Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Rifles - Winchester Sharpshooter:

The new Winchester is truly the Rifleman's rifle or at least the ones I've seen have been. Anyone else please comment on that last line cause I would like to know if you've had bad experiences with late vintage Winchesters? <>
USA - Wednesday, February 10, 1999 at 21:59:47 (ZULU) 

Probably shouldn't say this, since it is just repeating what a shooting buddy [ex 'nam sniper] told me. Anyway, about the new Winchester Sharpshooter in 308...said it was much better than the 70's of a few years back, but didn't see a gun there worth the nearly triple 700 Police price. Found the Win to have a better "feel", but said he still preferred the 700 with a touch of work. In the past, I have found his opinions to be very exact, but, your mileage may vary here.

Old Dog
Bruce <>
USA - Wednesday, February 10, 1999 at 22:36:21 (ZULU) 

I'm not sure which Winchester Sharpshooter your friend handled... the current one is made with an H-S bbl and H-S stock, and even the folks inside the Winchester custom dept say it was a mistake to go with H-S (sorry JR!)... the Sharpshooter that I have is the one that was made about two years ago, with a Schneider BBL, and McMillen "A2" stock, and I paid $500 over list and was glad to do it. The barrel is a hand lapped, benchrest grade bull, 1" at the muzzle and it shoots 3/8's groups from a clean cold barrel, (including the first shot) and .5"-.6" from a hot, dirty, barrel... that is the real value of a good barrel.
I also own one M70/V in .223 and two in .308, and they are all better guns than the Remington equivalents... the Winchester M70/V's have Bull weight match grade stainless steel barrels, the Rem PSS's have medium weight, plain steel barrels that are, as Scott (x-ring) said, nothing but off the line production. Is the Win M70/SS expensive, sure, but no more than a Rem 40X with equivalent stock. Both of my Rem PSS's required a lot of "tweeking" because of feeding problems, and the bolt face was so rough on one, that I couldn't read primers for pressure, and I had to have the bolt replaced. The Winchesters just needed the triggers adjusted.
I own both, and shoot both, but I feel that the Winchesters are much better, by far.

USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 01:47:47 (ZULU) 


The sharpshooter in question was a very, very, recent one, if that helps explain. It was shot new out of the box maybe a month ago. This is the one that sells for $1,600-$1,800. By the way, this guy is a nut for the pre 64 action, and, knows his guns...but, so much of that stuff is personal taste. I have had good luck with many different guns, from the 700P, to the 70, to even a couple of Ruuuugers that get bashed here. I do not match shoot though, and I think that makes a real difference. Most of animal shooting is fine if you can put it within the paper-plate sized sweet spot at 500 meters. Target shooting shows imperfections in technique and equipment very quickly. Frankly, this 3/8's / or 1/4 MOA is something that I do not shoot enough to take advantage feeling is many are in the same boat. *I* cannot consistently get it there...I don' blame the gun:)

I have often wondered what the guns guys like Carlos killed with shot, consistently. The buddy I referred to on the Winchester was there, as a number of you were, and tells me that sub MOA stuff was a wet dream...not because of the shooter, but because of the elements and the guns. If anyone has ever talked to Carlos about this, I would really like to hear what he has said regarding [accuracy in 'nam].

Old Dog
Bruce <>
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 03:09:29 (ZULU) 

The sub minute rifles aren't a wet dream... many of the shooters on this site can do that with an out of the box PSS or M70/V (maybe a Ruuu, a Ruuug, aw forget it), with a hundred rounds of break-in, a good scope, adjusting the trigger, and snugin' up the action screws.
Being able to shoot sub MOA on your belly, without a benchrest and sand bags...
... well that takes a little practice!

Early on, Carlos used a Winchester M70 target in .30-06, with an 8x Unertl, later on he used a M40 (Rem .308 Varmint) with a 3x9 Redfield.
You don't need sub moa for large varmints.
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 03:41:47 (ZULU) 

Winchesters, In my opinion are superior in many ways as I have to agree that Pablito is on target there. When I was more involved in bench rest shooting in the late 60's Remingtons were turning out the best groups for some reason mainly preferred for their excellent "lock time". It is unclear to me today why that was thought to be such a factor on bench rifles but it was. Actually there was little difference in the rifle's otherwise. And it is quite true I believe that sub MOA in early vietnam was a wet dream but no more due to improved stocks and bedding it is everyday fact of life. I must go back in my mind to time when it was Pre 64 and Winchester was "the rifleman's rifle". Used by many big game hunters without problems and
accuracy we know as routine today was mainly unheard of except in things like the Winchester Varminter of the day. And along came the Remington 40X and things changed rapidly. <>
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 17:12:50 (ZULU) 

