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Looking for first BR rifle...$500 to spend


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#1 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:15 PM

I'm looking to buy my first bench rest rifle.
I'd like to shoot in the 10.5# class and I currently have three scopes that are not mounted on any thing. They are a Unertl 2" Target 36x, a Unertl 2" target 20x, and a Unertl BV-20.
I would like to spend $500 or less on the rifle.
Any suggestions?

Thanks

#2 Randymac

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

your talking about a rifle to shoot off the bench not a dedicated BR if your budget is $500, your limited to old position rifles with barrel blocks to mount the old long scopes.

I shoot this from the bench, a remington 513T, it would be in your budget.


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Edited by Randymac, 06 March 2012 - 09:55 PM.


#3 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

Thank you Randymac.

I like the Kimber 82 Gov't. Can one of those be had for a price in my range?

#4 Barry

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 05:12 AM

Thank you Randymac.

I like the Kimber 82 Gov't. Can one of those be had for a price in my range?

Not sure what they are selling for now, but you would have trouble making the 10.5# class with a Gov't 82. LP and DupeDirty have made a couple to shoot in the 10.5# class and had to make some major weight reductions. Barry
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#5 Pearyw

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:58 AM

You might look at a Savage-Anschutz 64 match. They can be found in that price range and will meet the weight limit.

#6 Patrick N

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:03 AM

Not sure what they are selling for now, but you would have trouble making the 10.5# class with a Gov't 82. LP and DupeDirty have made a couple to shoot in the 10.5# class and had to make some major weight reductions. Barry


I'm also not sure what it would take to mount a Unertl to the 82G. It's my understanding that the scope blocks are for mounting the Redfield 3200 which I've read uses different mounts.
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#7 LongPlay

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:52 AM

to make the Custom class, or 10.5 pounds with the 82G, a good bit of weight needs to come off. The government rifle spec for these rifles put most of them in the 10.0 to 10.2 pound weight dry right out of the box without sights. Your scope likely weighs a full 2 pounds or close to it. I do NOT think you could cut enough off the barrel to make weight hand not have a pistol!!!

Mine made it with the stock lightened as much as possible and removal of 4.5" of the barrel. It does shoot well. But a big part of the build specs I had for myself, was a scope that was not more than 22ounces.

In your price range, the Rem 513 T may make weight and price. A Winchester 75 Target may also work in the cost and weight range although you may need to look around a bit to stay in budget. Also in the same target rifle spec from the government was the H&R model 12. While right at the top edge of your price range, it also will likely be tough to get under the 10.5 pound limit since it had almost exactly the government spec to meet that the Kimber 82G had to hit.

In the other brands I know or can remember at the moment, Savage comes to mind with some of their offerings. Personally, I would not recommend Savage new off the shelf as a starter. Many of the Savages do shoot well and could hit both your price point as well as the weight range you might need. But the rifles are not set up for the long scopes of yesteryear. They would need scopes of modern mounting methods. If you go this route with Savage, insist on a test firing with some quality ammo of at least Wolf /Sk std + range or better. Make sure you are buying a good shooter, not someone's poor example. There have been a fair few of these Savages that required almost extraordinary effort to get them to shoot even to "OK" levels. My nephew has one of these. I have one in 22 mag.

Hope this helps, but remember if you want to use those scopes, you will need to look to history for rifles made when those scopes were the best on the market and have mounts made for them.

If you do not mind having altered rifles, on rare occasions, or with a $200+ bump in your budget, you could look and find one of the finest rifles ever built for your purpose. The Remington model 37. If the 37 is pure bred and not molested with altered stock, or extra mount holes for sights or scopes, first the cost is going to be much too high. But beyond that, I would not want to see another pure bred 37 cut or lightened to meet weight. Just not that many of them left. But those already altered, could fit your need for accuracy for a lifetime or 2 or 3. Hand fitted and made. Good trigger, while not the very best trigger, still pretty good. Downside - NO parts like magazines. But it can be and usually is found with the single shot adapter. This rifle if you can find one and are patient, with a few extra dollars would be able to take you to what ever level of shooting you might want to aspire to without needing to upgrade rifles down the road. It is a danged few shooters that can equal the level of accuracy the 37 is capable of. And if you do get that good.... well, Call out here again and we can point you to a barrel maker that can put in a barrel that will take it to the very top.

