Practice Rifle choice during the Ammo Shortage?

CoffeeGoat

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During normal times this really wouldn't be a question, I'd go pick up a matching rifle/scope in .223 to my hunting rifle (plan was a tikka,) and proceed to spend lots of time at the range between now and this fall improving my skills. But...it's not really "normal times." Given the current difficulty in finding firearms and ammunition I'm looking for alternatives. I do have a fair bit of .22LR kicking around from the last shortage, but the only .22 I have is a "memory" type rifle that is not terribly accurate and isn't set up for a scope.
So, with that in mind, I see a few options for practice: buy any reliable 22 and fit it with a reasonable scope and start practicing, try to track down a tikka .22 (a bit more challenging), or suck it up and try to find a tikka .223 and pay a lot for ammunition to get my practice in. I'm planning on dry fire practice as well, but it's tough to learn drop and the wind without shooting. What do you folks think?

Also - I know, I should have known better, hopefully I learned my lesson this time to have all my ammunition for 10 years in a vault somewhere.....
 

Kimber7man

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What is your normal hunting rifle chambered in?
How much do you shoot your hunting rifle in normal times?
Might be less expensive to buy the ammo for your hunting rifle, rather than a new practice rifle, scope and ammo.
 

Huntin_GI

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Comes down to budget.

I like the idea of trainer rifles that are the same as your primary platform with the exception of caliber.

Begara has a nice trainer worth considering if you aren't opposed to a slightly heavier platform.
 
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CoffeeGoat

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What is your normal hunting rifle chambered in?
How much do you shoot your hunting rifle in normal times?
Might be less expensive to buy the ammo for your hunting rifle, rather than a new practice rifle, scope and ammo.

My current rifle is an ancient 30.06, and in 2019 I was at the range ~1/month, usually 20-40 rounds/trip. So, normally it would be less expensive, but right now replacements are hard to come by and without knowing what the next few months are, I don't want to burn what little I have left. The intention for the 2020 season was to buy matching tikka's in 223 and 7RM, but, being unemployed and in lock down killed that plan. I'm employed and in a more reasonable location now so I'm trying to re-jigger my plan.

Comes down to budget.

I like the idea of trainer rifles that are the same as your primary platform with the exception of caliber.

Begara has a nice trainer worth considering if you aren't opposed to a slightly heavier platform.
I like the idea of matching platforms - it just seems so freaking reasonable. I think I've decided on Tikka, everytime I think I should just something weird (like a Sauer 100) I just remember I used to drive a mitsubishi montero and while awesome, I ended up imported parts from UAE, Japan, and Australia. Boring is just fine.

Dryfire, dryfire, dryfire... build the neural pathways. Learn your trigger to perfection without disturbing the sights.

Buy a cheap Savage bolt .22 and scope.
Agreed on the dryfire - You'd go with the cheap an non-matched trainer?
 

hereinaz

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My current rifle is an ancient 30.06, and in 2019 I was at the range ~1/month, usually 20-40 rounds/trip. So, normally it would be less expensive, but right now replacements are hard to come by and without knowing what the next few months are, I don't want to burn what little I have left. The intention for the 2020 season was to buy matching tikka's in 223 and 7RM, but, being unemployed and in lock down killed that plan. I'm employed and in a more reasonable location now so I'm trying to re-jigger my plan.


I like the idea of matching platforms - it just seems so freaking reasonable. I think I've decided on Tikka, everytime I think I should just something weird (like a Sauer 100) I just remember I used to drive a mitsubishi montero and while awesome, I ended up imported parts from UAE, Japan, and Australia. Boring is just fine.


Agreed on the dryfire - You'd go with the cheap an non-matched trainer?
Get it similar enough, IMO. You aren't prepping for matches where every millisecond counts and you can't build in "bad habits" of another action or mag changes, etc.

I do matches for fun. Besides learning to build positions, dry fire is great practice.
 
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CoffeeGoat

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Get it similar enough, IMO. You aren't prepping for matches where every millisecond counts and you can't build in "bad habits" of another action or mag changes, etc.

I do matches for fun. Besides learning to build positions, dry fire is great practice.
Good point, without being an expert it's tough to know what's good enough. But I see what you're saying.
 

hereinaz

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No offense, but you don't need a trainer.
The guys talking about benefit of trainers are shooting hundreds or thousands of rounds and burn out barrels every year.

If ammo weren't a concern, my advice would be to burn out that barrel and then get a new rifle that you would burn out that barrel and then replace it. For the money, buying another rifle isn't better.

Now, if you want another rifle and all, then that is fine. But, its better to buy $1000 of ammo and shoot it than to buy another rifle, scope, and rings for $1000.

At this last match, I shot a 6.5 creedmoor with velocity at 2500fps. My misses were me, not the rifle. I have learned and shot enough to now know my 6mm at 3000 fps would not have given me any more hits. I suck, not the gun.

I also realized that if I don't practice shooting my rifle, its the same as when I don't practice basketball. All the shots I could make before, I miss until I get back the rythym and focus.

So in this current situation, dryfire and shooting will make the difference for you. A .22 will help you with a lot of the process, but you can't cheat yourself because there is no recoil. Build the shooting position just the same as if it were gonna recoil.
 

fmyth

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My current rifle is an ancient 30.06, and in 2019 I was at the range ~1/month, usually 20-40 rounds/trip. So, normally it would be less expensive, but right now replacements are hard to come by and without knowing what the next few months are, I don't want to burn what little I have left. The intention for the 2020 season was to buy matching tikka's in 223 and 7RM, but, being unemployed and in lock down killed that plan. I'm employed and in a more reasonable location now so I'm trying to re-jigger my plan.


