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4 Stunning Long-Range Rifles That Will Shoot Past 1,000 Yards

4 Stunning Long-Range Rifles That Will Shoot Past 1,000 Yards

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Perhaps the most impressive display of marksmanship is true long-range shooting. Reaching out to a target at 1,000 yards or beyond requires skill, knowledge and lots of practice to do it right.

While some may deem it as impractical to hit a target at half a mile, the amount of research that goes into selection of the rifle, optics and ammunition — plus learning how to read wind, observe the effects of humidity, air pressure and elevation are all factors that will make you a better shooter in the long run.

Yes, it is true that long-range shots can be made with typical rifle calibers such as 308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield and 7.62 X 54R, but these calibers were not designed with extreme ranges in mind.

Here are four long-range rifles you should consider:

1. 300 Winchester Magnum

Prized for its ability as a flat-shooting cartridge, the 300 Winchester Magnum is capable of 3,260 feet per second (fps) and 2,658 foot pounds of muzzle energy with a 150 grain bullet, and 3,000 fps and 4,223 foot pounds of muzzle energy with a 180 grain bullet. Unlike most rifle cartridges, the trajectory stays level out to about 300 yards.

Maximum effective range is out to 1,200 yards, and the round really comes into its own at 800 to 1,000. One of the advantages of the 300 Winchester Magnum is that it can be loaded in a long-rifle action rather than a more expensive Magnum receiver.

All of the big-name rifle companies manufacture a bolt-action, but two of our favorites are the Savage 110FP with Accutrigger and the Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS. The Savage retails for under $900 and the Winchester can be had for closer to $1,100.

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For working your way up into long-range shooting, we recommend the 300 Winchester Magnum as a good starting point, particularly if you want to step down to a 308 and really put those long-range skills to work in a smaller caliber.

2. 338 Lapua Magnum

In what was probably the first round designed from the ground up as a sniper cartridge, 338 Lapua is our personal favorite long-range round. Developed from the 416 Rigby case, the inventors of the round learned a critical factor in designing ammunition with regard to pressure: hardness of the brass was more important than its relative thickness.

The world record for the longest confirmed sniper shot at 2,707 yards (1.5 miles) was achieved with this round by a British Army sniper, Corporal Craig Harrison.

As for stats: you are launching a 200-grain bullet at 3,300 fps with a muzzle energy of 4,967 foot pounds.

If money is no problem, then check out the Sako TRG-42 at $4,000 — pricey, but one of the best in its class.

Personally, I have been running a Savage 110 BA Chasis rifle for the past 5 years with no complaints besides its weight. I bought mine secondhand for around $1,200. MSRP is a bit higher, but rifles such as these turn up used every now and then due to their specialized nature and ammunition costs, and sometimes people want to upgrade to a SAKO, Accuracy International or a Barrett.

3. 408 CheyTac

408 CheyTac

408 CheyTac

The 408 CheyTac was designed by John D. Taylor and William Wordman specifically for military long-range sniper use. 408 CheyTac was developed specifically for anti-personnel and anti-material roles out to 2,200 yards.

It is based on the 505 Gibbs (an old-time rimless African big-game cartridge developed in England in 1911) and necked down to 0.408 inches. The parent case’s web and sidewall were beefed up to accommodate high-chamber pressures. The 305 grain bullet travels at 3,500 fps, with 8,295 foot pounds of muzzle energy and the 419 grain bullet travels at 3,000 fps with 8,373 foot pounds of muzzle energy.

The Chey-Tac M200 Intervention is the bolt-action rifle built to handle this round, and shooters have been documented firing a group of 3 shots within 16 inches at 2,321 yards. That kind of long-range accuracy comes at a hefty price with this model starting at $11,700 from the manufacturer. They throw in 200 rounds ($1,400 worth), but you still need to provide your own optics.

