Precision Scoped Rifle Build: 1000 Yards:$1000
This is pretty well impossible to accomplish. You’ll need more than you can fit in $1,000. Not in the gun but in the accessories, especially the optic. This is not a rifle that can get rounds to 1000 yards, it’s one that will be able to repeatedly strike the target in the vital zone from that kind of range. That said, we can build the rifle around the $1000 budget. What you’ll end up with at the end is a rifle that can shoot around 1000yards and strike a man sized target somewhere in the torso. A man sized chest is normally at least 14″ wide. This means at 1000yards we need a rifle that shoots inside .7MOA.
You’ll need a rifle that can shoot consistently under 1 inch at 100yards out of the box simply to play the game. .7MOA gives us a little room to play with and isn’t something you can’t find in a factory rifle nowadays. That leaves enough money for optics and related stuff. One that fits the bill is the Savage 10FP or 10FPSR. It’s available in .308 Winchester which will do the trick and the 1:10 rifling twist will stabilize the 175gn bullets you need to get to 1000yards. Cost is in the $500-650 range. It’d be better to find one in 7mm-08 or .243 Winchester or .260 Remington or 6.5 Creedmore. The Savage 10 series has all the features you need and it’s around $500 with a heavy barrel. Another option which I would really recommend is the Savage 110FP in 7mm Remington Magnum. 7mm Mag kicks about as hard as a .30-06 but reaches a lot farther out thanks to increased velocity and higher ballistic coefficients. The ammo is commonly available and the cost between any of the above is comparable. 7mm Rem Mag is not expensive to feed and opens the distance quite a bit further so you won’t need another rifle after a year when you’ve built your skills. .300 WinMag kicks pretty hard compared to 7mm Mag and you don’t get much for the extra kick as a target rifle. Remington 700’s in various trims are another very capable platform that falls into nearly the same price window. You might pay a little more for a Remington but they’re great guns. Ruger rifles are inappropriate to this sport for the most part. Mossberg MVP Varmint .223 24″ is also very well suited and can be had for under $600, very near to $500 from budsgunshop.com.
Now you need optics and optics mounts. I’d suggest the SWFA SS10x or SS12x. The SS16x is good too and I run those but 10x or 12x magnification is recommended as the maximum. These are $300 scopes and as good as you’ll get near in our budget. It’s a 30mm tube scope with adjustable parallax, huge amounts of elevation, great build quality and repeatable turret adjustments. You’ll need to drop another $20-40 on a one-piece scope base, ideally with 20MOA of cant built in (Weaver will work). The one-piece base is useful even though the gun comes with 2 piece bases. You’ll also want to get a high quality set of scope rings. People love to spend 200 bucks on these but $70 is all it takes to get what you really need: Burris Signature Series 30mm Zee rings. Those rings have another 20MOA of cant that we can enable in 10MOA increments via eccentric polymer inserts that grip the scope and help prevent marking of the tube.
Ok we’ve got $110 on mounting, $300 for glass, $500 for the rifle. Better add 10% of all that now for taxes and fees and you’re at $910 + (910 * .1) = $1001. Cool we got you a rifle for a grand. That’s not enough though unless you want to sit around wasting ammo all the time walking bullets into a target.
You will want a bipod and sandbags and I’d really recommend you consider the Atlas offering for bipod. They don’t fit in the budget at all so if those are just too rich for your blood don’t go any lower cost than a Harris 9-13″ swivel model. The Atlas is over 200 bucks, the Harris is about 100 bucks. No other bipod of similar weight or designs with the same toughness exists. Caldwell and NCStar and other shit box companies make copies of the Harris units but their bipods are vastly less durable. We’re going to be utterly reliant on our bipods so get a nice one.
To finish kitting out, grab a Kestrel 2500NV (minimum), a Chronograph (ProChrono and Chrony are affordable but magnetospeed is nearly ideal for long term data gathering), an infrared thermometer and a drag bag (see Product Reviews) and you’re good to go into the field. The only thing that’ll make your shooting more enjoyable is a BADEDS kit or a B-FEDS kit (see Products page) and an experienced spotter.
Now this doesn’t include finding out what ammo you’ll use and we’ll assume you’re going to end up buying Federal Gold Medal Match 175gn or 168gn HPBT at $1.50 per round you’ll want to get something like a mortgage to afford the ammo. If you don’t want the mortgage then you’ll want to pop for a reloading kit. I’d suggest the Lee Anniversary Challenger press kit. It comes with just about everything you’ll need to start handloading. After that add a set of full length dies, a neck sizing die, a box of projectiles, some primers, some range pickup brass and a pound of powder and you’re rolling. The reloading kit costs $100 new on ebay, the dies are about 60-90 bucks for both bits. The supplies will cost you about $100 for 200 rounds worth (assuming a .308 winchester and Berger bullets are used with range pick-up brass).
What you need now is training. One or two days with a competent instructor will go a long way and probably save you thousands of dollars in practice ammunition. You need to make sure you have your form down as that will be the singularly most massive source of misses. After that it’ll be wind calls.