I like the idea of matching platforms - it just seems so freaking reasonable. I think I've decided on Tikka, everytime I think I should just something weird (like a Sauer 100) I just remember I used to drive a mitsubishi montero and while awesome, I ended up imported parts from UAE, Japan, and Australia. Boring is just fine.


Agreed on the dryfire - You'd go with the cheap an non-matched trainer?
You can find all the .30-06 range ammo you want online for around $35 a box. I've posted a quite a few websites with .30-06 available recently for as little as $15 a box.

 
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CoffeeGoat

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No offense, but you don't need a trainer.
The guys talking about benefit of trainers are shooting hundreds or thousands of rounds and burn out barrels every year.

If ammo weren't a concern, my advice would be to burn out that barrel and then get a new rifle that you would burn out that barrel and then replace it. For the money, buying another rifle isn't better.

Now, if you want another rifle and all, then that is fine. But, its better to buy $1000 of ammo and shoot it than to buy another rifle, scope, and rings for $1000.

At this last match, I shot a 6.5 creedmoor with velocity at 2500fps. My misses were me, not the rifle. I have learned and shot enough to now know my 6mm at 3000 fps would not have given me any more hits. I suck, not the gun.

I also realized that if I don't practice shooting my rifle, its the same as when I don't practice basketball. All the shots I could make before, I miss until I get back the rythym and focus.

So in this current situation, dryfire and shooting will make the difference for you. A .22 will help you with a lot of the process, but you can't cheat yourself because there is no recoil. Build the shooting position just the same as if it were gonna recoil.

Fair enough, I'll check into the links @fmyth posted - apparently I suck at both shooting and finding ammunition. Sounds like I can get some trigger time and save some money. Cheers and thanks for the help folks.
 

hereinaz

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Hahaha, you don't suck at shooting, you just aren't a competition shooter. There is a difference is all. Its like hearing a bunch of race car drivers talking about something and thinking you might need it on your commuter car...

Competitions are cool and you can learn a lot. But, its not the end all.
 

Jdw901

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I’ve had similar thoughts about practice and ammo conservation. My son and I have been doing a lot of practice with a bolt action CZ 457 in .22 LR, topped with an older leupold VX-II 2-7. I also bought a bunch of 4, 6 and 8 in round steel targets and we’ve been shooting those out to 100 yds from all different simulated (hunting) shooting positions. It’s super fun and great practice. Your not going to get long distance wind reads and learning, but I’d still highly recommend it.
 

hereinaz

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I’ve had similar thoughts about practice and ammo conservation. My son and I have been doing a lot of practice with a bolt action CZ 457 in .22 LR, topped with an older leupold VX-II 2-7. I also bought a bunch of 4, 6 and 8 in round steel targets and we’ve been shooting those out to 100 yds from all different simulated (hunting) shooting positions. It’s super fun and great practice. Your not going to get long distance wind reads and learning, but I’d still highly recommend it.
Fun factor is HUGE. Push it out to 200 and 300 to learn about wind some.
 

PowellSixO

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I’ve had similar thoughts about practice and ammo conservation. My son and I have been doing a lot of practice with a bolt action CZ 457 in .22 LR, topped with an older leupold VX-II 2-7. I also bought a bunch of 4, 6 and 8 in round steel targets and we’ve been shooting those out to 100 yds from all different simulated (hunting) shooting positions. It’s super fun and great practice. Your not going to get long distance wind reads and learning, but I’d still highly recommend it.
I landed on the same conclusion. I just picked up a cz 457 mtr. I’m topping it with an area 419 30 moa rail, seekins rings, and a Burris xtr ii 5-25 mil scope. Also running an atlas bipod, atlas bipod rail, yodave trigger spring, and area 419 bolt knob. It’s not all put together yet, as I just received the last piece last night. But I’m going to finish it up this weekend. 043A77DE-C961-4D86-A38C-AB3C839D52D5.jpeg CCCEDF83-4A19-424E-A321-D8BB97C1AF69.jpeg
 

hereinaz

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If you get a .22 make sure parallax on the scope goes low enough for shooting. Get a scope with 10 or 25 min parallax.
 
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CoffeeGoat

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Hahaha, you don't suck at shooting, you just aren't a competition shooter. There is a difference is all. Its like hearing a bunch of race car drivers talking about something and thinking you might need it on your commuter car...

Competitions are cool and you can learn a lot. But, its not the end all.
How do you know - I might suck :)

It's a useful discussion because while I'm not, and likely will never be, a competitive shooter, the ability to rapidly screen an opportunity, calculate a solution, find a good position, and make a clean shot would absolutely be helpful, particularly for a mediocre hunter like myself.

Those CZs look great, I'll have to poke around and figure out what I want to pick up. I have been able to find the T1X a few places, and I've already got a set of steel targets, so I'll just need to start working on it again. Growing up we always had a dozen tin cans hanging out in the garden at various distances to practice with the bb gun, now that I'll have a real backyard I'll have to get that set up too.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one figuring out how to practice during the ammo shortage, and it's nice to hear that 30.06 range ammo is possible to find again. Time to get to work. Cheers
 

MeatMissile

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Besides dryfire and more limited range sessions, I’ve been shooting my pellet gun a lot. Not one if the $200+ rifles, a $65 Daisy pump rifle. Its brought out a lot of the joy I had as a kid shooting a similar rifle. I use empty copenhagen cans and little green army men as targets.
 
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