Edited by LongPlay, 07 March 2012 - 08:56 AM.


#8 Carl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:03 AM

I have a Remington 541-X with a T-36 Weaver that makes the 10 1/2# limit without a problem. They can be had for $400 to $450. They are not drilled and tapped for scope blocks though. Of course mine is D&Td on the reciver for scope blocks, but you may be able to "glue" blocks on it for the long scopes.
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#9 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

I don't mind the idea of having an "altered" gun. I just want something of good quality that will hold it's value. I definitely don't want a museum piece that Ill be worried about scuffing.

I'll be on the lookout for Remington 37's, 513T's, and 541X's.

Thank you all for your input.

#10 Carl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

A 37 will be well above your $500 limit unless you can find one that is pretty much butchered. To make the 10 1/2#, it will need a lot of weight taken off and probably the barrel cut off AND re-profiled, If you get lucky and find one that has a lot of weight already taken off, you might find it within a couple hundred above your limit, but it won't be pretty. Same would go for a Winchester 52. A Winchester 75 Target would be in the same weight range as a 513-T, but maybe slightly higher priced.... not that it's any better, but you will pay for that one extra letter in the name.
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#11 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

Ok....let's forget about the 10.5# class. I'm really only looking to get a rifle that I can have some fun with, get started in competition shooting, and mount one of my Unertls on.
I don't care much about winning any matches but I do want it to shoot well and be competitive.
Does that change anything in regards to your recommendations?

Thanks again

#12 LongPlay

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:12 PM

If you can drop the 10.5# requirement, then my choice at 500 would be an older 52A Winchester if you can be lucky and get one at that range, usually just a touch more though. Then the 37 but that will surely be more than 500, more like 700 for one that has been altered with a drilled and tapped receiver or something similar done to it. And if you want a sporter class, under 8.5# I would go with the CZ Varmint.

The Kimbers were selling in the $400 range from the CMP program until they ran out. Now they are in the $500 to $600 range. They do shoot well, but are heavy. Watch Gunbroker.com for the above mentioned rifles and you will find something to drool over pretty regularly...

#13 Pearyw

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:28 PM

Most folks around here are shooting 40X Remingtons. I shoot mine in stock condition, but you can make no end of modifications such as tuners and custom stocks. They were a deal back in the spring when CMP had them for $400.

#14 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 05:25 PM

Thanks for all the good suggestions.
I think I have a good understanding of what to look for.
I am going to a local gun show here in town this weekend and at the end of the month I am going to the big gun show in Tulsa.
Hopefully I'll come up on something I like at one of those shows.
Thanks again.

#15 Carl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 05:34 PM

The 40X is always a good choice, but again, you will be hard pressed to find one for $500, but not impossible. The 40X when upgraded is still competative with the best, and even some of the custom actions are 40X clones. Some will even have the barrel D&Td for your scope bases. There are two versions of the 40X action, the early based on the 722 and the later based on the 700 short action. No real difference in functionality or quality. One thing that would be great about a 40X is the ability to upgrade parts/pieces as you go along. Barrel, trigger, stock, all can be major upgrades that you could do one at a time if you wanted to. So even if you had to spend a little extra, it's a very good choice that you could start with and not be very far out classed.
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#16 Swiss

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:37 PM

I think a Rem. 540XR has the barrel drilled & taped for Unertl scope mnts. from the factory.
But my memory could be foggy on that....LOL
My brother in-law let me shoot his for about 3 years & had an Older Weaver T-15 nice shooter.
I think Randy has a 540XR or two correct ????

Swiss

Edited by Swiss, 07 March 2012 - 09:57 PM.


#17 Carl

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:36 AM

I think a Rem. 540XR has the barrel drilled & taped for Unertl scope mnts. from the factory.
But my memory could be foggy on that....LOL
Swiss


My memory is a little hazy too these days :wacko: . I know the receiver is grooved, but don't remember about the barrel holes. The 540X/XR would also be in the price range and has a better trigger than most for that price. Trigger is adjustable from the factory, will get down in the 1# range and tuned it can get to about 1/2 that.
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#18 cheap22

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:39 AM

I shoot a Savage in the custom class in USBR ,it in the 230's.It is a MKII BTV.Some may laugh at this gun for Benchrest but it works for me.Caught it on sale for 249 and put a Muller 8X32 Target scope on it.I will be shooting it some in unlininted class some this year.Ulus

#19 Barry

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

Thanks for all the good suggestions.
I think I have a good understanding of what to look for.
I am going to a local gun show here in town this weekend and at the end of the month I am going to the big gun show in Tulsa.
Hopefully I'll come up on something I like at one of those shows.
Thanks again.

