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Choosing a long range caliber

 
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  #1  
Old 08-18-2013, 04:01 PM
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Choosing a long range caliber

Gents,
Time for a long range gun. I am a very capable hunter, marksman and reloader but have no experience at 1000+ yards. I just sold a TC 300 Win Mag, it is clearly not the platform for a long range gun. I have a 7mm Rem Mag that is awesome but it is a WWII Mauser action with a custom barrel from Adobe Gun Shop in Silver City NM (not there anymore I don't think) and I got it used. Shoots great, 1 hole at 100 and touching at 200 but I have no idea how much life is left in the barrel and this guns shoots so well as is I am not going to mess with it.

I have about decided on a Remington R5 or Sendero in 300 Win Mag as the base gun but now 7mm and 6.5-284 have creeped into the back of my head. The R5 and Sendero seem to be a good balance between price and out of the box accuracy to 1000+ yards.

Barrel life is a real concern for me. If you figure it usually takes 200-250 rounds to decide on the best powder, bullet and OAL your barrel is a quarter spent by the time you figure the optimal load; common wisdom also says that the belted mags tend to eat barrels. The 6.5 seems impressive on paper but I am concerned that the max bullet weight is a bit on the light side if I hunt with the gun (which I do hope to do but much of my shooting will be at paper or steel).

My goal is to get into a solid gun in a caliber that will allow really long shots. Ranges out to a mile or more have me very interested. Will a 6.5 barrel last that much longer than a 7 or 300? Will a nitride bath help with barrel life or is this the latest voodoo? Is the 6.5 neutered with the lighter bullets? Thoughts??? Oh...and a 50 cal is not in the cards; when I think about reloading for that beast I can see my powder and bullet costs getting out of hand quickly.

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:22 PM
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Location: Riggins Idaho
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Re: Choosing a long range caliber

If you want buy the r5 in 300 win and see how it shoots. If it doesn't then you have the cost of getting it trued bedded a barrel and chamber job. If it shoots good from factory then you'll be in it cheaper if not your looking at about the same price as having a custom made off a custom reciever. If you time crunching I'm try the r5 if your not I'd get a custom. Hate to say it but in this world barrels are cheap after you account for everything else. Scopes, spotting scopes, rangefinders etc. Personally I always prefer to have one built buy 2 barrels if your worried about burning them up havethem cchambered at same time and head spaced the same and use the first one on learning and playing with powders and bullets etc and by the time that one is burnt out you'll have a pretty good idea what works what doesn't for second one and it should only take 50-100 rounds to have it set up
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:44 AM
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Re: Choosing a long range caliber

6.5 caliber gets real hard to see vapor trail and hits at long range. The 6.5-284 eats barrels up pretty fast. At least for the 1000 yard bench rest game. They all but disappeared from the firing line at Williamsport 1000 yard club. The 300 WSM and 6 Dasher now dominate. The WSM is very easy on barrels but i feel it is a bit light for hunting much past 1000 or a little farther. Once you get to a mile it is hard to beat a .338. A 300 Win mag would also be a good choice. Matt
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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Re: Choosing a long range caliber

If you are serious about a mile then I would recommend a 338 Lapua. If just a 1000 yards then the 300 Win over a 300RUM for barrel wear.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:40 PM
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Re: Choosing a long range caliber

Generally speaking, the smaller the cal, the shorter the barrel life per distance shooting. I.e, shooting a 7 RUM VS a 300 RUM is going to give you similar balisitcs to a mile but the 7 RUM is more over bore than the 300 and will burn up a barrel faster. If you want range and descent barrel life you should look at the big 338's.

My 300 RUM shooting 230 hybrids will pretty much stay with the big 338's shooting the 300 OTM, but the 338's will have a good bit more barrel life.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:00 PM
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Re: Choosing a long range caliber

Thanks for the feedback guys!

I figured the 338 was going to jump in there at some point and while I like the idea the cost is quite a bit higher across the board (gun and reloading components). I have 300WM brass bullets and powder from my TC so that is part of the fiscal equation. I really like the 210gr SMK, good BC and performance in my limited testing thus far, and I have 1000 of them. I am using them in my 308 but they are much more appropriate for a 300WM.

I did not realize that the smaller bullets were as hard on the barrels. Since I have all the reloading supplies and equipment for 7mm and 300WM I am thinking the R5 is the ticket.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Mark
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:18 PM
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Re: Choosing a long range caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by mleeber View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys!

I figured the 338 was going to jump in there at some point and while I like the idea the cost is quite a bit higher across the board (gun and reloading components). I have 300WM brass bullets and powder from my TC so that is part of the fiscal equation. I really like the 210gr SMK, good BC and performance in my limited testing thus far, and I have 1000 of them. I am using them in my 308 but they are much more appropriate for a 300WM.

I did not realize that the smaller bullets were as hard on the barrels. Since I have all the reloading supplies and equipment for 7mm and 300WM I am thinking the R5 is the ticket.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Mark
Yup, smaller bullets are harder on barrels because you are sending the same amount of powder through a smaller hole to get the same result.
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