Another newbie

Get or give advice on equipment, reloading and other technical issues.

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redthumb
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Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:02 pm

Another newbie

#1 Postby redthumb » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:27 pm

Hi guys,

I'm a long time reader and first time poster looking to get into F Class.

A bit of a background about myself. I'm from the western suburbs of Melbourne and picked up my first rifle last year which was a Lithgow 22lr. My goal was to eventually move into F Class but better to start off easy and learn how to handle a rifle. After a couple of months, I bought a Tikka T3X varmint 223R and reloading equipment to learn centerfire and how to reload. The Tikka is a 1:8 twist and at the moment I'm using 77gr SMK. I frequent SSAA in Little River to shoot casually to improve my techniques and reloading. On good days, I can shoot 0.5 MOA at 200m.

I think I'm comfortable now to venture into the sport and have recently bought a Vortex Golden Eagle. I've also recently built an annealing machine as well. I haven't been to an F Class range yet but I will very soon after I get back from holidays. I know there'll be more advise when I do but just thought I'll ask on this forum first.

Should I try to work with the Tikka or acquire something new e.g. buy a savage/build an Omark/save more money first and go custom? I'm trying to keep my budget low but willing to spend up to $3k or a little bit more if I have to.

1) For the Tikka, I would need to change pretty much everything (stock, barrel, trigger) except the action I believe and I'll be stuck with a 223.

2) The savage f/tr is a one stop solution but not sure there is anything else I need to do to it in future.

3) An Omark build...well, I'll need to acquire the parts (action, barrel, trigger, stock, etc) and find a gunsmith to put them together. I don't know anyone in my area. One of the main reason for this post is because there is an Omark barreled action in the for sale section and I'm tempted to go this route.

4) And lastly, buy once cry once, save up for a barnard and be done with it. Still need to find a gunsmith to re-barrel and maintenance.

The closest range to me is the Werribee rifle club and it's an 800m range. I'm not sure which discipline yet but looking to start with F Standard first. Lastly, I'm strictly target shooter and not a hunter.

Thanks,
Eng

DenisA
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD

Re: Another newbie

#2 Postby DenisA » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:42 pm

There's a couple of nice LRP built Barnard F-class rifles on used guns that fall in to your price range. They're L/H which work very well for R/H belly or bench shooters. Maybe a second hand custom such as these is a better option.

UL1700
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:39 pm

Re: Another newbie

#3 Postby UL1700 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:36 pm

Welcome along! I am new on here too and have just finished a custom Barnard FTR build and the $$S soon add up. If I had seen these ( viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9354 ) when I started I would have jumped at the opportunity. They are a bit over you budget but include an exceptional quality scope and look like they are still available. Which F class are you looking at competing in?

All the best,

James.

GSells
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:04 pm

Re: Another newbie

#4 Postby GSells » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:59 pm

If you can , buy a Barnard or a stolle panda 2 nd hand and re barrel it in 308 1:12 twist Maddco barrel or Bartlien.
This will take 18 months of your 4 year apprenticeship.
If you are unable to buy a dedicated f class rifle . You can always develop the tikka , which always fun and satisfying getting a factory rifle shooting well .

Another option as u said is buying an Omark and developing it .
Or buy a savage. I had a fcphsp.308 savage and was perfect for a newbie . Or Lithgow arms make a very accurate Australian made .308 .
Good luck mate.

ShaneG
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:25 pm
Location: Cairns
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Re: Another newbie

#5 Postby ShaneG » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:19 pm

Your T3 1/8 twist will work out to 600 yards OK.
It won't win Queens but you can dip your toe in the game and have fun!
I just tested a T3 Varmint this afternoon at 200 yards with my usual rabbit load and had a 3 shot .25 moa group.
You don't have to rebarrel it and with 223 you don't need to add weight!
But I would use Berger pills - my personal preference has been the 80.5 gr.

Savage actions will shoot, Savage barrels hmmmmm?
If you decide to go .308 down the road then I would say 1/10 twist and look to F/TR the International discipline.
Please forget the Omark route and the Lithgow is way too hard if you want a custom barrel to be competitive.
For what my 2 bits is worth anyway

redthumb
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:02 pm

Re: Another newbie

#6 Postby redthumb » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:59 pm

The barnards on usedguns and the link is left handed. The price is decent but not sure if I can get used to the left hand bolt. I've never tried one before.

