This was my birthday present back in October. A Savage 111 30-06 with a Bushnell 3-9x scope and detachable box magazine (DBM). I Got it for $300!!
So why did I get this inexpensive rifle?
- Savage 110 series has a reputation for being one of the most accurate “out of the box” rifles on the market. Mine will consistently shoot 1/2 to 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards. So a sub-MOA rifle for $300 bucks, not a bad deal.
- While not as plentiful as Remington 700s there are plenty of aftermarket parts (stocks, mounts, triggers, barrels, gunsmiths, etc)
- The Savage 111 action is the base for a lot of custom rifles, so I can start with a good rifle and upgrade parts as I can afford and one day have a world-class rifle that will perform with the best.
- I recommend getting the Savage 110series or Remington 700 over models like the Savage Axis, Ruger American, and Remington 770. These are fine rifles, but are limited in that you will not be able to find parts to customize them. They are “as-is” rifles that may last your whole life, but you’ll never be able to make them better, other than I good scope and mounts. Since a Savage 111 is about the same price, I went with the rifle that would give me, what I believe is the best value.
So why a 30-06? Isn’t a .308 the Military’s standard sniper caliber?
Yes the .308 is the standard NATO round, but the 30-06 still out performs the 308. And the ’06 blows the 308 out of the water when you start reloading your own ammo. The Military switched from the 30-06 to the 308 during Vietnam for sniping. In the 60s the .308 performed almost identical to the military loading of the 30-06. With today’s powder technology and the increased capacity of the 30-06 casing, he 30-06 easily gains 100-150 fps on the 308, and you can effectively load up to 220grn bullets. Also you can find 30-06 anywhere that sells ammo.
What modifications have I done to my rifle?
- I put a decent scope on it. I am done with cheap $50 scopes, like the one that came on my gun. My dream scope is $1000 (http://www.opticsplanet.com/trijicon-accupoint-5-20×50-riflescope.html)…so, it’s going to be a while before I get this baby. Here is what I did. I got a 22mag from my grandfather (after he died) with a $200 Nikon scope on it. I put the Bushnell from my 30-06 on the 22mag and the Nikon on my ’06 before I ever fired the first shot.
- I upgraded the trigger to a Rifle Basix trigger for about $85 (http://www.riflebasix.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1). My rifle did not come with Savage’s Accutrigger, which is what I originally wanted.
What Modifications do I want to do? This is the approximate order I want to do this in.
- Bed and stiffen the stock. The cheap plastic stock is flimsy, you want things on a precision rifle to be stiff, by bedding the full length of the action and stock (while maintaining a free-float barrel). I can stiffen the stock and tighten up the tolerances between the barrel and action. This will cost about $20.
- Paint my stock. I’m going to do a DIY camo job on the stock. One day I’ll put a Tactical stock on it that will cost about $400. More that the gun, I know but it does make a difference in long range accuracy.
- Add Kick Eez palm swell and check pad. This will help me fit the stock to myself, and the goal whether shotgun, rifle, or pistol is to made the shooter and the gun as close to a single unit as possible, to get the best possible accuracy.
- Get a bi-pod. I am going to make a bi-pod and gun rest that I found on http://www.varmintal.com/abifu.htm, but I also want a good Harris bi-pod for about $100
- Get a one piece steel picatiny scope rail (Steel is stiffer that aluminum. and one piece is again stiffer, and stiffer is what you want in a precision rifle, high quality scope mounts, and my Trijicon Mildot scope.
- I wont get a new barrel until after I’ve done all this other mods, my rifle shoots well enough and with these improvements I should get the maximum precision out of my rifle.
PS – I made the sandbags from out blue jeans and duct-tape, they don’t hold up too well