Bill R,
Nice to see you and Pablito agree(HA) only kidding!! On the issue of VietNam area accuracy I think both the rifles and the shooters were capable of MOA but I believe it was the quality of the ammo more than anything else, the same as it is today. I have a .3 to .5 gun in 308 that becomes a 1 to 1.5 gun with the special ball 118 rounds. I think the guys who have to shoot this ammo in matchs would do a lot better with quality ammo such as the LC Match or the new LR and I think this will be proven as it gets to be more available to them.
Pat <>
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 17:28:57 (ZULU) 
Hi Pat; your probably right about that. I do believe it was harder with the old wooden stocked guns to get the sub moa due to the other factors that were present at the time. One was that Old P.O. Ackley was a real authority on rifles at the time and once made the statement that rifles usually shoot a little better with a little pressure on the stock and the foreend. Rifle makers jumped in the middle of that statement such as Winchester Remington and Ruger and insured that we had a lot of out of box hunting rifles that didn't shoot worth a hoot for years. Until only recently with aluminum pilar bedding did they finally get carried kicking and screaming into the accuracy world. I think probably old Ackley was thinking about target rifles that were tuned by external weights and screws bearing on the barrel or maybe it was that the old whispey barreled rifles of the day couldn't be hurt much and probably would just as easily shoot bent out of shape as they did otherwise. I used to catch hell from all the hunters around here when I would tell them to free float their barrels and my loyalty to America was questioned on account of my perversion. Fiberglass bedding all the way to the front sight was the only thing they would accept.
Well Ole Pablito is usually right! We don't come from the same hide hole but we do agree on most things!
B.Rogers <>
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 17:50:58 (ZULU) 
Pablito: Wrong wet dream:) I know that sub MOA is there today...even this old dog can get it...the dream I was referring to is the vietnam era guns. Perhaps it was the ammo, as mentioned by someone above.

Bruce <>
USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 21:27:58 (ZULU) 


Just lettin' ya know that no rifle (30 cal and under), whether it is a Winchester production Sharpshooter, or a rebarrel, or one of our own H-S rifles leave the shop without shooting at least a .5 MOA group, so when Win. tells you it was a mistake for going with H-S, I think it is more about money or the politics of the contract. That is all I can say about that except that I guarantee it was not about the quality of the rifles.

JR <>
rapid city, sd, USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 01:12:38 (ZULU) 

It wasn't the quality of the barrels, or accuracy. They shoot very well, it was the stock that hasn't appealed to the buyers. The McMillen "A2" stock is loved by many, and the configuration of the new H-S stock, has left many potential buyers cold.
I didn't mean to cast dispersions on the H-S bbl, they shoot extremely well, and will easely make under 1/2", even in the 300 Win mag (which ain't easy!)... now if you guys would come out with an "A2"...

Sorry, JR, for the misunderstanding... not my intention.

USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 02:00:21 (ZULU) 

JR, I am one of those lost sales Pablito speaks of. I always liked the custom sharp shooter and about a year ago I deceided to go ahead and get one since they are now using the classic action. Much to my surprise, they no longer had the McMillan A2 and the stainless barrel on the steel action. I have no complaints about the H&S barrel, to me either they shoot or they don't and you said they do. I didn't like the stock at all, I'm sure the quality is great, but it just didn't feel right to me. It's personal preferance, not a quality issue, I just prefer the look and feel of the McMillan A2/A3. If I'm not mistaken the model 70 heavy varmint uses an H&S stock too, and I like that stock. If H&S made a stock profile closer to the McMillan A3 I would buy it in a minute because I tire of the four month wait to get a McMillan (maybe you could put that idea in someones head?).
Rich <>
WA, USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 04:00:59 (ZULU) 
On first view as a "tradionalist" I thought the Sharpshooter was plug ugly and the stock felt kinda ungainly offhand. When I did the T&E on it,(Naturally, during the onset of a blizzard) and it shot like a house on fire and I very quickly changed my mind! But the price, WHEW! If ya like model 70's its the rifle.
But my feelings are pretty well set on the Remington 700 Police as the most versatile out of the box rifle for the price, that may change but I doubt it.

bIG-cITY, bY-gAwD, USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 13:19:53 (ZULU) 

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