I'm not quite sure which class yet James but will most likely go down the F/TR route with a 308 as suggested by ShaneG. I definitely won't be looking into F Open yet.
Looks like the Omark is just too much trouble for a starter. I think the best option is to hangout and wait for a nice used action to keep the price down a little. Then slowly build a nice rifle while I pay a visit to the range in the mean time and try a shoot with my Tikka. I'll get some 80 Bergers and see how that go.

GSells
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:04 pm

Re: Another newbie

#7 Postby GSells » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:30 pm

If your rh shooter , don’t shoot a Lh bolt . Save up get the right rifle , pay $ and cry once . I know when I went from my factory rifle to a dedicated stolle mac f class stock , my scores improved pretty much overnight. But learning the basics of reloading and wind reading with a tikka .223 is a very good idea in the mean time . There’s a B grade St shooter up here that shot one at Bundy opm this year , all the way out to 900 yds .223 and Won it . Conditions were very challenging too! Was a real lesson in wind reading!

DenisA
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD

Re: Another newbie

#8 Postby DenisA » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:32 pm

redthumb wrote:The barnards on usedguns and the link is left handed. The price is decent but not sure if I can get used to the left hand bolt. I've never tried one before.


I'm right handed but I'm heavily left eye dominant. I decided to shoot right bolt rifles left handed because there were more options. Years later, I now honestly believe its a better way of shooting rested rifles. Having your trigger and grip hand stationary while your other hand cycles the bolt and uses the co-axe joystick or supports the forend works great.

I see a few shooters have been intentionally going down this path for this reason for a while now.

Its a completely different story shooting field positions in other disciplines. Then the bolt orientation should match the shooters dominant hand.
Last edited by DenisA on Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DenisA
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD

Re: Another newbie

#9 Postby DenisA » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:35 pm

GSells wrote:If your rh shooter , don’t shoot a Lh bolt .


I whole heartedly disagree. If you get a chance try it first.

RDavies
Posts: 1774
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:23 pm
Location: Singleton NSW

Re: Another newbie

#10 Postby RDavies » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:06 pm

DenisA wrote:
GSells wrote:If your rh shooter , don’t shoot a Lh bolt .


I whole heartedly disagree. If you get a chance try it first.

Yep, I am right handed but all of my guns I have had made in the last few years have all been left bolt left port.

Tim N
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:18 pm
Location: Branxton NSW

Re: Another newbie

#11 Postby Tim N » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:05 am

Welcome to the sport!
With the dollar value of some importance, can you get a 308 face bolt for your tikka then build from there.
New barrel and stock
With a barrel vice you can then shoot it as a 223 as well.
CRM do a tikka based F class rifle.
We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training. Archilochos 680-645 BC

UL1700
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:39 pm

Re: Another newbie

#12 Postby UL1700 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:06 am

Yes my build is LBLP I used a RBLP (right bolt left port) and really liked it so went the whole hog with my own build. Try to use one, after a couple of rounds you won't even realise!

Gyro
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:44 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Another newbie

#13 Postby Gyro » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:41 am

I'm right hand dominant and RBLP is my choice. But my stock has no pistol grip so it has to be that way as I think you definitely need to be able to control the rifle torque for the bolt cycling.

This aspect of the shooting package is all about how the gun is handled just feeding and ejecting rounds and this part matters a bloody lot I reckon.

GSells
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:04 pm

Re: Another newbie

#14 Postby GSells » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:47 am

RDavies wrote:
DenisA wrote:
GSells wrote:If your rh shooter , don’t shoot a Lh bolt .


I whole heartedly disagree. If you get a chance try it first.

Yep, I am right handed but all of my guns I have had made in the last few years have all been left bolt left port.

Wow Rod and Dennis , I didn’t know you both were that way ? I guess don’t knock it until you try it :lol:

Gyro
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:44 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Another newbie

#15 Postby Gyro » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:49 am

'Tis all about staying nice and smooth and trouble free, with everything under control so u can be untroubled by anything !! Then u can give total attention to the conditions .....


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