\
There is a H&R model 5200 on GUNBROKER right now that has the blocks to mount a scope like you mentioned you would like to use. Don't know what it will end up going for but right now it is very reasonable. Barry
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#20 Randymac

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:36 AM

Yep, 540X and XR have barrel block's, they would be a good choice.

#21 rem511

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:52 PM

I looked around in that price range and settled on the savage anschutz match 64, mine is drilled and tapped on the barrel.

#22 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 08:35 AM

I met up with some guys in a local shooting group on Thursday.
One of them has a Winchester 52B for sale. It has a nice thumbhole stock, adjustable butt plate, a number of accessories including a hook that goes under your arm and attaches to the butt (you can probably tell I'm new to this since I don't know the terminology), plus some more.
It already had the mounting blocks for my Unertls.
It definitely won't make the 10.5# class but that's ok.
The group is meeting on Monday and I'm going to mount my 36x on it and shoot it.
It's priced at a bit out of my original target price of $500.
He wants $700
I don't buy anything that I can't turn around the next day and get my money back out of it if I have to.
Wha do you guys think?
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#23 Carl

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

$700 seems like a very reasonable price for a 52B. Sounds like there is more to it than you need for BR shooting as the butt-hook will just be in your way and the adjustable butt-plate is un-nessesary, but they won't hurt if you ned to re-sell it some day. Much like the 37, it has the potential for some upgrades if you want to in the future. Of course the 40X has the most potential for future upgrades, but as a rifle to get started, the 52B would be as good as most other factory target rifles, other than some Anschutz models.
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#24 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for the input Carl.
I'll likely buy it from him on Monday.
He showed me the gun he shoots now. It is a 40x.
I look forward to getting started shooting.
I'll post some pics of the 52 with the 36x Unertl on Monday.

Edited by qualityscoperepair, 10 March 2012 - 12:50 PM.


#25 LongPlay

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:09 PM

Qual..... On a good day, if his 40X is bone stock, your new 52B could out shoot him.... They are my all time favorite of the heavy contenders. But the 40X is on average going to shoot just a touch better. These 52's are just the nicest holding and most quality built rifles short of the Rem. 37.

The $700 is a good decent price especially if it has any accessories. That stock for some is a problem. For others a dream. I love those thumbhole stocks. As Carl has said, I doubt you will have any money lost if you ever decide to head into a different direction. Those 52B's keep their value.

Be sure to post up some pics after you get that beauty of a scope on it. That combo makes a classy looking and formidable rig on the range!

#26 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 08:22 PM

His 40x is highly modified. He went down the list of all the work done to it and he may as well have been speaking Greek.
He told me the 52 had been rechambered and recrowned.
The stock had been pillar bedded.
I don't think it has had any trigger work.
If there were a list of improvements I could make to the 52 what would they be? And which of them would get me the most improvement for the dollar?

#27 patriot

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:14 PM

Given the work that has already been performed your best return is probably practicing to refine your technique, improving your wind reading skills, testing ammo, and tuning the barrel vibrations via the action bolts. That should come before any gizmology, but at some point you may want to buy a barrel tuner if class weight isn't a limiting factor.

I can't wait to see the pictures of the thumbhole stock. A target rifle sporting a vintage scope is work of art. :heartpump:

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#28 qualityscoperepair

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:48 PM

I shot and bought the 52B today. I got it to shoot some good looking groups (they looked good to me anyway). I didn't measure them but when the wind wasnt knocking my hat off I could get a group where all the holes were touching @ 50 yds.

The 36X 2" Target looked great on it. My 20X 2" Target came with a dot reticle. I swapped that dot into the 36X and I love it. The dot fits just inside the center ring of the targets we were using with a little room to spare.

The only thing I didn't like about the 52 was that the gun would occasionally fire if I opened the bolt with a live round in it. We did some trigger adjusting and fixed the problem.

Below is a link to a pic

http://i1121.photobu...40004/photo.jpg

#29 rem511

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:36 PM

Looks like a whole lot of gun. Nice choice

#30 dbp1stltartillery

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:10 AM

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