4. 50 BMG

While the other three rounds in this category may have an advantage in economics (300 Winchester Magnum), accuracy (338 Lapua Magnum) or range (408 CheyTac), the 50 BMG is still the king of the domain of long-range shooting.

Developed by the great John Browning for use in his M2 machine gun, the round is a scaled up 30-06 cartridge that launches a 660 grain bullet.

A number of manufacturers support the 50 BMG, such as Barrett Firearms, Serbu Firearms and small builders throughout the western United States.

Some states and cities outlaw the 50 BMG, as do a number of rifle ranges. This may be a factor in selecting another caliber or something that goes into the decision-making process if researching your own.

Ammunition prices fluctuate greatly on the 50 BMG; to get the most accuracy out of your long-range rifle, you may want to look into hand loading your own. Of course, be advised that components, dies, etc., will be more costly than most of the others.

Beyond extending your range with a rifle in defense of your home, developing the skills of a long-range shooter will increase your skillset in other shooting disciplines, from marksmanship and breath control to reloading ammunition. It also will give you an insight into how your other firearms perform and help you realize first-hand the concepts of having a free-floated barrel or a match trigger.

Which long-range rifle do you prefer? What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. Instead of the .300 Win Mag just load up a .30-06 Springfield (Case and Rifle) to .300 Win Mag velocity and bullet wt. – Better for your rifle (.30-06) and MORE Accurate. Read Lesson 2 in my Instructors Manual as to the why. The Great Lapua Oy .338 is “Top Notch” – Power, Accuracy, and “Shoot-ability”. Few big men can Control and shoot the .50 BMG in ANY Rifle Frame.

  2. Excellent info. It has no price, for the rest there is MASTERCARD

  3. It’s funny Bill! I didn’t know this was your article


  4. I have pretty much done away with my .300 Win Mag and found a round I like better, the 6.5 Creedmore will go a mile with ease.

  5. I shoot a Savage 110BA in 300 win mag. It’s easily accurate to 1 mile, as I hit a 12″x12″ steel plate at a mile repeatedly with ease 3 weeks ago. I do hand load all of my own ammo. I also have a Savage 10FCSP in 308 which is just as accurate at 1000 yards. I also shot a 338 Lapua the day I was shooting the mile with my rifle. Nice powerful cartridge, but didn’t feel any different than my 300 win mag. For the money, if you are just going to slap steel with it and not use it for anti-personnel or anti material I suggest the 300 win mag. Way cheaper to shoot. I just wish I had a mile range closer to me so I could practice more, the nearest one is 3 hours away. I guess all of the groundhog shooting I have done at 500 yards with my 22-250 helped me immensely with shooting the mile.

  6. Everybody has their pet rifle, their pet caliber. Not knocking any of them, as I own long range guns in most of the calibers. All has a niche and does one think or another really well.

    If I could only have one rifle, it would be my 338lm. It does everything really well, anti personal, anti material, I load and buy brass on sale, so my costs per gullet are rather low. I’m currantly shooting a mix of SMK 250s and 300s. I’ve got a couple hundred 300 ELR, Berbers loaded and on the shelf.

    I’m running 93.5 grains of VVN165 and 89.5 for the 300s.

    I’m amused at the 6.5 craze, great BC’s my friends all went 6.5, I went .243 and think it’s a scosh more accurate. Could be the rifles.

    I have not shot the .408 or the 4.16 as the cost per round isn’t in my range.

    I’d like to add that as important as a accurate rifle is, without great glass, it’s just another rifle. I noticed you have a primer on the rifle, slick. I’m sporting Schmidt and Bender PM II pf4 reticle’s, and the new Gen II vortex scopes on my rifles.

    The S& Bs are moa, and the Vortex’s are the ebr-2c mrad set ups.

    Just another ex long range shooters opinion.

    Nice article.


    • Have the 300 Win and it is amazing but for cost to practice and i needed a lot to hit the target consistently at a 1,000 yds my favorite caliber is the 6.5 CM and it is a lot ,ore comfortable and less noisy too.

