Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gunnie Conundrum...

In a little over three weeks I'll be flying out to Colorado to take part in some shooting festivities some might know as Blogorado. There will be many different kinds of shooting opportunities available, and the main rifle I had planned on bringing is not going to be ready in time for the shoot. I had a custom target AR-15 planned, but circumstances beyond my control make it extremely unlikely that it will be ready for the shoot.

So, that means I need to take an existing rifle from the G. armory with me.

Now, I've got a few rifles, but this shoot is going to be at extreme distances, which means a scope will be necessary. That narrows down the field considerably - while the 8mm Turkish Mauser would be great for flying (since I paid under $100 for it); I need something with a scope on it (or at least readily available to be scoped). With these parameters in mind, I've pared the list down to three rifles:

Savage Model 10

This has several advantages, both in the chambering (.308 Winchester is more robust over longer distances) as well as the platform (it's a rock-solid bench monster). It has proven itself at distance - I'm confident I can hit what I'm aiming at for at least 200 yards. On the downside, I don't have a case for it that will stand up to airline travel, so I would need to budget another $200+ for a Pelican rifle case. It's also really heavy, so lugging it around in the field will be quite the chore.


.308 Winchester VEPR

The VEPR is also chambered in .308 Winchester, but requires that the scope be zeroed at distance (I think it's set up for 25 or 50 yards right now). Not really an issue; I know there are folks who will be present who can help me accomplish this goal. .308 Winchester is rather spendy to plink with, though, and a couple 10 round magazines means $$$ going down range. It can fit in my SKB case, though, meaning that transporting it would be fine. On the plus side, I could remove the inexpensive Barska and use the Leupold scope that will eventually be mounted on the target AR when finished.


Bushmaster XM15-E2S

It looks quite different now - the CGL foregrip is gone, as is the green carbine laser. The carry handle upper has been replaced with a flattop, for easier mounting of optics. I'd put on the aforementioned Leupold Mark AR scope for distance shooting which would require zeroing, but it would be a simple task (especially since I can give it a rough zero at home with a boresighter). The advantages of bringing the Bushie are that it's a light rifle, easy for carrying in the field; I have a bunch of magazines for it; and .223 Remington can be found anywhere and is reasonable inexpensive. Plus it breaks down for easy transport, leaving room in the case for additional firearms.

Disadvantages are that, with a marginal 14" barrel (plus the permanently welded muzzle brake bringing the total barrel length to the non-NFA 16" total), it's going to be iffy at distances beyond 100 - 200 yards. If there's any precision shooting to be done, or long range varminting, I'll have to either borrow something or sit it out.

So, out of the three listed rifles, which one would you choose to bring to a shoot some 3,000 miles away?

That is all.


Old NFO said...

Bring what ever YOU want to shoot, there will be shorter range steels too... Just sayin...

Roger said...

Taalk to your buddys at York Arms & borrow the pieces & parts you need to finish your project.
Or borrow an 18 ~ 24" barrel from them for your Bushie. Changing barrels is easy. If all else fails, just take the Bushie as is, you can easily hit targets out to 300 yds with it.

Mopar said...

for long range, the 10 is the best by far, but it sounds like there will be shorter range stuff to shoot as well. Besides, knowing gunnies like I do, I'm sure there will be plenty of options to try your hand at long distance, just buy a little ammo (or more likely offer to pay for some handloaded match ammo). Again, knowing gunnies like I do, you probably dont even need to do that, but it's polite to offer :)

TheUnpaidBill said...

Take the VEPR, there will never be a more appropriate time to shoot it and get it dialed in.

Jay G said...

I'm leaning towards the Bushie with the Leupold Mark AR scope on it, for three main reasons:

1. It's lighter. A lot lighter. It is by far the lightest of the three. I'll order up a sling for it and she's off to the races.

2. Ammo. I can order up .223 Remington for half the cost of .308 Winchester.

3. Space in the case - I have an SKB carbine case that'll travel just fine; I should be able to get the Bushie, three handguns, and maybe even a .22 rifle into the case.

.45ACP+P said...

If we could ever get you out to an Appleseed, you would already know that a 25yard zero and a 300yard zero are virtually the same for a .308 and a .223. Take the Vepr!

Wolfman said...

Id like to say the Savage, because Im a bolt guy, but that VEPR is veeerrrry pretty, and looks like she wants to go play.

Anonymous said...

I'd take the Savage.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Maybe you should contact Pelican or one of the other Case Manufacturers and get some containers for a T+E Review. Then you can take MORE, and have some Blogfodder at the same time.

Mr. Kermit said...

I'm going to be perverse, and say take the Bushmaster. I have quite routinely shot my AR-15s at 100+ yards (the local shooting range - - has hanging steel from ~200 yards all the way out to ~600), and a 16" M4gery is more than sufficient to consistently ring the gongs there. While a .308 will certainly get the job done (fans of God's Own Rifle Caliber, New Testament, need not worry that I disparage the round), if you're going to be shooting mainly at steel and "targets of opportunity" instead of carefully aimed, benchrested, paper-punching, the .223 ought to be all the round you'd need.

Ammo availability and cost is another good point. Around here, the local Wally Worlds not only carry the standard boxes of ammo, but if you get there before the buzzards... I mean hoarders... I mean "me," you can sometimes find 30-cal ammo cans stuffed full of 62-grain Green Tip, new production 5.56 NATO. IIRC, it's somewhere around 440(?) rounds for ~$160-180 (I don't perzactly remember, as I've torn off the labels from my own ammo cans). This stuff is good ammo, perfect for plinking, ground-hog whomping, or casual target work, and has so far been utterly reliable for me in four different rifles. If you can get someone to scout out the local Wally World in the nearest town from Undisclosed Location, you might be able to get a decent guarantee of getting some (although you may have to share with the others, heheh).

At the risk of running on too much, I just now searched their website and found the ammo can of 5.56 in question - it's 420, not 440 rounds.

Jay G said...

Let's see. Two for the Savage, three for the VEPR, and one for the Bushie.

Y'all aren't helping here... :)

I've asked about cases, no love there. I'm not important enough I guess... ;)

I like all three guns about the same; the Savage maybe a little more but the VEPR or the Bushie are easier to travel with (in that I don't have to buy a new case and prep it for the Savage.

On the other hand, having a good case set up for a good rifle can only be a good thing down the road, right?


Mr. Kermit said...

As an added bonus, the puff of dirt on the berm from missed shots is smaller and therefore harder to see with a smaller round like, oh, I don't know, the 5.56/.223.


Anonymous said...

If you'd come to Boomershoot, you'd realize that life begins at .308.

The VEPR isn't accurate enough at distances past 300 yards to be useful, so it and the Bushie are in the same boat.

That means: shell out the money for the new Pelican Case, (you need it for your Boomershoot trip anyway!)



Anonymous said...


Buy the right case and you could take the Bushie too!

Mdev said...

I'd take the vepr but just because it's cool and there should be about a million other AR's there.

Jon said...

IIRC they have targets well in excess of 200 yards, so if you want to work on those ranges then the Savage. Besides, they're just a lot of fun to shoot *g*.