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need help choosing a used benchrest gun

620 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Bucks Owin
I am wanting to try my hand at rimfire benchrest with a 22lr. I've been shooting a 17hmr ruger 77/17 sporter but I now want something different. I want a true benchrest rimfire. My budget is limited to about $650 but that has to cover my scope and anything I may need done to the rifle so a used gun may be what I end up with. My question is what make and model of gun should I be looking for to get the most for my money. Also any comments on what to look for when I inspect the gun before buying. Thanks in advance for all your help.

Loren Mootz (dopinwind)
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It will be hard to find a bench gun for that kind of money, especially with scope. you might get lucky and find a sporter for close to that price. to be honest thats about half of what most used benchrest rifles go for on the cheaper side, and go up from there, take a look at the for sale adds on benchrest central and that will give you an idea of cost, good luck to you.
 

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Loren,
You've given yourself quite a task. $650 for a benchrest rifle (including scope) isn't gonna be easy. However, you can build a gun that's capable of some pretty good scores and still stay within your budget.
A few months ago, I bought a H&R M12 from the CMP. It's a nicely built single shot target rifle with a heavy barrel. Price was $225. Midway had BSA 36X Platinum scopes on sale for $75, so I bought one of them. I spent $6 for scope bases and had a friend drill and tap the receiver for $10. The same friend had a used Hoehn tuner (almost like new) that he sold me for $150. The gods of cheap parts shined down on me, cause my $225 M12 has a BEAUTIFUL barrel, the trigger adjusted down under a pound, and is VERY crisp, The cheap BSA scope is fairly clear and bright, and holds point of aim perfectly. Maybe I just beat the odds by having all this cheap stuff work so good, but this gun really shoots well. My Son has fired a best score of 244 so far, in IR 50/50 competition.
The down side is that the gun will not make the 10.5 pound class as it is now. I'll take care of that this winter with a VERY light stock. The trigger will have work done to it also, to get it down to 3-4 oz..
As it sits now, I have about $475 invested in the gun (including the $6 I spent for scope rings) and have a gun that is fairly compeditive. The trigger mods will be $75 and the stock somewhere in the neighborhood of $250-300. That would put it a little over your limit, but you may not choose to do the stock or trigger work. Or, you could leave the tuner off and still be within you budget.
Point is, for a fairly small investment, this gun shoots really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bohunk,
Thanks for the advise. I looked on CMP and they still have the rifles for $225. This may be the way I go. I am looking for a gun that will shoots .5 groups at 50 yards. Will yours do that??? I am not familiar will the matches so I don't know what the score of 244 means. I want the gun to compete with myself. Most guns I have shot and own shoot better than I can shoot them, but I just want to know that the gun will drive tacks in the proper hands.
 

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G'day Loren. $650.00 will get you, or be close to getting you, a used Anschutz Match 54 from Thad Scott (Or elsewhere). That's what I did. I paid $675.00 + $20.00 shipping for mine, but he has some that are in or below your price range. If you already have a scope you can use for awhile this might be an option. I too have to wait a few months to purchase a better scope, and in the meantime am using one I bought several months ago.

Cheers,

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
jnyork,
yea I'm still here and with another wish for my wish list. My wife is goin nuts with just movin here and all (she just doesn't understand a man needs his toys). I would like to get together with you and do some shootin before hunting season gets started and I really have no time. I bought a house on Forest Drive here in Riverton. I will get you my new phone number when we get it hooked up.

dopinwind
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
O'l Man River,
That surely is a beautiful firearm and I have thought about doing that exact thing, but I love my 17 the way it is for small game hunting so I think I will keep it light. This benchrest gun is going to be a hobbey for a while so I would like to start with a good single shot bolt action if I can.
 

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Loren,
My M12 will do quite a bit better than .5 in. groups. Usually in the .300 range, with many in .200 range. I know several other people with these guns and these groups are not uncommon. Mine likes Eley Match (black box) in the 1060 fps range, with the round nose Semi-Auto bullet.
When I mention my Son shooting a 244, that's out of a possible 250 points. This was also his first sanctioned match.
I'm pretty tight with a buck, and I've gone through a bunch of cheap guns looking for that diamond in the rough, but this is by far the most gun I've got for the least amount of money.
 

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benchgun

randymac said:
It will be hard to find a bench gun for that kind of money, especially with scope. you might get lucky and find a sporter for close to that price. to be honest thats about half of what most used benchrest rifles go for on the cheaper side, and go up from there, take a look at the for sale adds on benchrest central and that will give you an idea of cost, good luck to you.
dopinwind i hope i didn't scare you off with those prices, but you did say you where looking for a true benchrest rifle. i hope you find something in your price range your happy with. Randy :)
 

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I agree with randymac. You will need more money to spend to get a true bench gun. I would guess $1200-$1500 ought to get you a good one. You might as well do it right the first time. I just bought a Suhl 150 with McMillan benchrest stock and Hoehn tuner in that price range. It was smithed by Lamon Loggins.



Brad
 

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dopinwind said:
bohunk,
Thanks for the advise. I looked on CMP and they still have the rifles for $225. This may be the way I go. I am looking for a gun that will shoots .5 groups at 50 yards. Will yours do that??? I am not familiar will the matches so I don't know what the score of 244 means. I want the gun to compete with myself. Most guns I have shot and own shoot better than I can shoot them, but I just want to know that the gun will drive tacks in the proper hands.
A thoughtfully modified 10/22 with good ammo will consistently shoot into 1/2" at 50 yds. (At least mine will) But that is not especially accurate in the BR world! You'll want more like 1/4" and groups like that, CONSISTENTLY, don't happen very often with a 10/22....(regardless of what you might hear from the "keyboard shooters". ;) ) A good 10/22 will shoot 230's or slightly better, and is a lot of fun! I "feel yore pain" though, a full tilt BR rifle would be wonderful to own!!! :yippee:

FWIW,

Dennis
 
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