  7. Enjoy your site occasionally,

    Am a shooter, long term addiction.

    My next rifle will be specifically for long range. Will be a Winchester Model 70 Safari in .375 H&H, And the reason I mentioon, is its kind of a sleeper that falls between the .300 mag and the .50 Bmg. Also the rifle comes stock with a heavy barrel, and not likely to attract much attention, not MILSPEC looking. And the round sizzles out to long ranges, and smacks with certain athority….

    My previous long range rifle was a 7mm Rem mag. I just want to take a step up, And still have something I can hunt with. And am suggesting that guys read the stats on .375, and its ammo availability world wide etc. when thinking about long range calibers.

    Had a friend point it out to me years ago, and he was right, its definitely worth getting.

  8. I recently completed a long range rife shooting course so this was the perfect article to help me find a gun that’s going to help me hit a target at +1000 yards. I learned a lot, thanks for the write up!

  9. I think all of the rifles mentioned are really great guns, but what I use for long range elk hunting is a Remington model 700 chambered in 300 RUM with a 26″ bull barrel. It dropped a 6×7 bull in its tracks at 925 yards and it didn’t even flinch. Its a little lighter than the Lapua, and when your packing in several miles that makes a difference. The ammo is a little bit cheaper also.

  10. I am surprised that there is no Remington 700 in this list.

  11. I had to search out the location of the newsletter in order to determine if it was indeed a product of the U.S. Far too many of the answers appear to be from those who use English as a second language rather than their primary written and spoken language.

    Then comes the inappropriate use of the wrong terms for technical descriptors, the worst being ‘caliber’ for ‘cartridge’. Caliber stipulates a diameter of the bullet or shell if you were the Army or Navy. Cartridge defines the entire unique product consisting of the case, primer, powder and bullet. Even the author gets this wrong.

    Far too often we get caught up in the debates surrounding which cartridge or which rifle will make the biggest impact on our ‘long range shooting’. The last paragraph alludes to some of the areas which will be required to master some of the skill sets but it leaves out important parts of the discussion regarding range finding and rifle scopes. You cannot get very far (no pun intended) with ordinary glass because large amounts of magnification are required, so exceptional quality of glass is a necessity to assist with achieving the clarity for completing long range shots. These scopes are not inexpensive by any means and often cost more than the rifles themselves. If you intend to attempt shooting at these longer ranges, you need to budget for the best glass you can possibly afford.

    In addition to the best glass, you must have a high quality range finder capable of resolving the target at longer ranges and accurately assessing the distance from the shooter. Getting the yardage wrong by just a few yards will result in a miss. This brings the area of ballistics into play as well. Not only will you have to achieve the best accuracy possible with your choice of cartridge but you have to know how it performs in the air at any point throughout its trajectory, consistently. This then brings to bear the need for a high quality chronograph and testing at two distances in order to determine what the real BC of your bullet is.

    This can go on and on until everyone sees this as an equipment race. Well, it is in a way since you can’t expect to perform at your best without being prepared. The hardest part of all of the long range shooting is practice, running the same drills over and over until you can literally do it in your sleep. A single hit on a target past 1,000 yards is gratifying but hitting it repeatedly, dozens of times, again and again is preparedness.

    The number of shooters who can manage accurate shots on long range targets with a .50 BMG number in the few hundreds compared to those shooters who can manage the larger caliber, shoulder fired rifles. Note I did not write cartridge since I was not being specific. Also note I specified ‘shoulder fired’ as a descriptor. The .50 BMG might appear to be a shoulder fired weapon but in reality, it is usually shot prone and is ‘crew served’ since one man will have a difficult time managing the weapon, optics/range finder, bipod/tripod and the ammunition in one load.

    There is enough here to write several more complete, inclusive articles with good detail and there is more that I didn’t mention.

    Remember to take your kids out to shoot.

    (I did proof read this but I may have missed something still…)

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