes but just get my feet wet with this rifle for a year or so. Part of the reason my budget is so low on the rifle is that I've set aside some money to get good glass in the meantime (likely a NF). I chose in this order based on the advice some local folks since they say I will definitely trade up the rifle whereas I can find good glass now and move it to my next rifle (if this is bad advice in your opinion let me know!). I also have budgeted for a good front rest and rear bag which is another reason the rifle budget is so low. But I can definitely extend it for a used custom if I can grow into it. I just don' want to spend so much on a dedicated rifle that will only see the inside of a safe when I move on to another rifle quickly.

    I appreciate your advice and I'll be checking out the accurate shooter website too!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    147
    I think you are on the right path and I'm glad to hear that you are budgeting for the key accessories you will need for F-Open competition.

    I concur that good glass is a must. My first scope, which I still use, was a Nightforce 12-42X56 BR. Excellent scope and a great value. But the adjustable objective is a little more difficult to use shooting prone which is why so many (and I ) use the NF 15-55X52 Competition scope. Glass is unmatched. But there is some current controversy about the erectors in that series possibly not holding zero so make sure you do your homework and that you understand the situation.

    But just as sound as the advise is to "cry once" about the optics, I will make the case it also applies to the action and stock as well. If you have a solid action like a BAT, Kelbly Panda, Barnard, or Borden (there are others but these are probably the best of the best in the F-Class world) properly bedded in a well-made stock (PR&T, Masterclass, Shehane, Shurely Bros, Cerus, etc), you're set. You can swap out barrels and change calibers very very easily and nothing is lost. Even if you migrate to a magnum like the 300WSM all you will need is a new bolt.

    I've never owned a Savage action but I do know of at least 1 Nationally-ranked shooter who uses one. But if you scan the used rifle classifieds on websites like AccurateShooter, you will find 10 Savages for every BAT for sale. Just something to keep in mind. I promise you we all have rifles sitting the safe that don't get as much love as they once did.

    But overall, it sounds like you have a good idea of how you want to get from A to Z. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
    Last edited by Kyle Schultz; 07-31-2017 at 01:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    4
    Thank you very much for the advice. I'm browsing the classifieds now. I think I may end up going that route and saving a bit more. I've been watching others compete for a while now and the urge to jump in is just too great haha

    I've had some experience with AO optics so the NF BR doesn't concern. That's the one I've had my eye on. I'd also been looking at the Leupold VX-6 as I've always had really good luck with their products but from what I've read they're not in the same league when it comes to the long distance f class use. The NF is also about $500 cheaper.

    Thanks again for all the advice. I've still got lots of reading to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    147
    Just got notice from friends in Midland that a member out there is selling a Barnard action with stock for $900. Might be a deal for you. Barnards are well-respected actions. I have one. (grin) E-mail Bryan directly for details.

    bryan_chatwell@yahoo.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •